Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: March 2009

A Novel

Clip 1

Far Gresham

Volume II


Tales Of The American Melting Pot


I.  The Skids Are Greased

II.  Rocket Sled To Hell

Once when I began to think about things that are and my thoughts soared exceedingly high, and my bodily senses were held down by sleep like people weighed down by overeating and weariness, I thought I saw a being of vast and boundless magnitude coming toward me, who called me by name and said, “What do you wish to hear and see, to learn and know?”

“Who are you?”  I said.

“I am Poimandres,”  he said, “the mind of absolute power.  I know what you want and I am with you everywhere.”

“I want to learn about things as they are, their nature, and to know God.”  I replied.

“I know what you wish, for I am with you everywhere.  Keep in mind what you wish to learn and I will teach you.

=Hermes Trismegistus.


The Meaning Of Bigotry In America

     The summer of 1950 was one of those watershed years.  I was to begin my apprenticeship to adult life.  My childhood was behind me, I was entering youth.  I had failed to make the transition from the Orphanage mentality to middle class mentality, although I was unaware of it.  The Orphanage was behind me; I existed on the periphery of society like a sperm trying to bore into the ova.  I would never be able to penetrate the shell.

     Excluded from associations I became a voracious reader.  I read the newspapers and magazines of the Warden household.  I developed an interest in politics and the American social scene as presented by mass circulation periodicals.  My world might properly be said to be constituted of their content rather than personal affiliations in the Valley.

page 460.

     A major portion of the content of these publications dealt with national identities and racial matters.  The topic is central to what is laughingly known as American civilization.  The attempt was to reconcile the great potpourri of peoples to one another in the hope of creating a unified whole.  The object was to denounce bigotry.  My mind was mystified, not so much by the term as by its application.  All of the evils denounced as bigotry were precisely the evils suffered at the Children’s Home at the hands  of Anglo-Americans and the very minorities the articles said were oppressed.

     My name was Gresham.  I had been and was being raised in Ango-American houses.  I knew my mother had been Polish but I still thought like, acted like and considered myself an Anglo-American; one of the ‘privileged’ class.  I was so thought of by my classmates.  Yet when I read of the horrors endured by ‘minorities’ I found I had experienced as bad and worse at the Children’s Home.  Yet I was expected to dismiss this treatment because I was, what later became known as a WASP.

     The magazines recounted as horror stories the inhumanity of Europeans when, early in the nineteenth century during the Hep Hep riots in Germany Jews were stoned on the streets and compelled to use alleys and sidestreets.  Yet only two or three years earlier, right here in the good old humane U.S.A., we orphans had been stoned and beaten off the streets into the alleys because those same peoples didn’t want to see us on ‘their’ streets.  Some of those people were the very Jews descendents of those who had suffered so heinously in Germany.

page 461.

     Between the wars in Poland Jewish children  had been forced to sit on separate benches along the wall.  At the beginning of the twentieth century Japanese children in San Francisco were sent to a separate school from Whites.  All this was depicted as the greatest of injustices inflicted by ignorant vicious bigots.  As I read it on my hands and knees on the floor the shock of recognition was such that I straightened up in wonderment placing my hands on my hips while staring down at the magazine in stunned awe.

     Why were these things terrible when they happened to Jews and Japanese and Negroes but dismissed when they happened to me?  Why were the people who had done these things to me not bigots?  I had stopped telling people about our having to sit along the wall at Longfellow or when we orphans had to sit on a bench at recess while the others played, for lack of sympathy.  They said I probably deserved it.  The Wardens just guffawed and said I had it coming, but they neither could nor would say why.

     A sense of indignation welled up in me.  I went to the dictionary to recheck the word bigotry.  I reread and found my original understanding correct but as I sat pondering the meaning I thought to myself:  Something is wrong here.  This isn’t really what society means by the word bigotry.  For society had turned the definition of bigot and bigotry around from a general term to a specific meaning that apparently applied to only one nationality in America- the Anglo-Americans.

     I began to wonder how that definition of bigotry came into existence in America.  the problem is one that is central to my character and for the proper understanding of my story and those involved with me.  The peculiar nature of American socity can be traced by the interaction of the various belief systems as they entered the country layer by layer.  Throughout, all the various interpretations of the Bible form the woof and warp of the fabric.  The design impinted on the fabric comes from a different souce.

     That source is the European Enlightenment.  The Enlightenment took definite shape ater 1700.  The principal streams of English immigration took place prior to that occurrence when the Bible was the strongest basis of socity.  The early English immigration came from two sources.  The Puritans emigrated from New England under pressure from the royalist side.  After Cromwell and the Puritans deposed the crown the royalists, in their turn, emigrated to Virginia where they were known as the Cavaliers.  Both were biblically oriented to the point of being theocracies.  The two groups form conflicting strands of American consciousness although both are firmly rooted in the Bible.

     Interposed between the Puritans of the North and the Cavaliers of the South was the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam which name, when the colony fell to the English was changed to New York.  Thus the pivot state of New York developed differently than the purely English colonies.

     The fact that America was founded by the English is more significant for subsequent historical development in the New World than might first appear, for a third interpreter of the Bible, the Jews, were and are a significant addition to the demographic stew of the potpourri of peoples that forms the United States.

page  463.

     On the European continent there had been perpetual enmity between Europeans and Jews for thousands of years.  When Jews first landed in New York in 1654 govenor Peter Stuyvesant wanted to refuse them permission to stay because of this age old enmity but he was overruled by his board of governors which already had significant Jewish membership.

     In England the Jews had been expelled three hundred sixty years before colonization began.  English society had been the only place in Europe that was Judenrein- in other words had no Jewish population.  Prior to 1066 there had been no Jewish community in England.  Jews came to England only in the train of William the Conqueror.  The first English encounter with the Jews was brief, violent and bloody.  The English reaction to the continental people was one of repulsion.  The rate of violence grew until the Jews, under physical attack, were expelled in 1290.

     Thus the English, unlike Europeans, had no contact with Jews for hundreds of years before the Puritans fled England.  During the first part of this long span, England, like the rest of Europe had been Catholic.  Catholicism does not encourage Bible reading, nor does it encourage individual thought or opinion.  Catholicism rules by dogmas.  Then a national church arose in England.  Coinciding with rise was the invention of the printing press with movable type.  The first book printed was both testaments of the Bible.  The Old Testament, some find it the actual world of God, became available to all who could or would read it.

page 464.

     The impact in England was immense.  The attraction of the notion of a chosen people was as glittering as gold.  Actually the notion of the English as a chose people extended back to the Arthurian epics but devoid of contact with or religious competition from the Jews, the English could fancy themselves as the actual Chosen People, the new Israelites, which they did.  A  legend developed that the English were the descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel.  While on the continent there was bitter warfare between Jews and Europeans, the English developed the notion of patriarchal Israelites.  The ‘Jew’ as the European knew him did not exist in the English consciousness.  The ‘Israelite’ took his place.

     The Jews were offcially readmitted to England by the Puritan, Cromwell, but their influence was still but lightly felt during the period of colonization.  The English took the romanticized notion of the Israelite to America.  Thus the descendants of the settlers had had no experience with Jews from 1290 to approximately 1880.

     During the first 150 years of colonization revolutionary forces were at work in England and on the continent.  A tremendous social upheaval was brewing.  The medieval world was about to disappear and modernity take its place.  There were many strands to the revolutionary forces but they were led by a combination of Freemasons and Jews, as the various anti-social strands were too anarchic to organize to begin the revolution themselves.  This was the beginning of the World Revolution of which the American and French Revolutions were only the opening volleys.

page 465.

     For obvious reasons the Jews wish to deny their participation in the World Revolution, for reasons that I cannot fathom, so do the Freemasons.   The beginnings of the World Revolution were anti-Monarchical, anti-Biblical and anti-Civilization in character.  Both Jews and Freemasons had reasons to destroy the ruling houses.  Jews attributed their suffering to them while the Freemasons were democratic in philosophy.  The hatred  the Jews felt for Catholicism no human tongue can tell.  They extended their animosity to Christianity in general.  All of their hatreds coalesced into one overriding hatred of European society.  Numerically inferior the Jews had known few triumphs in their two thousand year conflict within Europe.

     The Freemasons were not only anti-Catholic in sentiment but anti-biblical.  The Freemasons do not appear to have been active participants in the anti-Civilization aspect of the World Revolution, leaving that aspect to the Jews and other anti-Christian sects.

     The intent of the Revolution was and is to destroy monarchies as institutions and Biblical authority in general while atempting a jejune return to a ‘natural’  hetaeric organization of society.

     The pre-Revolution’s leading exponent, Voltaire, was anti-biblical, which is to say that it was impossible for him to be anti-Catholic without being anti-Jewish.  The Jews, with their peculiar sensitivity, characterize Voltaire as an anti-Semite, but this is only because they are incapable of admitting the superstitious beliefs that characterize Catholocism and Judaism stem from the same biblical source and are equally nonsensical.

page 466.

     The European Enlightenment was anti-biblical not just anti-Christian.  Its goal was tolerance of all humanity without the need for creeds.  No reasonable man has ever been in favor of intolerant creeds.

     An imitative Jewish enlightenment, breaking up medieval Jewish attitudes, existed side by side with the European Enlightenment.  The European Enlightenment was led by the Freemasons.  Both groups were significant contributors to the American as well as the French Revolution.

     Freemasonic principles were the guiding philosophy of the American Revolution.  The ideas of the European Enlightenment were enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.   Thus the presence in America of the Freemason Lafayette and the other European Freemasons was less a simple desire to help ‘oppressed’ colonists than to hammer out the first rung of the World Revolution, the establishment of the first Enlightened State in the world.  This they did.  They also established the conditions that contributed to the meaning of Bigotry in America.

     The Enlightenment was a reaction against biblical authority.  It denied all creeds.  Its notion was that all men were created equal with regard to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That is Europeans were created without distinctions of caste.  Aristocracy was a to be a thing of the past, all men were entitled to have a chance to share in the good things of the world.  Or as the anti-Civilization Revolutionaries were to nonsensically put it:  From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.  The Constitution enshrined a tolerant all-embracing belief system.  The belief system was conceived so equitably that the Americans believed that immigrants would abandon their own bigoted belief systems to embrace freedom and liberty.

page 467.

     But America had divorced itself from a realistic appreciation of  European belief systems.  All belief systems with the exception of the Freemasonic/American must of necessity be intolerant and bigoted.  Each of the belief systems believes itself in possession of absolute truth, which means of necessity, that all other belief systems are false and pernicious.  Thus there was no little irony when the invading European belief systems labeled the enlightened Americans as bigots for resisting their attempts to re-impose their belief systems in the New World.

     In Europe the Freemasons had been anathematized by the Catholic Church.  From Catholicism’s point of view, held with great accuracy, the Freemasons sought the destruction of the Catholic Church.  Early immigration to America had come from the dissidents to Catholicism.  Those Protestants came at a time when there was sharp discord between the two belief systems.  Masonic ideals had subsequently permeated American Protestantism very thoroughly.  The Masonic order in American was larger than any church, but, for some reason, semi-clandestine.  It was a secret society.

     After 1800, immigration to the new United States was largely from Catholic countries.  Catholicism, directed from Rome, retained its anti-Masonic strictures.  Thus incoming Catholics were forbidden to become Masons.  The Masons were perfectly willing to accept Catholics, contrary to popular belief, but received no applications.  Thus a dichotomy was created not by bigoted Americans but by bigoted Catholicism. Catholics formed their own Knights Of Columbus lodges.

     The Catholic Irish came in their millions.  In addition to their ardent Catholicism the Irish held a centuries old antagonism to the English and things English.  They did not embrace Enlightened attitudes the moment they set foot on American shores;  indeed they perpetuated both antagonisms in America.  A conservative reaction sprang up which was overruled by the spirit of the Freemasonic Englightenment.  In an absolutely stunning turnaround the dissident Americans were labeled bigots while the great oppressor of freedom in Europe, the Catholic church, was considered liberal.

     Wow!  Catholicism is not tolerant, nor can it ever afford to be.  If it or any other belief system is to survive or conquer it must suppress all others.  Catholicism is an international organization centered in Rome. It, in fact, was the counter-revolution incarnate.  The incipient World Revolution, with its anti-religious bias, had no greater enemy.  Catholicism could not be expected to be any more tolerant of Freemasonry in the New World than it was in the Old; nor could Freemasonry cease its antagonism to its arch-enemy Catholicism.

page 469.

     This fact was recognized by intelligent Americans and a resistance was put up to what was, in effect, the Catholic invasion of America when placed within the proper historical context.

     In Europe the Enlightenment considered Catholicism the mother of bigotry.  Voltaire’s cry had been to crush the monster- Ecrasez l’ infame.  A casual reading of the literature of the nineteenth century America demonstrates that Catholicism’s intent was to impose its belief system, yet Catholicism was able to portray Americans as bigots.

     The tolerance, or lack of separation into creeds, of the Masonic belief system was turned back on it as wave after wave of intolerant belief systems entered America to demand recognition of their creed in preference to all others.  When Americans attempted to proffer their own Enlightened belief system they were pushed back as bigots.  The Americans took their beliefs as granted.  The immigrants knew what they believed while the Americans were hazy on their own.  Americans began backpeddling and have continued to do so to this very day.

     A faction of the anti-Social wing of the World Revolution had developed into Socialism and from thence through Karl Marx into Communism.  After the abortive 1848 rising of the World Revolution Socialists and Communists fled Europe for the United States bringing their intolerant anti-Civilization creeds with them.  Thus an antagonism was created that was to last for a hundred fifty years into the present as Socialists, Communists and Americans fought it out.  The anti-Civilization creeds were so antagonistic to American beliefs that no accommodation was possible on the part of the Americans; they would not backpeddle for the anti-Civilization revolutionists.  Communism was compelled to give way, yet even this most intolerant of belief systems continued to portray Americans as bigots.


 page 470.

     The great fallacy of immigration is that the immigrants came to America in search of religious freedom.  This notion was especially fostered by the examples of the Puritans and Quakers but has little application to subsequent immigration.  I have little sympathy for political dissidents.  Oppression is part of the human makeup; only weaklings flee.  Almost all of the later immigration was made up of political dissidents or those seeking greater economic opportunity.

     The country was sparsely inhabited.  Economic resources appeared to be inexhaustible.  In order to get at and turn these potential riches into money faster the finance capitalists actively recruited laborers overseas.  These laborers were exploited ruthlessly although millions returned home with their savings to live among their nationals in comfort.

     Foremost among the birds of passage were the Italians.  Italy, which was and is a poor country, had been unable to support its population for some time.  Throughout the nineteenth century Italian labor had migrated into Europe to work for the season while wintering in the South.  With the advent of steamships, which provided speedy, reliable, safe ocean travel, the Italians extended their migratory routes to Argentina and South America and then to the United States and Canada toward the end of the nineteenth century.  Of the Italian immigrants entering the United States about half as many returned each year as arrived.  Many came and went on a seasonal basis.

page 471.

     It was not their intent to abandon either their Italian nationality or culture.  Nor was it Italy’s intent to abandon them.  The Italian governments made strong efforts to maintain the Italian identity of their migrants.  Italian governments made efforts to interfere in American affairs to protect and guide their nationals.  The ties were close; Italian men were drafted from American shores to serve in the Italian army during the Great War.  Indeed, Mussolini attempted to return disabled Italian soldiers to the United States for medical care.  The Fascist government of Mussolini itself attempted to preserve Italian citizenship and identity of the migrants through the twenties and thirties.  Most Italians didn’t reconcile themselves to the United States until after the end of WWII, that is the late forties.

     Generally speaking the North European immigrants were absorbed with less difficulty than the South and East Europeans but this too is much exaggerated.  No serious attempt to Americanize the immigrants occurred until the Great War forced Americans to evaluate the nature of immigration.  They were appalled to suddenly discover that the immigrants had not discarded their European beliefs and wholeheartedly embraced American ideals.  The Irish and Germans came over in the millions.  So many that great colonies could be established that not only allowed the preservation  of the culture but retarded development along American lines.  In 1920 Chicago had the sixth largest urban population of Germans in either Germany or America.

page 472.

     As the Germans arrived in large numbers during the 1840s, 50s and 60s there was talk of forming a German State somewhere in America, perhaps Missouri.  Germans, with the pride of language, steadfastly refused to learn English and abandon German.

     But the people who were to most profoundly change the basis of American society came from nowhere and everywhere.  They were an international people who had interposed their creed wherever they settled while refusing to assimilate with anyone.  They were the Jews.  Their European background was very complex and must be examined in some detail because no other nationality is surrounded with such a halo of protective prejudices that prevents objective examination.

     Their history and cuture developed in slightly different manners depending upon the culture in which it was embedded.  At the time of the French Revolution they had only recently been readmitted into England while still being officially forbidden France, Spain and Portugal.  Many of the German principalities excluded them also.  Where they did live in Germany they existed on sufferance.  Yet it was these German Jews that were to bring the Jews of the East from the Middle Ages.

     The great body of Jewry resided in the East, in Poland, Lithuania, the Ukraine and the Eastern provinces of the Austrian Empire.  These were called Ostjuden by their fellows.  The Eastern Jews or the Russian Jews of the Pale of the Settlement.

page 473.

     There was a basic incompatibility between the belief systems of the Jews and the Europeans.  It is wrong to assume, as we have all been taught, that the Jews were the innocent victims of the Europeans.  The Jews have never been innocent victims.  The incompatibility does not mean that the Europeans were at fault.  It means that both belief systems where strongly held and they were incompatible.  However as the Jews were pitiably few in number they had been the chief sufferers, although not moreso than the general European populace.  Jews were never Serfs, which is say slaves, as were the native Europeans.  Western Europe had been very inhospitable to the Jews.  The Jews had been expelled from England, France, Spain and Portugal.  Their lot in Germany had been trying.

     During the tribulationsof the Middle Ages large numbers had drifted East into the Polish-Lithuanian kingdom.  They had been stopped at the door of Great Russia.  Thus the main body of European Jewry lived in that vast relatively unpopulated area that would be institutionalized as the Pale of Settlement after the Russian conquest of the eighteenth century.

     A semi-autonomous Jewish nation had grown up with the loosely administered state of the Poles.  The Polish State at that time included Lithuania, White Russia and the Ukraine.  The Jews were allied with, or under the tutelage of the Poles.  Yet they had an independent existence with their own language, their own courts and their own religion.  Many towns were wholly Jewish while others were predominantly so.

     Jewish religion may be found developed in its purest state among the Ostjuden.  There it developed and there it remained at or below the intellectual level of the Medieval Catholic Church even as the Ostjuden emigrated to the United States.  As the German Jews abandoned the medieval concept of Judaism for the Jewish Enlightenment, the Ostjuden became a source of social embarrassment to them.  Yet, the Ostjuden rose above the German Jews in the United States to become the guardians and propagators of the true Jewish spirit.

page 474.

     The Russian State coalesced only in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; but it came together with enormous expansive force.  The Russians moved with amazing rapidity East across Siberia, into Alaska and even establishing an outpost in California above San Francisco on what is known as the Russian River.  They conquered South into Central Asia and the shores of the Black Sea, West into Polish Europe, North to the White Sea.  Just as the English had had an unfavorable encounter with the Jews, so had the Russians.   Thus the Russians closed off their State to the Jews almost before the State was formed.  They had rigidly enforced the ban.  However, as they expanded Westward across White Russia into Poland the Russians acquired the largest body of Jews in the world.

