Thursday, December 26, 2013

tolkien wept


I have been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien since I was 17 (which is a very long time ago).  I had always looked forward to the day when cinematic technology could bring his characters to life.  I wasn't disappointment with Peter Jackson's Lord of The Rings Trilogy ten years ago.  Sure there were some changes to the script, but Jackson gave a good telling.  I enjoyed the movies so much that I purchased the deluxe set of these movies.  I wasn't the least bit disappointed.

When the first installment of The Hobbit came out, I wasn't disappointed.  Peter Jackson had taken some liberty to the storyline by making it more of a prequel to the LOTR tale.  I didn't have a problem with it.  The story didn't divert too far from the author's path.

Tonight I took my family to see the second installment of The Hobbit ~ The Desolation of Smaug.  I believe Peter Jackson should be bitch-slapped for the complete distortion of Tolkien's wonderful tale.  I guess Jackson decided that he could tell the story better than Tolkien.  It seemed as if Jackson simply decided to lift Tolkien's characters and tell a completely story.  If Tolkien were still alive today, he'd be the one doing the bitch-slapping.

I don't know why Jackson had to inject the Legolas character into the story.  I guess Peter thought it would be cool to drop the LOTR swashbuckling elf character right in the middle of The Hobbit.  I say, why not just Legolas ~ why not throw in Aslan and Darth Vader too! 

Going to see The Hobbit was a waste of my time and money.  The Desolation of Smaug is so bad that I walked out not caring to see the rest.  This movie was so bad that I'm not even interested in seeing the final installment when it comes out.  I won't even watch it when it's released on Redbox.  Once upon a time I had hopes of owning the deluxe edition of The Hobbit - but I am not the least bit interested.  Peter Jackson screwed the pooch
.  Peter Jackson is dead to me.

Tagline: Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Smaug, Rotten Tomatoes, Reviews, RUN AWAY-RUN AWAY!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Goodbye Betty


Gina never was a night owl like me.  I'd take her home early from our dates and she'd go to bed around 9 or 9:30.  Gina's mom was a night owl like me.  We got along just fine.  Gina would yawn and go to bed and Mrs. Hale and I would hang out and talk on into the night.

I think it was good therapy for Betty because she'd talk a lot about her divorce from Walter.  There was still a great deal of hurt there.  She still loved Walter and had forgiven him a long time ago. She could've become a broken and bitter woman, but she was a better person than that.  She was an amazing woman.

In spite of the pain and setbacks in life, Mrs. Hale was one of the most joyful and upbeat women I've ever known.  Gina has that trait of her mother's and that's one of the reasons that attracted me to her.

They say if you want to know what a girl is going to be like in twenty years, look at her mother.  I liked Mrs. Hale from the start.  If Gina was going to be anything like her mom, that girl was for me.  It proved true for me. Gina is the joyful optimist like her mom.  Like her mom, she's beautiful inside and out.

Mrs. Hale was a giving soul who gave to a fault.  I felt kind of protective of her because I'd see people take advantage of her generosity. She never had much, but was always willing to share from a bountiful heart.  She always expected the best of people.  She was often disappointed by people, but always hopeful that they would eventually see the error of their ways and change for the better.

The greatest gift Betty ever gave me was her love.  I was never-NEVER treated as a son in-law.  Mrs Hale immediately embraced me as her son.  As I type this, I wipe tears from my eyes.  She loved me as her son.  When her oldest son died of cancer a decade ago - she said she looked to me and relied on me, my help, my council as she had her beloved Terry.  I am honored to have been accepted and loved like that.  I will always be grateful for her love.

While she lay dying, most of her words were difficult to make out through the oxygen mask that had been strapped over her head.   Her body had been beaten down by illness, no more resistance, she had become so very weak and  frail.

I sat by her bed ~ held her hand into the night.  She couldn't say much, but her eyes always said what was on her heart. Her eyes glistened with love.  "I love you too Betty."  One of the last things she said to me Thursday night was that she wanted to die.  She was so miserable, experiencing so much discomfort and pain.  I sat there in the dark hospital room and gently responded by telling her that there was nothing else the doctors could do ~ that she was already in her dying stages.  She didn't respond, her eyes made direct contact as I told her.  She understood.

She had fought a good fight, ran a good race and was ready to go home.  We love you Betty.  We will never be able to out give the love you gave to each of us. We are better people for having experienced your love.  Thank you!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Letter to Benjamin Smyth

Dr. Benjamin G. Smyth
 Dear Benjamin,

I am glad your letter found it's way to me. You were only a sprout of a fellow when I last saw you.  I figured that you would probably remember little about your Papa and Mama, seeing how you were so young at the time.  It's impossible for me to write this letter and imagine what you would look like today.  If memory serves me, you favored your father in the face, possessing the color of your mother's eyes.  It's been a long time, but I loved the Smyth family and wished in this life that I could've done more.

Let me tell you that you come from a kind and generous people. I have always had a great appreciation and affection for you family.  Your father Graham found me gravely ill in my tent at my claim and rescued me from a most certain death.  That is how we met, him saving my life.  I was then welcomed into your household, nurtured back to health and invited to stay until I could build a more suitable dwelling to survive the merciless seasons of that country in which you were born.

I often wonder if that old cabin that your father helped me to build is still standing.  I left it all behind after my encounter with John and Murdock Westbrook.  I have many memories both bitter and pleasant of my years there.  The most pleasant are the times spent with my friends the Smyths.

You asked many questions in your letter about your parents and that time, the tragedy that befell your family.  You were very young indeed and I count it a blessing that you remember little of it.  I don't mind answering these questions as to what transpired regarding your family, the Westbrooks, and myself.   I was there and can bring to light what happened or at least details that you may not have been told.  Forgive me if I get to chasing rabbits and not stay on topic here and there.   So much happened then and all I could do was take life one day at a time, each trial as it came, being the best servant this bewildered soul could attempt.  I hope I can put my memories into words clearly and in order.  To answer your questions as forthright at possible, with minimal detours, I will respond in the following manner.

John and Murdock had many experiences with the vampir sort long before their encounter with your family.  I learned in time that they too were survivors of this curse.  They like you, were children orphaned by like demonic activity.  They were saved by a cousin who was a Christian, who removed from them from their home and community that had been plagued by the same type spirits.  Those who had tried to help before, who did not have the blood of Christ within their veins, were ignorant to the danger and found themselves and their families vulnerable to attack.  John and Murdock were saved by faith, by the cleansing power that is the blood of Jesus Christ.

