Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Take Me Now God! Excerpt #5

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The Myths


My Ex was one of the Illuminati, the chosen ones given spiritual enlightenment. At least some of what they were given seemed to be enlightenment. Many people claim to be part of the group. Don’t believe them. They don’t know.

I’ve been hanging around them since long before she was born. Psychics. Channelers. Crystal Gazers. Bible Belters. (Yes, them too). Wiccans. Druids. Witches and warlocks. If but a fraction of them were truly connected to the Almighty as they claimed I’d of been saved long ago. But here I am, sinking in the cesspool of life. Doesn’t say much for what they told me.

Some seem more legit than others. She was. But the legit ones only attract the evil charlatans. They prey on each other, always looking for something to give people to believe. Control freaks. Think they control minds too. She was surrounded by the sharks from the minute she came out of the closet with her enlightenment.

Like a virgin at an orgy. Coveted. Lusted after. Innocent. That’s how I found her up in Canada. Made the mistake of coming between her and a misguided shaman interested in more than her visions. I always was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Didn’t think much of him at first. So I didn’t pay any attention. Just ignored everything he tried to say and do. Had no idea he was getting so upset with me. Then she showed up, with her husband in tow. That’s when I noticed the twisted shaman start to focus on her.

He was shrouding her in delusion. Like a sorcerer’s evil spell. She was vulnerable, and helpless against his power. I could sense her sinking into his control. And I still hadn’t even met her. I don’t like games like that, when people don’t know they are pawns. So I changed the game table.

Threw a few psychic moves of my own to block the twisted shaman. Two years later I’m still feeling the aftermath of enraging him and interrupting his seduction. The path from then till now is littered with shattered lives and broken dreams. That is the vindictive power of these creatures from hell. Of course, she says I’m one of them, I should know.

Rule number one. Never piss off a practioner of black magic. Vengeance consumes them. They destroy everything around you in order to break you. Take away everything you have. Plant seeds of suspicion and doubt. Undermine trust. Strip you of faith. That’s what happens when you cross a supposedly enlightened one.

Later I discovered he’d been stalking her from Mexico to Canada. Maybe through multiple lifetimes, depending on your awareness of truth. Innocence attracts evil. Light attracts dark. She was the main course for dinner and I switched the meal on him.

The Illuminati are a strange bunch. Hard to tell the difference between the brilliance of the Rapture and the brilliance of a nuclear explosion. Both bathe the world in blinding light. Either way you’re out of here. And either way the earth is better off without you.

We were at a traditional Indian gathering of Illuminati in Canada. I wasn’t one. Just there to record and film it. At the Algonquin Indian reservation. Indigenous people of peace. Of course, with most of the Algonquin tribe up there being Christian, I always wondered about that. Nothing traditional about Christian beliefs, not that I have anything against the Christians. They could judge and condemn as good as anyone.

Few weeks later saw her in Washington, DC, at an Indian prayer gathering. More traditional this time, if there is such a thing in the nation’s capitol. At least it was the place to go where prayer was most needed. Then the shaman appeared again. When he saw me there, quite unexpectedly I might add, he was furious.

Obviously I stood in the way of him and his golden prize, yet again. It was quite innocent on my part. I was there to meet with a former Russian spy. Doesn’t everyone do that? Stopped by the teepees in the shadow of the Washington Monument to hear a Hopi Indian speak. Wasn’t even sure she’d be there.

Years before I stood in the same place and looked out over the tents filling the shadows of the Washington Monument. It was Resurrection City, put up by the followers of Martin Luther King. Was there when he made the “I had a dream” speech. Friend of mine worked for him. Back when I had dreams too.

Shamans are strange creatures. They have power, but their intent guides it’s use. If they are pure hearts, the power is white magic. If they are two hearts, the power is black magic. Many can be both, using and misusing their power depending on their mood. Others remain always trapped in the blackness. That was her friend. But he shielded her from seeing the truth.

I would pay many times over for interfering with his evil work. In the end, he would win. His illusions were that strong, his will was that powerful, and his allies were that dark. Me, I was on my own. He was able to use the Illuminati against me. I never tried to use them. Guess I learned the hard way.

Yes, there is good and evil in all. Even the enlightened ones. Knew a Lakota Medicine Man once, several in fact. Did a few ceremonies with them. Then one went to jail for murdering his wife. After spending years healing people, he turned and killed.

The old man told me it was a lesson for me. Listen, very carefully, to all you hear. Observe, very carefully, all you see. But never be told what to believe. Take what rings true and discard the rest. Never believe it all. For we are all flawed in ways we don’t understand ourselves. Even the holiest among us is still human.

So I listen. I observe. I read. And I study. But I don’t necessarily believe. That comes later, after I’ve assembled and sorted enough information. And I never forgot the old man’s advice. Even the holiest among us is human. And all humans have egos.

The New Age of enlightened beings. The Illuminati. Often caught up in their own delusional hysteria. Demanding to be heard. Demanding to be followed. Judging others as they don’t want themselves judged. Know how to tell the difference between a fraudulent Illuminati and enlightened one? You can’t.


Who is this person I see
talking about things so precious to me
what makes them think that one moment in time
they’d know everything, find perfect rhyme

When it’s taken us centuries to lose what we knew
teaching and healing, and wisdom too
heartaches and pain they just don’t understand
like the God they destroyed who once ruled our land

Our children and grandchildren don’t speak our tongue
why don’t we see the harm that we’ve done
yet we dress in our beads, feathers, dream catchers too
and really don’t know what to do
Where are the elders the spiritual core
shamans and medicine people and more
eagles and hawks bringing wisdom to bear
words we’ve forgotten to hear, words we’ve forgotten to hear
What is it we think we know
if the spiritual leaders don’t know which way to go
what makes us think we know the way
when we don’t know how the Indians pray

We’ve taken their God and we’ve taken their land
taken their children, made them disband
stolen their hopes, given them fear
lost ancient wisdom for all of those years

So we think if we act and we dress like them too
it will heal all the centuries of heartache they knew
and we dress in our beads, feathers dream catchers too
and really don’t know what to do

Where are the elders the spiritual core
shamans and medicine people and more
eagles and hawks bringing wisdom to bear
words we’ve forgotten to hear, words we’ve forgotten to hear


Now here is an area where I have demonstrated under achievement. Love, the worst of all four letter words. But love got me to the end, so I might as well take a stab at it. If for no other reason than one last time I want to desecrate the meaning of it, as she says I have all my life.

This is what a shrink might say about me and love. You felt rejected as a child. Never got enough attention. Then, becoming enchanted by Shakespeare’s definition of love in his plays, had such an unrealistic standard of love, that it could never be achieved in your life. Love, to you, was an unending series of betrayals. Hell, even your hero King Arthur was betrayed in love by his beloved Guinevere and Lancelot.

Thus, I was incapable of understanding the meaning of love, incapable of feeling loved, and incapable of loving. And the shrink may be partly right. For years my definition of love shifted. From fairy tale idealism to brutal reality. I never really expected to find love. And I wasn’t disappointed.

There was grade school love. Only time I remember being in love in grade school was when I heard this cute, but diminutive 6th grader singing the song “Bells of St. Marys” in the school play. Didn’t matter what she looked like. I was in 8th grade anyway and would be gone the next year. But her voice was magical and that I fell in love with. Along with the guts it took her to perform in front of all those people. Funny how a lifelong interest in the performing arts starts with a 6th grader singing.

By high school I was falling in love at the drop of a hat, at least my version. Any reason was good enough for falling in love. Cute. Charming. Good legs. Better body. Nice tan. Fun loving. Older and mature. Smart. Well, maybe not smart. Even crazy. I was in love at least until the next day and I sobered up.

Love was a series of misfortunes and misadventures. Didn’t seem to be a lot of depth or substance. Didn’t seem necessary. It was always so shallow. But I was observing. The country club crowd and their rampant wife swapping. That was love? Rich kids seducing poor kids from the other side of the tracks. Greasers seducing nice girls with their macho act. Wannabe cheerleaders seducing players in a senseless game to win popularity votes. Everybody wanted something and were willing to give whatever they had to get it.

You might say I had a quite tainted idea of love by then. I looked for it everywhere and found it nowhere. Then came college, where I vowed to not be in love and wasn’t. Then marriage. Where I vowed to be in love and still wasn’t. No, love was not a key player in my life.

And then, after about 50 years, I began to question my own concept of love. Was it really about two people? Was it about sharing with each other, intimately, as in emotionally and physically? Was it about making love? I’d always had this notion that making love was a sacred act.

All those years reading the Bible and it never occurred to me when Jesus talked about love, it might mean something besides physical contact. So I studied the issue relentlessly, as I always did. Slowly a new picture of love began to emerge far removed from anything I ever thought about or studied before.

To this day it remains a mystery, but I think I made progress in understanding. It was never really about physical contact, or even the bond between two people. Yes, there can be a bond of love between two people. And yes, there is the sacred act of making love. There is even the love between parent and child, family and friends. But that is not the secret.

