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A Second Chance . . .

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Although I lost her fifteen years ago, the memory of my fiancée still lingers.

She was an aspiring model robbed of the opportunity to grace the world with her beauty. To this day, although her doctor assured me that the two were not connected, I still harbor doubts whether her desire to give me a child did not in some way trigger her cancer.

I can recall her fighting back tears as she looked in the mirror. The ravages of chemotherapy can be most unflattering, but she swore defiantly that she would be victorious against leukemia.

Gone was the long flowing hair, the voluptuous physique, the bewitching eyes, the melodious voice of innocence, and in spite of it all, it was then that the true essence of her beauty was revealed . . .

Her tragic death, and my inability to cope with it, left me despondent. I decided to never let another woman get that close to me again.

Her doctor suggested I join a support group. I had no desire to relive those two years filled with pain and anguish. Instead I opted to shut out the world and bury my feelings.

Luckily a coworker informed me that suppressed emotions were notorious for making their presence known in other ways.

My fiancée’s death rekindled my fondness for writing, and I recalled a desk and an old typewriter my mother had given me in my youth.

I began studying books on writing. I also developed a passion for classical and jazz music, dining at fine restaurants, museums, and late night drives to the beach. Although I was always alone, the prevailing thought that plagued my mind was that I would meet someone and fall in love again.

I started writing poems and short stories. It was a peaceful haven in which I could retreat from all my grief and sorrow.

Several years later, I was walking through Grand Central Station when an alluring young lady asked for directions to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What came over me that day is hard to explain, but I convinced her that the MET was my intended destination, too, and that we should share a taxi. We sat at opposite ends, and it was my intention not to follow through with my farce, but when we got there, we never left each other’s side.

Our relationship blossomed to the point where I asked her to be my wife. I probably would have never told her about the love I’d lost, but I came home early one day unexpectedly and found her in tears. She asked for my forgiveness and explained that she had found my manuscript while cleaning out the closet.

From that day she has been my staunchest supporter and encouraged me to publish my story. Her tireless and unwavering devotion has illuminated the path from which at times, I seem to lose my way.

I pray each day . . . “May I always be worthy of her love.”

Bradley Booth

I Apologize by Bradley Booth

I Apologize by Bradley Booth Book Trailer

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Written by BBooth

April 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

Does Winning Really Take Care of Everything?

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Tiger Woods hits a ball 1.68 inches in diameter towards a hole, which is 4.25 inches, and 4 inches deep.

He has won 14 majors and 77 PGA Tour and trails only Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead respectively. He became a global icon and one of golf’s most celebrated athletes.

His smile, his boyish grin was infectious.

He married Swedish model Elin Nordegren, and it seemingly appeared that Woods had it all; but the brighter the picture, the darker the negative.

The illumination of the Wood’s dark side came on November 27, 2009 when he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant. The resulting backlash of where Woods was going at 2:25 a.m. led to the discovery of his infidelity with at least a dozen women.

An epic fall from grace as the media pounced, castrated him, and his sponsors moved quickly to distance themselves from him.

Through it all one sponsor remained loyal to Woods albeit preferring to stay in the shadows. It would appear as if their loyalty has been rewarded since Woods has returned to his winning ways and is currently rank #1 in the world.

“Winning Takes Care of Everything” is the new Nike Ad that has received polarizing views from the media and critics.

The ad depicts Woods analyzing a shot with the aforementioned overlay caption.

This has created a firestorm for Nike, which their marketing department should be please with due  to the amount of media attention the ad has garnered, since most people are associating the caption has a vindication for Wood’s past misdeeds and transgressions.

Coupled with the fact that he and Lindsey Vonn are dating. It would appear that Woods is on top of the world in is professional and personal life.

Kate Fagan on ESPN, The Word, stated that we like to live vicariously through our athletes.

Perhaps she was speaking about herself. Her statement gives credence to the fact that one should keep one’s mouth closed and exude the impression of being inept as opposed to opening one’s mouth and removing all doubt.

Admire Woods for his steely determination, his fiery competitive spirit, his unrelenting quest for perfection, and his unwavering composure under pressure.

Qualities that no doubt have enabled him to excel on the golf course, but in no way idolize him, make him a role model for your children, and worse live vicariously though him.

