Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale
Special thanks to the Lord, for using my late beloved mother Janet’s hidden storytelling talents to create this book, and to her for spending the last four years of her life writing it, this was really her story, I’m just the poor sap who got left with the job of pushing it those last 10 yards over the goal line.
Special thanks to Brother Connor for his help in preserving our mother’s documents, and my family, the Salisbury’s of Eugene, Oregon, for taking care of me during this critical time that I’ve forgotten how to take care of myself (a harder job than anyone can imagine). Special thanks to the 12 step fellowships of Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon, and
And special thanks to my lost kitties, Bodie and Lynx, who made the ill-fated journey to
And special thanks to any of the unmentioned websites who choose to put this book out for me and make it available to the reading public, without them, you wouldn’t be reading this book, publishers, the great “gatekeepers” of the information world.
Some nameless third parties have notified me that my previous version of the manuscript presented possible libel/invasion of privacy issues, a legal dark path they made clear they didn’t wish to travel with me, so in a grudgingly hard fought compromise, I have overwritten some sensitive names of people, places and institutions with the
I have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from my memories of them. In order to maintain their anonymity in some instances I have changed the names of individuals and places, I may have changed some identifying characteristics and details such as physical properties, occupations and places of residence.
A SCOTTISH-AMERICAN FAIRY TALE
BOOK FOUR: NON-FICTION
THE FIRST 22 PAGES
WRITTEN BY: JANET C. SMYTH, COPYRIGHT 2010-2014
EDITED AND CO-WRITTEN BY: TRAVIS L. SALISBURY (HER SON), COPYRIGHT 2015-2016
DATE OF JANET’S ORIGINAL BRAINSTORM/FIRST WRITE: APRIL 24, 2010
DATE OF TRAVIS’ FINAL EDIT/KINDLE PUBLISH: SEPTEMBER 03, 2016
SPECIAL THANKS/CONSIDERATIONS…..PAGE 1
PREFACE TO BOOK FOUR: NON-FICTION…..PAGE 4
TRAVIS’ TROUBLED TIMELINE IN DEFENDING DEFENDER…..
TRAVIS' PERSONAL PLEDGE FOR 10% OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THIS BOOK SALE, ALSO KNOWN AS TITHING…..PAGE 11
INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW AUTHOR/EDITOR TRAVIS L. SALISBURY (1980-????)…..PAGE 12
INTRODUCTION TO THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR JANET C. SMYTH (1950-2014)…..PAGE 13
JANET’S OBITUARY…..PAGE 14
JANET’S EULOGY…..PAGE 18
POETRY IN TRIBUTE TO JANET…..PAGE 23
SCRIPTURES IN TRIBUTE TO JANET…..PAGE 28
TRAVIS’ ORIGINAL POEM, AVATAR OF SUSPICION…..PAGE 31
TRAVIS’ ORIGINAL POEM, MOTHER…..PAGE 34
THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT…..PAGE 35
JANET’S INTRO PIECE AS ASSISTANT EDITOR OF MYRTLE POINT HERALD (1986)…..PAGE 36
JANET’S POLITICAL OPINION PIECE TO BILL O’REILLY/GLENN BECK SHOW (CAN’T REMEMBER WHICH 2006)…..PAGE 37
JANET’S GOODBYE LETTER TO TRAVIS…..PAGE 37
TRAVIS’ CLOSING THOUGHTS FOR JANET…..PAGE 41
TRAVIS’ OFFICIAL REPRIMAND LETTER TO
GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE, SOME STRANGE GIRL FROM
TRAVIS’ ENCOUNTER IN THE “WAR OF THE ROSES” IN DOWNTOWN
TRAVIS’ ORIGINAL ESSAY, WHY I SUPPORT SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE, WRITTEN FEBRUARY 2016, MY 36TH BIRTHDAY …..PAGE 59
TRAVIS’ PERSONAL PICTURES…..PAGE 98
TRAVIS’ SCOTTISH TOUR GUIDE…..PAGE 105
THE ARSENAL OF DEFENDER…..PAGE 109
THE CHANGING FACES AND COVERS OF DEFENDER…..PAGE 113
STORY SYNAPSES…..PAGE 120
Hello People, yes, my name is Travis L. Salisbury, and I am the editor and co-author of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale. My late mother, Janet C. Smyth (1950-2014), was the “other” author of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale. The reason I write this preface for Book Four: Non-Fiction, is to help allay some of the confusion, controversy and misunderstanding surrounding this “non-fictional” volume of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale.
In Book Four: Non-Fiction, is the “real life” accounting of events both the new author endured of the events following the original author’s terminal illness and death in the Fall of 2014, a mini-biography of both the original and new author, and some photos of both “real life” personal stuff, some non-partisan, and I mean that in the strictest sense of the word, political complaints, in regards to the poor quality of care the original author endured before her death, as well as a chronicle of the frustrations of the new author, in being completely disregarded, ignored, and shuffled around by both the medical system and the legal system, as well as a chronicle of the development and publishing of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale.