Love is not a state of mind. Love is a state of being. Love can not be allocated, it is. If you really love, you love everything and everyone. You recognize the life force in everything and love it for being here and available to you. You love the Mother Earth and sun as much as your mate. When you can love another’s child as much as your own child, you begin to live love. Until you live love completely, you don’t live at all.

When I first began to understand, I figured I was nuts. In the first place, I recognized my limitations in both knowledge and experience when it came to knowing about love. I’d only found it in books. Maybe a few movies. But not in reality. Still, I pondered the question as all good ponderers do. If you knew all the answers there wouldn’t be any questions. What fun is that?


Beautiful dreamer am I
though in my life I’m lonely and blue
when I look back on the road that I’ve traveled
I couldn’t find my way back to you

I guess I took the wrong crossroads one day
had so many choices to make
now I want to find my way home
I’m so tired of being alone

Was a fool I just couldn’t see
what you had in store what waited for me
didn’t know as I made my way
I walked down that path I drifted each day

Yet I walked in emptiness something was wrong
now I know that something was gone
and I longed to find it some day
I just didn’t know was the day I’d find you

Beautiful dreamer am I
though in my life I’m lonely and blue
when I look back on the road that I’ve traveled
I couldn’t find my way back to you

I guess I took the wrong crossroads one day
had so many choices to make
now I want to find my way home
I’m so tired of being alone

Now I pray please show me the way
help me to find my way on this day
cause I know I’m wasting my time
no joy can I find when I haven’t found you

And I’ll never be happy until I find you
cause there’s so many lessons to learn
and I’ll never walk by your side
until I can hear your words that are true
those words that I’m hearing from you

Beautiful dreamer am I
though in my life I’m lonely and blue
when I look back on the road that I’ve traveled
I couldn’t find my way back to you

I guess I took the wrong crossroads one day
had so many choices to make
now I want to find my way home
I’m so tired of being alone


There are a lot of interesting things in the spiritual world, but of all of them, the Rapture wins hands down. Think about it, the optimum lift off. The ultimate high. No more bills. No more taxes. The final transformation out of the 3rd dimension to something higher, we think. Though anything could be higher after seeing what I’ve seen.

Still, the Rapture is the stuff of legends. Has to be since no one has really been through it and come back to report. Read about a lot of people claiming to have been there, in near death experiences, or visions. Hell, even the Ex was there. She did the right thing though. Said 3rd dimension words couldn’t describe the feeling, the sight or the sound. Kind of gets one off the hook.

I know something about the Rapture most people don’t. Came to me like most of the ancient knowledge I get. Brain implants. No other way to explain them. One minute I know nothing about something, the next minute I understand everything about it. And I didn’t read a book, see a video, or learn from someone. Zap, it’s just there.

For the longest time I thought some kind of UFO implant was doing it. Long before it was popular I thought I’d been abducted. Was driving across southern Colorado one night on my way to Arizona. Thought I saw something unusual in the sky off toward the mountains. Took a harder look at the glowing object.

Next thing I knew an hour was gone and I was no more than a few miles down the road. First I thought it was LSD flashbacks from the ‘60’s. Then remembered I never took drugs. So whenever I got some new insight I’d blame it on the UFO abduction. Drove my dentists crazy over it. Every time I went in for a root canal or crown I told them to search for an alien implant. I needed the evidence. Figured it would get me on Fox TV.

But getting the Rapture information was different. I was studying the stuff, just recently, when it came to me. When I study I bury myself in information. Between bookstores, my library, and the internet, there isn’t much you can’t find out. So I got on a Rapture kick and wanted to know what it was all about.

I read an article about the Shroud of Turin, the one Christ was supposedly wrapped in when they took him down from the cross. Some scientists studying it said the image was as if his body had been on the cloth and it was bombarded by massive radiation, as in a nuclear explosion.

Now that got my attention. I studied nuclear stuff a lot. Part of my disaster training. I even got a license from the Atomic Energy Commission, that’s what they called it before the Department of Energy, a license to handle radioactive materials. I wanted to know what to expect if a nuclear reactor had a melt down or blew up. Also part of my disaster training.

Anyway, that report got me thinking. Maybe we were looking at the whole rising from the dead episode wrong. Maybe there was a higher meaning waiting to be found. Something completely different than what we thought. I explored option after option and came up empty handed. But I absorbed a ton of information and information has a way of rearranging itself once it gets into my head.

Think my brain is like a giant computer. I just absorb information. Don’t necessarily try to figure out what it means. That comes later. First I try to absorb anything and everything. Figure if I collect enough shit some sense will come of it. I dump all the stuff into a vat, stir it up, and out it comes with entirely different meanings.

That’s what happened with the Rapture. All that stuff just re-sorted and out came the answer. When I got it I knew I was on to something. Tried to explain it a couple of times and the people looked at me like I was nuts. Then I knew I was right. No one wants to hear the truth.

It goes like this. Second thought, I can’t explain it all yet. The explanation is another story and I don’t want to steal the plot prematurely. So let me just summarize it for now. The Rapture is what will happen to all souls. Every soul exists in all seven dimensions at once, at least the seven I have discovered. Three physical, one dream state, and three spiritual. One being Earth and the 3rd dimension.

To achieve Christ consciousness, the elusive goal of all new agers and Bible belters, you must merge all seven dimensions to create a new one, the magical eighth and final step in your spiritual evolution. Even Jesus said the end game would not be found in your heaven or the heaven beyond it. To merge, you must take your physical body with you. That’s why we have it made over the angels. That’s what Jesus did when he pulled off his version of the Rapture.

Of course when you’re done you may look like you’ve been through a nuclear reaction, kind of like I feel some mornings. Anyway, think about it. I’ll try to explain more later. At least now I know that the ancient wisdom that pops into my head every so often is not just from the UFO implant. That’s a relief.


Lord I hear you coming
you’re coming down that track
hear that locomotive pounding
come to take me back

You know I just ain’t ready yet
to take that final ride
I’ve been a sinner
and my sins I just can’t hide

Lord - amen - amen
please listen to my pleas
for I am just a lost soul
like a wandering sheep

Lord - amen - amen
I couldn’t see the light
wandered in the darkness
prowled the streets at night

Lord - amen - amen
once I was so bold
blinded by the glitter
tempted by the gold


Ever wonder about creation? I do all the time. Seems the Bible can account for about 12,000 years, back to the time of the big surf, or flood. The Hopi and Mayan Indian can account for another 250,000 years, including the mystical kingdom of Atlantis.

Dinosaurs are 60-200 million years old. The Grand Canyon is 2 billion years old. Earth 4 billion, while the universe as we know it is 26 billion years old. I figure that is more than enough time to accommodate just about every version of creation there can be.

Lots of things could have evolved and disappeared in 26 billion years. I like the Hopi idea that this is the fourth cycle of man, and we are at the end. Makes my departure a little less significant. Of course they say there will be a fifth cycle. Hope the Hopi don’t expect me back.

I have offered a lot of theories about creation over the years to anyone that will listen. There have been some constants in them. I do believe we are in the fourth cycle of civilization. I believe the first two cycles involved beings on this planet that were much more spiritual and connected to the Creator. Kind of like glimmering George Lucas creations out of Star Wars. Third was the Atlantians, whose technology was so advanced the whole damn thing self-destructed. This is the fourth, at least the end of it. Yet another round lost by the stupid humans.

Each time a new cycle began on Earth I believe higher spirits, angels, or whatever you want to call them, were sent here to help. So I guess we can blame them for the failures as well. Now I think they are back again to help with the Purification before the fifth cycle that is about to begin.

Only a fool would harbor the notion that we are alone in creation. Since I also buy the existence of parallel universes, or dimensions, then at a minimum we exist in numerous places simultaneously. Imagine that, each of us spread out all over the place. A dash in this dimension, a dash in that. There are some people I sure wish weren’t spread out. But who am I to question the wisdom of the All Omnipotent One.

One day I expect to find proof positive of prior civilizations, maybe from the time of Atlantis or Lemuria. Of course that depends on how soon God honors my request to be taken. I think the pyramid and sphinx are about 25,000 years old, at least the first time they were build. But other civilizations may be millions of years old.

And I’m not talking about civilizations that were inhabited by ape men or any such nonsense, but evolved humans. That is, if you accept the highly suspect theory that we are indeed advanced creatures. Judging from our history that might be a stretch. And watching some of the Neanderthals I’ve known, we may well be in evolutionary reverse speed.

I think the only reason we were given a brain and free will is because God knew better than to give it to any other creatures. He figured they’d watch us for a while and see how bad we screwed things up. So most of the attention of the angels has been on saving everything else from us.

Man is a strange creature. There is only one animal species that is a natural killer for the sake of killing, besides man, and that is the domestic cat. Not even the wild lions and tigers kill for the sake of killing. Only the cat raised under the direct influence of man.

