284. Keeping Law and Order

Let you tell you about my niece, Leanne Frances Gorman Dudas.  Otherwise, wait till the book comes out.  Somebody’s bound to write one about her eventually.

It’s not possible to describe this girl in the kind of time I have today, but I plan to try someday.  I’ll just give you a hint. If Leanne decides to do something, no matter how monumental or seemingly impossible, either pitch in and help, stand back in awed amazement,  or run for cover. Any of the above.

Today is Leanne’s 43rd birthday.  She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband John the Archangel, and their seven year old twins, Gigi and Jack.

Leanne has to be one of the most interesting people I know, to put it mildly. For one thing, she’s fearless.  As a quivering coward myself, I can’t help but admire people who aren’t afraid to stick their neck out.  Leanne is not only not afraid to, but she invariably manages to get results.  

As an example, one time when she was about 22 years old, she lived in an apartment building here in Seattle.  She owned a maroon colored car – an old one but it was serviceable, and she depended on it for her transportation.One day, she went out to the car to go somewhere, and she found along the driver’s side, a long scratch almost the length of the car.  Leanne was upset especially when she found out from a neighbor that the scratch had been made by a Yellow Cab which then proceeded to continue driving without stopping.

Leanne called the cab company, and was frustrated by the runaround she got.  So then she marched down to the head office.  This is not a recommended activity for young ladies in my considered opinion.  Some Seattle cab companies appear to be operated by large hairy men wearing turbans who suddenly can’t remember how to speak English when presented with a complaint. Personally, I would never pay them a visit unless I was heavily armed.

Nothing would deter Leanne, though. She descended on the cab company’s main office only to discover that she was apparently the only person there who could speak a word of English.

Fuming, she came home and called me.  She explained what had happened, and then said, “Aunt Gwenie, could you bring a video camera and come with me at 6 o’clock tomorrow morning?  I want to go to the big parking lot where the Yellow Cabs are parked and see if I can find one that has a long streak of maroon paint along the passenger side.”

I was sure she had lost her mind.  Was she was kidding me?  Was she really suggesting that we were going to “investigate” under cover of near darkness, some kind of a mafia-style business looking for a streak of maroon paint?  Unfortunately, the answers were no and yes.  No, she wasn’t kidding, and, yes, she had decided to investigate the nefarious deed herself.

Well, what else could I do?  I couldn’t let my innocent young niece go on this worrisome quest by herself.  And so there we were the next morning, me with my big video camera, and Leanne with her flashlight and pad of paper. It was still dark when we stealthily entered through the gate into the lot where rows of cabs were parked.

I was a nervous wreck, terrified that somebody would see us.  Not Leanne though.  She marched up and down the aisles furiously looking for the evidence.  And wonder of wonders, she found it!  One cab clearly had a long, brand new scratch of maroon paint all along the passenger side.  

As Leanne was writing down notes and as I was videotaping the telltale side of the vehicle and its license plate, we noticed a bad sign.  A police car had pulled over to the curb outside the lot and the police officer inside it had been watching us. 

“Omigosh, Leanne”, I stammered, as the policeman was getting out of the car. “Now we’re going to get arrested for trespassing.”

Outraged by what she had found, no police officer was going to stand in the way of Leanne’s crusade for justice. She stormed over to him and told him the whole story.  I just stood there in disbelief and watched as the policeman handed her something.  Then he got back in the car and cruised around waiting for us to get done and leave.

“What did he say? What did he give you?” I asked.   “Well, he gave me his card”, said Leanne.  “He said that if I had any trouble getting satisfaction for the damage now or later, to call him.” 

I couldn’t believe it.  After we got done videotaping the cab, we went home.  Leanne had to take the videotape to court as evidence, but the judge awarded her full payment by the cab company for the damage to her car

I’d say that Leanne sure knows how to maintain Law and Order.  Anybody who doesn’t believe that should try scratching her car sometime.

Have a happy birthday, Leanne, but please stay away from cab companies in the future.  Or else, call me.

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3 Responses to 284. Keeping Law and Order

  1. Joan Fitzpatrick says:

    They should have offered her a job as a detective.

    Happy Birthday Leanne !!!

  2. Tim Fitzpatrick says:

    I have to say that is the most beautiful family!
    Happy Birthday Leanne.

  3. Denise (Fitz)Fortune says:

    Happy birthday, Leanne! What a great story!

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