By Gilbert E. Davis
Avaiator Test Pilot
When Ken took me to my house I was told I couldn’t come in. We packed
all of my things in a Ryder truck and drove to Division St. across
town. There I was in a two-bedroom apartment. Sue started the divorce
proceedings about the time Sarah and Lucas got married. Sue was sad
when she called me. She would get the house paid for, but not much
else. I would get most of the money, a few hundred thousand dollars. At
the time I was depressed and didn’t care. I told her to get with my
lawyer and just give me enough to get by on. I would let her and the
children have the rest. I ended up with a condominium and $1,000 per
month. The $1,000 a month was never enough to live on and before long,
the doctors had a $7,000 lien on the condo.
Stolen Property (1998)
I had been in the hospital in Blackfoot and when I got back to my
condominium I was happy. While in the hospital I had figured out some
hard aerodynamics and now wanted to try them out.
I went in the door and looked around. Every tool, aircraft book,
drawings aircraft parts, my $1,200 flight helmet with oxygen mask,
everything aircraft was gone. I was mad. I was mad as hell; everything
was stolen. I called Sue, she wouldn’t tell me anything. I called Levi
he wouldn’t talk. Now I was really mad, what had happened? By chance I
went out in the carport and saw a lock, not mine, on the storage area.
I called the locksmith and he cut the lock off. Inside was all my
aircraft treasure. I decided if Sue had no regard for my property and
me, I would leave Boise. I sold everything that was mine in the
condominium and bought a good low mileage car. I packed up to leave. I
had two friends that owed me $300 plus some help I needed. And yes I
took out the bathroom and kitchen sinks, which could be put back in
thirty minutes. I did that as a small thing to let Sue know how I felt
about my $20,000 plus of aircraft parts etc. she had taken out of the
condominium. What she had done was in violation of the divorce decree.
No matter what she had done to me, I should have talked to her and
tried to work it out.
80 Miles in a Wheelchair
My friends in Idaho let me down so I was on my way to Chehalis,
Washington to look for my friend Buzz Gothard. My car had the big
police interceptor engine and it ran out of gas three times on the way
to Portland. The last time I ran out of gas was in an industrial
section of Portland. A policeman came along and I ask him to help me
get some gas. He said no, and that he could have my car towed away. I
told him that I’d do what I had to do and he could do what he had to
do. I said the wrong thing; I went for gas and when I return the car
was impounded. I then spent the next two days trying to get my car out
of impound without success. It had some $3,000 worth of goods in it.
I made three attempts to leave Portland in my wheelchair, but the first
two attempts were unsuccessful because the state police picked me up on
the bridge and returned me back to the Portland side. The third attempt
I was able to cross the bridge without any police interference and
enter the Washington side of the bridge. After two nights with no sleep
since I left Boise I made it to Washington state in my wheelchair. I
would bum money at truck stops to get coffee to stay awake. Now I had
been four nights without any sleep and was only 30 miles outside of
Chehalis, Washington. The Highway Patrol stopped me on the interstate
and told me I had to get off the interstate. I asked if he could drive
me to Chehalis, but he refused and left me alone. So I went back to the
nearest exit and tried to find an alternate road at night
After a short time, I fell asleep for just about 10 seconds in my
wheelchair. It was just long enough for me to hit the edge of the road.
I rolled down the bank and my wheelchair got stuck in the sand. I
flagged down the next available car. It was a city policeman, he
stopped and helped me by calling the ambulance. Now I had gone 80 miles
and was manic. They took me to the mental hospital. My pills were in my
car so with no lithium and four days with no sleep I was done for. I
did not resist them.
Western State Hospital (1998-1999)
In three months, the hospital was ready to release me, but nobody in
Boise would make the arrangements for me. The result was a year stay in
the state hospital in Tacoma. I read a lot of books, took trips around
the hospital grounds, and received letters from the family. I even got
a letter from my old first grade teacher, Mrs. Swanson, in which she
sent me $10. Pierce College offered a course on mental rehabilitation
that was very helpful. They had speakers who had been in the hospital
and were now out and taking care of themselves. They had us list
factors we had in common in our past hospital stays. For me, anger was
the main factor.
