Life and Times

A Memoir




Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/8/2003

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 434
ISBN : 9781553956518

About the Book

Life and Times A Memoir is not your typical fulfillment of the "American Dream." It's the struggle of one woman with five troubled children, no husband and one small data processing business. She managed to turn her life from what could have been an uneventful poverty-stricken existence, into a tale that could not be better described as your true 'rags to riches'. The author's journey started when she became the second woman in the State of Virginia to obtain her CPA. With only manual bookkeeping experience she took on the challenge of starting a data processing business. She was so successfully that many DP companies, such as IBM, starting to court the author in the hopes they could buy her business. Deciding to sell the business to Computing and Software, Inc, the author opted to take shares of stock at the current market price, in lieu of the price of stock at the time the deal was struck. With millions in her pocket, the author starting a lifetime of investments and business ventures, many most people only dream of.

The undertaking of purchasing a pristine undeveloped barrier island and turning it into one of South Carolina's premier resort property was only matched by the decision to also build a marina where one did not exist. Meanwhile, the idea of building a hotel/casino in Atlantic City, NJ rapidly excelled once the gaming laws were passed by the state of New Jersey. The author and her new husband were instrumental in getting the state to pass the gaming laws. Now that gambling was legal in Atlantic City, the planned hotel turned into a venture well beyond her wildest dreams. Hugh Hefner and Playboy was now interested in her piece of property. The hotel was completed in 1980. Her dream of building an eleven million dollar hotel ended up close to one hundred and seventy million by the time the hotel had its the grand opening.

Unfortunately, not all business ventures went well. In particular she started a class action lawsuit against Merril Lynch for improprieties. The book's seeming long dissertation regarding the Merrill Lynch lawsuit was intended for people to recognize what unscrupulous fraud goes on in the marketplace.

In between her business deals, spending time at her villa in Spain and traveling the world, the author spent endless years trying to raise and comfort her five children and their troubled lives. As she looks back, she feels she did as good of job raising her family as anyone could, though, she many have wished a few things turned out differently. Today, she is very proud of all of them and is satisfied with their destinies.

About the Author

I never really knew what compelled me to write this book. I hated to write. It is laborious for me to compose a sentence. I do feel that I have a story to tell. A story that may benefit some and may just interest others. The few people that have read my book said it read more like a novel. I think it read more like a fairy tale but I assure you it is my life just as accurate as I can remember it. I have come to the conclusion that we are "designed" before we are born. Sometimes I wake up in the morning thinking "How in the world did I get here?" I believe I have been happier than most and probably more deeply depressed. However, I feel grateful that the peace and joy have far out exceeded my pain and frustration.

The second section is much different than the first and is probably very dull. The long dissertation on the Merill Lynch Insurance policy should be condensed. I did want people to recognize what unscrupulous fraud goes on in the market. But I want it interesting and not boring.

I have always been envious of the happy families where man and wife live with their children and each work hard for the family as a whole. They can disagree and argue and fight and hate each other for a moment and then feel remorse and cry bend over backwards to make up for their tirades. They stand by you with all their might against any wrong done to you. They can express themselves and vent their frustrations. I have two sisters who have had such luck. Now, I will not tell you that it is easy. They had rough times, very rough. But it was the way I wanted itÉ

I came from a broken home. Yet, I had most of the enviable qualities of a stable home. Love and discipline and sharing and support, mentally and physically. And I was a happy child. I had a very strong mother. She was not educated but she was wise and loving. My sisters were very much like her. They all had a very important part in my childhood.

I had a very good grade school education. Teachers were greatly respected. If you were disciplined at school you were in real trouble at home. My teachers had a tremendous influence on me. They were educated. Most of the parents were not educated but they had a strong desire for their children to be educated. I loved most of my teachers. And I am sure they loved me because they gave me lots of attention.

I don't feel that my children had those advantages. I loved them with all my heart and their father loved them. But it was a pretty sorry home. He was the first man I had ever fallen deeply in love with. And I was just another Scarlet O'Hara. I never gave up. On the first day of our married life Gatewood was so despondent and when I tried to get him to tell me why, all he could say was "I should never have gotten married". This is not a thing a bride wants to hear and I felt very hurt.

But I am a very confident person. I just knew I could make him happy. I tried all the harder to please him. He was never cruel or abusive but he was never happy and I was unable to communicate with him. It wasn't what you would call a happy home. This was the atmosphere of the children's early life. It surely wasn't ideal. The twins never really had a father. This went on for about eight years when Gatewood decided he had to have his freedom.

It took me quite a while to realize that it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I began a whole new life full of fun, excitement, success, problems, and frustrations. I hope I get to do it again and retain the things I've learned in this go round.

Dorothy Miller Whitner