It was another crisp, bright mountain morning at Jackie’s house. We were preparing to go to the club for a round of golf. Two of Jackie’s friends were coming over and were going to play with us. Jackie had finished cleaning up the kitchen after making breakfast and headed for her room to get ready, or so we thought.
In time, the friends arrived. We gathered in the vaulted living room that views snow-capped Sierra Blanca and chatted excitedly as we looked forward to our golf game. Time passed and though I was enjoying the conversation I wondered why it was taking so long for Jackie to get ready. I urged her husband to go check on her, but he assured me you didn’t do that with Jackie. She would appear at whatever pace she chose.
It was taking so long we, the guests, were becoming self-conscious. Was there a problem? Should we be doing something? Finally, her husband went to see. He quickly returned, flushed and with a quizzical look. She wasn’t there, not in her dressing room, nor her adjoining bedroom.
We all started searching the large, split-level house, calling her name. At the far end of the house, next to the ground level garage, we could hear Jackie calling out. She had been stuck for some time in the small elevator that lifts to the second floor. By hollering through the wall, it was clear she was uncomfortable and quite disturbed. This elevator was not of the commercial variety. It was small and tight. Jackie was a tall, large woman, though not fat. She had no chance of sitting down or crawling through the tiny escape hatch at the top of the elevator. She was trapped!
As quickly as we could, we tracked down the only person in this little mountain village that knew how to service elevators. By the time he arrived and extricated Jackie, she had been standing in one place without relief for almost three hours.
The elevator had been installed because Jackie would periodically experience tendonitis in her knees. By using the elevator instead of the stairs, it provided time to heal. No more! That elevator was never used again.
I write of Jackie’s life in my book: “Observer: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime”.
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