Christmas pictures:
John’s Christmas pictures

Here are some pictures of John’s childhood–sorry they were all on one page–the one without John Brooks is my Grandparents, some are just Mary Grace, one of Mary Grace and Tom, one of John Brooks with Tom’s nephew Jimmy and yes, that is John dressed for Halloween.

Pics of John B. childhood

Someone requested more pictures of the property: here are some in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Property 2008
More 2008 property
Planting Maze 2009
Property 2010
Property 2012

Hope you enjoy the pictures and thanks again for reading.



I have written this post a thousand times in my mind, and believe me it never turned out like this.

My first thoughts were, there are no winners in this story. Well, maybe This American Life, and certainly Brian’s years of blood, sweat and tears that he put into this production is beyond amazing. The popularity of this podcast and the “Peabody awards says it all. Congratulations to them. I am sure there were times Brian Reed was asking, why me???

So, could John Brooks be the winner? At first, I would have answered no, but wait, maybe he has finally found the peace he so desperately searched for. Unknowingly to John Brooks, after his tragic death the story turned not only to his life but his death. This podcast gave us a look into the life of a extraordinary man, a man that might have realized this was his chance to not only ride into the sunset but, also have the last laugh. Just maybe he found his gold at the end of the rainbow.
Mary Grace once told me, ” as bad as I miss John Brooks, I would not bring him back because he would just do it all over again”

Is Tyler the winner? At first, I would have answered no, but wait, did he serve time for his illegal actions? No. Did he have to return any stolen items? No. Is he still giving interviews and getting the attention he wants? Yes. Did he get his new home after all? Yes. Did he benefit from “Go Fund Me” accounts? Yes. So, does that make Tyler the winner? I guess you would have to ask him.

Is Mary Grace the winner? At first, I would have answered no, but wait, she now lives in a comfortable place. A place where she does not have to worry about being too cold, too hot, or being hungry. She gets to go to the beauty salon and get her hair cut and styled, she gets to travel, and eat out. She gets to watch TV, and trust me she keeps up with what is going on in the world. ( She certainly enjoyed Prince Harry’s wedding.) She has gone to visitation when some of her friends have pasted. Her caregiver and I talk about her memory, I am sure she has some stage of dementia but, we believe most of her memory problems are just the aging process. So yes, maybe she in the winner.

Am I the winner? At first, I would have answered no, but wait, was I able to accomplish the things I set out to do, which was to protect Mary Grace and provide her better living conditions? Yes. Did this bring me closer to family, especially ones I had lost touch with? Yes. Do I still have a loving husband that I have been married to for 44 years? Yes. Do we both still have our good health? Yes. Not to say this situation did age me more than I would like to admit.
You know the saying: the things that don’t kill you only make you stronger. And, in the grand scheme of things: Any day above ground is a good day!

I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog and maybe it has answered some of your concerns and questions.

OK- I have finished talking.


It has been requested that I share some more pictures, I plan to do this in a blog dated 7-9-18.


I have experienced so many emotions over the past few years: Grief, Anxiety, Regret, Embarrassment and yes even fear but, the one I am most ashamed of is anger. Anger is described by Google as: An intense negative emotion ranging from mild irritation to rage.

It is not uncommon to experience anger but, when anger becomes a part of your life it can become unhealthy. Anger has never been a huge factor in my life, I should say my emotion would be classified as the -mild irritation not rage. And maybe I am getting anger confused with disappointment and frustration. So much has happened since John Brooks pasted that I sometimes let anger get in the way of my blessings. I sometimes wonder what happened to me-where did that happy go lucky lady go? The lady that worked hard and planned for her retirement so she would be able to enjoy her senior years. The lady that enjoyed life and tried to find the good in bad situations. Then there was S-Town, I found myself in a place where I felt I was having to fight for everything I felt was right.

While writing this blog, I have had the best proof readers a blog writer could have. ( is that a proper sentence?) lol
One pointed out to me –some of your statements are really sharp–and that is OK if that is what you are going for. Well, it wasn’t so I tried to calm it down. I didn’t want to show my anger but, it was an emotion that I felt.