What a great blessing to me to read that you are a Christian.  Like you, I did not come to know the Lord through fear of the demonic, nor because of the fires of hell, but rather introduced to God's reality and the reality of his love for me through John and Murdock's ministry.  I am forever grateful for God have putting them in my path.

I spent three years riding with them, much like one of those disciples of old who dropped all they had and knew and followed Jesus.  I became a believer because of what I had witnessed that day on your father's farm.  I realized in order to help your parents situation that I needed to open my eyes to this evil and equip myself for the duration.  Your Papa and Mama helped me when I was in need and I so direly desired to help your Mama, and the surviving children.

John stayed for a week at my cabin and then left to attend to his circuit.  Murdock remained with me through the Spring of that year to help raise me from milk to meat.  There was not an emphasis on teaching about dealing with the vampir sort, but rather strengthening my knowledge of the Gospels, giving my faith a solid foundation and instruction on putting on the whole armor of God.

Do not hold any animosity toward John and Murdock for leaving your mother that day.  They knew what they were dealing with more than I did at that moment in time.  The accessed the situation correctly.  I was there.  If it were not for John and Murdock, I would not have been able to have helped you and your siblings in the way that I did.  You must be grateful and give thanks to God for these good men to have been sent your family's way.

Your mother did not want to believe her husband and your older brothers were already dead.  I went back to her to speak and reason with her.  There was something different about her after she fainted that day at the root cellar door.  She was deceived by a familiar spirits and was lost to us.  She could only see the face of her husband, her children and not the distortion that death had brought upon their pale features.  There came a time when not only my pleas were rejected, but I was ordered to leave and to never return. 
I realized later that she too had been possessed by a spirit.  
 
The paper of that day reported that your mother died by your father's hand.  In the world's view this is true.  But I know the being that attacked your poor mother was not in reality your father.  The beings that fed off her flesh were no longer members of your family.  It was a sensational story for that day and countless rumors were born from it.  I knew your family.  I loved your family.  This tragedy is just the same as if a pack of ravenous wolves were allowed into an unprotected home.  I do not write this to unsettle you, but with hopes to ease your mind after all these years.  I am merely trying to answer one of your questions.

I remember Graham and Stella Smyth.  Though their deaths were tragic, they were a generous and good people.  They were not Christian though, and it breaks my heart.  I too at that time did not believe.  It could have just as easily have been me to have been attacked this way.

I do not advise you go back to that valley of death.  There is nothing there for you, or your sisters to see there.  What was once your childhood home place is no more.  It was burned down long ago by neighbors who feared the evil thing that once happened there.

Burning down the Smyth farm did not help them.  I can only surmise that it was like throwing grease on a fire, causing a vampir outbreak to spring from it.  When I heard of the rumors, I was led by the Lord to depart from John and Murdock's good company, to return to the valley and surrounding communities to deal with the problem.  It is for this reason that I eventually helped to establish a church that was soon to be given under the charge of the Methodist Episcopal denomination.  The church came about due to the need of a constant fellowship for families dealing with ongoing demonic attacks.   The community was in need of more than what traveling clergy were able to provide.  The believers were fighting a difficult battle if pastors were rotated in and out and having to travel about their circuit.

Clearwater County was infested with the enemy and we were at war.   We could not afford to spend time dealing with the politics of church - praying that inexperienced clergy coming in were equipped to lead in such conflicts.  We were grateful that the Presiding Elder, after an interesting Quarterly Conference visit, saw to the matter that our congregation allowed special provision for our unique need for a full time pastor, that which I was eventually appointed.  Need I mention that this was indeed a very peculiar fellowship. 
As terrible a time we all had then, we became a very close family.  We were not just survivors, but became more than conquerors.

I know I have rambled a little, but thought it necessary that I let you know what transpired after your parent's deaths.  It is my hope that you don't look back anymore than necessary.  Do not dwell on the sadness, but rather "may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Tom Campbell

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gun and Gospel


Upon seeing the horseback preacher drawing a shotgun, Mrs. Smyth's face drew pale as she took two steps backward to block the cellar door.

"What is this? her words choked with surprise as tears began to well in her grey eyes.   Did you not come to pray and heal?  Did you not come to bring a work of God?

John and Murdock stopped in front of her and listened to her finish.

"Did you not come to bring God instead of a GUN?"


"We have come to bring life to you and all who remain living in your household and in your community.  We come to end the death in this valley."

 
Stella did not wipe the tears as they streamed down her face and dropped from her cheeks.  Her surprised and trembling voice turned harsh as she had become angry.

"You bring death!  My husband, my sons are sick and you so called men of God have come this far just to kill my family as if they were rabid animals?"


"They are already dead woman, you know this to be true.  Your beloved are no longer living.  We must have your permission to finish this."

"Leave my family alone! Leave us this instance!"

 

John handed the Gemmer over to Murdock and asked him to retrieve the horses.

"Is that all?,
asked Tom.

"That is all." replied Murdock as he turned to walk back to the oak.

"You've come far preacher.  Please tell me that you are not just leaving without doing something for my friends." said Tom.

"There is nothing that can be done. We have no authority here." replied John.

Mrs. Smyth stood in front of the door as the spirits on the other side began to laugh through the throats of the dead.  The ungodly sounds they made were otherworldly and dreadful.

Mrs. Smyth's eyes rolled back into her head and she swooned.

John caught her as her legs gave out beneath her.  The dead began beating from within the root cellar and started calling out to the preachers by name.  There was no way that they would have known unless it was by demonic sense.  Tom Campbell jumped back and away from the cellar ~ his face as pale as death.  Murdock immediately returned without the horses still grasping the Genner.

"I've never heard Graham or any of his boys talk like that!" exclaimed Tom.  "I've never heard that kind of tone from any man ~ or anyone with such a foul mouth or ghastly voice."

"That is no longer your friend, but the body defiled by demonic presence." answered John.

"Well now that she's passed out, can't you just go ahead and put an end to it?" asked Tom.

"No." said John, as he picked up Mrs. Smyth and carried her to the house.

Murdock approached Tom Campbell and asked if they could distance themselves from the terrible commotion and talk by yon oak.  Tom walked with him.  His hands were shaking and his body slightly trembling from the shouts from the cellar.  Tom seem to calm as they put a little distance from the sounds and the shouts.

