Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas, stuff and being 60.

Just a little out of step. I look back on life and it seems like I have always been just a little out of step. Out of time, out of place. Just couldn’t quite be satisfied with easy answers  even if they came from preachers or peoples interpretation of ancient scriptures or even the great god SCIENCE that is just a series of methods and not an entity unto itself.


Born in the mud,
Raised in the wild
Washed in the blood,
God's Problem Child

I feel the shine, following me
Not far behind, that's where I wanna be
A little out of town, fine by me…God’s Problem Child, Willie Nelson.


I learned to accept that I wasn’t really in sync with my tribe and even to embrace it. Don’t give me no “think out of the box” if that just means you want me to trade my box for yours.

Christmas is kind of like that for me. I see the ads and hear the carols and even know the Reason for the Season. But, it’s all just a little off or maybe I am. I miss those that are no longer here and I miss a simpler time even if most of it is just in my own perception and really wasn’t all that simple at the time.

My 15 year old son is more than likely the most intelligent of our little family. Cindy might disagree but I’m telling you I wasn’t as confident in my own ability to think for myself at 25 as he is at 15. But, he’s not traditional. Some of that might be because I was older when he came in to this world. But, he’s not the sports fan that I am and he isn’t interested at all in religion or being told how to think or believe. I’m proud, awed and afraid for him at the same time.

This world doesn’t like those that don’t conform. That don’t blindly believe or accept someone else’s experience as their own gospel. Still, there are those who manage. Right Willie?

Darkness may fall
We still got a light
Keeping us all
Safe through the night

Heaven must love
God's problem child…Willie Nelson

I see lot’s of statements on facebook these days. People who are so confident of their religion, politics and they love to state things and talk about how brave they are for being a Christian, Liberal,Conservative,Atheist or whatever. But, ya know what? Being in a Christian church and saying Jesus is Lord isn’t brave. Being in a Richard Dawkins group and saying there isn’t any reason other than chance for the universe isn’t brave. Being in a group of conservatives and saying conservatives are right and libs are tards isn’t brave or decent. Being in a Liberal group and saying all conservatives are red neck inbreds isn’t brave or decent.

But, stepping out of the group think and demanding accountability is considered cowardly? Rush Limbaugh says it is. He hates moderates. But, then again Rush has been known to make fun of a lady who died a painful death from cancer. I know this because I remember it from back in the 90’s when I was also a Ditto Head. That was the name us Rush lovers called ourselves back then. Yep, little ole liberal me was once so far right that Roy Moore would have loaned me his horse and pop gun.

Ya know the best thing about turning 60? The absolute most astounding thing? I don’t have to worry about silly stuff like trying to strut around women as if I’m a teenager. I can tell a woman she’s pretty or a great friend and it doesn’t mean that I’m trying to make a move on her or cheat on my wife. I don’t have to try and pretend to be anything I’m not. Actually, I never did but it took getting older to realize it. I finally realize that most of the time the people I worried so much about and tried to impress were not actually thinking of me that much anyway. So, there was really no reason for me to sweat about their opinion. They had their own stuff to deal with.

So, yeah for me this year Christmas is going to be chill. I am going to eat a Christmas lunch with Cindy and Fox and then call my mom in Gadsden and check in by phone with my dad in Birmingham and just relax. I’m not going to “try and get in the Christmas spirit” because that’s just too much work and trouble. Goodness, people run themselves ragged trying to show how happy they are this time of year.

So, Merry Christmas and I hope for peace on earth and good will towards men and women but I ain’t going  to strain myself with worry or showing how Christmasy I am either. Peace.


Heaven must love
God's problem child
Heaven must love
God's problem child
Heaven must love
God's problem child

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Politics, Trump and my opinion.

I understand how a person can get to the point of trying to stay honest to their convictions while also trying to do their job or uphold their integrity. I know in my job as a social worker it’s often a tight rope between the requirements of my job and the conviction of my heart. To speak up when an agency or a supervisor is looking for a one size fits all answer and I know from life and experience that one size rarely fits all. I have seen otherwise intelligent people bend over backwards to pretend the emperor has clothes when it’s obvious that the emperor has no clothes. I’m  sorry folks but a 2nd grader could listen to Donald Trump talk for five minutes and figure out the dude is one brick shy of a load. 
 Can you imagine if Barrack Obama had  put a veterans Purple Heart in his pocket and smirked at the camera and said “I’ve always wanted one of these?” Can you imagine if Barrack Obama had  said “It’s smart not to pay your taxes?” Be honest now. Can you imagine if Barrack Obama had said “I like people that don’t get caught” in referring to former POW”s? Can you imagine if Barrack Obama had said “Grab them by the p…y? Now, you can say that was a long time ago. But, I saw numerous times a certain picture posted by conservatives of Obama from his late teens or early twenties smoking pot and a snide remark by the poster. No guys. You come off as hypocrites. Sorry, it’s just true. But, as for abortion? that seems to be the only  reason some of you vote straight republican. Let me say this. I hate abortion. I truly believe the pro choice movement needs to stop acting like abortion is a holy right of womanhood. It’s not. But, it is a woman’s body and choice at least in the very early stages or in case of rape or forced sex or an absent daddy unless you are willing to help her out.  I guess I’m reluctantly pro choice. But, the so called pro life movement is so quick to condemn the poor for not working and momma’s for having babies that they turn a blind eye to cuts in Medicaid and deny birth control. Call decent human feelings and needs like clean water and health care a privilege instead of something that should be provided for everyone.   You can’t just be pro birth. Well, you can be but then you are not pro life.  Pro Life is trying to take care of life If that’s too hard and expensive for you then shut the hell up and mind your own business. Also, no it's not the church's place. We have separation of church and state for a reason in this nation. Also, it's fine if local church's want to help out. God Bless them because as a social worker I can tell you they do the Lord's work often. But, I'd hate to think a church had to provide health care. They would go broke the first day.

One thing I’ve never understood about conservatives is this stuff about the government doesn’t owe you anything. Then why do we have a government at all? How can you tell a momma you are sending her son’s and now including daughters off to war but you don’t owe her anything? How can you demand taxes and allegiance (unless you’re Donald Trump) and then tell somebody that you don’t owe them anything? How can you say build walls and borders but you don’t owe them anything? You’re full of shit is what you are.

Now, I’ve been guilty of playing the Jesus card myself. It doesn’t work because religious people pick and choose the words they want to hear and call everything else including the acts of Jesus Fake News. Unless it fits their political agenda. So, why don’t we just take care of people as a nation because it’s the right thing to do? You were more than likely born into a family that took care of you until you could get on your feet.

See, I’m not a Bernie Sanders style liberal. I don’t mind telling a 30 year old man to get off his ass and work for a living. But, I also don’t mind if that 30 year old man is trying letting him get food stamps  to feed his family with. I also don’t mind not having health care tied to an employer who may or may not be able to afford to pay the premiums. The Canadian system works folks. Notice the influx of people across the border is from the south not the northern border. I hate right now that I can’t go ahead and retire. I’ve worked most of my life. But, I have to wait and make sure the insurance will work. That makes most of us not named Trump or Clinton a servant or dare I say slave for life.

