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23 March 2005
Laura T. Stone dies at 65
Laura T. Stone died suddenly after speaking at a conference in New Mexico. In addition to serving as the director of The Waite Home for Women which she had operated since its inception, she was a member of several women’s rights organizations.
Born in rural Alabama, Ms. Stone worked in brothels and as a call girl, arriving near here in 1967.
Never one to conceal her past, Ms. Stone always spoke candidly about her profession as a prostitute. She often referred to herself as an old whore when addressing women’s professional organizations and she was proud of the more than three decades she called her benevolent period. She championed women’s rights, serving on the Governor’s committee on battered women.
She was preceded in death by her husband, C.C. Stone who died at sea a number of years ago.
She leaves one brother, Randolph P. Tucker, a nephew, Stone Tucker and two nieces, Mrs. Laura Stephens and Mrs. Karen Pringle, all of this area.
In addition to operating the Waite Home, Ms. Stone was Vice President of Tucker Enterprises, a local Real Estate Management Company which she co-founded with her brother.
Funeral Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Waite Home for Women.
“I’m tired Randy.”
I looked over at Laura. She was pale, drawn and gasping. I pulled the big Lincoln off the road and turned to her, knowing she was serious. I had never heard her say she was tired before. I released our seatbelts and unbuttoned her collar but it didn’t seem to help.
We were on our way home from Albuquerque where Laura had delivered a speech to a women’s group. Laura’s message never varied. She always talked about her life as a young woman. She never apologized for her early decisions or painted those days as colorful. She spoke candidly about her whoring days and what she had learned from her clients. “I got my education while on my backside, not that I would recommend that position for any of you,” she would joke.
Once she had the attention of her audience Laura launched her message, You Can Do It! She never boasted about her own accomplishments; she didn’t need to, her self-assured demeanor told them she had been successful with everything she had undertaken. All of us, her family and friends, tried to slow her down but the invitations to speak kept coming and she nearly always accepted.
I dialed 911 and explained where we were, 50 miles from nowhere. They wanted a description of the car. I said it was a black Lincoln with dealer’s plates and that I didn’t know the license number. Rosita had insisted we take a car from the lot because it would be comfortable for Laura.
She complained that the air conditioning was too cold so I shut down the car’s engine and tried to make her as comfortable as possible. She refused the pill I offered.
“You’ll see to everything?” Her voice was weak and halting.
“Don’t talk that way. The ambulance is on its way.”
Her hand reached out to grip my tie. Her body was frail and her lips quivered but there was no mistake about her request. I looked into her eyes and nodded. “I’ll see to everything,” I conceded.
“Tell the kids the truth.” She had released her hold on my tie but not her hold on me. I knew I would feel her hand there every time I wore a tie for the rest of my life.
“I will not,” I declared, thinking how ridiculous her request was.
“Tell them; make them understand how it was with us. I loved you so much, so much that I pushed you away. Tell them I was content to be your second piece of ass.”
“All right. I’ll make them understand,” I said to appease her although I had no intention of doing such a thing at the time.
Laura’s body slumped against me. I cried.
Several minutes must have passed without a thought coming to mind, me holding Laura’s body and weeping. But when I realized I was feeling sorry for myself, selfishly for my own loss, it revived me enough to make me assess what had just happened. I looked around and tried to get my bearings. The car was stuffy so I started the engine and the air conditioning came back on.
Somewhat revived, I propped Laura up, buckled her seatbelt and adjusted her seat into the reclining position. She looked peaceful, drawn and frail but calm. Her eyes were closed. God, how I loved her! I should be doing something but what? Should I call and cancel the ambulance? Should I drive her body directly to the funeral home? Would it be accepted without a doctor’s declaration that she was really dead? I didn’t know.
I phoned Rosita because, deep down I knew it would be easier than telling her in person and because I needed to talk to someone. She went to pieces, blaming Laura for speaking that day, blaming me for taking her and finally placing the blame on God before she ended the conversation.
Two minutes later my phone rang. It was Rosita, calling back to apologize for blaming everyone and Kurtköy Escort wanting to know how it happened.
