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Thursday, September 2, 1999- Well, it's been 3 months since I submitted my book to the publishers and I haven't heard anything. Indeed, how stupid it was of me to think I might experience any sort of relief beyond a very belabored bowel movement.
At any rate I'll continue my "apprenticeship" narrative for my own therapy, and I'll do it in the form of a journal. I've busied myself this past month doing drawings as best I could.
I still haven't made any friends here in St. Louis and am more lonely than ever. Maybe I made a big mistake moving back here from Kansas, but I had to move somewhere, and at the time it seemed important to me that if the end came it was best I be back here. Sure I had friends I visited during the day, but I was alone every other time. And I knew it was only a matter of time until those that I visited at their workplace during the day either got tired of me hanging around or moved on themselves.
On the positive side, I did get a pleasant surprise a couple days before my 54th birthday. Billie Murphy, Audie's sister, called me from Texas. She was real nice and mentioned that the post office was coming out with an Audie Murphy stamp this coming March. And she asked me if I would do a painting for the day-of-issue festivities at the local post office. I told her I certainly would. But I didn't tell her how dissappointed I was that they weren't using one of the 7 paintings that I had already done of him. I am happy for Audie's sake and it's a good thing they're going to commemorate his life. I went ahead and sent a submittal of my work to the post office, even though I'm sure it's too late. I also offered the USPS my services for any future stamp projects...that was before I got a real bad attack last week.
My feet have been burning nonstop for right on 3 years and I was just about adapted to it...when I suddenly started getting excruciating stabbing pains in my left hip and leg. It's the worse when I sit down. It's so bad that my feet hardly bother me anymore. I suppose the brain gives priority to whichever pain is the greatest. And this is real fuckin' bad. I can't believe it. I cried about it several days last week, and now I've just about accepted it. But I can't, and won't live like this. Just today I wrote out a will and had it notarized, giving all my paintings and writings to my cousin Joel, in exchange for his pledge to take care of Sparky and Pip for the rest of their natural lives.
I don't have a doctor here in St. Louis, so I'm going to a walk-in clinic tomorrow just to make sure there's not something physically wrong with my leg that might be fixable.
I don't think I'll bother seeing a neurologist. I tried all the muscle relaxers and other mind-numbing drugs a year ago, and all they did was make me nauseous and depressed. My only hope is that this pain will spontaneously go away in the next few days. Because I just about can't do anything the way things are now. I haven't taken a shower since last week because I never know when my leg is going to lock up. And the pain is so bad, I cry out, even when it cramps up in public. I can barely get dressed in the morning. Putting my shoes on is the hardest part.
If there are no further entries in this journal, you can guess what I was forced to do. And I'm really pissed about it.
Friday, September 3, 1999- Before that happens, though, I hope to give my Moses painting to Shaare Emeth as a gift from my parents, with their name on it. I need to do as many mitzvahs as I can.
I've been going to temple every Saturday and observing the sabbath as far as not doing any drawing or computer work. I've also been going to Torah study the hour before the service. But, as usual, I don't know how much longer I can continue to go, because I just don't agree with the liberal theology of Reformed Judiasm. I'll miss going, though, because I enjoy the worship service itself and seeing a couple people I know, Marvin, an old friend of the family, and Al, the brother of my Uncle Izzy. But I suppose going to sabbath worship services isn't supposed to be a social thing.
I just hope I can hold out long enough to get my website up and running, but it's very difficult with this stabbing pain in my hip and leg to sit down for very long.
To fill some of my painful hours of solitutude I've been spending some time out at Forest Park and at the Art Museum, but I'm not sure how much longer I can drive myself there. I would be looking forward to going to Temple tomorrow but I don't think I can shower and get dressed properly. I can't bend over and take care of my feet like I need to.
So I repeat, if there are no further entries in this journal, you can guess what I was forced to do. And I'm really pissed about it. Not bitter, just pissed.
Sunday, September 5, 1999- Well, there is a further entry, but I'm not sure how many more there will be. I was barely able to get dressed yesterday for Temple. The stabbing pain in my leg is its worse when I try to bend down and tie shoes or pull off pants. Sadly, taking a shower is still out of the question. I've been washing as best I can with a wash rag everyday, but not my hair. I hope to be able to try and wash it in the kitchen sink later today. Last night was the first night that I barely got any sleep at all because of the pain. I've still been crying a bit, especially when I think of what would be my best solution, just to be able to lay down peacefully one night without pain and with my dogs at my side and the three of us fall asleep. I just wouldn't wake up, and Joel could come and take my dogs in the morning. But I have no idea how I could guarantee I wouldn't wake up. Poison or drug overdose is very uncertain and if I didn't die I'd probably end up in an institution someplace. A gun is the surest way, but it's so messy. And I certainly have no money to go to some country where euthenasia is legal. If only there was a Dr. Kevorkian who was a pleasant young lady.
I hope to get my Moses painting to the Temple by the Jewish New Year, which is only two weeks away. I'm going to have the nameplate read, "From Norman and Fay Krause." I'll try setting up an appointment with Rabbi Stiffman about it this week.
My painting and drawing days are through and I'm thankful they worked out as well as they did...very thankful.
I'll go look at the book "Final Exit" today and see if there is any sure and easy way. Nut I dount there is.
I'm sending a copy of this journal, up to yesterday's point, to Mark at the art store in KC. I want at least somebody to know that if I do end things, it's not because I was mentally ill or a coward, it's because I just can't take the increasing physical pain and continuing loneliness anymore. I've done enough; I think God will not judge me too harshly.
I also have to do this in a way which will not be too traumatic for Joel.
Saturday, December 25, 1999- It's almost four months later now and I'm still here. God gave me a reprieve in September when the weather cooled off and, over a period of a couple weeks, the horrible pain in my left leg got increasingly better..until it was all but gone. Though the burning in my feet remains as bad as ever, ther things are going much better.
As I said earlier, I sent a submittal of my Audie paintings to the post office, but after waiting a couple months, it turned out that they decided to do their Audie stamp from a photograph. At least I wasn't beat out by some other artist.
I never heard from the temple about my Moses painting. I have the feeling they didn't want it because his pointing fingers are too intimidating for liberal Judaism.
On the positive side, Richard Rodgers put my Audie paintings on his website and I got a bunch of fan mail for a week or so. I've been going every Tuesday with Joel and his son Aaron for dinner, a real bargain $5.99 steak at Shannon's Bar, and then to the Banana Bicycle Brigade. They're all nice people and it gives me something to look forward to each week.
Because I still spend most of my time alone..working on my website. And it's shaping up quite well. I've had some really good reviews from people who have visited it and I'm hoping it may be my venue to finding an audience, and some piece of mind.
On the subject of peace, I found quite a bit at my high school here in November. An old friend from high school that I hadn't seen in 35 years emailed me that he was coming to St. Louis and that we should go to the high school to see my painting of Lincoln. I had put off going there because I knew I would be dissappointed. I figured they probably had it in some corner of some small dingy room. And I had preferred to imagine it in some grander setting. But I went to meet Gary at the high school anyway. And was I super surprised to see it hanging at the most prominent point in their beautiful library. It was better than I could have ever imagined. We spent about 4 hours at the school and it was like being young again. I took a photo of the painting in the library and have a framed 8x10 of it hanging on the wall right next to my pillow. It gives me great comfort.
And most recently, via the internet, I've joined up with some really brilliant modern realist artists and professors and collectors who have come together in a group called "Goodart." We're going to bring goodart back to the world and change the world in the process. We're getting ready to begin an online magazine and I am going to help.
I had to quit going to temple because I just couldn't take their liberal anything-goes dogma.
Anyway, today, Christmas, I'm going to have dinner with Joel and his mother, my Aunt Anita. Thank God, my boys are ok though Sparky has a small growth on his rearend that needs to be removed next month.
Y2K is only a week away, I look forward to a good year ahead, burning feet or not. Whatever happens I have had more satisfaction of late than I had ever anticipated and I will always be wonderously thankful for that. If only some financial independance could come my way in the near future so I don't have to worry about being stuck in an institution if my health, patience, and/or sanity, finally fails.
Sunday, January 15, 2000- Well, Y2K turned out to be a non-event. And my affiliation with Goodart is beginning to look like it will turn out to be a non-event. The guy that runs the show made a laughing stock out of me over an economic comment I made and things haven't been the same since.
I simply said that I hoped that Goodart might influence wealthy capitalists to set greed aside abit and to voluntarily use good moral judgement as their major motive instead. At any rate the members who visited my site didn't seem extremely impressed with my work anyway.
So I'm back in the same old leaky, painful, and isolated boat. But at least I have building my website to fill my time and I've made some really good friends through it, too. God only knows what the future holds. I certainly have no idea. I'm just really thankful to have made it to the year 2000, and with a peaceful feeling that I have indeed contributed something worthwhile to the world. I am ready to sleep peacefully in the dust, if need be, and meant to be.
I found out I had real high blood pressure awhile ago. And I found out last week that the medicine to control it makes me nauseous and depressed. So I'm in the process right now of weaning myself off it, and already feel better. Unless I'm mistaken, this is the endgame and I need to keep my mind as clear as possible while nature takes her course.
So I guess my heart will just have to keep pumping real hard for awhile until I find some stress relief. Not to complain on this present entry, but only to explain. I live in physical pain 24-hrs a day and never know when a new attack will force me to make the final exit. I can find no diversion in TV or radio. I only watched and listened to 9 hours in all of 1999. My feet burn worse when I watch, as they do when I try to lie down and rest. I drive an old car with 150,000 miles and real bad steering that just started to bind up. And for the last 3 years I've had to work the pedals with my cane because of my burning feet. Somebody broke into my car last week and stole my art supplies, because the locks jam if I lock them, so i leave the car unlocked. And I refuse to take disability assistance much longer. And I haven't been on a date for 15 years. And I've never owned a square-inch of... Shit...I'm tired of listening to myself complain. If only I knew I would never be shipped back to an institution and kept in a drugged stupor.
My boys are with me now and always will be. And the only reason I'm optimistic about my teluric future is that I don't think God would have sustained me all these years just to be cut off at the end like this. But I guess everybody thinks that about their apprenticeship and obviously many are cut off prematurely://
Sunday, February 20, 2000- Pretty much the same old stuff, but my social life has been increasing. An old friend from high school came into to town for a month and we got together several times. And I've been spending more time at the bicycle club getting ready for the Banana Ball this coming Saturday. I have a bad tooth but have put off getting it pulled until next Monday, after the ball. A tooth extraction is made more painful than it needs to be by not having the money to pay for it, not having anyone to give me a ride home after the general anesthetic, not being able to tolerate pain medication, because of my burning feet, not being able to lay down and rest while the pain heals itself, etc., etc. In lieu of all other miracles, I pray daily that I'm allowed to leave easily, with as little pain as possible.
Wednesday, March 8, 2000- I have been doing some long-distance talking with my good friend Warren lately and I have come to realize that both his and my own lifes' struggle have not been because there was or is something wrong or dysfunctional with us, only because we're different...and because we don't fit into one of the several niches society has available. I'm not bitter because of this, only a bit sober. So at this point I have decided to seek as much personal comfort (for myself and my boys) as possible, to paint a bit and work some on my website...until that time when the inevitable (one way or another) becomes unavoidable or available...and pray for strength to maintain my dignity (as limited as it may seem to the casual reader).
And I pray even more emphatically for Sparky and myself to be sustained through the surgery he faces next week.
Thursday, July 6, 2000- Sparky survived the surgery back in March. It was a touch-and-go struggle for about 2 weeks, but he recovered 100%..and the three of us even went back to walking everyday out at Forest Park...for a couple months anyway.
Then, 5 weeks ago, Sparky's back legs became totally paralyzed. The vet prescribed steroids. After a few days, Sparky started to walk a little, but then suddenly got worse again. Finally, the vet said Sparky needed back surgery. So I rushed him to an animal hospital at the University of Missouri at Columbia. They operated that night and for 8 days I drove 250 miles every day to visit Sparky and take him some lunch meat. He seemed to be getting better. Then suddenlt late in the afternoon on Friday, June 23rd, Sparky died.
I was hysterical, so my cousin Joel drove me up to Columbia that night to get Sparky. We brought him back to St. Louis and buried him where I can visit him everyday.
Pip and I do visit him everyday, but a big part of us died too.
Tomorrow will be two weeks since Sparky died and I know now that things will never be the same.
I buried my tarnished baby cup, the broken decoration off my Bar Mitzvah cake, my favorite shirt, and a couple milk bones with Sparky.
My brain just refuses to believe that Sparky will never come home. I had planned for years that the three of us would go at the same time, but it didn't happen that way.
I would burn every painting and every page of writing I've ever done if I could have my boy back. But it doesn't work that way. But at least Sparky is out of the misery he suffered for the last 3 weeks of his life.
"In Good Hands"
Thursday, July 13, 2000- Life is so empty without my boy. Everything I had hoped for in the future had included him. Now anything without him seems meaningless. I suppose, despite all the hard times I've complained about, I had been spared such a loss.
This time has given me time to stand back and think. In 1985 I awoke from a 20 year medicallly induced daze to find I'd missed out on the best 20 years of life. After grieving about it for a year, I consciously decided to set all personal pleasures and social comforts aside and try to make up for lost time. During the next 15 years, I wrote my book and did my painting.
Yes, I must say that I have made up for lost time and have done the sort of things I would have wanted to as a young kid.
But, now, I must move on, without Sparky, to somehow make a secure life for Pip. I've decided to leave behind any aspiration to make art or writing a career.
If necessary, I will try to get some part time work as an engineer so I'll never have to accept financial help from my parents. My parents, that's right. Until this time I've left all reference to family members out of this writing. But I no longer can. I owe it to Sparky's memory to tell the whole truth.
