30 June 2004

Wayt geneology

Descendants of Oliver Milroy Wayt

Generation No. 1

1. OLIVER MILROY5 WAYT (BENJAMIN FRANKLIN4, JOSEPH3, ANDREW2, UNKNOWN1) was
born Abt. 1862, and died 1933 in Marshall County, WV. He married JOHANNA
REBECCA LOGSDON
. She was born 1867, and died 1953.

More About JOHANNA REBECCA LOGSDON:

Burial: Mt. Rose Cemetery, Moundsville, Marshall County, WV

Children of OLIVER WAYT and JOHANNA LOGSDON are:

i. BLAINE HALLIE6 MOOSE.

Notes for BLAINE HALLIE MOOSE:

Illegitimate son of Johanna LOGSDON. Married Lena, died Mt. Lebanon, PA.

ii. PEARL WAYT.

Notes for PEARL WAYT:

Buried same lot as her mother, Johanna in Mt. Rose Cemetery, Marshall
County, WV.

iii. PAUL WAYT, d. 1976; m. SADIE GRAY.

iv. FRANCIS WAYT, m. (1) LILLIAN SNEDEKER; m. (2) BEATRICE.

Notes for FRANCIS WAYT:

Buried in cemetery at Round Bottom Hill, Marshall County, WV. (Riverview
Cemetery)

2. v. JAMES WAYT.

3. vi. EMILY JANE WAYT, b. 1886; d. 1949.

4. vii. LEE WAYT, b. December 1890.

viii. ELSIE WAYT, b. March 04, 1893; d. 1928.

Notes for ELSIE WAYT:

Never married.

Buried Mt. Rose Cemetery, Marshall County, WV.

More About ELSIE WAYT:

Burial: Mt. Rose Cemetery, Moundsville, Marshall County, WV

5. ix. ALVA WAYT, b. September 18, 1895; d. December 09, 1987, Marshall
County, VA.

6. x. ORVILLE WAYT, b. July 14, 1904; d. 1977.

Generation No. 2

2. JAMES6 WAYT (OLIVER MILROY5, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN4, JOSEPH3, ANDREW2,
UNKNOWN1) He married BESSIE MAY WAYT 1913 in Ohio County, West Virgnia.

Notes for JAMES WAYT:

James and Bessie May were first cousins. Bessie d/o Benjamin Franklin WAYT.

Marriage Notes for JAMES WAYT and BESSIE WAYT:

Marriage recorded Vol. 52, page 73.


Children of JAMES WAYT and BESSIE WAYT are:

i. MILLARD R.7 WAYT, b. October 09, 1914.

Notes for MILLARD R. WAYT:

Twin to Willard R.

ii. WILLARD R. WAYT, b. October 09, 1914.

Notes for WILLARD R. WAYT:

Twin to Millard R.

iii. WILBERT R. WAYT, b. March 04, 1918.

iv. JAMES WAYT, JR., b. September 06, 1923.

v. LEVAUN WAYT, b. June 10, 1926.

vi. ELEANOR GAY WAYT, b. July 12, 1929.

3. EMILY JANE6 WAYT (OLIVER MILROY5, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN4, JOSEPH3, ANDREW2,
UNKNOWN1) was born 1886, and died 1949. She married WILLIAM ALVA MC ILVAIN
1904.

Notes for EMILY JANE WAYT:

Buried Nauvoo Cemetery, Marshall County, WV.

Notes for WILLIAM ALVA MC ILVAIN:

s/o John Calvin and Mary Jane HARRIS MC ILVAIN.


Children of EMILY WAYT and WILLIAM MC ILVAIN are:

i. WILLIAM EARL7 MC ILVAIN, b. 1905, Marshall County, VA.

7. ii. ALBERT CARL MC ILVAIN, b. 1907, Marshall County, VA; d. December 29,
1986.

4. LEE6 WAYT (OLIVER MILROY5, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN4, JOSEPH3, ANDREW2,
UNKNOWN1) was born December 1890. He married HAZEL DERROW Unknown.


Children of LEE WAYT and HAZEL DERROW are:

i. HAROLD E.7 WAYT, b. September 10, 1915.

ii. HEBERT GLENN WAYT, b. January 02, 1918.

iii. WILMA M. WAYT, b. September 13, 1920.

8. iv. RALPH WAYT, b. February 15, 1922.

5. ALVA6 WAYT (OLIVER MILROY5, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN4, JOSEPH3, ANDREW2,
UNKNOWN1) was born September 18, 1895, and died December 09, 1987 in
Marshall County, VA. He married (1) ANNA KERBY. She died 1962. He married
(2) EVA NOLAN. She died 1976.

Notes for ALVA WAYT:

Obituary, "Moundsville Echo" - Alva Wayt Died Wednesday - Alva J. Wayt, 92,
of RD 1 Moundsville, died Wednesday in Mound View Health Care Center,
Moundsville. He was born in Marshall County Sept. 18, 1895, son of Oliver
and Joanna Logsdon Wayt. He was a retired employee of the Conduit Plant,
Glendale, and a member of the Ash Avenue Church of God, Moundsville. He was
preceded in death by his first wife, Anna Kirby Wayt, in 1962; his second
wife, Eva Nolan Wayt, in 1976. Surviving are two sons, Charles of
Moundsville, and Walter of Warren, O; a daughter, Helen Young of
Moundsville; two stepsons, Dale Nolan of Moundsville, and Edward Nolan of
Denver; four stepdaughters, Virginia Minear of Moundsville; Betty Johnson of
Graysville, W. Va.; Hazel Roberts and Helen Gretzinger, both of Ohio; 10
grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; 14 great-great-grandchildren; several
stepgrandchildren and stepgreat-grandchildren. Friends will be received at
the Lutes Funeral Home, Second St., Moundsville, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. today,
where services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday. Interment will be in Halcyon
Hills Memorial Gardens, Sherrard. Rev. Forest Shaffer will officiate.

More About ALVA WAYT:

Burial: December 11, 1987, Halcyon Hills Memorial Gardens, Sherrard,
Marshall County, WV


Children of ALVA WAYT and ANNA KERBY are:

i. CHARLES E.7 WAYT, b. March 30, 1913.

Notes for CHARLES E. WAYT:

Residence "of Moundsville" in father's obituary.

ii. EILEEN WAYT, b. May 28, 1916.

Notes for EILEEN WAYT:

Preceded her father in death.

iii. HELEN WAYT, b. April 15, 1918; m. (1) YOUNG; m. (2) ALVIN J. MARTY,
1935, Ohio County, West Virgnia.

Notes for HELEN WAYT:

Residence "of Moundsville" in father's obituary.

First marriage recorded in Ohio County, but named Helen Young in father's
obituary.

Marriage Notes for HELEN WAYT and ALVIN MARTY:

Marriage to Alvin J. Marty recorded Vol. 115, page 256.

iv. GERALD R. (JUDD) WAYT, b. January 30, 1920; d. 1981; m. LYDA JEAN
MURPHY; b. 1928; d. September 07, 1981, Marshall County, WV.

Notes for GERALD R. (JUDD) WAYT:

Preceded his father in death.

More About GERALD R. (JUDD) WAYT:

Burial: Halcyon Hills Memorial Gardens, Sherrard, Marshall County, WV

Notes for LYDA JEAN MURPHY:

Obituary in "Wheeling New Register", Sept. 9, 1981:

WAYT, Lyda Jean, 53, of 2206 Fourth St., Moundsville, died Monday in
Reynolds Memorial Hospital. She was a member of the Moundsville Baptist
Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald Wayt in 1981.
Surviving are her parents, Robert and Martha McConnell Murphy of
Moundsville; a son, Robert R. Woodburn of Proctor, W.Va.; a daughter, Mrs.
Hestle (Loretta) Riggle of Glen Dale; a step-daughter, Mrs. William
(Judaleen) Cullum of Moundsville; two brothers, William G. Murphy of San
Jose, Calif., and Robert L. Murphy of Morgantown; a sister, Mrs, Garry
(Patty) Berisford of Moundsville; six grandchilden. Friends received at the
Grisell Funeral Home, 400 Jefferson Ave., Moundsville, where services were
held at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Interment in Riverview Cemetery, Moundsville.

More About LYDA JEAN MURPHY:

Burial: Riverview Cemetery, Moundsville, WV

v. WALTER WAYNE WAYT, b. December 03, 1921.

Notes for WALTER WAYNE WAYT:

Residence "of Warren, Ohio" in father's obituary.

6. ORVILLE6 WAYT (OLIVER MILROY5, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN4, JOSEPH3, ANDREW2,
UNKNOWN1) was born July 14, 1904, and died 1977. He married MARY GUNTO. She
was born 1905, and died 1963.

Notes for ORVILLE WAYT:

Buried Mt. Rose Cemetery, Marshall County, WV

1930 census Marshall County, Washington District: #167/179 Orville Wayt, age
25, born WV, father born WV, mother born WV, married at age 19, laborer in
glass house; wife, Mary, age 24, born WV, father born Czechoslovakia, mother
born Czechoslovakia, married at age 18; son, John, age 5; daughter, Anna,
age 4.

More About ORVILLE WAYT:

Burial: Mt. Rose Cemetery, Moundsville, Marshall County, WV

Children of ORVILLE WAYT and MARY GUNTO are:

i. JOHN7 WAYT, b. 1925; m. BETTY C.; b. 1927.

Notes for JOHN WAYT:

Name believed to be John Orville.

Notes for BETTY C.:

Name taken from stone at Riverview Cemetery.

ii. ANNA WAYT, b. September 18, 1925; d. February 17, 1996; m. UNKNOWN EDDY.

More About ANNA WAYT:

Burial: Mt. Rose Cemetery, Moundsville, Marshall County, WV

Generation No. 3

7. ALBERT CARL7 MC ILVAIN (EMILY JANE6 WAYT, OLIVER MILROY5, BENJAMIN
FRANKLIN4, JOSEPH3, ANDREW2, UNKNOWN1) was born 1907 in Marshall County, VA,
and died December 29, 1986. He married VIRGINIA ELIZABETH BALL 1930.