This piece was not written with the intention of browbeating, shaming, guilt-tripping, or manipulating anyone, but to simply illustrate the fact, that’s right, fact, not fiction, that the writers of fiction are in fact, real people who sweat, bleed, and die, as my mother Janet did during the production of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, when her stage IV ovarian cancer struck like a sledgehammer and ate away her large strong body akin to a spilled puddle of battery acid in less than three months in the fall of 2014.
Suffice to say, I will go so far as to share my personal opinion, which is that I think it really sucks that some of the best creative minds such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Picasso, don’t go appreciated by anyone until long after they are passed away and dead. So all I ask for is that consumers of the piece of fiction that goes with this non-fiction book, please take a brief moment of silence to acknowledge the fact that every TV show, book, film, screenplay, musical, album, artwork and video game, once had a real person with a real life behind it. I will say no more on this matter.
Here Is My Official Disclaimer For Book Four: Non-Fiction:
Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale Book Four: Non-Fiction is just that, non-fiction. It is a collection of author memoirs and a chronicle of the making of the first three books of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale. If you self-identify as a literary purist, or simply don’t like non-fiction, don’t buy Book Four, it really is that simple.
Anyway, don’t mean to be rude or discourteous, if I come off that way, but wanted to put that out there, to clear up any outstanding remaining misunderstanding, and explain that as a book buyer, you have some choices, though the surviving folks on Dad’s side and I continually debate the notion of whether power, control, and choices are overrated. I say “yes”, they say “no”, as far as choices go, I say “all roads lead to Rome”, as in most of what we think of as “choices” are illusions that mostly eventually lead to the same place.
So, without further adieu, if you so happen to be buying this book in paper, as opposed to digital form, at a “real life” brick and mortar bookstore, and not online somewhere, this is your last and final chance to return it to the bookshelf, or run it back to the clerk and ask for a refund, if you’re already on your way home. OK, you’ve been sufficiently warned.
If you’re still reading this, I humbly pray that Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, Book Four: Non-Fiction, will be to your liking and enjoyment as a companion documentary piece to Book One, Book Two, and Book Three. See you at the other side.
Travis’ Troubled Timeline In Defending Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, A Seemingly Indefensible Novel (Think Trying To Build American Style Democracy In The Middle East, Now You Get The Picture).
December 2009: Mother Janet and Travis receive order from Probate Court kicking them out of Grandfather Norman’s house, for collection of past nursing home bills by the state.
January 2010: Left with no place else to live, Mother Janet and Travis very reluctantly take beds at the homeless shelter. Note: THERE ARE RULES, IF YOU DON’T LIKE THEM, LEAVE, OR I’M CALLING THE COPS. (Score 5 Points To Type “A” Extrovert Blowhards, “No I’m The Boss, No I’m The Boss”, You Can Say This Much, PPL Are Afraid To Give Up Control, Since Once You Lose It, You Don’t Get It Back).
February 2010: “Unedicated Savidge Cruel Heartless Psychotic White Trash Republican Redneck” Travis Feuds Violently With Brother Connor Over Perceived Diss Of Mother Janet And Profound Misunderstanding Over Family Finances (He Dropped Out Of Accounting With A “D”). Travis Earns Himself And Mother Janet Restraining Orders And Does Not Converse With Brother Connor For Five Years. Travis Wins Ahole Of The Year Award For 2010 And A 5 Year Involuntary Contract With Satan. (Hit “Unfriend”, “Dislike”, “Go Away, I Can’t Trust You Anymore” Button)
April 2010: With The Help Of Well Placed Friends, Travis And Mother Janet Are Able To Secure Temporary Housing And Leave The Homeless Shelter. Upon Settling In At New Home, Mother Janet Begins Work On Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, Originally Titled, “Heaven Sent”, Enlisting Travis’ Help, Originally Just As Proofreader, Mother Janet Was Like “My Baby, Look But Don’t Touch”.
Summer 2010: Mother Janet Brings Good News Of Her New Manuscript To Grandfather Norman, Who Is Superbly Delighted That His “Loser Daughter” Finally Made Something Of Herself After 30 Years, Since “Mediocre Loserdom” Is Such A Horrible Sin, According To The Rules Of The Modern Oligarchy.
February 2011: Grandfather Norman Mercifully Falls To His Six Year Long Protracted Battle With Diabetes, Dementia, And Parkinson’s At 86 On February 11.
May 2012: Mother Janet And Travis Are Again Forced To Switch Domiciles When Public Funding On Their Current Program Runs Out. Also, Four Months Earlier, Work On Defender Becomes Stalled For A Year, When Mother Janet Blows Up Computer And Travis’ XBOX, Due To Needing To Charge Battery To Sell Extra Car For Rent Money In Cheap Rat Trap Domicile With Bad Wiring. Thankfully, We Had Enough Brain Cells To Back Up On Flash Drive. You Can Plan Some Things, But Not All Things.
January 2013: Mother Janet And Travis Make Tense Diplomatic Mission To Eugene To Retrieve Old Computer Along With Travis’ XBOX 360. Work On Defender Resumes, While Travis Spends Six Months Of 12-16 Hour Days Plugging Away On The Last Remnant Game. Mother Janet Is P*ssed At Travis (When Was She Not) For Being Such A Colossal Immature Screw Off, Yet He Still Finds A Few Spare Minutes To Proofread. Writing Work On Defender Is Finished By Year’s End, Editing Work Begins.