Yes, everything told supposedly as fiction in my novel about my family is true. And 3 weeks ago today both my parents refused to loan me the money to pay Sparky's hospital bill and the next day he died. And the morning after he died, with my dead boy laying in a cardboard box at my feet, I begged my father to loan me the money to have him properly buried so I could visit him, and my father said, "We'll see."
I'll write more later. I have to go out to the park with Pip and eat a Jumbo Jack near where Sparky lays. It's a peaceful place.
Saturday, July 15, 2000- I only wish I knew Sparky was at a peaceful place...but of course I don't. I know I'm not. I've been trying to find a cheaper place to live, but anything cheaper than the $545 a month I pay now seems to be pretty much a depressing shit hole. I guess I'm just kidding myself that I can find some part time work. My feet burn so bad that I haven't been able to watch TV or listen to the radio for 4 years. So how am I going to sit at a desk and do something I didn't like doing when I was relatively healthy.
As far as the burning, just in the past few days it's changed to a sharp stabbing pain, like someone drove a giant spike right thru my right foot. My already diminished ability to sleep a few hours a night has been further comnpromised and I'm getting real depressed. I've considered amputation for a couple years but the doctors say it might make it worse.
Many times in recent years I used to tell my boys, "When one of us goes, we all do." Well, my quality of life was marginal before Sparky's death. Now, I have to think real seriously about what I want to do. I don't kid myself that I'm going kill myself and wake up in heaven with Sparky. I just feel I may have completed my obligatory tour...and enough is enough. I have to think about it real hard. My friend Warren could take care of Pip and I would give him the rights to my omnovel, because he does take it seriously.
And at this point I need to apologize to the forces that be for sometimes appearing to have a Jesus-complex. It's just that so many thousands of synchronous events over the years have misdirected me to think that what I was doing was of some special significance. If I've learned nothing else over the course of my life, it's that connected events (unexplainable billion-to-one coincidences) should never be misinterpreted as Divine intervention. They do mean something as far as the reality structure of our experience, but certainly nothing divine...in this unpublished writers opinion.
Ae any rate the image below sums up my feelings at this particular time.
Wednesday, July 25, 2001- Yeah, it's been over a year since my last entry and I'm still grieving for Sparky real bad. I haven't missed a day lighting a candle for him and have missed only 4 days going to visit him in the park. I've been able to pass most of the time by working for a couple hours a day on my drawings, sitting in my car at Forest Park. I don't really enjoy it but it makes the pain in my foot a little bit better for a short while.
I've been doing a lot of thinking since Sparky died and I realize how animals are just as important as humans. So I quit eating meet as the year 2001 arrived. I also just really can't believe in any sort of messianic deliverance from God which wouldn't first deliver the earth and its creatures from humans who have wrecked it. I can't believe that there is a god of any sort who has allowed humans to do what they have.
At any rate, I've grown all that much closer with Pip since Sparky is gone. I painted Sparky into my Mona Lisa to honor him. Last month I went to Texas for an unveiling of my 7 Audie paintings in a museum down there. They really treated me well and even put my picture on the front page of the sunday newspaper. I was actually a celebriuty for a couple days. I even made a speech that was very well recieved. I was scared to death before I started to give it but once I got started I sort of enjoyed it. I had to speak very loud tot he seventy or eighty people because the pa system was out and the air coditioner was real loud. The ac was blowing right on me and it was real colol and that helped my whole body feel better. I almost had to yell ovedr the sound. And for a very little while I was under the delusion that i was picking up where I left off in 5th grade as class president. Here's the text of the speech:
What an extreme pleasure it is to be here in Audiemurphysville with you as a part of these very first Audie Murphy Days of the new millennium.
To tell you the truth, the last time I spoke in front of a group of people was to read out-loud a few lines of advice from Poor Richard's Almanack, 40 years ago in high school English class. And I didn't do too good (I mean well) then.
So, when Director Adrien asked me to say a few words, I only agreed for fear these paintings might be banished to the museum's basement if I didn't.
The few words I should say are simply, "I'll let my paintings speak for themselves."
But knowing I may not have the opportunity to speak in public again until my next childhood and then it may be to read "Moby Dick," I'll take this last chance to get some practice and I'll say something about why I did these paintings, paintings that I hope will in some small way help perpetuate the memory of a towering soul, a soul that lived for at least one tour here on earth as Audie L. Murphy.
In this year 2001, most role models, sadly, are over-paid men playing boys' games. Audie, on the contrary, was a boy playing a man's game, and playing it, not for riches, but for righteousness.
I realized this as I was working on this first painting, "Just Another Nightwatch." Thanks to the freeze-frame on my VCR, I was able to do it from a frame of "To Hell and Back." I had done quite a number of paintings of other historic or public figures that interested me for one
reason or another. And I had always found that the more I read up on them, the less highly I regarded them. But with Audie it was just the opposite. The more I learned, the more I admired. His motives were pure, his heart unstoppable. Indeed, he proved to me that "Right does make Might." Indeed, this little country boy's favorite girl was Lady Liberty...and he didn't care if he was destined to die to protect her.
A couple months after I finished this painting I came across the Audie Murphy Research Foundation on the internet and sent them a photo of the painting. Larryann Willis and Audie's son, Terry Murphy, welcomed my efforts with such open arms and gracious assistance, I decided to do another painting.
I had seen a publicity still on the back of the "To Hell and Back" video, but the face was too tiny to work from. Larryann sent me an 8x10 of the pious pose, and she attached a note that said, "Hope this helps, keep up the great work!" Coming from someone that actually knew Audie Murphy, that's all it took to send me back to the grindstone with my two little Dachshunds, Sparky and Pip, at my feet.
And, completely original or not, I consider this piece, "By the Dawn's Early Light" the best painting I've ever done. Doing a painting, at least for me, is a long, solitary process, and I add things to the picture just as much to entertain myself as to make any artistic or social statement. So I'll let the empty helmet, the Dove flying upward with the dogtags, the crushed swastika, and the illuminated cross on the mountain-top speak for themselves. Not to ignore, of course, the barely visible jeep and American
flag appraching a pair of cuffed hands that just happen to be praying.
Larryann also sent me a photo of her favorite shot of Audie and said she liked it so much because it looked like Audie was gazing at her from, as she put it, "the winds of time." Coincidentally, before taking up painting,! had spent five years writing a book titled, "In the Winds of Time," so I decided to do this painting, "All's Well," for her personally.
This next and 4th painting I did was actually the one I had considered for my first and only painting of Audie. But I had decided the face was not exactly the face I visualized when I heard the name Audie. So I had put it aside; but when ! got this publicity photo from "To hell and Back" I decided to morph the the older face in it with the younger one, and I came up with this face, "The Mettle of Honor," I spelled medal, M-E-T-T-L-E, meaning substance, the substance of honor.
Still, my hunger to portray Audie properly was not satisfied, so I decided to combine both his war and cowboy persona in one picture, "In the Course of Human Events." Indeed, "in the Course of Human Events" it becomes necessary for a righteous citizen to do things he does not want to do, but which he knows must be done...like metaphorically blow a hole in the evil head of Adolph Hitler and liberate the concentration camps in the process, enabling the folks back home to tend to their Victory Gardens and watch cowboy movies at the Saturday matinee.
By the time I got around to these 6th and 7th paintings I felt I had dealt with the warrior side of Audie enough. In this still from "Ride Clear of Diablo," I felt like Audie looked like an incarnation of the American eagle.
So I did this "Where the Eagles Reign," to depict Audie's passion for the great outdoors. And I did this final installment "Let Freedom Ring" to show his warmth for the totally human and creative, musical side of life.
So, I had done seven; why stop? Well, I decided that if I stopped at seven I could title the whole group, "Murphy's Seven." I liked how this sounded sort of like "Murphy's Heaven," so I went ahead and stopped the painting.
And I'll go ahead and stop my palavering. But not before I dedicate these paltry paintings, for paltry they are compared to the deeds and goodness of Audie himself. So, dedicate them I will, to Audie and his many buddies, past and present, who have given us the freedom to gather here...and to my Dachson Sparky who passed on to Murphy's Heaven exactly a year ago this afternoon , on June 23, 2000.
May God Bless and sustain the spirit of Audie's goodness through the millenial gauntlet ahead. Thank you.
But after the unveiling and the speech I could only go back to my motel room and cry bexcause Sparky wasn't with me and because the wporsening pain in my foot keeps me from enjoying anything. I went to a doctor last week to see if I could get it amputated, but he referred me to a pain clinic, and that doctor tried to block the nerves at my spinal column, but it didn't do anything. So..I just can't justify living much longer in this pain.
Pain or not, I had a nice little showing of my paintings at a church across the street from Wash. University and had several friends and a few family go to it.
My cousin Joel introduced me to a guy at a bookstore yesterday ewho seems interested in my book. So I'm thinking about signing the rights to it over to him in the event of my demise. And I plan to do the same with my paintings, to my Cousin Ronnie Gorman and hus wife Sally.
I've gained about 15 pounds since Sparky's death, for a variety of meaningless reasons. My car now has 189,000 on it and is giving me alot of trouble. I almost panic when it starts acting up for I depend on it for my sanity. I'd go crazy if I was stuck at home alone with my pain. Going to the park helps me tolerate it.
I guess the bottom line is that for years, for some arcane reason, i was holding out hope that the year 2001 would bring me some salvation, but...
In summation, it's amazing how all the unbeleivable coincidences have made me hold very unrealistic hopes. It looks like my pain, in more ways than one, is not going to go away, not in this lifetime anyway. But I've had more satisfaction than I had expected, so I can't complain...only bitch...
Sunday, July 29, 2001- I felt a little better about things after writing a few days ago, and I know I've mentioned it before, but I continue to live everyday with one overriding fear...the fear that this pain will force me to take medication. And that that medication will make me so sick, either mentally or physically, that I'll end up in an institution and forced to live out my days in medicated agony. And I will never allow that to happen. Never.
Sunday, August 19, 2001- Things continue to deteriorate. I'm starting to get stabbinbg pains in my face. I've been to a pain management clinic a couple of times, and after a failed nerve block, they recommend methadone. I of course refused. I talked to an old friend at the company where I used to wirk as an engineer to see if I could get some part timew work, but I never heard back from him. Just as well, I really didn't want to subsidize my suffering by... Oh, what's the difference. In summation I had hoped all the years of pain would be for some worthwhile purpose to be realized before demise, but...
I guess life and the infantile notion of justice is just nothing but bullshit. I've even taken to cursing god again. The bottomline is...enough is enough...and I've had fuckin' enough. I don't care what anyone else may say, I am not mentally ill except in two ways, if they be mental illness..I need a fresh mental challenge veryday to be at peacve, and I hold onto false hopes of salvation for too long..for alifetime to be exact.
Sunday, September 30, 2001- I need to apologize if I repeat things becausde I'm just not in the mood to reread the bullshit I've already written. Yeah, it is the same old shit but stinkier. I've begun to get all my teeth pulled out, a couple at a time, because I can't afford dental work. I tried acupuncture for my oot and it only made it worse. Pain medication is almost $200 a month so I of course can't go that route, even if I wanted to. A couple weeks ago the terrorists bombed the World Trade center, actually the very day I took my paintings down from the church where they'd been for 3 months. Just a couple days ago I started trying to foind a railer to live in, because I can't afford my apartment any more. Sadly, anything cheap in St. Lpouis is also dangerous.
Monday, January 28, 2002- Alot has happened in the past few months. I've been going to the Vetrans Hospital for medical care, but unfortunately i can't take the mind-numbing medications they prescribe, not even the medicine for my 200+ high blood pressure. Or at least I chose not to, considering the effect it has had on me in the past. A ugy in Kansas City had my hope up really high, saying he could get $50,000 a piece for my paintings, and, of course that fell through, after elading me on for four months. My parents, who had been sending me a few hundred dollars a month went bankrupt, so I dobn't even have money for rent. I tried working at a bookstore for minimum wages for a few weeks, but it just mad em horrible sick. It reminded me that for the past 15 years, I've only been able to write my book and do my painting because I only work an hour or two at a time, a couple times a day. And, of course, it was inevitable, my foot pain is getting worse and I can't find anyone to amputate it. Present situation, i lay in bed 15 hours a day with my foot pressed against the wall, just to get 6 or 7 hours sleep. I eat large amnounbts of turjkey hor dogs, and turkey bologna, and curry chicken and Church's chicken, because anything else makes my foot worse. My car just turned 200,000. I sleep in my clothes because taking my pants off over my shoes cause too much pain. I'll spare any possible reader the details of my bathing practices, or lack thereof.
Thursday, November 14, 2002- Well, I'm still here, and so is my pain and frustration. I've been working at the bookstore part time for almost a year now. I get paid $30 a day for 6 hours of my time. Working so exhausted me, I quit shaving for the first tike in my life and I have a scraggly beard. My father died in March. The few dollars I have earned went to keep my old car running for the daily forty mile round trip to work. Now, at 215,000 its finally finished. I spent my spare time all summer doing a painting of Charles Lindbergh, and when I took it down to the history museum the curator just loved it so I left it with her. But now, the same old shit, I haven't heard from her in 3 weeks. The owner of the bookstore is oyur all-too-typical supertight Jew. But I guess he knows a bargain when he sees it so he' been giving me a ride to work every day since my car crapped out. But I don't think that will last long.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002- Well, I been stuck here at home for a few days with a bad case of the flu. I think I cauight it riding the bus last week. I spend 3 hours on the bus now everyday to get down and back from my $30 a day job. I managed to get some money otgether for a different car a few weeks ago and it ran good for 500 miles until the transmission went out. I finally got a hold of the lady at the history museum and she said the big wigs are more interested in lewis and Clark, but she'll see if they want to display it in the giftshop or restaurant. At this [point, I gues in between the urinals in the mens room would be better than nothing. I'm posting a picture of it right here so it can be seen that I have not totally lost my touch.
