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I shifted into Park and turned the engine off. I got out and felt the crisp night air on my face, then was startled when two men approached me in the driveway. They were both wearing knee length overcoats and I could see their spit-shined black leather dress shoes glimmering from the street lamp overhead.
“Michael Lowecki?” the lanky, more serious one asked, pulling his lapel open and reaching inside his overcoat.
I froze with confusion. Who are these two men? Where did they come from? Why are they converging on me like this? And why are they looking for me!?
“I’m agent Dwyer with the FBI, and this is Mr. Lefko with the U.S. Attorney’s office,” he stated after retrieving a leather pocketbook and opening it to display a shiny badge.
“I… I’m Mike Lowecki.” They’d surprised me, sneaking up in the dark like that. Now I was pissed, and ready to defend myself if need be.
“We’re investigating Ada Brooks. We’d like ask you a few questions,” Lefko spoke up.
 
Excerpt from my book “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424                purchase a copy @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591.
#memoir #onlyinchicago #screenplaywiter #pageturners
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Version 2“Abdominal Breach” Better known as the Inguinal Hernia is when part of the small intestine or fat pushes through a weak part of the lower abdominal wall. I lived with this minor protrusion for damn near two years with no pain, still able to get about each day, even riding a bike, and working out with only some slight discomfort.

I recently decided to have surgery where a piece of mesh is inserted on the inside of the abdominal wall to seal the rupture. It was outpatient and I was in-and-out of the hospital in less than six hours. Besides being a little intimidated by the actual size of the incision, I thought I was having laparoscopic and not open surgery, and a little groggy from the anesthesia, all was well. That was until the next day when the pain set in.

The next week I lived in an armchair in front of the TV in the family room. I was popping Norco as often as I could to manage my tormenting gut. In between rounds of blackouts, when I wasn’t holding a bucket in my lap from the fear of throwing up due to the nausea of the pain killers, I’d isolate my upper body and push myself out of the chair to make the five minute shuffle to the bathroom. I kept a small pillow on hand which I’d leave behind on the long journey so I could keep my balance, praying I didn’t urge to cough or sneeze. When I anticipated any kind of outburst I’d cushion my groin while slumped over the edge of a countertop or chair so I didn’t burst the incision and have my guts spill out.

It will be five weeks tomorrow and I’d say I’m just about 85 percent recovered. Listen up though, the first two weeks were hell, I’m not kidding! I’ve had pain in the past including shoulder surgery, but nothing compares to having your abdomen assaulted. It was very humbling, made me feel feeble and completely vulnerable. I was even frightened of Lucy, my nine pound Lhasa Apso, scared to death of her jumping at my side and knocking me over. And a word to the wise, go on a high-fiber liquid diet a few days before the surgery, and a couple of weeks after. Constipation is your mortal enemy!

“Which of these instruments do you play?”

“Bull fiddle.”

“Fascinating! Do you use a bow or do you just pluck it?”

“Most of the time, I slap it.” 

Circa 1959 – a quote from the movie “Some Like it Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

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BACK STORY

I recently acquired this vintage 1959 Silvertone Jimmy Reed Thin Twin guitar. Silvertone was a store brand used by Sears Roebuck and Company for its line of consumer electronics and musical instruments from 1915 to 1972. Silvertone guitars became popular with novice musicians due to their low cost and wide availability in Sears stores and the Sears catalog. 

Jerry Garcia, Chet Atkins, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Joan Jett, Dave Grohl, played a Silvertone for their first guitar. Pete Townshend used them in live performance with The Who. Jack White uses vintage Silvertone amplifiers, and singer-sonwriter Beck’s main electric guitar is a Silvertone 1448. 

When I’m not playing guitar I’m writing. Purchase a copy of my first book “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591.

