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Category Archives: Shakespeare

The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle

Chapter IV-2

Continued from Chap. IV-1

     Sonderman, who now had the most authority in our club began to undermine my authority as soon as he was selected.  Ever the dupe he followed Hirsh’s directions.  Sonderman was a nothing himself.  Trapped in his father’s box he didn’t have and never could have initiative.  He was a neuter.

     I had started, built up and maintained the club.  Sonderman wore the shirt I had selected one day a week.  He wore it proudly too.  The shirt gave him status and prestige he could never have attained on his own.  Sonderman was and is actually in debt to me for the best times of his youth.  In what form did he show his gratitude?

     Once in the club he began slandering and belittling me constantly on the old ‘bore from within’ principle.  Whereas before we had always had friendly dinners I now became the butt of ridicule.  Everything I said and did was belittled.  I became the victim of practical jokes.

     Sonderman and Hirsh’s first intent was to drive me out but failing that to lower me in the estimation of my fellows to a walking joke, a subhuman who had come to the defense of the Negroes.  Probably Sonderman’s own thinking was that with me out of the way he could claim he had originated the club reducing me to the role of jealous imitator; perhaps he could have represented me as someone who wanted into his club but couldn’t make it.

page 1.

     He demanded the first dinner after he became a member which was in January just before they moved.  The dinner was a studied insult to me.  I was denied a place at the table while the abominable little was seated at it.  He shouldn’t even have been allowed to be there.  I was given a plate and told to sit in the living room by myself.  So, as you see Law and Order has nothing to do with right or wrong or justice; it is a question of police power.

     I stared bemusedly at the torn up rug which Mrs. Sonderman had seen fit to leave on the floor.  What strange people.  Did they walk over it every day picking their feet way up to get over the bumps while cursing me?  What queer notions prompted them to leave that threadbare rug on the floor?

     I would have walked out but I knew what the gig was.  I had to keep the club together till the end of the year.  I couldn’t let the Hirshes humiliate me in that manner.

     It became less and less possible to enjoy myself during the February and March dinners.  Even that dolt, Denny Demwitter, who owed me everything, turned against me.  Now that I think about it maybe my attitude toward Ed Phlatoe had something to do with that.

     Unable to garner the votes to have me ejected Hirsh had his tool Dirk Klutz, who was to host the April dinner, cancel the dinner.  As May coincided with graduation Sonderman determined to void the dinner for that month.

     That was alright with me, an honorable way out.  Given another couple months and they would have defeated me but in their eyes I had been already.  The club disintegrated after the aborted April dinner.  We began to look to the future beyond high school.  Sonderman had already been accepted as a cadet at West Point which accounted for a lot of his prestige in the club at the end.  Some of the others were destined for colleges while half of us including me had less distinguished prospects.  Time would tell who had risen and who had fallen but the future couldn’t be seen by our high school eyes.

page 2.

     Klutz did not escape criticism for reneging on his obligation.  In their single minded pursuit to hurt me they didn’t think of the others they were injuring.  The social status of every member of the club depended on its continuance.  In order to deflect justified condemnation Klutz gave a graduation party to which all the club members but me were invited.  So, in a way Hirsh would have gotten me expelled from the club but giving in to complaints from some other members Klutz said that I could come if I really wanted to.  Well, it was a difficult choice but the end result if I hadn’t gone would have been that I was booted out of my own club so I swallowed my pride and went. 

     As it turned out Klutz, it seemed to me at the time that if not a member of the Hirshes, was in with them because they were all there, the whole bunch.  Symbolically they subsumed our club to them by transferring the dinner meeting to this party under their auspices allowing them to still feel superior.  To heighten their triumph my club members were all shuttled into a game room off the front door while they were escorted past us into the living room and main party.

     When I saw Consuelo and Meggy Malone and Michael Hirsh enter casting disdainful glances in my direction I knew I had been had.  Well, it was a push; I had been invited to the same party they had. Still left a sour taste in my mouth.

page 3.

     If I had been had, strangely so, as I learned later, was David Hirsh.  Hirsh had given egregious offence to his wife’s family who were not the forgiving kind.  They had been nursing this grudge for three years.  On this night they collected the debt.  Michael Hirsh had knock out drops placed in his bourbon and coke.  Then before the drops took effect he was challenged to a drag race.  The drugs hit him just at peak acceleration.  He veered off the road into the ditch hitting a concrete culvert at the intersection.  He didn’t feel a thing. 

     So the querolous Hirsh even though he had defeated me suffered a defeat from which he would never recover.  Ain’t life funny that way?

3.

     Michael Hirsh’s death on graduation night created shock waves in the community.  However as life is for the living and the dead are soon forgotten Michael Hirsh being no longer with the living was no longer of any consequence.

I was still there.

     Judaeo-Christian mores say that the penalty must fit the crime.  Although I had committed no crime I think that surely the imagined insult to the dignity of David Hirsh should have been satisfied long before this.  However graduation was not the end but only the end of the beginning.  A second phase began that lasted for at least another ten years with ramifications that are still going on.

    Not content with having ruined my life through the school years, Hirsh began a program to extend into the future.  As usual he enstooged Sonderman.

page 4.

     I can only guess at the terrible repercussion to Sonderman’s psychology from his failed attempts to injure me and the actual murder of Shardel Wilson.  As people do in such situations he blamed me for his own actions.  I ‘made’ him do it.

     Probably he was brought low in his own estimation by his crimes.  It was necessary for him then to reduce me to a level beneath his opinion of himself.  As he had emotionally emasculated himself he sought to physically emasculate me.  Thus he bent all his efforts toward sodomizing me.

     Hirsh wanted to isolate me, to cast me on the dung heap of society.  He had messed up my club at the end; stung by his son’s death he now wanted to destroy my friendship with Denny Demwitter, to isolate me completely.

     Although a member of our club Sonderman had made no effort to befriend the members.  If he had he would have expected them to visit him; he never visited anyone else.  The summer of ’56, the greatest summer in the history of the world, there is no feeling like being eighteen, was a time of deep recession in the Valley.  Cars weren’t selling so there just weren’t any jobs; we all had time on our hands.  I began the summer spending most of my time at Demwitter’s.

     Sonderman had never voluntarily left his porch in my memory.  Now, violating all his lifelong habits he began to call on Denny.  Demwitter had been putty in my hands but I wasn’t going to  spend all my life trying to shape him.  Sonderman’s influence became more effective than mine after the Blockbusters won the championship.  Demwitter now deferred to Sonderman’s influence.

page 5.

     Except for the football groping under the influence of Sonderman Denny and I had always had a chaste relationship.  We had always respected each other’s person; no punching, wrestling or grabass of any kind.  We had never even discussed girls or sex.

     Now, with Sonderman present the two of them started pushing and shoving, groping in the most obvious fashion; not just a pat on the ass which would have been offensive enough, but grabbing a whole cheek in the hand.  They started goosing, not just lightly, but trying to hook a thumb or finger into the rectum.  Real queer stuff.  Makes me wonder about Ed Phaltoe and Demwitter now.

     Sonderman, who had never left his porch, now began to show up at Demwitter’s shortly after I did.  Obviously someone was watching me and reporting my movements.  Sonderman no longer lived across from me so he couldn’t have seen me leave my house from his perch on the porch.  Sonderman’s style at his house had been to hold court in his bedroom.  I never appreciated that aspect of his behavior as bedrooms were always private with me.  I preferred living room or porches.  Denny and I had always used his living room in winter and his porch in summer.  With Sonderman there everything was moved upstairs to Denny’s bedroom.  Sonderman insisted that all the shades be drawn so we were practically sitting in the dark.

     Now that I think about it  Old S was such a devotee of his hero Roosevelt that it is quite probable that Old S thaught his son to hold court in his bedroom a la FDR.  Sonderman always used to sit on the bed while I stood talking to him.  Roosevelt while president used to hold court in bed in his silk pajamas.  As Dean Acheson said the only thing he could compare it to was the court of Louis XIV.  King’s men aftershave and emulating Louis XIV, it’s not hard to see what Roosevelt was up to.

page 6.

     So the Old Sod was probably training his heir and successor to the manner of command and royalty.

     At Demwitter’s the conversation got more smutty and faggy as time passed.  I read the handwriting on the wall trying to discourage Sonderman’s visits.  Sonderman was intent on his purpose.

     One day I was visiting Demwitter.  He was slouched against the wall sitting on the floor as we talked.  Sitting on the floor was another of Sonderman’s innovations.  Probably because he couldn’t command Demwitter’s bed himself he didn’t want anyone to use it and be in command.  Especially me.

     I was lying belly down on the bed with my chin resting of the footboard.  As Sonderman always showed up twenty minutes after I did it must be true that someone watching me phoned him.  He bounded up the stairway, entered the room and seeing me lying prone on the bed he jumped on my back.  Grabbing me around the neck as he had at the Y he began dry humping me.  I threw him off with great indignation but neither he nor Demwitter seemed to take any notice.

     It was clear that I would have to abandon my visits or become a ‘consenting’ adult.  This direction was made clear shortly thereafter when I went to visit Demwitter.  Some guy I had never seen before was there and then Sonderman came traipsing in.  We sat around talking until Sonderman had a bright idea.  He suggested we turn out the light and masturbate together.  I was still completely innocent sexually.  Even if I hadn’t been, for me sex was something between a boy and his girl not to be discussed with anyone else.

page 7.

     I don’t know whether I had heard the trick discussed or whether I knew enough of Hirsh’s style to divine the trick.  It really wasn’t hard to figure out.  I knew then that this would be the last time I visited Demwitter.  Sonderman and the Hirshes had won the round.  I was isolated.  Demwitter betrayed the best friend he would ever have.

     Sonderman flicked off the lights.  They were so stupid.  Even with the shades drawn there was enough light so that I could see.  Apparently they couldn’t.  I went along with the joke to a point.  I huffed and puffed and slapped the bedspread in rhythm.  Sonderman leaped up to turn on the light expecting me to be the only one masturbating.  I sat looking at him with my most sardonic smile.

     I wouldn’t put up with anymore.  That terminated my friendship with Demwitter.  Once I was gone Sonderman stopped calling on the boob too.  I suppose Sonderman’s version was that Denny was his old friend and I tried to horn in.

     Denny owed me everything.  That he had attained prominence in high shool was due solely to me.  I introduced him to a higher quality of friends.  The other guys he knew were thugs or slugs.  If it hadn’t been for Sonderman’s hope for vengeance on me there wouldn’t have been any Blockbusters for Demwitter to quarterback.

page 8.

     That he should have sacrificed our longstanding honorable friendship for a temporary alliance with Sonderman was incredible to me.  Denny never was smart.  Now that he had betrayed our friendship he was no longer of any use to me and I have never given him a second thought.

4.

     I had been taking a psychological battering all my life.  One personality lay dead on the second grade playing field.  I had never been able to build a viable alternate personality or even persona.  I lacked all male force which is to say my Animus was completely beaten down.  In Freudian terms I had a weak Ego.  Now that the support of the camaraderie of school was gone the prop it had given to my deteriorating mental state was removed.  I collapsed into an inert pile.

     Everyone had their plans.  Some had seemingly glittering prospects at college; some were even lucky enough to find jobs.  I had nothing.  My mother had signed me up to go into the Navy.  She apparently thought that the Navy would be my last foster home.

     My mother! There was a source of information for the Hirshes I never even considered.  She babbled things to anyone who would listen.  Who knows who she talked to, but she had been telling unknown hordes that I was going to make the Navy my career.  She told others but not me that I was going to be a Chief Petty Officer and be back in twenty years.  She never talked to me about it but the story came back to me from some girl I hardly knew and didn’t like.  When I said I wasn’t going to make a career of the Navy the girl grew angry with me saying I was wrong because my mother said I would, just like my mother would know more about it than I would.

page 9.

     The fault lies within?  In the sense that conditioning determines conduct but once the die is cast it is all preordained, only the variables can be manipulated.

     My mind at this point turned to stone.  I was capable of only the slightest exertion as I inertly waited to be called up.  The only friend who stood by me was Larry Dubcek.  He had also enlisted and was waiting to be called up.  As for Sonderman the last two stars in the Constellation were placed just before he left for West Point.

     Our relationship ended on a tragi-comic note.  Although I had sworn I would never speak to Sonderman again after the the incident in Demwitter’s room it chanced that I met this really swinging girl.  She wasn’t my type but she was a total knockout.  I just couldn’t resist her.  She was one of those hot little numbers that you want to meet because you think you know what to do with them but then find out they know a heck of a lot more than you do.

     For a while we were really flaming.  I was even introduced into her family circle as a sort of suitor.  Her hotness was in reaction to a very traumatic experience.  I don’t really understand what I represented to her because I wasn’t her type either.  Her father owned a wholesale janitorial supply business.  I was shown the premises.  Mr. Fotheringay had had the misfortune to call the attention of the Outfit to himself.  The Outfit was the Chicago Mob.

page 10.

     He sold to hotels and restaurants so it was natural that the Mafia should annex his business.  Strangely he was quite open about it with me.  When I, in my ignorance of social realities, reproached him for being involved with the Mafia he gave me a painful snarl and a look that showed both his impotence against the Outfit and his disdain for such a dolt as myself.  He had already suffered unbearable ignominy at their hands and he was to suffer more.

     Terrorism in the United States is treated as a recent importation from the Moslem countries but terrorism has been practiced by the Mafiosi since the turn of the last century.  The Mafia had terrorized Jack Fotheringay in a particularly effective way.

     Briony or Brie Fotheringay when I met her was entering her Senior year.  She was just seventeen.  She was more flashy than beautiful but then it’s a fine line between flash and beauty, I suppose.  At any rate a couple days before her birthday, which was two days before mine, she caught the eye of her father’s Mafia handler, Two Ton Tony Lardo.

     Two Ton Tony was an underboss from the Chicago Outfit assigned several areas in the State including our county the county to the South of us and the county to the North.  He was your typical Mafioso- ignorant and uncouth.  He was six-five and three hundred twenty-five pounds.  Foul mouthed, vulgar and intrinsically obscene.  All he had to do was show up to fill a place with obscenity.  He announced to Jack Fotheringay that his daughter was a good looking piece.  Fotheringay had only been annexed for a few months so he told Lardo that she was none of his business.

page 11.

     The details are unimportant; you can devise them anyway.  Jack personally delivered Brie to Rocco’s Pizzeria down on Thelema then was told to wait in the car.  They had a basement storage room into which this uncouth behemoth carried the terrified Brie by one arm.

     She was about five-four, a mere slip of a girl.  This Mafioso sewer rat literally tore her clothes off.  Without any preliminaries he just rammed it home standing up as she lay back across a chopping block with her head hanging over the edge backward.  Then he grabbed both her ears pulling her up of the table onto her knees and pulled her mouth over his dick.

     Finished with her he gave her a kick in the ass to help her up the stairs as she ran half naked out the back door into the parking lot where her totally devastated father waited for her.  Two Ton Tony followed her out lighting an enormous cigar with one hand while with the other he slowly zipped his pants in Fotheringay’s face.

     Then with a knowing sneer he took his cigar and tapped a picture drawn on the wall by the door.  The picture was of the man with the big nose hanging over a fence with the legend ‘Kilroy Was Here.’  It is hard to tell which hurt Fotheringay the most, but he knew he was powerless, thoroughly emasculated, to resist.  He was a mere cipher.  There was no need to go to the cops; no need to tell you where the cops got that extra little augmentation to the pay envelope.

      As everyone at the time knew, the picture and legend ‘Kilroy Was Here’ was a symbol plastered all over Europe by the troops of the Arsenal Of Democracy as they rolled up those nasty Nazi armies.  Lardo and Fatheringay had talked about the matter previously.  While Fotheringay had been terrorized by the thundering ‘Arsenal Of Freedom’ fighting in the ranks at the Battle Of The Bulge Lardo had been sitting pretty back home with plenty of forged gas rations, stolen food rations, hijacked new tires for his late ’41 Roadster, he was important enough to get one of the few ’42s, and plenty of money in his pocket to spend on the bevy of women without men and fewer morals.

page 12.

     He got so much nooky he laughed to Fotheringay that for all he knew Brie was his own daughter conceived while Fotheringay was stupid enough to be off fighting people he didn’t even know in Europe.

     Fotheringay watched Lardo tap Kilroy with rueful eyes.  Had he fought a war to make the world safe for criminals?  Had he defeated Hitler just so he could become enslaved to a despicable Mafioso?  It seems so.  It was true.  The Fotheringays of the world had the power to defeat the Nazis but not the power to rule out and out criminals in their own homeland.  Zeus is one tricky fellow.

     It was one of those moments from which you never recover.  Never did a man feel more helpless and ashamed as his lovely sweet sixteen Brie shivered and cried beside him.  What could he do about it?

     The Mafia was very nearly protected by the Law.  Even though we had watched breathlessly in 1951 when Senator Kefauver confirmed and revealed the existence and influence of the Mafia the top cop in the country, J. Edgar Hoover of the fabled Federal Bureau Of Investigation, denied their existence.  He refused to move against them.

page 13.