Saturday, December 21, 2002- Quite a number of people have read parts of this bio since I've psoted it on my website, and lots of them said they enjoyed reading it and hoped it had a happy ending. Well, until very recently, I thought that was impossible. But now I realize it has become a reality. Maybe not a happy ending, but certainly a satisfying and meaningful ending, at least for me. That ending comes in a realization after all these long frustrating often ainful years. The realization being that since I was 12 years old and first relaized what a meaningless life modern society had to offer, I've been led to believe that it was because there was something fundamentally wrong with me. Now, 45 years later I realize life was painful because there was something very fundamentaly right with me...I was able to see thru the bullshit that the greedy shakers and movers have made of human life, and the irreversible agony ithas inflicted on the entire earth. Yes, for me, that is a happy ending.
Friday, January 17, 2003- Since my last installment less than a month ago the MissourHisotrical Society has shown themselves not interested in my Lindbergh or Lewis and Clark work and the Strategic Air Comman first showed an interest in my Lindbergh but then I never heard from them. I was at an all time low this afternoon...until I got the following email, an all-time happy ending indeed:
I too am an artist (though far from your caliber). The only time I was moved enough by art to cry was in the Louvre looking at Winged Victory. Until today that is. I got choked up looking at the paintings on Audie's Web Site, then I came here to your site and saw the proposed Memorial and openly wept at the beauty and intense impact of it! Thank you. Now I feel that I have to say something, give something with my own art. I really never felt that way before. I always measured how good it was by how much I could sell it for. I won't take up any more of your time, only to say you have forever changed how I see things. Sincerely, Jimmie Sue Bowman
Saturday, July 5, 2003- A lot has happenned since the happy emding of January. I supose I hoped I'd just fade away into satisifed bliss and turn to a pain-free dust in the wind. But that wasn't to be the case. During the frigid winter I began getting neck pains hwen I'd walk with Pip from the parking lot to the bookstore everyday. They kept getting wprse and I'd get out of breath and felt like I was dying. To make a long story short, it was my heart. One of the main arteries was 90% blocked and I gave into modern technology and allowe them to put a stent in. I felt ood for three weeks then started getting horrible stomach cramps all the time. It was from all the blood presure medicine. I'd never been so physocally miserable in my life. 15% of all people who get a stent in their heart have it close up during the first year. I gues I got th lucky number, because mine totally closed up abou month ago and I had to go back in the hospital twice. They put a new stent in but I still get some angina pains when I walk with Pip before work. And my sotmach cramps are continual. My diet consists of 4 baked potatoes and sometimes an eggroll every day to try and minimize it. My blood pressure is low now, except when I see the giant pile of medical bills I have no way of paying. Yes, enough is enough, and I told the doctors I didn't want to go on anymore while I was onunder the influence of morphine and that being born carried with it no obligation to subject yourself to suffering for as many years as possible. I'm lucky they didn't lock me up then. A couple of people have told me things could be worse, and I think to myself, "Yeah I know, but I need to make sure they don't...while I still can."
The whole situation reminds me of a couple sentences in my novel I worte over 10 years ago.
Mr. Sam said, "In the Pacific, I learned that with discipline and the ability to adapt a person can do anything - except live forever." Then he asked me what I thought about living forever.
I flinched a bit. "One tour is enough for me."
Tuesday, August 5, 2003- Just the same old stuff. I can't live with these gut cramps for 7 years like I have with my foot pain...and still counting. I'll give a very truncated summary of my tour status at this time, so you can see why I need to make the "big decision" real soon.
No I won't bore you with all the details, but just say muy only pleasure in life (other than Pip. a coulpe friemds, and my art work) was until recently driving my car out on the highay on the weekend. Now I can't even do that because of a horrible MS pain in my back. Of course I haven't been able to esscape life like most people by watching TV or listening tot he radio in years now. My pains get worse when I do.
The bookstore where I work and subject myself to the abuse of the owner is closing in a couple weeks and I'm too sick to look for anything else.
Yeah, i had dreams that being "dsicovered" as an artist would relieve my discomfort. But I now realize that;s just bullshit. How stupid I've been for so long. Now I need to be smart.
So is it really such a big decision?? I guess the logistics of it are.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003- Yes, you guessed it, I'm still here, too chicken I guess to take the easy way out. Alot has happened since last entry oin August. Over the course of the summe my doctor had been gradually reducing my blood pressure medicine, almost to the point of tkaing none at all. My pressure was still good and the gut cramps were getting better, even though I oculd tell the angina would come n easier when I walked, or hsould say hobbled. But, in all honesty my hobbling was becoming better almost ot he point of normal walking, until....Two days after the bookstore closed, where I hated work to work for the asshole who owned it but ebjoyed talking to the varied customers who wandered in. My doctor had cut my blood pressure medicine down to nothing the week before, and on a Monday evening I was sitting in my car in front of the muny at Forest Park, feeling pretty relaxed and pretty good that I had recently started an email group for my high school class from 1963 to talk to each other.
So I decided to go for a short walk wth Pip. Twenty feet out of the car, the angina pains started in my teeth, then moved to my neck, where they had lawayss topped. But this time, for the first time, just as I was stumbling back into my car, they moved into my chest and I felt like somebody had put a plastic bag over ny face. It was horrifying. I had hoped tp die peacefully, not in agony like this. I unable to dial 911 on my cell phone, but I did manage to hit the button that automatically dials my ocusin Joel. I blurted out to him where I was in front of the Muny and he called 911.
To make a long story short, wheen they ctaherized me the next day at the hospital they discovered the second stent was still wide open, but the trunk artery that fed all three coronaries had a blockage. The next morning the doctor gave me three minutes to decide if when they catheried me again in a few hours with some ultrasound thing they push up into your heart to see the exact details of the blockage, did I want a stent put in or did I want to have an open-heart bypass. He said the risk was about the same wirth either, because of the location putting the stent in was very high risk. I opted for the bypass. But wondered where I was going to go to recuperate for several weeks.
Anyway, when they did the ultrasound catherization they found the trunck artery wasn't blocked. It wa just oval shaped and had looked that way...but that it idd have a spasm. So they put me on new medication for the spasm and discharged me. Two days later I has the sort of attack, but worse. back in the hospital for the 5th time this year, they changed the medicine after endess test which showed my heart was healthy except for the spasm in the one artery. The medicine they put me on made me terrible depressed. But so I went home again, the gut cramps returned fully from the new medicines.
But now almsot two weeks later the cramps and depression are both gettting beter, and I'm hoping for the best.
Talking about the best, Gary Scheinkman took vare of the Ladue email group while I was gone and it is doing very well I believe. Of the 40 people I originally invited to join, 30 have. And it's given me untold satisfaction to know i've helped at least a few people get reacquainted after 40 years. From what I've read in the 350 or so messages that hav gone back and forth in the groups first month, I would tend to agree with the old cliche, "Good people improve with age." And I hope there are many more messages that are being exchanged privately.
Some of them have stumbled upon this bio so I'll have to try and keep the sobbing, profanity and bathroom talk to a bare minimum, ofr the time being anyway.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004- I think the Ladue email group is doing well, up to abut 45 members, and I continue to feel good about starting it. I figure any of them that might have read this so-called bio have already done so, so I can get back to brass tacks. Its been 6 months now since the bookstore closed, and I can't look for any other work because of my gut pains. To make them as mild as possible I have, for almost a yer now, eaten only baked potatoes and grilled cheese sandwiches. So, including the turkey bolgna I buy ffor Pip, I only spend about $20 a week on food, but it's still hard getting by on $900 total a month.
My Aunt Anita died about a month ago. She loved me more than y parents ever did amd I miss hewr much.
On a lighter note, my website is going good. I've been getting about 4000 visitors a day, especially to a page of humorous Swapshots I have. I've tried to find a publisher for the 120 of them in a book, but have had no luck so far. Not that it really nmakes a difference with these contining gut cramps. My feet, though or doing better, with my blood pressure lower and I walk 2 miles three times a week. I've lost about 35 pounds in the lasy year.
I rented a small stall at Ladue Antigue Galleries, but so far none of my stuff has sold.
Something noteworthy did happen back in january though. I got attacked by a 350 pound thug, and was able to fight him off. Obviously my adrenalin is stronger than my body is weak. An account of it I wrote up to send to the newspaper, which I have as yet not done and do not know if I will, follows:
To whom it may concern,
It is March 16, 2004 as I, Richard Krause, begin to write this account. I'll first mention a bit regarding my physical state as I feel it has a bearing on the blatant audacity of the crime committed against me. 58 years old, 5'7" tall, weighing 170 lbs, I have walked with a cane for the past 13 years due to one of many symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Additionally, I was hospitalized seven times in 2003 for a heart blockage. Five of those times I underwent surgical procedures to remove the blockage and continue to this date medications for a spastic coronary trunk artery in my heart.
To purchase a particular over-the-counter drug to deal with the harsh side-effects of said heart medications, I stopped at the Schnucks Supermarket in Overland at about 10:30 pm on the Friday evening of January 9, 2004, just days after enduring several episodes of heart angina and treatment for them.
On my way out of the store, a fairly well groomed and dressed, very large man came up from behind and asked if I had a light. I said no, and continued toward my car which was no more than 30 feet away, parked in a handicapped space.
The 6 foot plus, 250 pound plus man then asked if I had a way home or if I was riding the bus. I began t deel very uncomfortable, figuring maybe he was gay. Politely. i told him that I was just fine and began to search my pockets for my car keys. By that time this suspicious but soft-spoken man was about 15 feet past me, but then suddenly turned around and walked back towards me, scratching his head. He asked me if I knew where the Metro Link Station in Wellston was. I told him that I did not know and with keys in hand I began to open my car door. No more than forty feet from the front of the store in its well-lit parking lot, he suddenly jumped me, knocking my cane out of my hand and pinning me against my car while grabbing me in a bear hug. I was shocked and totally surprised. The thought that he was out to attack and rob me had not crossed my naive mind.
Holding me with one arm, he began began grappling for my wallet with the other. I managed to grab hold of his giant hand which was in my pocket and a violent struggle ensued. It lasted quite awhile and I started screaming for somebody to get help, because I knew I couldn't fight him off and/or keep him from getting away for long.
After what seemed like an eternity but in reality was probably no more than a very long minute, a few people gathered not far away. Even my super-surged adrenalin couldn't hold onto the guy anymore. He ran and I chased as best I could. Caneless, with a spastic knee and severe foot neuropathy, I harbored no foolish hopes of catching my assailant but did want to be as close to him as possible in order to read his license plate in the event he fled in a vehicle. Just as I ran out of breath and collapsed against a shopping cart stall, he jumped in a van. Able to read the license number, I began shouting it out repeatedly, screaming for someone to write it down.
A lady who I later discovered was one of several eye witnesses to the entire skirmish jumped in her car and chased the van across the expansive parking lot. It turned out she not only confirmed his license number but got the company name and phone number painted in large letters on the side of the van.
I remained motionless, breathless and feeling neck angina pains as a group of high school girls approached me. They offered to get a chair for me and cell-phoned 911. Still disoriented by the ordeal, as I had never before in my life, except in the military, been physically attacked, I nevertheless felt self-satisfaction that I had at least attempted to fight the guy off and keep him from fleeing. But at the same time I felt frustration that he had after all gotten away with my wallet and keys...and certainly would repeat his crime of choice another day.
The Overland Police arrived just as Schnucks' manager emerged from the store and helped me back toward my car...where I recovered my cane and to my pleasant surprise I discovered my wallet and keys lying on the ground, intact.
After some preliminary questioning, the Police, myself and the lady who had chased the van followed the manager inside the store and up to his office. For an hour we viewed surveillance tapes of persons entering and exiting the store, as Schnucks has no outdoor cameras. Finally, both the lady and myself positively identified the guy has he had walked into the store. He appeared just as both the lady and myself had described him and his dress before viewing the tapes.
After the kind and brave lady informed the Police that the assailant had fled in an Emergency Medical Supply company van and gave them the phone number painted on its side, I remarked to the Police that it must certainly be a stolen vehicle. "No one would be stupid enough to attack someone and then drive away in a van with a company name on its side," I said naively.
But the Police checked and it had not as yet been reported as stolen. The Police stated they had a strong suspicion the vehicle was indeed not stolen, and that the overlarge thug figured that since I'm not a very young or big guy and don't walk very well that I was an easy mark, that the thug thought I would offer no resistance to his overwhelmng presence and that he would stroll easily away with my wallet. They stated this was definitely a case of felony assault and felt this might be one of the few cases in which they would be able to apprehend and convict.
Also of interest, the same lady that later chased the guy across the lot and got his license number, told both the manager and the Police that she first ran into Schnucks and told the security officer a man was being attacked right outside the door. The security officer claimed she only worked indoors and did nothing. The manager later told myself and the Police that the security guard was wrong, that she was responsible for the security of both the inside and outside.
The Police informed me they would take a still from the video and show it to the company who owned the van, but probably wouldn't be bale to do it until Monday.
Still quite shaken, I drove home at about midnight, but could not sleep. Late the next afternoon I received a phone call from the Overland Police. They had already shown the video photograph to the company that owned the van and the company had confirmed that the suspect worked for them and was driving the van the night before.
I immediately proceeded to the Police Station and easily picked the man out of a photo lineup. I was informed it was indeed the man the employer and also the eyewitness lady had identified. I was assured a speedy arrest would be made and proceeded home. Though sleepless and exhausted I felt very good that maybe this one time justice would be done, and that my frenetic efforts at the scene of the crime had not been in vain.
The following Monday I tried contacting the Overland Police Officer who had given me his card. Several days later he got back with me and informed me the case was now in the hands of the Overland Detective Department. I was eventually, two weeks later, able to get ahold of the Detective. He told me that he was so confident he would get a conviction in this case that he had dropped another less promising case to take it on. It was also mentioned that the suspect had a rap sheet a mile long and had recently finished up a seven year term in prison. Furthermore, I was informed, the suspect had committed a robbery since mine and that they questioned him on my case for three hours while he was in custody for that crime, but then released him. The Detective told me the next step would be to convince the St. Louis County Prosecutor's office to issue a warrant for the assailant's arrest in my case.