April 2014: Having Received Front Money From Grandfather Norman’s Inheritance, Preparations For Mother Janet’s And Travis’ 8 Year Long Planned Adventure To Northern Nevada Begin In Earnest. Unfortunately, For Mother Janet And Defender, Mother Janet Again, After 30 Years, “Does Not Feel Ready To Publish At This Time”, Due To Impending Move And Not Knowing How To Format Her Sample Or Find Her Target Market (Which I’m Doing Now). Last Time Around, It Was “Not Wanting To Get Rope-A-Doped By Crooked Publishers”. Mama Always Taught Me To Watch Out Closely For Folk With Big Toothy Grins And Crushing Handshakes, They Might Be Putting On A “Put-On”…..
September 2014: Having Arrived In Northern Nevada, And Purchased Some Cheap Crummy Property, Not But A Month Before, Mother Janet Is Brutally Savaged By The Cancer Demon, As Charon’s Price Of Our Fare Across The River Styx. Welcome To Hades, I Have Not Been Out Of It Since Then.
December 2014: Mother Janet Mercifully Falls To Her Three Month Short Decisive Battle With Stage IV Metastatic Ovarian Cancer At 64 On December 03, Faithfully Returning To Her Loving Father On Mount Olympus, As I Hope To Someday, Though Some Would Rather I Remain In Hades, SINCE I SCARE AND BOTHER THEM, in this lifetime, like Freddy Kruger And Hannibal Lechter Style. *Nails On Chalkboard* The Gods Must Be Crazy, But I Assert To Be Crazier.
Summer 2015: After Five Difficult And Arduous Months Of Arranging Mother Janet's Two Memorial Services And Completing The Unfinished Move To Northern Nevada That Was Skillfully Broken Up By The Cancer Demon, Travis Attempts, Against The Advice Of All Sane And Logical People, Which Is Pretty Much Everyone But Him “Doomb *ss”, To Resettle In Northern Nevada.
Fall 2015: After Attempting To Restart Work On Defender, Travis Pens Six Page Letter Detailing The Poor Quality Of Care Mother Janet Received During Her Illness, Which Quickly Becomes Poorly Received, And Is Summarily Dismissed As Baseless Factually Incorrect B*llsh*t By Local Citizens, Politicians, Lawyers, And A Medical Review Board, Though Author Of Letter Asserts Differently. A Federal Investigation Ensues. Travis Swears His Innocence Of Wrongdoing By Mother Janet’s Good Name, Further Infuriating Law Enforcement (Can You Say Stinging Gnat?). Travis Was A VERY BAD BOY, He Made A Lot Of People VERY MAD, A Lot Of People Wanted To Beat His A, Yet Could Only Choke And Fume From Being Prohibited From Doing So By Law. Travis Suffers Nervous Breakdown From The Ensuing Chaos And Is Forced To Depart To Oregon In Disgrace. Travis Takes Second Ahole Of The Year Award For 2015. Travis Also Takes Native Name, Chief Four Horse (Four Horses Of Apocalypse, War, Death, Famine, Pestilence, Having Personally Met All Four), Son Of Chaos, On His Facebook Profile. But You Can’t Say Eff You And The Horse You Rode In On, Since I Have No Horse.
Summer 2016: Upon Making Arrangements To Place Mother Janet’s Ashes In Coos Bay, Where She Raised Me And Brother Connor, Travis Resumes Work On Defender, Amidst The Sudden Passing Of Great Uncle Donald Hurlbert, Aged 90.
September 03, 2016: Travis Releases His First “Market Ready” Draft Of Defender. Excitement, Fame, Prestige, Riches, Right. None Of That. Yet.
Mid September 2016: Third Party “A” Informs Travis His Carefully Beautifully Designed Cover Needs Rework, As Certain People Are Offended By Placement Of Weapons On National Flags. Travis Did Not Know This, But Was Only Mildly Butthurt By This.
Late September 2016: Third Party “A” Then Informs Travis That His Carefully Packed Extras Will Need To Go, Since They Present Legal Risks That Third Party “A” Does Not Wish To Take With Travis. Apparently, Some Still Call It Talking Sh*t, Even If 95% True. According To The Law, There Are Certain Facts That Grown Adults (Which I'm Not), Are Entitled To Keep To Themselves, Including Their S*x Life, Their Financial Patterns, Any Alleged Professional Misconduct Or Bad Business Dealings, And Any Personally Identifying Information (You Know, Stuff A “Tracker With A Vengeance” Could Hunt People Down With). Still, I Think I Should Get To Make The Rules, They Are The Spoiled Toddlers, NOT ME. The World Would Be A More Honest And Fair Place If Secrets Weren't So Heavily Shielded By The Law. But There's That Thing About Control Again, No Secrets, No Control, Anarchy And Chaos Commence. Not Everyone Can Be Trusted With Everything, Least Of All An Utterly Amoral Indecent Loose Lipped Blabbermouth Such As Myself. Needless To Say, Travis Wanted To Plant A Hard Steel Toed Boot Up The *ss Of Third Party “A”.