In the final analysis, Woods is merely an athlete, who through his prowess on the golf course provides us with a form of entertainment. To hold him to a higher standard because of this is ludicrous, especially when no one is absolved from shame in his or her own private life.

A wiser man said it best . . . “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast the first stone . . .”

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Let The Punishment Fit The Crime . . .

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The outpouring comments calling for a public lynching, to metering out the same cold-blooded execution, in order to save taxpayers the expense of housing two teenagers, who brazenly shot to death a 13-month-old baby, is a very fiery and divisive topic.

One cannot argue that the crime committed by these two teenagers is not heinous, and that the punishment administered should be of equal measure, but our system is one of due process, where an individual is considered innocent until proven guilty.

If we are to subjugate thoughts of retribution, we need to let our justice system, no matter how imperfect we think it to be, run its course, and after all the facts have been presented and examined, whatever verdict and punishment is rendered by the court, is what the accused should have to contend with.

Once we allow ourselves to entertain the notion of dispelling due process and exacting revenge for nefarious acts of violence, are we any better than the perpetrators, when in the guise of being law-abiding citizens, we trample and ignore their rights?

Sherry West was pushing her baby Antonio in his stroller when two teenagers accosted her and demanded money. When she refused and insisted she had no money to give them, the elder of the two, whom she later identified as De’Marquis Elkins, threatened to shoot her, and her baby as well.

West wrestled with her two assailants. Neither could snatch her purse. Miffed by their futile struggle, Elkins allegedly carried out his threat. He shot West in the leg; another bullet grazed her head, and then with depraved indifference shot her baby between the eyes.

Would the outcome have been different if West had just given Elkins and his 15-year-old accomplice, Dominique Lane, her purse?

The coastal city of Brunswick, Georgia is appalled that such a ghastly incident could have occurred in their small close-knit community. Witnesses tipped police that Lane was seen in the backseat of a car driving away from the scene of the shooting.

Police using West’s description that her attackers were African-American teenagers, concentrated their investigation on the surrounding schools’ absentee records, and by going door to door. West identified a mug shot of Elkins out of the twenty-four she looked at, unbeknownst that the police already had him in custody.

Although his aunt, Katrina Elkins, stated that he dined with her at breakfast, which was an hour before the shooting occurred, Brunswick police spokesman, Todd Rhodes, says authorities have sufficient reasons to charge Elkins.

Verdell Hunter characterized her grandson, Lane, as a baby himself, not a baby killer.

West’s mournful depiction of what happened to her and Antonio will no doubt sway public sentiment that our judicial system should be abolished in this particular case.

Derisive comments querying if President Barack Obama had a son, would he likely to be of the same temperament as Elkins, only serves to fuel hatred and propagate racial discord.

There will be no winners in this case.

The parents of Antonio Santiago demand justice. West’s says she can never forgive her baby’s killer. “I hope the shooter dies,” she cried. “A life for a life.”

One can only hope that justice will truly be served.

A long drawn out battle is brewing, with Elkins’ lawyer proclaiming his client’s innocence. Lane’s mother, Brenda Moses, claims that her son is a victim and doesn’t know Elkins.

In the end we should not rush to judgment, but ensure that these are the individuals, who tried to rob a mother and ended up killing her 13-month-old son.

When these allegations are proven in the court of law, and not by the court of public opinion, then by all means let the punishment fit the crime.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Have You Seen Her?

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Toni Enclade cannot bring herself to think that her daughter is dead.

Although almost three weeks have passed since Terrilynn Monette disappeared in New Orleans, her despondent mother still clings to hope that somehow her daughter is still alive.

The 26-year-old elementary teacher was last seen leaving a parking lot near the Lakeview neighborhood bar, Parlay’s, where she had been celebrating her nomination for teacher of the year with a group of friends.

If the accounts of what happened on that ill-fated night are true, then Monette should have never been allowed to get behind the wheel.

Monette allegedly was so inebriated that the bartender felt compelled to cut off her alcohol consumption. Furthermore she told friends that she was going to sleep in her car because she knew she was too intoxicated to drive home.

This is where I am completely baffled.

If I am in the company of friends, and I see that one of them has drunk themselves into stupor, would it not be incumbent on me to make sure they get home safely?

