Crossing the Rubicon

Jerry O’Dovero

Good evening. It’s been challenging these last few years. I wouldn’t wish homelessness on anyone. Not even on people I don’t admire. I do have good news. I cannot go through life hating people. These last 2 ½ years, plus have been the worst years of my life. I’ve never felt so alone as I do now. It’s even more horrible than the 14 years I lived through when my family didn’t talk to me. I don’t want to hate people. I don’t want to hate anything. It’s not how I want to spend the last years of my life. When I leave this world, which ever place I end up, I want to be known for being positive fun to be around. Not for hating people.

Before I go any further, I don’t feel or believe it’s me alone against the world. When you’re done reading this, I think you’ll understand what I mean when I say, I feel alone.

That brings up today’s story – Do you believe in God?

Don’t get your panties in a bind. I’m not going to jam religion down your throat. I hate (whoops! Didn’t mean to use the word “hate”) dislike when some try to jam their beliefs on me. Besides, there was a period of time when I stopped believing in a God. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I’ll get to that later. I promise!

First, let’s go back 50+ years to when life was much simpler – for me anyway. I feel like I told you this story before. If I did, forgive me. I’m getting old and senile. Ops. I better not say that too loud. There are some in the O’Dovero family, a few too many that think I should be in a nursing home. I think it’s more about money maybe all about money than what’s best for me. I’ll get to that later as well, I promise!

5o+ years ago, my religious beliefs were probably like most Americans. Maybe like most of the people of this earth. I believed in a God. Like many in the western hemisphere, and especially the middle east, the one and only God. It blows my mind how many people have died fighting each other over the same God. But I said I wouldn’t go there, so that’s as far as I go. As for my beliefs, I thought God was – well God! And, the 10 commandments were the Law! Not just the Law of the land, but the Law of eternal damnation. When I was a child and I’d hear my dad use the Lord’s name in vain, I feared he wasn’t going to go to heaven. It never made sense to me why my mother never tried to stop him. I remember asking her once and her answer didn’t make any sense to me. She made it sound like some-how it was OK. I just prayed as a child that God would let him into heaven.

Do you believe or feel you’re on this earth for a purpose? I used to believe that. One day it was reinforced when I was visiting my aunt and uncle, Joyce and Kenney. Ken recently died from the coronavirus. It’s real and it kills people, but I’m not going to bang the drums on that subject today. Wait! I have to say this! Every person that died and are still going to die from the coronavirus are people. THEIR LIVES MATTER! Two years ago, my uncle Kenny invited me to visit him and Joyce while on my travels. I drove within an hour of their house but didn’t stop and visit them. Now I have to hope I make it into heaven to tell him I’m sorry for not stopping to say hi when I was so close. Back to Abbotsford Wisconsin a million years ago, several of us kids were playing outside in the yard on a beautiful sunny day. Our parents were inside drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. I thought it was a little strange when we were rounded up and told to go inside, when only an hour or so earlier we were told just the opposite and told to go outside and play. When I finally made it inside, most were sitting in chairs in a circle of sorts getting ready to do some group thing. Being late and not knowing what was going on, I took a chair as far from the teacher, aunt Joyce as I could and sat down. I figured it would give me a little time to figure out what was going on so I wouldn’t make a fool of myself right away. The first thing they did was to hand out bible study books. But as luck would have, they were one book short. Aunt Joyce looked around, then she walked up to me and took my book and gave it to a different child. I felt hurt and nearly started to cry. Why me? I believe in God! Just because I don’t force me beliefs on everyone else doesn’t mean I’m not a believer.

Then aunt Joyce walked back into the room carrying a big, thick black book, which I recognized right away and handed it to me. I never felt so special in my life. God had a plan for me! And aunt Joyce just verified it!

But like all of God’s plans, they’re never easy. Trying to following the teachings of the bible study books, which were 50 to 100 pages long? With the bible, which was quite a few pages more, was a task for a little 7 to 10-year-old believer. By the time the group started talking about the 10 commandments, I was lost. Aunt Joyce would slow down every once in a while, to allow me to find my place, but when the 10 commandments came up and I was completely lost, she walked over to help me. It took aunt Joyce a minute or two to find the story of the 10 commandments in the bible. I was looking in the Book of Numbers for the 10 commandments. When she handed me back the bible, she smiled and pointed to the name of the book the story of the 10 commandments is found in.

How long do you think it would take you to find the 10 commandments in the bible?

Now, I’m just a long-haired hippy that’s homeless, so I think it’s safe to say, I don’t have all the answers. Lately, I don’t feel I have any answers. I’m not even sure what the questions are anymore. But I will say this, without stuttering, there are 10 Laws or rules that I followed without question and they were the 10 commandments. I had dropped down to 9 commandments for a while, but I’m back to 10 again.

What commandment did I stop following? It wasn’t, thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. If you are married, don’t hit on me. Well, you can hit on me, just don’t expect me to act on it. I did once, and I still feel bad about it. It wasn’t, thou shall not steal. When I was 17, I had $700,000 stolen from me. Then 10 years ago my apartment was broken into and all my valuables were stolen. The most valuable possession stolen was my rare gold and silver coin collection. I had bought the coins when silver was in the $4 range and gold was between $375 and $400 an ounce. What was my investment in the collection you ask? I’m glad you asked. No, I haven’t been drinking. I haven’t been feeling well lately and today’s been a good day. Plus, I’ve killed 5 cockroaches today, so far. That’s an all-time new high. I average one cockroach per day. On three occasions, I’ve killed as many as four. And yesterday, I also did laundry. Before making the bed, I sprayed it with bed bug power. Yes, this wonderful motel has cockroaches and bed bugs. But it’s better than sleeping in my van when it 35 degrees outside.