October 2016: Third Party “B” Informs Travis He Needs To Chop Out His Duplicate Headings, Properly Codify His Table Of Contents, Format Headings, Format Pages, And Scale Images For “Proper DPI” Settings. Travis Is Only Slightly Butthurt By This Criticism.
November 2016: Third Party “C” Informs Travis His Blog Is Too Full Of “Tasteless, Trashy, Politically Incorrect Pizzagate” Third Party (Not Self Made) Content To Run Ads On To Help Pay His Book Promoting Expenses.
December 2016: Travis Gets Very Busy Juggling New Defender Book Site And Defender Blog, Some Complicated Thing About Registering Domains Or Something Like That.
Late December 2016: Third Party “D” Informs Travis That His Book Is Of “Too Poor Quality” To Host On Their Digital Goods Site And “Ta, Ta” And “GOOD DAY AND GOOD RIDDANCE”. Snobby English Tw*tw*ffl*s. How Unkind To Us Lowbrow Low Class Redneck Americans. Third Party “E” Informs Travis His Cover Is “Really Too Offensive”, And The Weapons Need To Go Completely From His Cover, What A Buncha Liberal P*ss*es. I Suppose One Might Say I Prove Their Point By Allowing These Censorship Nazis To Emotionally Bait Me Into Belittling And Insulting Them In Kind. People Like Me Are The Reason People Like Them Exist, People Who Don’t Respect Rules Or Authority, Bullies Who Try To Bull Through Everything With Intimidation And Bluster. No Charm, No Honey, No Romance, None Whatsoever. They Say “NO! DON’T! STOP!” I Say “WHY DON’T YOU MAKE ME!”, AND MAKE ME THEY DO. NO CONSCIENCE. NO RESPECT. I GOT HIT, YELLED AT, AND SAT IN THE CORNER A LOT AS A KID, I MEAN A LOT. IF THAT DON’T PUT THE FEAR OF GOD IN YOU NOTHING ELSE WILL. I LOVE PAIN, BOTH GIVING AND RECEIVING. LOVE IT. Travis Spends Two Long Hard Days Normalizing His Already High Blood Pressure Before Returning To Work.
January 2017: Third Party “G” Informs Travis His Other Blog Is A “Fraudulent Con Job” Trying To Solicit Free Money With No Legit Purpose And To “Quit His Bitching Over His Dead Mama’s Lost SS Check And Get A G*dd*mn F*ck*ng Job” Again, The Steel Toed Boots Are Starting To Come Out.
Early January 2017: Travis Releases His First Standard Print Edition Of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, That’s Right, Print.
Late January 2017: Travis Releases His Second Short Print Edition Of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, That’s Right, A Shorter Book.
February 2017: Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale Wins It’s First Reviewer Award. Travis Tactfully Follows Up On Advice From Third Parties “H” And “I” To Rework Cover Image, Book Sales Pitch (Was Too Pushy And Aggressive, I Was Told, Travis Gets Told A Lot Of Things, Since He Only Asks For Forgiveness, Not Permission, He Want, He Take, No Discussion, Taking Is Fun, But You Make A Lot Of Enemies That Way, I Have No Friends, Only Enemies I Hate Less), And Putting Out Free Sample Sections. Travis Has Followed Up On Those. Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale Is Still A Work In Progress. I Don’t Consider It Complete Until It Pays My Retirement. It Is Mine To Sell, As Many Times As I Like, I Just Need To Figure Out How.
February 07, 2017: The Overgrown Spoiled Toddler Who Takes Everything Without Permission Turns 37 Tomorrow, Wish Him Beaming Accolades And Success In Promotion Of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, And For Him To Not Make Too Many Enemies Too Quickly, Have I Failed To Sufficiently Troll Or P*ss Anyone Off Today?
Early February 2017: Still Artistically Dissatisfied With His Cover Design, Travis Reworks The Cover For Both The Standard And Short Editions Of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, For What We Hope Is A Fourth And Final Time, Though That Can Still Change With A Traditional Publisher’s Contract, Which I Don’t Have Yet.
Mid February 2017: Following Up On Advice From Third Party “J”, Travis Skillfully Prepares And Publishes A Four Volume Minibook Edition Of Defender: A Scottish American Fairy Tale, Thoughtfully Separating The Bulk Of The “Non-Fiction” (The Controversial Part), Into It’s Own Volume, Aptly Subtitled “Book Four: Non-Fiction”, So As To Permanently Smash The False Notion That I’m Trying To Force Or Trick Potential Book Buyers Into Buying Extra Stuff They Don’t Want Or Need (The “Fast Hustle”, Every Marketer’s Worst Sin).
This is my personal pledge for 10% of all proceeds from the sale of this book, I pledge 10% to the Janet C. Smyth Foundation Inc, with a twofold mission of funding Ovarian Cancer research (not more useless awareness campaigns), and funding patient malpractice advocacy, so that patient malpractice does not simply continue getting swept under the rug because “it's good for business”. Why do I do this? Because although my late mother and grandfather were somewhat politically aligned in an eww, ick, conservative direction, they were social do gooders at heart, and gave to charity, when they still had free money to do so, of course before (unscrupulous corporate weasels, I grumbled to Brother Connor that this world is built by men who are takers) medical expenses made everyone poor. Yes, there is something in it for me, the remaining 40-90% royalties on this book, a boy's gotta eat and keep his lights on, but I also believe in helping and disenfranchised, having personally suffered through poverty and homelessness alongside my family. I do not believe in whitewashing a checkered past once I've social climbed my way into the “in” group, the way people in power often do. I do not recall the specific verse, but easier for a heavily packed camel to pass the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He who dies with the most toys still dies, and is still out of time to play with them.