     The Jews had been semi-independent; they now became, along with the Poles and numerous other nations a conquered people.  One must not confuse the Jewish conflict in Russia as solely a religious difference.  The Jews are incapable of accepting the government of any other nation.  Being the ‘Chosen People’ means that they are subject only to God and they contest that.  They can never submit to any other government.  The assertion is repeated over and over in Jewish historians from Josephus to the present.  There is nothing more fundamental to the Jewish character.  As the Poles were both Poles and Roman Catholics as opposed to the Russians and their Eastern Orthodox religion, so the Jews were a national group practicing Judaism.  The Jews were thus a Stateless nation.  The Russians wished to impose cultural uniformity on their newly acquired dominions.  Among others the Poles and Jews rejected Russian cultural supremacy but the Poles had a national territory for security while the Jews were distributed throughout the Russian Empire, now including Great Russia, as an exclusive people.

     The Russians were intolerantly of the Russian Orthodox system, the Poles were of the intolerant Roman Catholic belief system, and the Jews were intolerantly Jewish.  None had any special claim, other than might, to assert the dignity of their belief system over the others; all wished to survive and rule.  There was absolutely no room for discussion or compromise.  One belief system or the other must prevail.  The prospects of the Russians appeared best; the Poles might expect to recover their independence; the plight of the Jews appeared hopeless.  Yet it is to be noted that by 1917 the Jews had wiped the name of Russia from the map.

     The antagonism between the Russians and the Jews began slowly after the conquest until the warfare took definite form after the assassination of the Czar in 1881.  The Jewish situation was somewhat analogous to that of the Huns in Euorpe after their leader Atilla died.  The Huns could no longer hold their own against the Europeans.  Unlike the Jews who were trapped with no apparent retreat open to them the Huns retreated back into the steppes to accept their fate there.

page 476.

     The Jews had no place to go in Europe where they were welcome.  But, by the late nineteenth century, the developing nations of the New World, from Argentina to Canada, opened their areas to receive them so that a retreat opened to them in those countries.

     Immense Jewish fortunes had been made in Europe in the wake of the French Revolution; these fortunes were now enlisted to assist the Ostjuden in their flight from the Pale of the Settlement.

     Thus this essentially primitive people, steeped only in the inane knowledge of the Talmud, increasingly radicalized and made vicious by their war with Russia, which had been transmuted in their minds to a personal struggle between the Czar and themselves, were dumped on the United States where they formed numerous and large colonies.

     Through the centuries, as a semi-autonomous people the Ostjuden had lived in constant friction with the surrounding peoples.  The tradition of hositility combined with their own intolerant religious temperament had formed a character charged with resentment, hatred, fear and the need to assert the dignity promised them by their God of the Bible.  They had acquired a curious mixture of arrogance and servility.

     While the German Jews immigrating to America in the nineteenth century had been more cosmopolitan in outlook and had migrated throughout the United States the Ostjuden conditioned by fear of their neighbors tended to huddle as it were on the very beach on which they had landed.  They initially huddled on the Lower East Side of New York City, a mere few steps from their landing.

page 477.

     Contrary to popular understanding, conditions in the New World did not create the Jewish mentality in New York.  The Ostjuden brought thier own customs and habits from the Old Country and merely adapted them to their new environment until their appreciation of their new situation began to act as a solvent.

     The crowding together in the New World was merely a duplication of the crowding of the old.  In the Pale a room was often divided into corners.  A family, that’s right, a family inhabited each corner, or quarter, of the room; hence the expression:  He hasn’t got a corner to call his own.  As the Ostjuden came in their millions they literally piled up in stacks in the few blocks of the Jewish quarter until their quarter had the highest population density in the world.  The crowding was not imposed on them by conditions in America but was a mere continuation of Jewish customs in the Pale of the Settlement.

     The Jews in the Pale had a very highly developed political organization which operated both openly and clandestinely.  This organization was transported whole and entire to the United States.  It should always be remembered that the Jews did not emigrate individually but as a nation.  The efficiency of the national organization was further abetted by the German Jews, who, in effect, had been pioneers for the Ostjuden.  The German Jews had been in the United States long enough to have acquired considerable fortunes, although nothing like the Jewish fortunes in Europe; these fortunes were now turned to assist the Ostjuden in establishing themselves in America.

page 478.

     The readymade clothing industry that developed after the advent of the sewing machine had been the province of the German Jews.  From 1880 to 1920 the industry was a fabulous growth industry as people switched from homemade to store bought clothing.  The Ostjuden were now absorbed into this huge and growing industry to the exclusion of other peoples; the industry became an autonomous Jewish national economic system.

     America, regardless of the condition of unskilled laborers, was a very prosperous country.  Money was to be made easily by anyone with a will.  The Ostjuden quickly acquired the means to oust their erstwhile advisors, the German Jews, from the garment trades.  They bought the tenements the Ostjuden lived in; they developed Brooklyn.  At no time were the Jews exploited by Anglo-Americans, as is commonly supposed, the Jews were only exploited by each other from their entry into the United States.

     Because of their experiences with the Russians, the Jews in America were both aggressive and very sensitive to conflict with others.  Always bear in mind that the Jews consider themselves subject only to their God.  They can never nor will they ever give allegiance to any other government.  As God, or Jehovah, does not exist, this is tantamount to saying that the Jews consider themselves an Imperial people superior to all others.  They could not conceive of the American government in any other terms than the ones in which they conceived the Russian government.  The American government was unconcerned with Jewish nationality hence Jewish autonomy was established immediately on arrival.  Hence a host of ‘defense’ organizations, analogous to the Jewish Brotherhoods of Russia, sprang into existence as soon as their numbers justified them.  The Jews believe that a good offense is the best defense, hence they tend to confuse aggression and defense.  They consider an unprovoked attack on a potential enemy as a pre-emptive measure.  In other words, if you treat a neighbor as a potiential enemy and eliminate him before he realizes that you are his enemy and has a chance to defend himself, that is a pre-emptive strike.

     As they put it, one must build a fence around Torah.  In the defense of the Law the fence is pushed further away from Torah to provide greater security.  During the approach of the European War, for instance, Franklin Delano Roosevelt first pushed the three mile ocean limit to twelve miles, then a thousand miles. Next American territorial waters were pushed out to Iceland; then Roosevelt issued orders to shoot at German vessels on sight.  All this was during peacetime without a declaration of war.  It was even said that America’s frontier with Germany was on the Rhine, definitely Jewish influence in the White House.  This frontier might have created some problems as it incorporated England, France, Holland and part of Germany.  but the example gives the nature of what Jews mean by defense.  Offense and defense become blurred; the one becomes indistinguishable from the other.

      Henry Ford objected to this very attitude.  Many Americans feared and claimed that the Jews were unassimilable.  They were vague in the reasons for their opinion but they were absolutely correct.  The Star of David rises over all other governments in the Jewish mind.

page 480.

     The first truly successful Jewish Brotherhood in the United States was the Order of B’nai B’rith.  Freemasonry had fallen into temporary disrepute about 1828.  The Order was under great pressure.  Membership declined.  Bereft of the Masons, Jews formed B’nai B’rith in 1843 to fill the void or to keep the Jewish spirit intact.  The Order prospered and grew, by the time of the great influx of Ostjuden it was an international organization.  In 1913 it developed further when the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith was formed.

     The American Jewish Committee, which took on Henry Ford, was actually the first of the ‘defense’ organizations.  Founded in 1906, it was autocratic formed along German lines by the American German Jews.

     As the Ostjuden arrived in numbers an attempt was made to f0rm an international government centered in New York.  When the Kehilla was formed along the lines of the Russo-Polish model, American soil was either not propitious or events had antiquated the model.  The Kehilla had to be abandoned.  The American Jewish Committee did however function as part of an America wide and international Jewish government.

     The very strong Jewish reaction to criticism combined with their very active projection of Jewish desires gave definite form to the notion of bigotry in America.  Jewish writers immediately set about revising American history in a Jewish Biblical cast.  They cleverly grouped all immigrants into a coalition which combined with American Biblical elements achieved power when F.D. Roosevelt was elected.

page 481.

     The American public was not only ill-informed about Jewish antecedents, Americans have never understood the Jewish role in history.  Jewish propaganda characterized the Russian experience as one of religious persecution to fit in with American prejudices.  This characterization went unchallenged until Henry Ford began his exposes in 1920.

     But as the old Americans were of English extraction their attitude toward Jews was mostly one of awe and wonderment at Israelites.  Having had no experience with Jews for centuries they could only interpret them through the pages of the Old Testament.  In the Old Testament the Jews refer  to themselves as a nation of priests.  They attribute to themselves a character of purity which cannot be found in the annals of their history.  Americans, then, tended to defer to Jews as a holy people, as the descendants of the Patriarchs who were considered the epitome of the Holy Man.  Americans not only believed the Bible to be the very breath of God but there is, further, something distasteful to Americans in even mentioning the word ‘Jew.’  They prefer Israelites.  It is a sensitive area.  The word Jew can only be uttered with a twinge of embarrassment and apprehension lest the holy people be offended and even that God might take direct action against you, such as a lightning bolt.

     Thus the horror when Henry Ford tackled the issue head on in the pages of his newspaper.  Thus his crushing defeat by his own fellows as opposed to the Jews.  Ford’s efforts even supported Jewish contentions that ‘anti-Semitism’ was rife in America.

Page 482.

     Prior to 1920 the Jews had had to invent anti-Semitic issues.  After the anti-Defamation League was formed its officers issued a plea to movie producers to cease making anti-Semitic films.  Now, the movie industry was in Jewish hands.  If any anti-Semitic films were being made they were being made by Jews.  Carl Laemmle, the Jewish head of Universal Studios, obligingly issued a statement that Universal would no longer make anti-Semitic films.  Ford was a blessing in disguise.

     By 1920 the bulk of the European immigration was completed.  The panicked Old Americans had slammed the door but a group of self-assertive intolerant bigoted belief systems were already opposed to the liberal Freemasonic conception of society.  The theocratic Biblical underpinnings of American society now formed an alliance with those forces in oppostion to ‘bigotry.’  The official position of ‘minorities’ on bigory in American was formulated by the Jewish writer Gustavus Myers in his ‘History Of Bigotry In The United States.’, which carefully attributes all conflict as the bigoted behavior of Americans against immigrants.  In a curious reversal of attitudes the liberal comprehensive views of Freemasonry were depicted as bigoted while the narrow parochial tenets of the the opposing Biblical systems were characterized as liberal.  Strange world, strange thinking people.

     The immigrants from East and Southern Europe with their first or second generation offspring now represented half of the American population.  Due to language and cultural differences they had been unable to assert themselves in the first decades of the twentieth century.  During the twenties and thirties they began to acquire the skills to make their presence felt.  They deeply resented the indignities they had suffered as new immigrants.  In lesser numbers their complaints would have been but the grumbling of those unable to adjust to their new chosen environment but in their great numbers they could vent their wrath on their hosts; they could beard the lion in his own den.

page 483.

     The Russians tried to impose their culture on indigenous peoples and failed.  The indegenous were too strong on their home ground.  The immigrants had attempted to retain their languages and customs but the extablished American culture had prevented it being too strong on its home ground to permit the immigrants unadulterated retention of national customs and religions.  The benefits conferred on them by the United States compared to their expectations in the their native lands had been incomparably great.  Yet they converted the unavoidable pain of imigration into an unreasonable resentment of their hosts.  Unable to retain their individual cultures, in combination they were able to exact punishment on the Anglo-Americans.

     The Great War had done much to dissolve the European nations’ attitude that their nations were merely overseas citizens.  Yet the Italians attempted to maintain national identity while after the victory of the Nazis in Germany, an attempt was made to rouse Germans into a Pan-Germanic sympathy.  Both failed.  However the Jews had succeeded in maintaining an international Jewish indentity.  They could and did think in terms of French Israelites.  English Israelites and Israelites resident in America, as well as Jews of the developing  Jewish state in Palestine.  They were still attempting to achieve an international government functioning on a  parity with or, superior to their host States.  There is absolutely no evidence to deny that the Jews could or did influence the foreign affairs of each nation with the exception of Germany.  This influence was accomplished through a number of fronts, chief of which was the Communist Party.  The Jews of all nations always aided and never attacked Communist efforts; any dissenting Jewish voices were ineffective.  However the Jews failed to detect the change of direction in Russia under Stalin.  They remained sympathetic to the Soviet Union throughout the war and immediately after until the truth hit them.

page 484.

     Thus they believed, and Hitler certainly thought, that they had Germany isolated and surrounded.  After Germany began the war, they, the British and the Roosevelt administration were eager to bring the United States into the war on the side of the Soviet Union.

     The United States had absolutely no interests or anything to be gained by inerfering in the war in Europe.  As Charles Lindhberg pointed out, the war was merely another stage in the evolution of European society.  the Europeans, he thought, should be left to work out their own destiny.  The majority of Americans were opposed to the entry of America into the war.   The opposition to entry was vocal.   The foremost advocate against intervention was the America First Committee.  A terrific smear campaign led by the Roosevelt administration and the Jews defaming the non-interventionists was undertaken.

page 485.

     The Jews through the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League maintained an espionage unit independent of those of the United States to spy on, hinder and discredit anyone who was vocally opposed to the entry of the United States into the war even though they were guilty of no offense but a different opinion.  The Jews published a book containing the purported results of their investigations called ‘Undercover’ written under the pseudonym of John Roy Carlson.  The book denounced men and women innocent of anything but Patriotism as Fascists or Nazi sympathizers.  The book made no mention of Communists, nor were Communist denouncers spared.  Martin Dies of  HUAC, who had been forbidden by Roosevelt to let the committee investigate Communists, wrote a book called ‘The Trojan Horse In America’ which denounced Fascists and Communists alike as un-American.  The book sold through its first printing.  Its publisher was notified that if he reprinted it he would begin to have great difficulties.  Dies himself was deprived of his seat in Congress as punishment for pursuing Communists.  ‘Undercover’, the Jewish book, was permitted to go through dozens of printings.

     To be opposed to the war made one, in Jewish eyes, not only Fascist but Nazi.  The line of reasoning was thus:  In September 1941 Charles Lindhberg, the pilot, and chief speaker of America First made a speech in Des Moines.  The speech was described as ‘frankly isolationist’ by the Jews as though that were a crime.  Because the speech was isolationist and  opposed to American entry into the war it therefore furthered Nazi interests and thus was pro-Nazi and hence, anti-Semitic.  Lindhberg thereby became an actual Nazi in Jewish thinking.  In other words any policies contrary to Jewish interests were ipso facto pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic.  Any individual advocating such policies became an enemy to be destroyed.

page 486.

     These dissidents to Semitist interests were pursued to the ground.  Their careers were destroyed, they were denied jobs and where possible turned out of office.  The definition of bigotry in America was given definitive form.  To lack sympathy for the Jewish program was bigotry.  The American patriots were treated worse than the Communists in the fifties but no voice was raised in their defense.  The origins of Political Correctness were based on acceptance of Jewish dogma.

     The wars had done much to mix, if not homogenize, heterogeneous national attitudes.  One language emerged from the Wars, there were no longer accents.  The pre-War culture and humor as depicted in the movies had disappeared.  Specifically Irish tenors, Jewish self-parody and ethnic humor were disappearing fast.  We youths did not approve of what we couldn’t understand.  The market had evaporated as the types disappeared from the streets.  Young people could no longer identify the sources of the humor.

     Curiously, at the same time, different nationalities began to romanticize national cultures that were generalizations of the past.  No such national cultures had ever been universal.  But, as the Fourth of July became a festival of fireworks and national diversity rather than a glorification of the War for Independence and the Civil War, ethnic celebrations sprang up.  Italian day, Greek days and whatever else.  The participants wore colorful ‘national’ costumes that were nowhere evident among the drab suits in the photographs of the incoming immigrants.  Pretty phony I thought.

page 487.

     English culture began to be displaced.  Ethnic food and restaurants began to replace the wood paneled, beef oriented restaurants that had been the standard.  When I first first heard the Dean Martin song ‘That’s Amore’ I thought he was saying:  ‘When the moon hits your eye like a big piece of pie…’  instead of pizza pie.  I hadn’t yet been introduced to that dish.  The English way was becoming anathema in America.  ‘Minorities’ began skirmishes of persecution against English America.  The Anglo-Americans became ‘bigots’ when they flaunted their culture.  It began to be demanded that they abandon their culture in favor of the immigrant’s.  The immigrants began to demand that Anglo-Americans adjust to them, to abandon their culture for the immigrants’.  Failure to do so was politically incorrect.  those who knew their Anglo identity were labeled bigots and became beneath human consideration.  They, we, became strangers in our own land.

     The Italians, the Slavs, the Jews had never heard of King Arthur; the cycle was not part of their culture.  He was part of the ethnic heritage of the English.  He had been the model of American ideals since the foundation of the colonies.  Camelot was now removed to the periphery to make room for other traditions.

     None of us, or at most very few of us, had any idea of what was happening, but this was part of the social environment which was forming my character.  Thus my ancestors had abandoned the playing field.

page 489.


Camptown Race Track Five Miles Long

     The conditions of the twentieth century in America made for a terrifically exciting environment.  Not  only was the social enivironment stimulating, to say the least, but scientific and technological innovation kept us open mouthed and wondering.  The electric light, phonographs, movies, cars, planes and trains were fantastic.  Just as fantastic and as all enveloping was the develpment of radio in the twenties; make that Radio.  Radio as much as anything else formed my generation.

     The auxiliary to Radio that made it so important to us was the phonograph record.  The auxiliaryto the phonograph record was the spectacular assortment of song writers, singers and musicians that made the sides that made our day.

     Radio developed further along in the twenties as a commercial reality; by the thirties the great networks of radio stations had come to maturity.  NBC, CBS and the Mutual Network ruled the airwaves.  Prior to television radio competed with the newspapers, hence the rise of the Radio Commentator.   The news was delivered through distinctive voices and how, even eccentric voices, voices that no one had ever used before, or since.  Radio was also viable on its own as an entertainment medium.  Comedy, mystery, and drama shows saturated the airwaves.  Plus the programmers, ever anxious to shove culture down the throats of Americans, filled hours with classical music and opera.  The fact that few people wanted to hear it did not deter them.  Little time was devoted to popular music and that at the least listened hours.  This was radio prior to the its metamorphosis after the introduction of television.

page 490.

     The record industry began as the voice of the people and remained so.  You can program music no one will listen to on the Radio but if you want to make money with records you have to give them what they want.  The industry would always subsidize classical and opera but it would always produce what sold regardless of style.  Of course there were always the professional songwriters.  There was a lot of money to be made turning out ephemeral hit tunes.  The royalties were only in pennies but every a piece of sheet music sold, a record  sold or was played on the radion or featured in movies the pennies rained down.  Tin Pan Alley in New York where the music publishers were centered even commemorated the phenomenon in a little ditty that became quite popular:  ‘It isn’t raining rain you know, it’s raining pennies from heaven.’  There was gold on the streets of America.  There was money in the air.  Yes, indeed, a man with song in his heart could make a fortune- a penny at a time.

page 491.

     Making records was cheap.  A company could break even on a few hundred copies and make money on a thousand.  Now, when immigration was cut off in 1920-24 the industrial cities still had a voracious apetite for laborers.  Thus internal migration began.  The biggest untapped labor pool was in the agricultural South.  Recruiters went South after them.  It was at this time that Negroes were induced to migrate North.  In addition to the Blacks, White Hillbillies and poor whites, or as they were uncharitably known in the South, Poor White Trash, moved North in numbers also.

     The movies, music and the stage were all controlled and dominated by immigrant Jews.  Thus, with the exception of Cole Porter and a few others, commercial American culture was filtered through the minds of Ostjuden immigrants.  The South was as old American as any section could be.  There were few Jews in the section.  The musical tradition of the North had always been influenced by the musical traditions of the latest immigrants.  Thus German oom pah, Irish tenors, and Black jazz had preceded the Jewish interpreters.  An entirely indigenous musical tradition existed in the South, derived from the musical traditions of the Scotch-Irish settlers.  Two strands developed; The hill music of the Whites and the blues music of the Blacks.  Just as the European immigrants had brought their traditions with them to America, so the Southerners took their traditions North.  Southern music began its evolution under Northern influences.  The Black Country Blues began its metamorphosis into Big City Urban Blues while Hillbilly Music formed an alliance with a distinctive Western Music influence to become ‘Country Music.’

page 492.

