Reviewing a Lifetime
(A Psychotherapist's Nightmare)
by John D. Sedory

Copyright©2014, 2022 by Daniel B. Sedory, Editor. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 34
We Leave the San Fernando Valley


Our Move to Anaheim, CA

    December 3, 1983: Eleanor and I moved out of 9350 Odessa Avenue in Sepulveda to 2230 W. Orange Avenue, in Anaheim. We were located about two miles or so from Jack and Terri. Our son Daniel who had lived with us in Sepulveda found an apartment in that same town but farther southeast of where we had lived.

    Most of the time we had lived in Sepulveda, we had difficulty meeting the high monthly rental rate, since I hadn't earned consistent wages after returning to California from Florida (hospitalization, commission jobs and low paying jobs). We would have stayed if the financial means existed.


    May 1st: "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord" (Romans 8:28). We had moved to Orange County, and now I was being assigned as the Broadway Store Security manager at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. The store was only twelve miles from our apartment.

    Though we lived there for 19 months, there was something there we didn't like. We noticed when we moved in that someone, who had painted the apartment, had actually painted over a cockroach. Eleanor and I came from families where we didn't know what that particular member of the entomological family (bugs!) was, but we learned they can almost always be found in large apartment complexes. It doesn't matter how clean you are, those lousy things once in a building crawl between the walls, cracks, out of vents, etc., all over the place. Yuk!

    Though it gave us the creeps to think there might be cockroaches in the building, it didn't really hit home until one day we saw one in our apartment. Then we saw another, and another, and the time for action had come!

    We complained to management, as did many other residents, and soon we were told the whole building would have to be treated, meaning some inconvenience; but we didn't mind that at all.

    For a time all went well. No creepy things anywhere. But as people moved in and out from time to time, someone must have introduced those buggers in again. We had stayed on for 19 months, but in time we began looking again.

    May 15th: Eleanor's mother vacationing with us and stayed until May 30th.

    June 13th: Eleanor's cousin Ruth (Edgren) Hertzler died of cancer at only age 44. Ruth was such a sweet young lady when she was growing up and when Eleanor and I met. She was probably eight or nine at that time, and she was my favorite (all the kids in that family were kind of special, probably because Uncle Roy and Aunt Elsie raised them "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord"; Ephesians 6:4). It was a very sad time!

    And in July, Justin K. Sedory becomes the second son of our Son Jack and his wife Terri.

    November 6th: Daniel took a trip to Israel and Greece with a Grace Community Church group. He returned on the 18th of November.


    January 19th: Jack and Terri renew their marriage vows at Calvary Church of Santa Ana. Our son Tim and his wife Ronda also lived in Santa Ana, and we all attended Calvary Church at that time, and this marriage vow renewal. Daniel was also present for this event.

    May 8th: Eleanor's mother is in to vacation with us and stayed until May 18th.

    June 22nd: My cousin Anna Marie (Bazik) Yates, her husband Doug, and their four daughters visited us while in California. They lived in Illinois (and still do at this writing—Arlington Heights) and were on a Western U.S. tour. Anna Marie is the cousin I mentioned as being one of three kids in her family, all of whom have doctorates. She's also the one who enrolled me at Harper College in 1968.

    June 29th: We moved to 1030-BB Cabrillo Park Drive, Santa Ana, leaving "entomology land" behind. This was a duplex in "The Redwoods", where we never saw a bug of any kind! And this apartment was only one block from Calvary Church of Santa Ana. How nice!

    August 4th: Eleanor's girlfriend Ann Buer and her husband Bob stopped to visit in their tour of the West, coming all the way from Florida. We attended our church services in the morning and evening, and we went out for some food at Polly's Pies. We had a real good time.

    In September, Steven T. Sedory was born to our son Tim and his wife Ronda; their firstborn.


Skin Cancer

    In March, Eleanor and I visited my sister Marie and her husband John Mednansky in Glendale, Arizona. We also stopped to see Eleanor's second cousin Marsha in Scottsdale.

    While staying at John and Marie's place, Marie asked if I was wearing an earring. I was agitated at her remark and jumped back saying, "What are you talking about?" She said, "Well, you have a dark spot on your ear lobe and I thought perhaps it was an earring (she should have known me better than that!).

    When we got home from that trip, I made an appointment to see our doctor to check out that dark pigmented area of skin as well as others on my back. Totally there must have been eight or nine removed. This was on April 2, 1986.

    On April 7th, I went back to my doctor as the stitched area on the ear did not heal.

    Shortly after that visit, we received a phone call from the doctor who spoke rather excitedly, saying the spot on my ear turned out to be malignant and she felt I should immediately see a specialist she recommended. We made the appointment and went to see him.

    The specialist removed more of the tissue (and whatever) from that spot where our doctor had first removed the spot. He said he wanted to make certain he got it all, as it turned out to be a melanoma—a very dangerous type of cancer.

    I guess it was all removed, for I have not had a recurrence since that time (several years back now), thank God!


    On May 26th, our son Tim went to the hospital for what I believe was a hernia operation.

