copyright 2011 by Roie Philom
The theme and the name of this book is "Ripples in the Force". A ripple is caused by a life existing in the cosmic force. How many ripples in the force can you find in this book? What can you say about the effect of each of these ripples on the force? Who do you find to be the most interesting character? Why? What questions of ethics, morality, and social behavior are brought up in this book?
This book is a work of fiction and the characters, places and events were, very simply, imagined in my head. However, my imagination is influenced by people, events and places in my life and historical people, events and places of which I am aware. The book includes information from research I did on the internet about the history of the area in which it takes place. So, in that way, it can be considered historical fiction. Much of the information is historically accurate but the principal characters and places are fictional.
Life is like a rock falling into a pool of water. For a few seconds, it makes ripples in the water, and then the water is the same as it was before, but the rock isn't there anymore.
Harold Gregory and five heavily armed men crept through the oak-hickory forest south of the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River several miles upriver from Point Isabel in Wayne County, Kentucky. They had been told that "Little Jake", Peter Troxell, was living in a cave there with a small band of Thunderbolt Cherokees. Harold had been looking for Little Jake and had spread the word throughout Wayne, Whitley and Pulaski counties since Little Jake had killed Harold's father, Homer Gregory, at the Yahoo Falls Massacres a couple of years before. Today he planned to get vengeance.
They had left their horses tied by the river and advanced on foot to surprise the Indians. It was a bright spring day and the birds ceased their singing as the hunters approached the cliff tops where the cave mouth was said to be. They walked along a wide bench in the woodland above one set of cliffs and below another they could see through the woods above them. They planned to surround the mouth of the cave and shoot the Indians as they emerged or to set a fire and burn them out if need be.
What Harold and his party didn't know was that a couple of young Cherokees had been deer hunting and had seen the white men coming long before they reached the cave. Having been warned in advance, Little Jake planned to let the white men advance until they were in front of the cave. He left a party of four warriors deep in the cave's darkness and he and the rest of the warriors and the women and children used burning pine knot torches to follow the cave about half a mile to where it joined Sinking Creek underground just before Sinking Creek emerged from it's underground waterway back into the light of day. Leaving the women and children with a couple of guards at Sinking Creek, the rest of the Indians climbed to the bench and followed along behind and out of sight of the white men.
As they followed the contours of the bench Harold and his party came to an open area planted in corn, squash, and beans. There was a cliff to the left behind the planted area and they would skirt it on the right. They knew they were approaching the indian settlement so they slipped into the woods off the bench trail and spread out approaching the cliff tops quietly. As they did the man on the left side of the advancing line became separated and out of sight of his fellows. As he quietly crept around a large beech tree the indian hiding behind the beech grabbed the top of his head from behind and slit his throat. He went down without a sound. Soon a similar fate befell the man on the right side of the line.
As the men came in sight of the cliff tops they saw a large flat open indian encampment on top of the cliffs and an open cave mouth on a higher cliff to the left. They each crouched behind trees facing the encampment with rifles at the ready. There were no Indians in sight so they watched the cave mouth intently. Suddenly the man on the right screamed and the others looked around to see him fall with an arrow in his back. "They're behind us!" Harold yelled, and turned and shot his gun toward the woods. However, no Indians were to be seen. "Run!" he commanded, "into the cave." The three remaining men ran into the cave, rifles at the ready, but found no Indians there, only a deserted fire and bedrolls and personal belongings. They got inside and turned to face the cave mouth to guard against a rush by the Indians outside.
Everything was still and quite. The men waited afraid to leave and with their rifles at the ready. After about half an hour they were all shot with arrows by the Indians in the darkness behind them. Most of those shot with arrows were not killed by the arrows but were killed later with tomahawks and knives.
It is said that Little Jake Troxell and his band of Indians lived in the area of the Sinking Creek cave for several years and made war party raids on settlers who attacked other Indians in the area but were never bothered there by white men again. Peter Jacob, "Little Jake", Troxell died in Wayne County Kentucky in 1819 at the age of 39.
End of the road. I backed into an old logging trail beside the dirt road and parked my battered Wagovan. A beautiful day for the two mile hike ahead. Maybe it's not Vermont, but the fall colors in hardwood forests on the Cumberland plateau of Kentucky are certainly eye catching.
The humidity was low and the temperature was in the low seventies. The clear sky was a perfect blue above. It was mid morning on a Monday in October. I had planned a two hour drive to get here and two more hours for the hike and finding a campsite. That would leave me half a day to begin the twelve hundred acre timber cruise which I planned to complete this week. The long range forecast had mentioned no rain. I could hear crows in the distance cawing as they began to flock together for the coming winter. Then I heard the distinctive scream of a red tailed hawk as it circled above on its daily hunt for mice and other small creatures far below.
So far, the only problem had been Nathan. He had called about daylight this morning to say he had contracted a stomach virus and would not be able to accompany me as my assistant on the timber cruise. I figured his absence would lengthen the cruise time by about a day.
Joe Planck had called me in August and told me he was the new CEO of Apollo Enterprises in Michigan. It seems that Apollo Enterprises was just emerging from Chapter 11 due to his efforts and in going over the assets of the company, he had been surprised to learn that one of their subsidiaries owned a tract of timberland in Kentucky. Since none of their companies was, in any way, connected with the timber industry he had not expected this. On tracing records, he had found that at one time that company had done some contract work for Ford Motor Company and one of the vice-presidents had agreed to take the timber tract in payment for their work. No one knew why. It seems that in the early part of the twentieth century Ford owned several tracts of hardwoods in Kentucky and Indiana to produce the wood needed for door panels and dashboards in some of their cars. Since they no longer used wood for those purposes, Ford was glad to divest themselves of their woodland holdings.
Joe said that he wanted an appraisal of the land and timber and ideas for possible uses of the land for his company before he decided what he would do with it and he had found me on the internet. Since I was the closest consulting forester to the land's location, he asked if I would be interested in the job. I told him I could do it in the fall and gave him an estimate of $3,000 for the job. He said that was fine and mailed me a retainer.
I opened the back of the Wagovan and put on my utility belt with beltbag and the day's food and other personal needs as well as a woodsman knife and all purpose utility knife. Then I donned the filson cruiser's vest that contained my map and forestry equipment including GPS, compass, diameter tape, cruising book and angle gauge. I also had an increment borer although I did not expect to use it. I was already wearing my mountain boots with vibram lug soles. Next my camping backpack with bedroll, cooking utensils, food and other camping needs. It weighed about fifty pounds.
The plan was to hike through the Daniel Boone National Forest to the Apollo property and then across the Apollo property to the back side where I would set up a camp. That camp would be the focal point from which I would walk predetermined cruise lines each day.
The topo map Joe had sent me showed the Apollo property lay on the north of the National Forest and between it and Lake Cumberland. It consisted of two valleys with streams flowing from the National Forest toward the lake and the Apollo property went to a cliff line about a half mile back from the lake shores. The property was about two miles long in the east-west direction and about a mile wide north-south. Other than the two valleys which transsected the property most of the land was fairly flat on the plateau.
To cruise timber involves measuring trees on sample plots taken at random locations somewhat evenly distributed over the area to be cruised. Besides tree data, the forester also records a general description of the environment at each plot. The sampling method I use, called point sampling, requires that trees are selected at each plot location using an angle gauge which selects sample trees based on their diameter so that more small trees are sampled near plot center and larger trees further out from plot center. Usually five to twelve trees are measured at each plot.
The goal is to be 95% certain that your cruise is accurate to within plus or minus 10% of the true volume of timber on the area. Most people think that the number of plots required to do this is dependent on the size of the area to be cruised so that larger areas require more sample plots. Actually though the number of plots required is determined by the amount of variation of the timber within the area so that areas with about the same timber all over require fewer plots and areas with widely varying timber require more plots. I have found that stands such as the one I was cruising in this area usually require from 50 to 100 plots for the accuracy desired. So 1200 acres with 100 plots means one plot for every twelve acres. Since twelve acres is 120 square chains (a chain is 66 feet long) then I would need to locate my plots every 8 chains on due east-west cruise lines located 15 chains apart in a north-south direction. So I would have 5 cruise lines each about two miles long running east-west on the tract with about 20 plots on each cruise line. Since the cruise lines were to be 15 chains apart then the first cruise line would be 7 1/2 chains from the east-west property line. Since the plots were to be 8 chains apart on each cruise line then the first plot would be 4 chains from the beginning of the cruise line. My cruising plan then consisted of visiting these plot locations and using a Basal Area Factor 10 angle gauge to choose sample trees on each plot.
According to the map the place where I parked was about midway of the Apollo tract along the long side and the two streams in the valleys on the tract flowed into the tract from the National Forest at the two southern corners of the tract and flowed toward the center of the tract on the north side so that they were only about a half mile apart when they left the Apollo tract at the next land ownership to the north. So I left my vehicle and using the sun and my compass began hiking cross country to the north. I was on a fairly flat ridge with mixed hardwoods and shortleaf pine trees of small to large sawtimber size. It was a pleasant day and it only took me a little over an hour to get to the north side of the property being slowed at some places by small rock bluffs or by thick brush in forest openings. I could tell when I got to the northern boundary of the property because the property lines followed just at the top of an irregular cliff about 10 to 20 feet in height. The cliffs ran east-west and there was another land ownership between the Apollo tract and the Corps of Engineers boundary just above Lake Cumberland.
As I approached the cliffs I began to go to the east so that I would come to the stream to make camp. I knew I would need water. I soon heard a roar as the stream on the east fell over the cliff in a waterfall about 12 feet high. According to the map this creek was named Tsuga Creek and the other one on the same property to the west was named Sinking Creek.
I found a flat area under a group of large hemlocks about 50 yards above the waterfall and left my backpack hanging on a tree limb there. There was a small pool about halfway between my campsite and the waterfall, so I went there to fill my canteen and eat an orange and a snack bar before beginning the timber cruise. The stream had worn the rocks slick and the bottom of the pool and the stream was a very smooth trough worn into the bedrock. I bent over to fill my canteen being careful not to step into the stream because I was pretty sure I would not be able to stand on the slick rock. As I was standing admiring the scene and listening to the waterfall, a deer came down to the stream below me, saw me and bounded across the stream and disappeared into the woods on the other side.
I have calibrated my pace. A pace means when you are walking you count one pace every time your same foot hits the ground. In other words, a pace is two steps. I knew that on flat ground one of my paces was about six feet so it takes me eleven paces to go a chain. Since I was at the southernmost point of Apollo's northern boundary I knew that I did not need to go back 7 1/2 chains south for my first cruise line. I used my compass to sight on a tree in the distance that was due south of me and walked toward that tree. When I reached it, I took a compass sighting and chose another tree to the south. When I had paced 1 1/2 chains by that method, I turned to the east and worked my way through the woodland in a due east direction to the property boundary which I recognized because of the red paint on the trees marking the boundary of the National Forest. At that point I turned back to the west, the way I had come, and paced 44 paces which is 4 chains. When my foot hit the ground the 44th time, I stopped and took a roll of orange plastic flagging from my cruiser's vest, tore off a piece, wrote the number 1 on it with my ball point pen, and tied it around a small tree to mark the center of plot number 1 on my cruise. Then I gathered data on the selected trees on that plot and paced 88 paces to the west to repeat the process at plot number 2. I had the whole afternoon to cross the two miles of the boundary and take measurements at a total of 20 plots and return to my campsite above the waterfall.
The day was pleasant but I began to get warm as I walked and measured trees. I think the air temperature had increased some by mid afternoon too. I saw several squirrels playing in the trees and at one time I came upon a flock of four turkeys. They flew off into the trees when they saw me. When I came to the crossing of the stream I had to slow down to find a place suitable to cross on logs and/or rocks, so as to keep my feet dry. Of course there were sometimes fallen logs or rock outcroppings or brush patches to work my way around. Anyway it took over three hours to gather data at the 20 plots on the northernmost cruise line. I was surprised when I worked my way down the hill into the valley to the west that there was a dry stream bed at the bottom of the hill but no water. I guess that explained the name, "Sinking Creek".
After I finished the last plot, I noticed that the sun was sinking low in the west, so I turned back to the northeast and soon came to the top of the cliff line. I followed the cliffs back to the east toward my camp and I noticed as I walked along that there was no place to climb the cliffs from below or descend from above because there were no breaks in the cliffs, only some variation in their height.
The air was turning colder as I returned to the camp site, so I began to gather firewood and get a campfire started. I was glad to remove my heavy cruiser's vest and my belt bag and found that I could get around much easier with only my pants, shirt and boots. I looked forward, once I got everything settled around the camp fire, to removing my boots and wearing a light pair of tennis shoes I had brought for that use. Since I had gotten warmer building the camp fire, I decided not to wear the light jacket I had packed.
I went down to the pool above the falls with a collapsible bucket I had in my backpack to get water to use for the night for cooking and cleaning up afterward. As I bent down to the creek to fill my bucket I heard a noise behind me. I stood and turned and was startled to see only about eight feet behind me a black bear emerging from the forest. I thought, "So, bears have returned to the Cumberland Plateau after all these years." Unfortunately, I guess because I was startled by the bear, I took a step back. That was a mistake. I realized that as my foot hit the slick rock trough on the creek bottom and flew out from under me. The next thing I knew I was on my back sliding down the creek toward the falls at an increasing speed and I could see nothing between me and the falls that I could grab to stop my descent.
As I went over the falls I noticed how cold was the water and as I found myself falling with the water about twelve feet I hoped there were not rocks below. Fortunately, the falling water had worn out a bowl shaped pool about six feet deep in the rocks below the falls and the water broke my fall. I only had to swim a few feet to the side of the pool to climb out of the water. The first thing I noticed was that my shoulder hurt. I must have strained it on my slide and fall. The second thing I noticed was that with my clothes wet with cold water, the air was very cold. I estimated that by now the temperature had fallen below 50 degrees and it would soon be night.
I began to shiver with the cold. I knew I had no way to build a fire and, from what I had seen of the cliff above me, I thought there would be no place to climb the cliff to get back to my camp. I suspected the low temperature during the night might get near or below freezing. It was either try to find a warm place under the cliffs to spend the night or head down toward the lake to try to find something there. If I wasn't careful there would be a distinct danger of dying from hypothermia.
I began to follow the cliffs to the west climbing away from Tsuga creek. In about ten minutes I had reached the higher ground at the base of the cliff before going further west and beginning to drop down into the valley of Sinking Creek. I did not find a suitable shelter under the cliff but I did get to a place where I could see the lake about a half mile away down through the trees. Then I noticed near the lake a plume of smoke rising as from a campfire or a chimney. Even though the climb had warmed me a little I was still shivering. So I decided to try to get to the source of the smoke. As they say, "Where there's smoke there's fire." And I needed the warmth of fire.
I sighted on a bend in the mountain top across the lake and began to hike in that direction toward where I had seen the smoke. I noticed that the trees were even bigger here below the cliff. It looked like the timber had not been cut over in at least one hundred years. Since the woods were more open and I was going downhill, the walking was easy. In about ten minutes I came to a wide bench going east-west along the mountainside and as I began to cross the bench I stumbled upon a woodland road consisting of two ruts where, at some time, someone had driven a vehicle. I decided to follow the road to the east and soon discovered that another road forked off to the north toward the lake. Since that was the direction I had seen the smoke I took that fork.
In a few minutes of walking I came to an open field on the left of the road that looked like the remnants of a large garden, grown in the previous summer and harvested before frost. To my left behind the garden was a large rock cliff and the road seemed to curve in front of me around the end of the cliff. As the road curved slightly to the left to go around the cliff, I noticed that I could see out over the lake and that a full moon was rising from the lake to the east. It was near dark. I was freezing and my shoulder hurt. I heard distant honking overhead growing louder and I looked up to see a V shaped formation of wild geese high overhead heading south. There looked to be about fifty or seventy-five in the flock, the first I had seen this fall with many more to come.
As I rounded the curve the view opened out. I saw a large flat opening on top of cliffs above the lake. On my right was a wooden outbuilding with large double doors. To the left was a house with light streaming from the windows and a few large maple and oak trees in the front. The house had a porch across the front, two wings to the sides in the back and it seemed to be built into the cliff behind it that I had just skirted around. Most importantly, there was a high chimney in the center of the house with smoke coming from the top.
I crossed the grass covered foreground and stepped on the stepping stones to the porch and up the steps to the front door. I could see no doorbell so I knocked. Hearing no sound from inside the house, I stepped to the left in front of a large window and looked in. There was a fireplace in the center of an open living area with a sitting area on the right and a computer desk and bookshelves on the left. It looked like a dining area behind and to the left of the central fireplace. There was a fire in the glass fronted wood stove to the right of the fireplace.
"Who are you and what can I do for you?" The voice was female and came from behind me. I turned and looked back to the yard and was surprised to see the woman standing there. She had long dark brown hair and brown eyes and carried a double barreled shotgun. Fortunately, the shotgun was pointed down but held so that it could be quickly raised. But the surprising thing was that she was not wearing a stitch of clothing except for a pair of slip on canvas shoes. She had medium size breasts with large dark areolas and protruding nipples. She had a dark bush covering her pudenda. She had long muscular legs and a trim body. Her face was pretty and oval shaped with a medium nose and high cheekbones. Her smooth skin was uniformly tanned to a brown or bronze color. I guessed her to be in her late twenties or early thirties.
"Hello!" I said. "My name is Roy Lafever. I am a forester and I was cruising timber on your neighbor's land above the cliff. I camped above the falls and in trying to get water I slipped on the rocks on the creek bottom and slid over the falls. I couldn't get back up and its so cool with these wet clothes that I am in danger of freezing. I was hoping to find some warmth and I saw the smoke from your fire."
"Well, go on in. The door is unlocked. You are welcome to the fire. Just take those wet clothes off and stand by the stove. I'll get you some more heat." she welcomed me. "By the way, I'm Carol Browski."
I went in and began to remove my clothing. There was no point in being shy about nudity since she obviously wasn't. She came in behind me, closed the door and went back behind the fireplace chimney. In a couple of minutes she came out without the shotgun but with a rope and a closed ash bucket. She tied the rope on a hook on the wall and stretched it to another hook in the bricks of the fireplace making a clothes line on which she hung my wet clothes and fastened them with clothes pins. I was standing barefoot and naked in front of the stove and beginning to feel a little warmer but I was still shivering. I set my boots near enough to the stove that they would dry but not near enough that they would scorch.
She put the ash bucket in front of the stove, opened the stove door, took the lid off the bucket and used a small shovel from beside the stove to shovel red hot coals into the bucket. When she had a bucket full she put the lid on it and took it back behind the chimney and then returned twice more for more coals. When she had done that she returned with a canvas sling full of sticks of firewood which she used to replenish the fire in the stove.
"I don't understand." I said, "You obviously don't trust strangers by the way you approached me, but now you have put away your gun and are giving me full access to your house. How do you know you can trust me? I'm still a stranger."
"There is no hint of falsehood in your thoughts, nor is there evil. Besides that I have ways to protect myself."
I believed her but it did not make sense. She soon got a small bucket filled with water and a dipper. She slipped out of her shoes and said, "Come with me."
I did and she led me behind the chimney, around the dining table on the left and through a six foot wide double sliding glass doorway into a kitchen. From the kitchen she opened a wooden door on the right and we stepped down into a small room with wooden benches, a sauna. There were towels spread on the benches and she told me to sit. I sat down. She took a dipper of water from the bucket and spread it over the rocks on top of the small brick furnace where she had put the hot coals. A steam cloud rose into the room. She sat beside me. It was getting hot in the sauna and the temperature was rising. The room seemed big enough for ten or twelve people. I noticed that not only had I quit shivering but my shoulder no longer hurt. As a matter of fact I realized that my shoulder had quit hurting from about the time I first came onto her porch when she was behind me. I also noticed that I had a sense of calm and trust in this strange woman.
In a few minutes she spread another dipper of water on the hot rocks which had dried up the first dipperfull and more steam rose. The sauna was beginning to fill with steam and I was now sweating. So was she.
"I assume you haven't eaten." she said. "I have a pot of beef stew heating and a loaf of homemade bread baking in the oven. If you can survive on beef stew, hot buttered bread and ice tea, we'll eat after you have thoroughly warmed."
"That sounds wonderful." I was enthusiastic about the idea.
She left the sauna and returned to the kitchen.
After about fifteen minutes, I was thoroughly warmed and covered with sweat. I opened the sauna and went into the kitchen. I saw that it was a room about ten by sixteen feet with double sliding glass doors on the three other sides besides the sauna side which was behind me. Carol had her back to me working at the gas stove, a beautiful sight.
"Come on," she said, "we'll take a shower and then eat." She walked over to the door on the right. Everything was dark behind it. She opened the door and flipped a switch on the wall turning on the lights. We went in. First I noticed that it was colder in there and then I saw that we seemed to be in a cave disappearing into the distance and darkness but with a room built on the right side and lots of wooden shelves holding canned goods and other supplies on the left. She opened the door to the room, turned on the light there and we stepped into a bathroom with a double sink, commode and walk in shower.
We walked into the shower and she turned on the water and adjusted it so that it was very warm but not hot. "That reminds me." she said, and spread her legs standing bowlegged and peed in the drain. That reminded me too so I waited until she moved from the drain and pointed my penis at it and relieved myself too. She handed me a wash cloth and took one for herself and we each washed ourselves getting off the sweat of the sauna and the dirt of the day. Then we stepped out and took towels off a rack and dried ourselves.
"Dry my back." she said and I was glad to do so. "Turn around," she said and she took the towel and dried my back including my rear end just as I had done her.
We returned to the kitchen and got bowls, plates, glasses and table ware and set the dining table which was between the kitchen and the fireplace. Then we carried a pot of stew, a loaf of bread, a large bowl of butter from the refrigerator and a pitcher of ice tea to the dining table. I noticed that there were towels on the seats of the dining chairs as there were on the living room furniture. She went to the computer and started background jazz playing and we sat and ate. A delicious meal.
"Now, we'll talk." she said as we ate. "Where do you come from?"
"I live near Albany. But I work all over central Kentucky and north central Tennessee as a consulting forester. I have a degree in forestry and worked for the Kentucky State Division of Forestry in the eastern part of the state, before quitting to work on my own."
"What does a consulting forester do?"
"We develop timber management plans, help to implement those plans, evaluate timber stands and handle timber sales. Timber management plans can include not only management for timber harvests but also wildlife management, watershed management and management for recreational uses as well as environmental protection."
"I don't even know who owns the land to the south of mine." she said.
"It's owned by a big company in Michigan. It was owned by Ford Motor Company years ago but this company named Apollo Enterprises acquired it sometime in the past."
"How much do they own and do they want to sell it?"
"It's about 1200 acres, and as far as selling it, I think they are going to decide what they want to do with it after they get my report."
"How do you cruise timber?"
She was full of questions. So I explained to her about the cruise lines and gathering data and analyzing the data and doing a statistical analysis of the results. She immediately knew what I was talking about and even told me how the statistical analysis would work and talked about stratified samples. I knew immediately that she knew as much or more than I did about statistics even though she probably didn't know as much about timber.
"And you plan to do all this data gathering on 1200 acres by yourself this week?"
"Well, I didn't plan to do it by myself. I have a guy named Nathan who often helps me and we planned to do it together but Nathan came down with a virus over the weekend, so I decided I would do it alone. It just takes a little longer for one."
"It's also more dangerous in case something goes wrong." she noted, "Like sliding over a waterfall."
"That's true, I guess."
"I enjoy math and nature. Why don't you let me be your assistant tomorrow? I could learn something new."
"Well, I would certainly appreciate it if you want to do that, but you'll have to wear clothing or I'll be too distracted to work."
"Of course, I'll wear clothing. I only go nude in and around the house. There are too many briers, bugs, and strangers to do that kind of thing in the nude. Besides I need pockets to carry stuff."
Now it was my turn. "Tell me about yourself. Do you live here alone all the time."
"I spend much of my time here but we also have a building in Burnside where I have a small apartment and an office."
"What do you do? And what do you mean we?"
"Well this place and the building in Burnside actually belong to me and my cousin, Judd and Judd's wife, Anissa. Judd has a pharmacy in Burnside and Anissa is a wildlife biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Mine and Judd's parents sometimes spend time here also. But I spend more time here than anyone. The others usually only come for a few days at a time for a getaway or vacation from work."
"As far as what I do, I am a forensic accountant and forensic computer consultant. That means that I take contracts usually with government agencies such as the FBI or Homeland Security or the FTC to go over the books and the computer systems of persons or companies of interest to find evidence of fraud or wrong doing. Then, if necessary, I testify in court."
"That's one reason I stay here. I have been instrumental in bringing down some really bad guys and there are a number of people who would like to do me harm."
"In that case, should you be telling me this?"
"I told you that I have already checked you and have found you trustworthy."
"You said so, but I don't understand that."
About that time a loud alarm sounded and Carol rushed over to the computer at the desk and clicked on an icon. I followed her to watch. A screen came up with an infrared video of a deer crossing the woodland road I had come in on."
"So that's how you came up behind me." I exclaimed.
"This place is wired and fortified for defense. My grandfather was an electrical engineer and he built the house and installed the utilities and the electronics. I have updated everything with newer technology but it was always a protected place. He taught me and the rest of the family, if anyone approached, to leave the house, which is where they would expect to find me, and come in behind any intruders armed well enough to do away with them if necessary."
"Well, I'm glad you didn't find it necessary in my case."
"Listen," I said. "I certainly appreciate your hospitality. The fire and the sauna and the shower and the stew may very well have saved my life. But I'd better try to find a way back to my camp for the night."
"That's silly. You can stay here. Your clothes are not dry yet. I can get you back to the top of the cliffs in the morning after we have had a good breakfast. Anyway, I am going with you tomorrow to help with the timber cruise. This place has three bedrooms and a sofabed in the living room and I also have a couple of air mattresses. So I'll give you one of the bedrooms and you can get a good night's sleep."
I asked her where her bedroom was. "In the cave, behind the bathroom." She took me there and showed me.
Peter Troxell was in Point Isabel to get supplies. His father, George, had sent him to town to get supplies for the family farm up the Big South Fork on Sinking Creek. Such a trip was necessary about once a month and Peter looked forward to the opportunity to get away from the farm work hoeing corn and tobacco and caring for the livestock and he especially looked forward to seeing Mary Roberts at her father's general store again.
Peter had his horses hitched in the back of the store and he and Mary were carrying his purchases from the store to the wagon. Mary's father, Tom, had left Mary in charge of the store while he and most of the townspeople had gone down to the Cumberland River to see what all the excitement was about. Word was that a big flat boat had arrived in Point Isabel and that it had come up the river from, maybe, as far away as Nashville and it was powered by those new steam engines everyone had heard about. Peter would have rushed down to the river too, but this was the first chance he had ever had to be alone with Mary and any man of Peter's age would have been torn between a new type of engine powering a large boat and the chance to be alone with a girl who, truth be known, he had had many impure thoughts about. Peter figured most would have chosen the girl.
It was a hot day and, when they finished carrying feed and flour and sugar and salt and coffee and medical supplies and the other supplies needed to run a large farm with several tenant families, both Peter and Mary were drenched with sweat. Peter noticed how Mary's cotton blouse had become wet with sweat and clung to her very female form. They went back into the shade of the store. It was darker and cooler in the back room where all the supplies were stored and they sat on a pile of sacks of feed to rest. Peter leaned toward Mary and when she didn't retreat screwed up his courage and stole a kiss. Her reaction was unexpected. She put her arms around his neck and pulled him closer and he soon felt and tasted her tongue in his mouth. The next thing he knew that full soft chest he had dreamed about was pressed against him and he had a huge erection. Should he try to hide it? Heck no!
He stood, pulling Mary up with him and hugged her close so that his erection pressed against her belly. Rather than repulse her this seemed to draw her closer. Peter was in heaven and, although they were getting wetter and hotter, their mouths were still locked together and they were exploring not just the taste of each other but also smells and the feel of their bodies together. Peter's hands wandered down to Mary's buttocks still without any resistance from her. He could feel her soft breasts against his chest so the only logical thing to do was to try going a little further. He ran his hand under her blouse and began to feel the bare skin of her stomach. Still no resistance. Ok, up a little further and he could feel the underside of her breasts. She just sighed. It only took moving his hand about two inches and he could feel a protruding nipple. He took the whole breast in his hand. What a Woman!
After a while, Mary broke the spell and pushed him away. "We better quit," she said, "before a customer comes in."
Peter thought fast. "It's too late in the day for me to return home today so I'll stay with my aunt and uncle here in town tonight. Would you meet me down by the forks of the river about midnight tonight? There is a private cove just north of the forks."
"OK. I can climb out my bedroom window after my parents are asleep. I know just where you mean."
Mary returned to the front of the store and Peter followed her. He was entranced by the scent of her body and could not bear to leave her even though his business with the store was done. He offered to sweep the floor and to do other chores until her father returned. Between customers they spent hugging and kissing even more passionately than before and he began each embrace with his hands under her blouse. She came to expect that. She unbuttoned her blouse and exposed her breasts. He bent his head and began kissing and sucking her nipples. He found that this made them stand out and harden. He and she were both aroused by this. Soon he found he could also run his hand under her skirt and stroke her thighs. From there it was not far to feel under her underpants and rub her bush and he felt the moisture between her legs. When he did he pressed his finger into her slit and began to rub. She moaned.
Eventually Mary's father returned and, after a discussion about the steamboat, Peter left the store and went to his aunt and uncle's house. They had supper and went to bed about dark which was about nine o'clock. Peter lay in bed awake and restless until eleven thirty. He would sneak out of the bedroom every few minutes with a candle to check the mantel clock above the fireplace in the great room. Gosh, they had a slow clock. But finally, it was time to leave the house and Peter quietly went out the front door and began walking toward the river. He reached the riverbank and turned east following the path along the riverbank until he reached the secluded cove at the forks of the river about a half mile from the town. Mary wasn't there so he sat on the riverbank to wait. There were fireflies over the river and a half moon gave light to see. He could hear an owl hooting and tree frogs in the surrounding trees and the croak of bull frogs down by the river.
After about fifteen minutes Peter was relieved to hear the soft sound of footsteps and he soon saw Mary approaching. They ran into each other's arms and continued hugging and kissing as they had left off in the afternoon.
After a while Mary said, "It's still awfully warm."
"Want to take a swim in the river?"
"Would you?" she questioned.
"Sure." he said, and began to remove his clothing.
"If you will, I will." she exclaimed and did likewise.
She unbuttoned her flowered cotton dress and slipped it off her shoulders and let it fall to the ground. He was surprised to see that she wore no underwear. Her breasts were large and white in the moonlight with dark protruding nipples. Between her legs was a thick dark curly triangle. They soon were frolicking in the river and then holding each other's naked bodies close and kissing. When Peter came back up on the bank, Mary saw that he had a very stiff erection.
"Lie down." she said.
He lay in the sand on the river bank and she knelt beside him and grasped the base of his penis with her hand while putting her mouth over the knob at its end pushing, pulling and sucking. In less than a minute he ejaculated copiously and she swallowed.
"How did you learn to do that?"
"My mother taught me. She said I should do that rather than getting pregnant."
With the sexual tension relieved, they sat on the river bank and talked until nearly dawn. They were each very interested in getting to know the other. Before dawn they each returned reluctantly to their own homes.
Mary had known Peter for years, first when his father would bring him to town to get supplies and then, when Peter was old enough, when he began to come for supplies by himself. Mary's mother had taught her that to get a man you have to let him chase you until you catch him. So Mary put out the bait and when she had lured him in she sprang the trap. They were both happy with the results.
That fall two things happened. Peter and Mary were married on November 13 and spent the rest of their lives living and working together on the Sinking Creek farm. They raised six children and loved each other until the end.
The other thing that happened on November 13, their wedding night, was that that was the "Night the Stars Fell."
The yearly Leonid meteor showers can be a splendid display; the showers for 1833 were very memorable -- though not for their beauty. Startled Americans watched the many streaking meteors with confusion and trepidation; and some concluded that the brilliant bodies sliding down the sky and winking out overhead were the stars themselves, falling from the heavens as the world came to an end. "The Night the Stars Fell" entered American folklore.
William Troxell left his law studies at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in late 1861 to join with many of the young men he had grown up with in Wayne and Pulaski Counties as they enlisted with the First Kentucky Cavalry to fight for the Union cause in the Civil War. He was the first in his family to enter any college. His father and mother, Peter and Mary, were very proud of him and sorry to see him leave the family farm on the Big South Fork but they wanted the best in life for him and a college education should ensure that.
Will grew up working on the family farm and attended school at Mount Pisgah until he was eighteen when he was accepted as a student at Centre.
The First Kentucky Cavalry was organized in the fall of 1861 at Camp Dick Robinson on the Kentucky River and Will's unit led by Colonel Frank Wolford was engaged in a battle at Camp Wildcat near the Rockcastle River and after an initial retreat when they encountered 7,000 Confederate soldiers under General Zollicoffer, they rejoined with Col. Garrard's 7th Kentucky Infantry and reinforcements under Gen. Schoepff. This led to the defeat of Zollicoffer's forces. After this battle he First Kentucky Cavalry was mustered into the United States service by Gen. Thomas. From that time it served with the utmost activity throughout the war. Nov. 2nd, it went on a reconnaissance to Burkesville. In the summer, it was at Somerset, from whence it operated by detachments in every direction. Nov. 30th, it was placed in the 11th Brigade, commanded by Gen. J. T. Boyle. December 10th, five companies were sent to Prestonsburg, Kentucky, by way of Danville, Lexington and Mount Sterling. They united with Garfield's force in that part of Kentucky, and Garfield reported constant fighting against the Confederates under Gen. Humphrey Marshall. Jan. 21, 1862, General Thomas reports the First as in front, toward Logan's Cross Roads.
On Jan. 19th, the First Kentucky cavalry participated in the battle of Mill Springs, where the Confederates, under Generals Crittenden and Zollicoffer, were defeated. In this battle, Wolford's cavalry encountered the enemy first and fought dismounted. Wolford reported three killed, eight mortally wounded and eleven others wounded. General Crittenden reported a loss of 125 killed and 309 wounded.
The Death of General Zollicoffer at the battle of Mill Springs
In that battle Zollicoffer mistook Union troops for his own units (quite understandable in the confusion of that dark misty morning), and he approached the Union lines by mistake. He wished to order them to cease firing on their own men, since he thought they were all Confederates. Whatever the cause, it is evident that Zollicoffer did not recognize the Union officer to whom he spoke as an enemy; neither did this officer recognize Zollicoffer as a Confederate. Or possibly, Zollicoffer did recognize the enemy and realized his mistake, and attempted to bluff his way out. Only as they parted, and one of Zollicoffer's staff rode out of the woods to warn his commander (meanwhile firing at the Federals), did both parties realize the truth. In the ensuing exchange of fire, Zollicoffer was shot dead from his horse.
After the battle of Mill Springs the First Cavalry was on hard duty in Kentucky all winter. In April, 1862, it moved to the vicinity of Nashville, and was used for various expeditions in that section. At that time it was assigned to Dumont's division of Buell's army. May 5th, in a fight at Lebanon, Tennessee, in which the Federals successfully defended the place against an attack by Morgan and others, Col. Wolford was severely wounded.
The First Kentucky spent the spring in Tennessee and by October was back in Kentucky under General Buell and fought in the battle of Perryville on October 8, 1862. By the beginning of 1863 the First Kentucky was operating against John Hunt Morgan's raiders who were trying to destroy railroads in Kentucky. Col. Silas Adams now commanded the First Kentucky. In March, it aided in resisting the raid of Confederate General Pegram into the state, and, on the 30th, fought a severe battle at Dutton's Hill, near Crab Orchard. In this campaign Col. Adams was captured but he escaped.
General Ambrose Burnside
In August, 1863, the Army of the Ohio was organized with Gen. Burnside as commander and the First Kentucky Cavalry was under his command and was soon fighting in East Tennessee. In the siege of Knoxville the cavalry was placed on the south side of the river, and the men, being dismounted and placed in defenses on the hills, successfully resisted all assaults. The battle at Fort Sanders was followed by a furious charge on the south side, which also failed. The loss of the First Cavalry during the siege was 13 men. The siege being over, the cavalry followed Longstreet up the Tennessee Valley, and at Beans Station a severe and bloody fight occurred, in which Col. Wolford and his men bore a most conspicuous part. The First Cavalry remained in East Tennessee until February, 1864, when it was sent to Mount Sterling, Kentucky, where it refitted and reorganized for the great campaign in Georgia, under General Sherman. In April, 1864, the regiment moved to join Sherman's army in Georgia; passing through Danville and Point Burnside, it reached Kingston, Tennessee, May 7th. Leaving there on the ninth, it reached Varnell's Station the 11th. It was then in the cavalry command of the 23rd Army Corps, under Gen. Stoneman.
After this the regiment returned to Kentucky, and September 16, 1864, was in camp at Mount Sterling. It was then incorporated with General Burbridge's command, organized for the expedition to Saltville, Virginia. After this campaign, in which the First Cavalry was as active and useful as it ever was, fighting and marching and sustaining losses, it returned to Mount Sterling, Kentucky. On the 31st of December, 1864, after nearly 3 1/2 years of continuous hard service, and having performed its full duty to state and country, it was mustered out of the service at Camp Nelson, Kentucky.
Will Troxell fought long and hard with Company H of the First Kentucky Cavalry for three years and by the end of the war he had been promoted to the rank of Captain. He returned to the family farm on the Big South Fork, married his childhood sweetheart, Treva Ewing, and they had twin boys. Will farmed and served in local government and promoted education in the area and was elected to the state legislature. He was a lifelong member of the GAR. Due to a wound received in the war he had a game leg and limped the rest of his life. By the time of the Civil War there were railroads in Kentucky and there were regular runs by stagecoach in parts of the area. Railroads came to Somerset in 1878.
Will and Treva's twin boys were named Larry and Barry. In 1886 when he was twenty years old, Barry decided he wanted to see the world and he took a job with a French company recruiting labor to help with building the Panama canal in Columbia. After nine months of work on the canal Barry contracted yellow fever, like many other workers there, and died from the disease. A couple of years later Larry became depressed after the failure of a love affair and in 1889 he shot and killed himself.
Treva died in 1890 and Will Troxell remarried a younger woman, Becky Parmley, who was a neighbor and a recent widow and in 1894 they had a baby girl that they named Mary for Will's mother. Will died in 1910 on the farm at the age of 67.
Somerset to Monticello Stagecoach
Doctor Frank Browski was very worried. His wife, Mary, had been sick for several days now. She had been bleeding from the nose and there was blood in bowel movements. She was weak and unable to function. He took care of her in her bed at their home at the farm on Sinking Creek. Mary had developed pneumonia and he treated her for that. He knew the problem. She had contracted Spanish Flu, a very deadly strain that had been circling the globe for two years now. Fortunately, he had had the same thing last fall, but a milder case, and was now immune so that he could care for her. The reason he was so worried was that he knew that this was a killer infectious disease and from 5 to 20% of all who got it died. Mary's mother, Becky, had gotten the disease before Mary but had now recovered. It seemed to be harder on people of his and Mary's age than on older people. Hundreds of people in the area had reported with the disease in the last couple of years and twenty or thirty had died. People were scared.
The stories going around were enough to scare anyone.
These included stories of four women playing bridge together late into the night. Overnight, three of the women died from influenza. Others told stories of people on their way to work suddenly developing the flu and dying within hours. One physician wrote that patients with seemingly ordinary influenza would rapidly "develop the most viscous type of pneumonia that has ever been seen" and later when cyanosis appeared in the patients, "it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate,". Another physician told of influenza patients "died struggling to clear their airways of a blood-tinged froth that sometimes gushed from their nose and mouth." The Ewing family with eight children lost three of their children to the flu within a month's time.
He had hope because Mary had not died yet and he thought the pneumonia showed some signs of abating.
Mary was sleeping now so Frank went out of the house to rest and to think. It was a new house he and Mary had built near where Sinking Creek flowed into the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. His mother-in-law, Becky, still lived in the cabin nearby where she had lived with her husband, Will, before his death and where they had raised Mary. Their farm included several hundred acres of good flat river bottom and about five hundred acres of woodland above the river rising up to the Cumberland Plateau. It was a very productive farm that Mary had inherited and over the last century it had made the Troxell family moderately wealthy.
He had never dreamed that his life would take this turn when he arrived at the University of Tennessee in Nashville eight years before to begin medical school. He had met his friend, John Weigel, there and when they graduated together, John asked Frank to come with him to his home town of Somerset, Kentucky to open a practice. When they got there John started practicing medicine in Somerset and Frank opened an office in a smaller town nearby where there was no doctor.
Burnside had turned out to be a great place to live and when Frank advertised for a receptionist, Mary saw the ad and applied for the position. Working together day after day they soon got to know each other and had fallen in love by the spring of 1918. By fall they had married and began construction of their house on Mary's family farm.
Mary recovered from the flu and by the next summer was pregnant with their son, Claude. Frank and Mary lived on the farm and raised Claude who was their only child. In 1942 they were informed that most of their farm would be taken by the building of Lake Cumberland. The Wolf Creek Dam was completed downstream on the Cumberland River in 1951 and soon all of the Sinking Creek farm except the woodland area above the cliffs was under the waters of the new lake. Before that happened Frank and Mary remodeled and moved to the building in Burnside where they had had their office all those years. They lived there until their deaths in the 1970s.
The deepest part of Lake Cumberland is 200 feet at 723' pool elevation and is located in the original river channel near the dam. The lake is 101 miles long, has 1,255 miles of shoreline and 66,000 surface acres. The average depth of the lake is 90 feet.
When I awoke the next morning it was just beginning to get light. I left the bedroom - into the kitchen. Carol was there cooking breakfast and the kitchen smelled like bacon and coffee. She had an apron covering her front probably to protect herself from grease spatters but otherwise was still naked as was I. We said our good mornings and I headed out the door to the cave and to the bathroom to pee. Since I did not have a razor, I decided to forego shaving. Then I returned to the kitchen.
"I'm scrambling eggs and making bacon, grits, biscuits and coffee. We can have orange juice with that. Is that all right?" she asked.
"It sounds great to me. What can I do to help?"
"Just start carrying stuff to the table."
I carried everything to the table and checked my clothes and boots. They had dried overnight due to the heat from the stove. I noticed frost on the grass out the front windows.
Carol took off her apron and came to the table.
"How big is that cave back there?" I asked.
"It runs about half a mile before running into Sinking Creek."
"If you still want to go with me today, you'll need some clothing for protection, walking boots, and lunch and a beltbag or knapsack to carry your lunch. A canteen might be a good idea too, but I've got one back at my camp that will probably do for both of us." I told her.
"Yep, I've already got all that ready."
"OK. I haven't seen any power lines here. Where do you get your electricity and other utilities?"
"When my grandfather built this house in the late 1940s, he ran three one inch water lines down from an underground pool up on Sinking Creek. They have about a 160 foot fall. That gives plenty of pressure for one of them to supply water for the house and for the other two to run an overshot water wheel which powers a generator back in the cave. Drillers looking for oil on the mountain bench back between the cliffs in the 40s didn't find oil but they did hit gas which my grandfather piped to the house for cooking and heating water. As you can see I heat with wood but I can also hook up a gas space heater, if needed. By opening the kitchen doors between the house and the cave I can use the year round cave temperature of about 55 degrees to keep the house cool in the summer and above freezing in the winter. Vents in the attic let the cave air flow through the house when I want. For communication, cell phones and computers with Skype. I have a satellite dish for internet access and TV."
"So you have no utility bills?"
"Just the satellite TV and internet access and cell phone bills. I pay them once a year."