I read a story about how a single cat outdoors can kill 1600 songbirds every 18 months. No wonder there is so little song left in the world. Doesn’t matter if you feed the cat, they aren’t killing the birds for food but pleasure. Why is that? We can train some dogs to do that but it doesn’t come natural to them.

I suspect there are a lot of species of animals, birds and fish that would just as soon see the human race die out again. Who can blame them? We take, we possess, we destroy, all in the name of God and country. Some evolved civilization.

And then there is poor Mother Earth. No wonder she is throwing earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and typhoons at us at a record pace. We have ripped everything we can from the Earth. Then we poison the air and water. We genetically manipulate the food, not to mention the animals and soon humans. Is nothing sacred anymore?

I’m with the Hopi. We have gone too far again. It is high time for the Purification because if the Almighty doesn’t stop us we will destroy everything. At least leave something of the Earth behind for someone else to try and get it right.


When the daylight has begun
darkness has been lost to the morning sun
that rises in the sky to the east
I don’t know why

Stars that fade from night
stars that remind me of the ones
who gave their life a life that didn’t count
still I don’t know why

And if I ever find the answer
to the mysteries that I see
perhaps the truth will help me face
what waits out there for me

For I know there’s a reason
for the things we do and say
and if I keep on searching
I will find it ‘long the way

So I will keep on living
‘till I reach the day

When the night returns again
I lie awake and wonder
when it’s going to end this life I live
what is it I am supposed to give

Lonely people walk the night
I guess I wonder if they know
the end’s in sight an end that haunts them
they don’t know the end will lead them to the light

And if I ever find the answer
to the mysteries that I see
perhaps the truth will help me face
what waits out there for me

For I know there’s a reason
for the things we do and say
and if I keep on searching
I will find it ‘long the way

So I will keep on living
‘till I reach the day


Within Mother Earth, according to folk legend, there are magical little people called the Elementals, those soulless creatures assigned to protect the water, forests, lands, and fire of the earth. That’s where stories about the fairies, elves, and all the other strange little critters come from. Folk tales they tell us.

No phony folk stuff to them. I believe in them. You should too if you don’t. If you can escape the ravages of modern society and get yourself out in the virgin country you can even sense them. They wait, and observe. Quietly they go about their business of cleaning up our messes.

Someone must be responsible for protecting the Earth in the third dimension. Look at us, we have all kinds of protectors, overseers, angels, aliens and demons. Seems only right the trees, rocks, air, water and land would have them too.

People have been seeing them and writing about them for centuries, important people too. Yet we still try not to believe. How arrogant of us. I see a life force in everything in this planet. There is an energy that makes it, an energy that preserves it. Whether it is the Earth or the wind, there is a life force that guides everything. When will we wake up?


A seed so tiny that is planted
in the ground where we can’t see
somehow survives the cold of winter
that can break a man like me

The pounding rains of spring can’t wash away
the seed as it does grow
and in the autumn as it sheds it’s leaves
to sleep again it goes

That tiny seed becomes a giant oak
and spreads it’s mighty wings
as it forever reaches upward
to the clouds and higher things

I find it funny as we contemplate
we sit and wonder why
we never noticed as that seed
became a tree and reached the sky

A grain of sand is blowing cross the highway
right in front of me
I never stopped to think about it
and from where it just might be

Is it a fragment of the ages
with the wisdom of all time
was it once part of a mountain
that performed in perfect rhyme

That tiny grain of sand was once part
of a mighty mountain peak
reaching high above the clouds
up where the eagles dared to seek

Ain’t it funny as we go our way
we never wondered why
that tiny grain of sand is
much stronger than I

A gentle wind whispers so softly
as it rustles through the trees
yet it can change into a hurricane
from a gentle breeze

The winds don’t ever get to rest
they keep on blowing through the years
sometimes I just don’t understand it
how the winds can cause such fears

That breeze that pushes back your hair
with such a warm and gentle touch
can turn into an angry storm
that drives the pounding rains too much

I guess I never stopped to wonder
if the winds are right or wrong
just can’t imagine what we’d have
if they were gone


As a reporter, I thought I knew research techniques. Spent years developing the discipline and resources to be able to find out anything. Made me invaluable in Congress or the White House. No matter what came up, they knew within hours I could find out and craft an appropriate response to any issue.

And my investigative techniques and corresponding results generated minor folk tales. Like the time I found out all the bridges were being raised on the interstate highway system so the military could move these giant missile launchers around the country to avoid detection by the Russians.

But I confess, my techniques paled in comparison to those of my older brother. After all, he was a gatekeeper to the next dimension. Told me so himself. If you needed a ticket to the ascension, he was the ticketmaster. Took him years to find the right master to sell tickets for, then the ancient knowledge flowed like the Mississippi River in spring run-off.

There were two sources for his accelerated spiritual evolution. One was the channeled entity, Sammy, the Mecca of all things and speech writer for God. Sometimes it was hard to tell whether God or Sammy was in charge. Nixon felt the same way I guess about his speech writers, and look what happened.

Source number two was the secret depository of all spiritual insights. The movies, as in Hollywood and motion pictures. In the world according to Michael, sometimes it seemed the value of information was in direct proportion to the box office draw at the movie theater. Ratings equaled truth. Dollars made sense.

Powder, Where Dreams Are Made, Michael, Sixth Sense, and Dogma were among the most significant insights ever shared with humans, according to the latest revelations from my brother. It was obvious from their ticket sales. Why didn’t I think of that? Such movies were made to condition humans for what was to come.

Same was true with movies like the Star Wars Trilogy, ET, Close Encounters, and the rest. And who could question that conclusion? Made sense to me. What better way to gain acceptance for a new idea than to slap it on the big screen and show it to the billions of spiritually evolved people one finds in movie theaters. Always wondered why they were there.

Those movies that mastered the game of merchandising made an even greater impact on humanity with all the additional revenue they generated. Still, I am not certain about his movie methods. Imagine some point far into the future when archaeologists are exploring the ancient remains of our civilization. If they believe the mystical movie theory they will have concluded the human race of the 20th century was destroyed by genetic mutants in the form of Purple Barney Monsters and Talking Kermit Frogs.


Why are we here what should we know
up on the stage on with the show
so many questions still on my mind
where are the answers so little time
when will my journey end
what waits beyond the next bend

Why do I feel so lonely
why do I feel so alone
and why do I wonder
why should I care

Once upon a time I was foolish
now I can’t find my way home

First came act one, childhood was fun
seemed I just started then it was done
I was awakened sent on my way
left on my own to face the day

Couldn’t tell if I was strong
was too young to know right from wrong

Then came act two out on my own
a tree with no roots a kid with no home
I knew it all I was so cool
I was so blind, I was life’s fool

The lessons came oh so fast
I’m reminded with scars from the past

Why do I feel so lonely
why do I feel so alone
and why do I wonder
why should I care

Once upon a time I was foolish
now I can’t find my way home

Monday, June 29, 2009

Joe Orlando - Fenwick Street Used Books & Music - Leonardtown


Joe's Place - Where Time Stands Still

Another of our great finds in the Leonardtown area is the Fenwick Street Used Books & Music Emporium and proprietor Joe Orlando, who just might be Tony Orlando's brother but he isn't. You see the funky, eclectic, jam packed store with books, records, movies and who knows what else might be under the stacks piled all over the place, is a mere reflection of the eccentric owner.

To get there you find your way to the old Leonardtown town square, turn left at the Cafe des Artistes, a wonderful French Cafe, and turn right where the carts of books are out front blocking the sidewalk with the super specials of the day. At this point you have no idea if you have entered the bohemian Left Bank of Paris or just followed the white rabbit down the hole to Alice's Wonderland.

Joe the Used Book Proprietor

Searching through the stacks of books and things is a great way to spend the day in Leonardtown because there isn't a whole lot else to do most days. Somewhere in there you can find all the classics, even first editions, if you are patient or ask Joe for help. He knows where everything is in that most unusual store. If he doesn't have it this computer savvy bohemian can find it on the Internet as he scours the private libraries and collections from around the world.

Joe the Reverend

Then again he should be able to help you because he is also an ordained or certified Reverend who can even design custom weddings for you. Now that is a class act. You can get a great deal on some old book and get married while you are there although most of his weddings are performed in much more intriguing locations like in boats, on islands, in the water or whatever you want.

Joe the Choreographer

Still that is not all in terms of service diversity that Joe has to offer for he is also a world class dance choreographer who has staged shows throughout the nation and taught at the most prestigious dance schools in the country. So now you can buy an old book, get married and have a dance choreographed for your bridesmaids and grooms men, maybe even the entire wedding party and family.

Joe the Jazz Guitarist

You think that is all? This throwback to Shakespearean days does it all for he can also provide the music with his jazz guitar playing and he can bring along the gang he jams with whenever he isn't selling books, choreographing the wedding and doing the marrying.

Joe the Community Organizer

Now if Obama knew what he was doing he would have been using Joe as an example of someone who unselfishly devotes many hours to helping his community of Leonardtown get out of the dark ages with promotional events nearly every week that bring live entertainment to stores and the town square. I get so many notices of events I am convinced his restless mind has designed an event for every conceivable possibility from the 4th of July to his mother-in-law's birthday and she isn't even from Maryland.

