Archive for November, 2013

Cardinal feathers and gold coins…

November 23, 2013


It has been a few days since my show closed- quite successfully, I might add and so I am finally able to rest. Unloading from the theatre  finally ended on Monday, Tuesday was a blur and then on Wednesday, I celebrated my mother’s Birthday early with my older sister for a brief minute, before returning to work.  The rest of the week was…how shall I put this? Very, very interesting and then there was yesterday.

But for you to understand how special yesterday was, I need to go back two weeks. You see, two weeks ago I decided I would get a  jump stat on the holidays and pull things from the attic: namely the outside lights and garland. Now, my attic is not tremendously large and so it is difficult to wander about gracefully and pick and pluck from thirty plastic storage containers, bags and furniture to find just the right box all this was hiding in. Finally after bumping my head on two different rafters, one antique rocker and boxes of tax records…I finally found what I was looking for. Before exiting the attic though, I decided to rearrange some of the nonsense to make a larger path and accidentally tore a hole in a large plastic garbage bag as I went by. The fabric I saw was from an old comforter that had curtains that matched. Seeing as I have two windows that look out over the lake, I have left them without dressing and wanted to see if the curtains were both still intact, so that I might possibly use them in my bedroom. Upon opening the bag the correct way, I saw other goodies I had somehow missed while packing and unpacking several years earlier. By the time my fingers dug to the bottom of the bag for other potential linens, I realized that I was touching was no longer fabric, but cardboard. I dug the box out, only to find there was another lying just beneath it. Once all was out and in the light…I began to tear.

The two boxes were of small hook rug kits with feline motif that my mother had asked me to hook for my older sister the year before she died.  Being that it has been 7 years since her death, I can only imagine that in my grief I packed it away with other things meant for other holidays and projects and lost in another move and simply never revisited. Both the comforter and the request became part of an era I no longer wished to visit and it was soon forgotten after her death.

So there I stood… or rather crouched in my attic, uncertain what to do. Eventually I called my younger sister and together we decided it was right to complete the circle. My older sister has had a terrible year, delayed grief can crush you and so this last year has been very difficult for her. Not that it hasn’t been rough on us all. My mother passed then 3 years later my father and for us all– our true North lost. My dilemma was: to gift the rugs to her finished as my mother had originally requested, or to allow my sister the tangible therapy to work through her grief as she hooked the rugs in memory of my mother herself. In the end, I opted for hands on and so the eve of my mother’s Birthday, I wrapped them up and then met her for a brief moment on my way to the theatre and told her how they came to be discovered. When she got out of the car, I said I had something for her. She said she had something for me too and gave me a small gold coin that had angels on both sides. I popped it in my pocket and thought nothing of it until much later. You will see…

Now, those of you who know me also know that I truly believe that the universe brings us what we need- not always what we want- but what we need and so with confidence in my mantra…I truly believed that the gifts would mean more now, than they would have 7 years earlier in the throws of numb despair.  To think that my mother had orchestrated my finding them, at just the right moment to effect the right saving grace- I delivered them with a happy heart. I knew it would bring a plethora of sentimental tears and yet- it was necessary for me to complete my appointed task and for her to receive. Naturally, once she opened them and the tears began to flow- I second guessed myself right into oblivion and then later that night prayed I had not been so blind in my faith that I assumed others would see the beautiful synchronicity of the moment and understand the blessing that I thought it was. I however, am stupid.

Of course, it dawned on me that it might be difficult for her to bear. Of course it dawned on me that they would be a reminder of our collective loss- but they were also a beautiful reminder that my mother had not left us- that my sister had been remembered too and that was what I was going for. Eventually, I decided that it was what it was and that, at the very least I had honored my mother’s wishes and done a wonderful thing. I spent the next few days quiet in reverie, taking the heat for my decision and then said a small prayer asking my guides if it had been the right thing and if not, that I would be inspired as to how to fix  things to make it better. Naturally- nothing came immediately to mind and so I let it go and let God, secure in the knowledge that I would have loved to have been remembered 7 years after the fact.

