Deja Vue


The old red brick Victorian house at 134 Hillside Avenue in Meadville was much like any other turn of the century home in western Pennsylvania.  The former Kalamaras family home was now in a state of decline.  Marge Kalamaras, a single mother, had once raised her twin sons, Mike and Jesse, in the modest home.  Identical twins, Mike and Jesse were almost impossible to tell apart.  Only Marge could reliably tell the two boys apart whenever the twins were together.  Well, mothers are like that.  But for most other people, the twins were almost always impossible to distinguish from each other.  Both young men were the same height, same weight, same eye color, same voice and both had the same hair style.  So it was easy to understand why people could not tell them apart.  And this led to many tricks and pranks by the twins over the years.

When Jesse finally got married in 1985, he could not resist a wedding prank.  Pastor Mitchell was incensed when the guests at the wedding erupted in laughter when the couple knelled at the altar for his blessing.  Unbeknownst to the good pastor was the fact that everyone had just seen Jesse’s message to the gathered crowd.  The “I’m Mike” message taped to the soles of his shoes was just the kind of prank that people in Meadville expected from the twins.  Mike Kalamaras just grinned as the people around him howled at Jesse’s joke.

Jesse and Ann Kalamaras moved to Chicago shortly after their wedding so that Jesse could work for a large regional bank located there.  Life was good for the young Kalamaras couple and soon they adjusted to the new city.  A son and daughter added to domestic tranquility as Jesse rose to a managerial position at Greater Chicago Financial Corporation.

By contrast, life was not so kind for Mike Kalamaras.  A confirmed bachelor, he stayed in Meadville where he worked a series of menial, dead end jobs.  Bad acquaintances eventually led Mike into a series of mistakes, petty crimes and finally, a felony arrest for drug trafficking.  By 1992, Mike was incarcerated and serving 25 years for heroin distribution.

The twins had grown apart physically but remained close even though Mike was in jail.  Brother would not judge or condemn brother for choices the other made.  And often, Jesse would comment to Ann that he could “feel” that something must be wrong with Mike and he would call to check on his brother. More often than not, Jesse’s feelings would be confirmed when he checked on his brother.  But Ann never gave the occurrences much thought.  Life was too busy for the couple.

It was the fall of 1998 when Jesse and Ann decided to install a generator at their cabin on a small lake outside Chicago.  The cabin had primitive, unreliable electricity from old lines running into the property.  Frequent electrical outages made the cabin impractical for cold weather use.  His hope was to make the cabin more of a year round retreat, an escape from the pressures of work, with the installation of a generator to replace the aging electrical lines.





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