Several weeks later, after gearing nothing, I contacted the Detective again and he informed me the Prosecutors Office had indeed issued an arrest warrant, but that the legal process was slow and that I would be contacted when needed.
I heard nothing for some time, but my heart seemed to be doing well even though I was still in continual neuropathy pain and was unable to eat anything other than baked potatoes and cheese sandwiches (as I had been doing for a full year) because of the side-effects of the medication. Nevertheless I was in relatively good spirits with the satisfaction that I was not only not so lame as to not be able to defend myself, but with the even greater satisfaction that I had been instrumental in being able to facilitate the eventual imprisonment of at least one of the countless criminals who people our society.
Like I said, I felt rather satisfied with myself and satisfied that the system was indeed grinding its way slowly towards a just conclusion...until Thursday, March 17, when I received an unexpected phone call. It was from a pleasant young lady who identified herself as Amanda, a representative of the St. Louis County Prosecutor's Victim Service Division. She said she was simply checking to see how I was doing. I told her I was okay and told her that I guessed the guy was behind bars awaiting trial, plea-bargainong or whatever. She replied that no, he was not in custody and that the case was currently classified "Inactive."
I told her that I didn't understand. "The Detective told me a month ago they know his address and that a warrant for his arrest had been issued. I was even told the guy was living wirh his parents and now employed by a temp agency."
"That's right," Amanda replied.
"What? Did he leave town?" I asked.
"Not as far as we know. I sincerely hate to have to tell you this," Amanda said, "but unless the crime is murder or a very high profile crime such as that there is no active attempt made to arrest. His warrant is in the system and if he is ever stopped for a traffic or any other offense the warrant will show up and he will immediately be arrested."
In disbelief, I asked, "You mean the Police won't drive a few miles to arrest someone who could have killed me and has even committed another crime since??"
"That is the prevailing policy," she replied
Emphatically, but as politely as possible I stated, "I do not accept that, and never will accept that!"
As our conversation winded down, I sincerely told her I knew it was not the Police force that was at fault, that it was the overburdened system which has tied their hands. Finally, I asked Amanda if she could at least give me the criminals name, which, to my surprise considering all the rights criminals have today, she did. When I asked for his address, she simply inofrmed me that the Prosecutor's case file is public record. She gave me the case number and told me I could go to the County Courthouse in Clayton and to view the file.
Immediately I drove to the supposed Halls of Justice. The first lady I encountered in the warrant office keyed the case number up on her computer and curtly asked me what I wanted to know. I told her I was the victim and I'd just like to look at the details of the case to date. She said the case was inactive, "So what specifically do you want to know other than that?"
I told her I wanted to know the guy's address amongst other
things. She replied matter-of-factly, "Oh, we're not allowed to tell you that."
I told her the prosecutors office had told me the file was public record. She scoffed a bit and eventually went to get her supervisor who immediately brought me the file. The guy was actually a little bigger than I had figured. He weighed 350 pounds. He was 32 years old and I got Mr. Charles Hervey's address. Later in the day I used the internet to get his phone number, and have since confirmed that he does with great probability still live at the address in the file, but 2 miles from the Berkeley Police Station.
I visited the Overland Police department, talked to them about it and was told that Amanda had been right in that only murders or similar high-level crimes warrant an active attempt to arrest. I reiterated to them, "I will not accept that."
They told me since Charles lived in Berkeley, the St. Louis Fugitive Department would be handling the case and they gave me the phone number. I called the Fugitive department and the lady I spoke with denied there would be no active attempt to arrest "Mr." Hervey. She said, "We have already mailed him a letter informing him there is a felony warrant out for his arrest and that if he does not surrender himself within three days he will be considered a fugitive."
I even told her that I had been able to get his phone number and had called twice and ascertained that he did indeed live at the address in the Prosecutors file. She asked for the phone number and I gave it, thinking to myself, "Isn't it nice that I risked my life trying to stop this guy, but the Police will not even drive 2 miles to arrest him, and even if they did plan on doing so, they give him three days notice...to decide if he wants to go back to jail or runaway or hide. I wasn't even given a second's warning notice before he attacked me. Maybe now that I've given them the phone number they'll give him a courtesy call to make sure he got the warning letter."
The lady at the Fugitive department did however give me the name of the Fugitive Officer handling the case and after I requested she have him call me, she assured me that she would have him do so.
He never did, and the icing on the cake is that just a few days later I received a form letter from Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County Prosecutor. The letter ended with the sentence, "I appreciate your co-operation. Your help is vital in keeping St. Louis County the kind of community in which we can all feel safe and take pride."
I thought cynically as I read it, "Doesn't he really mean a community where the criminal can feel safe?"
What are my motives for writing this account? To possibly nudge an arrest in my particular case, one case of countless thousands like it? To make it common knowledge that unless a crime is murder or similar no active attempt is made to arrest? To harbor asny absurd notions of changing the system would be too naive for even my idealistic self to contemplate.
In sad reality, it will probably turn out the only good done by this writing will be to get it off my chest. No, I will not accept that.
And maybe I just won't have to accept that. One Tuesday night, the evening of March 16 after spending the afternoon writing the account you have read to this point, I was around a group of people I know, telling them the latest frustrating developments in the "inactive" case. Someone told me, "Richard, you need to learn to laugh it off!" I got instantly angry, and even in the heat of the moment used a racial slur to describe the guy that could have killed me. Needless to say, I was now the criminal.
And I'm glad I didn't accept it and that I didn't laugh it off. Because, as I mentioned, that portion of the account up to this point was written during the day on March 16.
Big surprise, the next morning, March 17, while correcting some typing mistakes in preparation to send this writing off as a "letter to the editor" to the Post-Dispatch, the telephone rang.
It was Sargeant Smith o
f the Fugitive Department and he told me, "We've arrested Charles Herves and he is behind bars."
I thanked the good Sargeant and felt a sigh of relief. But not total relief. Charlie would certainly be back on the streets before long and I still had to live with the racial slur I had unwittingly used in front of certain people I knew.
At any rate, two days ater getting the phone call from the Fugitive Department sargeant, knowing that Charlie was temporarily in the cooler, I drove over and talked to the Schnucks manager that had been on duty the night I had been attacked and asked him if he could find out why their Security Officer had refused to do anything the night of the incident.
The manager was a very nice guy, but told me that the guard didn't work for Schnucks, that the guard worked for a company they had contracted for security...and only they were allowed to communicate with the guard. The manager did though apologize to me on behalf of Schnucks.
Lastly I needed to decide, for the first time in my life, if I needed to purchase a firearm of some sort to protect myself from Charles Hervey or his buddies. And I started to think about if I should afterall still send this writing to the newspaper to show that once in awhile persistance and giving justice a bit of a nudge can help a pretty helpless system.
Certainly to be continued...
Well, I guess we'll see what happens from here. I'm going to the Courthouse today just to confirm that he really was arrested. Then I'm goong to the park to eat my baked potatoes and cheese sandwiches and try to relax for an hour or so, before checking into how much a gun will cost. I'll try a downrown pawn shop first.
But before I end this day's entry, I must add in good faith that this problem with my gut might not be because of the heart medicines. Worst it might be a symptom of the MS triggered by the stress of the whole heart ordeal last year. For ten years in the late eighties and early nineties I had a continual burning in my hands, which I hadn't mentioned heretofore, which threatened my existance but I eventually learned to control and live with. Then came 8 years of burning and pain in my feet whicvh it now seems the heart meicstions have reduced by about 50%. But I can nor and will not live with years of this gut problem. It's torture. If it is the MS I am finished, Kaputski for sure. More later. I have an appointment to talk to a psychologist today and maybe I can have her relay to my doctors the severity of this stomach problem.
On another, more general subject, having nothing to do with heath problems, I jusr recently realized that I was born into a world in which there is no place for a person like myself (whatever a person like myself is). And I was surprised when I talked to two good friends that felt the same thing about theirselves.
Actually it is sort of funny, I suspected this intuitionally when I was 13 years old, but it took me 45 years to realize why it was so.
Two years ago a local art gallery which catered to fans of modern art rejected my work. I was down about it, until a friend asked me, "Richard, would you really like your work hanging in a place like that?"
Similarily, I now think, "Do I really want to struggle to live my life in an artificial world like this?"
Well, off to the psychologist, the courthouse and the pawnshop...fairly sure that at least the pawnshop won't lock me up.
Friday, April 2, 2004- I got a call from the Prosecuting Attorney's offic yesterday that Charle Hervey has already been indicted by the Grand Jury and that he will be arraigned before a judge on Monday April 7, just to inform him that the Grand Jury has indicted him and he will be going to trial. I was also given a number to call to see if he had made bail. I called and was informed he had not and that he was still in jail. I had mixed emotions. I feel a bit sad about being responsible for anyone being locked up in a cage, but I know I did the right thing in being persistent to see that he was arrested, because I know if he was back on the streets he would just attack someone else again. As mentioned he already had done it once since his attack on me before they locked him up a couple weeks ago. I'm tryng to decide if I should go to the arraignment Monday, just to get a look at the guy again and to let him get a look at me, to remind him that these are very real people he has been attacking.
Thursday, April 15, 2004- I got a call from the Victims Service and was informed that a trial scheduling meeting between the prosecutor and Hervey's lawyer was set for April 26. I was also informed that at anyttime during this process if Hervey decides to plead quilty a plea bargain could be arranged and sentence rendered. Since the prosecutors record contains only a sketchy description of the incident, saying Hervey tried to reach into my pockets and a scuffle ensued, i am trying to reach the prosecutor in charge of the case and fill him in on all the details, so as not to allow Hervey to get off with a hand slap.
Maybe Someday Soon?- I'll buy a gun, my mugger will come after me and we'll kill each other. Then I can title this bio "Just Another Aprenticeship and Mugging." Yeah, that sounds pretty good. What more could I ask for? I will have indeed saved the world afterall...be it but from one nasty criminal. Joel already has instructions to sprinkle my ashes where Sparky is buried at Forest Park and I'm sure Joel will take good care of Pip until he's ready to join Sparky and me.
Thursday, March 17, 2004- Well it's not someday soon and it's been almost a year since my previous entry and none of Hervey's buddies have shown up to relieve me of my gut pain. As a matter of fact Hervey finally pled quilty in November and I was asked if I wanted to appear in court to give a victims statement before his sentencing. I wrote a statement up and went to court. There were alot of people there and I felt a bit nervous about reading it myself, so the prosecutor offered to read it to the judge for me, as he said he often does. But when Hervey walked up in front of the Judge and the judge told Hervey that though he plead quilty the week before he understood that the sentencing had been postponed so the victim could make a statement. I had no idea the sentencing had been postponed just so I could make a statement, so I stood up and called to the prosecutor that I owuld read the statement myself. I walked up there and here is what I saidd, not nervously at all if I might say so myself:
November 5, 2004
Knowing full well that the court is already overburdened with the fallout of habitual criminal behavior, I'll be as brief as possible.
To the court, I say that Charles Hervey is just plain lucky that he is not about to be sentenced for causing my death. Last January he deceptively and viscously attacked me and pinned me against my car which was parked in a handicapped spot 20 feet from the exit of Schnucks Supermarket. He knew I had just left an ATM machine; he knew that I was half his size and almost twice his age and had considerable trouble walking...thus making me his seemingly easy prey. But what he did not know, not that it would have made any difference, was that I had already been in the hospital 7 times that year and had undergone 4 heart surgeries made all the more risky by the worsening Multiple Sclerosis I have lived with for a good part of my adult life.
So, knowing I could kill myself, why did I so frantically, and I must add, successfully, fight him off, then spastically chase him just barely far enough to get his license plate number before collapsing into a group of grocery carts. After all, I had in my wallet only $20 of my $800 monthly income. So why did I resist so desperately? Because I value my personal freedom from molestation and attack, i.e. my liberty, more than I value life itself.
Due to health problems, I may not be alive when Hervey is released from prison, but there are countless other citizens and law enforcement persons who try to contribute to, rather than detract from, our society. And, I increasingly believe they will be waiting for Charles' sort to step out of line...just one more time.
At any rate, in conclusion, I say to you, Criminal Hervey, think about your future very hard, every long day of every long year that you remain behind bars...where you and all your character-flawed, uncorrectable kind so justly belong...if our society is to ever to be truly free.
For some reason the prosecutor liked it and asked for a copy to show his colleagues. The judge then saentenced hervey to 9 years, 85% of which he must serve because of it being his third violent felony. The prosecutor said that the judge was only going to give him 8 years but raised it to 9 aftre hearing my statement.
I felt good about following the thing from finish to end and about keeping at least one criminal off the streets for 7 or 8 years.
But my gut doesn't feel good, even though I sold a painting of Moses for a good sum and so have some financial breathing rooom. My website gets about 6000 visitors a dday andd I feel good about that and the high school e-mail group continues and I feel even better about that.
Why did I pick today to write something?
Because in a few hours I take Pip into the vet to see what a growth in his neck is. I'll continue this entry this evening after I find out.
Wednesday, April 6, 2005- Well, its been almost three weeks since I took Pip in and its been a long 3 weeks because Pip is my whole life, the reason I keep going. He sleeps with his head on my shoulder, he rides with me everywhere I go, he knows when I'm upset and cheers me up by doing a little dance while throwing his milkbone around the room. The first vet took a sample of the neck growth and said it wasn't cancerous. He gave me some antibiotics to give him for a week, but they didn't help. Then he gave me another weeks worth of antibiotics and some steroids. I wouldn't give him the steroids, but did give him the antibiotics for another week and was just about ready to start the steroids. Because the vet had said that if they didn't work he'd have to operate. But before I started the steroids which are really rough on a dog especially a 14 year old one, I decided to get a second opinion. I took Pip to another vet and he took a sample and said it wasn't a tumor, but a saliva buildup from a blocked canal leading from the gland to the mouth. He referred me to a specialist to see if surgery was necessary, especially considering Pip's heart murmur. But thank goodness, if there is any goodness, the lump got smaller each day, until today it is almost gone. I'm waiting to make sure it doesn't come back before I can take a breath of relief.