     Hoover was the guy who stood gloating over the dead body of the folk hero John Dillinger while ignoring the activities of Al Capone who led the Outfit in Chicago.  Hoover let those creeps dominate the business activity of the Central States and the West.  At this very moment he was abetting a psychopath like Sam Giancana in terrorizing my hometown.

     Even when I was ten years old I knew organized crime existed.  I read comic books.  I went to the movies.  I knew that Hoover had murdered John Dillenger while he allowed Valentines Day Massacres to go uninvestigated and unpunished; he couldn’t even find the guys who did it, nearly a century later the killers are still unproven.

     I am unable to describe my reaction when I saw criminals defy the Kefauver Committee with impunity.  My faith in the masculinity of the government was shattered when I watched Frank Costello get up and walk out of the courtroom saying he didn’t feel like answering any more questions.  Goddamn the cops.

     If any Anglo, if I, had done the same the police would have grabbed us and thrown us back in his seat but the police, the same cops that told me that I, and only I had to walk my bike through intersections, watched as Frank Costello ambled out of the courtroom.

     I saw plenty of Mafia activity in town while decent citizens suffered helplessly with no recourse, slaves to this vile criminal group.

page 14.

     It reached into my family circle.  While not directly involved with the Mafia my uncle Sammy was a goon for the Mob.  Uncle Sammy was a truck driver.  You don’t think of these things at the time but I guess Sammy thought the ends justified the means.  He thought Jimmy Hoffa was a great man.  Hoffa was another fearsome persona from my youth.  Hoffa aligned himself with the Mob, both New York and Chicago.   You know, he had a foot in both camps.  He adopted the terroristic tactics of the Mafia.

     In the early and mid-fifties these guys bombed and killed in a wild frenzy.  My Uncle Sammy was one of the bombers and hit men.  I don’t know who all knew.  I’m sure he didn’t think I did although I took him to task about Hoffa once.  Sammy was a real labor type so he defended Hoffa vigorously.

     Uncle Sammy was real nervous the day after the simultaneous bombing of the Trans-Central States terminal and the killing of its owner.  I stood looking at him accusingly.  He shoved me away angrily saying something about the bastards wouldn’t listen to reason.  He and my Aunt Jo moved across town shortly thereafter.  He never came around to visit, I never saw him again.

     So this was the environment in which Fotheringay suffered and had somehow to endure with no chance of extricating himself.  The cops and judges were under the thumb of the Outfit.  The FBI would have no time for him.  He had gone to fight in the Big One for this.  Was Hitler a bigger villain than Sam Giancana? 

     These illiterate criminal Sicilians owned America. How had the Greatest Generation allowed this to come to pass?

page 15.

     My youth was the transition from the hopes of the ‘Melting Pot’ to what we at the beginning of the twenty-first century call ‘celebrating our multi-cultural diversity.’  This is no longer the beginning of  the twentieth century when these national groups were new requiring ‘tolerance.’  If we are to celebrate our diversity then we are not only free to do so but must analyze what those differences are if the country is to succeed as a political entity.

     Psychologically the Sicilian mentality can be typed.  Their characteristic way of viewing society can be easily described.  There is no mystery.  All you have to do is celebrate this particular diversity.

      Prior to 1950 movie makers felt compelled to celebrate the Anglo Saxon origins of the country.  After 1950 the emphasis changed.  People with ‘foreign’ sounding names had formerly changed them to ‘American’ or Anglo Saxon names. As Monsieur Arouet who became a gentleman by the name of Voltaire said:  The name’s the thing.  So I don’t quarrel with any actor who wishes to change his name to something that may lead to greater success.  John Saxon whole Italian name I forget was the last person who changed his name for immigrant reasons along about 1957-58 or so.  His putdown of the process probably cost him his career as the Anglo-Saxons resented his sardonic use of Saxon.

     Also the emphasis shifted from doing mainstream movies to presenting ethnic movies that celebrated a particular diversity while denigrating the Anglo-Saxons.  Reacting against the sense of inferiority caused by immigrating these always placed the dominant culture in a bad light.  In the manner of immigrant cultures they especially belittled the virtues of the dominant culture.

page 16.

     As we have seen the movies are a powerful medium for conditioning the thought and actions of viewers.  Anglo-Saxon women are always depicted as nymphomaniac bimbos while all other women are depicted as women of high virtue.

     It was thus that Lardo took great pleasure in violating Brie Fotheringay.  He wasn’t really interested in sex per se but he wanted to violate the image the smartass Anglos had of themselves.  They would do nothing to stop him.  He committed his crimes with impunity.  The rules that governed their lives had no restraints for a ‘wise guy.’  If a non-Mafioso had violated Brie in that manner you may be sure he wouldn’t escape the vengeance of Fotheringay and the Law.  Two Ton Tony had a good laugh at America as he sucked on his big Cuban cigar tapping the image of Kilroy.

     The Sicilian ethos was, I must use the word, brilliantly portrayed in the Godfather trilogy of 1972-74 and ’90.  As the movie was co-written by Mario Puzo and Francis Coppola, two Sicilians, it is to be presumed that they knew whereof they spoke.  While the Sicilian psychosis is brilliantly portrayed the analysis limps along behind it but it is there.

     The saga was lovingly executed in epic fashion covering an incredible nine hours.  All of the villainy is done under the cover of sacred ceremonies.  It is necessary for the Mafia to violate everything anyone else respects.  Platoons of wise guys are murdered while the Godfather is attending weddings, baptisms or symbolically in Part III the crucifixion of Christ on stage.  This attitude may hark back to the Sicilian Vespers when the Norman conquerors were locked in churches and burnt, apparently a fixative event.

page 17.

     The basic Sicilian Mafia premise is that they are entitled to all the most prestigious things in life because they entitle themselves to take them.  There is no pretense of earning anything.  They are parasites; they create nothing.

     You get guns and an organization and you terrorize everyone out of what you want.  There is no need to waste effort on education or social niceties.  You merely get ‘respect’ by terrorizing others into submission.  ‘Respect’ means that anyone who shows independence is blown away.  ‘Respect’ means that everyone is servile in your presence.  ‘Honor’ means that if you say you’ll kill a man, you do it.

     As parasites the Mafia makes no contribution to society, they merely consume what others make.

     Just as their transportation in 586 BC destroyed Jewish self-confidence and gave them an apocalyptic vision of history so did Sicilian history fixated the Sicilian mind.  The theme of the Godfather movies seems to be that the winner is the last guy standing when the carnage is over.  That is also what the Mafioso Santos Trafficante of Miami, once said.

page 18.

     The denouement of Part III in a dream sequence stunningly portrays this vision.  The Mafiosi involved themselves with the Vatican in the most intermingling way.  This part was apparently true. The Papacy thinks it is in control but as usual the Mafia uses violence to dominate the Papacy.  The Pope himself is involved in their sewer machinations.  The criminal Mafia has captured the citadel of the Sacred.  Evil rules.

     As the hero Michael Corleone’s son wants to be an opera singer he is placed on the stage.  To a Mafioso to want is to have.  There can be no denial.  Obstacles such as training and talent are not allowed to get in the way.

     The opera is Cavalleria Rusticana which concerns the crucifixiion of Christ.  There, as Christ is being crucified, the murder machine goes into full operation.  In dream like fashion an apocalyse of bodies is falling everywhere.  One in an evocation of the fall of Lucifer descends from the crown of the cupola.  The poisoned Pope dies in bed with a smile on his face.  Corleone’s enemies are falling in carloads as he stands untouched in their midst while tremendous operatic music is being performed.  He’s the man with the most ‘respect.’

     The assassin designated to dispose of Corleone fires off a couple rounds point blank but he somehow misses Corleone and hits his daughter instead.  Sicilian girls count, Anglo girls like Brie don’t.

     The final scene shows an aged Michael Corleone (translated the name means Lion or Stouthearted) sitting alone in a cemetary like a sole surviving anti-Christ where he stares mournfully at the tombstone of the only thing he ever loved in his life, his beloved daughter.  He’s won the battle but the only price is sorrow.  Nice view of life.

page 19.

     Well, if he wasn’t an ignorant moron who caused his own troubles one might feel for him.  As to his daughter what made her more valuable than Briony Fotheringay and all the Anglo women abused by stouthearted Mafiosi?

     Hoover might not have acknowledged the problem but the TV movie ‘The Borgia Stick’ of the early sixties did.  A variation on Jack Fotheringay’s predicament was accurately portrayed in the movie.  In the movie an Anglo is coopted into serving the Mafia where his life becomes a living hell.  He himself is a virtual slave while he is compelled to give his wife as a prostitute.  You might not believe it could happen but believe me it does.  Briony is only one example.

     When I met her she was just emerging from her shock or depression or whatever you wish to call it.  Perhaps she was attracted to me because my name represented a secure English past.  If so she was to be disappointed in me as she was in her father.  It never came to that exactly but our date at Hillbilly Heaven convinced her I wasn’t the man.

     Wherever she was to turn she could find no man who could stand up to the Mob.  Disappointed by her own men, in later life she was attracted to the apparent male superiority of the Mafia.  She became one of their party dolls and prostitutes.

     But all I knew at the time was that she was one hot number ready to go.  I had to make some kind of splash as a spry young fellow.  If you noticed you have never seen me behind the wheel.  That’s because Tuistad and my mother were adamant in not allowing me to drive.  They were terrified I might have a good time or become a normal young man.  So I had this hot little number who was ready to go and no way to get her there.

page 20.

    My only choice was to double date.  I sure couldn’t ask Tuistad to drive.  Graduation had completely disrupted my social patterns so I knew no one but Dubcek, Demwitter and Sonderman to ask.  I was completely disgusted with Demwitter, Dubcek was out of town courting his girl and that left only Sonderman.  So I asked him.

     After the scene at Demwitter’s he thought he was rid of me.  I saw the haughty sneer on his face as he prepared to crush me by refusal but showing some strategical sense for the first time he asked me where I wanted to go.  My heart sank.

     I was a fan of Country and Western music.  This guy named Freddie Hart had a record out that I liked entitled:  Drink Up And Go Home.  It went something like this:

You sit there a cryin’,

Right in your beer.

You think you got troubles?

My friend listen here:

Now, there stands a blind man-

A man who can’t see-

He’s not complainin’

Why should you or me?

Don’t tell me your troubles,

I got enough of my own.

Be thankful you’re livin’

Drink up and go home.

 page 21.

     I was sailing on a sea of troubles that I knew no one wanted to hear or would sympathize with me if they did listen so Freddie’s advice was pretty timely for me.  I took his sentiment to heart.  I have never complained since but just soldiered on.  I thought I would like to hear Freddie sing his song.

     The guy wasn’t appearing in town.  There was a hillbilly bar over by the time line in the central part of the state called Hillbilly Heaven.  It was about fifty miles away.  I had never been there but I knew from the radio announcer that the building was divided into two halves by a floor to ceiling chain link fence.  You could drink on one side while the other side was for underage kids.

     Freddie Hart was playing that weekend.

     Most people despised C&W; Sonderman was no exception which was why I quailed at asking him.  I could see his lip curl in contempt as he prepared his rejection but then a light went off in his head while his lip uncurled and he broke into a wide grin.  I was giving him a better chance than the railroad trestle.  He asked for two bucks for gas and said he’d pick me up.

     I didn’t like the idea of paying two bucks for gas especially as it only cost fifteen cents a gallon and we wouldn’t use more than three or four gallons but I considered myself lucky to get a driver.

page 22.

     I had never seen Sonderman with a girl before so when he picked me up he had a very ordinary looking girl by his side.  She had that cousiny kind of look.  I could never figure out my group; none of them ever dated girls I’d seen before.  They always came from somewhere else as was the case with Sonderman’s date.

     Brie came from a fairly affluent family.  Not rich, but Jack bought one of those new houses in a development; a pretty nice house.  It was three times my house and double the Sonderman’s new bungalow.  You could see the anxiety on Sonderman’s face when we drove up.

     When I escorted Brie back to the car you could see that she knocked Sonderman’s socks off.  I don’t remember Brie as being actually that beautiful but she had this blonde, sophisticated Audrey Hepburn movie star quality that just thrilled you into instant excitement.  It was that quality that Two Ton Tony Lardo wanted to sully.

     We set out for mid-state with Sonderman in a flush.  Hillbilly Heaven was just across the line that divided Eastern Standard from Central Standard.  At the time the dividing line ran through the middle of the State so we left at eight and got there at eight.  I impressed Brie with that one.

     Brie had had some sexual experience before Two Ton banged her.  Now recovering from the trauma she was fixated fast and loose.  She was hot on making out.  She didn’t care whether the sun was up or not.  She threw herself across my lap, flung her arms around my neck and got down to it.  Lardo had taught her that niceties didn’t count so rather than wait for me to get up the courage she guided my hand straight to her breast.  I could have made her right there but I was a little too backward.  Sonderman was stunned at what seemed to be my sexual virtuosity; he spent as much time watching the rear view mirror as he did the road.  There wasn’t that much traffic back in those days.

page 23.

     If you’ve never been to a hillbilly bar it’s quite a shock.  They’re a pretty rowdy bunch.  They let loose like a bunch of Holy Rollers in a frenzy.  Each one is trying to out have a good time the others.  One talks loud the other talks louder, one acts proud the other acts prouder.  Men and women alike.  Man, they call that setting the woods on fire.  The place was packed on both sides.

     Freddie, still a young guy, bounced on stage to do his thing.  They had the stage behind mesh wire fencing too.  On a good night they used to shower the band with beer bottles whether the drummer was on time or not so they put up this fencing so band members wouldn’t have to pluck beer bottles from between their bleeding gums.

     The crowd wasn’t that rowdy this particular night but I was the only one listening to Freddie Hart, or trying to, as everyone was into a noisy something else.  Sonderman got up.  While I watched he went to speak to some long tall raw looking cowboy type.  The guy was six-five and lean as a rail but he still weighed in at two-forty.

     When Sonderman came back he stood over me and pointed down so the cowboy couldn’t make a mistake.  The thirty year old cowboy type came over by us on the other side of the fence where he began making  provocative comments to me.

page 24.

     Sonderman sat smugly so I guess it’s clear why the light went off in his head.  His dad and Hirsh took care of the details.  Hirsh was nearly in a state of shock because of his son’s death.  He considered my survival a gross miscarriage of justice so now he gave up any pretext of Law and Order.  The cowboy was hired strictly on the basis of Mafia Criminality.

     Freddie sang his song.  Since that was what I mentioned I wanted to hear, after the song was over, Sonderman curtly said we were leaving.  He had to try to look powerful in front of Brie, who he hadn’t been able to take his eyes off, by cutting the evening short.  It was his car and I had an hours worth of smoldering makeout time with Briony so I didn’t put up too much of an objection which wouldn’t have done me any good anyway.

     I saw Sonderman motion to the cowboy so he was waiting for me outside the door in the parking lot with a couple other guys.  Those rowdy bars don’t like to have the police come around because sober citizens are always trying to shut the places down so I don’t know whether the bartender put these guys on Cowboy to slow him down or not but they were trying hard to dissuade him.

     The guy was obviously a hired slugger, as I look back on it now, because he raised his great big ham fist not like he wanted to punch me but like he was trying to knock my eye out and fracture my skull.  I could see this guy was a brawler with plenty of experience; I was only eighteen with no fights to my credit but I felt like a virtual midget in front of this towering behemoth.  I mean, I had to tilt my head up to look at that huge fist hovering over me.  There was no doubt in my young mind that he would stomp me to dust.  Something smaller than that if possible.

page 25.

     Boy, I sure didn’t want to fight this guy but I didn’t want to look bad in front of Brie either.  I thought the Cowboy was jealous because I had this hot looking chick.  Fortunately Sonderman got anxious to leave me to my fate.  I guess this was a reenactment of the State game when they tried to drive off without me.  Laughing with satisfaction he grabbed both girls making a run for the car.

     The Cowboy’s friends or bartender’s agents who looked like dogs jumping at an elephant were trying to pull him back telling him to leave the kid alone which cleared the way for me.  I knew Sonderman intended to drive away without me. With bowels quaking I scooted after him grabbing the door as he backed out of the space.  Brie threw it open.  I tried not to look like I was loading my pants.

     Yeah, well, he had humiliated me in front of my hot number.  My manhood was really shaken.  It took me weeks to rationalize the affair and even at that I wasn’t too successful.  It was almost like Brie and Two Ton Tony although hers was much worse than mine.  She seemed to understand, wanting to get back into it hot and heavy, but I was so shaken I was less than satisfactory.

     Sonderman wasn’t finished.  Even though he and Hirsh had failed to have my eye knocked out and my head broken into pieces the effect of Brie on Sonderman was incredible.  He was in love.  His date had been totally outclassed by mine, if his wasn’t his cousin.  Sonderman felt inferior to me which was something he couldn’t tolerate.

page 26.

