Category Archives: Family Stories and Essays

Stories and essays about family and growing up on the road.

Open letter to Press and Law Enforcement regarding Ben Stein the pedophile.


McGovernFamilyArticleBenStein

 

 

 

I had a terrible, traumatic experience when I was 12 and 13
years old from 1986-1987 in California and Connecticut with a
celebrity pedophile/economist/political speechwriter/pundit/
journalist named Ben Stein who is currently a correspondent
with CBS Sunday Morning News.
I would like law enforcement or a children’s advocacy group/
union/SAG to start an investigation of Ben Stein and his
ongoing predatory, pedophiliac behavior.
I want to make sure that I clarify this in my statement and make
as clear as possible the urgency of this situation after what I
discovered recently with photos posted of children overseas
linked to his Facebook account.
This story and situation affects a lot of industries and
institutions.

In my part of this story, we moved a lot and it’s over
a long period of time. I tried to edit this as clearly as I can and
cut down as much as possible.
Here is my public statement regarding my experiences with Ben
Stein when I was 12 and 13 years old and recently trying to
report him to law enforcement starting in 2009 when I got a
literary agent (Jill Marr, at Sandra Dijkstra in Del Mar) and in
2014 when I went to Jim Clemente to report what happened to
me.
I have posted documentation about ongoing Ben Stein’s
predatory behavior on my Facebook page, Twitter account and
personal blog.
I started writing about Ben Stein privately in 2009, but emailed
a retired FBI agent and former co-worker named Jim Clemente
in Nov 2014 about my experiences being groomed and stalked
by Ben Stein when the Bill Cosby story came out.
I came forward to Jim Clemente in 2014 when the Bill
Cosby story came out because he was an expert in child sex
crimes and dealing with pedophiles.

I also believe I reported this in 1988 to my school in Fairfield, Ct in the 8th grade.
I want to protect other child actors and children in the
entertainment industry and expose his predatory behavior that I
had experienced with him when I was 12 and 13 years old and
change the way children audition in the entertainment industry,
and also with the people who immediately surround them in the
casting process and at all times on set.
I publicly named Ben Stein as a pedophile in January of 2017.
I believe he is still targeting children and child actors and he is
still has predatory behavior due to my recent discoveries online
and also another person came forward to me (via Twitter when I
went public with his name in January 2017) with their
experiences with him as well and her account of Ben Stein’s
stalking of she and her friends.
I believe that he’s a pedophile and/or predator and should be
evaluated by a professional and/or law enforcement and he and
his wife should never work with children.
I believe his predatory behavior and status conferral of the
media have given him an exploitative advantage over children,
because of my personal experiences with him when I was 12 and
13 years old.

A thorough investigation should be done with the photos I
discovered online linked to him, his background and his
employers and colleagues and especially any children or
children’s shows who have worked with him in the
entertainment industry.
Ben Stein groomed me, took photos of me at his home and paid
me $50 cash for them, brought me in for auditions at Universal
Studios in a quid pro quo situation with the photos, stalked me
over state lines, sent my mother cash to fly me out alone to
California, offered me gifts and shopping, and then asked me to
have sex with him when he was visiting a nearby city when I
was 12 and 13 years old.

Details and timeline
Sherman Oaks, CA House on Morrison Street by the
Galleria 1986
This all took place from about May-December 1986
We were on the road by Dec 15th from CA to CT because
on my thirteenth birthday and we stopped in Albuquerque, NM on
12/15/86 and my sister bought me a ring from the Indians.
May-June 1986 Sherman Oaks
Ben Stein wrote two separate articles in the Los Angeles Herald
Tribune about my mother and our family in 1986 (Articles I can
email you or at LA Downtown Library and also photos of
articles from microfilms on my Twitter) and I have
documentation and photos I can email you.

There were other
adults, my mother’s friend from Balcom Street, Jodie Avery,
who was there when he came over. I think Ben Stein came over
once or maybe twice to our house on Morrison Street.
After I met him when he came to our house to interview my
mother and our family and some of the random people living at
our house, he offered to help me become a working actor and
told me he could get me a job on a TV show like Charles in
Charge and audition for that show when I was 12, and brought
me in to Universal to Al Burton’s office at the bottom of
Universal Studios.

I thought getting a job as an actor on a TV when I was 12 would help my family out of poverty.
A lot of checks started coming in from people who read the
articles and thought my mom was a saint for taking care of all
these unwanted kids. Checks started coming to our house
because he wrote an article about how great my mother was and
took care of vulnerable children when in reality she was a con
artist and exploited teenage kids to do her scams for her. My
mother knew he was a pedophile and used me as bait to extort
money from him.
I was born in Los Angeles, California to a performing family.
My father was a Broadway actor which is how I became a child
actor. Most of my parent’s friends and all people I knew as a
child and my friends and siblings all went to auditions and were
performers and/or worked in the entertainment business or arts
so I have been going to child acting auditions since infancy and
performing is part of my human fabric.
My mother has borderline personality disorder and was
frequently arrested. My father was on theatre tours mostly and/
or working or not home and mother has been diagnosed with
borderline personality disorder and we moved frequently and
she was in and out of jails (and later prisons).
I have participated in arts and the performing arts since I was an
infant and later on was represented by a SAG child agent and
performed in an early Disney kid’s game show in 1983.
My love for acting is how Ben Stein exploited me, in the
beginning.
There was an enormous amount of dysfunction at my home at
the time and my mother was frequently arrested and mentally ill
and/also untreated pill addictions. We moved about every three
months to a new house or state. Sometimes we would live in
motels or hotels and on stolen credit cards or stolen rental cars.
He only brought me in to audition at Universal Studios after I
had let him take photos of me at his home in the hills and his
wife (Alexandra Denman) was home that day and I met her.
She did not look me in the eye. She was in the kitchen.

