I’ve had some really intensely disturbing dreams this week. Disturbing in the fact that I can’t figure out what in the name of Pete they were all about. (Whoever Pete is.)
Last night though…that was just plain weird. I was visiting my niece, then someone found my coat at a bar, so I had to go and get it. From there I went to interview a pregnant woman who wanted to have her baby on a cruise ship.
Then I went to my parent’s old house to get my car for work. I got there, and it was 11:25 and I had to be to work by noon, but I could not find my car. In the midst of that, my mom had one of the great grandkids in the bathroom, and he pooped so bad she barfed.
I said “Just once, I’d like to be able to find the car I’m driving!” My dad asked me what was going on, and I said…”No matter what car I drive, it ends up missing, like someone moved it.” In this particular dream I was driving the Nova, which had been missing in real life since likely the 80’s. Dad said “Oh, someone finally found that? It’s got to run rough by now.” I said “Yup….I drove it here, and it’s a beast, but now I can’t find the damn thing and I have to be to work by noon.” By that time it was 11:45. So, Dad said “Well, luckily it only takes 10 minutes to walk to work from here.” Mom came outside after puking and said “Walk fast…don’t be late on your last day of work!”
So, I dreamed I knew The Monkees, and they (as young fellas) got booked at a biker bar in the South by an agent. I had to tell them it was a biker bar, and although I know some bikers who like the Monkees, this was likely not that kind of group. Their Agent told them it was a much different venue. The mister said “You know the Monkees?” I said “Oh, sure, I used to talk to them on the phone all the time.” So, while I was getting ready to tell them the clientele was not young teenie bopper girls, I was distracted by something in my daughter’s old room. I went in to find someone running out in this costume….wearing a furry stuffed animal head, with some sort of pillow case attached to where you could not see the arms. This person took off out the door, so I went to find him/her. Only thing I found was some dogs running loose in another neighborhood. A collie, a greyhound and a spaniel. When I got home, my sister Trish was here with tacos and flowers to take to a cemetery. And we were out of mountain dew.
August 21st, 1996 a young girl named Trudy Appleby went missing from her home in Moline, IL. She was last seen leaving her driveway in a grey/silver car with a male driver in his early 20’s with dark curly hair and a ball cap. She was 11 years old. She has never been seen or heard from since. Trudy Appleby was my neighbor girl. She was like one of my own kids. We lived in a good neighborhood, a safe neighborhood.
Trudy Appleby’s mother never gave up looking for her daughter. She always held out hope that soon we would find her. But, Trudy’s mother was worried that people would forget about her if this drug on a long time. I promised Trudy’s mother that I would do my best to not let folks forget about her if it came to that.
Well, the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months and the months into years and the years into decades. Trudy’s mother died in 2014 in a tragic accident never knowing what happened to her only child.
There have been leads and rumors abound since that fateful day in 1996, when a little girl seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. Recently, in August of this year, shortly before the 21st anniversary of her disappearance, a suspect was publicly named by the Moline Police Department. The suspect is William “Ed” Smith, now deceased, formerly of East Moline, (Campbell’s Island) A witness came forward to place Trudy with the suspect on the day she disappeared.
In October of this year, a search was made on Campbell’s Island after cadaver dogs detected the scent of human remains. This was after another tip to the police. While no human remains were found, some items were excavated and sent for processing. Nothing has been made public about the findings at this time.
Trudy left her home with someone she knew, and met a terrible fate, never to return home.
Someone out there knows what happened to this little girl, and someone out there still knows where she is. It is highly likely that she is no longer alive, and was buried somewhere by the perpetrators. Someone knows what happened to her and someone knows where she is. Her family, friends and everyone who has so diligently worked on this case for the last 21 years need to know where she can be found so we can lay her to rest.
Someone once commented that they were tired of hearing me talk about Trudy….she stated “This isn’t about YOU.” No, it isn’t….it never has been. It is about an 11 year old girl who never got a chance to be a little girl, or grow into an adult. It is about a mother who died never knowing what happened to her only child. It is about a family and friends who have spent the last 21 years not knowing where she is, not knowing what happened to her. It is about justice for Trudy Appleby. It is about not letting anyone forget about her, and I will not stop talking about her until she is found. Justice for Trudy!
I dreamed I was at my old high school. I was attending classes that I had already attended 40 years prior, so I thought to myself “Why am I reliving high school? I have already done this, so I believe I will just go home.”
So, as I am leaving to go find the bus (because that is how we got around in high school), I hear the rumble of motorcycles. They were antique and unusual motorcycles, some with sidecars, and they were parading through the high school grounds.
I get to the corner where we used to catch the bus, only to find that the bus schedule had changed from 40 years prior, so I decide to walk home. As I am walking, I notice someone is following me so I cross the street. This person follows me all the way home. It just so happens home, in this case, is the home I grew up in, which is a 45 minute walk from the high school.
