Posts Tagged Monica Caison
“On the Road Again…” Tribute to Former “Tours” and the 2013 CUE Center for the Missing “Road to Remember Tour”
Historically, there have been many tours that forged the economic growth of our country, paved the way for change and sought to bring a sense of relief from everyday troubles…. And then there’s the “Road to Remember Tour,” created by Monica Caison and her colleagues nine years ago at the Cue Center for the Missing in North Carolina, who take honor, respect and remembrance of the missing to a whole new level….
Joint this writer on a historical retrospective of “the tours” from cattle herders, to entertainers…to the vastly important crime victim advocates who do a most honorable and necessary task.
We’ve “saved the best for last” Read and enjoy through the end… And…. please do SUPPORT Monica’s Tour for the missing….going on now! [**Note: Ladyjustice gives her opinion of the value of the CUE Center and their Annual Conference too!
HISTORY: “The Tour” Cattle Herding
- Long-distance cattle driving was traditional in Mexico, California and Texas, The Spaniards had established the ranching industry in the New World, and began driving herds northward from Mexico beginning in the 1540s.
- As early as 1836, ranchers in Texas began to drive cattle along a “Beef Trail” to New Orleans. In the 1840s, cattle drives expanded northward into Missouri. In the early years of the Civil War Texans drove cattle into the Confederate states for the use of the Confederate Army. In October, 1862 a Union naval patrol on the southern Mississippi River captured 1,500 head of Longhorns which had been destined for Confederate military posts in Louisiana.
- The first large-scale effort to drive cattle from Texas to the nearest railhead for shipment to Chicago occurred in 1866, when many Texas ranchers banded together to drive their cattle to the closest point that railroad tracks reached, which at that time was Sedalia, Missouri .
The Chisholm Trail was the most important route for cattle drives leading north from the vicinity of Ft. Worth, Texas, across Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to the railhead at Abilene.
- Cattle drives were a tricky balance between speed and the weight of the cattle. While cattle could be driven as far as 25 miles in a single day, they would lose so much weight that they would be hard to sell when they reached the end of the trail. On average, a herd could maintain a healthy weight moving about 15 miles per day. At that pace, it would take as long as two months to travel from a home ranch to a railhead.
- To herd the cattle, a crew of at least 10 cowboys was needed, with three horses per cowboy. Cowboys worked in shifts to watch the cattle 24 hours a day, herding them in the proper direction in the daytime and watching them at night to prevent stampedes and deter theft.
- The typical drive comprised 1,500–2,500 head of cattle. The “outfit “consisted of a boss, ten to fifteen hands, each of whom had a string of from five to ten horses; a horse wrangler who handled the horses and a cook who drove the chuck wagon. The wagon carried bedrolls and tents – a luxury. The men drove and grazed the cattle most of the day, herding them by relays at night. Wages were about $ 40 a month, paid when the herds were sold. [Monica Caison takes no salary.]
- Smaller cattle drives continued at least into the 1940s, as ranchers, prior to the development of the cattle truck and stockyards for transport to packing plants.
HISTORY: “The Tour” of Circus Life
- The circus came to the United States on April 3, 1793. John Bill Rickets, an English equestrian rider, used a ring and added acrobats, a rope walker and a clown to his equestrian act.
- Initially, entrepreneurs put individual wild animals on display and charged admission. As time went on, exhibitors began adding more animals to their shows. By the early 1820s there were 30+ traveling menageries touring the eastern US. It wasn’t until the late 1830s that promoters figured out a way to combine the menagerie with the circus.
- Eventually, menageries began using equestrians and clowns to present performances in circus rings, so the distinction between circus and menagerie gradually faded. They traveled at night in wagon trains over country roads often a foot deep in mud, covering only two or three miles an hour. These were the so-called mud shows. The longest distance they could cover was 10 or 15 miles. A hostler rode ahead of the wagons to find the shortest route and to “rail” every fork and crossroad by taking a rail from a farmer’s fence and placing it across the road that was not to be taken so that the wagons would avoid making a wrong turn.
- An advance agent “ballyhooed” the show, arriving on horseback about a week ahead of it. On circus day, a clown would come into town a couple of hours before the circus enticing the townspeople with acrobatics, clown antics and jokes followed by the arrival of the wagons. The regular members of the troupe split the profits, with each expected to perform several jobs. Owners seldom paid salaries.