First off, repeat these words after me, “I F____ng Hate, Hate, Hate Cancer” (or skip the F____ng if curse words make your skin crawl). Name the feeling, claim it, and move on, or don't move on and stagnate. I refuse to accept the codependent Kool-Aid version of “King Crab” which is so widely popular, which is “let your mother go”, “forget about her”, “she's in a better place” (I do agree with that one), “at least she didn't suffer long” (sort of agree with that one), or “be happy and remember the good times” (they were not all good and poor choice of words for a chronic depressive, who may or may not be manic). F___ that s___, it doesn't work for me, and it shouldn't work for you because it's not real, if you don't like it, you can take me out in the parking lot and pound me over it, that's fine, I've said my two cents on the matter.
Second, I've been through quite an ordeal in bringing you my mother's long awaited tome, two funerals, a large interstate move of 500 miles, being disowned by people I had thought friends (surprisingly, because they thought I was an angry bitter selfish a____le), having other friends die, losing our two cats, and having the “real” FBI sicked on me by some douchebag attorney in
Third, I think the best way to describe the core of my present belief system would be a Christian Nihilist. Yes, I know, nuttier than cracker fruitcakes, but allow me to explain. I believe in the salvation of Christ, but I am also abjectly aware of the stark reality of how much everything sucks, and refuse to lap up anyone’s particular flavor of political or religious Kool-Aid anymore. Yes, I know, what a negative awful horrible attitude for one to have, but being tuned into the reality of life being hard and things sucking, brings one a newfound sense of freedom and restored sanity.
Paraphrase of the Allie Character From The Epilogue Of Defender: Regretfully, Janet had only outlived her father by a few years, succumbing to the same disease that had claimed her mother. (Swap Cancer For Rheumatoid Arthritis)
I cannot begin to find the right words to describe the original author, my late mother Janet Smyth (1950-2014), but perhaps widely misunderstood would be a great place to start. I think it’s safe to say she was mostly stuck between a rock and a hard place (a place I shared with her for 34 years), trapped between parents who placed an inordinate amount of pressure (you know, pressure, a great tool for people who like to control other people) on her to be conventionally successful (Barbie Doll, Vanna White, Paula Zahn news anchor, those were her exact words to me) and in-laws who could not bring themselves to contemplate why my mother wasn’t more of an “independent feminist” career go-getter type, not taking into account who she was, and the way she was raised.
It is with great difficulty I write these words. My mother was one hell of a mother, considering that she raised me and Brother Connor, mostly on her own, with little financial resources, and only sporadic backing from her parents. I was a mean, vicious, and disrespectful little s___ as a kid. No morals, no conscience, no ethics, no rules, no laws, those were for boring, weak, and no fun people, definitely not me. Yes, all you wimpy p____es out there. If it was good, I had to hate and attack it by default. As a result, I got yelled at, spanked, and sat in the corner a lot, maybe not nearly enough according to some, and nobody liked or trusted me (my first grade report card at Myrtle Point Elementary read, high marks for academics, poor marks for citizenship). Her folks spoiled me a bit, but mostly didn't want me around. My Dad's folks tried to instill social skills and a good solid Midwestern Protestant Work Ethic in me, but I found it wanting and didn't want it, so they didn't want me around either. Sometimes, I would play both sides of the family against each other for amusement, yes, sick, but we're being gut level honest here, so true.
Over time, my mother and I went from adversaries, to a mentor-disciple relationship, to best friends, all during the span of my 34 years that I walked this earth with her. My mother stood by me when anyone else with a lick of sense would have thrown me to the wolves. Some people have, as I said before, I was not (am still not) a very popular, likable, warm and friendly, or even trustworthy person. It’s not that I can’t tell the truth from lies, but I have a tendency to be p____d off excessively at the injustice in the world. Excessive unregulated anger. To the point that it scares people into locking doors and taking out restraining orders on me, ask Brother Connor about that one. Something called integrity. That’s how Mother was eventually able to break down my (huuuge) ego enough to allow the installation of a rudimentary conscience and some basic principles. We hated each other, and loved each other, and finally understood each other, on a common principle, that’s what family is.
I’ll say this much more for my mother, before I close. She was not only a good writer, but a good person, much better than I’ll ever be. She had a short, hard, brutal life, but she never flinched, never said never, and never caved into people’s b______p, including plenty from yours truly. Sob, sniff. Most people, and some have, would have lost patience and given up on me. I have a hidden knack for losing people’s patience for them, perhaps it’s because I have this little thing called Asperger’s which makes me out of touch and ignorant of other people’s feelings until much after the fact, at which point, by the time I’ve noticed that I hurt them, they’re ready to lynch me. Lord, please accept this prayer that the New Author lives long enough to see this great written work published, Amen. It is with Love and Faith that I turn my mother’s masterpiece, Defender, out to the reader’s market.