On the way, in the old neighborhood, I come across a giant snake on a sidewalk. I tell the girl following me to back off, because this snake is huge. The snake comes toward me, and I grab a stick and sling it into the street where it meets an untimely fate underneath the wheels of a car. Just as I think we are safe from the snake, this creature appears out of nowhere and firmly clamps down on my purse. I reach inside the creature’s mouth and grab my purse. When I do that, it shrivels up into what looks like a pile of leaves.
Finally, I make it to my childhood home, (which in real life no longer exists, and has been replaced by a Walgreens), and am thrilled to see it is still standing. Inside the garage I find my brother, who is heading up a garage sale, and trying to adopt out a litter of puppies.
I did manage to lose the girl who was following me.
Not long ago, I dreamed there were about 15 people squatting in the vacant house behind my back yard. About 5 or 6 of those people were inside my yard, drinking beer and having a bonfire. Of course, I promptly kicked them out of my yard. They all retreated to the empty house, and were partying and dancing in the windows and were tearing down all the drapes. They had thrown all their shoes on top of the roof. And they kept jumping the fence to get back into my yard. I immediately called the police, and the dispatcher said “Oh, I have never had a call like this before, so I will have to turn this over to the department that fills out paperwork…please hold.”
So, this past week has been interesting. It started with me puppysitting a litter of puppies for a couple of weeks. They are possibly THE cutest little puppies EVER. They are at the 4 week mark today, and so momma is spending a little less time with them, and I am spending a little more time. I change a lot of puppy pads (they do pretty good with those), and I get my ankles licked and chewed on quite a bit, but hey, it’s worth it because right now they are so much fun! After a stressful 10 hour day at work, they will put you in a good mood quickly. (Although I would probably not do this full time. lol )
It ended with seeing a couple of folks at the grocery store. While at HyVee I spied a couple down the other end of the produce section. I said “Oh, that looks like Mr and Mrs White…” And as I watched them walk, I thought to myself, “Oh, they are hunched over a bit….maybe it’s not them.” First of all, let me explain who Mr and Mrs White are. They are the parents of my first high school boyfriend. (My only high school boyfriend….as I was NOT a hot commodity with the boys back then.) They have always been 2 of my favorite people.
Lo and behold, as I am ready to walk out the door, here comes Mr White, and he smiles and says “I know you, but can’t remember your name.” I remind him and he says “Oh, feel free to stop by the house to visit anytime you are in the neighborhood.” Then I see his lovely bride, and she smiles and gives me a hug and says to her friend “This is Eric’s very first girlfriend from back in the day. She’s always been a sweet and lovely girl.” We run into each other off and on while out and about, and they always make time for conversation with me. They were always so kind back in high school, and 40 something years later, and they still are so kind to me. That is why they are 2 of my favorite people. So, I would say it was a fairly good week.
3 weeks from today will mark 21 years since Trudy Appleby disappeared. Trudy lived down the street from my house, and she spent a lot of time here with us. The day I met her, she was jumping in my yard. We had recently moved into this neighborhood. I opened the door, and she said “My name’s Trudy, you got any kids?” The rest was history. August 20th, 1996 was the last time she was at my house, rollerblading out front, eating hot dogs and mac & cheese, talking about school and just hanging out. She said when she left “See you tomorrow!” Well, tomorrow arrived and we did not see her again. She disappeared the morning of August 21st, 1996, last seen leaving her driveway in a grey or silver car driven by a young man described as a young white male in his 20’s, with dark curly hair, wearing a ball cap. The car would have exited the neighborhood at 41st St and 21st Ave. She has never been seen or heard from since. She was 11 years old at that time. We hung hundreds of posters, the news was here, the police were all around. People searched, but nothing. We found no trace of her.
What happened to Trudy? I wish I knew. In almost 21 years, nobody has come forward with the answer to that question. Last year the police announced that they believe they may know who was responsible for Trudy’s disappearance, and that they just needed someone to come forward. Now, I have been saying this for 21 years…somewhere, someone knows exactly what happened to her. Little girls do not just go *poof* into thin air.
For crying out loud…her mother went to her grave not knowing what happened to her only child. Her grandma died not knowing what happened to her granddaughter. To whomever knows what happened (And mark my words, someone knows to this day): How would you feel if this was your child? I’m sure you have your own children by now, or perhaps even grandchildren. Imagine looking for your lost child, sibling, cousin, friend, grandchild, for almost 21 years, never knowing if he or she were safe or not, alive or not. Imagine not being able to hug someone, not being able to talk to someone….Imagine the only thing you have to remember that missing person by is a bench with his/her name on it. That is all we have of Trudy…a bench with her name on it. Do the right thing….end the nightmare. Call the authorities….Tell the truth….that is all we want. We need to bring Trudy home. What happened to Trudy Appleby?