My coin collection, I had $200,000 invested in it. You can look up the price of gold and silver if you want. But, it’s fair to say, If I wouldn’t have been robbed, I wouldn’t be homeless right now. But then, the O’Dovero family wouldn’t have the opportunity to show how much they love and respect me. Do you know that stealing is a sin? Do you think sinners go to Heaven? Do you think God rates sins differently? Robin Hood steals from the rich and gives to the poor, so his sin isn’t bad? That type of sin is OK? Right? Do you think God would let a known sinner, a man that’s proud of his sins, sit at his personal table for dinner? But if he were to steel from the poor and give to the rich? Then Robin Hood should go straight to hell? For part of an afternoon, I had a check for $700,000 laying on a table right in front of me. You can’t just ask google or Siri what my rare gold and silver mint state coin collection would be worth today, 40+ years later, but I can give you an estimate, in a little bit. If that $700,000 wasn’t stolen from me, I wouldn’t be homeless either. So, thou shall not steal is not the commandment I quit believing in.

Do you think God has a plan for me? When I was 16 years old, I bought a $1,000,000 insurance policy on a brand new 1979 Ford pickup truck. I bought it in the fall of 1978. I bought the $1,000,000 insurance policy on my new truck because of a story I heard my father tell his friends. He had recently bought the Old City Hall building in downtown Marquette Michigan for $75,000. It was on the front page of the Mining Journal, so you can look it up. The very first winter, before he did anything to the building, he was sued by a lady for $10,000 claiming to slip and fall walking on the front steps of the building. But what really did it for me was my father telling the story of her husband also suing for $10,000, and getting it, because he couldn’t have sex with his wife while she was laid up with a broken leg?

Do you think that if someone becomes ill or injured that they bring shame to the family?

Do you think my breaking my neck and becoming paralyzed brought shame to the family?

In 1979, just weeks after spending the first 6 months plus in hospitals after the accident, I met with my father and his Lawyer at the dining room table of the family house. There wasn’t another sole for miles, or at least that’s the way it felt. On the table was a several page document with only the last page showing. It had a little red arrow saying, “sigh here.” There was also a $100+ pen laying right next to it. What I did next made my dad’s Lawyer turn white. I flipped the pages over and started reading from the beginning on page 1.

I read every word of that document without pausing or looking up, until I came to the paragraph that showed I had to pay my mother and father $100,000 each or the first $200,000 of the $700,000 check that was paper clipped to the back of the document with my name on it. I looked at my father and the ghost white Lawyer, who looked like he was about to piss himself, and asked, “Why am I paying you and mom $100,000 each?” My father just said, “That’s just how things are done.” He didn’t care. He knew I was going to sign it.

Here’s how it should have been handled. You should NEVER allow family or friends in the room when you’re talking with your Lawyer for the first time. I don’t care if you are 5, 55 or 105 years old. You talk to the Lawyer alone the first time, and maybe the first couple of times, AND you make sure the Lawyer understands who they are working for, YOU! If your Lawyer doesn’t do that, fire him, report him and find one that respects you and shows he’s working for you.

Do you think my father thought of me as an invalint? Back in 1979?

Do you think my father thought or thinks of me as a man with wants, needs and dreams like him? Do you think my mother and the rest of the family think I have wants, needs and dreams like them?

The morning I woke up in the hospital on May 13, 1979, I was looking at Dr. Brish, a few other medical staff dressed in white and several members of the family looking scared as scared can be. In his thick German accent, Dr. Brish told me I was basically an invalint. He told me I was never going to walk again, never going to feed myself, never going dress myself, never, never, never…

Dr. Brish made it sound pretty convincing that I was an invalint and that’s all I was ever going to be. He nearly had me believe I was.

I don’t think it was much more than a year after the accident when my mother packed up and moved to Florida with the three youngest boys. I wasn’t invited.

Why don’t you think I was invited? I cried myself to sleep more than once asking that question.

For the next two years, I had to tell the cleaning lady when I was going into the bathroom so she could come in after I was naked and help me with my bathroom needs. Why? My mother and father told my insurance company that they didn’t want professional health care worker coming to the house. My mother and father told the insurance company that my mother was going to take care of my daily needs and they charged my insurance company $540 per month to take care of me. It wasn’t right and it wasn’t fun. I’m leaving it there. I will say, I wouldn’t wish that shame on those in the family that hate me, or going to hate me for writing this blog.

I don’t want to get in to too much detail, but two things need to happen when your life changes as much as mine did all those years ago. For those that don’t know me, and for all but a hand full that do, I broke my neck that destroyed my spinal cord in an auto accident. What that did was basically disconnect my brain from most of my body. So, not only can I not move my legs and other muscles by thinking about it, I cannot go to the bathroom by thinking about it. For me to go to the bathroom, it takes a physical procedure. When I left the hospital in 1979, I was still an invalint. I couldn’t take care of myself, yet. I needed help or assistance. My mother and father decided that rather than hire a professional healthcare worker to come to the house and help me with my bathroom needs and teach me how to do it myself, my mother said she would do it. But, after a year, she didn’t want to do it anymore so she moved to Florida, without me.

Do you think my mother thinks she was wrong she had minimum waged paid cleaning ladies without proper training taking care of me rather than professional trained people in the health care profession?

The doctors and therapists at the rehab hospital in Denver thought it was WRONG! When I told them my mother moved to Florida, they asked who was helping me? When I told them, red lights started flashing, sirens started screaming and people started running in and out of rooms like the Russians just dropped the bomb.

I quickly revised my story to my mother going to Florida for two weeks, only two weeks. I told a big fat lie to protect my mother.