    June 21st: Before I recount the details of this date, I need to mention that Eleanor's cousin Christie (Edgren) Soderwall was married to Ron. Ron was a school teacher for a number of years (taught music—choirs, singing, etc.). When they lived in North Long Beach, they attended a Brethren church in Long Beach (don't know the name of it), where Doctor David Hocking was the pastor. Ron was involved in the music program as either choir director or as minister of music at the church. Or at least that's the way it may have been (guessing).

    Ron and Christy and family moved up to the Bay area, San Jose. I don't know if Dr. Hocking had moved from the Brethren church or what had taken place in that regard. But in time Ron and the family moved back to the Long Beach area and returned to the Brethren church. But Dr. Hocking had left the church and became the senior pastor at Calvary Church of Santa Ana.

    In time the choir director at Calvary Church left, and Dr. Hocking called Ron to be the minister of music there—and that's where our June 21, 1986, date comes into play!

    Laura Soderwall, Ron and Christie's daughter, was married to Shawn Tuberg on June 21st, the date I listed above. I had to write all this to tell what our relationship to the bride is. The wedding reception was held at the Soderwall's home near 17th Avenue and Tustin Boulevard, not far from where we lived. We had a wonderful time visiting with the Soderwall family and with Calvary Church friends who also were present. Though we live 65 miles or so from that church now, we occasionally still get in to attend services there—sometimes seeing Ron and Christie, too.

My Mother-in-Law moves to California

    July 16th: All those visits my mother-in-law made to our home when living in Illinois would now come to an end. Eleanor left for Illinois on this date to help her mother move out to California to live with us.

    Because of so much illness, her cancerous condition, and being alone, Eleanor and I figured it was no longer feasible for her to remain back in Cicero, Illinois, and on her own.

    On August 6th Eleanor and her mother arrived in California, having completed the packing, arranging for a moving company, etc. It was a hectic time for Eleanor, but being alone for 22 days nearly drove me up a wall! We had rarely been separated for such a long period of time in years past.

    Since we only had a one bedroom apartment, when Erana arrived we had to put her in the living room on a sofa-sleeper. There were boxes and bags of stuff all over the place, and we knew we had to find a two bedroom place right away.

    August 16th: Ten days after Eleanor came back from Illinois we had located another duplex about three blocks from The Redwoods at Sherry Lane Apartments, 1920 Sherry Lane, Apartment #2. We were near the entryway to the complex, living right next door to the managers. The apartment was quite adequate, having two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen, and two baths.

    December 28th: At Christmas our kids surprised us [for our 40th Anniversary] with dinner, theatre tickets to the play Camelot, and this was the date we enjoyed that luxury. It was a good dinner and an excellent performance.


    February 7th: Henry and Alice Buege visited us. Alice is the sister of Eleanor's long time girl friend Ann Buer. They lived (and still do) in Illinois.

    In April, my cousin Edna Bazik (Doctor [in Education] Bazik, if you will) visited us. She was on another math seminar tour which was held at a major hotel around the Crystal Cathedral area.

    July 12th: Bob and Ann Buer visited us (Eleanor's girlfriend).

    July 14th: Erana (my mother-in-law, Eleanor's mother) is taken to the FHP Hospital (it is an HMO, health maintenance organization) in Fountain Valley with a staphylococcus, informally called "staph" infection. In her stay there we at one time were told it didn't appear she would survive the ordeal, and Eleanor and I visited a funeral home to make arrangements for what seemed to be inevitable.

    As we sat talking with the funeral director, I commented, "If your mother knew what we were doing here, she'd jump up out of that hospital bed!"

    July 18th: Eleanor and I attended Windy Ramier and Jeff Lindsay's wedding at the University of California Campus at Irvine.

    Windy and I at one time worked at the Broadway Stores, she as a free lance artist of some sort (for the advertising department) and I as a loss prevention agent. Since those in my department got around that large complex pretty extensively, we got to meet people in all departments.

    August 15th: My mother-in-law must have picked up on our conversation at the funeral home, and did almost literally "jump out of bed," since she returned from "not likely to make it," to coming home on this date. She was institutionalized for 32 days—in the hospital, that is.

Peanut Left Us

    November 16th: Our little poodle Peanut, having an excellent "sniffer," found that Eleanor had placed a well-wrapped package of chicken fat at the front door. It was to be taken to the trash container in back of our apartment a little while later, but Peanut's discovery of that package, led to her digging into it and consuming quite a bit of it before Eleanor found what she had done.

    That evening and during the night she began vomiting excessively, perhaps acquiring a touch of salmonella poisoning from the chicken fat.

    November 18th: Peanut's condition worsened in the middle of the night, so we phoned the Orange County Pet Emergency Clinic which was open all night and were told we could bring her in.

    She had developed a high fever by now, and the attendant (or vet.) didn't sound too positive about her condition. He advised we had to be there by 7:30 that morning, as they didn't keep animals there in the daytime. From there we were to take Peanut to our own vet. who'd be open by around 9:00 a.m.

    We couldn't sleep the remainder of the night, and we made our way to the clinic, arriving just before 7:30 a.m., and picked Peanut up. She didn't really look any better, and I noticed her breath was atrocious. So we headed to our vet's office.

