Downey, Calif.

by Joker10 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • Joker10

    I know that several people here live near Downey. I live close and I used to go to the meetings at the Downey KH (a Spanish congregation). If I'm not mistaken, the Downey North Congregation gather there. Was anybody part of this congrefation?

    I remember that an English congregation use to meet in the neighboring Bell Gardens back in the 80s, and i believe, not sure, that this one moved to Downey in '92 when a new Hall was built.

    Can anybody tell me more about this congregation or at least other local ones? I thought that this congregation was a 'pioneer' in many fields. But it seems that many people have become apostates and all coming from this one.. I also have heard of a man's suicide in '96. Does anybody know whats up with all this and also what kind of atmosphere can be found here?

  • Ravyn

    I went to Downey North in the 80's. And the suicide was a friend of mine in 1996, Gary Kreider. I don't know if I can give you the info you want, but PM or email me.


  • Farkel

    I attended the Maywood and Lynwood congregations which are very near to Downey, and lived in Southgate and Huntington Park as well. This was about a thousand years ago, though. The highlight of my experience as a dub there was to introduce Lyman Swingle's sister to her future husband. Lyman married them, and I got to meet him and spend time with him. He was a very earthy and funny guy. I very nearly married Lyman's brother's (Fran Swingle's) daughter. I also re-met her at my Father's funeral nearly two years ago. She weighed nearly a million pounds. (Just teasing! It was more like 100,000 pounds.)


  • Joker10

    Thanks. I was just wondering if there was anything particular happenned or if what gives with so many (i'm guessing) apostates.

  • TresHappy

    If you lived in Downey, did you ever run into Richard Carpenter? I am such a big fan of the Carpenters. I heard Richard sold the house on Newville Avenue after his mom died and moved to Simi Valley. Did you ever eat at that famous McDonald's?

  • Ravyn

    ate at the famous McDonald's MANY MANY times. I lived right on Florence Ave. and also Paramount Blvd.

    about a year before I became an EMT, my pioneer partner at the time, who was one, was working the night Karen Carpenter died and the other crew went on the call. They used to own two apartment complexes in town, one called "We've Only Just Begun" and the other one "Close to You".

    When I lived in Downey, things were weird. Lots of JW elder kids getting in trouble. I attended Downey North, and also Downey East, Pico Rivera, and Santa Fe Springs. I went to Pioneer Service School in Bell Gardens.

    I was there in the Bob Beat, Roger Conte, Mario Grimassi, Walt Platzer era. I was older than most of the elders kids and I was a good pioneer at the time. But the suicide was my pioneer partner's(of 12 years) estranged husband. It was tragic. here are some of the details:

    Gary was depressed for years. He went to the elders for help for years. His wife stayed with him for about 2 years before they separated. There were many problems. Violence, sexual problems, he was deeply depressed and smoked cigarettes secretly and possibly did street drugs, she was a bi-polar with violent tendencies and lots of emotional troubles and it was not a good thing for either of them. I liked Gary. I liked him more than I liked his wife, who would become my constant(and abusive) companion for the next 12 years(We pioneered together and years later when I became sick she was my Home Nurse). She even asked me once if I could seduce him so she could get a divorce---and then she could say that he raped me(even offered to get her mother who was a nurse to back it up!)

    They were separated for about 3 years when she finally divorced him because of tax trouble. Gary was not disfellowshipped, but he was counselled many times about the cigs and his depression. His best friend was the nephew of the PO who had been crippled for life in a fall from a Quick Build. After 12 years of separation, she had a 'crisis' and left me holding the bag of combined finances etc(to the tune of about $200,000), and went back to SoCal and got in touch with him again. 6 months later he was about to be evicted, out of work and had just started to go to the VA Hospital for his depression. She basically told him after she dated him a few times that she was not ever going to get back with him(this man still kept her voice on the answering machine after 12 yrs!) As far as I am concerned she was playing with him, she and her family had more than enough money to help him out. The VA literally gave him a paper bag full of Prozac samples and said come back in 5 weeks. (You do not EVER give someone so depressed a bag of antidepressants and dismiss them for 5 weeks! the drug gives them the energy and ambition often needed to carry out the suicidal ideations! without therapy to solve the problems of life, it becomes overwhelming and now all of a sudden they have the energy to actually attempt the suicide!)

    Gary met with the elders, and in frustration one of them made the comment that maybe Gary would be better off if he just 'ended it'. (in all fairness these brothers had been trying to help Gary for years, but Gary would not go to a doctor and they were unqualified.) Well Gary borrowed $30 from the elder who said that, and the man thot Gary needed it for food. Gary went to the hardware store and bought a rope and bucket and a rig. We did not find his body for almost two weeks because he hung himself behind the front door of his apartment and could not be seen from the windows. His best friend found him at his x wife's request(after she and I were at the apartment three or four times and got no answer)---he looked thru the mail slot and saw his feet dangling. I will never forget her wail when they called her to tell her---it was horrible and she sobbed over and over, 'it wasn't my fault!'---at which I could not answer her because I really thought it was.

    The 'memorial' was joke. It was at one of his 'friends' house. It was filled up---three rooms. His x sat with her family in another room. I was the only one who cried. The brother who gave the talk, was the one who had studied with Gary in the first place 20 years before and he actually did a good job. It was balanced and merciful. But it was too little too late.

    I started talking to Gary's brother online. They had been separated by the Borg. His brother was not a JW and his other brother was dying of AIDS. It was a sad sad family situation. I did my best as a good JW(I had not left yet) to comfort them. I was actually told by the elders that I should not be talking to the man and questioned when I handed in my time slip if I had counted any time for my online witnessing. His X would not talk to any of Gary's family at all.

    The first time I ever played with tarot was because of this. I went to an online site and pulled a card.

    It was the Devil. The shock that went thru me, and then when I read the meaning of the card all of a sudden I could feel the agony Gary felt in that last moment and I could 'see' thru his eyes and I could 'feel' myself kicking the bucket away. It was a true vision. It was such an intense experience that it affected me for weeks.

    Gary did not die in vain. I will make sure of that now. I owe him my whole life that is ahead of me.

    Gary Leonard Kreider---Rest In Peace.

    Ravyn Giuliani

  • ApagaLaLuz

    I'm from Ontario California. Just a short drive from Downey

  • Joker10

    I don't know who the Carpernters are. I belonged to a Spanish congregation.

    Ravyn, what a story.

    And about McDonald's... No LOL.. I've never gone there. I was, however, n the parking lot one morning when they were celebrating their 50th Anniversary. I didn't eat there. There weren't many people in the morining, but lots in the afternoon. 15 cents hamburgers, 10 cents soda, and 10 cents fries was not enough to convince me wait in line between 2-4 pm! But I have gone to the Jack in the Box right across the street! And besides, there's a closer McDonald's here where I live.

  • Gopher


    Karen and Richard Carpenter were an extremely popular brother-and-sister singing team in the 1970's. Their music can best be described as "mellow" with unforgettable melodies, and Karen had one of the greatest singing voices of all time. Unfortunately she died many years ago from the after-effects of anorexia nervosa.

    Here is someone's web page devoted to The Carpenters.

  • Joker10

    Thanks, Gopher. The'70s are before my time. That explains it.

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