We soon finished breakfast and dressed. She wore blue jeans with pockets and a blue long sleeved denim shirt also with pockets and hiking boots. Carol locked up the house and we left. She led me to the outbuilding which she unlocked and opened the double doors. Sitting inside was a black four wheel drive Ford Ranger pickup. We got inside and she drove out, stopping to lock the building. Then she drove out to the woodland road along the bench and turned right driving a short distance until she pulled over in the woods beside the road and stopped. I could see that we were just below the cliffs that marked the boundary of the Apollo timber tract.
We got out and walked up to the cliff. She knew where she was going because we were at a spot where the cliff was only about twelve feet high. She found a recess about a couple feet high under the cliff and reached into it and pulled out a sixteen foot aluminum extension ladder which she then leaned up against the cliff.
"If I had known that was there, I wouldn't have had to bother you last night." I said.
We climbed the ladder and she pulled it up after us and hid it under some leaves. "Don't want anyone taking our ladder."
We then walked about half a mile along the cliff top back to my camp which we found undisturbed. I got all my cruising equipment and gave Carol a diameter tape.
"Now I'll explain what we are doing. The plan is to walk four miles - two miles across and two miles back taking tree measurements every 8 chains as I explained to you last night. That means we will collect data at 40 plots by the end of the day. I need you to measure the diameter of each sample tree for me. I will stand on the plot center and point out to you which trees are to be measured. While you are measuring, I will record for each tree its species, height in sixteen foot logs, log grade of the butt or bottom log and status as in harvest, leave for crop tree, or cull."
"If you will look at the diameter tape I have given you, you will see that it has a steel hook on the end. That is to hook in the bark of the tree. You throw the tape around the tree or walk around the tree to get the tape around and hook it into the bark to read the tape at the index mark next to the hook at the beginning of the tape. Notice that the tape is marked in inches on one side, but on the side that will be up when you put it around the tree it is marked in inches times pi which means that you are measuring the circumference of the tree but on the tape you are reading the diameter of the tree. It is important that the tape be level around the tree and that it be placed about 4 1/2 feet above the ground or breast high, that point to be measured on the uphill side of the tree if the tree is on sloping ground. Please report to me the diameter to the nearest 1/10 inch. Any questions?"
"Nope." she said. "That seems straight forward enough."
From my camp supplies we got apples and oranges and packages of nuts and cheese and tins of canned meat and put them in our beltbags and filled our canteens without falling in the stream this time.
So I used the compass to head east to the boundary of the Apollo tract where I had started my first plot line yesterday afternoon. From there we went south 15 chains and began another cruise line to the west. Carol caught on fast and I soon learned she already knew the species of all the trees. After a while she learned which trees would be in the plot based on their diameters and I only had to tell her the borderline trees.
By this time it was beginning to be late morning and with the sun shining the temperature was in the sixties. With all the exercise we began to sweat and after each ten plots we would sit down for 15 or 20 minutes to rest and talk about timber management. She was full of questions.
About 11:30 we descended to Sinking Creek and at that point the creek had water. I could hear the sound of water falling and Carol took me downstream about 50 yards to a hole about twenty feet across in the bottom of the creekbed where the creek fell about ten feet into a cavern. It looked like a large pool at the bottom of the falls. Carol said that was the pool from which her grandfather had run the water lines to the house.
By one o'clock we had gotten to the western side of the property so we sat for half an hour and ate our lunches then paced 15 chains south to the beginning of the next plot line and headed back east.
As I was pacing along in front from one plot to the next, Carol said, "Be careful, there is a snake in front of you and I think it may be a rattler."
I looked ahead and there was a rattlesnake stretched out in a sunny area just where I would have stepped in a few more steps. Since Carol was about twenty feet behind me, I knew she couldn't have seen it. "How did you know it was there?"
"I felt its life force."
"How did you know it was a rattlesnake?"
"I wasn't sure. I knew from the feel of the life force that it was a snake but I was only about 40% sure that it was a rattlesnake."
We went around the rattlesnake and continued on our plot line.
About four o'clock we finished the last plot of the day and headed back to my camp above the falls. When we got there and unloaded our equipment Carol said, "That was fun. Is it ok if I help you again tomorrow?"
"OK? You know I appreciate the help and you are making it a lot easier on me. But are you sure you like this kind of work? Most women wouldn't."
"I have been in the outdoors like this all my life and I enjoy it. But by picking your brain I am also learning something about a skill that involves math and botany and surveying and a number of other things that are very interesting to me. I will probably learn as much from a couple of days with you as I could learn by taking a college course."
"Now do you want to spend the night at my house or here at your camp?"
"Well, I don't want to impose on you, so I will just spend the night here."
"Fine, whatever you want to do, but you are not imposing on me. If you actually want to stay here tonight, would it be all right if I camp out with you?"
"It would be fine with me, but I'm not sure it would be a good idea. It will be cold tonight and I only have one sleeping bag. Even though it is probably big enough for two, I certainly wouldn't trust myself to sleep in it with you. You are a beautiful woman and I am only human."
"I'm not worried about that." she said.
"Ok. Whatever you want to do is fine with me."
So we gathered wood and built a fire and got out pots and a coffee pot and heated and ate a meal. Afterward we sat by the fire and watched the moon come up and the stars come out and we talked quietly. Carol had a lot of questions about the work we had done and was interested in learning more about forestry so, as we talked, we discussed the concepts of forest succession, shade tolerance, stand density, basal area, tree and stand growth, tree and log grading, tree value and logging road layout and reclamation and other aspects of the profession.
After a while, we were both sleepy and decided to go to bed. We had made a bed of hemlock boughs and I spread the sleeping bag out on it. Carol began to take off her clothes.
"It will be cold. Don't you want to keep your clothes on?"
"I hate to sleep with clothes on. Makes it too hard to turn over during the night."
"Well, I usually sleep nude too, but I can't crawl into that sleeping bag with you without getting a huge erection."
"I know. We'll deal with it together."
So we did!
I awoke the next morning just before dawn. The birds were singing and there was a light frost. Carol was lying on her side sleeping peacefully. I lay there for a while enjoying the morning. It was still dark with a glow in the east. I could see the stars overhead clearly in the low humidity of the cold morning air. The leaves were mostly off the trees so I could see the Milky Way and Polaris, the North Star, and the pointer stars in the big dipper and the little dipper and Orion, the hunter, with Betelgeuse and Rigel at his shoulder and foot. I could also pick out Saturn and Mars and the Pleiades and Cassiopeia. I also noticed that our fire had burned down. Hopefully there were live coals under those ashes.
After a few minutes I rolled over toward Carol, spooned against her back and reached over her side to cup her right breast with my hand. I inhaled the very female scent of her body. She stirred. "Good Morning." She yawned and stretched.
"Good Morning yourself. It's cold this morning and our fire needs to be built up before we prepare breakfast. You keep the bed warm and I'll jump up right quick and get the fire going, then I'll get back in the sleeping bag with you and you can warm me with your body."
"You're going to build the fire naked?"
"Sure, it won't take but a few minutes and I'll have you to warm me."
"Yeah, but you'll freeze me."
So I jumped out and soon had the fire started and slipped back in the sleeping bag with her and she held me close until we were both warm. Then we lay there until the fire was blazing and needed more wood. At that point we both jumped out of bed and dressed quickly before we could get too cold and then got close to the fire and soon had coffee and breakfast MREs.
Afterward we cleaned up the camp and put everything where critters couldn't get to it and hiked about a mile to the beginning of our next cruise line. We completed our first cruise line by about eleven o'clock and sat down to eat our lunch.
Carol was still curious. "So we finish gathering data today. Then what do you do?"
"Tomorrow, I'll visit a number of sawmills and other wood buyers in the area. In my car I have a list of buyers that I got from the State Division of Forestry. I'll get from them their price list for logs delivered. They buy logs by different prices based on species and grade of the log. I'll also get an idea from them of how much loggers are charging per mbf (thousand board feet) to harvest the logs and haul them to market. Friday, I'll return to my office at home and put all the data we have collected as well as the price information into a computer program, I have developed for this purpose. It will give me detailed printouts of estimated stumpage values and volumes on this tract of land. The volumes it gives me for individual items like grade 1 white oak logs won't be very accurate because we haven't measured that many grade 1 white oaks. But the total estimates it gives me should be within plus or minus ten percent or even closer to the actual figures for the tract because we do have enough total data to be that close. Then I'll prepare a written report and send it to my clients."
"Can I get a copy of that report too?"
"Sure you can, if my clients will give it to you. I can't give it to you because they are paying me for the report so it is their property. However, I can give it to you if they give me permission to do so. In most cases clients will give me permission to distribute the report if they think it shows as much or more value than they expected. They are less likely to do so if they think it shows less value than they had hoped."
"Sounds fair. I may be interested in that."
"Now I have a question for you. We fucked last night and you didn't say a word about a condom. Being a man, I didn't either. My question is, How do you know you are safe?"
"Well, I can feel the difference between the life force of a healthy individual and one with a discrepancy from normal such as an illness or disease or even a physical defect. So I knew that neither you nor I had a venereal disease. I can also feel the life force of live or active sperm inside me and I have the ability to control the timing of my ovulation. So I can prevent pregnancy by being sure I ovulate when there are no sperm in me and not fucking until after the egg is shed from my body or is incapable of being fertilized. So actually there was no danger."
After lunch we began taking data at plots on our final two mile cruise line. About halfway through it, or after ten plots, Carol's cell phone in her pocket rang. She answered.
"It was a message from my computer. It sent me a picture of visitors who have arrived at the house. It is my cousin, Judd, and his wife. We'll see them tonight."
"How does that work?"
"As you know, my house is protected by motion sensitive cameras and alarms and anything they sense is tranmitted to my computer. Since my phone is capable of receiving pictures, I just leave a program running on my computer when I am not home that transmits pictures to me whenever it gets one from a camera. The picture tells me which camera took it at what time and day and what the temperature and barometric pressure were at the time it was taken."
"Is that the only thing that set off the alarm since we left?"
"No. While you were gathering wood last night, I got a picture of a raccoon."
When we had completed the last cruise line it was about 3:30. We then had a walk of over a mile back to the camp.
Carol said, "Since you are going to work in this area again tomorrow you will have to stay overnight. Come home with me and meet Judd and Anissa. They usually sleep in the bedroom you slept in before, so you'll have to sleep in mine." She didn't mention the fact that there was a third bedroom and I certainly didn't.
So we hiked back to my camp where I left my timber cruising equipment and the tatum board that held my data. Then we hiked to the ladder at the cliff top, went down the ladder and back to Carol's truck.
"That ladder works better than going over the falls." I allowed.
Carol said, "I'll bet. Usually before I headed back I would have used my phone to check my computer to make sure it was still working all right. If someone had monkeyed with it or there had been an extended electrical failure, I would know. In this case I didn't check because I know Judd and Anissa are there."
We got in the truck and started back to her place with her driving. It was a short trip. About halfway there I felt something rub against my leg and looked down. A long black snake was crawling from underneath the dash down my right leg heading for the floor of the truck. I opened the truck door and moved my leg out of the truck and shook it slightly. The snake slithered off and dropped to the ground beside the moving truck. Carol laughed.
"Do you often keep pets in the truck?"
"I find one of those in here about once a year on the average. I think they like the warmth of the inside of the truck when it is closed and the sun shines through the glass outdoors."
"Wait a minute! Did you know it was in here?"
"Well, yes. It had been lying behind the glove box for a few days and I didn't think about it moving when you were in here. Sorry." She grinned.
We parked the truck in the outbuilding and went in the front of the house. It was unlocked. Of course, Judd and Anissa knew we were coming due to the alarm system. Judd was looking at something on the computer and Anissa was sitting on the sofa. It looked like she had been reading because there was a Kindle on the sofa beside her. Of course, like everyone in this family, they were naked. They were young beautiful people. Judd was dark brown skinned and Anissa was tanned, I guess from the summer sun. Anissa was very obviously pregnant; from the looks of her breasts and the size of her belly at least eight months or more. Carol introduced us. When I asked, Anissa told me that the baby was due in about three weeks and it would be a girl to be named Linda.
Carol and I went to her bedroom and undressed. Then Carol and Anissa began fixing the evening meal while Judd and I talked in the front room. He, like Carol, was curious about what I did. We talked about that for a while and he said that he and his wife had decided to come to the cabin for a couple of days to get away from work and relax. He said they did that about twice a month. I noticed that, unlike me, he was uncircumcised.
After eating we played a local card game called Albany Canasta for a couple of hours, then we all went to bed. I don't know about Judd and Anissa, but Carol and I got a good night's sleep. The next day we all had breakfast together and Carol took me back to the ladder where I climbed up, hiked to my camp, got my stuff and hiked back out to my car and began surveying prices at sawmills and other wood buyers in the area.
The morning sky was beginning to show light in the east and the April air was cool. Anne Enberg Browski walked down to the lake. She was nude and most people would have been cold. But Anne was a Norwegian, so nude swimming in a cold lake came natural to her. She walked into the lake and decided that it was too cold even for her. So she walked up onto the sand and dried with a towel from the bag she had carried from the cabin down to the lake and slipped on a blouse, sweater and skirt and sat on a lakeside bench to watch the sun rise.
"Mrs. Browski." That would take some getting used to. She and Claude had married the day before and had spent their wedding night in the cabin beside this quite Indiana lake getting to know each other. Not that they were virgins; far from it. But they had never had much time together because he had to be at the base training most of the time. She knew him better than most wives knew their newlywed husbands because of her special gift. She had been studying his life force for the months they had been dating and she knew that he was smart and determined and a hard worker with a sense of humor and a sensitive side.
He had told her that the word was that his unit would be leaving Fort Benjamin Harrison for Spokane Washington in the next few weeks so they had decided to marry before he had to leave. They both knew that he would soon go from there into the Pacific Theatre to help with the push "island hopping" across the Pacific toward Japan. No one knew what would be the outcome of that.
Claude was still sleeping peacefully when she left the cabin. She was always one to wake early. She thought about her first meeting with him when she had gone to a USO dance last fall. They announced the dance at Belden, the factory where she worked. She and her friend, Irene, from the factory decided to go together. She was able to make comparisons among the many soldiers there and she found that Claude was the closest life force match to her. Turns out he was a Kentucky Hillbilly who had been drafted into the war effort. He said he grew up on a farm in the Kentucky Mountains. She told him that Browski didn't sound like a Kentucky mountain name and he explained that his mother's family was from Kentucky and his dad was a doctor who had settled in the area.
Anne's family had settled in Indiana after coming from Norway and she was a first generation American.
The 813th ENGINEER BATTALION was constituted 17 November 1941 in the Regular Army as 813th Engineer Battalion, Aviation. It was activated December 15, 1941 at McCord Field, Spokane, Washington. Many soldiers from Fort Benjamin Harrison, including Claude Browski, were made a part of this unit.
They departed from San Francisco on May 1, 1942 and arrived in Alaska on May 8. From that point the unit was a part of the battle for the Aleutian islands, returning to Washington State in early 1944. After U. S. Marines and Army infantry units established a beachhead on an island, the Engineers would be brought ashore to bulldoze landing strips and use steel matting to build a place to land planes so that supplies and more troops could be flown in to hold the island. Then the engineers would clear any remaining Japanese facilities and underground defensive positions, which were often boobytrapped, and build other facilities needed by the Allied troops.
While the 813th was back in Spokane in 1944, Anne and Irene drove Anne's 1939 Buick from Indiana to Spokane and spent three weeks there visiting their husbands. Irene had also married a soldier, Leroy Kenworthy, from the 813th.
The unit departed from Seattle in April 1945 and landed in the Territory of Hawaii on May 5, 1945. They moved to Guam in June and Okinawa in July. The unit was on Okinawa at the end of World War-II (15 August 1945). Served in the Army of Occupation of Okinawa from September 1945 until January 1946. Then returned to the United States and were inactivated on January 7, 1946 at Camp Stoneman, California.
Claude returned to his wife in Indiana in January 1946, but she realized that the war had changed him. Claude had matured and was hardened by the experience. While Anne worked at her factory job, Claude went to school under the GI bill and became an electrical engineer. He had had some training in the field during his army experience and was determined to be able to support the family he and Anne planned.
In early 1948 Claude Browski got his degree in Engineering under the GI bill. His time in the army in World War II had hardened him and made him determined to succeed. He felt responsible for his family which now consisted of his wife of six years, Anne, and his son of a little over one year, Erik. He had been offered an engineering job in Indianapolis. But he was a Kentuckian and, like all Kentuckians in the north, he longed to return to his native land. The problem was that jobs were more plentiful in Indiana and south central Kentucky, though progressing, just did not offer as many opportunities. The family farm was no longer an option because it would soon be under water due to the lakes rapidly being constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Besides that, farming didn't pay near as well as engineering which is why Claude worked hard to get his degree.
Anne looked proudly at him that night after they returned from the ceremony graduating his class. "Claude," she said. "Erik is walking now and my mom can take care of him for a few days. Why don't we go back to that little cabin beside the lake where we spent our honeymoon and celebrate our sixth anniversary which is coming up next week and talk about and plan our future. After all the hard work you have done, you deserve a break and I have some vacation time coming from the factory."
"Do you think that will work? Can we afford the time and the money?"
"Sure we can. We've saved up some money from your service time and my factory work over the last few years and Erik is big enough to leave for four or five days and we both could use some time alone together. "
It wasn't hard for Anne to convince Claude, so the next Wednesday they left their baby with Anne's mother and father and drove their Ford to the lakeside. Since it was April, the tourist season hadn't begun and the same cabin they had used on their honeymoon was available. They settled in and spent that night and the next couple of days playing together nude in the bed and making love and playing cards and walking beside the lake in the moonlight. They cooked in the little kitchen in the cabin and only went out to eat once. And they talked about possibilities for their future including a sibling for Erik. Anne could mentally control her ovulation so pregnancy was not a problem for them.
On Saturday afternoon, Claude said, "Since this is our last night here, lets grill steaks and have those with fried potatoes and a salad and some wine for supper."
"That would be fine except that we don't have any steaks or wine or salad stuff. We do have some potatoes and onions though."
"No, I guess we don't, but there is a market in that last town we came through about ten miles from here and I could run over there and get all that stuff. Do you want to go?"
"Since we are leaving tomorrow, maybe I should hand wash a few clothes in the sink and begin packing and getting ready to go. I'll just stay here and work on that stuff while you get the food. We'll cook it and eat when you return."
"Ok. I hope that market will still be open this late. It'll be after six when I get there."
"It's open until eight."
Claude started to say, "How do you know that?" But he knew the answer, Anne could not only sense his mood and that of those around them including, sometimes, his thoughts, but she noticed everything and she always remembered everything she noticed. So she had seen the hours on a sign when they had passed the market a few days ago.
So Claude left in the Ford and Anne did her chores. By that time it was dark and she went out on the porch to look over the lake. The moon had been getting bigger every night and tonight it was full and was rising over the lake. It was a warm night for early spring so she decided to walk down beside the lake. They had seen some adirondack chairs a little further along the lake and she thought she would sit in one and enjoy the night. The lakeshore drive circled the lake just above the beach. The cabins were between the road and the lake. She would know when Claude returned because she would see his car as he passed on the road. She soon found one of the chairs and sat down to lean back and watch the night unfold.
When she had sat there for a few minutes she became aware that there was another cabin just beyond the beach and that it was now occupied even though it hadn't been earlier today when they had been down this way. She heard voices and felt life forces there. Then she realized that a girl in her late teens was approaching the beach from that cabin, followed by a boy about her age. Anne sat still in her chair and the girl took one of the chairs at the other end of the beach near their cabin. The boy sat beside her. They were talking low but Anne could catch an occasional word and she could also feel their thoughts. Soon she knew that they were newlyweds just as she and Claude had been here six years ago and this was their wedding night. She felt both love and fear in the girl's mind. The girl was a virgin and she was delaying her deflowering and the boy was urging her to return to the cabin. He was telling her that he would be gentle with her and take it slow. She called him John and he called her Lisa.
Anne heard a car approaching on the road and thought Claude might be returning. She soon heard loud music coming from the car radio and heard men yelling out the open windows. She saw in the moonlight that the car was a white Cadillac, the new model with the low rounded tail fins. The car came to a stop pulling off the road onto the beach above them. She felt three young males in the car and sensed that they were drunk. They all three opened the car doors and lined up on the side of the car facing the lake and took out their penises and began to pee.
"Hey, fellows," John yelled. "Don't do that here. There is a girl here. Go on down the road."
"A girl, huh?" One of them said. "Hear that Lee. She should be happy to see such fine dicks."
"Yeah," said the one called Lee. "Maybe she would like to see them a little closer."
Anne sensed evil.
They put their penises back in their pants and started over the hill down the beach toward John and Lisa.
Anne had to do something. She got out of her chair and said loudly and, she hoped, with authority, "Just leave them alone and go about your business!"
She knew that her presence was a surprise to the three hoodlums and to John and Lisa.
Lee said, "Oh boy, two girls. We need one more or Chad may have to fuck the guy."
John stood. "Now get out of here you guys. We don't want any trouble."
Lee hit John in the nose, knocking him down. Then the other two thugs grabbed him and held him while Lee hit him in the stomach doubling him over and then hit him hard under the chin knocking him backwards. John hit the ground and didn't get up. Lisa screamed.
Anne turned to run but one of the men suddenly was between her and her cabin. She turned back and saw that one of the men had a snub nosed Colt .38 revolver in his hand. He waved it toward Anne and Lisa. "Both of you get to the cabin." He pointed the gun toward John and Lisa's cabin.
Anne said, "Let me help this man. You've hurt him badly."
"You can help him after we've finished with you." The one with the gun said.
Anne sensed dumb arrogance and a desire for violence. She saw no choice but to do what they said.
Lisa just sat in the chair and whimpered. Lee went over to her and jerked her up and pushed her toward the cabin. Anne walked along with the guy with the gun bringing up the rear.
As they entered the cabin, Lee took out his own gun. He handed it to the third guy. "Shel, you watch the girls here." Lee closed the door with Chad still on the outside. Anne sensed danger.
"Now," Lee said. "You two gals are going to be completely naked. The only question is whether you take your clothes off or we do it for you."
Lee pushed Lisa down on the bed and she lay there crying. Then they heard a single shot from outside. Lisa screamed again. Anne felt John's life force fade.
"Quiet!" Lee said.
Anne took off her blouse and her skirt. Since she spent much of her time naked she hadn't bothered to wear a bra and she left her panties on. The men grinned in appreciation and expectation when they saw her pert nipples and the thick brown hair sticking out around her panties.
"Panties too." Shel said.
"All in good time." She replied. Shel or Lee didn't force the issue yet.
Lisa didn't seem able to do anything but lie on the bed, so Anne went over to her. I'll help you undress she said and began unbuttoning Lisa's blouse. Lisa didn't object or even open her eyes. She just lay there, but she had stopped crying. She seemed in a trance. Anne could sense a closing of the mind.
Soon Anne had removed Lisa's clothing and she lay in a fetal position naked. Chad came in the door.
Lee said, "I like the older one. You two take turns holding the gun and fucking the younger one and I'll handle this one."
Lee took the shoe laces out of Lisa's and Anne's shoes and used them to tie a loop around Lisa's ankles and then to tie each ankle to the foot of the bed leaving her on her back with her legs spread. Her body was quivering but her eyes remained closed and she was quiet.
Shel held the gun. Chad had removed his shirt, pants and underwear. He had an erection. He climbed on the bed and slammed his penis into Lisa's pussy. She screamed and began crying again. A few strokes and Chad was done. He withdrew and said, "Guess what fellows. She was cherry. But she's not now."
Then Chad held the gun while Shel entered Lisa and ejaculated. Lisa lay still.
"Now," Lee said to Anne. "It's time for me to take you."
"I can suck you if you want." Anne said.
"Nope, I want to do it in the cunt like those guys did."
He untied Lisa and Shel set her in the chair where she drew up her knees and sat there with her eyes closed shaking.
"Do I need to tie you?" Lee said.
Ann lay down and took off her panties and spread her legs.
"Hey," Lee cried, "she's on the rag."
"I told you I can suck you." She said.
"Nope, I'll still do it this way." She took off her sanitary napkin.
While he was fucking her Anne probed his mind and found much there that made her recoil in horror.
During the process, Anne sensed a car passing on the road above the cabin and felt Claude's presence. She did not want to send a plea for help to his mind because she did not want him facing three armed men. She controlled her emotions and concentrated on learning all she could from Lee's mind.
Like the others, Lee finished quickly.
Shel said, "I heard a car, Lee. We'd better get out of here."
So they went to the door. Chad turned and said, "Thank you ladies." and they left.
Anne went to the chair and held Lisa. She knew Claude would soon be looking for her.
Sure enough, Claude soon came walking along the beach. He saw a form lying on the sand and when he went over to check it found that John had been shot in the head. At that point he became alarmed and Anne, in the cabin, could sense his concern. At the same time she could hear a siren in the distance.
She left the cabin carrying her clothes and went out to intercept Claude.
"Come with me." She commanded. She felt his questions and his desire to go to the cabin and she mentally tamped that desire down so that he would do as she said. He followed her until she got him back into the trees out of sight from the beach. She told him to be quiet and told him about the monsters who had killed John and raped Lisa.
In the meantime a police car arrived and two policemen came down to the beach where they discovered John's body.
"Don't say anything." Anne told Claude.
She figured someone across the small lake had heard the shot and called the police. She knew they would find Lisa and take her to a hospital when they had examined John's body.
She took Claude back to their cabin. He said, "You are naked. What did they do to you?"
So she told him and she could feel the horror and the anger building in him. When she was finished she knew that partly because he was a Kentuckian and an ex soldier and partly because he loved her, he had to kill the three men. She felt the same way so she let her mind meld with his so that they each knew what the other felt.
"So we find them and kill them." he said.
"Yes. But calm down now and let's do this right. The police will soon be here to ask us questions because we are the only other people on this side of the lake. You just drove up. As far as they are concerned I was with you and we got here after it was all over so we don't know anything about it."
"Won't this girl, Lisa, tell the police about you."
"Lisa's mind seems to have shut down. At this point the whole episode is like a bad dream and she has withdrawn into herself. She is barely aware of me because she is shutting the whole thing out of her mind. She wouldn't open her eyes in the cabin and when I first approached them it was dark so she couldn't have gotten much of a look at me. She also doesn't know where I came from. It is possible that at some point she might mention that I was there and someone may think of us being in the nearby cabin, but I doubt that anyone will follow up on it. Even if they do, if we stick to our story, no one can be sure that we were involved. The only ones who can actually identify me are the men we plan to kill. My fingerprints are not on file anywhere but yours are due to your service in the military. That is one reason I did not want you to go into that cabin."
Claude knew that if they told the police anything then they might later be suspects when someone killed the three rapists and murderers. So when the police did come by in less than an hour, Anne and Claude explained to them that they had just gotten back from a grocery trip. There were even a couple of grocery sacks, one with a bottle of wine in it and another with a box of crackers, on the dining table and a grocery checkout ticket laying on the table beside the sacks. Claude explained to them his idea about a steak supper since they planned to leave tomorrow. When the police told them that a man had been killed they feigned surprise that anyone was staying in the cabin down the beach saying that they had walked down that way just this morning and the cabin seemed to be empty, which was true. Soon the police seemed satisfied and left.
As soon as the police left Anne took a long shower.
Claude and Anne went through the process of cooking their steak supper and eating it mechanically. They said only a few words to each other. Later they went to bed and lay with their backs to each other but neither slept. They were both making plans. When morning came they arose early and made breakfast, again mechanically. After breakfast they compared their plans and decided what to do. Claude said, "How will we find these guys?"
Anne said, "I know where to start. About halfway between here and the last town there is a bar and lounge called the Happy Monkey. They were there before they came here tonight. I got that much information from the one who raped me while he was doing it."
Monday afternoon, Claude and Anne returned to the Happy Monkey. Claude went in while Anne waited in the car. The men they were looking for did not know Claude or their car but they would recognize Anne.
Claude sat at the bar and waited for the bartender. "A white Cadillac came out of your parking lot about 7:00 Saturday night," he said. "It had three drunk guys in it. As they left driving like hell they sideswiped my car. I want to find those guys." He held a twenty dollar bill in his hand with the corner exposed. The bartender took the twenty.
"You don't want to find those guys. They are bad news. Lee Todd is the leader. His Dad is James Todd, head of the local crime families in this part of the state. His buddies are brothers, Chad and Sheldon Woodstone, sons of Judge Woodstone on the State Court of Appeals. Take my advice and just walk away. Those boys are violent and have influence. They are untouchables."
"Do they come here often?"
"They are usually here once or twice a week, most always on Saturday night. So I don't want to see you in here again. If you are smart you will take my advice and let it go. If you aren't, I don't want any connection between you and me."
Claude thought, "Neither do I."
Claude told Anne what he had learned. He said, "If the police ever figure out who those guys were they aren't going to follow up on it. They almost certainly won't try very hard to find out. However, when we kill them the police and the local crime organization will turn over heaven and earth to find us. There will be a price on our heads."
They went home and spent the rest of the week making plans. They bought a 1 1/2 ton 1937 Chevrolet flat bed truck and Claude built a wooden cover for it. On Friday night Claude drove to a residental area about two in the morning and stole the license plates from a car parked on the street. They told Anne's family that they had decided to return to Kentucky and packed their belongings in the truck.
On Saturday night, Claude took the license plates off their car and put the stolen ones in their place.
They arrived at the Happy Monkey just after dark. The white Cadillac wasn't there. They parked in a corner of the lot kept in dark shade by some pine trees growing beside the parking lot. They sat and watched. They didn't say anything, just sat quietly. After about half an hour as the lot had begun to fill, the Cadillac arrived and parked at the end of the third row of cars. The three guys got out to go into the bar. Anne felt them and was sick and extremely angry. She had to use mental exercises to calm herself. They went into the bar laughing and talking loudly.
Claude moved their car so that they could pull out toward the Caddy and then go straight out of the parking lot. They sat there for about three hours both tense and prepared. Their plans were made. Patrons began leaving the bar and the parking lot began to empty. Just before midnight the three men stumbled out of the bar yelling and singing drunkenly.
"Are you ready?" Claude whispered.
"Yes." she answered. They had taped over the dome light switch on the car door. Anne got out holding a 12 gauge double barreled shotgun under her arm and down to her side away from the men so that in the dark it was difficult to see. She circled behind their car and approched them from the opposite side from where Claude sat waiting.
"Hello boys." She said.
"Well," said Lee, "you liked it so much you came back for more."
When Claude was sure their attention was riveted on Anne he pulled out from his parking space with his own shotgun in the seat beside him. They didn't look around because Anne was unbuttoning her blouse with her left hand and it was soon obvious that she wore no bra. When the men began to approach her she raised the shotgun. The men reached for their guns, but too late. Anne shot both barrels from about ten feet in front of them while Claude emptied both barrels of his gun on them from beside them. They all fell in a mess of blood. Lee's head was almost blown off.
Anne calmly walked to the car and got in and Claude drove out, turned onto the highway and headed away from the nearby town. After about a mile he turned onto a side road that they had driven in advance and which they knew led to another highway back to their apartment near Indianapolis. There was a lane to a farmer's field on that road and at that time of night there was little traffic. Claude pulled into the lane quickly changed the license plates and later just out of Indianapolis they threw the stolen plates in the ditch beside the road. Anne had wiped off any finger prints during the drive.
They went to bed, lay there awhile, and then Anne said, "Well we now live in a world with three less scum in it. That makes me relaxed more than I have been in a week."
"Me too." he said and then they turned toward and held each other and soon made love and went to sleep and slept soundly.
The next morning, after arising later than usual, they finished loading their truck, left the apartment they had rented, went by Ann's parents and picked up Erik and headed for Kentucky with Claude driving the truck and Anne and Erik following in the car.
During the rest of that year they built a place to live and moved in and Claude continued working on the place and using his engineering knowledge to tinker. They were a little paranoid about someone coming after them so Claude set up alarms and they fortified the place and made plans in case strangers approached. Since they were in the woods and they had built their house back against a cliff and in front of a cave and since the whole area would soon be cut off by a lake, unannounced visitors were unlikely. Claude had kept up with his field and in 1949 he patented a component needed to help to adjust the color on the new fangled color televisions that had just been invented. Eventually that patent made them rich.
In 1950 Claude began work for the South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative and in 1956 worked for them and for the new East Kentucky Power Cooperative which was buying electric power produced by water power at Wolf Creek Dam and by coal fired power plants including the Cooper Power Station at Burnside which went online from 1965 to 1969 and produces 341 megawatts of electric power as opposed to the 270 megawatts produced by Wolf Creek Dam. Claude worked for them until his retirement in 1985. In the meantime Anne wrote novels and a couple of books on mathematical theory and supplemented their income.
They had borrowed money from his parents to build and to live and in 1950 they had a baby girl and named her Marie. By the late 50s they were able to repay his parents and then their income increased so that there were no more money worries.
Claude and Anne lived happily in their woodland retreat with family around them until his death in 1997 and Anne's in 2009.
Erik Browski got a letter one day. It said "Greetings". He was 21 years old and thought he was safe. Before long he was in Basic Training and then he was assigned to the 101st Airborne otherwise known as the "Screaming Eagles" based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He ended up in Vietnam in time for the ill conceived battle of Hamburger Hill.
After that he was on patrol with his unit one day when a guy near the front of the column stepped on a Bouncing Betty. "Mine!" he yelled and they all went to ground as they saw the mine jump up to about shoulder height. Those nearest the mine were killed. Erik, being further back, was badly wounded when his body was penetrated by several mine fragments. He was in a M.A.S.H. unit for over a day and was then transferred to a hospital ship. He was there for almost a month recuperating after three surgeries and then he was sent to Walter Reed hospital.
While Erik was on the hospital ship he was cared for by a nurse from New Jersey named Julia Ceconi. Julia was a city girl and she was taken by this backwoods Kentucky boy. They spent hours talking together and he told her about growing up in the woods and about lakes and cliffs and caves and streams with falls and swimming holes and abundant wildlife. What he described was very different than the streets where she had grown up and it was certainly different than Vietnam. It sounded to her like a paradise and she fell for the soldier telling her these tales as he did for her.
Erik and Julia wrote to each other about every day and sometimes got to talk on the phone. By late 1970 she was home from Vietnam and he had been discharged from both the Army and the hospital and was a law student at the University of Kentucky. Julia went to Lexington and enrolled in advanced nursing courses. Late that year they were married.
When Erik got his law degree and passed the bar exam, he and Julia moved to Somerset, Kentucky near his family home, where he set up a law office and she got a nursing job at the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.
In 1977 Julia was pregnant and they had a baby girl that they named Carol.
Marie Adamson was sitting in the living room waiting. She could hear the water running through the open door of the adjoining garage. Another pain caused her to gasp slightly. She was in the midst of childbirth. Rather she was in the beginning of childbirth. Her pains weren't very close yet. Her husband, Dallas, and Mrs. Anderson, the midwife, were in the garage filling the birthing tub with warm water. They had set the tub up there this morning and as soon as it was ready, Marie would get in and birth her first child squatting in warm water, the natural way.
She and Dallas had decided on natural childbirth. She would breast feed and they would not circumcise. She had had normal prenatal care and a sonogram so she knew she was having a boy. They were not exactly going "hippie" now. She just felt that she wanted to be more in touch with natural rhythms and the cosmic force for the birthing process. She could feel Judd's mind and she knew he was doing well.
Her mother, Anne, would be here soon. It would take her a couple of hours to get from the cabin to their truck at Burnside and then to drive to London. Probably, her dad would come too. Dallas' parents would be by after the birth. His dad said he would rather see his grandson after he was born, not during. Mrs. Anderson was all in favor of natural childbirth, but Marie didn't know what she thought about Dallas being nude just as Marie was. She thought Mrs. Anderson almost always wore clothes. But since Dallas planned on being in the birthing tub with her, it did not make sense for him to wear clothes, especially since they seldom wore clothing at home anyway. Usually if they had clothed guests, they wore clothing too so that the guests would be more comfortable but this was a special event and they saw it as an intimate family affair.
All during her pregnancy, Marie, had been mentally preparing for this birth. She had pretty complete mental control over her mind and her anatomy. She had been able to feel the consciousness of the baby developing along with his body in the womb. She could feel his comfort now at being in the womb. She hoped the birth process would not scare him too much. She was sure she could mentally calm him as it occurred. She was looking forward to it.
"It's ready." Dallas said. Marie got up and went down the three steps into the garage. Dallas helped her into the tub and she sat down. He got in beside her and they kissed. Another pain came. She looked forward to them too.
After about an hour the pains had gotten closer together and her mom and her dad had arrived. Dallas brought comfortable chairs into the garage for his in-laws and for Mrs. Anderson. They sat and talked. Dallas got back in the tub with Marie and rubbed her back and her belly. Actually he pretty much rubbed her all over. She was feeling aroused. From the looks of him, he was too.
An hour or so later the pains were close and harder. The midwife began watching the birth canal. Soon the hair of Judd's head appeared and Marie began to push in earnest. It gave her a thrill to feel him pushing through her uterus into the vagina. The midwife grasped his head and began gently pulling and feeling for his shoulders to be sure they were sliding through all right. She got his shoulders in position and then suddenly they came out followed by the rest of his body. As Marie felt the baby slide out of her she had an intense orgasm and yelled in delight.
Dallas said, "You came, didn't you?"
Mrs. Anderson seemed astounded. Marie knew that her mother had felt it almost as she did because both her mind and her mother's mind were in synch with all those in the room. She concentrated on keeping Judd calm. He had been somewhat scared and he did cry after birth, but she knew he was fine.
Mrs. Anderson wiped the baby and gave him to his mother. Marie held him to her breast and he settled calmly there. When he rested some she would give him his first milk. A beautiful day.
A couple of years later Marie's sister-in-law, Julia, was pregnant and Marie helped her to prepare for the birth in the same way Marie had done. Julia too had a water birth and had an orgasm during it. Unfortunately, Julia did not have the gift to feel the mind force and the cosmic force as Marie and Anne did so the experience for her was not quite the same. Anne and Marie were present at the birth though, and they experienced it with Julia. Afterward, they welcomed another one of their own into the world.
Eleven year old Carol screamed!
Grandma Anne came running. "Grandma," Carol sobbed, "I felt the fear and then the life force go out!"
"Of what?" Anne said.
"The squirrel outside in the yard trying to reach the tree. The fox caught it."
Anne sat down and lifted Carol to sit on her knee.
"It is the way of life." Anne explained. "We must accept it. You can use your powers to calm the squirrel but you cannot change the ways of nature. And if you could, you would not want to do so, because the fox has to eat. Do you feel the good feelings from the fox now because he has dinner?"
"Yes, Grandma, but I am sad for the squirrel."
Carol has been sitting by the front window watching and feeling wildlife in the front lawn of the house.
"Carol, remember when I explained to you when you were smaller that we are somewhat different than many people because we usually do not wear clothing around the house, but we have to respect other people's ways and wear clothing in their presence?"
"Well, we are also different in another way because most other people cannot feel the life force as you and I and your Aunt Marie can. And we must not let other people know about this also because they would not understand and because we must respect their privacy and not let them know that we can feel their brain waves. That would annoy or scare them. Do you understand?"
"Yes." the young girl said, "But why can't other people feel those things too?"
"I don't know that. Some people can play music or sing or draw. Others can't but they can do other things, maybe like excelling at sports or having an aptitude for math or science or enjoying cooking. You have to be able to accept the world as it is and appreciate differences. After all, would you really want to live in a world where everyone was exactly alike?"
"I guess not. Grandpa Claude can't feel the force either can he?"
"No, the only people I ever knew who had that gift were some of the women from my mother's home village in Norway. My grandmother had the gift and so did a friend of hers and two or three others in the village."
"But I am good at math too, Grandma, aren't I?" Carol wondered.
"Yes you are. It seems that people who have the gift of sensing the life force also have the ability to sense patterns in the universe. It is a right brain, or non linear thinking thing, to be able to see patterns in, not only math, but in other things observed in the world."
Carol's cousin, Judd, came into the house from the cave then. He had just come out of the shower and his dark skin was still wet in places and the light reflected from drops of water. Judd was two years older than Carol. The two children spent much of their summers, when they were out of school, at their grandparent's house in the woods above Lake Cumberland. They loved to wander in the woodland and swim in the lake and the creeks and to play in the cave and to learn about many subjects from their grandma, Anne, and their grandpa, Claude, including programming the computer in the front room. None of their friends had computers and most did not even know what they were.
Carol pointed at Judd and laughed. Judd had an erection. He didn't seem embarrassed. "Grandma, why does his penis get hard like that sometimes?" Carol asked.
"My, you are full of questions today aren't you. Remember when we discussed sex and I explained to both of you how babies are made. Well, male's penises have to get hard when they are making love with a female so they can enter the vagina and deposit their sperm as deeply into it as possible."
"Yes, but he isn't making love now?"
"No, but he is going through puberty which means his body is changing just as yours will soon to become more sexually mature and capable of reproducing. Part of that change includes the development of body hair and more frequent erections even when he is not making love."
"How will Carol change?" Judd asked.
"Well she will grow body hairs too, but not all over her body like you will, only in the pubic area between her legs like you can see I have. Hers won't be gray like mine though. She will begin to menstruate as we have discussed before when we talked about where babies come from. And she will develop breasts like I have also except hers will probably be smaller and stick straight out more. If you notice, her nipples are already starting to protrude a little."
"Yeah, I can see that."
"Now both of you remember what I told you about sex. Whenever either of you feel the need you can masturbate like I taught you but you cannot have sex with each other, as far as putting the penis in the vagina, for two reasons. First because we don't want Carol getting pregnant and second because you are cousins and it is not a good idea for relatives to reproduce with each other for the reasons you already know."
Judd said, "The boys at school talk about sex but they don't really seem to know much about it and they seem to think it is dirty and shameful."
"Yes," Anne said, "many people are not like us and they have a lot of hangups about sex. The best thing is to just let them talk and don't tell them that you know more about it, because then they would resent you for knowing more than they do."
"Carol," Judd said, "let's go over to Tsuga creek and swim in the pool below the falls."
"All right!" she squealed, and they ran out of the house.
Anne continued to sit in front of the window and reminisce. She and Claude had two children. Erik was 41 now and he was an attorney in Somerset about fifteen miles away. His wife, Julia, was a nurse at the hospital there. Carol was their daughter. Marie was 38 and she and her husband, Dallas, lived on his farm near London which was about an hour's drive away. Marie taught math at the county high school there and Dallas ran a large cattle farm. Marie met Dallas when she was a student at the University of Kentucky and they married after they graduated. Judd was their only child. Anne was glad that in today's world no one had a problem with the fact that Dallas was black and Marie was white. That would have been an impossible marriage when Anne was young.
Many people in that area would have been afraid to let the two cousins run around together nude as Anne did but she and Claude had raised Erik and Marie in the same way and they had turned out fine. Besides that, as Anne knew, many families in Europe raised children in an atmosphere of nudity and freedom from the prudity that seemed so prevalent in America.
She remembered a story her daughter-in-law, Julia, had told her:
When Carol was 6, she had an "Episode" at an after school program. Seems a boy decided to flash her. He was a known bully and he, with a few friends, exposed his penis to Carol and asked her "What do you think of this?". Of course, he expected her to panic or something like that. Instead, she bent down and gave the penis a good look and exclaimed "It's ok, but I've seen better!". He then ran away crying. Not the reaction he expected! The after school instructors found out about this and had to tell Julia what happened when she picked Carol up. They were all laughing and told her they did not think he would ever pick on Carol again. Julia told them about their being nudists and they all laughed about the fact that this bully picked on the wrong kid.
Anne thought about the overall problem of explaining to a young child the nature of the universe when bad things happen. She remembered when Carol was about five or six years old and she had been running in the house barefoot, as usual, when she had stubbed her toe on the leg of the kitchen table. She cried loudly. Anne sat Carol on her knee and said, "What happened?"