    In front of the office by a little after 8:00 a.m., we had to wait around for nearly an hour, keeping Peanut in the front seat with us. We tried to give her fresh air outside, but she acted strangely. So it was back in the car and close to that awful breath. I snuggled her just the same, however.

    Finally we got into the vet's office and told the story. He said he'd do the very best he could for her by trying first to bring her fever down and to get her to take some liquids to prevent dehydration.

    Later in the morning or early afternoon Eleanor phoned the vet to see how Peanut was doing, and the response from the vet seemed encouraging, as he stated the fever had lowered and she may even have taken some water to drink.

    It wasn't much later when the phone rang, and I could tell by the conversation that it wasn't good news. The vet said, "Well, Peanut took care of the matter in her own way. She died at...."

    He then requested the opportunity to do an autopsy to see what had caused her death, saying he'd not charge for it; he just wanted to satisfy his curiosity, since he'd noticed a hard area in her stomach.

    A later call revealed that Peanut had a large tumor, cancer, in her stomach and that perhaps it was better the way it went rather than having her suffering for an extended period of time.

    Though we didn't mourn Peanut's death as severely as we had Princess' passing, it still caused us considerable heartache. Peanut for some reason always jumped up in my lap every opportunity she had, and she definitely had to be in my arms every time someone arrived at or left our apartment. Most pictures we have where Peanut and I are pictured, she'll most often be seen in my arms.


    December 9, 1987: I'd been having on-and-off-again dilemmas with heart pain while working for the Broadway Stores, so on this date I was scheduled for an angiogram at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.

    I was only in the hospital one day. The tests evidently revealed my arteries weren't that badly blocked and that most likely the pain was again caused by the original bypassed arteries clogging further. Thus the angina pain.

The Broadway; Newport Beach

    You may recall that I became the manager of security at our Broadway store in Newport Beach on May 1, 1984. Yet I haven't mentioned anything about my experiences there or at the distribution center in North L.A.

    First, since we in security (loss prevention later became our title) got to travel all over the warehouse, we met and talked with personnel from every department. Sometimes we were drawn into conversations just by being there at a given time. Other times we just stood or walked by and listened to the conversations of those around us.

    I must say that what I found at that place was a lot of hanky-panky between the opposite sexes. Certain men and certain women met at various places and talked and did things ordinary fellow workers wouldn't do—like handling, crude conversation, giving cash (usually the guys to the women), etc. In some departments I'd worked in, I was half way invited to have a "spare" woman at their offering. Maybe it wouldn't be a direct request or statement, but the innuendos were pretty understandable. In one department in particular, women talked openly of everyone needing a few spares on the side, "just in case." And since I was the only male there, I concluded I was sort of being invited. Maybe that wasn't really the case, but it surely seemed it was.

    In another area of the building (and these are "nice" people I'm talking about) where it was just about exclusively male employees, nude pictures punctuated walls and desk tops. Some were not just nude but pornographic.

    The dialogue in that department was usually vulgar and almost always sexually oriented. Laughing, joking, kidding each other, bragging about affairs each had and trying to top each other as they spoke, these were the norms there. Even though I never took part in any of that, these guys rarely cut back on such antics just because I was there representing the security or loss prevention department.

    What's more, many times while working unusual hours when no regular personnel worked in those departments, I'd post pages of material about the hereafter, the foolishness of thinking a priest can forgive sins, and then that person can again go about doing "business as usual," etcetera. I did that because so many were Roman Catholics who talked as though all that was necessary was to go to confession to cover what they'd done, or planned to do, which they knew was morally and spiritually wrong.

    And here's a kicker for you! The policy of the company forbade talking religion or politics to fellow employees; but posting those pornographic pictures and talking filthily was something I never heard of as being forbidden or discouraged. That's kind of the way of the world, isn't it?

    Whenever the subject came up where I could speak one-on-one, and this was especially so when an individual was facing a crisis (usually health of someone they loved), I'd tell them about the Lord being the only One who could truly pull them through their difficult times if they'd really take Him into their heart and life. It may be that there wasn't one person who ever made a commitment as a result of my sermonizing, but at least it gave me peace to know they couldn't say they didn't know the way. And it may be that at least a seed had been planted for others to water and harvest later on.

    Was I the "saint" of the Broadway warehouse or the Newport Beach store? No, I'm only a weak human who sins daily and asks God's forgiveness. I may have at times appeared to be one of them when I became as the Apostle Paul who said, "The things I should do, I don't; and the things I shouldn't, that I do!"[1] That would be a paraphrase[2] rather than a direct quote, but it gets to the meat of what's meant. I know the Apostle Paul had to be far less involved in wrong-doing and thinking than I, but it shows the weakness of human flesh. And the battle between one's spiritual being and his fleshly being continues on throughout his lifetime, this on the idea man is a trichotomy of body, soul and spirit.

    While in the warehouse I only once actually took a small part in a bust. That was while on a certain post where a worker was suspected of stealing, and I was to deliberately leave a fenced-in and secured area unlocked and then walk away. I then left the area but stayed close enough to observe what would take place.

