Where is Paul Harvey when we really need him? Harvey was that no-nonsense syndicated radio commentator who would summarize a piece of news, and then say, in a tone that made you feel his eyebrow rising, “now for the rest of the story.” Recently I have stumbled across several stories begging for the Paul Harvey treatment. Maybe some of you saw the letter in the April 21 issue of Town Topics.
The writer, a homeowner in the affluent western section of town, decried the behavior of a couple who recently bought one of the lesser houses on the street and then asked neighbors to support them when they sought permission to tear down the house and replace it with a much larger house.
Then, after the approvals were in, the couple announced they were no longer planning to live there. Instead they were planning to sell it, and they informed the letter writer with a smile (!) that they hoped to make a million dollars on the deal. Even worse, the writer discovered that this enterprising couple had completed a similar transaction on nearby Edgerstoune Road.
Someone going after the rest of the story might have polled those western section residents: Is it a bad thing to make a million dollars now and then? Who among them has not made a million dollars recently — either through increased real estate valuations or stock portfolios? For those who have not made a million dollars, is there anything the rest of us could say or do?
That same issue of Town Topics featured an “In Memoriam” ad and a lengthy feature on a little dog named Baxter. According to the ad, “Baxter was a sweet, loving dog, only four years old. He could seem ferocious in his crate, but not otherwise. He liked to toss his Frisbee onto his head and balance it there as he ran around. He was a wonderful little fellow.”
Baxter had been given up by his original owners because he “was given to unexpected nips at visitors and strangers, especially small children.” He was placed in an animal shelter, which then arranged for an adoption, with the promise that he would be returned if the new owners could not handle him. But when the new owners took him to a dog groomer, he nipped at the groomer. Later Baxter was taken to a vet, who was treated to some similar misbehavior. At this point the new owners, about to leave for a vacation, apparently ignored the terms of the adoption and had Baxter “put down” — an action that both the animal shelter and the feature writer felt must never happen again.
For the rest of this story, we would talk to that groomer. How many dogs does he see a year, and when he says a dog is trouble, just what does he mean and what remedies can he suggest?
Now for a tiny item from the Times of Trenton, published on Saturday, April 24:
“WEST WINDSOR — The body found in a wooded area between Canal Pointe Boulevard and Route 1 Wednesday was a township woman reported missing in late December, police said yesterday.
“Karen Hughes, 42, was last seen in front of her apartment on Olympic Court, off Canal Pointe Boulevard, on Christmas Eve. Police said she appeared as if she were waiting to be picked up. On Wednesday, an officer patrolling the wooded area, where people have been known to congregate, found a female body.”
Now for the rest of this story. How could a woman be missing since Christmas Eve and not be the subject of some widely publicized search effort? When was she reported missing, by whom, and what was done in those crucial first few hours to attempt to find her? What is that wooded area just north of MarketFair, where we see tarps and crates and grocery carts — and every so often some disheveled people gathering?
And what was the cause of death? Police reported no sign of foul play, but they had not yet received the results of toxicology tests.
I searched my memory for any reports of a woman missing in West Windsor and couldn’t recall any. I googled Karen Hughes and found her name listed on two missing persons websites. Both posts had been made early in April by a man named Joseph:
“A neighbor said that they last saw her carrying a carpetbag while waiting in front of her apartment. She did not own a car. Prior to her disappearance she had a scheduled appointment with her doctor. She was suffering from cancer and depression had set in. Her family is worried sick and her two children are desperate to see her again.”
At that point I decided I should not worry about the poor souls in the western section who got snookered by their neighbors; I would not worry further about whether that beloved Baxter did or did not deserve his one-way ticket to dog heaven; but I would try to find out more about Karen Hughes. I E-mailed Joseph, asking for help in getting more information on this case. He replied that he wasn’t ready to talk about it. For now, at least, we will have to wait for . . . the rest of the story.