- Circus “roustabouts” are people who “get sweaty and they’re proud to do so.” They dismantle the show and build it up again in the next town their jobs consisted of the physical act of carrying the “big top” and rigging to the empty lot for set-up, called, “the haul.”
- Joshua Purdy Brown, a native of Somers, New York, put up the first circus tent in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1825. [The CUE Center is located in Wilmington, North Carolina.] The perfect innovation was the simple idea of a canvas tent that was easily portable, yet kept both rain and blazing sun off performers and spectators.
- The 1850s ushered in the golden age of the circus. By 1852, about 30 circuses were touring the US. The decade of the 1850s represents golden age of the river, an era when river traveling in general and showboats in particular were at their height. Charles W. Rogers built the first circus showboat, called the Floating Palace, for $42,000.
- Circuses could also choose which towns to play. Previously, a show was limited by how far its baggage stock horses could walk overnight. Many times this meant having to stop in towns that gave only limited patronage. As time evolved, trains carried circuses to towns hundreds of miles away, offering performers a good night’s sleep. Though P.T. Barnum took credit for it, it was William Cameron Coup’s [one of the co-founders of the Barnum & Bailey Circus]. idea to design a special circus train.
And Who Could Forget….Willie Nelson and Family Old Farts and Jackass Tour….On The Road Again…
- The Old Farts and Jackass tour began in Durham, NC on January 18th, 2013 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. On Saturday night, Willie Nelson and family performed in Bowling Green, KY at the Performing Arts Center before heading south to the Tabernacle in Atlanta.
- After the annual bacon and egg luncheon, the Presidential Inaugural Swearing Ceremony took center stage. Willie stepped forward and placed his hand on the Bible. The Joint Congressional Committee spoke of the logistics of presenting such a presidential event in an old church and security concerns plaguing the event from the beginning.
- Fast forward to today… in October 2013, Willie is 80+ years old, [born April 29, 1933] and just keeps on rollin’…. LJ counted 30 tour dates from October 15th through the end of the year… Whew! http://willienelson.com/tour/
AND NOW… the 10th “On the Road to Remember Tour”
In the Beginning…
The CUE CENTER Annual Tour was created to generate new interest in cold cases of missing people across our nation. The inspiration came in 2004 from the case of North Carolina college student Leah Roberts, who went on a cross-country trip of self-exploration. Her wrecked and abandoned vehicle was found. However Leah is still missing to this day… Leah’s case went cold and interest faded until CUE volunteers began a grueling 14-day trip to retrace her route informing the media of her case and all those who were missing along the path of the tour. In the years to follow, interest was strong to keep hope alive for other families across the country who requested help and who supported the concept and vision of the tour. (http://ncmissingpersons.org)
Each year the tour covers a different route. This year the following states are featured: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama offering the opportunity for all families with missing loved ones, or those who advocate for them, to participate.
2013 marks the TENTH YEAR for the CUE Center for Missing Persons ANNUAL On the Road to Remember Tour spanning thousands of miles across the United States to bring awareness to missing persons and unsolved cases, many which have never been featured in media.
Anyone can volunteer to sponsor a rally stop in their community held in various venues including public parks, churches, schools, law enforcement departments or any location in which media can partake. It is vital that the media ha the opportunity to provide information about the missing persons represented at each rally stop. Each stops lasts about an hour with Founder of the CUE Center, Monica Caison, other CUE CENTER representatives and family who assist in obtaining media coverage of their event,
Examples of creative past events: balloon/butterfly/lantern releases, candlelight vigils, prayer circles, safety events, guest speakers and any variation of events to draw public attention, and needed CLUES from the public! RESULTS: In 2008, this event assisted in solving a cold case of twenty eight years!
It Takes A Village! Monica’s philosophy is that all investigations require the efforts of the public, volunteers and the media working in collaboration on cases involving missing children and adults, it is only when such collaborative efforts take place, that cold and inactive cases have the best chance to finally be resolved and bring resolution for families.
For daily updates on the current tour see posts from Monica at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CUE-Center-For-Missing-Persons/136501784957?sk=app_57675755167
To Donate: PO Box 12714 Wilmington, NC 28405
(910) 343-1131 / (910) 232-1687
Photo by Cynthia Hayden Guinn
People talk about the major milestones in life that leave lasting impressions – the birth of a child, marriage, the death of a loved one, transitions of achievement such as graduations, religious rites etc. However, the average person will never know the extent of the life changing experience noted at the Community United Effort (CUE) Center for the Missing Conference until you are a participant and active observer.