    In time this employee took some small radios from that caged area and took off with them, eventually stashing them in his big tool box and a bag of (supposedly) wiping cloths. He was a technician who worked on the cash registers, and the cloths and tools were part of his normal equipment and supplies.

    Just as he neared the hallway leading to an exit, I saw the two investigators come running down from their lofts (hiding places) and grab hold of this guy. He was taken to a nearby room for questioning whereby he confessed he'd been doing this for years.

    Yes, I reported many things which didn't seem to fit in line with company policy or honesty in general. Maybe others eventually were watched and later caught at their games, but everything was usually kept pretty quiet about busts or clues of who might be suspected of what.

    In the stores it was somewhat the same. Some statistics have been produced which list employee theft as the greatest loss any company suffers. There are many and devious schemes worked out to steal from employers.

    For example, one comes to mind while at the Newport Beach store. This girl had been with the store for a couple years as I recall. I was called to check out what might have been an act of collusive theft (where more than one person works together with others to perform theft).

    A clerk who worked nearby where the act supposedly took place had placed the call to security. In talking with her briefly I learned that another clerk nearby had given two shopping bags full of merchandise to three girls without ringing up a sale on the register, and the girls were just exiting the store at one of the entry-exits.

    I ran after them and confronted them outside the store, and I said, "I see you still have the hangers attached to the merchandise. Our clerks are not supposed to leave the hangers on merchandise when selling it. Please come back into the store with me and point out the clerk who sold the merchandise to you."

    I didn't think they'd go for that excuse, but they did; and they headed toward the clerk who'd been working with them. Once there I asked if I could see their receipt for the merchandise, which they said they couldn't find. So I asked the clerk for her copy of the receipt—which she could not produce. It was here she confessed she'd worked with the girls to get the stuff out of the store.

    It was closing time, and this presented a problem. "And how do I handle four girls at one time?" I thought. But the store manager (a woman) helped watch three as I questioned each individually.

    Eventually because of the perplexity of the case, I had to phone central security to ask them to send an investigator out.

    When he arrived he was angered that he'd been called so late at night, and he didn't like it that I couldn't take care of it.

    Here was a multi-million dollar company which had placed me in one of their major stores to handle the job of security supervisor, yet they never took the time to train me to make arrests as an investigator or even a detective—both categories of which sometimes were in the store.

    In the case described above, had I had such training I'd have been able to complete the arrest on my own. Sure, I'd seen detectives and investigators go through the procedure when making arrests of shoplifters, but I never had the opportunity to practice it on my own—watching and actually doing isn't the same. So when that investigator became angry because he had to come out late at night, it didn't give me that much concern.

    If only I could take the time and space to relate to you what the security department heads expected of a security supervisor and his small crew: covering all store opening hours seven days a week; making certain each dressing room was inspected every hour (we had 17 of them at Newport); assuring that each alarm was attached to clothing on dozens upon dozens of clothing racks (and thousands of pieces individually); making sure all alarm systems on entry/exit doors were functional (often had shorts in wiring); checking that each department's keys were turned in (they often lost or misplaced them); daily checking alarm systems on big ticket items like electronics (many shorts in those, too); making certain there wasn't any theft taking place on the dock; going through hundreds of files in customer service and packages as well to see that what was listed on paperwork was actually inside bags and boxes (someone might try putting in extras for friends or relatives); and as supervisor of security I had to attend many department head meetings and give suggestions, complimenting those whose departments followed outlined procedures and urging those who did not to comply.

    Then there were the regularly scheduled audits (and surprise ones as well) by those from central security or regional managers who went around to find violations in the departments, giving scores at the end of those audits—followed by "reaming out" because some departments didn't meet the mark, which was our fault in the security department, naturally.

    And this doesn't even cover the fact we were supposed to be visible at all times in all departments (we had four large floors to cover—three were store areas, the fourth was a stock and personnel area for training and canteen access).

    Because of sick calls from security personnel, together with scheduled days off and vacations, oftentimes a person would be in that entire store area alone, supposedly covering all those facets of security mentioned above. I know many managers just falsified records to show compliance, something I wouldn't allow my people to do.

    Also, as security manager I was privileged to be on call 24 hours a day when alarms went off in the store after closing hours. I'd meet outside the employee entrance with a manager, sometimes finding the local police department there as well. We'd make the rounds of the entire building looking for "hide-ins" or "break-ins." The former were those who on occasion found a good hiding place before closing hours and did their stealing when the store was closed, exiting the store via one of the emergency exits.

    The break-ins would enter the store via one of the emergency exits usually. It could be they set it up during the day, finding a door where the alarm didn't work (batteries go bad sometimes) and having the door ajar just enough not to show.

    And then there were the roof hatches to check and the roof itself. And the list goes on and on.

    Then if the alarm system at central security still showed a break after checking everything and resetting the system, I was privileged to stay in that blackened store until store personnel arrived that morning. What fun!

    Reports with new regulations came often from central security, new compliances usually. Then there were reports I had to keep on each security person and on things which took place in the store daily.