Notes for ALBERT CARL MC ILVAIN:

Obituary: McIlvain, Albert Carl, 79, of Nauvoo Ridge, Glen Easton, died
Monday in Reynolds Memorial Hospital. He was a retired teacher of the
Marshall County schools, having taught for 37 years. He was a member of
Simpson United Methodist Church. Surviving are his wife, Virginia Ball
McIlvain; a son, Jack Carl of Franklin, Pa.; three daughters, Mrs. David
(Jane) Kelley of Anderson, S.C., Mrs. David (Carol) Whipkey and Mrs. James
(Susan) Parker both of Moundsville; a brother, Dr. William E. McIlvain of
Huntington, W.Va; nine grandchildren. Friends received at Grisell Funeral
Home, 400 Jefferson Ave., Moundsville, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday.
Arrangements are incomplete.

Another death notice lists interment in Nauvoo Cemetery, Marshall County.


Children of ALBERT MC ILVAIN and VIRGINIA BALL are:

i. JACK CARL8 MC ILVAIN, b. 1933.

Notes for JACK CARL MC ILVAIN:

Residence Franklin, Pennsylvania.

ii. ELIZABETH JANE MC ILVAIN, b. 1936; m. DAVID KELLY.

Notes for ELIZABETH JANE MC ILVAIN:

Residence Anderson, South Carolina.

iii. CAROL JEAN MC ILVAIN, b. 1937; m. DAVID WHIPKEY.

Notes for CAROL JEAN MC ILVAIN:

Residence Moundsville, WV.

iv. VIRGINIA SUSAN MC ILVAIN, b. 1945; m. JAMES PARKER.

Notes for VIRGINIA SUSAN MC ILVAIN:

Residence Moundsville, WV.

8. RALPH7 WAYT (LEE6, OLIVER MILROY5, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN4, JOSEPH3, ANDREW2,
UNKNOWN1) was born February 15, 1922. He married HANNAH FLORANCE DOTY.

Notes for RALPH WAYT:

Information copied from genealogy.com: Ralph was married three times, Hannah
was his second marriage. Ralph had one other child who died about 3 months
before John was born. She was about 21 at the time and was mentally
retarded. She lived on the farm belonging to Ralph's parents and was raised
by them. She died by falling off the tractor Ralph's father was driving.
Ralph Wayt was from Moundsville, West Virginia and is now buried in Southern
Ohio in his 3rd wife's family plot. Ralph Wayt served in WWII and was in the
83rd Infantry. He basically crawled from Normandy to Germany. He
was wounded in Belgium. Ralph died in a Columbus, OH hospital in late 1998.
Ralph has one sister that I know of that lives in Moundsville, OH who is a
devote Jehovah Witness. Message posted by Helen Count-Wayt January 26, 2004.


Child of RALPH WAYT and HANNAH DOTY is:

i. JOHN LEE8 WAYT, b. June 12, 1964, Wheeling, Ohio County, (W) Virginia; m.
HELEN COUNT.



24 June 2004

Proof that the Patriot Act has taken away our 1st Amendment rights

After seeing the story on the news, I copied the story from here as proof:WPXI.com

Greenpeace Members Climb Smokestack In Protest

Protestors Face Trespassing Charges


MASONTOWN, Pa. -- Greenpeace activists climbed a 750-foot smokestack today at a coal plant to protest the Bush administration's energy policy. Police have surrounded the area.
Four Greenpeace activists climbed the smokestack at a coal-fired power plant Wednesday morning to secure a banner in protest of President Bush's energy policy.

The protesters climbed the 750-foot smokestack at the Hatfield's Ferry Power Station and unfurled a 2,500-square-foot banner, said Nancy Hwa, a Greenpeace spokeswoman.

"The Hatfield's Ferry Power Station is a symbol and an example of the Bush administration's dirty energy policy, which consistently favors polluting fossil fuel over clean every sources, such as wind and solar," the group said in a news release. "The Bush administration has systematically weakened clean air laws, placing the health of Americans and of the environment at risk."

The Hatfield's plant, owned by Allegheny Energy, is about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh.

"Our main concern right now is the safety of the people up on the stack. Obviously they are trespassing but we want to get them down safely," said Guy Fletcher, an Allegheny Energy spokesman.

Channel 11 talked with demonstrator Lynn Stone, of Greenpeace, via cell phone while she was on the tower.

She said she is a professionally-trained climber, and despite the risk, the extreme measures her organization took today were worth it.

Channel 11's Alan Jennings asked, "Would you not agree with me that this is an incredibly dangerous demonstration on your part?"
Stone said, "I'm sorry, I can't agree with that because I'm up here. I'm (a) professionally-trained climber and I feel completely safe and I feel that, yes, it is a big message."

Stone said she knows she will be arrested when she comes down. But she accepts that, because the laws she broke did not endanger the lives of anyone else.


Last night on the news, it showed that the FBI was there calling the protesters "terrorists", and even our U.S. Attorney Ashcroft is looking into charging them with Federal charges. Right now they are in jail with 4 charges each, 3 of them felonies. I was afraid they would use the Patriot Act to take away our 1st Amendment rights, and unfortunately, I was correct.

Happy Midsummer

I got this from care2.com:

The History of Midsummer

Once dedicated to the Norse fertility goddess Freya, dating back to the 5th century, the longest day of the year is today celebrated on the weekend closest to June 24, St. John the Baptist’s Day. Throughout Sweden, families and friends gather to decorate the maypole with birch leaves and wildflowers, make flower crowns for women and girls, dance around the maypole, sing summer songs and feast on pickled herring, new potatoes, strawberries and aquavit.

According to an ancient rite, sunrise or sundown on Midsummer’s Day is an auspicious time to gather together a magical bouquet consisting of seven different flowers. You have to pick the flowers naked, alone and under silence. By “sleeping on the bouquet” (inside or underneath the pillow), boys and girls will then receive dreams about their future mate.

Today, Witches and Pagans also celebrate Midsummer as a time rife with divinations, healing rituals, and the cutting of divining rods and wands. Witches and Pagans still believe the “Little People” exist in great numbers during this balance of light and dark. It is said that standing in a fairy ring will help you to see them, if they like you.

23 June 2004

I got this in email

I thought it was very interesting:

Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, was awarded a no-bid contract worth over $7 billion to help rebuild Iraq. The process for awarding this rare and lucrative contract was coordinated by Dick Cheney's own office in the White House. [Time, 5/30/04] Dick Cheney still receives deferred compensation from Halliburton, showing a lingering financial interest in the company. [Washington Post, 9/26/03; Richard B. Cheney Personal Financial Disclosure, May 15, 2002]

Despite the Cheney favoritism, Halliburton has shown little regard for American taxpayers -- from overcharging the military for gas to not delivering meals to troops. Halliburton is a symptom of a wider problem: a House committee found that at least $1 billion has been wasted in Iraq because of a lack of planning and poor oversight.


This is even more disturbing to me since I saw on the news today that they want to arrest all four Greenpeace protesters on federal charges for simply putting up a banner protesting Bushes stand on air polution. Very innocent and non-violent, yet the FBI is waiting for the protesters to come down from a smokestack to arrest him. Our government has gone insane.

Older than dirt

I got this from my dad:

OLDER THAN DIRT

Lightning Bugs / Older 'n Dirt!!

"Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "What was your favourite fast food when you were growing up?"

"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I informed him. "All the food was slow."

"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"

"It was a place called 'at home,'" I explained. "Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of coloured plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called "pizza pie." When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather's Ford. He called it a "machine."

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favourite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favourite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.
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Older than dirt

I got this from my dad:

OLDER THAN DIRT

Lightning Bugs / Older 'n Dirt!!

"Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "What was your favourite fast food when you were growing up?"

"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I informed him. "All the food was slow."

"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"

"It was a place called 'at home,'" I explained. "Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of coloured plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called "pizza pie." When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather's Ford. He called it a "machine."

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favourite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favourite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bus t a gut laughing.

Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?


MEMORIES from a friend:

My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something! I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to "sprinkle" clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.
Real ice boxes.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.


Older Than Dirt Quiz: Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about! Ratings at the bottom.

1. Blackjack chewing gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with coloured sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (OLive-6933)
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S&H Green Stamps
16. Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulb
20. Packards
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!

=====
"Senility Prayer"...
God grant me...
The senility to forget the people I never liked
The good fortune to run into the ones that I do
And the eyesight to tell the difference."

22 June 2004

Family

Family definitely has a way of ruining an entire day and getting under my skin.

First of all, I have a sister almost 8 years younger than I am. I remember when she was born, changing her diapers, putting her to bed, reading to her, taking her to festivals. It is amazing that now when I let her into my heart, she can absolutely tear it apart. Hopefully, I will learn from this and never let her in again.

When she had her wedding, she did not invite me, but only phoned me to ask me what Mom & Dad were going to pay for in my wedding.

Then at my wedding, she declined the invitation. Fine. But then during the reception, she phoned my dad 3 times on his cell phone wanting to know when he was coming home. She lived with her own husband and two sons at this time.

Now to top it off...well I let you be the judge:

My sister emailed and asked me if I wanted to do a family reunion.

I replied that It was a great idea and we could do it together since she was much better at planning parties than I was.
My sister:
Do you want to wait till next summer then to start up a family reunion? or
did you want to do it in like August of this year?

Julie McNamara



To this I replied (sorry I do not save drafts, and the email I do have I retrieved from trash), It does not matter to me as long as it is open and everyone is welcomed.