Yesterday morning I awoke, exhausted and congested from a cold and so decided to take the day off to physically and mentally regroup and avoid the flu. The weather was temperate and since my husband had taken the dogs out several times for me during the night, I allowed him to rest and took them out into the gray mist myself. The fog on the lake was mystical, the air damp and chilled and the landscape before me spectacularly painted with leaves of every imaginable configuration, curl and color.  Giving thanks for my humble abode and awesome view, I looked down to find my darling Miniature Dachshund wrapping  his leash cord around my ankles just before he took off after the shadow of a squirrel…Frantic to be free from rope burn, I hopped and tugged myself right out of the cord and half out of my housecoat! (Thank God we are relatively secluded from prying neighbors and their eyes!) In the milieu of chaos, I lost a slipper and so barefoot and half naked, I hobbled about to get to something back on my frozen foot and body. As I lifted my wet slipper from the ground, I saw something stuck to its bottom. Seeing as I was outside at 6:30 in the morning for a specific reason- I assumed that was what was stuck was my Miniature Dachshund’s poop. Much to my surprise and absolute delight, it was something else; a small clump of red feathers. Immediately I looked at my Dachshund’s mouth and hollered that he let it loose. Had he found a dead bird and decimated the carcass during my psychotic slipper dance? I yelled at him again, but he had nothing to spit out. His face showed no guilt-he had nothing. I smiled, he eyed me casually and then began to sniff the backside of the dog to his right.  It’s good to know somethings will never change! lol.

I carefully placed the slipper back on and stared down at the tiny gathering of feathers that had fallen off. Whatever had happened, there was nothing attached beyond other feathers- just 3 of them laying there before me – all alone without a body. I spent a moment in thought about my mother and wondered if it was a sign. She had loved Cardinals- worn them on her shirts and sweaters. In fact, everyone associated her with a Cardinal. In appreciation, I whispered hello- belated Birthday wishes and went on my way. Hours later with nothing in the house, my husband and I decided a trip to the grocery store was in order, but not before securing something to eat. We went to my favorite little town on the way to work- Rutledge, Georgia, as they had just finished their holidays decorations and were setting up for a Christmas in the Country Holiday festival. We ate at “Yesterday’s Cafe” and all the while, we watched as bows and ribbons went up here and there, with men scuttling about with serious tools and older women who chatted as they carried the painted Three Wise Men from under their plastic chins across  the town square, searching for just the right angle to compliment the manger scene.

The picture was so surreal, complete with Time Life Christmas music in the background- just the kind I had listened to as a child. Everything was perfect; the cloudy skies, the barren trees…the retro music and old time cafe with antiquated family portraits and retro fitted appliances. Maybe that is why I love driving through that little town so much each day.  It is a slice of pure heaven-a living photograph of my youth back in Iowa, where hardware stores still thrives in quaint down towns and people still understand how to celebrate the holidays and one another as they keep the thought and understanding of something greater than themselves alive.

In light of the earlier red feathers, the scene before me, the comfort of my husband and the cafe’ and town’s nostalgia- the experience  was overwhelming. Inspired, I gobbled my lunch, babbled about my childhood holidays- our  children’s holidays and all the while inside I thought about how much I missed the simple  joys of my youth, the era of innocence and the magic of my mother. Internally I whispered how perfect it would have been if I could have shared such a wondrous occasion with my mother and then mentally blew her a kiss. As we got up to pay the bill, I noticed a woman struggling to get through the cafe doors with a huge green wheel barrel full of holidays goodies and trinkets, all wrapped in colored cellophane and a huge red bow. I rushed to help, held the door open wider and laughed as she passed me, saying I would take one of whatever she was having!

The other woman at the register said it was for a holiday raffle and for a single dollar, I could toss my name in the ring to win it. Amazingly enough, I remembered I had just one dollar left to m my name, so I reached in my pocket only to find the little gold angel coin my sister had given me  and smiled. Perhaps it was a sign of good luck that I might actually win that wheel barrel full of wonderful gadgets and gizmos! Encouraged, I dug around in my purse-gathered up my only wrinkled dollar, stretched it out on the counter and handed it over. My husband shook his head, smiled and headed for the car to wait. As the woman at the register took down my name and number, I spotted another woman sitting alone in the booth behind where we had sat, looking at an Ipad. When she looked up, I had the oddest feeling. I told her she looked very familiar to me for some reason and then faced me full on and smiled –I began to cry.

Before me, petite and perfect in familiar attire, sat a wonderful replica of my mother in her earlier years. Frosted, bobbed hair, glimmering blue eyes and requisite rosy chipmunk cheeks- she grinned wide and I could not help myself. Embarrassed, I explained my irrational response and then asked if it would be all right if I hugged her. She smiled even wider and said yes, stating just that week she had lost a dear friend, was on the road and had not been able to make it back in time to see her in time and was having a hard week herself. I further explained my awkward need to hug her and then did so again! I cried, she laughed and it was the most precious gift of the day. We spoke a few minutes longer about her life- my life, I thanked her- she blessed me, we hugged again and then parted ways, but not before I gave her my card… hoping she might one day see this blog and know what a blessing she had been.