Joe the Husband

If you think he is cool you should meet his wife Joanna, the Spanish teacher in our local college. Put them together and you have an exhibit for the Smithsonian of the more sophisticated bohemian couple of the "70's, hippy couple from the '60's, or beatnik of the "50's, but computer literate, educated, artistic, savvy and deboner. Not what you might expect to find in the shadows of our nation's capitol where time stopped long ago and most residents are probably in the witness protection program. Down in Southern Maryland, St. Mary's County we measure history in four centuries.

Joe and Joanna got here the long way making the circuit from the Big Apple to the rain forest of South America, from dancing in the likes of Carnegie Hall to the wide open prairies of Texas. I could go on and on but I think you have enough talking points to strike up a conversation with Joe next time you are in Leonardtown.

Fenwick Used Books is the top St. Mary's County archeological site and you can really dig it so bring a shovel and time to converse because behind the stacks is Joe who can quote Plato, dance like Fred Astaire, preach like Billy Graham and still have time to help his community. A Proprietor, Preacher, Philosopher, Poet, Picker, and Prophet, Joe's book store is a must see stop on your journey back through time.

The Glastonbury, England Music Festival


With America being the site of the original monster concert at Woodstock way back in 1969 it seems ironic that two of the most successful festivals in the world are in the UK, not America. Fact is this August is the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and there are no super festivals in America.

In Glastonbury, west of London there is the recently concluded Glastonbury Festival featuring the top national and international music acts in the world where up to 250,000 converge for a weekend with music and dancing the dominant programs. This is the Glastonbury close to Stonehenge and the center of the King Arthur stories of ancient England. Twice I have traveled to Glastonbury doing research on ancient sites and Druids and King Arthur and it was a most enjoyable journey.

The other festival is the concurrent undertaking of 12 different festivals in Edinburgh, Scotland during August in which up to 2.5 million people attend the month long celebration of the arts. Many are performing arts festivals but music is not a major focus.

I've also made a couple of trips to Scotland and was able to help a friend, Max McClain, get his one man show on the Bible approved by the Scottish review groups and performed by him at the festival. This was shortly before we also got his show on Broadway, the real NYC Broadway, where it was the first performance of a Book of the Bible by one person in Broadway history.

I must say the marquee on Broadway showing Max performing the Books of Mark, Revelations and Psalms turned a few heads in the Big Apple and when he did it all from memory they were stunned. My production company also recorded a 16 CD digital recording of the New Testament with Max, another first. But then Max graduated from the Royal Shakespeare Company in England so he was a top talent.

The following is a report prepared by the Britain Express Travel and Tourism Office about the ancient sites in Glastonbury.

Legends of Glastonbury

There may be no other location in the British Isles with quite so many mystical legends and spiritual speculation attached to it as this ancient market town. Part of the mystique is a result of geography; the striking shape of Glastonbury Tor which rises above the nearby Somerset Levels like a beacon, topped with its solitary medieval tower, is a striking landmark, visible for miles in all directions. To see the Tor rising above the mists that cover the Levels in the early morning is a visual treat.

It is hard to imagine it today, but hundreds of years ago Glastonbury was an island; the sea covered the Somerset Levels, creating a world of marshes and small hillocks that rose above the water level. The largest of the hills was that upon which Glastonbury was founded. According to which myth you believe, Glastonbury was founded by St Patrick, or, even earlier, by Joseph of Arimathea, who was granted land here by a local king. The tale goes that Joseph brought with him the Holy Grail, which was buried with him in a secret place when he died, and there it waits to be discovered.

Also waiting is King Arthur who, if the legends are to be believed, is buried with his queen, Guinivere, in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. The Abbey is located off Magdalene Street, and offers lovely grounds with excellent views of the Tor. In the Abbey grounds is the Abbot's Kitchen, a strking medieval building that survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries largely unscathed.

On the High Street are two buildings of note; the Tribunal, which now houses the local Tourist Information Centre, and the George Hotel. The latter was built to act as accommodation for pilgrims during the Middle Ages. From the High Street a town walking trail is laid out, with plaques at points of interest along the way. A short walk leads to the Somerset Rural Life Museum, which is housed in a huge stone building that was once a barn for Glastonbury Abbey. The size of the barn gives some clue to the prosperity of the Abbey during the medieval period.

If you continue on past the Rural Life Museum you will soon reach Chalice Well, at the base of the Tor. This peaceful oasis of gardens and winding paths is owned by a private trust. There is, naturally, a legend associated with the Chalice Well. The waters of the well have a distinct reddish tinge, and the story goes that this red colour is the blood of Christ. The scientific explanation is that the water has a high iron content, and it is this that accounts for the colouring. Many people bring containers to fill from the waters of the Well.

A few yards from the Chalice Well a public footpath leads up Glastonbury Tor, which has long been identified as the mystical Isle of Avalon, where King Arthur was said to have been taken to rest until his country needed him. As you ascend you can clearly see the signs of medieval terracing; ledges cut into the slopes of the Tor. One legend says that the terracing forms a spiral to the summit, or a maze, which, if you follow it consciously to the top, will act as a source of spiritual inspiration. At the top of the Tor is St. Michael's Tower, all that remains of a medieval chapel on this spot. The views are truly wonderful; if the weather is clear the Mendips are easily visible, as are the towers of Wells Cathedral a few miles away, and further to the west the expanse of Exmoor National Park.

If you have the time, walk out onto the Somerset Levels to get a really good view of the Tor. For an equally striking view, visit Wearyall Hill (see photo below) on the southwest outskirts of Glastonbury. Here you will see a thorn tree, said to mark the spot where Joseph of Arimathea came ashore on his arrival in Glastonbury. The current thorn often has offerings hanging from its branches, the contribution of modern pilgrims.

Joseph of Arimathea

Joseph was the Biblical figure who took Jesus' body after the crucifixion. According to some legends he was actually Jesus' uncle, and had visited Britain years before with Jesus in the pursuit of his interests in the tin trade. It appears that there actually was a strong Jewish presence in the west of England at that time, and many of the tin miners may have been Jewish settlers.

At any rate, when Jesus died, Joseph thought it prudent to flee Palestine, and after many travails he came to Britain with a company of followers. He brought with him the Holy Grail, the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Some versions of the legend have it that the Grail contained two drops of blood captured from Jesus' side when he was wounded on the cross.

When Joseph came to Britain he was granted land at Glastonbury by the local king. When he arrived at Glastonbury, Joseph stuck his thorn staff in the earth, whereupon it rooted and burst into bloom. A cutting from that first tree was planted in the grounds of the later Glastonbury Abbey, where it continued to bloom every year thereafter at Christmas time. There is still a thorn tree in the Abbey grounds, of a variety native to the Holy Lands, and it does indeed bloom around Christmas time.

Joseph was said to have established the first church in England at Glastonbury, and archaeological records show that there may well have been an extremely early Christian church here. What happened to the Holy Grail is another matter. Some legends have it that Joseph buried the Grail at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, whereupon a spring of blood gushed forth from the ground.

There is a well at the base of the Tor, Chalice Well, and the water that issues from it does indeed have a reddish tinge to it, from the iron content of the water.

Other legends have it that the Holy Grail was interred with Joseph when he died, in a secret grave. The search for the mysterious Grail emerges again and again in the tales of Glastonbury.

Further legends tell that the church founded by Joseph continued for many years. Eventually it became a monastery, and one of the first abbots was the future St Patrick, who was born in the west country.

King Arthur and Glastonbury

Legends of King Arthur swirl about Glastonbury like a tantalizing fog from the nearby Somerset marshes. The nearby hill fort at South Cadbury has long been suggested as the location for Camelot. Indeed, excavations of South Cadbury suggest that it was in use during the early 6th century, which is the likeliest era for the real Arthur to have lived.

The association of Arthur and Glastonbury goes back at least to the early Middle Ages. In the late 12th century the monks of Glastonbury Abbey announced that they had found the grave of Arthur and Guinivere, his queen. According to the monks, an excavation found a stone inscribed "Here lies Arthur, king." Below the stone they found the bones of a large man, and the smaller skeleton of a woman. The monks reburied the bones in the grounds of the abbey, where they were a very handy draw for pilgrims. The site of the grave can be seen today in the abbey grounds.

Glastonbury Tor, the enigmatic conical hill that rises above Glastonbury, has been linked with the Isle of Avalon, where King Arthur was buried after his death. This isn't so farfetched as it may sound, for a millennium ago the water level was much higher, and the tor would indeed have been an island. Avalon was also called "the isle of glass" which does suggest similarities to the name "Glastonbury".

The Holy Grail, the object of Arthur's questing, is said to be buried beneath Glastonbury Tor, and has also been linked to Chalice Well at the base of the Tor.