Overcoming Anger (1999)
I flew from Tacoma to Boise and was met by Debbie Hansen. About this
time Brandon was born. Debbie, after she got to know me, said I should
write a business plan for my aircraft company. This made me mad because
I didn’t know how to write one. I calmed down and decided I would find
out how to write a business plan. Instead of letting my anger get the
best of me I got to work. The library sent me over some books and
before long I had a business plan. I was sure that if I tried real
hard, I could overcome my anger from now on, and thus stay out of the
I was now living in an assisted living home in Boise on Longmont
Avenue. In pre-algebra at B.S.U. my first quiz was 95%. The second quiz
was 85%. Ten out of 16 pre-algebra areas were 100%. I didn’t do so well
in my algebra and computer classes as I got D’s in both classes due
mainly to the pain. My last class at B.S.U. was a drafting class in
which I got an A. I was good in drafting and can use these talents in
In 2003 my father died Feb 20, 2003 at 99. He was in good health up
until his death.
I was very frustrated when I tried to work with Debbie and the system
during the past four and a half years. I was driven to a temporary
state of poor judgment due to Debbie’s over-bearing and dominant
personality. She would seldom consider my point of view and treated me
like a child. I felt I had no representation and only opposition to my
desire to take care of myself. I felt my agency was being violated. I
had tried for 13 months to get the guardianship terminated, but without
more money than I had, it couldn’t be done. At that point, I decided to
take matters into my own hands by leaving and going to Colorado. I
wasn’t manic, but just very frustrated with Debbie. Debbie was so
negative and overbearing that it was depressing. I had a friend in
Colorado, Craig Hamm, who was willing to help me. I sold my gold coin,
my computer and my TV set to buy a van for my trip. It was a bad idea
because without working with the system, it was doomed to fail. I knew
what I did was wrong because I would always be fighting the system. I
will never try that again. I know now that Debbie was only doing what
she felt was in my best interest. I still want the guardianship
terminated but it will have to be within the system.
Jail Time (May 2004)
The police picked me up May 3rd for charges in Oregon. I didn’t have a
clue as to what they wanted. They put me in the Ada County Jail. After
about four hours in jail, I found that I was charged with kidnapping.
How I could kidnap anybody while in a wheel chair and with no gun was
hard to understand. They then drove me to Umatilla, Oregon. So I spent
a total of six days for something I didn’t do. The conditions in jail
were bad. They left the lights on all night making it hard to sleep.
The blankets were dirty. Food was so bad I threw up twice. My heel got
scrapped and got infected. They took away my medications, which caused
me to suffer withdrawal from my pain medication. All in all, it was a
very bad stay and I couldn’t wish Sue or the girls a happy Mother’s Day
because I was in jail.
Finally on the 25th of July a judgment of dismissal was filed stating
that it was in the “best interest of justice.” What a mess!
From May 17, 2004 to July 29, 2004 I stayed in Ashley Manor. It was
better than jail but still wasn’t very good. The food wasn’t very good
and most of the people didn’t know whom they were or what was going on.
My roommate cussed me out and Rosetta would wander down in my room all
the time and end up in my bed. The only good thing was the TV with
I moved into the Tafoya’s assisted living home. I moved in on the 29th
of July 2004. Tom and Elaine are wonderful. Since I moved in Tom and I
exercise every day. I started with 15 setups and now I can do 70.
Wheeling in my wheelchair, I started out at 1/8 mile and can now do 2
miles. I read the Bible every day. I spend most of my time reading and
drawing. It’s nice to have a family with nine children total and six at
home. The children at home are Trevor, Brent, Stephanie, Laura, Justin
and Deserae. Wesley is on a mission in the Dominican Republic and
Melanie is going to the University of Nevada. Deanna is married and
lives in Gilbert, Arizona.
I have a large room and the food is very good. They take me to church
every Sunday and once in awhile to the Temple. We even go to the movie
now and then. It’s the best place that I have ever lived.
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The Teen Years
Young and Single
The Wheel Chair