Grateful, I met my husband outside, teary eyed and happy that in my effort to provide a gift for my sister the eve of my mother’s Birthday, the angels had graciously decided to give me one back for my efforts. Overwhelmed with emotion, I walked to the car, reached in my pocket for my keys- fingered the gold coin in my pocket again and smiled that I too had been remembered by my mother and not forgotten by my angels.

All this to say, when we give… we often get – if we remain open. Real love can never be diminished by the veil of death.

Charley helped teach me this… thank you Charley for yesterday and every day onward from here.

Isn’t mail both intriguing and…

November 19, 2013


Isn’t mail both intriguing and wonderful? It brings you things… it takes some things away. Sometimes it brings you bills- sometimes checks…sometimes pain…sometimes pleasure- sometimes a card with a heartfelt wish or  memory. And sometimes a note of thanks or a well wish for a speedy recovery. And sometimes… it might just make you pause to think twice about tokens you send through the mail to others.

But yesterday, it was  a good day. Yesterday I received this:

“Dear T.A. Powell,

We’ve just changed out our book cover banner and your book cover art is now part of the rotation.  The banner located in the bottom half our homepage at  Your book cover art will be available there for the next week…”

Check it out, Valdosta!!

Am I happy? Yes I am. Going global with this book, Grim– you up for it? You are gonna be famous- just like you wished!

Now, how many people do you think have read the book about Charley’s murder so far? The book,  The Thin Gray Line: A True Crime Investigative Memoir. How many more will read it now with this kind of advertising?  Hmmm? Let’s see…what is the population of Valdosta? Of Georgia? Of the South in general… or of the United States and folks who can’t get enough of true crime and unsolved mysteries? And let’s not forget the over seas sales through Amazon!

Because my internet was down most of the morning, I took the time to revisit several documents from the file and happy that I did so. Why? Because I have recently done some other work on this case, as well as the next book about the Dixie Mafia. In doing so, I had this folder still out on my desk. Inside were copies of the  original statements and investigation file by the investigating officer. Very interesting reading, but one thing struck me that I had somehow overlooked before. In the file, the deputy said he had told a certain person- an agent, to accompany another certain person-an agent, to go tell the widow about Charley’s death. And then, 2 pages later… this same deputy contradicts himself by saying he and this other person-an agent, left the hospital morgue together and went back to the scene –again, together and stayed there till daylight. Then in another segment, the agent himself said he left both places to go to the federal building to look for a truck? So how is this possible?

Now, I’m up for a little bit of magic just like anybody else, and yet I find it just a tad bit hard to believe that this other ATTD agent could have actually existed in three places at the same time…and oh so very far apart from one another?  So, my dear friends, which lie  do we decide to go with? The one that says he was at the victim’s home, the federal building parking lot, or the one that says he was 40 minutes away at the scene-the hospital morgue- then the scene all night? Hmmm…I think we should go with the one they didn’t bother to finish writing! The one that says he  went to the federal building to look for something. And then the other one where he went to the victim’s home- told the wife Charley was dead, blocked her driveway so she couldn’t leave and then refused to take her to the hospital… all so they could go through each room and closet of the Covington home  to collect all of the weapons they could find. I liked that part- it shows us just how incredibly thorough they were about trying to figure out what the devil they were gonna do about having to hide the fact that there were 2 guns at the scene, 2 guns used to kill Charley. The truth that didn’t match the lie they have told everyone for 47 years. You know the lie- that Charley shot himself twice in the head with his own weapon and then carefully put it directly underneath him so that the big hero officers wouldn’t have to look so far to find it after he was dead! That LIE that told the world that both bullets matched the weapon shoved under his body. The weapon, that by the way- Charley never owned.

My other personal favorite was when they printed in the newspaper in an article entitled, Tests Confirm Covington Killed With His Own Gun, written by Tenney Griffin back in 1966, stated that:

“…Ballistics tests of slain agent, Charles G. Covington pistol show what investigators have believed all along–that Covington was killed with his own weapon. Results of the tests were made public Wednesday night by William L. Hendry, agent of Moultrie in charge of the probe of Covington’s death. Hendry also said paraffin tests of Covington’s right hand reveal he had fired a weapon. The investigator said, “This does not indicate at this time as to who killed Covington and our intensive investigation is still continuing…”

And later in the article:

“… results of the ballistic and paraffin tests had been returned…Hendry declined at the time to reveal the results. He said he did not want to make public the test findings until the agents were further along in their investigation. Hendry, however, disclosed the information after he said it had been prematurely released without his knowledge and refused to speculate on who had made it public. Besides the federal agents, Hendry said the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and possibly others had access to the information…”

Gosh, who might have benefited from that?