Anyway, that’s just my two cents today. I know there are lots of ways to look at life. I just hope we can get this nation out of the ditch before we get so covered with dirt we can’t be rescued. Please wake up.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

From Psyce With Love

The old man was always in a fever dream these days. Coming in and out and catching snatches of conversation. He was an agent or had been an agent. He caught that. He never forgot her coming out of the ocean that day. Completely perfect womanhood.  Was that his wife?  No, not her. But, she stayed with him for a little while. The old man was 80 or was it 90 years old? What was the difference these days. He slept and dreamed a dream of violence and hangovers and friend’s long gone or were they? They seemed more real than he did in a way. He was drifting off. Not becoming nothing or into nothing but just becoming just being.

The young nurse looked at the orderly and flashed a disgusted look at the old man on the bed. Well, that’s your job ya know. His ass stinks and that’s below my paygrade. She was a little shocked when the supervisor walked in. But, the older nurse just motioned both of them out of the room.

Are you Russian? She was wasn’t she? Did he love her? No, not love. But, he knew her. She was one of the many that he knew. Drifting now….Steel teeth? Damn, that was a ride. Who are you? I just can’t get it….

The doctor looked at the old man. Who was paying his bills? Nobody got doctors and nurses and round the clock care like this. Not in this facility. Private room itself must have cost a year of the doctor’s pay and the doctor was very well paid indeed.

The older nurse looked at the old man and remembered the stories. She was one of the few who actually knew a little of the old man’s background. She had  been young then but still a grown woman. He was quite the catch back in the day. The young nurse who looked so disgusted earlier at his shitty ass would have drooled all over him back then. Idiot.

The old man drifted…Coming awake now and feeling old wounds and stiff joints. He had made it though hadn’t  he? Of course he had “lived” and was now in purgatory. A soft chuckle followed by a coughing spasm shook his narrow chest. The hands that had crushed noses and fired the finest weapons and caressed  the most beautiful of women shook now in a palsy.

Almost over said the doctor. Another day maybe not even through the night.  You knew him then? He asked the older nurse. She of the high cheekbones and ample bossom and the greenest eyes he had ever seen. The doctor noticed how beautiful she was for the first time. Like a work of art. Weathered and chipped but still under all the years and wear.  Beautiful.

The old man saw a light. So bright and yet so easy to look at. So inviting. The old man was no longer an old man. He was fully himself. He walked up to the bar. What a place. So bright and the bartender was wearing a clean immaculate white jacket. What will it be sir?

The clock on the wall read 4:44 AM.  444 was the number of angels his mother used to say. Hello Love? He looks and there she is. His wife? Tracey? My God, she’s perfect. Sir? The bartender says what can I get you and your lady?

Martini. Medium dry. I’ll have mine shaken, not stirred


He’s gone…He’s finally gone the nurse thinks. That can’t be right. But, right before, just a moment before he had such an expression of joy and wonder. Call it says the doctor..Time of death 4:44 AM.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Why I am not a Blue Blood Republican

I am southern. It’s in my blood which runs hot when I get excited and in my mouth when I’m not thinking and let my accent go completely cornpone. I’m southern from the way I feel the Alabama humidity in the summer to the way I drink sweet tea and remember my aunt’s cornbread from my youth. I’m Christian the same way I’m southern. My people are Irish descent and I remember my aunt’s on my mother’s side with all that red hair and my Great Grandma Couey and the stories of her and her little tambourine on the streets of New Orleans preaching to the people in the bars about the love of Jesus. She wore her hair in a bun and once when I was a child I saw her let it down and all this white hair hung to the floor and dragged on the ground.  My maternal Granddaddy was Dutch and Cherokee and my Paternal grandparents were Irish descent. Both sides are southern. They come from Blount County in Snead, Alabama and Etowah County in Gadsden and Altoona, Alabama. My Granddaddy came from Huntsville, Alabama. He worked the coal mines in Blount and Etowah County and that’s where he got “Black Lung.”  My mother tells the story of my grandparents getting two eggs from a doctor’s farm during the depression. They went back home and locked the door so they could eat  the eggs without anybody knocking then in the head for them. My grandmother would put water in the bottom of the ketchup bottle instead of throwing away the empty just to make it go farther. Even years later when the depression was long over and she had plenty of ketchup she kept that habit.

Understand that I have Zero in common with Donald Trump. He wouldn’t have given my family the time of day unless the bastard had a property he could foreclose on them for. But, they couldn’t have afforded a single room he owned so that’s a moot point. I heard a dear friend who I will always love say that Donald Trump was a “good man.” That hurt my heart. She comes from the same background I do. But, somehow she has fallen for the might makes right myth of the conservative tea party. I am sure that if you put Donald Trump or Bill Clinton or poor oppressed (sarcasm here) Barrack Obama in my  granddaddy’s shoes they wouldn’t have lasted a day. So, no they are not “strong men” in my opinion.

Abortion? I hate abortion. But, I also hate seeing children born into poverty and the conservatives then calling them thugs and drains on society. Make up your damn mind. Either you think all life is sacred and you feel people should have access to food, clothing, clean water and shelter or you don’t. What the conservatives are is pro birth. Pro life? Not so much.

Anyway, these are some of the thoughts I’ve had today and I just wanted to get them out there. I have been so disappointed at my conservative friends. Back when Obama was president they vilified, they cussed, they brought judgement on that Muslim loving, Kenyan born, American Hating traitor. They judged every time he or Michelle Obama went out in public. Michelle didn’t dress right or act right. Then along came Donny Trump. His wife posed as a naked model but she is still "all class" to hear the frozen few of the republican tea party church talk. Michelle Obama showed her shoulders and you would have thought the world was ending.

First Trump calls POW’s losers and he likes people that don’t get caught. Then he insults a former POW who has done more for his nation than Creep Trump will ever do. Then he takes a Purple Heart and smirks that ugly smirk of his and puts it in his pocket. Now, the folks who love the country and the military are really going to let him have it. I waited, I waited. I waited and waited. CRICKETS! Just crickets.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like Hillary and there is much about the democrats and especially the safe spaces and the identity politics that I deplore. But, right now Hillary isn’t in power and Democrats are not in the presidency. So, right now I’m trying to speak truth to power. Sounds more noble than it is. I mainly despise Donald Trump and the hypocrites that speak up when it’s Obama but don’t speak up when it’s Trump. That’s the other thing. The democrats used to say to the republicans that they should respect the president. Now the shoe is on the other food and the republicans are saying it to the democrats. Both are hypocrites. But, right now the most powerful man in the world has a personality disorder and maybe even early stage dementia. I don’t know I’m just going by some stuff I’ve seen during my working career as a social worker. I’m not a psychologist and even if I were it wouldn’t be professional to make a diagnosis from a TV clip or soundbite. But, anyway that’s my 2 cents.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Privilege is a loaded word these days. What does it really mean? I remember my maternal grandmother telling me that her family was called Shanty Irish back in the day. I remember her putting water in a ketchup bottle and shaking it up so it would go farther. She learned that trick in the Great Depression. My Granddaddy was a coal miner in Northeast Alabama. Privileged?

I worked for the army in Fort Carson, Colorado in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I was at Child and Youth Services. Anyway, we had a little blond haired boy in a class. Must have been privileged right? Well considering he had Cerebral Palsy and couldn’t feed himself or get out of a wheelchair I’m not sure privilege would be a word he would understand.

