Little Girl Lost?
By the first day of spring, Brittany Ann Corcoran, age seven, was pretty much on her own. She had not seen her father, Jim Corcoran, with whom she had been living, since August. That's when Brittany's mother, Nikki-Marie Jones, picked her up at Corcoran's house in Bellaire and never brought her back.
When the judge ordered her to produce her daughter, Jones said she'd rather go to jail. The court obliged her, but by then, Brittany had already been placed in the care of her mother's friend, a lady who called herself "Froggie."
Without her mother around, life on the lam was kind of boring for Brittany. She couldn't see her friends, and there weren't many children around. On the other hand, she wasn't cooped up in a classroom all day, because when you're a missing person, no one makes you go to school. Instead, Brittany moved around a lot, sometimes in and around the city, but mostly from one quiet place to another. Once in a while, she'd go to Louisiana with her grandmother, who liked the casinos but usually lost. On one trip, Brittany had five dollars. She bought herself something to eat for a dollar and used the rest to buy a beer for her grandmother's friend.
Most of the time, though, Brittany tagged along with "Froggie." On the afternoon of March 20, Froggie took Brittany to Angleton, where she made the acquaintance of Emma Johnson, a 70-year-old retired nurse.
Through Froggie, Brittany had met a lot of people like Emma Johnson, older folks who treated her kindly and rarely became angry, even on those occasions when she misbehaved. So, Brittany wasn't scared or worried when Froggie gave her a hug, told her to mind her manners with Miss Johnson and, promising to return in one week, got in the car and drove away.
It wasn't the first time it had happened, and as long as her mom was in jail, it wouldn't be the last. Brittany missed her mom, but she understood what was happening. She hadn't seen her father in so long, she'd forgotten his name.
Four days later, Brittany got up early and went into Houston with Emma Johnson and her daughter-in-law. They left Angleton in a black pickup truck and drove to Texas Orthopedic Hospital, at Greenbriar and Main streets, where Johnson's daughter-in-law had a doctor's appointment. While they waited, Johnson decided to have a smoke. Brittany followed her to the parking lot and climbed into the back of the pickup.
A few minutes later, Brittany looked up and said, "There's my daddy."
Some years ago, Jim Corcoran dreamed that Nikki-Marie Jones appeared before him engulfed in flames, "like Moses' bush," he says. A small figure emerges from the pyre. It draws nearer until Corcoran sees a little girl, and she's running toward him with outstretched arms.
"That little girl," Corcoran says, "needed my help."
For seven months, while private investigators and the police searched in vain for Brittany, Corcoran thought about his dream. He found "tremendous strength" in its promise of a reunion with Brittany. That, he says, is what brought him, on a Tuesday morning, to a black pickup truck in the parking lot of Texas Orthopedic Hospital.
"It was a miracle," Corcoran recalls of the moment he realized he'd found his daughter. "It's unbelievable."
Mostly, though, the story of Brittany Ann Corcoran is no more or less interesting than any other custody battle that's turned nasty. There are allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse, as well as bitter complaints about cronyism and corruption within the family-court system. Both parents sink to uncharacteristic depths to gain an edge. And, of course, both sides say they want what's best for the child, even as their personal attacks on each other intensify as the desire for revenge forbids the slightest restraint.
The conflict is as old as sex and, in the same kind of vaguely repulsive way, is of considerable sociological interest. The Corcoran case could fill a week of Jerry Springer. At the same time, there's a heroic element, even a certain romance, to tales of parental kidnapping. In the news not long ago was the woman who lost custody of her children, but rather than turn them over to their father, she took them to Denmark. Recently, a man who absconded with his two daughters 19 years ago resurfaced in Florida. Family-court watchers and children's advocates jumped all over his case before his daughters stepped up and defended him as a model father. And two weeks ago, Time magazine published a cover story on an "underground" network that assists women who want to disappear with their children.
It is no longer so shocking or unusual, this parental abduction business; like everything else, it only gets more sophisticated. The continuing saga of Jones v. Corcoran, for example, has taken on another, thoroughly modern dimension -- spin.
In mid-November, while she was hiding out with her daughter, Jones agreed to be interviewed by KHOU-TV/Channel 11 reporter Dan Lauck. The piece, which was taped at an undisclosed location, was essentially a vehicle for Jones to voice her disgust with both the court system and Jim Corcoran. At one point in the broadcast, Lauck, who apparently never interviewed Corcoran for the segment, said, "It's hard to believe that a mother could lose custody of a child to someone who was a deadbeat dad."
