Sunday, July 19, 2009

Being the Victim

Christmas, 1979: Bob and I returned home from his parents' for Christmas. At the time we lived in a very modest secluded house tucked in the woods of an upscale neighborhood (Johnny Majors, at that time the coach of the UT Football team, lived close by.). We found our house ransacked. They didn't take our new tv, they didn't take anything BUT our silver that I had hidden in a closet. Why the silver? A little history, according to Brian Trumbore with StockandNews:

In 1973, the Hunt family of Texas, possibly the richest family in the country at the time, decided to buy precious metals as a hedge against inflation. Gold could not be held by private citizens at that time, so the Hunts began to buy silver in enormous quantity. In 1979 the sons of patriarch H.L. Hunt, Nelson Bunker and William Herbert, together with some wealthy Arabs, formed a silver pool. In a short period of time they had amassed more than 200 million ounces of silver, equivalent to half the world's deliverable supply. When the Hunts had begun accumulating silver back in 1973 the price was in the $1.95 / ounce range. Early in '79, the price was about $5. Late '79 / early '80 the price was in the $50's, peaking at $54. Once the silver market was cornered, outsiders joined the chase but a combination of changed trading rules on the New York Metals Market (COMEX) and the intervention of the Federal Reserve put an end to the game. The price began to slide, culminating in a 50% one-day decline on March 27, 1980 as the price plummeted from $21.62 to $10.80.

Many of "the outsiders (who) joined the chase" were common thieves stealing the silver and melting it down as soon as they could to sell it. Thousands of antiques and heirlooms, like mine, were gone forever. The recent copper thieving is nothing like with the silver scare. With the break-in, I felt so violated. As naive as it sounds, I simply could not imagine anyone being in MY house who I did not intend to be in there--people looking through my drawers, my file cabinet . . . The deputy responding to the call gave us words of little comfort in that he said that now that our little house with such vulnerability was discovered, that the silver thieves might likely tell their friends, the tv and small appliance thieves, and we might likely be hit again. Unfortunately, that feeling has come back with the reoccurrence of others taking what is rightfully mine.

For the past three days someone has come inside our gate and taken both our newspaper and that of our neighbor's. They have left the plastic protector sleeves to make sure that we got the message that they are in control. This morning they got even bolder: They left the sleeves very close to our elevator, which meant they walked from Gay Street to the back of the building.

Somewhere in downtown Knoxville the newspaper, that WE paid for, has been thrown in a gutter. Did they really read it, or are they taking it just for sport? Of course, in addition to not reading the news on the printed page, I am having trouble knowing that I'm not getting those coupons today.

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