    When we became real sophisticated, I then in my old age needed to learn to operate our computers so I could access messages for our department and send reports to central security as well. This was at least a twice a day thing.

    Being honest in everything I and my department did at that store, I soon found that when "one day sales" were instituted (14 hour days sometimes), everything became a madhouse. Yet there were never enough personnel to cover all those areas properly. Part time help hired for such events usually were more interested in when their break and lunch periods were due them rather than about the job they were hired to do.

    So when I let it be known I had had enough and wanted to return to the distribution center, most in central security were happy to hear that news. They couldn't wait to get a replacement in there.

    After returning to the warehouse, I suffered a cut in pay, along with the humility of being interviewed by my former regional manager (a young guy whose name I've forgotten). The idea of the interview was for the purpose of evaluation to see if I deserved the usual twenty to thirty cents an hour pay increase.

    This guy told me my office abilities were nil; my filing system at the store was chaotic; I didn't keep the store well secured; and, worst of all, I wasn't manager material! Twenty months later to find that I wasn't manager material? Where were they all those months?

    What the negative interview amounted to is that I got no raise, and the company thus saved money. But the blow to my ego was irreparable. After how hard I'd worked and how honest I'd been, to get such a review was disgusting!

    I ended up going two consecutive years with not only no pay increase, but a pay decrease. And at the service building I didn't find the pleasant working conditions I'd had before I left there (well, not pleasant; but bearable). New managers had come in (there was only one Tom Schwabe, and they dumped him) who played God, though they were mostly "yes men" when you come right down to it. I especially learned to really dislike a man who was just above my manager (his name was Sandy something or other, a baldheaded geezer who thought he knew everything). In an annual review with him he listed all my shortcomings, all of which I rebutted, and I refused to sign the review. He then concluded that if I didn't like it there, "Why don't you get a job elsewhere?"

    It was then I knew my spirituality was very weak, as I'd have loved to take that powder puff outside and tear into him.

    Some men can handle authority. He wasn't one of them. And there were others in that security department who were just as spineless, one Bob "something or other" again. I hope those guys eventually reaped the reward due them, maybe being fired or caught stealing and brought down to the level they deserved.

    There was one guy named Jim who was on my level when I'd left the service building for the store manager's job, and he also became a supervisor above me. Though he wasn't as bad as the others, he still had to follow procedures handed down to him. And for some reason he didn't exactly give me the gravy assignments either, actually being the one who insisted I had to go on the graveyard shift just before I retired from the company. Of course, he might have been ordered to call on me for the position for all I know. I hope that's the case, as I always liked Jim. He was a Hispanic, and they, too, had their own little cliques where if you were one of them you had a better chance of getting better assignments and choices overall.

    Though there were many Hispanics I really liked as friends and co-workers, I hated the fact that in all departments, in the cafeterias and in canteens, when two or more of them were together, Spanish became the language spoken rather than English. And most of them were U.S.A. born people who were very Americanized!

    I had to wonder if they just spoke their language figuring they could speak about us who knew nothing of their tongue, or if they actually just enjoyed speaking it more than English.

    Now, there's something I can't leave out and be honest. It has to do with prejudice and races.

    At the service building I'd estimate the overall population was 60% Hispanic, 30% Black, and the rest White and Asian. If I'm off on those figures, I'd bet it isn't far off.

    Everything today deals with the rights of blacks, while the white population is asked to sit back and applaud those who come up with such ideas. The most-used phrase is "minority rights." Well, those minorities usually turn out to be blacks for the most part. And we are supposed to be prejudiced and the blacks are supposed to be hindered, oppressed, circumvented, and any other such verbiage. Yet if you want to hear prejudiced conversation, listen in on black dialogue in almost any work place where whites are the subject of ridicule.

    Yes, I had (and have) black friends who I valued more than some whites. Even some of those who rode the "white trash" train were people I liked because of their personalities (while at the Broadway distribution center). And much of what I've said about blacks goes for Hispanics as well, since they were the majority there.

    It's an ongoing battle that will be around until the day this earth comes to an end. It isn't necessarily hatred in every case (it is in many) where prejudice shows its ugly head, but it's something about national origins maybe. Those days of blacks in slavery and taking back seats in buses and the like is over for the most part. Yet blacks and whites still have a natural disunity which always goes back to those days of repression. Folks, it isn't here now, so let's try to bury our prejudices!

    If you've read this book from the beginning, you may have reached the conclusion I'm prejudiced in many ways (nationalities, races, financial status, educational background, those who have the rule over me, etc.). I feel that is a justifiable conclusion if you've reached it. Yet, if you, whoever you are, will dig into your innermost feelings and thoughts, I honestly feel you, too, will have to admit your own prejudices—maybe some of which I didn't list.

    Yes, I am a Christian who is a sinner saved by grace. I have my faults in abundance. I have mental, spiritual and physical shortcomings which have made a rather negative person of me. Maybe it resulted from the time and place I grew up where youngsters assimilated what they heard and were taught. If Christ died for ALL sins, He died for mine—He doesn't categorize sin, He just forgives the sinner who is repentant. And I am continually confessing my sins to Him and asking for forgiveness and for a way to become more like Him.