Born 04-04-50, Died 12-03-14
Janet Claire Smyth was born on April 04 1950, to Air Force Officer Norman Washburn Smyth and former munitions factory worker/housewife Beverly Jean Winston in Seattle, WA. Janet entered an intense pitched battle with metastatic ovarian cancer on September 18, 2014, only one month after moving to Yerington, with son Travis Salisbury. Her suffering ended December 03, 2014. But this is a celebration of life, not a mourning of death, for every day we’re alive is a miracle.
After her birth in Seattle, her father Major Norman Smyth was transferred to a base near Glendale, CA. Janet was confirmed as an Episcopalian, as her parents, and grandparents Robert and Alcy Winston had before her. Janet and parents would remain in Southern California for about eight years, until citing health concerns for Janet, due to heat, smog, and overpopulation, Norman mustered out of the Air Force and moved wife Beverly and daughter Janet to Wolf Creek in Southern Oregon, where Norman found work as a schoolteacher. There they lived on a small farm, where Janet joined 4-H, and grew to love animals including goats, horses, and chickens, as well as dogs and cats, especially cats.
Janet’s love of animals continued when her and parents moved north to Roseburg, OR onto another small farm, where she befriended
Citing “lifestyle” issues, Janet’s marriage to Jeffrey was beginning to deteriorate in the late 1970’s, however, in the intervening years had developed a flair and passion for writing science fiction and fantasy stories. With Jeffrey’s encouragement, and financial assistance, Janet attended a series of sci-fi/fantasy conventions as a parting gift, where she would meet Roger Zelazny, Jim Burke, Damon Knight, Andy Offutt, Donald Kingsbury, and HBO’s Game Of Thrones creator, George R.R. Martin. Janet would continue writing until the years after her divorce from Jeffrey, following the birth of son Travis in 1980.
Sadly, Janet’s works were never published because her life turned in a different direction, in her new life as a struggling single mother, and trying to help parents Norman and Beverly with their general store/animal feed store business in Hauser, near Coos Bay, OR, which ultimately went under when the local economy went into a recession in the early 1980’s. Janet briefly found work as a reporter for the now defunct North Bend News and Myrtle Point Herald newspapers. Then she worked briefly at what used to be the Surplus Sporting Goods Store in Coos Bay. She later found work as a waitress at Gussie’s Bar in Empire, and then as a counselor at the Ambit Detox Facility in North Bend, both long since out of business. At this point, Janet had become dissatisfied with the hard drinking party lifestyle that was so prevalent in the 1980’s, and rediscovered her Christianity, and ultimately Alcoholics Anonymous, which would be a very strong defining point for the rest of her days.
From 1992-98, Janet worked on and off as a caretaker in various area nursing homes, and did an 18 month volunteer stint at the Bay Area Rescue Mission, helping provide food, clothes, shelter, and ministry to the area homeless in 1994-95. She was also caretaker to grandmother Alcy Winston during her passing months. She also pursued her hobby of nature photography and successfully entered several photos in the Coos County Fair. She had also previously belonged to the Sierra Club. After a falling out with son Travis in 1998, Janet moved back to Eugene for two years, where she met and married second husband, Michael Edward Williams, then of Eugene, OR, and worked briefly as a bus driver for a day care center and a volunteer at the Unitarian Church in Eugene. Because of poor money management and gambling issues, Mike Williams was forced to sell off his house in Elmira, near Eugene, OR and the couple returned to Coos Bay. They would finalize divorce in late 2000.
At this same time, son Travis was in college in Eugene, struggling with autism and depression issues, and not eating very well, and Janet invited him to come back home to live with her and his grandfather Norman in Coos Bay. In 2001, after retiring from what would be her last job for 8 years, as a fish counter for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Janet and Travis took a six week vacation through the southwest states, visiting many parks, shooting many pictures, and visiting many halls of AA. It was during this trip that the tragic and fateful event of September 11, 2001 occurred with jihadists working for Al-Qaeda slamming jet planes into the World Trade Center of New York, killing upward of 3,000 people. It was a humbling experience for Janet and Travis, for they learned not to take life, or low gas prices for granted.
Janet was also a contributor to the Southwest Indian Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, two causes in which she believed. She also enjoyed watching movies with her father Norman, and watching son Travis’ video games, as she found the stories in those entertaining. In late 2005, father Norman’s Diabetes and Parkinson’s issues caught up with him, and Janet and Travis served as his caretakers for about a year, until he became physically too much for the two to handle, and had to be placed in a nursing home in early 2007, where he would pass four years later at 86 in 2011. Later that same year in 2007, Janet and Travis took a series of shorter trips to Northern California and Nevada, taking in the sights and scenery, and visiting many halls of AA. It was in this time that Janet fell in love with a little town in the Mason Valley, known as Yerington. She would eventually “sell” Travis on the idea of moving there, but they couldn’t do it at that time because they didn’t want to leave Norman alone in the nursing home.