I was planning to address some of the questions and concerns that were mentioned on the discussion groups but, I decided against that. It is better for me not to get involved with the group discussions. There are many that will never understand my point of view. ( that is fine) Besides, whenever I try to explain they just chew me up and spit me out.Some people are like vicious animals waiting on their next meal, and when I comment it just feeds them. However, I will touch on a few topics that seemed to cause confusion.

John Brooks’ head stone: This is pretty simple, there was no money —and with the headstone that Tyler made meant that John did have his identity.

Burt’s buying the property: I would have to say, John Brooks did not have the same feelings that the podcast portrayed. I don’t believe John Brooks had any animosity against the Burt’s. John Brooks’ family and Kendall’s family (on his mother side) go way back. Kendall’s aunt and my aunt (Mary Grace’s first cousin) were best of friends since childhood and remained best friends until his aunt’s death. Once when my aunt was in Alabama with Kendall’s aunt, they decided to come to Florida for a visit. We had a great visit, one I will never forget. Kendall’s aunt was in Mary Grace’s wedding and Kendall’s Aunt and Mother were both at John Brooks’ burial service. I went to church with Kendall’s grandmother for years. John would often go to K3 Supply just to visit and shoot the bull with Kendall. When I was trying to find out the value of the lumber that was in the trailer and buses, I contacted Kendall about receipts for materials John purchased. It was at that time Kendall expressed interest in buying the property. I didn’t want to list the house with a realtor for several reasons so the Burt’s were the best fit. And it might interest you to know the last day John purchased materials from K3 Supply was on 6-16-2015, less than a week before his death, and you can add K3 Supply to the list of John’s debtors. Even to this day, Kendall’s mother and my aunt still talk frequently.

My connection to Tyler’s family: Some seem to think that I knew Tyler’s family from when I lived in Woodstock. I have been gone from Woodstock 33 years. I only knew Tyler’s mom when she was playing ball–it was around 1979 or 1980

I got a lot of criticism for selling Tyler’s kids toys–the toys that was in the dining room belonged to John Brooks. At one time, I saw a picture or video of a house John constructed with legos.

Guardian: I know someone ask, well, in the podcast Reta said she didn’t need this, Tyler could move in with Mary Grace and she would go back home. So why didn’t she just go back home? First of all, no one needs this. It is bad enough to lose a family member and at first it seemed that even Mary Grace was not going to cooperate with me. Then when Tyler went to the property the same night. I was not leaving Mary Grace, I guess you can say I came to my senses.

Blog: There are even a few that believe I am making money from this blog. Well maybe some people can or do but, I am not one of them, I wouldn’t even know how. After my nephew set up the blob, I had to pay a lady just to tutor me on how to use it. Believe me, it cost me money. If I can just get these last few posting published, I will never do this again. It is too stressful for someone my age.

My Comments: I will say, I thought I would have had more comments on this blog, people seemed to have so many questions —this was your chance to ask me and get your answers. I do hope that this blog gave you some insight to what I have being dealing with for the past 3 years and what it means to be a guardian of another person. Never sign up for this if you are not going to be totally committed and take this position every serious. You are not only trying to live your life but you are totally taking on the task of helping someone else live their life. I could not have done this without the help from my husband, family members and friends. Of course, it helps that Mary Grace has been so agreeable. I can’t express enough how blessed I am to be a part of her life. She always puts a smile on my face and makes everything I have been though worthwhile. As, I have said before, all I did then and do now is for her, every situation I had to deal with, I was seeing though her eyes. I will have to be honest here, I know this podcast was all about John Brooks and his life but, sometimes it makes me sad that the one who has lost the most, which was Mary Grace, has been overlooked. So many in this story were closer to John Brooks than his mother and I understand, but those who say they were best buddies with John Brooks hasn’t even taken the time to ask about his mother. (Just saying)

Thanks so much for reading. One more post and I will stop talking.