The two things I needed to do in order to take care of myself? 1) Get all the proper medical equipment and supplies and “learn” how to use them, and 2) gain the confidence to do it on my own. The first, that wasn’t that hard. The insurance company paid for all of it. The confidence side of things, well that’s another kettle of fish.

That’s why I started writing this blog! I want you that are challenged to know that it isn’t easy. No one’s life is easy! Take your time and learn how to do things for yourself. Believe in yourself. I did and still do my practicing of new stuff and everyday stuff when I’m alone. It’s a lot easier when people aren’t judging you. I’ll make you a promise. I won’t quit and give up if you won’t.

While my mother was living in Florida, my father stole the rest of the $700,000 insurance money. He did show his love because he allowed me to live in his basement and gave me a $14,000 allowance to live on. Don’t forget, he was receiving monthly checks from my insurance company for $540 (tax free), even though my mother was living in Florida. The $14,000 I was receiving from him was a tax write off for him. How do I know? I had to pay taxes on the $14,000 I received as income.

Do you believe in God? Does God have a plan for me?

All this love and respect from my mother and father all those years ago didn’t diminish my faith in God, it strengthens it. The first turning point in my life came on a Friday morning. It was in February, 1981. The phone rang at exactly 8.00am. I can still see the alarm clock when I reached over to answer the phone. The lady on the other end of the phone asked me my name and address. She asked a few more simple questions, and then she asked me my age. She didn’t ask me my birthday, but my actual age. My brain went completely blank. How old am I? When I was 9, I couldn’t wait to be 10 and double digits. When I was 12, I couldn’t wait to be 13 and a teenager. At 15, it was 16 so I could legally drive. At 17, it was 18, so I could sign up for the draft. It wasn’t long after my 18th birthday I received the card in the mail telling me to go to an office at the Post Office building and register. You should have seen the look on the guy behind the counter when I showed him my card. It wasn’t a draft registration like those so unlucky men went through in the 1960s, but more of a preregistration registration for a possible draft. I didn’t push my wheelchair the ½ mile round trip down and back up some of the steepest hills in Marquette to the post office because I was worried, I’d get in trouble if I didn’t. It was my way of telling myself that I was still a man. Back to the phone call, how old am I? I’m good at math, so it’s 1981 and I was born in ’62, so that makes me 19. I told her 19 and hung up. I then laid there thinking there was something wrong with this picture. What’s wrong with this picture? It took a minute, but the 500-watt light flashed on so bright you would have been blinded for life if you were in the room. It was February, my birthday is in April, I was still 18 for 2 more months.

That was the day I stopped being an invalint.

But not the day I stopped believing in God. That took another, wait, I’m still good at math, 13 more years.

When they make the movie of my life, who do you think should narrate? Morgan Freeman is a world class narrator. I’d kind of like Bruce Willis. Oh, the guy that hosts the show, Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe would do a great job as well. There might be a few people that think me telling my life story is a dirty job. But then anyone thinking I’m the bad guy when a father … a mother … a family … homeless … left to die … $150,000,000 empire …

Good, bad or ugly, it is going to make an interesting movie!

If God had a name what would it be
And would you call it to His face
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask him if you had just one question?

And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?

That’s one of those songs that get stuck in your head and you just can’t get it out. Don’t believe me?

And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

What if God was one of us?

Don’t stop …`

I think it’s time to cook some ham and eggs, listen to Joan Osborne and maybe John Lennon’s Imagine. I need a new song to rattle around in my head.

I’m back. For you, I was away for a second. Truth be told, it was three days since I ate the ham and eggs.

And believe it or not, I’ve had that song stuck in my head the whole time.

Let’s see, where was I? Yeah, yeah, God is great.

In the early, formative years of my life, I thought I was on this earth for a purpose. My religious beliefs were so strong that I literally thought the 10 commandments were gospel. So, when my father stole my insurance money, I refused to think of it as stealing. I just kept lying to myself that he, my mother and the family were borrowing it and someday they’d make it up to me. Not only did I not allow myself to think it was stealing, I couldn’t tell my friends they stole my money, because God would hear me. And, of course, I couldn’t hire or even tell a Lawyer about it.

Could you imagine if I hired a Lawyer 35 to 40 years ago, what would happen? Once we went to court, the district attorney would catch wind. By law, he/she would be forced to press criminal charges against my father for embezzling $500,000. Peter E. O’Dovero embezzled every penny of my insurance money. Not a single investment Peter made with my money had my name ANY WHERE on it. Peter O’Dovero put his name on every deed, title or paperwork showing ownership, and not mine! That’s embezzlement! How would my Lawyer prove it back then? If I were to sue my father it would be a civil case. Even though it’s a pretty clear-cut case, it would still take time and resources from a Lawyer to win the case. Now I’m not a Lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but to make winning the case easy-peasy a smart Lawyer would let someone else try the case first and then piggy back on it. And who better than the government to try the case first. The government doesn’t care about money. They just raise taxes when they need more money. So, a smart Lawyer would convince a district attorney to try the case first. When they win in 1981, Peter E. O’Dovero goes to jail and no $150,000,000 empire in 2021.

Do you think my brothers and sisters would welcome me into their homes 40 years ago if I put their father in prison? Send me birthday presents and Christmas presents? Call me on the phone and invite me over for dinner? Do you think they’d be proud of me?

But what do I know? I’m just a long-haired homeless hippy.

But again, I’m not going to tell a Lawyer my father stole my money and my mother moved to Florida without me. I want them to go to heaven. I don’t allow myself to even think they did anything wrong.

Could you imagine being a grandchild of Peter and Lois and after a long life of skiing in the Alps, lion hunting on the Serengeti with cameras of course, vacationing in family-owned homes all around the world and living the life of Riley, they finally die at a ripe old age of 120. They arrive at the Pearly Gates and there are no O’Dovero to meet them, because there are no O’Dovero’s in heaven?