One final myth of Arthur at Glastonbury: the landscape around Glastonbury is said to have been moulded and shaped so that the features (such as roads, churches, and burial mounds) create a zodiac calendar replete with Arthurian symbology. Like so many of the Arthurian myths, so much is open to interpretation and your own predisposition to believe or disbelieve.

Madoff "Extraordinarily Evil" Says Judge - 150 Years In Jail

Bernie Madoff, the former darling of Wall Street, Palm Beach and the Hamptons got the book thrown at him today when the Judge ordered a 150 year sentence for fraud as nearly $15 billion was stolen from thousands of unsuspecting investors and their pension funds.

In passing sentence the Judge called Madoff "Extraordinarily Evil" when sentencing him with each year being equal to about $100 million he stole. His failure to help authorities investigating the crime and silence about the action of his wife and kids who were employed by his corrupt firm did not help him.

In fact his wife just agreed to turn over about $88 million to the prosecuting team, a sample of what might still be out there. For more information contact any of the media as they have nothing better to do than to cover old Bernie.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bruce Willis Blew Up My Studio in Die Hard 3

Back when Die Hard 3 was being filmed in New York City the opening of the film showed the explosion in Manhattan pictured above. Now this is a bit of movie trivia you will only hear in the Coltons Point Times.

On the 2nd floor of the building you see pictured in the center of the building was a post production film studio which I helped a friend of mine build, Chuck Hammer. Now Chuck was a former lead guitarist of a band of students from Syracuse University that went by the name the Lou Reed band. He then moved on to play lead for David Bowie before embarking on the audio and then video studio.

We built the studio for a National Geographic television project called Really Wild Animals and I was proud to say the television series earned 5 Emmy nominations and won one Emmy. It also became a multi-million dollar seller for National Geographic.

While we were producing the show the Die Hard boys needed a street front to blow up and we were located on Avenue of the Americas at 20th and 6th Avenue, an ideal location. Unbeknownst to us and even the building owner the Die Hard gang paid the building manager about $50,000 or something like that for the right to stage the expolsion out front one weeekend.

The next Monday our staff reported for work and the studio looked like an earthquake hit. Windows were blown out, equipment was strewn all over the floor and the place was a mess. Seems as if the pyrotechnic people underestimated the size of the explosion and it almost wiped out the entire building.

When the building owner found out they fired the manager who had pocketed the money and paid out several hundred thousand dollars for damages caused by the explosion that no one knew would happen. Life in the Big Apple was always filled with strange surprises.

Balbi Meyers - Spanish Artist and Actress - Our Homespun Spinner of Fine Jewelry

Art In Wire - Leonardtown

We don't allow ads in the Coltons Point Times so occasionally we venture out of the safety of the infamous 7th District in Maryland to check out the rest of the world. The nearest town of any substance is Leonardtown also in St. Mary's County, about 20 minutes down the road, and in this quiet and ancient town you can find Spanish transplant Balbi (short for Balbina) Meyers just off the square.

She is proprietor of the Art in Wire shop and is one of the finest custom, one-of-a-kind jewelry artists in America. Before talking about her collectible pieces let me first give you a thumbnail sketch of this fascinating personality who was born in Switzerland to Spanish parents who then moved back to southern Spain where she was raised.

When you think of Spanish women, especially actresses, you see images of fiery flamingo dancers and beautiful heartthrobs who can dominate a movie and light up a crowd. Balbi is no exception. She got her start roller skating in a giant supermarket in Spain handling customer service calls from cashiers for price checks and whatever else might come up. These European stores make Super Walmart stores look small so the skates were necessary for the assistants to get around in a timely fashion.

It was in the store where she met an American Navy man who became enchanted by her personality, looks and dreams at age 19 and not long after they were married. She worked her way into the Spanish Tourism office where she became quite gifted in developing unique events to attract the tourists of the world. It was this knack for marketing that served her well when she arrived in America with her husband and son.

She also dabbled in dancing and acting and was cast in a Bruce Willis Die Hard movie where she appeared on film next to our favorite New Jersey tough guy, after Jack Nicholson that is, in the action packed final scenes of the movie. So it was a small part, have you ever acted in a Bruce Willis hit movie?

Somewhere along the way Balbi got interested in gold, silver and precious stones and decided she didn't like what she found in the exclusive stores in the USA and decided to design and make her own line of jewelry. As with everything she does, she jumped in feet first and promptly began scouring precious stone dealer shows around the country and then decided she needed to go and work the mines to see where the stones were found. Imagine her with a hard hat, hammer and chisel deep down in the bowels of the Earth in search of the perfect stones for her new line of jewelry.

In time she became exceptionally talented in the art of wire weaving gold and silver with her many precious stones, and the necklaces, bracelets, ear rings and ensembles she designs and makes that are stunning, dazzling, intricate, and fit for a queen. This is not the cheap craft shop junk but pieces you expect to find in Tiffany's or Neiman Marcus on 5th Avenue in NYC and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Soon enough Tiffany will discover her and suddenly her unique pieces will become the rage of Paris, Hollywood and London and we will never be able to afford them again but for the moment she is working away in Leonardtown and the prices are incredibly reasonable so my advice is invest in her jewelry now as family heirlooms are not easy to come by.

She has the perfect gifts for Mother's Day, Christmas, birthdays or whatever for the mother, wife, daughter or girlfriend you want to really impress. People even order their own custom work by her and get to pick out the stones from her vast collection.

Wire working is an art form that can never be replaced by machines and you owe it to yourself to check out this most unusual find right here in St. Mary's County, Maryland. You can even find her online if you are too far away to stop in at http://artinwirejewelry.com.

Do your patriotic part to get the world out of a recession by dropping a few hundred at the Art in Wire shop while acquiring for yourself or loved one a virtual classic piece of jewelry. Look for Balbi at the Drury Building, 41625 Park Avenue in downtown Leonardtown. Call her at 240-538-4571 or email http://artinwirejewelry.com and you will not be disappointed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett - With Elvis On the Road to Kingdom Come

Three stars who helped distract the world during the turbulent 1960's and 1970's with Viet Nam and Watergate, the worst economy since the Great depression and a world caught up in turmoil. Each was born in three consecutive decades, Elvis in the '30's, Farah in the '40's and Michael in the "50's. Each helped America to get through one of the toughest periods in our history.

In the 1970's the three converged on the American conscience and there was the passing of the baton from the first King of Rock 'n Roll Elvis, to the new King of Pop Michael. At the same time there was the emergence of the beautiful young woman from Texas, Farah Fawcett with her million dollar smile.

History often works in threes and between the Bicentennial celebration of America in 1976 and 1979 these three all helped turn around a nation. In 1976 Farah Fawcett was introduced to the world in the television classic Charlie's Angels. That year Life Magazine published the Farah swimsuit pose in this article which became the best selling poster in history with over 12 million sold.

It was also the year the Jackson 5 left Motown Records over artistic differences and that Michael began his separation from his brothers with his solo career. In 1977 Elvis died suddenly at age 42. The crown of King of Rock 'n Roll was vacant for the first time. Michael stepped into the void as the new record label gave him artistic control and first The Wall, in 1979, followed by Thriller in 1982 firmly established him as the King of Pop.

The Wall was the first album to have four songs in the Billboard Top Ten. Thriller set a new standard for success that has never been matched since with seven Top Ten hits and over 109 million album sales and there was no longer any doubt he had inherited the title of King.

In time there would be an even stronger tie between the first and reigning Kings of Rock 'n Roll as Jackson would marry Elvis's only daughter Lisa Marie who helped him through some of his darkest hours. Even after their divorce she remained a good friend.

In death we have a tendency to make people bigger than life, as we let adoration and sorrow not to mention the news media make up stuff about them that never was true and that had nothing to do with their real contributions to the entertainment industry. Michael Jackson did not bring down the walls of racism in music any more than Elvis was responsible for the edgy and provocative direction Rock 'n Roll first took.

Here are a few undisputed facts. In pop and rock music only the Beatles and Elvis have sold over 1 billion records. The Beatles said Elvis was one of the strongest influences on their music. Jackson was close behind as he was approaching a billion in records sold. Ironically, any hope for a Beatles reunion vanished in 1980, between Jackson's release of The Wall and Thriller when Lennon was gunned down in NYC.

Elvis, Michael and even John Lennon were revolutionaries in the music industry as they achieved levels of artistic control never before achieved by artists. Elvis and Michael were benefactors and probably victims of strong managers and handlers who kept them isolated from the world and probably drove them to death with abusive quantities of prescription drugs. Both only wanted to keep their fans happy and seemed to tire of the demands on them to "stay on top".

They were both generous to a fault. Both had strong fathers but managed to isolate themselves from them as their careers unfolded. Michael was never able to experience a childhood as he was performing from the time he was 6 years old and it seemed he spent the rest of his life trying to capture what he had been denied.

Abusive parents were replaced by abusive managers but the music never stopped. Both introduced electrifying dance routines to their performances. Both elevated the choreography and staging of concerts to levels never before seen. Their performances became events, their endurance legendary. But in time both would physically breakdown because of the incessant pressure to be number one. Both were kept from contact with people. Both became trapped in their own creations of Graceland and Neverland.