"I hurt my toe.", she sobbed.
Anne touched the top of Carol's head. "Does it hurt there?"
Anne touched Carol's elbow. "Does it hurt there?"
Anne touched Carol's ear. "Does it hurt there?"
Anne touched her belly button. "Does it hurt there?"
"No.", she giggled.
"Is the sun shining outside?"
"Are the birds singing?"
"So you mean to tell me that the sun is shining and the birds are singing and the world is fine and Carol feels great on her head and her belly and her arms and her legs and the only thing wrong in the whole world is that her big toe hurts a little and she is crying about that. Maybe you should think of all the good things and all the things that don't hurt rather than giving so much attention to such an insignificant thing as a toe."
Of course by that time the toe had pretty much quit hurting and, since Carol had a very quick mind, she got the point. After that she was much more adept at keeping life's setbacks in perspective.
A similar thing had happened when Carol was younger when she had first learned the concept of death and that all things, including herself and her parents, would eventually die. Anne had explained to her that death was simply a time in which the thing that had died no longer existed. But that did not change the present in which that thing did exist or all the times in which it had existed and that those times would always exist in the fabric of the universe and that the memories of the thing that died would exist as long as any thing that knew it existed.
She hoped Carol had learned from that that it is more important to live in and experience the present and to remember good things of the past than to spend time worrying about what might happen in the future. She thought her granddaughter had learned that lesson also.
Anne Browski felt there was something wrong and told her husband, Claude, he must go to a doctor for a checkup. Early in 1997 Claude Browski was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After extensive tests and consultations the doctor's verdict was that he had from six months to a year to live. Claude had lived with his wife, Anne, for a long time now and he had learned to accept life as she did. That means he had also learned to accept death as an essential part of life.
The Buddhist idea is that life is just a preparation for death. They say the most important moment of your life is the moment of your death. If we respond at that moment with fear, or anger or grasping (what the Buddhists call attachment), then we will take a rebirth unconsciously. We will incarnate very quickly and without a lot of direction. With a calm and clear mind, however, free of fear, ready to leave and with nothing incomplete, we are able to consciously choose the mode and place of rebirth.
Claude saw this as an opportunity to complete unfinished business, prepare a will, even write his own obituary, design his funeral and art-direct his wake. Claude discussed his situation with his wife and his family. He made it clear that he thought death was to be accepted and embraced, not to be fought and that at the end he did not want any extraordinary medical procedures to try to delay death. He simply wanted to have their help in preparing for the inevitable.
He was finishing up his Lifebook with pictures and music. He wrote about his favorite poetry and humor including poems and stories he had written. He was getting stuff in order for display and making up a music list.
"I love you beyond the form of this body, I know there is so much more than this physical domain and I trust this mysterious existence...
I am eternally grateful that I have been so blessed to live this beautiful life. It could not have been more beautiful and I could not have felt more loved by you all. I am eternally in love with you in my gratitude and sweet preciousness and I pray you will be at peace and happy after my body has gone .. and enjoy every day of your precious existence."
In late 1997, Claude passed away quietly in his bed at home surrounded by his family.
Claude's body was cremated and Anne spread his ashes around the home where they had enjoyed most of their married life. A headstone placed in a corner of their lawn included Claude's and Anne's pictures as well as birth date, wedding date, death date and names and birth dates of their children.
A few days later a celebration of Claude's life was held over a two day period in a community center meeting room at Burnside. On the first day and a half friends and relatives and local people who knew him passed through and lingered there throughout the day. The room was filled with flowers and Claude's writings and Lifebook on tables and his framed poems on the walls. These were also available as web pages and there were computers to access them. One table held things that Claude used on a daily basis in his life or that had special significance to him. There were drinks and snacks available at all times and handouts with his picture and essential facts and dates of his life available for guests to take with them. These included the web address of his Lifebook and other writings and his photography.
Some of Claude's favorite music played softly in the background including Sentimental Journey by Les Brown and Doris day, Que Sera, Sera by Doris Day, Kisses Sweeter than Wine by Jimmie Rodgers, The Three Bells by the Browns, When I'm Sixty-Four by the Beatles, Country Bumpkin by Cal Smith, Take the A train by Duke Ellington, Sinatra's Doing It My Way and others by Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Sousa, Wagner, Strauss, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Al Hirt, Patsy Kline, Flatt and Scruggs, Petula Clark, Louis Armstrong, Patti Page, Roberta Flack, Bobby Goldsboro, Hank Williams, The Eagles, Jim Reeves, Tex Williams, Nat King Cole, Anne Murray, and Big Bands like Tommy Dorsey and many others.
It also included music from a number of musicals and movie themes including Jesus Chris Superstar, Peter Gunn, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and others.
There was a continuous slide show on a screen eight feet long and six feet high on one wall. The pictures and videos were of Claude alone and with his family and in his life and photographs, mostly of nature, that he had taken, although several of these were of Anne and other friends and family members. Many were nudes.
There was a guest book in which guests were encouraged not only to identify themselves but to write something that they remembered about Claude or about their relationship with him. The guest book was also available on the web pages on the internet.
On the afternoon of the second day family members and guests spoke at a podium remembering Claude and the comments from the physical and the online guest book were read aloud. The speakers also read from Claude's books, his Lifebook and his humor and his poetry and other writings. A Unitarian Universalist Minister presided. This went on for hours as guests mingled in the room with the displays still available and the music more muted. Although there were a number of folding chairs at tables available, and many used them, guests were encouraged to continue moving around throughout the services.
And standing there in the hot sun of late May listening to the buzz of the insects and the eternal stillness and loneliness of the cemetery on a Kentucky hilltop she thinks of all her ancestors who once lived and worked as she does and visited these same cemeteries in this same way for many generations and she begins to understand the significance of this tradition. Her family members will take the children on this annual pilgrimage so that when she is lying on a hilltop cemetery they can have the same sense of belonging and perspective and history that she now has; a sense of the impermanence of life and the eternity of death; of graves and gravestones still and silent as the stars pass overhead and the sun rises, as the winds blow and the rain and snows fall, and the seasons march by in succession just as they did in the memories of those once living people.
And she wonders at the infinite moments which must have made up each of those lives. Moments of joy and bliss, of sorrow and tears, of danger and excitement, but mostly of the day to day feelings and sensations of existence. They must have planned and had misgivings and accomplished things and felt pride. They must have felt alone and unsupported without their parents and have eventually drawn the same feelings of strength and consolation from visits to the cemetery and determination to pass this heritage on to their children. So, generation after generation these Kentucky mountain people strive toward the future, perhaps toward some unknown goal or perhaps just for the sake of existence. And she wonders if they know, these people lying here or their spirits, do they know what we, the generations to follow, we whom they considered children, and who to our children will be the old ones, the ancestors, what we have done with the world they left us. And do they approve and are they astounded at the changes or do they calmly accept in their wise knowing way saying "yes, our children, we could not admit it to you or to ourselves but we knew all along you could do it."
And she thinks of Cherokee Chief Doublehead and his daughter, Corn Blossom, who married Big Jake Troxell and their son, Little Jake, and George and Peter Troxell and his wife, Mary, and her father Tom Roberts, the storekeeper. She thinks of Will Troxell who fought during the Civil War and his two wives and his children. She thinks of her great grandfather and great grandmother, Dr. Frank Browski and Mary named for her grandmother. And then she thinks of the people she knew, her grandparents and parents.
She tries to imagine their lives growing up and the age they were when they married and had children and how they must have been apprehensive about what their future held and the adventures they had in war and in starting and caring for families and in making a living and dealing with day to day life.
Carol has a computer program she wrote called SFHR; Social, Family, and Historical Relationships database. She has put all the information she has about her family into that program and it can give her a web page of the history of each person telling what was happening in world and national and state history and in their family for every year of their life. She likes to look at those web pages and try to imagine each year of a person's life in detail. It gives her a sense of perspective of the passage of time and of the influence of each life on the universe and on the future. She is able to sit quietly under a silent nighttime sky and sense the patterns of existence.
The rain was blowing sideways and Erik Browski had to turn up his windshield wipers to high speed to be able to see the highway. He was heading north on Interstate 75 passing by Richmond, Kentucky on his way to Richmond, Indiana. It was early September and he knew farmers all over this part of Kentucky would rejoice at this rainstorm hoping the summer drought would now be broken. The rain had been steady since he left his home in Somerset an hour before and it promised to last all day. He had left before dawn and it was now light. He still had about four hours to drive in the rain before reaching his destination.
His phone had rang about midnight the other night. His cousin, Jane Brownlee, had called from her home in Michigan to say she had just received a call from the police in Richmond Indiana to say that their uncle, Kenneth Enberg, had just been taken by the police to the hospital in Richmond after he was reported wandering the streets disoriented and he did not know who or where he was. It seems that the only contact information they could find was a phone number for Jane that the only remaining tenant in Kenneth's apartment house had given them. The tenant was the guy who notified the police about Kenneth's condition.
Erik's uncle was his deceased mother, Anne's, eccentric older brother and he had lived alone in his apartment house in Richmond almost since he got out of the Army in 1947, the year Erik was born. After returning from the occupation of Germany, Kenneth had lived with Claude and Anne for a few months helping to care for the new baby and then had gotten a maintenance job in Richmond at a factory where dishwashers were manufactured and worked there until the factory closed in 1985. By 1954 he had saved up enough to make a down payment on an apartment house with four apartments and he saved more money from overtime work at his job and from rent from four tenants in the apartment house. He, himself, lived frugally in the attic of the apartment house so that he could rent all four apartments.
Both Erik and Jane had been in touch with Reid Hospital in Richmond and with their cousin, Terri Goetz, who lived in Georgetown, Kentucky, the nearest relative to Richmond. Erik had also contacted an attorney in Richmond, Doug Elder, who was, coincidentally, an elder law attorney. Although Erik was an attorney, he did not have a license to practice in Indiana. Erik knew that it would be necessary to have a guardian appointed to care for Kenneth's affairs and he and Terri had agreed to be co-guardians.
Erik stopped by Georgetown and picked up Terri to make the trip with him. He thought that if Kenneth were going to need a guardian, then two cousins from different parts of the family should be involved to prevent second guessing by other family members. Terri was packed and ready to go. She was a petite freckled redhead, feisty and active. She got in and they kept each other company for the rest of the trip, catching up on their lives and family matters. They hadn't seen each other in eight or ten years.
Erik and Terri got to Reid hospital and found that their uncle had been moved to the psychiatric ward. They talked to his doctor and found that tests and examinations had revealed no physical problems except perhaps malnourishment and Kenneth had been diagnosed with dementia. Erik found that someone had taken Kenneth's clothing but his personal effects were in safe keeping at the nurses' station. Erik got Kenneth's house keys from the nurse by signing for them and producing identification.
Erik and Terri went to Kenneth's room. Kenneth was lying on the bed but he stood up when they entered the room.
Erik said, "Hello, Uncle Kenneth. Do you know who I am?"
"Yeah, you're my nephew and this girl with you is your wife but I don't remember her name." He slurred his words.
Terri corrected him. "No, Uncle Kenneth. I'm your niece, Terri."
"Oh, you are? Whose girl are you?"
"I'm your brother, Charlie's, girl."
"Oh, I remember you now."
They talked for a while but Kenneth seemed confused as to where he was and why. They told him he was in the hospital because he had been confused and that it might be a while before he was better.
He said, "Well, I don't think I can go home and if I can't I'd like to go to the Golden Harvest Nursing Home. Some of the people who have lived with me over the years went there and I helped care for them and it's a nice place."
He asked, "What time is it?"
"It's almost noon."
Kenneth began shuffling toward the door, opened it and went out into the hall. Erik and Terri followed him.
"Where are you going, Uncle Kenneth?"
"Lunch. They serve at 12 o'clock."
Erik thought they would bring meals to the rooms. He went to the nurse's station to ask. "No." said the nurse on duty. "We have a dining room and we encourage the patients to go there on their own to eat. Your Uncle has been very punctual about that. As you know, this floor is locked down and the hallway simply goes around the floor so he can't leave. There is an orderly on duty at the door and there are others around to keep an eye on the patients."
Terri was following Kenneth. Erik went around the corner of the hall and saw Terri standing in the hall under a sign that said, "Dining Room".
"So what do you think?"
She thought for a few seconds and replied, "His mind is murky and dim and confused. He is holding on to certain thoughts like the times of meals so that he can function. Everything, except the most immediate needed information, is a hazy mess in the distant corners of his mind. However, memories of his youth and everything up to about fifteen years ago are very sharp. I am out here because he tuned me out and I sensed that he no longer cared about my presence but wanted to be able to concentrate on eating his lunch alone."
Terri and Erik found the social worker for the floor and were told that arrangements would have to be made for Kenneth's eventual discharge from the hospital. She also said that the police had looked into Kenneth's apartment when they picked him up on the street and had reported that it seemed to them to be uninhabitable and they had requested an inspection from the health department.
Erik told her that he and Terri would need to be appointed guardians and for that they would need a statement from the psychiatrist that Kenneth was unable to care for himself and needed a guardian. She called the doctor and after a wait of about 45 minutes, he appeared and gave them the statement they needed.
Erik and Terri found Kenneth in his room and told him they were leaving but they would see him tomorrow.
"Ok." he said. "You know I love you guys."
"We love you too, Uncle Kenneth."
They left the hospital and went to their Richmond attorney's office, gave him the statement from the psychiatrist and asked him to file a petition with the court for guardianship.
Doug Elder said, "If you want a permanent guardianship, it will take six to eight weeks to get it from the court. We can get an emergency temporary guardianship quicker but it will only be good for two months. However you can apply to make it permanent before the two months have passed."
They decided to apply for the temporary guardianship because someone needed authority to care for Kenneth soon.
They then went to Kenneth's apartment house on South Seventh Street. An overweight man was sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette. They found that his name was Don and that he and his wife had lived in the apartment in that apartment house for over twenty years, that he was disabled due to lung problems and that his wife worked as a nurse's aide. The water hadn't worked in their apartment for quite a while and they had to carry water from a nearby service station to use. In the winter Kenneth had to add water to the gas furnace twice a day to keep heat to the building because it was a hot water heating system and it didn't work properly. They found that the roof of the building leaked and the electrical wiring was from the 1920s. It turned out that since Kenneth had bought the building, he had refused to spend any money on it and everything had deteriorated. Don and his wife stayed because the rent was very cheap and they didn't think they could afford a better apartment.
They unlocked the door to the stairs to the attic. The stairs were so crowded with junk and canned goods that there was only room to wind around and step over to get up the stairs and in some cases it was necessary to step over a step because there was no uncovered space on the step. There was an overarching stench of stale air and decaying organic matter. It was difficult to breathe.
At the top of the stairs they found a narrow path through junk including old broken TV sets and computer monitors and garbage bags full of trash piled waist to shoulder high. The bathroom was blocked. It was too full of junk to allow access. Looking in, the tub was filled with junk and the commode was covered. Pans in the kitchen were sitting on the stove full of spoiled and dried food and there was spilled dried and rotted food on the stove and table and cabinets. Cans of yams were piled throughout. The bed was covered with trash.
Terri said, "He wasn't living here. There is no place to sleep or to use the bathroom."
There was one chair in the living area that could have been sat on because it was not covered with junk but it was old and the upholstery was filthy. On a table beside that chair was a calendar with the past days circled in red and a couple of medicine bottles with pills in them and with recent dates on the labels. There was also a plastic bag. When they looked in the plastic bag they found a checkbook and unopened mail and bank statements and a copy of last year's income tax return.
"This is his filing system." Erik said. "He kept all the current papers important to him in this bag. And he marked the calendar to keep track of the days and probably to remind himself to take his medicines."
Terri said, "My husband, Hugh, and I stopped here to see uncle Kenneth last spring and he didn't offer to let us in. We just sat on the porch and visited. He looked like he had been working in the basement. His clothing and skin were covered with a black material and I assumed that he had gotten into coal dust in the basement. He told us he had been making money by collecting scrap metal he found along the streets and selling it. Did you know that he has a list of free meals available in the Richmond area by various church and other soup kitchens and that he got all his meals by going to these and the cans of yams we are seeing here were given to him at these soup kitchens."
"We saw him last fall and he looked the same way. He told us about the free meals too. I haven't been inside his building in over twenty years. He never seemed to want us to come in. You know, he says he has a million dollars and our family members all believe that. I don't think he has been washing himself or his clothes. Notice the smell of everything. Now we need to check the other apartments to find where he has been sleeping."
"My dad always said Kenneth was the rich one and the eccentric one."
They found that the other apartments were also full of junk and everything smelled there too. There was a sofa that was uncovered in one apartment. It looked like it had been slept on and in that apartment they did find an accessible commode in a bathroom in which the water still worked. They concluded that he had been forced out of his original attic apartment by the trash he had accumulated and had moved to one of the other apartments and filled it with junk too and was now down to living in his last unrented apartment. They found the kitchens in each apartment in about the same condition as the first one.
They took the financial records they had found, locked the doors and left after saying goodbye to Don.
Erik used his cell phone to call Doug Elder. "Doug, this apartment building is a mess. It needs to be cleaned out but it will take a bunch of people a long time to do it. Do you know anyone we could get?"
"There is a guy named Bob Stuart who lives over in Cambridge City and he does all types of house repairs and contract work." He gave Erik Bob Stuart's cell phone number.
Erik called Bob and told him what he needed and they agreed to meet at the apartment house the next day.
"We haven't eaten all day. I'm hungry. Let's go to a buffet I know about next to the Best Western and then get adjoining rooms and go over all these papers and make plans."
Soon they were seated at a wooden table at the Farm House Restaurant on the National Road with full plates in front of them.
"He's essentially a hoarder." Terri said. "He grew up in the great depression and became fixated on accumulating money. He told my dad when he was young that he was determined to have a million dollars. That was his life's goal. That is the reason that he never spent any money. After he retired he continued to accumulate money by selling scrap metal he could find on the streets, but that became perverted into an obsession with hoarding things to the extent that he simply began bringing other people's trash home with him and piling it in his apartment house to the point that he no longer had room to live. That was probably an indication of the beginning of his dementia."
After a leisurely and satisfying meal, it was dusk and the commercial and street lights along the National Road were holding off the darkness. Rain was still falling. Erik and Terri left the restaurant and checked in to the Best Western Motel nearby. They got separate but adjoining rooms. They intended to work together into the night. They took their bags up and Terri began unpacking while Erik carried in and set up his computer equipment so that they had an office. Then he went into the hall and filled ice buckets and got a few cold drinks from the vending machines so that they didn't need to leave their rooms again. He also brought in a heavy duty plastic bag with fruit, nuts, snacks, and bottled water that he always carried in the car on such trips.
"Done." he said. We can get comfortable now.
She came into his room through the connecting doorway. "I already have." She was wearing nothing but her underpants and slippers. The freckles on her face could be seen to extend on down her chest to below the nipples of her B cup breasts.
Erik soon stripped to the same outfit Terri wore. They kept their underpants and shoes on because they were in a motel room and didn't trust the cleanliness of the beds and carpets.
Each room had two double beds, so Terri used the unused bed in Erik's room to spread out the papers they had brought in from Kenneth's apartment and she began sorting them and making notes on a legal pad. Erik wrote a description of their day and what they had found and what they were doing and emailed it to his wife, Julia, and Terri's husband, Hugh, and their cousins to keep them involved in what was going on. He then began making lists of things they needed to accomplish for the next day and printing out directions and maps for places they needed to go based on the information Terri was giving him. He scanned important papers into his computer as she found them.
They could smell the stench from Kenneth's apartment clinging to the papers Terri had scattered on the bed. She found the location of Kenneth's money in the Richmond Bank and Trust and in Government securities. She found the name and address of his accountant. She found that his net worth other than his apartment house and his old pickup truck was about 1.4 million dollars. She found that his truck insurance had been cancelled, according to the letter from the insurance company, due to excessive accidents. She found the name of his Medicare Supplement insurer and the agency insuring his property. She found his unpaid property tax bill for the year. She went over his bank statements and made a list of monthly sources of income and expenses. She also went over the copy of his last income tax filing to check that they had found all his assets and she found that his estimated taxes for the whole year had been paid in July even though they were not all due at that time. This led Erik and Terri to believe that Kenneth realized his mind was going and that he was preparing for what had happened. Terri also found the title to Kenneth's truck and the deed to his building.
By midnight they had finished and they both realized they had had a long day and would probably have another long day tomorrow. They called it a day and went to bed in their separate bedrooms leaving the door open between them.
The next morning dawned clear and cool. After a good breakfast at the Farm House Restaurant, Erik and Terri returned to the hospital.
There was a large overweight man in his sixties sitting in a chair in Kenneth's room.
Kenneth introduced him. "This is my friend, Melvin. He eats with me down at the soup kitchen. Melvin, this is my nephew, Erik, and my niece."
Melvin said, "Kenny and I are old friends. Kenny is not able to take care of himself so I help him. I took his clothes home for my wife to wash yesterday morning but she said they were in too bad shape to wash, so she threw them out. I brought Kenneth some new clothes and an electric razor. I spent over a hundred dollars on him."
He pulled three or four tee shirts with imprinted advertisements on the front and a similar number of pairs of cotton pants and a cheap electric razor from a paper bag he had with him.
"Yes, sir!" he said loudly. "You don't need to worry about your uncle here. He has a lot of friends from down at the soup kitchen. We take care of him. When a person is unable to take care of themselves in Richmond there are a lot of places they can get free food and free clothes. It's a good town."
"I spent over a hundred dollars on him but I didn't mind doing it because he's a friend of mine. We go way back."
"Now Kenny, you'll have to mind what the doctors tell you here. Be sure to get dressed and shave every day and don't forget to go to the bathroom."
Kenneth didn't say anything.
"You know, Kenneth told us one day down at the soup kitchen that he had four million dollars but we didn't believe him so we laughed at the joke. Then he pulled his bank statement out of that plastic bag he carries and showed us. We'll take good care of him."
Erik thought Melvin was loud and obnoxious. He took five twenties out of his wallet and gave them to Marvin. "Here's your hundred dollars. We'll take care of getting what he needs now."
Melvin took the hundred dollars and put it in his pocket. "Well I've got to go. I've got a lot of business to take care of. I'll see you tomorrow, Kenneth."
When Melvin left, Kenneth said, "He's a good friend. He makes trips to Africa. He found a fourteen year old black princess there and married her and they have two kids in Africa. Her father is the king there and he has a diamond mine and he gave Melvin half of it for a dowry. Melvin is worth about twenty million dollars. He told me so."
"But, Uncle Kenneth, doesn't he have a wife here. How can he have a wife here and in Africa too?"
"Well, I don't know. They don't do things the same way there that we do here. Anyway, I guess he gets by with it."
"We'll go by your apartment and get you some more clothes. We've got some running around to do now, but we'll be back to see you this afternoon or in the morning."
"That's Ok. I'm doing fine here."
When they left Erik asked Terri about Melvin and Kenneth.
"Melvin is a dominating bully. Kenneth is submissive and fearful of Melvin's personality. Kenneth has dementia but Melvin also has mental problems. Probably why they are both eating at soup kitchens."
We told Kenneth's doctor about Melvin visiting Kenneth and that we had reservations about that.
"So do I." he said. "Until you guys showed up, I thought Melvin was the only person Kenny knew in the world. I think Melvin is bad news. I'll give orders that only family can visit Kenny while he is here in the hospital."
Erik and Terri drove to the address of Kenneth's accountant on East Main Street. It was a fine big house on what used to be called Millionaire's Row in Richmond. It was where the richest people in town built their houses in the roaring twenties. The house had been well preserved and was finished with polished carved woodwork throughout. Terri was impressed.
The accountant told them that she had been doing Kenneth's taxes for years and he had always been sharp and knew just what records she would need and brought them to her well arranged and in order until the last couple of years.
"For the last two years, he just brought me a plastic bag full of papers and didn't seem to have any idea what he was doing. We changed over to electronic tax filing and he was confused by the whole process. I had trouble getting him to understand and to sign the necessary forms. My mother works as a volunteer down at Saint Judes Church. She said they serve a free meal to the homeless at noon on Thursday's and Kenneth had been coming there to eat every Thursday at exactly noon for several years. A couple of weeks ago, she was there cleaning the church on Saturday afternoon and he showed up to eat. He didn't seem to realize what day of the week or time of day it was."
They went back to the apartment house. Erik had just stepped up to unlock the door when a teenaged girl walked up the sidewalk to them.
"Where's Kenny?" she said.
"He's in the hospital. He got sick. Do you know him?"
"Yeah, I'm Edith Ann Smith. I, like, live in the house across the street. Kenny and I are, like, friends. I'm, like, sorry he's sick."
"Had you noticed him acting strange lately?"
"Well it was like he couldn't remember. I, like, came up to him last week and was, like, 'hello' and he was, like, 'Who are you.' He used to, like, wait for the school bus with me when I was, like, smaller because my mom had to, like, go to work before the bus came and he always knew me. When he said that, I was, like, 'Wow'. I always liked him and he, like, liked me. He seemed, like, a little off for the last several months though."
"Well, I am his nephew, Erik, and this is his niece and my cousin, Terri. We're glad to meet you Edith Ann. We hope he will be better soon but we don't know. We'll just have to wait and see."
"I, like, hope so too. I'll, like, see you guys." And she shuffled back across the street toward her house.
Erik and Terri unlocked the apartment house to enter and they were once again struck with the smell as soon as they opened the door. It was like a noxious wave hitting them and encouraging them to leave. They screwed up their courage and went in anyway and began going through Kenneth's things to find personal things such as pictures, letters, and legal papers which they put into a couple of large plastic storage boxes they had found and emptied. They also found some halfway decent clothing to take to Kenneth at the hospital.
At noon they began to watch for Bob Stuart and soon he parked his pickup in front of the building. After introductions they showed him through all the apartments and the attic and the basement.
Bob said, "I've cleaned out a lot of houses usually after the owner's were deceased, but this is, by far, the worst I've ever seen. But I have a seven man crew. We'll rent industrial dumpsters to put it in and get the city sanitation department to haul it to the landfill."
Erik told him, "Wait until we get our temporary guardianship so that we have legal authority. When that happens I'll call you and give you the go ahead. We'll take out anything we find that seems worth keeping but if you find anything worthwhile that we miss, just leave it in the building. How long will it take you and your crew to finish the job?"
"I'd say about a week."
After Bob left they spent another hour looking through the place. Terri said, "This is going to take a lot of time. We have other things to do. I live closer than you, so I'll come back here in a week or so and spend a couple of days working on this place."
They then went to the Golden Harvest Nursing Home and met the nurse in charge of the Alzheimer's and dementia unit. Her name was Rose Bennett. She showed them around and they were impressed with the place and with her demeanor and apparent knowledge of her field.
Erik and Terri spent the night at the Best Western and planned to return home the next day. Early the next morning after a big breakfast at the Farm House Restaurant, they returned to the hospital.
"Uncle Kenneth," Terri said. "We've made arrangements with nurse Rose Bennett at the Golden Harvest Nursing Home for you to move there as soon as they have a room available. We hope it will be within a week or so."
"Good, I want to go there. I love you guys and I appreciate what you are doing for me."
"Have you seen Melvin any more?"
"No, he hasn't been around but he may have gone to Detroit to visit his kids."
"I thought his kids lived in Africa?"
"Well, I'm not sure. Sometimes he says they live in Detroit."
Erik said, "We'll have to leave today. But we'll be in touch with you. If you need to you can have the nurse here call us. She has our phone numbers."
So they left and agreed to return together when they got a temporary guardianship. For the next week Kenneth called Erik every day to ask when he would be able to move to the nursing home. On the ninth day, Rose came and picked him up and they moved him into a room there. Terri returned to Richmond with her husband and they helped get Kenneth settled in the nursing home and spent more time going through things in his building.
In late September, Doug Elder sent Erik and Terri an email saying that the judge had approved their temporary guardianship and that he had the official court order for them.
phone bank & Bob Rose & Kenneth & picture frame melvin returns Don calls Jane situation deteriorates
Wayne County Court House
Erik and Terri had a long ride together on their trips between Georgetown and Richmond and they found that conversation helped to make the time go faster and the trip seem shorter.
One day Erik said, "I have read that there are basically eight purposes to life that describe the way most people approach living. One is that some people live their lives to gratify their ego, in other words, to amass power, fame, money and material goods. A second is a social life based on relationships, friends and family. A third is a creative life lived to leave a legacy or to improve the world or to decrease the amount of entropy in the world or to build or create something new. Think Leonardo Da Vinci. A fourth is simply to live life taking pleasure in existence as in Thoreau's 'Walden Pond'. A fifth is the hedonist life trying to maximize pleasure and pleasurable experiences as in the 'Playboy' lifestyle. The sixth is biological, or to reproduce concentrating the whole of life on one's children. The seventh is the religious life feeling that the purpose of life is to serve one's concept of God and or perhaps to serve mankind as in a Mother Teresa type. The eighth is the student trying to achieve nirvana by learning as much as possible about life and the universe? What Benjamin Franklin meant in using the title, 'philom', meaning lover of learning."
"I am an existentialist creative student. How would you describe yourself as far as the purpose of your life?"
Terri thought about that. "I guess I am a social, existentialist, wife, mother and student. I don't expect or really try to get fame and fortune. I am not particularly creative. I enjoy pleasure but pursuing it is not a lifetime compulsion. I am not particularly religious either."
"How are you physically, mentally, morally and socially which are said to be the four areas in which you live your life?"
"I am good in all. I walk a mile or more a day. I eat a diet low in carbohydrates and keep my weight under control. I am good at math and thinking skills due to my special gift. I do not think I have done evil in the world and I have a number of friends."
Erik said, "I am in good shape in all areas except maybe a little introverted socially."
"Describe yourself as far as politics and religion."
"Liberal Democrat - Unitarian Universalist."
Erik replied, "I would say moderate Democrat pantheist, Zen Buddhist for myself.
I talked to a politician I respect the other day.
He said that we, as a people, needed to get a sense of perspective and support those politicians who have a vision for the future involving the serious problems confronting mankind. He mentioned a number of these.
Control of war and relations among nations, violence, and crime and a fair system of justice.
Support of the citizenry, especially children, including education, health, and the necessities of life.
Protection and conservation of the environment.
Civil Rights and as much freedom as possible for the individual including political and religious freedom and workplace rights.
Policies to support economic prosperity.
Equitable distribution of the wealth of the populace.
Creation and maintenance of infrastructure including that necessary for commerce such as transportation and communication and support of the financial infrastructure and scientific research and energy conservation.
He said that many politicians, either because they have no sense of perspective or because they assume that of most voters, try to get elected by pandering to the baser instincts and ignorance of voters including emphasizing such issues as patriotism, religion and prayer and religious laws and the threat of those unlike the majority including homosexuals, immigrants, atheists, and ethnic or religious minorities. Rather than discuss ideas and philosophies of government they attack their opponent's character."
"So the idea is to avoid politicians who appeal to religion or patriotism or attack particular groups of people or their opponent's character because they are either dumb themselves or assume the voters are or both."
Another time Terri asked, "What kind of music do you put on your playlist?"
"Classical, jazz, bluegrass, country, western, pop, rock. That's almost everything isn't it?"
"On another subject, you obviously have the gift to be in tune with the cosmic force as does my mother and that seems to run in the females of the Enberg family, but Jane doesn't have it. Do you know why?"
"No, I think it is a genetic thing probably connected to the x chromosome since it seems to occur only in females. Your sister, Marie, and I are the only ones of our cousins to have inherited it. Maybe, as Forest Gump said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.'"
The big blind was 40, small blind 20, no ante.
Dallas Adamson was dealt a 3 and a 5 both of spades on the button. He bet 120 on the possible straight flush. Six opponents had folded. The small blind folded and the big blind raised to 200. Dallas called.
The flop came deuce of clubs, 4 and 5 of diamonds. His opponent bet 400. Dallas surmised a continuation bet. Dallas said, "All in."
His opponent thought a minute, called and flipped over a pair of black aces.
Ten of spades on the turn. No help.
Only an ace, six or five on the river would save him.
River came. Ace of diamonds. Dallas exhaled.
The London Poker Club had a no limit Texas Hold'em tournament every Friday night. Entrance fee was $100.00. The house held $100. The rest was the prize. Each player started with 1500 chips.
Winner of the tournament got 30% of the prize, second place was 20% and third place was 15%. The rest of the top 10% of players evenly split the other 35% of the prize.
If less than 100 players played the split of the prize was 30, 20, 15, 10, 10, 10, 5% to the top 7 players.
If less than 20 players played the split of the prize was 60, 30, 10% to the top 3 players.
If less than 7 players there was no tournament.
A round was twenty minutes. There was no ante. Blinds were:
Round Small Blind Big Blind 1 10 20 2 20 40 3 50 100 4 100 200 5 150 300 6 200 400 7 400 800 8 500 1000 9 600 1200 10 700 1400 11 800 1600 12 900 1800 13 1000 2000 14 1200 2400
His wife, Marie, taught Dallas to play no limit Hold'em well enough that he won more than he lost. He averaged winning about $125 for every $100 tournament he entered. He enjoyed these Friday night outings.
Unfortunately, Marie couldn't play live poker because her sense of the minds and emotions of others gave her an unfair advantage. Since she enjoyed the game, she did play online and she taught Dallas his winning strategy for live play.
Marie's aptitude for math and her innate sense of patterns also made her very good at the board games she played online. On the Web, playing stratego, she was ranked in the top twenty in the world and she was 7 dan in Go or Weiqi.
Playing stratego she liked to play aggression, remain visable, which seemed to her to give a better chance to her opponent due to her superior mental powers. The aggression option led to longer more thoughtful games stronger on defense which irked some of the younger players who wanted faster offensive action. An example of one of Marie's favorite starting positions is below:
It was no accident that both games she enjoyed, Stratego and Go, were mental games in the same way as Chess but more complex. These games demanded a feel for patterns of play for success. Marie found that challenging.
In January Joe Planck from Apollo Enterprises called me. He said he was trying to decide what recommendation to make to his board about their property in Kentucky and he had a few questions about my timber cruise report on the property. After I answered his questions, I asked him if he wanted me to keep the report confidential or if I could use it to see if anyone had an interest in buying either the land and timber or just the timber.
"Sure," he said, "show it to anyone you want. The more information I have about interest in the property the more information I have to help me make a decision."
Later that day I called Carol Browski.
"Carol, the Apollo people say I can share their timber report with anyone I want. Should I email it to you?"
"Why don't you come out and bring it to my cabin and we'll go over it together. It's Friday, so plan on spending the weekend if you want. I don't have any plans."
"Ok. Sounds fine to me."
"You know where Judd's pharmacy is in Burnside. That's the building we own. Just park in the corner of the parking lot there. You can leave your Wagovan there for the weekend and I'll pick you up in my truck. Say about 8 tomorrow morning."
At 7:55 I was there. At about 8:03 she drove her black Ranger into the parking lot. I put my stuff in her truck and climbed into the shotgun seat. She drove us into the same national forest road I had used when cruising the Apollo timber and then about a mile past where I had parked and then turned right on a barely discernible logging road through the woods. After about a mile on that road she put the truck in four wheel drive and turned right again into the woods going between trees sometimes barely far enough apart for the truck to pass and down a very steep hill. We came out on the lake at the mouth of Sinking Creek and followed the road around her property to the garage at her cabin.
She said, "I usually go back and forth to Burnside by motor boat but I keep just enough trees cleared that I can drive in and out of here if I want. I don't use this route often because I don't want to leave tracks that other people might start following."
The sky was overcast and the temperature was dropping. The fire had burned down in her house and the air was cool. We took off our coats but kept our clothing on. She got wood and built up the fire.
I showed her the timber cruise report and answered her questions. I had estimated the value of the standing timber at two million dollars and I explained to her how I arrived at that figure.
We were sitting on a sofa together in the front of her cabin where we could look out the picture window in the front of her house. A few snowflakes began to fall.
Carol smiled. "So, besides forestry, what do you do?"
"I'm a farmer and a computer consultant and programmer. Lately I've tended toward armchair philosophy but it don't pay much. I guess I'll have to get back to business programming which does pay better. I used to work as a forester for the Kentucky Division of Forestry. There I was an assistant district forester."
"What was that like?"
"Forestry is applied biology, the science of maximizing benefits from forested lands, be they timber, wildlife, forage, watershed, recreational, aesthetic or other values. It involves a lot of outdoor work, science, math, and personnel management. It can also involve engineering, economics, public relations and a host of other things."
"I worked 11 years as a forester for the state of Kentucky. I assisted landowners in managing forests on privately owned woodlands and worked on state owned forests. I was an assistant district forester supervising forest fire control and forest management activites in a ten county area of southeastern Kentucky which contained around two million acres of woodland. We had about 30 full time employees and sometimes had as many as 200 employees during rough fire seasons. We also had the use during spring and fall fire seasons of the inmates from the Bell County Forestry Camp, a part of the Kentucky prison system housing about 80 minimum security prisoners. I usually enjoyed the work but sometimes put in very long hours and sometimes the weather, terrain, or people involved were not ideal."
"I am long winded and had better stop here. I sometimes end up writing books when I get an open ended question."
"No, this is fascinating. It's a whole area I know nothing about. Except that it's one of those fields that TV makes poor use of in sitcoms and soap operas. You know, where so-and-so has a nervous breakdown and becomes a forest ranger to get away from it all. That's obviously not true, from what you say."
"In 1978 I presented a proposal to the Director of the Kentucky Division of Forestry, an older gentleman about to retire, at a State Forestry Meeting. The gist of my proposal was that I could computerize the bookkeeping in the 9 District Forestry offices in the state as well as fire control statistics and that computerized reports could be relayed by floppy disk to a computer at the state office for an equipment investment of $25,000 to $30,000. I, of course, pointed out a number of benefits of doing this. His comment was that for $25,000 he could buy half a fireplow and he was sure that would be more useful than ten computers. A fireplow is a small bulldozer with a very heavy duty plow mounted on it. It is used to plow a firebreak around a forest fire."
"I left the Division of Forestry the next year, but not because of that incident."
"If you will understand that day to day forestry work is generally routine with quite a bit of paperwork, meetings, and maybe two to four days a week spent in the woods, I will tell a few stories that make it interesting to me. Just remember that its not like that all the time."
"I went into forestry because my high school french teacher had a nervous breakdown. That's another story I'll tell sometime if you are interested. When I went into the field I had watched a lot of Lassie on TV and I figured foresters spent a lot of time in fire towers with occasional time out to rescue beautiful damsels who had managed to get into distress in the woods. If they got into distress somewhere else I figured knights on horseback would rescue them. Anyway, I worked in forestry full time for eleven years and part time for many more years and the only people I ever got to save the life of were a few hardened criminals. They sure weren't beautiful damsels. Actually it was probably for the best though because my girlfriend never did care much for the idea of my rescuing any kind of damsels."
"I did hire a female fire crew leader one time. She wasn't beautiful but she was good looking. It would be a misnomer to call her a damsel because the term just doesn't fit a woman who can lead a crew of fire fighters through the mountains day and night. She was excellent though at recruiting fire fighters off the streets. As I remember she worked for us through three or four fire seasons."
"The most exciting work I did in forestry was in fire control. Most of the day to day fire control work is done by non-professionals. The only time us professional foresters got involved in it was when the fire season got so bad that everything was out of control. So after I got a few seasons under my belt and my boss decided that I was probably one of the best fire strategists in the state ...."
"Therefore I usually got involved in the biggest fires or the most important or those that were giving the most trouble. Once during a very bad season our fire control man in our hottest county got sick. The boss told me to handle that county until it rained and he and the rest of the guys would try to handle the other nine counties in the district. I left the office about 8:30 that morning and by 2:00 the next morning I was bringing my crew off my 12th forest fire of the day. They ranged in size from 1 acre to 100 acres. Another time in that same county I finally got a fire under control that we had been fighting for ten days. Just as my crew came off the fire it began to rain, so we never got credit for controlling it. When I did the paperwork later and mapped the fire I realized that it had burned around 7,500 acres. Thats nearly 12 square miles. Later the state office got a call from NASA. They were picking up a big black area on satellite photos that hadn't been there a few days before. The only thing they could think of was a forest fire but they had never picked up one that big in Kentucky before. I think it was probably around 500 acres on the official paperwork because the state office didn't like fires to get too big officially."
"When I started working for the Division of Forestry we had twenty-four fire towers in the ten county district which were manned during the spring and fall fire seasons to detect forest fires. About 1975 I was asked to be the lead on converting fire detection from fire towers to aerial detection. I was given the use of a four seater Cessna plane piloted by a Vietnam veteran helicopter pilot and I planned and implemented aerial fire detection in my ten county district as a template for converting the rest of the state to aerial detection the next year. I spent many hours with the pilot and a fire spotter trainee flying detection patterns over our two million acres looking for smoke and checking smokes seen to confirm if they were indeed forest fires and finding ways to guide fire crews to attack the fire. The plane was noisy and hot and after a couple of hours the work was very tiring but the experience was interesting too."
"One of the jobs foresters sometimes had on weekends was dispatching. I remember one Saturday, I dispatched from about 7:30 in the morning until about 9:00 that night. During that time I believe we had 56 forest fires in our ten counties. They ranged up to 250 or 300 acres in size but most were less than 10 acres. My job was to oversee the dispatching of fire crews ranging from three to 10 men to see that all fires were covered and to coordinate between counties and get prison camp crews and our three fire plows in position where they could be used most effectively. Besides our four prison crews that operated district wide, we had about two smaller fire crews in each county. We had a detailed highway map of the district covering one wall of the dispatch room and we put up colored pins to mark the location of fires. Yellow was a smoke not yet confirmed as a forest fire, red was a confirmed forest fire, and green was a fire that we considered under control. The map had a plastic overlay that we could mark on with a grease pencil to indicate what crew leader and how many men were fighting each fire. All crew leaders and all county offices and all fire towers had radio communication. The rule was that as long as any crew was on a fire anywhere either the district dispatcher or a dispatcher at the county office had to be available for communication purposes. That meant that when conditions were bad enough that crews stayed on fires all night, the dispatcher had to stay at his desk too."
"You went into forestry because your high school french teacher had a nervous breakdown? Now, that is a line that I just can't pass up. Please explain."
"I went to high school in a small town in a very rural area of the state. Two weeks after I enrolled in first year French the spinster lady who taught it had a nervous breakdown or something. Anyway the school system was left with no one who could speak French. They put an English teacher in charge of the French department. She had never spoken or probably heard a word of French in her life other than those words that have become a part of the English language. I took two years of high school French under her. I got A's. After all je parle francais plus de elle. (or something)." "When I got to the University of Kentucky they looked over my ACT scores and my high school transcript and enrolled me in several advanced classes including 2nd year college French. I said, 'Fine.'"
"I walked into my French class and the pretty young French woman teaching the class said in English, 'From now on we all speak French' and they did. Those were the last words I understood in that class all day. As soon as I got out of class I went to my faculty advisor and said, 'I can't take this French.' He said, 'You're in the college of Arts and Sciences and to graduate you have to have two years of foreign language. Because of your high school background, they're going to require you to take French.' I said, 'OK, what colleges do you have that don't require foreign languages?' He said, 'Agriculture and Forestry.'"
"My father had never completed high school and had worked hard on a farm for fifteen years with very little to show for it. He was determined that I go to college. He knew I loved the farm and the outdoors, so one of the last things he told me before I left for Lexington was, 'Son, decide what you want to major in. Anything you decide on is fine so long as you stay out of farming.' So when this guy told me that my choices were forestry or agriculture or learn to speak French, I decided that I had always wanted to be a forester. Four years later I got a sheepskin from the University of Georgia and was a sure nuf forester."
"In a movie with Richard Dreyfuss he was a pilot who dropped something on fires. What was he dropping?"
