Sunday, September 30, 2012

Left Handed, Four Eyed, Small Town & Catholic - and they call me Lucky???


Part I.

As of today we have seven weeks until the election and thirteen weeks until the End of Time according to the Mayan calendar.  What a contrast?  Seven like the seven sacred days of creation, or the light.  Or thirteen like the superstitious and foreboding number of the dark.

So I am going to tell you about my newest book that is a work in progress in hopes it gives you something new to consider while distracting you from the lies and deception in everyday life which none of us needs.

By the way, don't bother trying to buy it yet because I can't finish it until we survive the End Times in 13 weeks.  I'm really quite tired of sequels.

Youth truly is wasted on the young.  If only we could have waited until we piled up all those experiences, feelings, joys, failures, loves found and lost loves before we lost our innocence, our ability to dream and our faith in the unknown.

Instead we spend a lifetime getting beaten down, educated I guess they call it, tricked, fooled, disappointed and occasionally, well, we might even find a moment to get happy.

That is not to say everyone is that way but now that I am much older and wiser I have noticed there are fewer and fewer happy people.

But who am I to talk?  The title of this article, "Left Handed, Four Eyed, Small Town & Catholic - and they call me Lucky???" is actually the title of my latest book, unfinished, which is my somewhat cavalier attempt at an autobiography.

Most autobiographies are about famous people so I certainly don't expect this book to ever be on the New York Times best seller list.  I mean I'm just a Hayseed from Iowa.

How many people do you know that start life with four strikes against them?  You see, I would have been most fortunate if those were the only strikes against me in life.  But no, my role as entertainer to the gods or archangels or whatever celestial beings needed comic relief was far more endowed with strikes against me than being merely left handed, four eyed, small town and Catholic.

My maternal side of the family, the Campbell clan, left me with a legacy of the fantastic and mysterious ways of the Dark Irish, a familiarity with the little people from Fairies to Leprechauns, an unsought awareness of the ancient Druid wizards and high priests, healers and storytellers, and a whole bunch of other weird, mystical and metaphysical stuff.

One might say I was genetically manufactured with the best and worst of Scotland, Ireland and the Celtic Campbell clan.  The ultimate hybrid DNA.

Then there was the paternal side, the Putnam clan, mostly English aristocrats with a touch of German engineering and inventiveness, and pretty much at odds with everything from the whimsical and magical world of my mother's ancestors.  They were the aristocratic ancestry leading to various figures of nobility I dare not mention lest I sully their memories in the history books we read.

Why my father's non-Catholic ancestors even had their own big church near London shortly after the English drove the Catholics out of Britain, meaning back when my father's side in jolly old England drove my mother's side from their ancient homes in the Scottish Highlands to Ireland and eventually to land here in America.

I don't know a lot about DNA and genetic coding but if we are the product of our parents and ancestors combined DNA then I must have lived in a constant state of revolution and never known who I could trust from my own family.

However, I cannot afford to believe in the children inheriting the sins of their fathers or mothers or ancestors.  From the little genealogy I have dared to research about my family the burden of sins like those are of such tremendous magnitude that us siblings haven't got a chance in Hell of living normal lives.

That sucks...

When I get to the Pearly Gates and confront St. Peter I expect he will not find my name on the invitation list.  And based on the sins of my families my judgment was a foregone conclusion long before I even died.

Still I am a writer and storyteller by birthright, ancestry and intuitive expectation and I am an occasional believer, when it suits my purpose, that we can create our own reality so don't be surprised that at the moment of my birth I had the dreadful realization that a very serious mistake had been made.

It was a dread that would haunt me through my life.  You see, I just knew there was a serious mix up at God's baby processing facility in Heaven and some absent-minded angel had sent me to the wrong family on earth.

Over time it was to become obvious.

I was supposed to be born a Rothschild in the legendary House of Rothschild in London, home of one of the most mysterious and powerful families in history.  Of course there is no single House of Rothschild but castles all over Europe and the world.

