Tag Archives: history

The loss of a grandparent…

Recently I lost one of my grandparents, my grandfather.  The first thing I did when I heard was remember all of the amazing lessons he taught me.  My mind flashed back to childhood and the many times we spent together.  The moment that stands out the most, over the years, has been the one at the Calico Ghost Town.  My grandparents took me there when I was young, along with my mother.  I always loved the Old West and cowboys and Indians growing up.  And I always loved ghosts and ghost stories.

When we first arrived, I was amazed and in awe that all that I had seen in movies and on TV was true!  This is what an Old West town looked like, and indeed was abandoned so the fact that it was a ghost town was even more intriguing!

While we were there, taking the tour, I got to try Sarsaparilla for the first time.  It was so much better than Root beer and tasted like the Old West.  While we walked around, I found a horseshoe in the dirt.  I immediately bent down and picked it up.  “Souvenir!” I exclaimed.  It was old and rustic, obviously left behind by the inhabitants when they abandoned the town.  But then my grandfather weighed in…

“You can’t take that,” he said to me, “otherwise people who visit here won’t get to see it.  That is part of the history and culture of this place, the people who lived here, a hundred years ago, the things they left behind.”

But I cried and pleaded with my mother to be able to keep it.  She insisted, as did grandfather, that I leave it.  So after much deliberation and reluctantly, I put it back in the dirt where I found it.  My grandfather had taught me a valuable lesson about selflessness.

That Christmas, I was rewarded for listening to my grandfather.  I received a horseshoe from grandfather.  It was brand new.  I cherished it and the lesson he taught me.

SAMSUNG

 

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I had the rare opportunity to explore the catwalk, above the rafters at The Paramount and experience the Wurlitzer.

Paramount drums

I was able to climb the steep ladders, crawl over the top of the ceiling, 4 floors above the stage, walk the catwalk and see all of the amazing instruments that are played when the Wurlitzer is engaged inside The Paramount theater.  The Wurlitzer is an amazing organ, only a few are left in the world.  There is one at The Paramount in Seattle.  When the Wurlitzer keys are pressed on the organ, air currents are shuttled throughout the theater, forcing the individual instruments to play, such as drums, horns, dulciana, chrysoglot and even a harp.  The sound comes through the louvers in the wall so that the entire theater reverberates as if an orchestra were playing.  It was a wonderful experience and this instrument and the organ itself, as well as the theater, are a marvel of technology and history, even though they were invented and built 100 years ago!  I have a new love and respect for both.

Paramount horns

Thanks Phil, the caretaker, for this great experience!

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Why do the history books lie to us?

Why do the history books lie to us?  Why do they tell us that Christopher Columbus discovered America when Leif Erikson did 400 years before Columbus was born.  Why do they tell us we walked on the moon when we didn’t, nor did the Russians.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons why JFK was shot, because he lied to us.  Why do they tell us that Lincoln freed the slaves out of emancipation when he only did it to gain more soldiers to fight for the Union Army?  Maybe that’s one of the reasons Lincoln was shot.

Why don’t they tell us that F.D.R. knew about the imminent attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese but he didn’t do anything about it.  Was it because he let it happen so that the U.S. was justified for entering World War II.  And what about Bush knowing about the attacks that were about to happen on 9-11.  And why did we forget to mention that while Nazis were killing Jews and Russians were killing just as many Slavs that America was killing and imprisoning Japanese.  It’s time for us all to open our eyes and see the reality of our government and society.  Oh, and wasn’t the Vietnam war all about drugs anyway?

ship from train

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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were actually in Nineveh…

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were actually in Nineveh and not Babylon, and they were built by Sennacherib, not by Nebuchadnezzar.  It’s interesting how much of history is skewed, since it is written typically by usurpers and people who have hanged heroes and taken credit for what they did not invent, stealing the fame of those who actually deserved the credit and were worthy, but were snubbed out of jealousy.

The Hanging Gardens were a marvel of the world and the way in which the water was carried uphill to water the great fruit tree groves was genius.  Even the aqueducts Sennacherib built were a marvel, centuries before the Romans came.  Senacherib actually invented the Archimedes screw, centuries before Archimedes was born!  When reading history, one must always consider that certain people have been dispossessed of the credit they deserve and one must dig deeper to find the truth.  I hope one day I can invent something as amazing to enchant the world as Senacherib’s Hanging Gardens.

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I feel like I am “Niggle” creating my “Leaf.”

As I finished my most recent novel, and started work on my new one, I felt like “Niggle” in that story by J.R.R. Tolkien called “Leaf by Niggle.”  I realized that as I read it so many years ago that Tolkien was talking about an artist, Niggle, and in many ways was referring to himself.  The great work that Tolkien was working on, building, constructing, make with his artistic talent for writing was his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and the history that was behind it in “The Silmarillion.”  At the time, I didn’t fully get his meaning, but most of it resonated with me.

Recently, I realized something new about “Niggle” and his “Leaf,” and that is that my work, writing my novels, is bigger than me and eventually, all my books that I have written combined are my life, and my life has become my books.  I live my life and go about my other duties and experiences, sometimes postponing the work I do on my books, but I always come back and write more, adding, building, my literary body of work which is my life.  And I know one day I will live in my work, in a metaphysical way.  This realization has inspired me to never give up writing and has given me new hope of what a wonderful world I have created with my books and that is a legacy that all will enjoy and benefit from, long after I am gone.

fireplace 1

 

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Engineering, anthropology, etymology, architecture: All needed to write a novel.

Among the many skills I need as an author to write a novel, I also need to have a background in engineering,  physics, anthropology, etymology, architecture, city planning, social services, family guidance, history and many other skills and knowledge of these topics and disciplines are needed for me to write a novel.

In addition to these, I need to be able to write a good story, develop characters, create plot, invent cities and plan them out, guide families, build relationships, integrate history, even be well versed in military tactics.  But all of these skills and knowledge add up to one thing:  My next best novel.  It is coming out next month.  Stay tuned.

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