Her reply:
Helen, anyone that is Blood Related one way or another is more than welcome
to come! or a child or spouse of a relative I'm talking about complete
strangers that have nothing to do with our family are not welcome! geez,
you're always so difficult you take things to literal. anyways I just
talked to Dad and Aunt Joyce and they think a " family reunion is a good
idea, There's a park in Hastings called Bob King Park and it's for everyone
and they both think it would be a good idea to have it there. I'll send the
Invites to Dad and Aunt Joyce to spread to everyone related like their
cousins etc, they can give them a " flyer" so they are aware of the Family
reunion and location and can come if they want. If you don't like the idea
I'm sorry and you don't have to take part of it, you didn't last time when
we had it so it's not like it would be much of a difference this time.
Helen I don't know what I ever did to you that was so bad that after all
these years you still carry this child hatred towards me but you really
need to get over it and grow up

Julie McNamara


Where in the world that came from, I have no idea.

So I replied:

What is with the attitude?

Maybe you should be the one looking in the mirror with this "child hatred"
thing and grow up yourself.

John has absolutely no "Ullom blood", yet he has gone to the Ullom family
reunions since he was a kid.

Why do I even try with you?

I give up.


Her reply:
Helen, I'm not trying to give you attitude but you act like such a little
kid example: well if it's not an open reunion I won't be involved" you
sound like a little kid trying to get your way I give up too I tried so
hard to be nice and get along with you , cause mom always cries about it,
and I thought to try and make you and John apart of my kids lives, but I
just realized it'll never work we can't even plan a reunion together, and
it wouldn't be healthy to subject my kids to that kind of atmosphere. It's
too bad too cause your missing out on some great nephews, but I'm done too.
Have a nice life

Julie McNamara


I definitely need to learn to quit letting her into my life. Huge mistake.

14 June 2004

A letter written to me on June 3, 2004 by Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum

He wrote:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, Georgia. I appreciate hearing from you and having the benefit of your views.

The Institute, known originally as the School of the Americas, was founded in 1946 to promote civilian control over the armed forces in emerging Latin American democracies. The Institute's central purpose is to teach military officers that the role of the armed forces in a democracy is to safeguard the property, lives, and rights of its citizens. Training at the Institute is identical to instruction given to American soldiers, except that the courses are given in Spanish and include additional lessons emphasizing respect for civil authority, democratic values, and human rights. While critics charge that the Institute has had no positive effect on promoting democracy in Latin America, the fact remains that the number of military dictatorships in the region has dwindled from twenty in 1946 to only one today -- Fidel Castro's Cuba.

While the overwhelming majority of the Institute's graduates have gone on to make important contributions in bringing democracy to their native countries, some of the past graduates of the School of the Americas have been linked to secret military "death squads" in El Salvador and other nations. These individuals have perpetrated the murders of innocent civilians and undermined democratic elections. Military leaders who operate death squads are the antithesis of the mission that the Institute fosters, and these individuals, once identified, should be permanently barred from participation in any U.S. training and assistance program.

During consideration of S. 2549, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001, section 1204, a provision that would repeal the statute authorizing the continued operation of the School of the Americas. In its place, S. 2549 authorized the Secretary of the Defense to operate the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The Institute was authorized to provide professional education and training to military, law enforcement and civilian personnel of the Western Hemisphere in areas such as leadership development, counter drug operations, peace support operations and disaster relief skills to members of Latin American military forces.

Section 1204 of this bill further requires a minimum of eight hours of instruction related to human rights, the rule of law, due process, civilian control of the military and the role of the military in a democratic society. In addition, this bill creates a board of visitors, composed of four members of Congress, six members from academia, the religious community and human rights groups, to review the Institute's curricula and instruction. Finally, section 1204 establish appropriate guidelines for the Institute and the educational focus for its students.

As you may be aware, Representative James McGovern of Massachusetts has introduced H.R. 1258, a bill that calls for the closing of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. In addition, this bill would also prohibit any training or education facility from being established with in the Department of Defense for Latin American military personnel for ten months.

As I am not a member of the House, I will not have an opportunity to vote on the bill in its current form. Should H.R. 1258 be approved by the House and presented to the full Senate for consideration, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns with me. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Sincerely,

Rick Santorum
United States Senate

13 June 2004

Why God Created Children

My dad emailed this to me today. I think he was trying to tell me something.;-):

WHY GOD CREATED CHILDREN (AND IN THE PROCESS
GRANDCHILDREN)


To those of us who have children in our lives,
whether they are our own,
grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or students...here
is something to make
you chuckle. Whenever your children are out of
control, you can take
comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence
did not extend to
His own children After creating heaven and earth,
God created Adam and
Eve. And the first thing he said was "DON'T!"

"Don't what?" Adam replied.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit." God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey
Eve..we have forbidden
fruit!!!!!"

"No Way!"

"Yes way!"

"Do NOT eat the fruit!" said God.

"Why"

"Because I am your Father and I said so!" God
replied, wondering why He
hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.
A few minutes later,
God saw His children having an apple break and He
was ticked! "Didn't I
tell you not to eat the fruit?" God asked.

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?" said the Father.

"I don't know," said Eve.

"She started it!" Adam said

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"DID NOT!"
Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment
was that Adam and
Eve should have children of their own. Thus the
pattern was set and it
has never changed.

BUT THERE IS REASSURANCE IN THE STORY! If you have
persistently and
lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they
haven't taken it, don't
be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising
children, what makes you
think it would be a piece of cake for you?

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT!

1. You spend the first two years of their life
teaching them to walk and
talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them
to sit down and shut
up.

2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing
your own children.

3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat
their young.

4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they
usually repeat word for
word what you shouldn't have said.

5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is
to remind yourself
that there are children more awful than your own.

6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still
getting in.

ADVICE FOR THE DAY: Be nice to your kids. They will
choose your nursing home one day.

AND FINALLY:

IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF TENSION AND YOU GET A HEADACHE,
DO WHAT IT SAYS ON
THE ASPIRIN BOTTLE:


"TAKE TWO ASPIRIN" AND "KEEP AWAY FROM
CHILDREN"!!!!!

12 June 2004

Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides

My husband printed out this article which I read. I was stunned. There is a quote from our president that uses foul language. I am going to change it using *. I changed the vowels in the quote to *. Hope you do not mind.:

From Capitol Hill Blue

Bush Leagues
Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides
By DOUG THOMPSON
Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue
Jun 4, 2004, 06:15

President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.

In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

“It reminds me of the Nixon days,” says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. “Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That’s the mood over there.”

In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be “God’s will” and then tells aides to “f*ck *v*r” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration.

“We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”

Aides say the President gets “hung up on minor details,” micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues.

“This is what is killing us on Iraq,” one aide says. “We lost focus. The President got hung up on the weapons of mass destruction and an unproven link to al Qaeda. We could have found other justifiable reasons for the war but the President insisted the focus stay on those two, tenuous items.”

Aides who raise questions quickly find themselves shut out of access to the President or other top advisors. Among top officials, Bush’s inner circle is shrinking. Secretary of State Colin Powell has fallen out of favor because of his growing doubts about the administration’s war against Iraq.

The President's abrupt dismissal of CIA Directory George Tenet Wednesday night is, aides say, an example of how he works.

"Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn't hear of it," says an aide. "That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying 'that's it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now."

Tenet was allowed to resign "voluntarily" and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as "God's will."

God may also be the reason Attorney General John Ashcroft, the administration’s lightning rod because of his questionable actions that critics argue threatens freedoms granted by the Constitution, remains part of the power elite. West Wing staffers call Bush and Ashcroft “the Blues Brothers” because “they’re on a mission from God.”

“The Attorney General is tight with the President because of religion,” says one aide. “They both believe any action is justifiable in the name of God.”

But the President who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them “f*ck*ng *ssh*l*s” in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him “unpatriotic” or “anti-American.”

“The mood here is that we’re under siege, there’s no doubt about it,” says one troubled aide who admits he is looking for work elsewhere. “In this administration, you don’t have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President.”

The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the record.

09 June 2004

Captain's Log stardate 2004 June 09

What a day!

Yesterday was spent doing laundry. There is still a mountain to do. There were a few avalanches, but we got the mess cleaned up with only a few casualties. The cats decided to be smart allecs and since there were some clothes on the floor, it was fair game to be dragged into the cat litter box.

My husband got a birthday check from Dad U, and he got his expense checks for Malasia and North Carolina yesterday. So I drove the truck across the state border to Morgantown, WV this morning to deposit them since there is not a branch of our bank in this state. It was a nice drive. On the way back, I stopped at my husband's office to see if he wanted lunch. It was 1 p.m. by the time I got to him. He did not have time to eat. So he just grabbed a couple sandwiches out of the vending machine. Every wondered how we ate before vending machines? Imagine actually sitting down and eating a REAL lunch. Wow, what a concept. ;-)

We switched cars. I left him the truck while I took the car. I had more running around to do, and the car is much easier on gas. And at 2 dollars a gallon, there is a huge difference between a truck that gets 9 miles to the gallon versus a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon.

I went to Kmart to get my husband's prescriptions. While there, I stopped at their diner and ate my first meal of the day, a Philly sub with a side of fries and cole slaw along with a diet cola. Yeah, I see the futality of the diet cola when eating fattening food, but it tasted good. :-)

I then went to Lowes and looked around. My husband's birthday is in a few days, and I need to find a birthday gift. I then went to the mall and looked around. While there, I had my eyebrows waxed along with my upper lip. Yeah, it hurt. And afterwards, it was red and swollen, but it was worth it. Amazing what we will go through for vanity.

I looked around the Sears tool section knowing that this was one of my husband's favorite places. What is it about guys and power tools? My husband will use any excuse to use a power tool. I am amazed that a guy needs an entire arsenal of tools to do what my mom used to do with just a butter knife.

