Hi. My name is Isabel Logan. I'd like to say I'm the average teenage girl. You know, like any other girl out there. But I don't think it would do either of us much good if I started this book out by lying. Truth is, I've had some pretty strange stuff happen in my life since I was born into Conway, New Hampshire eighteen years ago. I should probably start with what happened first, you know, the first crazy act committed by a member of the Logan clan.
My grandfather, Richard Logan, has always been a man that I can look up to. He's always been a man I can admire. He was born in Conway, and lived here for his whole life. He was the first man in his family to complete high school, and the first man in his family to pursue a career other than fishing. He decided, instead, to become a businessman, opening up a car dealership. Richard's Carnation was the first legal car dealership in Conway, up to that point in 1960. I'm not sure exactly where he got the money to start the dealership. The Logan family was not a rich one, and as you could probably guess, car dealerships aren't too inexpensive to start up. My father says Grandpa fixed up junked cars, and—after renovating them—sold them out of his backyard. This is how Richard's Carnation supposedly began. Within a few years, Grandpa Richard had earned enough money to purchase what was left of Pete and Jane's, a local restaurant that had been recently burned down. He fixed the place up to his liking, and after replacing some walls with windows, had a nice little place to sell his cars out of. In 1966, my grandfather married Patricia Morgan, a nice little lady from some small town in Maine. They had met through a friend of her mother's cousin, or something to that degree. Three months into their marriage, Patricia announced she was pregnant. Six months later, David Logan was born. Everything was going "downright dandy"—as my Grandpa would say—until spring of 1968. Once again, my grandmother had gotten pregnant. She was on her way home from the grocery store, and was hit by an automobile purchased at none other than Richard's Carnation. Patricia and the baby were both lost. My grandfather was left alone with nothing to comfort him other than a child and a broken heart, as he told me. After that, my grandfather lost it, as you might say. (The society of Conway had not problem doing so.)
He gave up the business and stopped driving cars. He moved into a smaller house, where he sat, for a whole week, crying. My father, David, had only been alive for one year, at this point. No little one-year-old baby knows how to take care of himself. Still, he was left in his high-chair in the kitchen for a week, with water and food in front of him.
When my grandfather came out of his room, he was different. He would go to the grocery store and purchase a carton of milk, an apple, and multiple bottles of wine. The milk an apple were for the baby, of course. The wine was for my grandfather. It didn't take long for my grandfather to become a drunk. He came in more and more every week, purchasing more and more apples, more and more milk, and more and more wine. He was still relatively attractive, and therefore had no problem getting women like Carlene Sanders to come home with him. She was a businesswoman, as my grandfather would say. She would auction off her product to any man who would announce the top bid. Eventually, she started coming over more often, sometimes without having made him pay. Her bad reputation didn't affect his social standing. It was already too low to kill. He was the drunken widower. She was the prostitute. Later it became that he was the husband, and she was the wife. He gave up the drink, and took time to look after his wife and child. He reopened the car dealership, and became wealthy.
They say lightning never strikes twice in the same spot. Tell that to my grandfather. A year after Carlene had their daughter, Elizabeth, she was hit by an automobile purchased at Richard's Carnation. The lightning had struck again, this time leaving a greater mark on my grandfather. He didn't take up drinking again. Six-year-old David wouldn't let that happen. Instead, he burnt down the car dealership and decided to stop "man's dependency on cars." His strategy was simple: Ride around naked on a bicycle. He claimed that he did it so that we wouldn't use up all the oil and gasoline in the world on our cars, and to prove that bicycling was a great mode of transportation. Everyone else knew the reason; he was angry at cars. They had killed not only his first wife and their unborn child, but his second wife, also. On June 2, 1973, Richard Logan, 33, was arrested for indecent exposure and lewdness. He was later put on trial and served five years in jail.
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