In February, Jim Corcoran sued Channel 11 for "aiding and abetting" Nikki-Marie Jones's attempt to conceal Brittany from her father. According to Corcoran's attorney, Larry Doherty, Lauck and the station were obligated under the law to ensure Brittany's swift return by reporting her whereabouts to Corcoran or the authorities. Doherty asserts that, to get a big news story that might boost the station's advertising revenues, Channel 11 kept the interview site a secret, thereby allowing Jones to continue hiding Brittany from her father.
Doherty has won handsome judgments in two similar cases against the family, friends and accomplices of so-called "noncustodial" parents who disappeared with their children. Taking on KHOU-TV because its reporter refused to have Nikki Jones arrested is, apparently, unprecedented. It's also a little ironic.
An accomplished self-promoter known for representing people who sue their attorneys, Doherty arranged to contact a Press reporter last month, and in a brief phone interview, ripped into KHOU-TV's journalistic ethics and integrity. Then he offered the reporter what Nikki Jones probably offered Dan Lauck: an exclusive -- in this case, the "untold story" of Jim Corcoran.
In Doherty's mind, his client's tale would unwind as human interest dressed up as media criticism. The lawyer put a little zing in the idea by intimating that, while she was missing, Brittany Corcoran had traversed the mysterious underground of the Republic of Texas, whose harassment of the legal system with bogus lawsuits speaks to the danger they pose to society.
"They're fighting a holy war," roared Doherty. "They woke up one day and heard they'd won. Now what are they going to do?"
A couple of weeks later, Doherty arranged a meeting between Corcoran and a Press reporter. A solidly built man of average height, with thinning, light-brown hair and a mustache, Corcoran works for Baxter Healthcare as a medical technician. He met Jones in 1989, when he was traveling a lot and she was a limousine driver.
They dated, they made love, they moved in together. She got pregnant. They talked about marriage, but she left. He sought a reconciliation. It failed, and she moved out again. Later, she gave birth to a baby girl in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. Her son, Brandon, who was ten years old at the time, helped with the umbilical cord, cleaned up the afterbirth and took care of his mother and sister, who was named Brittany Ann.
From that point, what happened between Jim Corcoran and Nikki Jones is a matter of their individual perspectives. In the eight years since Brittany was born, the nature of her mother and father's relationship, as well as Brittany's childhood, has been shaped largely by the courts.
In the most significant decision to date, on April 15, 1996, 310th District Family Court Judge Lisa Millard signed the order that gave Jim Corcoran sole custody of his daughter. Jones was devastated. For almost three years, Corcoran had ignored his responsibilities to Brittany. When Jones sued him in 1992, he denied paternity. She had no idea that a paternity suit would lead to her losing custody of her daughter to a man who had to be sued before he'd pay child support.
Corcoran contends that he never denied being Brittany's father. In fact, he says, Jones wanted him to relinquish his parental rights. He refused, he says. Later, after he got to know his daughter better, he decided she would be better served under his care, so he sued Nikki Jones for custody.
From the beginning, Corcoran wanted Brittany to know her life would be different and better than it had been with Nikki-Marie Jones. When he brought Brittany home to Bellaire, she was welcomed by her stepmother, Stacy, and a half-brother, Garrett. She was given something she had never had before -- her own room, which overlooks a huge lawn surrounded by trees and a high wrought-iron fence. Clothes, shoes and toys were also awaiting her arrival.
"The Corcorans ... Hugs & Kisses & Cookies, too!"
"Nikki told me she was on birth control," Jim Corcoran recalls. "When she got pregnant, I asked her about it. She said, 'I am -- I'm on natural birth control.' "
It's a sunny weekday afternoon in Bellaire. Corcoran has just gotten home from work, still sporting his algae-colored hospital scrubs. The house is quiet except for an occasional splash of activity from Garrett, who is now three years old. Corcoran has been divorced from Stacy since November 1996. They share custody of their son. A slight, pleasant Latina named Mirta takes care of the house and children when Corcoran is gone.
