Oh, they call me Sweet Tea around here…South Georgia
you know…home of sweet tea and annoying gnats in the Summer.
It was a Friday morning in Brooklyn in August and the sky was bright blue,
cloudless, and the air comfortably dry.
By the way, if you missed the beginning of my disaster story,
check your inbox messages and look for “Brooklyn” in the subject line or…
At least the hotel was posh.
A much higher grade than I would have paid for with my own money.
Remember most of my money had been lost to the thieves I was about
to testify against.
Even though the weather was pleasant I really wasn’t in the mood to enjoy the
day as I made my way from the hotel a couple of blocks away to the Federal Courthouse where the scanners and
guards were plentiful and eager to search and scan for weapons, etc., before allowing me to ascend the stairs
to the second floor.
The guards took your personal stuff to lockboxes and I was given a piece of paper to identify where my stuff was
located for pick-up after our business was over.
This was not like the county courthouse in Bainbridge where I was used to for reporting to jury duty.
The second floor was the location of the waiting room and courtroom.
I was 45-minutes early so there was no one around.
Occasionally a suit would wander by looking for some privacy to use the cell
phone and give me a dirty look like I didn’t belong there…no sh*t, Sherlock.
The doors to the courtroom were closed and there was already some type of proceeding going on inside.
I don’t really remember as my mind was awhirl with all the imagined expectations of what might happen when it came my time to testify.
I had been rehearsing my story in my mind for days.
How was I going to explain this series of events that led to my involvement in this maddening financial tragedy to the judge, the lawyers, the defendants, their family members sitting in the audience, and not come away looking like a complete fool.
I found out I couldn’t soon after I fielded a few questions but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Turned out the proceeding that was underway ran way over so there was a 2 hour or so delay.
Some people eventually showed-up but no one dared chit-chat as you could not know whether they were with the defendants or a
victim of the fraud and abuse case.
There was a sense in the air that no one wanted to be there.
I can’t remember if the doors to the courtroom opened late morning or early afternoon but
they eventually opened.
Looked like this much-anticipated roadshow was going to happen after all.
I was missing a family reunion the next day to attend this shindig but after all, no one forced me to come.
I was asked by the Federal Prosecutor but the decision had been up to me as attendance was totally voluntary.
Yikes, I either wanted an all expenses paid trip to the Big Apple or I really didn’t want
to attend my annual family reunion.
Which one do you think it was?
It was definitely the paid trip to NY.
After all, I am the one that organizes the family reunion and once it starts, it’s quite enjoyable.
There are a few old outlaws in the family group that have probably seen the inside
of a courtroom before and I don’t mean in a good way…but I’m getting off topic again.
The courtroom doors opened, people filed out, we filed in…
it was all kind of surreal at this point
but the story gets better.
Wait until you hear about the set-up.
I am tired of pecking these frigging keyboard keys today…
I trust you will not mind if we wait a day or two to continue this odyssey of adventure and intrigue.
What a mess…I’m screwed.
Remember, Sweet Tea will be in the subject line.
To your Success,
P.S., I’ll check-in with more personal insights from Paul soon…
a couple of days:-)
Thanks for reading.