Knowing the pick up truck was already in town, and that my husband's theme song is Al Yankovich's "Hardware Store", I phoned my husband at work and left a message on his voice mail for him to meet me at Lowes after work so he could pick up the malamine he wanted. He usually does not get off work until at least 5 p.m., but somehow he was waiting for me at Lowe's at 5:01 p.m. Amazing what a guy can do with a little incentive. ;-) My husband at a hardware store is like a kid in a toy store. We looked around Lowe's, but they did not have the 16" pre-drilled malamine boards that he wanted. So we drove to Home Depo. Again we looked around and they did not have the 16" pre-drilled malamine boards either. But then there was Tony. He did not give up on us. Actually he was really terrific. Instead of just "we do not have it" and leave us to suffer like another guy did, Tony came up with a great suggestion for us to buy a board and he could cut it down to 16" for us and we could drill the holes where we wanted to. We were REALLY happy, and Tony was really a great customer service person who obviously took pride in his job. So after buying a truck load of stuff, we drove back home. My husband drove the truck ahead of me. Somehow, I hit every single red light on the way home. So hubby was already unloading by the time I pulled in. I then went upstairs and called the Home Depot customer service department to make sure that Tony got an ataboy for a job well done.

Well, Enterprise is on now, even though it is summer which means reruns, is a must to watch.

06 June 2004

Three Women

I got this in an email from my dad. It is a funny joke concidering my husband is an electrical engineer:

Three women go down to Mexico one night to celebrate
college graduation, get drunk, and wake up in jail, only to
find that they are to be executed in the morning, though none of
them can remember what they did the night before.

The first one, a redhead, is strapped in the electric
chair, and is asked if she has any last words. She says, "I just
graduated from Brigham Young University, and believe in the almighty p wer of
God to intervene on the behalf of the innocent," They throw the switch and
nothing happens. They all immediately prostrate themselves; beg for her
forgiveness, and release her.

The second one, a brunette, is strapped in and gives
her last words, "I just graduated from the Harvard School of Law and I
believe in the power of justice to intervene on the part of the
innocent." They throw the switch and again, nothing happens. Again, they all
immediately prostrate themselves; beg for her forgiveness, and release her.

The last one, a blond, is strapped in and says, "Well,
I'm from Georgia Tech and just graduated with a degree in Electrical
Engineering, and I'll tell you right now, you ain't gonna electrocute nobody if
you don't plug this thing in."

A great come back

My dad sent me this in email. It really is a great come back.:-):

As some of you may know, one of my sons serves in the military. He is
still stateside, here in California. He called me yesterday to let me know
how warm and welcoming people were to him, and his troops, everywhere
he goes, telling me how people shake their hands, and thank them for
being willing to serve, and fight, for not only our own freedoms but so that
others may have them also.

But he also told me about an incident in the grocery store he stopped at yesterday, on his way home from the base. He said that ahead of several people in front of him stood a woman dressed in a burkha.
He said when she got to the cashier she loudly remarked about the US
flag lapel pin the cashier wore on her smock.

The cashier reached up and touched the pin, and said proudly, "yes, I always wear it."
The woman in the burkha then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi.

A gentleman standing behind my son stepped forward, putting his arm around my son's shoulders, and nodding towards my son, said in a calm
and gentle voice to the Iraqi woman:
"Lady, hundreds of thousands of men and women like this young man have fought and died so that you could stand here, in MY country and accuse a check-out cashier of bombing your Countrymen. It is my belief that had you been this outspoken in YOUR OWN country we wouldn't need to be there today. But, hey, if you have now learned how to speak out so loudly and clearly I'll gladly pay your way back to Iraq so you can straighten out the mess you are obviously here to avoid."

Smokey

A friend emailed me this story, and I think it should be shared since there are so many people, my dad included, that believed cats kill babies:

Smokey

by B. A. Sutkus


My daughter had her parenting cut out for her. Only two days after my
grandsons Josh and Jarod, identical twins, were born, my daughter brought them
home from the hospital. The babies weighed only about four pounds each, and my
daughter had dressed them in Cabbage Patch nightgowns, the only clothes she
could find to fit them.


For the next five days, we all pitched in. The household revolved around
these two tiny creatures. They ate every two hours, and we spent virtually the
entire day in some stage of feeding them: making bottles, emptying bottles,
cleaning bottles, changing diapers, preparing more bottles. After the twins had
sucked down the last of their 8:00 p.m. bottles and we had changed them and tucked them into bed, we would head to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and a much-needed break. What we needed
was a full-time, paid staff. What we had was Smokey, the family cat.


Smokey had been fascinated with the twins since the day they came home. He
spent more time at their side than we did, watching them curiously or napping
near their beds. We watched him cautiously at first, making sure he didn't hurt
the babies, but though he never left their side, he never got too close to them.
He seemed a loyal caretaker.


One evening, though, we briefly doubted our trust. We were unwinding in
the kitchen when Smokey let out a blood-curdling howl, like an animal killing
its prey. We raced into the twins' room, and the sight that greeted us filled
us with terror. Smokey was almost sitting on Josh, the smaller twin, butting
the baby's little body with his head and literally rolling him around the crib.
As we ran to save Josh from what we thought was serious injury or worse, Smokey
suddenly lay down and started softly mewing, almost moaning. That's when we
discovered that little Josh wasn't breathing.


I immediately started CPR while someone else called 911, and an ambulance
raced Josh to the hospital. It turned out that both boys were highly allergic
to milk. Their bodies had reached their limit in milk intake, and because Josh
was smaller, he had gotten sick sooner. Mercifully, Josh had not been without
oxygen for very long. Smokey had realized that Josh had stopped breathing and
alerted us just in time. Josh would be fine. In fact, the doctor said Smokey
had definitely saved Josh's life.


Over the following months, the family settled into an amiable routine.
Then late one night, Smokey jumped into bed with my daughter and son-in-law and
started to bite and scratch them. More annoyed than puzzled at the cat's
strange behavior, they got up to shut him into the bathroom for the night. But
Smokey dodged their grasp and darted upstairs to the twins' older brother John's
room. When my daughter followed in the chase, she found John so ill that he
couldn't move or call for help. "My chest," was all he could say. When he
underwent emergency heart surgery, the doctors found that his aorta was almost
totally blocked.


Smokey, the hero-cat, now holds a special place in our family. He may have
been content to be your typical family pet when the house was half-empty, but as
it filled up with children, he decided he better promote himself to a mothering
position. When it comes to raising a houseful of kids, Smokey figures it
doesn't hurt to have some extra help.

04 June 2004

joke

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her.

Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket towards the man.

He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

Oh my, I am so sorry, " the woman says as she pops her eye back in place.

"Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you, " she says.

They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theater followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens.

After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast.

They had a wonderful, wonderful time.

The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings.

The guy is amazed! Everything had been SO incredible!

"You know, " he said, "you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet? "

"No, " she replies. . . . . "













Wait for it.











It's coming.











The suspense is killing you, isn't it?











She says:



















"You just happened to catch my eye."

Letter to Mr. Secretary General

Dear Mr. Secretary General
I am deeply concerned about the fate of tens of thousands of women and children who are being sold into modern day slavery, trafficked, and exploited for sexual or labor abuse… despite the absolute prohibition in international conventions at the UN Regarding the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. Through threats, coercion and false promises these victims are falling into lives of unimaginable horror. The recruitment and use of sexual markets continues to feed the growing illicit sexual tourism business, and within ten years, the trafficking of persons will exceed guns and drug trafficking as the world’s biggest illegal business. We must act now!

I urge your office to make the liberation and rehabilitation of trafficking victims a priority by protecting the victims, preventing the spread of this plague, and by prosecuting the offenders.

Recommendation: To form a coalition of world leaders committed to ending the exploitation of children and adolescents.

Responsibilities:

- Ensuring that heads of state monitor and combat the problems associated with trafficking within their own countries.

- Encourage individual nations to adopt the international framework and comply by creating sound national strategies to address the global phenomenon.

- Investigating the use and recruitment of girls for brothels, strip clubs, and massage parlors in all parts of the country, ensuring that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice in accordance with international fair trial standards.

- Genuinely engaging in the rehabilitation of trafficking victims, facilitating their reintegration into society and providing adequately-resourced rehabilitation programs which promote a viable future for former victims of trafficking in civil life.

- Ensuring that mothers have access to birth registration and proper documentation to insure competent medical care for underprivileged children.

We know that you can do a lot to save the lives of these young children and adolescents who are at risk of being trafficked and that you are committed to protecting human rights. I urge you therefore to implement these recommendations and send a clear signal to the world that the United Nations cares about these young children and adolescents.


Yours Truly,



Helen Irene
Count-Wayt
hicount@hotmail.com




| |

Letter to president

Dear Mr. President
I am deeply concerned about the fate of tens of thousands of women and children who are being sold into modern day slavery, trafficked, and exploited for sexual or labor abuse. despite the absolute prohibition in international conventions at the UN, regarding the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. Through threats, coercion and false promises these victims are falling into lives of unimaginable horror. The recruitment and use of sexual markets continues to feed the growing illicit sexual tourism business, and within ten years, the trafficking of persons will exceed guns and drug trafficking as the world's biggest illegal business. We must act now!

We understand that the United States is doing much to monitor and combat trafficking in persons, and we are pleased with the efforts of the State Department and urge your office to make the liberation and rehabilitation of trafficking victims a priority by protecting the victims, preventing the spread of this plague, and by prosecuting the offenders.

Recommendation: To act decisively regarding the protection of basic human rights.

Responsibilities:

- Ensuring that heads of state monitor and combat the problems associated with trafficking within their own countries.

- Encourage individual nations to adopt the international framework and comply by creating sound national strategies to address the global phenomenon.

- Investigating the use and recruitment of girls for brothels, strip clubs, and massage parlors in all parts of the country, ensuring that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice in accordance with international fair trial standards.

- Genuinely engaging in the rehabilitation of trafficking victims, facilitating their reintegration into society and providing adequately-resourced rehabilitation programs which promote a viable future for former victims of trafficking in civil life.

- Ensuring that mothers have access to birth registration and proper documentation to insure competent medical care for underprivileged children.