Corcoran announces that Brittany is in the kitchen, doing homework. When he enters the room, she looks up. She has a wide, oval face, high cheekbones that accentuate her large brown eyes and auburn hair, thick but short. She doesn't smile. When Corcoran introduces a visitor, Brittany takes a curious glance, but doesn't speak.
The visitor gives a small wave. "What are you working on?" he asks.
"Homework," she answers, with some impatience and a look that says, "What do you think I'm doing?" After a moment, she says she's doing some math problems, a segue that Corcoran snares effortlessly.
"She's a year behind in school," he said, shaking his head in disbelief. "She didn't go for seven months."
Corcoran pulls a swinging door shut as he leaves the kitchen and heads back to the living room, which is dominated by black leather furniture. There are few family photos, just a couple of studio portraits of Brittany and Garrett. The house is immaculately clean and neat.
Corcoran says he wouldn't characterize his early relationship with Nikki Jones as a love affair. His boss at the time always used the same limousine service, and when Corcoran started traveling a lot for him, he used the service, too. He remembers Nikki Jones as cute, with long brown hair; pleasant and subtly flirtatious.
She was friendly, he says, and they soon started going out a few times a week. Corcoran says he was doing her a favor when he let Jones and Brandon, who was seven at the time, move into his one-bedroom townhouse.
"About five or six weeks later," Corcoran recalls, "she says to me, 'Well, Jim, we've done just about everything. What now?' I thought that was a weird thing to say. Two or three days later, she said she was moving to New York."
Jones said she'd stay through Corcoran's birthday, June 12. He was going on a five-week business trip to New Jersey on the 15th, so she planned to pack up and leave while he was gone. Before that, however, she visited Corcoran in New Jersey, where Brittany was conceived.
When Corcoran came back to town, Jones was still living in his townhouse. In late August, she told him she was pregnant --but that she still planned to move to New York.
"I was stunned when she said she was giving the child up for adoption," Corcoran says. "I wanted her to keep the child, and tried to convince her to do that."
Jones did go to New York, but she only stayed two or three weeks. Corcoran says he wanted to do the right thing, so he called her, said he thought a marriage might be possible and told her to come back and give it a try. Corcoran says she called from the airport the next day, and said, "I'm here; come get me."
They started looking at houses and furniture and, of course, talked about the wedding. But something wasn't right, Corcoran says. They were two days away from a trip to Las Vegas to get married when he backed out.
"You try to talk yourself into thinking that it'll work out," he explains, "but after awhile, you start seeing things."
Some of those things really bugged Corcoran. He disagreed with Jones over an affair she once had with a married man. He wanted her to denounce it; she wouldn't. She was secretive and never talked about her family. And he was confused by some of her beliefs --such as the "dissertation" she once delivered on how the expression "Thank you" is used too casually.
Once, Jones became angry when Corcoran invited a friend to visit them for a weekend. She was rude when he arrived, he says, and on Sunday, she left with Brandon and didn't return until the next day. He'd finally had enough the afternoon she was supposed to take him to the airport. Just before they were to leave, she took the car, saying she needed to pick up Brandon from school. Corcoran says he was forced to beg a ride from a neighbor.
Corcoran offered to get an apartment for Jones, he says, but she wouldn't leave. He started looking for excuses to be anywhere other than home.
"It became a living nightmare," he says. "I was uncomfortable, but I couldn't just throw them out. I felt very responsible.
"Then she started giving me articles cut out of newspapers, like how 40-year-old men with cats can never commit."
Jones finally moved out at the end of February 1990, when she was eight months pregnant. Corcoran received a form, asking him to relinquish his parental rights to the unborn child. Corcoran says it was "some generic adoption papers or something," and even though he didn't want the baby put up for adoption, he signed them and mailed them back.
"But I purposely didn't get it notarized," he recalls. "I wanted more information. I thought the adoption agency would contact me, and I could find out more."
Two months later, Corcoran got a call from Jones, who wanted to get together for lunch and introduce him to his daughter. He says he was "deliriously happy" to be a father, and "ecstatic" that Jones had decided not to put the girl up for adoption. Lunch was pleasant for a change, and when Corcoran got home, he sent Jones a check for $1,000.
After that, Corcoran says he was rarely allowed to see Brittany. Jones had also told him, he says, not to send any more money. Then one morning, in the fall of 1990, Corcoran says he got a call from Jones, who wanted to meet at Sunset Park, near the Menil Collection, at 8:20 a.m.