In the meantime Google's computers arbitrarily removed my favorite page from their index, my illustration page containg my statue of liberty, garden of eden, and other images with a moral message of which I am most proud, many of them, including lady liberty ranked 1st in the world amoong tens of thousands of other images in their subject class.
But Pip is far more impoortant to me than my website so I'm not too upset, even though on top of t all I have to work in a dingy office at an antigue shop for a week, mostly just answering the phone and a few computer things and photo taking of antigues and old playboys for minimum wage...to fill in for a friend while he's on vacation. I'll be glad when the week is over and I can go back to doing my so-called aertwork at home and trying to relax drawing movie star faces in my car at the park with Pip laying in the seat beside me.
Forgot to mention that I've received a number of not threatening, but nevertheless suspicious phone calls in the past few months since the guy who attacked me went to the state prison so I went ahead and got a permit and bought a used gun. It was refreshing to discover what an involved process in Missouri what with all the permits and background checks and stuuf it is to buy a handgun.
Since its been over 30 years since I fired a pistol and I wanted to make sure the used pawnshop pistol worked, I went to a range and fired 24 9mm rounds, surprisingly all within 3 inches of the bullseye. One last thing, I forgot to mention that I''ve had two confrontations this month, one with a foul-mouthed cussing hotshot at the casino I've been taking my mother to on saturday nights and the other with a college punk at Forest Park whose big dog was running loose and started bothering Pip. It may seem like I look for trouble, but I don't. It's just that I don't run away from it. ..especially not the biggest confrontation of them all. The euphemistic Big Sleep. Though of course there aren't any dreams or morning awakening or feeling of ocmfort that you are no longer in pain that goes along with it.
Saturday, April 16, 2005- It's about noon and I'm typing this from my car out at the park. When my father died about 3 years ago he had an old laptop and my sister in Florida got it, but hever used it so she just sent it to me this week.. It's really slow but at least I now can type in my car. The old thing is only worth about $150 and I had to get a new battery which cost $200 but it's still cheaper than a new one
After I finish this typing Pip and I will find a shader place to park and eat our lunch...the same thing every day. I haven't eaten anything but food I make at home for almost two year now since this stomach cramp thing started after I started taking the medicine for my heart. Now the doctor seems to think its from the MS. I think it's a combination of both.
At any rate, before I tell you what I eat for lunch I'll tell you what I eat for breakfast everyday. My gut pains would be better if I didn't have to eat anything for breakfast, but I have to take a certain heart medication with food, so I eat a griled cheese sandwich I cook on a George Foreman grill which is starteing to wear out.
Oh, I might as well start at the beginning of an all too typical day. After sleeping with my shoes on and waking up several times during the night because of the foot pain, I finally get up at 7. I take some medicine at that time that I have to take on an empty stomach and can't eat anything for two hours. I have to take it with two glasses of water. By the way, water is about the only thing my gut cramps will tolerate so water is all I ever drink. Sometimes I cheat though. When I'm tired I drink one or two gulps of Coke. My foot hurts worse and my gut hurts abit, but not too bad. Any back to my schedule. It's 7am and I get up and start fixing my lunch and dinner that I'm going to take with me tothe park later in the day. Like I said, first cook my grilled cheese sandwich which I will eat in two hours at 9am. Then I microwave a plastic container of greens beans and carrots and potatoes with absolutely no seasonig. I fix seven containers of them at a time, once a week and keep them in the ice box I then cook 3/4 of a pound of ground turkey I get for 78 cents. I put 1/4 pound on a sandwich for myself for dinner and wrap up a half pound for Pip.
I put it all in a lunch box even though I haven't even eaten breakfast yet and am not going to leave home for the park for maybe 5 hours. I also microwave some popcorn which I will eat on my way out to the park.
In the meantime, it's about 7:30 and I start doing my artwork, my writing, or working on my website, whether its on my computer or in the bedroom where I do my painting. I stop whatever I'm doing at 9am and eat breakfast so I can take my second heart medication. It takes about 5 minutes to eat and gulp down another two glasses of tap water. Cold water bothers my teeth. Anyway whenever I finish my work for the morning I go shave and get dressed and dry my socks and put a different pair of shoes on, reheata ll my food and head out to the park with Pip. Usually I leave around 1pm, but that can vary, depending on what I'm working on.
Like I said, on the way, Pip and I eat some popcorn which actually makes my gut feel better. We find a shady place and eat our lunch, then I put my seat all the way back and try to relax for almost an hour sometimes and my feet and gut feel better. I nevr listen to the radio because for some unknow reason it makes my foot hurt worse. I know that spounds like its psychosomatic but a doctor told me it has to do with way the brain processes chronic pain. At any rate, after that if I go for as long a walk as I can with Pip. It hurts terrible and I don't really enjoy it while I'm walking but I feel better afterwards. We get back in the car and try to find some shady place in the park again and usually work on a drawing. I only draw faces, usually famous people, and I have over 200 of then on my website.
Before the afternoon is over, I usually try to drive over and visit a friend of mine for about an hour that works at an antugue gallery. Its usually about 6pm by then and I go back to the park and eat my turkey burger and maybe do some drawing or just try to relax. I try not to go home too early unless I have specific work I have to do, because I don't watch Tv fir the same reason I don't listen to the radio and wouldn't have anything to do unless like I said I have a special project I'm working on.
At any rate I take moire medicine at 10 oclock which take an hour or so to make my foot feel good enough to go to sleep, so I find something to work on until about 11 or so when I get lay down on my rollaway bed in my living room with my shies on and my foot pressed against a oplastic box. Forgot to mention one thing i take my cane to bed with me. If my foot starts hurting real bad I press the cane against my toes and it helps.
And that's the way the day goes with few exceptions. But some of those exceptions are positive. Though I don't go to the Bicycle Club meetings anymore, a friend from high school stops by a couple times a week in the late morning and we talk or work on the computer for an hour or so. And soketimes I give another friend of mine I ride someplace since he has no car......and I talk on the phone alot to out of town friends.
It's about time to end this long entry before my battery goes out, but I just wanted to mention that even though Pip's lump in his neck is almost 3/4 gone, thank God, even though I don't believe in God, so thank Goodness if there is such a thing anyway, I'm still going to take him to the specialist Tuesday.
Saturday Evening, April 16, 2005- Well, I'm still in my car at the park. It's still too warm for Pip to go walking at his age, so I might as well add a few comments since I don't have anything else to do on this Saturday night. For the past few months I have been taking my mother to play blackjack at the casino, but she's goin out with my sister tonight.
What I need and I'm sure I'd stop alot of my complaining is a nice girlfriend. But.... For the past 18 years since I started writing my book I've made no real attempt to find a girlfriend, thinking it might distract me from making up for my lost twenty years with my writing and art work which seemed until recently so important. Over the years since I started painting a number of women, young and old, have seen my work and showed more than a casual interest in me, but I felt I needed to get in a financial situation where I could afford to take care of a lady in high style before I could pursue any sort of relationship. But now I realize just some companionship would be nice.
Maybe I could join one of those dating clubs on the internet or advertise on the bulletin board up at the grocery store or in the classified ads, and saysomething like "single white male, almost 60 but looks fairly trim and fit, even though unemployed with coronary artery disease, multiple sclerosis, constant gut cramps and foot pain, and delusions of being a great artist...looking for a vibrant young lady to share both public and private moments with. I'm not really feeling sorry for myself at all. It could be worse, I suppose I could be physically impotent and mentally unable to frequently laugh at myself . But all kidding aside, the fact that I've painted the world's greatest portraits of Moses, Audie Murphy, Charles Lindbergh, Ronald Reagan, Mona Lisa,and the Statue of Liberty ought to mean something to some naive young or old art student. Delusions about the paintings?? No. Not that it makes any difference though. And not that it should.
Enough for now, I'm starting to ocnfuse even myself. It's enough on this or any saturday night just be breathing the fresh park air and getting ready to take Pip for a walk around the lake now that the day is cooling off. I think my mood changes more than the weather.
What would I do on a date anyway? Tell my true love how I feel human beings are destroying themselves and the Earth and everything on it while we (the hypothetical date and myself) dine on mashed potatoes and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Sunday High Noon, April 17, 2005- Well, you might have guessed, now that I have this computer hooked up in my car I can cram your ear more often than ever and this entry is going to be the start of some of my philosopical and political blabbering maybe.
I left off my last entry last night talking about females.
Well, when I got home after giving a friend a ride to a so-called modern art opening, which I refused to even go in and look at, I checked my email and found a real nice email from a female.
She had visited my website and just wanted to tell me it was the greatest thing, that she enjoyed the humor so much, and that she thinks it's great how I give it out for free and that she was going to hang my pictures in her boudour. When I get home tonight I'll get the exact text of the message so you can read it for yourself. And I got home and here it is:
While researching for something serious one cloudy morning, i stumbled upon your website. it's hilarious, to say the least. you are so gifted, whoever you are. humor is your gift to the world. we all need to laugh at ourselves more often than we're willing to. another gift of yours is your generosity--imagine, you're giving your artwork for free?! does this mean i could print them out and paper my boudoire walls with them?
thank you, thank you, and thank you! and i wish you more fun-filled creative hours of using your gifts to the hilt!
May the Farce Be With You! Theresa
Anyway, I felt real good about it...for awhile. Now I get on the average of 5-10,0000 visitors to my site each day. So that would come to about 2 Million a year. Just about the number Jay Leno gets each night. But even if I could get 2 million a day instead of 2 million a year, is that really what I want to do? Do I really want to entertain large numbers of people, or any people at all for that matter? Because mass entertainment does one real big thing, by making people laugh it diverts their minds from the real problems in the world, problems that are bigger and worse than ever in the history of not only human beings but in the history of our planet.
What would people do without the diversions of mass humor and other forms of mass entertainment? They'd go crazy, because they'd have to think about the oh so serious things that entertainment helps us not think about or dismiss as harmless.
What would happen if suddenly all the TV's and radios in the world went dead. If people didn't first go crazy and bring on a total collapse of society, they would be forced to find satisfaction in their own lifes. They'd no longer be content to go to their assembly line job without being able come home and gulp a beer or sip a glass of fine wine while watching a football game or a moving drama or hilarious comedy on television. They'd have to find their own enjoyment and fulfillment in life and they'd discover how difficult, if not impossible it is in the world today.
The human brain took millions of years to evolve (well, there goes my religious readers), and our brain evolved to be unsatisfied if it could not constantly be performing creative survival tasks. But where are these tasks today??? Of course, I don't exclude myself from this monumental dilemma.
Monday, April 18, 2005- I'm in the car again and Pip and I just finished eating the same lunch we did yesterday. I also just finished spending two hours trying to correct the format of this chapter because after I finish typing on this laptop computer I take it home and the only way I have to get it on my main computer is to email it to myself...and the format gets all messed up in the process. Anyway, back to yesterday, I met at the art museum with two high school friends just for a half hour. It was good to see them.
But anyway I'm going to just try abd relax with Pip out here today if we can find some good shade, because I have to take him to the specialist tomorrow. The lump in his neck is much better, but not gone.
Friday, April 22, 2005- I was wrong about Pip's appointment. It's not until the 26th. My dejection continues, but at least it's easier to type in the car now. Instead of having to get a bunchh of converters and adaptors hooked up to the car battery I now have a new battery for inside the computer and simply turn it on. Much easier.
I did do some writing yesterday on something I might call The HumaniFest, a rather depressing but I feel accurate overall assessment of the state of the human experience or I should say experiment, but I've decided it to make it a separate thing from this so-called autobiography bullshit.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005- Well, I took Pip to the specialist today. I guess the hardest part was making him go without any food for about 15 hours before. The specialist said it would best be just to watch the lump and if it doesn't get more than twice the size it is now not to worry about it. He said even if it does get big, surgery is not mandatory. A vet can just drain the leaking saliva out of his neck every couple months maybe. But he did say Pip''s teeth needed to be cleaned before too many months because if they get infected it could harm his heart which already has a murmer. And they have to give him a general anesthetic to do that.
They also drew some blood and are doing a lab workup on it to check all his organs. They're supposed to call me within the next few hours. The visit cost $240 but I actually enjoyed spending it even if it is what we spend on food for 10 weeks.
I've been watching dollar dvd's of old tv shows like Ozzie and Harriet and Bonanza on my computer at home at night to help pass the time. Life seemed so black and white, good and bad, right and wrong inj those old shows back then. But I guess in reaality that real life even back then was notr so simple.
The same lady that bought my Moses painting is now interested in buying my Statue of Liberty "With Goodness We Grow" painting, so I've been retouching, fine tuning it a bit. I really don't mind parting with my paintings nw that I don't have any delusions that I'm going to have a grand showing of them someday. I'm in my car at the park and it's raining off and on and my top leaks so I'll sign off now until I hear from the doctor.
Thursday, April 28, 2005- You'd think for the $250 I paid the doctors office up-front they would have called me like they said they would, but I ended up calling them and they gave me the very good news that Pip's blood work-up looks good. I guess that means all his organs are functioning properly. It just hurts me so bad when I see how he's slowing down though. I carry him whenever we come to a fairly steep hill. So now I just check Pip's neck several times a day and hope it doesn't start getting any bigger.
The last couple days I've been editing on the computer in my car the 40 page synopsis I write for my big 600 page book...with plans that I may eventually gather the will and the energy to re-edit the entire thing...edit 14...the first since the 13th which I did over 13 years ago when I thought the book was done. I should be ready to put this synopsis on my website in a few days.