I think about things like this sometimes when I hear the victim culture of identity politics. Everyone wants to be a victim now. It’s cool. It’s hip. I think about the black folks from the 60’s who couldn’t go to a lunch room or use a certain bathroom. Now everyone from a tanned white person to a dark Hispanic to an Asian teen wants to let you know they are either a person of color or ¼ African American. They are oppressed don’tcha know? I sometimes think I can hear the actual black folks who couldn’t go to a certain school or eat in a certain place or travel on public transportation. I hear them (in my own mind of course) saying “Now you want to be black?” “now you want to be a person of color?” Where was your skanky ass when a “Person of color” couldn’t apply for a job or go in a place to eat or shop at the latest department store or attend a concert?

I’m reminded of my own experience. I was born (and yeah it makes me uncomfortable to talk about it.) with a cleft pallet. I was reminded daily as a child that I had a scar by certain other kids. I guess the little asses didn’t realize I had a @#$% mirror and didn’t need their input. Now was I privileged? In some ways yes. I learned at an early age to have an inner toughness. I learned the value of talking to God and finding my own self worth. But, would I have traded places with the young black football player with perfect smile and the confidence to walk in a  room? But, I was privileged don’tcha know?

Not long ago I saw a pretty little Chinese/American college student slanging snot in an interview. She had started across campus and some jerk had called her an eggroll. Still, she needed a safe space. I thought “Honey, if someone had called me a bowl of grits (I’m southern) and that was the worse thing I had ever been called?” Well, anyway I have little patience these days with safe spaces and victimhood.

Look, I haven’t always been right. I haven’t always been brave or noble or strong. In my youth I hid behind beers and pot way too often.  But, I have learned to live and I have had a certain toughness instilled in me by life. No, I’m not fearless. I have often been full of self pity and angst. But, I have never needed a safe space and I have never been part of a “group” that would protest for my rights or make someone attend sensitivity classes for insulting me.

All I’m saying is be careful with  that word “Privilege” we all have some privilege over somebody else. I have the privilege of putting on a pair of glasses and seeing the world. Ray Charles would have loved that privilege. Lebron James has the privilege of making millions of dollars by putting a ball in a ten foot hoop. Many of us who work for a living would love that privilege.

So, no I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist. I’m not even saying that African American culture hasn’t been oppressed and held down. I’m just saying that  when you look at an individual human you should be careful of the word “privilege.” Some of us have been through battles that would have put you in the fetal position in the corner. Some others have been through stuff that would put me there. But, I’m tired of all this victimhood.

Finally, I’ll say this. I didn’t have a leave it to Beaver upbringing. My mother was 17 when she was pregnant with me and barely 18 when she gave birth. She  was not going to be mother of the year and we had issues. But, one day she  said something to me that contributed to my waking up. She told me “Steve, I made a lot of mistakes. “ I did some things that I  wouldn’t do again. I also did some things that I would do the exact same way. So you can lie there and feel sorry for yourself because of me or you can get up. It’s up to you. 

I got up.


Monday, June 12, 2017

War stories from the front of life.

I worked once at Child/Youth Services for the army at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A young child with Cerebral Palsy would be brought in by his mom. I and the staff looked on in a mixture of sympathy and uneasiness every morning. Because somebody would have to take time to feed the little boy. Because he couldn’t feed himself. He was a sweet child but absolutely dependent on others for his welfare and even for his physical life. Honestly? Nobody including yours truly wanted to feed the child. It was a little messy and it always made you feel  a little guilty and very uneasy because of not wanting to be tasked with the chore. To make it even more uncomfortable for me my wife Cindy was pregnant with our son and you talk about crazy thoughts. Not only did I now have to worry about cleft lips and pallets (Thank God he was born without blemish) if you think I’m being shallow then you would have to know me. I have a cleft lip and pallet and to say I was relieved when my child didn’t  would be a huge understatement.  First thing I asked the nurse when she announced we had a boy was “What does he look like and is his lip okay? “ She looked at me a little funny and said “of course, it’s perfect.” So, yeah I had a lot going through my mind that day. But, I digress. Again. As usual.

Anyway, little Rusty which was the name of the child with Cerebral Palsy would be brought in most days by his harried mom and left at the center and in need of breakfast. The other children were kind. They would at times assist for a little while. Although, they soon would drift off to play as is normal. Can’t blame them at all. I remember one day we had a field trip and Rusty was left just sitting in his chair. Well out of the way of staff and others. The kids were playing and the other staff was otherwise engaged. Big surprise huh? So, I took him and placed him in a swing and held him while I let the swing go back and forth. I also later made sure he was placed with the other kids instead of being left in a corner in an out of the way place.  See why I despise Donald Trump now? But, I digress and this isn’t going to be turned into a political rant.

I once read a story about how the Nazi’s had hung a small Jewish child in a concentration camp. The child hung there and someone said “Where is God?” Someone else answered  “He’s hanging right there.” I don’t know the exact thing the author was trying to say. But, I’ll tell you my answer. God was hanging right there. I Am was and is incarnated in every being and act that we do to one another. Not in anger or hellfire and brimstone. Just in perfect witness and acknowledgment.

I was watching a documentary once. The person narrating said that some Nazi’s had gotten away with it. They had grown old and died full and fat and had managed to escape. I don’t think so. They might have grown old and died but they didn’t escape. Not because I’m religious and not because I think an angry old man in the sky threw em into a burning pit. But, because I think the eternal witness will be heard. I don’t think physic scars and horror just goes away. We are just here for a few short frantic precious horrible days. But, that’s not all we are. Not at all.

So, no I’m not one who believes it’s just a sperm lottery. I’m also not one to buy into the just so stories of religious dogma. I personally have my own belief but this isn’t the time or place. I don’t think I’m ready to articulate that right now.

Why am I still a Christian even though many Christians would call me a heretic and say I can’t be a Christian since I don’t take the creeds and scripture literally? Some atheist would call me a space cadet and a deluded dummy. But, here’s one reason the Incarnation of God into man/ Christ works for me. It may not work for you and that’s fine. I don’t think one size fits all in this world. Maybe not in any world. But, consider this.

Love isn’t just rushing into a burning building to rescue someone you love or even someone you don’t even know. That’s a version of love but it’s not the deepest version. Real love is to run in to the building and realize that you can’t get the one you love out of the building. Real love then sits there beside the one you can’t save or take out of the building. Real love is staying beside the one you wanted to rescue and being there with them even unto death. Even if it means you have to die too. That’s what the incarnation means to me. That’s why I still self identify as a Christian after all these years and all this journey.  That’s what the cross means to me. A comforting fairytale I  tell myself? Maybe. Maybe it’s the absolute truth. Either way. It works for me. Right now. Right here.


Monday, May 15, 2017

See ya at the movies.

I first started this blog as a way to talk about pop culture and my varied interest in books, movies, music and things that go bump in the night. I rarely have written about  those things. I tend to talk about life and faith and things that are of immediate concern. But, every once in a while I like to post  on things that are “out there.” I always loved horror. Books, comics, movies. I also have always enjoyed off the wall subjects such as ufo’s . I’m highly skeptical of U.F.O’s but I still enjoy the pop culture that goes along with them. Also, I’ve had a few incidents in my own life that I really can’t explain. So, who knows? The cosmos is infinite and some people think that everything that can happen will happen in another universe.