"He was dropping what we called slurry. It's water with a chemical added that makes it thick and sticky so that it sticks to everything it touches. Also makes it a little slower to evaporate. The movie was 'Always' I think."
"Contrary to popular movies, etc. slurry does not put out a fire, only cools it down so that a fire crew on the ground can get close enough to get the fire under control. I was a fire boss on a fire once on the south side of Pine Mountain just above the city of Pineville Kentucky. The district dispatcher radioed me to say that a Forest Service plane that was supposed to dump a load of slurry on a National Forest fire in Virginia had gotten lost or had lost his fire or something. Now those B29's can take off with a load of slurry but they tell me they can't land with it. So it had been decided that I could have him so he would have someplace to dump his load. It was real interesting trying to guide a huge bomber in to the place at the head of the fire where my crew was located when my radio would only talk to the state dispatcher. He had a radio to talk to the U.S. dispatcher who could talk to the bomber. Now the trick is keep your crew as close as you can to the fire but not close enough that they get knocked down by the slurry."
"You also have to guide the pilot in the bomber so that he drops his load close enough to your crew that you can hit the fire before the slurry evaporates. The pilot can see the fire but he can't see your men. If he drops too far away from the crew the slurry will evaporate and the fire will be raging again before the crew can get to it. Also, its mighty impressive when that big bomber finally makes his drop run. He comes in right on the tree tops and when he drops the fire suddenly seems to almost go out. Of course you have to realize that thats only temporary and if you don't stop the fire right then it will be out of control again."
"Some friends told me that the scene in 'Always' where the guy on the hilltop observing the slurry drops gets it dumped on him would actually have killed him. True or not?"
"Would the slurry kill the men? It depends. There is certainly enough weight there. If I remember right they told me the one that dropped on my fire dropped 8000 gallons. At 8 pounds per gallon thats beaucoup tons."
"On the other hand the bomber is supposed to start dropping high enough that the wind spreads the stuff over as much area as possible and if its done that way there's very little weight per square foot. I knew a crew that got dumped on once. It didn't hurt anyone, just made them uncomfortable. Course they were a state crew helping out on a federal fire and I guess no one took the trouble to tell the pilot where the state guys were."
"The only time us state guys got a bomber was when the feds ordered one and then couldn't use it. They were much too expensive to be used on state fires."
"Foolishly, that appeals to me. Firefighting in the brush around the clock. I must be nuts."
"Yep, you are nuts but so is every firefighter I've ever met. In spite of the stories we tell about our love for the environment, etc. the real reason people fight fires is because it's a hell of a sport. Done right, its a team sport pitting the physical endurance and training (if any) of the crew along with the tactical and strategic intelligence of the fire boss against the forces of nature. Sometimes its just a long night of raking fire line and stopping to rest and talk with the crew and hoping somebody comes up the mountain sometime to bring you some food. Sometimes its fast furious work at the head of a fire with the wind trying to leapfrog the fire behind you and you hoping for a little luck to let you hold the fire. Sometimes its watching the mountain explode in smoke and flames in a hollow below you and getting the hell out of there as fast as possible. Sometimes its being so thirsty you'll drink from a mudhole and try to strain the mud out with your teeth. Sometimes its watching the flames go out the top of 70 foot high pines and knowing you'll have to wait for dusk to even be able to approach the fire. And sometimes its watching the dances of fire devils following one another in rows up a mountainside at night. That's my attempt at making a usually dirty job seem romantic. How ya like it?"
"I enjoyed it. To the general public, 'forest ranger' covers a multitude of professions, I realize. It conjures up pictures of working side-by-side with Smokey the Bear, which, of course, ties in with the romantic image you've alluded to." She grinned.
"A forester is a professional with a degree in forestry, usually forest management, but it could be some other field of forestry. The popular term forest ranger or park ranger has no specific meaning but usually refers to someone who works for a state or federal forest or park organization, wears some type of a uniform and is usually seen quite a bit by the public. At least 95% of the people usually referred to as rangers are not foresters.
"I did work quite a bit with Smokey, now that you mention it. I resurrected the Junior Forest Ranger program for 4th and 5th grade students in our forestry district and took Smokey to quite a few parades."
She smiled. "I know I ask a lot of questions. I hope you don't think I am dumb."
"Of course not. Just curious and willing to learn new things. The word dumb reminds me of the time I sent for a brochure I wanted. The ad said to send a stamped self-addressed envelope, which I forgot to do. In a couple of weeks I received a nice letter from a secretary saying that she regretted that she was unable to send me the brochure I had requested because I did not include a SSAE. She said that they simply could not afford the postage to send brochures unless a SSAE was enclosed."
"I don't think I'm the one who did the dumb thing here."
Carol said, "My brother sent a paper to a university via first-class mail, and they returned it to him with a note via first-class mail saying that it had to be sent via certified or registered mail in order to make sure that it doesn't get lost in the mail enroute to the university."
"I have a computer client who is a physician. His wife, who works in his office, told me about the time she sent a billing form to Medicaid. She had signed the form for him. They returned it refusing to pay because they said the signature did not match the signature they had on file. This time the doctor himself signed and returned the form. Medicaid returned the form again, this time requesting that he initial his signature to indicate that he had indeed signed the form personally."
By now the snow was falling hard and the grass in Carol's yard was covered with a light dusting of snow. The flakes were big and floated softly down. It looked like it was setting in to snow all night.
I helped Carol carry wood from the winter's supply she had stacked in the cave behind the kitchen and we piled enough near the stove to last the night. She carried coals from the stove in her ash bucket to the fireplace and we soon had a roaring fire there. It began to get hot in the house so we removed our clothing. We wrapped potatoes in tin foil and buried them in the coals in the fireplace. Later, just before dark, we let the fire in the fireplace burn down to coals and she brought out a steel free standing grill which we put over the coals. I grilled rib eye steaks while she made a tossed salad. She got out a bottle of New York red wine and we soon had a great steak supper. She turned on the floodlights in the front of the house and we ate in front of the window with the lights off in the house watching the snow fall on the outside and with soft jazz playing from the enhanced sound system on her computer in the background.
We slept together in her bedroom that night and awoke the next morning to find a silent world covered with about a foot of soft flaky snow. After a hot breakfast of an egg casserole made with sausage, cheese and heavy cream served with coffee, toast and fruit, we decided to go for a hike in the surrounding woodland.
The sun was shining and the temperature on Carol's indoor-outdoor thermometer showed 78 inside and 22 outside. According to the weather report the high today would be about 29 degrees so the snow would probably sublimate but not melt except in sunny areas on south and west facing slopes. We wore hooded winter coats and took gloves and donned rubber snow boots.
It was still early and cold when we went out the front door. The world was silent. Lake Cumberland was blue in the distance and the sky was blue above. The humidity was low so everything looked bright and sharp. The world was blue, white, brown and green. Snow hung on the branches of the pines and cedars and there were lines of snow on the tops of hardwood branches. The air was still. A few birds flitted among the branches of nearby trees.
We decided to walk up to Tsuga Falls. Walking along the road was very pleasant. We were soon warm enough to let our hoods down and let the cold air cool our heads. Just before we got to where we were ready to turn toward the falls we saw coyote tracks crossing the road going downhill. Sound carried in the cold still air and we could hear the falls above us. When we left the road and began to climb toward the falls we were warmer due to the exercise. We soon got to the falls and watched the stream tumble over in the cold air and splash into the pool at the bottom of the falls. The air was warming in the sun enough that snowflakes were falling from the branches of the trees as they became dislodged. We found deer tracks crossing the stream and once we spooked a wild turkey which flew into the trees.
We walked silently and soon turned and returned to the cabin in the cold still sunny day. When we got to the front of the cabin we walked over to the edge of the cliff and looked down to the lake below. There was no sign of anyone in the world except the two of us.
We were happy to return to the warmth of the cabin. We removed our clothing and warmed in the sauna. Afterward we were hot and sweaty so we decided to get even hotter by going to bed together. After giving each other great orgasms (when are orgasms not great?), we took a warm shower together. Then we went back to our seats beside the front window and sat there nude to talk together and to watch the birds and squirrels in the trees outside.
Carol said, "Tell me about your computer programming. What is one of the most elaborate programs you have written?"
I thought about that one for a minute.
"Well, I'll tell you about job control. I developed this program because I needed to expand my program for a pharmacy to spread the work among several computers and other pieces of equipment. I thought of it as jobs to be done. I also realized that the same problems would apply in a number of different business applications."
"In the pharmacy, for example, jobs included putting the prescription in the database and after that was done, printing the label for the bottle, counting the pills, sending a bill to the patient's insurance company, receiving a response, and collecting payment from the patient at the cash register. The database was kept in the computer we called Main and it also printed the label. The pills were counted by a signal sent to an automatic pill counter through an rs232c port. The electronic billing of the insurance company and receiving and interpreting the response was done by another dedicated computer we called the Billing computer and the cash register was yet another computer on the network."
"This could be done, I thought, by having a job control program which would keep track of the jobs to be done and assign them to various computers or stations as needed during the process. Each computer would run the jobctl program configured for the jobs assigned to that computer and would run a client program to carry out any jobs for that computer when they were available returning, once again, to the job control program."
"Any number of computers on the network could be assigned to run the main pharmacy program which would update the database on the main computer with new or refill prescriptions as they came in. As the database was updated that program would then put any jobs needed for that prescription into the job control queue. It would then run the jobctl program and complete any jobs such as printing labels or sending signals to the pill counter assigned to that computer. When it caught up on any pending jobs for that computer, it would then return to the main pharmacy program to wait for the next prescription."
"In the meantime other computers on the network would run jobctl performing any jobs for that particular computer and putting any other jobs needed as a result into the job queue."
"Each computer was given a unique name such as Aaron, Beth, Carl, David, Edward, etc. so that each job could be assigned either to a specific computer or available to any computer capable of doing that particular job. I set up the job queue with 30,000 slots with rollback to the beginning when the end of the queue was reached. Each slot had four types of information, the identification of type of job such as print, count, bill, etc., the identification of the originating computer, the identification of the computer assigned to the job or blank if assigned to the first available computer which was the usual case and status of the job such as open, in process or completed."
"On each computer a jobctl configuration file assigned the name of that computer, the path to the job control queue, the job IDs of any jobs to be performed by that computer and the associated programs to complete each job, the number of times a job would be tried before it would be considered undoable and the pause time increment between advancing slots for checking in the job queue. This time increment was necessary to minimize the instances of more than one computer accessing the same job queue slot at the same time which would either crash the jobctl program or result in overwritten data. As each job was put into the job queue by a program a data file was created for that job number with any data necessary to carry out the job. For instance the data file for a label print job included the information necessary to print the label. The data file for a pill counting job included identification of the pill counter for those pills and the number of pills to be counted. When a program was called to carry out the job the job queue slot number was passed to the program so that program would access and then delete the job data file and update the job status of that job in the job queue."
"That is a complex system." She said and explained the system she had developed called SFHR or Social, Family and Historical Relationships. We both discussed our interest in computer programming and various problems and philosophies of programming.
All too soon our time came to an end. I had to return to work for my customers the next day and, I think, Carol had another auditing job for a government agency. We dressed and I took my overnite bag. We went to Carol's Ranger in the garage and she drove me back the way we had come to my Wagovan at Burnside. With the Ranger in four wheel drive, the snow gave no problem climbing the hill from the lake through the woods to the forest service road and from there to the paved county road. Once we got to Burnside we found that the main roads were already clear of snow. A very enjoyable visit with Carol in the cabin retreat.
Jawdan Samara took off his shirt, then removed his trousers and underwear. He was going to violate this American temptress. He hated all these infidel westerners and, doing the will of Allah, would destroy as many of them as possible. He hadn't decided whether to kill her when he was finished or to wait and enjoy her more times later before he killed her. He'd teach the FBI to send a weak woman to audit the books of his "charitable" organization.
Amy Jane Thrasher lay on the bed nude with her legs spread. Her breasts were flattened as she lay on her back but the nipples were large and protruding. Her pubic mound was hidden by a thicket of brown pubic hairs. He could see juices leaking from her pussy. She must be ready.
As he approached her and began to mount her, she whispered, "Ram it into me as far and as hard as you can."
She didn't have to tell him that. It was exactly what he planned to do. He drove his stiff rod into the brown thicket, immediately found the wet hole and pushed as hard as he could. As he felt it hit the cervix he felt a tiny prick in the end of his prick. He pulled it out and thrust in again. At that point he felt a sharp pain in his penis and he knew something was wrong.
He withdrew quickly and fear was in his eyes as he felt that he was losing control of his body. "What did you do to me?" he pleaded.
She squeezed her vaginal muscles and something emerged from her vagina. It looked much like a tampon, only thicker. Jawdan could not move his legs and his arms were beginning to stiffen. He rolled to the floor in horror. What was happening to him?
"Surprise!" she said.
That was what the guys at the top secret lab at the CIA had named the object, "The Surprise", for obvious reasons. It had taken years of work with some of the deadliest creatures in the world to develop the neurotoxin that had been injected into the end of Jawdan's penis. Their organic chemists had worked with Puffer Fish and Poison Dart Frogs and Brazilian wandering spiders and Stonefish and Blue-Ringed Octopi and Cone Snails and King Cobra and Jelly Box Fish and developed the most lethal neurotoxin known to man and added it to the CIA's arsenal. Two milliliters injected would begin to paralyze a full grown man within five to ten seconds. The paralysis would then spread throughout the body and within ten to fifteen minutes the subject would die either from a heart attack, if the heart muscle became paralyzed first, or by suffocation if the breathing muscles became paralyzed. There was no known antidote.
Amy Jane had the toxin in two methods of application. She had several very small syringes with 32 gauge 2 cm. needles and she had a box of name brand tampons with applicators. Each applicator contained one Surprise. A Surprise when released from the applicator into the vagina opened out to line the walls of the vagina. Since it was made of natural latex well lubricated with a silicone based lubricant it felt very much like the inside of a vagina. At the end of the Surprise was a 32 gauge by 1 cm. hypodermic needle which, when pressed against by a finger or a penis, would inject 2 ml. of the toxin. The needle, of course, would easily pierce a condom. Each dose of the toxin cost about $1,000 to produce. She also had with her a Charter Arms 12 ounce .38 Special five shot revolver just in case a less elegant solution was indicated.
Amy Jane Thrasher was the pseudonym that Carol Browski had used for this operation. She had checked the mind of Jawdan before she decided to take this measure and found that he was obsessed with religion and violence. That with her discovery that his charitable organization was just a front to funnel funds to terrorist organizations led to her decision to employ the ultimate solution. Carol was nominally a contract auditor for the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies. She was also a part time agent for a secret anti-terror division of Homeland Security with authorization to kill if she deemed it necessary in defense of the country. She had cleared this operation with her handler and proceeded.
To prepare to use the Surprise effectively, Carol had learned to do Keagel exercises and did those almost every time she peed. As a result her vaginal muscles were highly trained and that in conjuction with the mental control she had over her body made it easy to control the Surprise although it worked well without her doing anything. The man was always willing to do the work.
She went over his room thoroughly removing every trace of her ever being there. She had been careful to touch very little so not much cleanup was needed. Since he had only come in contact with her insert, she left no body fluids. She wrestled his naked body onto the bed and left it in as natural position as she could. Usually with use of this method the cause of death was listed as heart failure or allergic reaction to bite from an unknown insect depending on the expertise of the doctor doing the examination. As far as she knew no one had ever noticed the tiny puncture at the end of the penis.
She felt confident in returning to Mideast Hope's offices tomorrow to continue her audit. With her mental sensory powers she would notice if anyone began to suspect that she was not exactly what she seemed to be and there were one or two more people involved there that she wanted to consider for elimination before turning her audit over to the FBI to have the charity banned in the United States. She found it easy to trap any of the type of men she would consider eliminating. They would always take her to a private place if she hinted that she wanted them and they always believed her just as Jawdan had.
When I finished the Apollo timber cruise in the fall of 2011, I sent Joe Planck a report as to the value of the timber on their land and they paid me for my work. The timber value came out to about $2,000,000. They contacted me the next spring and asked me if I could find a buyer for the land and the timber for them. They said that they were willing to sell the land and the timber for $3,000,000. They offered me a 2% finders fee if I found them a buyer. It didn't take me too long to figure out that 2% of 3 mil is $60,000. As a result I decided I needed to go talk to Carol Browski again. I emailed her to ask when she would be home and told her I would like to talk to her.
"Sure," she replied, "that sounds good to me too. I'll be home Saturday. Be at the dock at Burnside at eight o'clock Saturday morning and I'll pick you up on my motorboat. We'll make a day of it. Maybe two."
It was a beautiful clear morning Saturday. I got to the dock a few minutes early. The water of the lake was calm. There were several houseboats at the dock. Many were occupied and I could see people carrying supplies on board and much activity as people, mostly from Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan got ready to spend a weekend on the lake. Gulls circled overhead and darted thither and yon.
In a few minutes I saw an outboard motorboat approaching at a high speed from upriver, or maybe its uplake, from the direction of the Big South Fork. She slowed as she approached the dock and cut her engine as she came to a stop and coasted up against the tire bumpers hanging on the side of the dock. She threw me a rope and I tied her off. She had about a fifteen foot dark brown fiberglass boat with a Suzuki motor. It was a two seater. It was bobbing up and down from the wake she had created. I pulled it alongside the dock, got on and took my seat. She untied and we were off.
It would be difficult to talk over the noise of the motor so we rode in silence and enjoyed the early spring morning beauty of the lake. The lake narrowed as we went up the Big South Fork and the shores were sometimes gentle to steep slopes tree covered down to the high water line with sandy or rocky shores between the water line and the tree line. In some places there were cliffs above the lake. The whole world was blue sky, clear blue green water and green trees. Hawks, gulls and crows were seen overhead and sometimes fish in the water. Once I saw a red fox on the shore. We saw a couple of houseboats on our trip but after we got two or three miles from Burnside we saw no other motorboats. There were a couple of boys fishing off a wooden pier along the way.
I remembered over the last few months since Carol and I had done our timber cruise last fall, she had come by my place in Albany to visit me a couple of times and had spent one or two nights with me each time. She said it was her way of unwinding after she completed auditing assignments. That was fine with me. She helped me to unwind too.
After about twenty minutes I saw a falls on the left falling about twenty feet into the lake. Carol shouted, "That is Tsuga Creek falling into the lake."
There were about a dozen boats gathered in a semi circle around the falls and a few hardy people swimming in the lake. The water was still fairly cold this early in the spring. Most of the people on the boats were sitting or playing or sunbathing on deck in the warm sun. Many of them were nude.
We went around the bend out of sight of the falls. Carol pointed to a cliff on our left and mouthed the word, "cabin". I looked but, of course, could not see the cabin from the lake because, as I knew, it was set back on the cliff top and surrounded by trees. We turned left off the main lake into a cove which I assumed was the valley of Sinking Creek. Carol slowed the boat and we followed the narrowing lake around to the left until we were near the end of the cove out of sight of the main lake. Carol used her smart phone to access the computer in her house to check for any prowlers. She seemed satisfied. Then on the left I saw the mouth of a cave about eight feet high above the water.
Carol steered the boat into it and we continued to curve to the left. As we left the sunlight we floated into a dim light in which it was difficult to see after the bright lake. The water soon became more shallow and we beached the boat on a rocky slope where the waters of sinking creek poured into the lake. Carol stepped out of the boat onto the shore with the rope in her hand and pulled the boat further up on the shore. Then she took the end of the rope over to the wall of the cave and tied it to a steel ring embedded into the rock. I got out with my day bag and followed her. She walked up the cave beside the creek, reached into a crevice in the rock and took out a battery powered headlamp which she put on her head and turned on. Now there was enough light to see a cave passage opening to our left. We went into it. I noticed water pipes on the floor of the cave coming from Sinking Creek and going off ahead of us into the distance.
After walking about a quarter of a mile, I heard a noise ahead. As we approached I realized it was the overshot water wheel that she had told me was the source of electricity for her place. There was an old steel water wheel about eight feet in diameter turning from the force of the water pouring into it from the top from two of the water lines and it was connected to a large electric generator. The overflow from the water wheel went into a hole below the wheel which, I assumed, led eventually back to the lake. Carol then reached over beside the generator and flipped a switch and lights came on lighting up the rest of the cave ahead of us.
After another quarter of a mile or so, I saw Carol's bedroom and bathroom and the door to her kitchen ahead of us. She went into her bedroom. I followed her. She took her clothes off to be more comfortable. So did I. Then she held me against her and gave me a kiss.
"Ok." She said, "Business first, pleasure later. Let's go sit on the porch with a cold glass of ice tea."
"Fine with me."
So we went in the kitchen and got large glasses of ice tea and then to the porch. The temperature was perfect. The humidity was low. The birds were singing and the sun was shining.
I started. "Apollo, three million."
"And what do you think?"
"Well, the standing timber has a stumpage value of two million. That leaves one million for twelve hundred acres, bare land value. Bare land value varies with the location, access, circumstances, etc. This land is close to the lake but not on the lake. It does, however, adjoin your land for about two miles which makes it worth more to you than anybody else. It doesn't have good access because it is only accessible by crossing the national forest. I would usually put such bare land value at three hundred to five hundred an acre."
"So they are asking about eight hundred an acre?"
"Tell them two million seven hundred fifty thousand."
I had Joe Planck's number in my cell phone. I dialed it and his secretary put me through.
"Joe, this is Roy Lafever. I have a firm offer of 2.75 million cash to be paid immediately on completion of a title check and provided that the deed calls support the acreage and that the mineral rights are included."
He didn't think long. "Done, provided that the buyer pays for the title check and legal and closing costs."
"Does closing costs include my finder's fee?"
"I'll let you know." I disconnected.
I told Carol what he said.
"Fine, I've just bought myself almost two sections. I'll arrange the money next week and tell my attorney to take care of it."
"Now," she said, "tell me how you waste time. When Betty White was told what Facebook was, she said that it must be the biggest waste of time she had ever heard of. That got me to thinking that the only things we do on this earth that are not a waste of time are those things necessary for life and for reproduction such as our jobs, obtaining food, energy, housing, good health, etc. and caring for our families. So how do you waste time?"
I thought about that. "Well, reading, photography, ....... learning philosophy and science and computer use and programming, ........ internet surfing, writing, ....... mental games, travel, ........ listening to music, watching movies. I guess that's about it. How about you?"
"The only thing I would add would be swimming, fishing, archery and rifle marksmanship. Otherwise, you just mentioned my list. My grandmother taught me needlework and cooking and my grandfather taught me computer programming and carpentry as far as building primitive furniture and small buildings. I would like to find time for those pursuits. I already knew that your list would be similar to mine because I know that we have compatible personalities. Come to think of it, maybe the crafts I mentioned are necessary or helpful toward living so maybe they are not a waste of time. If not, then my list is pretty similar to yours."
"Why did you ask me if you already knew?"
"I asked you for two reasons. First I wanted to force you to think about the question. Second, I am only able to sense your personality and emotions and thoughts in general but I did not know the answer as specifically as you gave it to me."
"Now," she said as we finished our tea, "How about we take a shower together and see if we are compatible in other ways?"
As we got into the bathroom my cock became erect. She watched silently. She reached out and held the end of my penis. "Come on," she said, "I'll bathe you." She led me under the shower. She then began to soap and wash my back and chest. When she got below the waist she massaged my penis and balls with soap. "Do you want me to do your ass too?", she breathed huskily.
"Sure, if you don't mind."
"I'd like that." She walked up to where her tits rubbed against my chest, squatted slightly to reach and ran the soap inside my crack until she had lubricated me thoroughly. Then she slowly ran her finger up and down my crack, into my ass, and around my balls and penis which was erect and thrusting.
"Now, you wash me." She said.
I started in the front at her shoulders, soaped her arms and underarms and then washed her tits watching the nipples erect and standing out. I washed her belly and navel. Then I reached between her legs with the soap and ran it just inside her outer lips. Her pubic area felt hairy and soft. I ran my hands and the soap inside her thighs and around her legs. I wrapped my arms around her and held her close and kissed her. She opened her lips and took my tongue in and felt it with her tongue and then used her tongue to enter my mouth. I enjoyed the taste of her saliva and she seemed to enjoy mine.
Then I held her shoulders and turned her so that I was facing her back. I began at the nape of the neck and washed her thoroughly to the waist running my hands repeatedly over the smooth skin of her back. Then I began to soap her rounded cheeks, finally running the soap inside her crack. I soaped my finger well and inserted it gently into her asshole until she began to pull away. Then I slowly slid my finger in and out a few times to be sure she was clean. My penis told me it could easily ejaculate.
Finished, I dried her with the towel, then she dried me and we went into her bedroom.
"Lie on your stomach." I said.
I put my fingers inside her wrists and ran them slowly down her arms and stroked her underarms. Then I held her neck with both hands and began to massage the muscles in the back of her neck and the tops of her naked shoulders. As I did so I heard her sigh and relax. Her body quivered and her buttocks rose slightly and fell. I put my left index finger gently against her spine at the base of her neck and began moving it slowly down her spine. When my finger reached the middle of her slightly curved back, I bent over her and began licking and kissing the nape of her neck. My tongue and my lips followed the trail blazed seconds before by my index finger. I licked her leaving a path of saliva down her back until I was licking the hollow in the small of her back. Then I slid my body further down on the bed and reached under her breasts with both hands feeling the nipples. Her buttocks rose sharply before subsiding. I pressed and massaged the nipples for a few seconds. Then I began to lick the small of her back again. I licked further down into the top of her crack. She tensed at that but soon relaxed. When she did I ran my tongue further down her crack spreading her buttocks with my hands as I went. I rose to look into her crack and saw a round brown, almost black asshole, quivering with anticipation.
I lowered my face and ran my tongue around her asshole. She thrust upward. When she did I quickly slipped the end of my tongue into her ass. She pulled away, but then relaxed and thrust back upward. I had lots of salvia on my tongue now and thrust it as far as I could into her ass. She sighed again. Her ass had a slight soapy taste, but that was all right.
I rose to my knees and held her whole cunt in my left hand. I could feel the warm wetness of her pubic hairs. I let my finger slip into the wetness and felt her clit, penetrating slightly. I then began gently inserting my right index finger into her ass while working my left finger slowly into and out of her cunt. All the while my left hand was massaging her pubic mound. Her hips began to move slowly up and down. Her ass opened to invite my finger further inside then squeezed tightly around it. She pushed the hard pubic bone and the clit against my hand.
She then eased into a rhythmic slow up and down motion with my fingers sliding into and out of her pussy and her ass at once. She made soft sighing sounds and began to lift up and down faster. I pushed my finger much deeper into her ass. She let out a little cry of pain, but didn't stop pushing.
After a few moments I moved my hands to her shoulders and grasping each of them made a twisting motion to indicate she should turn over onto her back. She complied and lay there with her legs spread, her nipples very erect, and her pubic hairs wet with the juices from her pussy. I backed up on my knees far enough to get my head between her legs. She lifted her knees and arched her back to present her pussy to my mouth. I licked her mound and let my tongue explore her clitoris. She thrust and sighed. I could taste the strong musky female juices with a hint of the soap we had used earlier. The aroma was heavenly. I reached up to hold her breasts in each of my hands and rubbed her nipples while my tongue explored as deeply as possible into her wet cunt. My penis was hard and my hips wanted to thrust forward.
Slowly I began licking from her pubic mound toward her breasts. As I did my penis came ever closer to the open pink hole between her legs. When I got to her breasts I kissed and sucked each one in turn. Then I put my mouth on her lips while the end of my penis began to part her pubic hairs. I slid my penis into her pussy as my tongue penetrated her mouth and our salvia as well as our sexual fluid mixed because, by this time, my penis was flowing with pre cum. Then we began thrusting together in rhythm.
I was extremely hard and it felt so good I knew I could not last. After a few thrusts the end of my penis hit the conic end of her cervix and I felt it penetrate the end of my penis. I guess she felt it too because we both lost all control at that point. Waves of ecstasy washed over our bodies and she began moaning, "Oh, Oh, Oh". I felt my ejaculate squirt into her in two or three spurts. When I could ejaculate no more I realized that I was still very hard and continued thrusting. Her motions began to subside and then I could feel her tighten and began thrusting again. I drew it completely out and then thrust my penis sharply into her again as far as I could. It must have been far enough because she came again. Her motions were not as sharp but the orgasm lasted longer in great waves like the ocean on the beach. Finally she was quiet and lay there simply breathing fast with the breaths slowing. I could feel her pussy relaxing and as she did my penis became flaccid and slipped from her pussy.
I rolled to the side and lay there. I could see tears in her eyes. I rolled toward her and we both lay on our sides holding each other. I rubbed her back and pulled her as close as possible.
I don't know how long we lay like that. I think we must have both dozed off for a few moments. Then I felt her stir. She sat up and just looked at me lying on the bed. I put my hand between her legs. She had not attempted to stop the flow so she was wet with my sperm flowing from her.
She gave me a happy ending but no surprise!
After she reached puberty Linda Adamson realized that she was, not only different than other people in the same way as her grandmother, Marie, and her cousin, Carol, but that she had additional telepathic and other mental powers not shared to the same extent by some of her female forebears.
For instance, rather than just being aware of others' feelings she could actually read their thoughts and their memories. She seemed to be also aware over a greater distance than she had observed in Carol, who herself seemed slightly more aware than Linda's grandmother, Marie.
After growing up spending much of her free time at the Sinking Creek house during visits by her mother and dad, Linda began to spend more time alone with Carol and her frequent visitor, Roy, at the woodland retreat during the summers of her high school years. She loved to roam the hundreds of acres of woodland there and to feel the consciousness of the wildlife and watch the changing of the environment with the passing of the seasons. Since nudity was common in her family she was often nude, weather permitting, and felt free to climb the trees and swim in the streams and the nearby lake and wander in the caves. She enjoyed wildlife photography. Sometimes she was accompanied by Carol and/or Roy and sometimes, when they were there, by her parents but often explored alone.
One day in the summer when she was fifteen, Linda decided to go up to the pool which was the source of their water supply below where Sinking Creek went underground. Since it was cool in the cave and she would have to walk about a mile underground there, she wore jeans and a tee shirt. After telling Carol where she was going she went into the cave and walked past the generator down toward the lake and then turned left and followed the water lines up Sinking Creek to the pool which was filled by the falls through an opening in the creek in the forest above. Standing on a rock ledge on the edge of the pool of water she could see with the sunlight coming down the falls and she could hear the water falling into the pool. She felt compelled to swim in the pool.
So she slipped off her clothing and dove into the pool. It was about eight feet deep and she swam around and decided to dive to the bottom. When she did so she saw a cave on the side of the pool and swam into it. The cave curved upward and she soon broke out of the water into an air pocket above. It was completely dark and she could not see except for a faint light from the pool below the way she had come, but the cave in which she was standing seemed spacious. Linda decided that she would soon return with an underwater flashlight which she knew Carol had at the house.
When Linda returned to the house, Carol was busy working in the kitchen. She asked her, "Carol, did you know that there is another cave opening at the bottom of the Sinking Creek pool on the west side?"
"No." Carol replied, "When we were younger your Dad and I sometimes swam there but since it was fairly dark we usually swam in the lake or in the pool below Tsuga Creek falls. We never found a cave."
Linda found the flashlight on a shelf in the cave outside the kitchen door and told Carol she was going back to explore some more.
"All right, but you be careful and if you are getting into a cave take either some string or a can of bright spray paint or something you can drop and always mark your way at any intersection. Also don't go very far. I suspect that whatever you have found won't go far but if it does don't just follow it. On second thought, just wait about 30 minutes and I will go with you."
When Carol had finished her work she got a can of bright orange spray paint and a waterproof bag and a second flashlight and she and Linda returned to the underground pool. They removed their clothing and put it in the plastic bag and tied it tight. Then they both dove into the water and taking the plastic bag with them, Linda swam down to the opening with Carol following. They turned their flashlights on and swam into the cave and followed it up to the open air above. They were in a passage about four feet high and about six feet wide that went off to the west. Carol stopped to put her clothing back on because she was cool in the cave but Linda said she was warm and remained nude. As they followed the passage it became higher and wider. They watched for any side passages but found only one small one turning off to the right which they marked with their spray paint. They had been going level or slightly uphill but then the passage turned downhill and to the left and they followed for what Carol estimated to be about 3/4 of a mile.
The cave opened out into a large room about 25 feet in diameter with no outlets except that there was a pile of rock in the direction the cave had been going. It looked like a rockslide had blocked the passage. They began to examine the room with their flashlights. On one side they found a rock ledge about a foot high and about five feet wide along the wall. As they followed it they found sitting on it a rectangular pad about two feet high. It was dark and the top of it was flat about seven feet long and three feet wide. At one end it was raised as in a molded headrest or pillow on a bed and on each side there was a raised rest shaped like human hands, left and right. Carol felt the pad. It moved slightly. It seemed to be filled with a gel like substance and covered with a soft body molding plastic like material.
Linda decided to try it as a bed. When she lay down on it it was firm and dark but when she placed her hand in the hand rest it became translucent and lighted from below with a pale blue light and seemed alive, sinking and molding slowly to fit the curves of her body even curving up around and over her so that eventually only her head was uncovered. It also seemed to become heated to body temperature so that she was very comfortable much like a baby in the womb.
In the folds and the warmth of the bed she could feel a consciousness merging with hers and she felt urged to experiment with the bed. She willed it to open around her and it did so. She willed it to squeeze her tighter and it responded. She soon found that she could also make it warmer or cooler with the power of her mind. Linda found that when she willed the bed to do so, the bed returned to its original flat and dark state and she was able to climb off. Then she returned to it and on placing either hand on one of the hand rests it once again became alive.
She knew that when the skin of her whole body was in contact with the bed she was also in contact with an external consciousness from which she could learn much.
After Linda, Carol climbed on the bed but when she placed a hand on the hand rest, nothing happened. It just remained cool and dark.
"Maybe you need more contact with it. Try doing it nude." Linda said.
So Carol took off her clothing and tried again. This time when she put her hand in the hand rest, there was a faint light and slight movement but the pad did not respond in the way it did to Linda.
"It is either because you are younger or because you are more in tune with the force than I am or both.", she said.
"What do you think this is and how did it get here?"
"I could tell when you were in mental contact with it that it increased the power of the force flowing through you. I think it has some relationship to the connection we have with the force. Other than that, I don't know. We'll just have to study it more. Or, at least, you will, since I don't seem to be able to make a connection with it."
Carol walked over to the pile of rocks and studied it.
"Based on the direction and distance that I calculate we came I think we are near our kitchen. Let's move these rocks."
"Ok. We can try but I don't know if we can do it."
They began moving rocks to the right and left of the pile. However, many were too big for them. After about 45 minutes of work they were both hot and sweaty. Carol was glad that the cave was cool and that they were nude.
"Are the lights on in our cave near the kitchen?", Linda asked.
"Yes, the lights are on from the generator to the kitchen. Why?"
"Because I thought I saw a glimmer of light through the rock pile. Let's turn off these flashlights."
They did and sure enough there was a faint light in the rock pile.
Carol thought about that.
"Just down the cave from our kitchen there is a similar pile of rocks on the wall on the left as we walk toward the generator. It has been there ever since I can remember and we always thought it was just a rock slide off the wall of the cave from many years in the past. That could be the other side of this rock pile."
They decided to continue until they had moved as many rocks as they could. Sometime later they decided that there was nothing else they could move from this side of the rock pile. By now they were sure about the other side of the rock pile because they could see much more light through the remaining rocks.
"We'll have to return and work on the rock pile from the other side and use tools and jacks to move the larger rocks."
They returned to the house the way they had come and by the next afternoon they had opened the rock pile so that it was possible to walk about a hundred yards from their kitchen into the cave and then go directly to the room containing the gel pad or bed. They built a camouflage in front of the opening so that it could not be seen from the cave unless one actually walked over to examine the wall of the cave.
Linda began spending more and more time in contact with the gel pad and she began to absorb knowledge through it.
In high school biology class she had learned to view animals and plants as entities with organs and life systems made up of specialized cells. In contact with the bed she realized that animals and plants were not entities but were colonies of cells which had developed a symbiotic relationship and had specialized and banded together for the survival of the colony.
She had learned that earth was a planet, the third rock from the sun. In contact with the bed she realized that the earth, rather than being just a rock, had an overall consciousness that was called Gaia.
She had learned conventional sociology. However, she now saw a person as a number of social beings changing his personality whenever he put on a new hat. These hats often included a work hat and a parent hat and a son or daughter hat and maybe a Lion's club member hat or a book club member hat or a shopper hat. The person perceived himself and he was perceived by others by the particular hat he was wearing at the time.
She learned, as envisioned by Robert Heinlein, that she could grok in the fullness of time.
Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed -- to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science -- and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man.
By a new systhesis of her knowledge of statistics and chaos theory and the uncertainty principle, she began to grok the nature of the universe. She felt like an explorer starting out to explore a newly discovered continent. She could learn about the nature of the small part of the continent on which she had landed but to grok the entire continent might take an infinite amount of time.
She saw knowledge and the universe as if she were a bacteria in the center of an onion having knowledge only of the layers in her immediate vicinity.
Linda learned that in the 13th century A.D. or about 900 BP the universe or the force or Gaia or something induced some minor mutations in human DNA, a species in Gaia. Over the ensuing centuries these led to the Enlightenment and to people such as Linda and her ancestors and others in the world with a fine tuned awareness of the force. She learned that there had been similar guidance to evolution of sentient beings in a number of other M class or "Goldilocks" zone planets.
Over a few years as she matured and used the gel bed she and Carol had found when she was younger, Linda had become more adept at groking the nature of the world in which she existed and also more adept at controlling and understanding her mind and the nature of its powers. While most people are comfortable when the air temperature is between 65 and 85 degrees fahrenheit she found she could control her body temperature to the extent that she was comfortable nude from as low as just above freezing to as high as well over 100 degrees. She also found that she could not only read Carol's thoughts but she could also transfer her thoughts to Carol. However, when she tried that with Roy she found that she could influence his feelings and his mood but could not actually transfer abstract thoughts although she could often read his thoughts. She also learned to slow her metabolism and her heartbeat and her breathing rate until she was in a state similar to hibernation. Conversely she could slow her perception of time so that events around her seemed to occur in slow motion giving her more subjective time to respond. She found that she could mentally control her perception of pain and she discovered that if she was injured she could mentally speed the healing process such that a minor cut would completely heal within a couple of hours. Fortunately, she had not had a serious injury so she did not know the limits of her power of healing.
She also learned to control the bed with her mind to a finer degree. When the bed became tighter and warmer she became aware of it filling the crack of her ass and putting pressure against her vagina. She decided to see if she could form the substance and, when she imagined it hardening and penetrating her, it did so. Soon she could feel hard probes of the warm gel sliding into both her anus and her vagina. She began to undulate her body against it making the probes slide in and out of both her orifices at once. It was soon apparent that this was much better than masturbation and she used it to rouse to a climax and a very intense orgasm.
Immediately, Linda felt a thing like a door opening in her mind and felt the presence of another consciousness. She was conscious of another mind much like hers also lying on and enveloped in a similar gel bed. She realized that this bed was located in a cave on the east side of the Andes in Ecuador. This mind belonged to a male just older than herself. She knew this because she felt his erection and knew that it was caused by the intensity of her orgasm. Melding with his mind she could see a row of six gel beds in a row, one of which was lighted and which he occupied. She realized that his name was Pablo Cubrero and that his mind was in tune with the force much like hers.
She felt a compulsion to join him physically. But how? Then she knew the answer. She concentrated on the gel bed next to his and intensely imagined herself lying on it. She felt a shudder, a moment of cold--but no more and she knew she had achieved teleportation.
She was now lying on that bed. She put her hand on the hand rest and the bed lit up and enveloped her body. She lay quietly learning what he knew while he did the same with her.
"You are the last, number six. Now there are six of us, the number of beds here. We don't know why but we feel that is significant." She was thinking together with him. "There are four besides us. We will call them here at some point and meld all our minds. They are an older man from Mongolia, Tuul Jalair, an older woman from South Africa, Lumusi Kwasi, a middle aged man from Australia, Jeff Armistead, and a middle aged woman from Italy, Zita Nervetti."
She knew that these people also had access to gel beds near where they lived and that these five people had been in contact like this before. She realized that she could teleport to any of the gel beds in the world from any other. To test that she willed herself to return to her home bed in the cave in Kentucky and then back to Equador. All this time she was still mentally melded with Pablo because both of them were connected by the beds.
At her request Pablo agreed to come to Kentucky. She willed herself to return. When she got off the gel bed, the contact with Pablo was broken. A few seconds later he materialized on the gel bed and the contact was reestablished. He got off the bed and they still had mental contact. She knew because of his previous experiences which were now a part of her memories that the range of this contact without use of the gel beds was about two miles. She could feel the sexual attraction between their two bodies both from his and from her perspective. She could feel the sensation of his erection and he was aware of the needs of her body. This is great they both thought.
She thought of one of the bedrooms in Carol's house nearby and he was agreeable so they walked through the cave to the house. She felt Carol's presence so she mentally let her know who Pablo was and how they met and that they were going to the bedroom to fuck. Carol was surprised but since mental communication was much more precise than vocal communication Linda knew that Carol understood.
Since they were both feeling the horniness of the other no foreplay was necessary. She was wet and he was secreting pre cum. In the bedroom Linda simply lay on the bed with her legs spread and Pablo mounted and entered her. She could feel him engorging her and she could feel his lust just as he could feel hers. She felt her climax building and she knew he was holding back as she came in a great shared orgasm. Since he was still hard, having resisted coming, he kept thrusting and when she began to come again she felt him let himself go and as they came together she could not only feel her orgasm but she could feel his sensation as he spurted semen deep inside her and she could feel him also sharing her orgasm.
Then they both relaxed and he wilted and they fell apart. She let him know how great sex was in that shared way and she realized all the times he had done it before with the other two women from Italy and South Africa. They were both very relaxed and happy. She knew that Carol in the other room could feel their moods and was happy for them.
Linda and Pablo returned to the gel beds in Equador and over the next week or so established contact with the others so that on a Sunday in April they all arrived together on the six gel beds and melded their minds to form a larger entity that they thought of simply as "The Group". The Group had the shared knowledge and memories of all six of them. They could as a group control all their bodies and emotions and reason with the power not of six but of six multiplied.
Since they knew that orgasms increased the power of their group force they melded their libidos to build to an erotic climax together and achieve a group orgasm, all six simultaneously. When they did they became aware of the existence of gel beds on four other planets in distant galaxies in addition to those of Earth. They were aware of these because, at least, one bed on each of these planets contained a consciousness with which they could communicate mentally although, since these beings were alien to them, the telepathy was hazy as in a fog. They knew that, now that they were aware of the existence of these, they had the power as a group to teleport to any of these just as they could teleport to any on Earth as individuals. They knew that these were on "M" class or Goldilocks planets similar to Earth but they knew that if they did teleport to one of these they must return immediately in case there were unanticipated environmental incompatibilities. Since they must teleport nude they could not wear any type of hazmat or space suit.
Over the next couple of months Linda or some of her group often appeared in the cave near Sinking Creek and Carol was made aware mentally of the Group's activities and situation. Since she was the only one able to fully understand what was going on, it was left to her to explain to Linda's parents what had happened to her.
Carol and Marie and their ancestors had a highly developed sense of empathy sensing the presence and emotional state of any sentient being in their vicinity, Linda estimated to a range of fifty yards or so. They also had highly developed mental abilities including memory, math calculation, perception of patterns and perspective, and enhanced senses including the ability to see, hear, feel, smell and taste beyond the normal range as well as abilities to control their own perceptions and emotions and, to some extent, to influence those of others. Although they had telepathic abilities they were very primitive and actually only an extension of their empathy.