My sister Nora and mother came to the “photo shoot” too.
Taking Photos at his house in the hills of Sherman Oaks, CA
June-July 1986
I think it was June of 1986 when this happened.
He took a special interest in me at the original interview of our
family at our house on Morrison street with my sisters and my
mother for the article in the LA Herald Tribune and I told him I
wanted to be an actress and he said he had a nephew who lived
back east who was my age and he would think I was pretty. I
was my mother’s “golden child” and pet.
He called our house a few weeks or days after the interview and
told me that he wanted to show his nephew how pretty
California girls were and wanted to take photos of me by his
pool at his house.

It might have been after the article came out and the checks were
coming in and we had groceries and everyone was happy
because they thought I was going to get on a TV show and save
the family from poverty.
He requested that I wear a bikini to take the photos but my
mother said I must wear shorts and and t shirt and he agreed.
My younger sister Nora came too and he did not take photos of
her because he didn’t think she was “cute” enough.
Ben Stein’s wife, Alexandra Denman, is on the board of the
California Children’s Law Center and works with vulnerable
children and she was home the day he took photos of me by the
pool and paid me $50 with a personal check when I was 12.
After we left, my mother said I should be grateful because my
sister worked at Solley’s deli and she had to work really hard for
$50.
I believe A. Denman is complicit with his exploitation of
children. His wife should not be working with children because
she was home the day he took photos of me and it was not
normal behavior of the auditioning process.
Nor is it professional for any producers or directors when
working with children to ask of kids in bikini’s at their home and
not in an office.
After I let him take photos of me, he then brought me in for
auditions at Universal Studios to Al Burton’s office and I also
met his assistant, Steve Stark, and read with him a few times and
kept in touch with him as an actor over the years.
I think I came in for 2-3 auditions at Universal in Al Burton’s
office on the first floor at the base of Universal Studios. They
had an outside patio where Steve Stark took photos of me at the
office for casting in one of their T Shirts for a show called
“Together We Stand”.
Mr. Stark was really kind and professional and supportive of my
book later and tried to help me find a platform but to no avail
and he said they passed on my story in 2005, this was before I
started writing my book and I have the email correspondence.