    In December of 1987, Michael J. Sedory was born to our son Tim and his wife Ronda (their second).


More about Working for The Broadway

    January 2nd: I returned to the service building, and some of what is listed above occurred after my return, though most of it could easily have been a part of everyday happenings before I left the service building—not the 12/24/87 event!

    I renewed old friendships with fellow workers and with personnel from all over the building, having to tell the same old story over and over again as to why I left the stores as a security supervisor. Maybe, as is the case with most people, I rationalized my shortcomings and placed blame on others when it was I right along who was in the wrong. Or maybe some of each case existed—blame on others and my shortcomings! This is probably the case as I see it now. And even that opinion which is meant to be retrospective and objective, probably turned out more subjective in view.

    Something else I wanted to cover while writing of my store security experiences deals with methods of theft utilized by employees (in collusion with friends and relatives).

    Since every bag leaving the store was supposed to be stapled by the clerk at the completion of a sale, when unstapled bags were seen being carried out by "customers," we had to wonder if something dishonest had taken place.

    Lest I forget, just because you suspected someone of stealing didn't mean you had the right (by security management's decision) to approach them when going out the door to question them. The company in no way wanted law suits from customers who didn't turn out to be thieves. And shoplifters know this very well—and use it to their advantage. If you didn't see the merchandise "go down," (stashed or just taken and not paid for) you had better not make an attempt at stopping anyone just because there was suspicion about them or what they might have done.

    As to larger parcels or boxes, these were supposed to have the sales slip attached, so, really, nothing was to leave the store without one or the other visible means to identify a legitimate sale.

    One of the ways employees worked with outsiders was to place stapled bags of merchandise on top of clothing racks, on sales tables, or propped up against a wall. When the accomplice would come in, the clerk would eyeball the merchandise to direct the accomplice to it. He or she could then just walk out as though they'd bought what was inside the package.

    An even more difficult thing to detect was when the clerk just didn't charge the accomplice for everything he bagged. This kind of thievery, if detected, was usually done via the one way mirrors located above registers. This would necessitate having an investigator or detective in the ceilings, though an alert detective on the floor could also spot such a transaction taking place.

    The customer service department (I think that's what it was called) was the place customers and employees picked up merchandise which was ordered or to be picked up later. It was very possible for collusion to result in merchandise going out which wasn't paid for. Phoned orders also were picked up there.

    Our dock was a place where big ticket merchandise (electronics, and larger merchandise) could easily be given to drivers picking up or dropping off other merchandise. All it took to be successful was a driver and dock worker who had made prior arrangements and agreement as to how the split would be made later. This same ploy was used at the service building for some time until loading and unloading drivers and dock help were watched more closely and counts were taken on anything considered a likely product for theft.

    Loss resulting from shoplifters' techniques is something every store expects, but few can afford sufficient help to reduce such loss significantly. The best defense for shoplifters, generally speaking, is to have clerks and department managers who are alert to things out of the ordinary, observing nervous and unconventional actions, etc. They can phone security to report such activity which might result in an arrest later on.

    I had a large book in my security office which listed professional shoplifters showing their modus operandi, their records of arrests, their tendency toward certain types of merchandise to steal, their photos, etc. When one of these characters was seen in the store, your work was cut out for you!

    Many times they used the group method, coming in as pairs, threesomes (or more), and then they'd break up. Security being limited in number as it usually was, could only follow one group at a time. So the unattended ones did their work while security was on a wild goose chase. This happened many times in the 20 months I was at the Newport Beach Store for the Broadway.

    Of all the places to steal, the dressing rooms had to take the lead in where most loss occurred. Even if clerks gave out tags for the number of pieces taken into the room to match the same number coming out, that didn't account for the stuff these people might have had under their clothing or in their luggage-sized handbags they carried into the dressing rooms.

    At closing time security went through all the dressing rooms to check for old clothing left where a switch had been made by wearing the new out. This is where the hidden goods would be switched, new for old. A day wouldn't go by that tags torn from apparel weren't found stuffed in cracks in the walls, in ash trays, under benches, in light fixtures, every imaginable place. And this was besides the hourly dressing room checks as well.

    The big timers operated at our store one day right as a load of famous brand women's wear was being racked by clerks. The one clerk went on her lunch break, and the replacement hadn't yet showed up. Somewhere in that interim something like $6,000.00 plus in that merchandise disappeared. In questioning everyone I could think of, no one saw anyone with large bags (it would have taken large trash-type bags) leaving the store, taking the elevator or going down stairwells, or leaving the store. Where did the thieves go with it? Who knows? How did they pull it off?

    After I'd returned to the service building and left the store, I began getting summonses to appear at the San Fernando courthouse to identify merchandise found in a garage or shed in a drug bust. This was because I was the manager on duty at the time of the theft. Trouble is they never caught the man who was known but who had left the area (maybe for Mexico, since he was a Hispanic). The case could not be resolved without the accused being present, so I never did have to identify the stuff. I did make two court appearances (the accused did not, naturally). The summonses came often, the court dates being dismissed almost as often.