In contrast, it seemed that Linda had evolved, with use of the gel bed, to have true telepathic ability and a greater physical range of empathy as well as the ability to mind meld with those who were as developed in use of the force as was she. She had also found that her senses could be enhanced by sexual hormones as experienced during orgasm to the point that she could find other occupied gel beds mentally. This mind melding also gave her the ability in conjunction with the gel bed to achieve teleportation between gel beds once she was aware of the existence of these other gel beds.
Mind melding is more than telepathy. Telepathy is communication by means of thoughts rather than spoken words. One mind directs a message by thought to another mind and the other mind receives it. Mind melding means that the whole range of one persons memories and knowledge become a part of anothers memories and knowledge so that they think, when melded, as one mind.
Over a period of time the Group discovered two more planets that they could visit but after trying visits to each of the six planets found that they could only survive for very long on one. That one was a planet named Keplar-22b by NASA or called Mizso by the Group due to their collective interpretation of the image of that planet from the mind of the consciousness found in its gel bed.
We materialize in six of the eighteen gel beds deep in the cave. We all place our hands on their handrests and they glow with a blue light. We are together thinking as one. Since it is dark, Linda gets off the bed and uses the glow from the other five beds to explore the room. She finds a passage on the opposite side from the beds and feels air movement there. Tuul follows her and when he gets to where she is she feels her way slowly into the passage. We leave the beds one by one leaving only Zita, who is pregnant, behind on her bed. By doing this we extend our chain of people exploring until Linda, who is advanced further than the rest of us, senses an opening to the outside world. We sense only beings of animal intelligence in our immediate vicinity.
It is a hot night so we are glad Linda is nude. The yellow moon is overhead dimming the stars and lighting up the darkness. The night is alive with the sounds of this world's equivalent of birds and insects and amphibious water creatures. Linda is standing on a ledge of a cliff in front of the cave. There is the sound of water below and we can see a creek about 30 feet below. It is cooler in the cave. Linda can see well by the moonlight and she finds her way down from the cliff to the creek. There she gathers some wood like material and brings it back to the cave. Now we need a way to start a fire. Tuul knows how to create heat by the friction of rubbing sticks and with Linda's help, he soon has a small fire started on the ledge. Lumusi, Pablo and Jeff are still in the cave maintaining a link to Zita and the gel beds.
Soon Linda and Tuul have a torch that they can bring into the cave and, using it, we soon learn that there is one tunnel, the one Linda found, leading out from the gel bed room and one other tunnel from there leading deeper into the cliff. Jeff notices that the smoke from the torch tends to rise to a high place in the ceiling on one side of the gel bed room and disappear. He concludes that there is some kind of opening from there to the ground above. We carry firewood into the cave and soon have a small fire going on the floor of the cave on that side of the room. The smoke all rises and disappears. We need the fire for light but certainly not for heat.
We decide to try to explore this world with our mental powers so we all lie on the gel beds and begin to sexually arouse ourselves for another six way shared orgasm. The men begin stroking their penises while the women rub their clits and Zita also rubs her growing nipples. As the penises get hard and the vaginas get wet and the nipples harden we all can feel each others arousal and our desires feed on each other. There is a need to leave our gel beds and physically couple but we know that for maximum mental reach we must have as much skin as possible in contact with the gel beds so we each have to be content to just feel the others mentally. We are not only aware of our sexual needs but we can also feel the baby growing in Zita's womb and, as she rubs her nipples, the slight milk discharge there.
As we reach a sexual plateau and go over the edge together we moan and grunt and suddenly feel the presence of two more beings somewhere to the north of us on a continent called middle Mizso. There is a male being that we think of as Joe and a female we name Sue. By communicating telepathically with them we know they are lying on gel beds in their continent but that the two of them are in separate areas separated by many miles.
Due to the power of our combined perception we are also aware of presences on gel beds on a couple of other planets that we have already visited and from Joe and Sue we learn that there are ten other gel beds on separate areas of the middle continent of Mizso and another room of eighteen in the northern continent. The place where we are is the southern continent. Mizso is a mostly temperate planet particularly in the middle continent. All the population of beings with mental powers near to that of humans live on the middle continent because the other two continents are considered to be too hot or too cold or too rough geographically for easy living and because the population of Mizians on the planet is relatively small.
We learn that there are only twelve known Mizians in harmony with the force as we are and that their awareness of the force is much weaker than ours. We assume that the presence of eighteen gel beds in the cave where we are indicates that there will have to be eighteen such Mizians to form a group with equivalent powers to those of our group of six.
Although these Mizians are alien to us and that makes communicating with them fuzzy as in a fog, we learn a lot about their planet and about them.
Physically they are five to five and one half feet high walking upright like us with light soft hairy bodies with a variety of skin, hair and eye colors and with humanlike heads, arms, legs and sexual organs. They have no hair on their faces or penises or breasts or on the bottoms of their feet. Otherwise they are covered with a light growth of hair. They each have a long flat hairy tail which hangs down covering their anus and female sexual organs from behind. Their penises are uncovered but are retracted into a protective pouch in the body when not in use for sex or urination. They have six fingers and toes on each of their hands and feet without nails such as we have. They do give milk for their young from two breasts on the chest of the female and their young are raised by the community so sex is not monogamous. Generally females are limited by their nature to two or three children which probably accounts for their relatively small total population. On earth they would be classified as a mammal.
They communicate by means of telepathy, having no auditory language, although they do make noises such as grunts and groans and screams. Their social organization is a communal consensus much like a beehive. Their culture seems to be composed almost entirely of stories of history and philosophy and science passed telepathically from generation to generation.
Their planet has two moons, a red one and the yellow one we have seen and sometimes both can be in the sky at once because the moons have different periods in circling the planet. They subsist mainly on one type of plant which we call a Shmoo from Al Capp's, Little Abner. The Shmoo seems to supply them all nutrients needed as well as leather like materials for use in making various useful items. We realize that these people have skills in genetic engineering and that probably accounts for the utility of the Shmoo plants. They live in a climate which is so temperate that they do not need buildings but simply sleep in the open. They have no clothing except for decorative purposes.
They have bows and arrows and spears and have domesticated a very large flying feathered creature which we call a teratorn and they have trained them to carry humans on their backs. So the Mizians put a harness and saddle on their teratorn and climb up it and instruct it to fly by means of telepathy between them and the bird.
We learned that there is another humanoid creature on Mizso which is larger than the Mizians and is aggressive and brutish and warlike and lives largely underground. We decided that since these were also denizens of Mitso we would distinguish between the two Mizian species which may have had a common ancestor by recalling H. G. Wells and calling the gentler species Eloi and the underground dwellers Morlocks. Morlocks are carnivores while Eloi are herbivores eating only a few species of plants beside Shmoos which make up almost all of their diet.
Eloi live on the middle continent but Morlocks live only on the North and South continents because the Eloi long ago used their flying steeds and their weapons to chase all the Morlocks from the middle continent.
We found that we could teleport to the gel beds on Mizso just as we could on Earth and we visited with and got to know the Eloi people. Although we had telepathic contact with them, we were too different to create a true mind meld. We found that they could not teleport to Earth because there were too few of them gifted enough to use the gel beds. We made a number of trips to Mizso over the years. We found that we were sexually compatible physically with the Eloi although the two species could not reproduce together because the DNA is not compatible.
We found that varieties of the Shmoo plant grew just about everywhere on Mizso as did a plethora of other species of plants and animals most of which were similar to those we knew of on Earth. Since the Shmoo plant was almost as nourishing to humans as it was to Eloi we had no problem with obtaining food on Mizso. The air was breathable and the water was potable. The gravity, however, was only about 75% as strong as that of Earth because Mizso was a smaller planet so we weighed less and could jump higher and walk easier.
We found some of the Morlocks and they turned out to be much like human cave men without telepathy but having advanced to the point of using fire and spears and bows and arrows. They were hunters and gatherers not having developed agriculture.
Linda and Pablo spent much time together on the Sinking Creek farm and in 2037 they had a daughter who was also in harmony with the force. They named her Eva Victoria and called her Vicky. A couple of years later they had another daughter they named Maria Caroline. She was named for Pablo's mother.
It turns out that the gift given to these people by the Force also included lengthened life span with good health right up until the end of life. For your interest here are the death dates and ages of a number of the characters mentioned in this story:
Character death year age at death age of Linda age of Vicky --------- ---------- ------------ ------------ ------------ Anne * 2009 87 Dallas 2023 75 12 Julia 2027 80 16 Erik 2030 83 19 Terri * 2047 95 36 10 Marie * 2050 100 39 13 Judd 2053 78 42 16 Anissa 2060 80 49 23 Tuul * 2085 112 74 48 Carol * 2087 110 76 50 Lumusi * 2090 115 79 53 * - having the gift of being in harmony with the cosmic force.
After Dallas died, Marie moved to Burnside and lived there with Judd and Anissa the rest of her life with frequent visits to the Sinking Creek farm. In 2100 both Linda and Pablo were still going strong being only in middle age.
As an example of how this process works for me, there is an episode in the book in which a character slips on the bank of a stream with a slick rock bottom worn smooth by water and shaped like a trough. He then slides over a waterfall. In 1968 or 1969 in cruising timber on the upper reaches of Martin's Fork of the Cumberland River in Harlan County, Kentucky near Cumberland Gap National Park, a forester in my party did slip on the banks of a small stream and slide downward toward a high waterfall below. In that case though, instead of going over the waterfall, he was able to grab a small tree which had fallen across the stream and climb out. The rest of the foresters in our crew watched him in horror because he was sliding so fast that we had no chance to stop him. It was a relief to us and him when he grabbed that tree.
The theme and the name of this book is "Ripples in the Force". A ripple is caused by a life existing in the cosmic force. How many ripples in the force can you find in this book? What can you say about the effect of each of these ripples on the force? Who do you find to be the most interesting character? Why? What questions of ethics, morality, and social behavior are brought up in this book?
Map of Area
Map of Area
Map of Area
In 1863 the Union Army under the command of General Ambrose E. Burnside established a camp and army depot at Point Isabel and fortified the site along with a major lookout point called Bunker Hill to control a portion of the Cumberland River. With lookouts posted on all the high points, Burnside's men could watch over a large part of the surrounding countryside. The camp soon became known as Camp Burnside. Older residents still referred to their community as the Point and some began gradually calling it Point Burnside.
General Burnside's military reputation during the Civil War had suffered extensive criticism. He had led the Union Army to defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1862 against Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee. Burnside somewhat redeemed himself militarily in Kentucky when he accepted the surrender of Confederate forces at Cumberland Gap, thus freeing eastern Kentucky and Tennessee from a strong Confederate presence.
After the end of the Civil War the Burnside area remained isolated. Bad roads and sparse settlements caused travelers to avoid parts of Pulaski County. Transportation by stagecoach began in 1850 and lasted through 1878. The roads remained poor and travel by coach could be a grueling experience. One traveler noted, "A man can't drive from Stanford (Lincoln County, Kentucky) to Somerset and still be a Christian. The mud is so deep and the road is so long, that a Christian would lose all patience with himself and his horses before he got to Waynesboro (Lincoln County). After that, Job himself would get out of heart." In 1878 the first train came through Pulaski County bringing with it a modern means of transportation.
Kentucky author James Lane Allen (1849-1925) wrote an extensive description of the Burnside community in 1899. In his essay he wrote of the beauty of the land. "The scenery around Burnside is beautiful and the climate bracing." He went on to note the grandeur of the surrounding forests and above all the wonderful serenity of the place.
In the 1950s Burnside and the surrounding area would change forever. The Nashville, Tennessee District of the Corps of Engineers had started a massive project to impound the waters of the Cumberland River and create the largest lake in Kentucky. The completion of Wolf Creek Dam formed Lake Cumberland. The lake has a seasonal pool of 50,250 acres covering parts of Clinton, Laurel, Pulaski, Russell, and Wayne Counties. The rising waters of the lake eventually covered the lower portion of Burnside. The government relocated businesses and homes on a hill that is now called Upper Burnside.
Doublehead, Corn Blossom, Big Jake, Jacob Troxell, "Little Jake", Peter Troxell, Red Bird, and Standing Fern true Cherokee Thunderbolts and wore the sacred emblem and mark of the Thunder People: the Lightning Bolt.
Walking the grounds of Mill Springs Park will take your mind and soul to another time - the past. Old battlefields, new innovations and extensive restorations, make up much of Mill Springs Park's history. By taking a stroll through Mill Spring's Park, one is instantly immersed in the culture and history of another time.
It all began in 1770 when hunters and explorers, called "Long Hunters", found a place "with excellent springs near a waterfall." The settlers were no doubt amazed at the sight of 13 springs flowing from the hillside! Here, Price's Station, one of the first settlements in Kentucky was established and eventually became a fur trading center. In 1774 Daniel Boone and Michael Stoner passed through this area.
The story of Mill Springs Mill began around 1817 when Charles, John and Dr. James Metcalf settled in the area and erected a cereal grinding mill, or a grist mill as they were usually called, for the milling of corn and wheat. The mill was equipped with 48 inch French burrs, millstones for grinding wheat and corn. Flour and cornmeal were custom ground for families who brought their grain by wagon or horseback on milling day.
The year 1824 brought the destruction of the Metcalfe Mill and factories due to fire. John Metcalfe took on the task of rebuilding and reconstruction was completed in 1839.
In 1825, a post office was established near the mill and was called Mill Springs, Kentucky. John Metcalfe, Jr. was designated the first post-master.
HINES CAVE, WAYNE COUNTY KENTUCKY "Hines Cave, or Doublehead cave, about six miles from Monticello near Mill Springs is spacious and well drained. The entrance is protected from wind, rain and snow by high cliffs, yet well lighted for some distance. The bottom is level and dry and this must have been a desirable shelter to the people who occupied it. There were remains from many fires and in the graves were many artifacts, awls, needles and skinning knives; in the ash beds were bones of many animals. In one grave was found the skeleton of a young woman with a round piece of shining mica of the type that comes from North Carolina. Many skeletons were found and many more artifacts, stone hoes, flint arrowheads, pipes, pottery, and textiles. Animal bones were those of a wolf, bear, rabbit, turkey, quail, turtle shells, and mussel shells. "
This excerpt from the book "Ancient Life in Kentucky"(1928) by Webb and W.D. Funkhouser makes clear the significance of this burial and habitation site of the Cherokee people. Reports indicate that Hines Cave, or Doublehead cave, (15WN1, NAGPRA designation number) was used for at least 20000 years by indigenous peoples.
In 1880 a turnpike was built from Monticello to Burnside.
The stagecoach ran on that road until 1915.
In 1833 the first steamboat made it up the Cumberland to Point Isabel. Steamboat heyday on the Cumberland was from 1880 to about 1930. Steamboat landings in 1840 included Albany, Creelsboro, Rowena, Mill Springs, Waitsboro and Point Isabel.
The Rowena and a sister boat, the very similar "Celina," and another named "City of Burnside" were the final boats to cruise the Cumberland River, carrying cargo and passengers between landings from Burnside to Nashville, and sometimes beyond. In fact, the Rowena began its final journey at Paducah on the Ohio River. It had traversed the long and winding Cumberland upstream across western Kentucky and through Nashville, passing the communities of Celina, Tn., just south of the state border, and Burkesville just downstream, before time and destiny ended its journey in Russell County.
In a time when the rugged country of southern Kentucky delayed the development of roadway transportation, the steamboats provided means for residents to travel, to ship and import merchandise and products. Livestock, staples, food, clothing, varieties of merchandise, skins and furs were traded between locations on the river, or shipped further abroad from the important river port city of Nashville, Tn.
From the time when the packet boat "Jefferson" churned the Cumberland's waters in the first powered journey to the head of the river's navigable waters at Burnside (then called Point Isabel) in 1833 until a century had passed, the steamboats were invaluable in the region's commerce. Communities, such as Creelsboro in Russell County, depended entirely on their river connection. As late as the 1920s, students traveled by steamboat from Creelsboro landing upstream to catch a train at Burnside for journeys to faraway centers of higher education.
Steamboats on the upper Cumberland also played important roles in the Civil War years, and were vital in the escape of Confederate forces after their defeat at the January 1862 Battle of Mill Springs, just upstream in Pulaski and Wayne counties. From the Gilded Age of the 1880s through the Roaring Twenties, the river was plied by boats well-known to the area's citizens. Besides the three already noted, among the most-remembered were the "Patrol," the "Albany," the "Dunbar," the "Bob Dudley" and the "Jo Horton Fall."
In addition to shipping commerce, the boats often provided recreational cruises. Floating picnic parties would be organized for a pleasant river cruise.
It was to aid in the steamboats' navigation of the river that the first dam on the upper Cumberland was built, beginning in 1908. The Lock 21 Dam blocked the river in Wayne County, near the Russell County line, and raised it so the boats would be able to operate during periods when the level of the river would otherwise become too low for navigation on upstream to the Burnside landing. (Lock 21 is now deep under the waters of Lake Cumberland, just upstream of Camp Earl Wallace in Wayne County.)
The Rowena itself was a rebuilt boat. It was originally known as the "Warrenn," and renamed after an extensive remodeling. It first appeared on the river around 1912. A large boat that dwarfed even today's monster luxury houseboats, the Rowena was 168 ft. 5 in. in length and had a breadth of 29 ft. 7 in.
The flat-bottom wooden hull was built of pine and oak. The two-deck boat was registered at a weight of 187 tons, and had a carrying capacity of 250 tons. With a light load of 30 tons of coal for power, it sat in the river just 30 inches deep. When loaded at its full rated capacity of 250 tons, it sat down to a draft of 5 feet in the water.
The sternwheeler was powered by two steam boilers that could generate 275 horsepower with cylinders 11 inches in diameter that moved pistons in a 6-foot stroke. At average speed, the sternwheel would turn 35 revolutions per minute, allowing the boat to maintain an average of 10 miles per hour. In heavy use, it took 12 and a half bushels of coal per hour to maintain power.
A modern boat, the Rowena's engine also powered an electric generator which provided for electric lighting throughout, and two 1000-candlepower searchlights. It had 20 staterooms and 56 berths, and could carry up to 60 passengers as well as cargo. There was a large unobstructed cabin with skylight, and a cookhouse that provided meals to passengers – included with the cost of trip. The dining room of the "Rowena" consisted of one row of tables with space to feed twenty people at one time.
This is the time of what is known as the French and Indian War in United States history. But it was also a time of the Thunderbolts in all their glory among the Chickamaugan Cherokee of Cherokee Nation. A time when THEY THEM of the heavens intervened among mankind once again. When the waters of a people called upon the powers of the heavens and forever changed the outcome of events among a people. This is the true historical account of one of those events that changed not only United States history but also the waters of a people: THE CHEROKEE NATION, and brought forth the strength in not only the Cherokee but a strength and remembrance of HEAVENS and THEY THEM commonly called YAHOWAH. Yahowah the Creator God, Yahowah the GREAT SPIRIT that dwells among man, the universe, and the heavens. Yahowah known as the ELDER FIRES ABOVE as the triangle of all things. Three yet one, one yet three, YAHOWAH !
YAHOWAH of the flames of fire that burn above the heads as in a tongue of fire. For there is more in the universe and in the heavens than man can ever understand. And of the Cherokee there existed an elite class of warriors of the Red Line of War that held unto their fire the things of Yahowah. Among them was carried the Ark of the Cherokee Lightning, the Lightning of the three (3) flames, an instrument given unto the Cherokee by the Elder Fires Above and the Dancers of Heaven a long time ago. But the Ark was not the only thing that was contained within the Thunderbolts, for there were many things given by the fires of heaven unto the Cherokee, and the Ark is only one of them.
And thus among the Chickamaugan Cherokee were this elite class of warriors of fire, guardians of the Ark, keepers of the flames, commonly called and known as THE THUNDERBOLTS. And among them were great warriors of white and red their markings upon their Being. As there were many warriors and war women, the Thunderbolts held strong heavens lightning upon their eyes. And this is the true story of one of those eyes, a great WAR WOMAN, my direct ancestor on my fathers side, this is the true historical record of SHE WHO CARRIES THE SUN !
At this time of the French and Indian War, Doublehead, as a teenager, learned that his people received word that a great movement in the north had crossed the Ohio River heading south deep into Kentucky. It was learned that many Indian tribes from the north with their French allies had targeted the lands of Kentucky and the Cherokee Nation for total French gain.
Meaning: the Chickamauga Cherokee must now decide their loyalty to either join the French or fight their advance. The French believed that the Kentucky Cherokees would join them, finding little resistance to their advance.
But what the French did not realize was that bringing other tribal nations onto Cherokee Territory without a tribal agreement, would bring insult and stir the Kentucky Cherokees into defending their homelands with dire retribution. This was a mistake the French would remember for many years to come which would forever put distrust between the Kentucky Cherokee and any European who came with promises and beads.
Many Kentucky Cherokee Thunderbolt council fires concerning this threat took place with many people attending. Some of the Cumberland River Shawnee People who were close friends to the Cumberland River Cherokee allied themselves with the Cherokee Thunderbolts.
The sacred holy fires of three (3) at Ywahoo Falls, Cumberland Falls, and Eagle Falls burned with many holy council meetings of many great chiefs and great warriors and great holy people. And the decision of these councils came about to defend their Cherokee Nation first against any and all aggression, taking no sides in this white mans war of French and English.
They agreed they would fight no Frenchman or Englishman in this war but would fight anyone who raised a War Arm against the Chickamauga Cherokee Nation, whomever they may be, Indian or non-Indian.
Some allies of the south from the Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw nations with some friends of the river Shawnee joined with the Cherokee decision as they had also sat in these councils wondering what to do on the matter of invasion. The Thunderbolt Cherokee neighbors in McCreary county Kentucky of the Yamacraw Indian Nation also joined this decision for they attended as well.
Word by runners was sent throughout the whole Cherokee Nation and its southern allies to gather all the warriors that would join and assemble along the Kentucky Cumberland River in what is now Pulaski, Wayne, and McCreary Counties in south central Kentucky. The sacred Cherokee Thunderbolt War Hatchet calling the whole Cherokee Nation to War was sent throughout the whole Cherokee Nation, southern and chickamaugan.
The war headquarters for this huge massing of the Cherokee and its allies was to be at the northern district Cherokee commerce capital at Burnside Kentucky. Any diplomatic moves were to be counseled at "Doubleheads Cave" in Wayne County Kentucky. Its holy center was the many Falls of the Cumberland (Ywahoo, Cumberland, Eagle).
As the Cherokee came from the south in other districts, many war songs and war councils echoed through out the Kentucky Cumberland River basin day and night with sacred fires burning continually.
The sacred Cherokee Crystal Ark was also brought to the holy grounds of the 3 Falls and became known during this rallying as the Thunderbolt Ark of the Cherokees. Many were purified and made warriors of Great Spirit God at the sacred grounds of the 3 Falls: Ywahoo, Cumberland, and Eagle.
The most sacred being Ywahoo Falls of the "Ancient Ones". But each fall area of the 3 falls had its own holiness and sacred meaning. Warriors prepared to defend their country to the last person. Many inter-tribal arrangements were decided on at Doubleheads Cave with elaborate ceremonies to bind the friendship agreements in time of need.
Big celebration was seen when High Chief Moytoy himself came in aid. After all, Moytoy was the grandfather to Doubleheads wife, making this more of a personal matter to Moytoy. Moytoy became honored at Doubleheads Cave in Wayne County Kentucky.
Many "War Women" War Woman Spirit women were also among the Cherokee ranks preparing to fight. One special War Leader of southeast Kentucky rallied her Thunderbolt force into a frenzied mass of power to encounter the enemy. Many songs were sung and dances performed of her prowess of determination to fight at the head of her Thunderbolts of Kentucky.
Her name was She-Who-Carries-The-Sun (for her people). She was a powerful War Woman Spirit and leader who lived in southeast Kentucky but walked thruout the Cumberland Plateau. She and her warriors, male and female were of the Thunderbolt Lightning Cherokees and carried a special sign of the Thunderbolt as their markings. The painted red and white Thunderbolt of Lightning was on many of her warriors shields, armor, garments, and body.
She-Who-Carries-The-Sun had many other names and titles as well but this time she adorned the title of War Woman Spirit and was allowed to wear the dressing of both the white and the red for her brightness to her people.
She attended many councils of the area, including her presence at Burnside, Doubleheads Cave, and at Yahoo, Cumberland, and Eagle Falls. She was said to have given a great oration while at Yahoo Falls and drenched herself under the falling water of Yahoo Falls for her sacredness, later placing a great victory eagle feather on the Rock of the River of the Ancient Ones.
She drank the black drink at Eagle Falls and sat among many high leaders in council on many matters at different locations. Deep respect and honor was highly given where ever she went. The war pole had been struck with her Thunderbolt hatchet by She-Who-Carries-The- Sun.
The Cherokee objective was now to wait and stop any enemy at the sacred grounds of the Kentucky Cumberland River. Many people from many tribes were now camped throughout all the sacred hills and valleys of Wayne, Pulaski, and McCreary Counties in a massive bond of Holy Warriors. Their nightly fires lit the sky with flames of "One" people. The smoke carried their spirits aloft in preparation of the coming battle. The Chickamaugan Cherokee and their allies waited for the coming aggressors, white or Indian, to come into their waiting arms to feel the blow that only a Cherokee warrior could give its enemy. That only a Chickamaugan Thunderbolt could strike its target.
Among them was a young warrior called Doublehead. The War songs were sung at the council fires, the warpole had been struck by many, and the sacred Black Drink was accepted. They were ready. She-Who- Carries-The-Sun was at one of the fronts ready to strike as the lightning. Her white and red garments was said to have taken on a light of supernatural brightness.
When the battle later came, the ranks of the many Cherokee warriors and their allies were lined in defense outside of the Cherokee district capital at Burnside, on both sides of the Cumberland River, with the sacred Cherokee Holy Ark in the front middle of them. Coming on and facing them were the many tribes of the north accompanied by a few Frenchmen who had swayed their invasion of Kentucky.
The battle began and lasted for days up and down the Cumberland River going many a ways in every direction on both sides. Many yells and screams of its Chiefs and warriors clashing head on into each other, raw warrior against raw warrior, War Women against many.
She-Who-Carries-The-Sun with her Thunderbolt Cherokees fought strong thru the whole ordeal, pushing their advance onward, even though her force had encountered the main body of the enemy. The enemies assault on She-Who-Carries-The-Sun was twice as strong as other fronts. Her force was outnumbered 2 to 1, but her willingness to protect her people accompanied by the bravery of her Cherokee Thunderbolt force held to the end and finally began pushing the enemy back.
Some of the Frenchmen with their Indian allies was said to have run on just seeing the face of She-Who-Carries-The-Sun, others say that the Frenchmen feared the brightness of her garments. Some say that a hawk soared and screamed over her advance. Her weapons were two-fold, the ancient ball war club and the lance.
Her hair was said to be long and shiny black with a length down to the back of her waist, that flowed in movement with the slightest breeze. She was known to be close kin to young Doublehead. Her beauty was also known far and wide which some say was carried over onto Doubleheads daughter Cornblossom. Her renown feature was the bronze of her skin which shone a beauty as a blazing tan, not dark nor light but bronze, which her name clearly defines : She-Who-Carries-The-Sun. She was known as the MOST beautiful woman on the earth.
Many a bloody warrior, male, female, and children, on both sides fell those days under the ball war club, the arrow, and other instruments of Indian warfare. Sometimes a village had been entered into with many killed by the enemy. Many people died from this great holy battle of Indian against Indian on both sides, one right after the other in a river of blood and death creating a sea of exhaustion.
The Cumberland River ran red that day. But in the end the Cherokee with their allies became victorious, causing any Frenchmen left with their many Indian allies to retreat all the way northward back across the Ohio River and into their own lands out of Kentucky.
The battle of the Cumberland River had been fought. Their enemies vanquished and posed no threat any more. The Cherokee Thunderbolt had struck the enemy. With many Frenchmen dead, little to no recordings were made especially when the British won the French and Indian War, but the story was oft times carried on by the Kentucky Cherokees.
History is said to be written by the victors, so one must look into the chronicles of the French for the other side of the coin in matters of war and peace especially during these times,but it is there.
After the battle was all over, among the dead was She-Who-Carries-The- Sun, fell with an arrow in her side. Even with an arrow she was told to have kept fighting until the battle was over, then slumped to the ground after raising her hands to the Great Spirit in victory. Some say her war hatchet that was embedded on the war pole she struck in the council house, mysteriously fell off on her dying breath as if removed by She-Who-Carries-The-Sun herself, meaning : her war is over.
She became honored highly and buried inside of the sacred burial chambers at Doubleheads Cave in an elaborate ceremony with all present. She adorned a special necklace of her honor as a Chickamaugan War Woman. Her victories had fallen many an enemy warrior during this battle. Some say that among her fallen enemies, she fell personally 3 enemy chiefs of the north, 2 by the club, 1 with a lance in this battle.
Her remembrance was carried with each rising of the Sun from that day forward. Her deeds were told and sung at many council fires to come. Her lance and ball war club was always remembered in her image.
Some tell that she still watches over the South Fork and Cumberland Rivers with her brightness, lance, and warclub. Her white garments were the whitest of white and the red redness of red.
This is how many say they recognize her, sometimes in the sun, in the wind, glow of the moon, on the water, many places and design they say she still walks. Some say she can be seen or felt at the Circle of Truth, the natural arches, doors to the other side.
Some say that Real Human Beings who belong to the Thunderbolts can feel She-Who-Carries-The-Sun with a sense of closeness at many geological wonders of the South Fork and Cumberland River areas. She was a great warrior in the Land of the Thunderbolt, she was a Great Chickamaugan Cherokee ranked with all the others.
May someday her recognition be not forgotten and her story told and sung on every lip once again. May her boldness and bravery be the heart of all warriors men and women, and forever may we remember the name of She-Who-Carries-The-Sun.
She-Who-Carries-The-Sun along with the 2 daughters of Doublehead 1 who marries the great Chickasaw Chief and Cornblossom who marries Jacob Troxell, blood relatives, War Women the three.
THE 3 MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMEN ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, and within their beauty was much more, their hearts were of 1 people, 1 culture, they were truly Real Human Beings. They were THUNDERBOLT CHICKAMAUGAN CHEROKEE who loved and protected their people to the end. Remember them for they will always be with us, forever and ever.
Cutsawah, meaning Red Bird in the Cherokee language, is direct descent of She Who Carries the Sun, Cornblossom, wife of Jacob Troxell, is cousin to Cutsawah Redbird and direct to She Who Carries the Sun line as well.
She Who Carries the Sun, my heritage, my blood, my direct line, thru Blossom of the Corn. Blessed be those who read these words and hold dear the strength of She Who Carries the Sun. Look upon the heavens and remember that the spirit of all people relies not only on themselves but also within the eyes of the flames of Yahowah, the Elder Fires Above, the triangle of the 3 Spirits of the Heavens. For this is the Creator, real beings, that dwell among all things, all people, and sometimes they intervene thru many means. May the spirit of all people of good and right have the spirit of She Who Carries the Sun. Honor the things of Yahowah, remember the workings of Yahowah, lift up your eyes unto Yahowah, forever and ever. For among the heavens is She Who Carries the Sun and the Thunderbolts.
Yahowah, the Great Spirit, the Creator, a living being in the heavens, the universe, and earth. May the strength of all women be as the courage of She Who Carries the Sun, may the strength of all warriors hold dear the shield of She Who Carries the Sun. May the eyes of all mankind, hold the eyes of She Who Carries the Sun, for rightness of Yahowah. Yahowah, the ancient name in the Cherokee language the GREATESS of Spirits, the Great Spirit. Non-Indians know Yahowah in their language as the God of the Judea, middle east, and the world.
There is a painting in Frankfort Ky of one of the Cutsawah Chiefs. Cutsawah and She Who Carries the Sun is also my blood lineage.
Lift up your eyes unto Yahowah, and remember She Who Carries the Sun, for she is with your always as Yahowah is also. Remember She Who Carries the Sun, for she is among you in many ways, forever. She rides among the clouds and in the winds, she watches over those of Yahowah. May her lance and club be your stance as she gave unto Yahowah and her people. A Blessing shall be for those who read these words and remember all the things therein. Lift up the lance of Yahowah and remember a time when Yahowah intervened with a nation, a people, and a War Woman called and known as SHE WHO CARRIES THE SUN ! Forever.
This was the time of SHE WHO CARRIES THE SUN ! Remember this day in time when Yahowah intervened with man and a people. Remember forever the name of SHE WHO CARRIES THE SUN !
War Women three, She Who Carries the Sun, Blossom of the Corn, and Standing Fern. My family, my heritage, my blood line. Remember them when Yahowah came down and touched a people. For those who remember, shall also unto you shall be given the shields of SHE WHO CARRY THE SUN, that is the Cherokee way. And upon her being, were the hand and eyes of YAHOWAH. Forever. Remember Them with Great Honor and a Tear
For She Who Carries the Sun is with Us Always
.... Dan Troxell
Reprinted under the Fair Use
doctrine of international copyright law.
August 9, 1807 - Cherokee Chief Doublehead is executed by The Major Ridge, James Vann and Alexander Saunders
It marked the end of an era in the Cherokee Nation and the rise of the republic. Doublehead had grown powerful by giving Cherokee land to the government through the liberal bribes of Indian Agent Return J. Miegs. The tribal council had made it a crime punishable by death to cede Cherokee land to anyone. Doublehead continued to allow settlers into Cherokee land, and traded holdings with the United States.
Ridge, Vann and Sauders, possibly with the approval of the Cherokee Council, sought Doublehead. The first attempt to kill Doublehead ended when Vann, who was to perform the task, was too drunk. Other attempts followed, but finally Ridge succeeded.
Ironically, Ridge would receive the same punishment for signing the Treaty of New Echota in 1835
The son of a Scottish trader and his Cherokee wife, Vann's father Joseph and step-father Clement were among the first white traders in the Cherokee Nation. Vann's early recognition came because he was one of the few Cherokee who could read English. As a teenager he was called to read letters to the tribe from Tennessee Governor John Sevier and others.
When poor relations with Sevier's settlers deteriorated in the early 1790's, Vann joined the Lower Towns Cherokee in a planned raid on Knoxville, Tennessee. During a raid on Cavett's Station, the Cavett family surrendered to Bob Benge, who promised safe transport for all remaining family members. A chief named Doublehead was not consulted for the negotiations. Angry at Benge, Doublehead and his friends attacked Cavett's Station. Benge, John Watts (who was leading the raid) and Vann tried to protect the family to no avail. Doublehead killed a young white boy Vann had hoisted to his saddle to protect, then turned and tried to attack Vann. Vann avoided the blow by turning his horse. To the Cherokee the title "Mankiller" is a term of great respect. From that day forward, whenever angered, Vann called Doublehead "Baby-killer." Vann would never forgive nor forget the treachery.
Vann was instrumental in selecting a warrior, Ridge, to represent the village of Pine Log in council. Ridge was present three years earlier when James Vann stood up to Doublehead at Cavett's Station. A third man, Charles Hicks, lived in the town and together the three quickly became good friends. Over the next fifteen years this Cherokee Triumvirate would steer a young Nation on a path towards acculturation. Vann was becoming a wealthy farmer, slaveholder, and respected negotiator for the Cherokee Nation.
In 1800, while on an East Coast trip that included a visit to Washington, D.C., Vann met a group of Morovian missionaries from North Carolina who desired to spread the Gospel and teach Cherokee children. Vann convinced them to move to Spring Place, south of the soon-to-be-built Vann House, to start their mission and school. He presented his idea to the tribal council, in part so his two-year old son Joseph might attend. That autumn Doublehead tried to delay the council from making a decision about allowing the school. Vann and Hicks drew Doublehead aside and informed him that whether or not he wanted it, the Morovians would have a school. Many of the mixed-blood Cherokee supported Vann. Doublehead let the council vote and the vote was in favor of the Morovians. He took the opportunity to tell Vann to stop criticizing him.
The tribal council had begun to factionalize. Ridge, Hicks and Vann would stand opposed to Doublehead on almost every issue, and Doublehead became jealous as the wealth of the Triumvirate grew. With his skillful handling of the Federal Highway negotiations in 1803, Vann ended up with a tavern, store, ferry and an additional estate on the Chattahoochee, and the highway would run directly past both his new home and the Morovian school at Spring Place. Hicks and Ridge also owned multiple businesses and were gaining in wealth, yet Doublehead was clearly ahead of all three.
The Triumvirate realized that white traders and government agents were willing to do business with Doublehead because he was willing to accept bribes. Benefiting from Hicks' association with Indian Agent Return J. Meigs, for whom Hicks translated papers, Vann learned that on at least three occasions Doublehead had illegally sold Cherokee land to whites, a crime punishable by death. At first, few people would listen to Vann as he exposed Doublehead's activities, but slowly he convinced a majority of the Nation that Doublehead was indeed committing crimes.
Vann, Ridge and Alexander Sauders were selected to kill Doublehead for his betrayal, possibly with the approval of the tribal council. At the appointed time Vann was too drunk to commit the murder. It was the first in a series of botched attempts that eventually ended in Doublehead's death at the hand of Vann's friend Ridge. This was one of a complex series of events led by Vann that would become known as "The Revolt of the Young Chiefs.
Cherokee historian Don Shadburn talked to us about Vann's married life. "His wives included three sisters, daughters of Walter Scott, a South Carolina Indian trader-- Elizabeth Scott (mother of Delilah Vann McNair), Polly Scott, and Peggy Scott. Jennie Foster and Nancy Ann Brown (half-sister of the Scott girls) were also wives. Nancy was Joe Vann's mother."
He was known to beat people, including his wives, for little or no reason, and the Cherokee Nation empowered him as head of part of the Lighthorse Patrol, a loose-knit Cherokee police force. By this time Vann's drinking problem was out of control. He became paranoid about theft. When Alexander Saunders tried to talk to Vann about his problems, Vann told him to leave.
James Vann lived by the sword, James Vann died by the sword. Celebrating at Tom Buffington's tavern northwest of Frogtown a single shot rang out from a partially opened door and James Vann fell dead, holding a bottle in one hand, a drink in the other. His Negro slave quickly picked up his son Joseph and Vann's billfold and spirited the boy back to Spring Place. Vann's body was buried near the tavern. Speculation as to who committed the crime is rampant even nearly 200 years after the act. Was it Alexander Saunders, whom Vann had exiled? Or maybe a relative of Doublehead's, getting revenge for his kin's murder? Most likely it was the relative of a man Vann had recently killed.
In death Vann would have a major effect on the matrilineal Cherokee society. The society was structured around Cherokee women, not men. When a man married he became a member of his wife's clan. Property passed through a wife when a warrior died. Vann, in line with white law of the time, left his inheritance to his son Joseph. The tribal council gave some of the inheritance to his wives and other children, but Joseph got the bulk.
When he died at the age of 43 Vann was one of the richest men not only in the Cherokee Nation but in the United States. His beautiful home along the Federal Highway still bears his name, Vann House, and is a popular stop along North Georgia's Chieftains Trail.
Major Ridge a North Georgia Notable
Born 1771, Hiwassee, Cherokee Nation Died June 22, 1839, White Rock Creek, AR.(disputed)
A man finishes describing his vision to the highest Cherokee council by saying anyone who denies this dream will be struck dead by the Cherokee Mother. Ridge sits silent as a great chatter arises amongst the chiefs. The vision is decidedly anti-settler, possibly provoked by Tecumseh, who issues a call for war shortly before the meeting in May of 1811. Rising to speak after the room had quieted, Ridge's voice fills the hall. "What you have heard is not good. It will lead us to war with the United States, and we shall suffer. It is not a talk from the Great Spirit, and I stand here and call it false. Let the death come upon me. I test their words."
Before he finishes speaking men are upon him, fighting him, trying to stab him with knifes. Cherokees in support of Ridge fight back. As the battle rages, Ridge stands, clothes torn and bloody. The fighting pauses. Louder than before Ridge repeats "I stand here and call it false," adding this time, "I continue to live so these prophets are deceivers." Again fighting breaks out, but this time the elder chiefs stop it.
His words alter the course of the Cherokee Nation. Not for the first time, nor the last, Ridge takes a stand for something in which he believes. It was a trait that would mark him throughout his life as a visionary, and end in his death for the betrayal of his people.
Major Ridge Born Kah-nung-da-tla-geh in 1771, by most people's guess, Man Who Walks on Mountaintop is the son of Oganstota, Dutsi or Tar-chee. His mother, a mixed blood Cherokee, belongs to the Deer Clan. In 1785 the Cherokee leaders sign the Treaty of Hopewell, in which many of the tribe put great faith. By the time Ridge becomes a warrior in 1788, the agreement at Hopewell has been repeatedly broken by both sides and the Chickamauga (Ridge's tribe) are in revolt.
In his first war party, the future member of the Cherokee Triumvirate witnesses the atrocity of war. Cherokee and settlers battle across southeast Tennessee. Near present-day Maryville the Cherokee attack settlers in the field and turn on John Gillespie's station, killing all the men in the stockade. Ridge's leader, John Watts saves the lives of the 28 women and children. They then attack 2 more stations on the Holsten, and head for the Smoky Mountains. John Seiver ambushes the war party. Ridge escapes, wounded, but 145 Cherokee die.
Exposure to this kind of fighting continues for years. By the mid 1790's Ridge, as did many of his fellow Chickamaugan, begin to desire an end to the fighting. "I will hunt deer, not men," he tells his fiancée Susanna. His tribe decimated, two separate events that affect Ridge occur. He moves to Pine Log, in present-day Bartow County, Georgia, and under orders of President Washington, the United States begins to introduce technology to the Cherokee in the form of spinning wheels and cotton combs.
Now married, Ridge is surprised to find when he returns home that Susanna has woven cloth worth more money than all the pelts he captures in six months of hunting. Pleasantly surprised. And the men he begins to associate with in Pine Log are not warriors but farmers. His association with James Vann and Charles Hicks influences Ridge towards ending the fighting with settlers, and Ridge, in turn, influences the Cherokee Nation to ending the constant warring.
By 1795 a change had overcome the warrior. Representing Pine Log in council Ridge proposes a modest change in the ancient vengeance code. This change, which passes, prompts Ridge's rise. He is 25(or so) at the time. By 1800 the tribal council acknowledges the Cherokee Triumvirate of Ridge, Vann and Hicks. They often disagree with the elders and frequently win.
Ridge turns his attention to his family as Vann and Hicks lead the fights in council. Susanna gives birth to a girl, then a boy, John. A third, another boy, dies at birth. Later additions to his family would include Walter or "Watty" and Sarah, who they called Sally. His brother David Watie (or Oowatie) and sister-in-law, living nearby, give birth to Gallegina or "Buck" and Stand. It is during this time that the United States and the State of Georgia legally agree to the removal of "indians" from the state at a later date.
By 1805 Ridge's attention returns to the council, and he, Hicks and Vann are extremely unhappy at what they see. Tribal elders, most notably Doublehead, are getting rich at the expense of the tribe. The Cherokee Triumvirate lead a group in a complex series of events generally referred to as "The Revolt of the Young Chiefs."
Doublehead betrays the Cherokee on many occasions. After the cession of Wofford's tract in 1804, Doublehead begins to rapidly sell the real assets of the tribe under the direction of Indian Agent Return J. Miegs. By 1806 a significant portion of remaining land is sold, with most of the proceeds going to Doublehead and those who aligned with him. Vann and Ridge break with the council. Although almost entirely alone at first, they slowly build support across the nation. Within 2 years a large vocal group support the two rebellious chiefs.