The recent 9th Annual Conference held at the Courtyard Marriott Carolina Beach Hotel was a sight to behold on so many levels. Ladyjustice was treated to this incredible event for a consecutive year along with 2-300 others…
Familiar faces, southern jargon, a tireless network of volunteers at the ready, a meeting of the minds for information exchange, the crossing of hearts and many, many, many HUGS throughout the four days – essentially a non-stop HUG FEST!
Upon arrival, LJ was asked at the registration desk when she would be presenting….which was very flattering and a bit amusing, as almost without exception presenters “get only one chance at bat.” Changing of the guard and the experts is healthy and keeps things fresh…
The pressure and responsibility was off for this crime fighter…. A year had passed with a much larger “resume” of radio shows and catalog of diverse blogs… a greater expanse of social media exposure and Voila…. more credibility.
On the surface, the CUE Center Conference possesses the usual ingredients – a registration process, various gear and books for purchase, exhibit tables, an agenda filled with activity, entertainment, Southern style food, endless donated gift baskets ad raffle opportunities, an impressive lineup of speakers and many dedicated volunteers to address your every need. BUT, BUT, BUT, the most amazing aspect for this writer was the opportunity to observe the new connections made between people, between agencies and organizations, between states, between “newbies” and veterans of the conference… AND the appreciation for what the CUE Center consists of at its core.
It’s as if a few hundred light bulbs were perpetually popping all over the place to Ladyjustice’s delight! Not only that, but two very special events enhanced the overall experience.
As a memorial tribute to friend, colleague, mentor, homicide survivor, victim advocate and intimate partner homicide expert, Susan Murphy Milano, heart shaped lanterns took to the skies…. From the water’s edge and hotel balconies, one witnessed a long line of illumination floating to greet Susan in heaven. Working in teams of two, participants released lights of hope and love against the backdrop of crashing surf….such a soulful reminder of SMM’s presence that will forever live in our hearts. Monica Caison, Founder of the CUE Center also created a special passages award, presented by Delilah Jones on behalf of our beloved Susan Murphy Milano.
Secondly, the Candlelight Vigil at Riverfront Park was a tapestry of emotion. Uplifting song, a little levity delivered by the MC, interspersed with the sobering fact that we were there to honor the missing and perhaps presumed dead, the beautiful yet shocking wall of victims, inspirational words and prayers by religious leaders… the heart wrenching stories of surviving family members, award presentations to wonderful volunteers, the finale ritual of lighting candles were contrasted by the bitter cold air and ONE THOUSAND HUGS AND TEARS…
Reflections of Selected Presenters and CUE Members…. (Just a Few Highlights)
“Inspirational, raw, spoken from the heart with great pride and frequent tears shed.” Such is an accurate description of Marilyn Gambrell- a pioneer for “disposable children” of incarcerated family members;
“Effervescent, high energy, caring, very creatively visual, medically based and “a little preachy for your own good.” Such is the essence of Dr. Dalal Akoury with her incomparable style of conveying information;
“Tell it like it is, wounded, but far from defeated, caring and legally precise…” Michelle Cruz readily admits her hard knocks, using her personal experience to the best advantage to present and future victims of crime;
“A friendly, approachable, down home story teller, motherly, keen observer and investigator with a huge network of colleagues…” Sheryl McCollum uses her common sense and her instincts to accomplish amazing things, taking another look where others have not been as successful;
“A snappy dresser, legal eagle commentator who gets to the heart of the matter in the courtroom and in the spotlight of television and radio.” Holly Hughes is hard hitting and can match wits with anyone, is a staunch advocate for crime victims and law enforcement as well;
“Such a gentleman, dedicated and skilled rescuer and sonar technician” (as well as coffee delivery man)
“Loving, “huggy” dedicated, law enforcement and missing persons advocate, animal rights activist with a heart of gold.” Yup… that’s Connie Braddock;
“A petit ‘tiger in your tank,’ loving mother, searcher/rescuer and a “find a way around every obstacle” kind of person.” Kelly Osborn is the epitome of fearless perseverance;
“Offering help, kindness, spiritual support when it really matters and many, many photos…. Lisa Valentino is the consummate friend and volunteer, a virtual fixture around “the CUE water cooler;”
“Feisty to the nth degree, takes no crap from anyone, gifted and compassionate friend to all people involved in missing persons.“ Yes indeed, that’s our Monica!