“She asked me to tell the kids.”
“Tell them what? About she and you? That she wasn’t really their aunt?”
“I think she wanted me to tell them about her past. She said to tell them that she was content to be my second piece of ass.”
“Oh, I think they know. How could they grow up so close to her and not know? She never tried to hide it. I’m sure they heard it all along the way.”
“I suppose you’re right but I still have to tell them. It was her only request.”
Rosita begin to cry again and hung up. Then she called me back. “Are you all right Randy? Is there something I can do? Should I phone Petri?”
“Yes, if you will, please tell her I’ll call her after I’ve called the funeral home,” I said and heard her begin to cry again. It went on like that until the ambulance arrived and I told Rosita I couldn’t talk for awhile. Her being upset was draining me. I had to stay strong because there was so much to do.
I gave the ambulance the address of the Sperry Funeral Home. We had entrusted them with every funeral I could remember. The Judge had used them first when Mollie, the first madam I ever met, died three years after her stroke. Laura called Mr. Sperry each time a woman at the home passed away. It was natural that we arrange for the Judge’s funeral to be held there and later when Mrs. Waite died. When Ollie was found dead in a New York City hotel room we arranged for his body to be shipped to Sperry because Rosita had a relationship with them. Her parents, Maria and Raphael Hernandez had died two years earlier. We used Sperry again when Ollie’s mother passed away four days after his funeral. We had developed a relationship with the funeral home over the years although, until now, it had never been for a member of my immediate family. I phoned the funeral home and Fred Sperry said he would arrange for a doctor to issue the death certificate.
Petri was too shaken to talk so we gave up for the time being. When she called back a few minutes later we cried together, bawling like kid’s who skinned their knees on the playground.
I pulled the big car back onto the road and followed the ambulance for the next 200 miles, letting my mind hop around the events of the past 35 years like a rabbit in a thorny bramble thicket.
I thought from the moment we first met that Petri and I would eventually be together, it was only a question as to when. I think she always knew too. As it turned out it was Laura and Rosita that made it happen.
Petri blamed me for her father’s disappearance. She told me at her sister’s wedding that she would never speak to me again and for over two years she didn’t. Like her sister before her, Petri went east to school so she was away from home most of that time.
When Rosita could no longer afford the expensive tuition Petri was forced to come home. I had thought of her often and when Laura told me that Petri would soon return home I was secretly happy that Rosita had come to terms with her financial situation.
“She’s heartbroken that she’s not going to be able to finish there but it’s just too expensive,” Laura commented, offhandedly. “We’re hoping you can cheer her up.”
“Whoa! Did Rosita put you up to this?”
I had just finished my third year at school and had been living alone in the small house for two years, since Laura moved to the Waite Home for Women. She divided her time between operating the Waite Home and working in our business.
Laura gave me her, ‘you caught me look,’ and smiled to tell me I was correct. She and Rosita had invented a reason to get Petri and me together, something that appealed to me although I was dubious about how she would greet me.
“Is she still mad at me?”
“Why don’t you call and ask her?”
Nothing more was said about Petri. The seed had been planted and I knew Laura expected me to follow through with the phone call. Our conversation turned back to business.
I didn’t have to ask if she was still mad at me. I knew as soon as I heard her voice that she no longer held me responsible for chasing her father away. There was a noticeable refinement in her voice, a little deeper, but otherwise she sounded the same as I remembered. The English have a word for it, cheeky. She was delightfully cheeky.
“I’d like to see you too,” she almost purred and I knew she no longer harbored any resentment towards me.
When I hung up I realized we had set up a meeting with a time and that was all. It was not a date; nothing had been said about what we would do, how to dress or where we would go.
Ten minutes later when the phone rang I was sure it would be Petri but it wasn’t.
“Meet her at the car lot,” Huley said.
“How did you know about this?”
“I’m here. Can’t I visit my sister? Mama and Jake are down at the lot so I came to be with Petri when you called.”
Huley, the girl who had once called me Maltepe Escort her “Fucker,” and I had actually become friends. I credited her marriage to Jake Trainer with the grain of maturity she had attained.