In a bold plan in August, 1807, possibly approved by the tribal council, Ridge, Hicks, and Vann plot the murder Doublehead. Deeply involved, neither the federal government or the Cherokee clan of Doublehead take any action against Ridge. He turns back a settler near Vann's Tavern, and later, in the presence of Meigs, usurps his power on the council. The council quickly begins to nationalize and Ridge is put in charge of the first Cherokee police, the Lighthorse Patrol. At Ridge's insistence the ancient blood vengeance code is abolished.
Just as the Triumvirate reaches it's acme, Hicks quits (or is forced to quit) his job assisting Miegs and Vann is killed. Now Ridge, who desperately seeks to lead his nation, sees his power in council dwindling. It is now that the man who has the vision addressed the council and Ridge rises to call him a liar. This is a dramatic moment in Cherokee History. Once again reinstated for this bold move, the council appoints Ridge to journey to Tecumseh's council with the Creeks and others. After the meeting, Ridge takes Tecumseh aside and explains that if Tecumseh comes to the Cherokee council, Ridge will personally kill him.
With the onset of the Creek War(1813-1814), Ridge raises an army of Cherokee volunteers. Elected a leader of the unit, Andrew Jackson appoints him Major, a title Ridge uses for the rest of his life. It is said that Ridge's canoe is the first to cross the Tallapoosa River as the Cherokee attack from the rear during the Battle of Horseshoe Bend(1814). He leads the Cherokee during the Seminole War(1818) as well and his daughter dies during child-birth.
After the end of the Seminole War Ridge returns home to an elected position as Speaker of the council in the lower house. His wealth expands to rival, but not surpass, that of his late friend James Vann. The Ridge house is completely remodeled and records indicate the vast holdings as including:
1141 peach trees 418 apple trees 280 acres under cultivation a ferry a store 30 black slaves other slaves including Creek captives Ridge was known as being kind to his slaves. For years Susanna Wickett, his mixed-blood wife would tell him, "Remember, they are people, too." During the 1820's the Cherokee Nation is institutionalized, and John Ross wins election as tribal leader, a position that Ridge wanted for most of his adult life. He is happy his close friend and ally John Ross gets elected. After the election Ridge assumes a position that could best be described as "counselor" and for the next 7 years advises Principal Chief Ross on matters before council.
It is during this time that John, his son, decides to marry a white woman. The woman's parents move to prevent the marriage on religious grounds and Ridge confronts the Morovians with a direct question -- "Is there anything in your Bible to prevent such a marriage?" The Morovians assure him that there is not, but they are concerned that the powerful chief does not believe them. Shortly after the women's parents relent and John Ridge and she were married.
Now aging, Ridge sees his son John and Buck Oolwatie(Elias Boudinout) as the future of the tribe. Buck, as editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, eventually espouses removal to Oklahoma as a viable solution to the problem of white encroachment. Ridge is convinced over a period of several years, but John Ross and an overwhelming majority of the Cherokee are against removal.
In December, 1835, Ridge, his son John, Buck Oolwatie (Elias Boudinot), and Stand Watie sign the Treaty of New Echota, which results three years later in The Trail of Tears. Ross promptly gathers 16,000 signatures of Cherokees who oppose removal. Indian-hater Andrew Jackson forces the treaty through Congress by a single vote.
Ridge did not wait to move to Oklahoma. Between 1836 and 1838 he and hundreds of other Cherokee travel to their new home. Along the way he stops to meet his old friend Andrew Jackson at the Hermitage.
Three years later, in clear violation of constitutional law as interpreted by the Supreme Court, the Cherokee are forced to leave for Oklahoma because of Ridge's conviction in his beliefs.
After Major Ridge signs The Treaty of New Echota he says, "I have just signed my death warrant," and indeed he had. Ridge, John and Buck lay dead less than six months afterr the arrival of the Cherokee in the Oklahoma Territory. In an orchestrated plot Ridge is shot while travelling to Arkansas. A few minutes later a group of Cherokee drag his son John from his home and stab 43 times in front of his wife and children. Elias Boudinot is murdered shortly after leaving Samuel Worcester's house.
As brilliant a statesman and politician that Ridge had been, he is forever doomed to a role of betrayer of Cherokee Nation. No other Cherokee has a greater affect on the tribe.
Did Ridge really betray his nation? Major Ridge's house is now the Chieftain's Museum on Georgia's Historic High Country's Chieftain's Trail.
In August, 1997, the editors of Welcome to North Georgia named Ridge as the most influencial person in the makeup of today's North Georgia. Read the article
In the summer of 1793, a mixed blood Cherokee, John Boggs married the daughter of Chief Turtle-at-Home in Chota. John Boggs was a Trader among the Cherokee. The Boggs of southeast Kentucky, Wise and Lee County, VA, and Appalachia are connected to the Cherokee, including Dr. Eli Boggs, deceased of Hazard, KY, a cousin of Jesse Elmer Eversole or Elmer Jesse Eversole, deceased, both of Perry County, KY, old Clay County, KY. See Vicco, VA and Vicco, KY as an example of connections in the area. The Howards are connected to the same families. Many have ties to Cherokee Chief Red Bird of Kentucky and the MAIN CHEROKEE NATION, including Chief Doublehead and Benge and others of Cherokee history in Kentucky and the South. TURTLE AT HOME is listed as a signer of the 1806 Cherokee - Dearborn Treaty signed in Washington, D.C. Chief Red Bird also is listed as a signatory, as is the leading Chief: DOUBLEHEAD. Doublehead lived at Goose Creek, KY with those connected to Red Bird and the Carolinas, like Goose Creek, South Carolina. Doublehead also lead war parties in Tennessee, Georgia and elsewhere. They are also related to Powhatan in some lines, as well as most Cherokee branches. Chief Benge was murdered in 1792. Also see Bowling Town, (Buckhorn)KY in Perry County for ties to Boone, the Long Hunters and Cherokee families, as well as Leatherwood in Perry County, with a salt springs and Cherokee Town of the colonial era. Buggs Island, Kerr Dam, near Clarksville, VA MAY also tie the Boggs to Powhatan Cherokee, Saponi and Catawba. jpl .......................................................................... ...............................................
Here are the words of Dragging Canoe:
In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Unetlanvhi, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn.. all things tell of Tirawa. All things in the world are two. In our mind we are two -- good and evil. With our eyes we see two things -- things that are fair and things that are ugly ... We have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil, and the left hand full of kindness, near the heart. One foot may lead us to an evil way, the other foot may lead us to a good. So are all things two, all two.
The Chickamauga Cherokee
A Brief History
In 1730 Sir Alexander Cuming escorted a group of Cherokee to England to meet King George II. They signed articles of friendship and commerce with representatives of the Crown. Although the seven redmen who made the trip were introduced to the king as "chiefs", only one could be considered a real leader -- the others being young braves who went for the adventure. The actual chiefs had responsibilities to their people and would not leave. Among these braves was Attakullakulla, or "Little Carpenter" who eventually became a powerful and influential chief.
In 1750 Atakullakulla led war parties against the French & their native allies, including Shawnee, in the Ohio Valley. As the boats were leaving the village, the warriors watched Atakullakulla's 12 year old son attempt to drag a fully-loaded war canoe, hewn from a log, from the shore into the water. The boy had been told that he couldn't go with the war party unless he could do this. His enthusiasm and efforts earned him the name "Dragging Canoe".
On March 17th 1775 over a thousand Cherokee gathered for the signing of the Sycamore Shoals Treaty. The Transylvania Company, a real estate venture headed by North Carolina Judge Richard Henderson and friend Daniel Boone, was attempting to purchase most of western and central Kentucky, and north central Tennessee from the Cherokees, transferring all holdings between the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers to the Transylvania Land Company. The Cherokee are offered $10,000 worth of trade goods and $2,000 for this very large parcel, and they accept it; a deal is made. Of course, the Cherokee were only selling their own claim to the land; other tribes who hunted here had not been approached. The Chiefs who came to Sycamore Shoals were well aware of this, but it was essentially the white man's problem. Still, not everyone was happy and in spite of the great feast which went on for days, people were grumbling. One outraged brave complained that his share was a mere shirt which could have easily been earned from a day's hunt in the land ceded. Among others, the Cherokee were represented by Chiefs Attakullakulla and Oconostota, both of whom had been across the great waters 45 years previous. It is believed that Chief Doublehead and his daughter Corn Blossom were also present at this occasion. The paper signed at Sycamore Shoals in what is now eastern Tennessee, was the biggest private land deal in the nation's history, although the treaty was soon to be revoked by the governments of Virginia and North Carolina. In reference to this deal, Colonel Washington wrote that there was "...something in that affair which I neither understand nor like..." Private companies had no right to treat with the natives. Henderson lost his investment. However, the treaty will be used by these same governments as a claim on Cherokee lands. Dragging Canoe, then a minor chief, was strongly opposed to the selling of the Cherokee ancestral hunting grounds, warning the whites that there was a 'cloud over that country', that they were purchasing a "dark and bloody ground". Daniel Boone for one, was well aware that there would be trouble if the Americans tried to settle there. Shawnee had already killed his oldest son James during a hunting expedition two years previous. More recently the British governor of the Northwest Territories, Lord Henry Hamilton, began to supply substantial amounts of arms and ammunition to natives and went so far as to offer bounties for the scalps of colonists in 1775. Things were getting ugly quick.
"Whole Indian Nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man's advance. They leave scarcely a name of our people except those wrongly recorded by their destroyers. Where are the Delewares? They have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former greatness. We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Tsalagi (Cherokee) land. They wish to have that usurpation sanctioned by treaty. When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Tsalagi (Cherokees). New cessions will be asked. Finally the whole country, which the Tsalagi (Cherokees) and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of the AniYvwiya, The Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness. There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host. Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Tsalagi (Cherokees), the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed. Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than to submit to further loss of our country? Such treaties may be alright for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will hold our land."
Dragging Canoe, Tsalagi (Cherokee) - Chief , Chickamauga Confederacy
In the summer of 1776, Dragging Canoe led attacks against white settlers, but didn't get much help, especially not from a Cherokee Warrior named Nancy Ward, Ghi-ga-u, or Beloved Woman. Having learned of a large scale plan to attack the Americans with the help of British troops, she informed traders William Falling and Isaac Thomas and provided them with the means of setting out on a hundred and twenty mile trip to warn the settlers on the Holston and Watauga. The attack was repulsed. Things were not going well for the resistance. Dragging Canoe was actually shot through both legs in one raid. The old chiefs desired peace but Dragging Canoe thought it would be far better to abandon the old towns, move south, and continue fighting. There was no way to beat the settlers with their rifles in open warfare, so during the winter of '76-77, Dragging Canoe and his followers built new settlements in the Chickamauga Creek area of north Georgia. The discontented from many tribes and even some renegade whites took refuge with him there where they became known as Chickamaugans. Rather than capitulate with the older chiefs, the Chickamaugans waged war against the settlers for the next 17 years. Dragging Canoe's band of disillusioned-warriors, under the leadership of lieutenants, Benge, John Watts, Glass, Turtle at Home, Richard Justice, Doublehead, Black Fox, the half-breed Ooskiah of Abraham, and Raven, held out against the invaders. Their guerrilla raids, from camps near present-day Chattanooga Tennessee and Mussel Shoals, Alabama, left a trail of scalps, murdered victims, smoldering cabins and ruined crops.
Doublehead, was the last Cherokee Chief to exercise control over the upper Cumberland Plateau. He was born near the present town of Somerset, Kentucky, and had two known children by his wife of French-Indian mixed-blood. These children would eventually be known as Princess Cornblossom and Tuckahoe. Chief Doublehead was named for his dual personality. Although he rose to prominence as an ambassador representing the Cherokee nation to President George Washington, the Chief also honored the ancient code. He killed and terrorized settlers, wreaking vengeance upon those unlucky enough to be within his reach. He did to whites what they had done to his people. According to some accounts, he was as viciously indiscriminate as Sevier, Hamilton, and other Indian Fighters. For almost twenty years, Chickamaugans such as Doublehead, and Shawnee like Blackfish, did everything they could to convince white people that Kentucky and Tennessee were neither for sale nor settlement.
In 1786, a couple of Chickasaws on their way to visit friends in the settlements south of the Duck River passed through a Chickamaugan town in northern Alabama which they realized was a secret camp from which raids on the Tennessee settlers were being staged. They continued north toward the Duck River in Tennessee and told their white friends about it. In response, a military venture known as the The Toka Expedition was initiated. Assisted by the Chickasaws who had offered the report, Colonel James Robertson and 130 volunteers followed Shoal Creek south to the Tennessee, crossed the river there at Colberts Ferry and surprised a group of Chickamauga at Coldwater (present day Tuscumbia). Robertson torched the town and discovered nine Frenchmen among Doublehead's gang. For the moment, this put an end to most of the Indian raids and depredations south of the Duck River, although this land was not to be given over in treaty by the Chickasaws for another twenty years (1816). Of course, many white settlers were already living there illegally. Tennessee would not become a state for another ten years (1796)
In the spring of 1788, the brutal murder of eleven members of the Kirk family brought Indian fighters like Sevier and Hubbard to retaliate. In response to queries, Four Cherokee chiefs had gathered under a flag of truce raised by the vigilantes, purportedly to talk about the attack and gather information. They were summarily locked in a guarded room and tomahawked in cold blood by the eldest son, John Kirk Jr., in vengeance for the recent murder of his family. None of the Indians present had anything to do with the attack on the Kirk clan. Among them were two well respected peace chiefs, Old Tassel and Abram. The Chiefs simply bowed their head and received the blows.
Through all of this, the Chickamauga fought on but were forced to retreat slowly northward, until by 1790, they had joined forces with the Shawnee in Ohio. After the initial Indian victories of Little Turtle's War (1790-94), most of the Ohio Chickamauga returned south and settled near the Tennessee
In order of appearance.
(Write a description from your imagination of the lives of each of these characters and tell what you feel is the effect of their life on the universe.)* designates characters alive in 2012
All children grew up knowing exactly what others of their fellow species looked like. Modesty was presumably not a burning issue, and the notion that human bodies were obscene would never have been imagined. Unless taught otherwise, body acceptance was as natural as life and self acceptance.
Social nudity is an old tradition in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to the 18th Century invasion of their tribal villages by Western Civilization's emissaries clad in military armor and clerical robes, the earliest Californians had lived unashamedly nude in this temperate, coastal climate for over 10,000 years.
Their sad experience was a familiar story of colonialism: that is, cultural genocide, including a compulsory cover-up of naked savages in the name of civilized modesty. Instilling body shame became an essential element in the conversion and control of native peoples.
The modus operandi was systematically repeated over four centuries in the Americas, Africa, Australia, the Pacific Islands and most of the rest of the world where clothing was and is climatically superfluous. Disregarding tropical discomfort, European colonial/religious authorities made wearing clothing the most visible sign of subservience to the new order. The Hawaiian mumu was one such fashionable result.
Nudity was not always taboo in Europe, of course. Those prime contributors to Western Civilization, the ancient Greeks, found the nude human form both noble and artistically inspiring, competed nude in the Olympics for centuries, and sometimes even fought wars with nude combatants. Their cultural successors, the Romans, socialized nudity in their public baths, and nudity was often part of pagan ceremony and celebration throughout pre-Christian Europe.
Though early Christianity cleverly coopted key pagan holidays and myths to gain acceptance, it denounced the more flexible pagan attitudes about nudity, sexuality and the human body. Faithfully believing Jesus's Second Coming was imminent for many centuries after his crucifixion, early Christian leaders tended to be extreme ascetics who closed their doubting minds, rejected their sinful bodies and focused mostly on their spiritual hereafters. The "flesh" was seen as an evil temptation, especially if it was female.
Despite a lack of doctrinal support in the Gospels, this negative corporal attitude prevailed through various waxings and wanings for over a millennium after the Church succeeded the Roman Empire as the standard bearer of Western Civilization. If anything, the Protestants who later emerged were even more body repressive than the Catholics. Many of Europe's most radical religious sects were forced to emigrate to America, where their legacy lingers.
Old-fashioned beach wear The "Body Taboo" peaked in influence and absurdity in the Victorian Age when even bare piano legs were considered risque in "polite society". By the end of the 19th Century European colonialism was winding down for lack of new, unplundered targets, and most of the accessible naked heathen still left alive had been clad to more modest standards.
At last civilized people seemed safe from the presumed moral danger of seeing a nude human body, including even one's own. Undressing in the dark was the norm, bathing was not especially encouraged, and s-e-x, also performed in the dark and never discussed, was only for procreation, never recreation. (No woman of good moral character would admit erotic pleasure from the act of love lest she be thought promiscuous.)
Early in the 20th Century social nudity began its first European comeback since Rome was sacked. An international body acceptance movement emerged to propose nudity in nature as a humanizing antidote to the repressive extremes of both puritanical Victorianism and urban industrialism.
Known as "Free Body Culture" in Germany, "Naturism" in most of Europe, and eventually "Nudism" as it reached American shores in the third decade, the movement's secular, idealistic philosophy included non-sexual social nudity, outdoor exercise, a healthy, non-alcoholic, usually vegetarian diet, and a spiritual bond with nature. Though it was not a religion and neither opposed nor promoted any religion, it provided a convenient symbolic target for many ambitious guardians of public morality, especially in the U.S., where nudity seemed indistinguishable from sexuality in the public mind.
Interrupted only by wars, the body acceptance movement spread very rapidly, especially in Europe, where it eventually devolved from the utopian to the mostly recreational as social nudity became more popular. A BBC documentary in the 1980's estimated that over 50 million Europeans enjoyed naturist holidays.
American tourists are often astonished by European body freedom. In less than a century Europe transformed from total suppression of nudity to a situation where many of the most popular beaches are clothing-optional, as are sections of certain urban parks, spas and resorts.
Frontal nudity, censored in America, is commonly shown on European television, while violence is much less often depicted than in the U.S. Nude destination resorts flourish in the warmest climates, and one of the largest holiday centers in the world, France's Cap d'Agde, is all nude, serving a capacity of over 40,000 in season.
Body acceptance developments in The New World have lagged behind those in Europe. Private nudist clubs, parks and campgrounds first emerged in the 1930's facing nervous media ridicule, censorship and The Depression. Neither World War II nor the regressive 1950's gave the American movement much encouragement after its inauspicious debut, and early growth was glacial.
After finally winning the legal right to publish and mail innocuous nude photos in the late 1950's, nudist publications were swamped in the marketplace in the 1960's by an explosive growth of unrelated pornography with much more erotic images. Their magazines' commercial failure left the mostly family- oriented nudist clubs with few outreach channels besides word-of-mouth by an often secretive membership, and thus they generated few resources for growth and development.
Beach nudity, usually at remote or hard-to-reach sites, grew in popularity beginning in the 1960's. Black's Beach, a cliff-protected, clothing-optional mecca for nude sand-and-surf lovers near San Diego, has attracted over 10,000 participants on seasonal holidays during the following decades.
The Sexual Revolution and the addition of backyard swimming pools and hot tubs made discrete private nudity more sociable and normal through the 1970's. Polls in the 1980's found that although less than 20% of Americans had by then experienced coed social nudity, over 70% felt that designating clothing- optional beaches was an acceptable concept.
While only a scattered few clothing-optional beaches are legally recognized in the U.S., guidebooks by The Naturist Society, and others list hundreds of beaches and public recreation areas where social nudity is unofficially accepted as a matter of usage. The annual nude beach survey by the Bay Guardian usually catalogs almost a hundred such sites just in Northern California, perhaps the most body-positive region in the West.
American Association for Nude Recreation, the largest and oldest of several nude advocacy organizations, includes over 200 U.S. and Canadian affiliated clubs with a total membership of about 50,000. The most successful AANR clubs, attracting up to 5,000 members, are located in central Florida.
The founding in the mid-1980's of TANR, the Trade Association for Nude Recreation, reflected the emergence of nude recreation as a fledgling niche of this hemisphere's hospitality industry. Though it may yet lack depth, it offers surprising breadth. Those seeking a relaxing clothes-free getaway or vacation in the 1990's can choose among full-service destination resorts, clubs, cruises, campgrounds, parks, hot springs, spas and bed-and-breakfast inns across North America and the Caribbean.
Several large Jamaican resorts, taking a hint from Club Med, have established "nude" and "prude" beach sections. The adoption of a clothing- optional beach has helped revive the fortunes of a recently renovated strip of Miami Beach hotels. Clusters of nude recreation facilities are beginning to emerge in tourist areas around Tampa, Florida, and Palm Springs, California.
The signs are encouraging that Americans are finally becoming more accepting of social nudity. The constraining issues tend to be more about personal body image than lingering cultural prohibitions. If Europe is the precursor, body acceptance and nude recreation still have a long way to grow in the U.S.
During the last 50 years, there has been a tremendous liberalization in American attitudes concerning sexual behavior, but public nudity continues to evoke disgust and ridicule. Even though legal restrictions have been relaxed and clothing-optional beaches are more numerous than ever before, as are the sunbathers who frequent them, most Americans continue to disapprove of nudity no less than their grandparents did. In spite of the fact that it now is quite acceptable to display nearly all of one's body poolside or at the beach, total nudity continues to make Americans very uncomfortable. Proponents of nudity usually maintain a low profile, not wishing to invite what seems to be inevitable hostility. Given the present concern with "family values," it is likely that such attitudes will persist for some time. However, there is a gradual trend in American attitudes about the human body which suggests that the public nudity taboo may be abandoned one day.
Why have prudish attitudes toward nudity been so tenacious in the U.S.? Those who are middle age or older certainly are aware how other American taboos have declined or even disappeared. For most, masturbation no longer is equated with self-mutilation and premarital sex has become a nearly universal norm. Like many other sexual activities, they have lost their immoral status. Even homosexuality increasingly is regarded as merely an alternative sexual orientation.
Remember how risque it used to be to read about sexual encounters in a novel or to watch an impassioned love scene on the movie screen? Today, this is the stuff of day-time TV, considered quite tame by present standards. Modern literature and motion pictures, intent on titillating and shocking audiences, now must resort to creative violence and psychopathic horror. Scenes of urban cannibalism. serial murder, and mass destruction are rampant. Yet, even as our tolerance of and appetite for depictions of violence have increased greatly, a majority of us still find public nudity intolerable.
While Americans are much more sophisticated today on many subjects, nudity continues to induce very charged reactions. Even among scholars, the mere mention of nudity is likely to degenerate into wisecracks and old-fashioned moralizing. Commercial television programming, prime time or not, still avoids nudity, though ABC's "NYPD Blue" does show partial nudity. Occasionally, topless women and mothers nursing babies may appear in a documentary.
Most of us are highly ambivalent when it comes to nudity. Privately, we have an appetite for reading about it or looking at pictures of nudes. Numerous successful novels contain explicit descriptions of sexual anatomy, and Playboy has 3,400,000 subscribers. Since commercial films are designed for public viewing, though, on-screen nudity is subject to strictures. Paintings of nudes by European masters and classical nude statues from Egypt, Greece, and Rome are exhibited to the public without much complaint. Yet, those who openly express tolerance of public nudity in the U.S. are likely to make themselves very unpopular.
Ironically, some Americans associate nudity with purity and innocence, having Adam and Eve in mind perhaps. From this perspective, primitive tribes that lack clothing may be seen as exemplifying some sort of pristine nobility. Others attribute tribal nudity to cultural backwardness. Both views are fully compatible with condemnation of nudity among "civilized" men and women. Although television documentaries that include pictures of minimally clothed or even entirely naked natives of Australia, Africa, the Pacific islands, and South America do not seem to offend mainstream audiences, any prime-time images of bare Caucasian breasts and buttocks are likely to cause a great deal of trepidation. Male frontal nudity is especially taboo here. After "NYPD Blue" included some nude scenes, it had considerable difficulty getting sponsors despite its excellent ratings, though this generally no longer is the case, with some notable holdouts.
Banning nude swimming and missionary efforts to clothe "savages" still find a great deal of support in the U.S. Probably this is because many people seem unable to distinguish nudity from licentiousness. By associating unclothed bodies with sex and immorality, public nudity is considered obscene. As this view would have it, since sex in a public place is wrong, so is nudity.
Such American Puritanism has European roots. Even in Victorian times, a large proportion of Europeans never saw a naked human body, and attitudes from these eras are especially evident in the beliefs of American Christian fundamentalists. Ironically, numerous Mediterranean beaches no longer require clothing. France's largest nudist colony (Cap d'Agde) attracts 40,000 European tourists each summer. Guests not only swim in the nude at this resort, but go about naked even while shopping for groceries and eating in restaurants. Scandinavia has a long tradition of nude sunbathing. It is difficult to find a Swedish public beach where most of the bathers are not nude. Asia attracts numerous European tourists by offering them nude resorts and beaches. Gambia, in West Africa, is the choice of many Swedes who wish to holiday in the buff during the winter, even though locals are a bit shocked by such immodesty.
Many Christians in Europe and the U.S. are thought of by others as relatively anti-sex. Certainly, the Catholic Church has this reputation, and fundamentalists long have insisted that "listening" to our bodies is what prevents us from listening to God.
Nevertheless, nudity taboos are not peculiarly Christian. Women in Islamic societies have gone back to wearing traditional garments, reflecting Moslem fundamentalists' insistence on covering the entire female body. Hasidic Jews believe that a husband must never see even his own wife's genitals, requiring that couples make love in the dark. On the other hand, some Christian sects have advocated and practiced nudity. The Doukhobors, who migrated from Russia to Canada in search of religious freedom, shocked their Canadian neighbors on several occasions when they staged highly publicized protest demonstrations wherein the participants -- men, women, and children -- were entirely naked.
There is some irony here in that the Puritans, Victorians. and other Europeans inherited much of their culture from the Greeks and Romans. In classical times, public male nudity often was entirely acceptable. High-status males exercised, participated in sporting events, and conducted public rituals in the nude. Greek art portrayed males without clothing to emphasize their athletic ability, heroic stature, and beauty. To this ancient population, male nudity indicated empowerment, since women, slaves, and barbarians were not permitted to be nude in public.
Many Americans are so thoroughly ethnocentric about nudity that they insist their intolerance is a reflection of human nature. As illustrated by the Adam and Eve myth, humans do experience shame. Writer Mark Twain once pointed out, "Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to." Shame and modesty, though, did not give rise to clothing, more likely, they were byproducts of clothing.
Our first 'planned' nude outing with friends happened this weekend.
Earlier in the week a cookout at our house had turned into an impromptu nude swim session in our pool. We discovered while not 'social nudists' per se that we all spent a lot of time that way around home.
To make a long story short we agreed to visit in their home with the idea we'd be nude from the start. I spent a lot of time thinking about this and Saturday morning called up Karen to make sure she and Mike were still 'OK' with the idea. She reassured me that she was and looking forward to it.
I was looking forward to it, also, but was still somewhat nervous. At our home it had evolved in a 'natural way'. Here we were planning on going to another couple's home - we've known them for sometime - and in essence ' strip on arrival'.
Not to belabor the story with details, but one of my biggest decisions was what to wear to some place where I was going to wear nothing. It must be a gal thing because Elliott just through on a pair of shorts and a polo shirt. Finally, I decided on a simple 'T-shirt' type dress (it's really a bathing suit cover-up). No bra/underwear, and slide sandals. This way I could get naked quick - but if they had changed their minds I would still be well covered.
They only live a few minutes away so the drive was a short one. Walking up to their front door, my heart was pounding. I was carrying a cake that I had baked for dessert. Elliott had a bottle of sparkling grape juice (neither family drinks).
Mike answered the door wearing only a towel. I was somewhat relieved when Karen came out of the kitchen to greet us. She was completely nude - I felt a lot more at ease because she was the one who had appeared to hesitate at the pool party. Then came my hard part - stripping in front of friends. Someone once suggested that one should get it over with quickly so the awkwardness would pass quickly. So I took a deep breath and said, “Since we won't be needing them where can we put our clothes ?”
They showed us to a guest bedroom off the main entrance I quickly kicked off my sandals and pulled the dress over my head. Elliott took off his shirt and shorts and laid them with my stuff on a chair. I'm glad they offered the room - it was easier to walk out already naked than it would have been to get that way in front of them. By this time Mike had tossed his towel and so we were ready for our nude evening.
There were a few nervous laughs but after about five minutes we went about making sandwiches and settling down for an evening of old movies from Mike's collection. In reading about "nude etiquette" Karen had put out big oversized towels on the couch and chairs.
To tell you how much fun we had I think I honestly forgot I was nude. When it was time to leave, I kissed Mike and Karen on the cheek and thanked them for a wonderful evening. As I was heading toward the door Elliott asked, “Forgetting something ? Or are you going home that way ?”
I had forgotten to dress. A streak of daring hit - and since it was after 1:00 a.m. I took him up on it. He put on his shorts but carried my clothes to the car. I rode home nude and stayed that way until sometime Sunday afternoon. (It really wasn't that daring. You can't see the street from their driveway or ours and the ride was all of five minutes.)
Now that we've had nude encounters in each other's homes I don't know if we'll have to plan them - I think we'll just take them for granted.
We are born naked. Everyone knows that.
But the moment we leave the womb, we are wrapped in a blanket, and the skin hardly ever sees the light of day again. For the next 70+ years of life, we wrap our skin in a cocoon of fabric.
Is this healthy for our bodies? Were our bodies designed to be forever clothed? If you believe in evolution, the answer has to be no. Of course evolution didn't create a body designed for clothing.
If you believe in the Judeo-Christian divine creation of the human body, the answer must still be no. Adam and Eve lived naked in the garden of Eden. That's what their bodies were designed to do.
Why have this magnificent organ of skin enveloping our entire bodies, every square inch of it covered with delicate sensory nerves and sophisticated temperature regulation pores, then wrap it up 24/7 in artificial coverings so it's all useless? Clothing can keep us warm in extreme conditions. But in other cases, it actually interferes with the body's natural temperature regulation processes. It's obvious that a hot day would be much easier to tolerate nude than clothed. But those with experience can also testify that the nude body is able to comfortably withstand cool temperatures much easier than most people think, because clothes aren't interfering with the body's attempt to regulate internal temperature.
Protection against cold, against the elements, against injury while performing risky activities--these are good reasons for covering the miraculous organ of skin with clothing. But how can it possibly be healthy to never let it "breathe"--at least for an hour or two every day?
Experts are now starting to tell us that children are not getting enough sun. Between the hysteria of always remaining clothed and the latest fear craze of developing skin cancer, children are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency, even to the point where that supposedly archaic disease of rickets is beginning to return.
(By the way, it's much easier to notice a malignant skin tumor early enough for successful treatment if you let other people see you naked now and then.)
Physical health is only one aspect of nudity. What about our emotional health?
Who are we? We are our bodies. Whatever attitude we have toward our bodies is the attitude we have toward ourselves.
And what is the attitude we have toward our bodies? Shame.
This shame may very well be the most pervasive emotional conditioning of our lives. We prefer to call it brainwashing because it's forced upon us throughout our lives, warps our natural attitudes toward our and others' bodies, and is a deeply emotional, irrational process. Emotional abuse, in our opinion.
Is there a child on earth who is born with an aversion to nudity? Does any child care about nude bodies? Does seeing a nude body mean anything at all to a young child? Does being nude mean anything to a child, other than perhaps a more comfortable state of dress to be in than having clothing pressed against one's body?
What child wouldn't love to rip his or her clothes off and run around naked, just for the simple pleasure of it?
So where does the negative reaction to nudity come from?
Do kids grow into it naturally? Nonsense! All the societies in the history of humankind that have accepted public nudity or near-nudity would never have existed were this true.
No, the negative reaction to nudity must be brainwashed into children. And how is that done?
Through shame. Children won't leave clothes on unless we shame or threaten them into doing it.
Now why isn't that emotional abuse?
From the moment of birth, when they wrap that blanket around the newborn, we are emotionally conditioned to think of our bodies as shameful. Every minute of every day of our lives, with rare exceptions, the brainwashing is reinforced. Every moment we cover our bodies we are communicating the subliminal message to our subconscious that our bodies are shameful and must be hidden.
Every minute of every day. Is there any other type of emotional conditioning we are immersed in more?
Even our moments of nudity do not save us. When we bathe, we go into a private bathroom, close and often lock the door, pull the shower curtain, and shower nude--all alone out of sight of others. Bodily functions are done the same way.
Not even doctor's offices or locker rooms give us a break anymore. The hysterical fear of nudity in our society has become so great that nudity has almost disappeared entirely from these locales traditionally designed to accept nudity. In the doctor's office we remain covered up with our clothing or with hospital gowns, only revealing small patches of our skin when absolutely necessary. Locker rooms, saunas, etc., have lost the tradition of nudity within them. This isn't even mixed group nudity we're talking about. Even among our own sex we hide our bodies, either by not being nude at all, or by changing in a stall, or by keeping a towel carefully wrapped around ourselves.
Even when we are nude, we hide our bodies in shame. Every minute of every day.
We swim with clothes on, even though that's insane. We sleep with clothes on, even though we're tucked away under a blanket where no one will see us. We even stay dressed in front of our spouse--our sex partner--who has already seen us naked in the most intimate of circumstances and with whom more than anyone else we ought to feel comfortable being naked. Even in the privacy of our homes we stay dressed. Why?
We do it because body shame has been so deeply ingrained into our psyche that we can't imagine doing anything else. Nudity under virtually all circumstances seems so foreign to us that we can't see it as anything but a bizarre aberration, if not a downright perversion.
But we all have a body. There are billions and billions of human bodies spread throughout this world. Within the two sexes, every one of them is the same as every other. We all know what they look like--we all know what equipment they have. What on earth do we think we're hiding from each other?
Actually, we are not thinking at all when we have a negative reaction to nudity, whether we see others nude or others see us nude. It's purely an emotional, irrational reaction, based on a lifetime of deep, thorough emotional conditioning.
Isn't it emotional abuse to condition your children to have feelings of shame and horror simply because someone accidentally sees them naked?
Isn't it emotional abuse to condition your children to feel shock, fear, or disgust at the mere sight of a human body?
Our bodies are ourselves. When we feel shame, fear, horror over bodies, we are feeling those feelings about ourselves or about our fellow human beings.
No wonder people have such a hard time relating to each other. We fear each other at a very basic level. We are all forced by nature or God to carry naked bodies with us wherever we go! Those dreadful, shocking, shameful naked bodies! What was God thinking?
How can we possibly interact normally with each other, steeped in attitudes like that?
Exactly what negative consequences result from shaming children into wearing clothes, and continuing that brainwashing process until the day they die?
Children are left in ignorance. We think it's a wonderful, educational thing to take children to the zoo. But what do they do at the zoo? Stare at the naked bodies of animals. This is considered very educational. And it is.
Yet children are never allowed to stare at the naked bodies of the species that is most important for them to learn about. Their own--human beings. It's great for them to learn all about the bodies of lions and tigers and bears, oh my! But never the body of the species they belong to and will marry. Never the body they live within throughout their lives.
Children don't get to fully understand and accept the differences between the sexes. Boys have penises, girls have vaginas. This is an undisputed fact of life. But to a boy who is not allowed to learn about human bodies, a girl does not have a vagina--she has been castrated of her penis. To a girl, a boy doesn't have a penis--he has a strange growth where his vagina should be. And these are the boys and girls lucky enough to have caught a glimpse of the opposite sex naked.
Then we wonder why there is so much sexual dysfunction in marriages?
Children don't get to become comfortable with the process of puberty before it happens. When their bodies start changing, it's a traumatic thing. Why? Because it's natural for puberty to be traumatic?
Absolutely not! It's a completely natural part of the human life cycle.
It's traumatic because they are not prepared for it. Is that not emotional abuse?
They start growing hair around their pubic area and within their armpits. What is that all about? For boys, the penis enlarges (is it diseased?) and hair begins to grow on the face. For girls, the vagina begins to bleed (am I injured?) and breasts being to enlarge on their chests.
How many horror stories have there been about children who were totally unprepared for these changes? Is that not child abuse, to allow children to enter this period of life unprepared simply because their parents are embarrassed to talk about it (thanks to their own emotional brainwashing from their parents)?
But even with children who have been "educated" about puberty, is the trauma completely absent? No, because the education is lacking in a vital area. Words cannot communicate anywhere near as effectively as images can. You can talk all day to a boy about how penises or to a girl about how breasts come in all sizes and shapes, but it won't remove the fear that their penis or breasts are abnormal. But if they have opportunities to see penises and breasts in all their amazing variety, the point is driven home that their body is just as normal and acceptable as anyone else's.
Children are not allowed to satisfy their perfectly natural curiosity when it's safe to do so. Adults have sex hormones raging through their bodies. Prepubescent children do not. When would be the best time of life to learn about human bodies?
Before children have to start dealing with sexual urges.
Yet, astoundingly, we think the most terrible thing of all is to allow a child to see an adult naked. What tragedy!
Instead, we force children to wait until they enter puberty. Then they not only have to deal with their curiosity driven by a natural and wholesome desire to become educated, but also driven by these brand new, nearly overwhelming sexual urges. They get it all dumped on them at once and are left alone to deal with it on their own.
Is it any wonder there is sexual dysfunction in our society? Is it any wonder teen sexual activity and pregnancy and venereal disease run rampant in our society?
Is this not true child abuse?
Make no mistake about it, once children reach puberty, they will start educating themselves, one way or another. If parents or some other adult authority figure doesn't help them do it, they will do it on their own.
And we all know how they will do it.
They will gather misinformation from friends as ignorant as themselves. They will develop addictions to pornography. They will experiment with nudity and sex among themselves, ignorant of the dangers involved. And they will do it all with a ghastly emotional stew of sexual arousal, shame, guilt, and rebellion mixed into it.
Oh yes, this is much better than allowing children to experience nudity under careful adult supervision before their sexual hormones start to flow.
An adult allowing a child to see him or her nude is child abuse? No, no. The law that criminalizes letting a child see an adult nude is child abuse.
Nudity that is intended to be shocking or sexual or threatening or lewd through the individual's intent and behavior--now that's child abuse. But legally defining the mere existence of nudity as lewdness or obscenity is an evil, archaic notion that must be stamped out.
Children are never taught to accept the aging cycle of human beings. Everyone dreads getting old. We think old bodies are ugly. We fear them. For God's sake, cover them up! And lo and behold, look at the youth-worshiping culture we now have. Coincidence?
Billions of dollars are spent on cosmetics, clothing, even surgery, to try and pretend we're not getting old. Why? Because we fear it. Why? Because we never see it.
Because we constantly hide our bodies from one another, we never get to see the natural aging life cycle of human bodies. That which is hidden from us is mysterious and frightening.
If we could simply see human bodies in all the different stages of aging on a regular basis, it would be a familiar sight to us, a comfortable sight. Aging would be a natural thing, not something to fight tooth and nail in dread.
Is it not emotional abuse to teach people to fear the natural life cycles of their own bodies?
Children, like all people, equate their bodies with themselves. They are their bodies. If we teach them to be afraid and ashamed of their bodies (and we do), they will be ashamed of themselves. And thus a rampant epidemic of self-loathing thrives in our culture.
Especially our girls. The most beautiful women in the world still think there's something wrong with their bodies.
Children are killing themselves over poor self-image. The girl that purges or starves herself to death because she can't accept her body is a victim of the self-loathing that anti-nude attitudes help to foster. The gang banger who carries a gun and kills someone for "dissing" him is literally killing children over self-esteem. "You disrespect me, you die."
And where does this rampant lack of self-esteem come from? The causes are complex, but how can the lifelong shame we feel over our own bodies not be a contributor?
Our luxury of hiding nudity from each other may even be killing our children. Never mind emotional abuse. This is physical abuse of the ugliest kind. All because we don't want to see a nude human body.
That's where the true shame lies, not in our bodies!
Many children never get to feel totally comfortable with the opposite sex and never get an adequate education on human bodies to satisfy their curiosity. Most children will not tolerate this situation forever. If the adult community won't satisfy their need for knowledge in safe, appropriate, supervised environments, they will do it on their own. They will do it in any way they can. Since the adult community forbids them from experiencing nudity in safe, wholesome ways, they will resort to other means.
As they resort to other means, their normal, natural desire to satisfy curiosity gets mixed up with all sorts of negative feelings. Guilt, shame, embarrassment, self-loathing, fear of punishment. Because these negative emotions keep many children from doing too much experimenting before puberty, experimenting happens after puberty when the powerful sex drive overcomes the negative emotions.
So now we have guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear, and self-loathing associated with sexual arousal too. And we expect healthy adult relations to develop from this?
Because the adolescent feels all these negative emotions associated with normal and natural curiosity and sexual urges, and because the adolescent is still trying to develop effective skills at relating with the opposite sex, that adolescent will feel intimidated by the opposite sex.
So what will some adolescents do? Resort to less intimidating individuals to do their experimenting with. Resort to younger children.
And a possible sexual predator is born.
Do I even need to point out how this is emotional abuse?
Our society in the last few decades has become more and more antagonistic toward nudity. Where once skinnydipping was the norm among Boy Scouts and required at YMCA pools, where once locker rooms were actually used to change clothes in, where once doctor's offices were a place where doctors could easily access the human body they were supposed to give medical attention to, we now have a near absence of nudity anywhere in normal life.
Nowhere can we find wholesome, nonsexual images of the nude human body. Nowhere can we enjoy the affirming, even healing experience of being nude in front of someone else and be accepted for who we are. We have forfeited all images of the human body to those who would portray it in sexual and degrading ways. All because, from birth, we are brainwashed into believing nudity is harmful.
And why do we do that to our children? Because our parents did it to us. Because their parents did it to them. And so on and so on.
When will we break this destructive cycle?
No one ever tries, because no one ever thinks about it. You don't question something that has been brainwashed into you every minute of your life since birth.
But we need to question it. The emotional and physical health of our children are at stake. In some cases, even their very lives are at stake. Aren't these important enough reasons to question something you've simply assumed was true all your life?
Family Skinnydippers is very serious about these issues. Perhaps now you can understand why social nudity is so important to us. This is not merely a lifestyle choice. This is not merely the enjoyment of nude recreation. This is a vital cause to us. It's a cause we feel is worth fighting and sacrificing for.
Do we demand constant nudity?
Of course not. There are many times when nudity would be uncomfortable, even downright unhealthy.
Do we demand that everyone be nude, whether they like it or not?
Perish the thought. That would be as immoral as using the law to force everyone to wear clothes all the time.
All we ask is that those who wish to be nude under reasonable circumstances be allowed to do so. Not for shock value, not for sexual titillation, not for confrontational purposes, not for exhibitionist urges. Simply because nudity is a natural, comfortable, pleasant, wholesome, healthy thing to be every so often. Those who enjoy it ought to be able to do so. Those who don't enjoy it don't have to do it at all.
But what if a person is offended at nudity?
Our blunt answer to that person: grow up. Why should people be forced by threat of law to do something they strongly disagree with, if the only harm to you is that you choose (emphasis on the word choose) to be offended?
The amazing truth that our society has a hard time grasping because the brainwashing is so pervasive, is that human beings get used to nudity very quickly. How can a lifetime of brainwashing be overcome literally within hours, if not minutes? That's a testament to how unnatural and pointless the brainwashing was in the first place.
If you're afraid you'll be shocked at the nudity of others, that will wear off quickly. If you're afraid you'll be sexually aroused at the sight of nudity, perhaps you will be for a while. But even that loses its power in a short time. The overwhelming realization of the vast majority of people who are finally exposed to normal, nonsexual nudity after a lifetime of brainwashing is that it was never a big deal in the first place.
The only embarrassment we need to feel about nudity is how frightened over nothing we were all our lives.
My 12-year old daughter came home from school the other today and was clearly upset. She couldn't wait to talk to me about something. Sensing her anxiety, I casually asked, "What's up?"
She said, "Somebody at school today said that when I go to Junior High next year, I'll have to change my clothes, shower, and be naked in front of my friends. Is that true?"
I raised at least one eyebrow and said, "I don't know. It used to be true," in a slightly disappointed tone of voice.
My daughter continued, "Well, I won't do it!"