We know that you can do a lot to save the lives of these young children and adolescents who are at risk of being trafficked and that you are committed to protecting human rights. I urge you therefore to implement these recommendations and send a clear signal to the United Nations that America cares about these young children and adolescents who are great risk.

Yours Truly,


Helen Irene
Count-Wayt
hicount@hotmail.com

We need to do something about child sex slavery

I was watching the Today show and saw Ricky Martin talk about kids being trafficked into slavery. This was very disturbing to me, so I decided to look into it. I found this article. There are many more about this issue, but I think this is an important read:

The Girls Next Door
By PETER LANDESMAN
January 25, 2004

The house at 1212 1/2 West Front Street in Plainfield, N.J., is a conventional midcentury home with slate-gray siding, white trim and Victorian lines. When I stood in front of it on a breezy day in October, I could hear the cries of children from the playground of an elementary school around the corner. American flags fluttered from porches and windows. The neighborhood is a leafy, middle-class Anytown. The house is set back off the street, near two convenience stores and a gift shop. On the door of Superior Supermarket was pasted a sign issued by the Plainfield police: ''Safe neighborhoods save lives.'' The store's manager, who refused to tell me his name, said he never noticed anything unusual about the house, and never heard anything. But David Miranda, the young man behind the counter of Westside Convenience, told me he saw girls from the house roughly once a week. ''They came in to buy candy and soda, then went back to the house,'' he said. The same girls rarely came twice, and they were all very young, Miranda said. They never asked for anything beyond what they were purchasing; they certainly never asked for help. Cars drove up to the house all day; nice cars, all kinds of cars. Dozens of men came and went. ''But no one here knew what was really going on,'' Miranda said. And no one ever asked.

On a tip, the Plainfield police raided the house in February 2002, expecting to find illegal aliens working an underground brothel. What the police found were four girls between the ages of 14 and 17. They were all Mexican nationals without documentation. But they weren't prostitutes; they were sex slaves. The distinction is important: these girls weren't working for profit or a paycheck. They were captives to the traffickers and keepers who controlled their every move. "I consider myself hardened," Mark J. Kelly, now a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security), told me recently. "I spent time in the Marine Corps. But seeing some of the stuff I saw, then heard about, from those girls was a difficult, eye-opening experience."

The police found a squalid, land-based equivalent of a 19th-century slave ship, with rancid, doorless bathrooms; bare, putrid mattresses; and a stash of penicillin, ''morning after'' pills and misoprostol, an antiulcer medication that can induce abortion. The girls were pale, exhausted and malnourished.

It turned out that 1212 1/2 West Front Street was one of what law-enforcement officials say are dozens of active stash houses and apartments in the New York metropolitan area -mirroring hundreds more in other major cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago -where under-age girls and young women from dozens of countries are trafficked and held captive. Most of them -whether they started out in Eastern Europe or Latin America- are taken to the United States through Mexico. Some of them have been baited by promises of legitimate jobs and a better life in America; many have been abducted; others have been bought from or abandoned by their impoverished families.

Because of the porousness of the U.S.-Mexico border and the criminal networks that traverse it, the towns and cities along that border have become the main staging area in an illicit and barbaric industry, whose "products" are women and girls. On both sides of the border, they are rented out for sex for as little as 15 minutes at a time, dozens of times a day. Sometimes they are sold outright to other traffickers and sex rings, victims and experts say. These sex slaves earn no money, there is nothing voluntary about what they do and if they try to escape they are often beaten and sometimes killed.

Last September, in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, President Bush named sex trafficking as "a special evil," a multibillion-dollar "underground of brutalityand lonely fear," a global scourge alongside the AIDS epidemic. Influenced by a coalition of religious organizations, the Bush administration has pushed international action on the global sex trade. The president declared at the U.N. that "those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished" and that ''those who patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others. And governments that tolerate this trade are tolerating a form of slavery."

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 -the first U.S. law to recognize that people trafficked against their will are victims of a crime, not illegal aliens- the U.S. government rates other countries' records on human trafficking and can apply economic sanctions on those that aren't making efforts to improve them. Another piece of legislation, the Protect Act, which Bush signed into law last year, makes it a crime for any person to enter the U.S., or for any citizen to travel abroad, for the purpose of sex tourism involving children. The sentences are severe: up to 30 years' imprisonment for each offense.

The thrust of the president's U.N. speech and the scope of the laws passed here to address the sex-trafficking epidemic might suggest that this is a global problem but not particularly an American one. In reality, little has been done to document sex trafficking in this country. In dozens of interviews I conducted with former sex slaves, madams, government and law-enforcement officials and anti-sex-trade activists for more than four months in Eastern Europe, Mexico and the United States, the details and breadth of this sordid trade in the U.S. came to light.

In fact, the United States has become a major importer of sex slaves. Last year, the C.I.A. estimated that between 18,000 and 20,000 people are trafficked annually into the United States. The government has not studied how many of these are victims of sex traffickers, but Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, America's largest anti-slavery organization, says that the number is at least 10,000 a year. John Miller, the State Department's director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, conceded: "That figure could be low. What we know is that the number is huge." Bales estimates that there are 30,000 to 50,000 sex slaves in captivity in the United States at any given time. Laura Lederer, a senior State Department adviser on trafficking, told me, ''We're not finding victims in the United States because we're not looking for them."

ABDUCTION

In Eastern European capitals like Kiev and Moscow, dozens of sex-trafficking rings advertise nanny positions in the United States in local newspapers; others claim to be scouting for models and actresses. In Chisinau, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Moldova -the poorest country in Europe and the one experts say is most heavily culled by traffickers for young women- I saw a billboard with a fresh-faced, smiling young woman beckoning girls to waitress positions in Paris. But of course there are no waitress positions and no "Paris." Some of these young women are actually tricked into paying their own travel expenses -typically around $3,000- as a down payment on what they expect to be bright, prosperous futures, only to find themselves kept prisoner in Mexico before being moved to the United States and sold into sexual bondage there.

The Eastern European trafficking operations, from entrapment to transport, tend to be well-oiled monoethnic machines. One notorious Ukrainian ring, which has since been broken up, was run by Tetyana Komisaruk and Serge Mezheritsky. One of their last transactions, according to Daniel Saunders, an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, took place in late June 2000 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Tijuana. Around dinnertime, a buyer named Gordey Vinitsky walked in. He was followed shortly after by Komisaruk's husband, Valery, who led Vinitsky out to the parking lot and to a waiting van. Inside the van were six Ukrainian women in their late teens and early 20's. They had been promised jobs as models and baby sitters in the glamorous United States, and they probably had no idea why they were sitting in a van in a backwater like Tijuana in the early evening. Vinitsky pointed into the van at two of the women and said he'd take them for $10,000 each. Valery drove the young women to a gated villa 20 minutes away in Rosarito, a Mexican honky-tonk tourist trap in Baja California. They were kept there until July 4, when they were delivered to San Diego by boat and distributed to their buyers, including Vinitsky, who claimed his two "purchases." The Komisaruks, Mezheritsky and Vinitsky were caught in May 2001 and are serving long sentences in U.S. federal prison.

In October, I met Nicole, a young Russian woman who had been trafficked into Mexico by a different network. "I wanted to get out of Moscow, and they told me the Mexican border was like a freeway," said Nicole, who is now 25. We were sitting at a cafe on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, and she was telling me the story of her narrow escape from sex slavery-she was taken by immigration officers when her traffickers were trying to smuggle her over the border from Tijuana. She still seemed fearful of being discovered by the trafficking ring and didn't want even her initials to appear in print. (Nicole is a name she adopted after coming to the U.S.)

Two years ago, afraid for her life after her boyfriend was gunned down in Moscow in an organized-crime-related shootout, she found herself across a cafe table in Moscow from a man named Alex, who explained how he could save her by smuggling her into the U.S. Once she agreed, Nicole said, Alex told her that if she didn't show up at the airport, "I'll find you and cut your head off.' Russians do not play around. In Moscow you can get a bullet in your head just for fun."

Donna M. Hughes, a professor of women's studies at the University of Rhode Island and an expert on sex trafficking, says that prostitution barely existed 12 years ago in the Soviet Union. "It was suppressed by political structures. All the women had jobs." But in the first years after the collapse of Soviet Communism, poverty in the former Soviet states soared. Young women -many of them college-educated and married- became easy believers in Hollywood-generated images of swaying palm trees in L.A. "A few of them have an idea that prostitution might be involved," Hughes says. "But their idea of prostitution is 'Pretty Woman,' which is one of the most popular films in Ukraine and Russia. They're thinking, This may not be so bad."

The girls' first contacts are usually with what appear to be legitimate travel agencies. According to prosecutors, the Komisaruk/Mezheritsky ring in Ukraine worked with two such agencies in Kiev, Art Life International and Svit Tours. The helpful agents at Svit and Art Life explained to the girls that the best way to get into the U.S. was through Mexico, which they portrayed as a short walk or boat ride from the American dream. Oblivious and full of hope, the girls get on planes to Europe and then on to Mexico.

Every day, flights from Paris, London and Amsterdam arrive at Mexico City's international airport carrying groups of these girls, sometimes as many as seven at a time, according to two Mexico City immigration officers I spoke with (and who asked to remain anonymous). One of them told me that officials at the airport -who cooperate with Mexico's federal preventive police (P.F.P.)- work with the traffickers and "direct airlines to park at certain gates. Officials go to the aircraft. They know the seat numbers. While passengers come off, they take the girls to an office, where officials will 'process' them."