"You and your brother have come a long way and yet you refuse because you don't have permission of some sort.  She gave it to you.  I heard her tell you this.  Just go in and end it while she is no longer blocking the doorway."

"It doesn't work like that Mr. Campbell.  It is not God's way to coerce man.  Man must choose to obey.  Man must choose to surrender to God's will.  God's desire is to free man, but we must each willfully become his slaves."


Tom was still rattled but had become a little agitated, "You talk riddles, but what I think you're saying is you don't have her permission and so God's not going to make things right here!"

"Close enough."
answered Murdock.

John returned and mounted his horse.

"Do you know the way back?" asked Tom.

"We'll make it alright."
replied John.

Murdock shook Tom's hand and gave him instruction.  "Tell her to leave that door shut and locked. There is no reason on earth to go in or near it.  This is an even more perilous place now because the demons have been exposed.  They know why we were here today.  This is not a safe place."

"What am I to do?  I can not leave her hear defenseless." exclaimed Tom

"She has left herself defenseless.  There is nothing we can do here."


John nudged his horse over to the two men.  "Tom, what do you know of Jesus, of his life, death and resurrection?

"I heard of it, but they were always just stories to me.  I never was much of a believer in such things..." He looked over toward the cellar doors and pondered on the voices still coming from beyond. "...but I now have reason to believe, to pray that there is greater good that can counter this evil that I have now laid witness."

John smiled down and the man looking up at him.  "Can you read Tom?"

"Yes sir."


We must leave here immediately," interrupted Murdock as he mounted, "Where do you live?

"About an hour's ride north of here", replied Tom.

"May we come and stay with you for a few days before heading back?"

"You have my permission ~ If you don't mind a small cabin with mud for a floor."

"We don't mind."


The three set out together.

"Tom", said John, "I'm going to give you my Bible."

"I can't take your holy book preacher.  I do have one.  It is the family Bible that my mother gave me before she died.  I kept it as a keepsake of her."


"Let's get you reading it.  It is my hope that this book becomes more than a keepsake for you."

They road up from the valley leaving the Graham farm behind.  John and Murdock did not look back, but Tom did, several times until it was out of sight.

"I'm not going to get over this.  I want to help her and her remaining young'uns."

"You can Tom Campbell, but you must come back with the Holy Spirit and properly equipped.  When you are able to return, you may very well be able to help Mrs. Graham in convincing her to let us return to free her from the curse. We will return if she ever changes her mind."

"What if she refuses."
asked Tom.

"Then you'll leave as we left and do your best to keep people from there."
replied Murdock.

"This has been a waste of time men, and for that I am sorry to have brought you out."

Murdock looked over his shoulder to Tom, "This has not been a waste Mr. Campbell."

"Why is that?" asked Tom.

"We have come for you."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Outside the Door

Mrs. Stella Smyth met the three men out at the gate.  The unaffected children had been placed in the care of her sister's family due to the unsettling commotion that her husband and sons relentlessly made throughout the nights.

As they drew nearer the root cellar in which they had been led, Murdock said, "The reek in the air is of death, not of mere possession."  John looked to Westbrook with grim expression upon his face.  They confided nothing else while in Tom Campbell's presence.  They had the countenance of professionals who had dealt with such matters on a regular basis.

Tom Campbell quickly dismounted and neared the root cellar door to unlatch it.  John politely but firmly instructed Mr. Campbell to not do so.  "We must have permission to enter this property Mr. Campbell.  We do not have authority here until we have been given that permission.


 Mr. Campbell replied, "Ms. Stella sent for you, I know that it is alright with her."

 
"It is perilous to assume such things.  We must be assured of our authority to operate here."  Tom shook his head and looked to his friend's wife.  "Ms. Stella, I think you better talk to these two men personally.  I am at a loss as to what they are saying - what these gentlemen are asking."  It was not the Scottish brogue of John and Murdock's dialect, but the rather the meaning of what they were saying.

Stella then looked toward the two strangers standing before her.  "What is it of me that you need to help my family?" Whatever you need, I will give you gentlemen gladly.  My husband and I have little saved, but I will give you what little money I have; food, animals, whatever we have that you require of us."

John smiled as he approached Mrs. Smyth.  He took off his hat and spoke softly. "I do not come asking for anything from you other than to be welcome in this place and to release you of this burden..."

"That I freely give you sir."


"...but know madam, that this is not going to be easy for you.  If you allow my brother and myself the authority here, this day will be a dreadful day for you.  If you allow the presence of God here, no matter the pain and loss you suffer this day, you and your children will be free of this curse.  You must do this of your own free will, not of mine or of any other."


"I do not understand Reverend, but I give you whatever permission you ask."


John kept his eyes fixed on Stella during their conversation.  His eyes remained on her as a brief silence followed.  He was thinking - he knew - this woman - like so many people before her, in like occasions before, that she had not an inkling as to the situation, the cost of what would need to transpire.

"Very well, thank you Mrs. Smyth.

Mr Campbell asked, "Is there anything I can do?"

Murdock asked Tom, "Are you saved?"

Tom, "Saved?"

"Sir, if you wish to help, you must be saved.  If you don't want harm to come to you, you must be born again," Murdock replied.  "If you don't comprehend what I am asking of you ~ you must not tarry here."

"I don't understand anything you are saying.  I know you two are here to do good and convinced you can help, but I do not understand.  Can you just go in there and help them?"


Murdock understood that he and his brother were peculiar in the eyes of many people.  They had long been accustomed to it.  He frequently prayed that he could speak not just boldly, but clearly and with appropriate compassion. He was at a loss on how to relay to this man the danger at hand.

"A doctor has knowledge as to what is going on beneath the skin of the illness festering within his patient. It would be difficult to explain to a loved one what would appear a cruel invasion a surgery upon the body.  Often to save the body, one must lose an appendage.  It is like this with God.  His concern for us isn't just the external and temporary, but more importantly, the inner part of our being that is unseen and eternal."  Murdock pointed to the door, "We did not come here to wrestle with flesh and blood, but principalities and darkness."

Tom looked down at the ground and then back toward the cellar door. "If you can't use my help, just say it."

Murdock continued, "If we spill out the demonic spirits in this place, they will find the next available vessel to inhabit...and it that vessel might be you!"

"Please help me, just help us,"
pleaded Mrs. Smyth.

