Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New York! New York!

Just got back and I'm exhausted.  Lots to tell, lots to relay, lots happened.  I'm too tired now though so it will have to wait til I recover my mental & emotional strength.  Plus, I still need to confirm all that happened actually happened - my mind is still reeling.  Or was it all a dream?  Maybe-e-e-e-e-e-e.  Not!

Friday, November 4, 2011

What next?

What do I do next?  How do I keep myself involved?  How can I be involved living here with my passion over there? Who can I celebrate this little victory with?  John.......but not quite the same. Hoopin' & hollorin' all by myself,  freakin' out the cats cause they don't know what's going on, somehow just doesn't quite cut it.  I don't know how to recognize myself, to give me some credit for this little bit of progress.   I'm not emotionally evolved enough so that I can truly appreciate my efforts.  No celebratory parade yet people keep rainin' on it.  Looking in the mirror does not help for all I see is a little girl in front of me, still afraid of the dark.

Friday, October 28, 2011

You CAN fight City Hall...............

Well, the Oversight Hearing of the Committee for Fire and Criminal Justice Services has probably wrapped up their meeting today, 10/28.  So, so disappointed I was unable to attend since it happened as a result of my being persistent w/City Council over the past year - somewhat of a "win" and unable to celebrate.  I should be happy I was able to get this far but..........not having the financial resources, the support and voice is truly frustrating.  Well, I do have my written words so...........Ms. Melinda Hunt had absolutely nothing to do with the scheduling of this meeting - I'm putting that fact out into the Universe - and she is NOT the only one. Does she honestly think the Hearing just all of a sudden got scheduled, or she did something to cause it? I guess so.....but she did not!  Is it wrong for me to want a little recognition for my efforts?  Is it wrong for me to want some media attention for the Island?  Is it wrong for me to want support, financial and otherwise, for the Island?  Is it wrong for me to want personal support for what I'm trying to do?  I guess I appear like a "hater" - And? So?  Bye now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things are a poppin'.......................

and that's all I have to say..............for now  :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Power of One...............

Because people who are
Crazy enough to think
They can change the world
Are the ones that do.

Steve Jobs

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The more the merrier..............

Well, still haven't heard from NY City Council so the following is yet another reminder.  This time I included ALL members of the Committee of the Fire and Criminal Justice.  Think someone will respond..............this time?

"I have sent numerous follow-ups to Councilwoman Crowley (w/copy to Oddo) and she has not seen fit to acknowledge my inquiries. And, surprisingly, neither has Jim Oddo. While I can appreciate that I may now be a "thorn" in both their sides, I assure you that is not my intention. Based on my various communications with Councilman Oddo over the past couple of years, and his pledge to me that he would continue to pursue matters concerning the Department of Corrections and my brother, John S. Turner, who has been buried on Hart Island since January 1972, I will continue on and not allow the injustice that was done to me, and indirectly my brother, until the situation at-hand has been dealt with in, what I consider to be, a satisfactory manner Again, all attachments are self-explanatory and I will not repeat the facts here.

I am now including all of you, members of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Service, in another follow-up (my 4th) to Ms. Crowley in the hope that one of you may be of assistance to me since she has not even acknowledged my existence. While I can certainly appreciate there are more important matters at hand, I note the Committee will be meeting on September 27, 2011 @ 10:00 a.m. and, therefore, suggest the topic of the Department of Corrections, Julie Lantz and John Turner be placed on the Committee’s Agenda.

I thank you for your consideration and trust I will hear from one of you, if not Councilman Crowley, in due course.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Now...............what's the hang-up?

Still haven't heard from NY City Council - man they've no idea what a force I'll be to reckon with when I get through to them, and trust me I will.  A force much greater than all of us propels me, and that's the spirit of my brother, John, not to mention the thousands of others.  Don't mess with the Turner family.