Magdalena Carral, Mexico's commissioner of the National Institute of Migration, the government agency that controls migration issues at all airports, seaports and land entries into Mexico, told me: "Everything happens at the airport. We are giving a big fight to have better control of the airport. Corruption does not leave tracks, and sometimes we cannot track it. Six months ago we changed the three main officials at the airport. But it's a daily fight. These networks are very powerful and dangerous."

ut Mexico is not merely a way station en route to the U.S. for third-country traffickers, like the Eastern European rings. It is also a vast source of even younger and more cheaply acquired girls for sexual servitude in the United States. While European traffickers tend to dupe their victims into boarding one-way flights to Mexico to their own captivity, Mexican traffickers rely on the charm and brute force of "Los Lenones," tightly organized associations of pimps, according to Roberto Caballero, an officer with the P.F.P. Although hundreds of "popcorn traffickers" -individuals who take control of one or two girls- work the margins, Caballero said, at least 15 major trafficking organizations and 120 associated factions tracked by the P.F.P. operate as wholesalers: collecting human merchandise and taking orders from safe houses and brothels in the major sex-trafficking hubs in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago.

Like the Sicilian Mafia, Los Lenones are based on family hierarchies, Caballero explained. The father controls the organization and the money, while the sons and their male cousins hunt, kidnap and entrap victims. The boys leave school at 12 and are given one or two girls their age to rape and pimp out to begin their training, which emphasizes the arts of kidnapping and seduction. Throughout the rural and suburban towns from southern Mexico to the U.S. border, along what traffickers call the Via Lactea, or Milky Way, the agents of Los Lenones troll the bus stations and factories and school dances where under-age girls gather, work and socialize. They first ply the girls like prospective lovers, buying them meals and desserts, promising affection and then marriage. Then the men describe rumors they've heard about America, about the promise of jobs and schools. Sometimes the girls are easy prey. Most of them already dream of El Norte. But the theater often ends as soon as the agent has the girl alone, when he beats her, drugs her or simply forces her into a waiting car.

The majority of Los Lenones -80 percent of them, Caballero says- are based in Tenancingo, a charmless suburb an hour's drive south of Mexico City. Before I left Mexico City for Tenancingo in October, I was warned by Mexican and U.S. officials that the traffickers there are protected by the local police, and that the town is designed to discourage outsiders, with mazelike streets and only two closely watched entrances. The last time the federal police went there to investigate the disappearance of a local girl, their vehicle was surrounded, and the officers were intimidated into leaving. I traveled in a bulletproof Suburban with well-armed federales and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

On the way, we stopped at a gas station, where I met the parents of a girl from Tenancingo who was reportedly abducted in August 2000. The girl, Suri, is now 20. Her mother told me that there were witnesses who saw her being forced into a car on the way home from work at a local factory. No one called the police. Suri's mother recited the names of daughters of a number of her friends who have also been taken: "Minerva, Sylvia, Carmen," she said in a monotone, as if the list went on and on.

Just two days earlier, her parents heard from Suri (they call her by her nickname) for the first time since she disappeared. "She's in Queens, New York," the mother told me breathlessly. ''She said she was being kept in a house watched by Colombians. She said they take her by car every day to work in a brothel. I was crying on the phone, 'When are you coming back, when are you coming back?' " The mother looked at me helplessly; the father stared blankly into the distance. Then the mother sobered. ''My daughter said: 'I'm too far away. I don't know when I'm coming back.''' Before she hung up, Suri told her mother: ''Don't cry. I'll escape soon. And don't talk to anyone."

Sex-trafficking victims widely believe that if they talk, they or someone they love will be killed. And their fear is not unfounded, since the tentacles of the trafficking rings reach back into the girls' hometowns, and local law enforcement is often complicit in the sex trade.

One officer in the P.F.P.'s anti-trafficking division told me that 10 high-level officials in the state of Sonora share a $200,000 weekly payoff from traffickers, a gargantuan sum of money for Mexico. The officer told me with a frozen smile that he was powerless to do anything about it.

"Some officials are not only on the organization's payroll, they are key players in the organization," an official at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City told me. "Corruption is the most important reason these networks are so successful."

Nicolas Suarez, the P.F.P.'s coordinator of intelligence, sounded fatalistic about corruption when I spoke to him in Mexico City in September. "We have that cancer, corruption," he told me with a shrug. "But it exists in every country. In every house there is a devil."

The U.S. Embassy official told me: "Mexican officials see sex trafficking as a U.S. problem. If there wasn't such a large demand, then people -trafficking victims and migrants alike- wouldn't be going up there."

When I asked Magdalena Carral, the Mexican commissioner of migration, about these accusations, she said that she didn't know anything about Los Lenones or sex trafficking in Tenancingo. But she conceded: "There is an investigation against some officials accused of cooperating with these trafficking networks nationwide. Sonora is one of those places." She added, "We are determined not to allow any kind of corruption in this administration, not the smallest kind."

Gary Haugen, president of the International Justice Mission, an organization based in Arlington, Va., that fights sexual exploitation in South Asia and Southeast Asia, says: "Sex trafficking isn't a poverty issue but a law-enforcement issue. You can only carry out this trade at significant levels with the cooperation of local law enforcement. In the developing world the police are not seen as a solution for anything. You don't run to the police; you run from the police."

BREAKING THE GIRLS IN

Once the Mexican traffickers abduct or seduce the women and young girls, it's not other men who first indoctrinate them into sexual slavery but other women. The victims and officials I spoke to all emphasized this fact as crucial to the trafficking rings' success. "Women are the principals," Caballero, the Mexican federal preventive police officer, told me. "The victims are put under the influence of the mothers, who handle them and beat them. Then they give the girls to the men to beat and rape into submission." Traffickers understand that because women can more easily gain the trust of young girls, they can more easily crush them. "Men are the customers and controllers, but within most trafficking organizations themselves, women are the operators," Haugen says. "Women are the ones who exert violent force and psychological torture."

This mirrors the tactics of the Eastern European rings. "Mexican pimps have learned a lot from European traffickers," said Claudia, a former prostitute and madam in her late 40's, whom I met in Tepito, Mexico City's vast and lethal ghetto. "The Europeans not only gather girls but put older women in the same houses," she told me. "They get younger and older women emotionally attached. They're transported together, survive together."

The traffickers' harvest is innocence. Before young women and girls are taken to the United States, their captors want to obliterate their sexual inexperience while preserving its appearance. For the Eastern European girls, this "preparation" generally happens in Ensenada, a seaside tourist town in Baja California, a region in Mexico settled by Russian immigrants, or Tijuana, where Nicole, the Russian woman I met in Los Angeles, was taken along with four other girls when she arrived in Mexico. The young women are typically kept in locked-down, gated villas in groups of 16 to 20. The girls are provided with all-American clothing
-Levi's and baseball caps. They learn to say, "U.S. citizen." They are also sexually brutalized. Nicole told me that the day she arrived in Tijuana, three of her traveling companions were "tried out" locally. The education lasts for days and sometimes weeks.

For the Mexican girls abducted by Los Lenones, the process of breaking them in often begins on Calle Santo Tomas, a filthy narrow street in La Merced, a dangerous and raucous ghetto in Mexico City. Santo Tomas has been a place for low-end prostitution since before Spain's conquest of Mexico in the 16th century. But beginning in the early 90's, it became an important training ground for under-age girls and young women on their way into sexual bondage in the United States. When I first visited Santo Tomas, in late September, I found 150 young women walking a slow-motion parabola among 300 or 400 men. It was a balmy night, and the air was heavy with the smell of barbecue and gasoline. Two dead dogs were splayed over the curb just beyond where the girls struck casual poses in stilettos and spray-on-tight neon vinyl and satin or skimpy leopard-patterned outfits. Some of the girls looked as young as 12. Their faces betrayed no emotion. Many wore pendants of the grim reaper around their necks and made hissing sounds; this, I was told, was part of a ritual to ward off bad energy. The men, who were there to rent or just gaze, didn't speak. From the tables of a shabby cafe midblock, other men -also Mexicans, but more neatly dressed- sat scrutinizing the girls as at an auction. These were buyers and renters with an interest in the youngest and best looking. They nodded to the girls they wanted and then followed them past a guard in a Yankees baseball cap through a tin doorway.

Inside, the girls braced the men before a statue of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, and patted them down for weapons. Then the girls genuflected to the stone-faced saint and led the men to the back, grabbing a condom and roll of toilet paper on the way. They pointed to a block of ice in a tub in lieu of a urinal. Beyond a blue hallway the air went sour, like old onions; there were 30 stalls curtained off by blue fabric, every one in use. Fifteen minutes of straightforward intercourse with the girl's clothes left on cost 50 pesos, or about $4.50. For $4.50 more, the dress was lifted. For another $4.50, the bra would be taken off. Oral sex was $4.50; ''acrobatic positions'' were $1.80 each. Despite the dozens of people and the various exertions in this room, there were only the sounds of zippers and shoes. There was no human noise at all.

Most of the girls on Santo Tomas would have sex with 20 to 30 men a day; they would do this seven days a week usually for weeks but sometimes for months before they were "ready" for the United States. If they refused, they would be beaten and sometimes killed. They would be told that if they tried to escape, one of their family members, who usually had no idea where they were, would be beaten or killed. Working at the brutalizing pace of 20 men per day, a girl could earn her captors as much as $2,000 a week. In the U.S., that same girl could bring in perhaps $30,000 per week.

In Europe, girls and women trafficked for the sex trade gain in value the closer they get to their destinations. According to Iana Matei, who operates Reaching Out, a Romanian rescue organization, a Romanian or Moldovan girl can be sold to her first transporter -who she may or may not know has taken her captive- for as little as $60, then for $500 to the next. Eventually she can be sold for $2,500 to the organization that will ultimately control and rent her for sex for tens of thousands of dollars a week. (Though the Moldovan and Romanian organizations typically smuggle girls to Western Europe and not the United States, they are, Matei says, closely allied with Russian and Ukrainian networks that do.)

Jonathan M. Winer, deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement in the Clinton administration, says, "The girls are worth a penny or a ruble in their home village, and suddenly they're worth hundreds and thousands somewhere else."