For 24 years, I never allowed myself to even think my mother and father did anything wrong. My belief in God made that impossible.

Remember doctor Brish told me I was basically an invalint on May 13, 1979?

Do you know what scared me the most when I was lying in traction in the hospital bed? I wonder if women sometimes have a similar feeling living in a man’s world? Or people that are African Americans living in the man’s world? Or others that have disabilities? My biggest fear when I was lying in traction in the hospital bed wasn’t that I wasn’t going to ever walk again! My biggest fear was how different I was from everyone else. Would people want me around? Would people still talk to me? Was I going to spend the rest of my life stuck trapped if you will in the basement of my parent’s house? In 1979, you didn’t see people with disabilities out in public very often. Doctor Brish didn’t paint a very promising picture of my new life.

When I read the contract that I had to pay my mother and father $100,000 each for their pain and suffering, I felt so alone. You could never in a million years, my family couldn’t in 10 million years understand what it felt like to be me. Well, I shouldn’t say you wouldn’t understand, but I’ll stick with the feeling and belief that my family will never ever understand.

When my mother moved to beautiful sunny warm Florida without me, I cried. I felt so alone.

When she moved back to Marquette a few years later and opened up a beauty salon with her $100,000 of pain and suffering money, I was so happy she came back to Marquette that I started cooking the family diners. I wanted to be there for her and help her. If her beauty salon was successful, she wouldn’t move back to Florida. With the assistance of the three youngest brothers, we cooked the dinners for the family, for Peter for 10 years. Guess where I lived for those 10 years?

Back in the Pirates and Buccaneers days, the biggest fear of the sailors wasn’t being forced to walk the plank. That’s Hollywood! The biggest fear for a sailor in those times was being put ashore on a deserted island. To be forced to live alone, without the contact of any human being for the rest of one’s life would be worse than death for most people.

Why did I let Peter O’Dovero steal my $700,000 of insurance money and invest it so he, my mother, my brothers, my sisters and their families could benefit from it and use it to build what turned out to be a $150,000,000 empire? Not only did I not want them to go to hell, but I didn’t want them to turn their backs on me, abandon me and leave me feeling alone and unwanted, to die feeling alone and unloved (and homeless).

I’m starting to think that wasn’t a very wise plan.

But what if it wasn’t up to me?

What if it’s been God’s plan all along?

When you’re homeless for 2 ½ years, a lot of thoughts pass between your ears. At least mine anyway.

Now, I moved to California in September of 1995 to make a life for myself – far away from my mother’s and father’s basement. It was scary. I moved to California by myself. I didn’t know anyone living in California. I was alone, but I knew it would be temporary and it would be worth it because I’d finally be out of my mother and father’s basement. That’s how bad I wanted/needed to get out of that basement. I chose to live with my biggest fear rather than live in my parents basement.

My mother was coming to California to visit me for a week once a year. It was around 2001 when my shoulders started giving me a lot of pain. The writing was on the wall. My body was aging. I decided it was time again to talk to my family about the money. On my mother’s 2003 visit, I asked her if she’d help me to talk to dad about it?

My mother looked at me and said, “You don’t deserve a penny from this family!”

The next day my brother Paul drove her to the airport. That was the last time she ever came to visit me.

What did I do to her that she could hate me that much?

What do you think God thinks of my mom?

Then on my 2004 annual summer visit to Marquette, with my shoulders not feeling any better, I decided I’d talk with my father about the money. I waited until the end of summer trip to set up a meeting Peter. I didn’t want to ruin a fun summer by getting shot down AGAIN early in the summer. To my surprise he agreed to meet in just a few days. Somehow, stepsister Connie got wind of it and arranged an intervention with the help of all the women in the family. I don’t know why, but stepsister Connie told Peter that he didn’t steal any money from me, that he didn’t owe me any money, that he shouldn’t meet with me and that he had the total support of the family to turn his back on me.

So, we never met to resolve the money issue.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention. Stepsister Connie also fabricated a cock and bull story and told Peter that I was in Marquette to murder him and commit suicide. I didn’t have a gun! But why ruin a good story with the facts? Right Mickey?

I still wasn’t ready to fight for myself, besides the ½ million-dollar coin collection, I now had a motorhome.

I left Marquette that fall (2004) and I never returned for my annual summer vacation.

Every year I lived in California, from 1996 and on; I drove back to Marquette for the summer. The first four years, I drove back without a driver’s license. I didn’t want the family to forget about me. The summer of 2005, I drove my motorhome to Alaska and not to Marquette.

Do you know how many phone calls I received from the entre O’Dovero from 2004 through 2018?

Sometimes fears are real!

What could I have possibly done that’s so terrible that a family with a $150,000,000 empire would leave me homeless for 2 ½ years and counting?

I’m finally writing this sad part of my life because, the O’Dovero family finally “Crossed the Rubicon.”

Crossing the Rubicon is against the law. In 49 BC during the Roman times, it was against the Law to cross the Rubicon River with an army. The Rubicon River is a river located in Northern Italy. If you look it up in Italian, which I did, Crossing the Rubicon is a metaphor for crossing a point of no return.

When the entire O’Dovero family watched me leave Marquette homeless for the 3rd straight winter and didn’t give a shit was like telling me they didn’t care if I died. Then, what completed the crossing was when the Trust gave each of my brothers and sisters a check for $35,000 around Christmas (2020). $35,000 times 8 brothers and sisters = $280,000. The Christmas (2019) before they also gave themselves checks for $35,000 or another $280,000. And the Christmas (2018) before that, they gave themselves checks for $25,000. That’s $760,000 my brothers and sisters paid themselves from the trust while I’ve been homeless.

