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Roz has been a very influential person in my life. My attitude about her has shifted as I've gotten older I've noticed though which I'll try to explain. I have had some realizations about some things that weren't ever clear to me growing up, and it's like looking behind The Great Wizard's curtain and finding a smurf.

Roz was always the black shee of the family because of her ethnic looks. My grandfather didn't care for that, and he himself had his nose bobbed to look less ethnic. And changed his name. Roz has told me several stories about his past, which conflict with each other, so I'm going with some of the earlier ones which seem more plausible.

I swear Roz told me Grandaddy's father's name was Naif Nahara, but when I mentioned that, I was laughed out of the room. Then later, she told me his name was something almost identical. Grandaddy's whole name was Clyde Hernel Thomas, and only Roz and I knew that. I guess Pat found out at some point. He even arranged it so it wasn't on his license somehow. Persuasive man.

Back to Roz. Rebel child growing up in the 60s and 70s. But not too much. I love Rozzie more than anything and consider her, sadly due to the amount of contact I have with her these days, one of the closest relatives. Evem though I haven't seen her since our wedding 7 years ago.

Here's the thing about Roz: I figured her out. Just like with my dad, and other "things" in my ;ife, I had a moment of clarity and could see what was what, as if a curtain had been dangling in front of me my whole life. Roz was and always has been a spoiled brat. Also a ragin liberal, which is no coincidence. The liberal attitude was great to me growing up, of course. I was child as well. But after getting my MBA, getting some miles under my belt, doing some travelling, and just getting wiser from "life," I could see what the deal was with her and Jay Beck, who is a close friend of the family's from Albany. Roz lived with him in Bethesda, MD when they both worked for the Carter Admin, which was the beginning of their professional lives. And the end of Roz's and what would be parlayed into a lifelong communications job for Jay.

I never had any professional direction, or anyone to really help in that department, except ym grandfather, and he passed away in my late 20's. I've been rudderless my whole life for several reasons. One is that I enjoy doing lots of different things. I'm a jack of all trades, but I am a master of several things as well. No one ever uses that saying. A diletante. Another reason is no example and no management. I had no role model nor anyone to advise me on anything. I had to figure out everything myself, by try and fail methods, which sucked. I wouldn't wish that on my enemy. It's a waste of life, when there are resources at hand. My grandfather retired when he was in his late 20's and my dad never worked an honest day in his life. My mother was the worker bee, and she got cancer when I was about 11, so she didn't work that long, relatively. She was a senior auditor at the IRS, believe it or not. An English major, but great with numbers thanks to her dad, she carved a nice professional path for herself, to be cut short by illness. She went back and got an accounting degree and her CPA and a job with the IRS because the hours were 9 to 5, literally. Only the government. And great benefits, which came in handy. She wanted to have control over her schedule so she could be with me. CPAs have busy periods when you can plan on not seeing them for months, around April 15 of each year. Long hours doing tedious work. Or short hours, well-paid with benefits and security, and something interesting. To her at least. She audited businesses that had returns that she thought looked fishy. She was an IRS agent.

So I turned to anyone nearby for help, that looked like they were having some success in life: Roz and Jay. Jay knows everyone, and Roz has all sorts of degrees. She has written more than one rec letter for me. With an English PhD she did some teaching and some admin work at a private school, if I remember. But her core competency was marrying well, like my dad's mother. She pretty much dropped out of the labor pool and even though she seemed to be trying to give the impression of working for a while, she finally just gave it up.

Jay knows a lot of powerful people and works very closely with Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center. He also has a little business, Beck Communications, for private consulting. He always seemed t do really well, and recently I put the pieces of the puzzle together. My aunt and Jay were good friends with Hamilton Jordan, who was Carter's chief of staff I believe. Hamilton got them jobs with the Carter admin n the 70's. I don't know if that's what made them so liberal , or if they were beforehand, but they are hyper-liberal, especially Roz. Jay would be understandable.

So they work for Mr. One-term, and then are jobless. And they decide not to marry, after giving my grandfather nightmares for living in sin together. Jay moves eventually to Atlanta, and Roz packs it up and heads to Colorado, mountain home of Berkeley liberals. She and my uncle Cokey had lived in Denver briefly before, and my uncle Cokey made a lot of money in commercial real estate there. That he lost. And also moved to Atlanta.

So Roz is jobless, early 30's, with a liberal arts and design degree under her belt. Time to go back to school. She gets her Phd and I have a suspicion my grandfather was bankrolling her this whole time, for these decades. Nothing wrong with that inherently, but admit what you're doing if that's the case, instead of acting like Ms. Independent. That's being a fraud, in my my and Holden Caufield's book.

Through time Jay has met lots of people. He worked for Ross Perot's campaign, and has connections that have enabled him to do and see amazing things. But this whole time he's been milking the Jimmy Carter brand for his livlihood. Again, riding on coattails is a common way to meet professional goals. But admit what you're doing, again. To be fair, Jay has been a huge help in my life, and also has had a big influence on me, with his sense of humor at the least, and sense of style to boot. His house was always fascinating to me and museaum-like, with trinkets collected from all over the world. Some rare museum-quality stuff, too. That I believe he has given all away. I woudl imagine Roz has possession of a lot of it. She has a lot fo photos and things of my mother's my dad let her take and didn't have the spine to get back. Like when his mother died and he let everyone else pick the property clean befor getting the leftover, which is what I now have. Tacky crap that not even my grandmother liked. Or letting Sister leave after marrying her and taking our family's silver, china and crystal with her, which was pawned decades ago.

I'm getting off the subject of Roz here because she's so intricately tied to so much. She's been married 3, possibly 4 times if I remember. Marriage has been a tough institution for her I think. She isn't a Christian that I've ever known, so the concept of marriage for her, to me, seems like it would be something a little made-up and technical. The wedding, at least. They've gone to therapy for years and years, and they're still together, so something is working. Jim and Roz's trips around the world without the other probably help, as do the spa trips and piles of money they burn through.