Yet in the case of Monette, no one offered. Not the bartender, who clearly could have called her a cab, and not her friends, who readily accepted the fact that she would try to sleep it off in her car.

This act of concern for Monette’s well-being would have surely made the outcome of that night on March 2nd entirely different.  What their inactions have caused is a mother’s mournful plea that someone would come forth with any information that could shed a modicum of light on her daughter’s whereabouts.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, as each day passes, the prospect of finding the Long Beach, California native grows dim.

Equusearch, the rescue organization headquartered in Dickinson Texas, have suspended their efforts after an intensive and exhaustive search of the bayous failed to produce Monette or the 2012 black Honda Accord she was driving.

Enclade does not believe the accounts of what happened that night. She claims her daughter would never sleep in her car. She steadfastly believes that her daughter was abducted, although surveillance cameras show her driving out of the parking lot alone.

“Where is my daughter,” she cries. “Where is her car?”

Police have questioned a man last seen talking to Monette in the parking lot, but for now he is not a suspect.

What has happened to Monette? Have you seen her?

Terrilynn Monette

If so please reach out to the New Orleans Police Dept at  (504) 821-2222 or to Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500.

Whatever information you have, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, may help solve the mystery of this beloved teacher’s disappearance.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Forgive Me, Dexter . . .

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If you happened to have read the article that preceded this one (In Search of a Diamond), then you know the events that surrounded my romantic weekend getaway.

What I did not mention since it really had no bearing on the aforementioned article was the events that occurred prior to my wife and I leaving, and how it made me appreciate and spoke volumes about my eldest daughter.

Permit me to provide a little history, to better clarify, exactly what led to the events that transpired on that morning.

I took the entire family on vacation, which consisted of visiting Water Country and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. Prior to us leaving, my wife and I decided to ask our next-door neighbor, to look after our three cats and our resilient pleco every other day.

My daughter wanted her pet hamster, Dexter to be cared by one of her friends. I knew this particular friend of hers, and was hesitant about leaving, Dexter, with her, since she was the owner of two very large dogs.

My daughter insisted that Dexter would be fine, and pleaded with me not to second-guess her decision.

While we vacationed, my daughter was excited about the pictures of, Dexter that her friend sent. We arrived back home at 10:30p.m. on Friday. I wanted to go and pick up, Dexter, but my daughter felt it was too late.

The following morning, my wife and I wanted to leave early to start our romatic weekend getaway. My daughter said that wouldn’t be possible because her friend’s family were not early risers on the weekends. In fact she explained that it was almost impossible to raise them before noon.

I told her that simply would not do. I instructed her to text her friend every half an hour commencing from nine until she received a reply that Dexter could be picked up.

Two hours later, my daughter told me she still had not received a reply. I started thinking the worst. I confided in my wife that perhaps something happened to, Dexter, and that is why our daughter’s friend could not be reached.

Around noon we received word that Dexter could be picked up in thirty minutes. The house was on the corner. I parked slightly before it. I grew impatient since fifteen minutes had elapsed and there was so sign of my daughter.

She finally emerged from the house ten minutes later, empty-handed.  As she approached the car I wondered what fabulous tale would she tell me. I knew the occupants of the house were home, since I had seen my daughter’s friend’s brother departing from the back door.

She got in the car without uttering a single word.  When I queried about, Dexter’s whereabouts, she started crying. I was able to make out through the avalanche of tears, that the friend presented, Dexter, in a closed box.

She told my daughter that sometime around midnight, Dexter somehow had gotten out of his cage and died when her dogs were playing with him.

I was flabbergasted.

I wanted to know why didn’t they inform us earlier. Why wasn’t a phone call made from the morning? Why kind of parents would let their child handle the situation in such a manner?

My daughter said that her friend’s mother had come out and apologized. She also offered to pay for a new hamster.

“Why didn’t you take him?” I demanded.

“I just couldn’t,” she cried. “I don’t want to remember him like that.”

I drove home in disgust. I was fuming at how my daughter’s friend’s parents had handled the situation. To them it was only a hamster . . . something that could easily be replaced with money.

Never mind the pain and anguish my daughter was suffering. Never mind that their daughter had been irresponsible in taking care of a friend’s pet.

