My feelings about acting as the executor of the money part of the trust were mixed. I could have just said no and walked away. The trust said I could do that. But then the business would have fallen to my brother Dave. He had done plenty for the folks over the years, and really was at the end of his rope with them. And Steve—having been written out of the will—couldn’t do it and surely wouldn’t have had he could have. So I did it. I suppose I felt good about being the dutiful son; but to really do that I had to see Joan as at least a competent mother. I couldn’t do that. So I ended up resenting every minute of time I had to spend on her affairs.
That’s partly why I got so fed up with the bank. We were told we could handle getting Joan’s equity line extended through a local bank. So that’s where we went with all our paper work. We worked with a young woman—now gone to another bank—who was pleasant and pretty smart I think. But neither she nor the bank seemed to know what they were doing when it came to extending an equity line to a trust.
I don’t know how many times we had to go back. We thought we had given them a whole copy of the trust. But they couldn’t find it, so we took what we thought they needed, since the trust was a large document, but that wasn’t enough, so we had to bring more documentation. Then we started signing documents, and I noticed that the documents I was signing had William B. Tingle at the top and not William N. Tingle. I thought maybe they could just erase the B and write in the N, but no way was that going to happen. Every time we had to do something more, we would ask who says we have to do this, is there anybody we can call, and always the answer was the lawyers say do it and that was that.
This went on for months. First getting the bank all the proper papers and then getting the bank to send back the right papers, and then for us to sign the papers, and get some of the papers sent back for correction so we could resign them. And then we had to wait and wait for them to approve the extension. We asked for 360,000 against the house, and really there was no reason why we shouldn’t get what we ask for. But given all the mistakes already made and those damn lawyers out there some where, I couldn’t help but worry and worry over whether the loan would be approved.
Finally, it was approved and all the documents signed when I got a call saying I had to prove WB was dead. For God’s sake. All this time, what had it all been about but getting money for Joan because WB was dead. I was pissed and told Carol I was going to take in WB’s ashes and dump them all over the young woman’s desk and ask her if that was proof enough. But Carol calm me down though I was about to blow a cork and managed to find WB’s death certificate that we had picked up when we got the ashes.
The whole thing just wore me down. The bank as far as I could tell worked under the assumption that anybody who came in for a loan had to be a lying, cheating son-of-a-bitch whose only purpose in life was to find clever ways to defraud banks. That’s one of the laws of bureaucracy: make every body pay for the actions of the worst among us.
Oh, in the picture. That’s the fireplace WB built at 10194 Ramona Drive. WB was sitting on the right end of that fireplace one hot boring day when he lit his lighter under Micky the Dog’s a-hole and made him fly across the room.