I’m Dracula and I welcome you to my house…Christopher Lee


My love of horror comes from an unlikely source or at least it was encouraged by an unlikely source. My mother who is very conservative and very much a product of her generation and  religion is, actually one of the first people I can remember sharing  the off beat movies with. If a vampire or horror  “Dusk till Dawn” movie marathon came on at our neighborhood drive in we were there. Christopher Lee and Vincent Price and Boris Karloff.  I remember the old Dialing for Dollars afternoon movie on local T.V. and the old Colossal Man or Monster movies would come on and even though we didn’t share a whole lot of interest that was something we would watch. I got in so much trouble once for trying as a child to make a James Bond movie the focus of an evening. Really wasn’t my fault. I was coming into my own and I saw a commercial with a Bond Beauty. Anyway, that’s a whole nother story.

I always loved the Rebel Drive In. That was in our neighborhood in Walnut Park/Gadsden, Alabama. My sister and I would put on our p.j’s and my mother and step dad would warm up the car and off we would go the few miles if that many to the drive in. Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and a host of horror stars and starlets. Get a Chilly Dilly giant dill pickle or a hot dog from the concession stand and here we go. If it was summer take a lawn chair. If winter then at least it would be an Alabama winter which although it can be cold it isn’t always frigid.


I like quiet and seclusion.  This house, I think,

offers that…Jonathan Harker


I remember a scene where Dracula was finally caught out in the sun. Living Technocolor! I saw his body actually start to age and crumble and gloriously turn to dust right on the big screen. My young eyes wide and shoving popcorn in my mouth and guzzling soda (coke, in the south back then it didn’t matter which brand. It was all called coke.”  I saw a bevy of hissing beautiful  bossomy girls that were “Brides of Dracula” I saw bright red technocolor blood as Dracula bit into the neck of his fem fatale victim.  I loved it. I enjoyed the small screen dialing for dollars movies with the black and white desert as the corny high pitched sounds of  the 50’s and 60’s U.F.O.’s came into view. The square jawed scientist named Rick or Rock or Steve or Paul. The swooning fem fatale named Ann or Carol or Joan would be joined by the assistant scientist who would either be giving his life in the end or comedy relief or both.

I would find old horror comics in stores and immerse myself in ghost and graveyards and lurid tales of vengeful victims returning to drag  the killers off to their just rewards. I would read horror stories ordered from my Weekly Reader at Walnut Park Elementary. But, noting quite compared to those giant screen memories of movies that were already old. Played out on the drive in screen.


Dr. Paul Lindstrom….Now, the reason for this is rather technical, Carol, but to give you a simplified layman's explanation, it might be explained that, since the heart is made up of a *single* cell for all practical purposes, instead of millions of cells like the rest of the organs of the body, it's reacting in an entirely different manner to this unknown stimulus or forces behind this whole thing….The Amazing Colossal Man.

Manning…Perhaps it isn't I who's growing, but it's everyone who's shrinking!..The Amazing Colossal Man.


"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."….Shirley Jackson “The Haunting of Hill House.

My absolute favorite all time horror story made into film. Not the so called remake of the late 90’s. No, I’m talking the stark black and white early 1960’s version. It scared the yell out me as a child. Still holds up today. But, that one deserves it’s own blog. Maybe this coming Halloween.

Finally, one of the best lines of a “horror movie” and I think it’s in the book too. But, you have to see it to truly understand the sheer scariness of it…..

God God," Eleanor said, flinging herself out of bed and across the room to stand shuddering in a corner, "God God—whose hand was I holding?


See ya at the movies.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rock and Roll Never Forgets.

I remember holding you while you sleep
Every day, I feel the tears that you weep
Looking out of my lonely gloom, day after day
Bring it home, baby, make it soon
I give my love to you...Badfinger

I play guitar. Well, to be honest I plunk and peck and at times put a tune together that actually is recognizable if you heard it you, might say “oh yeah I know what you’re playing." I play piano but not as well as I play guitar. My right hand knows what it’s doing for the most part when it comes to hunting the notes. But, the left hesitates in finding the chords. Anyway, I’m not a world class musician and I don’t play often where anybody else can hear me.  But, like most people my life has been defined by the music I grew up with. I always say the Eagles wrote the soundtrack of my youth.  But, as a child my mother sang country music all over the house. Now, by country I don’t mean Florida-Georgia Line silliness or the other pop country you hear today. I mean actual Country Western. George Jones and Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams and Patsy Cline and Porter Wagner and Buck Owens. Kitty Wells and Tammy Wynette.  My step father had an old Martian Guitar and he would wap out the rhythm.

I hated it. No, really I did. I  don’t now. Now it’s nostalgic to me. Now, I have learned to appreciate Patsy Cline and understand that Hank Williams was an absolute poet and genius. I love Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings and Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. But, not then. That was the music of my parents. The music of dances on Saturday nights when I would be going to my Grandparents house because I sure didn’t want to attend the square dance up on the mountain in Boaz or Albertville, Alabama or the fairgrounds in Attalla. But, I bet ya I can ( I won’t, but I can) sing and play or chord almost any country song you can name from about 1962 until 1970 or so. George Jones, Hank Williams, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette. It was in my blood but it wasn’t my music. My music was on late at night when I would have my radio on in my room and WLS out of Chicago would come pouring out of the magic box. James Taylor and Alice Cooper. BadFinger and Areosmith. Rolling Stones and the Beatles. During the day the Mighty 690 in Birmingham.

Later as I came to my teens in the 70’s I would gravitate to Foghat and Linda Ronstadt. Nazareth and Jackson Browne. The 70’s had a great mix of Motown and Southern California sound on the same stations. I know people my age can remember a station in Birmingham, Alabama. I can’t remember the call letters now but I can just name the format and people will say “Oh Yeah, the greatest rock station ever!” They played Album Rock! The complete album of your favorite band and they would take request throughout the week. The DJ would come on in that smooth late night voice and call out the order like a waiter. Tonight we have the latest FleetwoodMac followed by Houses of the Holy and  the new Nazareth. Some SuperTramp and Wet Willie. We have some ZZ Top and Jackson Browne and later some Dead and deep cuts from the Stones. We have some Ronstadt and Jackson Browne. Followed by an order of Yes and some Foghat Also Rumors and Hair of the Dog. Some more Black Sabbath and Zeppelin.

These were full uncut and no commercial complete albums and it went on all night long. That little station in Birmingham was even written up in The Rolling Stone! Which in those days was The source for all things cool and happening in music and cool entertainment. Doctor Hook even sang “Cover of the Rolling Stone” as a humorous homage to it.