So what's the reason now for not responding to my numerous requests? Hurricane Irene, the recent earthquake?  Last month, I suppose it was the potholes, or the weeds that may be growing within the cracks of the sidewalks?  Oh, I know, maybe it's just that you have a bunch of heartless, cold and unfeeling people on City Council who don't think the issues of a woman in Southern California concerning New York and how they treated the death of  her (my) brother so long ago aren't important enough to warrant an acknowledgement. One morning, while you're sipping your latte and reading the paper, you will see your name(s) and believe me, it won't be mentioned in a good light.  Remember that scene at the end of Poltergeist when Jo Beth Williams' character fell in the pool they were building and all the corpses popped up?  Well, beware of the spirits of the dead - they have their ways of getting what they want and need and pop up at the most unexpected times. In this case, these spirits will be going through me, and I will continue on their behalf, including my brother's, so that they may finally & completely rest in peace............before they die once more.  I'm not rich, I've little resources at the moment, but what I do have is passion for my mission.  And, never underestimate the passion of a Hungarian woman. Tenacity, persistence and just being a plain ol' pain in the ass can take a person a long way. Bye for now.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poor, poor, insolvent New York..................

Thought you all would find this very interesting..................

"............the construction of the new Riker's Island facility is by far the most expensive portion of the plan, with a price tag of about $563 million.  The department says the new building will replace deteriorated temporary housing units. ....................."

City Plans to Build, Renovate Jails
By Zach Bergson
July 11, 2011
Gotham Gazette

So....................I guess it's safe to say New York City is not hurting for funds to renovate, rebuild and "beautify", if you will........................a prison.  My next question, you guessed it..................... is where are the funds to renovate, rebuild and beautify Hart Island?

Call me an ambulance cause I just fell over!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The fly you cannot swat away....................

Well, you guessed it.  Haven't heard from the NYC Council - what a surprise, huh?  Below is my latest.

Council Member Crowley:

Is there a reason why I am not, at the very least, being given the courtesy of some type of response from either you or Jim Oddo? I can appreciate that I am not a member of your community but I am seeking justice for my brother...... who was. His dreams of living in New York City were never fully realized, and no doubt he never thought that's where he would die. But die he did and I want some answers as to why I, and other city officials, were given false information as to his whereabouts on Hart Island when I attempted to recover his remains. And I want to know why no one is being held accountable?

What is the big secret going on with Hart Island? Is there some nefarious business going on with the Department of Corrections/Hart Island that no one wants to touch? What IS really going on out there?

Wouldn’t it be easier to work with me rather than against (by ignoring me)? No doubt I’ll be in touch with you again.


Julie S. Lantz

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Quote of the day.............

Every opportunity has a shelf life.
p.s.  Happy Birthday.............to me.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I've quit smoking .................so don't mess with me

Well, haven't heard back from the Chair of the Fire & Criminal Justice Committee, Elizabeth Crowley, so guess what?  Below is my latest.  All I can ask is "what is wrong with these people"?

Dear Council Member Crowley:
This will serve as a follow-up to mine of May 19, 2011, as noted below. Has any progress been made in the investigation of the Department of Corrections and the incident involving my brother's remains? Has this topic been listed as an Agenda item for an upcoming meeting? Will an Oversight Hearing be held? Do you intend to do anything about the wrongful manner in which I, and other city officials, were treated as a result? And is it the intention of the Fire & Safety Commission to allow the Department of Corrections to, once again, get away with such irresponsible behavior with no consequences? Let me ask you one more question: If this was YOUR brother we were talking about, would you simply let it go as just another bureaucratic foul up and move on?

As I've stated previously to you and Jim Oddo, I've no doubt everyone wishes I would just go away. As you can see, I will not. Jim Oddo all but promised his support & assistance in my efforts to bring the Department of Corrections to justice in this particular situation and to, hopefully, gain something positive from this most unfortunate situation. I'm not quite sure, although I can understand all the important issues the Council has before it, how something like this is "okay" with you, Jim Oddo, or any other Council member, and not recognizing the need for an investigation, positive change, and justice, not only on my behalf, but on behalf of all families I've no doubt this has happened to. I remain most sincerely, Julie Lantz. I do hope that you will find the time to, at the very least, acknowledge me and a most important issue I bring to you.