John affirmed, "Mrs. Smyth, we have come to help save your family, your children and children's children from a curse.  We have also come to help to save you too Mr. Campbell."  Tom maintained a look of bewilderment.
 

John and Murdock walked their horses a short distance to a watering troth.  They stood in the the shade and shadow of an ancient oak tree - seemingly to confer with one another.  Mrs. Smyth and Mr. Campbell stood near the root cellar quietly waiting for the two men to do something.  Both men stood at a distance for a while, Stella nor Campbell could not tell which silhouette belonged to who.  They could tell that one of the men was laying hands onto the shoulder of the other.  The other silhouette had a hand raised up toward heaven with what seemed to be a book in it. Tom and Stella strained their eyes on the peculiar scene transpiring beneath the tree.  After thirty minutes or so the two men walked back to the troth to retrieve their horses.  They then led the horses back to where they had been standing and tied the beasts to a low hanging branch of the oak where  it was cool and plenty of shade.

John tucked his Bible back into his saddle bag and retrieved his sawed-off shotgun.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Graham Smyth Family


Tom Campbell, a good neighbor of the Graham Symth family, made the forty mile journey on a mule back to call on John Westbrook.  Mr. Campbell was a miner who took a great chance by leaving his claim behind unattended to seek help from the Reverend Westbrook.  The Smyth family had shown great kindness to the lone Campbell, providing him food among other kind considerations during difficult times.

Mr. Campbell had reported to the Westbrook brothers of a strange illness within the Symth household that had caused a peculiar delirium.  Campbell was asked by Graham's wife Stella to please ride to the Parkertown area to find the Methodist preacher who she'd heard could help in healing people that doctor's were not able to help.

Murdock inquired of Mr Campbell about the signs of the illness.  Campbell could not be specific, only that several members of the family had been taken ill, including the father.  He could not explain much, other than they were not themselves, and no longer of sound mind.  He also stated that Ms. Stella said that a doctor did come by for a visit.  She was told that the illness could not be cured with medicine and was extremely contagious.  Ms. Stella said that the doctor seemed very fearful during his visit and recommended getting word to the horseback preacher that he heard was in Parkertown.

Before leaving the Symth cabin, Tom Campbell had to tie up his friend Graham and his youngest sons in the root cellar.   Campbell said that they recognized who he was and spoke to him, but they were not in their right minds.  It was evident that they were not just afflicted in the head but could cause terrible harm to the rest of the family ~ perhaps the community.  Ms. Stella and the other children in the household were not safe to be left alone with the affected members of the family who had been left wandering around on the premises.  Ms. Stella had locked the sick members out of the cabin in order to protect the rest of the family.

Tom Campbell with the help of other neighbors arrived to assist catching Graham and his two sons, tie them up, and lock them in the root cellar.  A farmer promised that he and one of his black men would watch over the household as Campbell made the trip.  Tom Campbell vowed to Ms. Stella Graham that he'd do his best to bring the healing preacher back.

Both John and Murdock Westbrook left promptly with Tom Campbell.


From the publication: Old Demons in Early America (1920)
-to be continued

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Letter to Franklin Young

Reverend John Amos Westbrook
Dear Franklin,

Forgive my late response to your letter due to my many health issues.  There are days that I find it possible to grasp at a writing implement for any period of time.  I hope you find my poor penmanship legible.  I am amused at each shaky letter and line I produce.  I seem to ache all the time. My hands grow less steady with each passing year.  I am however still and forever steadfast in the Lord.

Murdock now lives with his daughter's family, any letter received from him will have been transcribed by Louise because of his failed eyesight.  I could no longer care for him properly because now I can barely care for myself.  Murdock lives just only a few miles from here.  I only see him on Sundays at the chapel.  We share the family pew and still have lots to tell each other even after all the years we've spent together.

I have not read nor heard of the book you mentioned in your letter.  I never heard of anyone using a cross to ward off or defeat the
nosferatu.  It isn't the crucifix that saves, but rather the product of the crucifix, the blood of Christ in us where we all find salvation.  A cross to a man who is not reborn is as useless as a twig against a bear attack.  Learn to separate what is scripturally sound from that which is conjured writings from the imaginative folly of man.

Your grandfather Murdock and I were not hunters of familiar spirits, but rather fishers of men.  We spent most of our service building up the body over the heart breaking task of burning corpses.  We faithfully executed each task at hand no matter how delightful or distasteful the chore.  Our mission was the sharing of God's perfect love and his cleansing salvation, always encouraging holiness unto the Lord!

It is unfortunate that our lives have been misrepresented.  The story lends itself to fables being interjected into what actually happened.  Our works have been misunderstood, but what is most important is that we heard the call and went forth.  Your grandfather and I did what we did and are not accountable to those who read from a distance.  Our pursuit was always The Kingdom.  Each soul is of eternal being, the body only temporal.  To consider us "ministers obsessed only with the possessed" simply isn't writing the truth.  The author of that article you shared is not an authority on the subject.

I am a little hesitant sharing our experience because so much has been sensationalized about Murdock's and my long journey together.  It is good to seek knowledge about such things, but not healthy to dwell on them.  We must know our enemies yet not give them more credit than necessary.  Lucifer isn't the almighty God's equal.  The darkness in this world does not equal the brilliance of who God is.  Darkness in this world, the darkness present in man is merely a void where there is no light.  Walk in the light dear young Franklin.
 

John Wesley once wrote, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."

God bless and keep you,
JW


 Letter dated 22/04/1886

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

the circuit rider and his brother


John A. Westbrook
John Amos Westbrook (1811-1888) was known as a saddle back preacher, a Methodist circuit rider, Born in Scotland's Isle of Sky, migrated to the United States along with his brother Murdock Malcolm Westbrook (1808 - 1866).  John and Murdoch rode together even though Murdock wasn't in the ministry.  Murdock was a devout Christian, a hunter and tent maker by trade, spent the majority of his life journeying and ministering with his brother.

There was a long period of time when John Westbrook was sworn in as marshal. The job offered pay to help fund his ministry.  He covered large territories in his circuit and he had good relationship with the people of all the communities of which he served.  Murdock never served in any official capacity other than being with and supporting his brother John's ministry and work.

It was said that Murdock was a quiet man, but when he spoke, he was said to have been more eloquent than his younger brother.  "His prayers were charged with great faith of being answered and were."  John's sermons were simple and usually involved merely reading from scriptures.  People were more drawn to John because he possessed a genuine compassion and empathy for all of mankind, finding great favor among the communities of his charge. 
If a visit to an area became prolonged stay,  Murdock would usually venture away from the population, explore the solitude of the forests and mountains to hunt and commune with God.

