When you drive down the main road and into the little historic town of Cassadega, you’ll notice a tiny post-office building on the left. There are four parking spots for the post office and one of them is a Handicapped spot. And you’ll see roads that dip and rise on little hills. You’ll see small-ish homes that appear in various states of disrepair, but are very quaint nonetheless.
It’s a place where everyone knows everyone else and I found myself wondering what it would be like to live there, and strangely wanting to sell all my worldly possessions and live there, like a gypsy! Of course I’d never do that, but I did think about it for about 42 seconds.
I can’t imagine a smaller post-office exists anywhere. The Cassedega post office is an adorable little building that sits next to another little building. The houses have all seen better days, and this one, with its pinkish cast, pales in comparison to the flouresent-purple little house that leans next to it. The “Purple Rose” is a gift shop and serves as a place for psychic readings. I had my reading in the Purple Rose house.
I wasn’t going to visit a psychic yesterday, I decided. At the Cassadega community center – another very old building – they list the names and phone numbers of available psychics – who they refer to as Mediums. There’s a phone there, too because you have to call the Medium to find out when they can see you. The Medium will provide their rate and any other pertinent info – like how to find the house where the Medium lives. Most of the little neighborhood is populated with small house that are dedicated to readings. If there is a working Medium in residence, a sign or a shingle describes the name and specialty of the reader.
They tell you, in the Cassedega Community Center, to look on the board and if a name of a Medium appeals to you, that’s who you should choose for a reading. Well, none of the names appealed to me – I was expecting one of the names to pop out at me, and I’d know who to choose. None of the names meant anything and I’d decided not to see a Medium after all. So, I poked in the gift shop, and sat in the meditation garden while my mom, aunt, and brother had their readings.
They really enjoyed their readings. After hearing how much they’d enjoyed their experiences, I’d decided that I’d go ahead and do it. We were in the Purple Rose house, and I noticed they had little rooms – about four of them- the size of a medium sized walk-in closet where readings were given. The young woman at the counter told me a reader was available if I wanted a reading.
I said okay and asked, “How much?” Thirty-five dollars for fifteen minutes, fifty-five for half an hour. “Okay, half an hour,” I told her.
I sat down in front of the reader/medium whose name I’ve forgotten, and I was suddenly so nervous and felt like I couldn’t swallow. But, she was very nice and put me at ease immediately. After a second, she looked at me, took a long deep breath and said, “Wow, busy, busy, busy!” I laughed, and said, “True.”
She was a very good reader I thought, though she told me things about myself that I already knew. She told me I have to learn to say “No,” and mean it. She told me I am leader, a teacher, a writer, and creative or artistic. She told me my father was there and had a message of thanks for me. My grandmother, she told me, is often around my mother and I.
She told me I’d be working on project in addition to my job, and it would bring me a lot of happiness and fulfillment. She laughed and told me that I will be juggling a few things soon.
Originally I’d thought my visit to Cassadega would provide an opportunity to ask people in that small community if the Anthony case impacted them, and if they got involved in the searches or the case itself. But I’d completely forgotten all about it. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I remembered.
The highlight of my trip, however, was the opportunity to chat with Dave Knechnel. Dave is the owner of the very successful blog “Marinade Dave,” and covered the Anthony case extensively from the very beginning of the case. Dave had a seat at the trial each day and wrote wonderful articles for the Orlando Magazine.
Dave and I weren’t able to meet, but we had a long talk over the phone and will meet in December, when I return to Orlando.
Mom and I are already thinking we’d return in December, during the holidays. We did have fun.
Countless among us are mystified by the news that “Marinade-Dave” got caught up in the wide defense net in the Casey Anthony case. If you have not heard by now, Dave made casual mention to a defense investigator that Judge Stan Strickland had read his blog at one time.
On its face, it seems like a petty and paltry error by the Judge. Marinade Dave’s blog is always very fair and Dave earnestly seeks to look at both sides of the issues in the Casey Anthony case. No doubt this is what impressed the Judge, who, according to the Orlando Sentinel, was researching and reading blogs to get a sense of the public opinion of the case. Accordingly, thought the Judge, this analysis would help assess the change of venue request that will invariably be made by the defense.
Who among us is not curious to read the public opinion on this case? Surely anyone with a computer need only type “Casey Anthony” into the Google search engine and millions of hits result:
Results 1 – 10 of about 9,290,000 for casey anthony. (0.13 seconds)
Judge Strickland would know it is against the rules to comment about media or blogs or opinions. (I am sure he is quietly kicking his computer.)
The fact is, when you have a desperate defense and high stakes, continuances are like gold.
When it comes to the courts, and matters of propriety, these errors are apparently contrary to the law. But I ask you, what harm is done? When you have defense counsel hopping from one media outlet to the next, day after day trying to milk stories by the dozen, what harm did the Judge do? Who even noticed this “slip” made months ago?
The double standard here is hardly transparent.
I am extremely upset at this, but rules are rules, and Judge Strickland should not be admitting to reading blogs. Period.
Cheney Mason, being a sharp cracker-jack defense attorney, did what any good defense attorney would do. He is looking for any loop hole big enough to hang someone’s neck in. I believe, however, this noose will end up hanging the defense in this case. Forgive the mixed metaphors, but did Casey and company just shoot themselves in the proverbial foot?
Judge Strickland will be replaced by his boss, Chief Judge in Orange county who is presiding over the civil suit against Casey Anthony, Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who the Orlando Sentinel refers to as “no-nonsense”. Correction: It was an error on my part when I stated it was Judge Perry presiding over the civil suit.
The Orlando Sentinel cites that Judge Strickland had some colorful parting words for the defense in his final farewell:
In an order granting Anthony’s request for him to step down from the case, Orange County Circuit Judge Stan Strickland wrote: “At its core, defense counsel’s motion accuses the undersigned of being a ‘self-aggrandizing media hound.’ Indeed. The irony is rich.”