     When I got out of the car to escort Brie to the door Sonderman put the pedal to the metal peeling rubber for half a block in his haste to leave me cold.  I made some comment to Brie about how jealous he was, kissed her goodnight, then began the long walk home.

     I had plenty of time to think about Hillbilly Heaven as I walked along.  The Cowboy seemed fishy but I was shaken to my socks by him.  I felt that I had really failed a test of manhood but at the time I didn’t see why I should have hung around to get pulverized.  I could have had a readier repartee in avoiding him but I was certainly under no obligation to fight a guy twice my age and three times my size.  Good rationalizing but it didn’t change my feeling of failure.

     Just as today I eat my food standing up as a result of Sonderman so decades later I wore a lot of suits with the pinch waisted Western jacket.  Just like the outfit the Cowboy wore although I have always detested cowboy boots.

     Sonderman had been thrown a loop by Brie.  Even her name, Briony Fotheringay, had an exotic but soundly English tone.  Aristocratic.  In the early fifties English names still carried a lot of weight.  The name itself was a reason for Two Ton Tony to want to dishonor her and through her the detested Anglo-Saxon culture.

     Briony was so much more than Sonderman had ever imagined for himself, let alone me, that he was thrown into a terrified jealousy.  He had to  find a woman to outdo me.  He had to do it quick, too; he only had a couple weeks before he left for West Point.  The pressure was on.

p. 27.

     He suddenly appeared with a girl named Donna on his arm.  She was a real knockout too in a conventional sort of way.   She didn’t have the flair that Brie had but she had a terrific full figure with a really impressive bust line.  That was one thing Brie lacked.  Big ones.

     He and she stood at a distance while he glared at me as though to say:  Check this out.  He didn’t greet me; he just stood there with an arrogant look on his face.  I signed to him.

     That’s one thing about Law and Order guys, they don’t care who they hurt to get what they want.  Once he located her he must have really come on to her.  He had obviously diddled her as he believed I had gotten it from Brie.  Donna stood there clutching his right hand with both of hers like she thought she was betrothed.  Sonderman must really have deceived her in the hope of shafting me.

     He must have talked to her about me a lot because she seemed eager to meet me.  Sonderman pulled her away with a shrug saying I wasn’t worth the bother.

     Sonderman may have thought that he won Donna with his own manly attributes but Donna had been attracted to him by the prospect of being an officer’s wife.  Some women are attracted by the uniform, taking the symbol for the man.  Their desire for the male draws them to the outer symbol as young girls are drawn to horses.  When the true man separates from the symbol they are often disappointed, turning in chagrin to drink or other men or both.

page 28.

     Sonderman cruelly disabused Donna of the notion of being an officer’s wife.  He cut her dead a few days later when he left for the Point.  She had served his purpose when he tried to put me down.  Now useless, she could be discarded without a thought.  Makes me wonder why I was so concerned about Ange when I cut her dead in the same manner.  It must be some shortcoming in my ‘breeding.’

     Sonderman west East to West Point.  I just went West in the Navy.  We parted company forever.  I had no idea that he was the most important male figure of my life.  He had become my Animus.  I judged all men through that lens.  It wasn’t pretty.

     Sonderman did not leave town with the healthiest of minds.  The past weighed as heavily on him as it did on me.  He was able to function better than I but you’ve seen the psychosis he acquired in his childhood and youth.

     The last get together with him at Hillbilly Heaven had left an indelible impression on my mind.  The Cowboy slugger had entered my subconscious attached to a cluster of memories that formed a dream element that persisted for decades which I call the Brown Spot.

     The dream was a simple image of a pulstating brown spot like a round bog in the middle of an open field.  The sight of it roused tremendous terror in my mind.  This was a very tough image to crack especially as it conflated disparate and widely spaced incidents in my life.  I’m still not sure how they are parallel.

page 29.

     I had always been able to remember all these incidents clearly but their combined significance was suppressed and incomprehensible.  In  the strange way that the mind works the trail led backwards from the Cowboy slugger.  Stranger still is that it was not until I understood why Sonderman showed Donna to me that the whole thing cleared up.  I am not clear how Donna and Brie lead back to the initial incident of the Brown Spot.

     However the path from the Slugger led back to an incident between the fourth and fifth grades when for some reason I decided to visit the Junior High I would be attending from the orphanage, but two full years later.

     The fourth grade had just ended.  I thought school would be empty.  I entered the building to look around.  The school was empty except for eight Black boys who were lurking around.  These fourteen year olds spotted a ten year old White boy they could terrorize and they did.  They chased me back and forth through the halls saying all the horrible things they were going to do to me when they caught me.

     They had no intention of catching me but I was so terrified that I ran past the entrance doors several times without seeing them.  That’s how my mother’s breast fixation worked.  Finally I identified the doors and ran out into the sunshine.

     Now, I had risked life, limb and mental health in the kindergarten to defend some Black kids.  I took the harassment of these kids as a betrayal of that deed.  I wouldn’t say I hated Negroes after that but I thought them undependable and untrustworthy.  I would not rely on them for any purpose.

page 30.

     In my liberating or explanatory dream of this incident as I ran through the halls the walls collapsed covering me with brown horse dung.  Evidently I found my conduct with the Black boys as cowardly as I found myself before the Cowboy slugger.

     When nearly buried a path led down to the bottom of the pit to the initial incident when I was in kindergarten.  This memory was the source of the terror associated with the Brown Spot.  This occurred after the Black kids left me to hang out to dry  which leads back to the Black boys at the Junior High.

     When my mother filed for divorce she began to revile my father to me, terrifying me of him and turning me against him.  Thus when my father came to visit me the last time I was too terrified to go to him as he begged me to do.  He accused my mother of turning me against him which she denied with a straight faced lie.  Don’t think I didn’t notice.

     My father left me this really neat dark green corduroy outfit with a spiffy traffic light aplique on the front pocket then he walked out head hung low crying softly and never came back.  I never saw him again, however for a period of years in my thirties I wore nothing but corduroy pants and jackets including a spiffy dark green one.

     Thus the theme of cowardice connected all three shaming incidents creating a brown spot like a big bruise on an apple.  Psychologically the reference to the bruise on an apple has a reference also.

page 31.

     During the war, about 1942, the country was terrified that the Nazis were capable of bombing the whole Midwest to pieces all the way from Berlin; or so Roosevelt let on.  We were said to be a prime target with our auto, now defense, plants.  Even as a little child of four I found this notion ridiculous but my elders had set up a system of air raid drills for our protection.

     My mother and I were on a bus going down Main downtown one night when the sirens went off.  We were all herded out of the bus to stand in storefronts for protection from the bombs.  Even then, as I stood in front of those plate glass windows, I thought we would be cut to shreds if they shattered all over us.

     For some reason I can’t imagine now I was terrified and set up a wail equal to those of the air raid sirens.  As may be imagined this annoyed the other bus riders considerably.  In an act of desperation which I sensed and didn’t appreciate and reacted to a woman reached into her grocery bag and pulled out a nice large apple and handed it to me.

     I examined the apple carefully noting that it had a large bruise or brown spot.  I handed the apple back to her cooly saying:  ‘It’s bruised.’

     She dropped it back in the bag in a huff but she still had her apple and stopped me from crying.

     The relationship between my mother, Brie and Donna is not clear to me although my mother and Brie were both hard women.  I don’t know the meaning of Donna unless it was that she was well built like my mother thus creating an association or, perhaps I associated Sonderman’s treatment of her with my mother’s treatment of my father.  All incidents in personal psychology are related.

page 32.

     The result of all the images was that my father was buried deep in my subconcious under a heap of horse pucky.

5.

…O Zeus and Athena and Apollo

If only death would take every Trojan

And all the Achaeans except us two,

So we alone might win that Sacred City.

–Homer

     Hirsh had succeeded in degrading me but I had avoided his desire that I debase myself.  However as a result of the persecution I had been put into a certain mind set which stigmatized me until I integrated my personality.  You know, psychology is so much more complex than Freud imagined.  He thought that his Oedipus Complex solved everything whereas in fact it is practically meaningless.  If such a complex exists in the universal psyche, which it doesn’t, it would only be a minor and passing part of a man’s psychology.

     Freud had a pretty shallow understanding of Greek mythology.  He wasn’t very well read in it at all.  He seized upon the Oedipus story in an unwarranted manner completely ignoring the reaction of Oedipus when he discovered that he had married his mother.  With a deeper understanding of Greek mythology he might have noticed the myth of Io, the Holy Cow.  Rather than having a desire to copulate with his mother which is beyond a young boy’s ability to imagine it is more likely that he views this woman who has not only fed him from her own body like a cow but has tended to his every need willingly, lovingly and with self-abnegation as his personal milk cow.  At a certain point when the child perceives that this woman is dividing her concern between himself and his father he may fear losing the economic privilege he enjoys.  Thus he may believe temporarily that he is in competition with his dad.  If so, the feeling passes within a couple years as he realizes the true situation.

page 33.

      I can say that I never had a desire for an old used woman from whose womb I had emerged when there were plenty of fresh young heifers around who could do me more economic good in the future than my mother.

     But then Freud was a pioneer and not a developer.

     There are only so many visions of reality that a human can hold.  The uniqueness of the individual is mainly illusory.  Or at least that uniqueness exists only as an individual is representative of a mind set.  I had my own Responses in dealing with the Challenges from the Field but the Field remains paramount in my own and everyone else’s personal psychology.  Then as I began to understand to which psychic fraternity I belonged I recognized some of my fellows.  Over the years I came to realize that I was akin to others in the same mind set.  We all pursued the same goal and our objectives and methods were not all that different.

     Certainly Tim Leary and I were psychic brothers as well as Dr. Petiot, Moses, Richard Speck, Charlie Whitman, Sonderman and the most prominent member of our septum, Adolf Hitler, not to mention Brave Achilles.

page 34.

     The stimuli for each of us was undoubtedly somewhat different but our Responses were also somewhat of the same character if not the same degree.  If we’d all been as capable of Hitler you may be sure we would have acted the same as he did although our personal objectives may have been different.  We wished mass destruction on all our tormentors.  We had our eyes on the gates of that Sacred City and it mattered little who died so long as we passed through those pearly gates, preferably alone.  We sat and sulked in our tents waiting to be called to save humanity.  When that didn’t happen, like Nero we wished that they all had one neck so we could strangle them all at the same time.

     Of the group I am the only one to break on through to the other side and freedom.  The rest remained trapped in their pasts.

     It is not to be assumed from the cast of characters that our mind set among the others is particularly vile.  After all Mao Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Charlie Starkweather, Ted Bundy, Lord Strafford, Hirsh and host of great destroyers belong to other mind sets.  Your is one of them.  Saints and Sinners abound in any of the mind sets.

     But I know my brothers.

     Each of my brothers here mentioned responded to his Challenges from the Field in different ways.  Each chose to resolve his dilemma in his own individual way as his circumstances dictated.

page 35.

     The most conscious or willed Responses were by Dr. Tim of the Ozone Space Patrol and myself.  We both are or were psychologists.  Tim of course was certified by society and I am not.  However I succeeded where Leary failed.  Tim left behind him a fairly extensive body of writing, the most finished of which is of a very high literary quality.  His autobiography ‘Flashbacks’ is very innovative in the first half while his most literary production ‘High Priest’ is, shall we say, unique in format and style.  Very avant garde.  Timmy had it, but he blew it.

     The problem with Tim is that when he realized that the key would be hard to find he gave up; he turned to drugs, no stamina.  The guy really needed instant gratification.

     Tim’s central problem which he inexplicably failed to recognize was his abandonment by his father.  His father’s leaving muddied his waters for all time.  As a psychologist his fixation was staring him in the face but in the peculiar way of fixations it remained invisible to him.  Such is the fear that one is prevented from seeing what is before one’s eyes.

     Like many befuddled people he became a psychologist in the hopes of discovering his problem.  Instead he found that psychologists were impotent before their own and their patients’ illness.  With or without help a third got better, one third got worse and one third stayed the same.  Tim was of the group that slowly got worse.  He accordingly gave up on psychology.  No staying power.  Tim was a sad case.

     Before he gave up he made a fateful contribution to psychological literature while employed at Kaiser.  Interestingly he never mentions Kaiser in his autobiography.  Slides right over it.  He realized he had been manipulated into his psychological disorder.  As Judaeo-Christian thought decrees that the punishment fit the crime he set about to divise the tools for the psychological manipulation of the whole world.  He want everybody else to get screwed up too.  He did this at Kaiser when he devised the personality tests that are still in wide use.

page 36.

    Once the tests were devised Tim had no sense of direction.  The pernicious use of his personality researches remained fallow for the time being except that as Tim sank over the deep end he turned to psychedelic drugs.

     When his LSD researches began he drew into his circle the most pernicious of post-war movements, that of the Beats, the stage was set for his merry pranks.  The so-called Beats, can be summed up by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs with Ginsberg as the most important member.  Actually the roster of important Beat writers can be rounded out with Leary himself, Bob Dylan and Ken Kesey although the last three are sort of an after Beat.

     Their novo literary plans were lauched and were being propagated by Ginsberg’s ‘poem’: Howl.  Once through the publishing door Ginsberg helped bring out Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ and Burroughs’ ‘Naked Lunch.’  The three works were slim fare to get and keep their ‘rucksack’ revolution rolling, but boy, did they have an effect.  Thus Ginsberg, who knew the main chance when he saw it, searched out Tim Leary as soon as his psychedelic researches reached his ears.

page 37.

     Ever ingratiating and insinuating Ginsberg’s seed fell on Leary’s fertile mind.  The two men had the same goal but for different reasons.  Leary in effect became the fourth Beat and its Pied Piper.

     Tim had no intellectual content beyond some vague notion of some ‘politics of ecstasy’ but he became a master showman and clown.  When the mind of a generation was blasted apart by LSD which has absolutely no content but opens the mind to immediate reconditioning Ginsberg and the Beats provided the intellectual attitude grafting it onto the blown minds of the generation by using the substance of Leary’s brilliantly manipulative personality theories.

     It must be noted that Leary himself seemed unable to penetrate to anyone’s ulterior motives.  He calls it naivete but such simplicity is almost impossible to believe in one so intelligent.

     Ginsberg’s trained agents infiltrated every Beatnik or Hippie group to graft his value system unto their blown and receptive minds.  This was the brainwashing technique that Leary believed the CIA was probing him for although Doctor Timmy blithely claimed to know nothing of any such technique.  It should be noted that Leary was quite as capable as the CIA of lieing to protect his own.  As an instance, in his autobiography he spectacularly shifts attention away from the crimes of Charles Manson who he defends to direct attention to a similar crime for which the ‘establishment’ Army officer Jeffrey MacDonald  was convicted.  Although the crimes were quite dissimilar in some way he thought the latter crime somehow absolved the drug culture.  Tim was not an honest man.

page 38.

     So as Ginsberg appropriated Tim’s research to further Semitist and homosexual goals, Leary in his frustration contributed to the befuddlement of society just as he had been befuddled by his own central childhood fixation.  As he was naive he considered himself innocent.

     Freud believed that morality was of no consequence.  His belief has been embraced by psychologists subsequently.  Psychology has no concern with morality.  Freud believed that anyone who knew certain ‘truths’ about themselves was incapable of committing an immoral act.  Tim Leary disproves his theory.

     If anyone cares to apply my psychological approach my only fear is that they will liberate themselves without having good morality.  Thus, if criminals, they will only be more effective criminals.  A clear mind and vile methods can never create good.

     So Tim and I differ in methods and goals.  I want to correct and eliminate the evils practiced on me while Tim merely wanted to pass his monkey on.

     Nevertheless his researches are valuable and useful for understanding who you are.  At the very least such an understanding will prevent your being easily manipulated by pernicious people.

     Tim gave vent to his fixation in his way as I have in mine.

page 39,

     Tim never mentions a fear of the law.  In point of fact at the time he was arrested in Laredo he had broken no laws.  Psychedelic drugs had been legal to that time.  So the man was actually railroaded into prison merely because he had made himself unpopular with certain governmental officials.  Still, he must known he was barefoot on a barbed high wire so he should have taken extreme precautions.

     I too have never done anything illegal but I learned very early that laws for me were different than the laws for my enemies.  You’ll remember the cop who said only I had to walk my bike through intersections, so, you see, you don’t have to do anything to end up on the wrong side of the law.  I have always known that innocence is no defense so my ‘paranoia’ has kept me vigilant and alert.  I have never wanted to gratify the hopes of my enemies by spending my life in prison.  Nor did I ever have any intention of killing myself.

     Dick Speck and Charlie Whitman were not of my mind.  Dick was not reflective enough to know what he was doing.  He and Charlie committed their outrages within a couple months of each other in 1966 at a time when I was passing the crisis in my own mental development.  Becoming a serial killer was no longer possible for me but I immediately recognized my kinship to both men.  I too had considered both crimes although Dick Speck’s was not one that would gratify my own malaise.  Speck’s crime was directed against his mother who formed his Anima, thus in his own way he was murdering his Anima which had betrayed him, while mine like Charlie’s was directed against males and, indeed, the whole of society as was Addie Hitler’s and that of Achilles.

page 40.