    Finally I told central security they had a manager in that store and that I shouldn't have to stay on edge wondering how I'd work out going to court, since it should then have been the responsibility of the new manager at the store.

    Since that didn't work, I wrote the court and explained my plight, and they then addressed future summonses to the store rather than to me.


Memories of My Armored Car Jobs

    Today I was in a MacDonald's hamburger place watching an Armored Transport truck making the pickup at that MacDonald's. It reminded me of the many times I'd done the same thing while with Purolator Armored (we had the account at that time). I watched the messenger exiting MacDonald's, and I observed the driver looking here, there, and everywhere for possible trouble. The messenger was less alert, I thought, since he didn't even have his hand anywhere near to his sidearm, nor did he scan the area as he exited. "An easy touch for a planned robbery," I ventured inwardly.

    Then I recalled reading of big armored car robberies and how they were carried out over the years. The articles often would relate that when (and if) the thieves were caught, they were found to be former armored car company employees. How appropriate! Who else would know the procedures, where to be, what to do, how to do it, etc., should they plan such a robbery?

    In my days in the business (and it was only a total of about eight months or so) the plan to follow, should such an attempt be made to "take" the messenger, was for the driver to drive away immediately and to call his office.

    It then occurred to me that in a big heist (known large sums of money on board the vehicle), a smart bunch of hoodlums should first shoot out all the tires of the truck to make escape most difficult. And they then might be able to coerce the driver to push the release button to the trucks entry door to save the life of the messenger (though that's not what drivers are supposed to do).

    No, I have no interest in such an activity for myself. It's just strange how one thinks of what could be done after he's no longer connected with the business.

    Many times had I run into (in even that short period of months) instances where it was thought guns would have to be used. One day while the messenger was loading his hand truck with coin and bags of cash to take into an account, what sounded like gunshots rang out. We were parked at the corner of the building, and I thought that would be it for sure. As it turned out it was just some kids setting off firecrackers. The sound was realistic enough to cause me and the messenger to have our weapons ready. This was while with Brinks where they used a guard in addition to the messenger inside the truck and while going in and out of it.

    Then there was the time (Brinks, again) the messenger and I were coming out of a bank in downtown Los Angeles. The corner where we were parked was busy with pedestrians moving and standing. One pedestrian began running toward us making us think he was going to try something. We both had our guns drawn and aimed at him, and he nearly fainted when he saw that.

    He said he was simply trying to find out what time it was. The messenger read him the riot act and told him to never again approach armored car personnel like that unless he wanted to be shot.

    Before I forget, if media personnel aren't around to verify and to report an armored car robbery (even where fatalities occur), it will never appear in a newspaper. There must be some code of ethics working between these companies and the police departments to withhold such data in order to discourage others from thinking how easy someone got away with such a crime. That's as I recall it; maybe that's changed now—but I doubt it.

    When I first went to work for Brinks I noticed a series of pictures of former employees who had been killed while on duty. One was a young Hispanic who had been held up while exiting a drug store chain. He was so distraught at what had happened, he vowed to never let such a thing happen to him again without using his weapon.

    Well, he was entering one of those drug stores (I think it was) when a man had a pistol pointed at him and asked for the bag. The young Hispanic never forgot his vow, and he drew his pistol. So the assailant began to fire his weapon at the Brinks messenger as he reeled around to fire at him (the crook).

    One shot went under the messenger's armpit right into his heart, while the robber had been hit several times as well by the Brinks man's rounds.

    Would you believe that when the crook went to jail, he got a lawyer to defend him saying he'd never intended to shoot the messenger? But when the Brinks man pulled his weapon, he said he had to defend himself.

    I might be wrong, but I think the assailant eventually won that case—as I recall the story. If that's true, that means armored car personnel should just go ahead and let armed people take their cash and not try to protect it. Only trouble is, how do you know which of those guys is going to shoot you first even if you didn't draw your weapon?

    One thing that happened, unknown to Brinks management or overlooked, was that after the young Hispanic was killed, every Brinks guard and messenger who was so inclined, began carrying dumdums or hollowpoint ammunition, and here's why.

    When the Brinks man (who was later killed) hit the assailant with several shots, the rounds did not deter the holdup man from firing more rounds at him. That's why the dumdums and hollowpoints began to be carried by some Brinks men. For one shot would have sent the crook to the floor and prevented him from firing more rounds later rather than penetrating and then exiting his body as the regular ammunition did.

    Dumdums flatten out and hit with tremendous impact, thus knocking a person down. Hollowpoints flatten out, too, on impact. But in addition to knocking down a person, they make a very large hole in the body as the lead spreads out.

    There's a lot more which could be related about my experiences at the armored car companies and while working in loss prevention at the Broadway Stores, but I don't want this to become replete with repetitious material.


    January 5th: Eleanor and I met some missionary friends with whom we'd been corresponding for years, Elmer and Ruth Ash. Ruth was a young lady Eleanor knew from Cicero, Illinois, many years back. They were with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the JAARS division (aviation), and we met them at the headquarters for Wycliffe in Huntington Beach, California. We took them out to lunch and had a good time talking about their work, which was most interesting.