Both men had fine singing voices, wrote hymns, and often shared in ministry together.  There were seasons throughout their lives that they were apart, and whenever Murdock returned, their work together would continue on as before.  The book Holy Fire on the Frontier (pub.1811) touches on key events of John and Murdock Westbrook's lives.

A controversial and seldom mentioned aspect about their ministry is their involvement with the purge of nosferatu. 
John's wife, Llewelyn wrote of the brother's encounters with the nosferatu in the United States in her Diary of Rev. John Westbrook.  "John and Murdock experienced the tragedy of losing both parents and six siblings to what they referred to as the vampir sort.  John and Murdock discovered their personal salvation and deliverance when they gave their young lives to God."
-Holy Fire on the Frontier 

"The vampir sort feed primarily upon the blood of their own clan.  I witnessed this as a child, and saw many that I loved dearly fall prey to the demonic presence that found entrance into the home by a passed member of the family.  Once within the home, the entire bloodline would quickly destroyed in the area.  Salvation is the only salvation for those still living.  An awakening among the family is the only way to lessen the spread.  What I have discovered and found true is that the vampir sort thirst for the blood of their own kin.  Any one related or distantly related are prey to this form of evil.  The unnatural course of the vampir sort is to eventually kill a family tree by sapping the life from each living root.  When a man is saved, the blood is a new blood.  The demonic nosferatu detest the presence of Christ in the temple that courses through the veins of a reborn man.  This does not mean that a Christian can not be killed by the vampir sort, just as a Christian can succumb to the fatal wounds inflicted by that of a wild animal.  It does mean that the vampir does not thirst for that which will finish him.  The blood of Christ is a poison to many forms of these familiars."
-Rev JW

Murdock M. Westbrook

"It is not enough to hunt down and destroy the vampir sort, the family remaining must be saved to be saved from the unholy thirsts of these familiar spirits.  The kin remaining must individually become new creatures, baptized of water and share in Holy Communion, experience entire sanctification.  A transformed man is no longer under the curse of the world no matter how dark the principality."
-Murdock M Westbrook

John and Murdock Westbrook went about their lives taking opposition and troubles in stride.  Nosterafu cleansing was dealt with as the two encountered it.  They were called to help from communities within and sometimes outside of John's circuit.  Like any preacher of their time, John tended to all needs of the body, not just that of deliverance and cleansing of the vampir sort.  There were those in that day and since who wrongfully refer to them as vampire hunters.  There is nothing written that qualifies the ministry of John and Murdock as such.  Their lives were spent not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  The Westbrooks saw their primary mission living out the love of Christ, commonly seen ministering to the sick, the widowed and the orphaned.  They fearlessly served God with their lives.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Fighting Amphibians


This is an excerpt from a screenplay I ran across online authored by a Joseph F. Panicello who served aboard USS LST-533.  Even though this is a fiction, it's based on true events.  One of Joseph's characters mentions the breached LST-312 and the bomb hit of LST-313 - matching the account that Pat (312) relayed to me.  This is also verified by other fellow crew members of the 312.  The actual events within the screenplay is based on the book 'A Slow Moving Target: The LST of WWII' also written by Mr. Panicello.


Bill Krumm (312) broke into a cold sweat in the library when he
ran across this image of the 313 burning.  He wrote to Pat
saying this is the scene he saw when looking out the starboard hatch.

The Fighting Amphibians: Screenplay
by: Joseph F. Panicello  / 2007  (page 66-67)

Gela, Sicily – Day (July 1943)

The assault on Gela begins and is not so easy.  The American Rangers come under heavy machine gun fire losing a whole platoon.

EXT. Gala Shores – LATER

When the next Americans reach the shore on small craft they run into heavy gun fire, concentrations of barbed wire and unexpected mines.  Lieutenant Colonel Darby watches 300 rounds of 30 caliber ammunition bounce off Italian tanks. He drives down to the shore and sees soldiers towing an anti-tank 37mm gun off the ramp of LST 85.

COL. Darby
Men, Follow me with that gun…

They tow the anti-tank gun back to where the Italian  tank was and opened fire.  They completely destroy the Italian tank.  The rest of the Italian tanks quickly withdraw.

COL DARBY (continued)
Come on men, we got them on the run.

Several pillboxes with Italian soldiers stop their advance with machine gun fire.  Sergeant Gilbert runs behind the nearest pillbox and tosses a grenade through one of it’s firing holes.  There is a mighty explosion and before long all of the other pillboxes surrender.

GELA BEACH

While LST 85 is unloading half tracks, three German Messerschmidt  ME-109 fighter-bombers suddenly swoop down and drop bombs on the LST.  Danny, who is manning the forward 40mm gun, is blasting away at a bomber, but it still manages to drop a bomb on the deck close to Danny.  Danny is hit in the left arm with shrapnel and is thrown overboard.  His wound isn’t serious and he swims to shore.  He jumps into a foxhole for protection but is horrified to find two dead American soldiers laying there.

He peeks out and witnesses an enormous blast coming from  LST 313 which is set ablaze.  Army troops and sailors from the LST 313 abandon the ship as quickly as possible.  Danny finds an empty foxhole.  He then watches LST 312 being hauled off the beach by a tug, after it had been broached.  When the bombing subsides, Danny works his way back to LST 85 which has suffered considerable damage.


Buy the book to read the rest.  Both of Mr. Panicello's LST publications are hyper-linked above.  In the raw footage below, advance 19 minutes into video to see color footage of LST-313 engulfed in flames on the coast of Gela.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

the portal


Once upon a time there once stood a magnificent old facade at Fountain Square in Bowling Green, KY.  It was there when Gina and I moved there in 1990.  It wasn't there by the time we moved back to Alabama in 1996.

I don't know when the bank met it's demise.  Old downtown Bowling Green has always been a busy place, just down the hill from Western Kentucky University.  The Fountain Square Park graces the center of the town, still the hub of the community.  I'm sure the old Citizens National Bank facade, as beautiful as it was, had to make way for more commerce.

There was nothing on that lot but the two brick walls of the businesses on either side.  I thought it would make a great area for yet another park area, perhaps a stage for special events, perhaps another fountain in there.  That just wasn't going to be.  For some reason I thought it would be allowed to stand, reused for something.