If I do it, it will take about 3 months or 90 days editing an average 6+ pages a day of the entire big book. But I'm not sure it's worht it, as I can now look at it more objectively after 13 years and see the characters are caricatures, the language is too florid, and the story sort of silly and far-fetched. But I just hate to flush 5 years of work down the drain. Maybe I can find someone to help me edit it and give them 50% of the credit and moneys, if any, from the book.
Does anyone reading this disjointed bio on my website want to volunteer??
I suppose I really have to just go ahead and do it myself. But I'm not sure I can. Years ago I thought for sure as soon as I finished I would find a publisher. Now I hold no such false hopes. Nevertheless, just for the people who read it on my website I want to depart this world knowing it was in someway representative of my own thoughts on things, trivial, monumental, or otherwise.
I've taken to drinking half a cup of Coca Cola in the asfternon to give me some extra energy. But so you odn't think I'm totally unproductive, I did a swapshot of Glen Campbell as Souperman this morning, worked on my synopsis as I said and am now going to start a drawing of Lorne Greene. I already did drawings of Dan Blocker and Pernell in the past week. I watch these dollar dvd's of Bonanza before bed now and felt like doing drawings of all four of the Cartwrights. I did one of Michael Landon 4 or 5 years ago. That's all for now. My battery is running low.
Thursday, May 5, 2005- I had one major buildup and letdown in the past week having to do with my so-called art. The same lady that bought my Moses painting about 7 months ago called and said she wanted me to come to the synagogue where she donated it and make a statement at the unveiling. I placated her by saying I would. I did appreciate the poffer but I really have nothing to say about the goodness of a god while I'm instide a polished up, germ free temple while millions of people and hundreds of millions of animals are suffering in squalor while a handful of homo spaiens float on their sweet donut in a cess pool they made but have isolated themselves from. At any rate, I'm wandering again. The lady also said she was interested in buying my Statue of Liberty painting, the one which is ranked by Google as second most popular image if the Statue in the world. Hedr and her husband came over and her husband looked at all my work which I have plastered all over my apartment and told me that god had given me a golden brain, a golden touch...no, a magnificently brilliant one. I thanked him for his kind comment and they asked me how much I owuld sell the Liberty painting for. I said I really hadn't thought about it and would have to think about it for a day or two and I'd give them a call.
I had mixed emotions about itt. The money I could have used to live on for almost a year..but live on to do what??? I had hoped to someday have the painting on public display. with the poem I wrote for it, "Young or old, moneyed or wanting, lame or fortunate, abandon your diversions of greed and revery. Flood my torch with only your goodness and together our spirits will soar forever." There is a sash across Lady Liberty which reads, "With Goodness We Grow." But I did need the money. But the lady called the next day and said she liked the little print of it that I gave her better than the large painting. So i aced myself out, I guess you could say. I just hope my car's air conditioner makes it throu the summer hwich is about to begin.
At any rate, the reason I happened to decide to write something today is because a received an interesting email today from someone in Brazil who had read my autobiography on my website. When I get home I'll insert it in this entry and make a few comments on it maybe.
My life has nothing to do with god, but the email did get me to start thinking once again about the thousands of strange coincidences that have occured in my life. I know that many similiar things happen to other people but some these I think are sort of bizzare, humorous, or terribly sad. I'll probably insert the letter tonight and start typing again right here about those coincidences or connected eevents tomorrow as I sit here in my car with Pip beside me as he is now. Right now we have to go for our walk. Pip's one eye lid is now swollen but Sparky had the same thing and some ointment eventually got rid of it, so I'm not too worried..poor guy. He doesn't seem to be in pain though. On second thought maybe I'll make a list of as many of the connected events as I can recall and compile them in a separate appendix to this autobiography. I'll see.
One last thing. Actually gettting the email today was sort of a mild connected event. Just this morning a friend of mine offered to help me rewrite my big so-called omnovel which I haven't workrked on in 13 years, but I thought maybe it would be better just to have him help me work on this autobiography, to take out the parts which sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself. My webstats show about 20,000 people have read parts of this bio in the past 5 years since its been on my website but today I got the first email from a reader about it...the same day for the first time in about 7 years since I started writing it that I htought about ahving oseone help me edit it. No big deal, but worth mentioning.
One big deal worht mentioning. I type with only two fingers and just starting the past couple years my one finger increasingly osmetimes gets ahead of the other, thus many of the words aqren't really misspelled they just have pairs of letters reversed. Sorry, but what do you expect for free??:)
I'm home now and here's the misguided but well-intentioned email I received this morning and mentioned this afternoon and will comment on tomorrow or soon anyway:
The last 3 hours I read your "Just another apprenticeship" and frankly I don´t know what to say...
It can´t be invented...
The only thing is that I just cannot accept that God would put you up through so much suffering without equivalent compensation on the bright side. Either you are a new Van Gogh that we will be hearing from after you die or... you have a filter that does not allow you to tell just about everything your life is all about...
A couple of years ago Van Goghs letter´s to his brothers were unveilled and an editor from National Geografic took a sabatic and did not only a through research on them, but repeated all the routine they refflected.
You should read it.
Best Regards from Brazil,
Roque Ehrhardt de Campos
Friday, May 6, 2005- As you can see in the email above,Rogue says he cannot accept that God would put a person through so much suffering without equivalent compensation on the bright side. First, of all, many, if not the majority of people have considerable suffering thru their life; it's just that most of them don't write aabout it. And my whole life isn't about suffering. I've had some very bright spots scattered here and there and a number of good friends.
Yes, I admit, for reasons having to do with the kind of person I am and my aspirations in life and my inability to fulfill those rather unrealistic aspirations, I have never really enjoyed a single entire day since my early teens..but that has nothing to do with god...it has to do with me and the world I was born into.
By saying I never enjoyed an entire day I meant that even if I had a happy time with a girlfriend or at a party, after it was over for the day, my mind would always remember that I had not yet done what I felt I needed to do to justify and/or earn my existance.
At any rate, even if I was the most tortured soul on earth, why does there need to be a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Do not millions who lives in third-world squalor for their entire or millions of osldiers who suffer intolerable hardships, do not they die every day without some bright light balancing out their pain?
But I am getting off the track and right now do not have the patience to explain more lucidly what I am getting at. But I have decided, as I mentioned yesterday, to relate some of the unusual connected events that have occured to me over the years. I think you, the reader, might find them interesting and might understand that I, myself, for a time thought I might be some sort of operative of god or when when they were negative events, maybe even an operative of the devil...though I now believe now neither a god or a devil as we understand them do exist. But I do believe there do exist things related to what we label time and reality that we have no knowledge of and that we probably never will and I also believe there is definitely some sort of collective awareness and possible higher level of awareness that some could call god. But I believe this god-like collective awareness is neither omnipotent nor righteous. I believe it is simply a product of all its components.
Anyway I'm going of onto a tangent and will now refocus to describe some connected events to not only excplain why I once thought I hasd some sort of special mission but also to possibly let some people know there are some humbling forces or at least universal elements of somehting which we may be but a small part which we have no knowledge of.
Most people call them coincidences, simply random in nature. Most professionals in the metaphysical speculation field call them "synchronicities." I simply call them "cennected events," events that are connected in some way other than random occurence, but in a way which we have no knowledge of.
I know I have already mentioned a number of them here and there over the course of this bio, but I don't remember which ones and am too lazy to reread the whole thing. So I apologize if I am repeating myself.
It would seem logical that I begin at the beginning of my life, but I will instead first point out a series of events very recent because they relatye to the lower than sual mood you can tell I have been in recently.
I never mentioned this before because I felt it might upset the person involved, but I now realize there is nothing for her to be upset about. She did not cause these events to take place and is not responsible for my silliness and never did a single thing to encourage any romantic hopes on my part.. Anyway, about 4 years ago I met and became friends with a 30-year old school teacher who belonged to the bicycle club I used to go to every week. I'll call her Sally Acres, for indeed she does have an uncommon last name. Sally was so very nice to everybody. Charming...beyond description. I saw her as an angel, and always enjoyed talking with her every week when the group would meet.
Actually, the first time a cnnected event occured was while I was describing another connected event to several people including Sally.
I was telling them that just a few weeks before I had told my father for the first time in my ife that if I evr had the money I wanted to rent my grandparentts old and now vacant dry goods store and use it to live in and have a small studio. I had visited the old store many times the couple years before, since I had moved back to St. Louis from Kansas after spending 20 years there. I was very fond of my grandparents and visiting their store were they both lived and worked for 40 years made me feel very close to them. Any way, I told my friends at the club that the Southwest Bank had owned the building where their store was since the it was built in the 1920's and my grandparents had rented it from them. And I complained to ym friends that after telling my father I'd like to rent it someday, within a week the Southwest Bank sold the building after owning it for 80 years and that the building was going to be gutted.
Sally suddenly spoke up and asked me where the store was. I said that it was in South St. Louis. She said that she lived in South St. Louis, which I had no idea of, because the club met in the downtown area of St. Louis. So I tolds her where it was...and she told me she lived just a few houses down the street from it. And St. Louis is a big place.
So I of course took this as a rare coincidence. A girl I was very fond of lived right next to a place I was very fond of. It mad me prematurely jump to a conclusion htat just maybe htis young lady I so adore is the light at the end of my tunnel.
Many other connected events happened with Sally, but I'll only mention the most noteworthy. When I was in the hospital for my heart, Sally called me on the phone for the first time and wished me well. I was one my cell phone an hour later in a room waiting for osme high tech xenon-gas breathing examination, asking a friend of mine if he could guess who just called me, the person most in the world I would want to call me. Just as he guessed it and said Sally Acres, a nurse poked her head around the corner of the room three of us in wheelchairs were in and called out, "Mr. Acres, you're next." It looked like she was looking at me but she was actually calling the guy next to me. I asked if Mr. Acres had a relative named sally but he said no.
Anyway, when I got back to my room I checked the phone book annd there were less than ten people with the last name Acres (or her real , just as unusual, last name) in a phone book of a million or more.
Though Sally seemed to think highly of me, I never asked her out because I didn't want to ruin a friendship...especially considering I was probably older than her father. At any rate, she had not had a boyfriend that I knew of for a few years, but she was getting ready to go on a summer vacation to the Bahamma and I teased her that I hoped she wasn't running off with some Don juan without asking her friends permission. She said that she wasn;'t. But as it turned out it was very shortly after that, possibly on the vacation itself, that she did meet a guy that she started going with. To get to the point of this particular connected event, it was about a week before Valentines Day and I ws walking down the aisle at the discount grocery store where I shop. They have a lot of cheap dollar items that would have mad e a nice valentines day gift for Sally. But I didn't get one, because I felt it owuld be worng now that she had a boyfriend. So I picked up my big sack of potatoes, which is about all I was able to eat, and heade4d home. Several days later, the night before the last time I would see Sally before Valentines day, i reached into the potato sack and pulled out the last potato. I was shocked. It was in the perfect shape of a heart. I showed it to many people and even took a picture of it (which I'll put in here when I get home) and no one had ever seen anything like it. I still wasn't going to give it to Sally, but I told the story to her cousin and he said I should give it to her. So I told her the story behind it and gave it to her and told her she should cook it and her and her boyfriend couldd each eat half.
Another connected event with Sally, I discovered her boyfriend lived two house from where I was born..and like I said St. Louis is a big plac. So I dared the think that just maybe Sally would osmeday breakup with her boyfriend, who I happen to have gotten to know and is a very good guy and I'm sure will make Sally happy. He's actually 6 years younger than Sally. But just a number month ago Sally announced they were getting married in June of this year. IOn one hand I was happy for Sally, because I know she loved her boyfriend and he loved her..but on the other hand I felt selfishly dissappointed that htere was to be no light at the end of the tunnel with an angel I had admired for 4 years.
And that realization that those connected events were meaningless and I was indeed going to spend the rest of my life alone , along with Pip's health problems has made me more depressed than usual even though I know for sure Pip and I could never have made her as happy as she will be with her boyfriend whoI wil leave nameless. And thats part of the reason I quit going to the club meetings after so many years, because to see Sally each week was just like pouring vinegar onto an open wound.
But there are many more, more interesting connected events to be be related, some hasving to do with the girl I held as an angel for the 40 years before I met Sally. I'll relate that series of events tomorrow, then get back to the curious events that started even befoe i was born, hoping this entire subject of connected events doesn;t become to belabored for both the reader and myself. I plan to eventually relate even those connected events which will make want some of you to burn me at the stake for being a witch, which I might think I could be if I believed in such things. But, on the other hand, many of these events very extremely good things. Out of concentrating and battery getting low. Talk to you later my diligent reader if you or any others are indeed still there.
Sunday, May 8, 2005- It's been two days since I 've wriitten, and during that time I've tried to make a list of as many connected events from the past that I can remember. But I can only recall a snall fraction of the thousands. Anyway, I'll get startd telling you about the angel Susanna that preceeded Sally and the few but very interesting connected events that happened involving her.
First let me jump back. I remember a couple other events regarding Sally. Last year it was Sally's birthday and I went to a club gathering where she arrived and I met her boyfriend for the first time. I really didn't know it was her birthday but felt that day like giving her a littler gift. When I left home I found it on a kitchen shelf and washed it up real good. When I got to the gathering and discovered it was Sally's birthday I gave it to her as a birthday present. She loved it and her eyes twinkled as only they can. It was just an old glass mug in he shape of a cowboy boot with the name of some diner in Arizona on it. When I explained to Sally how I had acquired it she was amazed. I told her how I had taken a motorcycle ride to California just a few days after seeing Easy Rider in 1969. She asked me when it ws in 1969. I told her it was the middle of the summer, July. She said that she was born in July of 1969.