And in another article written much later by Tenney Griffen…

“…Discussing the scope of the investigation, Agent  Robert Caldwell of Moultrie, said; ‘…the investigators are checking out scores of tips or leads that are being telephoned into the office. We even had a woman in today to say she saw a man run across the road and hide in the bushes,’ said one of the agents….”

Now I can’t blame the messenger, Griffen- and I don’t. But still, in another article, they talked about a witness who asked about seeing a car and another truck  at the crime site- and somebody who had to have a vehicle pulled out of the mud at the same spot. All which were never investigated because, according to Hendry- “…they were unrelated.”

Now, I know there aren’t many- if and/or any copies of these articles anywhere else in town just lying around for folks to review and question…but that does not mean they don’t exist? I have them- so I’m betting do several others. So, how hard do you think they actually looked for the owner of this little truck? Because according to divorce records, the alleged mistress had a truck of the exact same color and make –just like it back then. And she lived just down the street from another law officer who had to have seen this truck a million times.

So, how hard did they search the country side looking for answers to all these clues? Not hard at all, really. And how about some of the other facts?

The interpretation of Crime Lab Report is the real historical fiction in this case! Page 2–the missing page 2- the ballistics results are the one thing that still gets me though. It clearly states the signatures of the bullets and yet…nobody knew how to read that! Or how about how the news paper clearly states in the another article by Griffin, “Special Team Probing” which stated, “…Also, a bruise was found on the back of the head. There is a feeling he [Covington] could have been hit over the head before he was…”

Now why do I bring this up? Because clearly all the folks in this little charade forgot who they told what, because this article contradicts the statements made  by the deputy in his file that  stated; “…We saw no signs of abrasions or bruises of the body, other than wounds of the head.”

Gosh, one would think you might have noticed something with all the time you took at the Morgue, but hey… what do I know? And yet, the very so called absence of abrasions and obvious bruises says what to you?

It says to me first that huge lies were told. But even if that somehow were the absolute truth? Then how the hell do you blow your head off twice from either a standing or kneeling position, bank shot your face off  the pavement and not have scratch anywhere on your face? Survey says…


The lies have it! Take that Grim.

Six lands and grooves from one bullet, three lands and grooves from the second bullet and yet  you all swore a blue streak they both came from the same gun! A .38 caliber with a serial number that has never matched ANY weapon Covington ever owned. Now that’s some kind of magic trick!

Grim loves that one too! So does old what’s his name. They are the only two that ever asked that silly old question. Odd, don’t you think?

Ok, so there was a car…

November 11, 2013


The numerology is this day is phenomenal: 11-11-13.  The number 11 is a master number in numerology and extremely symbolic. Also, yesterday I heard my angel song at exactly 3:33PM and so knew that things were about to ramp up. Remember, the other day I told you things felt like they were brewing, though obviously I cannot share anything just yet with you. But I can tell you, there was something rather significant that became revealed to me this weekend. Ironically, it came another retired law officer completely unrelated to this case,  as I have already begun interviews for my next book about the Dixie Mafia and we were speaking about the through-line for that book….but I digress.

Ok… so back to Charley. Information suggests there was a car, at what I like to call- “the exchange” the night of Charley’s murder. Those of you , in the know will understand. Those of you not- please go buy the book! Back to Charley…So there was a car which had a license plate number of particular interest to me, because it carried certain people…certain things…certain…alibis.

Since I had some files with me at this interview- I shared a few things with this other person; including a photo. Now,  what was interesting about the one I showed him, became a huge clue to help me solve the riddle about another one. For that, I am extremely grateful!

Riddle me this:

So what was the population in Lowndes County in 1966?

Guess what that number is…and you still won’t guess why it is so very important!

Do you know, Grim?


Something is brewing…

November 6, 2013


Something is brewing…can you feel it? After weeks and months of delay, things are finally breaking loose- including people’s lips. What’s that you say? You knew about this and you didn’t tell? What else do you know about that night and those people? What do you now about February 12th that  you didn’t share…and did they know you knew?

Whispers and rumors like the wind, rustle amongst the decay of dying leaves and Grim’s endless lies about his involvement in this case. Things are starting to unravel for you, Grim. I will be releasing the book trailer to the public in a day or two; here on this web site and perhaps an ad in a selective paper or two. What will you do then? Where will you hide?

