So I did not sleep well last night. I had experienced some pretty heavy activity last night just before going to pick Willie up that scared the crap out of me. Basically I was sitting in my great room as per usual, and I hear this knocking/popping coming from what I think may be my closet area. From the great room, my closet is just behind the fireplace. I couldn't determine if it was coming from my closet or my bedroom where the stairwell is, but it was loud and shifty, maybe like clothes being shifted on the rack and the hangers hitting something. But then popping started in the kitchen. So I had two separate places where the noises were coming from.
Then the noises were going back and forth in a call and answer fashion, and I was like "oh hell naw" and left the house. I was the only one awake at the time, as Daryl and Raya were sleeping and the boys were also asleep.
Honestly though? Fuck that noise.
Then I had a nightmare that a giant baseball glove sized spider was in my curtain. I saw its shadow. I totally thought it was real and woke up Willie to check for this beast and it took me a few minutes after he laid back down to realize that it was totally a dream, and I am an idiot. But I couldn't go back to sleep.
This morning I had to take the boys to school and then I came home to take a couch nap before heading to class. I got in a good hour or so, then I woke up to Willie setting down breakfast and whaddayaknow, the damn cigar window opened.
Well that just tears it.
It's time to do some research of my own.
I'd started some research last night after posting the first entry. I realized that I have access to Ancestory.com and I can use it to my advantage to do some research. So I looked up every Shoemaker in Yucaipa and came back with a bunch of people on Avenue E, 4th St, Second St, Acacia and Beech. I ran real estate googles trying to find out the owners of the house, maybe giving me a first name for Mr. Shoemaker.
I found three names attached to this house's records. One belonged to Victor's father, one belonged to his step mother. There was a third name. It was not Shoemaker. It was E. and H. Lillehammer. (Name of course changed for blog purposes.)
Frustrated, I kept searching Ancestory for Shoemaker, dismissing the Lillehammer family as the one Victor's family bought the house from, the one my neighbor mentioned was a gardener who put in all the lilacs and the weird faucets out back for watering pots. It was while I was incessantly searching for Shoemaker that the chorus of knocks scared the crap out of me.
I went to my music class today, the class I like to record my lectures in. When I got back my neighbor Glenda was out in the street. This is common for her as she's a little odd, but super well meaning. She'll replace your dishes with new ones while you're at the store but she's a good hearted lady. Jabberjaws, but kind.
I knew she wanted to talk because instead of walking home she hovered by the flowerbed at the end of my driveway. This is common. And as soon as I opened my door she started telling me about a hat she knit on a loom, and I said "that's wonderful. Can I ask you some questions about my house?"
"Uh oh. Well yeah someone died in it if that's what you want to know."
"Yes. Exactly. Do you mind if I record this?" and I pulled out my voice recorder from my backpack.
"Sure, go ahead."
I have the video posted of the 11 minute interview and again, you'll need the link and the password from me to view it because there's a lot of personal information that I don't just want out there. But, I will share with you the important parts of the interview with Glenda, whose mother in law owned the property since 1958 and that she herself has lived at since the 1980's. So as far as sources go, she is credible.
- Mr. Shoemaker was a contractor and carpenter. He did build my house in 1954, followed by Glenda's house, and two of the three other houses on this street. The other house was built by a military man and his daughter lives there still. The land used to be a farm and a walnut orchard, which explains why each house has at least one walnut tree featured in the yard (I am lucky enough to have two.) He encouraged others to build here, and pretty much everyone who moved in was military, with the exception of one house which was occupied by firemen.
- Shoemaker only lived in this house for a few years before he sold it to "Grandpa Ed" and "Grandma Helena." Glenda was not able to recall their last name, but said that Ed was some kind of geothermal engineer and had spent time in the Middle East doing something with the oil rigs.
- Helena was the gardener. This yard was a big walk through garden at one point--something I wanted to do except that my landlords have vehicles back there that prevent me from being able to complete such a task. She kept African violets all over the inside of the house.
- Ed was a prankster. He'd scare people and hide things or move them, or put fake flowers in the yard and convince his wife they were real. This is interesting and relevant because it was not Shoemaker who died in the house, it was Ed. Ed used to sit in a chair in the corner and smoke his cigars. Ed's wife Helena would yell at him to open the window when he smoked. Ed passed away in this great room in that corner by the window in his chair. We've been wrong all these years. It's never been Shoemaker, who Glenda said died with his family someplace else. It was Ed. Ed the prankster.
- Their grown up children were very quick to get rid of the house after Helena went to a nursing home. The kids thought their mom was crazy because after he died, things would shift around and not be in their place. But then when they had the estate sale things were going missing and moving around, and they actually had to call an antique dealer to come do the sales.
See, the thing is I think anyone who knows Glenda knows it's easy to dismiss her, which clearly every has because nobody knew about Ed and Helen and everyone thought it was Shoemaker who died in the house. And yes, she is kind of batshit. But if you really speak to her and really listen, she's in there and she is very much still sharp minded. After she told me everything though she started getting off topic and that's my cue to go inside, but then something very very strange happened. I went to turn off my recorder, which I'd already hit stop on, and for the first time since I've had it the damn thing decided to go off on its own and play the interview. No buttons worked and the on off switch was dead. I had to pull the batteries to stop it.
Speaking of pranksters.
That happened right on the porch, and Willie saw me fiddling with it and I showed him how it had become stuck.
Now armed with more information, I went back on Ancestory. My notes from yesterday reflected an E. and H. Lillehammer as the previous owners. It matches up perfectly to Glenda's story. Ed and Helena, E. and H..
Helena Lucille Lillehammer was born on November 4th 1914 in Iowa and died on April 20 1996 in San Bernardino. She is burried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, which is in Orange County. She is in the Fond Remembrance garden, map 11, lot 1557, space 4. I have her social security number and her address in Victorville. I also have her mother's maiden name.
She was married on January 8th 1965 in Los Angeles to Edward Wayne Lillehamer. Ed was born on February 2nd 1922 in Missouri and died on April 12, 1993.
(Anyone else notice they died almost exactly three years apart? Glenda did describe them as closer than close little lovebirds.)
I have the old phone number to this house (it's 797 which is odd because most of the phone numbers for the bench are 790.) I have Ed's social security number which was issued in Missouri, and his previous address on Hwy 74 in Hemet, and a Yucaipa PO box that he used in 1990. I also have his mother's maiden name.
Before his marriage to Helena he was married to Thelma who was born in 1924, and they were married on December 27th 1945 in Jackson, Missouri. Ed is also burried at Forest Lawn in the Constant Love garden, map 20, lot 3781, space 2.
So there. I fixed it. And this really makes me want to work on my genealogy book. And write a short story about this house's history.
My plan now is to yell "knock it off Grandpa Ed" when he fucks with me, and also update the investigators.
Just thought I'd keep you all posted.