The recently tagged children’s photos of children and
infants in other countries that link to his Facebook page and
several articles about a pregnant woman he harassed on
social media and the internet recently are disturbing and
have all documented and can upload to you.
2014 when I went to Jim Clemente for the first time and
emailed him on Facebook and he said he’d notify the FBI of
what I told him. I don’t know why he didn’t tell me to go to the police and file a police report ASAP. A year and a half after I told him, he told me to file one after I told his co-worker, Allison Hope Weiner.
I have written about my experiences online on my blog
with Ben Stein at first not naming him due to fear, and
reported him to a retired FBI Agent Jim Clemente in
November of 2014 when the Bill Cosby story came out and
asked him to report to the FBI.
I met Jim Clemente when I was a stand in for the character
Garcia on Criminal Minds for four years from 2007-2011
and he and Kirsten Vangsness both were supportive and
gave me a quote for my book and blog after I got a literary
agent.
I have posted my discoveries of his predatory behavior and news
articles on my Twitter account as well and have tagged his
employers at CBS.
Sherman Oaks, CA to Westport, CT
House on Greens Farms Road (243?)
by ocean inlet (details in statement)
After we moved to Westport, Connecticut in December 1986
and into 1987 (about two or three months after the Universal
auditions) I was a student in the 7th grade at Long Lots middle
and elementary school in Westport. CT.
He contacted my mother via telephone and she spoke to him
mostly. I only spoke to him a few times on the phone and the
last time in CT is when he asked me to sleep with him.
I confronted Ben Stein later in California when I was 19 via
telephone and he pretended like he didn’t remember me or my
family after I met with Al Burton again in 1992-1993 for another
actor/producer meeting at his office on Miracle Mile when I was
about 19-20 years old and Al Burton gave me Ben Stein’s phone
number and told me to call him, I hung up the phone after
confronting Ben Stein and that was the last time I spoke to him.
Everyone told me to let it go because he was really powerful in
Hollywood and later on had his own game show on Comedy
Central with Jimmy Kimmel.
I believe he sent my mother money a few times for a plane ticket
to fly me to California to meet him and stay with him there. I
was in the 7th grade at the time. I think it was under the guise of
auditioning for roles. She just kept the money and stringing him
along.
The last time I spoke to him in Westport, CT sometime in early
1987 when it was dark early outside and crowded house was on
the radio station every 5 minutes, is when he called and asked to
speak with me and told me he was coming back East to NYC
and asked me to meet him in the city and “sleep” with him when
I was 13 years old. I was in the 7th grade at Long Lots Middle
School. I believe he used the words “sleep in the same bed and
sleep at my hotel in the city” or something to those words but
basically I was offered a shopping trip and to sleep with him
overnight in his hotel room in the city with him, by myself and
nobody else.
He asked me on the phone, with witnesses in the room, to meet
with him in Manhattan and offered to take me shopping and buy
me gifts and asked me if I would like to sleep with him
overnight in his hotel in Manhattan after we went shopping.
I was really nervous and told him I’d have to ask my mom.
1987-1988 We moved from Westport to Fairfield
Connecticut
Hoydens Hill Lane or Road by the Black Rock Dam and
Golf Course
Red FarmHouse
**REPORTED BEN STEIN TO SCHOOL IN 1988
TOMLINSON MIDDLE SCHOOL, FAIRFIELD CT**
I believe I snapped sometime in Spring 1988 when I was 13-14
in the 8th grade at Tomlinson Middle school when my little
sister was upset in the 7th grade and I didn’t want to leave our
farmhouse in CT and my mother couldn’t find a job and I knew
she was going to start conning people again. Weird people
started living in our yard again.
I reported Ben Stein’s stalking behavior to my school in
Connecticut a year later in 1988 at Tomlinson Middle School in
Fairfield, CT, because there was so much pain and trauma at
home and my mother was so dangerous, I went to the guidance
counselors at the school to tell them everything I knew about my
mother’s illegal activities, arrests, police, child sexual abuse,
Ben Stein and the trauma at home.
After I burst into the counselors office and told them everything,
the guidance counselors from Tomlinson middle school took us
(myself, age 13-14 and my little sister Nora 12-13) Got my little
sister out of class around 1-3pm and drove us from Fairfield to a
separate admin school building in Bridgeport, CT and were
upset at what I had told them and what my little sister Nora had
confirmed.
I think I told them everything and the counselors and
psychiatrist tape recorded my Ben Stein story, the grooming,
photos taken that started in Los Angeles and then we moved to
Connecticut and he continued to pursue me and sent money to
my mother and asked me on the phone to meet him in the city
and spend the night with him in Manhattan after he took me
shopping.
I believe I originally reported Ben Stein’s harassment in the 8th
grade but due to the chaos at my home and now believe I had
some sort of trauma and shock and denial going on at the time,
we moved a few weeks later up to the woods in the Adirondacks
and not sure.
I remember my mom coming to pick us up at the counselors
office in Bridgeport and she was supposed to go back but we
moved right after that. I remember her yelling at me on the ride
home that it was my fault we had to move again but we were
already getting evicted from the farmhouse.
May-June 2016- At the urging of Allison Hope Weiner and Jim Clemente,I
Reported to LAPD and filed a police report about Ben
Stein’s child aggravation in 1986 and 1987 to Detective
Brandstetter at the Van Nuys LAPD Station.

When the Elijah Wood comments last year came out in the
media I contacted Jim Clemente again after a social media post,
and asked him if I should go to the police and file a report
because Alison Hope Weiner (a journalist and lawyer) saw my
comment on social media about being mentally and spiritual
violated by a celebrity pedophile when I was a child actor, she
and said I needed to go to the police and file a report
immediately.
So I called Jim and asked him if I needed to and he encouraged
me to go to the police and tell them what happened. I don’t know why he didn’t tell me to go orginally in 2014 when I told him about Ben Stein.
At first I was hesitant and fearful to go to the LAPD and file an
actual report because of the stress, risk to my new business/pet
hotel, acting, my book, my friends and family, my reputation,
stress, stress for my family’s reputation and also my personal
safety dealing with a man of his status and predatory nature
because he’s someone that stalked a 12 year old girl from a
vulnerable, dysfunctional family.
I had finally found happiness in my life and pet sitting business
and but because of what happened to me I knew I had to come
forward about this horrible man and his behavior due to my
conscious and what I discovered recently about him.
This year 2017 have come forward publicly with his name and
have tried to email all news outlets that he has worked for and
also his wife is on the board of the California Children’s Law
Center and works with vulnerable children.
My sister Nora and most of my family relatives have recovered
from growing up in a dysfunctional family, and will confirm
what I have written and have become reputable characters and
are productive, kind members of society, triumphing over a lot
of problems and survivors themselves of enormous trauma of
growing up in a dysfunctional family.
I own a pet hotel and have a thriving, happy pet sitting business
and live on an urban farm in LA and have 5 star reviews on Yelp
for my business, Moon Dogs Urban Farm.
I have reported this in 2016 at the urging of Allison Hope Weiner after the Elijah Wood comments regarding Hollywood pedophiles preying on child actorsand given a statement to the police at the Van Nuys police station to Detective Brandstetter and have all the
documentation as well but so far they have done nothing and
said there is nothing they can do because of the statue of
limitations.
Connecticut has a 30 year law of some sort of child
exploitation of some sort but not sure and it would have to be
filed this year because it happened in 1986-1987

Please let me know the best way to proceed with this and
making sure he doesn’t work with children and hasn’t harmed
any or can harm any more kids.
Thank you,
Morgain McGovern
morgainm@yahoo.com
818-259-9346

Justice And A Dictionary


brothers grimm tree girl fairy tale

 

Webster’s Dictionary 1947.
Justice; jus’tis n. (L. justitia, from justus, just.) The quality of being just; justness; propriety; correctness; rightfulness; just treatment; vindication of right; requital of desert; merited reward or punishment.

“Justice is just a word in the dictionary, Morgain.” A lawyer once told me. He continued, “You can go look it up in a dictionary if it makes you feel better.”

The man who molested me and attacked the eight year old girl in front of me when I was six is dead. I am free. Or supposed to be.

The detective in California who is hunting the serial killer told me the man who attacked the eight year old girl in front of me did horrific things to other children. He did terrible things to a lot of people, before and after us.

The other detective got quiet and looked me in the eye and he said, “I believe you.”

He told me he believed me and I started crying in that little room. At forty two, it was the first time I had ever heard anyone tell me that they believed me and that I was doing the right thing. He told me it good thing that I was reporting the attack. It was documented. It happened and I had survived it.

He came back into the little office interview room, the kind you see on Dateline with the weird acoustic polka dots in the walls and handed me a brown paper towel roll, the kind they have at school that cuts your face, to clean up all the tears.

They told me things I intuitively knew, but things I needed to hear that my family refused or was unable to say to me.

The detectives told me he did terrible things before and after us and was a horrible person and as bad as the serial killer they are hunting, he said, but alas, not the same man.

Their stories fit and overlapped each other. They both moved around, they destroyed lives, they attacked people and violated them wherever they went, and they continued to destroy. They did horrific things to people and then they died.

“You let them in your head.” My sister told me. “You weren’t raped.” She said

It was my fault I couldn’t let it go. I let them in my head, it was my fault for not forgetting. I wasn’t a good forgetter. I had a good memory and I remember every horrific thing that happened and the damage that happened.

“Let’s go to Chico’s !!” My aunt said when I told her I wanted to tell the police, just so it was documented and to find out what happened to him and to prevent it from happening to another child. “Nobody will believe the word of a six year old, Morgain.” She said. Then she gave me some Suzanne Somers books.

Some nights I wake up and I feel his hand on my throat, I hold my breath and I am six again.  He’s kneeling by the bed with a flashlight and he looks like Jesus. I’m too scared to move, too scared to breathe, holding my breath so I die so I don’t have to hear the sounds of the eight year old girl being attacked next to me.

He was living in our garage and our mother was in the next room sleeping. He was another drifter my mother had picked up and she already knew he had molested other children, but she needed him to do insurance scams for her. So, it was a tradeoff. He got to attack children and my mom got a proficient henchman.

My aunts lived nearby and visited frequently and they told me when I was an adult that this man terrified them. He terrified me too, but since I was six I couldn’t drive away and go back to my own safe home like they could, I tried to hide in the backseat of their cars when they left so they would take me with them.

Every time my aunt visited our house with her kids, we’d hide with our cousins in the back seat of her car on the floorboards under a blanket and try to go home with her when she was leaving. But she’d learn to check the backseat and halfway back to Aunt Peggy’s house, she’d flip a u turn and we were always marched back up to our own front door, back into the house with the madwoman and the scary pedophile man and whomever else was living with us at the time.

The attack I witnessed changed my view of the world when I was six. Before then, I felt safe when I slept. My cat would sleep on my chest, my sisters and I would snuggle like kittens and fall asleep laughing and whispering, but after the night he came into my bedroom with a flashlight, I never slept well again.

But he is dead. He died two years ago. I am free, or supposed to be.

Quotes and endorsements from good people.


Endorsement Page

“Funny and heart breaking. The Travelling Roadshow Of The Countess Maritsa is a strangely relatable story for those of us who grew up in weird families. I loved it.”– Kirsten Vangsness ( “Garcia” on Criminal Minds) Actress. 

“Morgain has traveled the world, lived the craziest life and made it out alive and sane… Not many can say the same. It was truly my pleasure to welcome you into my home in Paris. We were young and we had fun, except for the theft :). I always wondered what happened to you and your Mother. I am so happy to know that you grew into such a great woman and a brilliant writer. Thanks for the memories.” – Liskula Cohen

A Facebook Memory Popped Up


morgain and nora hilton head 1990

Webster’s Dictionary 1947.
Justice; jus’tis n. (L. justitia, from justus, just.) The quality of being just; justness; propriety; correctness; rightfulness; just treatment; vindication of right; requital of desert; merited reward or punishment.

This picture was taken right before everything went from bad to horrific.

If I could tell myself anything in this picture, it would be to run far from my family and never look back. I would tell that sweet 16 year old girl who worked two jobs that summer to run fast and to not look back ever again. To find a new family or some form of family that was safe and who loved her for exactly who she was.

I would tell that sweet 16 year old girl who worked two jobs that summer to save herself 25 more years of grief, scapegoating, gossip and pain from the three adult women in her life who would be the greatest cause of heartache, anger, disillusionment and fear and who caused her the greatest damage.

I would tell that sweet kid that her aunts and her mother would be part of the cause of her mental breakdown in her late 30’s and the cause of the greatest sadness of her life. And I would tell that young girl that her mother only got worse and more dangerous over the years and that she destroyed many more lives and dreams and as many as she could because she enjoyed destroying people and their happiness because she was criminally insane.

There aren’t a lot of pictures of me from when I was a teenager. This picture was taken by a friend from high school who kept it somewhere for the last 26 years. Any pictures I have of me as a child or teenager were given to me my friends or people who kept them over the years.

There aren’t a lot of pictures of us when we were little kids either. My mom was mentally ill and frequently in and out of prison and mental hospitals, so we moved every 3-6 months usually leaving everything behind in a hurry because my mom was wanted by the police so we just split and left everything behind. I have nothing from my childhood and nothing from my teenage years except a Greyhound bus ticket stub from when was 18 and came to Los Angeles.

Mom never took a lot of pictures of us anyway, she was usually in bed in a dark room with 20 bottles of pills next to her bed, so I have no real photos from the past, only bits and pieces of what people have given me over the years or what they shared with me and my sisters on Facebook.

Before this picture was taken, my sisters and I had been homeless living with our mother in various cities and motels ranging from Australia to Los Angeles to Upstate New York and South Carolina. We had been homeless at 13 and 15 when my mother had checked herself into a mental hospital in New York and left us to fend for ourselves a year earlier. Our two older 17 and 19 year old sisters tried to care for us.

I would tell myself to look for happiness elsewhere because no matter how many times I would go back, it would always be the same. They would always accuse me of being my mother and resent me for looking like her and for existing.

At this point in this picture in 1990, I was 16 and working two jobs. We had already lived in three houses in a year on Hilton Head in this picture, and the worst was yet to come. But this summer was fun, when I was off.

My little sister was 14 and after the police started raiding our house shortly after this picture was taken, she moved up north with our older sister and got away from mom. I was the only one delusional enough to believe that Mom was really going to turn things around in England and start a new life.

My Aunt Maggie had already accused me of stealing from her house at this point but I didn’t know it at the time. She didn’t have the courage to ask me or even accuse me outright that something was missing from her house in California when we visited her a year earlier, she did it a cowardly way, they way dysfunctional families operate. With gossip and insinuations and scapegoating behind your back but super friendly to your face.

She had told everyone in the family, except me, that I had stolen a ring from her house but never confronted me or even told me that something was missing. I had no idea. I just remember always wishing she was my mom and that I wished I had a safe bedroom and home to go to like her house.

I didn’t know they had already marked me as bad and that for the next 26 years, the family would dump all of their anger and hatred they had for my mother on my 16 year old shoulders from then on in this picture, and that it had already started and I hadn’t even realized it.

A year later after this picture was taken, when mom went to prison in London and I was starving and homeless in London in 15 degree weather and I called my aunts for help.

They turned me away, asked me where the ring I had stolen from Aunt Maggie was and then left me to fend for myself and deal with their psychotic sister on my own, when they should’ve taken care of this problem 20 years earlier when they had known what a dangerous person she was and how badly her children were being abused. Alone, penniless, homeless, underage and in a foreign country for the next three months. If I could tell myself anything in this picture, it would be to run far from my family and never look back because it would never change.

My Aunt Maggie accused me of stealing from her house again when I was 35 and that’s when I started to realize that my family was dangerous for my health and bad for me spiritually and as a human being. The best thing I’ve ever done is to take necessary legal steps to keep dangerous people with documented histories of mental illness by metal health professionals to keep safe distances from me and my happiness and home.

Over the years running my own business, I’ve created a life for myself working with animals and nature, writing and creating and my life is rewarding and nurturing.

I learned how to put myself first after years of making mistakes. and even though it’s a job where you never get a day off, ever, it’s a job I love doing and it’s incredibly healing.

Being outdoors and nature and trying to disengage from electronics has really helped me overcome having difficulties in life, and I think the more mistakes I make, the more compassion I try to have for others. I think after years of trauma, finding a profession or a job were you have a a steady income is essential for survival and finding areas of my life to enjoy and fun hobbies are necessary for being part of being a human and creating a happy life.

I think I would tell my 16 year old self in this picture that it was going to work out because she was an incredibly resourceful girl who was a hard worker and to pay the food expo guys more to run the food because the hands and wrists give out way too early from waitressing so long. I’d tell myself that I was really proud of her and how hard she came and for how long the road was.

Whenever I’m trying to work on my  most whole and relaxed and confident self, I just remember the warm feelings of love when I’m surrounded by my animals and true friends who support and nurture my spirit.

Learning these things along the way shows you what a bad relationship is; when you’re happier away from them because it’s so painful to be around them.

The put-downs and insults and dysfunction; after awhile it’s not worth the price of your happiness anymore.

Whether it’s with a guy or family members;  I had to learn how to walk away if it doesn’t change. From now now I’m not wasting any more years being mean to myself.

 

 

Garden (for the gun merchants)


Red Apple and Silver Bells. A book of verse for children ... Illustrated by A. B. Woodward

The Child World. [In verse.] ... Illustrated by C. Robinson

Garden

(Song for the gun merchants/Rock Opera)

Kindergardeners
stand at the end of your bed
middle of the night
poverty cycles
Treason & Texans
look in your eyes
its your garden

Throw some seeds
Throw some seeds
Watch it grow
Watch it grow
You reap what you sow
you reap what you sow

Just like Isis
Just like the gun show
Just like the news
Just like your Gods
Just like your slaves
You reap what you sow

kindergardeners and slaves
stand at the end of your bed
middle of the night
Poverty cycles and prisons
look in your eyes
its your garden

Throw some seeds
Throw some seeds
Watch it grow
Watch it grow
you reap what you sow
you reap what you sow

Mojave Phoenix (For Sylvia)


Desert flower rocks

You can be happy
or you can be right
my sister told me
about wanting to win
one dark night
A housewife mantra
to get though the day

But later
after the deaths
and the poisons
and my outrage
her mantra washed over me
like the Mojave

You have to respect 
anything
that survives 
in the desert
my father told me

The searing white sky of noon
flashed light milky blue
Like Lazarus winking
The old one-eyed cat
who stared at me
from under the house
and who’ll survive us all

The mountain range
dry and still
as a rusty dustbowl handsaw
left behind on the horizon
to orient the Van Nuys pilots
who buzz by
racing their small gasoline
lawnmowers of the sky

The wind 
scatters my old scales
over scorched earth
little parts of me

flaked off, blown about
this no mans land
Lot’s wife awakening
Flakes of stone

flakes of gold

flakes of silver
baked off
brushed off
scrubbed off
raw new skin exposed

underneath the cracked sage
and bleached pavement
gathering dew
from cool spots and quiet shelters

When the purple evening finally comes
the crickets under the sage and chaparral
tune up in their ancient amour
and they start to sing to me.

 

The Day The Animals Came To Save Her…


Nature hikes can heal you.
Nature hikes can heal you.
My animals
My animals

This is the beginning of the story about how I started my company, “Moon Dogs Pet Sitting & Urban Farm” and how several animals came into my life, unannounced, unexpected and completely overwhelmed my life with love when I needed it desperately.  This is the story about how they saved me spiritually and financially.

I’ve been playing around with different titles and ideas, but so far, this is the best one I could think of that shows what happened.

It was a very unhappy time in my life. I was coming to terms with my abusive family, no money and hated my stand-in job. Being a stand in is like being starving and having someone cook a bacon wrapped filet in front of you for three years while you watch. It’s frustrating being on set and so close to the job you dedicated everything in your life to; but everyone treats you like a ghost. They don’t see you. You are a prop for lighting.

Late one night, driving through the ghetto at two o’clock in the morning, a little scruffy white dog ran in front of my car from under broken down car where she was living…..

Le Conciergerie Act I & II


Gargoyles Notre Dame
Gargoyles; Notre Dame.  Photos by Kimberly Lewis

gargoylesparisconciergie

Le Conciergerie
Act I

         The gargoyle winked at me.  Her twisted faced startled me at first when she came to life; and I wasn’t sure what she was trying to tell me; but then I realized she wanted to be my friend.

She had an old stone face and had seen many to their deaths; but somehow, she knew I was innocent of this crime. I still wasn’t sure why I had been arrested; but I knew it had something to do with my mother.

She ruffled her wings like she had been sitting there for three hundred years waiting for the guilty to come by so she could heckle and hiss at them. She was very excited that they had a new visitor and hadn’t seen many American teenagers.

She was small for a gargoyle, smaller than her family members who lived in the eaves of Notre Dame across the street. Her family across the street were the rock stars of French gargoyles, the big ones; you’d see their pictures splashed across postcards and artwork; but this little one was an authentic gargoyle that not a lot of people saw.  You would have to know where to look and where the real door to the staircase to the prison was, and only real prisoners of Le Conciergerie who had stayed in the her belly knew.

The good-looking blonde gendarme who was taking me through the small side door into the ancient prison didn’t see the wink; but I saw her little bat face and she saw me. She was trying to get my attention and flittered her wings a little, and winked at me again. It happened in a slowed down second; like the kind they talk about right before you die or think you’re going to die.
If you weren’t looking, she could have easily blended in with the magnificent stonework of this ancient building, but she was the guardian of the door and I saw her, because I was supposed to. The artist who created her had perched her perfectly so her face was the last thing you saw on your last day of freedom.

You only saw this little one when when you realized you were looking at the sky for the last time before you died in prison from sickness or were about to be publicly guillotined.
She stretched and blinked a few times and looked around; then she became quiet and still and morphed into a little stone garden gnome again. The cops were looking up at her when they followed my eyes and she was just a little piece of stone again.

A piece of architecture.
The cops opened the door and gestured for me to go inside.
I looked up at her once last time.

She winked at me again and nodded to the officers; to let me know it was going to be okay, right before they led me down the circular stairs to book me into the prison of Le Conciergerie.

Act II

       “Nom.”  The little French nun with the sweet face looked at me and handed me a pen slowly; like an elaborate ritual. Like getting your first communion.  The sweet faced nun didn’t speak English. None of them did and I only knew a few words in Latin and French.

I laughed softly because it sounded like she said “gnome” and I thought of my little friend above the door outside who would be very upset if she were called a gnome and probably would hiss at a nun if she were provoked.

We were sitting and the book was in front of both of us. It very large book that two of the nuns brought out and were huffing and puffing when the police had brought me in to them when the nuns asked the police to uncuff me.
The police had left and said they’d be back tomorrow.

“Zis is where we put bad girls.”  The grumpy one had said, and gestured around the ancient prison.

The cops all laughed but then quieted down when the nuns gave them a look; then they turned and left and went home to their families.
I watched as two of the nuns struggled to carry the massive book into the underground cavernous room we were in and put it on the desk.

It was a huge book that took up most of the desk; the kind you would see at Hogwarts. I had never seen a book that old or big and they wanted me to sign my name.

The book’s pages were old and cream colored and smelled like books from an antique store.The familiar smell wafted up and made me feel like I was safe.
This book was special to them and when they opened it to my page; was filled with signatures of people I would never meet but would know them in an instant if I ever did.

I took her pen and started to write.

New Rock Opera Song. “Scapegoat”


PinkCatStroller

Scapegoat

What you gonna do when your scapegoat’s gone?
What you gonna do when your scapegoat’s gone?
Everyone’s gonna know what you did,
by the end of this song

Go find another girl to abuse
You’ll find a new girl to abuse
Try my sisters;
They’re used to it too.

You think this song is about a boy; but you’re wrong
It’s about wicked people who’ve abused too long

You have three mansions and a car
You have three mansions and a car
but I know what you did to get it.

I know what you did to get it.

You lost your ring, it’s my fault
You lost your mind, it’s my fault
You lost everything, it’s my fault

My favorite day

was when I was six

going to your house

but not anymore

~Morgain McGovern

London, February, 1991 Homeless


London Winter Night

London, Feburary, 1991

The icy slush water from the High Street Kensington sidewalk seeped into my boots again as I made my way out of the tube station and the cold blast of air that hit me as I came up the stairs was a reminder that night time was coming and almost here.

My hands were raw and cracked and they wouldn’t stop shaking. They would go from red, to pink and then to white when I warmed up, but the most irritating thing were my feet, I couldn’t warm them up, no matter what I did.

They were frozen, wet and numb and a large hole had worn in the right sole of my worn out boots; which were now thin from constantly walking and taking the subways and couch surfing at my friend’s houses. The left boot had a crack higher up on the left side near the seam and sole, so it wasn’t as terrible as the hole on the bottom of the right boot, but both feet and my socks were frozen and wet; all the time. The icy wind rattled right through my chest; and the combination was making me colder.

I knew wet and cold and sleeping outside and in doorways and hallways was not a good thing from all the war and history books I had read in the motels and when we were on the road growing up  in the van with Mom and my sisters. I was Joan of Arc. I was a French Soldier fighting for freedom. I was not a match stick girl. I was a fighter who could handle this. I was not a victim.

I hurried along the sidewalk, while the last of the precious warm amber light of sunset was fading into dark purple shadows in the old stone buildings; and it was already incredibly cold outside. The city lights were on and little warm orbs of lights coming from the street shops comforted me. It was early evening on the high street and everyone was going home to their families.

I found out years later that this was some kind of freak, icy cold winter of 1990 and 1991 in London and I was just one of many unlucky homeless teenagers to be caught in it. February was the worst and the coldest.

I was trying to get to my school, Ashbourne Tutors to use their phone, I had to call my mom’s sister, Aunt Nora, and beg her for help.

I didn’t have a place to sleep that night and all of my friend’s parents had let me stay at their places already and my situation scared their parents. Their parents wanted to know where the rest of my mom’s family was and why weren’t they here trying to help me? I didn’t know how to answer them.

I ducked into Marks & Spencer to try to get warm inside, and pretended to be a shopper. Sometimes I would hide the department store bathroom first to warm up and clean up.

Nobody bothered me because I was blonde and white. They thought I was just another rich American teenager. I used the makeup in the beauty counters and pretended my mom was coming soon to meet me and we’d buy some stuff as soon as she got there. The pretty ladies behind the counter would give me smiles but then when they saw my scruffy boots, they knew something was up. Rich kids don’t wear old boots like that. My coat and black ensemble leggings were passable, but the beat up boots gave me away.

My mom was in prison, the cops had taken my passport so I couldn’t leave the country in case they needed me to testify against mom.

It was two months after my  seventeenth birthday and I wasn’t old or savvy enough or emotionally stable enough to get a job in a foreign country. Every time someone asked me where my family was, I would start crying and mumbling.