“You expected me to call? Why should we meet at the lot?”
“I’m loaning you the Vet for the night. I don’t want my sister riding in that awful truck of yours.”
On Friday evening Laura came to the house on the pretense of making me something to eat but she was really there to dress me. She found a summer suit in my closet and white shoes which were in fashion at the time. To wear or not wear a tie became an issue. “You can always take it off later,” she offered and I knew it was a bargain I couldn’t refuse.
Jake was showing a car when I drove on the lot but he came over and I handed him the keys to my truck.
“Where are you going?” He asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered. Huley came out of the office carrying the baby. She handed me the keys to the Vet.
“Where are you taking her?” She asked.
“I don’t know,” I repeated, absently because just then, Petri made her appearance. At the time I didn’t notice how she was wearing her hair or the long skirt or her shoes. It was the same Petri I had known; she had hardly changed. I beheld the tall vision; Scandinavian beauty with blond hair in brown skin. But I failed to understand; this was real, not a dream. I only saw her and I wanted her. I completely missed Rosita following closely behind.
“Don’t I get a hug?”
We were in the car and stopped at the exit of Ollie’s Used Car lot. I looked down at my foot on the break and wondered if I had something to do with the car stopping. I couldn’t remember saying anything, opening the door for Petri or starting the car. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Jake and Huley with the baby and Rosita watching us.
“Shit! Was Rosita there? I didn’t say hello or anything.”
Petri was grinning at me. I put my arms around her and felt her cheek against mine and smelled her. It wasn’t soap or perfume. It was her that I smelled and I wanted her.
I drove aimlessly, not noticing that the Vet’s engine had been tuned and body had been refurbished. I couldn’t think of anything to say. “How have you been? How was school? Are you still mad at me?” I remained silent; nothing was appropriate. Petri seemed contented to let me stew in my puddle of daze.
“I’m a virgin,” she offered. We were sitting on a bench in a park. I didn’t know how we had gotten there. I didn’t remember parking the car or opening the door for her or taking her hand. Had it been my decision to stop in this perfect place?
“That’s a surprise, considering,” I said, turning to her, finding it easy to talk now. She was sitting with her back to the armrest, her shoes off and her feet drawn up on the seat, her long legs not visible under the long skirt. I took all of this in, still wondering if this was real or a dream.
“I thought you should know.”
“In case I….” I said nodding my understanding.
“I’ll let you know when I’m ready. It won’t be long but I want to wait until we…you know…get reacquainted.”
“Of course. It has been a while,” I said and we fell silent, seeming to know the other one’s thoughts. My left arm was on the back of the bench. I reached out and ran my finger down her cheek. Her skin felt soft and warm. She was real. I let my hand drop to her knee. She watched, not flinching at my touch. I smiled and she smiled back.
“Are you surprised?”
“Yes. I mean no, not really.” I was surprised that she was still a virgin and even more surprised that she would think telling me straight away was necessary. “It’s not a big deal, either way.”
She laughed. “Don’t get a big head about it. I wasn’t saving it for you, necessarily.”
I pushed her legs off of the bench and pulled her to me. Our first kiss lasted two minutes and was as good as any kiss since.
“Maybe I was. Maybe I was saving it for you,” she said, thoughtfully, more to herself than to me.
You decide when it’s time,” I said. The sun was disappearing and there was a chill in the air. We got up and I placed my coat around her shoulders.
We were standing beside the bench; her dark eyes were searching mine. “I’ll let you know when the time is right.”
“Do you want a spring wedding or can we wait until I finish school?” A formal proposal didn’t seem necessary. It was as if we were destined to be together.
“We can wait, don’t you think?” Petri said and I agreed. We walked to the car, having sealed our future together.
There was no more discussion about our impending wedding until Thanksgiving when we first made love. We didn’t announce our intentions nor did we attempt to conceal our devotion. Those close to us seemed to know our plans.
Jake and Huley left right after dinner because they had to go to his parent’s for a family gathering. Laura and Rosita headed for a late afternoon movie in town, leaving Petri and me alone Tuzla Escort with instructions to clean the dining room and do the dishes.
