Thursday, July 30, 2015






If you find yourself abusing others or being abused, calling this number may be the first step towards change.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015



I always try to pick music that goes with the Mistress, the time, and the place, for my monthly subject, but as I was thinking strongly of the McCandless Family, this song came on in the store where I was shopping and I think it is a perfect one.  My wish for them all is for healing.  And I think maybe Chris' message for Carine from the spirit world, that he is with her, is manifest, in her daughter.

Monday, July 27, 2015



Sunday, July 26, 2015


According to the documentary coming up, the Moose that Chris killed would have supplied enough meat for him to survive for months, if he had known how to preserve it quickly before the maggots arrived.  He regretted taking the life and the waste. 

Chris' sleeping bag that he took along with him on his travels had been made by his mom, Billie.  It was judged inadequate by expert survivalists,  Close to death he got into it and zipped it up.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Tests of manhood?  Adventures way bigger than them?  People have to have the opportunity to have adventures and some of them are going to have misadventures - which Chris did?  In this documentary we meet the real people who were portrayed in the film including Billie and Walt and the woman who instantly fell in love with Chris though they only spent three days together and who will never forget him.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


pages 94-95  Excerpt from THE WILD TRUTH by Carine McCandless.

 (Carine attempts to be fair knowing that her parents are not monsters.)*

"Our mom was many people rolled into one.  She was the soccer mom who brought oranges to all of Chris's games and the epitome of organization who headed up his Indian Guide and my Girl Scout meetings.  She made us elaborate and beautiful Halloween costumes and helped us put the finishing touches on every school project with her artistic talents.  We learned how to drive a stick shift under the safety and guidance of her even teaching temperament.  And she had a sense of humor, dressing Chris, Shannon and Quinn(The later two being children born by Marcia and Walt.*) up like chauffeurs whenever we went to pick my dad up from the airport after a business trip... in the Cadillac, of course.

And dad wasn't just volatile.  He also took us to Europe and delighted in watching us experience different cultures and strange gourmet foods, sometimes ordering for us in the local language so we wouldn't be dissuaded from trying something we would normally think was gross.  Sometimes when Chris and I built forts in the family room, Dad played guitar and sang his silly songs in front of the fireplace and pretended we were camping... (The family also went camping and on hikes.*)  He could speak  for hours about the wonders of space exploration and had fascinating accompanying visuals, blueprints of his designs and three dimensional models of his image-capturing radar systems that now floated about the atmosphere... What I remember most is how I started hiding when he returned home, instead of running for him.

*Notes and commentary by Missy

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


"If I'm involved in domestic violence, I will find help to stop accepting or perpetrating this behavior."

Domestic violence - physical or verbal, hurts a person's self esteem and often, if it is severe enough or goes on for a long time - makes it difficult for a person to leave.   Even snide remarks can wound.  Domestic violence effects people from all ethnicities, races, religions, and classes.  Being well off or rich doesn't mean you are safe from it. 

While what we hear about most is men abusing women there are women who "fight back" or who do the abusing.  When children see their parents batter each other or when children see mom's boyfriend beating her, they are liable to do the same behavior to their own children and girlfriends.

Your home and those you live with should be a sanctuary.  Everyone gets upset or angry from time to and needs to express it, but not inappropriately.  Some people need to learn anger management.  Some need to go to rehab.  Some need to be removed from the home.

Self assess.  If you are a victim or a perpetrator, reach out for help to change.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


LIVESCIENCE -POLYAMORY STIGMA LESSENS FAMILIARITY by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor  published on February 09, 2015  (Very Interesting!)


Polyamory's popularity

Polyamory is often confused with swinging, but the terms are not interchangeable. Unlike swingers, who go outside their primary relationship for sex only, polyamorous people maintain simultaneous romantic ties, all with the consent and knowledge of everyone involved.

It's unclear how many people identify themselves as polyamorous, but a 2013 study in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy estimated that between 4 percent and 5 percent of people in the United States are involved in some sort of consensually nonmonogamous relationship.

