April 28th, 1969
To my daughters, Diane, Linda and Donna,
Girls, this is a letter of explanation to clear up any confusions that might exist at the time of my death or your mother's or ours together. I am going to give you a complete resume so that you may better be able to understand my hurt and bitterness. This may also help you to understand why I have been such a poor father and gave you such little time.
In 1946 we were living in Worcester and I was managing a fur business. My income was about $7,000 a year. Mom and I were very happy in our small mortgaged home. Grandpa took a shock at this time. Dr. Beale advised me that day that Grandpa would probably not be able to work again the rest of his life, and, further, if he lost his business, it could kill him.
A further complication was how to support my father and "mother." This prompted my decision to take over the business. The condition of the business was very poor and required an immediate takeover. The reason this company was incorporated in 1946 under the name of James A. Freaney, Inc., was that I could incorporate under my own name in 24 hours, otherwise I might have to wait 30 days or more for a name search. We could not afford this time.
I drew the corporation papers with attorney George Lian of Worcester (at my expense) and no attorney represented Grandpa. Unlike the vultures of the family, he was honorable and the charter and stock of the corporation reflect how stupidly honorable I was. At this time there was glee on the part of the family--but no offer of assistance, physical or financial--that no one else had to accept any part of the financial burden of dependent parents and a sick father.
During the year 1947 I operated this business and drew no salary or expenses. The company was so broke when I took over in 1946 that it couldn't afford to pay me until it was straightened out. I continued to work in the fur business for income. (see 1947 statement enclosed). Many "out of pocket expenses" were advanced that do not show on the statement, plus personal "advances" to my "mother" for medicine that I never expected repayment--but were also conveniently for others by her.
In order to get enough capital to enable the business to grow, we sold our house in Worcester and put the $6,000 of equity into this business. Again, I had no objection from the "family," but no help either. Not even to take the deposit to the bank. Then I quit the fur management and drove a truck and operated this business for a salary of $80.00 a week. One night a week and Saturday afternoons I sold furs for $25.00 a week to assist our income. I won't bore you with the details from now until 1953, but from the day I took over, we had a steady and consistent growth. The enclosed balance sheets and statements that I was able to locate should prove interesting.
Before Grandpa died in 1953, he had considerable medical and hospital expenses. As I recall, it was around $3,500. I took care of this. Furthermore, the business paid your "Grandmother" $5,000 as insurance, for she had nothing. All the proper tears were shed, some honestly, for Grandpa, the only one who tried so hard to help.
Very quickly after Grandpa's death a definite interest was expressed in the value of the "old trucking business" of Grandpa's. Unfortunately, your stupid father had 50% clearly of the $55,000 book value of this business. This would have given the widow (hopefully) on a sale $9,000 and the balance of $9,000 to be divided up four ways among her children.
I knew your "Grandmother" might be able to live a year on this and then require support from her family. Like an idiot I trustingly convinced the tribe, even the vultures, that their interests were worth $5,000 a piece to me. If we allowed them to turn these over to your "Grandmother," I would see that she would receive a substantial income the rest of her life. This would legally allow her to receive the same dividends as I. At the time of her death, I was to receive all of her shares and repay all parties or their estates $5,000 with no interest.
Keep in mind that I accepted complete responsibility for the support of your "Grandmother" whether or not I was successful in this venture. My "reward" for this was to receive her shares in the event of her death. More about this later.
As you girls know, I worked long hours. A minimum of 12 to 14 hours a day, six and seven days a week. At this writing I still work those hours but I rarely work Sundays now. Often for weeks at a time I would work 24 hours a day when we had night jobs, like snow, tunnel, or downtown emergencies. Sleep would be 2 or 3 hours in the office. Not only can I no longer take the present hours, but I can't stand the pressure. Now I am burned out. I need help desperately.
Your "Grandmother" in her great "business wisdom" has offered all kinds of ridiculous suggestions, like, "All corporations make money. The old business will take care of itself." She also has informed me, many times, "I don't need the money." You should have seen and heard her last week when she had to wait an extra week for her $2,000 dividend. She loudly claimed all kinds of immediate financial woes and practically accused me of trying to defraud her.
I have been searching for help for many years now without success. Two years ago, Mr. Casey, of Bingham, Dana and Gould, went with me to top management placement people, also with no success. The type of man I need will not work at this without some form of stock participation. I don't have the stock to promise.
The next move was an attempt to merge with a similar company that would give me the management assistance needed. Last May two other companies agreed with me to hire an impartial CPA, Charles DiPesa Co., and attempt this. For various reasons this was not a good deal for our company. Next came the German company, Kuka. This started discussions of my buying out "her" stock. Though these people I felt could raise the cash, when I could not give them a quick answer, this deal fell through. They have now only agreed to work on Body sales with me individually (a part time salesman).
About October last year a splendid opportunity appeared. Urban Systems, Inc., invited me to join them. This was exactly what I needed. I would be involved with extremely capable and progressive people. My company would be part of this deal and operated as a model operating company. Your "Grandmother" refused to turn over her shares for Urban Systems stock, but after a great deal of discussion, indicated she would be willing to sell.
She engaged her own attorney, Edward Keating, who in turn, hired a CPA firm, Harrington Co., to check the figures independently of DiPesa. It was during the only time I met with your "Grandmother" and Mr. Keating to discuss the proposal that I received the shock of my life and discovered how deceitful she was.
Mr. Keating might have been a good attorney, but he is no actor. When I outlined our agreement that in the event of her death, that I was to receive not only my original shares back, but hers as well, his reaction to her immediate stammering reply (nodding her head up and down to him) was a look of shock and the statement that he was in the awkward position of drawing up the will. He then asked her permission to speak on this subject only, without revealing the contents of her will.
Receiving her affirmative answer, he then said, "Mrs. Freaney, this isn't exactly the way this part of your will reads. Did you intend it to read as you just now indicated? One of us has made a serious mistake. If this is so, it should be corrected immediately." Her quick, confused and stammering reply of, "Of course, it should be right. We'll take care of it later, later. Now let's get back to what we were talking about." I am sure this is the principle reason she had for firing Keating.
I pretended not to get this, The Great Double Cross, but this is where the hurt started. You know, girls, I have found it hard to believe this person is my natural mother. Actually, I got my birth certificate and checked it. Unfortunately, it is true.