My real family owned nations, kings, diamonds, gold, banks and politicians.  Though my palate back in Iowa called for lobster, caviar, sconces and tea, I was stuck with pork, corn, hamburgers and hot dogs.

I did the best I could in a world without soufflé.

Of course, there were serious sacrifices.   I expected armies of servants, limos and trillions of dollars, but I had to settle for an apartment in small town Iowa, parents who were just college students themselves, and a family history of bizarre tragedies and wild magic.

So very reluctantly I was forced to accept the cards I had been dealt in life and rest assured it was the last time I ever trusted a card dealer.

However, I never let go of the hope that one day when the baby factory in Heaven was audited they would find and rectify the fatal mistake that made a potential Rothschild prodigy into a cursed Campbell-Putnam ancestor.

I really don't like all that "sins of the father" talk, it hits far too close to home.

Go back to the 1600's, just after the age of my favorite Queen of England, Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen.   During her reign she did her best to prevent her father's (Henry the VIII no less her mother having been beheaded by old Henry) orders to persecute the Catholics by forcing them to renounce their Catholic faith or drive them from Britain.

It just so happens that one of the most powerful Catholic clans in Scotland was the Campbell clan, my folks.  For decades, maybe centuries they had ruled in the desolate but beautiful Scottish Highlands and fought against the imperial English rule.

Of course it was the same English rule that the non-Catholic Putnam family in London was advocating.  After Elizabeth's death at the turn of the 17th century the rule was finally enforced and the Campbell clan was given a choice, denounce your Catholic faith or go to Ireland.

What a choice.  Give up all ancestral religion, rights, titles and property under Great Britain or go to Ireland.   They made it sound as if Ireland was a far worse fate than losing everything.

Well my family had been Irish more recently than we were English so we knew the deceitful Brits were lying about Ireland.  They just hated the place because the Irish kept rejecting English rule.

Needless to say my ancestors held to their conviction and were thus banished from their homeland, estates and titles.  After a few generations in Ireland the Campbell family then migrated to America.  They were victims of one side of the family curse.

Once the Putnam's got the Campbell and other Catholics out of England they then migrated to America as well, arriving sometime earlier than the Campbell clan in the mid sixteen hundreds.

Specifically the Putnam's arrived in New England and some chose to settle in a Puritan place called Salem, Massachusetts,  just in time for the Salem Witch trials.  Thus set in motion the other half of the family curse.

Here it gets quite complicated.  Just take a look at the court transcripts of that fateful and tragic trial in the 1690's.

You see, there was a Puritan Putnam family who spent years creating a safe and isolated haven to protect the "witches" from harm by the village church fanatics.

Then into the story comes a young Putnam girl named Anne, but not from the Putnam family creating the safe haven, rather she was the minister's daughter from town.  She told her preacher father she had been possessed by the witches and made to do things against her will.

A bunch of other local kids joined the chorus and all those witches being protected by one Putnam family were arrested and tried for practicing Black Magic on those poor innocent children of the villagers by the other Putnam family.

You probably heard the rest.  A couple of dozen witches were burned or hanged to death, later the kids admitted they made up the story, and thus began the curse of the Salem witches cast upon the immediate and all future Putnam descendants until the blood line was wiped out.

It was as good a curse as any ancient Egyptian curse (King Tut) or Medieval curse from the Spanish Inquisition.

At any rate I would not have thought much about the curse except one day I was reading about Amelia Earnhardt, the world famous airplane pilot, and I realized that Amelia married a certain George Putnam of the New England Putnam family when she was 33 years old, and six years later she disappeared off the face of the earth.

Well, so goes the story of my ancestry as passed down from generations of Celtic and thus Irish storytellers.  My Irish grandfather on the Campbell side used to tell me one should only half believe any good story told.

But I can tell you this.  Where I was born, Iowa City, Iowa, was home to the University of Iowa Scottish Highlanders Marching band, one of the most famous bagpipe bands in the world.  Why were they also found far from the magical land of the Loch Ness monster in the same town where I lived in Iowa? 

Here are the Highlanders performing as I used to see them when I went to the stadium to watch them practice.

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