I grew up and as I got a little older I discovered KISS and loved Hair of the Dog by Nazareth. I heard the Eagles and felt I had never heard better harmonies and the songs they sang seemed to be exactly what I was feeling. I discovered Pony Millers and Marijuana and the boy finds girl, girl finds other guy, boy drowns in beery smoky rock and roll night full of angst. But, hey it was crazy times and I was a little lost sheep to say the least. But, Eagles and Linda Ronstadt and Foghat understood. I also discovered southern rock of course. Marshall Tucker and Molly Hatchett and Wet Willie and The Outlaws. But, the greatest Southern Rock band of them all was and is and will always be Lynyrd Skynyrd. Simple Man and Freebird. I’ve heard Sweet Home Alabama so much over the years that I really get tired of hearing it. But, I tap my feet and sing along every time it comes on anywhere in my hearing. I hate/love that song.

I also started to really get into Willy Nelson and Waylon Jennings and Leon Russell. Jessie Coulter and Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.

But, music is a funny thing with me as I get older. I don’t listen to it constantly any more. I find my self bored if I am sitting around and just have a bunch of songs playing. I enjoy playing guitar or piano or trying to play. But, just to sit around and listen? Not so much. But, every once in a while it hits me. I put in some Queen or Styx and crank it up. I’m taken back to my youth. I can almost reach up and brush the hair out of my eyes again. I can almost see that certain girl walking down a hot paved road in rural Alabama wearing a halter top and shorts and my mind goes back and sixty years become 16 again. That’s the power of music. That’s the power of Rock and Roll.
Come back baby
Rock 'n Roll never forgets
Said you can come back baby
Rock 'n Roll never forgets...Bob Seger


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dog eat dog world.

So, I’m walking down the road after a rain and a person comes driving a little fast and splashes mud everywhere. “ Doggone it” I yell.  “Why can’t people be more like dogs?” That’s what we need. More dogs and less people. Well I look and see this incredibly big cat looking at me. This thing was at least as big as a mid sized collie. Now, it’s been over 30 years since I did anything other than an occasional beer. ;-) But, it’s like I’m having a flashback. I’ll have what he’s smoking I thought to myself. Then I started to laugh and I don’t know why. It’ wasn’t that funny but I started to really laugh and couldn’t stop. the cat does an Alice in Wonderland fade and instead of a big grin the last thing I see is a pair of big green cat eyes. Weird. I'm freaked but I figure maybe it's a flashback to my misspent youth. I'll talk with my doctor about it.  So, I get home and turn on ESPN and kind of drift off with the mindless, breathless chatter of the sports world in the background.

  I then decide after my nap that I feel like driving to town and since it’s my day off I’ll drop by Panera Bread and get some coffee and my favorite, a Blueberry Scone.  Well, I’m going to my car and my neighbor who’s a nice guy. Divorced,  has his teenagers over about every two weeks and a devout church going person. Just an all around nice guy. Anyway, he comes running out and he’s saying “Hey,hey, hey.” So, I think somethings wrong and he comes behind me and starts to sniff my butt. “What the hell?” I say and I push him away. “What is wrong with you?” Well, he looks at me and I hear a low growl in his throat and he actually snaps the air and backs away from me. I swear if a man had a  tail it would have been between his legs. So, I’m really worried now about his mental health. So, I decide that I will call 911 from my cell on my way to the coffee shop. I know, I know. Why am I leaving if I think my neighbor is having a break down? Well, he’s not dying right? I need my coffee and I work hard and I’m going to relax with a scone and the Bleacher Report app on my phone at the coffee shop.

 Okay, I admit it. Out of site out of mind. So, I didn’t call anyone. Besides, I mind my own business. So, I pull up in town and get out of my car and all of a sudden this nice looking young lady comes wiggling (it’s the best way I can put it) over to me. Now, I’m not a pervert and I’m old enough to be her fath…uhh, older brother.  But, she comes up and sniffs my manhood and actually gives my neck a bite. Not too hard but enough to leave a mark. Well, I see this cop looking at us and I  think “Okay, he’s going to come over and at least see which of us is the aggressor. Right? Well, he comes running over and hikes his leg up in the air and I actually see his pants getting wet from his crotch down his left leg. OMG! What is going on? Then a group of people start to run over and a young dude actually jumps up on me and takes a bit of my ear. Then the cop and the dude and the young woman are yelling at each other. “Hey, Hey, Hey,Hey.” They just won’t stop and I find myself running into the coffee shop.

Well, I look out and  the cop is now grabbing the young woman from behind right in public and she turns and playfully nips his chin and then he…. Well, never mind. I can’t go there. Lets just say at this point the world is insane.

So, I go  to the counter of the coffee shop and I ask the nice older lady behind the counter if she has called the police about the situation out side. While I’m talking I feel something at my butt and there are five people  3 women and 2 men sniffing my butt and growling at each other. All of a sudden there’s a movement beside me and I see another couple who are making the cop and the young woman outside look like a Sunday School class in comparison.

Then I look over and the whole place is bedlam. People are yelling at the top of their lungs. “Hey, HEY,HEY,HEY” They are biting each other and snarling and humping and sniffing and it’s bedlam.

I close my eyes and just start to slide down to the floor. That’s when I hear the sports announcer in the background saying something about game 7 of the NBA finals and how the Cubs were the victim of the first no hitter of the year….A Dream! It was a dream. Thank God. Whew.

So, I go to the bathroom mirror and I look fine except for a red mark on my neck that looks like…Nah, it can’t be.

Anyway, I’m glad I’m off and can relax. It’s a dog eat dog world out there.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Thinking about Easter

Thinking about Easter


I haven’t been a fan of Easter since I was a kid. Easter Baskets and dressing up and going to church. Easter egg hunts and the cool time (she wouldn’t agree but she most likely won’t read this) my little sister got sick on Easter eggs and spewed those suckers across  the room and all over her pillow.  Yeah, I was a bratty older brother and after my first concern and seeing she was okay. The “wow, that was kind of cool older brother reaction started up.” I would get a new “Easter hat” every year. Yeah, even as a child I loved fedora’s. Go figure. But, as I got older and even when I went to church I didn’t like going on Easter. It was Amateur Hour seeing all those folks that never came to church fill it full one Sunday out of the year. Casual dress not an option on that day. The sermon was hyper and dramatic with images of Jesus on a cross and how low down and nasty all us lowly sinners were in the sight of God. Then the good news as he rose again and if the minister did it right? Not a dry eye in the house.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not making light of the crucifixtion or the resurrection. I’m just saying that knowing exactly what the sermon is going to be and exactly how it was going to play out made me hesitant about going.  Still, that’s just the churchy part of Easter and that is the only part of it that I really didn’t care for.

I was at the cemetery one day in Altoona, Alabama visiting the graves of my maternal grandparents who pretty much raised me off and on. I heard “Happy Easter” in my mind and felt peace and a knowing that they were not in the ground. The body had gone back to the earth but they had already experienced an eternal Easter.

I don’t do much church these days. I met my wife at the Gadsden, Alabama Vinyard Christian Fellowship and we went there until we moved out of state in 1999/2000. The people there became like family and I experienced great spiritual awakening there. I wouldn’t trade it. I don’t know that we would fit in there anymore. But, that’s okay. It was part of the journey and it was beneficial to me and to Cindy and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I have read the bible more than once in my life. I have certain scriptures that come back to me in times of stress to give me comfort and in times of comfort to give me gratitude. However, I see so much preaching at people about what the bible says these days. The problem is the people wanting to make the bible the “law of the land” misuse it. Most of the evangelical and charismatic preachers and bible thumpers have no knowledge of how the bible came to be. No real understanding of the language it was originally handed down or the context of the political and spiritual and religious environment it came out of in different eras. Yet, they repeat the “Word” the same way it was repeated to them. With itching ears to hear what makes them feel justified in their judgement and anger and political world view.

