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A Novel in One Month?

Thursday, January 8, 2015 9:10
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Love of Country Blog Stands for our Constitution

I have tried this before and could not get it done.  Some years ago there was a young girl who committed suicide after a life of prostitution, drugs and even some criminal activity.   I knew enough about the individual that I could write a book about her.  The only problem with the book is it tells a story of how life can become so degrading that escape from that degradation seems impossible.  As a Christian, I can attest that there is no sin so bad that God will not forgive it.  I can also attest that our salvation does not depend upon what we do but what we ask God to do for us in the name of Jesus.  There are so many people who believe that in order to receive the salvation of Christ there must be some work on the part of the sinner accomplished for that salvation.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  All the work ever required for our salvation was done by Christ on a cross two thousand years ago.  So, when I think about this girl and her subsequent suicide, I fell sad because with Christ there is always hope.  She gave up her life because she believed there was no hope.

I have started the book called ‘The Prostitute many times and never got past the introduction.  Today I wrote a little over 3,000 words on that book and I believe I might be able to finish it.  I might remind the readers that this book may not be suitable for young people–not because of bad language but because of the trauma young Janet suffered from the men in her foster homes and in her profession.

Biography of a Prostitute



Ron Schaeffer







    A Biography of a Prostitute


This Story is Based on a True Story About an American Tragedy.


            America is perhaps the most versatile and the most unusual country in the world.  We plead a morality born out of Christianity while tolerating the most heinous crimes in the universe.  We have the highest abortion rate in the world and a very high suicide rate.  We lead the world in drugs, rape, murder, incest, prostitution, and a host of other crimes.  We have more people in prison than most civilized countries and we release more criminals to the streets than any other country of record.  Yet we pretend a religiosity that would make the Great Destroyer roll in the dirt with laughter.

            With all the pompous asses walking our streets preaching their version of morality, there was not even one who took the time to listen to one young girl in trouble.  When confronted with a decision to assist, they turned their backs and fled the scene.

            This is the story of a young girl, Janet Baker, one of our nation’s fatalities; a young innocent girl who got caught up in that culture of corruption and never found that road to freedom or peace; never found one person on this earth willing to reach out their hand in a gesture. 

            The American dream for Janet never became a reality, never materialized; it was just another pipe dream given her by the many would-be friends she had throughout her few years. 

            Her story is the same as many young girls condemned by societal mores; yet, while the preachers and the society women pointed their condemning fingers from their pulpits and their pews, not one of them ever took the time to investigate the needs of girls like Janet.  Few, if any in her society ever considered giving her aid or assistance.  This is the story of a true American tragedy, a tragedy of hateful indifference from foster homes, immoral behavior on the part of would be Christian men and women and the complete lack of community assistance.

            The author, Ron, met Janet when he was a pre-teen.  She related her childhood story to him and later, when both were adults, he had an occasion to meet up with her again; she was twenty eight.  At that time Ron was twenty six but not yet writing. 

            Janet took the time to tell him about her life.  Perhaps she told her story knowing someone would understand how she felt and how she longed for peace.  Shortly after she related her story to Ron, she overdosed on drugs.

            Today, Ron thinks about Janet and her heartbreaking story quite often.  He remembers how full of life she was at fourteen, when he first met her.  Sometimes he finds himself wishing he had done things differently or said something differently; maybe just a few words might have made a difference; maybe if he listened with more sincerity she might still be alive.

             So many people influence the lives of others without knowing it.  How many times did Janet reach out for help only to find indifference and condemnation?  How many times in a person’s life are there opportunities to assist someone in need and the needy is forgotten?

               This story about Janet is true according to my recollection  but all the names and places were changed in order to protect the individuals involved in her life. 

            Janet was a real person and an American tragedy.  She was not a personal friend of the author but a good acquaintance full of interesting tales.




Author’s Note:

The following is the story of what I call an American screw-up.    We have many of these stories in America, but for Janet Baker the tragedy of her life was not only avoidable, it was horrific. 

            This is the story of one fatality; a young girl who lived in a culture of corruption, drugs and prostitution, a young girl who never found the road to freedom or peace; never found one person on this earth willing to reach out their hand in a gesture.  She did however; find turmoil, conflict, self-degradation and disaster.