If adversity built success, super stardom came from the heart and soul of the entertainers doing what they do best, performing before their adoring legions of fans. On stage they created magic. They never got enough of concerts and touring and never stopped trying to increase their contact with fans. But alas they were never able to break free of the incredible parasites who surrounded them and viewed them as a commodity and meal ticket.

What they gave us need not be bigger than life because it was hope, inspiration and knowledge that here was someone who made it, their way, and who left a legacy of their body of work that will survive the ages. Honor them for what they gave, not who they were. Two shy kids from poor backgrounds and struggling towns became King of the world of music and set the standard for success for all time.

Let us hope now that Michael and Farah have joined Elvis on the Road to Kingdom Come and in that Kingdom they find what they never had in life, the peace and love they so richly deserve. They have touched the world and we all owe them a debt of gratitude for what they have done.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Independents Dominate the Landscape - But No One is Listening in Washington

In the past two months a fascinating phenomena has quietly taken place that could change the future of politics in America. For the first time the number of people claiming to be Independents has surpassed the total number of members of both the Democrat and Republican parties. If the political bosses of the two parties are paying attention then they better be preparing for an early retirement, their stranglehold on the political system and the government may be coming to an end.

So what if the Independents outnumber the Elephants and Donkeys? Well in simple words it means that nearly 40% of our voters have rejected the policies, programs and candidates of the two party system. It also means this huge voting block reflects the disenfranchised voters of America, the one group of our citizens subject to taxation without representation.

You see just 32 states allow registered Independents to vote in the primary election for federal offices, meaning for those of you who slept during American History class that means 18 states do not allow Independents to vote in the primary. Several are rather large states banning the Independent vote.

Now some enterprising Independents have formed a bunch of Independent political parties in order to get on the ballot but the states, thanks to the pressure from the two reigning political parties have made the rules so difficult it is hard to accomplish. Even with his millions of dollars Ross Perot, without a doubt the most successful Independent candidate in the 20th century, still was not on all ballots.

Ross did what he had to do and in spite of the efforts of the two parties to crush him he still got 19% of the vote and cost Bush senior the election with Clinton winning by far less than Perot took away from both party candidates. More on Mr. Perot later as I intend to report on my years as a media advisor to Ross Perot and the things he was doing for people behind the scenes.

Why are states forcing Independents to set up their own political party when they are Independents because they are fed up with the political parties that exist? They don't want their own party, there is all ready to much politics in America. They just want the right to vote for candidates from either party or any of the many minor parties like the Green Movement, etc. in the primary and general elections.

Who gave the Democrats and Republicans the right to dictate who we can choose from on the ballot? In many cases the parties are protecting the worst candidates and the parties have demonstrated that their primary purpose is to protect the political system that is corrupt to the bone. If America is the land of the free then why do the political parties get to screen and virtually dictate who we can vote for in the elections?

As America has matured and both parties have demonstrated an equal zeal to promote greed and corruption the difference between the Democrats and Republicans has vanished. Oh it may be that most liberals are Democrats and most conservatives are Republicans but there are liberals, conservatives and moderates in both parties.

It may be that the party and presidential candidate have a platform to run on but as every winner the past century including the most recent candidate of change Barack Obama have demonstrated, once they win nothing really changes. Both parties are addicted to campaign money, both try to control government policy and in the end the rich still get richer while the middle class is left holding the bag. There will never be effective and honest campaign reform as long as the two parties control the candidates for president, the House and the Senate..

It is time someone sensible in our nation's capitol step up and give all the voters rights. It is time we recognize that control of the government is not the right of the political parties but the people. It is time we pay attention to what got us into this mess n the first place, taxation without representation, greed and a healthy dose of corruption.

I don't remember reading anything about the power or role of the Democrat or Republican parties in our Declaration of Independence or Constitution. There were no guarantees that they should be allowed to control our national policy nor pick our candidates. Fact is they weren't even in existence when our Founding Fathers were debating our future.

I believe both parties should have a voice in national politics, the same voice as the people. Right now only the political machines are heard. Someone in Washington should clean up the mess. For the first 100 years third parties were essential to our success as our forefathers knew there was an inherent danger in allowing political control to be concentrated in a couple of parties.

It was a system that worked quite well. Then came the party bosses who tapped the money and found out how financially rewarding control could become if only they could force the public to pick between two stooges. Occasionally we get good presidents. But there are a lot more good people that could be helping out the country but they will never get the chance because they do not have the backing of the political parties, unions, Wall Street or the money managers, all who conspire to preserve the status quo.

Mr. Obama, you promised changes. Actually you promised a whole lot of things but we know you were just kidding on most of them. You knew you could never deliver. Like guaranteeing no one making under $250,000 will not get a tax increase. But we understand little political lies, we have been conditioned over the years. Maybe you would like to champion the one change that will benefit us for all time, get rid of the two party control of the American political system. The time is now!

Take Me Now God! - Excerpt #4

[Authors note: For those of you following this story I have tried to simplify it. If you just started there is a series of excerpts and if you want to start at the beginning just copy and paste the following links. Note that this release is now Excerpt 1 as it was the preface but left out of the earlier releases. Have fun with the preface which is titled the Postmortem.]

Take Me Now God! Review
What a Novel Idea

Take Me Now God! Excerpt #1

Take Me Now God! Excerpt #2

Take Me Now God! Excerpt #3
Terminator Comet

(An Unauthorized Autobiography)

Copyright 2009 jiM PuTnaM

Excerpt #4


About 25 years ago I found out for the first time that I was worldly. Sounded good to me. Like a jet setter of sorts. Man of the world. Then I found out what it meant. Took a legion of Jehovah’s Witnesses to finally get through to me. I mean I was brainwashed as a Catholic since birth. Deprogramming takes some time.

I smoked. I drank. I danced. I swore. I fought. I believe in the country. I paid taxes. I liked holidays. And by doing some or all of the above I had somehow rejected God and was condemned to be stuck here in hell for eternity. It meant I was lost to the material world, forever banished to drift aimlessly in an endless sea of darkness and never see the light of the spiritual kingdom, or some such illuminating thought.

Learned that from the Watchtower, the National Enquirer of the Witness Kingdom. The only magazine with bigger distribution than Reader’s Digest. Back when I was still in intensive brainwashing I was told the Jehovah’s Witnesses, plus the Christian Scientists, Mormons, and about every other group that was not Catholic, was a cult.

That’s all it took to get me interested in finding out more. So I made it a habit to study all kinds of religions all my life. Ever wonder who in the world would let the door-to-door Jesus people in their house? I confess, it was me. Course I debated them as much as I debated the nuns and priests. Except the Witnesses never tried to exorcise me like my own did. I was always good for their witness quota if not salvation.

Of all the groups I studied I was most fascinated by the Mormons and Witnesses. The Mormons because of their commitment to the nation, the Witnesses because of their opposition to the nation. Then I found a lot of similarity between the Witnesses and the Hopi Indian. Lost tribes seem to have a lot in common.

Neither recognized the authority of the federal government. And while the Hopi were making their last stand in the desolation of the Arizona desert, the Witnesses were making their last stand in the desolation of Brooklyn. Besides, the Hopi had their ancient prophecies and the Witnesses had their Michael Jackson.

When I was a kid I always wanted to be a monk. Think the Witnesses reminded me of monks. After giving up all they had to give up, might as well be in a cloistered order in the mountains somewhere.

Two main things intrigued me about the Witnesses. First was their refusal to take blood transfusions for any reason. Second was the legendary ways they could beat the government out of taxes, OOPS, cancel that. I mean second was the importance of the 144,000 soldiers of God mentioned in Revelations.

Until I talked to the Witnesses, I never realized all 144,000 of God’s chosen would be Witnesses. Didn’t say much for the other 99% of the population, or the Pope. Of course they never could explain to me how there were only 144,000 of God’s chosen yet there were several million Witnesses. What happens to the rest of the righteous ones? Dinner for the seven-headed dragon I suspect.

Spent over a year in California living with Witnesses. Not in a commune or anything, they were fairly normal in living arrangements. But I went to the temple and debated with the elders for all hours of the day and night. They asked me for insights into all the other religions I had studied, and I asked them for tax tips.

Then one day my mission became clear. There had to be some reason for living with Witnesses for over a year, all the while subjecting myself to being branded a “worldly” person. I had been fascinated for quite some time with their refusal to take blood on biblical grounds. I could respect the position as well as their foundation.

But it seemed to me there should be an alternative to certain death, and a number were dying because of this religious belief. So I studied and ran across something the Japanese had patented called artificial blood. Now as long as the transfusion was not real blood, I saw no reason it wouldn’t be okay. And if the artificial stuff could help you survive long enough for your own system to replace the lost blood, then everyone wins.