Missy here!  Compare that to stats on how many people are gay, bisexual, or lesbian, and well, you KNOW people who are polyamorous, though they may be in the closet.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


BECAUSE HE'S NOT LEGALLY MARRIED TO TWO WOMEN AT THE SAME TIME... so I wonder when it will become legal here in the United States to be married to more than one person at a time!  Because same sex marriage was only the beginning of a revolution in ideas about what makes marriage.  Missy

Excerpt and Notes from THE WILD TRUTH by Carine McCandless

"My father continued to tell Marcia all about my mom; Marcia says when he left her for two weeks out of every month, she was made to understand that he was staying with his second family.  He was proud of having produced so many offspring and saw no reason to hide his other children from her.  In fact he envisioned us all eventually living together under one roof, and by way of convincing Marcia, pointed out that my mother made a fantastic pot roast - Marcia's least successful culinary endeavor - but he said that Marcia's spaghetti sauce was much better.  Marcia remembers she quipped "I didn't know you were a Mormon Fundamentalist, Walt."

Walt kept a special phone line in his home office with Marcia reserved for calls to and from Billie.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Excerpts and Notes from  THE WILD TRUTH by Carine McCandless

"Back in the early 1960's before I was born, my mother was a beautiful young dance student, fresh out of high school.  She left the small town of Iron Mountain, Michigan, for the dream life of affluence and prestige she believed awaited her in sunny Los Angeles. "  (Page 18.) 

(Billie grew up in a tiny house with 6 children sharing one bedroom with a father who was chronically critical and verbally abusive to her mother, though kind and gentle when speaking to children.*)

(Pages 37-38) Walt and his siblings came from a volatile home.*

"And I can imagine my mother as my father must have seen her.  She was easy to fall in love with.  She was a gifted homemaker who could resurrect a dining room table someone else had discarded on the street and serve up a delicious and healthy casserole concocted from a week's worth of leftovers.  When she ice skated, her dance background showed in every elegant move of her wrist or smooth turn across the ice.  When my parents danced together, my father's movements became graceful, too, because she led him so well. She was refined, she was determined, and she was unfailingly loyal - through toward the wrong person.  (Carine's opinion - Page 20.)

I'd like to think they knew better.  I'd like to think they tried to stop themselves  Eight years older and well aware of his influence, Walt took immediate advantage.  Billie - old enough to know it was wrong yet youthful enough to let desire override her conscience - willingly pursued the affair.  Walt convinced her that he was going to leave his wife, Marcia, as soon as the time was right.  The problem, he told Bille, was that Marcia refused to grant him a divorce.  He went so far as to keep a separate apartment for a while, to convince Billie he was trying to extricate himself from the marriage.  But in truth, Walt had no intention of divorcing Marcia - or of letting Marcia ever divorce him."

(*Walt and Marsha started dating when they were 17.  Although Carine doesn't say they were members of LDS, she does say the following on Page 21...)

"Marcia had been reared with the values of her community, which had been founded as a sort of utopia, a place where all who breathe its air would shun alcohol worship together, and raise strong families.  She had every reason to believe her childhood sweetheart wanted just what she did, so when her father asked her on her wedding day if she really wanted to go through with it, she said yes

By the time Walt and Billie began their relationship, however, Marcia had grown weary of Walt's history of indiscretions.  One day while tending to Walt's dry cleaning, she found Billie's ID in on of his jacket pockets.  When she voiced her suspicious, she remembers they were met with a vile mix or aspersions, threats and violence - all easily anticipated by Marcia and her three young children, Sam, Stacy, and Shawna.  Another daughter, Shelly, had just been born.  The family life Marcia envisioned had become a distant dream.


*Missy here.

In this passage we learn that Marcia knows her marriage to Walt is a bad one.  Yet, she continued to have children with him.  It is unsaid, but I have to wonder, if things were so bad, WHY did this couple have more children?   What am I to think.  That they refused to use contraception even though this was clearly not a situation to bring more children into?  That maybe Walt refused to let Marcia use contraception?  That continued sex and continued procreation were evidence of commitment to the horrible marriage?  Through this book Carine speaks for herself, for Chris, and for her siblings, and she attempts to reveal her parents and their craziness, but Marcia remains an enigma.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Excerpts and notes from THE WILD TRUTH by Carine McCandless

Carine states that Walt did not want a divorce from Marcia and gives evidence for this in that he resorted to physical violence to control her.*

Billie's lies included saying Shannon (a son Walt had with Marcia) had been held back a grade to avoid that he and Chris were the same age.   "Our parents would claim that one or more of us did not biologically belong to the family - usually to explain Quinn."  Quinn was incriminating evidence.  (Quinn also was the only child Marcia and Walt had whose given name didn't start with an S.*) (Page 26.)

