The Mud Room - By Brian Law

The real estate agent had just finished showing the old house to the elderly couple when she explained, “This home was built in the late 1800’s and, as you can see, it has been very well maintained. The floor plan is original, no additions. They’ve obviously upgraded the windows, appliances, and heating and air conditioning systems. But, otherwise, it’s just the way it was when it was first built.” 

The elderly couple looked at each other and then the wife turned to the agent and asked, “We’ve heard rumors. You know, about what went on here in the early ‘60’s. Now would be the time to disclose that, if it’s true.” 

The agent smiled and replied, “You’re talking about the Manson Family, right? And the time they lived here. Yes, that’s all true. But that was well before their ‘Helter Skelter’ period. They moved later to ‘The Spahn Ranch’ where all that other stuff went on. In fact, many of the Family members that lived here were never identified. They didn’t move to the Ranch, apparently. Went their own ways.” 

The couple looked at each other again and the husband said, “You’ve indicated that the floor plan is original, but we’re from the East Coast, not California. So, it’s a bit unusual to see a ‘mud room’ in a home out here. I mean, let’s face it, you get maybe three inches of rain a year here, right? So, why did they convert that little room off the kitchen into a ‘mud room’?” 

The agent smiled again and replied, “That has been a continuing issue with this home. Nobody has really figured out why the Manson Family did that, because it was done when they were living here.” 

Looking at each other, the elderly couple nodded their heads and turned to the agent. “We love it! Put in an offer for us at the asking price,” the wife gushed. 

Beaming, the agent shook their hands and indicated that she would go back to her office and get the paperwork ready. “You both can stay here and look around some more. Just be at my office in town in two hours and we’ll get things moving. Sound good?” she asked. 

“We’ll see you in two hours,” the husband indicated. With that, the agent left the two elderly folks alone as she drove back to town. 

They moved together through the home to the kitchen and to the door leading to the mud room. He squeezed her hand and asked, “Do you remember?” 

“Like it was yesterday. Charlie told us all that we couldn’t track blood into the house.” 

Her husband smiled and added, “So we said, ‘How about we add a mud room?'” 

“And nobody, even Charlie, knew what we were talking about. So that was our project for the next week,” she said excitedly. 

They stood in the doorway admiring the results of those  labors so many years ago. 

“How about when we move in, we get some shovels, first thing?” he asked her. 

“I know just where to dig,” she replied, her excitement growing to levels she hadn’t felt in decades. 


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