After numerous discussions the Witnesses checked it out through their secret hierarchy and finally agreed to try it. It didn’t conflict with their teachings and might save some lives. Then the trouble began and my mission became clear. The artificial blood was not approved in the US. To get it approved, it had to go through the long and cumbersome process of Food and Drug Administration approval. Yet every day it seemed like more people were dying because they couldn’t take blood. New drug approval by the FDA was measured in years, not weeks.

So they asked me to help them, to find the short cut. With my federal experience I was to get the approval of the government for experimental use of the artificial blood. From day one I ran into an endless series of roadblocks. Before I was through my little humanitarian quest was to expose bigotry and discrimination to a degree I never suspected was possible in the land of the free.

I appealed to the chairman of a US Senate Committee for help. A famous Senator with a bunch of famous family members and a famous political dynasty behind him. One of his aides was assigned to help get the FDA approval. When I explained it to the aide over the phone, he asked if it was the same cult that refused to take blood transfusions. I said yes. He said they deserved to die. I figured that meant help would not be forthcoming any time soon.

So I played my trump card. I played back the tape of the phone call. The tape where he said they deserved to die. Then I told him the next time he heard the tape it would be playing on 60 Minutes, national television. Damn Catholics. I can say that, I was one. Seems there was a miraculous transformation. I asked God’s forgiveness for my tactics then thanked God for helping me get it done. No conflict there.

We got the waiver shortly after. Too late to save the father of a Witness I knew. But the very day of the approval people started being saved. Later a story appeared in the Watchtower. Don’t remember if it mentioned me. I never saw it. Doubt they could mention how worldly people help out. Wouldn’t look good for recruiting. I was already off on a new adventure. But I always liked the Witnesses. They’re into the End Times too.


As I sit and watch the daybreak
and the sun lights up the sky
I cannot help but wonder
why such beauty is a lie

For the beauty that we gaze on
is not within our grasp
the peace within that dawning morn
can’t be made to last

And so my search continues
as I travel on my way
in my quest for understanding
I have only this to say

As I travel to the cities
that people call their homes
I cannot help but wonder
why so many are alone

Dissent and animosity
that’s growing from within
makes everyone an enemy
though you view them as a friend

Don’t try to understand me
or make your love be known
for I was born to wander
no place to call my own

So as I journey onward
and fade with time till dead
forget you ever met me
but remember what I said

The answer I can’t find here
from two faces of the day
so now I must continue
and once again I say

Like a rolling stone I have no home
like the winds of the west I never rest
like the birds of the sky I’m free to fly
like a ray of hope I live then die


Whoever coined the phrase, “life is cruel” was an eternal optimist, I know. Take the subject of near death experiences. If life were simply cruel we’d get one of these in a life time. But near death experiences were a way of life with me. If I’d known the near death stories could sell so many books I would’ve kept notes from day one. And I’d be rich by now.

The first happened almost before I even had a chance to get my diapers wet for the first time. They took me home from the hospital, and our apartment promptly catches on fire and burns down. The Ex says Satan was just trying to make me feel at home. I had a better idea. Figured it was either my older brother not willing to share the attention with a new baby, or mom trying to cook to impress me. Either explanation made more sense than Satan. I vowed to keep my eyes open after that. Probably explains why I was never able to sleep.

After moving to a new place I was sitting out front in a stroller with the bottom plate off. I started pushing with my feet and the next thing I knew I was sailing down the long, sloping stretch of sidewalk leading to a concrete flight of stairs with no help in sight. Was airborne for a short time as the stroller rolled in mid air and I smashed my face into a step halfway down. Even my permanent teeth were damaged and they weren’t out. Had so many stitches it took until high school for the scar tissue to not be noticeable. Guess my head had to grow into my injury.

The next couple of near deaths were medical related. Had the mumps so bad I couldn’t eat. Into the hospital for an IV. Then a measles induced fever brought me back again, to be packed in ice before my brain fried. Got a couple of years off before I came back with a bang. This time I drowned in a lake at summer camp. Both brothers stood watching as I sank under for the third and final time. I would have killed them if I hadn’t been busy dying myself. They thought I was playing around.

During this experience I managed separation from my body and was that strange. Was able to watch myself sink to the bottom of the lake. Resigned myself to die. It was quite peaceful. Didn’t see any angels or tunnel leading to brilliant light No spirits were waiting to guide me home. Guess I wasn’t near enough to death, or to heaven.

When I hit bottom I had muscle spasms and my legs bolted out straight, slamming against the bottom, and propelling my nearly limp body to the shallow end where counselors were waiting to grab me and bring me back to life. I was okay. Think my desire to get even with my brothers helped me through it.

By now I was beginning to feel immortal. Five attempts to die and they kept throwing me back. There would be many more. Like the time my younger brother and I were bored so we stole a box of rifle shells from a neighbor’s garage and tried firing them by smashing them with bricks. When that failed we tossed the whole box in an incinerator and had to run for our lives when the fire set off the ammunition. Felt like a front row seat at the Battle of Normandy.

Once my kid brother and I snuck into the basement so I could play priest again. We flattened the bread into hosts but the light in the old coal room where I intended to say Mass was off so I moved a folding chair under it and reached up to the chain. As the light came on I realized I was in a pool of water and then I lit up with the light. Bob knocked me loose from the arcing electricity through my body

Was swimming in a lake near a diving platform when lightning struck out in the middle. I dove under the surface just as the electrical charge came sizzling across the water. The guy I was with was caught hanging on the platform trying to get out and was severely burned in a circle around his chest. But he lived.

My eighth near death experience was in 8th grade when I had the brain concussion and slipped into a coma. Trying to be a hero in football playing without a helmet. We won, I lost, I had total amnesia and no idea where home might be. That night I slipped away in a coma and three days later I came back to life. What else could possibly go wrong? I wasn’t even in high school yet.

There was the time I plowed into two deer at 5:00 am doing 80 miles per hour. After the car finished rolling down a hill I woke up with a deer in the front seat beside me. Or the time I was towing a car and fell asleep. Both cars went into a slow motion spin out in the rain, then we disappeared backwards over an embankment and slid down into a ditch.

Once I was driving an MGB convertible and pulled up to a stop sign. At the last second I eased off the brake and rolled a couple of inches forward. Heard an odd whooshing sound, turned my head to the left and saw a hunting arrow sticking out of my head rest. If I hadn’t of rolled forward the arrow would have been in my neck. Some idiot was down the block playing Robin Hood.

The day after I graduated from high school my buddy and I were racing along the Pennsylvania Turnpike for NYC when a typhoon hit. We were in a VW bug trapped in the middle of a bunch of massive semi-trailers. At the bottom of the hill the road was flooded so we held on for dear life as the VW plowed into the water. With semis beside, behind, and coming toward us in the other lanes, it didn’t look good. Somehow the VW magically bounced up on the island dividing the turnpike saving us from instant pulverization.

When I was working in politics doing an investigation of fraud in federally funded programs I was driving a federal car and the windows were blown out by shotgun blasts. Never a dull moment. By then it was clear, I couldn’t get out of here. Some called it luck but I wondered. What was so great about not being taken?

I was caught in riots in New York City, Washington, DC and Omaha. Floods and tornadoes tried to get me. Strange things kept happening around me even when they weren’t happening to me.

In all I guess I had about 20 chances to write a best seller before they finally tapered off a few years back. Blew them all. There are some stories we just aren’t meant to share. She said it stood to reason, they wouldn’t let me out. A demon’s work is never done. I suppose that’s about right. Might make leaving this time a little harder. But I like challenges.


Little Jimmy strolling down the street
hear the pitter patter of his little feet
watch him scream and yell so loud
always heard, above the crowd

Well Jimmy met his match one day
while in his stroller he did play
a trip so fast was his to take
down the walk, without a brake

He had no wings but he did fly
right off the ground into the sky
but fat round kids must come back down
and so he crashed, upon his crown

Now there’s a lesson to be told
about this cribbled kid once bold
flying’s not for kids to do
cause then the people, will laugh at you

Little Jimmy strolling down the street
hear the pitter patter of his little feet
watch him scream and yell so loud
he’s always heard, above the crowd


What if I never get my life together? Then what? I mean, I tried growing up but found that entirely unacceptable. Now what the hell am I supposed to do? My life has been out of control since I got jerked out of the womb against my will. I mean, there was a mistake. I was supposed to be born to a Rockefeller or maybe a Mellon. They could afford me. But to my family. No wonder they had to pull me out. I had no intention of leaving until the mistake had been corrected.

I’d do a life review about now but I’d die laughing before I got through it. Not the way I want to end this life. Besides, there’s too many other people in line to knock me off. Wouldn’t want to spoil the fun for them. Of course I’ve already disappointed all those people that predicted my demise long before now. I call it debunking the psychics. They had no business making such predictions.

Guess I’ve just about tried it all by now. Can’t think of much more I have the energy or will to attempt. Did some interesting things I think. But my mother would never know. She has never figured out what I’m doing. Every time I’m around her she tells people something newer and stranger about me. Like the last time she said I was a Fed for the last 20 years. What the hell does that mean?