CROSSING THE BORDER

In November, I followed by helicopter the 12-foot-high sheet-metal fence that represents the U.S.-Mexico boundary from Imperial Beach, Calif., south of San Diego, 14 miles across the gritty warrens and havoc of Tijuana into the barren hills of Tecate. The fence drops off abruptly at Colonia Nido de las Aguilas, a dry riverbed that straddles the border. Four hundred square miles of bone-dry, barren hills stretch out on the U.S. side. I hovered over the end of the fence with Lester McDaniel, a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On the U.S. side, "J-e-s-u-s" was spelled out in rocks 10 feet high across a steep hillside. A 15-foot white wooden cross rose from the peak. It is here that thousands of girls and young women -most of them Mexican and many of them straight from Calle Santo Tomas- are taken every year, mostly between January and August, the dry season. Coyotes -or smugglers- subcontracted exclusively by sex traffickers sometimes trudge the girls up to the cross and let them pray, then herd them into the hills northward.

A few miles east, we picked up a deeply grooved trail at the fence and followed it for miles into the hills until it plunged into a deep isolated ravine called Cottonwood Canyon. A Ukrainian sex-trafficking ring force-marches young women through here, McDaniel told me. In high heels and seductive clothing, the young women trek 12 miles to Highway 94, where panel trucks sit waiting. McDaniel listed the perils: rattlesnakes, dehydration and hypothermia. He failed to mention the traffickers' bullets should the women try to escape.

"If a girl tries to run, she's killed and becomes just one more woman in the desert," says Marisa B. Ugarte, director of the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, a San Diego organization that coordinates rescue efforts for trafficking victims on both sides of the border. "But if she keeps going north, she reaches the Gates of Hell."

One girl who was trafficked back and forth across that border repeatedly was Andrea. "Andrea" is just one name she was given by her traffickers and clients; she doesn't know her real name. She was born in the United States and sold or abandoned here -at about 4 years old, she says- by a woman who may have been her mother. (She is now in her early to mid-20's; she doesn't know for sure.) She says that she spent approximately the next 12 years as the captive of a sex-trafficking ring that operated on both sides of the Mexican border. Because of the threat of retribution from her former captors, who are believed to be still at large, an organization that rescues and counsels trafficking victims and former prostitutes arranged for me to meet Andrea in October at a secret location in the United States.

In a series of excruciating conversations, Andrea explained to me how the trafficking ring that kept her worked, moving young girls (and boystoo) back and forth over the border, selling nights and weekends with them mostly to American men. She said that the ring imported -both through abduction and outright purchase- toddlers, children and teenagers into the U.S. from many countries.

"The border is very busy, lots of stuff moving back and forth," she said. "Say you needed to get some kids. This guy would offer a woman a lot of money, and she'd take birth certificates from the U.S. -from Puerto Rican children or darker-skinned children- and then she would go into Mexico through Tijuana. Then she'd drive to Juarez" -across the Mexican border from El Paso, Tex.-"and then they'd go shopping. I was taken with them once. We went to this house that had a goat in the front yard and came out with a 4-year-old boy." She remembers the boy costing around $500 (she said that many poor parents were told that their children would go to adoption agencies and on to better lives in America). "When we crossed the border at Juarez, all the border guards wanted to see was a birth certificate for the dark-skinned kids."

Andrea continued: "There would be a truck waiting for us at the Mexico border, and those trucks you don't want to ride in. Those trucks are closed. They had spots where there would be transfers, the rest stops and truck stops on the freeways in the U.S. One person would walk you into the bathroom, and then another person would take you out of the bathroom and take you to a different vehicle."

Andrea told me she was transported to Juarez dozens of times. During one visit, when she was about 7 years old, the trafficker took her to the Radisson Casa Grande Hotel, where there was a john waiting in a room. The john was an older American man, and he read Bible passages to her before and after having sex with her. Andrea described other rooms she remembered in other hotels in Mexico: the Howard Johnson in Leon, the Crowne Plaza in Guadalajara. She remembers most of all the ceiling patterns. "When I was taken to Mexico, I knew things were going to be different," she said. The "customers" were American businessmen. "The men who went there had higher positions, had more to lose if they were caught doing these things on the other side of the border. I was told my purpose was to keep these men from abusing their own kids." Later she told me: "The white kids you could beat but you couldn't mark. But with Mexican kids you could do whatever you wanted. They're untraceable. You lose nothing by killing them."

Then she and the other children and teenagers in this cell were walked back across the border to El Paso by the traffickers. "The border guards talked to you like, 'Did you have fun in Mexico?' And you answered exactly what you were told, 'Yeah, I had fun.' 'Runners' moved the harder-to-place kids, the darker or not-quite-as-well-behaved kids, kids that hadn't been broken yet."

Another trafficking victim I met, a young woman named Montserrat, was taken to the United States from Veracruz, Mexico, six years ago, at age 13. (Montserrat is her nickname.) "I was going to work in America," she told me. "I wanted to go to school there, have an apartment and a red Mercedes Benz." Montserrat's trafficker, who called himself Alejandro, took her to Sonora, across the Mexican border from Douglas, Ariz., where she joined a group of a dozen other teenage girls, all with the same dream of a better life. They were from Chiapas, Guatemala, Oaxaca -everywhere, she said-.

The group was marched 12 hours through the desert, just a few of the thousands of Mexicans who bolted for America that night along the 2,000 miles of border. Cars were waiting at a fixed spot on the other side. Alejandro directed her to a Nissan and drove her and a few others to a house she said she thought was in Phoenix, the home of a white American family. "It looked like America," she told me. "I ate chicken. The family ignored me, watched TV. I thought the worst part was behind me."

IN THE UNITED STATES: HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

A week after Montserrat was taken across the border, she said, she and half a dozen other girls were loaded into a windowless van. "Alejandro dropped off girls at gas stations as we drove, wherever there were minimarkets," Montserrat told me. At each drop-off there was somebody waiting. Sometimes a girl would be escorted to the bathroom, never to return to the van. They drove 24 hours a day. "As the girls were leaving, being let out the back, all of them 14 or 15 years old, I felt confident," Montserrat said. We were talking in Mexico City, where she has been since she escaped from her trafficker four years ago. She's now 19, and shy with her body but direct with her gaze, which is flat and unemotional. "I didn't know the real reason they were disappearing," she said. "They were going to a better life."

Eventually, only Montserrat and one other girl remained. Outside, the air had turned frigid, and there was snow on the ground. It was night when the van stopped at a gas station. A man was waiting. Montserrat's friend hopped out the back, gleeful. "She said goodbye, I'll see you tomorrow," Montserrat recalled. "I never saw her again."

After leaving the gas station, Alejandro drove Montserrat to an apartment. A couple of weeks later he took her to a Dollarstore. "He bought me makeup," Montserrat told me. "He chose a short dress and a halter top, both black. I asked him why the clothes. He said it was for a party the owner of the apartment was having. He bought me underwear. Then I started to worry." When they arrived at the apartment, Alejandro left, saying he was coming back. But another man appeared at the door. "The man said he'd already paid and I had to do whatever he said," Montserrat said. "When he said he already paid, I knew why I was there. I was crushed."

Montserrat said that she didn't leave that apartment for the next three months, then for nine months after that, Alejandro regularly took her in and out of the apartment for appointments with various johns.

Sex trafficking is one of the few human rights violations that rely on exposure: victims have to be available, displayed, delivered and returned. Girls were shuttled in open cars between the Plainfield, N.J., stash house and other locations in northern New Jersey like Elizabeth and Union City. Suri told her mother that she was being driven in a black town car -just one of hundreds of black town cars traversing New York City at any time- from her stash house in Queens to places where she was forced to have sex. A Russian ring drove women between various Brooklyn apartments and strip clubs in New Jersey. Andrea named trading hubs at highway rest stops in Deming, N.M.; Kingman, Ariz.; Boulder City, Nev.; and Glendale, Calif. Glendale, Andrea said, was a fork in the road; from there, vehicles went either north to San Jose or south toward San Diego. The traffickers drugged them for travel, she said. "When they fed you, you started falling asleep."

In the past several months, I have visited a number of addresses where trafficked girls and young women have reportedly ended up: besides the house in Plainfield, N.J., there is a row house on 51st Avenue in the Corona section of Queens, which has been identified to Mexican federal preventive police by escaped trafficking victims. There is the apartment at Barrington Plaza in the tony Westwood section of Los Angeles, one place that some of the Komisaruk/Mezheritsky ring's trafficking victims ended up, according to Daniel Saunders, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the ring. And there's a house on Massachusetts Avenue in Vista, Calif., a San Diego suburb, which was pointed out to me by a San Diego sheriff. These places all have at least one thing in common: they are camouflaged by their normal, middle-class surroundings.

"This is not narco-traffic secrecy," says Sharon B. Cohn, director of anti-trafficking operations for the International Justice Mission. "These are not people kidnapped and held for ransom, but women and children sold every single day. If they're hidden, their keepers don't make money."

I.J.M.'s president, Gary Haugen, says: "It's the easiest kind of crime in the world to spot. Men look for it all day, every day."

But border agents and local policemen usually don't know trafficking when they see it. The operating assumption among American police departments is that women who sell their bodies do so by choice, and undocumented foreign women who sell their bodies are not only prostitutes (that is, voluntary sex workers) but also trespassers on U.S. soil. No Department of Justice attorney or police vice squad officer I spoke with in Los Angeles -one of the country's busiest thoroughfares for forced sex traffic- considers sex trafficking in the U.S. a serious problem, or a priority. A teenage girl arrested on Sunset Strip for solicitation, or a group of Russian sex workers arrested in a brothel raid in the San Fernando Valley, are automatically heaped onto a pile of workaday vice arrests.

The U.S. now offers 5,000 visas a year to trafficking victims to allow them to apply for residency. And there's faint hope among sex-trafficking experts that the Bush administration's recent proposal on Mexican immigration, if enacted, could have some positive effect on sex traffic into the U.S., by sheltering potential witnesses. "If illegal immigrants who have information about victims have a chance at legal status in this country, they might feel secure enough to come forward," says John Miller of the State Department. But ambiguities still dominate on the front lines -the borders and the streets of urban America- where sex trafficking will always look a lot like prostitution.