But they love me and want the best for me? Right?

In 1979, I became paralyzed in an automobile accident. Because I loved my family, I had bought a $1,000,000 insurance policy. That policy gave me a check for $700,000 in 1979. That $700,000 was intended to build me the house of my dreams and invest so I could have safe steady income for the rest of my life. Instead, I had to pay my mother and father $200,000 ($100,000 each) for their pain and suffering. Then Peter stole the rest of the $700,000 and invested it into his construction company, real estate and a beauty salon for my mother.

How much of the $150,000,000 O’Dovero empire would be mine if Peter would have done the right thing, the legal thing or just the loving caring thing? Remember the trust I mentioned earlier? After graduating from NMU with a bachelor degree in Finance/Accounting and minor in computers. Now, I didn’t go to college for a piece of paper. I went for an education. A good part of the classes I took were geared toward estate Law and understanding financial statements. I also took a class or two on Greek and Roman history. One of my first assigned tasks from Peter when I went to work for him after graduating from Northern was to create an estate plan. Peter and Lois never had one. In 1991, the exemption on the death tax, sorry, estate tax was $500,000. Since Peter and Lois were married at the time, that adds up to $1,000,000. What that means is I could fund an irrevocable trust with $1,000,000 of Peter’s and Lois’ estate, which I did in the fall of 1991. Then I took the O’Dovero commercial real estate business out of the Dark Ages, it was a small side business to his much larger construction company, at the same time I was also putting the trust on a fast track to fame and fortune. In the 3 ½ years I ran the trust, I found 5 organizations that wanted new buildings built for them. I negotiated and signed 5 lease agreements. I negotiated so many $500,000 to $1,000,000+ bank loans with the Union National Bank, that the bank had to stop loaning me money. The bank had a ceiling on how much it could loan one person, and I blasted through it in less than 3 years. Some might think the 10-screen movie theater was my crowning achievement while running the real estate side of the empire, but it was a building for the Fish and Wildlife. The trust is so prized now, that Peter has been suing in the court system for the past 5 years trying to get it put in his name. What’s the trust worth now? $35,000,000+/-

If $1,000,000 investment in the family empire in 1991 is now worth $35,000,000+/-, then it’s not too far of a stretch to say that $700,000 invested in 1980 (11 years earlier) is worth $40,000,000 to $50,000,000.

You know what? Let’s play around with the numbers and see what we come up with? I love doing research. When I had an apartment in San Joe, I had on my computer desk two fast laptops with 17-inch screens and two 24-inch monitors hooked up to them. You wouldn’t believe how much knowledge you could research in a short period of time with 4 computer screens. Right now, I have a 17-inch laptop and a 15-inch laptop sitting in front of me.

I have Windows Word here on this17-laptop which I’m telling you my story and the website www.dollartimes/inflation on the 15-laptop. In the “amount” box, I type in $700,000. In the “from” box, I click on “1980” (dollars). In the “to” box, I click on “1991” (dollars). What the calculator tells you is the $700,000 in 1980 would be like investing $1,221,121 in the trust in 1991. So, you could say, without the need of independent appraisers, if $1,000,000 invested in the O’Dovero empire for 29 years is now worth $35,000,000, then it’s safe to say that my $700,000 invested in the O’Dovero empire for 40+ years could be worth $40,000,000 to $50,000,000.

Again, it’s a proven fact that $1,000,000 increased the family empire by $35,000,000 from 1991 through today. That’s 29 years of asset growth. My $700,000 was invested in 1980. That’s 40 years of asset growth. If $35,000,000 is the result of 29 years of growth, then it’s safe to say that $50,000,000 could be the result of 40 years of growth.

I’m starting to think $50,000,000 might be a very conservative.

Let’s see, what else can I come up with?

How about the Time Value of Money?

The website I’m using this time is www.online-calculator.org
Then clicking on the TVM Calculator link

Present value $700,000
Interest rate 12%
Years 41
Compound Period Annually
Additional Cont. 0 or left blank

Wow! $72,951,960.

It doesn’t matter how you look at it. The O’Dovero family made TENS of MILLIONS from my broken neck. Those millions created jobs and careers for everyone in the family, but me.

Do you think my brothers, sisters and their families love me for the sacrifice I made for them?

Do you think my mother loves me loves me for the sacrifice I made for her?

To this day, my mother has never fought for 1 second for me to receive any money from the O’Dovero family. She told me to my face on more than one occasion that I don’t deserve anything and she’s not going to fight for me to get anything.

Do you think my father loves me? Or, do you think it’s all about building an empire for him?

I woke up this morning thinking about a phase in the bible that goes, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

Do you think a family with a $150,000,000 empire that’s left me homeless to die, a third of it made off of my broken neck, is going to be welcomed into heaven with open arms?

I’m worried God isn’t going to allow them into heaven.

In 2004, when stepsister Connie, who had the support of the rest of the family, except one brother and his wife, told my father that I was in Marquette to murder him and commit suicide, I was deeply hurt. Then for the next 14 years, no one in the family talked to me. The seeds of hatred were being planted. But I didn’t want to hate, so I continually fought it off. Then I was robbed. The not so nice people stole my several hundred-thousand-dollar coin collection. Not long after that the bleeding ulcers happened and my blood went anemic. I stopped working. While this was happening, my insurance company, Nationwide was not on my side. They stopped paying for my prescriptions and medical bills. Before I knew it, I was homeless.

My life was going to hell in a handbasket. I just looked up the meaning of that phase. I don’t like it. I won’t be using it any more. Let’s just say, my days of being happy were becoming harder to come by. But all of a sudden, things were looking up. I found a new doctor that diagnosed my blood was anemic, so anemic that I had to have bleeding ulcers. I started taking iron pills and changed my diet. I started feeling better immediately. A couple of weeks later I received a phone call from my brother Joe. Two days later my brother Jim called. Three weeks later I was on an airplane to Marquette Michigan. I wasn’t going to be homeless anymore. You see! It wouldn’t have done me any good to hate!

