The background, including the family history, is to give you the reader insight into what Brandy wrote in her books and her understanding of mental health issues and family trauma, as well as PTSD, and behavior many experience when feeling rejected and unloved. Background Brandy's history began where her parents-to-be met at the Sylvan Lake Lodge. Theodore Reder created the Lodge at Sylvan Lake, a site northeast of Custer. From that moment, the first Black Hills South Dakota resort was born. Although Reder and his wife were at the beginning of the story, eventually the resort was sold to J.C. Spencer, from Wyoming who made several changes, which added to the popularity of the resort, and he made it profitable with the Sylvan Lake Hotel. The year 1919 was the last of private ownership for the Sylvan Lake Hotel. The state of South Dakota bought the hotel in 1920, and 1921 brought the arrival of a new creative genius to manage the hotel. Myra K. Peters who had taught music in the city of Lead S.D. previously, and she channeled her artistry into ideas for how to bring more visitors to the area. And she did. After a fire in June of 1935, the board decided to rebuild with Frank Lloyd Wright to design its reconstruction. The first public showing of the hotel was in 1938. Barbecued buffalo sandwiches and coffee were served and the public had their first view inside the latest Sylvan Lake Hotel. Hundreds of stories could be told about the hotel but this is where my family entered the scene. Myra K. Peter’s knew my father, Samuel D. Coffee Jr. and hired him as a cook, or chef one could say because he was very good at what he did. Sam had grown up in a family of nine children on a farm in Nebraska just north of Harrison. With two older sisters and six younger brothers, he learned to cook and care for his siblings who, as they grew, went to work in the hay fields. It was at Sylvan Lake Lodge, however, where my father was to meet my mother, Mollie Alta Elizabeth Scheidt in 1938. While Sam was born and raised in Nebraska, Mollie immigrated with her family from a small German settlement near Saratov Russia when she was two years old. Unable to attend nursing school because of cultural views her father held about women, she left home to become a waitress at Sylvan Lake Lodge, and this is where she met Sam. The two fell in love and married in June 1939. A New Family Some time after, the two left the lodge and went to work for Catholic missionaries at the Rosebud Reservation of the Oglala Sioux outside Rapid City. Samuel D. Coffee III was born a little over a year later (Sept 1940) and one year and two weeks later (Oct 1941), Brandy was born. Named Beatrice Ann Coffee after Sam’s two sisters. Brandy never cared for her name because it was usually pronounced with a harsh sound (Be-at’-rice) rather than the softer sound (Be-it’-trice), and so years later she changed her name to Brandy, which she felt better suited her personality. Two more brother’s were born (1942 and 1946) after the family moved to Custer S.D. and opened their own restaurant. Apparently they’d had a restaurant in Rapid City, but later move to Custer (for reason’s unknown). Again, the family moved and because of the difficulties of relocating with four young children (assumption here) the three eldest were placed in a Catholic school in Chadron NE. All three would later remark on how miserable life was at the Assumption Academy. And because of the unpleasant life, the two boys, Sam and Steve, ran away from the school at night in dead of winter and were found seventeen miles from the school. If you’ve lived in the midwest, you know what winter’s are like there and, needless to say, their mom and dad were furious it took so long for the school to even recognize the boys were gone and then find them many hours later. All three of the children were removed from the school. The family moved to Rushville Nebraska and later settled in Edgemont S.D. where Sam & Mollie opened a restaurant (1949). The next year a sister was born (1950), Linda Mollie Coffee and the family remained there for the next three years. A Broken Family The third year the mother decided enough was enough and divorced Sam. an alcoholic. In 1953, Mollie left her eldest son, Sam, in the care of relatives and with her four other children drove to Eugene Oregon where they would live with an uncle - for a time. Back in 1954, the trauma the children endured with multiple moves, a divorce and living in a home where they were not really welcome, one of the children, the daughter, Beatrice began to act out. I won’t go into the details here; that’s perhaps for another book, a memoir later. Nevertheless, asked to move, Mollie did. Five different schools for Beatrice (Bea Ann, age 13-14), and on three separate occasions she transported her two younger brothers by bus back to the midwest to live with relatives for a time. Each time, she later retrieved and returned them home with their mother. In 1956, Mollie, who now had a boyfriend, moved to Portland where Bea Ann, who would later be known as Brandy, attended Jefferson High. Nowadays her behavior would have been better recognized and dealt with, however, at the time, she was described as a juvenile delinquent, flunked out of high school, had a 22 y/o boyfriend, so the State took over her life. She entered first a work home (yes they had them then), several foster homes, juvenile facilities, then, the state school for girls in Salem Oregon. After she and another girl assaulted a matron trying to escape, Brandy (Bea Ann) and the other inmate were sent to Marion County Jail in Salem, Oregon. Six months later, her mother, now remarried, returned to Oregon and, informed of her whereabouts, she came to her rescue. Brandy was released from jail and the family went to live on the Oregon coast at Gleneden Beach and later moved to what is now known as Lincoln City. Life as an Adult Six months in jail at the age of 17 convinced that was not acceptable, yet she still depended on herself to make life happen, and went to work. Eventually Brandy was hired by a doctor who thought she'd be an asset in his office as an assistant where he taught her how to diagnose physical ailments. A year later, she ended up pregnant, as she said, still living life on her own terms without boundaries. Leaving work to have a baby, and not wanting to live in poverty as her mother had, she got a GED and returned to school. Brandy's sister lived with her and took care of her son while she worked full-time and went to school. In 1970, Brandy graduated with an associate degree in nursing, and became licensed as a professional nurse. Twenty-two years later, after a second son from an affair with a married man, her life took a nose-dive. She'd purchased a house several years earlier, but being unable to function as a mother or a nurse and with a case of severe depression, she became suicidal. Her solution was to sell the home and become a drug addict along with a guy she'd met who was a drug dealer. A few years later (1989), again in jail, when released she was determined to change her life. While in a homeless shelter, Brandy invited God into her life and later, accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and saw her life changed for the better. Of course, she started making better choices as well. After a couple of years (1991) Brandy began to counsel others and soon realized she didn't have the knowledge, wisdom or skills to be an effective counselor. So, with a friend Brandy returned to school and earned a master of eduction in guidance and counseling (1994). She continued into a doctoral program a few years later (2001) while working for a mental health agency. And in 2009, Brandy graduated with a doctor of religious studies in biblical counseling. Currently, Brandy works as a counselor and supervises counseling interns and graduate students. Brandy lives in her home, purchased in 2001 with her son and others, at times. Brandy became a writer of non-fiction (2009) and more recently, fiction books (2019). Her first love is the Lord. Her fantasy series reflects much of what she has learned from her relationship with the God of her understanding. To be continued. . . as life goes on.