     These musical forms produced tunes that were more expressive of the cultural identity of their composers and hence were less ephemeral than Tin Pan Alley tunes.  They also were of what became know as ‘subcultures.’  Records to fill the subcultural tastes were required also.  Thus, what were known as ‘race’ records came into existence.  Records tailored strictly for the limited markets of Blacks and Hill Folk.  They didn’t sell tremendously well, but they didn’t have to, they were cheap to produce and they made money even in limited quantities.

     A great body of little known tunes developed beneath the mass culture.  In the thirties under the Roosevelt administration Federally employed researches plodded through the Southern hinterlands with tape recorders to obtain evidences of Southern or Negro culture.  A large number of names and tunes, shouts, rags and hollers was added to the body of unheard music and ignored musicians.

     The Depression and the Dust Bowl also added much folk music inspired by those tragedies.  After the Wars Tin Pan Alley went into decline; its musical wellsprings, largely plundered from classical composers were exhausted.  But race music continued to evolve among the Blacks and Hill people in the North.  This was to evolve into Rhythm and Blues and Country and Western.

     At the same time Folk Music, as opposed to Tin Pan Alley commercial ditties, began to evolve on a popular basis.  Folk Music included various international strands was well as selected songwriters and tunes from Blues and Hillbilly Music.  Thus Black artists like Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and the greatest of the blues singers, Huddie ‘Leadbelly’ Ledbettor became formative influences in American culture.

page 493.

     Television, in addition to reshaping print publishing had a devastating effect on Radio.  Sight and sound ws so much more effective for the presentation of entertainment that Radio soon found itself unlistened to and began to flail around for different programming before it had to cease transmitting.  There was little of it to turn to but broadcasting records twenty-four hour a day.  To its complete surprise this programming was marvelously successful.

     The creation of musical attitudes and a body of songs was the precondition for the great change in music during the fifities.  The technological side was just as important.  Disregarding the early cylinders on which music was first recorded, records had always been ten inches.  Seventy-eight revolutions per minute, shellac discs.  The maximum time per side was three minutes.  Thus all popular music composed was of three minutes duration or less.  Multi-record albums were sold for classical music and some popular artists.  The steel needle used as a pickup was huge and wore out after only a few plays.  Sound reproduction was horrible by current standards while the shellac records broke or shattered easily.  Seventy-eights disregarding all their disadvantages still sold well but they were frequently broken before one got them home.

page 494.

     By 1948 modern record pressing had been perfected.  A tiny saphiere or diamond tipped stylus that lasted from three hundred to one thousand hours had been perfected.  With a smaller needle  the grooves could be pushed closer together and micro-groove recordings were born.  Improved technology allowed the records to be played at slower speeds.  Sound quality on 45 RPM records was better than on 33 RPM records but the 33s played longer.  At the same time producers switched form shellac to vinyl.  Vinly was more durable and for the truly gullible could be advertised as unbreakable.

     The 45s used for popular music were so durable that the improvement over the seventy-eights was as the difference between the Wright Brothers and a jumbo jet.  Now, as 33s retained the ten inch size they could only contain four songs per side, and the sound quality was still primitive.

     By 1954 the manufacturers improved the sound quality with the introduction of High Fidelity while simultaneously increasing the size of the album to twelve inches or six songs and up to twenty minutes per side.  Home entertainment had taken a step into the future.

     The country had feared the return of the depression, but the depression hadn’t come back.  The country was very prosperous.  For the first time kids- teenagers- had money.  They, we,  I couldn’t get enough of popular music.  At the same time the various strands of Race and Folk Music under the tremendous pressure of urban realities evolved into one form of popular music called Rock and Roll or another term- the Devil’s Music.  The post-war world had arrived.

page 495.

     In 1950  the fusion into Rock and Roll was still a few years away.  but  Michigan is part of a great flat area of the Middle West.  Radio waves travel for immense distances unimpeded by any natural obstructions like mountains.  Thus late at night the more powerful stations from Texas, Shreveport, Waterloo and Cincinatti could be picked up on our little radio receivers.  These stations transmitted  Hillbilly music that sounded like it came from another galaxy.  Plus there were more powerful stations transmitting across the Rio Grande from unregulated Mexico.  Blues, Rhythm And Blues and horrible Jazz muic could be picked up from the great Black populations of Detroit and Chicago.

     I spent many a night when Skippy was out, twisting the dial of his radio to see what station, with what weird music I could pick up.  Meanwhile the racial situation in the Valley was developing.

     Blacks and Hillbillies were present in numbers.  Blacks, who had been first brought up during the Wars, were increasing in numbers rapidly.  They had been compelled to live in the oldest, and, I think most beautiful part of the Valley, the First Ward.  By 1950 they were bursting the Ward seams.  Their attempts to spread out had been resisted.  Population density in the Ward had increased to spectacular levels.  Centrifugal forces pushed them from the Ward.  They were refused permission to cross the River which held for some time.  They had therefore no choice but to expand East and South-East.  The North was blocked by the huge Chevy Grey Iron plant and beyond that were swamps that loggers had apparently forgot to fill in with sawdust, or perhaps they ran out of sawdust.

page 496.

     Thus the Blacks were all on the East Side.  As they spread East and South-East toward downtown they drove the Whites out.  The areas adjacent to the First Ward were inhabited by poor Whites.  As they were driven out some of the older well-to-do areas fell to both Blacks and poor or improvident Whites.

     At that time there were two high schools in the Valley.  Valley High on the East Side and Melville on the West.  Valley High and the East Side Junior Highs thus had a very high proportion of Black students.  Many parents, even if their neighborhood had not yet fallen to Blacks refused to have their children attend mixed schools.  Thus there was a major exodus of Whites to the East Side opening new areas to Blacks..

     Had this not happened my old enemies, Michael and David Hirsh and the Eloy would not have come West to cause me trouble.  In Junior High, as most of them were from affluent families, they moved out  into the new developments in the Southwest Side from which they were funneled to Masters.  I was in the Lindsay district on the North Side.  The dividing line between the two districts often ran down the middle of  the street.  Thus, if David Hirsh had bought a house on the other side of his street Michael would have attended Masters rather than Lindsay.

     Masters was the newer school with a magnificent campus on the South end of town near Wigwam Rd.  Lindsay was the older school on the North Side of town.  It had been built about 1890 in the institutional style of the Children’s Home only much larger.  It had the identical floor plan.  A grim brick front faced Huxley Ave. while two end wings trailed back to Spencer.  The central portion of the building contained the furnaces and gyms.

     Linday had formerly been Gotthold Lessing Junior High, reflecting the very large German population of the Valley.  In the aftermath of the Great War coupled with the rise of Hitler its German namesake had been repudiated and the more Anglo-American one of Vachel Lindsay substituted.  While Masters had a terrific campus with playing fields, Lindsay sat on a square block of concrete.  We played no field sports.  Our recreation was in the gym.

     During the fifth and sixth grades at Robinson I had been free of direct pressure form David and Michael Hirsh and the Eloy.  This was now to change.

page 498.


     My life had been completely compartmentalized.   There was no continuity, merely a series of fragments.  Not even a series, only a jumble of incident, with the key incidents suppressed into my subconscious of which I could make no sense.  From birth to my mother’s divorce, life at my grandmother’s, the Smith’s, the Johnson’s , the Children’s Home and now the Warden’s had been one jarring dislocation after another.  As I had been taken from one environment and placed in the next, that segment became a sealed psychological unit.  Most of my memories were so painful that I just blacked out the other people.  I could recall events but names and persons meant nothing to me.  Thus while the Eloy remembered me very well I could not recall them, nor did I want to.

     But as they remembered me, they expected, not unnaturally, some acknowledgment of themselves.  Because they thought themselves my superior, they thought of me as their ‘nigger’, they expected or demanded that I speak to them first.  When I didn’t they interpreted this as sheer arrogance on my part.  The more so because I was of the Orphanage whose members had been driven off the streets and compelled to skulk down alleys.  I had no rights in their minds, I wasn’t even really a person; I was a charity case existing at their sufferance.

page 499.

     The two or three Eloy from the East Side quickly formed an alliance with the boys from Robinson into whose company of the first study class I had thrust myself.  They returned what they considered my obstinance with a steady glowing hatred.  Still, because I wouldn’t speak first, the warfare was conducted at arm’s length.

     Seventh grade had been in session for a month when the Hirshes moved to the West Side.  It was in gym that Michael Hirsh and I recognized each other although my recognition was as though by an alter ego emanating from my subconscious.

     Nor were the Hirshes any longer in control of their faculties.  Our confrontation in Flint had had a very disturbing effect on the mind of both David and Michael Hirsh.  The promise of David’s early life was fast vanishing.  The notion of the eighty black years fastened on his mind.  As he traced the decline of his fortunes his mind dwelt on my confrontation with Michael in kindergarten in 1943.  I was the cause of all his misfortunes.  Prior to Flint he had felt in control and thought he had been tormenting me.  Now his mind reevaluated the matter, he fumbled mentally to adjust his behavior and it seemed to him that I had been pursuing and tormenting him.  The cause of his actions switched from the thought of a  justified revenge to one of self defense.  By some perverse mental contortion he managed to reverse the roles and so maintain his purity.

page 500.

     All of the intolerant belief systems are so convinced of their rectitude that they believe that all opposition is pernicious, based on a willfully perverse wrongheadedness and therefore is evil.  Since they think they represent God’s own, or the ultimate truth, they believe that they are entitled to win and never lose.  When their will is thwarted they never attribute the loss to tactical or strategical  errors of the their or superior skill of their adversaries but to the criminal, evil or diabolical means of their opponents.  David Hirsh attributed means to, what was now, a twelve year old boy that would revolt you.  I was no longer an adversary but a potent enemy.  True, I was young but apprarently I was aided by occult forces.  I must be stopped before I assumed adult powers.  His and Michael’s injuries must be avenged, not only on me but on the evil anti-Semitic powers emanating from the fringes of the universe.

     On Michael’s part the events in Flint had crushed him.  I had, as far as he was concerned, triumphed over him.  I had blunted his manly force.  He was no longer game to confront me.  He was beaten.

     Amongst the Eloy the notion was propagated that I had willfully ravaged Michael.  As an orphan I had committed an offense way out of my social caste.  Lazarus had assaulted Dives at his own door.  This was turned into an affront that I could never be forgiven.  I must be put in my place.

page 501

     As I now saw Michael, his former splendor had departed him.  As our outer appearance reflects our inner raiment, Michael depicted a despairing disheveled appearance.  His countenance was no longer clear and confident.  The colors of his clothing had changed from bright to dark.  He no longer wore them with the crips aplomb of former years.  He put them on carelessly, his buckle was not centered exactly.  He proclaimed to the world that he was forlorn.

     When our eyes met, a glimmer of hope that I would finally capitulate died aborning.  I spoke first and with an unwonted insolence, but through the veil, as it were, my eyes did not exactly see him.  There was a sharpness to my voice that I was not aware of, for Michael recoiled slightly as I spoke to him, as though he had seen a ghost.  Indeed, he had every reason to have a guilty conscience.  He relaxed somewhat before my apparent familiarity but remained apprehensive, or perhaps resentfull.

     Live is full of funny coincidences.  Acton Burnell, who had witnessed my rape in the fourth grade and subsequently rescued me from oblivion with his good advice, chose this moment to avenge himself on the Hirshes.  I have no idea from when or from whom the offence came, whether it was committed against him, his father, some member of his family or whether he just thought that the Hirshes deserved it.  David Hirshe’s affairs were unsettled, any injury Burnell could give him would be doubly effective.  As so often happens prominent men are assailed through their offspring rather than directly.  As the Bible puts it, the sins of the father shall be visited on the son.

page 502.

     Acton Burnell was a bit of a busybody, what he hadn’t seen himself he had learned from others.  Burnell, who had been instrumental in making sure I went to the West Side was very familiar with my whole history with the Hirshes.  I had been defenseless before them, the details filtered through his mind and the result came out.

     Burnell was as Christian as anyone.  He too knew that the Bible says that the sins of the father shall be visited on the son, he knew David Hirsh believed it.  Burnell chose Michael as his victim to make David feel his wrath.  Burnell strained the point a bit but t his method was meant to convey to David that someone knew of Michael and Eloy’s crime against me.  His simile was probably too labored for David to apprehend it.

     One day, shortly after Michael had transferred to Lindsay he showed up at scholl with every bit of head and face swollen to immense dimensions.  He had obviously been beaten very badly.  We wondering boys gathered around him to demand the story.

     He had been walking down Melmoth Ave.  Just as he was in front of Rivers Of Blood a car sqealed to a stop beside him.  Six high school boys emerged from the car.  They pushed Michael up onto the grass, surrounded him and began punching him.  Each punch turned him enough for another boy to punch his fact and head.  This treatment continued fast and furious for two or three minutes.  Michael was constantly pummeled.  Confused by the suddenness of the attack, disoriented by the pain and overwhelmed by numbers Michael could put up no defense or even offer a verbal protest.

page 503.

     As he was hit on one side of the head he put his hand there to cover himself.  It again he put his other hand up, then moved them from place to place as he was hit.

     Uknown to Michael, Acton Burnell was standing before a basement window in River Of Blood popping raisins into his mouth as he quietly watched.

     The beating was a terrifying experience and he had been thoroughly terrified.  Completely dazed and when he had given up all hope of the beating ever ending, one of the boys soothingly said:  ‘Oh gosh, o hey, guy that looks like it really hurts.  Here, fella, let me see that.’

     When Michael obligingly and thankfully removed his hands the boy treacherously punched him as hard as he could, knocking him down.  Michael’s fall broke the spell.  The boys leaped into their car letting loose a peal of demonic laughter as they drove off.

     Acton Burnell popped his last raisin into his mouth.  Chuckling with satisfaction he turned and walked out of the church to where Michael lay sobbing.

     ‘You aren’t hurt too bad, are you son?  Six on one is pretty tough odds.  I think you did the best you could though.  It wasn’t much, but I think it was your best.’

     Then he helped Michael up and turned him down Melmoth in the direction he had been heading, giving him a little shove to start him on his way.

page 504.

     As Michael told his story, the horror of his experience sank further into his consciousness.  It wasn’t so much that his voice actually quivered as his mind constantly recoiling from his painful memories projected a quiver; he didn’t actually shake, het I could feel a quiver in my stomach muscles as I watched his tension grow.  The memory glowed vividly in his mind and would for some time.  Had he been in the second grade he would have been able to suppress the memory, but at twelve he had to deal with it directly.

     His mind had turned inward as he related the details of his story.  As he finished he once again looked out into the world; as he did, his glance fell on me.

     I don’t know what he saw, perhaps Acton Burnell had triggered the memory of the fourth grade and his guilt overwhelmed him, but when he saw me he inadvertantly turned stiffened and turned quickly away.  I though my expression reflected wonderment and sympathy but, perhaps, Michael perceived a hint of pleasure and satisfaction.  Perhaps my own feelings had inadvertantly risen to the surface; if so, I wasn’t aware of it.

     Perhaps Michael did subconsciously connect the similarity between his rape of me in the fourth grade and his beating because from that day forward he avoided me.  Whether he made an association or whether he resented being beaten while I wasn’t, a remarkably similar circumstance occurred to me shortly thereafter.

page 505.

     I was sitting in the bleachers in gym when six boys came up behind me, one hitting me in the back of the head with the flat of his palm.  He accused me of beating up his fourth grade brother while he was on the way home from school.  It wasn’t true and I stoutly denied it.

     ‘Oh yeah?  Well, my brother said:  ‘Take that from Far Gresham.’

     ‘Don’t be stupid.’  I said.  ‘If I were going around beating up little kids I wouldn’t identify myself.’

     The guy blinked at me once or twice, then, apparently satisfied with my reply, surlily said:  ‘Yeah?  Well, make sure you don’t.’

     Michael had been tormented by his beating.  the humiliation dwelt in his mind and threatened to destroy his equanimity.  He didn’t have the mental resources to rationalize the incident.  His father was no help to him, David blamed the incident on anti-Semites.  Thrashing about in his agony Michael did what most people do in the same situation; he tried to pass it on.  Following the princible of the turkey shoot he picked a younger boy who couldn’t defend himself.  Having thrashed the kid he then avenged himself on me for Flint by using my name.  Thus I got hit in the back of the head by the boy’s misinformed brother.  If hadn’t been able to justify myself I would have been severely beaten by the brother and his five friends.

      Michael would then have been able to smile at me as I described how I got my bruises, enjoying the extra pleasure of knowing that he caused them without my knowing it.

     Whether Michael was disappointed or not is not within my power to  tell, although from that time forward Michael never acknowledged my existence.

pages 506-7


     The more one ages the greater the burden of the past one must carry along one’s path.  As with everyone, I had to ingest a voluminous amount of experience and information to digest as well as I could based on my past which past became my notion of reality.  My youth, inexperience and lack of amilial guidance interfered not only with my understanding but my ability to make right decision unaided.  I was saved from the most egregious errors by a strong sense of right and wrong.  Ironically this sense of right and wrong had been acquired in Sunday school.  I had had no difficulty accepting the justness of this morality.  In doing so I became a bit of a fool, for none of my contemporaries heeded that morality at all.

     My past had become not only my burden but part of the past and burden of toehrs as well where they shared it.  The onerous and vile experience of my past combined with my present and visible future prospects naturally colored my interpretation of matters; yet I was singularly free from many vices which besotted my contemporaries minds.  Envy and viciousness were completely foreign to me.  I was content with my own, I neither lied nor stole.  It was not necessary for me to disturb another’s happiness out of resentment of their good fortune.  I wqas also free from the guilt of having consciously done someone wrong.

page 508.

     The members of the elite at Robinson as well as those members of my old Scout troop, which overlapped, had meant by their blindfold fight to beat me into submission.  They thought I would beg for mercy and accept admission to their circle on the most disreputable terms.  However I had given them the lie.  By storming away and never returning I had left them holding a bag of guilt.

     They had tried to rationalize their guilt but to no avail.  no matter what they told themselves a gnawing anxiety remained.  Still they felt the need to expiate their quilt.  They refused the honorable method of apologizing to me as this would elevate me in their minds to their level.  They would never be able to endure this, as they believed I was of a much lower class then themselves.

     Up to this point no opportunity to expiate their guilt on a level proper to their self-esteem had presented itself.  But in gym they thought they had found a way out.  They formed a plan; it was a good plan; there was only one flaw, it was based on fair play.  Besides they had so neurotically distorted my character that they had completely miscualculated their chance of success.

page 509.

     Shortly after school began and after Hirsh’s beating, perhaps his peating inspired their choice, some mats were thrown down on the floor and a series of wrestling matches took place.  John Cahallan, who had been my adversary in the boxing match, was in the gym class.  A match was oardered between Cahallan and I.  My hatred and loathing of Cahallan, who I blamed for the toxing episode, was such that I refuse because I didn’t want any physical contact with him.  From my point of view wrestling was merely homosexual love making.

     Mr. Pennydreamer, the gym teacher was summoned.  He ordered me to wrestle or fail gym.  How many people do you know who ever failed gym?  I had no choice.  I was still very small, only four eight and under ninety pounds.  As luck would have it Cahallan was just my size.  the match was as fair as a match could be.

     During all the other matches all we boys had sat around and watched.  Now the other boys went off to other games with exception of six or so ofhte Eloy, Robinson and Cub Scout boys.  They stood with their backs to Cahallan and I discussing, perhaps, their navels.  It was a pointed insult and I got it.