If you want to make a fundamentalist Christian good and mad at ya? Just dare to say that God is love and therefore you have a real problem believing that love would ever allow a place like hell to be eternal torment for the “sin” of not reciting the sinners prayer. I know certain Christians these days that would fight you to the death in defense of the conservative republican party and the concept of an angry old man in the sky burning sinners forever and ever. But, mention feeding the poor or accepting refugees or healing the sick? OMG! What are you a socialist commie pinko that hates America? Anyway, that’s a blog for another time. This one is about Easter.

There are  two things I do miss about church. If I ever do go back to Gadsden I will more than likely go back to the Vinyard (at least until I decide or they decide that my little liberal butt shouldn’t be there) One is Communion. Despite the snarky atheist silly and simplistic reaction claiming  that Christians are cannibals and idiots for believing a wine and wafer is the blood and body of Christ. One of the most holy and awesome things I have ever experienced is that moment when the wafer is on my tounge and the juice or wine follows and I give myself wholly in my own spirit to the Holy. To that which can’t be put in a box or physically described as standing over there in the corner. It’s awesome and I miss it.

The second thing I miss about the Vinyard in particular is the worship. I miss being able to just drift off in my own meditation between me and God while the congregation around me and the worship band on stage ignore me and allow me to just stand or close my eyes or put my hands up or in my pockets and just be in the presence of the Holy as I understand the presence in my life. Hard to explain but I miss it.

Easter: I have to admit some things that will make some Christians mad and some worry for my soul. But, as my mother always says “God already knows me, why should I care what you think?” I have very real doubts about virgin births and physical bodies raising from the dead and going to a realm up in the sky somewhere sitting beside an angry old man and begging him every minute not to destroy his poor creation in a fit of wrath and rage.  I really don’t get into that at all these days and can’t say I believe it no matter how many people quote the bible at me and turn blue in the face trying to make me think such a “god” as that is to be worhiped.

But, what do I feel about Easter? First when I die it wouldn't surprise me at all if Jesus is the only God I see. The incarnation of the holy and the very essence of who and what we are becoming. On the other hand it won’t surprise me at all if the Holy (what we call God) is so much more than Christianity and any other religion. That we are evolving eternally just to begin to know the reality of what we call God or Ground of Being or any other word or concept for ultimate truth and reality you need to use. I kind of lean towards that as a matter of fact.

So, knowing at this point I sound like a very liberal bordering on heretic to some Christians and a fool to some secularist I do want to say this about Easter. About Christ. I find the concept of going in to a burning building to rescue a loved one to be heroic. To rescue anyone for that matter. But, to go in to a burning building knowing that you can’t rescue them. Knowing that they will die and if you go in you will die with them. That’s Love. That’s what the incarnation of Christ is to me. Pure Love and love never fails.

So from this heretical sinner and believer in tales to you I say:

Happy Easter!


Friday, March 31, 2017

5 Songs

In this time of anger and politics and religious upheaval. In this time of some little old bald fat man jumping in front of me every time I look in the mirror. I wanted to make a list of my all time favorite songs. Well, I thought and came to the conclusion that I really can’t do that. Depending on my mood and era and other factors it tends to change and become very flexible. So, here are 5 songs I really like and the reasons why.

I’m So Lonesome I could Cry…Hank Williams:

Now, I’m not a big country fan. I grew up on it. My mother sang it constantly and played it and my step father played a Martin Guitar and they went to Saturday Night Square Dances in my youth. But, young rebel that I was I decided at an early age that I hated it. Later on I would grow up self teach myself the guitar and having been exposed to Willy and Waylon and the Boys decided Country wasn’t so bad after all. But, why this song?

It paints a picture. I’m southern and I can almost feel the Alabama night. My aunt and uncle lived in Altoona, Alabama. Small town and the railroad ran right  through it. I can hear that old train whistle and imagine a beer soaked night of youthful angst.

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I'm so lonesome I could cry

Also, the following line brings a hot summer evening in the south to my mind.

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I'm so lonesome I could cry

So, yeah. Hank Williams was a poet and an artist that for me is transcendent. I love the song and for a different take on it I recommend a listen to Keb Mo. He does a brilliant bluesy cover linked below. Either way. It’s classic.


Midnight Train to Georgia…Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Cindy and I have an old friend from Colorado who used to say: Life is like riding the bus. At the end you just get off. I guess he didn’t know after that. I don’t either and this isn’t the post where I do the “what I believe” thing. I love the rhythm and the voice and the harmony of Gladys Knight and the Pips. I want this one played at my funeral. No, I’m not being cute. I love the thought of just getting on that train and “Going back to find. A better place and Time.”


Lyin Eyes…Eagles

This is another one that reminds me of that old teenage angst. It has it all. Being held by her lover while she thinks of an old love. Having a “Lil Sometin” to help her with the pangs of memory. Looking at the years gone by and wondering how it all got this crazy. Not my absolute favorite song of the Eagles. But, the lyrics and the harmony and the story of the “human condition” makes it one of those that stands the test of time.


Slow Ride…Foghat

18 or 19 years old. Stoned and drunk and that’s no way to go through life. But, for a minute and for a time in my life this song was my anthem. Pony Millers and beautiful youthful blonde memories. I might be old and there are some things I wouldn’t do again. But, this song and it’s memories are things I’d do again on some level. I also have a present day experience with this old rock classic from my misspent youth. I’m on Mcfarland Blvd in my ole rattle trap pick up. But, that thing has always had a superior sound system. Wish I could say the same about other aspects of a Ford Pickup. But, I digress. Anyway, my little aging butt pulls up on a hot Tuscaloosa afternoon next to a young African American (please folks. This isn’t about race but I know the way our society is right now.) this is about youth and age and it’s funny. He has rap going and it’s at a pretty good level. I put Slow Ride on and turn it up. My little truck is rockin (which at it’s age isn’t exactly a unique experience.) I notice the young man look over. He can’t hear his rap over the old man’s music. He starts to nervously inch up so he doesn’t hear the rock drowning out the rap. Cost of classic old CD? $5 at the bargain bin. The agitation of a youth having to pull up to drown out a little old white honkeys music? Priceless. J


Haunted House…Johnny Fuller

Now, I don’t know who Johnny Fuller is or was. But, according to the interwebs and Google he wrote this song. I more than likely heard it as a child as a cover by a guy (who I also don’t know even though he has the same name as the bass and leader of KISS) Jumpin “Gene Simmons” It’s not one of my all time favorite songs. But, it is memorable. It’s about a haunted house and I always think of the title as “Ain’t no Haint gonna run me off.”  This one is fun. Also, I first heard the word haint as a child from my North Alabama Grandparents on my mother’s side of the family. Turns out Haint is a appalachian term for “ghost.” The haint drank the hot coffee right from the pot. Fun stuff. Link below.


Jumpin' Gene Simmons - Haunted House (original 45 rpm)

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

America Needs You!

