In Wendell Falls, we think of our houses as homes and our neighbors as friends. Barbecues in the park and boisterous bocce tournaments. Family-friendly movies on the lawn and local music at our Farmhouse. Tune up your bike or lace up your shoes and hit the trails. Or grab some friends and hit the parks. There are endless opportunities for adventure here, so you can play for days. Some parts are already in place.
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Creatively stylishly openly different. Seek open. Reject ordinary. Variety is a beautiful thing. Making Wendell Falls your home means having more choices. Like more builders, more architectural styles, more plans and a wider range of prices. Feet 1, Available Leaseback Opportunity. Feet 5, Available Sept. Feet 2, Moving toward a new way to live. Take Me There. Trails and parks and more trails Tune up your bike or lace up your shoes and hit the trails. Grab a beer. See a barber. All where you work. As the year-old former Ball State University linebacker spoke, he focused on what might be considered an astounding point of view.
No bitterness at China, the country in which he was coaching football and teaching English when he was involved in a bar fight in he says he was attacked and merely defending himself. No resentment at the legal system there. No negatives at all. But … yes, he said it was a beautiful time because out of the ugliness, he said the beauty of his faith prevailed. At least that is what I was taught.
If you believe fully and give yourself to the will of God then greatness awaits you on the other side. My family feels it every day. I feel it every day. We are stronger because of this. Our faith was tested and we never lost hope. We always believed. And because of our belief I am standing here today. I am just excited. It was a modern story in all the worst ways — spoiled celebrities breaking the law and then getting preferential treatment, two showmen engaging in a pointless feud to drum up headlines and a decided lack of respect and gratitude that a positive end was achieved, no matter how it was achieved.
It was also something everyone was reading and talking about. It was then that I first heard about the story of Wendell Brown, a former college athlete who grew up in an anonymous, dangerous Detroit neighborhood. He was stuck in a Chinese prison and lacked the ability to gain the kind of publicity that might attract presidential interest and nightly cable news hits.
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Soon I was sitting in the living room of his mother, Antoinette Brown, and her husband, Travon King, trying to figure out what had happened. This was the depths Wendell had risen from only to find himself incarcerated halfway around the world after a confusing incident stemming from a birthday party he attended at a Chinese bar.
Brown, and his friends in China, maintain he defended himself from a bottle attack by pushing a man away. Local police, though, charged him with a crime. No one could figure out what was going to happen. Antoinette Brown was no LaVar Ball.
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He helped get three basketball players who were guilty get out. The story went semi-viral that day, leading to additional stories in additional outlets. Antoinette even appeared on Fox News, which spurred hope Trump would see her on his preferred television network. Ball State became interested. Someone thought they could get to Mike Pence. A GoFundMe attracted some new donations. A documentarian named Matt Liston got involved.
There was hope. It led nowhere.
Trump never came through. No other politician of any party really did either. At one point Antoinette and family traveled to Washington to meet with officials only to be confronted with a government shutdown.
After three years in a Chinese prison, Wendell Brown finally comes home
They drove all the way home, empty-handed. Wendell had a trial, which his friends and attorney in China dubbed a sideshow that actually proved his innocence. But then he had to wait nearly 10 months for an actual verdict. Back in the United States, wheels spun and enthusiasm dimmed. Antoinette went through the hell of a mother not knowing where her son really was or what he was doing. Traveling to China was expensive and experts in their legal system said it would do more harm than good.
At times it felt like it was this one anonymous woman against all of China. She did what she could do. She made T-shirts and prayed a lot. She posted on social media. Every so often I, and others, would write another story with an update.
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Finally, Brown was given a sentence. Guilty, of course. The sentence was … a harsh four years. Still, it was a milestone, because finally lawyers who volunteered to help, most notably Sophia Wright of Los Angeles, said negotiations could begin. The family wanted to pay it all to China to get Wendell sprung immediately. A release date was set.
He would leave the country on Sept. Just as important, in the interim, American embassy workers were able to visit Wendell in prison and set it up so he could occasionally Skype back to the United States with his mother, son and others.