     I was reluctant to wrestle, while Cahallan was wrestling with a very troubled conscience.  He had wronged me and he knew it.  I wasn’t worried but I still hung back reluctant to begin.  I had recieved their insult and I wasn’t anxius to accommodate them.  Boner Law, who had been selected as referee, finally shoved me against Cahallan and we engaged.  I didn’t have any experience wrestling so I knew no holds.  Fortunately neither did Cahallan.  We rolled and tumbled in loathsome physical contact without leading to any resolution when I got the idea and opportunity to seize his legs which I proceeded to do.  Thus I got between his legs, wrapped my arms around his knees and stuood up thus immobilizing Chahallan.  I claimed victory.

page 510.


A Novel

Our Lady Of The Blues

Book VII

The Heart Of The Matter


R.E. Prindle

Clip 15 and End.

     The two made a terrific team during the turbulent sixties and the degenerate seventies.  Guy was known as a hanging judge while having a somewhat disreputable style.  Meggy balanced that off magnificently with her seeming rectitude.  Either alone might have been a bit too much  but together they were a terrific combination.  Many women having such relationships with judges adopt the appearance of a kept woman, I almost said prostitute, while having a number of psychologically dependent young women attached to them.

     Meggy had a cadre of loyal young women to scout and research any rumors but any rumors about her and Guy were definitely false.  Carrying her psychic scars from her accident Meggy inadvertantly aided and abetted Judge Pascal’s social hatreds which were directed against the Anglos.

     Notwithstanding Top Cop Hoover’s protestations to the contrary the Mafia and organized crime did exist and right there in theValley.  Whatever motives the Top Cop had for denial, every schoolboy understood the influence of the Mafia.  During WWII when the Mafiosi had refused to serve this ‘great country’ those connected had all the gasoline and restricted commodities they wanted while law abiding Anglos and others dutifully went without.  Naturally the wiseguys considered themselves ‘smart’ while others were stupid.  Today, at least, they have the self-respect and decency to gloat over their success rather than resort to hypocrisy as the Anglos do.

page 1961.

     Their wartime successes made them bold too.  When the government went to the incarcerated criminal, Lucky Luciano, to ask his help on the NY waterfront from prison, mind you, to facilitate shipping from the Mob controlled docks of the East, Italians knew they had it aced.  With the end of the war they issued forth from their Little Italies in force.  The Mafia divided the country into zones just like the post office divided it into area codes.

     I don’t know if they gave the zones numbers but the Pasquales got the Valley from below Flint to Bay City.  It was like there were two different governments non-Italians had to deal with.  You had the legally constituted authorities on the one hand and the illegal Mafia on the other.  One could crush you legally while the other could break your legs with impunity.  Officer De Cicco of the VPD might not be interested in pursuing Sicilian buddies while Officer Walker knew better than to.

     These were the days of Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters who were adjuncts of the Mafia and Sam Giancana and the Chicago Outfit.  For some reason reason Northern and Western Michigan seemed to be Chicago territory rather than Detroit’s.

     These guys were arrogant.  When they were in town you got out of their way.  Hoffa and the Mob used various locales in the Upper Peninsula as hideouts for hot lamisters.  When they were in town life was uncomfortable for the locals.  More than uncomfortable, unpleasant, it was like sewage that you daren’t clean up had infested the town.  Top Cop Hoover boasted that he gunned down John Dillinger while Al Capone ran Chicago but I would rather sit down to dinner with a John Dillinger than share the same public john with Al Capone.  Apparently a Top Cop felt differently.

page 1962.

     The Pasquale clan was connected with the Giancana led Mob of Chicago.  Jimmy Hoffa was unpleasant enough but Sam Giancana was terrifying.  In dark glasses and pulled down hat with that contemptuous smile on his lips he exuded evil from the seventh level up.  In the years after 1958 he was coming into his own.  With the rise of the son of the old mobster Joe Kennedy Sam Giancana thought he was to have a lifeline to heaven.  Joe Kennedy played Sam just right to get his son Jack elected president.  It seems fairly clear at this point that Sam spents lots of plundered money on Jack while stuffing Illinois ballot boxes to swing the election to JFK.

     After his election in the year of Kennedy’s victory Judge Guy himself had been introduced to the Mafia chieftain.  Sam knew how to treat a paisano on the Bench.  He regaled Guy with the tales of how he fled the Federales through the brambles and woods of Appalachin in 1957 when ‘proof’ of organized crime was made evident to everyone except J. Edgar.

     Sam, who had been raised on the concrete of Chicago laughingly asked Guy if he knew that wet leaves were slippery on a downslope.  In his mad flight from the cops Sam hadn’t taken that into account having fallen on his ass a couple times as he ran.  He still got away but he couldn’t get over how slippery wet leaves were.

     He confided the inside story to Guy about how the Chicago Mob got Jack Kennedy elected and the terrible doublecross when Bobby Kennedy turned on the Outfit.  But, he said, the Outfit still had an in with Dick Nixon so that the Sicilians were going to be in with the In Crowd; hang in there.  And then after that there was Ronnie Reagan.

     Guy had been flattered to get the inside scoop directly from one end of the horse or the other.  He had his own sources that indicated the growing power of Sicily through crime.  He turned the screws on Anglos brought up before him.

     First the Mob brought the dope into the Valley, then sold it to the Anglos;  then the cops busted the Anglos for possession of a joint sending them up before the hanger, Judge Pascal.

     The judge with Meggy’s approval gave Draconian sentences of five, ten and even fifteen years in the penitentiary, the Big House, for the possession of one joint.  The Penitentiary!  Not even the county farm, the Big House.  True, marijuana was illegal but to criminalize a whole generation and more for the uncontrollable situation was unconscionable.  It wasn’t like the Mafia wasn’t importing heroin and whatever by the ton while escaping prison sentences altogether.

     It wasn’t like the Pasquale clan wasn’t the biggest importer of grass into theValley.  They were.  But Judge Guy, that impartial soul, was in a position to punish or favor.  He chose to favor his Pasquales while taking vengeance for Giangiacomo’s humiliation on the Anglos.  Having inside information he could in most cases warn his family.  If arrested when they came before him, the legal fiction of the name Pascal versus Pasquale was maintained to appear impartial.  He found some technicality to get them off.

     Marijuana was profitable but when cocaine came in Judge Pascal, as well as many another judge and cop, improved his standard of living materially.  People wondered how he could manage so well on his salary.  ‘Private investments.’  Judge Guy explained.  ‘Private investments.’

     Meggy Malone saw all but she closed her eyes to Judge Guy’s peccadilloes so long as he let her have hers.   These were changing tumultuous times on the personal level as well as the social.  The feminism Meggy ingested in Mrs. Hicks’ class became institutionalized in the years following the publication of Betty Friedan’s ‘Feminine Mystique’ in 1964.  Meggy saw herself as the Fulfilled Woman.  The notion of the Matriarchy which came to dominate the sexual theory of the times gave a focus to Meggy’s notion of men.  She had always intimidated the men in her life but after her accident she dominated them to the point of emasculation.  Her feminism all but made them impotent in her presence.

     This dovetailed nicely with her relationship with the Black miscreants brought up before Judge Pascal.  They farmed the Blacks just like they had segregated them and look out for its physical manifestations.

page 1965.

     The Whites had successfully kept the Blacks on the East Side.  Melville had remained White.  The Whites had come up with all kinds of maneuvers to keep schools segregated.  Rightly so in my opinion but the Urban Aristocracy thought differently.  Meggy was now an important member of the Urban Aristocracy.

     Thwarted in their aims to mingle the races the Aristocracy now sat down to come up with the insane plan of busing  Black students to White schools and White students to Black schools.  If  ‘bigoted’  Whites thought they could thwart the desires of the Aristocracy they were wrong.  Democracy be damned.  No vote was taken but now long lines of buses traveled from the East Side loaded with Negroes to attend Melville regardless of what anyone thought, White or Black.

     As usual the Aristocracy paid no attention to the evolution of Black psychology.  It was no longer 1958 when they began the busing.  Black ball players had been shaking their roots in the face of White America for a decade and nothing happened.  The Honkies sat respectfully and sucked it all in.

     LA had gone up in ’65 and nothing happened.  The Steppin Fetchets of the thirties and forties had become more militant.  They were more angry.  By the time of busing they were seething.  These militant angry young Black men were turned loose in high school hallways of White America while White Americans were told they would go to jail if they offered the least defense of their rights.

     Violence escalated in the halls.  Weapons developed from knives and spring blackjacks to pistols, machine pistols, machine guns and bombs.  The Urban Aristocracy just shook their heads over kids nowadays.  The only way to stop the violence, they said, was to eliminate any vestige of liberty, a total lock down of the Whites.  The schools must be run as concentration camps.  By eliminating freedom for Whites you restored order.  Anyone who read the Protocols of Zion will recognize the game plan.  Thus spake the Greatest Generation, the men who had fought the arch demon, Hitler,  to make the world free.  Free?  They only made it over  into the image of Hitler’s concentration camps.

page 1966.

     You’d better go along if you want to get along was their motto.

     On her feminist side Meggy exaggerated the integrity of women.  Like all feminists she believed that women could do no wrong, they were always in the right.  Since she used her influence and power to crush the manhood out of any men she knew she could only despise them for being effete.  Reminiscent of the young sailors aboard the Teufelsdreck who thought that college men and officers were too mentally developed to be good sex partners Meggy thought that only men with no attainments had real sexual drive.  Driven by her male desire which she had inadvertantly clothed with a ‘low class’ image she could only find sexual release in what she considered the lowest of humanity.  At this time she would have slept with Dewey Trueman, her archetype of low class had he been there and willing.

     Sex is where Meggy went wrong.  Judge Guy over the years had watched her anxiously from the bench.  Pascal was a very jealous man.  If Meggy was to give it to anyone he had better be first in line or there would be hell to pay.  Judge Guy hadn’t wrestled with his X chromosome and come up triumphant yet.  Meggy was not so discreet that her sexual activites escaped the watchful eye of the Sicilian judge.

page 1967.

     There was only one bike club in the Valley.  The Valley Varmints.  As they are quite primitive fellows in their social relationships that directness appealed to Meggy.  Low class, violent and sexually charged.  Meggy went for the gold.  She insinuated herself into the club as a part time mama.  She would spend a weekend with her boys from time to time.

     She had gained her introduction through her job when one of Dalton Dagger’s cousins had been brought up on dope charges.  The evidence had conveniently disappeared from police storage.  Some said the cops sold it but Meggy had discreetly let it be known that she had been responsible.  Devon Dagger had taken it from there.

     Judge Guy Pascal quietly raised his eyebrows.

     A woman of Meggy’s importance was eminently useful so the club treated her as she liked excusing her the worst abuses with which bikers treat their women.

     Meggy should have known that secrecy is impossible in our society.  What secrets you don’t have people will invent for crying out loud.  The eyes of envy soon ferret out all secrets.  After all the bikers had to get their dope through the Pasquales.  How sharp did Meggy have to be to think of that?

     It was never clear that Judge Guy Pascal ordered the raid that precipitated Meggy’s humiliation but it is certain Meggy’s doings came to his attention.  Guy Pascal had made passes at the ‘fast Mick broad’ which she had rebuffed with offended purity.  Nothing offends a man’s amour propre more, especially a powerful self-important man like Judge Guy Pascal.  More especially when his outrage was created by the excesses of Meggy’s doing.

     When word reached him of Meggy’s proclivities he was not only insanely jealous but shocked while at the same time being disgusted and pleased.

     The raid came as a complete surprise to Meggy who was usually apprised of everything.  Sometimes things even Judge Guy didn’t know.

      When the cops burst into the biker house they found Meggy naked on the floor surrounded by bikers waiting their turn while Fat Tony Frankenheimer was pumping oil from her well at 78 RPMs.

     She didn’t know, nobody could have guessed, but this was the result of ‘summoning’ Dewey Trueman to her bedside twenty years earlier.

     Meggy was a justified sinner.  It was impossible to besmear her own notion of her purity.  The mind is a strange thing.  Meggy did not ‘believe’ astrology but like the rest of us she read the newspaper column regularly and sometimes bought the Virgo booklets at the grocery store check out stands.  For Meggy was a Virgo, the Virgin.  Now, in the Olympian Zodiac Virgo is ruled by Demeter the mother of terrestrial growth.  Her daughter is Persephone the wife of Hades and the symbol of the virgin growth of Spring.

page 1969.

     Meggy had studied her Greek mythology in the feminine branch of Mrs. Hicks’ instruction.  With the girls Mrs. Hicks had paid special attention to the goddess myths.  The most important of all women being that of Hera and her ability to restore her virginity.  Meggy couldn’t have articulated it but she had put together the meaningof Virgo-Demeter and Aqarius-Hera.   Thus no matter her sexual adventures she always remained a virgin in mind and hence in appearance and attitude.

     Given her position in the courts her embarrassment never reached the papers but because the records showed the cops bagged a ton of amphetamines, cocaine and marijuana Judge Guy Pascal thought it wise for Meggy to resign her position in his court.

     It is true that the bikers insisted that the house was clean, which in fact it was, but when the representatives of the law say they bagged the dope on the premises who’s going to believe a bunch of greasy bikers?  It was a good joke but the bikers weren’t the ones laughing.

     Just as Meggy was always a virgin she didn’t need any proof to know that Judge Pascal was behind the whole raid.   Vengeance, you know, the Lord…people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  Meggy’s people believed Meggy’s protestations of innocence.  Judge Guy should have kept his in his pants too; he had messed with the wrong party.

     Meggy Malone knew some secrets of her own while she knew people who continued to think very well of her on the force and in the DAs office.  Those guys always know more than they’re telling too.

page 1970.

     A shipment of cocaine to Rocco’s Pizza Parlor was intercepted at the back door.  Rocco’s was a distribution front for the Pasquales so the whole clan was now exposed as the city’s premier dope dealers.  Documents found their way into the hands of the police and DA as well as the Valley news which clearly implicated the austere hanging judge, Guy Pascal.  It was now ‘discovered’ that Guy Pascal was really Guido Pasquale.

     Several of the Pasquales found their way to the State pen while the Judge who was able to evade conviction left town to begin a new legal career for the Outfit in Chitown.

     Satisfied that she was avenged Meggy followed on his heels out of town unable to bear the wagging tongues of gossips.

     Meggy’s first move was down to ‘Bama.  But those Southern Whites have no love for Northern carpetbaggers.  Meggy’s advocacy of Blacks did little to endear herself down in Dixie.  She found actual contact with the race less pleasant than her long distance affection for them.  Unable to live with the Whites with her attitude but unable to move in with the Blacks Meggy had no choice but to move on.

     Her next choice was Bozeman, Montana.  This was not her final destination.  After a couple years she left for Boise.  She didn’t like life in the desert.  She heard the hills calling so she packed her bags again for her final destination, Coeur D’Alene.

     She had at last outrun the rumors but time had taken its toll on Meggy’s psyche.  Her troubled mind drove her in predictable directions.

page 1971.

     The demon who governed her dreams changed his character.  He became a real Rider On The Storm.  Her dream changed so that she rode on a bad motorcycle behind the devil in colors.  They were racing down a long bowling alley at ninety miles an hour toward eight foot chrome plated steel pylons shaped as penises which formed the ten pins.  Meggy with her arms tightly around the devil’s neck flapped in the breeze behind him to the cracking of bones broken so long ago on that icy Motown street.

     She never hit the pins but the very notion of sleep became such a terror to her that she could no longer go to bed.  She sat up night after night recalling herself from dozes lest she dream that terrible dream.

     It was then that she began to seek some form of penance.

     Penance for what what she wasn’t concious of but her subconscious knew and showed her the path.  She began to search for some hillbilly beau with whom to form an alliance.  Her path happened to cross that of Dart Craddock.

     When Dart had been sent to the brig at the beginning of  ’58 in Guam he accepted his fate with resignation.  He received his discharge in 1959 at which time he returned to Northern Idaho.  Dart was really a raw mannered guy.  In the environment of the Navy where everyone came from the other half some really raw manners passed unnoticed in the general milieu.  Dart wasn’t really raw in the sense of basal crudity but he come from mining stock which had fought the wars of the hard rock miners around the turn of the century.

     As noted earlier his grandpop had been with Big Bill Haywood and the Western Federation of Miners.  I suppose Big Bill is pretty much forgotten now except with specialists but his autobiography is worth reading.  Coeur D’ Alene had been a terrific battleground where the hard rock miners of the WFM put up a stout fight.  The memories of those days still lived on in the Idaho hills.  The hard feelings still existed.

page 1972.

     When Big Bill Haywood had been run out of the WFM he became part of the Industrial Workers Of The World.  Dart’s grandpop had followed Bill into the IWW.  The biggest battle of all Wobbly battles had been fought in Spokane a few miles to the West.  Then the battles raged down the coast until grandpop had gotten the IWW branded on his lower cheek down in San Diego.

     Dart still carried the chip on his shoulder from that the same as he had in San Diego.  As Meggy’s subconscious adjusted her conscious mind to her new perspective Dart Craddock became exceedingly attractive to her.  Especially when she learned that he lived out of town on a mountain hillside in what was close enough to a hillbilly shack to suit her psychic needs.

     Dart was already a two time loser; he didn’t see the need to take a third hitch.  Meggy thought it over a little and decided to humble herself by showing up on Dart’s porch with her suitcases in hand.  She set the suitcases down to look imploringly in his eyes.  Dart gave her a hard serious look for a few mintues then opened the door to admit her while he picked up the suitcases and placed them inside.  Meggy had found a home.

     She became a real mountain mama, bought herself some combat boots, a couple Ma Kettle looking outfits for the winter and Daisy Mae cutoffs for the summer and settled down in her own personal little Dogpatch.

     The life was good for her too.  Dart thought he’d acquired a real lady.  He didn’t know about Meggy’s biker days while she projected eternal chastity of sorts.  Dart was a big fellow by this time.  His six-four frame having filled out to two hundred sixty pounds.  This was the kind of bull Meggy’s male need wanted.  She was more than happy with her hillbilly beau.  Thus it seems to be true that there is a boy for every girl and a girl for every boy.  Sometimes the way to each other is a little roundabout, that’s all.

     As she settled into this hillbilly existence as penance, over the months much of her guilt was allayed so that her dreams became manageable.  She could sleep once again.

     She and Dart went to town on a Saturday night in his old beat up pick up truck; the kind she wouldn’t have gotten into back in the old days.  She sat as proudly beside him as though he were driving a Mercedes-Benz.  As they drove back of an early Sunday morning after a night in the honky-tonks the lights of Dart’s truck as they turned the corner shown on the street sight that announced:


The Man Who Had Life Made At Twenty

     Dewey’s caustic treatment of Meggy Malone in the hospital confrontation had grievously offended LeBaron Briscoe.  It was inconceivable to him that someone who,  from his point of view, had barely been tolerated in his own group should even attempt to defend himself before a girl of the stature of Meggy Malone.  He should have taken whatever abuse she offered him.

page 1974

     Briscoe was familiar with the Hirsh side of the details of the situation in kindergarten and second grade.  Nearly everyone involved had given the details to each member of the eating club in their campaign to discredit Dewey before his fellows.  Briscoe wouldn’t have excused Dewey if he thought he had been wronged back then which he didn’t.

     Meggy was Meggy and Dewey was Dewey.  She had value and he had none.  Briscoe had even gratuitously clued Dewey into McDonald’s and Dewey hadn’t even enough sense to grasp it.  There was no way a guy like that could insult Meggy Malone and get away with it.

     Briscoe had called Buzz Barrett to lament in shocked tones how Dewey had treated Meggy.  Buzz had been one of the members of Dewey’s eating club as well as Briscoe and Denny Demwitter.

     Because of the kindergarten and second grade incidents involving Dewey in which Meggy participated Hirsh/Yisraeli had determined to destroy Dewey.  The registration of Dewey at Melville Trade and the attempted expulsion from Mrs. Hicks’ class are an indication of the extremes which Hirsh was willing to employ.

     When Dewey established himself as a social presence in the eleventh grade with his eating club Hirsh had at first scoffed.  By the end of the eleventh grade however the eating club was challenging Michael Hirsh’s circle for preeminence.  Something would have to be done in twelfth grade.

page 1975.