John's first (but not last) media recognition as an Honorably Discharged Air Force Veteran

Please go to John's blog where you will find an article which appeared in the Phoenix, AZ newspaper, The Glendale Star dated May 25, 2011 regarding the ABAD Memento Art Exhibit & memorial ceremony for John on May 6, 2011.  Note  I couldn't figure out how to make the print larger so click on the article a couple of times to get to a readable print size.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And the universe keeps smiling down upon John and me...............

Met the most wonderful young woman, albeit telephonically, a journalist by the name of  Caroline Walker who contacted me after finding my blogs about Hart Island & John; was very interested in "our" story and wanted a quick interview for possible use in an upcoming book (proposal) she's working on. That "quick interview" turned into nearly 3 hours of chat. Wow! is all I can say.  She's living the life I'd like to have lived and want to be just like her when I grow up - lol!  Seriously though, her enthusiasm, passion for what she's doing, and her encouragement for what I'm trying to do - well, we're a match made in earthly heaven.  Possibilities are endless so who knows, right?  She found John & Hart Island through my blogs so, hopefully, it's just a matter of time before all of you out there will find us too :)  It's so frustrating cause I'm doing all I can but there's only so far I can go alone - I'm just one little speck of sand within a large bowl of life and I need some big bulldozer to scoop me up, plant the seeds of info, and help me, John's story and the plight of Hart Island, blossom & grow so that it may benefit thousands and thousands and thousands of living and departed souls.  That's my mission.  So, anyway, haven't heard from the NYC Council Fire and Criminal Justice Committee Chair, Elizabeth Crowley (copy to Councilman Oddo) to whom I wrote in May 2011 for an "Oversight Hearing" regarding the DOC - and she looks like such a kind & caring person.  I know, I know, they probably view me as some crazy woman BUT ask me if I care. As my friends know, I'm real good at being a "pain in the ass" and I can't  think of any better cause than Hart Island and my brother to work my "pain in the ass" magic - lol! S-o-o-o-o-o it's time for a follow-up to Chairperson Crowley.  I wonder if she knows, since I have now officially identified her here, that (at some point) anyone who googles her will now hit on my blog as well.  Ain't technology grand?

Ta for now.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nothing of import to relay....................

but some movement happening relative to the Island.  As soon as I know anything, you will know.  Til then, signing off for now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Keep going...............

"You never know how far you can go unless you run".

The Movie, 2010

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Quote...........for all time...............

You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality.

Walt Disney

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Impressions...........of us............

Our fingerprints don't fade from the lives we touch.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Time & Loss..........

Of all the losses, time is most irrecuperable for it cannot be redeemed.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


If you've read my post for March 20th, you will know things are movin' & shakin'.  Never in my wildest dreams, nor John's either I'm sure, would I have thought the tragic story of my brother would become art.  A woman, whom I haven't yet personally met - Patricia Sahertian - came into mine & John's life (another "divine intervention") and as a result of her kind spirit, generous nature and artistic vision, John will be honored and remembered in a truly beautiful way. This, however, is not just about John but also Hart Island and its hundreds of thousands of current (and future) residents. My focus will remain on the Island - before I die, the dream will be realized.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thought for the day.............

If you don't scale the mountain, you can't view the plain.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Art of Death.........John, Hart Island & Patricia..........

Press Release

A Book About Death ~ Memento :: Willo North Gallery, Phoenix, AZ :: Show Dates: May 3 – 28, 2011
Opening Reception: May 6, 2011, 6 – 10 p.m.
Contact: Patricia Sahertian :: patricia@thestudio-ps.com :: 602.218.6046 :: http://abad-phx.blogspot.com

Phoenix, Arizona – Artist, Patricia Sahertian, is organizing an A Book About Death ~ Memento exhibit, following the tradition started in 2009 at the Emily Harvey Foundation in New York City, which inspired a long list of international ABAD exhibitions subsequently. This show, at Willo North Gallery, owned by Kristin Shears, will not only highlight postcards from artists around the world, but will also ask the participants to include an added feature: small mementos. “Each person participating in the ABAD show has a story to share; they may have experienced a loss, or have a profoundly felt sympathy towards death. The work is very personal and the mementos extremely touching,” said Sahertian.