"Why not?" I calmly asked.
"Because, unlike you, I don't like people seeing me naked!"
I thought to myself, Hmmm, she's noticed. I replied simply, "Why not?"
She said, "Because they'll make fun of me!"
"Why would they make fun of you and why would it matter if they did?" I asked.
"I don't like being made fun of. And I don't like to be seen naked," she said.
"Why is that?" I calmly asked again.
"Because I don't look like a supermodel!" she replied with animated hand gestures and with seeming frustration with my apparent lack of ability to be able to understand the point she was trying to get at.
"Well, none of us really do," I replied. At this point it was time to eat dinner, and the conversation ended, at least for the time being.
It's very sad to me that, despite whatever efforts I have tried to make, my daughter obviously feels some shame, or lack of measuring up to what she thinks would be other's expectations of her, associated with her own body. I did try very hard not to teach that. To this very day, she has yet to close a bathroom door while showering or taking a bath. And regardless of who in the family happens to walk into the bathroom, it seems to go largely ignored. Most of the time she doesn't even change clothes for her showers/baths in the bathroom, causing her to take the hallway trip in at most a towel. Not that many years ago, her mother was alarmed because she tended to roam the whole house nude around shower time, even when friends were visiting. How times change, and how quickly.
Where does this "teaching" come from? It surely is difficult to avoid. She is clearly aware that I don't hide from her, and probably assumes (correctly) I'm not bothered in a locker room, which she knows I visit daily. In fact, we've talked about that quite directly before, when I've taken her swimming at the same place. Too bad that unless I miss my guess, there will be an expectation of no nudity when she does get to Junior High, thus reinforcing the developing attitude. No doubt the unenlightened concept of absolute "modesty in dress" will follow.
I'm left to conclude that my own very intentional example of common nudity around the house is insufficient to prevent my children from acquiring society's commonplace "body shame." I have been nude often in my own home, so much so that the other morning, as I was getting ready to leave for work, not having dressed yet, I was nude and my daughter seemed to not even notice. At least around bathtime and such, my children are also openly nude around the house. Yet the body shame has developed to a clearly unhealthy degree in my daughter, despite my efforts. The messages of the world have overwhelmed the message I have tried to teach by example.
Those parents who think they are doing their children sufficient good by restricting the nudity their children experience to their home are deluding themselves. No matter how attractive the safety and security of this limitation may seem, we are not making sufficient progress at inoculating our children against body shame. The messages from other sources are simply too powerful and too overwhelming. All one has to do is visit a public locker room these days and see if you can find anybody at all under the age of 40 who is simply and comfortably showering nude and changing their clothes. We have sold our hearts, minds, and souls to those who would pervert and make shameful the most incredible wonder and beauty found in every single human body ever created.
It is an energy field created by all living things, even things like Gaia.
"It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
The Force can enhance natural physical and mental abilities, including strength (such as during a "Force jump" or to slow a fall from an otherwise dangerous height) and accuracy (as when Luke Skywalker was able to launch proton torpedoes into a two-meter-wide thermal exhaust port on the Death Star in A New Hope). A number of other force powers are demonstrated in the film series including telekinesis, telepathy, levitation, deep hypnosis, enhanced empathy, reflexes and precognition. The Jedi were also able to influence and control the minds of others.
the ability to heal or drain the life-force of others, increase resistance to attack, warp space and to dissipate energy attacks
While potential for Force-sensitivity is established at birth, awareness, experience and training are necessary to harness the power of the Force.
Midi-chlorians are microscopic life-forms that reside within the cells of all living things and communicate with the Force. They are symbionts with all other living things and without them life could not exist.
All living beings have a base element in the tissues that constitute the organism -- the cell. From a structural point of view, there are two types of cells: the eucaryotic (present in animals and plants) and the procaryotic (which can be found in more simple life forms, like bacteria). Residing in the eucaryotic cell's cytoplasm are the cell organelles called mitochondria (in animals) and chloroplast (in plants).
These little microscopic organisms actually live in a symbiotic relationship with our cells, resembling the relationship related by Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Without them, life as we know it could not exist. From here, a very reasonable question may be asked: How can we talk about a symbiotic relationship when, apparently, we basically have cell structures "doing their job"? Well, according to several authors, there is considerable evidence that bacteria may have played an unexpected role in the evolution of eucaryotic cells. It is thought that at some stage in evolution, bacteria invaded a primitive eucaryotic cell. Instead of causing harm, the bacteria provided respiratory (in animals) and photosynthetic (in plants) abilities previously lacking in the cell. Both benefited from this association and each gradually became dependent on the other. The bacteria eventually changed to become mitochondria and chloroplast, which are responsible for respiration and photosynthesis, respectively. The idea of a procaryotic origin for eucaryotic organelles is know as the Endosymbiotic Theory.2 According to this statement, we have microscopic life forms that, for no explainable reason, invaded cells and adapted themselves to this new environment with such success that, nowadays they are actually living as one single individual together with the cell. In George Lucas's galaxy, the reason for the symbiotic relationship that living organisms have with midi-chlorians is not explained either. Probably because this event took place long before anyone could have recorded it; it is likely as ancient as life itself. Therefore, it can be logical to assume that it happened in a similar way as on Earth. Call it Nature or the Will of the Force.
Another piece of biological evidence that supports the Endosymbiotic theory is the organelle's structure itself, which by analogy can be applied to the midi- chlorians. Although mitochondria are organelles of eucaryotic cells, they resemble procaryotic cells in several ways. For instance, they contain their own ribossomes, which are procaryotic type. They also contain their own DNA, which, like procaryotic DNA, is a single circular double-stranded molecule. Mitochondria divide to form new mitochondria in much the same way that a procaryotic cell divides, and they divide independently of the cell nucleus (however, they are unable to divide if they are removed from the cytoplasm).2 By this behavior we realize that even within the cell, these organelles behave themselves as different individuals but, on the other hand, they can not survive independently.
Nevertheless, a direct relationship is shown in the movies between the midi- chlorian count in someone's cells and that person's predisposition to acquire Jedi abilities. To support this we can see Obi-Wan Kenobi's astonished reaction when he realizes that Anakin's count is at a higher level than Yoda's in Star Wars's first episode, The Phantom Menace.
Activities in a cell require energy, whether for macromolecular synthesis or for transport of substances through or out of the cytoplasm. Mitochondria are cytoplasmatic organelles where energy-rich molecules of adenosine tri- phosphate (ATP) are generated during a biochemical process called Aerobic Respiration. Because of this function, the mitochondria are called "power houses" of eucaryotic cells.2 So, the mitochondria provide animals the energy required for all cell activities. These activities also include the basic ones, like breathing, the heart beat, muscular contractions, etc. To sum up, life would never be possible the way we know it, if it not for the cell organelle's functions, simply because our organisms would not be able to acquire the necessary energy to perform basic and vital functions. The fuel molecules (such as glucose) that result from partial degradation of food enter mitochondria, whose primary function is to convert the potential chemical energy of fuel molecules into a form that the cell can use: the energy rich molecule called ATP. Mitochondria are the cell's power plants.3
In Star Wars, the Force is referred to multiple times as a source of energy that surrounds us everywhere. According to Master Qui-Gon, when at peace a Jedi can hear the midi-chlorians. Assuming the midi-chlorians have similar functions in the Star Wars galaxy to the mitochondria functions in planet Earth, a Jedi can become one with the Force and communicate with these cell's energy providers. Analyzing this fact, it no longer becomes surprising where the Jedi extract the energy to, for an example, challenge gravity when it is required. On this basis, the use of the Force for this physical purpose could be explained from a biological point of view, resulting from the midi- chlorians direct action, under the influence of this sort of communication with their symbiotic partner. This brings an all-new meaning to the sentence, "Use the Force."
Apart from all that has been said, one gap can be found in George Lucas's story. In the movies we are lead to believe that the Force is an inherited character trait. Luke Skywalker, when revealing the truth to his sister Leia says: "The Force is strong in my family. My father has it, I have it..." making the viewers understand that it passes from father to child.4 In the prequels, this idea is strengthened on Tatooine when, realizing Anakin's predisposition to the Force, Master Qui-Gon asks his mother Shmi about Anakin's father's origins, trying to find a reasonable explanation for the boy's relationship to the Force.
When it comes to the cell organelles, due to the fact that the eggs of most species contain large amounts of cytoplasm, and sperm contain almost no cytoplasm, the mitochondria in a zygote come from the cytoplasm of the female parent's egg, even though half the zygote is nuclear chromosomes come from the male parent.3 This is commonly known as Maternal Inheritance. Because most of the mitochondria in the zygote come from the egg, most of the mitochondria in the developing animal will be derived from its mother.3 So, here we have a disagreement regarding the biological similarity between midi-chlorians in the Star Wars galaxy and our own cell organelles. If an analogy were to be made relating to this fact, it would be more reasonable that the Force's inheritance would mostly occur from the mother to her offspring rather than from the father.
Nevertheless, it is also said that chloroplast and mitochondria are complex organelles and only a minority of their functions is maternally inherited.3 From this statement, it is understood that the organelles' functions do not depend grandiosely on progenitors but rather on the individual they are one with, and more particularly on its needs. Making the comparison with Star Wars, the midi-chlorians' functions, resulting in the expressing of the Force in an individual, may result from a small dose of parental legacy combined with a major portion of the individual character they are symbiotic with. Adding that with the Force's ability to chose the ones most suitable to perform the task and we have the Jedi.
To sum up, it is obvious that George Lucas has taken a perfect terrestrial biological fact and transported it to his (not so) make-believe galaxy. Even the word midi-chlorian has the prefix chlor- as in chloroplast. He added a little bit of mythology, directly connecting the midi-chlorians as physical agents of the Force, and came up with the source for a basic explanation to the physical stunts performed by the Jedi, which have been, so far, impossible to explain, from a scientific point of view. Until now.
Extrasensory perception (ESP) involves reception of information not gained through the recognized physical senses but sensed with the mind. The term was coined by Frederic Myers, and adopted by Duke University psychologist J. B. Rhine to denote psychic abilities such as telepathy, clairaudience, and clairvoyance, and their trans-temporal operation as precognition or retrocognition. ESP is also sometimes casually referred to as a sixth sense, gut instinct or hunch, which are historical English idioms. The term implies acquisition of information by means external to the basic limiting assumptions of science, such as that organisms can only receive information from the past to the present.
The term parapsychology was coined in or around 1889 by philosopher Max Dessoir, and originates from para meaning "alongside", and psychology. The term was adopted by J.B. Rhine in the 1930s as a replacement for the term psychical research. Parapsychologists study a number of ostensible paranormal phenomena, including telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, reincarnation and apparitional experiences.
Nobel Laureate Brian David Josephson and some other proponents of parapsychology have spoken of "irrational attacks on parapsychology" which stem from the difficulties of "putting these phenomona into our present system of the universe". Josephson contends that some scientists feel uncomfortable about ideas such as telepathy and that their emotions sometimes get in the way when making evaluations. He compares this situation to that of Alfred Wegener's hypothesis of continental drift, where there was initially great resistance to acceptance despite the strength of the evidence. Only after Wegener's death did evidence lead to a gradual change of opinion and ultimate acceptance of his ideas.
A single neuron in the human brain can respond only to what the neurons connected to it are doing, but all of them together can be Immanuel Kant.
That resemblance is why Deborah M. Gordon, Stanford University assistant professor of biological sciences, studies ants.
"I'm interested in the kind of system where simple units together do behave in complicated ways," she said.
No one gives orders in an ant colony, yet each ant decides what to do next.
For instance, an ant may have several job descriptions. When the colony discovers a new source of food, an ant doing housekeeping duty may suddenly become a forager. Or if the colony's territory size expands or contracts, patroller ants change the shape of their reconnaissance pattern to conform to the new realities. Since no one is in charge of an ant colony - including the misnamed "queen," which is simply a breeder - how does each ant decide what to do?
This kind of undirected behavior is not unique to ants, Gordon said. How do birds flying in a flock know when to make a collective right turn? All anchovies and other schooling fish seem to turn in unison, yet no one fish is the leader.
Gordon studies harvester ants in Arizona and, both in the field and in her lab, the so-called Argentine ants that are ubiquitous to coastal California.
Argentine ants came to Louisiana in a sugar shipment in 1908. They were driven out of the Gulf states by the fire ant and invaded California, where they have displaced most of the native ant species. One of the things Gordon is studying is how they did so. No one has ever seen an ant war involving the Argentine species and the native species, so it's not clear whether they are quietly aggressive or just find ways of taking over food resources and territory.
The Argentine ants in her lab also are being studied to help her understand how they change behavior as the size of the space they are exploring varies.
"The ants are good at finding new places to live in and good at finding food," Gordon said. "We're interested in finding out how they do it."
Her ants are confined by Plexiglas walls and a nasty glue-like substance along the tops of the boards that keeps the ants inside. She moves the walls in and out to change the arena and videotapes the ants' movements. A computer tracks each ant from its image on the tape and reads its position so she has a diagram of the ants' activities.
The motions of the ants confirm the existence of a collective.
"A colony is analogous to a brain where there are lots of neurons, each of which can only do something very simple, but together the whole brain can think. None of the neurons can think ant, but the brain can think ant, though nothing in the brain told that neuron to think ant."
For instance, ants scout for food in a precise pattern. What happens when that pattern no longer fits the circumstances, such as when Gordon moves the walls?
"Ants communicate by chemicals," she said. "That's how they mostly perceive the world; they don't see very well. They use their antennae to smell. So to smell something, they have to get very close to it.
"The best possible way for ants to find everything - if you think of the colony as an individual that is trying to do this - is to have an ant everywhere all the time, because if it doesn't happen close to an ant, they're not going to know about it. Of course, there are not enough ants in the colony to do that, so somehow the ants have to move around in a pattern that allows them to cover space efficiently."
Keeping in mind that no one is in charge of a colony and that there is no central plan, how do the ants adjust their reconnaissance if their territory expands or shrinks?
"No ant told them, 'OK, guys, if the arena is 20 by 20. . . .' Somehow there has to be some rule that individual ants use in deciding to change the shape of their paths so they cover the areas effectively. I think that that rule is the rate in which they bump into each other."
The more crowded they are, the more often each ant will bump into another ant. If the area of their territory is expanded, the frequency of contact decreases. Perhaps, Gordon thinks, each ant has a threshold for normality and adjusts its path shape depending on how often the number of encounters exceeds or falls short of that threshold.
If the territory shrinks, the number of contacts increases and the ant alters its search pattern. If it expands, contact decreases and it alters the pattern a different way.
In the Arizona harvester ants, Gordon studies tasks besides patrolling. Each ant has a job.
"I divide the tasks into four: foraging, nest maintenance, midden [piling refuse, including husks of seeds] and patrolling - patrollers are the ones that come out first in the morning and look for food. The foragers go where the patrollers find food.
"The colony has about eight different foraging paths. Every day it uses several of them. The patrollers go out first on the trails and they attract each other when they find food. By the end of an hour's patrolling, most patrollers are on just a few trails. . . . All the foragers have to do is go where there are the most patrollers."
Each ant has its prescribed task, but the ants can switch tasks if the collective needs it. An ant on housekeeping duty will decide to forage. No one told it to do so and Gordon and other entomologists don't know how that happens.
"No ant can possibly know how much food everybody is collecting, how many foragers are needed," she said. "An ant has to have very simple rules that tell it, 'OK, switch and start foraging.' But an ant can't assess globally how much food the colony needs.
"I've done perturbation experiments in which I marked ants according to what task they're doing on a given day. The ants that were foraging for food were green, those that were cleaning the nest were blue and so on. Then I created some new situation in the environment; for example, I create a mess that the nest maintenance workers have to clean up or I'll put out extra food that attracts more foragers.
"It turns out that ants that were marked doing a certain task one day switch to do a different task when conditions change."
Of about 8,000 species of ants, only about 10 percent have been studied thus far.
"It's hard to generalize anything about the behavior of ants," Gordon said. "Most of what we know about ants is true of a very, very small number of species compared to the number of species out there."
"It seems that intelligence, natural or artificial, is an emergent property of collective communication. Human con-sciousness itself may be an epiphenomenon of extraordinary processing power. Although experts prefer to avoid simplistic definitions of intelligence, it seems clear that all intelligence involves the rational manipulation of symbolic information. This is exactly what happens when army ants pass information from individual to individual through the 'writing' and 'reading' of symbols, often in the form of chemical messengers or trail pheromones, which act as stimuli for changing behavior patterns."
An army ant colony scatters about 14 foraging raids During its 20-day stationary phase, an army ant colony scatters about 14 foraging raids directed 123 degrees apart. The heavy line indicates the colony's path during the nomadic phase. In the body of his article, Franks describes two remarkable capabilities of an army ant colony: time-keeping and navigation. The outward manisfestation of time-keeping is in the precise timing of the colony's nomadic phase of 15 days (during which larvae are growing) and the 20-day stationary phase (during which pupae develop). The queen's egg-laying also conforms with this schedule. Raids into the rain forest occur in both phases.
Perhaps more remarkable is the systematic orientation of the raids in the stationary phase. These raids are separated by an average 123 degrees, as diagrammed. This scattering allows time for new prey to enter the previously raided areas.
But how does the colony determine direction in the dense rain forest? Probably from polarized sinlight, thinks Franks. But here we have a problem: each army ant, instead of having multi faceted compound eyes like most insects, has just a single facet in each eye.
"The mystery is how the colony can navigate with each of its workers having such rudimentary eyesight. In my wildest dreams, I imagine that the whole swarm behaves like a huge compound eye, with each of the ants in the swarm front contributing two lenses to a 10- or 20-m wide 'eye' with hundreds of thousands of facets."
(Franks, Nigel R.; "Army Ants: A Collective Intelligence," American Scientist, 77:139, 1989.)
Comment. By analogy, the human body is a colony of individual cells, most of which are specialized in some way. Individual human cells can be grown alone, but they are as directionless as the 100 ants on the flat surface.
The human body operates, in essence, like a large, multicellular society. Within this tight-knit community, trillions of cells, organized into hundreds of different tissues, collaborate for the good of the whole organism. Some cells convert food into energy, some transport oxygen or nutrients throughout the body, some fight infections, and some shuttle the organism's genes into the next generation.
Individuality is a complex trait, yet a series of stages each advantageous in itself can be shown to exist allowing evolution to get from unicellular individuals to multicellular individuals.
Fitness tradeoffs drive the transition of a cell group into a multicellular individual through the evolution of cells specialized at reproductive and vegetative functions of the group
The selective pressures leading to reproductive altruism stem from the increasing cost of reproduction with increasing group size.
Concepts from population genetics and evolutionary biology appear to be sufficient to explain complexity, at least as it relates to the problem of the major transitions between the different kinds of evolutionary individuals.
Evolutionary biology can explain complexity.
Evolutionary individuals are integrated and indivisible wholes with the property of heritable variation in fitness so that they may evolve adaptations at their level of organization. Being wholes, evolutionary individuals may be thought to be irreducibly complex, but this has not been the case during evolutionary history; a series of stages, each advantageous in itself, may be shown to exist allowing evolution to get from one kind of individual to another. The evolutionary concepts we use to understand evolutionary transitions in individuality involve fitness and its reorganization, fitness tradeoffs (especially the cost of reproduction to survival) and their roles in life-history evolution, and kin selection and altruism and their roles in social evolution.
Evolution occurs not only through the standard processes operating within populations, but also during evolutionary transitions in individuality, when groups of individuals become so integrated that they evolve into new higher-level individuals. Indeed, the major landmarks in the diversification of life and the hierarchical organization of the living world are consequences of a series of evolutionary transitions: from genes to gene networks to the first cell, from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, from cells to multicellular organisms, from asexual to sexual populations, and from solitary to social organisms.
The individuality of multicellular groups is a complex trait. Following Darwin and his approach in The Origin of Species to understanding an organ of such complexity as the human eye, we reduce the complexity to a set of evolutionary steps involving simpler traits, each advantageous by itself. In the case of the evolution of multicellular individuals, these stages might involve the formation of cell groups, the increase of cooperation within cell groups, the evolution of conflict mediators to protect the group against cheaters, the increase in group size, the specialization of cells in essential fitness components of the group, and the spatial organization of these specialized cell types.
There are several hypotheses for the evolution of cell specialization. The first involves the evolution of cooperation (versus defection). To cooperate, cells presumably must specialize at particular behaviors and functions. The evolution of costly forms of cooperation, altruism, is fundamental to evolutionary transitions, because altruism exports fitness from a lower level (the costs of altruism) to a higher level (the benefits of altruism). The evolution of cooperation sets the stage for defection, and this leads to a second kind of hypothesis for the evolution of specialized cells involving conflict mediation. If the opportunities for defectors can be mediated, enhanced cooperativity of cells will result in more harmonious functioning of the group. A variety of features of multicellular organisms can be understood as “conflict mediators,” that is, adaptations to reduce conflict and increase cooperation among cells (6): high kinship as a result of development from a single cell, lowered mutation rate as a result of a nucleus, self-policing of selfish cells by the immune system, parental control of cell phenotype, programmed cell death of cells depending on signals received by neighboring cells, determinate body size, and early germ soma separation. These different kinds of conflict mediators require different specialized cell types. The third hypothesis for specialization involves the advantages of division of labor and the synergism that may result when cells specialize in complementary behaviors and functions. The most basic division of labor in organisms is between reproductive and vegetative or survival-enhancing functions.
Evolutionary individuals must have heritable variation in fitness-related traits. The fitness of any evolutionary unit can be understood in terms of its two basic components: fecundity (reproduction) and viability (survival). As embodied in current theory, tradeoffs between fitness components drive the evolution of diverse life-history traits in extant organisms
How do groups become individuals? Our hypothesis is that fitness tradeoffs drive the transition of a cell group into a multicellular individual through the evolution of cells specialized at reproductive and vegetative functions of the group.
Altruism refers to a behavior or interaction that benefits other individuals at a cost to the individual exhibiting the behavior. Altruism is widely appreciated to be the central problem of social evolution. It is also central to the reorganization of fitness during evolutionary transitions, as already mentioned, because altruism trades fitness from the lower level, the costs of altruism, to the higher level, the benefits of altruism.
Life-history tradeoffs drive evolutionary transitions in individuality by selecting for cell specialization
There is a selective benefit for forming groups and for increasing group size.
As colonies increase in size, the costs of reproduction increase and the curvature of the tradeoff between reproduction and viability goes from concave to convex. This convexity of the tradeoff curve selects for specialization in reproductive and vegetative viability-enhancing functions (germ soma specialization). As cells specialize in these essential fitness components, the fitness of the cells declines while the fitness of the group increases. As a result of the specialization of the cells, fitness is transferred from the cell to group level and the group becomes indivisible and an individual.
In this way, using the concepts of fitness, fitness reorganization, fitness tradeoffs, altruism, kin selection, life history evolution, and social evolution, we can explain a major evolutionary transition in individuality: the evolution of complex multicellular individuals from unicellular and colonial ancestors.
The Columbian Centinel in Boston reported: "This morning there was the appearance of a thick shower of fire. It was occasioned by the incessant falling of innumerable meteors ... about half as thick as the flakes of snow in one of our common snow falls."
"their brilliancy was so great, that we could, at times, read common sized print, without much difficulty" The Salt River Journal in Bowling Green, Missouri, published "Above all, around the firmament--thicker than the stars themselves, which were uncommonly bright, large and beautiful--we beheld innumerable fire-balls... Though there was no moon...their brilliancy was so great, that we could, at times, read common sized print, without much difficulty, and the light which they afforded was much whiter than that of the moon." The report added that "the very countenances of men wore the aspect and hue of death..." and that "There was a grand, peculiar, and indescribable gloom on all around." It went on to report that "there was scarcely a space in the firmament which was not filled at every instant with these falling stars..." and that "at times they would shower down in groups--calling to mind the 'fig tree, casting her untimely figs when shaken by a mighty wind ...'" The report also agreed with others that, "there was not a space in the firmament equal in extent to three diameters of the moon, which was not filled at every instant with falling stars; all of which left luminous traces from five to ten degrees in length, that lasted for seven or eight seconds..."
A civil engineer at West Point wrote that "[some of them] shot along like falling lamps, followed by a small short and pointed flame so brilliant as to pain the sight for an instant. In sensible magnitude these might be compared to the morning star, and in intensity of brilliance to lightning." He recorded one "red fiery ball of perhaps one fifth the moon's apparent diameter."
The President of St. John's College, Annapolis, stated that "The light was so intense that apartments, where persons were sleeping, were strongly illuminated, and some were aroused under the apprehensions that their dwellings were in flames.... In the words of most, they fell, like flakes of snow. ... It was well ascertained that several of the meteors appeared to burst into numbers of smaller stars as they fell ... One in particular, is stated by several, to have been as large as the moon ..."
"there was not a space in the firmament equal in extent to three diameters of the moon, which was not filled at every instant with falling stars" A chemistry professor in Maryland observed: "...the scene was altogether brilliant beyond conception ... the meteors in numbers exceeding the visible stars, and in intensity of light often rivalling the rays of the full moon."
A medical doctor traveling all night in North Carolina reported that the "most magnificent meteor ... appeared somewhat larger than the full moon rising" and that its track "was visible at least twenty minutes."
I witnessed this gorgeous spectacle, and was awe-struck. The air seemed filled with bright descending messengers from the sky. It was about daybreak when I saw this sublime scene. I was not without the suggestion, at the moment, that it might be the harbinger of the coming of the Son of Man; and in my then state of mind I was prepared to hail Him as my friend and deliverer. I had read that the 'stars shall fall from heaven,' and they were now falling." -- Frederick Douglass, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (New York: Pathway Press, 1941), p. 117. (Original edition 1855.)
"The morning of November 13th, 1833, was rendered memorable by an exhibition of the phenomenon called SHOOTING STARS, which was probably more extensive and magnificent than any similar one hitherto recorded. . . .
Probably no celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with so much admiration and delight by one class of spectators, or with so much astonishment and fear by another class. . . .
The reader may imagine a constant succession of fire balls, resembling sky rockets, radiating in all directions from a point in the heavens, a few degrees south-east of the zenith, and following the arch of the sky towards the horizon. . . . The balls, as they travelled down the vault, usually left after them a vivid streak of light, and just before they disappeared, exploded, or suddenly resolved themselves into smoke. No report or noise of any kind was observed, although we listened attentively. . . .
The flashes of light, although less intense than lightning, were so bright as to awaken people in their beds. One ball that shot off in the north- west direction, and exploded a little northward of the star Capella, left, just behind the place of explosion, a phosphorescent train of peculiar beauty. . . .
The meteors began to attract notice by their unusual frequency or brilliancy, from nine to twelve o'clock in the evening, were most striking in their appearance, from two to five, arrived at their maximum, in many places, about four o'clock, and continued till rendered invisible by the light of day." --Denison Olmsted, "Observations on the Meteors of November 13th, 1833," The American Journal of Science and Arts, 25 ([Jan.?] 1834), 363, 365, 366, 386, 393, 394.
"The whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another." "Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion. . . . The display, as described in Professor Silliman's Journal, was seen all over North America. . . . From two o'clock until broad daylight, the sky being perfectly serene and cloudless, an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens." --R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5.
"No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor of that magnificent display; . . . no one who did not witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted--thousands swiftly followed in the tracks of thousands, as if created for the occasion." --F. Reed, Christian Advocate and Journal, Dec. 13, 1833.
"To understand the use of the word shower in connection with shooting stars we must go back to the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 1833, when the inhabitants of this continent [of North America] were in fact treated to one of the most spectacular natural displays that the night sky has produced. . . . For nearly four hours the sky was literally ablaze . . . . More than a billion shooting stars appeared over the United States and Canada alone." -- Peter M. Millman, "The Falling of the Stars," The Telescope, 7 (May-June, 1940), 57.
"The shower pervaded nearly the whole of North America, having appeared in nearly equal splendor from the British possessions on the north to the West-India Islands and Mexico on the South, and from sixty-one degrees of longitude east of the American coast, quite to the Pacific Ocean on the west. Throughout this immense region, the duration was nearly the same." --Denison Olmsted, Letters on Astronomy, Addressed to a Lady: in Which The Elements of the Science Are Familiarly Explained in Connexion With Its Literary History (1840 ed.), pp. 348, 349.
"Neither language, nor the pencil, can adequately picture the grandeur and magnificence of the scene. . . . It may be doubted, whether any description has surpassed, in accuracy and impressiveness, that of the old negro in Virginia, who remarked 'It is awful, indeed, sir, it looked like ripe crab-apples falling from the trees, when shaking them for cider.'" --J. T. Buckingham, "The Meteoric Shower," The New-England Magazine, 6 (Jan.-June, 1834), 47, 48.
Cards - Three 52 card decks plus six jokers - 162 cards Aces rank high only. Twos and Jokers are wild. Cards other than wild cards are natural cards. Threes (and sometimes fours) are stoppers.
Deal - Draw for deal. Low card deals or winner of last game deals. Deal passes to the left. The dealer shuffles the cards, lets the player to his right cut the cards and deals one card at a time to each player beginning at his left until each player has the proper number from the table below. The remainder of the pack is the stock with one card turned face up to start the discard pile.
# of cards canastas Players playing on deal to go out 2 individually 15 4 3 individually 13 3 4 individually 11 2 5 individually 9 2 4 2 partnerships 11 5 6 2 partnerships 7 5 6 3 partnerships 7 3Play - Each player beginning with the player to the dealer's left draws, melds or lays off (optional) and discards. Discard is optional if going out. (see below) To meld is to play a set on the table in front of oneself. To lay off is to add to a set already melded. The discard is always one card from the hand placed face up on the discard pile. The discard pile is always fanned. Discarding ends a player's turn and play passes to the left.
Sets are three or more cards of the same rank called a group or three or more in sequence of the same suit. Wild cards can substitute for any natural card but wild cards are not declared and can be anything needed in the meld. For example in a 7, 8, wild card sequence, the wild card can take the place of either a 6 or a 9 and if a six is played it then becomes either a 5 or a 9. A set must have at least two natural cards and can never contain more than two wild cards unless it is a wild card set.
The draw may be two cards from the stock or a player may take from the discard pile instead as below:
If the top card of the discard pile cannot be layed off it may be taken alone.
However, if the top card can be layed off and he takes it the player must lay it off or use it in a new meld and take all cards in the discard pile as well.
Or, he can take any card below the top card in the discard pile and all above it, but the bottom card taken must be melded immediately. A card taken from within the discard pile can only be melded with at least two natural cards from the hand. In this case, the player should first lay down the natural cards from his hand, then play the bottom card taken from the discard pile before picking up the cards above it.
A canasta is at least seven cards in a set.
Stoppers cannot be played or taken from the top of the discard pile into the hand. They may be discarded. Two stoppers in the hand prevent a player going out.
Sets may be combined when they adjoin properly even across the table with a partner's set.
A joker played on the table may be exchanged for a card from the hand provided the card from the hand replaces the joker in the set.
Once played, a card (except jokers when replaced) may never be removed from a set.
A player may not lay off on another player's meld except in partnership play as below.
Three or more wild cards may be melded as a wild card set. A wild card set may contain any number of twos and jokers but its point score is doubled if they are not mixed in the same set.
Going out - A player may go out ending play for that hand only if he has at least the required number of canastas and plays or discards the last card in his hand. If a player, otherwise able to go out, discards his last card and does not say, "I'm out.", play continues.
If the stock is exhausted without any player going out, the discard pile except the top card is shuffled and turned over to form a new stock and play continues until only one card remains or only stoppers remain or a discarded card is taken and discarded completely around the table without being played or kept.
Partnership play - if four or six play, they may play in partnerships of two or three and a partner may play on his partner's sets. On his turn a player may ask his partner, "May I go out?" and he is bound by his partner's answer. Either partner of a partnership may go out if the partnership has the required number of canastas but not before. Partners may not discuss their hands or strategy during play.
Score - Cards played count plus point value. Cards in hand count minus point value. Canastas in hand count minus also. Canastas in hand must be counted as highest possible value. A game consists of seven hands or play until one player has accumulated at least 4 times the winning score of the first hand plus 1000 points or until the highest scoring player has a cumulative score of at least 1000 more than that of his closest opponent.
Card Points 4-7 5 8-10 10 Face cards 15 Aces 20 Twos 20 Jokers 50 Threes 50 Fours (if stoppers) 100 Canasta: Mixed 100 with wild cards or Natural no wild cards 7 - 8 cards 200 or 9 - 10 cards 300 or 11 cards 400 or 12 cards 500 Going out 100Wild cards in an unmixed wild card set count double.
1. Red 3's and 4's option - stoppers
Fours are played under the same rules as threes except that if caught in the hand fours count minus 100 points.
Three or more red threes or three or more red fours may be melded at any time. A three or four meld may not, however, contain any wild cards. Black threes or fours may not be melded. Melded threes count plus 50 points and melded fours count plus 100 points. No three or four may be taken from the top of the discard pile nor may they be taken as the bottom card from the discard pile to be melded immediately. They can only be taken with other cards. If an entire meld of threes or fours is of the same suit, it counts double.
2. Three of a kind option
If a group of the same suit other than stoppers or jokers are melded alone then they count 50 points each rather than their normal point value. These melds may, of course, be combined later if desired but they would then revert to their normal point value.
3. Take up option
If a player takes any card in the discard pile and all above it, the bottom card taken must be melded immediately. In this case, the player should lay on the table the bottom card taken, pick up the cards on the discard pile above it and then play at least two more cards with the bottom card to complete the meld. The meld must include at least two natural cards but can also include up to two wild cards. None of these cards have to be from the hand originally but can be.
4. Third Stock Card option
If a player declines to take from the discard pile but instead to draw from the stock, he first turns the top card of the stock face up and discards it to the top of the discard pile. He then draws his two cards from the stock, plays and discards. This option adds complexity to the game and less control by the players, particularly good in two player games.
5. Dead card option
If a player takes two cards from the stock, he then takes another card, turns it face up and places it aside on a fanned dead card pile. Cards in this pile are out of play for the remainder of the game. This variation is best for two player games or two partnership games. If this option is played 1 less canasta is needed to go out. It is optional whether the dead cards are shuffled in with the discard pile if the stock becomes exhausted.
6. Auction option
After he has drawn but before he plays any cards or discards a player may lay any number of cards from his hand face up toward the center of the table as an offering. Then each player who is not his partner beginning with the player to his left may pass or place any number of cards or no cards face up toward the center of the table as a bid. The offering player may then choose any bid and exchange the offering for the bid or he may reject all bids and put his offering back into his own hand. Only one offering may be made per player's turn.
7. Extra discard option
As soon as a player discards he turns up the top card from the stock and puts it on the discard pile completing his turn. This variation lends more chance to the game and less control by the players.
8. Odd man option
If there are 3 or 5 players, in any hand after the first the players with lowest scores may elect to play partners against the player with the highest score. If this is done the partners each get half the score made by the partnership at the end of the hand. If there are five players the 2nd highest score must partner with the lowest score and numbers 3 and 4 must partner. With 3 players partners must have 5 canastas to go out. With 5 players they must have three.
9. Money option
When the game is over each loser pays the winner or winning partnership 1 cent for each point difference between their score and the winner's score.
My favorite Albany Canasta includes options 1, 2, 3, and 9.
Also option 5 if there are only two players.
Game rules by Roie Philom email@example.com March 28, 1993 Albany Canasta Score Sheet - Game/Date ________________ Options: ________________ Player: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Hand number: 1 dealer 1 Going out _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Played cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ play to: Hand Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 2 dealer 2 Going out _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Played cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Hand Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Game Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 3 dealer __ Going out _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Played cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Hand Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Game Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 4 dealer __ Going out _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Played cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Hand Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Game Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 5 dealer __ Going out _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Played cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Hand Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Game Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 6 dealer __ Going out _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Played cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Hand Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Game Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 7 dealer __ Going out _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ - In hand cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Canastas _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ + Played cards _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Hand Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Game Total _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Difference from highest _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Circle each winning hand. Circle game winner's name or number. If playing partners write scores only in 1st two or three columns. # of cards canastas Players playing on deal to go out 2 individually 15 4 3 individually 13 3 4 individually 11 2 5 individually 9 2 4 2 partnerships 11 5 6 2 partnerships 7 5 6 3 partnerships 7 3Score - Cards played count plus point value. Cards in hand count minus point value. Canastas in hand count minus also. Canastas in hand must be counted as highest possible value. A game consists of seven hands or play until one player has accumulated at least 4 times the winning score of the first hand plus 1000 points or until the highest scoring player has a cumulative score of at least 1000 more than that of his closest opponent.
Card Points 4-7 5 8-10 10 Face cards 15 Aces 20 Twos 20 Jokers 50 Threes -50 Fours (if stoppers) 100 Canasta: Mixed 100 containing any wild cards or Natural containing no wild cards 7 - 8 cards 200 or 9 - 10 cards 300 or 11 cards 400 or 12 cards 500 Going out 100 Wild cards in an unmixed wild card set count double. An unmixed wild card canasta counts double. (no jokers)
SFHR is an expanded and more relevant computer program than standard genealogy programs. It emphasizes relationships of the individual, social, family, and historical, rather than family trees. Five generation family trees are, however, a subset of this program.
Planned but not implemented are expansion of the SFHR database to include, for each individual, medical and financial databases as well as DNA mapping significant markers. The medical database would include dates and places of medical diagnoses and procedures. The financial database would include dates, amounts, vendors, and descriptions of all financial transactions affecting the individual's net worth. This would enable a personal history to include medical conditions and net worth changes at each time period of a person's life. It also would enable cross references of medical, social, financial and DNA relationships among individuals. Also planned is UPD - Universal Person Database Index - to find the same person in different databases.
Reports on individuals and groups include history reports, data sheets, and narrative reports. Global history reports are also available. The system includes consistency checks, global text searches, research reports, GEDCOM import & export and html export.
Includes space for:
And on each individual person:
from the SFHR database of Carol Browski
1920/03/14 to 1997/04/30 male 2 Children Soldier, WWII - Electrical Engineer...Date... AGE Event
NAME=YOUR NAME HERE PN=100000 principal IN=.07 annual interest rate YRS=30 term of loan in years PPY=12 payments per year DA=08/05/10 date of loanThe program uses the data from that file to create another text file in the same directory. That output text file is named "loan.txt". It gives information about the loan including payment amounts for various interest rates and terms of loan and an amortization schedule.
To use a schedule of payments already made, create a text file
called "payments.txt" in the same directory"
as this program. This file should have the date of payment in the left
column followed by one or more spaces and the amount of the payment.
example: 07/01/10 1500.94
Show all the payments that have been made on this loan, one per line.
This program will then create a text file named "balances.txt" in the same directory showing balances remaining after each payment.
The first file, GLOBALxx.std, sets the type of stud poker including number of cards (5 to 9) and whether each card is to be up or down, whether it is to be personal or common, and whether a betting interval will follow.
It also defines the names of the hands and the probability of folding based on card score for fold, keep, or best for pre flop betting by the computer opponents. It also can set a path for the players configuration file and set a test flag for debugging.
The name of the global configuration file can be changed by putting the path to a new configuration file on the command line when invoking the STUD program. In this way Texas Holdem can be changed to seven card stud or five card stud or any other valid possibility.
The second configuration file, specific for each human player by name, is named PLAYER.STD where PLAYER is the name of the player input by the human at the beginning of the program. The default name is PLAYER.
This configuration file keeps the names of the players in the game, their stack size and the number of hands they have won. It keeps count of the number of hands played and sets the maximum number of hands before stack and hand counts are reset.
It defines whether hints to computers opponent's hands are to be given and in how much detail (0, or 4-9), the size of the big blind, and the ante. It also defines by means of three constants the circumstances and probability that a computer opponent will raise or fold.
The screen also shows the number of cards to be dealt for the hand and the maximum hint number for the hand. Before the flop the screen shows a hint number up to the maximum for each computer opponent based on the strength of his hand. After the flop that column shows the total bet by that opponent, which is the amount at risk if he loses the hand.
I realized that these algorithms could also be useful to use the computer to play simulated Holdem games and analyse the results. So I set up a program to do so. I set it to deal about 1,000,000 hands and analyse the results. These could be set for any number of players at the table. I ran the program once each for player numbers from 2 through 9. That meant that the program dealt and analysed 1,000,000 hands eight times.
|On Walden Pond||Henry David Thoreau|
|Utopia||Sir Thomas More|
|Civil Disobedience||Henry David Thoreau|
|Wealth of Nations||Adam Smith|
|Two Treatises on Civil Government||John Locke|
|Brave New World||Aldous Huxley|
|Walden Two||B. F. Skinner|
|Lost Horizon||James Hilton|
|The Harrad Experiment||Robert Rimmer|
|Stranger in a Strange Land||Robert Heinlein|
|Riders of the Purple Sage||Zane Grey|
|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Lord of the Flies||William Golding|
|Green Mansions||W. H. Hudson|
|The Song of Hiawatha||Henry Wadsworth Longfellow|
|Song of Solomon||King Solomon|
|Childhood's End||Arthur C. Clark|
|The Call of the Wild||Jack London|
|Elmer Gantry||Sinclair Lewis|
|Lord Jim||Joseph Conrad|
|The Stranger||Albert Camus|
|The Grapes of Wrath||John Steinbeck|
|Huckleberry Finn||Mark Twain|
|Adam and Eve - Though He Knew Better||John Erskine|
|Night Rider||Robert Penn Warren|
|The Island||Aldos Huxley|
|Outline of History||H. G. Wells|
|Future Shock||Alvin Toffler|
|Taps for Private Tussie||Jesse Stuart|
|The Last of the Mohicans||James Fenimore Cooper|
|Robinson Crusoe||Daniel Defoe|
|The Red Badge of Courage||Stephen Crane|
|The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood||Howard Pyle|
|Gulliver's Travels||Jonathan Swift|
|Alice's Adventures in Wonderland||Lewis Carroll|
|Don Juan||Lord Byron|
|The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes||Sir Arthur Conan Doyle|
|Time Enough for Love||Robert A. Heinlein|
|The Immense Journey||Loren Eiseley|
|Top of the World||Hans Ruesch|
|Surfin' Safari||The Beach Boys|
|Chapel of Love||Dixie Cups|
|Blueberry Hill||Fats Domino|
|Cattle Call||Eddy Arnold|
|Ghost Riders in the Sky||Johnny Cash|
|Tennessee Stud||Eddy Arnold|
|Blackberry Boogie||Tennessee Ernie Ford|
|1796 - Trumpet Concerto in E flat, 3rd movement||Haydn|
|1808 - Symphony No. 5, 1st movement||Beethoven|
|Beethoven's Fifth Bossa Nova||Domus Quintett|
|Black Mtn. Rag||Doc Watson|
|Blue Moon Of Kentucky||Patsy Cline|
|Blue Ridge Mountains||Paul Dennis|
|Brahms Waltz Brahms||Leslie Bridges|
|Cell Block Love (Digital)||Josh Mandel & Al Lowe|
|High Country Holidays||United States Air Force Academy Band|
|Cindy (1956)||Germantown Friends School Choi|
|Claire de Lune Debussy||Leslie Bridges|
|Hey Porter||Johnny Cash|
|Cotton Eyed Joe||George Chambers (Texas Dance M|
|Cripple Creek||CAROLINA GRASS|
|Don't Cry For Me Argentina||Cast|
|Froggy Went a Courting|
|Fur Elise Beethoven||Leslie Bridges|
|I'll Fly Away||CAROLINA GRASS|
|Little Cabin on the Hill||DiMaggio Bros.|
|Love Letters In The Sand||Patsy Cline|
|Mule Skinner Blues||Acoustic Mayhem|
|Muskrat Ramble||Louis Armstrong|
|Nobody Does It Better||The London Pops Orchestra|
|Nutcracker: Waltz of the Flowe||East Pacific Symphony|
|ODE TO JOY||Orchestra Radio/TV Luxembourg|
|Old Cape Cod||Patti Page|
|Old Joe Clark||CAROLINA GRASS|
|Feel Like Making Love||Roberta Flack|
|Only The Lonely||Roy Orbison|
|Overture to The Magic Flute, K. 620||Mozart|
|Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head||The London Pops Orchestra|
|The Peter Gunn Theme||Ray Anthony|
|Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town||Kenny Rogers|
|Glad She's a Woman||Bobby Goldsboro|
|Solfeggietto CPE Bach||Leslie Bridges|
|Stranger On the Shore||Roger Whittaker|
|The Three Bells||The Browns|
|Take the 'A' Train||Domus Quintett|
|Tennessee Waltz||Patti Page|
|The Entertainer||The London Pops Orchestra|
|The Last Farewell||Roger Whittaker|
|The Phantom Of The Opera||Cast|
|The Wayward Wind||Patsy Cline|
|Moon River||Henry Mancini|
|The Whiffenpoof Song||The Whiffenpoofs of 1999|
|To Know Him Is To Love Him||Dolly Parton|
|When The Saints Go Marching In||Louis Armstrong|
|Wildwood Flower||The Guitar Man|
|Your Cheatin' Heart||Hank Williams|
|Distant Drums||Jim Reeves|
|Eine Kleine Nachtmusik||Mozart|
|William Tell Overture||Rossini|
|The Stars and Stripes Forever||John Phillip Sousa|
|Coal Miner's Daughter||Loretta Lynn|
|I Walk the Line||Johnny Cash|
|Luther Played the Boogie||Johnny Cash|
|Frankie and Johnny||Brook Benton|
|Rainy Night in Georgia||Brook Benton|
|The Happy Organ||Davy 'Baby' Cortez|
|Dueling Banjos||Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell|
|Sixteen Tons||Tennessee Ernie Ford|
|Foggy Mountain Breakdown||Earl Scruggs & Lester Flatt & The Foggy Mountain Boys|
|Town Without Pity||Gene Pitney|
|Heaven Fell Last Night||The Browns|
|The Road to Kaintuck||June Carter Cash|
|Blue Kentucky Girl||Loretta Lynn|
|The Old Lamplighter||The Browns|
|What I Like about the West||Tex Williams|
|They Call the Wind Maria||The Browns|
|The Ballad of Thunder Road||Tex Williams|
|Stormy Weather||Tony Bennett with Natalie Cole|
|Down on the Old Plantation||The Browns|
|El Paso||Sons of the Pioneers|
|Forever Young||Rod Stewart|
|Oh, What a Night 1963||Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons|
|Baby It's Cold Outside||Homer & Jethro with June Carter|
|You Light up my Life||Johnny Mathis|
|The Ride of the Valkyries||Richard Wagner|
He walked into the bar
And parked his lanky frame
Upon a tall bar stool
With a long soft southern drawl
Said, "I'll just have a glass of anything that's cool."