     Various attempts were made to discredit Dewey but he survived them all.

     Then Hirsh got Michael’s friends to badmouth Dewey relating to the incident in second grade in which they depicted Dewey as a coward who timidly obeyed orders.  Dewey’s group listened but between groups of boys they refused to act lest they appear to be doing other boy’s bidding.

     Then Hirsh got Meggy to work using LeBaron Briscoe, who worshipped her, as a lever.  With only six other members in the club of which half were loyal to Dewey she had scant success obtaining only the votes of Briscoe and Buzz Barrett.

     As Dewey was searching for three new members to round the group out to ten, Hirsh determined to undermine the club by getting members of his own choosing.

     Dewey had known better than to include hs secret arch enemy and neighbor Ward Sonderman in his club.  At Hirsh’s instigation Sonderman formed a city league touch football team which included every member of the eating club including Dewey.  Thus by December  Sonderman had been selected bringing in a tenth member selected by Hirsh while Dewey brought in the ninth member.

     Hirsh, Meggy and the others now had enough latitude but the year was too far advanced for Dewey’s expulsion to mean anything so as graduation neared the club just fell into desuetude.  Dewey was spared the humiliation of being expelled from his own club.

page 1976.

     Nevertheless the deed had been consummated in the hearts of seven of the other nine members including Demwitter, Briscoe and Barrett.  Dewey’s replacement had even been hanging around the club ready to slip in.  He was a fellow by the name of Jerry Kramer.  Dewey had wondered why he was always about but never figured it out.

     Meggy had woven in and out of this situation.  They all thought she was top drawer.  Indeed because of the hatred felt toward Dewey by the elite most the club was associating with people far above their social status which they found most flattering.  Dewey could not be allowed to insult Meggy without a response.

     Buzz Barrett hung up after talking to Briscoe immediately calling Denny Demwitter to discuss the situation.  Although he had been too busy to have anything to do with the man who had been his closest friend in high school Denny now found time on the twenty-third for he and Dewey to call on Buzz.

     Denny and his girl friend picked up Dewey for the drive to Buzz’s home.

     ‘When’s the last time you saw Buzz, Dewey?’  Denny asked.

     ‘Oh gosh, I don’t know.  When did we have our last dinner?  March?  April?  Maybe at Klutz’s graduation party if he was there.’

     ‘Yeah.  All three of us were there.’

     ‘Must have been it, then.’

     Dirk Klutz had been the tenth member admitted to the eating club.  As Hirsh’s appointee he had been hostile to Dewey from the start.  As the newest member he had been the last house at which they were to have eaten in April.  He had refused to honor his obligation thus bringing the club to an end and Hirsh a small triumph although April would have been the last month anyway.

page 1977.

     Klutz had had a graduation party to which he invited the club to make up for his lack of observance for which he did come under criticism.  Dewey was not invited but told as an after thought that he could come if he felt like it.  He had swallowed his pride and attended only to find himself being ridiculed by the whole Hirsh crowd.  He fled in confusion with visions of the second grade dancing before his eyes.

     ‘Boy, Buzz has really got it made now.’  Denny enthused.

     ‘Oh yeah?’

     ‘Yeah.  He got married eight months ago.  First one of us.  Beautiful girl.’

     ‘Ya?  Anybody I know?’

     ‘Probably not.  She went to Lacramae Sacre.  Did you know the Catholic crowd?’

     ‘I knew some of them in grade school and Junior High but once they dropped out of public school they always thought they were getting a better education than us so we never talked.  What school did you go to, Carol?’  Dewey asked Denny’s girl.

     ‘I just moved to the Valley a year and a half ago.  I went to Grand Rapids Catholic Central.’

     ‘Anyway, like I was saying about Buzz, he’s really got it made for life.  You remember the deal he had with Mel Larsen, don’t you?’

page 1978.


     Mel Larsen had been the owner of Larsen’s Sporting Goods  downtown.  Like a lot of store owners do to stabilize their employees he had made a deal with Buzz when Buzz was only a part time worker in high school in tenth grade that if he would stay and work hard Mel would will him the business when he died.  Buzz had been easily seduced by the offer.  He had worked well and hard for Mel for what was now five years.

     ‘What do you think happened?’

     ‘Mel got on that train bound for Glory?’

     ‘What do you mean, train bound for Glory?’

     ‘Mel died.’

     ‘Yeh, he did.  How did you know?’

     ‘Guessed from something in your manner, Denny.  So he really did leave the business to Buzz.  That’s almost impossible but I suppose it does happen.  I was sure Larsen was leading Buzz on.’

      ‘All the details aren’t known yet but Buzz knows for sure that he’s mentioned in the will.  Here we are.’

     Buzz’s wife Melanie opened the door.

     Buzz was seated on his sofa in the attitude of the grand seigneur ready to greet his vassal.  At the age of twenty he had come into the fullness of life.

      They hadn’t planned how they were going to chastise Dewey for having been rude to Meggy they just thought that some general humiliation would ensue.

page 1979.

     ‘I guess you heard the news, Dewey?’

     ‘What?  You mean about Larsen?  Denny said you were mentioned in the will.’

     ‘That’s right.  You remember how you used to laugh at me because you thought Mel would cheat me in the end?’

     ‘I didn’t laugh at you Buzz.  I just don’t think Mel’s word was worth relying on.  I still don’t.  I still think you should have quit him and gone to college since you could have.’

     ‘Well, I think it’s clear that you’re wrong now, hey Dewey?’

     ‘If it turns out well I’m really happy for you Buzz.  I just don’t think employers keep their word on these things very often.’

     ‘Yes.  Well, you went in the Navy and just look at you now.  I took an honorable man’s word and now I’ve got it made for the rest of my life and I’m only twenty years old.  I’ve got everything and what have you got, another year to go?  Look, my wife Melanie here.  What do you think of this couch?  It’s mine.  New.’

     Dewey saw a repulsive overstuffed couch that he wouldn’t have sold his soul for but he complimented Buzz on it.

      ‘What do you think of my new combination TV/Stereo in genuine simulated Walnut finsh?’  He said pointing to a huge piece of furniture against the opposite wall four feet away.

     Dewey couldn’t believe his ears.  Did Buzz say ‘genuine simulated?’  Dewey thought back a couple years when he and these guys had been the coolest heads around, or thought they were.  How they had laughed at old folks who had been sucked in to flim flam like ‘genuine simulated.’  And now here, a mere two years later one of his group, hell, throw Denny in too, had fallen into a trap they had all despised.  Dewey said nothing but Buzz and Denny slipped over the edge of his earth.

     ‘Mel an I are going to get a genuine reproduction of a Renoir to put above it.  Every hear of Renoir?  French expressionist artist.  Know what a stereo is?  Mel, put the demonstration record on to show Dewey what a stereo is.  New.’

     Mel put the record on the changer and let the tone arm drop.

     Dewey smiled at the sound of the ping pong ball being slapped from left to right and back again.  The effect was something you never really got over.  Almost beat the hell out of the Sputnik.

     ‘Amazing isn’t it?  Ever heard anything like that before?’  Buzz demanded while Melanie took a seat on the arm of the sofa draping herself around Buzz giving a vacuous but beautiful smile to Dewey.

     ‘I was at a party maybe a month and half ago in Oakland, that’s in California, Buzz, and the guy had the same demonstration record only he had a setup that makes your combo look primitive.  He had a whole professional radio type setup with a control room and everything.  Half a dozen speakers.  Then there were these couple of guys there with bongos who got this multi-phasic rhythm going with the ping pong ball which had an absolutely mesmerizing effect.  You shoulda been there.’

     Both Buzz and Denny involuntarily drew their chins in at this unexpected display of knowledge.  They not only didn’t know what bongos were but they didn’t understand the word mesmerizing.  They let the latter pass.

page 1981.

     ‘What’s bongo?’  Buzz asked.  Apparently bongos hadn’t yet made their appearance in the Valley.

     ‘Bongo drums?  Well, they’re these two little drums attached to each other, one bigger, one smaller.  Sort of like upsided down tambourines that you play between your knees.’

     ‘Oh, bongo drums.  Why didn’t you say bongo drums I would have understood.  Just bongos I didn’t catch.  Heard anything from Jerry Kramer?’  Buzz asked referring to Dewey’s projected replacement in the eating club.

    ‘Jerry Kramer?  At West Point?  Me?  No.  Why would I have heard from him, we weren’t even friends.’

     Buzz was just trying to hurt Dewey because of Dewey’s knowledge of stereo  thwarting the intent of Buzz had been received like a slap in the face.  Buzz was relying on private knowledge about Kramer between he and Denny to return the slap.

     After the last question things lapsed into a prolonged embarrassed silence.  They all stood staring at Dewey with him staring back at them.

     ‘I’d probably better go Buzz.  Leave you and your lovely wife, sofa and combination TV/stereo to your Christmas.  All this stuff didn’t leave room for a Christmas tree I guess.   Good luck with the will and take care of that genuine simulated walnut finish.  Bye Melanie.  you want to drive me back, Denny?’

     ‘No. You go on ahead.  Carol and I have something to talk over with Buzz and Mel.’

page 1892.

     ‘You making me walk home alone?’

     ‘There’s the phone.  You can call a cab.’

     ‘I’ll walk.’  Dewey said with a glower.  ‘See you guys around.’

     The closest he came to seeing any of them again was when Denny and Carol drove slowly by him as he walked back to Grandma’s house in the ocld.  Denny politely tooted the horn in acknowledgment as he passed.

     Mel Larsen’s will was opened and read.  The good news was that he had left the business to Buzz.  The bad news was that he also left it to four other employees.  He had made each the same promise enjoining each to secrecy.  Strangely none of the five suspected the outcome.

     Mel’s profit divided five ways was a nice addition to their income but hardly enough for Buzz to have it made at twenty.  Besides that, as  businesses can’t be run by five equal partners, somebody had to be in charge.  After a year of constant bickering the store burned down in the middle of the night.  The insurance was split five ways.  Now without a job Buzz received his share bitterly.

     The year since the reading of the will had been a humiliating one for Buzz now left without a means of support.  He was devastated.  He did feel that he had been put upon by Mel Larsen.

     Buzz sat and drank and brooded for a month then divorced his lovely wife Mel for no other reason than that her name reminded him of Larsen.  He had to gag every time he used his wife’s name.

page 1983.

     Shortly thereafter the house he was living in burned to the ground along with Buzz’s sofa, combination TV/Stereo and the genuine Renoir reproduction that hung above it.

     Then Buzz packed his sorrows in his old kit bag and moved far far away.

     For Dewey as he walked back it seemed that he could hear doors being slammed behind him all over town.

That Sad Old Wintry Feeling

     Baffled by the cold treatment by guys he thought of as his best friends Dewey stepped out the next morning to take what he knew would be his last stroll around town.  The only door that still seemed to be open was the exit.

     As happens when the subconscious takes control Dewey’s steps led him to the corner where Susan Doughty lived.  In the manner of the subconscious it blocks out all detail irrelevant to its needs.  Dewey was unaware of where he was standing so he was suprised when a voice behind him said:  ‘I turned you in.’

     Dewey turned to look into the eyes of Susan Doughty.  He was astonished that she wasn’t wearing a coat.  Unaware of where he was he didn’t realize she had just stepped out her front door.  Had he any consciousness at all he might have looked up to see the Spider Woman watching him from the dining room window.

     It had been a little over a year since he had seen Susan on his leave of the summer of ’57.  Life had been so densely packed with adventure since that time that he had forgotten that she had been back.  Or, rather, he had been so distanced that he hadn’t had time to think about it.  As he had digested nothing of the time he had only disjointed and isolated memories of it.

page 1894.

     He remembered how she had invited him to that party and gotten him drunk.  In his resentment his reaction to her was very, very cold.  She didn’t notice as she felt no warmth toward him.

     She, on the other hand, remembered the last time they had seen each other on the porch after returning from the swimming party in the Bay.  She thought he had been rude but he had only shown more backbone than either she or her mother had expected.

     ‘I turned you in.’  She repeated.

     ‘Turned me in for what, Susan?’

     ‘For those rapes.’

     Dewey looked at her closely.  He was mystified.

     ‘What rapes are you talking about Susan?  You aren’t saying I raped you, are you?’  He said inquisitively, searching hopefully for some attempt at humor.

     In fact, she did think he had raped her.  When he had walked off the porch in disgust his rejection of her in her mind had been translated to rape.  She had mentally converted his reaction into images of rape.  Subconsciously she knew he hadn’t touched her, but she wanted him punished for outraging her sensibilities anyway.

     ‘There was a guy reported in the newspaper who brutally raped four innocent girls in a row six months ago then disappeared.  I know it was you.  So I turned you in.’

page 1986.

     ‘But, Susan, I wasn’t even in town six months ago.  I was in San Deigo.’

     ‘Doesn’t matter.  I don’t know how you did it but it was the kind of thing you would do to innocent girls like me.’

     Dewey looked Susan in the eyes.  He wondered how he could ever have had a crush on her.  Memories are always synthetic.  The synthesis always supports one’s own point of view.  The fact that Dewey considered himself OK was irrelevant, in her own way she was right.

      He had shown a great deal more interest in Susan than she had for him.  An impartial observor would have testified that in his ardor Dewey had forced his attention on her.  He had been sixteen, she had been fourteen.  She had said no she didn’t want to see him.  She didn’t have the know how or impoliteness to drive him away.  So they had had a very cold unpleasant relationship.  She had grounds to claim that Dewey was her misfortune, still, he was the only boy who had ever seen worth in her.

     When she did turn Dewey away in the eleventh grade she had done so in such a brutal unfeeling way that Dewey had been crushed down below where the lilies grow.  Oh boy, did he remember that; even score, or least.  Since he was vaguely aware of how much she had always resented his attentions he bore her no grudge but he insisted on a clean break.  She had violated that condition by approaching him in the summer of ’57.  He no longer felt any obligation toward her.

page 1986.

      Life isn’t that clean.  She obviously couldn’t get him out of her mind.  Thus Dewey was unaware of how painful his presence had been to her for her to have converted his love for her into a series of rapes.

     ‘What did the police say, Susan?’

     ‘They said they thought it was impossible.’

     ‘I should think so.’

     Dewey wanted to say something cruel but all he could remember was the vision of loveliness that had appeared before his eyes on this very corner, indeed, this very spot, what? only four years previously?  Only four years in a world without time, a clock with no hands.  The vision must have taken place on another planet in a different universe, far away beyond the thick dark veil of space.  How could time have so little coherence?

     How could Dewey remember everything but none of it have any meaning to him.  Susan had existed but not in the flesh and blood.  To him she was like ‘Pinkie’ a portrait in a gallery lined with pictures on both sides stretching toward infinity.  Each picture had some relationship to his life but distant and drawn by others.  He could walk the gallery admiring the portraits and pictures relating intimate details that only he knew but they meant no more to him than that.

     There was no organic connection.  He was he and they were they.  He had lived each scene from the outside with no closer involvement than as a patron in the gallery.

page 1988.

     He sat down to Christmas dinner a stranger at the table.  Gone were the big family gatherings of past years.  Some were dead all had dispersed  the year he graduated.  He had been the glue that held them all together in some mysterious way.  His grandmother was no more than a cutout cardboard figure.  His half-brother ate silently beside him.  He finished a second piece of pumpkin pie, got up, put on his hat, grabbed his bag and walked out the door to the bus station for the return trip.  Neither his grandmother nor his brother said goodbye to him nor did he say goodbye to them.  He merely walked down the front steps and out of the picture.

     The last door slammed shut behind him.  As he boarded the big Grey Dog he rode away from a past of which the back cover of the book closed behind him.  He now knew no one.  His course was all his own.  His youth was fled.  The rump end was nine remaining months in the Navy before he could begin his new life.  Actually his new life had already begun.  All else was memory.

     Like Salvador Dali’s brilliant painting, The Persistence Of Memory, handless clocks melted across branches of leafless trees while the luxurious landscape he had known faded into a bleak desert punctuated by the decomposing corpses of old memories.

     In compensation Dewey created a fantasy of high school that would last for twenty-five years.  The more unpleasant realities took shape in his dreamlife where they formed a stable of nightmares that was also to last for twenty-five years.

     He looked back but the last buffalo had fallen on the plane of consciousness never to rise again.  The future lay ahead.  A future dominated by Dr. Queergenes whose story begins in Vol. IV of City On The Hill,

If they gave gold statuettes

for tears and regrets,

I’d be a legend





-Don Gibson.


A Novel

Our Lady Of The Blues

Book VII

The Heart Of The Matter

Clip 14


R.E. Prindle

     Rather than being awakened to a grim reality Dewey slept soundly until Sunset.  Then, opening his eyes to Darkness while still exhausted he wove in and out of consciousness the night through until daylight brought the world back.  It wasn’t fun but it was unavoidable.

     He had to take three baths and shave twice before he felt clean.  He had no time to reflect on what had been a momentous experience for him.  Each segment of his trip was seared across his memory but the scars were too fresh for examination.  It would be very late in life before he made any attempt to understand.

     For now he was only interested in, as the saying goes, carpeing the diem.  Having finally ggotten back he wanted to get out and relive his past.  Unfortunately the past can only be relived on paper such as this.  His past in any real sense was gone forever.  He now learned that you can never go home again.  I forget who said it but they said:  The past is a foreign country.  They do things different there.  How true.  Not only do they do things differently there, like puppets they can be made to form any pose, assume any attitude, express any opinion and then change them completely when viewed from a different perspective.  The truth is hard to capture but whatever is captured is part of the truth.

     It was at this moment that Dewey, how shall I say, intuited the fact that the past was a sealed book.  What had happened had happened; what had been done was over.  It was all over; the fat lady had warbled.  He didn’t think about it; he didn’t understand it but he knew it.

page 1911

     Still worn out he sat around all day trying to think of where to begin.  As he thought it seemed that his last leave had all but severed his relations with anyone he had known.  He had walked out on Denny Demwitter, still he didn’t know who else to call.  Denny naturally was at work.  His mother said he would call back.

     Louis on return from school had stopped by Caterina to pick up the mail.  There was a letter from Red Hanrahan.  Dewey tore it open and fourteen dollars fell out.  The loan had been paid along with a sanctimonious note adving Dewey of the evil of charging interest.  Dewey pocketed the money throwing the sentiments in the trash.

     Denny returned his call that evening.  He advised Dewey that this was Christmas; he had a girl and their plans were set but he would see if he could include Dewey in something.

     That was that as far as Dewey was concerned.  Now he had to figure out what to do with his remaining days.

Social Dynamics


     He got up the next morning with a feeling of despair not knowing what to do.  Coming back for Christmas now seemed the least wise thing he could have done.  Feeling lackluster he decided to wander on down to Trinkow’s Drug to look over the pulps and magazines as in days of yore.

     The days of yore were just that.  The pulps had all but disappeared, a victim of the TV screen.  The number of interesting magazines was thinning fast too.  Since his mohter’s house was locked up he couldn’t even get his civilian clothes.  He was condemned to walking around in his sailor suit which displeased him greatly.

     As Dewey idly searched the magazines he was noted by John Dickman who also was standing around.  Dickman didn’t have a steady job.  He considered a steady job for fools only.  He didn’t want one.  He had been able to put his busybody proclivities to economic use which made his habits legitimate in his eyes.

     He earned an adequate amount of as an informant or sort of researcher cum private eye for a number of attorneys.  He could always immediately provide some background on nearly anyone in town while being able to come up with an in depth report within a matter hours.  When every you talked to him you were providing him with valuable information.

     Trueman knew who Dickman was from seeing him at Melville but he had never spoken to him during those three years.  He wouldn’t have recognized him now.  Dickman accosted Trueman:

     ‘How…uh…how do you know the Daggers.’  He asked carefully avoiding using Dewey’s name as he considered himself better than him.

