June 7, 2019
( Below portion excerpted verbatim as typed and presented from a lengthy original email written to me by my sister on 1/13/2004 and published in author’s Black Dahlia Avenger III (Rare Bird Books 2018) Chapter 6 Tamar Nais Hodel 1935-2015)
Life as I knew it… totally shattered.
My father was defended shamelessly by Attorney Jerry Giesler and Robert Neeb…”All a Fantasy of a young girl”! A smear campaign was created, and I was labeled inaccurately as a liar and a “bad seed”.
At the close of the court trial and my father’s acquittal…I was transferred from the Los Angeles Juvenile Hall to San Francisco Juvenile Hall as a Ward of the Court…suddenly I had become the criminal…without committing a crime!
I was incarcerated for almost one year. The system had no idea where to place me…In the end…I was released to my Mother in San Francisco…the first day home I walked across the street to see my childhood friend David age 15, and as I approached…I was startled to hear his Mother call out to him not to speak to me…telling me “to get away from her son…You Whore…You Whore”!!! He did not even speak…I returned home…shocked and confused…later that day David slipped away from his Mother’s watchful eye to tell me that the case had been in all the newspapers and Sex Magazines…that I was a Scandal!! Considered to be a Very BAAAAAD Girl…He asked me to meet him at his friends home nearby that evening so that he might show me the newsclippings and magazines…I arrived at his friends house…(a bachelor, about 25 years of age)…who kept me supplied with good tasting drinks (I learned later that I was being given Sloe Gin in mixed drinks)…I drank and waited…no David…finally I passed out and awakened to being raped by his friend…as soon as I could walk…I went home..and soon discovered that I was pregnant!!!
Still a ward of the court….a Baaaaad Girl.
And pregnant….I asked my Mother for help…She refused to help saying “she would not help…not after what I had done to my Father!!”
That I should take care of it on my own!
A long series of painful attempts “to handle my pregnancy on my own” followed…all unsuccessful. That is a whole chapter to itself…
My Mother turned me into the court as a runaway…I had not…I was simply trying “to take care of it myself as instructed.” At the final point of this effort…too many people were becoming involved that could be hurt for helping me…including Gus Hall the distinguished leader of The Communist Party.
Rather than endanger any others…I turned myself into the Juvenile Court.
A very kind and loving Black man tried to help me…offered to marry me…which he thought would…give me my freedom as an adult…the court said no…it was actually illegal at that time in California!
By the time that I was about two months pregnant…I was placed in an Unwed Mother’s Home…and although my pregnancy was truly an unwanted one…my baby became the only family that I had in the world…and I wanted so very much to keep her…I was informed that would not be possible…unless my Mother agreed to be responsible…As they
Assumed that the father of my child was black (due to my friend who asked permission to marry me) …and…All my heroes were black…(I was not favorably impressed with the white race…I had been very shocked by the way I saw blacks being treated at Juvenile Hall..(I was embarrassed to be white) and I was also surprised by the fact that most of the beautiful black girls…had no idea that they were beautiful) Soooooo as they thought that the baby’s father was black, I continued to allow them to think so. Understanding that I would not be allowed to keep her…I wanted her to be in a loving environment. At that time (1950) I naively thought just being in a black family would accomplish this…
When she was born, I did not get to hold her…I was only allowed to see her through a glass window in the arms of a nun…and as I looked at her trying to project my absolute helplessness at the whole turn of events…she flashed an accusing look of betrayal.
I was not to look into her eyes again until 20 years later when we were reunited in Honolulu…She (Fauna) has made a film about her long search for her mother…and growing up white in a black family, called “Pretty Hattie’s Baby” with Alfre Woodard, Charles Dutton, Jill Clayburgh, Tess Harper, Bobby Hosea and Allison Elliot.
After Fauna’s birth, I was whisked away to Mexico City “to forget”. I was told that I must never attempt to find my daughter, that she had been adopted by two wealthy Interracial Artists…and that I must never interfere.
At the time I believed my Mother…however as it turned out my Mother actually had her given to a maid at the Silver Dollar Hotel in Reno Nevada!!
(SKH Note- Email continues describing later events in Tamar’s life. See BDA III for full Tamar Hodel narrative.)