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Kathy Inglis’ answers to Joan Wheeler’s caricature of her in the book Forbidden Family September 23, 2010

Posted by Ruth in Joan Wheeler Speak - how Joan views the world, Joan Wheeler's abuse and harassment of her birth family, Lies in the book Forbidden Family, Refuting Joan Wheelers statements.
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Back on April 7, 2010, Kathy sent me an email that contained material that she wanted me to post. I never got around to it, so here it finally is. Kathy also posted on September 19, 2010 that she will not be baited with Joan’s FALLACIES in this post: FINAL NOTICE TO JOAN WHEELER AND ALL ADOPTEES AND ADOPTION REFORMERS BY KATHERINE INGLIS

From: Kathrine Inglis
To: Gert McQueen ; Ruth Pace
Sent: Wed, April 7, 2010 8:36:38 PM
Subject: info req’d

Gert and Ruth- here’s what I have to say, so far:
My sister, Gert, has asked me for my observations on JW’s version of our reunion and her visits to Liverpool. I do not feel that my life, and life choices, should be fodder for public opinion, but there are a few things here I feel should be addressed and I will comment briefly.
On page 16,c.1974- JW has me down as a hotel maid- I never worked in a hotel in my life! I was granted a Work Permit to work for 1 family, as an au pair-the nearest equivalent to this in American parlance is Living-in-Nanny.  Eventually, on acquiring Permanent UK Residence, I worked in an Insurance office, then became a full time music student and trainee teacher. I have earned my living as a musician and GUITAR (not dance) teacher for more than 30 yrs, and though retired from school work, I still teach privately and perform locally.
Much of what JW relates regarding her visits to Liverpool is accurate, however, there are one or two ‘scenes’ she describes which seem to be contrived to fit what she wants to believe.
On page 146 -Nov/Dec 1976-JW describes an incident in a pub where an entertainer shouts ‘Yankee go home’,a near riot breaking out, and me ranting and raging in anger through several city streets.I don’t think so. ‘Yankee go home ‘is a phrase used a lot here, I still get it after 37 yrs-it is usually used in jest, as a term of endearment. It is a phrase left over from WWII when American GIs were stationed all over Britain. It may be that someone said this, but it would have been in jest.I certainly have never had it said to me in anger, perhaps this is because I made the effort to get to know, and respect, my adopted country. (Adopted – now there’s word for you-JW is not the only adoptee in this story.)
Page 152- JW seems to have ‘telescoped’ several scenes into 1 – friends did come round for an annual Christmas open house  I used to host, and the film Ben-Hur was televised-but these were two seperate occasions. We certainly never watched the film together- now this may sound trivial to most folks, but, because of our Mother’s family name of Herr and various other reasons,  a family tradtion developed wherein we would watch the film as a unit, particularly in cinemas. We would always cheer when Judah, searching for his mother and sister, mentions the ‘family of Hur’. I remember relating this to JW when I’d noticed BH was due to be televised during her visit to Liverpool.
Now, for many reasons, not least of which is the music, I have tended over the years to want to view the film on my own, as a form of cultural escapism, and I explained this to JW. I gave her the option of watching it with me, without disturbing me, or of going out for the afternoon whilst it was broadcast. She chose the latter – wise girl. By reporting in FF that we watched it together, and cheered at the appropriate moment, demonstrates JWs  manipulation of our lives to include her – this is her wishful thinking, in her head, not in actuality.
Her description of her second visit to Liverpool Dec 1979 is very bizarre. I welcomed her as I welcome any guest – with warmth and sincerity. By this time, 3 years into our little reunion, I had put down roots here in the UK and was even more emotionally separated from the family. We had many talks during that month,and I would wince whenever she went on about her wonderful life in Buffalo. She did ask me why she got ‘negative vibes’ from me whenever she spoke about Buffalo – had she not been listening to me when I told her Buffalo did not hold many happy memories for me?
As regards my bizarre behaviour on page 178ff – wild-eyed, slapping my thighs- what a charicature! Of course, I did not relate to her as a sister, I repeatedly tried to explain when she insisted that I do. With my upbringing, and her adoption, I did not – and still now do not – know what it feels like to be a sister, daughter, aunt, neice. I explained this to her grown up daughter in an email just a few months ago, and my other two sisters know and accept this of me. In social situations, I felt it better to ‘put on the act’ to put others at ease and not burden them with ‘our tragic family history. It’s called social skills.
At the time of JWs visits, I was living in what Americans call a studio flat – one large room, and kitchen, shared bathroom, no bedroom. I happliy shared my huge bed for that first month – and paid for all the food, etc. Second time around, I was a full-time student with a heavy work load, so my neighbour said JW could use her studio flat whilst she spent the Xmas hols with her family in Wales. I thought this was a very generous offer – it certainly wasn’t meant as a snub. Two years before, the same neighbour lent the same flat to my father when he came to visit.JW may have rung her mother from the communal pay-phone but I doubt if she had enough coins to make a trans-Atlantic phone call on a metered public phone! If she did speak to her mother, it would have to have been reversed-charge which is how I spoke internationally before getting my landline. In any case, her mother does come over as a rude woman as described by her daughter.
I’m sure her bizarre caricature of me, right down to the strange Irish/Cockney accent she describes, is down to several things, not least of which was my insistance that she pay towards her keep during her second month-long sojourn, as, being on a student grant, money was tight. After all, her adopted parents paid for both trips and I was in no position to give her free lunches. Fair’s fair, you know.
So there you have it-the story so far. More when we reach 1984, 1989. Perhaps.



1. Joan Wheeler’s book Forbidden Family – Personal psychodrama, lies and other things that don’t belong in a book. « Refuting a Book of Lies: Forbidden Family – - October 14, 2010

[…]  I asked Kathy to make some comments about this and another Liverpool visit of Joan’s: see her statement for more misrepresentations by Joan. Kathy Inglis’ answers to Joan Wheeler’s caricature of her in the book Forbidden Family […]

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