     Dick Speck, as I imagine is still well known, actually murered six nurses in Chicago one hot summer night.  That his conflict centered on his mother is attested by the fact that he killed young women, so-called Angels Of Mercy.  In attempting to exorcise his central childhood fixation he delivered himself into his enemies hands spending the rest of his life in prison in conditions too horrible to discuss at this time.  Suffice it to say he became his mother.  Society didn’t have the decency to execute him.

     Charlie Whitman took a different approach.  He was the man who barricaded himself in the tower at the University Of Texas.  From there he took pot shots at anyone who fell within his sights.  It was a most futile attempt at exorcising his fixation  with no chance of escape, a mere act of desperate frustration.  At best he killed or wounded a few people but he at least had the self-respect to kill himself when the authorities broke through his barricade.

     I knew that my enemies wanted me to commit some such act which would discredit me while confirming their opinion of me to the world.  By graduation they had formed me and placed  me at the crossroads.  I was programmed for just such crimes; it was up to me to avoid the destiny prepared for me. 

     I had no interest in killing women because I cherished Ange who was my Anima but Dick’s crime thrilled me to the core as I recognized a fraternal brother who had attempted to purify himself of his fixation.  Speck’s act should not be seen as an act of senselessness or revenge but purification.  It failed as I knew that it must.  Purification comes from within rather than without.  No drug, no crime can purify the mind.

page 41.

     A couple years before Charlie climbed the tower I had considered barricading myself at Stanford University, a symbol of social acceptance and my rightful place in society to me.  In my waking fantasy or daydream I commanded a small army to take on the world.  When asked to surrender it was my intent to offer my brain as a scientific specimen to study the working of the mind of the mass or serial killer much as Ted Bundy was to do in an attempt to escape the electric chair.

     Among the reasons I didn’t perform this absurdity was that I didn’t know of a small army that would accept my leadership.  I didn’t even have any friends.  Also I suspected that there was nothing so abnormal about the serial killer’s mind except his exaggerated Response to a Challange that most people would find normal and not remarkable.

     Interestingly enough, in my most desperate moments I thought up an act of desperation that had been considered by the top strategists of the Nazis.  At this time I was living in the Bay Area.  The water supply of the Bay Area is impounded behind a number of massive dams that ring the San Joaquin Valley.  The mighty Shasta Dam had also just been completed which impounded a small ocean.

     During the war the Nazis had formed a plan to bomb the dams surrounding the Bay so that the waters rushed down at the same time would inundate the low areas and disrupt shipping.  The idea occurred to me too.  With the addition of Shasta the effect would have been terrific.  In my plan the waters reached the Bay as the highest tide of the year was coming in.  The enormous flood would have reached into Merced and inundated Sacramento.  The resulting malarial swamp would have got millions.  I probably wouldn’t have entered that Sacred City alone but the devastation would have been a balm to my wounded soul.  But remember, your immoral society had created me.  Responsibility begins at home.

page 42.

     The problem with that one was getting enough plastique and knowing how to use it.  Always something.  I just didn’t have the necessary determination.  Wisely I decided not to try.

     Shortly thereafter I began to organize my baggage better.

     The baggage is important.  For, like Dr. Petiot we all take our baggage with us.  That’s why Tim’s notion of changing consciousness with drugs is so impossible; the baggage remains the same.  The question is do we let it overwhelm us or do we learn to arrange it into manageable units?  Like Tim Leary said only a third learn to do so.  A third just sit on the baggage and a third like Dr. Petiot sink beneath the weight.

     When our attitude is combined with great political skill and determination it becomes most dangerous.  Of the politicians I recognize as being of the same mind set Moses holds the least sympathy for me.  There is a great resemblance between Mighty Mo’ and the most famous representative of our mind set, Addie Hitler.  Both believed that they represented an elect group of people; both were willing to exterminate all other people for the benefit of the elect.  Both ruthlessly eliminated groups of dissidents within their parties.  Both suffered devastating defeats of their programs.

page 43.

     As I say I have scant sympathy for Mo’ but I also find similarities between Hitler and Sonderman.  You may laugh or object to the audacity of comparing myself and Sonderman to important figures like Leary and Hitler and Moses but this is not an exercise in comparing apples and oranges but oranges and oranges.  No matter how influential or inconsequential  the exemplars, these are comparisons within one mind set.  For instance to compare Hitler with Napoleon which has been done is to compare an apple to an orange.  They come from two entirely different mind sets with entirely different motives.  Although they may be similar politically we are dealing with psychology.

     Sonderman and Hitler are examples of Law and Order aspects of our mind set.  Myself, Tim, Mo’, Dick and Charlie are not Law and Order types.  We despise the Law and Order mentality.  Addie Hitler was a foremost example of the Law and Order approach which he combined in the end with our more characteristic chaotic approach.  Contrary to popular opinion he did nothing outside the laws of Germany even if he had the power to write them himself.  He was a Law and Order sort of guy.

     Everything he did was legal.  He resisted the temptation to seize power illegally which he could easily have done.  Once legally in power he legally assumed dictatorial powers and passed laws to suit his purposes but then he was legally empowered to do so acting no differently than other mind sets in the same situation.  That is Law and Order to a fault.

page 44.

     Nor was Addie a particularly innovative man.  He just brought political and historical trends to their logical conclusions.  Totalitarianism was the the order of the day; he perfected it.  In the thousand year war between the Slavs and Germans he merely extended the policty of the Teutonic Knights from piecemeal annexations of Slavic lands to a massive one time takeover effort.

     In the two thousand year old war between the Jews and Europeans Addie merely repeated the Roman solution in its war with the Jews that kicked off the Piscean Age.

     There was no break or discontinuity in historical tradition; Hitler merely brought the trends of the previous two thousand years to their logical conclusions.  Addie was quite conscious that he was creating a New Order.  As he said the Old Order ended with his death.  Unfortunately he committed suicide before he could see the spectacular introduction of the New Order over Hiroshima but, then, those are the breaks.  The guy knew what was happening whether you like him or not.

     Now, the means and methods he chose to end the Old Order were the result of the mind set he had been given as a youth.  He had a Brown Spot the size of a pumpkin.   I don’t know how the cluster was composed but he discusses the last element in his reminiscences or table talk while on the Eastern Front.  He had just graduated from high school.  He undoubtedly was not a popular person with his schoolmates because they got him roaringly drunk to humiliate him.  In an effort to amuse them he wiped his rear with his diploma.  In some manner the schoolmaster learned of this.  No longer drunk Addie was thoroughly ashamed of himself as he should have been.  Not for using his diploma as toilet paper but for allowing others to abuse his good will.

page 45.

     At any rate the incident affected him more than the Cowboy slugger affected me.  Enraged at his youthful treatment in the last and earlier elements of the Brown Spot and capable of killing any enemy he chose with impunity he tried to bundle their necks together and stangle them all ignoring all consequences so long as he might take that Sacred City of the soul just like Brave Achilles.  They both failed.  Hitler was not abnormal.  Far from it.

     Addie’s Animus had been severely blunted while his Anima while not exactly healthy was whole.  He transferred all the energies of his Animus to the Anima and became Matriarchal in intellect no doubt as a tribute to his mother.  A characteristic of the Matriarchal intellect is the belief in the fertility of nature; thus life becomes expendable and replaceable which, in fact, it is.  Compare Hitler with Mao Tse Tung for the Matriarchal effect.

     As a symbol of the attitude let look again to Greek mythology.  These myths are puzzling so I don’t hope to convince you of my interpretations but they are plausible.  In the myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, after Hades had abducted Persephone Demeter turns the world into a wasteland in grieving over the loss of her daughter.  In her wanderings she comes to Eleusis where she sits down on a rock to mourn.

page 46.

     There she is approached by a comic toothless old crone by the name of Baubo.  Baubo tries to cheer Demeter up but the goddess remains inconsolable.  Then with a toothless laugh Baubo who is squatting in the birth position lifts her skirts to reveal a baby emerging from the womb.  Demeter laughs and begins to recover.

    Why did Demeter laugh?  To quote the great Calypsonian and the Kingston Trio:  Back to back, belly to belly, I don’t give a damn because I’ve got another ready.  So Baubo’s lesson is what does it matter that you lost one child when you have the means to make many more.  Baubo exemplified the Matriarchal principle.  No matter how many die many times that number are still in the womb.  The individual life is unimportant.

     Hitler’s response to his fixation was to embrace the Matriarchal intellect.  He applied it exactly.  Not only was he indiscriminate in destroying human life, who he killed is irrelevant, but in his frustrated rage at losing the war he was willing to destroy his entire civilization just like Brave Achilles.  Cracow was leveled to the ground.  He gave orders to explode the former jewel of civilization, Paris, in its totality.  It is a miracle that Paris was not leveled like Cracow.  Thank God, Addie, didn’t have the means to reach Chicago.  It is a miracle that Paris was not leveled like Cracow.  Of course, the Allies flattened Berlin and the rest of Germany, so I guess he had some reason to be sore.

page 47.

     When his world had been completely destroyed Hitler put a bullet through his own brain next to Eva Braun who may possibly have been an exemplar of his Anima while ordering his body to be completely destroyed.  My friends, that is complete self-negation.  Thus as I say, Hitler was the perfect exemplar of our mind set.  We’ll never see his like again.

     Speaking of embracing an opportunity, Tim Leary’s death provides an interesting variation.  When he died he had his body put into orbit around the earth.  At some future time when the orbit degrades the missile will enter the atmosphere as a shooting star disappearing in a blaze of glory.

     But wait, that’s not all.  I don’t know if it happened but Leary wanted to have his head removed and frozen with the expectation that at some time science will be able to transplant his brain onto another’s body.  Thus it is possible that he may come back to life in time for his brain to see his body plummet into the sea.  That then would be a headless comet, the first of its kind.  Leary may have been crazy but he didn’t lack imagination.

     Sonderman completly lacked the chutzpah to either sink to the depts of Hitler or rise to the heights of Leary.  In the turmoil of his mind he completed his studies at West Point.  From which institution Tim Leary was expelled, by the way, and then went to his duty station to await his call from home.  When it came he buried his hopes as completely as Hitler or Leary to heed his father’s call.  What biological clock he was responding to I cannot tell.

     Trained by Law and Order he returned home.  Now, interpreted rightly Sonderman was already a serial killer before he left Junior High.  He had offed Wilson while trying repeatedly to kill me.  Unlike Dick Speck with his lawless murders Sonderman was a Law and Order type guy.

page 48.

     I don’t know if having assumed his role in the social structure of the Valley he participated in other murders but as the Valley is known as the murder capitol of the State I wouldn’t be surprised if he has.

     As I sat talking to him during the Reunion I was closing in on my own delivery from the psychology.  The integration of my personality was not far away.  Had I not turned to psychology for deliverance it is not impossible that in an orgy of self-pity I might have gone on a murderous rampage and killed as many of my classmates as I could.  Not of the Law and Order mentality, I would have been chaotic ending my days in prison as a ‘monster.’  To my shame I wouldn’t have had the integrity to kill myself afterwards.

     As that was what my ‘monster’ enemies wanted I was determined not to give it to them.

     I know that most people think their personality is innate and immutable.  Most people think that they are what they are and that they could never have been any other way.  The fact is that our personalities are shaped and not created.  We become what we are by a system of Challenge and Response from the Field.  What has been done can not be undone but one can escape from its onerous burden.  One can use one’s intelligence.

     As far as morality goes the Challenge of Correct Behavior is given us.  Contrary to Freud morality is more important than psychoanalysis.

page 49.

     The psyche breaks on the rock of morality.  Even a Mafioso like the fictional Michael Corleone broke on the rock of morality.  He felt guilt.  While people applaud the notion of morality most people are incapable of embracing the whole system.  They think they can pick and choose which elements are useful to them disregarding the rest.  People have a public morality as they give lip service to Correct Behavior and a private morality in which they indulge all their whims and hatreds.

     My morality both public and private was purer than that of either Sonderman or Hirsh yet both had better reputations than I did.  Whereas they exuded a certain confidence and unwarranted self-esteem I had been robbed of nearly all my self-respect.  I lacked confidence and assurance.  I was tentative and uncertain which translated into a species of guilt and effeminacy.  I was incapable of projecting the person I felt I was inside.

     While trying so hard to injure me my enemies had done injury to their own psyches.  Remarkably, they were to deteriorate as years passed while I would be able finally to cast off the personality they had imposed on my while returning myself to myself.  I have often wondered who the little Grey One that ensheathed me in my dream might be.  Quite possibly she was the personality killed on the playing field in the second grade.  If so she had been residing in the House of Death.  Perhaps she had been released to reclaim me from my psychic prison.

     Now, here, twenty-five years later, unaware of my true relationship with Sonderman I was sitting across from him.  The old resentment still glowed in his eyes; if I was unaware of our true relationship he wasn’t.  Still thinking we had been friends I was hopeful to reconnect with him so I could join my present, my fractured past and my hopeful future into a whole.

page 50.

     If Sonderman had been initially glad to see me it must have been that he had been waiting twenty-five years to tell me he had always disliked me because I copied him.  Once done I presume that he no longer had any use for my presence.

     The ancient traumas had locked him into a state of arrested adolescence.  It was as though he had never left ninth grade.  Except for the addition of the miles he looked just as he had way back then.  He was still slender and square.  He had the same elfin head.  He still had all his hair combed in exactly the same way.  His style of dressing hadn’t even changed from Junior High.  He wore the same Wrangler jeans, although now that his wife had a washing machine they were clean.  He never had and still didn’t have the cool to wear Levi’s.

     It was appropriate, I think, that the jeans were called Wranglers, obviously chosen to fill some deep psychological need.  His shirt might have come out of his teenage closet.  His shirts had always been cut square across the bottom and worn outside his pants.  He was still in the box in which his father had placed him except now he was running the chemical plant.  He hadn’t busted the block.

     Sonderman wouldn’t know and I can only speculate about the subliminal influence of his mother.  I found it of interest that his first and only child was a girl.  It might be thought that having pleased his mother with a grand daughter he didn’t want to run the risk of antagonizing her by having a son.  What did Sonderman know subliminally?

page 51.

     In contrast, my wife and I had no children.

     His role in the destruction of my eating club was uppermost in his mind.  He looked me square in the eyes in an intended insult to say that he had never once in twenty-five years ever seen a member of the club except for a chance meeting with one whose name he couldn’t recall in an airport.

     If he meant to hurt me, he did.  It also brought to mind a chance encounter with me that he had in the Chicago Greyhound station in the summer of ’57 when I was coming back on leave while he was returning to West Point.

     He fled my presence thinking I hadn’t seen him.  Ever vengeful and mean  he went into the reading room to tell the bartender that I was a Communist.  Then he had someone direct me into the room.  Lest I not order a coke I was directed to the bar.  There out of the blue the bartender told me they didn’t serve people like me in there.  Well, you know, I was pretty darn high class for a Greyhound station.

     When I asked why he told me to just keep my political opinions to myself.  When asked what that meant he told me to look at my shirt.  I was wearing a pink shirt.  I guess he meant that I was a Pinko.

     As Sonderman had been in his cadet uniform he commanded a great deal of respect so everyone was glad to do it for him.

     I was lost in a reverie for a moment.  When I came around Sonderman was staring at me with a hopeful smile on his face.  I guess he was saying that he thought he had taken my club from merely as a lark; neither it nor its members had any relevance for him.

page 52.

     He was clearly in a state of arrested emotional development.  I came to the conclusion that he was daily haunted by myself and the memory of those years.  His mind must have been obsessed with the attempts on my life and his murder of Shardel Wilson.

     The vehemence and finality with which he said I copied his every move must have concealed the guilt he felt but couldn’t acknowledge.  He was the result of the training of his people.  I have no doubt that he had absorbed all the rules of Law and Order.  I have no doubt he was capable of cooperating with his fellow trainees to eliminate anyone he or they wanted either physically or socially.  He was paying the price of that immorality.  Breeding will out.

     His wife was a woman named Donna.  She puzzled me because if this was the same Donna I had seen back then her physical attributes had shrunken considerably.  In fact she looked more like Brie than that earlier Donna.  I could find no discreet way to ask so I was forced to assume that after having been cashiered from the Army Sonderman came home took over the reins of his dad’s business then began to look for a wife.  Apparently fixated by me he didn’t go looking for the full figured Donna but a replica of Brie.  It may be coincidence that his Brie lookalike had the name of Donna but then maybe that had been the attraction.  He had gotten the best of both of them in one woman.  Needless to say all those years later they were still together.

page 53.

     I quickly sensed that Sonderman was extremely distraught, sunk within himself.  His voice came as though from the depths of some tank, with each succeeding drink it became moreso.