"Eight children were extras in the show with limited access to the script.  We would all have to unravel the mystery on our own time."  (Page 28.)  I like Carine's way with words here*

(Pages 24-25)

Marcia also threatened to file for divorce more than once.  On one of Marcia's divorce filings she listed Walt's address as the house he shared with Billie, so when the papers were served, that's when Billie saw the name Quinn - a surprise to her. 

"Dad insisted Quinn wasn't his."

Shortly before she filed for divorce Walt beat Marcia badly and a 13 year old child called the police.  The police just asked him to leave the house.

About 1972 Marcia got her divorce and took her six children with Walt back to their home town.

* Notes by Missy

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Image photographed from the book and cropped -
All Rights Remain that of the author.*
Image from Google Images search for public domain.
Magazine articles like this caused a stir and lead to an International best seller book named INTO THE WILD by author Jon Krakauer, as well as a documentary film, another film called by one source a "Biographical drama" in 2007, also titled INTO THE WILD, which was nominated for two Academy Awards (Sean Penn wrote the screenplay), dozens of YouTube videos, and recently, another book authored by Carine McCandless, the full sister of Chris McCandless, the hiker who was found dead in this bus in the wilderness of Alaska in 1992.
Published by HarperOne
C 2014 Carine McCandless  (Billie's daughter)
This month I'm going to think aloud as I review this book and take a position.
Carine McCandless, daughter of Billie and sister of Chris, wanted to tell the underlying story of her brother's wish to divorce their family - their parents - and sees the reasoning behind his planned disappearance from the family and so, eventually, his death by starvation in the Alaska wilderness in 1992.  She blames a dysfunctional family, replete with violence and tension, and Chris' discovery during his travels after high school that their parents marriage was a years long charade, as additional motivation. The charade meant that this recent graduate of Emory College, an educated young man from an upper class Virginia family, was upset about being illegitimate and in effect, the child of a long time mistress.
It seems to me that someone like Chris, who is typified as being deeply thoughtful and philosophical, and literary, might have had many realizations about his parents before he died alone, and while it's clear that he made no contact with ANYONE in his family for over two years, from the time he left to the time he was found dead, it's also true that in his travels he experienced some good times, some new friendships, had taken intermittent employment, and that his travels around the United States were part of a young man's rite of passage.  Chris McCandless was trying to test himself in new situations and see the world before settling anywhere ; perhaps he really did intend to go to Harvard Law. 
A break from parents in young adulthood is what we do, unless we want to be one of those people who still lives with their parents or lets them pay our bills while "adults,"  though perhaps not so dramatically or with a history of witnessing and being subject to an abusive relationship that Chris and Carine experienced.  Many upper class college students take a year off between their junior and senior year to see the world and experience another culture.  Chris McCandless needed to redefine himself as separate from his family and begin a life of his own in which he aspired to greater accountability then they.
Chris wrote letters that reveal that he was disgusted with his parents and suffering the effects of childhood abuse, but my feeling is that he was willing to cut off Carine and his other siblings as well in the effort.  It may have been pay back time for him, but they all suffered. Carine and her siblings will never know if he had any intention of ever being back in touch with them. Now that his story has been told in so very many ways, it has become a story about how parents and siblings cope with a beloved siblings unusual death and notoriety.
Chris and Carine were the children of Walt Mc Candless and Billie Johnson McCandless, Billie being our Mistress of the Month this July 2015.  Walt, who actually was a rocket scientist, a genius involved in space exploration and aerospace, was a married man with a family and Billie's boss at Hughes Aircraft in Southern California when they met and started an affair which went on and on despite his unwillingness to get a divorce.  Walt began splitting his time between two households and families, having sex and children with both for some time with both Billie and his wife, Marcia, finally settling with Billie.  Their relationship has gone on to this day.  The scenarios Carine provides that reveal their childhood, which includes the blending of the two families while the women live in separate houses, show that both women were accommodating of Walt and  sometimes each other. 
Walt never managed to leave his wife, Marcia, as he said he intended.  Juggling two families, but alcoholic and violent,  spanking his children and beating his wives reportedly for "release", (and Billie him), eventually Marcia  did divorce him and moved back to their home town with their six children.  He then moved across the country with Billie.  Still, he never married Billie in any ceremony, civil or religious. 
(But hold on a minute.  Think of the rock star Sting, who was married and having children with the wife he was leaving and the wife he has since been married to at one time.  They all seem to be OK... I have to wonder.  If Chris and Carine only knew that being the children of a Mistress is not so uncommon would it have made a difference?)