            The American dream for Janet never became reality, never materialized; it was just another pipe dream given her by the many would-be friends she had through her few years. 

            Her story is the same as many young girls condemned by societal mores and shunned by a social class that did not and never will understand the life of a prostitute.  Yet, while the preachers and the society women pointed their condemning fingers from their pulpits and their pews, not one of them ever took the time to investigate the needs of Janet or girls caught up in the same guttural life.  Few if any in this society ever considered giving her aid or assistance.  As the author of this story I am appalled at the indifference shown a little girl who grew up to become just another tragedy, a statistic of our time and a catastrophe of our country. 

Ron Schaeffer





   Chapter One

  That Disturbing Moment


            Janet entered this world on September eight 1934 the daughter of Maria Calhoun in the little town of Albany, Oregon.  Maria’s parents, Joseph and Felicia Calhoun, were in the room assisting with her birth but Janet would never know them as her grandparents.

Maria’s father adamantly stated his position about welcoming a bastard child into his family.  He wanted nothing to do with a granddaughter born out of wedlock; he was from the old school with the old ways imbedded in his head.  Religious fanaticism ran rampant in his family as it did in many families back in the thirties.  The author remembers his strict religious upbringing from that period in time. With no attempt to disparage any religious beliefs, the author recognizes that religious beliefs in the thirties were considerably different from the beliefs of today’s generation.  That which people called ‘sin’ in the thirties is now commonplace behavior acceptable in today’s society.    

            Janet’s entrance into the world was not unusual; she was a normal term limit birth, and like most children entering the world for thousands of years of mothers producing babies, she entered without complications. The physician in attendance cut the real umbilical cord and within minutes the state cut the metaphorical one; Maria never knew her baby, but for that few seconds when Janet presented herself to the world; someone from the state took her away and Maria never seen her again.

            Maria could not marry her boyfriend; she was barely thirteen when she conceived Janet, and her parents, especially her father, could not fathom his daughter married at such and early age.  He also loathed the idea of a bastard child entering the world through the good name of Calhoun.  The thought of his daughter marrying the illiterate neighbor boy who impregnated her infuriated him to a point where he found it difficult to express himself.  Had he been a violent man the neighbor boy, William Martin and probably his father might have been seriously injured, even murdered, but since his life centered on his religious duties he refrained from violence.

Joseph was however, a stubborn man tending toward religious zealotry; his tolerance for the likes of Billy Martin incorporated only disgust and anger; he would harbor ill will toward the Martin family for their disregard for God and their fellow man all the days of his life.

            Billy Martin, Janet’s father was only sixteen at the time of Janet’s birth; he was an inept, simple minded uneducated farm boy with no job, no money and no future.  His parents were poor, caught up in the after effects of the depression with no hope for a prosperous future.  They too suffered from the lack of formal education and felt the need for schooling overrated. They had no intention of furtherance of their own education and did not believe it a necessity to continue Billy’s education considering his simple state.  No one in the community considered the possibility of educating Billy would be of any benefit.

            There also was no consideration given to the possibility of support and according to Joseph, the idea of marriage was out of the question.  Joseph had no desire for carrying the burden of raising a child fathered by an illiterate. In addition, he did not care for the Martins; they did not attend church and people who did not attend church were, in Joseph’s mind, from the devil. He believed anyone who did not attend church had to be evil.  His religion demanded all people attend church, so the Martin’s were nothing more than pagans unfit for the pleasantries of human companionship.   The idea that a daughter of his would go off and have a relationship with an illiterate, pagan galled him to the point of hatred for not just the Martins but for the baby his daughter would brought into the world. 

In 1934 tolerance was not part of the common ideologies; there were no words suggesting religious or political correctness; bigotry was more the norm and it was openly taught in many churches.

            Billy actually wanted to marry Maria but even Maria shied away from his advances.  Once he got her pregnant, she realized marrying him would result in disaster for her, the baby and her family.  She had no desires toward raising a child with an illiterate father; he would never work and never have any potential for work.  Billy Martin would remain at home with his parents until they died and Maria knew that.  She knew that once his parents left this world he would be without any means of support and incapable of sustaining his own life much less the life of her and a child.  She also understood her responsibilities would not end when her child became an adult.  Her own child would be dependent upon her and since her child would be born a bastard even if she married, she and her child would be societal outcasts.  Her only hope for a normal life would be in another city and she could not move away; she too had no education and nowhere to go, no way to support herself or her child.  Her only recourse was either an abortion, which she could not do or give her child up for adoption.  In fact, her father would insist upon the latter.

