Summer Vacation and book writing

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

Its been a while since I’ve posted.  For me it seems that summer is more for relaxing and reading than for writing and all the activities of summer seem to get in the way somehow, but I hope to get back to being more regular on this blog.  What I’ve decided to do is to begin posting chapters of my book.  As time allows, I am working on the sequel, so you may want to follow along, or head out a pick a copy of the book itself.  Over the summer months I have picked up a number of five star reviews on Amazon where the book sells for just $2.51.  Below is the link to Amazon and also the first chapter of the book.


“Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within.  Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security.  The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

At the stage between apathy and dependency, men always turn in fear to economic and political panaceas.  New conditions, it is claimed, require new remedies.  Under such circumstances, the competent citizen is certainly not a fool if he insists upon using the compass of history when forced to sail uncharted seas.  Usually so-called new remedies are not new at all.  Compulsory planned economy, for example, was tried by the Chinese some three millenniums ago, and by the Romans in the early centuries of the Christian era.  It was applied in Germany, Italy and Russia long before the present war broke out.  Yet it is being seriously advocated today as a solution of our economic problems in the United States.  Its proponents confidently assert that government can successfully plan and control all major business activity in the nation, and still not interfere with our political freedom and our hard-won civil and religious liberties.  The lessons of history all point in exactly the reverse direction.”

Henning W. Prentis, “Industrial Management in a Republic”, 1943


 There is a Latin proverb – “Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur”.  “The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.”

Once again I find myself here, resting on the old grey steps of this farm house. Reflecting on all that has happened and what lies before me, I pause a moment and listen to the darkness around me.  I want to absorb it all and take it with me, for I do not expect to see this place again.

In the end, the nuclear bombs weren’t the worst of it, for the holocaust was not what people anticipated.  But the economic collapse, starvation and ghastly executions went far beyond anything imagined.  The blade that severs life and divides our future from the past still glints an evil eye across the landscape and I think only of the fate being left to my sons.

The stars shine as brilliantly tonight as they did in ancient times.  With the twinkle of an eye they greet.  We were partners, they and I, witnesses to things no man should be required to bear.  Much more than me, they were a constant in the maelstrom.  So I assemble here late this night, to abide again with the one companion who has observed my struggle, endured as I have endured and seen what I have witnessed.  For nothing is left untouched, except the stars.

The rustling leaves of the poplar stir my soul and the siding on this old house cracks and pops in the cooling air, relaxing, breathing easier. Once a thriving farm on the outskirts of town, it was abandoned when the city expanded, bringing a halt to its country way of life.

In another age, another time, I used to ride my bike down the lane, past these quarters, often waving to the couple who worked the potato fields here. It’s a pleasant memory and in my mind’s eye I still see them standing not far from where I now sit. For reasons I’ve never understood, the land this house rests upon was not developed and I wonder if it wasn’t meant to remain for these times, just as I was destined to survive.

A sea of housing flows past me on three sides and laps at the front door steps, leaving only the single field behind. An enormous church sits across the intersection. Though in need of paint, the boards sorely worn, it remains untouched and for that I am glad.  The surrounding sub-divisions are filled with burned out houses, shallow graves and lost souls. The people who remain resemble the sub-divisions themselves—beat up, lifeless, worn and weathered.

The church and this farmhouse sit at the intersection of town and country, much as they sat at the crossroads of both unspeakable trials and compassionate moments of sacrifice and friendship. Their constant, unchanging nature comforts and I employ the peace they bring—a balm for my aching mind and dying body.

Now the first streaks of sunlight stretch fingers of orange and grey across the eastern sky and I am reminded that I sit astride two centuries, though not as centuries marked on a calendar. What was new is now old and what was old is now new. The day will come when these people will look out upon a new dawn and a day without the bridle, the whip or the execution, though the saddle of remorse will remain. I wonder if they will attempt to rebuild what was, or if they have learned not to repeat the same mistakes. Oh how I wish it were true, but history, that wise old sage, will argue otherwise.

I have been left here for reasons unknown. A quirk of fate, unseen hand, or crack in time allowed me to slip through the grip that wrenched our nation’s soul to sift bone from sinew, father from son and hell from the pit. Just how it is I remain, an old man, left over from another time, I do not know.

My horse whinnies, as if to remind me time is short and I must go. Though regret would bind me to this place, there is one job still required of me.  Muley stomps his feet as I move to untie the reins and I leave you now to join my eldest son.


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