Sahertian’s own work turned to the topic of death when she collaborated on an artists book that expressed the plight of those buried on Hart Island – potter’s field for New York City. That work focused on the sadness behind the stories of thousands of unknown, unclaimed or indigent infants.

During her research, Patricia learned of Julie S. Lantz whose brother died in 1972 at the age of 24 and had also been buried, without the opportunity of family consent, on Hart Island. Patricia was deeply moved by the story of this Honorably Discharged Air Force Veteran, John S. Turner AF 18844546, and his sister’s efforts to have his body exhumed and brought home to Southern California. Initially Julie had been told that her brother’s remains, buried for nearly 38 years, were found, however, to her profound disappointment, a bureaucratic mistake had been made.

In addition to the long-overdue military burial Julie was trying to obtain, she wanted to include John’s personal items (his mementos) with his body. Unfortunately without John’s remains, no plot or niche could be used to bury only his things. Julie contacted the Veteran’s Administration seeking authorization to bury her brother’s items in a designated Veteran’s cemetery, but she has been rejected, citing “no remains”. She has written to Senators, Congressmen, and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in Washington, D.C. and, as a final effort, to President Obama, all to no avail. Julie did receive authorization for a military ceremony at the Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California – these arrangements have yet to be finalized.

With the upcoming ABAD ~ Memento exhibition approaching, Patricia contacted Julie with the proposal that she would like to base her postcard entry for the show on John’s story. In addition, Julie agreed to loan all of her brother’s personal items to Patricia, who will display these mementos, in a special area of the gallery, telling the unique story of a long forgotten soul, an Air Force Veteran and a beloved brother.

For every story shared, there are millions more untold. The A Book About Death ~ Memento exhibit is dedicated to respectfully presenting these uniquely interpretive postcards and mementos from artists around the world.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First, I'm found.......... then I'm not..............

Well folks, it's now my turn to speak.............from the grave. So let me ask you?  Is Hart Island the place you'd want as your final home?  Is it your intention, once you've left this earth, to never have anymore human contact?  To never have any flowers lain upon your head?  To never celebrate a holiday, your birthday?  To never have someone walk past you and recognize your existence?  I sure as hell didn't and for many, many years that is how I lived my death.  My sister, although I had long thought she had forgotten about me, knows my pain, and that of thousands of others.  She knows what it's like to be forgotten in death, not to mention in life, and she's doing her best to rectify that.............for me and so many others.  Is she out of her mind?  No!  Is she so full of herself that she thinks she can make a difference?  No!  Is she dead serious about what's doing?  Absolutely! 

I've been on this Island now for 39+ years, more years than I was when I found myself in this long forgotten place.  Here I will stay, "ashes to ashes and dust to dust", that's what I am now.  I fly around in this afterlife, along with many of my neighbors who have now become my "family", and we ask, "what the hell?".  I haven't given up hope, as my sister is quite the pistol, and if I have to wait another 39 years before I can feel at peace and actually enjoy my well earned rest, that's what I'll do.  I'll be back.

Remember, the dead do speak.................. and tell the truth - they've nothing more to lose after all.

John S. Turner
Hart Island, NYC

Monday, March 7, 2011

You gotta start moving for movement to happen..............

Well, I'm happy to report I have finally heard from Councilman James Oddo's office regarding his continuing efforts on my behalf.  Sometimes, I guess you gotta push, in a not-so-nice-way, to get results - in short, you gotta be a pain in the ass.   Hopefully, the matter of John will be looked into, and the DOC will be investigated as to their irresponsible actions. So, now I wait again. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Isn't the world wide web/internet great.....................