Billie Johnson studied dance in her home town and headed for Los Angeles (or perhaps more correctly Hollywood) hoping to work as a dancer (but not an exotic dancer or stripper) and became a secretary instead. Not so unusual.  Like many women who aspire to a relationship with a man who makes good money and who is intelligent and charming, Billie fell in love with Walt.  She was also intelligent and accomplished.  You don't get to be hired as a secretary at Hughes Aircraft without being skilled.  She was able to play a significant role in the home business she and Walt had together, while also not a feminist or liberated woman, and also tried to be a great housewife.  Billie worked hard to achieve a beautiful home and garden, cooking tasty home made meals from scratch, was involved in Scouting, but also worked in the home as an essential partner with Walt in a business that made them eventually wealthy.
Did she live too much for what their neighbors and people at church might think?
"Oh Carine, isn't it you who's making up false family scenarios just to get attention," she said.  "You're not as smart as you think you are.  I don't even understand what wrong doing you're talking about.  Besides, when I met him, your father had his own apartment and lots of girlfriends."  (page 203)
Perhaps it was a bit over the top of Billie and Walt, considering, to also aspire to be well regarded church members of a small local Protestant church as well, and personally I have to wonder at the role of religion and faith in this family story, something that goes unexplored in Carine's book, when perhaps what many parties needed was therapy, or to run off to an abused women's shelter (though there were few of those back in the 1960's), or for social workers to intervene, but Billie and Walt were living in Virginia, far from their home towns or the California where they met, and it doesn't sound like any of the neighbors, teachers, or pastors were concerned enough to call them in. 
And it comes to me that the concern about illegitimacy that Chris may have had testifies to his own conservatism.
No doubt Billie Johnson knew she was in a love triangle, an unconventional relationship that her own parents would not approve of or understand.
Early in the relationship Billie went so far as to arrange a picture and post wedding announcement to be published in her small hometown newspaper which gave their real names and Walt's employment and profession.  When she went through periods where she and Walt held family meetings to talk about divorcing or claimed that she was moving out and looking for somewhere else to live, it was an exercise in futility.  For whatever reason, Billie decided to stick with Walt and he with her. 
Image photographed from the book and cropped -
All Rights Remain that of the author.*
I thought, "If you've never married legally you don't divorce legally!" but realized that is probably not true and depends on the time and place.  Because Walt and Billie lived together as husband and wife for many years before and after he divorced, they are probably correctly regarded as in a COMMON LAW MARRIAGE, which includes you holding yourself out to be a married couple in your community.  (In some states you have to live together for about 7 years for the relationship to be considered COMMON LAW.  Another issue might be how Taxes are filed.  But legally married people can still file separately.)
Through this book Carine doesn't consider her parents to be in a common law marriage and apparently her brother Chris didn't either.  She doesn't consider her parent's relationship as something of the times they met in or that she will never know, even with what she has experienced, witnessed, or been told, what was really going on between these three people who brought a total of 8 children into this world.  There was a lot of experimentation with Open relationships, multiple relationships, triads, and so on during the 1960's and 1970's and, well, it still goes on today, especially in California, and instead the relationship is thought closer to be something that the Mormon Fundamentalists might try for. 
Carine, at the time she wrote this book, has had three divorces herself.  She considers her mother unsympathetic to that.
As for Chris, who you'll learn more about here this month as well, ...
"He'd written them a long letter, he said, that detailed all the emotional trauma and abuse we had suffered as kids.  How their actions had caused him to lose all respect for both of them."  (Page 96)
No doubt Chris intended to divorce his parents and explained that to Carine, knowing that she would understand, but by the time of his death, he may have been reconsidering. Though traveling under the name Alexander Supertramp, he still had his new ID's, Social Security Card, and W2's under his real identity but this was not known until many years later when his backpack was returned to the family and it was all found in a secret compartment.  So my take on calling himself by another name when he traveled was for privacy and security not because he had divorced his heritage.
I encourage you to check my archives for the January 2013 edition which features Louis Isidore Kahn, an important architect, who had more than one ongoing relationship that included children, and the April 2014 edition which features the Sister Wives of the Independent Mormon Fundamentalists.
C Mistress Manifesto BlogSpot.  Missy Rapport  2015
All Rights Reserved including Internet and International Rights on Original Writing/ Review.
*  Using Google Image Search there are a number of images available from this book and surrounding this story.  Since I didn't see this particular image from the book at that time, I decided to try photographing it myself and have cropped them.  However the original images remain the Copyright of the author.