     Once the novelty of my appearance wore off he seemed to increasingly resent my presence until he blurted out in searing pain that I had stayed long enough; it was time for me to go.

     I was shaken by the outburst but saw no reason to plead to stay.  It was clear he had achieved his purpose when he said I copied him.  The car I had been loaned had been reclaimed so I was without wheels.  I had to ask him to drive me to my cousin’s house.  He was gracious enough to comply.

     On the way I was surprised to learn that he and Wink Costello were still friends and golfing buddies.  I also learned that Wink was a year younger than us which explained some things.   I sensed his dissociation from reality when he showed surprise that I had known Costello.  I knew why he seemed to be unaware of my relationship to himself, Costello and Little.  It was clear that he had converted the killing of Wilson into something else.  He had somehow conflated my copying him with Wilson’s death, probably thinking that he generously concealed the secret of my murder of Wilson to protect me.

     My family had programmed me to get as far away from the family as possible.  They always did that to one member.  They actually intended me to flee to Australia as Uncle Louie had done.  I just wanted to flee.

     Mr. Sonderman had apparently programmed Little to move away also, probably so as not to interfere with Sonderman’s management of the company.  Little had graduated from the University as a nuclear physicist.  I can tell you I was bowled over, I respected nothing more than nuclear physics.  Then I had the pins kicked out from under me when I was told he was abandoning nuclear physics to become a psychiatrist.

     I very nearly laughed out loud.  What a psychological load of baggage both Sonderman and Little were carrying.  It would take more than psychoanalysis to purge them.  Both Sondermans had a great deal of penance to do.

     Sonderman thought he had slipped when he told me that Little was living on the West Coast fairly close to me.  I could see him make a mental note to call Little to tell him that I might try to contact him.  Before his psychoanalytic training Little was already a more astute psychologist than his brother.  He told him that there was no chance I would contact him.  He was right.  Just the thought of Little makes my skin crawl; he really was an evil guy.

     So my wife and I got out of his car.  Sonderman gave her a last lookover with a wistful eye.  I think he thought that I had topped him again but I’d give it a draw with a shade on my side.  I’m a very generous guy.

      I was unaware I was closing the door on my Animus.  This guy was the image of manhood through which all other males were filtered.  In psychological terms he was the image of the Terrible Father.  My Animus was not clothed with a counter balancing image of the Good Father.  All men were insane as far as I was concerned.

page 54.

     I evaluated all men in comparison to this despicable model.  As I perceived Sonderman he was a homosexual, liar, sneak, cheat and thief.  Now, by his own admission he was a willful failure.

     My public persona had been formed in reaction to him and through him the Hirshes.  While I projected Sonderman’s image on all men I also subconsciously  presented an abject figure to them with which I telegraphed my past.  Thus a cycle of mutual repulsion was perpetuated.  The moving finger had written; the stars were in control.

     I was vaguely aware of projecting the abject image but not knowing where it came from I was powerless to change it.  In order to change my image of myself It would be necessary to change the image of the Sonderman Constellation.

     My life was effectively over.  Regardless of whether I could change myself and the Constellation the baggage as Dr. Petiot realized was still in my hands.  The moving finger had writ.  My education was complete.  Nothing could change that.  Even if the men I knew should show me a new countenance I knew the truth behind any seeming fairness.  I knew who they really were.  And having written the finger moves on.

     Nor, even if I changed, would that change be noticeable to those who already knew me.  They would continue to react to me as they always had.  They might not get the same response but their education as regards me was complete too.

     Like Sonderman’s when he met me their minds were made up so that I would be able to present this new persona to new acquaintances who would be apprised of my old persona by my old acquaintances.  A vicious circle.  I was doomed to be a loner.  It was written in the stars.  The Field dominated.  The Challenges had been made; the Responses had been offered.

page 55.

     The question was: Could I realign the Sonderman Constellation from the brooding theatening image reflected on my face or convert it into one which would be more constructive for myself.  The truth seems to be that like Medusa’s sisters the Anima and Animus are immortal.

     I was given a glimpse behind the Constellation.  It was worse than I imagined.  I had a dream of a house.  I was both inside and outside, above it looking down on it.  The house was being assaulted by myriads of bugs trying to break in.  I fought this image for several days until I came to the conclusion that the house represented my mind and the bugs millions of memories that were trying to destroy my mind.

     I retreated back a bit to the other side of the Constellation but then I realized that as I was both inside and outside the house I was in control of my own mind.  I was the proud possessor of my own mind.  I was one of Leary’s third that healed.

     As I looked up the Sonderman Constellation had begun to change form.  The past after all, while not a jot of it can be washed away, is the past.  It can’t pysically hurt you nor can it reach out for you.  The baggage can be repacked so that it can be carried comfortably.

     All the stations of Sonderman’s stars realigned themselves while I watched apprehensively.  Then I broke out into a laugh.  I was engulfed by merriment.  In place of the threatening aspect the stars formed a portrait of Sonderman’s silly Alfred E. Neuman face grinning idiotically down at me.  There was no reason to fear that Animus.

     So in the end Sonderman assumed his true form.  If I wasn’t free from him at least he was always there for a good laugh.

    What, me worry?

The End Of The Sonderman Constellation,

 

    

The Sonderman Constellation

by

R.E. Prindle

Chapter IV

The Psychosis

…now Zeus had abandoned him

to humiliation in his own homeland.

–Homer

     My relations with Sonderman were interrupted after the Door Monitor incident for about a year.  I don’t remember having anything to do with him at all until the tenth grade.  Even then we didn’t get along and had little to do with each other.

     The failure of the three attempts on my life during those furious months of summer and fall had a devastating effect on Sonderman’s personality.  Whereas before he had been merely withdrawn because of his father’s fixation he now became withdrawn and troubled.  The effect on his physiognomy was quite pronounced.  The conflict of reconciling the immoral demands placed on him by his people with his religious training caused great stress.

page 1.

     The efforts of the Hirshes to injure me never ceased but remained intense all through high school.  They were unrelenting.  Their efforts continued to be intertwined with Sonderman.

     The effects of those months in the ninth grade on my own personality were equally devastating.  I lost all confidence; I became morbid.  I had no affinity for friendship.  I carried as much baggage as any Dr. Petiot, Richard Speck, Charlie Whitman or many another serial killer.  I was in fact trained to become a serial killer.  I had been fused and was waiting to happen.  It isn’t that nobody pulled the trigger that would set me off; had that been my intent there was no one to stop me.

    The result of indulging my resentment would have been to gratify my enemies wishes.  Other people can try and may succeed in making you look bad but all that does is prove to everyone they don’t like you.  There is no real discredit to you.  But if you can be tricked into discrediting yourself then you have been well and truly smeared.  I was resolved to never give them that satisfaction.  I resolved to excel them.  I didn’t know how but that was what I resolved.

     Thus I finished Junior High in a totally despondent frame of mind.  Procrastination was my middle name.  My face had broken out in pimples in seventh grade; their severity increased every year.  This was an additional affliction I just didn’t need.  I was just coming up on five feet tall at the end of the ninth so I had already accepted the fact that I would be abnormally short and slight for the rest of my life.  In combination with my other woes these two things nearly separated me from my mind.  Plus I didn’t have any money.

page 2.

     I don’t know who suggested caddying to me; I would never have thought of it myself.  As I showed up at the country club the day after classes I must have made my decision at least a month before.  It took me at least that long to get going to do anything.  A result of my tormenting was that I became a master proctrastinator.

     My experience was to show me that caddying was a task for the lowest stratum of society so I can only believe the guy who recommended it was one of the Hirshes.  As Hirsh was a member of the country club and could watch me discreetly this must have been so. 

     Then again, as I was always complaining about not having any money some well meaning kid, who didn’t show up to caddy himself, could have suggested it as good enough for the likes of me.  None of them did it because I had never met any of the young things who did caddy before.  Perhaps as caddying placed me securely out of contact with Sonderman for the summer Mr. Sonderman got the suggestion through to me.  They must have been terrified that I would be hanging around.

     At any rate for the first time in my life I had money to spend.  I made a lot of money.  Fifteen dollars a day in 1953.  Even then that was soured by the insistence of Tuistad and my mother that I turn every penny I made over to them.  Every penny!  I was supposed to work all summer yet not be allowed to keep one penny as my own to spend as I pleased.

page 3.

     Do you really believe that we are not the result of other people’s machnations and not our own?  Why did they hate me?  Why wouldn’t they leave me the simplest of pleasures?

     True they opened a savings account for me but it was beyond my control.  You know, I wasn’t stupid.  I would have been happy to save most of my earnings as with my limited wants, lack of friends and long working hours the money was more than I could possible spend.

     I had to resort to a despicable thing.  I was forced to lie.  I refused to give them everything.  I under reported my earnings, spending some and secreting more for use in the tenth grade.  They were going to try to make me go through school without a dime while I had hundreds in the bank.  Literally, they would not let me have a dime– ten cents.  Thus Tuistad and my mother made me steal from myself.  This is a crime of such magnitude that no number of murders could compensate it; not if I killed the whole Valley.  Heck, pimples, Sonderman, the Hirshes, Tuistad and my mother, a world full of crazy people, and they had the audacity to call me– nuts.  Who wouldn’t want to kill them?

     The Bard said the fault lies within ourselves and not in the stars.  Having been conditioned to Respond to Challenges like one of Pavlov’s dogs there is some truth in the former part of the Bard’s opinion but no, the Stars, or The Field, is much more important an influence than the Bard thought.  No, as I have turned out decently there was no other explanation- I was a miracle.

page 4.

     So, as I was single mindedly laboring away with a golf bag on each shoulder great changes were taking place.  My consciousness shifted from childhood to young manhood.  Caddying was a very bad environment for the change to take place as I was actually among criminal types.  I made the change without any loss of integrity, morals or character but it was a very close call.  It wouldn’t have taken much for it to have gone the other way.

     Perhaps the most remarkable change was that while I was lamenting that I would be forever short I grew six inches.  I began the summer as one of the shortest caddies and ended among the tallest.  It was something to see; you could almost watch me grow.  By August several of the shorter caddies were looking up to me in open mouthed wonder.  They had to tell me I had grown because I wasn’t aware of it even though the golf bags no longer dragged on the ground.  I thought I was just getting better at hefting them.

     Mentally I never adapted but found myself awkward and gangly.  I still thought like I was short but my spine and knees hurt all the time.

     Beginning the tenth grade was not so easy.  While my intent is to tell only the Sonderman Constellation I will have to preface this chapter with a rather remarkable machination of the Hirshes so that my mental condition stays in perspective for you.

     When we left ninth grade we had to elect between the high school and Trade School.  I elected to go to high school.  However the Hirshes overruled my own choice unbeknownst to me and had me enrolled in Trade School.  You see how many responsible people had to be involved to remove the form I filled out and replace it with theirs.  The Field; watch the Field.  Then, when I showed up for the first day of high school I was told they had no place for me.

 page 5.

     After thinking things out they told me I must be enrolled at Trade School.  They told me to take a hike over there.  I told them to take a hike back into records and enroll me there.  They flatly refused telling me to leave.  Whether true or not we believed that only dumb kids went to Trade School so I wasn’t about to go there.  In point of fact I hated all that manual arts stuff so much I would have flunked out.

     I couldn’t count on Tuistad or my mother to do anything for me so I stubbornly sat around the office telling them the law required them to give me an education whether they liked it or not.  The conspiracy against me was quite large.  Grown men I didn’t know stopped me on the street to tell me there was no shame attached to going to Trade School.  Whether there was or not I was going to high school where I knew honor was attached.

     After three days they capitulated.  Heck, the Black kids in Little Rock didn’t have as much trouble getting into Central High as I had getting into high school.  I didn’t have the U.S. Army to help me out either.  Nor were my trials over yet.  I signed up for the college prep curriculum.  As all the Hirses were in college prep that meant they would still have to sit in class with me.  Hirsh didn’t want to allow that.

page 6.

     The administrators tried to talk me into the Business Curriculum on the basis that I would never go to college.  This argument took a whole morning but I finally prevailed.  They were not finished; Hirsh was determined that if I wasn’t going to Trade School that I was going to be enrolled in the Business curriculum.

     As a final ploy I was assigned to the premier teacher of English, Mrs. Hicks.  She had been instructing the elite of the Valley since 1938.  Only those who had been instructed by her had the key to move about town freely.  The education she gave was the education that ruled town.  The class I was assigned to contained all my worst enemies.

     By the time I was given my permit to attend Mrs. Hicks class was half over.  I walked up to the second floor right wing to enter her class.  The Hirshes were waiting for me.  They ran in a body, boys and girls together, this was about fifteen people, to physically drive me back out into the hall where I stood as they all screamed at me that they didn’t want me in their class.  They directed me across the hall to the open door of the Business English class telling me I should go there as I would never go to college.  How everyone knew I would never go to college was beyond me.  In any event they were wrong.

     Startled and mystified I was standing in the hall when a girl came out from the Business English class to seize my hand and pull me toward the opposite door.  Believe it or not she even promised sex if I came over.  Her argument was that they knew how to have fun in the Business Curriculum.  I didn’t know anything about sex but I didn’t think anyone had a monopoly on it besides sex is nothing to base your decisions on; it is relatively unimportant except as a drive.  It’s like water; if you’re thirsty you’ll seek some out.

page 7.

     I disdained the young woman to fight my way back into the College Prep class.  I was assigned and I meant to stay.  Mrs. Hicks was finally able to restore order and I was allowed to take a seat.  Thus I was instructed in the tradition of the elite through a miscalculation of Hirsh.

     Everything has its consequences, so while I was not welcome among the elite my ‘rejection’ of the business types was taken badly by them.  They too vented their resentment on me.  The split between College Prep and Business was quite pronounced.  The Valley was a class social structure.

     Once seated the first thing the Hirshes took cognizance of was my growth.  I had left ninth a virtual midget and entered tenth at or above the meridian.  They told Sonderman to check me out.  The effect of my growth on Sonderman was electric.  He hadn’t seen me all summer and now I was taller than he by four inches and still growing.  As a defensive measure Sonderman chose to call attention to my pimples.  Those damn things were to plague me until I was twenty-three and receded only slowly then.

     Perhaps as bad was that my mother made me wear the same pants I wore in the ninth grade.  I mean, the cuffs were midcalf, my gonads hung out like golf balls.  It was devastating.  My mother not only refused to buy me a new pair of pants she expressly forbade me to use my own money for a pair.  There I was in front of all the girls, a virtual buffoon.

page 8.

     Hey wait, that’s not all.  Now fifteen, the peach fuzz was getting really obvious.  Plus there were several long thick hairs that stuck way out.  Now, you tell me why.  Tuistad not only refused to let me shave he refused to let me cut off the long hairs.  I looked stupid.  I tried to smooth the long hairs down with spit continually but that didn’t work for more than a second.  You don’t think I’ve baffled my enemies by growing straight and strong?  Think again.  The best revenge is to live well.  Here I am.

     Don’t think I’ve exhausted the catalog it’s just tht I don’t think you’d believe much more.  The effect may lie within but the cause lies without.

     At first, envy caused Sonderman to associate with me again.  But to compensate for my height he devised way after way to humiliate me and bring me down.  Once again he used a scientific argument to start the fight.  There was a corner on the way home where a path cut across an empty field.  Sonderman made the remark that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  I knew this obvious fact  but as the path was bumpy I chose to include the up and down measurements in the calculation.  We were supposed to walk in measured steps, I taking the right angle around the corner and he the diagonal across the lot to prove the point.  We came out even but it started a big argument about how I walked faster than him.  After a month of this unpleasantness I broke off the relationship although I didn’t know the cause of his attitude.

page 9.

     As the year began there were social changes for me.  High school blended the student bodies of two Junior Highs.  I began to make a few friends from the other Junior High so my dependence on Sonderman lessened.  In fact all my friends in high school would be from the other Junior High with the exception of Larry Dubcek.

     Dubcek was the guy the Hirshes had bullied into a fight in Metal class in the seventh grade.  He was still taking the injustice pretty hard.  The Hirshes had really defamed Dubcek to himself over that one.  The guy was a walking scar.  It was a bond between us.

     The interesting thing about my battering was that I never lost faith in my destiny; I continued to live in the mansion of my mind.  Dubcek was just the opposite.  As his name indicates he was of South Slavic origins, both sides.  Although his parents were actual immigrants Larry was born in the US.  There was still a lot of fairly strong feeling against Eastern and Southern European immigrants as Dubcek was growing up.  He had reacted to slurs against his origins unfavorably.  Instead of turning back the evil he had ingested it.  He hadn’t learned to feel superior to his detractors as I had.  He felt resentful and inferior.

     We didn’t talk about such things but perhaps his origins may have been part of the reason he had been attacked by the Hirshes in the seventh grade.  If you remember the Hirshes had struggled for supremacy in the shop classes in seventh.  The harassment had been very intense in the first semester in metal.  They went to great lengths to establish their positiion, discrediting anyone they couldn’t intimidate.

page 10.