Additionally, the day of the gathering when I gave her the mug was the day after I had gotten mugged myself. My vicorious battle with Charles hervey was on a friday night and I called my cousin Joel a couple hours after it, on my way home from the ordeal after tsalking to the police and everyone, and told Joel about it and told him that the only thing I regretted was that Sally had not been there to see me in action.
Anyway, the next Tuesday at the cklub meeting, Sally asked me I could guess who she had seen monday evening. I said I had no idea. She said she had seen me and Pip walking out at Forest Park. For a couple years, I had always wished Sally could see me pushing myself to walk as fast and as far as I could and sure enough she finally had, just days after I tiold Joel I wished she could have seen me fight off the mugger.
So that's about all the Sally coincidences I can think of right now. So I'll get back to Susanna, as I called her when I briefly alluded to her in the first or second chapter of this bio. She was the girl that I sat behind in 9th grade for 3 hours a day and fell in love with but later discovered she only considered me a friend, or maybe even less. Anyway, like I also mentioned early in this writing I had been president of my 5th grade class twice, and they had to chchange the class constitution to elect me the second time. But a third term was forbidden, so the guy that finally replaced me I'll call Rob. Rob was a nice guy and actually a friend.
Let me point out that Susanna went to a totally different grade school in the district of maybe eight or so grade schools. But there was only one high school. And when Susanna started dating, she of course wasn't interested in me, but of all people she did chose to date Rob. This time he didn't replace me, he simply was elected instead of me....out of a couple hundred other male candidates. Of additinal interest is that the "goodly Mrs. Nielson" who was the 5th grade teacher when I was president and who I mentioned by actual name in both this writing and my novel, is now in 2005 the only teacher in the entire school district that is a member of the ladue email group.
Back to Susanna. I never really talked to her after 9th grade except to ask her out on a date a few times when I turned 16. When she politely and very kindly turned me down, I was hurt deeply, and as I have already jentioned even worked out with weights and got a varsity letter in wrestling, stupidly thinking that would chnsge her mind. Of course they didn't. And then I did soemthing mean that I regret tot his date. I wrote Susanne a cruel etter telling her she was self-centered and talked about me behind my back. Of course she did neither, but I hurt deeply and acted irrationally. She returne my letter torn up and politely told me she never talked about me to anyone except Rob and that was only about how interesting it was when I ran away for a week to New Orleans.
That was my last communication with Susanne until the day we graduaterd. Alphabetically, she stood right in front of me as we waited to be handed our diplomas and I don't know what came over me, but I didn't plan on saying it, but my shy self suddenly blurted out, "Susanne if you don't marry me, you'll never marry anyone." I really don't remeber if she heard me or not. But I felt horrible afterwards for saying such a cursed thing even if she hadn't heard me. But I eventually forgot about it, ut never forgot about Susanne. Untill about 10 years later, I was working as an engineer and I had a grilfriend named Margret who was a draftsman. She eventually quit working a a draftsman and got a new job, but we still saw each other all the time. One time Margret told me she was talking to the nurse of a doctor who was in the gorup of doctors at St. mary's Hospital where she worked. The doctor was one of several Margret did things for. Anyway, she had been talking with the nurse of one of the doctors and the nurse mentioned that Dr. Cole's daughter had gone to such-and-such high school. And Margret rememebred that I had mentioned I went to the same high school and told that to the nurse. Then the nurse asked Marget to see if I had known Dr. Cole's daughter.
Of course, Dr. Cole's daughter was none other than Susanna's daughter. And remember where Margret lived and worked and Dr. Cole worked were in a totally other section of a very big metropolitian area. A very big coincidence. Of course, I didn't have the heart or the cruelty to tell Margret i still thoguht of Susanne as an angel. And when margret told me that Dr. Cole's nurse said that Susanne, who was now about 27, never got married I immediately and naively started to wonder if I had actually put a curse on her and hoped I hadn't by tellign her if she didn't marry me she'd never marry anyone.
At any rate, the coincidence of Margret working for Susanna;s father served to make me wonder if it was just possible that this was some sign we would siome day be together. I was 27, but I stiil believed in miracles. So Dr. Cole's nurse gave Margret Susanna's address up on the East Coast and I wrote her a short letter just tellign her what I had been doing. I, of course, never got a reply. I'm sure she dismissed my letter as a nuisance, which, in hindsight I can see that that wss all it was. By the way, the nurse told Margret was a teacher on the East Coast of deaf children...and that confirmed inddeed the notion that she was an angel.
But there's more to the coincidences. For the next 20 years I never once tried to contact Susanna but the candle of my affection for her never went out. When i started painting at age 48 and got to the point that I felt I had pretty kmuch masterd my technigue, one of my first paintigns was of Susanna as Earth Angel. I used a full page yearbook photo of Susanna who had been the prom queen. Just so the reader will know I never really harbored anything but good thoughtd for Susanna, even though I wrote that ridiculous mean note, it was our senior year and it was totally obvious that i would never even be a friend of Susanna's. But whenn she was nominated for Prom Queen, I told all the people I knew that she should be the queen. And I was happy when she was chosen prom Queen.
Anyway, back to the painting. It was almsot done. Susanna had hsort hair in hgh school, but I painter her with ong flowing hair instead. And a I put the hair pusherd back on one side with a gold earing showing. But her hand needed some goldish ornamentation i decided. I wondered whether I should paint a marriage ring on her finger, but didn't know whether she had ever actually gotten married. I decided to paint it on anyway. Even if she wasn't married, it could represent that she was married to the Earth as Earth Angel, the itle of the painting. Well, the very next morning, I went to my Kansas mailbox and low and behold there was a bulletin from the high school about the upcoming 30th reunion. The first bulletin i had ever received form the high shool. And inside it listed a dozen or so classmates whose whereabouts they did not know, asking anybody to let them know if they knew where they could be reached. Of course, just the day afer I painted the ring on her finger, Susanne Cole's name was lsited along with her married name as one of the ones whose whereabout were unkown. So indeed she was married and found out about it after 30 years, the exact day after I had put the ring in the painting. This I saw as a major coincidence. And I felt good that at least her marriage showed I had not put a curse on her...ven though I never really believed in such things and still don't.
But there is still more about Susanna. Though I didn't go to the reunion, I did get a group photo of everybody there. And Susanne was there. And her hair was almsot eaxactly as I had painted it, long and flowing down just on one side, her side, onto her shoulder, even with one ear showing with a gold cricular earring exposed. So a few years later I sent a photo of the painting to her and asked her if she would like the painting but never heard back from her. Again I guess i was being a nuisance again. She must have thought, and probably rightly so, that I was a real wierdo doing a painting of osmeone that I hadn't been friends with since 9th grade. So...that's all about Susanne.
Like I said in my last entry, I'll now go way back to some coincidences that happened even before i was borne and work my way up to the present. But remeber these are only a fraction of those that I can't remeber. One last meaningles thing about Susanna first, if you close the yearbook our faces on opposing sides of the page just about touch, my face being right above hers. I now take all this stuff has having about as much meaning as Kennedy's secretary being named Lincoln and Lincoln's secretary being named Kennedy.
Monday, May 9, 2005- I'm starting to get tired of this daily writing but I'll persist at blabbering about these meaningless connected events as long as I can for lack of anything better to do. I think I've about burnt myself out on doind drawings of celebrities after 200 of them. And nothing seems imortant enough to me anymore to devote weeks or months to painting. This lack of painting or drawing has now left me really bored with it all, but I've already made a list of about 50 co-incidences that I can still remember of the thousands that have happened over the course of the too-many years and will enlighten you with as many of them as I have the patience to. Aren't you lucky?
Anyway, like I promised yesterday after telling you about the connected events with the two unrequited angels of my life (and I do indeed feel a void like never before in my life without the silly dream of some angel giving me comfort) I jump all the way back to actually before I was born and tell you of osme interesting events.
I wrote these down in an email to asomebody who had seen a photo montage I made of my parents at Pearl Harbor, so I'll just pretty much just paraphrase that email making my work burden today a bit easier:
My grandfather's name on my fathers side was Sam and he was born in the 1890's on July 4, so he was always very patriotic. His son (my father) was Norman and he just happened to be born the day that America entered WWI. His mother's name was Faye (my grandmother) and my father started dating my mother (whose maiden name was Fay Gorman) in 1939, the year Hitler began his bloody blitzkrieg across Europe.
At any rate my father was an electrician and in 1940 he left St. Louis, Missouri to take a well-paying civilian job working as an electrician for the Navy at Pearl Harbor. In September of 1941 (a couple of weeks after she turned 18) my mother joined my father in Hawaii and they were married the day she arrived. By the way, my mother's mother's name (my maternal grandmother) was Pearl Gorman (you know, like in Pearl Harbor).
Three months after my parents were married by a Navy Chaplin, on December 6th my father was working on none other than the Battleship Arizona, the second shift installing radar that had just arrived a couple days before. My father told me about ten years ago that that Saturday night when he walked off the Arizona, he remembers looking back and seeing sailors sitting on the giant guns watching a movie being shown, and he thought to himself, "What a waste of money these giant guns and ships...who would ever be so stupid to attack the United States."
Wow, was he wrong. The next morning the Tora Tora Japanese attacked. My parents were asleep in civilian housing a couple miles from the harbor and when they heard the gunfire they first just thought it was the usual Sunday morning practice over at Hickam field. When they realized it was real and what was going on, my father headed down to the harbor and my mother went to a friends apartment.
My mother says that after the Japanese finished dropping their nasty bombs and torpedoes in the harbor, some of the planes started strafing the streets, and that once, one was so low and close she actually saw the pilot's face...or so she says.
My father only told me two things about helping out after the attack. He said that while he and some others were laying the dead sailors' bodies gently and carefully in the back of a truck, an officer yelled over to them, "Hey, just toss them in. They can't feel anything anymore." My father also told me that the worse sight he ever saw in his life, much worse than all the dead and mangled bodies, was a week after the attack.
They were still searching for survivors and cut the hull of a ship open and a group of soldiers who had been trapped inside were removed. They were still alive and conscious but they were totally out of their mind. My father didn't go into any details.
At any rate, on July 4, 1942, the first fourth of July of the war my older sister Diane was born (on my Grandfathers birthday), so she was given the middle name Victory.
My father worked in a civilian defense plant that made airplanes during most of the war but finally went into the Navy in late '44. He was on his way across the Pacific to get ready for the invasion of Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped and the war ended. I was born on Aug 16, 2 days after VJ Day, but the actual day, I recently discovered, that the Japanese soldiers were actually ordered to lay down their arms. One other coincidence, some people consider Sept 2 VJ day when the Japanese signed the peace treaty aboard the Battleship Missouri (you know, like in St. Luis, Missouri or miseery or whatever). That day was my mothers 22nd birthday...she wasn't 2 days late like I was."
As a concluding non-coincidence to this string of coincidences, my father told me that after the attack at Pearl, he went up to a Japanese plane that had been shot down and discovered it had an American-made engine. Isn't it ironic, that 60 years later that instead of the Japenese using American engines in Japanese planes, the Americans are using Japanese engines in American cars.
......Hey, I have a complaint for a change. My sister got named Victory for being born on the fourth of the first year of the war, how come I just got named Rcihard when I was born on the last day of it? Why didn't I get a special name. Hey, that's lousy. Why couldn't I have been named something like Wynn (for winning) or Arm (for armistice)?
OK. Before I was borne is finished and believe it or not there have been some hazy-minded times in my life when I was glad I was borne after they dropped the atomic bombs, so at least nobody could blame that on me!
OK again. proceeding forward along the timeline of the great Richard Krause's lifeline, we'll jump to 5th grade. Remeber that the grade that I've boasted about being the class president. Well, I was also in love, along with probably every other boy at Old Bonhomme with a beautiful fresh-out-college art teacher and Marilyn Monroe look-alike name Miss Clark. And she was so sweet.
But two years later, at the high school I had a teacher named Carlos. Carlos gave me all A's and onetime gave me a gift, an ice hockey stick he had made. I didn't even know what ice hockey was. I left the stick standing in the corner for a week or so, which I really shouldn't have done. But Carlos really did over react. He made me stand up and made a fol out of me...telling everybody I was the msot unappreciative person he'd every known. So, of course, I hated him after that. It really was traumatic ordeal.
And lo and behold, who did old Carlos marry a couple years later, but the lovely young Miss Clark who worked at a totally different school. I sighed at the painful irony of it. "Was fate trying to pore salt into my already humiliated open wounds?"
I think Carlos was probably the first person i ever hated. But I was saddened a few years later when he died of cancer at about age 40. "Had my hate for him caused it? Was I a male witch?" I naively wondered in guilt for many years.
Well on to other seemingly connected events. My Grandpa Sam Krause was a very intelligent man and I thought the world of him. He had even a couple inventions that he had gotten patented. But he had also chain-smoked Camels most of his life and had throat growths for years and finally lung cancer and died two days before I turned 16. My Grandmother gave me his 49 Chevy three days later when I got my drivers licence and I felt guilty, wondering if I had caused his death just so I could get his car. Remeber, if this was an isolated event, it probably wouldn't have crossed my mind, but a chain of these sort of coincidences had already developed. I even dared to imagine that maybe some devil was making these things happen just so I would feel responsible and guilty. Remarkable, what a creative mind I had at even that age. But I forged onward with my life as it was, knowing I had best get as much enjoyeny out of my teen years as I could because there was certainly no niche in the adult world I would every fit into.
But I think my forging on with these coincidental curios will have to wait until tomorrow, or whenever. But not before a parting comment. I had already had so many really severe bicycle, motorcycle, and car acidents and other endangering incidents that I had walked away from relatively unscathed, my mother said that it scared her, that soemthign mysterious was going on, that I had already used up more lives than a cat with nine of them. Little did she or I know that I was just getting started...and 45 years later am not quite finished yet I'm sure.
