Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. © 2002
All Rights Reserved
A MISSOURI LAWYER'S
FRIDAY NIGHT RAMBLINGS
MoBar Solo and Small Firm Internet Group
SEPTEMBER 27, 2002
Greets and Huggers. The evening of September 27, 2002. Holden, like many small towns across our America, is celebrating it's "Fall Festival" this weekend. The evening air is full of fall fair smells: smoked turkey legs, BBQ, Funnel Cakes ... families, several generations, walking arm and arm from booth to booth. Old friends greeting each other and "catching up" .... and of course .. a traveling carnival. A coming together of the town ... I call "home": Holden, Missouri, population, 2,700.
Amazes me how many folks here are related to each other. No running "feuds" I know of. Everyone, pretty much knows everyone else ... if not in person, then ... hehehe ... by rumor. Folks here celebrate their neighbor's family additions: Births ..... High School Graduations .... Weddings. Folks here still pull their cars over, out of respect, when a funeral procession passes .... that is, the folks who are not a part of it. Almost all Faiths have a church here and most amazing of all ... the Churches cooperate with each other: had a combined "Vacation Bible School" this past summer. Have some well to do folks living here ... and also some folks who are not: yet on Sunday morning, they walk through the same doors at Church. These folks are my neighbors, friends and clients. I come when they call for help because I know they will come, if I call. One of the small reasons, I am proud to call myself an "American": just a small part of my America, worth dying for. Looking at our local war memorial: Many have. Freedom is not Free ... it has been dearly paid for ... and sadly ... at some point ... more payments will be due.
Read the "Burning Cross" posts with interest. Ever wonder why our right to speak freely, to voice our opinion and to congregate in order to do so .... our Founding Fathers called the "FIRST Amendment"? Asked my Dad awhile back why folks in Germany in the 30's didn't know about "Concentration Camps" ... folks disappearing from the streets. He replied ... "it wasn't in the newspaper ... on the radio ... you could not travel without a permit .... and you didn't voice an opinion to strangers: people were afraid to talk. How would you know?". Don't know. But do know this: Some of the "speech" I hear disgusts me ... some of this "speech" would disgust any honorable person of good will ... some would argue that this "speech" should be made a crime, (some is) ..... because it is a crime against our society. Isn't our society, "We the People"? Guess the folks who would decide what "speech" should be criminalized are voted into office by 51% of us. Get the idea? Would you feel comfortable having 51% of us dictate what acceptable speech is to you, (if you are one of the other 49%). On some things we can all agree: some speech, (we can all agree), should be criminalized ... "kiddy porn" comes to mind ... or yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater. Burning a cross can be a political statement, burning a flag: wearing a swatzika can too ... do I agree with the statements? NO! Would I fight for some sick &^%&% to make that statement? YES! If you want to voice your 49% opinion ... you have to defend the rights of a 1% opinion.
Was appointed to represent a Dad on a TPR, (termination of parental rights). Spent all day yesterday and this morning trying the case. Didn't sleep last night. Mom is a waste of good skin, (32 year old meth freak with a burned out brain ... the child, born addicted ... 1st birthday this 30th). Dad, (according to his counselors .. is trying to get his 24 year old life together ... has done everything that DFS has asked him to do ... some he could not because he is incarcerated for burglary ... due to be paroled in November). The foster parents are a young, wonderful childless couple ... and want to adopt. This child would have a made future with them .... (even my client thinks they are wonderful). The Court TPR'd. Made enough of a record yesterday to feel comfortable the TPR could be over turned. What controls? Protecting the Constitution ... or the life of this child? Shared with Dad .. he could probably win on appeal .. he asked how long the appeal would take .... maybe a year, I replied ... he started sobbing. Awhile later .. he looked at me ... and with tears running down his check asked .... how could I take my two year old son away from the only Mom and Dad he has ever known? I cried with him for a while. No appeal.
Guess this is what you and I do for a living ...
You and I don't represent ENRON executives ... we represent everyday folks ... some good ... some at their worst ... just folks. Sometimes we laugh with them ... and others .. we cry. We care.
Even the warmth of my Susan ... laying next to me tonight ... will not erase the look of pain in this young man's eyes. My comfort comes in knowing ... he is on the road to redemption.
As always ... if my post offends, that is not my intent. I apologize.
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri)