OK, I have to admit, since I have started blogging my shopping has gotten a little out of control again. I have a new found love for Etsy and all of my new blogging friends handmade items and other goodies. I am buying crafting supplies left and right, without any knowledge of how to use them… I even bought two (not just one, like a normal person), but two sewing machines. I have no idea how to use them or even how to put the needle in the machine. (In my defense they are vintage Singer sewing machines that were ebay finds for $38 and $60 including shipping). I am hoping I can figure out how to use them and make beautiful do-dads with the vintage linens I have collected for no other reason than they were pretty.
I have quite a collection of old grain sacks, vintage tickets, old bingo cards, paper tags, vintage paper and photos, etc. I want to learn how to put them to good use. Right now, they are cluttering up my temporary office space.
Here is a photo I took of some of my new treasures. The metal number tags are an ebay find. (I find myself mysteriously obsessed with letters and numbers right now.) The tape measure, vintage scrap journal, bobbin of ribbon, and vintage monogram tape are all from Amy’s store inspire company. I just love the items she has to offer. I check her blog often as to not miss out on her new items. She has such a following that they sometimes sell out the first day she posts something! The pin cushion, Easter card, vintage linens, and two charms are from my new friend Cathy Penton, she has such a gift for creating lovely things, including her impeccably decorated home in Australia! The photo border is also a recent find. Nancy Comelab is the creator and she and some other artists have such a lovely site for aspiring artists like myself. You will have to check out all the goodies they have for sale at My Digital Muse.
I started fixing up my new office this week, and I can’t wait to share photos. :) It’s in a very raw state right now with missing baseboard, wet drywall mud and plastic on the floor. I hope when I’m finished I’ll have a studio half as beautiful as the ones I have seen photos of while blogging. Now if I could just learn how to sew…
A few months ago, Josh and I found out some of our current home’s history. Being the HGTV lover that I am, it thrills me to think that our home has even a small past worth mentioning. I leave it up to you decide if it’s as interesting as I find it.
Our neighbors, Ken and Flo, came over one day to talk to us about our remodeling project. They have lived across the street for some years now, and have seen many new residents come and go. They are still friends with a former resident from the sixties who came to visit them just a short time ago. As we were talking she asked if I knew that Mary Kay Letourneau was born in our front room, I of course said “No!”, and she proceeded to give me a little history….
Mary and John G. Schmitz, were former residents of our home. They lived in our house in the sixties and were living there when Mary Kay was born on Jan. 30, 1962. Mary Kay was literally born in our front bedroom (which we now use as a guest room). Her family (not just her), are really something special, I think, and have an unbelievable past.
Mary, his wife was involved in conservative political causes. She campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment and became known as the “West Coast Phyllis Schlafly.” When the ERA went down to defeat, Mary put up a cardboard tombstone for it on her lawn. She also got a position on a television political commentary program called “Free For All”, in which she would debate with several other people on various issues of the day. Mary made a good impression as she spoke out for her strongly conservative viewpoint. Always well groomed, she came off as intelligent, aggressive, logical, and articulate.
Among one of his many roles, Schmitz was a professor and taught political science and philosophy at Santa Ana College. He, like his daughter, also had an affair with a student, Carla Stuckle (this one a long term affair which resulted in a child). Early in 1982, the baby was treated at an Orange County hospital for an injured penis. A piece of hair was wrapped so tightly around the organ (according to one doctor) that it was almost severed. The baby suffered no permanent injury, however, Carla, suspected of child neglect, wasn’t allowed to take the infant home. Bits of hair or other fibers often get trapped in babies’ diapers and can cause infections and other ailments, but at least one physician treating John George had become convinced that a hair was deliberately wrapped around the organ. He would recall it as being “tied in a square knot.” Carla was questioned and threatened with jail time and or loss of custody and was forced to reveal the baby’s father, as the Senator. Schmitz acknowledged fathering the baby and second child (a daughter named Eugenie) out of wedlock. (Both with Carla). The admission effectively ended his political career. Soon the second family of John Schmitz made headlines throughout the country. His political career was over. As was his wife’s (Mary) stint as a political commentator. However, their marriage survived. The couple separated for a period, then reconciled.
Investigators concluded there was not enough evidence to charge Stuckle with child abuse or neglect. John George was returned to her care. In 1994, Stuckle died from complications from the diabetes that had long ravaged her. John George was 13, his sister, 11. John Schmitz had no desire for custody of his two youngest children. The famous psychic Jeanne Dixon, who was a close friend of Mary Schmitz, took them in. When Dixon died in 1997, the children became wards of the state and went to an orphanage.
Mary Kay Letourneau (in case you can’t place the name) is the teacher who was arrested (in 1997) for the statutory rape of a teenaged boy (age 13) with whom she had an affair and a child. She was sentenced to seven years in prison, was let out, and then married her former student. They have two children. Mary was the Schmitz’ fourth child and first daughter.
On August 11, 1973, the family and some friends had a little get together in their (now Corona Del Mar) backyard. Mary Kay, then 11, was supposed to be watching her 3-year-old brother Philip. Suddenly Mary Kay asked, “Where’s Philip?” and a panicked family began looking for the baby. They found him unconscious at the bottom of the pool. He drown.
The family has a very sorted history that is just fascinating to read about and research. I of course, am only highlighting the sensational news, for an interesting read, but there is plenty more interesting facts I discovered about the family.
Schmitz died on January 10, 2001 of prostate cancer and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His heirs include:
He was married for 47 years to Mary. Mary is the visitor who came to our neighbors to visit.