A barroom girl with wise and knowing eyes
Slowly looked him up and down
And she said, "I wonder how on earth
That country bumpkin found his way to town."
And she said, "Hello, country bumpkin,
How's the frost out on the pumpkin.
I've seen some sights but man you're somethin',
Where'd you come from country bumpkin?"
Just a short year later in a bed of joy
Filled tears and death like pain
Into this wondrous world of many wonders
Another wonder came
That same woman's face was wrapped up
In a raptured look of love and tenderness
As she marvelled at the soft and warm
And cuddly boy child feeding at her breast.
And she said, "Hello, country bumpkin,
Fresh as frost out on the pumpkin
I've seen some sights but babe you're somethin',
Mommy loves her country bumpkin."
Forty years of hard work later
In a simple, quiet and peaceful country place
The heavy hand of time had not erased
The raptured wonder from the woman's face.
She was lying on her death bed
Knowing fully well her race was nearly run
But she softly smiled and looked into
The sad eyes of her husband and her son.
And she said, "So long country bumpkins,
The frost is gone now from the pumpkins,
I've seem some sights and lifes been somethin'
See you later country bumpkins."
See you later country bumpkins...
Well, life on the farm is kinda laid back
Ain't much an old country boy like me can't hack
It's early to rise, early in the sack
Thank God, I'm A Country Boy
Well a simple kinda life never did me no harm
A raisin' me a family and workin' on a farm
My days are all filled with an easy country charm
Thank God I'm a country boy
When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low
I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow
The kids are asleep so I keep it kinda low
Thank God I'm a country boy
I'd play "Sally Goodin'" all day if I could
But the Lord and my wife wouldn't take it very good
So I fiddle when I can, work when I should
Thank God, I'm a country boy
Well, I got me a fine wife, I got me old fiddle
When the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle
Life ain't nothin' but a funny, funny riddle
Thank God I'm a country boy
Well I wouldn't trade my life for diamonds or jewels
I never was one of them money hungry fools
I'd rather have my fiddle and my farmin' tools
Thank God I'm a country boy
Yeah, city folk drivin' in a black limousine
A lotta sad people thinkin' that's a mighty keen
Son, let me tell ya now exactly what I mean
I thank God I'm a country boy
Well, I got me a fine wife, I got me old fiddle
When the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle
Life ain't nothin' but a funny, funny riddle
Thank God I'm a country boy
Well, my fiddle was my daddy's til the day he died
And he took me by the hand and held me close to his side
He said...'Live a good life and play my fiddle with pride
And thank God you're a country boy"
My daddy taught me young how to hunt and how to whittle
He taught me how to work and play a tune on the fiddle
Taught me how to love and how to give just a little
Thank God I'm a country boy
Well, I got me a fine wife, I got me old fiddle
When the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle
Life ain't nothing but a funny, funny riddle
Thank God I'm a country boy
"Humankind frees itself from the shackles of ignorance through the acquisition of knowledge, but secular humanist and devoutly religious communities don't agree about where that knowledge is found. To humanists, observation, experience, and analysis of the physical world are the keys to understanding reality, while religious communities see this scientific knowledge as less important than their chosen scripture and revelations. This key difference in the approach toward knowledge informs both groups' feelings about intellectualism and the world itself.
The commitment to ancient and divinely revealed truth leads many religious people to oppose intellectualism, mainly because scientific thinking reveals a continuously changing catalog of knowledge in which previous information is either improved upon or discarded altogether. For those who emphasize the importance of God-given truth, such abandonment or modification of ideas is unacceptable, as it would suggest that their heavenly truths weren't so divine after all.
The problem with the anti-intellectualism shown by the religious community is that it prevents us from addressing suffering that could be alleviated through scientific progress and government intervention. Unfortunately, many of those who believe in divine truth or a divine plan reject attempts by human beings to control their own future, which limits our ability to combat harmful aspects of society and government."
from the Wikipedia
Historically, both Unitarianism and Universalism have roots in the Christian faith. Contemporary Unitarian Universalists espouse a pluralist approach to religion, whereby the followers may be atheist, theist, or any point in between.
Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association:
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote
Most Unitarian Universalists believe that nobody has a monopoly on all truth, or ultimate proof of the truth of everything in any one belief. Therefore, one's own truth is unprovable, as is that of others. Consequently, we should respect the beliefs of others, as well as their right to hold those beliefs. Conversely, we expect that others should respect our right to our own beliefs. Several UU's then, would likely hold as many different beliefs. Other beliefs they may hold in common are a respect for others, for nature, and for common decency, leading to a particular caring for the poor, the weak and the downtrodden. As a result, issues of justice, including social justice are held in common among most.
Zen asserts, as do other schools in Mah?y?na Buddhism, that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature (Skt. Buddhadh?tu, Tath?gatagarbha), the universal nature of transcendent wisdom (Skt. prajñ?), and emphasizes that Buddha-nature is nothing other than the essential nature of the mind itself. The aim of Zen practice is to discover this Buddha-nature within each person, through meditation and practice of the Buddha's teachings. The ultimate goal of this is to become a Completely Enlightened Buddha (Skt. Samyaksa?buddha).
Existentialist thinkers focus on the question of concrete human existence and the conditions of this existence rather than hypothesizing a human essence, stressing that the human essence is determined through life choices. However, even though the concrete individual existence must have priority in existentialism, certain conditions are commonly held to be "endemic" to human existence.
What these conditions are is better understood in light of the meaning of the word "existence," which comes from the Latin "existere," meaning "to stand out" (according to the OED, "existere" translates as "come into being"; the other definition presented here allows for a slanted view and false implications as seen in the following passage.) Man exists in a state of distance from the world that he nonetheless remains in the midst of. This distance is what enables man to project meaning into the disinterested world of in-itselfs. This projected meaning remains fragile, constantly facing breakdown for any reason — from a tragedy to a particularly insightful moment. In such a breakdown, man is put face to face with the naked meaninglessness of the world, and the results can be devastating.
It is in relation to the concept of the devastating awareness of meaninglessness that Albert Camus claimed that "there is only one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide" in his The Myth of Sisyphus. Although "prescriptions" against the possibly deleterious consequences of these kinds of encounters vary, from Kierkegaard's religious "stage" to Camus' insistence on persevering in spite of absurdity, the concern with helping people avoid living their lives in ways that put them in the perpetual danger of having everything meaningful break down is common to most existentialist philosophers. The possibility of having everything meaningful break down poses a threat of quietism, which is inherently against the existentialist philosophy. It has been said that the possibility of suicide makes all humans existentialists.
A central proposition of existentialism is that existence precedes essence, which means that the actual life of the individual is what constitutes what could be called his or her "essence" instead of there being a predetermined essence that defines what it is to be a human. Thus, the human being – through their own consciousness – creates their own values and determines a meaning to their life. Although it was Sartre who explicitly coined the phrase, similar notions can be found in the thought of many existentialist philosophers, from Mulla Sadra, to Kierkegaard, to Heidegger.
It is often claimed in this context that a person defines him or herself, which is often perceived as stating that they can "wish" to be something — anything, a bird, for instance — and then be it. According to most existentialist philosophers, however, this would constitute an inauthentic existence. Instead, the phrase should be taken to say that the person is (1) defined only insofar as he or she acts and (2) that he or she is responsible for his or her actions. For example, someone who acts cruelly towards other people is, by that act, defined as a cruel person. Furthermore, by this action of cruelty such persons are themselves responsible for their new identity (a cruel person). This is as opposed to their genes, or 'human nature', bearing the blame.
As Sartre puts it in his Existentialism is a Humanism: "man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards." Of course, the more positive, therapeutic aspect of this is also implied: A person can choose to act in a different way, and to be a good person instead of a cruel person. Here it is also clear that since man can choose to be either cruel or good, he is, in fact, neither of these things essentially.
In recent decades, the party has adopted a centrist economic and socially progressive agenda, with the voter base having shifted considerably. Today, Democrats advocate more social freedoms, affirmative action, balanced budget, and a free enterprise system tempered by government intervention (mixed economy). The economic policy adopted by the modern Democratic Party, including the former Clinton administration, has been referred to as the "Third Way". The party believes that government should play a role in alleviating poverty and social injustice and use a system of progressive taxation.
Social liberals (modern liberals) and progressives constitute roughly half of the Democratic voter base. Liberals thereby form the largest united typological demographic within the Democratic base. According to the 2008 exit poll results, liberals constituted 22% of the electorate, and 89% of American liberals favored the candidate of the Democratic Party. White-collar college- educated professionals were mostly Republican until the 1950s; they now compose perhaps the most vital component of the Democratic Party. A large majority of liberals favor universal health care, with many supporting a single-payer system. A majority also favor diplomacy over military action, stem cell research, the legalization of same-sex marriage, secular government, stricter gun control, and environmental protection laws as well as the preservation of abortion rights. Immigration and cultural diversity is deemed positive; liberals favor cultural pluralism, a system in which immigrants retain their native culture in addition to adopting their new culture. They tend to be divided on free trade agreements and organizations such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Most liberals oppose increased military spending and the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.
This ideological group differs from the traditional organized labor base. According to the Pew Research Center, a plurality of 41% resided in mass affluent households and 49% were college graduates, the highest figure of any typographical group. It was also the fastest growing typological group between the late 1990s and early 2000s. Liberals include most of academia and large portions of the professional class.
Though centrist Democrats differ on a variety of issues, they typically foster a mix of political views and ideas. Compared to other Democratic factions, they tend to be supportive of the use of military force, including the war in Iraq, and are more willing to reduce government welfare, as indicated by their support for welfare reform and tax cuts. One of the most influential factions is the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a nonprofit organization that advocates centrist positions for the party. The DLC hails President Bill Clinton as proof of the viability of "Third Way" politicians and a DLC success story. Centrist Democrats form the New Democrat Coalition in the House of Representatives and Senate.
Republicans emphasize the role of free markets and individual achievement as the primary factors behind economic prosperity. To this end, they favor laissez-faire economics, fiscal conservatism, and the promotion of personal responsibility over welfare programs.
A leading economic theory advocated by modern Republicans is supply-side economics. Some fiscal policies influenced by this theory were popularly known as Reaganomics, a term popularized during the Presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan. This theory holds that reduced income tax rates increase GDP growth and thereby generate the same or more revenue for the government from the smaller tax on the extra growth. This belief is reflected, in part, by the party's long-term advocacy of tax cuts. Many Republicans consider the income tax system to be inherently inefficient and oppose graduated tax rates, which they believe are unfairly targeted at those who create jobs and wealth. They believe private spending is usually more efficient than government spending. Republicans oppose the estate tax.
Most Republicans agree there should be a "safety net" to assist the less fortunate; however, they tend to believe the private sector is more effective in helping the poor than government is; as a result, Republicans support giving government grants to faith-based and other private charitable organizations to supplant welfare spending. Members of the GOP also believe that limits on eligibility and benefits must be in place to ensure the safety net is not abused. Republicans introduced and strongly supported the welfare reform of 1996, which was signed into law by Democratic President Clinton, and which limited eligibility for welfare, successfully leading to many former welfare recipients finding jobs.
The party opposes a government-run single-payer health care system, believing such a system constitutes socialized medicine and is in favor of a personal or employer-based system of insurance, supplemented by Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid, which covers approximately 40% of the poor. The GOP has a mixed record of supporting the historically popular Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. Congressional Republicans and the Bush administration supported a reduction in Medicaid's growth rate; however, congressional Republicans expanded Medicare, supporting a new drug plan for seniors starting in 2006. In 2011, House Republicans overwhelmingly voted for a proposal named The Path to Prosperity and for major changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and the 2010 Health Care Legislation. Many Republicans support increased health insurance portability, laws promoting coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, a cap on malpractice lawsuits, the implementation of a streamlined electronic medical records system, an emphasis on preventative care rather than emergency room care, and tax benefits aimed at making health insurance more affordable for the uninsured and targeted to promote universal access. They generally oppose government funding for elective abortions.
Republicans are generally opposed by labor union management and members, and have supported various legislation on the state and federal levels, including right to work legislation and the Taft-Hartley Act, which gives workers the right not to participate in unions, as opposed to a closed shop, which prohibits workers from choosing not to join unions in workplaces. Some Republicans are opposed to increases in the minimum wage, believing that such increases hurt many businesses by forcing them to cut jobs and services, export jobs overseas, and raise the prices of goods to compensate for the decrease in profit.
Separation of powers and balance of powers
United States Bill of Rights
Many contemporary Republicans voice support of strict constructionism, the judicial philosophy that the Constitution should be interpreted narrowly and as close to the original intent as is practicable rather than a more flexible "living Constitution" model. Most Republicans point to Roe v. Wade as a case of judicial activism, where the court overturned most laws restricting abortion on the basis of a right to privacy inferred from the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Some Republicans have actively sought to block judges whom they see as being activist judges and have sought the appointment of judges who claim to practice judicial restraint. Other Republicans, though, argue that it is the right of judges to extend the interpretation of the Constitution and judge actions by the legislative or executive branches as legal or unconstitutional on previously unarticulated grounds. The issue of judicial deference to the legislature is a matter of some debate — like the Democrats, most Republicans criticize court decisions that overturn their own (conservative) legislation as overstepping bounds and support decisions that overturn opposing legislation. Some commentators have advocated that the Republicans take a more aggressive approach and support legislative supremacy more firmly.
The Republican Party has supported various bills within the last decade to strip some or all federal courts of the ability to hear certain types of cases, in an attempt to limit judicial review. These jurisdiction stripping laws have included removing federal review of the recognition of same-sex marriage with the Marriage Protection Act, the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance with the Pledge Protection Act, and the rights of detainees in Guantanamo Bay in the Detainee Treatment Act. The Supreme Court overruled the last of these limitations in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.
Compared with Democrats, many Republicans believe in a more robust version of federalism with greater limitations placed upon federal power and a larger role reserved for the States. Following this view on federalism, Republicans often take a less expansive reading of congressional power under the Commerce Clause, such as in the opinion of William Rehnquist in United States v. Lopez. Many Republicans on the more libertarian wing wish for a more dramatic narrowing of Commerce Clause power by revisiting, among other cases, Wickard v. Filburn, a case that held that growing wheat on a farm for consumption on the same farm fell under congressional power to "regulate commerce ... among the several States".
President George W. Bush was a proponent of the unitary executive theory and cited it within his signing statements about legislation passed by Congress. The administration's interpretation of the unitary executive theory was called seriously into question by Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, where the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that the President does not have sweeping powers to override or ignore laws through his power as commander in chief, stating "the Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails". Following the ruling, the Bush administration sought Congressional authorization for programs started only on executive mandate, as was the case with the Military Commissions Act, or abandoned programs it had previously asserted executive authority to enact, in the case of the National Security Agency domestic wiretapping program.
The Republican Party has long supported the protection of the environment. For example, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt was a prominent conservationist whose policies eventually led to the creation of the modern National Park Service. Republican President Richard Nixon was responsible for establishing the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. More recently, California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, with the support of 16 other states, sued the Federal Government and the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the right to set vehicle emission standards higher than the Federal Standard, a right to which California is entitled under the Clean Air Act.
This association however has shifted as the Democratic Party came to also support environmentalism. For example, Democratic President Bill Clinton did not send the Kyoto Protocol to the U.S. Senate for ratification, as he thought it unfair to the United States. President George W. Bush also publicly opposed ratification of the Kyoto Protocols on the grounds that they unfairly targeted Western industrialized nations such as the United States while favoring developing Global South polluters such as China and India.
In 2000, the Republican Party adopted as part of its platform support for the development of market-based solutions to environmental problems. According to the platform, "economic prosperity and environmental protection must advance together, environmental regulations should be based on science, the government’s role should be to provide market-based incentives to develop the technologies to meet environmental standards, we should ensure that environmental policy meets the needs of localities, and environmental policy should focus on achieving results processes."
The Bush administration, along with several of the candidates that sought the Republican Presidential nomination in 2008, supported increased Federal investment into the development of clean alternative fuels, increased nuclear power, and well as fuels such as ethanol, as a way of helping the U.S. achieve energy independence, as opposed to supporting less use of carbon dioxide- producing methods of generating energy. John McCain supported the cap-and- trade policy, a policy that is quite popular among Democrats but much less so among other Republicans. Some Republicans support increased oil drilling in currently protected areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a position that has drawn sharp criticism from some activists.
Some Republicans favor faith-based initiatives. There are some exceptions, especially in the Northeast and Pacific Coast states.
They are generally against affirmative action for women and some minorities often describing it as a quota system, believing that it is not meritocratic and that is counter-productive socially by only further promoting discrimination. Many Republicans support race-neutral admissions policies in universities but support taking into account the socioeconomic status of the student.
Most of the GOP's membership favors capital punishment and stricter punishments as a means to prevent crime.
Republicans generally support gun ownership rights and oppose laws regulating guns, although some Republicans in urban areas sometimes favor limited restrictions on the grounds that they are necessary to protect safety in large cities.
Most Republicans support school choice through charter schools and school vouchers for private schools; many have denounced the performance of the public school system and the teachers' unions. The party has insisted on a system of greater accountability for public schools, most prominently in recent years with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Many Republicans, however, opposed the creation of the United States Department of Education when it was initially created in 1979.
Some in the religious wing of the party support voluntary organized prayer in public schools and the teaching of intelligent design in science classes.
Abortion and related issues
A majority of the GOP's national and state candidates are pro-life and oppose elective abortion on religious or moral grounds.
Although the GOP has voted for increases in government funding of scientific research, some members actively oppose the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research beyond the original lines because it involves the destruction of human embryos (which many consider ethically equivalent to abortion), while arguing for applying research money into adult stem cell or amniotic stem cell research. The stem cell issue garnered two once-rare vetoes on research funding bills from President Bush, who said the research "crossed a moral boundary".
The 2004 Republican platform expressed support for the Federal Marriage Amendment to the United States Constitution to define marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman. Generally speaking, most Republicans have opposed government recognition of same-sex unions such as with same-sex marriage. This opposition formed a key method of energizing conservative voters, the Republican base, in the 2004 election. A New York Times and CBS News collaborative poll released in April 2009 reported that 18% of Republicans favored recognition of same-sex marriage. An August 2010 Fox poll found 19% support. Historically, most Republicans have opposed LGBT people serving openly in the military and supported the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. However, majorities of 52% and 58% among Republicans in both 2004 and 2009 opposed the policy and supported open enlistment, according to Gallup polling.
Groups pushing for LGBT issues inside the party include Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud. Fox News national exit polls of self-described LGBT voters found that 24% voted Republican in 2004 and in 2006. That value was 19% and 31% in 2008 and 2010, respectively. In 2011, 28 % of Republicans supported gay marriage.
National defense and military spending
Although the Republican Party has always advocated a strong national defense, historically they disapproved of interventionist foreign policy actions. Republicans opposed Woodrow Wilson's intervention in World War I and his subsequent attempt to create the League of Nations. They were also staunchly opposed to intervention in World War II until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
On October 25, 1983, at the request of the regional governments, Reagan ordered Operation Urgent Fury, a military invasion of the small, Caribbean island of Grenada, where over a thousand American students and their families were in residence. A Marxist coup d'état had overthrown the established government and shot its leader Maurice Bishop. The is was the first actual roll-back that destroyed a Communist regime and marked the continued escalation of tensions with the Soviet Union known as the "second cold war". Democrats had been highly critical of Reagan's anti-Communism in Latin America, but this time Reagan had strong support from the voters and leading Democrats said the invasion was justified. It built the President's image of decisive strong action a year before the 2004 election, when Mondale said he too would have ordered the invasion. Indeed Mondale attacked Senator Gary Hart, his chief opponent for the Democratic nomination, as isolationist and weak on fighting dictatorships.
Reagan escalated the Cold War, accelerating a reversal from the policy of détente which began in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Reagan then ordered a massive buildup of the United States Armed Forces.
Under a policy that came to be known as the Reagan Doctrine, Reagan and his administration also provided overt and covert aid to anti-communist resistance movements in an effort to "rollback" Soviet-backed communist governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The policy was politically controversial, with liberal Democrats especially angry with Reagan's operations in Latin America. Covert operations elsewhere, especially in Afghanistan against the Soviets, however, usually won bipartisan support.
George H. W. Bush
Gulf War 1990-91
On August 1, 1990, Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait. President Bush formed an international coalition and secured UN approval to expel Iraq. On January 12, 1991, Congress voted approval for a military attack, Operation Desert Storm, by a narrow margin, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. The vote in the House was 250 to 183, and in the Senate 52 to 47. In the Senate 42 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted yes to war, while 45 Democrats and two Republicans voted no. In the House 164 Republicans and 86 Democrats voted yes, and 179 Democrats, three Republicans and one Independent voted no. The war was short and successful, but Hussein was allowed to remain in power. Arab countries repaid all the American military costs.
In the 1990s, Republicans opposed the intervention of the United States in the Balkans under President Bill Clinton and in 2000, George W. Bush ran on a platform that opposed these types of involvement in foreign conflicts.
George W. Bush
Invasion of Afghanistan
After the September 11 attacks in 2001 in New York, Bush launched the War on Terrorism, in which the United States led an international coalition invaded Afghanistan, the base of terrorist Osama bin Laden. This invasion led to the toppling of the Taliban regime. The U.S killed bin Laden in 2011. There was bipartisan support. Indeed Obama had criticized Bush in the 2008 campaign for not being aggressive enough in Afghanistan.
Invasion of Iraq
In 2003, George W. Bush launched the invasion of Iraq, in conjunction with coalition partners, most notably Great Britain. The invasion was described by Bush as being part of the War on Terrorism. Saddam Hussein was captured and executed, but his supporters staged an insurgency that dragged on for years. It was a major election issue in 2004 (when Bush was reelected) and in 2006 and 2008 (when the Democrats won).
As a result, some in the Republican Party support unilateralism on issues of national security, believing in the ability and right of the United States to act without external support in matters of its national defense. In general, Republican thinking on defense and international relations is heavily influenced by the theories of neorealism and realism, characterizing conflicts between nations as struggles between faceless forces of international structure, as opposed to being the result of the ideas and actions of individual leaders. The realist school's influence shows in Reagan's Evil Empire stance on the Soviet Union and George W. Bush's Axis of evil.
Republicans secured gains in the 2002 and 2004 elections, with the War on Terror being one of the top issues favoring them. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, some in the party support neoconservative policies with regard to the War on Terror, including the 2001 war in Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The doctrine of preemptive war, wars to disarm and destroy potential military foes based on speculation of future attacks rather than in defense against actual attack, has been advocated by prominent members of the Bush administration, but the war within Iraq has undercut the influence of this doctrine within the Republican Party. Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, has stated his support for that policy, saying America must keep itself "on the offensive" against terrorists.
The George W. Bush administration took the position that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to unlawful combatants, saying they apply to soldiers serving in the armies of nation states and not terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda. The Supreme Court overruled this position in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which held that the Geneva Conventions were legally binding and must be followed in regards to all enemy combatants. Prominent Republicans such as John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul strongly oppose the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, which they view as torture.
Other international policies
The Republican leadership supports a strong Israel, but supports efforts to secure peace in the Middle East between Israel and its Islamic neighbors.
The party, through former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, has advocated reforms in the United Nations to halt corruption such as that which afflicted the Oil- for-Food Program. Most Republicans oppose the Kyoto Protocol. The party promotes free trade agreements, most notably North American Free Trade Agreement, Dominican Republic – Central America Free Trade Agreement and now an effort to go further south to Brazil, Peru and Colombia, although some have a protectionist view of trade.
Republicans are divided on how to confront illegal immigration between a platform that allows for migrant workers and easing citizenship guidelines, and border enforcement-first approach. In general, pro-growth advocates within the Republican Party support more immigration, and traditional or populist conservatives oppose it. In 2006, the White House supported and Republican-led Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform that would eventually allow millions of illegal immigrants to become citizens, but the House, also led by Republicans, took an enforcement-first approach, and the bill failed to pass the conference committee.
Political status of Puerto Rico
The Republican Party has expressed its support for the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico to exercise their right to determine a future permanent non-territorial political status with government by consent, full enfranchisement and to be admitted to the union as a fully sovereign U.S. state. Puerto Rico has been under U.S. sovereignty for over a century and Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917; but the island’s ultimate status still has not been determined and its 3.9 million residents still do not have voting representation in their national government. The following is the appropriate section from the 2008 party platform (unchanged from the 2004 and 2000 platforms).
We support the right of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a fully sovereign state after they freely so determine. We recognize that Congress has the final authority to define the constitutionally valid options for Puerto Rico to achieve a permanent non- territorial status with government by consent and full enfranchisement. As long as Puerto Rico is not a state, however, the will of its people regarding their political status should be ascertained by means of a general right of referendum or specific referenda sponsored by the U.S. government.
As of 2010, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 29% as Republicans, and 38% as independents.
The GOP is usually seen as the traditionally pro-business party and it garners major support from a wide variety of industries from the financial sector to small businesses. Republicans are about 50 percent more likely to be self- employed, and are more likely to work in the area of management.
Since 1980, a "gender gap" has seen slightly stronger support for the GOP among men than among women. In the 2006 House races, 43% of women voted for GOP, while 47% of men did so. In the 2010 midterms, the "gender gap" was reduced with women supporting GOP and Democratic candidates equally 49% to 49%.
While historically the party had been supporters of rights for blacks since the 1860s, it lost its leadership position; the GOP has been winning under 15% of the black vote in recent national elections (1980 to 2008). The party has recently nominated African American candidates for senator or governor in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland, though none were successful. In the 2010 elections, two African American Republicans were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The Republican Party abolished slavery under Abraham Lincoln, defeated the Slave Power, and gave blacks the vote during Reconstruction in the late 1860s. Until the New Deal of the 1930s, blacks supported the GOP by large margins. Most black voters switched to the Democratic Party in the 1930s when the New Deal offered them employment opportunities, and major figures, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, began to support civil rights. They became one of the core components of the New Deal Coalition. In the South, blacks were able to vote in large numbers after 1965, when a bipartisan coalition passed the Voting Rights Act, and ever since have formed a significant portion (20-50%) of the Democratic vote in that region.
In recent decades, the party has been moderately successful in gaining support from Hispanic and Asian American voters. George W. Bush, who campaigned energetically for Hispanic votes, received 35% of their vote in 2000 and 44% in 2004. The party's strong anti-communist stance has made it popular among some minority groups from current and former Communist states, in particular Cuban Americans, Korean Americans, Chinese Americans, and Vietnamese Americans. The election of Bobby Jindal as Governor of Louisiana has been hailed as pathbreaking. He is the first elected minority governor in Louisiana and the first state governor of Indian descent. In the 2008 presidential election, John McCain won 55% of white votes, and 31% of Hispanic votes, compared to just 4% of African American votes. In the 2010 House election, the GOP won 60% of the white votes, 38% of Hispanic votes, while winning only 9% of the African American vote.
For decades, a greater percentage of white voters identified themselves as Democrats, rather than Republicans. However, since the mid-1990s whites have been more likely to self-identify as Republicans than Democrats.
In recent elections, Republicans have found their greatest support among whites from married couples with children living at home. Unmarried and divorced women were far more likely to vote for Kerry in 2004.
Low-income voters tend to favor the Democratic Party while high-income voters tend to support the Republican Party. President George W. Bush won 41% of the poorest 20% of voters in 2004, 55% of the richest twenty percent, and 53% of those in between. In the 2006 House races, the voters with incomes over $50,000 were 49% Republican, while those under were 38%.
Republicans hold a large majority in the armed services, with 57% of active military personnel and 66% of officers identified as Republican in 2003.
Self-identified Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to have 4-year college degrees. Regarding graduate-level degrees (masters or doctorate), there is a rough parity between Democrats and Republicans. According to the Gallup Organization: "[B]oth Democrats and Republicans have equal numbers of Americans at the upper end of the educational spectrum — that is, with post graduate degrees..." Fried provides a slightly more detailed analysis, noting that Republican men are more likely than Democratic men to have advanced degrees, but Democratic women are now more likely than Republican women to have advanced degrees.
Republicans remain a small minority of college professors, with 11% of full- time faculty identifying as Republican.
The Democrats do better among younger Americans and Republicans among older Americans. In 2006, the GOP won 38% of the voters aged 18 to 29.
Exit polls conducted in 2000, 2004 and 2006 indicate that about one quarter of gay and lesbian Americans voted for the GOP. In recent years, many in the party have opposed same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, inclusion of sexual orientation in federal hate crimes laws, the Employment Non- Discrimination Act, while supporting the use of the don't ask, don't tell policy within the military. Some members of the party, particularly in the Northeast and Pacific coast, support civil unions and adoption rights for same-sex couples. The opposition to gay rights largely comes from the socially conservative wing of the party.
Religion has always played a major role for both parties but, in the course of a century, the parties' religious compositions have changed. Religion was a major dividing line between the parties before 1960, with Catholics, Jews, and Southern Protestants heavily Democratic, and Northeastern Protestants heavily Republican. Most of the old differences faded away after the realignment of the 1970s and 80s that undercut the New Deal coalition. Voters who attend church weekly gave 61% of their votes to Bush in 2004; those who attend occasionally gave him only 47%, while those who never attend gave him 36%. Fifty-nine percent of Protestants voted for Bush, along with 52% of Catholics (even though John Kerry was Catholic). Since 1980, large majorities of evangelicals have voted Republican; 70–80% voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, and 70% for GOP House candidates in 2006. Jews continue to vote 70–80% Democratic. Democrats have close links with the African American churches, especially the National Baptists, while their historic dominance among Catholic voters has eroded to 54-46 in the 2010 midterms. The main line traditional Protestants (Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians) have dropped to about 55% Republican (in contrast to 75% before 1968). Their church memberships have declined in that time as well as the conservative evangelical churches have grown. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, are overwhelmingly Republican and vote in line with the Christian right - George W. Bush received 89% of the Mormon vote. Bush also received almost 80% of the Muslim vote in the 2000 Presidential election. However, his support among Muslims declined sharply and, by the 2004 election, at least half of those voters supported Democratic candidate John Kerry or a third party candidate.
Since 1980, geographically the Republican "base" ("red states") is strongest in the South, the Midwest, and Mountain West. While it is currently weakest on the Pacific Coast and northeast, this has not always been the case; historically the northeast was a bastion of the Republican Party with Vermont and Maine being the only two states to vote against Franklin Roosevelt all four times. The Midwest has been roughly balanced since 1854, with Illinois becoming more Democratic and liberal because of the city of Chicago (see below) and Minnesota and Wisconsin more Republican since 1990. Ohio and Indiana both trend Republican. Since the 1930s, the Democrats have dominated most central cities, while the Republicans now dominate rural areas and the majority of suburbs.
The South has become solidly Republican in national elections since 1980, and has been trending Republican at the state level since then at a slower pace. In 2004, Bush led Kerry by 70%-30% among Southern whites, who made up 71% of the Southern electorate. Kerry had a 70-30 lead among the 29% of the voters who were black or Hispanic. One-third of these Southern voters said they were white evangelicals; they voted for Bush by 80-20; but were only 72% Republican in 2006.
The Republican Party's strongest focus of political influence lies in the Great Plains states, particularly Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, and in the Mountain states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah (Utah gave George W. Bush more than 70% of the popular vote in 2004). These states are sparsely populated with few major urban centers, and have majority white populations, making it extremely difficult for Democrats to create a sustainable voter base there. Unlike the South, these areas have been strongly Republican since before the party realignments of the 1960s. The Great Plains states were one of the few areas of the country where Republicans had any significant support during the Great Depression.
Conservatives and Moderates.
Republican "conservatives" are strongest in the South, Mountain West and Midwest, where they draw support from social conservatives. The moderates tend to dominate the party in New England, and used to be well represented in all states. From the 1940s to the 1970s under such leaders as Thomas E. Dewey, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, and Richard Nixon, they usually dominated the presidential wing of the party. Since the 1970s, they have been less powerful, though they are always represented in the cabinets of Republican presidents. In Vermont, Jim Jeffords, a Republican Senator became an independent in 2001 due to growing disagreement with President Bush and the party leadership. In addition, moderate Republicans have recently held the governorships in several New England States, while Lincoln Chafee, a former moderate Republican senator is currently the independent governor of Rhode Island. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine, and Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts are notable moderate Republicans from New England. From 1991 to 2007, moderate Republicans served as Governor of Massachusetts.
As of 2004, the Republican Party had remained fairly cohesive, as both strong economic libertarians and social conservatives opposed the Democrats, whom they saw as the party of bloated and more secular, liberal government. Yet, some libertarians have argued that the GOP's policies have grown increasingly restrictive of personal liberties, and has contributed to increasing corporate welfare and national debt. Some social conservatives have expressed dissatisfaction with the party's support for economic policies that they see as sometimes in conflict with their moral values.
by Howard Fast
"We took a group of wonderful children, and we gave them an abundance of love, security and truth--but I think it was the factor of love that mattered most. No one had a father or a mother; we were a living functioning group in which all men were the fathers of all children and all women the mothers of all children. We had to present an environment that had never been before, a quality of sanity and truth and security that exists nowhere else in all this world.
How shall I tell you of an American Indian boy, five years old, composing a splendid symphony? Or of the two children, one Bantu, one Italian, one a boy, one a girl, who at the age of six built a machine to measure the speed of light? Will you believe that we, the adults, sat quietly and listened to these six year olds explain to us that since the speed of light is a constant everywhere, regardless of the motion of material bodies, the distance between the stars cannot be mentioned in terms of light, since that is not distance on our plane of being?
If you could see how tall and strong they are, how fine of body and movement. They have a quality that I have never seen in children before.
Yes, I suppose that much about them would shock you. Most of the time, they wear no clothes. Sex has always been a joy and a good thing to them, and they face and enjoy it as naturally as we eat and drink--more naturally, for we have no gluttons in sex or food, no ulcers of the belly or the soul. They kiss and caress each other and do many other things that the world has specified as shocking, nasty, etc.--but whatever they do, they do with grace and joy. I live with boys and girls who are without evil or sickness, who are like pagans or gods--however you would look at it.
We knew that if we controlled an environment that was predicated on the future, the children would learn more than any children do on the outside. In their seventh year of life they were dealing easily and naturally with scientific problems normally taught on the college level, or higher, outside.
What is a human being? He is the sum of his memories, which are locked in his brain, and every moment of experience simply builds up the structure of those memories. We don't know as yet what is the extent or power of the gift these children of ours appear to be developing, but suppose they reach a point where they can share the totality of memory? It is not simply that among themselves there can be no lies, no deceit, no rationalization, no secrets, no guilts--it is more than that.
What is the meaning of mankind--if it has any meaning at all, if it is not simply a haphazard accident, an unusual complexity of molecular structure? I know you have all asked yourselves the same thing. Who are we? What are we destined for? What is our purpose? Where is sanity or reason in these bits of struggling, clawing, sick flesh? We kill, we torture, we hurt and destroy as no other species does. We ennoble murder and falsehood and hypocrisy and superstition; we destroy our own body with drugs and poisonous food; we deceive ourselves as well as others--and we hate and hate and hate.
Now something has happened. If these children can go into each other's minds completely--then they will have a single memory, which is the memory of all of them. All experience will be common to all of them, all knowledge, all dreams--and they will be immortal. For as one dies, another child is linked to the whole, and another and another. Death will lose all meaning, all of its dark horror. Mankind will begin, here in this place, to fulfill a part of its intended destiny--to become a single, wonderful unit, a whole--almost in the old words of your poet, John Donne, who sensed what we have all sensed at one time, that no man is an island unto himself. Has any thoughtful man lived without having a sense of that singleness of mankind? I don't think so. We have been living in darkness, in the night, struggling each of us with his own poor brain and then dying with all the memories of a lifetime. It is no wonder that we have achieved so little. The wonder is that we have achieved so much. Yet all that we know, all that we have done will be nothing compared to what these children will know and do and create--
I can hardly comprehend, much less explain, what it means to inhabit forty bodies simultaneously, or what it means to each of the children to have the other personalities within them, a part of them--what it means to live as man and woman always and together. Could the children explain it to us? Hardly, for this is a transformation that must take place, from all we can learn, before puberty--and as it happens, the children accept it as normal and natural--indeed as the most natural thing in the world. We were the unnatural ones--and one thing they never truly comprehended is how we could bear to live in our aloneness, how we could bear to live with the knowledge of death as extinction.
I must mention that two of our children met accidental death--in the ninth and the eleventh year. But it made no difference to the others, a little regret, but no grief, no sense of great loss, no tears or weeping. Death is totally different to them than to us; a loss of flesh; the personality itself is immortal and lives consciously in the others. When we spoke of a marked grave or a tombstone, they smiled and said that we could make it if it would give us any comfort. Yet later, when Dr. Goldbaum died, their grief was deep and terrible, for his was the old kind of death.
Outwardly, they remained individuals--each with his or her own set of characteristics, mannerisms, personality. The boys and the girls make love in a normal sexual manner-- though all of them share the experience. Can you comprehend that? I cannot--but for them everything is different. Only the unspoiled devotion of mother for helpless child can approximate the love that binds them together--yet here it is also different, deeper even than that.
Before the transformation took place, there was sufficient of children's petulance and anger and annoyance--but after it took place, we never again heard a voice raised in anger or annoyance. As they themselves put it, when there was trouble among them, they washed it out--when there was sickness, they healed it; and after the ninth year, there was no more sickness--even three or four of them, when they merged their minds, could go into a body and cure it.
By their tenth year, the children had developed methods of communication as far beyond words as words are beyond the dumb motions of animals. If one of them watched something, there was no necessity for it to be described; the others could see it through his eyes. Even in sleep, they dreamed together.
You see, by the tenth year, the children had learned all we knew, all we had among us as material for teaching. In effect, we were teaching a single mind, a mind composed of the unblocked, unfettered talent of forty superb children; a mind so rational and pure and agile that to them we could only be objects of loving pity.
(I must remark that the athletic skill, the physical reactions of the children, was in its own way almost as extraordinary as their mental powers. They have broken every track and field record in existence--often cutting world records by one third. I have watched them run down our horses. Their movements can be so quick as to make us appear sluggards by comparison. And they love baseball--among other games.)
We had spoken of either blasting the boulder apart or rolling it out of the way with one of our heavy bulldozers, but it was something we had never gotten to. Then, one day, we discovered that the boulder was gone--in its place a pile of thick red dust that the wind was fast leveling. We asked the children what had happened, and they told us that they had reduced the boulder to dust--as if it was no more than kicking a small stone out of one's path. How? Well, they had loosened the molecular structure and it had become dust. They explained, but we could not understand.
I mention one thing. They built an atomic fusion power plant, out of which we derive an unlimited store of power. They built what they call free fields into all our trucks and cars, so that they rise and travel through the air with the same facility they have on the ground. With the power of thought, they can go into atoms, rearrange electrons, build one element out of another--and all this is elementary to them, as if they were doing tricks to amuse us and amaze us.
What happened to people in the past who were possessed of devils, who heard voices? Some became saints, but more were burned at the stake."
Paul Davies's book "The Goldilocks Enigma" (2006) reviews the current state of the fine tuning debate in detail, and concludes by enumerating the following responses to that debate:
Omitted here is Lee Smolin's model of cosmological natural selection, also known as "fecund universes," which proposes that universes have "offspring" which are more plentiful if they resemble our universe.
One hypothesis is that the Universe may have been designed by extra-universal aliens. Some believe this would solve the problem of how a designer or design team capable of fine-tuning the Universe could come to exist. Cosmologist Alan Guth believes humans will in time be able to generate new universes. By implication previous intelligent entities may have generated our universe.
This idea leads to the possibility that the extraterrestrial designer/designers are themselves the product of an evolutionary process in their own universe, which must therefore itself be able to sustain life.
The Simulation hypothesis promoted by Nick Bostrom and others suggests that our universe may be a computer simulation by aliens.
The Biocosm hypothesis and the Meduso-anthropic principle both suggest that natural selection has made the universe biophilic. The universe enables intelligence because intelligent entities later create new biophilic universes. This is different from the suggestion above that aliens from a universe which is less finely tuned than ours made our universe finely tuned.
The Designer Universe theory of John Gribbin suggests that the universe could have been made deliberately by a member or members of a technologically advanced civilization in another part of the multiverse and that this advanced civilization may have been responsible for causing the big bang.
... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.
Some physicists have explored the notion that if the dimensionless physical constants had sufficiently different values, our Universe would be so radically different that intelligent life would probably not have emerged, and that our Universe therefore seems to be fine-tuned for intelligent life. The anthropic principle states a logical truism: the fact of our existence as intelligent beings who can measure physical constants requires those constants to be such that beings like us can exist. There are a variety of interpretations of the constants' values, including that of a divine creator (the apparent fine-tuning is actual and intentional), or that ours is one universe of many in a multiverse (e.g. the Many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics), or even that a universe without the capacity for conscious beings cannot exist.
Last revised July 2011.
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All contents copyright (C) 2011, Roie Philom. All rights reserved.