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.

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