My daughter agonized over Dexter’s death for several days.

As for me, it was the proudest I have ever been of my daughter. The hamster was purchased to teach her responsibility. The first one had died from pneumonia because of an open window in her room.

We purchased, Dexter a year later, and counseled her on the need to protect and care for her pet. He had been with us for a full year before this incident happen.

My daughter had grown attached to this simple animal, and although he perished through no fault of her own, she learned an invaluable lesson . . . no amount of money could ever take his place.

So I echo the sentiment of my daughter, forgive me, Dexter . . . I should have never allowed you to be put in harm’s way.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

In Search of a Diamond . . .

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I took my wife on a romantic weekend getaway. I have tried to plan a different venue each time we do this, but given the proximity of where we live, and our affinity to the history of this particular city, we find ourselves time and time again coming back to Philadelphia.

I normally reserved a corner room at the Hyatt Regency in Penn’s Landing, and a table close to the window at the Chart House, so that from both vantage points, we can take it the breath-taking view of the Delaware River.

Several events prior to the abovementioned weekend prevented me from making reservations, as I had grown accustomed to, and how fortuitous it was, since what transpired led this story.

First, I was unable to get a room at the Hyatt, and second, my wife elected that we should dine trying to unravel a mystery.

I made reservations at the Marriott Courtyard, ensuring that we at least had a view of the skyline, and for us to be guests at the Romano Bistro, where our proficiency as sleuths would be put to the test in solving a murder.

The murder mystery turned out to be anything but, since the clues that were given in no way indicated that the person they claimed committed the murder could have done it. They did however notify the audience that the killer changes with each show.

Needless to say, my wife will not be requesting that we dine at any more mystery murder shows in the near future.

The following morning while my wife was still asleep, I decided a visit to the pool was in order. I noticed a family of five splashing around in the pool as I entered, and decided to spend some quiet time, if possible, soaking in the whirlpool.

As guests came and went, I spent my time between the pool and the whirlpool. Finally settling on the whirlpool, since a gentlemen decided to read the paper and ignore his younger son’s vociferous request to teach him to swim.

I was resigned to the fact that this weekend would conclude with no intriguing events taking place when a stout man came in carrying a rubber rocket toy.

I had been paying close attention to everyone in the area and was quite sure none of the children in pool belonged to him. My curiosity however was abated when a woman and a young boy, perhaps no older than twelve came in.

I took a cursory glance as she approached the whirlpool, and immediately noticed she had two the band-aids. I wondered what kind of injury could she have sustained that would require a bandage on each leg in different locations.

She sat near me and began expounding to herself how hot the water was, and that she had no desire to do anything else but remain in the whirlpool. I smiled and looked at the clock, calculating how much time would elapse before the timer would turn off again.

Her husband and son soon joined her. The father became insistent that his son should go back to the pool, but he seemed intent on enjoying the extreme temperatures and kept diving into the pool and then entering the whirlpool.

The serenity of the moment lost, I decided to vacate the whirlpool before the timer went off, when I noticed a change in the woman’s facial expression. She stared intently at her ring.

Curious as to what had happened, it didn’t take me long to realize that she had lost the main stone in the cluster of diamonds of her engagement ring.

“Honey, what’s the matter?” her husband asked.

She hesitated looking at sadly at the water. “I lost one of my diamonds.”

“Where did you see it last?”

“I can’t remember,” she said, her eyes gazing at the bottom of the whirlpool.

Her husband try to appease her by asking if she wanted the stone replaced. She looked at him somberly, and asked if it could be at the bottom of the whirlpool’s filter.

“Diamonds don’t float,” he edged.

She asked him to look into the filter. He hesitated. She pleaded. He opened the filter, but found nothing.

“Perhaps it fell out in the room,” he said, trying to console her.

No longer content to remain in the whirlpool, she left without uttering a single word.

Overspread on her husband’s face was a look of total bewilderment and helplessness. In what would appear to be one of his wife’s most distressing moments, there was simply nothing he could say or do to right the situation.

I wanted a better vantage point to see what the husband would do, so I went back into the pool.

He stared intently at the bottom of the whirlpool, unaware that his son was beside him.