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“The most heart warming story you’ll ever read. What is written in this book is 100% authentic and genuine to what actually happened and what the family went through. This story is about the true strength and perseverance a man had while going through one of the most difficult situations one could be put in. Reading the book, you will feel incredibly empathetic to what Mike Lowecki went through. At times you’ll feel nervous and gut wrenched. Most of all, you will feel a deep amount of respect for the brave face Mike put on to ensure his family would be okay while he went through hell and back. Most of all, it’s a story about family. At the end of the book you will be brought to happy tears realizing how a family truly sticks together through thick and thin, no matter what.” Amazon customer

I’m happy to be republished on Amazon through the self-publishing company Createspace. After some bad advice from my past literary agent I had removed my book from the site. It was a little painful to get republished but finally I’m alive again, purchase a copy @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1720549591.

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“Whataya think Cooter? Pretty exciting stuff, huh?”  I provoked him.

“I can’t move… I can’t breathe… help me… help me get out of here… I need to… to take… to take a shower…” He could barely speak, his jaw visibly trembling out of control. Cooter’s phobia had caused him paralysis; overcome with anxiety, he was almost incapacitated.

Oh my God, what’ve I done? I felt so guilty. I’ve never wanted to see anyone suffer, especially at my hands. I escorted him out of the chapel and back to our unit, like a wounded soldier, where he climbed into his rack and curled up with his back toward me, wrapping his pillow around the back of his head, and holding it tight with both hands.

Excerpt from my book: “Pay To Play” My Odyssey from Multimillionaire Businessman to PRISONER #18099-424 http://www.paytoplaythebook.com

 

Whistle While You Work

On Work                                                                                                                                                                                    “You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,

And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,

And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,

And all work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.

And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”

But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;

And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

Work is love made visible.

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.”            Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet”

 

Was I absolutely livid after Mike plead guilty? Sure, but he was left no choice, and for me to hold onto my anger wasn’t going to change anything.

Being a devoted wife and mother has been the most rewarding part of my life. And now, after 20 years of marriage, our son Shaun just beginning college, and Megan a vulnerable sophomore in high school, I was more determined than ever to keep our family intact.

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Joani, Megan, Shaun. circa 1989

With Mike’s impending incarceration I had to take charge. My innate love and motherly instincts took over. I worked several jobs, 6 to 7 days a week to support the family while Mike was away. I met this new challenge day by day and tried not to think about the insurmountable circumstances I was facing. We certainly faced other trials in the past; but I never fathomed one of this magnitude. But like any of those other tests, we would again persevere together, as a family.

Check out Mike’s book: “PAY TO PLAY-My Odyssey from Multimillionaire to PRISONER 18099-424”

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In prison you have no choice but to sit. Now as a Uber driver/Author of my first book I often ask this question of myself, to sit, or not to sit? Like a fisherman, do I stay where I’m at with my line in the water waiting for a bite, or do I take up my bait and move on. If I ponder about my time being in prison, I think it is best to just sit. 

Check out my new book: “PAY TO PLAY-My Odyssey from Multimillionaire to PRISONER 18099-424”

 

 

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He’d move around the bonfire like a boxer who’d just parted the ropes and was circling the ring waiting for the challenger. Then, like a bell had rung, he’d begin the battle, hopping up and down, thrashing about, grappling with the massive phone book, struggling to get the right grip. Once the pages started to tear, he’d stop and slump over, like a wrestler with a death grip on his opponent. His back muscles swelled through his T-shirt, his whole body shaking.

Excerpt from my book: Pay To Play http://www.paytoplaythebook.com

Weight Pit #4

The “Weight Pit” is an area behind the kitchen dock where free weights are strewn around under a small outdoor shelter with a slanted roof. There were 20 to 30 guys pumping iron. Most were shirtless, wearing just khaki pants and black army boots. Some wore gray sweat pants and gym shoes. A lot of the black guys were wearing do-rags or versions of Arabian head scarfs.

I have never seen so many tattoos; some were covered from head to ankles. Most everyone had at least a couple, and now I was wishing that I had even just one. Unlike in the dormitory where nobody seemed to notice my arrival, it was like I’d walked into an exclusive club without membership. The stares were direct and arrogant, and with complete intention. This was the inmate’s house. This would be a different game with different rules.

Excerpt from my book: Pay To Play http://www.paytoplaythebook.com