    Dubcek was one of those people who stood up for his rights.  The Hirshes provoked him into an actual fistfight in class.  That is to say that they looked like they intended to fight him as a feint to get him to commit himself first, much as Sonderman had done in our fight as Door Monitors.  When Larry put up his dukes in preparation to defind himself he looked like the aggressor when the L&O Hirshes called the ‘cops’ or metal teacher to witness his aggression.  They appeared as the innocents.

     After have framed him they came around to each of us to ask for our support of their version.  If you gave it you had submitted to their authority, if you didn’t you hadn’t.  They had so little discretion they even asked me.  I wasn’t OK in their eyes to start with.  I just laughed at them.  Larry was expelled from school for a week.  What a joke!  I don’t remember him coming back and I hadn’t seen him since then.

     One morning as I was waiting for the bus to school Larry came hitchhiking up the street.  I was waiting for the a public bus because in those days only rural kids rode school buses.  Larry was backing along in hitchhiking fashion with his thumb out.  He was absolutely declasse.  Hitchhiking was only for hoodlums; he was dressed in hood style too.  He was almost perfect for the times.  They could have modeled Fonzi from Happy Days on him.  He wore black denim trousers with motorcycle boots, a black leather jacket with a million zippers all over it and a really terrific ducktail flattop.  As Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook might say:  Aww, bootiful, man.

page 11.

     Larry’s Response to the Challenge in the seventh grade had been to abandon all hopes of social status placing himself outside ‘polite society’.  He had been defeated in the Law and Order trap.

     I recognized him and began talking to him.  I discovered he was really a great guy.  I liked him, and don’t forget he was dressed as a hood.  I brought up metal class which was still a very, very sore subject but I reassured him by agreeing that he was absolutely innocent and the Hirshes were completely at fault as well as being jerks.  I mean, he thought everybody thought ill of him because he resisted those jerks.

     My bus came but I let it pass as I continued talking to Larry.  I hd plenty of time to walk to school.  A car stopped to give him a ride.  The driver offered me a lift too but I would have declassed myself by accepting so I bid Larry adieu and hoofed it to school.

     We became very good friends after that.  In fact, of all my high school acquaintances I would say that he is the only one who never betrayed my friendship.  It helped that soon after due to my encouragement he gave up his hoodlum attire and dressed normally.

     At about the same time my Anima, Ange, came into and out of my life.  She was to have as profound an effect on my life as Sonderman.  More, since she was a force for good rather than evil.  I have dealt with the Angeline Constellation in full elsewhere so I will only mention the main details here as they coincide with the Sonderman Constellation.

page 12.

     The Bard should really have rethought his attitude.  His opinion is so complete in its simplicity that average minds find it so satisfying they don’t have to think it over.  It just seems obvious.  Of course since the Bard put the words in Hamlet’s mouth it is not necessary that it be his or his complete opinion.  After all, sprinkled throughout the plays are many, many astrological references.  The Bard was a very knowledgeable guy.

     Once again the Field was my controlling factor.  I did a truly horrible thing to Ange but as I was controlled by an attitude from my subconscious I do not feel truly responsible.  I’m sure Ange could never see it that way and I can understand that but the result might have been predicted if one were able to read the writing in the stars.  I have never written about the Mother Constellation but the answer to the tragedy likes there.

     There is no way Ange could have known; if she had she might have been able to avert the consequences of her action.  Listen now, because you might have to stretch your mind a little.  Most people don’t like psychology because it comes too close to home but if you can deal with it life will be much more satisfactory to you.

     As a little child I had been placed in two successive foster homes by my mother.  I was now fifteen, these things happed to me ten, nine and eight years before.  Bear in mind it took me thirty years with an adult brain to unravel this so all that experience on an immature mind compressed into ten years or less was like a tube of paint that had never known brush or canvas.

page 13.

     In the second foster home the incident with the Hirshes on the second grade playing field occurred.  I had no support, no refuge, no one to turn to.

     I was alone.

     It was bad enough to go into the foster homes but my understanding with my mother had always been that it was somehow necessary and temporary.

     Then my mother delivered me the terrible blow of putting me in the orphanage.  I had feared this for some time.  This removed me far to the outside of the pale of humanity.  It was clear to me then that it wasn’t temporary.  I felt abandoned.  Now, this next point is crucial.  It is true that my mother asked for, demanded the permission of my seven year old existence, but, and I understood this, you might as well have the court ask the conemned man whether he want to be hanged or shot.  The prisoner would have no real choice but the judge would be off the hook.  He would be able to say:  Well we asked him and he wanted to be shot.  The pressure of circumstances did force the prisoner to make the choice but it was hardly permission.  I had been abandoned and I knew it.  The woman ceased to be my mother right there.  When I felt Ange abandoned me she ceased to be my girl friend right there.

     The effect of my abandonment by my mother entered my mind below the subconscious level.  How shall I put it;  it shot through both my conscious and subconscious mind into the brain stem like a lightening bolt.  It left invisible scar tissue in its wake.  There was no fixation per se, the abandonment was just a searing fact of life.  I don’t know how I recovered it.

page 14.

     Without being aware of it my mother on evey level had conditioned my attitude toward women from that moment.  The fear of abandonment became the overriding fear in my relationships with them.  That I was ever able to make conscious the effect on me of my abandonment can be viewed only as some kind of miracle.

     Now Ange, poor child, repeated my mother’s crime.  Had Ange the prescience to time things differently the result would have been much happier for both of us.  How could the little girl know?

     She appeared to me in November.  She had selected me as her only beau.  After our first date she announced  that she wanted me to be her only boyfriend.  No, she wanted more than that.  She wanted me for her ‘husband.’  She considered us as already married.

     For decades I had no idea where she had come from before the party at which I met her.  I had no recollection of having seen her before although she obviously was very familiar with me.  Through auto-suggestion I was able to call up that first meeting thus allowing me to reconstruct the entire Angeline Constellation.

     While I was a Door Monitor in the ninth grade a girl asked me to open the door so she could speak to me.  I was reluctant to do so because it might have been another ruse by the Hirshes to get the door open so they could rush in to my discredit.  But, with perhaps insufferable self-importance, I did so.  she informed me that she knew someone who liked me.  I asked who and she mentioned Ange’s name and pointed to where she stood with eager hopefulness.

page 15.

     She looked young.  I asked what grade she was in; the reply was the seventh.  I was at the apex of my ninth grade career; what use had I for a seventh grader.  I snapped that she was too young and slammed the door shut.

     I had only said she was too young.  I hadn’t given any other reason for rejecting her.  She nursed her love for a whole year then, being a year older, she could wait no longer.  She made her move.

     I had no friends.  I was invited to no parties.  Thus when someone who I knew didn’t like me invited me to a hayride party I thought it was just a trick and almost didn’t go.  Ange had asked the girl to invite me and it was there she got my attention.

    Sometime just after Thanksgiving she asked me for my love.  Not quite right.  She wanted my heart and soul.  This was a pretty heavy commitment for a young boy of fifteen who had just been on his first date to make but I made it.  According to the conventions of the time we were ‘going steady’ or ‘married.’

    Poor Ange had been too anxious to obtain her heart’s desire.  One cannot blame a thirteen year old girl for lacking the prescience that few have at any age.  But if she had waited till after Christmas the result would have been more durable and happy.

page 16.

     Ange was a revelation to me.  I had always been unloved so the adoration of this divine child was balm to my wounded soul.  I began to have idyllic dreams about what Christmas vacation would be like when we could be with each other all day every day.

     Then she told me she forgot to tell me that she would be out of town for Christmas vacation.

     What a bomb, what a blockbuster, what a nuclear device!  I was more than crushed; I was vaporised.  My conscious mind dived below my subconscious like a screaming Stuka divebomber to reanimate my abandonment by my mother.  I was being told that I was to be abandoned again.  First my mother, now this marvelous creature who had demanded the essence of my existence and received it.  It appeared that she had done so only to abandon me too.

     The mother I had counted on had done so and now the love that I counted on was doing the same.  The Same!  Same Again!  What were these demons and furies who pursued me?  I had to take measures to protect myself.

      When Ange returned neither she nor I realized what she had done but I could no longer trust her.

     She came back and we resumed our romance.  Ah, but the fear of abandonment was with me.  After walking her home from a dance on Valentine’s Day I kissed her goodnight and stepped out of her life without a word.  I enshrined her in my heart where she could never leave me.

page 17.

     The effect on both of us was terrible.  As sweet as she was in loving she now became terrible as a woman scorned.  She told everyone what a rotten guy I was.  I became known as the ‘Heart Of Stone.’  Girls wouldn’t have anything to do with me.  So I had to bear that through high school too.  Ange became my Anima.

     Still fighting off the Hirshes, out of this period of intense emotional turmoil, I began to make some friends at school.  As my Tom Sawyer fantasies of a romantic childhood had been denied by the Hirshes and Sondermans I now began a sort of Andy Hardy stab at High School.

     My efforts to obtain good grades were blocked by the Hirshes and my own inculcated procrastination.  Grades became less important to me than having friends.  Always go for the grades.  I went all out to develop a strong social life.

     The Hirshes were determined to prevent me from obtaining any honors, achievements or distinctions.  They were even successful in preventing me from getting the automatic A in Gym.  I was the only guy in class, probably in the history of the school, who got a B.

     I know I could have gotten an easy 2.5 by simply doing my homework.  Much more than that would have been impossible because I would have been prevented from getting any As.  I know, because I wrote several A papers for other students but never received one for myself.  The Hirshes, Louis Schriver, even followed me to the public library while I researched trying to have me thrown out as a noisemaker.

page 18.

     I’m not making this stuff up.  While I don’t want to appear to make excuses for myself, after a first good academic year, the Hirshes increased the pressure on me.  Seeing a futility in trying, even having a fear of doing well, I ceased doing any homework.  My grades fell steadily until I barely graduated with an accumulted 1.2.  Without my decent first year and some gracious last minute aid from my teachers I wouldn’t have graduated.

     Thus I threw over school work to concentrate on the social aspects of high school.  Somewhere along the line I heard of eating clubs.  These were Round Robin affairs where the members ate at each other’s houses once a month.  I thought the idea terrific, a perfect example of comaraderie.  A great feeling, camaraderie; I know people who would die for it.  I am no longer capable of it.

     Unfortunately I didn’t know enough people to make it happen; but where there’s a will there’s a way.  As Poimander said:  show me what you want and I will show you how to get it.  I set about finding a way; I kept my eyes open for the main chance.

     The beginning of the club I found in French class.  I sat behind this guy by the name of Denny Demwitter.  Denny was one of those torpid types who spend their lives waiting for catalysts.  I was the catalyst he was waiting for.  He was everything I was not.  He was tall and not unhandsome.  He was athletic; he made the basketball team.  He had a good presence; he never lost his cool.  He was also vacuous; nothing ever went on inside his head.  Really, he was almost stupid but he could be made to appear to be something he was not.  He was the nucleus my club was built around.

page 19.

     While I was the brains, the driver, the ability, I could never have been able to get anyone to rally around me.  I could get them to rally round Demwitter; people like leaders who think slower than they do; that way they don’t have to spend a lot of time catching up or feeling inferior.

     With Denny as my nucleus I was able to ally two others.  Selection was crucial.  Everyone had to fall within certain parameters of social acceptance; yet they all had to be wary of Hirsh influence.  I would dearly have loved to include Larry Dubcek who was a better man than any in the group but he had allowed the Hirshes to declass him.  None of the others would go for him.  While Larry had abandoned the hood image he had assumed in self-defense he would never be able to shake it; he had been perfect of the kind.

     In tenth grade we were just a loose knit group of guys.  Then in the summer of tenth grade I formed a sandlot baseball team.  Little League was brand new in those days, only the littlest kids were regimented into their father’s fantasies.

     Baseball had been one of my consuming interests since I don’t know when.  Ranked a lot higher than stamp collecting in my mind.  No one was going to ask me to be on their team so I had to form my own team.  I had to command all my resources to field nine guys.

     Even though Sonderman and I were reduced to snarling terms, I had been permanently refused entry to his house, I had to swallow my pride to ask him to join.  I didn’t expect him to say yes and I wasn’t going to beg him but much to my surprise he readily but disdainfully consented.  Good enough.  Little the Inseparable tagged along.  Maybe he wanted to be a cheerleader.  Looking back on it you couldn’t pry those two guys apart.  Talk about Damon and Pythias.

page 20.

     Thus I was able to field a team that I gave the unfortunate name of the Lemons.  Oh, yeah, I knew what a lemon was.  Why Lemons then?  I was a Cleveland Indians fan.  They had fielded the greatest team that ever walked onto a diamond.  They won 111 games out of 154.  Never been done before or since.  They had four, count ’em, four, twenty game winners in that fabulous year- Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Ray Garcia and Early Wynn.

     Then they went into the World Series with the New York Giants and lost four straight.  The series was probably as fixed as the 1919 Black Sox series although the fix was never made public.  I was never quite the same about baseball ever after. 

     I fancied myself a pitcher.  I had a great sinker or fork ball.  I couldn’t throw hard enough to get the ball all the way over the plate so it just dropped in the middle of the plate.  But nobody could hit it and they were all strikes.

     We could hardly be the Fellers or Early Wins although I did consider the latter.  The Garcias didn’t sound right besides nobody in town could pronounce Spanish so we would have been called the Garshas.  Marcia=Marsha; Garcia=Garsha.  Got it?  Tradition was in the townspeoples favor.  So.  Who was left?  Bob Lemon.  My favorite anyway.  So we became the Lemons.  Had white T-shirts with yellow iron on letters that said Lemons and everything.

page 21.

     That was back before Bob Lemon became a hide bound conservative when he coached Spokane.  Of course, if you’re in Spokane you’d better be a hide bound conservative in order to survive.  Later Lemon became a real disappointment.  He became a buffoon on a TV ad advertising lemon flavored tea.  That one hurt me a lot.

    Our team wasn’t bad considering Sonderman tried to sabotage me.  You know, but even then, when we went up against the Hirsh team I was really wary that he might throw it and warned him against it but we beat those guys soundly and then Sonderman turned to me in a fury and asked if I was satisfied.  I sure was.

     We ended up even, five wins, five losses.  I don’t remember what position I played but Sonderman wouldn’t allow me to pitch.  He demanded the position or he wouldn’t play so I had to let him or field eight guys.

     I suppose the Hirshes thought I would be caddying again and out of their sight.  I found caddying too demeaning a job, not to mention the company you had to keep so I had rather be without money than do it again.

     My appearance on the diamond shocked the Hirshes and beating them drove them insane.  They quickly found ways to demean the team, removing us from their sight.  Our first couple games were scheduled with the rest of the teams.  There were about five diamonds grouped together in Reuchlin Park.  With five games going on simultaneously it was quite exciting.  I like it.  Then David Hirsh interfered, he got busy rescheduling and we were set on off days by ourselves.  We were denied the camaraderie.

page 22.

    You think Hirsh was small and petty?  You ain’t seen nothing yet.

     After the season a really nice awards ceremony was held.  All the teams showed up.  My presence there drove the Hirshes wild.  They remembered how I had beaten them.  The Lemons were given some kind of honorable mention.  We were called up on the stage to receive it.  One the way up the Hirshes threw things at me while one stuck his foot out to trip me.

     I was pretty quick on things like that.  I stepped on his ankle and darn near broke it.  He gave out a howl while the other Hirshes stood up and reviled me.  I buckled under the animosity as I had in the second grade.  I’m afraid I embarrassed my team mates.  I was unable to stand up to the hatred and contempt of the Hirshes.  I withered completely before their vituperation.  My body slumped into complete dejection and I played the buffoon and goof for them. 

     But now that I have the mental image conjured into my forebrain it seems that I was demeaned further.  It was my team, I had put it together and kept it together but now I see myself standing at the end of the line while Sonderman was accepting the award on our behalf.  You see how the Hirshes worked;  Sonderman must have been party to it because he walked right up as though it had been his team.  They’d filched that from me.

page 23.

     Nevertheless they considered the season an achievement for me which it was.  As Sonderman was our pitcher he was credited for our success by them.  Hirsh severely reprimanded Old S for letting his son play on my team.  Hirsh wanted me punished for my ‘presumption.’  To Mr. Sonderman’s credit he wasn’t going to involve his son in any more murder attempts so between them they divised an odd but effective punishment.

     I certainly would have satisfied Hirsh by caddying another year but, man, it was just such a demeaning task.  My character would really have been affected.  An alternative form of making money, respectable enough, was delivering papers.  There were three different papers in our medium sized city, the local paper and two papers from the metropolis downstate, the News and the Free Press.  The local paper was a closed corporation.  Everyone in town subscribed so the routes were compact and easily walked but they were passed down from brother to brother.  Although very desirable the routes were unobtainable.