I was trying to make it to my school, Ashbourne Tutors, before they closed, so I could use their phone and call my Aunt Nora. She would help me and save me. There was nobody else to call, she was the only one left who could help me.

My father was a raging, abusive alcoholic and the last time I saw him, he had his hands around my mother’s throat and was trying to throw her off a balcony in California.

My mother’s father had died; but he had stopped stepping in to clean up her horrible messes when he got remarried about 10 years earlier.

My mothers’ brother Bernie lived in Connecticut and was wealthy and had a good job, but he and his wife, who was my godmother, didn’t really seem to like me. I think they thought I was like Mom, and apparently I had too much emotional baggage for the people of Darien, Connecticut to handle.

Mom’s family would handle her regular arrests that left her children defenseless & homeless by throwing some money her way when we lived in motels for months, but it never really helped the actual problem, because she would always fail, again. We’d move into a house and live there for three months, and then move again when we got evicted.

Our mother was unemployable and mentally ill, and everyone in her family had looked the other way for most our lives and gave her minimum amounts of money to move us out of motels;  but the real problem was that she wasn’t a fit parent and nobody wanted to step in and raise four physically and emotionally violated girls; especially when they resented their sick sister so much. They last thing they wanted to do was to raise her four daughters.

Mom’s family didn’t step in when were she had the Charlie Manson types living in our garage when we were toddlers, or when we were homeless kids living in motels and dangerous situations.

They weren’t going to step in now. They had made it really clear that they had their own families and I wasn’t part of it.

My mom’s other sister, Aunt Maggie lived in California and was a schoolteacher. I had seen Aunt Maggie when we had gotten back from Australia when mom was on the game show there; and she wouldn’t let us sleep at her house when we got back. We had taken a shuttle from the airport after a 24 hour flight and she turned us away and told us to go to a motel. It looked like she was done with Mom abusing her and said stuff was missing from her house after the last time we stayed, so we weren’t welcome there anymore.

Aunt Nora was the only one I remember with any warmth, she used to take us roller-skating in Balboa Park, all of us four girls and our two cousins, little Maggie and Matt. We’d all pile into her green Volkswagen Bug and putter off to the park to skate. She was magnificent, beautiful and tall, with flowing strawberry blonde hair that gleamed in the sun. We’d listen to the album Hair and watch her dance and spin around with her hair fanning out and spinning like a gleaming hummingbird. We would make up dance routines and I planned my own rock opera and Aunt Nora would be the star of it.

Aunt Nora was there at the hospital when I was born and the first memory I have. She had lived with us until I was six years old. But in 1980,  she moved away to Texas and married the computer guy from MIT and they started their own computer company and they started having their own kids.

She was my mother’s youngest hippie sister who married a smart guy from MIT when he was on his bike; when they were in their 20’s and were now a multi-millionaires. She and her husband owned multi-million dollar a year semiconductor brokering business in Houston that they started out of their kitchen. My oldest sister Meagan was close to her. Meagan was moving to Houston soon to go to college and be Aunt Nora’s nanny. She might’ve even been there now, I didn’t know. I hadn’t talked to them in awhile because after Mom got arrested the day after Christmas; the cops locked the house we were renting and I moved in with friends and started couch surfing.

My oldest sister Meagan was a waitress at Pizza Hut and putting herself through community college. My second oldest sister, Katie was 19 and just had a baby and was raising my youngest sister, Erin, who was 15 and living with her in upstate New York. We all had been working since we were 14, because we had to. Sometimes Mom would ask for our tips.  My sisters couldn’t help me, and I didn’t want to call them to tell them I got tricked by Mom, again. They already knew. I was the only one who really thought Mom would spin our lives into gold and we’d magically start a new life in England and she’d get a job as a writer.

I had fallen for the story again. The one where we moved to a new city and she started over and became the parent I needed her to be.

But I knew Aunt Nora would save me, she would come out here and help me get out of this horrific mess and take me home to live with her and her family, she loved me. I could help nanny too. I knew she would save me from Mom, homelessness and this terrible, terrible cold shivering that I could not shake. She would send help.

My hands stopped shaking when I finally got to the third floor of my old school, Ashbourne Tutors, above Kensington market. They had these old fashioned heaters that hissed in the hallway when you came in and I would sit there and warm up until I felt better.

The Headmaster was a kind Canadian and had let me go there for free after he had found out my Mom was in Holloway Women’s Prison, but I didn’t go to class anymore.  I couldn’t sit in class with all these super rich happy kids who had houses and parents and a bedroom to go home to and things to look forward to. They showed me everything I didn’t have and parents I would never have.

I would go to the school to get warm and see my old friends. I used their phone when I needed to and leave as soon as I could. I was the homeless kid of a con artist and didn’t belong there.

Lately I was going to the school to use their  phone at night, before they closed, so not a lot of people would still be there. I didn’t want to see my old teachers anymore. Late evening was the best time to come into the school, get warm and maybe steal a hot cup of coffee from lobby without seeing too many people.

The teachers at this school were so kind to me that I would start to sob uncontrollably. It was embarrassing. I didn’t know why it hurt more to have someone be kind to me than to tell me what a loser I was.

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