            Maria was also incapable of raising her newborn daughter.  Raising a child at her age would mean ending school.  As a dropout she would be no better off than Billy.  She had no desire ending up as an uneducated mother packing a child around dependent upon her family.  She shuddered at the thought of living in the same house with her father for the remainder of her life.  The only acceptable choice facing her was adoption and she did not like that idea either; her motherly instincts demanded she keep her baby and raise it but she knew that could not happen.

            During her pregnancy, her mother, Felicia, unbeknownst to Joseph, suggested she abort the child but in 1934, abortion was illegal.  Finding a qualified individual capable of performing an abortion was difficult, not to mention expensive, and frowned upon by even the irreligious.  The idea of aborting a child happened only in the darkest of corners.  People shied away from abortion because the religious world looked upon it as murder, as did the legal profession.  Felicia’s unacceptable suggestion was an abomination in that society; had the locals heard of it both she and Joseph could have suffered serious admonition from their peers.  As it was the gossips already demanded the church sanction them.  An abortion or even the mention of abortion had the effect of fueling the fires of alienation.

There was also the problem of finding an individual willing to compromise his standing as a physician by performing an abortion.  Finding a doctor or even one who pretended to be a doctor that would perform an abortion was close to impossible; that generation of doctors considered abortion immoral and in direct violation of their Hippocratic Oath.  Illegalities had nothing to do with their decisions not to abort a baby.  It was common to consider any individual who would abort a baby as vile and evil. In addition, abortions were cost prohibitive.  Those few individuals offering the service did so knowing the risks, so their services came with a costly fee.

Publicly, few individuals ever mentioned the word abortion, because nearly everyone looked upon it as murder.

Maria did not consider abortion; she knew she could not go through with such a drastic answer to her problem.  She thought she could give the baby up for adoption as soon as it arrived, but even that idea presented a number of problems.  There was little money available in the society since the market crashed and the economy failed.  Poverty everywhere, with few jobs and little money; there were very few individuals suffering from prosperity.  There were many promises made by the government but the wrong policies kept the flames of depression burning many years after the crash and subsequent economic disaster.

            Those few individuals who had money exhibited no interest in the child of an unwed mother.  Children born out of wedlock suffered stigmatized, unacceptable lives blemished well into their teens.  Societal mores accepted the indiscretions of the children but not the babies produce by those indiscretions.  This was a noticeable contradistinction of the times.  Even in modern society the sins of the men are more acceptable than the sins of women.

              Maria knew she could not raise the child; the poverty of her family forbid such an arrangement.  Joseph even considered kicking her out on the street leaving her to fend for herself for bringing this act of shame upon the family, but Felicia stepped in with her motherly concerns and convinced Joseph she could not accept his decision in this matter.  He decided he would stay out of the discussion and let Felicia deal with the situation.  He could still hold his head up in the community by publicly condemning his daughter for her frivolous act. “You mark my words, woman.  There won’t be anything good come from this.  I’ll be washin my hands of it.” Then he directed his anger at Maria.  “Yer actions have destroyed the dignity of this here family.  What were ya thinkin, girl?  Don’t ya have no concern fer yer family?”

            Perhaps, back then, in a society of poverty mixed with religious ideologies that ruled this country, his words made sense, but in today’s society Maria would not suffer any condemnation, nor would she be an outcast.  Her daughter would not be shunned as a bastard or worse.  We guarantee the acceptance of individuals like Janet and children born out of wedlock because we no longer consider the mother or the child guilty of a criminal act.  We forgive our children their indiscretions because we have changed as a society.  Yes, America now has abortion on demand but there are still those individuals who believe in the sanctity of life.  They condemn the act but not the person.  Many individuals who believe in abortion still believe in the sanctity of life and practice forgiveness.  However, in 1934, Joseph could not bring himself to practice forgiveness. 