We had spent every free minute together for over five months and there was nothing we didn’t know about the other. What I didn’t offer to reveal she found out from Rosita who had learned it all from Laura.
As I found out later, Petri knew that I had slept alone all summer and the entire fall, waiting for her to say it was time. Laura had stopped spending nights at the house, something I resented at the time but later came to realize her action was an expression of love. I became entrenched in work and school and spent as much time with Petri as possible, feeling myself lucky to be in her company.
“Let’s go up to my room,” Petri said as soon as we heard Laura’s car start. I was already busy clearing the table. She was wearing a sort of jumpsuit that zipped down the front. She wore knee socks, leaving two or three inches of bare skin above the knees. She was playing with the zipper, pulling it down to reveal a white lacy bra and her bare stomach. She grinned as the zipper went back up and then down again.
I glanced at the clock and calculated, forty-five minutes there, the movie was two hours and the drive home would take another forty-five minutes if they didn’t stop along the way. Three and one-half hours total.
“I’m kind of full, aren’t you? Let’s fill the dishwasher first.” Knowing the time had come was giving me self-doubt. Was I worthy?
“Are you too full to climb the stairs?” The zipper had been pulled all the way down, showing her white panties, contrasting with the brown skin of her tummy. She looked at me, frowned and pulled the zipper up, all the way to her neck.
I walked around the table to stand close to her. “Is there something up there you wanted to show me?”
“Not if you’re too full,” she was being coy now and I didn’t blame her, not after the way I had teased her.
I pulled the zipper down, just below her bra. “You know, this thing you’re wearing is the most unattractive garment I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t do justice to your figure.”
“You hurt my feelings,” she said, feigning a pout.
I pulled the zipper down farther. “But it has possibilities.”
“I think June 14th. That’s a Sunday. Are you free that day?”
“What?” The front of the jumpsuit was open all the way to her crotch and I was staring down, enjoying the view. In all the months we had dated I had not felt her breasts or touched her pussy. At times it had been tempting because we had both been hot, moaning and panting as we made out. I knew every curve of her body but I had not touched those most sensitive places because she had said she would decide when the time was right. I respected her wishes; vowing to wait. But now we were going to wait until the 14th of June?
“I was talking about the wedding silly. Sunday’s the only day the lot is closed. Is the 14th good for you?”
I laughed at myself for jumping to the wrong conclusion. We kissed and I crushed her body to me. Petri took my hand and led me up the stairs to her room. Rosita and Laura came home three and one-half hours later to find the dining room table cluttered with dirty dishes and leftover food.
Petri flung the jump-suit in a corner and bent over her bed to pull back the covers. I was watching her panty-filled butt when her head spun around. “You’re not too full to get undressed, are you?”
I started stripping and she turned to watch. When I got down to my boxers she came to me, still wearing her bra, panties and knee socks. I held her, feeling the bare skin of her shoulders and back, feeling her panty covered ass and the strap that held the cups of her bra together. She felt soft and small and vulnerable but I knew better. She may have been nervous but underneath she was strong and confident and sure.
“I love you,” I said as I played with the clips that held her bra straps together.
She leaned back in my arms and looked into my eyes. “I know you do but tell me, what is it about me that you love?”
I released my hold and took her hands in mine. “This is easy but it will take a minute to explain.”
We sat on her bed, dressed in our underwear, holding hands, our legs touching some times, other times not while I tried to explain what I meant. “Do you remember the first time we met?”
She nodded. We had met at the front door when I came to the house to see her sister on the pretense of borrowing a book. “You were a duplicate of Huley, in looks but you were different, natural, and alive and I knew instantly that you were a caring person. Every time we were together, remember that night we went to a party and ended up in a motel sleeping next to each other? I was always drawn to you. And that night at the lot, when I saw you for the first time in two years it was like we had never been apart. I think I noticed how you walked and how beautiful you are but those things didn’t register. It was you that I saw, not how your hair was done or what you were wearing. It was like I could see inside you and I liked what I saw. It’s like I’ve known you forever. That night in the park when we knew we would be married. We both knew without it being said. That’s what I love about you.”
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