I arrive in Marquette on a Saturday night. I almost didn’t make it. My original fight was at 10:30am on a Thursday, but my buddy, Steve, that was driving thought it was at 1 o’clock, so Thursday was a bust. I tried rebooking the flight online, and failed miserably, so Friday was a bust. Brother Joe was able to book me a flight for Saturday. Then my buddy Steve couldn’t find my driver’s license. My life was a blur the last two plus years before going homeless, and I had forgotten to renew my driver’s license. I had three weeks before the flight to Marquette, so I applied for a replacement card. I used Steve’s address since I was homeless and didn’t have one. We were two blocks from Steve’s house on the way to the airport when I asked Steve if he had my new driver’s license card? A week earlier he called me and told me it came in the mail. On the way to the airport he told me it was lost. I’ve got an expired driver’s license card. I’ll just have to bluff my way on to the plane.

I can’t wait for the movie.

The reason my family was flying me to Marquette at the end of October wasn’t because of Halloween, or because I was homeless and they were going to give me a house to live in. Our father, Peter, was suing us, his children and trying to take the trust I wrote away from us. My father is 85 years old, soon to be 86 in May. He was the father of the $150,000,000 empire. In the early 90’s, I really got the commercial real estate side of the empire running on all 8 cylinders and brother Jim did the same with the construction company. Now don’t get me wrong, Peter’s hot rod empire in the 90’s wasn’t crashing. It just needed to get the carbon out, the timing advanced and our new younger views were like 104 octane racing fuel. Jim told me he doubled the size of the construction company a couple of times when he ran it and I more than doubled the commercial real estate side in the 3 ½ years I ran it.

I arrived in Marquette on that Saturday night. I wasn’t feeling well. But being in Marquette and seeing my family for the first time in 14 years, I had more than enough adrenaline to see the family. I don’t think it was more than 10 minutes when my mother had to tell me it was my fault that we hadn’t talked in 14 years. She told me it was because I never answered my phone when they called. I looked around the room and then at my mom. I don’t want to argue my first night in town, but I told her, if she called me only on my birthday and Christmas, that’s 28 times in the past 14 years. I kept looking at her. Mom there are 20 people in here. If everyone here tried calling me only two times a year, that’s 560 phone calls I didn’t answer? Then before she could answer, I said, “mom, let’s not argue about the past. We all made mistakes. But since you brought up the past, 40 years ago I gave you $100,000 of my insurance money. I don’t know if you heard or not, but I’m homeless. If you could please give me that $100,000 back, I could buy a motor home to live in?” My mom looked at me, shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t remember it.” I think she then turned away and buttered herself a piece of bread to show she was done talking to me.

Do you think God is going to welcome my mother into heaven?

Monday morning, I was in the courtroom watching my father suing us children to try get the trust back in his name. There was brothers Jim and Joe, stepsister Connie and mom on one side of the room and dad, twin sister Jean and brother Pete on the other side of the tiny courtroom. We’ll call them, the two side of the family. When they called me to the stand, it was interesting. OMG I can’t wait for the movie. I don’t think the trust Lawyers asked me more than five questions. I was told on the call from Jim in October that the family had been fighting in court for four years over the irrevocable trust. How is that possible? You got me. If you look up the word “irrevocable,” it says; not able to be changed, reversed, or recovered, final! 4 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in Lawyer fees and neither side could win. I guess that’s why brothers Joe and Jim (2 of the 3 trustees) called me up.

Why do you think it took them four years to call me?

I’ll talk later about my fun time on the witness stand, and I’m not joking. It was fun. I had the entire courtroom laughing time and time again – even my dad and the judge. But for now, I’ll just mention the beginning of my time on the stand and the final minutes. The beginning was simple. To make an irrevocable trust legal, you must dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” properly. Which I did. I explained the origins of how and why I started the trust and I believe that was the end of my father taking the trust away from us kids.

Why do you think my father wanted the trust from us kids? Is it possible he’s not the businessman he used to be so he needs the money from the trust or he’ll go bankrupt?

For parts of two days, I was on the witness stand. I’ll be honest with you my dad’s Lawyer never asked the right questions. I’ll talk more about that in the upcoming book and I promise you, you’ll enjoy the movie. But for now, here’s a teaser. For some reason, my dad’s Lawyer tried to make me look ??? like I was dumb, or against the family? He spent an hour or two questioning me about this blog. He wanted me to say I hated my stepsister because I was calling her Medusa and I hated my mother because I called her Queen Cleopatra. When that didn’t work, he tried getting me to agree with him that el Duce in Italian means the shit. He went on and on while I keep telling him NO it means the leader. That I took the term el Duce from what the Italians called their great leader, until he wasn’t, Mussolini. Finally! I had enough, so I blurted out after he said for the umpteenth time, that el Duce also spells the shit in Italian, “I Don’t Know!” I said, “I Never Looked Up How To Spell The Shit In Italian!” I can’t wait for the movie. The entire courtroom broke out laughing so hard that my dad’s Lawyer quit questioning me. He looked toward the judge and told her he was done questioning me. The judge told me the questing was over and I was free to go. I turned to her and said, “Really? This is fun. I don’t want to quit yet!”