     ‘How’s that?’  Dewey asked turning to meed him.

     ‘I asked how you know the Daggers.  That’s simple enough isn’t it?’  It was simple; it was also rude and vulgar but since Dickman considered himself above Trueman it was imperative to speak down to him.

page 1913.

     ‘Who are you and what are daggers?’

     ‘You remember me.’  Dickman said softening a little at the truculent tone of Trueman.  ‘John.  John Dickman.  I went to school with you.  Don’t be coy.  The Daggers from Bay City.  One of them was in here yesterday looking for you.’

     Now Dickman was giving out valuable information rather than receiving it which he was always loath to do.

     Dewey stared at Dickman hard.  He understood.  ‘Duelin’ Dalton Dagger was in here looking for me?’  He said, concealing his alarm.

     ‘Yes.  He seemed to know you very well.  He wanted to know where you lived.  I took him over to your parent’s place but you weren’t there.’

     ‘You…took…over…’  Dewey began and stopped.  He wondered how or why this guy he barely recognized knew where he lived and how he knew Dagger.  Dewey looked at him again in one intense but brief study then without answering turned and walked out.

     ‘Geez, what a busybody.’  He thought, flushed from a haunt where he had intended to stay for a couple hours.  Now secure in his mind that Dagger wouldn’t be able to find him Dewey still had the full day before him.  He decided to wander over to Melville to relive old memories.

Darktown Strutters Ball

     One says he decided to wander over but in fact Dewey was compelled to revisit the scene of his failed hopes and spoiled dreams.  He was drawn to this scene of ruined expectations.  His mind lowered istself into a half conscious, half subconscious state where his motivations were separated from his volition.

page 1914

     He loved this vale of regrets, this Herman Melville High School, but it was a love built on sadness.  The solidity of the old pile impressed him as he approached.  There was a sense of dignity in the old building so unlike the frivolous nature of modern construction.  The grandfathers had built it with the reverence due to a temple of learning.  Its traditions were the traditions of modesty yet with the merited pride of achievement.

     His familiarity with this temple of learning on Bercilak as entered was as fresh as the day he left it.  He had no idea what he was going to do as he entered but the old wounds ever fresh from his subconscious directed his steps to the second floor wing containing Mrs. Hicks’ classroom.

     His arrival coincided with the change of classes.  Just as he reached the second floor landing the bell rang releasing the charging streams of students.  There was a changed quality in their manner from his day.  Back then he remembered that they had strolled, emerging cockily and moving leisurely like young lords of the manor down the hall challenging anyone to do something about it.

     These students seemed to run from class scurrying down the hall as though in a mad dash for the safety of the next classroom.  This year’s Seniors had been sophomores the year he graduated so he might possibly know but few of them and none of the Juniors and Sophomores.  As luck would have it, sticking out like a sore thumb in his uniform, nearly everyone he did know saw him.

page 1915.

     Ange, his first sweetheart, turned to scuttle away so as not to be noticed.  Susan Doughty, her replacement, saw him from a distance and went the other way.

     His brother, Louis, spotted him, coming over to say a few words with shining eyes.  Dewey was troubled by rising subconscious motifs so he was not too communicative.  While they were bandying a few words Diane Dever came rushing up.

     Diane had had a crush on Dewey ever since he had delivered papers to her door in eleventh grade.  She had desperately tried to stay in touch when he left for the Navy.  Dewey had written to her during his first year but having no real affection for her he had discontinued writing when the Teufelsdreck went overseas.

     Besides he had been so beaten down by his enemies, so reviled and belittled that he couldn’t see how any girl could love him.  He didn’t feel he could hold his own against his fellows so he didn’t want to be humiliated in front of any girl he might love.

     From Diane’s behavior now her cruch seemed to be true love.  Her plans for Dewey had seemed realizable when he had been writing to her but then he had just stopped answering her letters.  Perhaps, she thought, it was something she said.  Perhaps she had been trying to impress him with her virtue too much.  As with many women who aren’t getting the attention they want she thought she could win Dewey with sex or perhaps in her desperate love she threw caution to the winds hoping to get his attention with promises.

page 1916.

     she rushed up excitedly overjoyed to see him.  The halls were thinning as she spotted him.  Melville had been all White when Dewey had attended but he noticed the presence of Black Boys in the crowds as they came out of the rooms.  Now he understood why the Whites had all seemed to be running to the safety of their next classroom as the Black Boys took up threatening positions in the middle of the halls, somewhat like hall monitors, to harass White stragglers.

     As Diane greeted Dewey she subconsciously straddled his leg rubber her vulva up and down.  She may have meant nothing but a mating call but she caught the Black Boys attention.  Nothing their looks Dewey quickly said he would call her, which he never did, but she was satisfied and scurried off in that scooting run now characteristic of White students.

     Louis gone, Dewey drift4d down the hallway toward Mrs. Hicks’ room with the intent of looking in.  HIs memories were conflicted further by the sight of the Black Boys eyeing him wonderingly.  Two years earlier and there would have been Whites leisurely jousting their way down the halls but now with two full minutes to go before classes only an occasional straggler came down the hall closely hugging the lockers along the side so as to get the greatest distance between them and the Black terrorists in the middle of the hall.  It was a form of respect the Black Boys could appreciate.

page 1917.

     Some half dozen Blacks were in Mrs. Hicks’ class which caused surges in Dewey’s mind that, while he couldn’t have explained them, would have been impossible to explain had he been fluent rather than inchoate.

     Ah, discrimination.

     None of these Black Boys had experienced the discrimination he had.  It made Dewey angry when people spoke of discrimination against Blacks when he had experienced worse and without the comfort of sympathetic fellows who felt as he did.

     As related in the Sonderman Constellation when Dewey had left Junior High Hirsh/Yisraeli had secretly enrolled him at Melville Trade School rather than Melville High so as to get him out of the sight of son and friends.

     When Dewey showed up at Melville for tenth grade he was told that there was no place for him, he should trot over to Trade School and assume the position.  Dewey had refused, sitting around the office for three days until Hirsh and the administration capitulated.  After all the Law required that all youths be given the opportunity for a high school education, Black or White.

     Next Dewey elected for college prep courses.  Hirsh and the administration refused, wanting to put him in the Business Curriculum.  They told him he wasn’t entitled for what he was asking.  He had to brush aside their objections that he would never be going to college.  How they knew what he might or might not do was anybody’s guess but as Dewey looked at these Black Boys in Mrs. Hicks class he smilingly wondered how many of them would be going to college except on an athletic scholarship in which intellectual abilities might be a liability.

page 1918.

     In a truly desperate attempt to intimidate him into taking the less prestigious business curriculum, while showing their hatred for him, he was assigned to Mrs. Hicks’ college prep class which contained Michael Hirsh as well as most of his friends.

     Evaline Hicks had been the instructor of the elite of the Valley since the late thirties when she arrived from State.  She had a spectacular aura of respectability about her as well as being a top notch scholar.  She epitomized all the Western Civilization hoped to be.

     When Dewey presented himself in her class the Hirshes as a body rose from their seats to force him back driving him back by main force out of the room into this veryhallway on the very spot he now stood where his subconscious steps had led him.  Then several girls from the Business English class across the hall came out like the sirens of Greek mythology to entice him with sexual promises, I did you not, into their classroom.  Whoever came up with the notion that girls were chaste in the fifties must never have been there.  Perhaps it is the same girls speaking now as mothers trying to impress their daughters with their former virtue.  It’s not like they weren’t wonderful just the same.

     Informed once again that he would never go to college he replied that he would and fought his way back into the classroom.  After Mrs. Hicks had restored order he was grudgingly allowed to take a seat.  How’s that for discrimination?

page 1919.

     None of the Black boys in Mrs. Hicks class would ever go to college but they were now given seats in her sacred grove on a silver platter that they could not apprecieate.  Dewey laughed to himself as he watched them wondering what a sailor was doing in school as these memories and comparisons surged around his subconscious.  Animosity and hatred glowed from their eyes as the last White straggler scurried past them protected y the presence of Dewey.

     The Whites had learned their lesson well and quickly.  A full thirty seconds before the bell rang there wasn’t a White fact to be seen in the halls.  Much different than when Dewey had attended Melville.

     A few Blacks had attended Melville the past year as clumps of Negroes breached the Eastern Defenses crossing over from the East Side into Carroltown Township, just North of the Valley, that fed into Melville.  Larger numbers had crossed after N-Day so now there were now two or three hundred Black students out of twenty-eight hundred.

     The Blacks were unwelcome across the River, just as Montagues would have been amongst Capulets.  Think social rather than racial.  The defense lines would be reformed forcing them back across the River to the East Side during the year.  They were told to stay on the East Side.  Melville would be White again the next year.  For a while.

     No one understood how the Black population grew so fast.  The flood of newcomers moving North from the South was an unrecognized fact.  The Valley News never tried to explain or acknowledge it.  They didn’t understand either.  the subject then as now was taboo.

page 1920

     Originally contained in the First Ward until the ward was literally bursting the Blacks were now spilling out into the adjoining wards on the way to taking over the Northeast and Central East Side.  The Whites were pushed South and further East reclaiming swampy lower ground where they were joined by the incoming White hillbillies hoping for the same unskilled factory jobs as the Blacks.

     Much has been made concerning the low scores of Blacks on the Scholastic Achievement and IQ tests but the scores were pre-ordained.  It should be noted that West Side White scores were also consistently higher than East Side White scores.  The tests were culturally weighted toward an upper class White standard.  West Side families were more likely to have magazines and books in their homes than the factory workers and Hillbillies of the East Side.  Melville also sent a much higher percentage of its students on to college than Valley High of which the West Side was very proud.

     The Blacks simply had not come into contact with the achievements of Western Civilization while actually despising them.  Mrs. Hicks class was a model of the problem of educating Blacks to White or Western Civilization standards.  Western Civ quite naturally excluded all things Black from discussion.  Education was a White world; Whites had made the world from the fifteenth century on.  Just a fact.  They now had to be made ashamed of their achievement ‘to redress the balance.’

page 1921.

     A surprising number of teachers at Melville had Masters degrees.  Mrs. Hicks not only had onee but she was only a few credits from obtaining her PhD.  As per the discussion between Dewey and Terry Gaste in the De Soto Mrs. Hicks was a serious scholar.

     She was not exactly a feminist or perhaps Feminists were not yet known by that name but she took her Sex seriously while also having lesbian tendencies.  She was well developed in all areas of English literature.  She was deep into Medieval studies.  Her accomplishments were such that it must be said that the West Side was repaid handsomely for whatever salary they gave her.

     She was in advance of her times by giving a slightly different course of instruction to the girls over the boys.  The girls were privately instructed in the Romance of Tristan and Isolde with its stress on platonic love.  Perhaps in our misguided coeducational fantasy it is necessary to somehow impart the duties, hopes and aspirations of each sex apart from the other.  Co-education may be a fantasy.  Anything would be better than the smutty environment we’ve created now.

     Now, as to the psychology of the Blacks.  You don’t have to read a lot of Black literature to find what is missing in Black education.  There are no references to White literature or history in Black literature.  From Richard Wright to Iceberg Slip you are given a picture of reality devoid of literary references.  Apparently Blacks don’t read White literature.  Their lack of interest in White matters is part of their inability to respond to White education.

page 1922.

     This is not a question of money.  Those Blacks who had grown up in theValley attending grammar schools, Junior Highs, and High Schools had as much money spent on them as White kids.  Black kids migrating from the South didn’t but there was no difference between these two Black groups in scholastic achievement.

     The problem was not one of money but culture.  In their daily lives the Black kids did not spend a lot of time reading anything.  They were all functionally illiterate.

      The layering of psychologies was such that Blacks had the burden of a couple layers of psychology than Whites.  Both groups had to deal with their personal psychologies.  They had to maintain their self-respect vis-a=vis their communities.

     That done the Whites faced integration into a White society in which they were more or less accepted and knew their way around.  The Blacks had to relate their personal and community psychologies to the structures of the alien White community, a community that traditionally had rejected and supressed them on every level.

     This led to the development of different possibilities and ultimately a completely separate and antagonistic culture.  What goes in Black Culture may be a crime by White laws.  Conversely what may be seen as a crime in Black eyes might not to White eyes.  There is a terrific conflict in standards.  Also irreconcilable.

     This is nowhere more evident than in the relation between the sexes.  The Pimp was a culture hero in the Black world.  In the White world he had no status.  In the Black he had money’; he knew how to shine.  Thus Black men tended to look on women as a means to wealth.  Nor was this different than their situation in Africa.  When they saw a woman they saw a potential prostitute or in their slang a hole or ho.  John Lennon of the Beatles was indeed very rude to ask how many holes it took to fill Albert Hall.  If you had a few holes in your stable you were set up.

page 1923.

     This attitude was reflected in their music, which is say, everyday psychology, in such songs as ‘Shake Your Moneymaker.’  If you don’t know what a ‘moneymaker’ is it’s that ‘thang’ between a woman’s legs; ‘Jimmy Mack’  is another name for a pimp.  Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee.  When Little Richard burst onto the scene screaming ‘Long Tall Sally sure likes to ball’ you may be sure that not one in a hundred White Folks knew that ‘to ball’ was not a verb meaning ‘to party’ but one meaning ‘to fuck.’  Thus Little Richard was screaming, if you’ve never heard Little Richard I mean he was actually screaming: Sally sure likes to fuck.  Probably for money.

     It didn’t take long for fast Whites to learn what that meant.  Now imagine a little five year old girl who had heard the song on the radio shaking that ‘thang’ as she shouts:  Long Tall Sally sure like to ball.  It happened, my friends, and her parents thought she was cute.  The cultural differences were immense.  Blacks and Whites used the same words but didn’t speak the same language.

     Now, imagine a corps of young Black pimps released into a White hen house where the girls had never even seen a prostitute, Black or White.  Consider that these girls had been raised on the ideals of virtue as contained in the Romance of Tristan and Isolde.  ‘Tight ass White girls’ as the Blacks would say.  It will be seen that their defenses agains Black ho recruiters were minimal unless the distance between the two cultures was maintained.  Instead they were told that there were no cultural differences between Blacks and Whites and that they were evil if they ‘discriminate’ against Black Boys.  In those days Black men ran Black stables of holes; today they are mixed.  Pimps aren’t nice to their holes either; read Iceberg Slim’s book ‘Pimp.’

     In those days the pimp was a Black culture hero, today the role is shared by White men acting Black.  In the year 2000 Hollywood produced an animated cartoon in which one character was a tow headed White seven year old pimp.  What was the cute little guy selling?  His sister or mother?  What a difference forty years makes.

     Then there was the racial warfare to take into accunt.  Except to the blind it was already evident on the playing fields of America.  Let’s face it.  Blacks had to be careful or they might be beaten without recourse.  Blacks attending Melville had to traverse the entire White West Side.  In those days students were not routinely bussed to school, although it was around the corner, only the rural students were.  Everyone else had to find their own way.  thus the Blacks had to walk across town or pay for the city bus.

     Whether they were set on or not the apprehension was real.  Blacks felt in physical danger at Melville which they countered with a pre-emptive terrorism of their own on the principle that a good offense is the best defense.

page 1925.

     Coming from the East Side which was economically inferior the Blacks had to traverse the whole of the West Side which was forbidden to them at all other times.  Dewey had grown up without ever seeing a Black face on the West side of the River and very few South or East of the First Ward.  While the physical appearance of the rest of the town wasn’t significantly different from the First Ward it contained all the mysterious wonders of the White world.  the true differences in life styles was heightened in the Black imagination.  There were White women in those houses.

     These supposed splendors were also joys and delights that were seemingly forever denied to them and that on the unfair basis of color, as opposed to what?  Social caste?  Weren’t they treated as dogs.  Dogs.

     The arrogant Urban Aristocracy was either cruel or inexplicably unaware of the consequences of their actions.  Weren’t they after all educated people?  They treated their orphans worse than they treated the Blacks.  When Dewey was in the orphanage the children would occasionally be taken to the home of some well-to-do ‘benefactor’ for lunch.   There they saw all the things money could buy including the luxurious mansion and acreage.  When they were taken back to the orphanage the house mothers carefully explained to them that they would never be allowed to enter such a desirable life style.  Such was only for their ‘betters’ and betters was heavily emphasized.  Orphans too were ‘niggers’ who were to be forever denied.  What is discrimination?


     The effect on Blacks was much the same.  If it wasn’t said it was understood that they would never be allowed to live int he same style much less among the Whites.  If you don’t think Blacks and orphans experienced some bitterness, you’re mistaken.  The big difference and this caused Dewey some bitterness too was that the racial lines allowed Blacks security as a group while the orphans were isolated individuals within the White society without support.

     Still the orphans were not cut off from education by color discrimination, just discrimination.  Once the Blacks entered the classrooms their minds had never been prepared to digest the material presented to them while they believed it was impossible for them to participate as social equals.

     White minds had been prepared in varying degrees to ingest and digest the material while at the same time they knew or hoped they could apply apply the material by assuming places of stature in society where the information would be useful.  Class lines couldn’t stop the demand for educated workers in an expanding economy.

     At least for some of the Whites.  The Whites had already been divided into three classes.  Those Whites destined to be useful to the Urban Aristocracy by making things for them had been separated out and sent to Herman Melville Trade.

     Those not destined for the manual trades and been organzied in the Business Curriculum which was inferior to the elite of the College Prep Curriculum in which those destined for success were enrolled.  The elite of the College Prep was assigned to the most prestigious English teacher, Mrs. Hicks.

page 1927.

     The second division of the elite went to the class of Miss Mattie Crump.  Miss Crump was an adequate teacher but she had none of the flair and imagination of Mrs. Hicks.  Evaline Hicks, by the way, had never been married.  The Mrs. was as honorary a title as a Kentucky Colonel.

     Once in Mrs. Hicks’ class you were usually there for the three years of high school.  Dewey had braved his way into Mrs. Hicks’ tenth grade class; Hirsh in a rage had him exiled to Miss Crump’s class in the eleventh grade.

     Dewey had immediately recognized the difference in quality.  He had appealed to Mrs. Hicks to be transferred back to her class but she was either unable or unwilling to do so.  She promised to take him back in twelfth grade which word she honored much to Hirsh’s chagrin.

     Thus while Dewey fully appreciated Mrs. Hicks’ skills he had been discriminated against, kept from her class in the eleventh grade  by prejudice.  Now these Black Boys who completely negated the talents of the teacher, who were unable to appreciate what she could have done for them where given preferential treatment over the likes of the White Deweys.  The sailor could only sneer at the Whites and laugh at the Blacks.

     So the Urban Aristocracy treated the Blacks as a unit the same as they treated the Jews as a unit.  the two ‘minorities’ were given defferential and preferential treatment outside and independent of the class distinctions of the Whites.  Every Black and every Jew who was willing and able could have a shot at the Golden Ring as adjuncts of the White elite while two thirds of the Whites were placed beneath Negroes and Jews and the lower half of that over at Herman Melville Trade being taught to be useful servants.

page 1928

         The Jews knew what to do with their boon while the Blacks would take decades to make any progress at all and that was given to them on a silver platter hand fed with a silver spoon.  For now these angry Black kids were incapable of competing with the Whites except on a physical basis.  Hence they emphasized the physical.

      Now came the great change in so-called American education.  The shift was from education to inculcation.  As the Blacks couldn’t increase their abilities fast enough the Whites had to be brought down to their level in the interests of  ‘equality.’

     The notion of education as a bringing forth as explained by Terry Gaste had to be discarded.  Mrs. Hicks having a classical education naturally taught the same.  Learning don’t come easy.  Doesn’t matter whether you’re Black or White learing is work.  She had set herself the task of drawing fortth her students step by step so that they could decipher for themselves what had previously been undecipherable.  After all the learning process is a continual pushing to enlarge the envelope.