He arrived and was pleased to discover she had brought Brittany along. After they all visited for a spell, Jones said she was leaving town.
"She just said, 'I'm leaving the community," Corcoran recalls. "That's all --'I'm leaving the community,' and 'I'm getting married.'
"I was like, where are you going? Where are you taking my daughter? She wouldn't tell me."
It's difficult to reconcile Jim Corcoran's harsh description of Nikki Jones with her actual appearance and demeanor, which are delicate and calm, respectively. She arrives accompanied by a file folder and a little bit of mystery: This is the woman who went to jail for kidnapping her daughter and refusing to turn her over to the custodial father. How do you have a normal life after that?
The answer is that Jones hasn't had a normal life since long before she went to jail. She is, perhaps understandably, bitter, but she still has her sense of humor. She laughs easily, and never raises her voice, preferring to speak dispassionately about her relationship with Corcoran.
Her criticisms of Corcoran, unlike his gripes about her, lack a condescending edge. Instead, she sounds exactly like she feels -- like a victim; like someone who long ago gave up any hope that the father of her child was a decent man. At times, she speaks of Corcoran as if he were a child --which, she says, is precisely how he's behaved.
He treated her poorly, Jones recalls, preferring to spend his time and money at topless bars rather than at home. When she got pregnant, Corcoran wanted her to abort the baby. She refused. When he failed to pick her up from work one day, and she tracked him down at The Men's Club, she ended the relationship. When she moved out, a month before giving birth, she sent Corcoran a form to sign, relinquishing his parental rights. He signed it and sent it back.
After Brittany was born, Corcoran sent a little money, but then began ignoring his responsibility to his daughter, Jones says. He never tried to see her, and the one time they ran into him, at a post office in Bellaire, he didn't stop to talk or visit with his daughter.
When told that Jim Corcoran has offered a very different story, Nikki Jones smiles and rolls her eyes. She reaches into a file folder and starts pulling out papers and court documents. She offers a document called "Affidavit of Relinquishment of Parental Rights," which Corcoran signed in two places.
While the form isn't notarized, as Corcoran points out, neither is it an adoption paper, "generic" or otherwise. The word "adoption" doesn't even appear on it. Jones then produces a court filing in case number 92-033904. It's a response to Jones's "Petition to Establish Paternity of a Child," and on the fourth line from the top, Corcoran does, in fact, deny paternity.
Corcoran delayed the paternity test for a year by demanding that Jones pay half the cost. Finally, a judge ordered Corcoran to pay for the test himself. (Corcoran insists he never denied paternity. When asked about the document filed with the court in his name, he says, "That might have happened, but I don't recall it.")
In July 1994, Corcoran sued for custody, claiming that Jones was an unfit mother. Jones challenges anyone to find one piece of evidence in the paternity-case file that justifies removing Brittany from her care.
Indeed, there have never been any allegations of child abuse against Nikki Jones. There has been no history of mental stress or breakdown; no drunken brawls, orgies or drug arrests. Moreover, a social study ordered by the court recommended that Brittany remain with her mother, and T. Wayne Harris, the guardian ad litem appointed to protect Brittany's interest, advised the court that Jones should be appointed sole managing conservator.
"It is time for this case to come to an end," Harris wrote in February 1995. "Almost half my client's life has been in court."
But the case didn't come to an end; it dragged on for another year. After a three-day trial in February 1996, family court Judge Lisa Millard gave Corcoran and Jones joint custody. Two months later, Jones was shocked numb when Millard awarded sole custody of Brittany to Jim, who had known his daughter for just two of her six years.
Later, Jones learned that Corcoran eventually spent close to $100,000 on legal fees. As for Jones, she was employed off and on throughout the proceedings and was often without counsel.
"Jim just didn't want to pay child support, and then when the judge made him, he decided he'd just pay someone else and get custody," Jones says. "How can you possibly justify spending $100,000 on lawyers, when that money could be going to benefit the child?"
Lots of Harris County litigants, particularly women who've experienced the local family-law courts, have asked that question before. Beginning in 1992, the Family Law Center downtown was overrun with courthouse critics protesting inequities in scores of divorce, probate and custody cases. Carrying placards that attacked particular judges, they bemoaned the overriding influence wealth and politics have on justice by haranguing lawyers coming from and going into the building.