Then the economy tanked and the money started running out. There were two years of living in somewhat reduced circumstances. Late in 2009, Janet was forced to return to work at the now defunct Bay Area Enterprises thrift store at a half-time minimum wage job that was not enough to pay rent anywhere. Travis had to stay home to care for nine cats and as many chickens. Then at the beginning of 2010, the worst moment of Janet and Travis’ lives happened. Having depleted all of Norman’s cash assets, and his military insurance adamantly refusing to cover, the legal representatives of his nursing home seized Norman’s house in which Janet and Travis were living at the time, effectively putting them out on the street, and forcing them to give up their beloved animals. It was the saddest and most heartbreaking moment of their lives.
After spending two months in the new
Janet is preceded in death by paternal grandparents Harold and Ruth Smyth, Ruth’s second husband, Tom McLean, by maternal grandparents Robert and Alcy Winston, parents Norman Smyth and Beverly Winston, and aunt Betty Winston. Janet is survived by former father-in-law Ralph Salisbury, and his second wife Ingrid Wendt, by former mother-in-law Joyce Salisbury, by former brother-in-law Brian Salisbury, by first ex-husband Jeffrey Salisbury, by older son Connor Salisbury, all of Eugene, OR. Also is survived by former half-sister-in-law Martina Salisbury of New York City, by second ex-husband Michael E Williams, last known to be of Hopkins, MN, and by younger son Travis Salisbury of Yerington, NV, formerly of Coos Bay, OR. Janet has no grandchildren and never will.
As a little girl, Janet loved animals of all kinds, growing up around Wolf Creek, OR, where her father Norman and mother Beverly had moved from Southern California after mustering out of the Air Force. They lived on a small farm there, where they had horses, goats, and chickens, as well as dogs and cats. Janet spent a few years in 4H, where her love of animals would continue to grow.
Janet’s parents then moved north to Roseburg, onto another small farm, where she made friends with
Janet broke away from school for a few years to raise her family and continue the country lifestyle she had grown up with, giving birth to sons Connor in 1974, and Travis in 1980. However, the marriage fell apart as the years wore on, as Janet’s country lifestyle clashed with Jeffrey’s “big city” upbringing in Eugene, and “never the twain shall meet”, as they say. In her spare time, Janet had developed quite a flair and passion for writing science fiction and fantasy stories. With Jeffrey’s encouragement and financial assistance, Janet attended a series of sci-fi/fantasy conventions as a parting gift. There, she would meet Roger Zelazny, Jim Burke, Damon Knight, Andy Offutt, Donald Kingsbury, Harlan Ellison, and HBO’s Game Of Thrones creator, George R.R. Martin. Janet would keep writing until the years after her divorce from Jeffrey, following the birth of son Travis in 1980.
Unfortunately, Janet’s writing career failed to launch, being a newly single mother, caring for two small boys, and helping parents Norman and Beverly with their general store/animal feed store business in Hauser, near Coos Bay, OR, which went under when the local economy went into a recession in the early 1980’s. Janet later found work as a reporter and photographer for the now defunct North Bend News, and editor and photographer for Myrtle Point Herald newspaper, also reporter and photographer at the World newspaper. Janet also served briefly as a Cub Scout Den Mother. It was also during this time that Janet fell into the bar scene, as many single parents were doing in the 1980’s, to blow off steam and relieve stress. More on that later.
Janet then worked at the Surplus Sporting Goods Store as a clerk, a waitress at Gussie’s Bar in Empire, and as a counselor at the Ambit Detox Facility in North Bend, all those places being long since out of business. Janet, along with father Norman, who briefly served as director, had been volunteers at the THE (Temporary Housing Emergency) House, a secular homeless shelter, in Coos Bay. At this juncture in her life, around 1990, Janet had become dissatisfied with the hard drinking party lifestyle that was so deeply endemic to American culture and society at the time, that she came back to her Christian roots (Janet had been confirmed as an Episcopalian as a youngster, as her parents and grandparents had before her) and found her seat in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, which would be a very strong defining point for the rest of her days.
In the years spanning from 1992-1998, Janet worked on and off as a caretaker in various area nursing homes, and spent 18 months volunteering at the Bay Area Rescue Mission, from 1994-1995, helping provide food, clothes, and shelter to the local homeless. She also was caretaker to grandmother Alcy Winston during her passing months. Janet was also an avid nature photographer, successfully entering several photos in the Coos County Fair, and had previously belonged to Sierra Club. After some disagreements with son Travis in 1998, Janet moved back to Eugene for two years.
It was here that Janet met and married second husband Michael Edward Williams. She also worked briefly as a bus driver for a day care center, and as a volunteer at the Unitarian Church in Eugene. Due to bad money management, and the fact he liked to gamble, Mike Williams was forced to sell off his house in Elmira, near Eugene, and the couple returned to Coos Bay. They would finalize divorce in late 2000.
