Family Values

A Brooks Tale


It was another sunny day at the compound.  Life was regular and orderly and complete…as long as you did what you were told.

Tom woke up early, at 4:40 A:M:, as was his custom.  He had to be at the restaurant by 5:30 to oversee the preparing of breakfast and the establishment of readiness for the first customers of the day.

Theresa was sleeping soundly.  She had been up late last night figuring the accounts of her many enterprises that she owned.

Theresa was rich.  Her mother had always told her that one day she would be very wealthy…and she was.  Her grandfather had made a fortune in stocks and had died, suddenly, of heart failure.

Tom came from a poor family, and he knew it…if he ever forgot…he was reminded by his surroundings and the vacant stares of his brothers and sisters.

Now, Tom tried to help his family, as much as he could, without drawing the wrath of the family matriarch, Abby, who had inherited the fortune that her husband had acquired and had subsequently guarded it with her life.

Tom learned quickly, much as his father-in-law, Rafe, had learned, many years prior, that men did not count for much in the compound.

In fact, it was a matriarchal society

Theresa and her mother Molly and her maternal grandmother, Abby, were the law west of the Pecos.

Men were good for labor and love and making a living…if you could, successfully, point them in the right direction.

They were good for little else…other than humor.

Abby and Molly and now Theresa were the leaders of the compound and the decision makers.

They fashioned their society on the Navajo Indians Matriarchal society.

They were allowed to hunt and fish and enjoy, typical male pastimes and hobbies, but their ideas regarding future outreaches into the compound’s fortune and business ventures…were accepted with benevolent amusement.

When Rafe lost Molly to a sudden and untimely death…he was lost.  He simply did not know what to do.  Molly had given him his daily instructions for fifty years and he followed them dutifully.  He enjoyed the perks of, what he considered their wealth, and subsequently enjoyed traveling to their apartments and condos and hotels that they owned.  He loved motorized transportation and proceeded to buy several automobiles and motorcycles and campers of all sizes and shapes.

Polly, the daughter of Tom and Theresa, saw the dichotomy between her brother Michale and herself.  Grandma Abby had always favored her and not Michale.  She loved Polly and she liked and tolerated Michael.  Grandma consistently told Polly that she loved her and wished that she would never leave her while she smiled and told Michael that she knew that he had to be going and thanks for visiting.

The pressure of being a, friend and almost like family, often wore thin with Tom and Rafe and they discussed their place in the bubble society that was the compound.

They primarily did not like the fact that they had to be in by dark.  Also, the restriction, that Theresa had placed on all of the members of the compound, that they could not leave the property from sun down on Friday evening until sun down on Saturday evening…or the sabbath.

Rafe had things that he enjoyed doing in the evening hours, that were located away from home, and he certainly wanted to be gone on Saturdays.

Rafe enjoyed traveling to the Caribbean and Europe and across the United States…and he did not appreciate that Theresa’s infatuation with minister Pat and his strange beliefs…was going to stop that delightful activity from occurring.

Minister Pat weighed about 400 lb.. and Theresa loved him!

Minster Pat was a follower of the World Wide Church of God and its’ founder, Herbert W. Armstrong.

To say that Tom and Rafe were held on a short leash…would be an understatement.

They had to report in to Theresa at the beginning of the day, at 8:00 A:M: and at the conclusion of the day at 4:00 P:M:.

The report was divided into fifteen minute intervals where lined space was provided to explain what they had been doing for each interval.

This included bathing and toiletry.

On one occasion, Tom had written down the he had been having intercourse with one of he sheep in the north pasture…and there had been no questions asked.

On another occasion Rafe had written that he had attempted to hang himself from the barn rafters…but that the rope had broken.

There were no questions asked or answered.

One day, when Tom and Rafe were hunting deer on the property, they decided that it was time to rebel.

They were going to make a break for it!

They were going to leave the compound after dark.

They were going to prove that they were men and not mice!

At 9:00 P:M: they made their move.

They opened the gate to the fence and drove their BMW through the opening of the gate.

Suddenly it began to snow.

It was July and the heat index was 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Something was truly askew with their world…and mother said to Polly…now, Polly, you must stop playing with the snow globe that your father got for you today…even though it is Christmas.

And, Polly, reluctantly sat the globe down…with Theresa and Rafe and Tom…and thought that she would have great fun with her snow globe diorama….tomorrow…as there was no school until the new year!



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