More on The Broadway

    All the while I was at the service building after returning there from the store in Newport Beach, things became more and more difficult in our department. A guy who was a medal of honor recipient in Korea or Vietnam (a marine who spent something like 30 years in the service) one day just quit his job in our department after being there for something like twelve to thirteen years. He was quoted as saying, "It's not any fun working at this place anymore!" And I began to take his side in that regard.

    After having checked with personnel (one of my former managers in security, a guy named Bob), I learned I could get a small pension if I retired at age 65. though I wanted and needed to continue working, I could see the handwriting on the wall in regard to my future there, so I made plans to retire on April 1, 1988, at age 65. Bob also encouraged me to go for the retirement, saying "It'd be best for you in the long run."

    Maybe Bob had heard from my department's heads they'd like to see me out of there because of occasional battles with them, and he was warning me they'd get their way eventually. He was a pretty nice guy, but in order to keep his job, he had to conform to the requests of those over him.


Housing Decisions

    January 15th: Eleanor and I had been looking for a way to be able to exist financially when I retired, and we came to the conclusion we'd have to lower our standard of living considerably. In assessing living expenses, we realized we would need to find lower cost housing—the biggy in expenses each month.

    The result of that assessment found us touring all of Orange County for a mobile home park where space rentals didn't resemble a mortgage payment on a mansion somewhere.

    We had put a down payment on what we guessed would be an adequate home in a nice park in El Toro [now Lake Forest]. But the real estate company couldn't swing a mortgage—even though we'd anticipated putting down two-thirds of the price of the home, mortgaging the rest. They didn't feel our retirement income was sufficient, and they wouldn't "gamble" with us. Thank God! The space rent there started at $410 a month.

    Then we found another place in a beautiful park right in the town of El Toro where everything appeared to fall into place. I did notice there were a lot of Cadillacs, Mercedes, and other high-priced autos in that park, and I wondered how we'd fit into such a setting. No need to worry, though!

    Though the park manager wouldn't come right out and say it, one could read between the lines that we were being discriminated against because of our inability to produce bank accounts or investment proofs to warrant the honor of being accepted into that "high-hat" bunch. Again, praise God for keeping us out of that place!

    Well, we wanted to stay in or around Orange County where two of our kids lived and where the church we'd come to love was located; yet with closed doors in every attempt we made, we decided we'd begin looking out toward (or in) "boonies-ville."

    Our church friends, the White's and Shaw's, had planted their future in a place called Cherry Valley out toward Northeast Riverside County. They got our interest in the area by the way they described it. So we went to check it out!

    After driving the 66 miles (one way) many times while checking out mobile home parks, we put a thousand dollars down on a place in Highland Springs Village. It's a community of modular homes (mobile homes on foundations, no axles) where one owns the land his home is on. Even though the price was really above our heads, the owner was going to give us reasonable financing.

    Since the home was a number of years old, and since I'd been in real estate in three different states previously, I requested the seller to have a termite inspection done. But he balked at that idea, so I told him we'd pay for it.

    Yet, rather than accepting our offer, the seller became quite angered that I would even have thought of needing a termite inspection, and he said, "Forget the whole thing; I'll send your thousand dollars back to you!" Another protective measure of the Lord by not allowing us to get in highly above our heads!

Our Decision to Move to Banning

    Dropping the idea of buying where one owned the land, we began exploring the parks in the area, finally settling on Linda Vista Mobile Home Park which is located about 4/10ths of a mile east of Highland Springs Road, the dividing line between Banning and Beaumont.

    Somehow we hooked up with a very nice lady who was helpful in trying to get us settled in something in the area. As it turned out, she and her husband owned a mobile home park (I think they do) and also a new mobile home sales company. The couple, George and Dorajean, eventually saw us through picking and choosing procedures, and we bought a home through them. They also arranged for us to enter Linda Vista M.H. Park where the space rents began at $170.00 at that time, considerably less than the prices in Orange County. The date we placed our deposit on that mobile home was January 15, 1988.

    We took many rides out to Banning after making the decision to move out there after my retirement date, checking the communities surrounding the area, churches, shopping facilities, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO's), etc. In time we felt we were already at home, though our move-in date was some months in the future. It was going to take time to build the mobile home and to move it to the space we'd selected at Linda Vista Mobile Home Park. And once at the site, there's still a lot of work needed before completion and move-in readiness.

    At the Broadway I'd taken a stance of "whatever they say, it's OK with me; for in a few months it'll all be over, and this will be an experience I'll not soon forget."

    Having had working assignments all over the building, I had the opportunity to tell everyone I knew of my retirement plans. Some took the news with a "ho-hum" look, while others genuinely made me feel I'd be missed. You, see, as much as I'd previously listed working there in later years as less than enjoyable, there were still those around I knew I'd miss and some good times as well.


Chapter 33


Chapter 35-A


1[Return to Text]   The allusion is to Romans 7; most likely verses 7:19 ff.

2[Return to Text]   Originally, the author had written "transliteration" here, but obviously meant "paraphrase" since a transliteration is simply changing the original characters (such as Greek letters) of a word into those of your own language; giving no explanation of its meaning.