     In those days before papers became social institutions rather than disseminators of news it was a mark of education to subscribe to a daily paper.  You’d rather be dead than not get one.  If you didn’t it was a sure sign you were an ignoramus.  So everyone took at least one paper, some two, and not a few, all three.

    The News and Free Press routes were always available.  The News went begging; a lot of people had to buy it from news stands if they wanted it.  The turnover in paper boys on the Free Press was terrific but they could usually find kids.  Routes for both newspapers covered immense areas as only one in ten or fifteen houses subsribed to the papers.  I had to ride two miles to pick up my papers then pedal two square miles to deliver only forty-eight papers, one for every state in the Union.  Nearly covered that much ground too.

page 24.

     Sonderman approached the job with great enthusiasm.  For myself I was less keen on delivering papers than I was on stamp collecting.  Besides I couldn’t figure out what Sonderman was up to.  There was no longer any reason for him to be friendly to me unless he had a trick up his sleeve.

     Suddenly I was the center of his and that idiot Little’s attention.  Sonderman should have picked that clone off his back and chucked him aside.  Augh!   Sonderman got one of the best Free Press routes then began pressuring me to take a route.

     Sonderman’s route included our neighborhood so he didn’t have to go far to pick up his papers.  He had a more compact route than I  eventually got plus he had about sixty subscribers.  That was a Free Press route.  It was worth eighteen dollars a month but still below minimum wage.  the minimum wage was seventy-five cents at that time.  A paper boy worked for ten or fifteen cents an hour.  But as the master capitalists of the press told us we were independent businessmen.  You can read that:  suckers.  I can tell you this, Colonel McCormick of the Chicago Tribune didn’t build that mansion on ten cents an hour. He built it on the backs of teenage suckers.

page 25.

     But then a funny thing happened.  We took the Free Press.  The first time Tuistad opened the door to find Sonderman waiting to collect he became very angry.  I’d never really seen him so livid.  He immediately canceled the paper.  I mean he walked right over and picked up the phone and canceled, fuming about Old S for days.  He never told me the particulars but his hatred of Mr. Sonderman was something I had never suspected.

     I don’t know what Mr. Sonderman had done or when but he had done it to a lot of people.  Just as the Hirshes were visiting the ‘sins’ of my father on me all those people punished Sonderman for what his father had done.  Within a matter of a couple weeks Sonderman’s route had shrunk to twenty papers.  He gave it up pretty quickly.  He used some ph0ny excuse concocted by his father.  I tried to find out what Old S had done but it was a secret of his generation which they were in no mood to divulge to a kid like me.

     The first route I was offered was a real joke which I disdainfully refused.  This was a News route which was way out on Golfside just beside the country club.  I’d already been thrown out of that neighborhood just for walking through it so I couldn’t see myself delivering papers there.

     I didn’t know where Hirsh lived at that time but that was where he lived.  Other than any laughs he might have gotten from seeing me pedal around the neighborhood the only advantage I can see is that he or one of his cronies could run me down.  Of course it’s possible that he and his friends would have canceled their subscriptions to avenge Sonderman on me.

page 26.

     It’s not so unlikely they would have run me down.  The Valley was a mean vicious town in any circumstances.  They would not give an inch and they always tried to take the mile.  One time in high school I was walking to church.  I had just passed my old paper drop on Court.  The corner was rounded to facilitate high speed turns.  Boy, you’d better look left and right because those people would have run down a woman and a baby buggy.

     I was halfway across the lane when this guy coming down Court saw he would have had to slow down for me to make his turn.  Instead when he saw me entering the lane while half a block away he sped up careening around the corner.  If I hadn’t been looking back I wouldn’t be here.  I saw him coming with an actual murderous look in his eye as though I were committing some crime by being where he wanted to go.  I did a quick two step and arched my back to avoid the car.  Even then the car ran over the heels of my shoes pulling both laced shoes off my feet.

     And all the time this guy was shaking his fist at me screaming insanely for me to get out of his way.  Now that was the true character of the Valley.

     When I was in fifth grade I saw this guy run an intersection in a school zone with kids crossing!  He picked one kid up on his bumper and carried him a hundred yards.  He was allowed to go in his way.

    If I had only one image to show their character, that would be it.  Why anyone thought I was weird I just can’t understand.  Today I am reliably informed that the Valley is the murder capital of the State.  I can well believe it.

     After I refused the News route I was offerd a Free Press route.  That was inconvenient too but I succumbed to the Sondermans’ pressure.  Old S gave me a big lecture about not being a quitter.  I didn’t see how I could be a quitter since I had never started.  Anyway right after I took the route Sonderman quit.  Mr. Sonderman spread the story around about how successful his son had been in adding new customers.  That was my introduction to the rule of politics.  Tell it like it ain’t.

page 27.

     Rather than be a quitter I stuck it out for my whole Junior year.  The Free Press was a morning paper so I had to get up at five-thirty to have the paper on front porches on time for eggs and bacon.  Very often I pedaled in sub-zero weather and a thirty mile an hour North wind that blew papers back in your face.  I’m sure old Colonel McCormick never did that for a dime an hour.

     Following the instructions of Hirsh and Mr. Sonderman the dispatcher was always rude to me; if I hadn’t been afraid of being called a quitter I would have told him to stuff it from the very beginning.

     I was bone tired my entire Junior year.  It was worse than when I went in the Navy when I once had to stand four on and four off watches for weeks.  Beyond wearing me out I don’t know what the joke was.  I can assure you that if that form of childhood American entrepreneurship builds character I’m not so sure Colonel McCormick is such a good example.

     My club developed apace in eleventh grade.  The Lemons had been good for bonding the members of the club.  As the eleventh grade progressed we added members from among the friends of other members.  They weren’t my choices but they were all good fits so that after Christmas we had seven solid members.  All were good guys you could be proud of, no clinkers.  Like me they didn’t come from elite homes but as Hirsh was to say:  As the sum is greater than the parts we assumed a role in the school’s social structure that was first rate.

page 28.

     Our success brought me once again to the attention of the Hirshes.  As by dint of my own efforts I had raised myself to the same level as themselves they began searching for a way to destroy my club.

     Unaware of their concern I was happy.  We began our rounds of eating at each other’s houses.  Strange to say the families of our members took more pride in our club than we did.  The mothers seemed to be genuinely  delighted to cook for us.  Even my mother who I had not consulted before I formed the club was delighted to cook for us.

     In addition we had get togethers for cards and gambling that were a great success.  Our reputation spread.  I can say with satisfaction that that sincerest form of flattery, imitation, spread.  Our greatest days lay just ahead.

     Still obsessed with baseball I tried to form a team in the summer between eleventh and twelfth.  I named this one the Conquistadores.  Had I been ahead of my time I would have called it the Chivalry but I wasn’t ahead of my time.  This year I lacked the element of surprise that I had with the Lemons.  The Hirshes were waiting for me.  Sonderman and a couple others had been warned off while I had been blackballed to the extent that I couldn’t replace them with anyone else.  Prudence forbade me to field a team of seven men but I was so desperate to play I enrolled it anyway hoping to pick a couple spectators to round us out.  You know, Casey was a walk on twenty years after.

     There weren’t any spectators.  We were not allowed to play with the rest of the league.  They scheduled us only when the entire Reuchlin Park was empty.  I kid you not.  There was no one else in the park when we played.  We didn’t have a chance.  We lost every game.  We weren’t advised of any awards ceremony, nor were we invited.  I want to give those six other guys my undying thanks for sticking it out for the whole season.

     Now the Hirshes were really angry.  They wanted to hurt me real bad.  What they came up with was a decent plan too.  As our Senior year began Sonderman did something that was completely out of character for him:  he showed initiative.  Or at least it appeared he did.  He organized a city league touch football team.  He had refused to join the Conquistadores so I thought their was no hope of being on his team.

     I was unaware of what was happening in the Field.  Sonderman didn’t have any initiative he was put up to it by David Hirsh.  This was an attempt to injure me and break up my club.  Breaking up the club may have been an afterthought; their primary purpose was to cripple me.

     To my surprise not only was I on the team but so was every member of my club.  The Hirsh plan sort of backfired; you’ve got to be able to control those variables.

     I had been busy through the summer too.  I was aware that our club had made a strong impression in the eleventh grade.  What we needed now was something to put us over solid.

page 30.

     That summer I discovered an outstanding shirt.  It had both flash and tradition going for it.  The pattern had been around for decades  I’m sure.  They still make the same shirt today fifty years later.  The shirt was a pullover with a blue collar and plaque and thin blue and red horizontal stripes.  I thought if we all wore it one day a week the effect on the school would be electric.  We would be over solid and so we were.

     Thus even though I had barely passing grades I was achieving my social goal.  Except for science and math courses which I didn’t take anyway the rest of the education was irrelevant.  While I did no school work I read voraciously otherwise so it’s not like I wasn’t learning anything.  Besides, and this is important, I looked up every word I didn’t know in the dictionary.

     I was now the social equal of my enemies.  I had defeated their plans.  At least, temporarily.

     The shirts did trigger a response from the administration.  The elements of post-war changes were everywhere gaining momentum.  Unsettling influences were in the air but little understood if at all.  While the elimination of Black segregation may have been just and right it nevertheless undermined the whole basis of society with devastating consequences.  The fight against Communism was raging.  The recognition of organized crime as a permanent and accepted part of society was having terrible effects.  On top of all this was something invented by the media called the revolt of youth.

     We were supposed to be discontented.  We weren’t.  I saw no rebellion or discontent around me but it was a hot topic among Hollywood movie makers.  They saw it everywhere.  One might almost say they invented it.  It really caught on.  Time Magazine along with Life ran huge picture essays showing the youth of various cities in their states of ‘rebellion.’  Teen life was captured as an enduring ongoing entity rather than a mere snapshop of a period of growing up.  Teenagerism took on a life of its own even though a teen passed through the years faster than he could become accustomed to them.

page 31.

     Rebelling teenagers became a meaningless social institution.  Now after fifty-five years of teenage rebellion things are pretty much the same; you’ve got roughly four years to enjoy what used to be known as the best years of your life.  Why waste them in meaningless ‘rebellion?’

     We unwittingly adopted our shirts in the wake of a movie called ‘The Blackboard Jungle.’  It was a good how to flick.  Much of subsequent history can be traced back to it.  We weren’t rebelling or discontented before the movie hit, we were enjoying the best years of our lives, but a lot us became so afterwards.  ‘Blackboard Jungle’ had a tremendous effect on schools across America.  The movie was a watershed in developing the terrible tension in schools since.  The move has been from fists in our town to switchblades in New York to machine pistols nowadays.  There was a definite before and after ‘Blackboard Jungle.’  The question is how did the movie makers think they would benefit from the change.

     The movie dealt with gang fighting in New York City schools.  None of the conditions existing in New York applied to  us but as the movie was a piece of pure education emulators sprang up anyway.  When challenged about the films socially destructive influence movie makers coyly claimed that a movie has no effect on the psychology of the viewers; nor is a movie intended to be anything but simple and pure entertainment; to the contrary all story telling has an instructive and psychological goal.

page 32.

     None of our big brains in society could  come up with an effective argument to disabuse the movie makers of their error in logic.  Strangely while critics allowed the movie makers to prevail they assumed that books and recorded music had a deleterious effect on youth.  Censorship of printed material and recorded music was actively pursued.  Thus, as kids, we were supposedly unaffected by movies while little 45 rpm records with a big hole and comic books were supposed to be driving us wild in the streets.

     Neither attitude seems very sound psychologically.  I’m sure that Prof. Timmy Leary would agree with that.  The power of movies and TV to condition thought processes is immense. Who’s kidding who?  TV was in the infancy of its influence when my class of ’56 was growing up.  Only a few families had TVs before 1950 when it was a novelty.  By 1954 most families had one or were thinking of getting one.  Tuistad bought ours in time for the McCarthy-Army hearings.  Still the classes of ’54, ’55 and ’56 were largely unaffected by TV viewing.  However, with the difference of only one year, the class of ’57 became the first year of the TV generation.  They were different.

     We of ’56 were neither of the earlier generation nor of the later;  we were stuck in the middle.

page 33.

     As movies made up the major part of the programming of TV I think we can analyze both media as a single influence.

     The power of movies to condition attitudes is immense.  The movie makers know that, selecting their material to achieve definite results.  People do emulate what they see.  They may not apply the information in the the exact same way as shown them but once in their minds it will find its way out.

     The power of suggestion of movies is immense.  More immense than any conspiracy Joe McCarthy ever dreamed of.  The screen is much bigger than life filling the entire consciousness to the exclusion of any peripheral distractions.  Aurically one is overwhelmed as the sound is louder than you can think.  The action moves faster and is filled with more detail than you can consciously sort out or comprehend.  The subliminal feed into the mind is incalculable.

     The efficacy of the subliminal feed was proven by an experiment in 1955 in which a message to go buy popcorn was flashed on the screen faster than the eye could apprehend.  I was in the audience.  I remember saying to myself over and over that I didn’t want any popcorn.  During intermission the friend I was with insistently demanded that we go get popcorn.  Snapping more at the screen than him I sternly said that I didn’t want popcorn.  He went and got his.

     As Christ said:  As ye think so shall ye do.  You can only get out of a mind what you put into it.  In our society very little is going in anyone’s mind that doesn’t come from movies and television.  That’s you one the screen.

page 34.

     In point of fact while movie makers deny the influence of picture images and sound they use the medium to decondition minds and recondition them on social issues.  Most movies are preaching to you on one issue and level or another.  Preaching is not simple and pure entertainment no matter what the movie makers may tell us.

     While critics deplore the sex and violence of movies, sex and violence are not really the issues.  The issue is what sex and violence are supposed to achieve for the viewer.  Movie makers are heavily influenced by the teaching of Freud.  Most of their sexual attitudes derive from that source.

     Now, Freud actually believed and stated that extreme frequency of sexual intercourse makes you a better person.  Except for Freud’s great scientific reputation I would have to call him either a fool or a knave.  He had to know better.  The most sexually active members of society are libertines and homosexuals.  Neither can make any claim to virtue.  However it is exactly their sexual ideals that the movies illustrate.

     So as with violence.  Freud advised against ‘repression.’  To repress a violent emotion was to incur psychic damage according to Freud.  The movie makers believe that violence is an effective solution to any problem.  All difficulties can be solved by blowing people away, destroying property or thumbing your nose at authority.  No one in the movies ever reasons a problem through.

     The depiction of sex and violence is not really the problem.  The problem is the misguided attempt to portray them as solutions.  That notion goes back to our old friend Sigmund Freud,or is it Sigmund Fiend?

page 35.

     Prior to ’56 we had enough training to resist the de- and reconditioning ourselves.  From the class of ’57 onwards they had no such ability.  By the sixties the minds of youth were receiving their training and conditioning directly from the screen, big or little.  There was no longer any need to decondition them they had been reconditioned.

     The ability to think a problem through had been destroyed.  Youth merely received their opinions and accepted them as fact.  This was no more apparent than on the over riding issue of the century- the relations between Blacks and Whites which was then reaching a critical point.  The goal of the movie makers was not only to overturn prejudice but to create prejudice against Whites.

     There may have been those who had an unreasoning hatred of Blacks in town but they were nowhere apparent.  It was generally accepted in theory that Blacks were entitled to equality in opportunity.  The problem was how to put the notion into practice without disrupting society.  In other words:  How best to bring Blacks up to White educational standards.

    This feat couldn’t be achieved in the matter of a few years or even in a single generation.  But the Blacks were impatient.  The only way to close the gap was to bring Whites down to the level of Blacks.  It is always easier and faster to bring the higher down than to raise the lower.  It was thought to be better to sacrifice the quality of life of White youth than that the gap should exist.

     The first move for the movies was to show sex between the two races.  The target was always the White woman.  Woman is the weak link in the chain.  Thus the movie makers showed White women throwing themselves at Black men.  The White woman became the whore of the world.  This tended to reinforce the myth that Black men were sexually superior to White men which subtly undermined the sexual confidence of the White male lowering him in his own and his women’s estimation.

page 36.

     However older people are generally more set in their ways so that by the end of the century few White women voluntarily aligned themselves with Black males and even fewer White men with Black women.

     So the proper way to influence attitudes was to try to influence the young.  Now, equality of the races was never the issue in movie maker’s minds.  Like the Northern Puritans in the Civil War their goal was to make Whites inferior just as the North tried to establish the Negroes over the Southern Whites.

     Thus in one TV show aired on Saturday morning to young children Black kids are shown to be uniformly superior to Whites.  The show takes place in a high school where all the authority figures are Black.  The student body appears to be more than half Black.  All the best students are Black.  They are wise beyond their years, more intelligent and better disciplined than the Whites.  More trustworthy too.  The Whites are reversals of the Rastus caricature.  Their hair is dirty and styled as unattractively as possible.  They are more or less white pickaninnies.  They are all dumb; I mean really dumb.  The brightest is not as bright as the dumbest Black.