I'd pass the old dead bank front countless times.  Each time the old face would catch my eye.  It especially had a mysterious ambiance at night.  The gaping entrance to nowhere seemed to be a portal into another time.  I could image one being able to step through there at a certain time of day, turn around and walk out into the past.  The place would've made an excellent set for a Twilight Zone.

One night I drove down there specifically to take a picture of this place.  It was a perfect night for it.  The moon hung over it, capturing the mystic quality of that old facade that was fading quickly from the present.


The way it was a long time ago.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The LST 312 Conspiracy

PT-603

Excerpt from:
PT Boat Episodes:
At General Quarters in the Pacific and a Five Month Yachting Cruise in the Atlantic with a Young  MTB Captain / By: Roger M. Jones / Merriam Press 2000

USS LST 312 and PT's tied up in Chicago
October 26-28, 1945 for Navy Day.
PT 604 and 604 clearly marked. This story
indicates that the 3rd PT is the 603.
Click on image to enlarge.
When we got back to Miami, however, another very pleasant surprise greeted us. We received order on September 26th to be part of the countrywide Navy Day celebrations on October 27th.  Squadron 41 was ordered to proceed to New Orleans and PT’s of the Squadron would be ordered from there to proceed up the Mississippi –601 and 602 to Pittsburgh; 503, 604, and 606 to Chicago; 605 to Jeffersonville, Indiana; 607 to Cincinnati; 608 to Memphis; 609 and 610 to St. Louis; 611 to Evansville, Indiana; 612 to Louisville.

Division Able, with Lt. Doherty as OTC departed Miami September 28th and arrived at the Naval Operating Base in New Orleans on September 30th via Key West and Pensacola, PT’s 603, 604, and 606 then departed NOLA in a convoy on October 4th with SOPUS (Senior Officer Present Afloat) on LST 312, and in company with LCI-194, LSM-13, LCI-144, LCI-122, LSM-297.

Going up the Mississippi the usual procedure was to stop at night and anchor out of the channel.  One night LST-312 anchored for the night several hundred feet off the east river bank and PT 163 tied up alongside.  That evening shortly after dark, one of my crewmen on watch topside, came to my stateroom and told me three men off LST 312 slid down the lines tying us to the LST and from our deck dove in the river presumably with the intention of swimming ashore.  We were in an isolated area with no town or any sign of life in vicinity.  I reacted quickly to the news as-if the men drowned or were going AWOL – PT 163 as the dive platform in their attempt to swim ashore would be negligent if the incident was not reported.

Presumably, the men were bored by being confined for days to LST 312 on the upriver trip and were determined to get ashore to stir up a little excitement.  Our man on watch said they dove in wearing dungarees and a T-shirt and had shoes tied to their belts.  Before dawn would they try to swim back out and try to re-board the 312 before they were missed?  If so, they might well try to get back on LST 312 by climbing back on PT 163 first, as it had a much lower free-board than the LST.  I did send a handwritten memorandum addressed to the Officer of the Deck on the LST informing him of what happened and inquiring what we should do if the men tried to board 163 on their return.  The three men didn’t try to re-board 163 and we never really learned what finally happened.  Did they ever get back the LST 312 and, if so, how?

(One theory on our boat was that it was part of a widely known conspiracy on LST 312, possible even with the knowledge of the OOD or, maybe my memorandum never got to the OOD.  Further, under the “conspiracy” theory, a pilot ladder would be lowered over the side of LST 312 into the water on the side opposite from us and the men on their return would swim to the ladder and climb aboard).

A trip on the Mississippi is generally considered to be a beautiful, romantic trip and cruises on the river are now widely advertised.  I found it the most dull, boring trip I ever made on land or sea.  With the exception of Memphis and St. Louis almost all the cities are located back several miles from the river due to long ago flooding experiences.  About all you have to look at is levees-and you have to be higher than a PT boat deck to see over them.  In 1945 there were very few bridges across the Mississippi and we could go all day without seeing any sign of life on either side of the river.  Down-bound tows were about all we saw on the up-bound run.

After the boring trip to the Mississippi, several days in St. Louis, one of the main staging points for the Navy Day Celebrations, was a particularly welcome liberty port for the crews.  The boat captains, of course, had to go into town almost every evening to attend to “official business” much to the disgust of their Executive Officers, as one officer always had to remain on board.

The PT’s were towed by LCI’s to St. Louis but from there ran under their own power to Grafton, Illinois, and from Grafton on the Illinois River to Chicago.  The landing craft types all stopped for Navy Day at ports on the river – only LST 312 and the three PT’s went to Chicago.  The railroad bridges on the Illinois River were “semi-fixed, and we proceeded up the river, crews from the railroads drover from bridge to bridge, and with jury rig gear opened each bridge.  The PT’s could have gone under the bridges but the LST was too high.  Commercial traffic regularly using the Illinois River-tugs and barges-were designed to go under the bridges.

-Roger M. Jones, Lt. (j.g.), USNR
Commanding, PT 603

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Smooth Sailing Mr. Scheid

b: Jan 4, 1920  d: Oct 23. 2013

USS LST 312 lost another one of her crew.  Commander Waldo W. Sheid USN (Ret.) Underwater Demolitions Team 3, Captain of the USS Cronin and USS Brache, Assistant Attache to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Intelligence Officer for NATO.

Here's an email correspondence from Mr. Sheid received on 10/07/2011

David,

Received your letter with interest and pleasure.  Pat, having been aboard 312 from commissioning to decommissioning, was a true "plankowner" of the first water!  David, your uncle Pat as one of the first people I met upon coming aboard for duty.  It happened that I was so senior that the only job for me was the Executive Officer!  A little unusual for someone on his first shipboard duty as a crew member. Pat was one of the first folks I was learning from.  We served together from about September 1945 until I left the ship about April of 1946.  He was not able to attend the last reunion of the 312 because of a medical problem.  Our last reunion was in San Antonio, TX, sponsored by A.G. McDaniel and his wife Polly.  The actual operator of the reunion was their daughter, Louann Grothues, who did all of the arrangements produced a beautiful 3-ring notebook of the reunion and all of the folks who came and also of the other still known crew members.  I wonder if Pat got a copy of it, because there is a featured page or two in the book about him, as well as photos.  While we were on board together, we went to many paces including  Michigan City,IN where I joined the ship, New Orleans, Norfolk and later to Guantanamo Bay and Santiago de Cuba and also Trinidad and back to Norfolk, where I left the ship.  I looked at and enjoyed your blog.