Oh beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain….Katharine Lee Bates – 1913.


A long, long time ago…I can still remember. How that music used to make me smile…American Pie…Don Mclean.


To borrow a phrase from Bruce Springsteen “The Boss” Who I think is otherwise overrated but that’s a classic rock discussion and this isn’t. …”I was born in the U.S.A.” I was taught that God was in his heaven and that the United States was a beacon of freedom and a haven from oppression. Thing is I always believed that. I’ll tell ya another thing I believed. Even after I became more of a democrat I still believed it. I honestly thought the republicans were the party of the grownups. 

I mean they respected the flag and Jesus and the fighting men and later fighting women of our armed forces. While I thought pot should (and still do) be legal and everybody should have a house and a turkey in every pot (different pot) the republicans were there to ask me “How ya gonna pay for that?” While I might have considered them a little harsh at times I had to admit they had a point. It was a good balance. The well meaning liberal bleeding heart and the more conservative but still well meaning authority asking for a plan or a roadmap to this liberal utopia.

But, somewhere it changed. Maybe it started when Reagan was able to equate the “L” word with godless, communist hippie. Maybe it started when Jerry Falwell cast his greedy “Gawds own party” prosperity gospel as the only true faith and the conservatives ate it up. I don’t know.

But, the nation seemed to be better under Reagan and there was an honest concern with the sanctity of life. But, somewhere, somehow the sanctity of life became the sanctity of being born. After that God help ya, you thugs. Still, there was an honest conversation to be had.

I remember a little about Watergate. I was a kid and I admit the most vivid memory for me was John Dean’s tall, blonde wife. John Dean was a part of the Nixon team and later turned on Nixon. Some call him patriot and some call him turncoat. Still, in the end the other thing besides my adolescent infatuation with tall blonde’s was the way the republicans were willing to bring their own to justice if it meant the greater good of the nation. See? Grownups.

I watched in horror as the democrats anointed the “chosen one” even though Bernie rightfully won the primary. Still, I thought even though Cruz is an idiot you still had Kasich who I would gladly have voted for and even Rubio seemed to be an intelligent person that maybe could reach across the aisle if needed. Trump? ROFLMAO! Yep, I was one of those that thought there was no way in hell that idiot was going to get elected.

Scuse me while I finish this last bite of crow. Gawd, that was awful.

I watched as a well meaning and earnest veteran gifted this pig of a man with his Medal of Honor. I thought “Well, a good man. A decent person is going to thank this man for his service and tell him he isn’t worthy to accept this from a veteran.” But, NO! this smirking chimp actually reaches for the medal. Looks at it like an appraiser looking at a piece of merchandise that is kinda neat but, not all that. Then puts it in his pocket. PUT’S IT IN HIS POCKET!

I waited. I waited for the patriotic roar from the good Christian conservatives that have always valued our military’s sacrifice. I had no doubt the party of the grown ups was about to put this charlatan in his place. Yep, here it comes. How Dare you take a medal that you didn’t earn. HOW DARE YOU! CRICKETS! Frickin CRICKETS!

Then there was the video of this cruel man mocking a disabled reporter. I waited. Surely, someone on the right. Someone who loved Jesus would say something. Anything? Somebody? CRICKETS!

Then of course there was the famous or infamous “Grab em by the Pussy” statements. I mean Obama was slandered because an old angry preacher ranted. So, surely the party of good clean family values  would…Oh, hell never mind. Frankie Graham called him a baby Christian. I threw up a little in my mouth at that one.

Still, on the day of the election I could at least understand the honest concerns the republicans had with a Hilary presidency. She was arrogant and loose on matters of security. People were tired of the media’s “Ain’t we all cool democrats now” routine from the past 8 years and now Hilary and her “cool hollywood connections” didn’t seem to be playing well. Still, the debates showed a pig of a man with an IQ that seemed to consist of being reduced to six word responses or less. Still, I also understood the Clinton fatique. I voted for her but I held my nose while I did.

But, now with Russian ties to the election. A patriot named John McCain seems to be the only republican with the balls to say  the emperor has no clothes. Yet, lesser men and women than him are  savaging him for it. Lesser! Yeah you conservative snowflake that never fired a gun at anything bigger than a fricken deer. I’m saying a POW is better qualified than you and more decent to speak on national issues.

So, where are the grownups right now? Where are the people who say they place the good of the nation over political party? I tell you this generation will answer one day to the republicans of the 60’s and 70’s who said NO, but Hell no we will not hide a crook and harm the nation for the good of the party.

America needs you Howard Baker, Archibald Cox, Elliot Richardson. Google is your friend for those who don’t know who these republicans are and were. God, does America need someone like these folks.

Truth is I don’t think America is kind anymore. I was in my late 50’s and out of work for a short time. It seemed like an eternity. I prayed in my own liberal, snowflake way and meditated and believed that my redeemer heard me even if it seemed like the world was falling. In the end I was able to get another job in my field even at my late age. But, let me tell you right before I got it some of the crap I heard.

Now, I was a person who had worked my whole adulthood for the most part. My child had Asthma and needed his inhaler and his doctor appointments. If it had not have been for All Kids which was part of the dreaded godless liberal agenda of Medicaid we would have been even more scared than we already were.

A good conservative Christian type said “We should shut down Medicaid” Now, I’m assuming he never lost a job or insurance. I’m assuming he didn’t have an elderly mother in a nursing home. I’m assuming if he had kids then they were all covered and good. I’m assuming he’s a @#$% Asshole.

So, anyway yeah I am concerned with the tone in my nation right now. You don’t have to agree with everything I say in order to be correct. I’m not much into political correctness myself. I have no white guilt or no blanket condemnation of law enforcement. I don’t think it’s harder to make it because of skin color and nothing else. I think money talks and poor white and poor Hispanic and poor blacks get it in the butt. Also, the struggling middle class. Because we are constantly one paycheck or one medical bill away from hurting badly.

Anyway, my point here is basically “Where are the grownups?” America needs you.

Monday, March 20, 2017



I don’t know if it’s true or not. Science? Does everything we can ever know about ourselves and reality have to be proven by the scientific method? If it does then doesn’t that mean that what we call the scientific method might have to be updated and adjusted for new data? Otherwise it becomes a religion doesn’t it? Like the Christians who say God never changes and therefore this 2000 to 6000 year old dogma is still up to date for modern society. Anyway, before I get off course let me get back to reincarnation. I don’t intend to share this with anybody unless they come across it on my blog. I don’t intend to post it to facebook where all my Christian friends will try to pray the devil out of me at best and disavow my very right to exist at worse. Where my scientifically inclined friends (I think I have a couple) will think I’m nuts to even think I’m more than the chemical reaction of an organic collection of matter and neural firings totally dependent on the existence of my body to exist at all and there is no other existence possible. So, I might just keep this one between me and God. I keep most of the deeper parts of myself between me and God anyway. Even the parts that are culturally or sexually provocative are pretty much kept between my own sense of self and my own sense of a greater ground of being. (God) so, what do I think reincarnation means?

