There is a lot you don’t know about Eviliz personally. For example, Eviliz rarely talks in the third person like Panamint Patty does. And-Eviliz digs Kathie Lee Gifford (and Panamint Patty I guess too). Go ahead and laugh about it but keep in mind you are about to benefit from Kathie’s book titled ~
“Just When I Thought I Dropped My Last Egg.”
From the chapter titled One Degree of Separation Anxiety.
It’s become a joke in the hair and makeup room at the Today Show that I have about one degree of separation from pretty much anything on the planet.
Something will come up on the t.v monitor, and I’ll say, “Well back in ’62 I was….” and inevitably there’s some weird linkage. We’ll, I’ll take weird linkage any day over weird leakage, but that’s another essay.
Anyway it’s well established among my colleagues that I have lived along time, met a lot of awful interesting people, and found myself in way too many strange situations.
The other day we were all getting ready for the show when suddenly someone being interview mentioned the possibility that there were yet more victims of the Charles Manson family, long buried somewhere at his ranch in the desert. Everyone looked at me and waited. At first I pretended I hadn’t heard the t.v.
“Well?” Hoda goaded. I hesitated.
“Finally!” Somebody laughed. “No degree of separation.”
I cleared my throat. “Actually….”
“NO!” They all screamed. They couldn’t believe I could somehow have a connection to Charles Manson.
I can’t believe it myself but I do.
Let me take you back in time….
I’m not exactly sure what year it was, but it was definitely sometime in the late seventies.
Michie (her sister) and I did a lot of gospel singing back then. One day I got a call from a wonderful man, Chaplin Ray, who had a very successful prison ministry. He told me that he and Pat Boone were going to tape a television special at the Men’s Penal Colony in San Luis Obispo, California. He asked if Michie and I would want to join them and perform a few songs.
I checked with Mich, we checked our calendars, and I called Chaplin Ray and accepted his invitation.
Michie got there first. I was scheduled to fly in the next day.
So I was anxious to hear how it was going. She took a long time calling to give me an update, and I began to worry.
Finally the phone rang. It was Michie.
“Okay, there’s good news and bad news,” she said.
“What’s the good news?” I asked.
“I went through the worst thunder storms you can possibly imagine. The plane almost crashed and I almost died.”
“Wow.” I said. “What’s the bad news?”
“The bad news is I lived and now Tex Watson is my bodyguard.”
‘WHAT!” I SCREAMED. “Tex Watson, the Texas kid who is actually the one who butchered every single victim in the Manson murders.”
I couldn’t believe it.
I still couldn’t believe it.
“Oh my God, Mich- are you all right?”
“Oh yeah,” she answered. “He’s really nice.”
“NICE?” I am getting on the next plane out and I am coming to get you right now.”
I hung up the phone and busted my butt getting to the airport, praying the whole way.
How could this have happened? I mean, Chaplain Ray had mentioned Pat Boone, whom some people find scary, but he had somehow neglected to mention that one of the worst mass murders in the history of the world was going to be our bodyguard?
I mean, Tex Watson is no Kevin Costner. That’s who I think of when the word “bodyguard” comes to mind.
Now I was losing my mind. But the worst was yet to come. When my plane touched down in San Luis Obispo, it was 114 degrees Fahrenheit. Michie and I had been asked to wear clothes that were in no way provocative- heaven forbid we look enticing to any of the twenty four hundred maximum security inmates.
I met Mich at the hotel. She seemed okay and informed me that Tex Watson had been raised in a deeply devout home in Texas, but had gotten into all kinds of crazy drugs when he’d come to California to “find himself.” Instead, he’d found Charles Manson and had found himself serving multiple life sentences for seven horrendous murders.
Apparently in prison he’d also found God. As Mich and I entered the security gate, I was praying that this part was at least partially true. We were searched and were asked to leave everything we’d brought (purse, etc.) at the entrance. No lip gloss allowed.
I cannot describe the suffocating heat, made worse by the polygamy-cult style dresses Mich and I were wearing.
It turns out that meeting Tex Watson was the easiest part of the day. The worst came a few hours later when Chaplain Ray, Pat Boone, Tex Watson, and Michie and I were standing on stage for the finale.
The warden and his wife were sitting in the front row, and twenty four hundred of the unhappiest men you can imagine were screaming (Eviliz almost peed her pretty pink panties after reading this-).
‘SING HELTER SKELTER’! in the bleachers. (AHHHHHHH---LMAO)
By now it had been close to 120 degrees inside the prison.
Most of the inmates had taken of much of their clothing and were either fanning themselves or masturbating in front of us. (Wtf?) I guess those dresses turned them on. Who knew?
Anyway, it was almost over, when suddenly the unthinkable happened : (How could it possibly get any worse?)
THE POWER WENT OFF!
We were completely in the dark, and the only thing I wasn’t afraid of was Tex Watson.
You sort of go into a weird Twilight Zone mode when something like this happens. I looked at the warden and suddenly realized how truly precarious the situation was. He was terrified. His wife was apoplectic. I actually squeezed Tex’s hand for support! I looked at Michie, and she looked at me. We were both thinking the same thing. “I don’t want to die in this dress.”
Now for one hour that was a distinct possibility.
So you ask, what did we do? Well, I’ll tell you what we did. We all stood there on the stage, hand in hand, soaked in fear and sweat, (No miss fired semen? I am surprised.) and sang “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
That’s exactly what we did.
It had never been my favorite hymn before, but it became my favorite hymn that very day, I promise.
Suddenly as quick as the power went out, the power came back on.
The warden and his wife were rushed out of the auditorium, and so, somehow, were we. I can’t remember what happened next, nor do I want to.
But I do recall Tex wrote me several times afterward, asking me to speak for him when he came up for parole. He deserved to stay in prison for the rest of his life for the terrible suffering he’d cause.
He finally stopped asking, got married, had conjugal visits with his wife, and ended up fathering several children. He still works in the Chaplain ministry and by all accounts has been a model prisoner.
Pat Boone went out to enjoy a long and illustrious career.
Chaplain Ray continued his magical mystery tour through America’s prisons.
Michie moved out of California.
I got out of gospel music.
It’s just too dangerous.
P.S. They should change the name of the prison to the Men’s Penile Colony.
And Eviliz? Well she still can’t stop laughing after picturing/reading the whole ordeal.