My father was notified back in 1998 that he and I were going to have to move from the little place he was renting in
Indialantic Florida. He was not supposed to be up-rooted. It was an agreement that was made 8 years earlier.
Having both major types of polio, since he was 23 years old, he had done a good job lasting to 71 1/2 years.
James had saved his fathers life 4 times in the last 10 years. If he wasn't there to call paramedics, his dad would
have suffered respiratory arrest.
So, James needed to get the truck he had re-registered to move his father. He made the mistake of trying to improve
his trucks running condition by taking the truck to a friend. James made with his computer a version of the validation
sticker to get the truck running better. After spending the afternoon working on that truck, James's friend "John Scarbero"
took the truck after traffic had calmed down for a test drive. John was under the truck tinkering with the muffler when
two Satellite Beach Police officers questioned him. He was arrested for a suspended license James didn't know John had.
It Dosen't Pay To Tell The Police The Truth! Here's Proof...
After having my truck towed, the police came to John's house and knocked on the door. James answered and was informed
of the events so far. The two officers were rude claiming, "Mr. Smith, you won't go to jail if you tell us the truth...
How did you do that to your tag?" I told them: "I'm only trying to get my truck running well to enough to have it registered
and move my father!" They told me I could pick up my tag they took in a couple of days. That was the last time
the truck would be on the road. The next day was only about paying for the $150 towing charge.
Though James had done something wrong by making a little sticker in order to move his disabled father, what
would really become wrong with the life of James and William B. Smith was his dad would die in that little house
4 months later, November 17th 1998.
The Only Meaning Of Joy For James S. Smith...
This sweet little Manchester Terrier "Nesta" became available to James through a great friend "Lisa Bernard" who knew
both James and his father. Lisa's boyfriend Louis has a son that had brought Nesta home. The Bernards really
liked Nesta but had two dogs themselves, so Nesta, already with her name could be adopted by James, 10 days after
his father left him... the rest is history.
It's All Down Hill From Here...
James made the next big mistake by answering an add in the "Florida Today" newspaper for an RV that both he and Nesta
could be happy living/traveling in with better weather rather than the Florida summer heat. The person that placed
the add was named "Michele Stergar", who claimed to have been suffering from a brain tumer for 12 years. James felt
sorry for this guy and placed $3200. down of the $4200. they were able to agree upon. This low-life and his
friend took off with all the money and the Recreational Vehicle.
It Gets Worse...
James and Nesta are now forced to stay in the storage unit 3 blocks from where he was born. James rented
this unit to keep at least some of the property he and his father had accumulated. Seymor Baum owned "Down
Town Mini Storage", who James witnessed arranging to defraud his insurance company after hurricane "Floyd" had blown through
Melbourne. Then he ripped off the roofing company [$16,000] that had done all this work. This was when James said
"This old, pathetic example of a human being is not getting another dime from me!"
Now Begins The End...
James trys to rent a U-HAUL truck and get all his things and Nesta and go somewhere else away the "Baum Shelters".
Seymor called the Melbourne police to put a "No Tresspassing" condition on James. The police were nice and told James
he would be able to access his property by calling some time soon enough. When his name was run through the police
records, it came back with the surprise of his life. "Mr. Smith, you are wanted for counterfitting your validation sticker".
The Sadest Day Of My Life...
I think the nicest person on Earth, who has shown nothing but genuine compation towards James and Nesta's plight is "Mrs.
Nancy Higgs". She had given James the only hope and still more than tries. When I was
taken away in hand cuffs for something that I had no idea the state wanted me for, looking out the police car window at my
loving Nesta, held by an animal control person, I was never to recover our lives. She watched me be taken away as I
watched her in the hands of people that took her to the "Brevard County Animal Shelter" that is now closed down for poor conditions.
It Will Always Be About Money...
I cried every night in the Brevard County Detention Center thinking about what was happening to Nesta and could
I get to her before something like adoption by someone else could take place, out of my control. I arranged for money
for her food and board and still that wasn't enough. After 18 days in that jail and $500. in bond money, I was going
to get her, with everything had. Mr. Spivey, the one fired for his poor operation threatened to let Nesta go if
I didn't come up with $175. Well, I did and got her back, with severe kennel caugh. She had been in her
jail longer than James, at 21 days.
Nowhere To Live... Not Without My Nesta!
There is nothing that should have the power to separate James from Nesta except for what has happened to James
and the legal system of Brevard County. James had turned himself over to police to begin answering to his charges only
to be released 16hrs later, only to find out that for that little sticker, it has now become a felony charge.
New York City would never have applied the "Officialism" that Florida has. Compassion would have been
demonstrated, not destroying a persons dream...
James S. Smith June 6th, 2002.