Small Town Seduction: Deception, Hypocrisy and Redemption book mockup by Sheryl Rhoades.
Excerpt: Despite her husband, children, and our age difference, she became obsessed and pursued me. She’d be waiting in the high school parking lot for me to finish class, and offered whatever I wanted, including driving her husband’s new Ford LTD II Sport.
We would drive out of town, which is where she first seduced me. I was confused and not attracted to her romantically or sexually, especially with her young daughters sleeping in the back seat.
This was before older women having sex with teenage boys came into the public conscience. In the Seventies, adults would chuckle about such escapades, but today these women are being sent to prison and having to register as sex offenders once released.
I lost my virginity in her husband’s bed while he was at work, one of their daughters in school, the other asleep in a nearby bedroom.
It was traumatic because I already identified as gay, and being led into intimacy with a much-older married woman didn’t feel natural to me.
Background: Small Town Seduction is a memoir. A boy’s coming-of-age and coming-out detoured, a scandalous intergenerational affair, and his struggle to not live a lie.
The story of a teenager, uneducated and unprepared for an adult world, at times using his only asset to survive. Hustling on the streets of San Francisco as the AIDS pandemic emerges, it’s an inside view on late 1970s/early 1980s gay subculture.
First in a memoir trilogy.
In 2017 I wrote a piece on Diana Ross for Night Beat to coincide with her Las Vegas residency at The Venetian. Diana Ross and her history in Las Vegas appeared in the February issue as two full pages with five color photos.
To download a copy of the article click here.
The Saginaw Chippewas: Subversive Genealogy & Stolen Trust (working title) cover concept by Sheryl Rhoades.
Excerpt: In the college town adjacent to the Isabella Reservation (where the Saginaw Chippewa’s largest casino is located), the sharing of casino revenue with tribal members is referred to by locals as free money, often with derogatory intent which hints at racism and resentment.
Many members of the tribe have been taken advantage of by predatory lenders, realtors, contractors, and used auto dealers.
The adjoining city’s relationship with the tribe appears superficial, with the tribal casino’s revenue becoming a necessary evil in-relation to local economics. Without the casino, its employees, the guests and tourists the facility brings (plus the tribal members residing on or near the reservation), the local economy (both direct and residual) would suffer greatly.
Local schools and governmental entities compete annually for tribal dollars, with the once poverty-stricken tribe determining where those monies go.
This has wielded quite a bit of power for those on the tribal council, a twelve-person body, the result of small but heated elections every two years. A seat on the Saginaw Chippewa tribal council is a coveted spot and huge responsibility; including that of deciding how hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually.
Background: The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe has been plagued for decades with enrollment issues, following both a historic land claims settlement, and sharing of casino revenue with its members.
Known as per-capita, the distribution is similar to that of profit sharing, but intended for members who meet constitutional criteria based on lineal ancestry; descendants of the tribe’s first federally-recognized membership roll.
Subsequent exclusion of the original roll through a constitutional revision, in-addition to adoption resolutions and amendment of an enrollment ordinance, convoluted membership guidelines and enabled what is referred to as collateral enrollment.
Extending monetary and other benefits to collateral descendants created a strain on the tribal treasury, resulting in near-depletion of its futures trust.
After decades of litigation, an appellate court would ultimately rule collateral enrollment, “a mistake under the law.”
The Saginaw Chippewas: Subversive Genealogy & Stolen Trust (working title) is submersion journalism, where the writer is part of the story. It’s author, a lineal descendant of the Saginaw Chippewa’s first tribal treasurer, Frank Peters (Yahbay).
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