     In Dewey’s time, as before his time and after for a while, Whites had to struggle through the Greek ;myths, the Song of Roland and excerpts from Mallory’s Morte d’ Arthur in the fifteenth century dialect.  Talk about stretching your mind; it hurt.  There were many Whites, even then, who objected to learning the antiquated language.

page 1929.

     In the intellectual climate of the times the only relevance of the Greek myths was as didactic pretty stories used as figures of reference in literature.  Showed you were educated if you knew a bunch.  Thus it helped to know who Apollo was to understand what was meant when some guy other than yourself was being described as a real Apollo.  It always seemed to be the other guy, too.  There was nothing too intellectually challenging there, just some memory work.

     Roland and Arthur while being more linguistically demanding were still in the realm of  fairy tale therefore not really challenging except for the language.  By the time you got to Shakespeare, that’s where your heartaches began.  The Whites had to study and think to have their intelligence drawn out while the Blacks just shined it on.  Fuck it.

     This transition from Ghetto to Melville was more than a few miles; it was the transition from the limitations of the Negro dialect to the full glories of the modern English language.  The two peoples were nearly speaking two languages.  The Whites used English the Blacks had never heard while the Blacks used words and phrases like ‘to ball’ that had no or different meanings to Whites.

     Besides the very word ‘English’ stuck in the Black craw.  The Blacks hated the English by which they meant their old owners.  If you have listened to Harry Belafonte on his Carnegie Hall LP you will get a very genteel feel for the hatred and anger the Blacks have against the ‘English.’


     The transition from Black Culture to White Culture was difficult to impossible for the Blacks which none of the Urban Aristocracy educator took into account.  The Blacks were now asked to deal with a despised twice or thrice removed foreign English Culture as an ideal expressed in terms five hundred years old or more.  I mean, for Whites a gloosary is real hand if not essential to understanding Shakespeare.

     Imagine Black or teen Whites presented with these examples of the Bard’s artistry:

…the Sun ariseth in his majesty;

Who doth the world so gloriously behold

That cedar tops and hill seem burnish’d gold.

Venus salutes him with this fair good morrow:

‘O thou dear god and patron of all light,

From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow

The beauteous influence that makes his bright…


The senat house of planets all did sit,

To knit in her their best perfection.


Be Mercury, set feathers to they heels,

And fly like thought from them to me again.

     Kind of makes you wish you’d paid better attention to those Greek myths, eh?

     The strangeness of the the Shakespearian idiom compared to the Black idiom infuriated Black Folk.  The polite disdain of Harry Belafonte was joined by the rage of the Southern Negro Preacher, Jesse Jackson.

page 1931.

     The Blacks sat in the class dumbly, angry at the Whites who seemed to hand the material so easily although they were struggling to learn the material themselves.  Even Mrs. Hicks didn’t know  what ‘The senate house of the planets all did sit’ really meant.  She and Smyrna Gaste, Terry’s mother, whould have had to have been friends for her to learn that.  Freedom on conscience has its limits.

     In retaliation for being made to feel really stupid the Blacks disrupted the class.  ‘Charlie Brown, he’s a clown’ as one popular song put it.

      Mrs. Hicks’ favorite book for tenth graders was George Eliot’s ‘Silas Marner.’  How much George Eliot’s being a woman writing under a man’s name influenced her decision can never be known but it seems that there is a concealed feminism there.  The idea of George being a woman created a minor sensation in Dewey’ class.

     She lost half of Dewey’s elite alla White class with old Silas while half of the half hacked their way through Eliot’s choppy jumpy class conscious style.  The last quarter of the class claimed to enjoy the book.  The phone country dialect was a real treat as Eliot subdivided class from class to arrive at the bottom of the social structure which was, however, above that of the Blacks.  Even Thomas Hardy was exasperated by her style while Anthony Trollope thought there was little chance of Eliot’s books surviving time.  You never can tell.  No one was ever assigned a Trollope novel to read even though he is far superior to Eliot.

page 1932.

     Two years after Dewey there wasn’t a Black guy in class that even cracked a book.  They just sat seething and getting angrier and angrier while feeling more inferior each session.

     Harry Belafonte’s mild rejection would burst forth in an angrier denunciation a few years later when the volitilce Jesse Jackson, successor to Martin Luther King, Junior stood up at Stanford University and shrieked in that emotional Southern Black churchy manner:  “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civilization has got to go.”  Niftly little phrase maker he; he wanted to throw out the baby and the bath at the same time.

     Strangely enough in that bastion of the Urban Aristocracy’s elite his White listeners agreed with him.  Mencken was right after all.  they chucked the likes of Shakespeare and George Eliot out the window embracing the semi-literate, half educated Black psychologist from Martinique, Frantz Fanon.  Fanon was passed off as ‘French.’

     But by then the ‘e-ducere’ was a thing of the past as educators pounded all kinds of  inferior literature from William Golding’s puerile ‘Lord Of The Flies’ to Chaim Potok’s racist ‘The Chosen’ into the heads of  their charges.  The idea was no longer to educated students but to inculcate them with the prevailing prejudices.  Theprocess was much the same as the conditioning given the Jews over the Haman shriek.  You either responded correctly to cue words or you were excommunicated from the flock, kicked out of school and denied employment that might lead to influence.  THEY called you a bigot.

page 1933.

     The Whites had so lost the ability of intellectual discrimination that they embraced the ephemeral fruit of Fanon’s novel ‘The Wretched Of The Earth’ as though it were the Holy Bible.  Once can understand a Black Panther like Huey Newton walking around with the book in his pack pocket but required reading for the Urban Aristocracy at Stanford?

     Made to feel inferior in the classroom the Blacks turned to aggression in the halls; and what agression.  Rapes and beatings escalated the level of violence to unheard of proportions.  Even in the post-Blackboard Jungle days when White Boys attempted the same things the crimes were not allowed to become institutionalized.  The administration had moved to break up the White gangs.  The Black gangs were immune because of their race.  The administrators sat quietly in their offices with their hands folded; to discipline them would have been an insult to the Black race.  ADL, NAACP, they were all hoping to create an incident, get involved, make things happen.

     So the test scores just continued to drop.  The Blacks didn’t any smarter; the Whites just dumbed down.  The Blacks got bolder; the Whites put more time into evasive measures than study.  Tricks were turned in the toilets.  Twenty years later the streets would be filled with ‘the homeless’ who didn’t even exist in 1958.

     Black influence functioned much as the influence of the barbarian Germans functioned in ancient Rome.  The Germans flooded in surveying Roman marvels that they had no ability to understand.  The difference in capabilities was such and so insurmountable that the Germans just destroyed rather than trying to emulate.

page 1934.

     So with the Blacks.  Just as they felt they were being defaced they defaced the physical plant at Melville.  Nearly pristine after forty years of use by Whites things began to be chipped and broken just like at Black dominated new Valley High.  Unable to understand the English of the classroom the Blacks invented a script that was incomprehensible to Whites and scrawled it as grafittie over every blank surface.

     The Urban Aristocracy never did catch on and hasn’t to this day.  the notion of Blacks having a distinct psychology is just as foreign to them today as it was then.

     Just before the bell rang, the Whites, who learned the new guidelines quickly, had flet to class leaving Dewey and a file of Black Boys eyeing each other.  As Dewey looked down the line he reflected that each and every one of these children of supposed poverty were dressed better than he had ever been.  they wore expensive slacks and costly shirts.  Their belts were not ordinary leather.  they wore their clothes well too.  Unable to compete intellectually they could at least look better than their White counterparts, if anybody could look better in that shade of green pants.  Just as in the Navy, they looked sharp.

     Dewey was older and in uniform so they fidgeted restlessly unsure whether to harass him or not.  Finally their minds made up they began a show of power by strolling past him with one of their peculiar walks which are meant to show how cool they are.

page 1935.

     They hip hopped toward Mrs. Hicks’ door with a walk so leisurely that Dewey would have fallen over unable to balance himself at such a slow pace.  The entry was delayed by a full three mintues as they increased the volume of their noise as they pomped through the door with a contemptuous smirk at the Whites.

     Another full five minutes were taken to seat themselves.  Remember that photo of that cute little Black girl in the pink pinafore being escorted down the walk by those big White National Guardsmen in Little Rock a scant year previously?

     There was no establishment photographer around to catch this shot of her big Black Northern brothers.  Nor would such a photograph have been published.  The last ‘blood’ to enter stopped with his back to Mrs. Hicks.  Facing the class he coolly unzipped his fly spreading his trouser tops ostensibly to tuck in his shirt.  He was wearing no underwear.  Being sure to give the White girls a sight of his shaft he smirkingly zipped up then hip hopped to his seat.

     Willie had stuck it in the face of the White Folks just as his counterparts in professional baseball were doing every time they stepped to the plate.  Jackie Robinson in 1948 had been instructed to be humble, to endure whatever insults the Whites might give him.  Ten years later the table were turned.  Every Black player who stepped to the plate reached down to grab his root and shake it in the face of White America.  Back to their roots.

     White Americans sat respectfully and watched the Black ballplayers shake that thang.

page 1936.

     Not to be outdone in Mrs. Hicks’ class another North of the Ohio Emmett Till leaned over to a White girl, who was just as cute as that little Little Rock pink pinafore, saying loud enough to be overheard:  ‘Say, honey, you too beautiful to be walking around in those rags.  Let me teach you how to shake that thang, put that money maker to work.  Man, you go with me and you be walkin’ around in silks and furs.  Don’t give me no answer now, think about it.  Dig you later.’

     The White girl sat paralyzed not so much from fear as from being unable to respond properly for fear of being called prejudiced.  Black Boys and Girls tittered and giggled pleased at their unopposed success at putting a couple over on the White Folks.  Emmett Till laughed from his river bottom.

     The flower of Western Civilization sat grimly behind her desk watching the degradation.  All that wonderful education had come to this.  Another couple years and George Eliot would be chucked out in favor of that obscene parody of literature written by an arrested adolescent:  The Lord Of The Flies.

     Thus while not only disrupting the class the Blacks incited disrespect for discipline which the White Boys would quickly learn to imitate.  If it’s good for a black gander it’s good for a white one.  The standard of education disappeared as mere indoctrination replaced it.  Test scores sank and sank year after year.

      What did you think was going to happen?  There were other ways of handling the situation but the Urban Aristocracy wouldn’t hear of them.  Society would accept their point of view or else.

     You won’t read any of this in history books which are censored to eliminate it because to merely relate the truth is bigotry to these ‘democrats.’

     The memory of these momentous events to Dewey became a compressed pellet if information in his mind as he walked out the door indisgust, shame and fear for his people.  He knew what he knew but he couldn’t tell it.  Decompressing the pellet into its elements so he culd express what he understood would take decades.  Even then it was forbidden knowledge.

Detroit City Once Again

     When Dewey graduated form high school in the recession year of 1956 about half the men in his class went into the service.  of the other half about half toughed it out at home while the remaining quarter of the whole trekked off to college.  About half of Dewey’s eating club went to college.

     Among those was LeBaron Briscoe.  The University and State were the favored home State colleges.  The third most popular college in the State was Wayne State University in Detroit.  Detroit was in Wayne County.  No doubt it was named after Mad Anthony Wayne the famed Indian fighter.  An early day Custer if I remember correctly.

     LeBaron attended Wayne State with a Melville alumna by the name of Meggy Malone.  Meggy had been in a terrible car accident the week before finals which had broken most of the bones in her body.  she was laid up at Wayne State Hospital.  Several girls from the Valley were attending her around the clock.  People had seen Dewey enter town.  A news of sorts, the information was learned y Meggy’s attendants, from them to her as gossip.  For reasons to be explained she expressed a desire to see Dewey.

page 1938

     Meggy knew all the members of Dewey’s eating club quite well.  She was an especial friend of LeBaron Briscoe who had been in Dewey’s eating club.  LeBaron agreed to drive Dewey up to Detroit to see Meggy.  So a request was make to Denny Demwitter who called Dewey to inform him that he had found something for Dewey to do.  How would he like to drive up to Detroit with Briscoe?  Alright with Dewey.

     LeBaron Briscoe picked Dewey up at eight for the long drive to Detroit.  The drive was only a hundred miles but it took a lot longer to get there than it did between San Diego and LA.

     The morning was a frosty 10 degrees above zero.  LeBaron and Dewy had known each other well without ever becoming close friends or even real friends.  In a way the trip was a means of getting to know each other.  Dewey was discussing the changes to the Dixie Highway as the road to Detroit was called.  In Dewey’s day it had been a two lane road but was now four lanes; what they called a freeway in Michigan but the cars stopped to enter the highway rather than having on ramps and integrating themselves into traffic as in California.  Dewey was chatting about this to LeBaron’s uncomprehending ears when the highway before them to the extent of a mile appeared as a solid sheet of ice.

page 1939.

     Not being a driver Dewey was unaware of the extent of the danger.  LeBaron who did exercised what caution he could but he was on the ice before he could slow down; there was no longer a chance of applying the brakes.  Then in the middle of the sheet a strong wind gusted across the highway.  Fortunately the wind pressure was equal the length of the car so it didn’t spinout nor did they break traction but the car drifted eerily from the slow lane into the fast lane.  The lane was empty but then a fresh gust pushed the car out onto the divider toward the oncoming traffic.

     There was no barrier, the divider wasn’t even built up; the sheet of ice ws level into an adjoining field.  LeBaron was adept.  He kept the car headed forward which required great skill.  Dewey became a little panicked demanding that LeBaron pull back across the highway.  In his anxiety he came close to breaking LeBaron’s concentration.  The car continued to slide toward the oncoming traffice but then the gust died down allowing LeBaron to pilot the big sled back into a lane just as they reached the edge of the ice sheet.

     Dewey’s breath exploded outward in relief as the tires hit concrete.

     ‘What did you get so exicted for Dewey.  What did you think I could do?’  Lebaron asked.

     ‘Geez, Bare, I’m sorry.  I don’t know.  I don’t have a driver’s license and it never freezes in California so I mean, I’ve never been in anything like that before.  I’m glad you stayed so cool, kept your presence of mind.’

page 1940.

          When they got to Detroit LeBaron drove Dewey to a McDonald’s hamburber stand for lunch.  McDonald’s was brand new at the time; Dewey had never heard of it.  The sign said that only three million had been sold; that’s how new the chain was.  The first three million had been sold Without Dewey noticing a single one. 

      ‘Let’s stop and get a bag of burgers.’  LeBaron said.

     ‘Yeah, sure.’  Dewey replied wondering why LeBaron said a bag rather than ‘a’ or a couplc.

      They pulled into a rather grotty parking lot.  Dewey sat there waiting for the carhop.  Up to that time all drive ins had means of taking your order from the car.  They either had female carhops wearing funny demeaning sexual uniforms or a speaker phone on a pole like at drive in theaters.

     ‘C’mon, let’s go.’  Lebaron said.

     ‘Go where?  Where’s the speakers so we can order?’

     ‘We have to go up to the window to order, this is different.  Better.’

     ‘Not only better but more inconvenient too.’  Dewey quipped.

     The little dump was busy, long lines stretched back from the two windows into the cold.  There was no indoor seating just lines of people at the windows buying hamburgs.  The stand was pretty grungy looking too.

     ‘Two hamburgs and ries, mustand and onion only.’  Dewey ordered.

     ‘There isn’t no mustand and onion only; they come with everything.’

page 1941

     ‘Just hold the rest of everything and give me mustard and onions.’

     ‘If you don’t want to order just get out of line and let the other people up.’

     ‘They only come one way Dewey.  Just ask for burgers and fries.’

     This was the beginning of the American tradition of our way or the highway.  Dewey did order but he wasn’t happy.

     Back in the car Dewey opened his bag to take out two quarter dollar sized tidbits.

     ‘What are these, bite sized?’  Dewey asked puzzled.

     ‘You should have got a dozen like I did.  They’re small but they only cost fifteen cents.’

     ‘Yeah, well, so what?  It looks like ;you end up with a lot of bread and ‘everything’ but little beef.  Why don’t they make ’em for sixty cents and give you something to eat?’

     ‘McDonald’s is the coming thing, Dewey.  They’re going to have thousands of these everywhere in the country.’

     ‘Not if they don’t make their hamburgers bigger they won’t.’

     ‘Oh yes they will.  They’ve researched the market carefully and I’ve researched them carefully, McDonald’s is going to be big.  I’m buying stock as soon as it’s offered.’  LeBaron said with that gut wrenching tone that says you’ve made a momentous decision with life and death consequences.’

     ‘Stock?  You mean shares like on Wall Street.  You mean this dump is listed?’

page 1942.

     ‘It sure will be.  A thousand shares that’s what I’m buying.’

     ‘A thousand shares?  Look at this dump Bare.  You can’t even go inside.  This is just a stupid little hut that could blow away in the wind.  They don’t even sell anything but these stupid dinky little jerkburgers, fries and  Cokes.  Where’s that at?’

     ‘And milk shakes.  You’re missing the fine points, Dewey.  I’ve really studied this.  Look at the arches on either side of the building.

     ‘Yeah.  Bigger than the building.  Hot stuff.’

     ‘See, but at a distance the arches form an M for McDonald’s.’

     ‘Wow.  They still got dinky hamburgs.’

     ‘That’s the beauty of psychologically.’  LeBaron said with breathless fascination at the immensity of the idea of tiny hamburgers.  ‘You think you’re getting a lot for just a little money.  Promotion is more important than the product.  I’ve taken a few classes.’

     ‘I didn’t.’

     ‘You’re not representative of the sample, Dewey.  Take my word for it this is going to be big.  If you’ve got any money buy stock now.  You’ve got enough for a couple hundred shares don’t you?  That’s all it will take.’  LeBaron said throwing two tiny burgers into the hopper at once.

     ‘Well, if the price will be what you say I could buy a hundred, but jeez, Bare, look at this dump.  These things aren’t even going to be worth anything.’

page 1943.

     So much for Dewey as a financial prognosticator.  Had he bought he would have more than doubled his money by the time he got out of the service.  LeBaron did all right over the next forty years with his thousand shareds.

     ‘I appreciate your financial advice, Bare.  But you didn’t come up to Detroit just to show me this dump did you?’

     ‘No.  You know who’s in the hospital.  Margaret Malone.  We should drop over to see her.’

     ‘Who’s Margaret Ma…you don’t mean Meggy Malone do you?’  Dewey asked in horror.

     Dewey remembered  Meggy Malone from high school where he had despised him. constantly interfering with him.  Dewey didn’t remember her from kindergarten and second grade but she was on of the group of Michael Hirsh that had given him his central childhood fixation, nor did he know of the influence she had had onl his eating club.  Dewey thought she hated him but he didn’t understand why.

     ‘You know Meggy Malone, Bare?’  Dewey asked astonished.

     ‘Sure.  Margaret’s one of the most terrific people I’ve ever known.  If any of us are ever going to amount to anything she’s the one.’

     ‘Really?  I didn’t know that.  Did you know her in high school?’  Dewey asked who realized for the first time that there may have been a lot he didn’t know about his friends.

     ‘Oh yes.  Our families were very close.’

    ‘No kidding?  Well, you know, Bare, Meggy and I didn’t get along very well at all.  I don’t have any choice but to go with you but if I’d known you were going to see her I wouldn’t have come so when we get there I’ll just wait in the car.’

page 1944 

     LeBaron started the car with a smile heading in the direction of Wayne State.

     Dewey looked back at the arches to see whether they mad an M.  They did.

     ‘I still wouldn’t waste my money.’  He thought.

The Ballad Of Meggy Malone

     There is a school of thought that says there is no such thing as an accident.  As a categorical the notion must surely be false; however in the general psychological sense it must be true.  Nearly every ‘accident’ in my life could have been avoided by either forethought, conscientious attention to detail or awareness of  other people’s intent.  At anytime the subconscious take over you may be sure the action was directed.

     Had LeBaron not been intent on avoiding an accident, had he been the least bit suicidal, the ice slick might easlily have been the death of them both.  On another level even driving in those conditions was to ‘invite’ an accident.