When Jones found out Corcoran was going after Brittany in 1994, she went to the Family Law Center protesters for support. She met Phrogge Simons, known in Houston for her several years of protests at the Family Law Center and for the unspecified charges of corruption she's leveled against the Harris County District Attorney's office. Jones would introduce Simons to Brittany some years later as "Froggie."
In November 1996, Jones filed a federal civil-rights suit against Jim and Stacy Corcoran, Lisa Millard, T. Wayne Harris, the court-appointed psychologist, David Wachtel, and Corcoran's lawyers, Gae Preston and Reginald Hirsch. She alleged a conspiracy to commit "unlawful and tortious acts of retaliation" to deprive her of the right to raise Brittany.
Jones also claimed Corcoran fabricated the safe, secure and happy home life he and Stacy promised to provide Brittany. She unearthed a complaint filed with Bellaire police by Stacy Corcoran, who alleged that Corcoran beat her on May 5, 1996, less than three weeks after Millard gave Corcoran custody. According to the complaint, Stacy moved out that day. She later submitted to police two Polaroid snapshots of her legs, which were bruised from the knee to the ankle from, she alleges, Corcoran kicking her while she was on the ground.
Corcoran calls his ex-wife's assault complaint "bogus." He contends that the photographs were actually taken after Stacy had liposuction on her calves. The assault case was later dismissed.
In April 1997, a federal district court judge dismissed Jones's civil-rights complaint. It was around that time, Jones says, that during her visitations with Brittany, she noticed her daughter doing curious things with her Barbie dolls, such as imitating sexual acts and positions. Last August, Jones became alarmed enough to file for an emergency hearing before a judge. She planned to submit Stacy's assault complaint and to ask the judge to have Brittany evaluated by a psychologist to determine if she was ever abused. Jones asked that the hearing take place within three days of her motion. When the judge set the hearing for 30 days away, Jones decided to act.
On August 17, 1997, Jones called Corcoran and told him she wasn't bringing Brittany back until the girl had undergone the psychological evaluation. Corcoran immediately called his lawyer, who got a court order compelling Jones to return Brittany immediately. When she didn't, Corcoran started staking out Jones's FM 1960-area neighborhood.
On August 31, Labor Day weekend, Corcoran saw Jones's blue Volvo and, while following her, guided the pursuit of sheriff's constables on his cell phone. They were in Humble by the time the law caught up with Jones and jailed her for defying a court order to surrender her child.
By then, however, Brittany was nowhere to be found, and her mother wasn't talking.
Emma Johnson hadn't seen or spoken to Phrogge Simons in years when her old friend called one day and asked if she'd do her a favor. A couple of days later, Simons brought a young girl out to Johnson's place in Angleton.
Simons didn't offer much information about Brittany, just that she'd be back to fetch the girl in a week. When Johnson had to take her daughter-in-law to Houston for the day, she didn't have much choice but to take Brittany along.
She was standing beside the truck, smoking a cigarette, when she heard Brittany, with some urgency in her voice, say, "There's my daddy."
According to a statement Emma Johnson gave to Bellaire police, Brittany then "fell down in the back of the truck and started crying." Corcoran, whom Johnson identified in her statement as "The White Man," leaned over and started trying to comfort the child. But, according to Johnson, Brittany appeared afraid of the man, or at least very reluctant to leave with him.
"The girl was carrying on and pulling back from the White Man," Johnson told police. "The White Man picked up the girl and took her to his car. I didn't know what was happening...."
Nikki Jones was alone in a cell at Harris County Jail when she learned Brittany had been reunited with Corcoran. There wasn't much she could do, of course, so she just kept praying, just kept asking God to protect Brittany from her father.
Meanwhile, Corcoran took Brittany home and called Detective D.J. Hazelwood of the Bellaire police, who wanted to interview the girl. As Corcoran cleaned his daughter up and got her a change of clothes, he discovered she was wearing ratty, old shoes, her socks had holes in them and she had contracted head lice. Brittany also told her father that, on one occasion, she and her mother had traveled in the trunk of a car to avoid being seen.