It was a week later when I was scheduled to fly back to California to continue my life of being homeless, living in a van. I wasn’t feeling well, so brother Jim took me to the emergency room in Ishperming. I told the doctor about being diagnosed with low iron and probable bleeding ulcers, but I wasn’t able to have the tests before coming to Marquette. It wasn’t long when the doctor told me I was going straight to Marquette General Hospital (MGH) because my iron count was now down to 7.5 from 8.75. 8.75 was what it was when they found the problem in California a couple of weeks earlier. Two hours later, it was down to 6.5 at MGH. The doctor at MGH told me that because the iron levels in my blood dropped so fast in two hours that there was something seriously wrong with me and I wasn’t just knocking on heaven’s door, but I was banging on it. If your iron levels drop below 6, there’s a good chance you die. They immediately put an IV in my arm with two pints of blood

Do you know how many members of the family that didn’t work at MGH came to visit me?

Don’t be afraid. You can say the number out loud.

It’s a lonely feeling when you wake up in the hospital after nearly dying and neither your mother nor your father comes to visit you?

Do you think that it was because this time I was homeless and I didn’t have a million-dollar insurance policy?

I get out of the hospital and I’m still not feeling well. Two weeks later I find out the O’Dovero family is trying to put me into a nursing home, for the rest of my life. When I don’t want to go in one, I’m evicted by the police from the hotel room the family was paying for. I am not lying. Two of Marquette’s finest knocked on my hotel room door at the Holiday Inn and told me I had to go. Not feeling much love, I told the family I was ready to go back to California. Two days later I was on a plane to California. Three weeks later my friends found me sicker than a dog living (dying) in my van in a parking lot. That prompted an ambulance ride to the emergency room.

The O’Dovero family is a family with a $150,000,000 empire, a good $50,000,000 made with the insurance money they stole from me. I’ve been homeless for 2 ½ years and they still won’t build me a house to live in. The sad part of it is, after asking my mother for the $100,000 that I gave her 41 years earlier for the pain and suffering I was told I cause her and the family and she said no, the only thing I asked them for the next two years plus after that was a job so I could work somewhere in the vast $150,000,000 O’Dovero empire.

Guess how many jobs I was offered in the O’Dovero $150,000,000 empire?

Do you know that the Roman number system doesn’t have a zero?

I was told the concept of a zero in accounting was invented by the Arabs in the Middle
East by a Spanish teacher I had in San Jose, but I heard somewhere that the use of zero in mathematics was first used in India before it made its way to the Middle East.

Why do you think no one in the O’Dovero family will hire me? Everyone else in the O’Dovero family that wants a job is hired. Do think it’s because I have long hair?

Last summer I was on my way to Marquette when I became seriously ill again from living (dying) in my van. That time it was four months in a hospital/nursing home. When I finally made it to Marquette, I was starting to lose hope. But the ever so optimistic dumb ass I am, I continued to try to get a job from the family. I never asked for money. I never asked them to build me a house or buy me a motor home. I only asked for a job. When I first drove into Marquette with my home on my back (June, 2019), my mother offered to run an extension cord out to my van, so I could sleep in it with a heater on during the cold nights. She was living alone because my brother Jay, who lives with her, was out of town for a year. I’m not going to sleep in my van in my mother’s driveway when she has a bedroom available. When I said no, my mother offered to put a bed in her garage for me. The family dogs lived inside her house, never her garage. That was two years ago. Last summer after four months in the hospital, she offered to let me live in the basement of a rental house she owns. To some and the family I’m guessing, it sounds like a good deal. To me, the O‘Dovero family will never respect me as a MAN with wants, needs and dreams like they have. When I broke my neck 42 years ago, my insurance company gave me a check for $700,000. That $700,000 check wasn’t meant to be used by the O’Dovero family to help them build a $150,000,000 empire and leave me to live in my van or in the basement of THEIR houses. That money was meant for me to build the house of my dreams. To make matters worse, the apartment wasn’t even furnished. No bed. No tables. No lamps. No cookware. Empty.

When I arrived home after spending six months in three different hospital back in 1979, my parents took every penny of my $700,000 insurance money, gave me a room in their basement and a $14,000 allowance to live on. I wanted to have my own home, so I could have the confidence to meet a nice girl, marry her, and have a house to raise our children in. Because my parents didn’t wanted this for me, I started slowly by working part time jobs. As my confidence grew, I knew I needed a better paying job then minimum wage jobs to get out of the basement of their house, so I went to college. Neither my mother nor my father would pay for it, so I paid for it out of that $14,000 allowance. After graduating from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree, the only child of Peter and Lois to get one, I tried working for the family and buying the family house. When that didn’t work out, I finally officially moved out of the basement of my mother and father’s house. That’s when I moved to California. I worked my ass off to get out of the basement of my parent’s house. I was 33 years old. I’ll be dammed if I ever live in the basement of their house again.

I was just thinking. The O’Dovero family stole my money and made $50,000,000 with it. Do you know what would be nice of the family?

They could make up for the sins of the past. They could start with my father putting $1,000,000 into my checking account so I can build the house of my dreams in Marquette. AND, my mother putting $1,000,000 into my checking account so I can build a 2nd house of my dreams in a state that doesn’t have snow. AND, my brothers and sisters through the Trust/Midway Rentals putting $500,000 into my checking account so I can buy the motorhome of my dream, new van of my dreams and start enjoying the life of my dreams.

That would be nice starting point! Again, starting point! But that’s not the only reason why I’m writing this long-winded chapter of my life. Remember I asked you if you believed in God? I went to a very good friend’s funeral several years ago. We were on the deck of his house. Everyone was handed a helium filled balloon. I remember there were red ones, blue one and yellow ones. When someone’s signal and we all released them. There were 40 to 50 of us watching the multi colored balloons rising towards heaven. I looked around at the crowd of people that loved Mark and this unbelievable feeling overwhelmed me. I looked back to the sky and three of the balloons were caught in the branches of trees. I looked back at the crowd of people and I could feel the energy from everyone trying to get those three balloons free so Mark’s sole could make it to heaven.