Smooth Sailing,
Waldo "Wally" Scheid




Friday, October 25, 2013

black and white and sometimes silent


I have a great appreciation for the old movie classics, the old familiar famous faces who I will never tire.  They were old or dead when I was young.  Most are older and more are dead now that I'm going grey.

I don't recall my father enjoying many movies as much as he did the early comedians, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charley Chase and Charlie Chaplin.  Dad and I also enjoyed the early talkies with W.C. Fields, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.  These fellows didn't just make you chuckle, they made you laugh till your belly hurt.  My brother and I enjoyed watching Marx Brothers and Three Stooges.


Several years ago while at MoonSong Songwriter's Cafe, my youngest daughter Kelsey discovered Buster Keaton's comedy on their large screen.  She found a seat close to the screen and hardly took her eyes off it.  Ever since she's been a fan of Keaton.  Both big and little sister enjoy the silent movies.  They don't mind sitting down next to daddy and watch an old flick on Turner Classic Movies or Netflix.  It doesn't bother them in the least that the sound isn't in stereo and that there's no color.  They both enjoy the show for what it is, how great it was.

Last year my 17 year old discovered William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles.  Katie sat on the couch spellbound and had her own Thin Man festival one Saturday morning~afternoon.  Timeless classics are ageless because they can touch every age that follows.
  My kids enjoy the new stuff, but it pleases their old dad that they also enjoy the golden oldies too. 

Tonight the family sat down together and watched a 1955 televised version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  It was enjoyable, but I need to get the 1941 version that starred Spencer Tracy.  I have a feeling they'll enjoy that one even more.  So it's not just the comedies they like, like their dad, they like it all.  They have a lot to discover as time goes by.  Which reminds me, they have yet to experience Casablanca.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

dearly missed

A disgruntled Jack-O-Lantern in Bowling Green, KY.

I miss Fall in Kentucky.  I grew up among the pines of Alabama.  I live in and love Alabama, but I miss all the splendidly brilliant burning colors of Fall in Kentucky.

Winter is cold and desolate.  Summer is too hot.  Spring is nice, but Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I wish the kids weren't chained to school desks this time of year, because this is the time I'd love to travel.  I'd like to head northward where the landscapes are vividly splashed with every color on God's pallet.

When Gina and I lived in Bowling Green, I always anxiously looked forward to Fall.  I remember the drive out to the Fall Festival at Jackson's Orchard.  Gina would always pick up a few jars of their delicious plum butter.  I'd go for their hot apple pies.  I didn't mind getting lost driving around, winding, hilly narrow country roads beneath the shade of orange, red, yellow leaves...all those beautiful trees.  I miss it.

Gina will ask me when Summer rolls around, where I might like to go.  I have nowhere calling me during those blistering hot months.  Winter break for the children and I don't care for the tourists traps of Tennessee.  If I go, I'll remain indoors, only to venture out for a meal.  If I want to go somewhere, it's never during my favorite time of the year, during the most beautiful time to venture out.  I love Fall.  I especially miss Fall in Kentucky.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

a trip not forgotten


Gina and I traveled a lot before we had children.  At the time we had our own business and for a time business was good.  We had the time to travel and we did a good bit of it.  Most of the trips involved continuing education for Gina.  Before '96 I was also touring and playing a good bit.  I loved it when Gina could accompany me.  It wasn't as fun when situations changed and she could no longer join me.  I like being with my girl.

This picture was taken in Washington, DC in August of 1995.  Gina was expecting our first on that trip.  I remember driving up Hwy 95 with an expectant mother who was ill.  She had insisted on the Washington trip.  There was an excellent hand splinting class that she didn't want to miss.  She spent most of the week at the hotel in Arlington, a very nice hotel, that the conference was held.  With Gina in class, I had a lot of time to kill on my own.

I remember grabbing a bite to eat in the mornings at the hotel.  I'd then took advantage of the hotel's shuttle service and hitch a ride to the public metro.  I spent most of my mornings and afternoons hoofing around town, exploring DC.  I'd come back in the late afternoon to hook up with Gina.  She was a little jealous that I spent my days touring while she spent her days in class.  She was excited about what she was learning, but couldn't be at two places at once.  She was also pregnant, which meant she wouldn't have been up going all the places I had been on foot.

We did have some time together by the end of the week.  I was able to take her to the places I thought she'd enjoy seeing the most.  It was during that time that she asked for me to pose for the picture above.

My most favorite spot was Robert E. Lee's old home place, Arlington.  When I took Gina back there, it was dusk.  It was very tranquil and beautiful.  Arlington National Cemetery was an overwhelming experience ~ just being there.  If someone gave me the chance to go back to Washington, DC, but I could only go to one place, I'd go to the Arlington Cemetery again.

Late one night I sat and lightly played my guitar while Gina slept, and penned a song called Arlington.  I don't sing the song often, but it reminds me of that trip, and all those rows upon rows of sacrifice.

Friday, October 18, 2013

USS FOGG

USS Fogg DE-57

I received an email a while back from Clent Vandagriff (RM3/c) regarding the USS Fogg and USS LST-312.  The DE 57 was damaged December 20, 1944 by a T-5 torpedo from U-870, about 700 miles northeast of Azores.  USS Fogg set sail on November 6 to escort a slow towing convoy to England and back.  During the return voyage to England, one of the LSTs was torpedoed and Fogg began a search for the u-boat when it too was torpedoed.  The crew worked two days to save the ship until the stern sheared off.  The majority of the crew was then evacuated, leaving a skeleton crew behind to attempt to restore buoyancy.  The Fogg, in tow, reached Azores the following day.  The crew The torpedo tore off the stern aft of frame 125, killing 15 crew members.  The ship eventually made it back to Boston for repairs.

