The Inez Burns Story, Part XVI

Inez Burns’ staff of four women and one man grew accustomed to the sound of her loud voice barking a series of orders–to be followed without argument.

When at home Inez often expected family guests to help with chores, including washing the windows.

Even if relatives arrived well dressed and reluctant to do dirty work, she reminded them that her “million dollar hands” were paying all of their bills.

“Take off your fur coat and get busy; you can clean that living room rug,” Caroline Carlisle remembers her grandmother’s harsh command.

But Burns’ impoverished childhood was never far from her mind. “Inez was a sucker for hard luck cases,” Carlisle said.

When, for example, then 64-year-old, gray-haired Warren Shannon, a trusted friend, fell on hard times, Inez invited the former San Francisco supervisor and his wife, Gloria, to move into the first floor apartment of the Fillmore Street flat, rent-free.

This was the first time Inez met Glorria Shannon, a beautifully attired, overweight woman, the daughter of political cartoonist Homer Davenport.

During the four months the Shannons resided at the flat they discovered that their apartment was connected to Inez’s clinic above a “secret stairway”, accessed through a sliding door in the rear wall of a closet. Police later dubbed it the “getaway apartment.”

…To Be Continued…