Is there a God? Is there a heaven? I don’t know! But I want there to be a heaven for Mark and all the other good people in this world. I want there to be a heaven for my mother, father, brothers and sisters and their family. That’s why I’m not going to hate anyone. How could you hate someone that you want to see in heaven someday?

With that said, I’m scared to death that God won’t allow some or all of the O’Dovero family into heaven because of money. A wise man said it pretty clearly in a thick black book that I had the privilege to read years ago when I visited my aunt Joyce and uncle Ken.

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

What if it was God’s plan all along for me to have to sink to a level where I feel I’m living in a living hell, so I’ll fight for all the money the O’Dovero family stole and I now feel owe me?

If I accept anything less than the $50,000,000, I won’t be forcing the family to admit to their sins.

I don’t know! But can you or anyone say with all certainty, that it isn’t?

Again, I’m probably wrong, but I now believe that being homeless is my penance to bear for my sins.

I’d rather find out that the O’Dovero family was always going to be welcome into heaven and that I’m wasting time, then spend eternity in heaven without them or eternity in hell with them because I was afraid to fight for them by not fighting for the money.

OK now what? When the entire O’Dovero family watched me drive out of Marquette for the 3rd straight winter, homeless and then my brothers and sisters giving themselves another $280,000 from the trust I created for them, they crossed the Rubicon. And, When I post this on my blog, I’ll be crossing the Rubicon with those in the family that care more about money than me, my health, my safety and their possible salvation.

Again, what now? I want to post this before my hair becomes any grayer. So, I want to finish this post soon. The question still remains? Why has it been so easy for an entire family to steal my money and leave me homeless? Then a possible answer came when I was in the hospital for four months last summer. A lady from the office side of the hospital and not the medical side pointed it out to me. After I told her about my $700,000 that my mom and dad stole and invested for the family 40+ years ago and now it’s a $150,000,000 empire they intend to leave their other children and their families, she told me the entire family has been financially discriminating against me. She told me the only way I was going to get the family to listen to me and make it up to me is with the help of a Lawyer and the courts. She told me that it happens all the time, but it’s usually the other way around. The children put the parents into nursing homes so they can declare them unable to manage their affairs, so they can legally steal their assets.

When I heard this I nearly fell out of bed. Some of the O’Dovero’s tried and many still want me in a nursing home. And the scary part of it is, some of my nieces and nephews are banging the drum, playing the flute and leading the charge to put me in a nursing home. They’ll say it’s an assisted living home, but what’s the difference? I’d rather they fight for me to get the house or two houses of my dreams. If I let them put me into a nursing home, then they can justify disowning me. If I have money, Medicare and Medicaid won’t pay for the nursing home. So, I’d get nothing from the family.

I don’t want to go to court and sue. Like before, if I go to court I’ll win, but the cost to the family will be devastating. If it’s proven that the family has been discriminating against me, even if it’s only financially discrimination, the amount of business the family will lose could be in the millions. Governments are not allowed to do business with companies that discriminate. Many business, especially the larger ones have that same ban. Then the Marquette community may decide to stop doing business with the family. Anyone that has been watching the news can tell you. It’s not a good time to be discriminating against anyone.

So, mom, dad, stepsister Connie and brother Pete, think carefully before you go running to a Lawyer. I don’t have a Lawyer, yet, and I hope I don’t need one. But truth be told, I’m thinking I’ll be hearing from Law firms from all across the nation long before I actually need them. And, remember, I’m not just fighting for the money you stole, or for just my life, I’m fighting for your salvation as well. If I have to use the court system to get you to admit to your sins, well, let’s hope it never goes that far. I know you’ll be talking to your Lawyers, so Lawyers, please inform the family how I’ll use the courts to get the answers to ALL my questions. Let’s not go there, because I have a million questions I want to ask. (a million questions is a figure of speech. But trust me. I have a lot of questions that I’d love to get answered. I can already hear stepsister’s Connie’s Lawyer and mom’s Lawyer saying, “Objection! What does that question have to do with this case” and the judge saying, “Overruled! I want to hear the answer!” Then turning to look at mom, dad, stepsister Connie or other members of the O’Dovero family that are on the witness stand. “Please remember. You swore an oath to God to tell the truth.” )

I’m thinking so much clearer now that I stopped allowing that evil hatred emotion to cloud my thinking. I hope the O’Dovero’s can do the same so we can resolve this terrible chapter quickly.

Stepsister Connie, have you figured out why I started calling you by name?

Here’s a thought? What if it’s God’s plan for me to go to court and win a discrimination case against the O’Dovero family so I can draw national attention possibly worldwide attention to discrimination against the physically challenged?

What if I’m that person?

I don’t think I am. And, I don’t want to be that person! But I don’t want to spend the rest of my life living in a van homeless either. I’m guessing there has been scores of people throughout history that never imagined they’d lead a revolution. God knows I’m not a leader. But if my choice is to change the world, or live in my van, a nursing home, the basement of my mother’s house?

I’m ready to try something new.

My next blog will be focused on a 5-to-10-year business plan for a $150,000,000 empire.

Before I go, here’s an update on my situation. On March 17, 2021, 5 brothers and a sister, against the wishes of my brother Pete and twin sister Jean, deposited $7,000 into my checking account. A text from a trustee of the $35,000,000 trust I talked about earlier stated that I’d be receiving the same deposit every month, presumably on the 17th of every month. Guess what? My birthday is April 17th. I’ll let you know if it’s a one and done and another broken promise from the O’Dovero family, or if it’s a small, but appreciative step in the right direction.

I’m still $40,000 in debt, so the light at the end of my tunnel is still a long ways off.