At the same time, son Travis was in college in Eugene, struggling with autism and depression issues, and not eating very well (fell to 155 lbs on a 6’2” frame). Janet invited him to come back home to live with her and his grandfather Norman in Coos Bay. In 2001, after retiring from what would be her last job for 8 years, as a fish counter for the Department Of Fish and Wildlife, Janet and Travis took a six week vacation through the Southwest States, visiting many parks, shooting many pictures, and visiting many halls of AA. Travis’ own sobriety walk had begun at the very end of 1998, a walk he was proud to share with his mother. It was during this trip that the tragedy of September 11, 2001 occurred with Al-Qaeda terrorists crashing jet planes into the World Trade Center of New York, claiming over 3,000 lives. It was a humbling experience for Janet and Travis, for they learned not to take life, or low gas prices for granted.
Janet was also a contributor to the Southwest Indian Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, two causes in which she believed. Janet loved gardening and reading all matters of non-fiction books and watching educational programs, for she was passionate about learning new things. She even built a greenhouse, which would sadly be torn down when the property was lost. Janet enjoyed watching movies with father Norman, and watching son Travis’ video games, as she found the stories in those to be entertaining.
In late 2005, father Norman’s health issues caught up with him, the man loved his sugar, Janet and Travis served as his caretakers for a year, until he became too difficult for a two-person lift, and had to go to the nursing home. Later that year in 2007, Janet and Travis took a series of shorter trips to Northern California and Nevada, taking in the sights and the scenery, and visiting many halls of AA. It was in this time that Janet fell in love with a little town in the
Then, the economy tanked and the money started running out. There were two years of living in somewhat reduced circumstances. Late in 2009, Janet was forced to return to work at the now defunct Bay Area Enterprises thrift store at a half time minimum wage job that was not enough to pay the inflated rent prices in Coos Bay at the time. Travis had to stay at home to care for nine cats and as many chickens (there was no one else to do it). Then, at the beginning of 2010, the worst moment of Janet and Travis’ lives had happened. Having used all of Norman’s cash assets, and his military insurance adamantly refusing to cover, the attorneys of Norman’s nursing home seized his house that Janet and Travis were living in at the time, effectively putting them on the street, and forcing them to give up their beloved animals. It was their most heartbreaking experience ever.
After spending two months in the new
Janet would spend her next year assisting a 94 year old woman with an acute heart condition with her garden. Keep in mind, although Janet was working and no longer homeless, she and Travis still lived in very abject poverty, where the slightest financial excess could put them right back on the street. Although times were very tough, Janet and Travis still tried not to take life too seriously, have some fun once in a while, and support each other in recovery.
In July of 2014, Janet and Travis finally received the proceeds of father Norman’s estate, he had passed in February of 2011. With those proceeds, they bought a couple of houses in
Mother was a kind, wise, and strong woman. I most admired her bravery, compassion, insight, her goofy witty humor, her kindness to complete strangers, and her reliability and dependability. Her great words of wisdom to me were, to be honest and fair, don’t ever give up, look for solutions instead of problems, use your brain, and to lighten up a little (I had no sense of humor whatsoever, at all, still don’t).
Mother’s great loves were me and my brother, Connor, we were the world to her, her father Norman, who was a warm and generous man, her best friend from Roseburg,
I think Mother would most want to be remembered as a wise and kind philosopher, a peace maker, she always viewed both sides of a conflict, a dedicated mom and daughter, a student of life, a spiritual person, driven and passionate for her dreams, and a beacon of recovery. I think the message she would like to send to future generations is to be nice to people, never give up five minutes before the miracle, to help others in need, even if you yourself have only a little, when in doubt, ask God for directions, to try to balance responsibility with fun, to take your program seriously, but yourself not so much, leave your ego at the door, and in order to have a friend, be a friend. Mother was my best friend, and I will forever miss her.
Apart from my family of origin, Mother’s is all resting in heaven now, Mother will be greatly missed by
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One lonely day in Kansas farm country, a passing college professor encounters her biggest “surprise package” ever, a too handsome, too intelligent, too faithful, battered and mangled FBI agent and his equally battered and mangled government issued car at the side of the road. Kate soon finds herself enmeshed with Agent Gareth's dark world of spies, terrorists, hackers and corrupt bureaucracies, and her planned road trip and career move ultimately derailed. However, in the middle of this unforeseen mess and intrigue, Kate and Gareth together discover their similarities, and not their starkly different class backgrounds and upbringings. Together, the unlikely pair discover a deep and lasting companionship, a binding faith in their God, a passion for fun and adventure, and more importantly than not, a burning will to survive against all odds, when the evil machinations of terrorist leader Klaus Vogle, along with bad office politics, and the unscrupulous scheming of Gareth's industrial tycoon father, Andrew McFadyn. Thus begins, the modern tale of a chivalrous knight, and his fair wise maiden. Follow agent Gareth “Dru” McFadyn and his “random” traveling companion, Kate Greenwood, on their odyssey of love, adventure, faith, morality, and patriotism. Follow them left, follow them right, follow them to heck and back, follow them to the end, and read this book. For once in your lifetime, take a risk and give it a shot, who knows, you might actually happen to like it. Defender is a gripping story that defies description and genres. This is my personal pledge for 10% of all proceeds from the sale of this book, I pledge 10% to the Janet C. Smyth Foundation Inc, with a twofold mission of funding ovarian cancer research and funding patient malpractice advocacy. Author Note: Double word errors now finally corrected (to the best of his ability), please keep looking if I missed any.