“Daddy, what’s wrong?”

“Your mother lost one of her diamonds, he answered, his gaze fixated upon the water.

His son shrugged his shoulders and went back to playing in the pool.

The father stepped out of the whirlpool long enough to retrieve his swim goggles. Over and over again he explored to the bottom of the whirlpool.

Exhausted that his search proved futile, he finally rested on the side of the whirlpool.

His son finally realized that something was wrong. He went and stood next to his father. Both stared painstakingly at the water.

I left and related the aforementioned events to my wife.

“How sad,” she said. “The husband’s biggest mistake,’ she continued, looking at her own ring, “was suggesting so quickly, replacing the stone.”

“Why?” I asked, not wanting to appear insensitive.

“It would make me feel,” she said, giving me her full attention. “That you thought our marriage held no significant value, and thereby anything attributed to our union, could easily be replaced.”

Perhaps I did underestimate the woman’s husband. Surely he must have understood the folly of his statement. Why else would he discard the embarrassment of appearing foolish and kept searching the bottom of the whirlpool?

I drew my wife closer to me. Whispered how much I loved her.

“What brought all this on?” she asked.

“Nothing really,” I answered. “I was just thinking how fortunate I was ten years ago to have found my diamond, and how no one could ever take your place!”

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Left To Die . . .

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It’s every parents’ nightmare, when the child you sent off to college to further their academic endeavors, in order to contribute and have meaningful impact on society is found dead on campus.

Just weeks before she would have graduated from the University of Virginia, Yeardley Love was found face down in a pool of blood, allegedly beaten and left to die by her on-again, off-again, ex boyfriend, George Huguely V.

Shortly before 2:30 am on May 3, 2010, Love’s roommate, accompanied by a friend found her and called 911. Love was unresponsive and declared dead at the scene.

Huguely, whom friends admitted had been on a drinking binge the day before Love’s death, waved his Miranda rights and confessed to police that he kicked in the door leading to Love’s bedroom.

He went on to say that he shook Love, and her head repeatedly hit the wall. Huguely said that he ended the confrontation by pushing Love on the bed, and when he left, all she had was a bloody nose.

The defense contends that Huguely had no intention of killing Love.

The two lacrosse players had been involved in a torrid and acrimonious relationship, which led to Huguely’s lawyer, Francis McQ. Lawrence, claim that Love’s death was an unintended and tragic accident.

Lawrence, no doubt faces an uphill battle in convincing the jury of Huguely’s innocence. His use of the following courtroom tactics only serves to validate Huguely’s guilt:

  1. The chair in which Huguely sits in court is on its lowest setting and makes him look a foot shorter than his lawyer.
  2. Clean-shaven and a more conservative hairstyle. Used to portray Huguely as passive rather than aggressive.
  3. His oversized sports coat and shirt worn to give Huguely the appearance of being much smaller.

These tactics will prove futile however given Huguely’s admission that he kicked in Love’s bedroom door, his subsequent lies about her leaving with her with only a nose bleed, and taking her laptop after their confrontation as a way of forcing her to continue to talk to him.

The preponderance of evidence puts the prosecutors in an enviable position:

  1. Huguely’s own admission that he kicked Love’s door in.
  2. Huguely’s statements shortly after his arrest that he shook Love, and that her head repeatedly hit the wall.
  3. Huguely had two prior run-ins with the law, and was arrested on alcohol related charges.
  4. Members on the lacrosse team that testified that Huguely became aggressive when he was inebriated.
  5. Huguely had fought publicly with Love, weeks before her death.
  6. Huguely had sent threatening emails to Love, for several months regarding infidelity with a teammate of his, on the lacrosse team.

Love’s death was tragic and unfortunate, but as the defense would like us to believe, it was not unintended.

Huguely’s email to Love, “I should have killed you,” validates that this was a premeditated act.

Huguely’s drinking binge the day before Love’s death, gave him false courage to batter the defenseless young woman, abscond with her laptop that contained the incriminating evidence, (which he discarded in the trash) and leave her lying in a pool of blood to die.

As the two-year-old case winds down to a close, hopefully the verdict will provide a modicum of solace for Sharon Love, and the national attention given to her slain daughter will prevent another woman from suffering a similar fate.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

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