     Meggy Malone would never have admitted that she had caused her accident to happen.  Caught in a miasma of depression her subconscious sought an accident in an attempt to avoid a painful reality.  To have taken that curve under freezing conditions at the speed she did was deliberate death seeking.  Her story varied until she got it right.  At first she said she absent mindedly took the turn at that speed but it all came out the same; she oped to crash and crash she did.  She headered into a metal light pole as she skidded off the road and rolled the car three times down the embankment.

page 1945.

     Thrown under the dash by the crash with enough force to crush several bones the successive rolls finished the job.  She had to be torched out of her near coffin to be rushed to Wayne State Hospital which was nearby the campus.

     It took several days to straighen out a number of multiple fractures while toward the end those which were already knitting had to be broken again.  Now with her conscious mind in control she felt ‘lucky’ to be alive.

     Psychologists would have described Meggy’s pre-accident state of mind as ‘complicated.’  The only thing complicated abut it was that the psychologists would have lacked all the pertinent details to evaluate it.

     Meggy wasn’t complicated at all.  She had simply been brought up to believe the world was her oyster and that she was the knife to crack it open.

     Her parents and their circle of friends were intellectual leaders in the Valley.  They thought highly of themselves while they all wanted their children to exceed them.  This would prove that excellence was not a personal achievement but a genetic superiority that placed them above their fellows.

     Unknown to Dewey, LeBaron and Meggy’s families had been very close.  LeBaron’s father was head of the Social Studies Department at Melville while Meggy’s father was recently elevated to Superintendent of Schools in the Valley.

page 1946.

     Financially inferior to the business types the families nevertheless enjoyed greater prestige.  Within this tight circle of very proud people Meggy’s parents had relentlessly developed the notion that Meggy was to be treated as the crown of creation presumably because her combination of genes was superior.  Within that restricted environment Meggy was equal to the task.  By the time she reached high school everyone within the elite deferred to her.

     Backed by her parents attainments she believed herself to be a superb intellect because of her genes and this treatment.  She wasn’t stupid but she wasn’t all that bright either.  Some more discriminating eyes would have noticed a few genetic deficiencies.  Still, she graduated with a 4.0.  The grade was nevertheless specious.  On more than one occasion Meggy had received a B or even once a C.  On each occasion she had indignantly stormed up to the teacher to demand that her grade be changed to an A on the basis that she was an A student, always received As and if she hadn’t this time there was something wrong with the teacher.  In each instance the teacher had changed the grade to an A.

     Dewey had watched her do this the first semester of tenth in Mrs. Hicks’ splendid English class.  Dewey had drawn a B which infuriated the Hirsh crowd.  He snickered as Meggy stormed about being an A student.  Meggy had fixed a hateful eye on him exclaiming:  ‘You aren’t even supposed to be in this class.  You Hillbilly.’

page 1947.

     There probably was some basis for her belief is his origins because a this time Dewey had a raucous vocal style in an attempt to gain attention.  Mrs. Hicks explained the importance of modulating his voice to him.  He always respected the teacher so he learned to speak in more even tones.

     Meggy in her way insisted that he had cheated in benefiting from Mrs. Hicks’ instruction.  She was even more unrelentling in her persection of him after that.

     Still, she did graduate with a 4.0 while being the cynosure of the class and hence the West Side.  She prepared to enter the wide world to repeat her success after graduation.

     A student of Meggy’s apparent stature should have selected the most prestigious University over Wayne State.  The subconscious knows what the conscious mind rejects.  Perhaps Meggy’s confidence had been undermined by one too many temper tantrums to obtain an A.  Perhaps subconsciously the fear of failure gnawed at her confidence.  Not that Meggy feared flunking our but in the big pond of the U she knew she could never be more than a small fish.

     She sensed that without the support of her circle things would not be so easy.  At any rate her worst fears had been realized in her first term.

     She didn’t draw a 4.0 nor could she intimidated anyone into changing here Bs and Cs into As.  She wasn’t the cynosure of the university nor was it possible for her or anyone else to be.  She also realized that after college if she did realize the fantasy of who she thought she was the effort would take years and years during which she would have to struggle as a non-entity.  Meggy was no Amazon warrior.

page 1948.

     As her Junior year began she experienced a continual sinking in her stomach, a swooning sensation in her head as her subconscious drove hom her fears.  A persistent depression sat in as she sought a way out.  Quitting was impossible as was flunking out.  An apparent suicide was disreputable.  An ‘accident’ was possible but it would have to be so serious that if she didn’t die an aborting of her ‘future’ was possible.  That way it wouldn’t be quitting, it wouldn’t be suicide and it wouldn’t be her fault.

     Thus Meggy lay in bed in hospital over Christmas having missed first term exams while she would be laid up long enough to be unable to finsh her Junior year on schedule.  Full recuperation could be stretched out to two years.  Meggy could return home to resume her life as cynosure without a sense of shame.

     Even attended by her coterie of maidens a la Isolde she felt low.  She needed to talk to someone beneath her to levitate her spirits.  when one of her maidens had scornfully told her that Dewey Trueman was in town she had a girl call her dear friend and admirer LeBaron Briscoe.

     LeBaron sincerely worshipped the ground on which Meggy trod.  He would do anything for her.  In her despaire at Wayne State he had counted on LeBaron for that unstinting admiration which he alone at the college could give.  Thus he pulled into the hospital parking lot with Dewey aboard.  What a coincidence that Dewey should return on leave just after Meggy had her accident.  Life is funny that way.  It couldn’t have been planned.

page 1949.

     Dewey had been nervous all the way from McDonald’s to Wayne State.  He couldn’t remember that Meggy had been on of Michael Hirsh’s friends who had trapped him in that semi-circle in second grade which had afflicted him with his central childhood fixation.  He didn’t know how Meggy had been trying to have him thrown out of his own eating club; in fact he had no specific memories of Meggy because he blocked all that unpleasantness out but like a dark shadow he knew she had been behind a lot of unpleasantness toward him.  He knew she hated him.

     ‘Listen Bare, you go on up alone.  I’ll just wait here in the car.’

     ‘Oh no,m Dewey, you’ve got to come up.  Margaret want to see you.’

     ‘Meggy Malone wants to see me?’  Dewey asked incredulously.  ‘How long has she been calling herself Margaret.’

     ‘Ever since we started at Wayne.  Come on, Dewey.  It’s the polite thing.’

     ‘That’s what you think.’  Dewey muttered under his breath.  Then:  ‘Bare, me and Meggy never got along.  She despises me; she called me a hillbilly in tenth grade.  She was always in my hair at Melville.  Always belittled me.  I can’t believe she wants to see me.’

     ‘Dewey, Meggy is the most wonderful girl I’ve ever met.’  By which LeBaron meant that it was an honor for Dewey to be despised by Meggy.  ‘I would ask her to marry me except she’s too good for me.  I only wish I was worthy of her.  You’ve got to come up; I promised her.  For the sake of the dinner club if nothing else.  Come on.’

page 1950.

     Dewey drew in his breath, compressed his lips and flipped the sun visor up and down a couple times.

     ‘She’d better be decent.’  He said getting out of the car.

      They do things so much differently in the big city.  The hospital was disguised to look like a spiffy new ranch style building even though four stories tall.  The upper floors were set back from the front line of the building giving it that neat clean construction that made Americans feel that they had solved all life’s more difficult problems.  That confidence is gone now.  Now buildings all have a fortress like quality.

     Meggy had a swell new private room.  If you had to be laid up this was the right place.  She was immobile on her back arms and legs in casts.  She was able to move nothing but her neck and head and she had to be careful about that.  Any other movements sent racking pains beyond the limits of the painkillers to kill.  She still had bruises and inner injuries.

     Meggy was secure in her prejudices.  She thought Dewey shared her opinion of him.  She thought he accepted the position of imploring inferior.  She though Dewey would consider it an honor that she had asked for him.  She had projected that feeling on her maidens who snickered playfully as Dewey entered, prepared to fun him a little.

     Dewey caught their mood flinging it back at them while he grasped Meggy’s projected understanding of their relationship with contempt.

page 1951.

     As LeBaron and Dewey entered the room Dewey gasped as LeBaron went down on his knee beside Meggy’s bed.

     ‘Please don’t shake the bed, Lee.’  She said sweetly at this sign of obeisance.

     She called him Lee.  In a flash Dewey realized that so did the rest of the guys in the eating club except when he was around.  Crushingly Dewey realized his own crowd had always treated him as an outsider.

     ‘Oh gosh, Margaret, I’m so sorry to see you this way.’

     ‘These things happen, Lee.’  She said magisterially.  Then looking at Dewey she asked regally as thought Isolde to her serf:  ‘How have you been, Dewey?’

     Dewey’s mental teeth ground as his stomach rolled over in revulsion.  How dare this woman who got grades by demanding them act superior to this ‘hillbilly.’

     ‘As good as can be, Meggy.’  He said between his teeth.

     ‘It was good of  you to answer my summons.’  She said with maternal condescension.

      Did she say ‘summons’?  Dewy thought as he watched her haughty mien seconded by the giggles of her maidens.  ‘Does she think I’m a peon?’

     ‘Well, uh, Lebaron had to come up to Detroit and he asked to come along so I did.’  Dewey replied sotto voce as thought twisting his hat in his hands.

     LeBaron was commiserating with Meggy’s condition when Dewey decided to ask for a point by point description of her accident.

page 1952.

     ‘Well, I was driving along just off campus when the accelerator got stuck.’

     ‘You mean that the gas pedal jammed down by itself somehow?’

     ‘Yes, if you wish to put it so crudely.  Then it continued to accelerate until the car was out of control.  The car was speeding when I went into the turn.  Then the car went out of control and it hit the lightpole.’

     ‘Then what happened?’

     ‘The force threw me off the seat under the dash which was painful enough but they told me it saved my live.  If I had remained in the seat or been thrown out of the car I would be dead.  I’m lucky I guess.’

     ‘The gas pedal stuck all by itself?  How come?  I’ve never heard of that before.’  Being ‘summoned’ plus the preposterousness of the story rankled Dewey.

     ‘I don’t know how it happened, it just did.  I don’t know that they have explained it yet.’

     Dewey’s plan cleared in his mind.  He had warned LeBaron of his relationship with Meggy while Meggy certainly knew before she ‘summoned’ him.  Dewey started cracking one liners.  Meggy tried to restrain herself but she finally had to start laughing.  Her laughter ground her broken bones together which sent her well past the threshhold of her painkillers.

     Dewey let it settle down.  Just as he was preparing a second barrage LeBaron caught Meggy’s eye signal suggesting they leave.

page 1953.

     ‘Come on, Dewey.’  LeBaron said deprecatingly taking his arm.

  Dewey was more than willing to leave while he had no intention of saying goodbye.  Meggy could have let it lie but as LeBaron and Dewey approached the door she said icily:  ‘It won’t be necessary for you to come back to see  me again, Dewey.’

     Between being summoned and dismissed Dewey found it more than he could bear.  His seething hatred caused by subconscious memories and the conscious memories of the demeaning manner Meggy had used toward hi  in school burst through with the vengeance felt by a Richard Speck.

     ‘Do you see this uniform I’m wearing, Meggy?’


     ‘Well, this uniform means I’m in the Navy.  If the Reds start shooting I’m there to protect even you.  I’ve got another three days of leave.  If you had any smarts you’d know it wasn’t necessary to say anything.  If I had nothing to do I would still have better things to do than visit you.  I don’t know why you ‘summoned’ me anyway because you never liked me.  I’m real sorry you got hurt so bad.  I hope you’re not crippled for life.  Goodbye Meggy.  I don’t think you’ll ever see me again because I’m not coming back to theValley when I get out and if I ever do I won’t look you up.’

     Meggy’s maidens gasped slapping the air at Dewey while LeBaron eyed him mournfully and reproachfully.

    ‘What did you think was going to happen LeBaron?  I told you she didn’t like me and I’d wait in the car.  Is that what you brought to Detroit for?  To answer Meggy’s summons?  then take me and show me where she had her accident.’

page 1954.

     Strangely LeBaron was only too willing to show Dewey this consecrated tragic spot.  He had sat gazing at it mournfully on a couple occasions.  As I said they do things on a different scale in the big cities.  In the Valley this stretch would have been merely functional but in Detroit at the great Wayne State University this avenue that led into the University was quite grand.  The roadbed was immense.  While ostensibly only four lanes generous aprons made it seem very large.  As Dewey suspected Meggy must have been driving at a suicidal speed, seventy or eight, to force the accident.  He didn’t believe the gas pedal story.

     This time he kept his mouth shut.  The two men had little to say to each other on the drive back.   They parted never to speak to each other again.

     Meggy was not so lucky.  Had she known the consequences of ‘summoning’ Dewey into her presence she would have shuddered at her folly for that summons became a pivotal point in life.  Perhaps she had been seeking to triumph over Dewey in the second grade at Emerson when in answer to Michael Hirsh’s and her set’s request she had taken part in Dewey humiliation.

     she had been proud to march out of class with the feeling she was part of a powerful group.  When she stood in the semi-circle around Dewey, second from Michael Hirsh to the left of his keystone glaring hatred at Dewey she had felt the power and the glory.  When at Michael’s command Dewey had begun his step forward and frozen in mid-step at Michael’s further command she had had a prepubescent climax.  When Dewey remained frozen in that position for the entire recess she had giggled and giggled with electric pulses at the joy of humiliating another.

page 1955.

     She little knew that the scene had been so humiliating that Dewey had blocked her and it out of his consciousness.  But the Shadow knows.  In her way she had sought to repeat the situation to alleviate her misery on his hospital bed.  the Shadow of the Past in Dewey’s mind had risen to crush her in her folly.  ‘Summons’ indeed.

     The mind is an amazing thing.  Acts of arrogance or vengeance have serious consequences for the perpetrators.  ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’, and ‘vengeance is mine, saith the Lord’ are excellent maxims.  Mind your own business.  The conscious mind thinks it can handle the situation in an objective manner but the subconscious mind knows that subjectivity controls the microcosm.

     Meggy’s accident was too fresh in her mind for her subconscious to have digested it.  When, three year later, her subconscious had constellated the incidents associated with the accident her encounter with Dewey had most unfortunate results.

     The contellation included bits and pieces ofher past only related circumstantially with the accident.  Her mind brought up guilt for the second grade induced by the pain caused by her summoning of Dewey.  It was too late.  Both situations constellated as the central motif of her accident.  One of guilt and one of fear.

page 1956

     Subconsciously Meggy had caused the accident in order to retreat from a most painful reality.  In typical female fashion she refused responsibility insisting that the accelerator stuck increasing ‘the car’s’ speed.  Her subconscious refusing to accept responsibility grasped for another explanation so it passed responsibility to Dewey Trueman.

     Now the female subconscious is XX.  As both chromosomes are X they must be clothed by females.  But the longing for the missing y chromosome is translated into a longing  for the male; particularly his penis or ego.

     Thus when the contellation was completed and took its final form in the dream life of Meggy Malone three years later she relived the terror of the accident in this way:  As she was driving a male demon’s foot came down on top of hers forcing the pedal to the floor.  As the ends of her broken bones clattered together causing her to relive the pain she hurtled toward a giant open mouth representing the maw of death.  Just before she entered the mouth snapped shut exposing concrete teeth.  Just before the crash she would awake screaming falling out of bed.

     She no longer recognized Dewey, of course, but the demon assumed the low class hillbilly characteristics she projected on him.  This dream was only the beginning, verse one of the Ballad Of Meggy Malone, as it were, as her interesting sequel will show in verse two, same as the first.

     Meggy went back to the Valley where for two years she recuperated.  The events of her accident constellated in her subconscious while consciously she brooded about how she was to realize the expectations of her childhood.  It wouldn’t be right to say that she didn’t want to marry but she just couldn’t find anyone who merited her favors.  Not only had her parents exalted her beyond human limits but the notions of chivalry and Tristan and Isolde she had picked up in Mrs. Hicks’ class made her yearn for a knight in shining armor who just didn’t exist.

pare 1957.

     During her convelescence from 1959 to 1961 the racial scene continued to heat up.  Meggy was always on the right side.  Now that the right side had clearly shifted in favor of Blacks Meggy was wholeheartedly in sympathy with the Negro plight.  She didn’t bother to learn anything about the distince Black psychology, the existence of which she would have denied, but she knew what was right.

     Her new attitude required a revisdion of her past history and beliefs but that was done without effort on the plane of consciousness.  She simply turned the past inside out.  Whereas Dewey had been punished in second grade for interfering with his group’s social policy toward Negroes in kindergarten she merely changed so that Dewey was justly punished for having discriminated against the Black kids that year.  The solution was simple and neat nor would she have been able to be budged from her new story; it was set in concrete.

     Having absolved herself from her part she turned to her future.  She needed a job but the employment, as she referred to it, would have to increase her dignity while allowing her to help ‘the poor Black people.’  It also had to carry its own prestige to elevate Meggy from her depressed conditions.

page 1958.

     The years of inactivity had benefited Meggy’s appearance rather than hurt it.  She gained weight but she gained it the right way.  From a rather spindly girl she became a solid square built woman whose appearance alone commanded respect.  As her face filled out her homeliness rounded into a kind of beauty.  Her weight was evenly distributed on her torse; square shoulders and nicely rounded hips.  Even her skinny legs added the weight right.

     Having a tasteful conservative notion of dress her clothes and manner as she looked in the mirror just before leaving to apply for the job gave her a pleasant surprise.  This was the Meggy who always should have been.

     She had settled on the Law courts as the scene fromw hich she would do good in the world.  She didn’t want to become a legal secretary to an attorney because an attorney to her was a mere moneygrubber.  She decided to become a secretary and legal aide to a judge.  There, withher ability to project soldity and integrity, she was accepted at her own valuation eventually assuming an almost judgelike preeminence.

     She was attached to the court of a newly elected judge by the name of Guy Pascal who was beginning what was a long and seemingly illustrious career.  This appointment was not to be entirely fortuitous for either party.

     Judge Pascal had been born Guido Pasquale.  As this sounded too Sicilian for him he dropped the final E and changing the QU for a C while shortening Guido to Guy he became ‘Americanized.’  Guido Pasquale when he left for the U, he returned as Guy Pascal.

page 1959.

     Guido Pasquale was the son of Giangiacomo ‘Jack’ Pasquale.  For those of you who have read Vol. I of the City On the hIll Jack Pasquale was the man Dewey had seen harassed for being an immigrant on a street corner in 1947.  One of the boys harassing Jack had been Dennis Malone who was Meggy’s older brother.

      The past has a way of rearing its head.  Jack Pasquale was not a forgiving man.  Vengeance was part of the way of life to the Sicilian.  Jack memorized the name of each of the boys who had harassed him vowing eternal hatred.  He damn well meant it, too.

      As the leader of a large family Jack inculcated his hatred into this numerous progeny.  Now some twelve years later Guido had insinuated himself into a position to take vengeance no only on the Anglos as a whole but on the Malone family in the person of Meggy.  He would.  It would cost him his position and reputation but he would do it.  One should always understand vengeance belongs to the Lord; let him have it.

     Now when it come to ‘discrimination’ the notion only applies to Anglos.  It is forbidden to Anglos to use terms like Wops and Micks but it is not forbidden for ‘minorities’ to have such feelings and use such terms.  The Italians indulge themselves.  Read the literature.  The Italians really like fast Mick and Polack girls.  If you’ve seen some of those Italian mamas you can understand why Italian men may marry them but they don’t want to sleep with them.  Guy sought to make Meggyhis mistress from the start which in itself would be vengeance on the Malone clan.  He soon found out she wasn’t fast but was morally stout as a brick wall.  She rebuffed him with all the dignity of a medieval queen to an upstart admirer.  Guy was put in his place where he was to stay for the duration.  However he vowed that if she ever gave it to another man she was going to get it from him one way or another.

page 1960