We highly encourage all readers to become familiar with all of these movers and shakers for the missing. Do it today…Do it tomorrow… Just do it!
It is Impossible Not to Miss Someone Who Was Once a Part of Your Life… Monica Caison and CUE Center for Missing Persons
“Sometimes we are only given a few minutes to be with the one we love, and a thousand hours to spend just thinking about them” Victoria Morgan.
The above quotes tell the story… and have a quality of truth that is inescapable for families with loved ones who go missing. Monica Caison, Founder of the CUE Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington, North Carolina, is the keeper of the flame and the tireless organizer- searcher for the forgotten… a mission carried forth since 1994. Monica goes about her job systematically. She‘s built a reputation, the respect of law enforcement and service providers. She has an army of resources atthe ready to assist… but can always use more dedicated people. Volunteers are the “lifeblood” of this amazing organization… Ladyjustice and Delilah spent a fun-filled, informational hour discussing how far the CUE Center has come to date…..and the details of the upcoming 9th Annual Conference –Thursday, March 21st through Sunday March 24th, 2013. (See Questions to be answered below!)
To listen to the Podcast: CLICK HERE
- Introduction to our guest;
- History of the CUE Center and what makes it unique – A liaison between law enforcement and the community; Primary focus- Their stellar search efforts…
- How it works… Starting with a goal list… and coordinated professionally trained searches;
- Billboards, rewards, posters, networking….anything and everything;
- The long view: What has changed since 1994?
- The Peggy Carr Case- a benchmark National Case
- The Give Campaign and CUE Voted the Top Rated Non-Profit of 2012…
- The benefits of attending for the first time…no matter how you are affiliated;
- GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING …Face to Face……. Very Important!!
- Advocacy and Victim Empowerment- Giving Back…
- A touching letter – getting out of your comfort zone;
- An Overview of the Conference;
- A larger venue; a larger hotel on the ocean….
- Trainings, food, fun night… The Ocean Shore Special Event;
- National Candlelight service and unveiling “The Wall”
- Roundtable Discussions and Networking for help with missing persons cases;
- Sponsors, theme baskets, Door Prizes
- “The Big Chance to Win” in Memory of a former missing person;
- Deciding on next year’s Conference…the process;
- A no fee Conference…
- Family donors and Fundraising…
- One Day Search for the CUE versus a Government Operated Search;
- Delilah’s role in helping with Recruiting Presenters…The Line-Up;
- Bridget Daly Musteata- La\w Enforcement- Victim Advocate for the Police Department – Duncan South Carolina – Legal Rights Before &After; Forensic Interview- an in depth-interview and the needs of the family in the aftermath;
- Teams, Rotations and General Assembly;
- “Dr. Dolly” Dalal Akoury- Talking about how to reduce the stress of trauma
- Monica’s Sanctuary to inner peace…
- Marilyn Gambrell – Amazing Advocate working with teens of incarcerated parents;
- Monica – a tutorial on Sonar – with Expert Chuck Elgin;
- Delilah & Monica on the importance of timeliness in getting to Monica and knowing what to do- A MASTER PLAN;
- “There’s no place to search…”
- Monica’s State Coordinator Program –Why it’s needed;What they do….
- On a path to increased growth… Her database… and the rewards…
- Contact Information -. Donations: www.cueonthegofundme.org;/
- Registration and general information :www.ncmissingpersons.org;
Questions to be answered:
- Are billboards always needed and the most effective method why or why not?
- Awareness campaigns and a public presence
- Why should new people attend?
- How did Monica’s dream come about?
- What is a True Founder versus a True Advocate?
- What are the themes of this year’s conference?
- What is the special memorial for Susan Murphy- Milano?
- What are the extras, gifts and fundraising?
- What’s involved in the expense planning process for a search?
- What are the difference sin sonar used as it relates to a particular case?
- What is the waiting period with law enforcement once a person goes mIssing?
- What are the requirements to be a State Coordinator?
For a full list of speakers and detailed information about the
National Conference: click here
NOTICE: (This conference is a pre – registration conference ONLY) please contact the center for details, thank you.
Download and print registration form below
Submit Registration: Mailing Address (CUE) PO Box 12714 Wilmington, NC 28405
Ph: (910) 343-1131 or (910) 232-1687 Fax: (910) 399-6137
Location: Courtyard Marriott Hotel
Note: Do not contact the hotel to register, the CUE Center for Missing Persons is responsible for submission of the rooming list and providing airport travel arrangements of all conference attendees.