Through my ongoing research, I've found  a document entitled "Statement to New York City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services, Committee on Finance......."  submitted by Dora Schriro, Commissioner,  NYC Department of Correction, dated June 1, 2010. A cursory review does not indiate any mention of Hart Island whatsoever, i.e., costs of upkeep, etc.  Why is that?  Isn't Hart Island under their jurisdiction?  Shouldn't it be included in annual budgetary-type report(s)?  Again, just askin'.  Will review in further detail and see what it doesn't say.  
Note:  when it was known the DOC gave me and other city officials inaccurate info as to the finding of my brother's remains, Commissioner Schriro was contacted - her response was neither sufficient nor was it explanatory as to what happened and what was going to be done; the internal investigation, if they actually had one, didn't yield any satisfactory conclusion, at least not  for me and I'm guessing not for anyone else for that matter.  Gee, you'd think she would have at least personally apologized, right?   Wrong!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Did you know..............

there is another "Heart" Island in NY?  I didn't.  Through my research about my "Hart" Island, I found there exists another, of course, not to be confused.....................Heart Island, on which stands the famously known tourist attraction Boldt Castle, is "one of the 1,793 islands found in the Saint Lawrence River which forms part of the U.S.- Canada border".   Blah, blah, blah.  It was abandoned by its extremely rich owner, George Charles Boldt, shortly after the death of his beloved wife (1904), for whom he had built the castle in the first place.  Until 1977, when it was "gifted" to the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, it had lain barren and left to rot like so many other fabulous historical landmarks - can we all say Hart Island?  Fortunately for this beautiful "home", it was lovingly restored, although many rooms were left "unfinished" to give the full effect of how it looked before restoration began.  Point?  Why can't Hart Island have a new owner, a caregiver that would do just that - give care - and see the beauty, potential and historical value and begin to do something about it?  Why does the Department of Corrections even continue to have control?  They aren't really doing anything with Hart Island except giving low level inmates of Ryker's Island the task of burying and disinterring bodies that no one, other than family and friends, care about.   Don't get me wrong, the inmates perform a very important task, and they can still continue to do so til the end of time or they run out of inmates - whichever occurs first - but the New York City Department of Corrections should not have jurisdiction over something so important when they're not doing what they can to turn Hart Island into the place it is - hallowed ground and final resting place for so many...........including my brother!  Seriously, why can't these inmates be put to better and more use - start fixing some buildings, planting more flowers, building some monuments, adding some prayer/meditation benches, add some fountains?  And why the hell isn't something being done to allow family, friends, or just your general public who may be interested in visiting, easier access?  I'm just askin'.  And, how come more people aren't asking the same questions?

Monday, February 28, 2011

No news....................yet............

It's quite disappointing to me that those in NYC who were helping me locate my brother's remains, and who were supportive of me and my ideas for Hart Island, seem to have fallen by the wayside.  Perhaps they've no clue what to do, although with their own political connections I find it hard to believe, they're busy with other more important city-type stuff, or they're hoping I will just go away, I don't know.  One of those persons helping me, and with whom I have communicated a  great deal is City Council Minority Leader James Oddo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn) from Staten Island.  Jim was the person to whom I wrote when I initially was trying to locate John's remains.  He was an angel, truly, and very concerned and interested in helping.  And while I am reluctant to say anything negative, I am greatly disappointed in the lack of communication of late.  I had written to him approximately a month ago, merely asking for names of persons - city officials, etc.- to whom I could write concerning Hart Island - no response yet.  Maybe he really thinks I'm crazy, who knows, but I will continue writing to him until I get some type of response.  Then again, I'm not the most patient person in the world, especially when I have a vision in front of me.

Question:  why is the Department of Corrections allowed to get away with giving me and city officials inaccurate and false information regarding locating John's remains?  How many other families have they done this to?  Why are they going unpunished for causing more harm and pain?  Did they really investigate my particular situation as to how such inaccurate info could be given?  Did anyone take responsibility?  If I could get just one person with a modicum amount of power in NYC to help me............... I can only hope.  Alas, I'm just one little ant among trillions.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Year, New Hopes..........

It's been quite some time since my last posting but my journey still continues.  I wrote what I thought was  a wonderful spiritual story about faith, John, and what happens when we believe but, alas, didn't receive any acknowledgement for it.  I've jumped back on my wagon and am, once again, doing my thing to get some recognition and respect for Hart Island and all its inhabitants.  Next up:  letter to Mayor Bloomberg.  Hell, he's got enough money, why can't he begin private funding for the Island's restoration and beautification?  Does everything have to involve red tape & bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo?  Can't someone just do the right thing? Or, at least, begin?