It’s been 2 years since I’ve been sharing my eats around Portland, and it seems like Instagram is almost enough for that purpose. So I’m starting to feel like this blog is becoming more of an extended “About me” and significant happenings of my life. I love to share my love of food, but you might be surprised by some of the things that have encompassed my life.
September 29th marked the two year anniversary of the day that my feet hit the famous PDX airport carpet for the first time. I arrived with my little shih tzu, while my husband and daughters drove across the country in his truck with my car behind it. And what a whirlwind of food it’s been! As you can see above.
My husband is super spontaneous, so we made the decision to leave Little Rock in a split second. Before he could change his mind, I started packing and looking up the best public schools in the Portland area in warp speed. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone that I was moving to the city with some of the best eateries in the country.
I was ready to leave, so I could make a new beginning. The last two years in Little Rock had been a little rocky, and the thought of walking away from it all sounded really good. It was sad, though, the thought of leaving behind so many friends that meant so much to me.
My best friend had just informed me that she was getting a divorce, and I felt bad that I would not be around to support her through it. Earlier that year, 45 FBI agents with AR 15’s let themselves into her house to interrogate her husband John about his sports memorabilia business. That morning, I was sitting in my office at the Arkansas Times, finishing up my makeup. Our staff photographer Brian came in and said, “The FBI is at the Rogers’ house. David and I are about to head over there.”
I called Angelica immediately. “Are you okay?” I asked.
“The news is out?” she asked. Later on, there were pictures of the agents in their blue and yellow jackets outside the house. Really, 45 agents.
I never asked what he did, or if he did it. I was firmly committed that he was innocent. Until the news started to unfold from other news outlets. I always thought that because the senior editor knew of my close relationship with the Rogers, our publication rarely dug deeply about the situation. I had a lot of respect for him for that.
In 2008, John & Angelica came over to our house for a cookout. John had informed us earlier that he was going to bid on the Honus Wagner baseball card. He was on the phone with the auction house ready to spend a million dollars on a baseball card, and I was preparing sides in the kitchen. John’s best friend Earl came too, and I think if he hadn’t been there, John would not have made the second bid to win it for 1.6 million. Earl was also a pharmaceutical sales rep, he had played for the Razorbacks and the Cowboys, and just as competitive as me. We had fun debating the benefits of each others’ drugs, and he’s very persistent. He calls me sis. We had all been together since we were nineteen.
Later on in Oregon, Sasha’s teacher asked in class if anyone knew who Honus Wagner was. She raised her hand and said that her godfather had owned his card once.
When John made his first million at the age of 28, people started to speculate about how he made his money. Rumors circulated throughout the town. It was no secret that he was talked about often. Once, he told his new neighbors that he was an astronaut. He’s the kind of person that you don’t know if he’s being serious or joking. I usually just played along until he gave in. But if you didn’t know him well, he could fool you. So of course people believed he was an astronaut. His notoriety became a joke that we laughed about.
It really didn’t hit me until I was sitting on Earl’s couch at his house. “It’s no joke anymore,” he said, shaking his head. When it finally hit me, I broke into tears. I didn’t want to know more than what the media reported, so I never asked anyone for details. No matter what he did, we would all stand by him because we were the kind of tight knit group that locked secrets away and swallowed the key. Earl said that it could take up to two years for them to indict John. They really wished they would get it over with, rather than drag it out. But they did drag it out, and they took the entire two years.
It wasn’t a heinous crime. The man had just lost his way.
Angelica was going to stand by John’s side as well, but there were other circumstances that they couldn’t agree on. She wanted the fairy tale, like Julia Roberts. It wasn’t the 11,000 square foot, four story house or the apartment overlooking Columbus Circle in New York that she needed. She walked away from all that in the end. But it was what she had when we were all 22, when she and John lived in a small two bedroom house that they bought for $60,000.
Two years later, I’m so super proud of how she has picked herself back up. Seeing her without her Tag, her five carat diamond, and her Louboutins was shocking at first. But seeing her happy is what makes my heart full.
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