"It's not a particularly complicated thing," says Sharon Cohn of International Justice Mission. "Sex trafficking gets thrown into issues of intimacy and vice, but it's a major crime. It's purely profit and pleasure, and greed and lust, and it's right under homicide.

IMPRISONMENT AND SUBMISSION

The basement, Andrea said, held as many as 16 children and teenagers of different ethnicities. She remembers that it was underneath a house in an upper-middle-class neighborhood on the West Coast. Throughout much of her captivity, this basement was where she was kept when she wasn't working. "There was lots of scrawling on the walls," she said. "The other kids drew stick figures, daisies, teddy bears. This Mexican boy would draw a house with sunshine. We each had a mat."

Andrea paused. "But nothing happens to you in the basement," she continued. "You just had to worry about when the door opened."

She explained: "They would call you out of the basement, and you'd get a bath and you'd get a dress, and if your dress was yellow you were probably going to Disneyland." She said they used color coding to make transactions safer for the traffickers and the clients. "At Disneyland there would be people doing drop-offs and pickups for kids. It's a big open area full of kids, and nobody pays attention to nobody. They would kind of quietly say, 'Go over to that person,' and you would just slip your hand into theirs and say, 'I was looking for you, Daddy.' Then that person would move off with one or two or three of us."

Her account reminded me -painfully- of the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In the story, a piper shows up and asks for 1,000 guilders for ridding the town of a plague of rats. Playing his pipe, he lures all the rats into the River Weser, where they drown. But Hamelin's mayor refuses to pay him. The piper goes back into the streets and again starts to play his music. This time "all the little boys and girls, with rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, and sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls" follow him out of town and into the hills. The piper leads the children to a mountainside, where a portal opens. The children follow him in, the cave closes and Hamelin's children -all but one, too lame to keep up- are never seen again.

Montserrat said that she was moved around a lot and often didn't know where she was. She recalled that she was in Detroit for two months before she realized that she was in "the city where cars are made," because the door to the apartment Alejandro kept her in was locked from the outside. She says she was forced to service at least two men a night, and sometimes more. She watched through the windows as neighborhood children played outside. Emotionally, she slowly dissolved. Later, Alejandro moved her to Portland, Ore., where once a week he worked her out of a strip club. In all that time she had exactly one night off; Alejandro took her to see "Scary Movie 2."

All the girls I spoke to said that their captors were both psychologically and physically abusive. Andrea told me that she and the other children she was held with were frequently beaten to keep them off-balance and obedient. Sometimes they were videotaped while being forced to have sex with adults or one another. Often, she said, she was asked to play roles: the therapist's patient or the obedient daughter. Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners -toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens- as well as what she called a "damage group." "In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted," she explained. "Though sex always hurts when you are little, so it's always violent, everything was much more painful once you were placed in the damage group."

"They'd get you hungry then to train you" to have oral sex, she said. "They'd put honey on a man. For the littlest kids, you had to learn not to gag. And they would push things in you so you would open up better. We learned responses. Like if they wanted us to be sultry or sexy or scared. Most of them wanted you scared. When I got older I'd teach the younger kids how to float away so things didn't hurt."

Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves says: "The physical path of a person being trafficked includes stages of degradation of a person's mental state. A victim gets deprived of food, gets hungry, a little dizzy and sleep-deprived. She begins to break down; she can't think for herself. Then take away her travel documents, and you've made her stateless. Then layer on physical violence, and she begins to follow orders. Then add a foreign culture and language, and she's trapped."

Then add one more layer: a sex-trafficking victim's belief that her family is being tracked as collateral for her body. All sex-trafficking operations, whether Mexican, Ukrainian or Thai, are vast criminal underworlds with roots and branches that reach back to the countries, towns and neighborhoods of their victims.

"There's a vast misunderstanding of what coercion is, of how little it takes to make someone a slave," Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission said. "The destruction of dignity and sense of self, these girls' sense of resignation. . . " He didn't finish the sentence.

In Tijuana in November, I met with Mamacita, a Mexican trafficking-victim-turned-madam, who used to oversee a stash house for sex slaves in San Diego. Mamacita (who goes by a nickname) was full of regret and worry. She left San Diego three years ago, but she says that the trafficking ring, run by three violent Mexican brothers, is still in operation. "The girls can't leave," Mamacita said. "They're always being watched. They lock them into apartments. The fear is unbelievable. They can't talk to anyone. They are always hungry, pale, always shaking and cold. But they never complain. If they do, they'll be beaten or killed."

In Vista, Calif., I followed a pickup truck driven by a San Diego sheriff's deputy named Rick Castro. We wound past a tidy suburban downtown, a supermall and the usual hometown franchises. We stopped alongside the San Luis Rey River, across the street from a Baptist church, a strawberry farm and a municipal ballfield.

A neat subdivision and cycling path ran along the opposite bank. The San Luis Rey was mostly dry, filled now with an impenetrable jungle of 15-foot-high bamboolike reeds. As Castro and I started down a well-worn path into the thicket, he told me about the time he first heard about this place, in October 2001. A local health care worker had heard rumors about Mexican immigrants using the reeds for sex and came down to offer condoms and advice. She found more than 400 men and 50 young women between 12 and 15 dressed in tight clothing and high heels. There was a separate group of a dozen girls no more than 11 or 12 wearing white communion dresses. "The girls huddled in a circle for protection,'' Castro told me, ''and had big eyes like terrified deer."

I followed Castro into the riverbed, and only 50 yards from the road we found a confounding warren of more than 30 roomlike caves carved into the reeds. It was a sunny morning, but the light in there was refracted, dreary and basementlike. The ground in each was a squalid nest of mud, tamped leaves, condom wrappers, clumps of toilet paper and magazines. Soiled underwear was strewn here and there, plastic garbage bags jury-rigged through the reeds in lieu of walls. One of the caves' inhabitants had hung old CD's on the tips of branches, like Christmas ornaments. It looked vaguely like a recent massacre site. It was 8 in the morning, but the girls could begin arriving any minute. Castro told me how it works: the girls are dropped off at the ballfield, then herded through a drainage sluice under the road into the riverbed. Vans shuttle the men from a 7-Eleven a mile away. The girls are forced to turn 15 tricks in five hours in the mud. The johns pay $15 and get 10 minutes. It is in nearly every respect a perfect extension of Calle Santo Tomas in Mexico City. Except that this is what some of those girls are training for.

If anything, the women I talked to said that the sex in the U.S. is even rougher than what the girls face on Calle Santo Tomas. Rosario, a woman I met in Mexico City, who had been trafficked to New York and held captive for a number of years, said: "In America we had 'special jobs.' Oral sex, anal sex, often with many men. Sex is now more adventurous, harder." She said that she believed younger foreign girls were in demand in the U.S. because of an increased appetite for more aggressive, dangerous sex. Traffickers need younger and younger girls, she suggested, simply because they are more pliable. In Eastern Europe, too, the typical age of sex-trafficking victims is plummeting; according to Matei of Reaching Out, while most girls used to be in their late teens and 20's, 13-year-olds are now far from unusual.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at the Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, Va., are finding that when it comes to sex, what was once considered abnormal is now the norm. They are tracking a clear spike in the demand for harder-core pornography on the Internet. "We've become desensitized by the soft stuff; now we need a harder and harder hit," says I.C.E. Special Agent Perry Woo. Cybernetworks like KaZaA and Morpheus / through which you can download and trade images and videos -have become the Mexican border of virtual sexual exploitation. I had heard of one Web site that supposedly offered sex slaves for purchase to individuals. The I.C.E. agents hadn't heard of it. Special Agent Don Daufenbach, I.C.E.'s manager for undercover operations, brought it up on a screen. A hush came over the room as the agents leaned forward, clearly disturbed. "That sure looks like the real thing," Daufenbach said. There were streams of Web pages of thumbnail images of young women of every ethnicity in obvious distress, bound, gagged, contorted. The agents in the room pointed out probable injuries from torture. Cyberauctions for some of the women were in progress; one had exceeded $300,000. "With new Internet technology," Woo said, "pornography is becoming more pervasive. With Web cams we're seeing more live molestation of children." One of I.C.E.'s recent successes, Operation Hamlet, broke up a ring of adults who traded images and videos of themselves forcing sex on their own young children.

But the supply of cheap girls and young women to feed the global appetite appears to be limitless. And it's possible that the crimes committed against them in the U.S. cut deeper than elsewhere, precisely because so many of them are snared by the glittery promise of an America that turns out to be not their salvation but their place of destruction.

ENDGAME

Typically, a young trafficking victim in the U.S. lasts in the system for two to four years. After that, Bales says: "She may be killed in the brothel. She may be dumped and deported. Probably least likely is that she will take part in the prosecution of the people that enslaved her."

Who can expect a young woman trafficked into the U.S., trapped in a foreign culture, perhaps unable to speak English, physically and emotionally abused and perhaps drug-addicted, to ask for help from a police officer, who more likely than not will look at her as a criminal and an illegal alien? Even Andrea, who was born in the United States and spoke English, says she never thought of escaping, "because what's out there? What's out there was scarier. We had customers who were police, so you were not going to go talk to a cop. We had this customer from Nevada who was a child psychologist, so you're not going to go talk to a social worker. So who are you going to talk to?"

And if the girls are lucky enough to escape, there's often nowhere for them to go. "The families don't want them back," Sister Veronica, a nun who helps run a rescue mission for trafficked prostitutes in an old church in Mexico City, told me. "They're shunned."

When I first met her, Andrea told me: "We're way too damaged to give back. A lot of these children never wanted to see their parents again after a while, because what do you tell your parents? What are you going to say? You're no good."