I haven’t been anything for five years, let alone twenty. Guess she might not approve of the things I’ve done. That would explain changing my history. If I hadn’t of caught my teachers changing history all the time I might not have understood. Mothers can change history, any history, especially when it comes to their kids. They don’t like what you do, they make up a new story.

Just wish she’d fill me in before me introduces me to people that think I’ve done something interesting. Although this last incident didn’t sound interesting to me. Maybe she finally gave up on me. She used to tell people interesting tall tales about me. Like I won all kinds of Emmys, was the governor of some state, or maybe that I’d made some spectacular archaeological discovery, like finding the lost continent of Atlantis or the ancient Hopi prophecy tablets. They were creative. A Fed? Now that’s boring.

Sometimes I think I’d like to take a peek inside her head. Then when I start to sense what is there, I run. What little I saw reminded me of Grand Central station under construction. Total chaos. Be hard to live with that I suspect. After having us for kids she probably feels like she’s been the victim of a psychic bush whacking. Someone once told me, and it might have been the Indians, that it takes four generations for the sins of the father to surface in the heirs. She found a short cut I guess.

But then I’ve never been a mother whose idea of dinner was a nice sit down meal at the country club. One whose idea of housework was what room service people did. She was groomed for royalty and stuck in the middle class. What are you going to do without the servants? Panic I guess.

That was why my first area of learning was home economics. Never understood that term either. Cooking, cleaning and sewing doesn’t translate to economics to me. It was more like survival. Then again, I made it an economic enterprise in my youth. I used to charge my brothers to clean up their mess. Then charged them to iron their shirts. I usually reserved my cooking for myself. I was more interested in seeing the long term effect of mother’s cooking on them.

Developing such a pattern in your youth can adversely affect you later. You don’t trust people to cook for you. And heaven help them if they so much as touch your laundry. I had my own particular way to fold things. And everything had a place. People still see my place and pronounce me anal retentive, yet another degrading term. Ever notice how only the total slobs call you that.

When you share a room all through your youth and have to fight for clothes and food, you get to be rather compulsive about your things. So few things can ever truly be yours in that kind of environment. I guarded them with my life and went to extremes to protect them from the marauding masses in the family.

Both my mother and father came from families that made pack ratting a science. Thus I inherited that genetic flaw as well. Both grandfathers were in the pack rat hall of fame. I did my best to keep up the family tradition but could never hold a candle to those masters.

Then I marry someone whose idea of something old and worn out is when you get it home from the store. I was looking for trouble there. Here I was the result of years of biological breeding to be a master recycler, a savior of all things old, and she wants to throw away anything with dust on it. Doomed from the start.

Kids are stupid and I was a kid once. Amazing the hindsight of maturity. Do you realize if we mastered hindsight we could never make a mistake. And how boring would that be? I always learned far more from mistakes than by doing something right. Isn’t learning supposed to be all about finding out what you don’t know, not doing what you do know?

Some people really get turned on by genealogy. I never did. It seemed to me that the risk of exposing dark secrets was always greater than finding out something good. Why else would your family’s past be shrouded in mystery? My dad did a massive family research project once. I never did see the results. But I saw bits and pieces.

That was how I knew Emilia Earhart married into the family, shortly before disappearing from the world. And how I learned that the little girl who testified against the witches in Salem was family. Talk about karma. After all those witches got fried because of my ancestor I suppose we were cursed for all time. Maybe that explains all the strange things that happened to me. Even the first causalities of the revolutionary war were family. Always looking for a good fight. Figured the British Empire would be a worthy opponent.

I leave the genealogy to the Mormons. Let them preserve my past. They can even convert all those dead souls from my family tree. In a way, its reassuring to me to know that long after I’m dead the Mormons can still come along and reinstate me into the good graces of the spiritual kingdom. Of course I never thought of Salt Lake City as the New Jerusalem but it has to be somewhere.

At least I’ve resolved the religious dilemma this lifetime. I decided to be a multi-religious zealot. I’m a Jew for Hanukah so I get 8 days of Christmas. Then I become a Witness for the other Christmas and birthdays so I don’t have to give gifts. I’m a Buddhist into self-transformation when I don’t want to go anywhere with people I don’t like. A Celtic Druid when I’m stoned, or is it surrounded by stones?

I’m Native American with a love for the Earth when it’s time to mow the grass. Mormon when it comes to marriage so I can have a few wives. Chinese when I can’t stand kids. A Muslim when I want five or six extra breaks during the workday. I’m an evangelical Christian when I want inspiration and a fundamentalist Christian when I want to trash the government and all other religions. Finally, I’m a Republican when the Democrats are in office, a Democrat when the Republicans are in office, and Independent when I think about it or when I’m around Perot.

In summary, I just am. Life is good.


I was born one autumn morn
the offspring of a war
that I never fought nor saw
nor even tasted

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye

My father was a politician
I was a politician’s son
though I never felt my life
had been wasted

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye

Always walked in long tall shadows
of my next of kin
never could live up
to expectations

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye

Raised to be a dreamer
whose work is never done
searching for the answers
to life’s mysteries

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye

Looking back on where I’ve been
the prodigy of war
walked that lonely trail
of broken dreams

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye


After so many years of hearing people tell you how bad off you really are, there comes a point when you start wondering for yourself. The Ex was only the latest to suggest I needed professional help. Think it started back with the nuns in grade school. About ten years ago they finally wore me down and I went to a psychologist or counselor or whatever you call them.

The premise which I finally accepted was the question, why am I not happy. The lady I was with at the time was worried that I kept accomplishing all these great things over and over and never seemed to get any pleasure from them. Sounded like a good idea to me, to find out why. She was right too, I never did really get any pleasure from accomplishing things.

First the psycho asked me if I was happy. I said no. She asked why and I said I saw no reason to be. All I had to do was look around me. When she pressed for why I didn’t seem to feel a sense of accomplishment I said it was because I always had things going on which weren’t accomplished.

Once we won a congressional campaign we were not supposed to win and I felt no sense of satisfaction. We had pulled off one of the top upsets in the country and I missed it. She asked why and I said I knew how much work was required to get him ready to take office. And I knew how hard it would be to keep him out of trouble when he got into office. Why should I be happy?

When we got a television special I helped create an Arts and Entertainment network national broadcast I didn’t feel that great. I knew the many people involved and the incredible long hours it took to put it together. Same was true with the Emmy winning series for National Geographic I worked on. Awards were never that important.

Sessions after session went by and all we were doing was talking about all the things I did and why I thought there was still too much left to do to be happy. Eventually I told her I was tired of being the subject of her next book. It didn’t seem like I was getting anywhere with the counseling. Either she had to send me to someone who could test me for a real problem or chemical deficiency, or I was through.

Off to the real shrink. After extensive testing he called me in the office. I was expecting him to tell me some kind of mind altering drugs were necessary. Instead he said the reason you are not happy is because what you do is not important to you. He said my outlook was worldly, even universal, and that I was unable to look at myself as an individual capable of accomplishing what I thought was important.

Seems when I had answered his questions about what I wanted to accomplish by saying wiping out hunger, providing housing for the homeless, ending war, eliminating hatred, that it ended any need for treatments. He said I didn’t have a problem. It would just be hard for me to ever be able to relate to my own needs when so many others wore so heavily on me. And what I accomplished was insignificant in my mind to the things I was worried about.

So that was it. Two more times I went to see shrinks for opinions and both times the shrink said they didn’t know if I had any chemical deficiency, but they would put me on powerful drugs just to see how it changed me. Can you imagine that? Mind altering drugs just to see the difference? That’s like a doctor treating you for something that isn’t wrong. I think the real nuts are behind the desks in the shrink’s office. Then again, the same thing happened to me with the appendix. Maybe it is my problem.

Now I figure I’m destined for a life without fulfillment. That’s another reason not to hang around. If I wanted that I’d go for the mind altering stuff in hopes that me being in a catatonic state would be more acceptable to the people around me. If God doesn’t take me soon then maybe he will let me house the homeless or feed the hungry. I could go for a few miracles. Then I might find satisfaction in what I accomplish.


When I went away baby
promised I’d be back some day
as you watched me say good-bye
tears flowed from your eyes

You were young and I was funny
went in search of fame and money
down a path I’d never been
to start it all again

Didn’t bother looking back
rode those rails on down the track
in search of dreams I dared not seek
God I was so weak

Then one day I woke up
the dreams I chased were gone
they were so elusive
for so long

I didn’t understand it
those dreams were in my grasp
somehow I just couldn’t
make them last

Now I’m back at home again
looking for a long lost friend
the love I left so long ago
guess I didn’t know

How she waited by the phone at night
cried until the morning light
one day no more tears would come
the tears were finally done

When I set out down that road
to be free, guess I told
the love I left behind
I won’t be back no more

The highway that I traveled down
a one way ticket out of town
was more than she could stand
I was such a fool once more

I didn’t understand it then
when I got home I lost a friend
I realize the cost
of being free