The following morning, Hazelwood received a "priority one" fax from the state Children's Protective Services that Jim Corcoran "had been accused of abuse in the past." Hazelwood called CPS, as well as the district attorney's office, and reported that he had already interviewed Brittany, who "denied any type of physical or emotional violence from Mr. Corcoran." Hazelwood chose not to investigate the CPS complaint "due to the allegations being false."
But Phrogge Simons, the courthouse protester with whom Brittany was entrusted from August 30, when Jones brought the girl to her, until she was found, March 24, isn't so sure.
Simons says she, as well as others who shared in the care of Brittany, witnessed what they considered inappropriate sexual behavior by the child.
"She was scaring some people,"recalls Simons. "They told me they had never seen a child act out so sexually."
As for Brittany's whereabouts while in her care, Simons says they sometimes stayed in her apartment, but usually visited different friends for days or weeks at a time. Wherever she went, Brittany traveled with a home-schooling text called The Golden Book of Study, Simons says. At no time was Brittany ever in the care of Republic of Texas members, as attorney Larry Doherty maintains, or anyone from the judicial-reform "movement."
"I told Brittany these were people who wanted to protect her," Simons says. "Itold her she was on an adventure, and the only responsibility she had was to do her homework and play and run and kick up her heels and do whatever she thought a kid should do."
Three days after she was found, Brittany was interviewed again, this time by a woman at the Child Assessment Center, a kind of one-stop shopping place for child-protective services. According to a report on the session, Brittany told the interviewer that her mother had been "hiding"her, and that "Froggie was the only one who knew where I was." She identified Simons in the interview as someone who "helps lots of children leave from people they don't want to live with."
The assessment did not come to any conclusions, but it was obvious from the written report that Brittany was unhappy at being found. The interviewer noted that Brittany would not promise to tell the truth, and that she simply refused to answer some questions --such as "how it made her feel that her dad found her."
Indeed, Brittany repeatedly said that she wanted to live with her mother, and complained that her father often yelled at her when she did something wrong. When asked why she didn't want to go back to Bellaire with Corcoran, Brittany replied, "My mom loves me more because she takes good care of me. Dad does not take good care of me because he works. He works at the hospital; that's where he found me."
The interviewer noted that Brittany refused to talk about or discuss her body, including its sexual parts, though she did agree there were places on her body that should not be touched by other people. But, according to the written report, when the interviewer asked if Brittany would tell if that had happened, the child replied, "I don't know."
Jim Corcoran vehemently denies that he ever sexually assaulted his daughter or touched her in any inappropriate way. He blames Jones and Phrogge Simons for the complaint filed with CPS, saying they bombarded the child-protection agency with phone calls.
Corcoran says he was told to expect that Brittany would express a preference for living with her mother, at least at first. He says it's common for desperate women like Nikki Jones to "brainwash" their children into thinking the father doesn't love them. Moreover, he says, "I have to be constantly aware that she could be abducted again. I'm afraid to let her outside by herself."
Nikki-Marie Jones is afraid for her daughter, too. She wants her to be removed from her father's care and evaluated by physicians and psychologists to determine if she's ever been sexually abused. That possibility is at the heart of the "necessity defense" she plans for her trial on a criminal charge of interfering with child custody, which is scheduled to begin in July.
If she is acquitted, Jones hopes she can get a hearing before a family court judge, who will then give her sole custody of Brittany. If she loses, Jones could go back to jail, though that prospect hardly bothers her; she's already shown she's willing to sacrifice her freedom for her daughter.
Meanwhile, attorney Larry Doherty is busy putting his own spin on Brittany Ann Corcoran's traumatic life, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for him, not to mention several million in damages for his client, Jim Corcoran. Doherty claims Lauck and KHOU-TV have violated provisions of the Texas Family Code by interfering with a "possessory interest" in a child and is guilty of kidnapping, gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy.
Perhaps, if Doherty's suit ever goes to trial, someone will ask Brittany Corcoran what she thinks about all this. Maybe she'll have the opportunity to explain what this tug-of-war between her mother and father has done to her childhood, and her life. For now, though, the record shows only a few comments she made to reporter Dan Lauck, during a portion of his interview with Jones that was never broadcast.
On the uncut version of the interview tape, Brittany is shown doing her homework. Lauck begins talking about some of Brittany's favorite books. Someone mentions the name of a famous children's book. Lauck asks if she remembers the story.
"I don't even remember when I was little," she replies.
E-mail Brian Wallstin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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