     The complexions of the Whites are dulled while those of the Black kids are brightened.  The overall intent seems to be a reversal of the roles the races played in the first half of the century projecting the Whites as inherently inferior.

page 37.

     The show has no entertainment value, the intent is merely propaganda.  So the argument that movies are intended purely as entertainment is pure bushwa.

     People believe what they see.  On the social level they are not being shown ‘equality’ they are being shown a Black racist viewpoint whether written by Whites or not.  The notion behind the sex and violence they are being shown can only work to their detriment as the spate of high school shootouts demonstrates.  Blame on the movies.

     Suggestion in the form of sound and pictures which require no imagination or intelligence to construe as would be the case with books is very insinuating.  Movies are passive; books are active.  Books do furnish a mind but movies condition it especially under the influence of Dr. Leary’s mind altering re-conditioning drugs.

     ‘Blackboard Jungle’ showed the discontented the way as it was meant to do.  The Law and Order group in our school had had a monopoly on terror since the seventh grade.  They had successfully imposed their hegemony.  The way was now shown the oppressed how they might turn the tables on their oppressors or, at least, grab a share of the power.  As the apparatus of Law and Order had already been appropriated by other criminals and as Southern Willfulness was beyond their reach all they could do was to resort to Mafioso Lawlessness which was already all to evident in town:  Open naked terror.

page 38.

     So, emulating the movie, a group of ‘Jungle’ toughs set up in the South front stairwell to exact tribute from passers by.  As there were about eight of them they were able to intimidate individual boys.  They were actually grabbing and groping girls.  The girls were terrified.  Under the right conditions, it could easily be seen how they might gang rape a girl right on the stairwell.  They threatened to do so.  The South end began to be avoided.

     Complaints were made to the administration but the officials were reluctant to deal with the less tractable cases.  They only want to demonstrate their power to decent types where there is no danger of retaliation.  They let the stairwell situation build.  That’s just like the cops to let the Mafiosi ride but they play hell with jaywalkers.

     After having been asked by one of the Hirsh girls to escort her up the stairwell which I did to my eternal shame I suggested to the Law and Order faction that they clean the group out.  Heck, we’d known the guys for years; the hadn’t seemed so tough before.  Law and Order guys with the expert training of the Hirshes should have known how.

     You wouldn’t even have to confront them all together in the stairwell.  You could just catch each one alone before or after school, six on one.  The Hirshes knew that gig.  If they wouldn’t respond to persuasion, beat them up.  They find guys in the alley all the time; this is pragmatic America.

     Anyway, if the administration had acted in the beginning the thing could have been broken up with a few well chosen words.  The administration let it drag on until it got real messy with the cops being called in and everything.

page 39.

     Now, when the administration saw our shirts they saw more ‘Blackboard Jungle.’  Hirsh even went into some hysterical thing with them about how Fascism started over shirts.  He said that ‘shirtism’ was one of the causes of the Second World War.  He mentioned something about black shirts, brown shirts, red shirts even some guy in the United States who no one had ever heard of by the name of William Dudley Pelley who had Silver Shirts.  The only shirts he didn’t mention were the sky blue shirts.  I guess he thought we were neo-Nazi storm troopers in blue and red striped pullovers.

     We proved to be more tractable than the boys in the stairwell.  The administrators saw me as the leader of the ‘shirtists’ so they came to talk to me.  I was really less the leader than the prime mover, but, then, what do they ever know?

     You have to stop ‘shirtism’ before it gets started.  When I agreed to discontinue wearing the shirt if it came to that they said that it was OK so long as we weren’t a gang and backed down.  Shirtists rule.

     So just as Sonderman used my club to form his football team we were achieving the pinnacle of our success.  That success was aided by the football team which in turn drove Hirsh to fresh excesses because we were the champions.  Sonderman called the team the Blockbusters.  The word was the name of a big bomb used in World War II.  Block=box.  Busting his way out of the box, I suppose, as breaking up the pinball machine hadn’t done the job for him.

page 40.

     I was afraid I wouldn’t be asked to join so I approached him to see if I would be included.  To my surprise he not only already had me on the team but he had assigned me the position of center. 

     I was astonished at the position because usually centers are big heavy guys.  I mentioned this point which drove Sonderman into one of his foaming rages.  It was as though he took my formation of the baseball team as a personal insult, rather, even an injury.  He became very abusive of me, reviling me as his imitator.  Perhaps this was the genesis of his belief that I copied him.  As I said before, Sonderman was a very intelligent guy; an A student.  But when emotions gain the ascendant they most certainly submerge the intelligence, reason and logic not to mention one’s sense of justice.

     Sonderman went so far as to say I formed the Lemons in imitation of the Blockbusters.  I was incredulous.  What could I say?  I was dumbfounded, at a loss for words.  How could something that happened two summers before be imitative?  Even so, every fool knows that baseball season comes before football season.  Even the Conquistadores came before the Blockbusters.  Who did he think he was kidding?  Nevertheless he stoutly maintained his position, turning aside all my scoffing.  I argued hotly sneering at his absurdity.  Copied him indeed.

     Sonderman must have had a lot at stake because unable to refute obvious reality he went blind swinging out at me.  I suppose his attitude went back to the murder attempts.  The Hirshes and Sonderman had convinced themselves that I was subhuman, lower than the Blacks they made sit on the edge of the sandbox.  Consequently any arguments of mine, no matter how conclusive, were inadmissable.  No matter how wrong they were they attempted to ignore me and stonewall it through.  Sonderman had placed himslf in an untenable position just like in placing the gunmount which resulted in his dismissal from the Army.  Rather than admit he was wrong to someone he considered beneath him he attempted to resolve the argument by force.  Real superior type of guy.

page 41.

     I danced away.  I couldn’t explain it.  I was just happy to be on the team.

    I never did figure out why I was chosen to be center at the time so what I say here is mere conjecture, reasoning backward from the result.  The position of center is vulnerable.  As the center of the line you’re going to get knocked about a bit.  It isn’t unusual for centers to get injured especially about the head, neck and shoulders.  With careful planning and the compliance of the officials a center, I, could easily be cripped or perhaps even killed.

     There were two key games.  One against a team of ex-orphanage guys and one against a Black team from the First Ward.  These games were crucial for me.

     The Blockbusters started out winning and actually posted an undefeated season.  In the first couple games I did surprisingly well.  The other side lined up on the other side of the ball thus I was able to offset the bigness of the opposing center with fancy footwork and clever moves.

     In the third game we played the veterans of the orphanage.  I didn’t like them in the orphanage and they hadn’t liked me.  By then they were all out in foster homes.  I have no idea how they managed to form a team.  They had a real grudge against ‘rich’ West Side kids so they didn’t come to play so much as to fight.  This game was my first real challange because they didn’t line up on the other side of the ball.  When Ihunkered down to hike their center crossed the line to stand directly over my neck.  I can tell you it doesn’t feel good when someone slams his forearms down on the back of your neck repeatedly.

page 42.

     Hirsh who was standing back off to the side of the other team’s bench had set the thing up.  Not only did none of my team members call foul but the officials never called the other team offsides.  It therefore follows that my club members were in on it as well as the officials.  I even overheard observers discussing the situation loudly while I was on the field.  That game was the toughest game I ever played but I came through it and we won.

     The Hirshes and Sonderman were watching sullenly.  My classmates were favorably impressed by my performance.  My stock was rising.  Efforts had to be coming from within the club to debase me.  The most perfect way to destroy or subordinate a man, to reduce him to a state of contemptability, is to sodomize him.  In his emasculated ‘queer’ form he is not only a laughing stock but has to implore you for sexual favors.  It would have done the hearts of my enemies good to see me mincing down the street.

     They had been making efforts to sodomize me for some time.  Sonderman from this time directed his chief efforts to either sodomize me himself or have me sodomized.  Perhaps he thought to transfer his terrified feelings of guilt to me in this manner.  He began to work on Demwitter.

page 43.

     Denny was our quarterback.  A pretty dumb one, too.  Although he should have taken the hike ten yards back in touch, he insisted on the pro style crouch over center and fall back.  The first couple games there was no problem but then as I had survived the game with the orphans without injury his attitude changed.  At Sonderman’s instigation he began to practically fondle my gonads and rectum while he called the signals.

     I considered Denny my creature, or alter ego, so I calmly admonished him expecting him to respect my wishes.  He would for a while until Sonderman instigated him to begin again.

     I didn’t think we played that sharp but we won our first six games on the way to our perfect season.  After we won our sixth game and were certain for a tie for the championship the Hirshes suddenly realized that they would have to see me as a champion on the podium.  Wormwood and bitter gall for them.

     They went into a panic as they realized that their work of over a decade to keep me down would be undone in less than a month and this as a result of their own folly.  The pain would have been too much to bear.

    Remember that because  of my defense of the Black kids in kindergarten they had placed me below the Blacks in status.  Now, regardless of how benevolently the Southeners thought they administered slavery they thought the Negroes were subhuman, separated from themselves by more than color.  The Southener thought of the Negro as a talking ape of whom it was constitutionally impossible to educate as a man.

page 44.

     Thus, when the War Between The States ended the North in a crazy act of hatred elevated the Negro over the White, virtually enslaving the Southern Whites.  Many egregious acts were committed to humiliate Southern White pride.  They were placed under actual civil disabilities.  Southern resentment flared when an illiterate bare-footed Negro was made head of the Greek department of a Carolina University.  The insult was not just making the Negro the head of the Greek department; it was that they thought that this ‘animal’ could ever learn to read and write English.  In their minds the Negro was not only inherently inferior but not human.

     It was in this state of mind that Sonderman and the Hirshes contemplated seeing me as a champion before them.  It would be the same as that barefoot ‘baboon’  being head of the Greek department.  They simply could not allow that to happen.  Because of kindergarten they had planned from the beginning of the season to have the Black team beat me up but those Black guys were a set of variables over which Hirsh had no control.

     East Side versus West Side was always tough but now the issue of color was added.  The hatred of the Blacks for the Whites was the paramount issue.  The game was less important for the Blacks than the opportunity to legitimately beat up Whites.  In this game they could have thrown away the football, armed everybody with baseball bats and body armor and seen who was left standing at the whistle.  Football destruction derby time.

page 45.

     These Black guys, playing as the Diamond Dogs, already had a reputation for being mean and violent.  The game promised to be a brawl.  I wasn’t so worried as I should have been but it’s not like I didn’t know how to take care of myself.  I was still alive.  I was still in one piece.  I wasn’t worried.

     Gossip is always a major item in any town.  Word of Hirsh’s intentions got around.  My mother was alerted by a close friend of hers.  She didn’t take me into her confidence and explain anything to me as usual but she just forbade me to play that game.  A higher duty called to which I would have responded but it chanced to pour on that cold November night.  Coupled with the horrendous reputation of the Diamond Dogs and the fact that I didn’t feel like having my balls fondled in the cold rainy dark by Demwitter I took advantage of my mother’s injunction and said I wasn’t allowed to play in the rain.

     Now, Hirsh had gotten the Black guys up to cripple or kill a player.  He forgot to get the word  to them that the hit was off.  The Dogs were eager to fulfill the contract so since they didn’t know how to identify the player they just began banging up player after player.  They were having fun, the time of their life.  The game was rougher than rough.  We won but all the guys got thoroughly beaten up.  I mean, they were all hurting the next day.  They were all limping with severe bruises.  Sonderman’s right arm was so hurt it hung uselessly by his side for a week until he regained control of it.  There were in a completely unhappy frame of mind.  I can’t imagine what the Diamond Dogs would have done to me at center way over the line.

page 46.

     With that game we clinched the championship.  I was unhurt.  I would be able to play the last two games.  The Hirshes could not bear the thought of seeing me up on the podium to receive championship honors.  There was no longer any room for decorum.  Sonderman just walked up to me in the hall and told me I was no longer on the team.  They thought, to hell with Law and Order; rules are only for the weak.  Neither Demwitter nor any other member protested.  I was denied the dignity I had earned.

     The Blockbusters along with our shirts really established the club.  By that time we were nearly halfway through our Senior year.  A little thought would have shown me that for all practical purposes School was over.  Preparation for graduation would break us up.  For some reason I had my heart set on increasing the membership from seven to ten.

     We were already as successful as we could be.  Hirsh even had adults going around slandering us.  They were using the line that the sum was greater than the parts.  Maybe they thought that seven zeros could add up to more than one zero.  Not likely; if the sum was great then all the parts must have had significant value.  I guess what Hirsh was trying to say was that even though he thought I was nothing I had created something.  I wish I knew then what I know now.

     Now he wanted to either have me ejected by my clubmates or to destroy the club.  As the former he enlisted Meggy Malone to work to try to shame certain clubmembers into kicking me out.  Meggy was one of the people who surrounded me in second grade; a key Hirsh.  She was one of the three or four most influential girls in school.  She had convinced everyone that she was most likely to succeed, she was actually given that honor at graduation.

page 47.

     She went to work on the guys.  She was able to convince Lebaron Briscoe and Buzz Barrett and oddly enough Denny Demwitter but the other three remained loyal to me.

     As to the latter point of destroying the club, Hirsh tried and succeeded in insinuating two of his own choices.  The most likely candidate to join our club was Sonderman.  Sonderman either from inertia or whatever had never had any friends.  He wasn’t friends with the Hirshes he merely served as their tool because of his father’s relationship with Hirsh.

     Even in school he was always a loner until I was forced to let him into my club.  Perhaps he identified with me in a back handed way assuming that since I ‘imitated’ him my friends were really his and not mine.  At any rate the Blockbusters ingratiated him with them especially after the swell honors dinner and ceremony to  which I was not invited.  He directed his efforts to suborning Demwitter as he was my closest friend and alter ego.

     The Blockbusters had definitely given the club added luster so I was compelled reluctantly to ask Sonderman to join.  As Demwitter insisted that I ask him I suppose there was some humiliation involved in it for me.  Our relations hadn’t improved.  I knew that he undermined me everywhere I went and would do so in the club.  I held out as long as I could but I had to give in.  Sonderman accepted my invitation as coldly as he could doing his best to look down on me despite his small stature.

page 48.

     My last chance was that his mother wouldn’t cook for us.  I stressed this requirement but he said that she would.  Damn that woman! It was the only meal she had cooked for him in his life.

     Thursday Sonderman showed up in our shirt.  He had bought the last one in August in anticipation of joining our club.  The shirt was way too small for him but he wore it proudly anyway.  He was no sooner in than he put forward the name of Dirk Klutz for admission.

     Klutz had also been one of those who surrounded me in the second grade.  Had I known then the humiliation would have been unbearable as it was intended to be.

     I didn’t look beyond obvious motivations, indeed, it was impossible for me to realize what was really going on but I knew that Klutz was not a good fit and was potentially disruptive.  I didn’t know that his purpose was to destroy the club but as he came from much more affluent parents than the rest of us it was clear that problems lay ahead.

     I was unable to prevent his entry.  We still needed the ninth member.  I considered Klutz the tenth.  Denny suggested someone who now makes me suspect his sexual orientation.  The notion just occurred to me as I write.  Actually the guy he suggested was an OK guy and I might have suggested him myself except that I knew he was queer.

     Ed Phlatoe and I went back to the fifth grade just after I got out of the orphanage.  He used to hang around with a guy named Bumme Slider.  Ed introduced me to Bumme.  Slider was the dominant partner in their relationship.  After I hung around with them a while Bumme clued me in.  Once again I didn’t know what homosexuality was but as we all do I got the drift that I was expected to do something I didn’t want to do.  I cut Ed loose.  He and Bumme remained lovers.  However, I was in possession of their dangerous secret.

page 49.

     I had trouble with Bumme ever after that.  He was in typing class in the hour ahead of me in eighth.  I was assigned the same typewriter after him.  He remembered me better than I remembered him.  Maybe he was afraid I would spread the word he was queer.  You know, in those days you wanted to keep that a deep dark secret.  He used to set all the stops in weird positions so I had to clear the machine when I came in.  One time he scratched dandruff an inch thick all over the machine.  OK, an inch is a lot but he was not sparing.

     I saw him at the reunion but he wasn’t too glad to see me.  He was a doctor now deep in the closet in Minneapolis and didn’t pronounce his name Bummy anymore; now he pronounced it Bjoomay, Scandanavian fashion.

     Anyway Demwitter and Phlatoe were better friends than I knew.  I scotched Ed without giving Demwitter the real reason.  About a week or two later Phlatoe compromised himself somehow and it became generally known that he was queer.

     When I told Denny that the was the reason I didn’t think Ed was appropriate Denny just looked at me kind of funny.  I did nominate the ninth guy who fortunately proved loyal to me.

     Meggy Malone contrived to exert her influence while the male Hirshes intrigued to denigrate me to the other members.  Hirsh was so confident that I would be ejected that he selected Jerry Kramer as my replacement.  All of a sudden Jerry was hanging around us virtually as a member.  I never realized why until decades later.  Actually a couple weeks ago when I heard Jerry died.

page 50.

     End of Part IV-1.  Go to Part IV-2.