Until then- think about this…

The other day I was driving down a beautiful road. The wind had a small bite to it- the sun glorious and a monstrous gathering of crows began to fill the skies before me. Suddenly what was a panoramic tapestry of blues, golds, rust and greens became obliterated by a huge swarm of black feathers which darted here and there before settling and congregating in mass on telephone wires, trees and building tops. It was amazing and most haunting-all  at the same time. That day I learned that a large gathering of crows is called, a “MURDER.”

How appropriate…Crows are messengers…Crows are watchers…Crows are Nephilim.

One such crow is Grim.

A group of crows would be the four in flannel.

Ahhhh, so a gathering of crows and a gathering of  the four in flannel really do mean the same thing= MURDER!

Remember what R said- remember the message from Roxanne about the scratching the eyes of the Crow. Watch for the scar under his left eye…it will tell you everything you need to know!

Have a good day, Grim…if you can.

Hello Jessica!

November 2, 2013


Strange things  have been happening of late…

I have been trying to balance life and work-while keeping my interests high, both spiritually and investigatory. It seems every time I turned on the TV this week, the main character’s name was Charley. A show where a man was murdered- Charley. A show where someone was lost-Charley. A show where somebody had lost their best friend-Charley. I mentally said, “Hello Charley…long time no hear.” But thanked him for his presence. The white dog chattered up a storm that night with someone in my office-Charley.

Yesterday I talked about this case with someone close to me- testified to divine intervention and mentioned the recent events about Charley and how I had received a random email from someone named Roxanne something. I laughed and noted that Jessica had not reached out in quite sometime. Sent her a mental hug and asked if I could be of service to her. I finished work and then suddenly decided I needed a change. So, I decided to go and get my hair cut. Conversations broke out between myself and the hairdresser and soon  I began to discuss the book. As the young woman was cutting my hair, a customer addressed someone at the register by the name of “Jessica” and I watched as the young woman who was cutting my hair bobbed in response. She had light brown hair, medium build and just the right age. I began to laugh and then explained that she resembled my ‘Jessica.’ Then the woman at the register said her name was Jessica too! You gotta love the way this all works.

When I got home, I decided after a week of chaos and moving children and caring for in-laws to set my house in order and ready for the ensuing holidays. I did laundry -vacuumed -mopped floors and then dusted. As I did so, I dusted several photos of my parents- hugged them and shed a tear…not out of dire need, but out of sentimental want. I am a 55 year old orphan who misses her parents in the same way that my children now miss me. I whispered to my father that I should have spent more time with him- said I hated that my mother felt the need to go- but understood her need to stop hurting. All in all- it was about love and letting go and holding on. I asked her to to drop by sometime- say a quick hello so I could tell her how much I love her and she did.

Last night my mother came to me in a dream and I did so- I told her everything that had been happening and how I felt. We talked, we walked- she hugged my neck and kissed me on the cheek. I told her I missed her…and then a phone call pierced my consciousness and she was gone. It was 2:08 in the morning and my mother in law had fallen and could not get off the floor. Tired, I crawled from the bed and my husband and I dressed and drove the hour plus to help her and then back home.

Had she come to warn me? Or had she just decided to remind me that, just as I had been there to help her- my help was now needed by someone else and that I should go to her with the same compassion and empathy and make her last years as comfortable as possible. With each mile, I thought of my mother. Felt her warm cheek beside my own and thought…what wonderful gift has befallen me through Charley. In the last two days I had heard from Roxanne, Jessica and Charley several times, reminding me that I had connected and made a difference in the life and after life of those who the universe has so kindly placed in my path.

When I got home it was after 5:30 in the morning. My husband and I fell asleep and I had the most distressful dream. we were driving home from somewhere, when suddenly the earth began to give way and the bridge we were about to cross began to crumble under the wheels of our car. The concrete broke in huge great chunks that crashed to a vegetated valley below. The scene and the feeling was horrific as we careened over the jagged edge of what was left of an overpass and into the air. Helpless I held onto the steering wheel and we prayed and said our goodbyes. Below, other vehicles  and bloodied bodies lay matted against the green and gray of the shards of concrete and grassy knolls. For a minute I passed out, then found myself dragging my husband’s body from the wreckage of our car. We wandered for a mile, following other survivors and made it to a small roadside restaurant- where hundreds of people were trying to treat the injured and supply them with water and coffee. Some asked me what had happened and I told them about the earth shaking and the falling bridge and when they asked which bridge I gave a name and then was corrected…

“It was something like, the Vandiver Bridge I think…” In truth, I had not really paid attention and then a lady behind me corrected; “No… it wasn’t called the Vandiver- it was Sanders.

Those of you who have read the book can figure out the connection.

Somebody has finally come to the end of their road. Could it be me… or could it be someone else?

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