Mr. Vandagriff's correspondence as follows:

Very interesting article about Lt. Berry.  I was aware of some of it through our correspondence until his death.  His first wife preceded him in death and he married her sister.  The DE Escort he mentioned that took a torpedo while passing the 312 stern was the USS Fogg.  She lost most of her stern.  You can make a search of the USS Fogg for a picture.  Years later Charles Cino, a member of the 312 crew received a letter from one of the officers about the USS Fogg relating the incident.  I don't have a copy of the letter.  As far as I know Cino is still alive and kicking.  The last correspondence I had with him was last Christmas.
-Clent
10/22/11


 This is from the ship's log of the USS LST 312 for December 20, 1944:

Weather still good and speed up to 7 knots.  LST hit on port side at 1030 amidship and about to break in half.  Sub is off our stern.  1045, sub fired torpedo at us, but destroyer escort coming around our side and caught it with her stern.  Blew it nearly off.  It would have been the final straw for us if she had hit.  1050 , periscope about water firing at it.  Another escort coming down dropping cans all over the place.  He's gone now.  Hope they at least open some seams in him.  1055, our steering has gone out.  n hand steering. 1130, steering repaired back in business again.  Seems to have chased the subs and we have patrol planes overhead.

 

Click on image for better better view.









Tuesday, October 15, 2013

resurrecting dad

The Westbrook Experience at Forrest Cemetery, 10/13/13.

Several months ago I was invited by Sherry Clayton of A Walk Through Time to portray my father, Henry Westbrook Finlayson.  I knew when I was asked that it was something that I was supposed to do.  I enjoy performing, but not acting.  I'd rather have a guitar and sing.

I knew from the start that I wasn't going to write and try to memorize a script.  I knew a good bit about dad's life and figured that I would just shave my beard, borrow a wheelchair and ad-lib it.

Back in the early eighties, dad and I were on a trip.  Mom had flown to California to visit family there.  It was the first time they had ever been away from each other for an extended period of time.  While driving to Columbia, SC, I asked dad about his band days.  It was something he rarely talked about.  His past was a mystery to me.  He seemed to have lived this entirely different life before he met and married mom.  It was a wonderful trip.  I sat there and drove our blue Malibu toward South Carolina and let dad unfold his entire story.  That trip, that moment is a special memory for me. 

I knew enough to ad-lib dad's story.  I had plenty of material stored in my head.  It wasn't going to be hard to fill a few minutes.  The hard part was keeping it short.

Taking on the part meant shaving my beard. Dad wasn't a facial hair kind of guy.  I haven't shaved my beard in over twenty years.  That was the sacrifice for me. I waited until the night before to shave it.  I found some glasses similar to the ones dad use to wear and donned a hat to cover my bald head.  Westbrook after all had a full head of handsome hair throughout his life. If I was going to be dad, I had to cover the shiny dome.

Gina was downstairs after I shaved and dressed the part for the first time.  I sat in the chair and rolled up to her.  She looked up from what she was doing and her mouth dropped.  "How do I look?" I asked.  She said, "You look exactly like your dad," she replied.  So much so that it weirded her out.  So much so that she's not going to be hugging or kissing me until my beard grows back.

Truth is, I didn't realize the strong resemblance.  I got out of the chair, leaving the hat and glasses on and walked to the bathroom mirror.  There in the mirror was my dad looking back at me.  It was unsettling.  Almost every facial feature was dad. I gasped.

I got up early Sunday morning.  I got dressed and pulled together my props.  At the last minute I remembered I had dad's wristwatch.  I pulled it out of the drawer and put it on.  It was strange seeing it on my wrist.  Even my hands look like dads.  I loaded the car and drove down to Forrest Cemetery.  I rarely go to dad's grave because I never felt the need to visit a place where he isn't.  I knew the general area of the cemetery, but had to walk around a bit to finally find his marker.


It was a beautiful morning and I enjoyed conversations with other reenactors and event hosts before the gates were opened for the public.  As I sat there in the wheelchair, it felt surreal and awkward.  The more I sat there in the quiet and peaceful setting, 

the more I relaxed and started to enjoy the day and the moment.  I read a little scripture out of dad's Bible.  I watched people strolling across the cemetery in the distance in their period costumes.  They looked so real and the moment so believable.  I thought of the Thorton Wilder's play 'Our Town'.  The cemetery scene in the play is my favorite scene.  Outside the Forrest gates the real world became distant and the world of the past began to spin into motion.

Two o'clock came and I glimpsed the first visitors walking down the road.  I prayed, asking God to give me some seed to cast.  If I were going to portray my dad, it had to be a testament, it's what he would've done.  I wanted dad to be remembered and give the kind of talk he would've given.  I did alright, even though he was a more eloquent speaker than I am.  Though he accomplished all he wanted to accomplish in his life, his greatest pursuit was The Kingdom.
 

I captured his image.  I captured his mannerisms.  I told his story in an entertaining way.  My voice isn't anything like my father's voice.  I couldn't sing like my dad sang, but I did represent in a way that one could believe the man once fronted an orchestra.  I ended each presentation with the chorus of a song dad sang often when he preached, 'Til I Become Like Thee'. 

Like Thee, Like Thee, 'til I become like Thee,
Have though thy way in all my life
'til I become like Thee.



I love you dad.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

tragic time



generation after generation
Americans have come and gone
good men and women
 have lived and toiled

generation after generation
leaving life a little better
path a little higher
for their children to come

generation after generation
laboring toiling climbing
to their ceiling
hoping to become the floor
for their little ones to come

generation after generation
laboring toiling climbing
for their children to have what they had
and more
praying that the following generations
will have the same heart
the same hope
as they

generation after generation
laboring toiling climbing
trusting those who follow
follow in the path they have made
the legacy left
to increase
and give again

generation after generation
laboring toiling climbing
praying trusting
the following genernations
would never stray
praying
that following generations
would never be
so spoiled
so selfish
so entitled
to serve themselves
leave nothing else
but the tab
for those who follow

generation after generation
laboring toiling climbing
praying the following generations
would never be so greedy
so inward
so hopeless
so bent
to spend all
that which was bought
at a price paid so dearly for

to destroy
trample
trod over a legacy so precious
the gifts of their fathers
their father's before
something that took so long to achieve
wasted
wasted
the ceiling becomes a pit
they came took left
leaving little
or nothing
for their children
and children's children
they came took left
leaving nothing
but a world of hurt
 their father's debt to pay
we are living in a day
of takers
we are living in tragic time


Friday, October 4, 2013

wine and cheese



i am an artist
i like wine
i like cheese
yet
i can not endure
wine and cheese
arty fart crowds
faking frivilous fawners
i like to express
see expression
i like art
yet
rather experience it
sans superficisal
pompus
pretentious
postering
pretenders
rooms where
nothing is real
on the wall
nor meeting in the hall
c'est une pipe
c'est une people
i will have my wine and cheese
at home please