            When he heard his daughter was pregnant, he exploded in anger.  He shouted at Maria his frustrations and his regret for her actions.  “Ain’t no one around here ever gonna accept you now girl.  None of the men will have anything ta do with ya.  Ya went an ruined yerself! That’s what ya did!  An ya ruined our good family name!”

            She understood exactly his language and she believed every word that came from his mouth.  She actually did not know what to do and her father insisted the child had to go; he didn’t care where, all he would say was, “Ain’t no bastard kid livin here. Take the little brat out and drown her for all I care.”

            That was the typical attitude of parents in general back in those times.  Teenage pregnancies were evil, as was infidelity.  Religious adults thought of that behavior as brought about by the devil.  Girls who ended up pregnant had to be possessed or worse.  Women who committed adultery were shunned and if a married woman somehow got pregnant from another man, the child had to be possessed; the child could not escape his lifelong ridicule unless he departed the scene at an early age.   Quite often the mother of such children treated them as worthless bastards.  The woman disgraced herself in the face of God and the face of man.  The idea of the ‘Bad Seed’ came from relationships such as Maria’s.

            However, boys or men who often instigated those sexual acts upon unsuspecting girls or women were never considered in the matter.  Behavior expressed by a man or a boy toward women passed the morality test without difficulty.  It’s true some father or husband might consider the deaths of a man who took advantage of his wife or daughter but only because they took something away from him that he cherished, not because he considered the man evil or possessed.  For some reason our society has always condemned the woman for her indiscretions but rarely ever the man.    

            Felicia actually preferred he would do just that.  She did not understand a situation where Joseph, master of the home, did not take vengeance on the individual who ruined her daughter.  She could not come out and say it but secretly she wished Joseph would go over the Martin family and just kill them all.

            It was a difficult time for the family and Joseph did not make it any easier with his carrying on about God and disgrace, but he did not suggest Billy Martin needed some sort of discipline nor did he publically blame Billy’s parents; he blamed Maria and Felicia for the disgrace.

            The organization we call HRS in today’s society did not exist in 1934; some states had state adoption agencies and there was an organization called the ‘Catholic Charities’, but these organizations only  offered assistance when they could; they were not of any particular credit to the needs of the unwed mother.  Catholic Charities came closest to overlooking the stigma, but even they, at the local level, had difficulty handling the child of an unwed mother especially in the smaller communities where everyone knew all the gossip.

            Upon the insistence of Maria’s mother and father, the state removed Janet from the care of Maria as soon as Janet entered the world.  They placed her in a state facility called a shelter. The rights of the mother ended when the child became a ward of the state; the state felt it better for the baby and better for the mother to have no future contact. Maria never saw her child again.

            The state changed the dates on her official registration and her birth certificate.  They also changed her last name to Baker. She sat in her room and cried but the tears seemed hollow and artificial.  What she felt was shame, not remorse. She did write something in her diary about missing her child but she also wrote that giving her daughter up for adoption was the best thing to do.  She included in her diary entries all the feelings of anger and regret expressed by her father associated with Janet’s birth.  She wrote.  “Today, they took my baby away from me.  They let me see her for a couple of seconds.  She was so beautiful.  She had pudgy little fingers and black hair.  I secretly named her Mary because my name is Maria.  The two women who took Mary away told me the state would give her a good home and a new name.  She said they would take care of all the paperwork.  My Mama said it was for the best.  How would she know?  Nobody ever took any a her kids away from her.  Daddy won’t talk to me anymore.  He said the devil got a hold a me an he din’t want anything ta do with me anymore.  I heard him tell Mama that he didn’t have no daughter.  I bin cryin all day. 

            Mama came inta my room and told me that the minister and Mrs. Sullivan called a meeting at the church and they decided I couldn’t come back to church until I made a public statement denouncing evil.  I asked her what that meant but she said she din’t know.  I hate them all anyway.  I ain’t never goin back to that place.” 

            The agency did place Janet up for adoption but for some reason no one adopted her.  Since no one immediately adopted her, the state transferred her to another facility for her future care. It seemed that children who could not be immediately adopted ended up in a facility where the children were from broken homes; they were the unwanted ones who were quite often incorrigible and unmanageable. 

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