What do you get when you cross a blonde version of Wonder Woman and a modern day Rin Tin Tin? Well… Monica Caison, of course!
She is one of a brood of 11 children and native of Florida. As a rebellious teenager she had her brush with the law, but…that experience made her grow up ever faster… and in the interim, she personally knew at least three families who had members “go missing” by the time she reached age 25! Then, she had an epiphany, Why not create an agency specifically designed to locate missing persons and assist with the needs of their loved ones? And that’s exactly what she did in 1994! She founded the Community United Effort (CUE) Center for Missing Persons, based in Wilmington, North Carolina. Since that time, she has assisted over 9,000 families of the missing by providing absolutely free services (of which there are a boatload!).The organization is staffed by volunteers and FUNDED ENTIRELY BY DONATIONS!
How Monica does what she does each and every day, remains an enigma… She works…and is on call 24/7; She takes calls and cases from all over the United States. She takes no salary… and I don’t think her husband is a relative of the Bill Gates clan! Monica also offers youth mentoring and college internships. It appears she seldom sleeps, probably doesn’t eat much and values her smoke breaks when she can fit them in….. Interviews have revealed a “diamond in the rough”…. with some salty language “to get the point across”. However, when she speaks of the plight of specific victims, there is no one more compassionate or caring…
***Free Services Offered by the CUE Center
- Search and Recovery, Victim Support, Investigative, Awareness Resources
- Canvassing – foot, vehicle, neighborhood /door to door
- Teams- K9, air, water (boat & divers), horseback, 4- wheelers, ATV, GPR, ground pounders, command IC, mapping control, current technology instruments
- Case goal/efforts with guidance for families of the missing.
- Support from local and national sisterhood organizations
- Act as a liaison for families, media, agencies and law enforcement
- Financial aid/most cases
- Community and public awareness programs for missing victims
- Provide a variety of guest speakers and topics
- Finger printing/ photo ID programs /DNA technology
- Poster/ flyer distribution, to include internet distribution nationally
- Bill board (resources)
- Reward resources
- Safety/prevention workshops
- Organizing private and public meetings for case effort
- Utilize all areas of case resources and identifying case needs
- Provide spokesperson / advocate for missing person case
- Campaign force effort in locating the missing
- Counseling resources – group, individual, grief, trauma
- Food, shelter, fuel provided for search teams and families of the missing
- Full complete investigative casework of missing person
- Support group and victim resources; homicide, abuse, rape and mental illness
- Bulk mailings project for missing persons
- Twenty four hour public TIP number to be provided for cases of the missing
From what Ladyjustice has heard and read, Monica is also a master organizer and her volunteers are creative fundraisers. Just consider the endeavors designed to raise money for resources:
A few of the fundraising projects include:
1) Greensmoke for Cue. An electronic cartridge cigarette that looks and feels like a real cigarette but is an alternative;
2) Fueling Good Sponsored by Citgo
3) Project Prayer for The Missing – Quarters For CUE A youth Ministry program offering prayer to families of the missing, raising awareness and money during masses held in honor of the missing.
And last but not least, Monica offers a one of a kind National Annual Conference to impart knowledge, provide support and resources for families of the missing and service providers. This year’s 8th annual Conference information can be found at the following link: The 8th Annual National Missing Persons Conference 2012
CONFERENCETHEME 2012 “In Support of the Journey” Thursday, March 22-25, 2012
Who stands up for the missing, lost, abused, neglected, murdered, disposed of and otherwise forgotten individuals who need to be found and loved, whether alive or dead? Answer: Monica Caison. Please donate now:
As this writer closes out another blog chapter she can think of no better a musical refrain than Linda Ronstadt’s “Heart Like A Wheel” to remind us of Monica’s dedication and the love lost from all of those who have gone missing:
- CUE Center for Missing Persons National Conference Taps 3 ImaginePublicity Clients for Presentations (imaginepublicity.com)
- The Roth Show with Susan Murphy Milano : Missing Persons Cases’s Jonathan-Graison-Bradley and Rose Marie Gayhart 7:00 PM Eastern Time (murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com)
- The Susan Murphy Milano Show “Time’s Up!” Highlights the Amanda Jones Case-Thursday 3/8/2012 at 2pm ET (murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com)
- Project Prayer for The Missing – Quarters For CUE (ncmissingpersons.org)