Well first of all I don’t equate it with religion any more than I equate the eternal sense of I Am with religion. I sometimes hear people debate the honest questions of none intentional evolution with the neo Darwinian view that it’s all just a happy little accident. They do fine in my opinion because regardless of the accusatory cry of “stupid creationist” on the Darwinian side there really is an honest question as to intent in the universe. But, then the one questioning the straight materialist will go “But Jesus” which takes it out of honest intellectual discussion and paints them into the religion corner. Sorry, the bible says it, I believe it, that settles it, doesn’t work for me. Doesn’t work for anybody who honestly wants to think and figure out what life is about for each individual. One size doesn’t fit all. So, my thoughts on reincarnation likewise have to be separate from Buddhist or Hindu or new age dogma.
When I was a child I had a memory that I couldn't really understand. I "saw" an old man walking in to a room. Perhaps down some stairs (50 year old memories are fragile things) I knew somehow that the old man was going to sit in the chair and die. I felt a connection. There was a ticking clock and he (me?) I honestly don't know. Did sit down in the chair and die. I remember telling my mother about the memory. She dismissed it because none of my family (southern born and Christian to the core) had any concept of reincarnation. I don't think I had any concept of it when I first told my mother but later I must have read something about it. Most likely Edgar Cayce who ironically spent some time in Gadsden, Alabama which is the town I was born in. (No, I don't think I'm Edgar Cayce reborn.) Anyway, I must have read something about it because I went to my mother as a young person and showed her the top of my right hand. I have a birthmark there that looks like an age spot. Now, that I'm sixty I have age spots anyway. But, not back then. Her response was pretty much "get out of here. that's crazy" So, I put it on the back burner and went on with life.  I have also always hated ticking clocks. I would get in trouble with my mother and my sister and other family members because if they had a ticking clock in a room I would do my best to remove the battery or silence it in any way that I could. I still don't really like to be in a silent room with a ticking clock. I understand there are people with absolutely no past life belief's or memories that don't like ticking clocks. I'm just saying.
When I was really young I would be in bed and think about being on a raft in a raging river. I was safe on the raft and I would sometimes put my food on the edge of the bed for a thrill. Like it was dangerous. Now, I knew I wasn't really on a raft but it was at once scary and fun for me to play like I was. Many years later I read an account where Edgar Cayce (No, I'm not saying I knew him in a past life but this did honestly make me think) gave an account of a past life where he was with a group of people on a raft in a swift river.
I have always felt connected to certain people in my life. Even people who I would not really have much of a present life connection with. I have some really strong feelings about that but I won't go into them. I did meet someone in recent years who I can't even remember their name. But, the recognition was instant. I don't know them in this life and the meeting was really casual and quick but I just felt a knowing. Hard to explain if you have never experienced it.
I really tried to connect reincarnation with my Christian faith and when I honestly didn't think I could I tried really hard to demonize it. I read Frank Perriti a Christian writer who wrote a very entertaining novel about the evils of a Christian believing in reincarnation. I read the apologetics and decided that I would just have to be careful not to expose myself to the evils of new age stuff (though I and the Christian apologist seemed really fascinated by it.)
As a young adult in the 1980's I went to Montgomery, Alabama to attend a seminar put on by A.R.E. which is the Edgar Cayce group based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There was a lady there and this is how I remember it. I have already admitted that memory is an odd and at times unstable thing especially as years go by but this is how I remember it all these years later: A lady walks up to me. All 5 foot three of her. She has long brown hair and I have the thought "She was a man in a past life." "She was a warrior." Now, I don't know why and can't remember why. But, she comes up and says her husband is a professor at Auburn University and isn't really pleased with her attendance at this event. He would be ridiculed by his colleaque's at the university if they knew his wife was into this kind of woo woo stuff. But, she said "I was a man in a past life." "I was a warrior." She then went into some detail that I have forgotten over the years. Their were two memories from this event that I remember. One was the speaker who I have forgotten over the years. I should have been paying more attention but this was a lark on my part and so I was really more concerned with my old clunker car making the trip home than anything else being presented. Anyway, the speaker said although we would like to  think reincarnation is in the bible and was removed from it. The truth is we don't really have any hard evidence for that. I think her honesty was admirable. The final incident that I remember concerned an old man. He was close to the end of that lifetime and some people were around him praying. I  remember praying that if this really was "of the devil" that God would have mercy on him because they weren't Christian. (remember when I  tell you I was steeped in bible belt Christianity I'm not lying.)
Another thing that happened to me as a young adult. Again, I think it was the mid to late 80's or very early 90's. Most likely 80's. I had written the great researcher at the University of Virginia Doctor Ian Stevenson. I had read some of his work concerning reincarnation and I was asking him about intelligent people believing in God or any other so called supernatural reality. I was going through a very questioning time in my life where it seemed like only superstitious and unintelligent people could believe in spiritual matters. I really needed to hear a person of education tell me it wasn't completely idiotic to have hope beyond these few short years of this life. I really wish I had kept his letter. But, I didn't. So, all I have is a memory of it. It was short and to the point. Some very intelligent people including some scientist believe in God. Other's don't. It has nothing to do with being intelligent. Believe it or not this helped me immensely. It gave me permission to at least think about these things without having to leave my brain at the door.
I have no religion to sell to you. I have no burning desire to prove to you I'm right. For one thing I haven't proved it to myself. But, it works to an extent for me. It makes sense (to me) that the eternal essence of who I am isn't decided by the sperm lottery at birth. Still, there is much new agey baggage that comes with these thoughts. Much like religion it has stuff like "everything is planned before birth." I  find that extremely insulting and cruel. I can say that I don't believe the Jewish people planned being burned in ovens by Nazi's or that black people planned to be slaves or that children planned to be raped by adults. I could go on and on. But, that doesn't touch the core reality of the possibility of reincarnation any more than creationism or neo Darwinism touches the reality of evolution.
At the start of this blog I said I would not share it on facebook or any other place except my blog. But, now that I look at it I don't think it's all that scandalous. I didn't name names except for myself and public figures (which I'm surely not.) I don't think I've tried to beg for someone to agree with me nor have I disrespected anyone else. So, I think I will share this after all.

Finally, please understand I mean no disrespect to any of my friends or families faith. I understand how you feel. Please understand me. I have the t-shirt so don't try to convert me to save my soul back to a fundamentalist view of God or Christianity.

As my grandma Snead on my dad's side once told me. "Stevie if you belong to Christ nobody can undo that. So, don't tell me you or the bible feel I have fallen or backslidden." So, understand I have my own understanding of who I am. You don't get to judge and you don't get to pound me over the head with a 6000 year old collection of sacred writings that you don't understand completely yourself. Also, to my more science oriented friends. I have considered atheism. It doesn't work for me. You can put lipstick on a corpse but it's still a corpse. So, you don't get to pound me over the head with "It's Science" as if science were a single entity that answers to that name.

 I in return will not try to  tell anybody else that what I have written about is absolute or even correct. I reserve the right to be wrong. But, I don't  think I am wrong. After all it's my opinion at this part of my journey. In the end all we have is our own inner life that we can share with others who are graceful enough to want us to share. I believe in prayer. I believe in meditation. I believe there is more to us than brain farts or neural firings that somehow produce this entity I call myself. I also believe in medical science and biology and that quantum science is fascinating and that we need to watch our footprint that we are leaving on the earth.