I CAN'T REMEMBER WHERE OR WHEN YOU HAPPENED TO ME
I awoke because of a red flashing light burning the backs of my eyelids.
"The phone! I have more messages... more phone calls???" I just checked with the front desk a few minutes ago, didn't I?" I had remembered to have the operator block all calls unless there was an emergency or a call from my family... the precious DND ("Do Not Disturb" or"Block All Calls") I had put on this time, thank heavens!"
As I sat up I checked the time on the radio next to the phone on my nightstand.
"7:00! Is it a.m. or p.m."? I wondered.
"Oh, no! I'm late! I have to rush downstairs for the show!"
My eyes hurt as if I hadn't slept in days.
Checking the drapes a barely-visible tiny ray of light shone through a thin crack, which could have been daylight... or the millions of brilliant bulbs that buzzed... yes, audibly buzzed at a noise level one could choose to ignore most of the time, but at this moment was irritating me... in Las Vegas, a "city that never sleeps".
I jumped up and tore back both sets of drapes... the heavy dual-layers that exist in Vegas to keep all daylight out of the rooms so that the casinos' gamblers never grasp the concept of time so they'll keep gambling round- the-clock.
"The sun is just rising!?? Oh, Lord... I've only slept two hours?" I breathed a sigh of relief, coupled with disgust.
"Guess I'd better check with the operator while I'm awake to see if there are any important calls."
I was expecting to hear from a few of my contractors regarding upcoming schedules for television tapings for the new season beginning soon... the middle of September. (A few episodes of the shows I (as one of the Jimmy Joyce Singers/dancers) was working on were "in the can" and ready for the fall season opening, but we had a break which allowed me a few weeks off, and I had decided to fill this time with Elvis' show temporarily. I also needed to see if any recording studio session dates had been confirmed.
The female operator who answered said in a frustrated, helpless tone of voice, "Kathy, you've had 75 to 100 calls in just a few hours, and over half of them say they are your mother, father, cousin... and they are from different countries all over the world. You have any relatives in Malaysia?" she chuckled.
Silence on my end of the line.
But she went on, "How many mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins do you have? Oh! And do you by any chance have a few sons and daughters out there... uh... who are 'way-older' than you are after we quiz them to verify?" She laughed hard. We have to ask them their birth dates, ya know?" Then she ended with a "whew!" followed by a "Let's see... you're 25... but you have had two or three hundred children in the past few days who are mostly in their 30's or 40's." She was hysterically laughing on this one, but I was NOT.
"What?!!!... I... I don't understand."
"Well, don't feel bad... I... we don't understand it either, but I... we... don't really know how to... well... you're driving us crazy down here!"
"I'll try to find out what this is all about, get back to you... how to solve this. I don't want to miss any important calls!" I was shaking my head. "And I don't know WHO these people are... or WHY they are calling ME!" I whispered, followed by silence from the operator and myself, except for the bells of the slot machines in the background downstairs, and screams of the gamblers, plus loud inter-com pages that leaked through the line, near her. She went on.
"I don't know if this is really your father or not, but some man left a message to tell you' We are going to have to change our phone number soon, so call home'. He lives in Norco, California, and swore he was your real father... but... what is 'Norco'?... and... he sounded real to me, but... he was emphasizing his name over and over and boy was he irritated! He said his name was Bresee G. Westmoreland and that he went by Breezy, and that IS the name you gave us... so... I think..."
"That IS my father, and Norco is the name of the town I live in... just outside of Los Angeles."
"Okay... I'll spread the word on that one then. We're going to leave the DND on until you change it, okay?"
I sat dazed again thinking "Will I ever get used to one shock after another?" as I hung up."Well, thank heaven this will all be over soon!" I was shocked again when at that very moment the maid knocked, shouting, "Housekeeping!" Oh,God, I forgot to hang the Do Not Disturb Sign out the right way for them!" Now, my heart was racing."Sorry", I yelled back, "I forgot to turn the card around!"
She replied with a resounding, "Okay! Will check you later!"
I flopped backwards on my pillow and covered my head with the blankets.
"Change our phone number?... Oh noooo! I'll have to let all the contractors know, my answering service know... Oh, Haallp!!!"
I lay there thinking back to the third day onstage with Elvis when he was still introducing me as being from Norco. That night following the midnight show some whacko woman drove directly to my home and knocked on the front door at 7:30 in the morning, claiming to be my best friend. (Norco was a very small town then... 100,000 horses, yes... but just 10,000 people, so the only Westmorelands in the phone book were easier to locate than the Eiffel Tower in Paris). My poor unsuspecting parents allowed her to come in, though they were having breakfast. They began to be suspicious of her mental state when she asked if I was home... was Elvis there... and went on to tell them she wanted to board one of her horses there. (What would make a sane person think either of us was there when she had just seen us in Vegas was a huge clue I suppose). They told her "No, we don't board horses here and 'they' are not here, so... let's help you out the door." They got rid of her but... (and this is aBIG "but"...) this irrational woman proceeded to... uh... well... (this is almost too irrational and insane to even type)... She went to the utility company in Norco and had all the utilities switched into her name. Uh-huh! Need to read that one again? Now... I ask you... HOW ON GOD'S EARTH IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE FOR ANYONE TO ACCOMPLISH?!!! WHAT TYPE OF MIND DOES THIS PERSON LIVE IN TO EVEN CONCEIVE OF SUCH A BIZARRE ACTION... AND DEAR LORD, "W... H... Y"? !!!
My father had called me screaming so loudly that it took me ten minutes, at least, to get him to listen to me, hear me, and convince him that I had no idea who this woman was or how she found them, or why this had happened. He had almost calmed down I thought when he went into a rage again, "And it took me ALL DAY and cost me Fifteen Dollars to get them switched back into our name!" A man who knew my family well worked there and began to suspect something was wrong, so fortunately had alerted Daddy, but... after the fact.
This was our very first introduction into a form of insanity that is still inexplicable.
(To Be Continued)