Anyway, good bye for now. Summer is just barely starting to arrive and even in the shade it gets hot all cramped up in my car trying to type. I used to be able to let my engine idle with the air conditioner on, but now it overheats if I do. You may not remember but I traded in my 240,000 mile car for a 93,000 mile car a couple years but its already up to almost 140,000 and the radiator can't be flushed out any jmore times. Luckily I do have enough money still left from selling my Moses poainting last fall to get a new radiator. But I hate to part with the money..but i guess I'll have to eventually. Maybe I'll go home tonight and discover somebody wants to buy another one of my paintings. But I wouldn't bet on it.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005- I just finished eating my potato and vegetable delight and a turkey burger. I had to run the air conditioner in my car because summer is definitely on the way. I found a good photo of Audrey Hepburn this morning to do a drawing from so I'll keep the writing short today. At least I don't have to worry about anything bad happening to her after I do the drawing, like what happened to Julie Andrews a few years ago because I'm pretty sure Audrey's already dead.
I always adored Julie Andrews. Actually, Sally looked alot like Julie. So, anyway, I spent a month or so doing a painting of Julie Andrews a number of years ago. I did it from a glamorous photo of her taken from the movie Victor, Victoria. And it was just a month or so after I finished the painting that she had a minor throat surgery that went wrong and has kept her from ever singing again. Of course I'm not quite crazy enough to ever hold myself responsible for something like this,but it was sort of strange. Hey, maybe my subconscious mind somehow knew about the loss of her voice before it happened and I wanted to pay her tribute. Actually, this would say is strictlyjust a random coincidence.
However I willl now describe one that could not have been. I was going to present these things in chronological order but I guess I'll just skip around and mention them as they seem to fit into the overaall narrative.
Anyway, this is when I was still living in Kansas, maybe about ten years ago. Things were really getting confusing and rough, especially with the nonstop ian in my foot that had just began. Any, so I like many others turned to religion. I hadn't been to Temple since I moved from St. Louis. But so I decided to start going to one in Kansas City. It was a reformed Temple. What did I know. I had beeen raised to believe the only difference between reformed and orthodox was that the orthodox atr kosher, wore yamakas, and were old fashioned.
I started going every friday night. Immediately, too many connected events to describe began happening. I will describe a few btu first I will describe the most simple, and unbelievable.
It seemed like every friday night as I drove the 35 miles to the temple somethign would happen. This particular friday night, while I was driving I started thinking about a painting I was almost finished with. It was of Benjamin and Yonnie netanyahu. i had decided to call it Sons of Abraham. But the actual name spelled in english would be Avraham. So, as I approached ther Missouri state line I started to debate whether to call it Sons of Abraham or Sons of Avraham. Not that it would make any difference to anyone but myself. And just as I was about to leave it simple and use Abraham, a van pulled out form behind me and sped past me. It's kansas license plate was personalized one and it read, "AVRAHAM." I thought this was a message from the almighty himself and felt good about it. First of all, there aren't many jews in Kansas,and second of all who would think one would have even an Abraham plate, much less an Avraham and would show it to me just as I was pondeirng the subject on the way to temple.
Sounds pretty miraculous. Wrong, or at keast I so decided inthe months that followed, considering that many other similar thigns happened that seemed to guide me to do something but it turned out to be the wrong thing.
Anyway, back to the father of the jews. About aa year later I was driving one afternoon on the highway near the airport in KC, maybe 50 miles from where I has seen the vaan a year before. So I'm cruising along, frustrated as usual, deciding that all these so-called connected events just had to be nothing but random coincidences. And I startedt to think of the Avraham one as one that seemed beyond randomness. But i concluded afterall it had ot be random and meaninggful coincidences were just so mmuch bullshit. And just as I thought that the Avraham coicidence was bullshit, the same van with the same Avraham licence plate sped past me...seming as if some force was telling me thsat it wasn't bullshit.
One thing I don't have are hallucinations and this happened a year after the first occurence and in a totally different part of the city, just as I for the ifrst time concluded it had only been bullshit to think it meant something. I don't now remeber whether I actually checked the motor vehicle department to see if there was actually an Avraham plate, but I should have if I didn't, just to confirm my own sanity to myself.
Well, while this Avraham thing has jumped me tot he subject of my KC temple going, I'll relate a few more related connected events. But not today. I'm getting depressed from dwelling on past frustrations and am going to go ahead and get started on mny Audrey Hepburn drawing and Pip is panting so I have to turn the AC on for a few minutes. It takes about 15 minutes until the car starts to overheat so I'm okay.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005- I guess I left the motor running too long yesterday because before I could get more than a rough likeness of Audrey Hepburn drawn my motor started ovcerheating and the air conditioner compressor started to squeal. So I turned the AC off and headed for the mechanic out where I live. He put in a new cooler themrostat and by that time it was already getting cooler as evening approached. But it did seem like the engine was running cooler thasn usual as I drove back to the park to go on my walk before it got too late. It was dark and cooler by the time I got to the park so the walk wasn't too bad. I used to go alot faster but Pip is slowing down, so so am I. I know most people hqwo know me hear I walk at the ppark every day and think it osunds like great fun. Actually the pain in my foot is excruciating while I'm walk but beibg out at the park makes it alittle more bearable. I certainly don't walk because I enjoy it. But I did enjoy it very much back in Kansas 8 or 9 years ago before my foot pain started. I, even now, I do feel better mentally after I finish the walk and I hope it will keep my heart and my legs from giving out too soon. How evere many days or years I have left I will njot spend them sitting at home or anywhere else.
Back to the subject at hand. I had hoped the thermostat solved the problem but I found out today that it hadn't. The engine still overheats and the AC compressor squeals. It'll cost about a $1000 to get both fixed. There goes the rest of the money I sold Moses for. I just hope Pip doesn't need surgery before I can figure out some way to get some more cash.
An interesting little coincidence happened yesterday. I emailed Sally yesterday morning for the first time in 6 months to wish her a good marriage and I mentioned to her I hadn't been going to the BBB club or getting their emails for the past six months. When i got home last night I was surprised to see a single digest email with all the back BBB emails for the past several months. Of course Sally could have said something to somebody asbout it, but I checked and she had not. She was as surprised as I was.
Anyway, back to the past and to the temple coincidences. I already told you about the AVRAHAM one. The first one that started the first week afer I started to go to the temple was on a thursday night. I had a real long dreaam about simply sitting in a luxurious bathtub and batheing. When I woke up I thought it was sort of strange, especially considering I only took showers.
That night, at temple I anxiously awaited yhe young rabbi Taub's sermon. It was alwways the high point of the sabbath evening service. And I very much admired Rabbi Taub, a young guy with such a lofty calling, or so I thought, and you could really tell he believed what he was saying. Anyway, I was shocked whne the entiree subject of his sermon was taking baths all the time, saying that our bodies where like trophies god had given us and we needed to keep them clean. It was the first temple coincidence, so I half dismissed it as a random coincidence with my dream the night before.
But stuff like this started happening every week. One night whiloe I was making the 45 minute drive to temple I started thinking about a oyung girl and how sad it was that she has some sort of physical problem but how good it was that she still made it to temple every friday night. When I arrived at the ttemple there was an ambulance in the midst of taking her to the hospital. She had had some sort of seizure.
I can't remember too many of the many other coincidences, except for one, which was almost as bizaar as the Avraham license plate thing. I had been going to temple for about two months and hadn't missied a single friday night. And I had talked to Rabbi taub several times about whether it was okay if I attended even though I wasn't a member. He was very nice and said it was most certainly okay. I began to think so highly of him that I even wished I had a son like him. The time of this event was the week of my birthday. My parents asked me if I wanted to come to St. Louis for my birthday since they happened ot be in town from Florida. I told them I couldn't because I didn't want to miss going to temple friday, which was my birthday.
But my parents talked me into coming into St. Louis just for tthe one day with the agreement that we could got to the temple in St. louis.
So I went to St. Louis and we went to temple that friday night, my birthday. I had already told everybody what a great rabbi rabbi Taub was and told them again when I saw that the Rabbi in St. Louis was noway as good. My parents couldn't get ober how much I thought of the Kansas City Rabbi Taub. And on the way to the St. Louis airport saturday morning I told my brother-in-law that I hoped rabbi taub hadn't noticed I wasn;t at the service and start thinking I was derelictt in my attendence and dedication. That's one thing I must say about myself...when I decide to do something I do everything humanly possible to do it as perfectly as I can. I know that in todays society that is called being anal. But I call it just trying to do the best job you can.
Anyway, after telling my brother-in-law I hoped the rabii didn't notice my absence, I hurried to the plane and took my set. Was I shocked when rabbi Taub sat down in the seat directly across the aisle from me. He was dressed in civilian clothing so I tacfully asked if his first name was Joshua. he said it was and then I knew it was Rabbi Hoshua taub...and he recognized me. I wondered why he was in St. Louis and not Kansas city. As it turned out he had come to STL for osme sort of rabbinical conventiaon.
We both remarked on what an amazing coincidence it was that we had run into eahc other in St. Louis. I didn't tell him how I had been rraving about him for 24 hours to my relatives, but I did tell him i htought he was a better rabbi than the one in St. Louis at Shaare Emmeth. I took this, one in a billion connected event to mean that god was trying to tell me it was good to go to temple.
When I got back to St. Louis I had to walk a long distance with my suitcase to my car and my feet started burning...and they haven't stopped in the 8 years since.
But despite the pain in my feet which was its worst when I was sitting down, I continued to never miss a friday night visit to temple and my admoiration of rabbi Taub...until a couple months later when I started a bible study course that he was supposed to start teaching and he started calling republicans Nazis and joking baout all his dirnking in Rabbi school and all sort of other really nasty stuff like msking fun of othodox jews as if they were just senile and old fashioned. I soon witnessed the other rabbis at the temple doing similar so-called "reformed ro liberal" things and was forced to quit going to temple at all. Boy was I wrong baout Taub. But i still believd sitting by him on the plane was no freak random coincidence. But I did decide that these coincidences meant nothing htough they did very surely exist.
I don't tell many people about these connected events or they would surely label me a lunatic. But I now realize that i am not alone, that many people like Freud, carl Junge, and many others have experienced a lifetime of similarly amazing connected events.
So that gives me some comfort, but getting back to the suubject of lunatics this very vague connected event would ean nothing by itself if itt weren't that so many similar to it happend over the course of my life. It was only a few months after I got out of thre Missouri State Mental Hospital where I realized that mjostt of the peole there weren't really that bad off. They had maybe had nervous breakdown 30 years before or a drinking proble 30 years before, but they didn't have money for a psychiatrist or for treatment so they were wharehoused at Farmington. Like I said, it was just a few months after i had experienced this sad state of affairs and was one of the very few lucky enough to get out that the national law was passed that people could not be kept in an institution against their will unless they were a danger to society or to themselves. As a result the state hospitals across the ocuntry almost emptied themselves.
Having to do with personal experiences and laws, i got a girlfriend name Mary pregnant at college. Or so we thought. Abortions were still illegal. But we decided it was still best she have one, even thoguh I felt it was wrong I knew I could never marry and take care of her, much less a baby. I had escaped a sinilar state of affairs when I married a girl a few years before and then she had a miscarriage and we got divorced. But before Mary was able to get an illegal abortion, Roe vs Wade made them legal...and Mary didn;'t need one anyway, becausde she discovered she wasnt' pregnant anyway. So much for that and I went back to my studies at Ebngineering scchool at washington U.
On the subject of engieering, it's surely just a random coincidence, but for the ten eyars I eventually worked as an engineer and made a reasonably comfortable living, that was the worst decade in the seconf half of the 20th century for inflation. Like I said just a coincidence.
As I've mentiioned earlier in this writing I started a small and unprofitable video production company not too long after my engineering days. I really enjoyed the video production and had delusion I would osmeday be another Spielberg. But I'll save thr coincidences during that period until tomorrow or whenever. It's really getting hot out here since I can't use the AC but a few inutes every once in awhile. I just hope I don't drip any sweat onto my Audrey hepburn drawing I'll try working on now.
Thursday, May 12, 2005- Todays comment will be brief because its already late afternoon. But I do hagve a couple good bits of news. Always before when I checked under the hood to make sure the electric radiator fan was running when the AC was on, the fan was running. But yesterday I checked and it wasn't. I gave a blade a little nudge and the fan started. It looked like the electric motor had a dead spot on the armature and thats why maybe it would overheat sometimes and sometimes not. So i got a new fan motor and had it put on earlier today and I've been sitting here with the motor running and the AC on for an hour and the motor is running as cool as a cucumber.
Second good news, I didn't sweat on the drawing of Audrey hephurn yesterday and after a couple hours of work I thinks she is starting to look beautiful. And when I'm able to creat a little beauty from a blank piece of paper it still makes me forget my problems for a little while.
Third good news, my good friend Warren is coming in from Denver this evening and I'm going to pick him up at the airport. I talk to him all the time on the phone but haven't seen him in 7 years. He's staying at his sisters house who took care of me for a week the first time I had heart work done.
.....But I can't close this installment without mentioning some connected event, since I'm still on that kick.
As I promised yesterday, I'll mention a couple coincidences having to do with my video production days in the early 80's. I had a couple guys that worked with me and we'd get about a dozen inquiries thru the yellow pages each day. This level took about 2 or 3 years to build up to. Actually we were just about ready for a big breakthrough when I got sick and went into the hospital for a month to get off 20 years of Vallium.
It was a hoorible experience. I actually smoked 7 packs of Marlboros a day while I was withdrawing. That was right before they dissalllowed smoking in hospitals.
Anyway, after a month I went home to my apartment to recupurate. We ran the video operation out of my apartment but I had $80,000 worht of editing equipment set up in the second bedroom and it looked real professional. I had to let one of the guys go, but Rick stayed on even though I was not in any condition to work. But he still was.
But suddenly, the week i got home from the hospital the dozen yellow phone calls a day dropped to one or two a month even though my ad had of course not changed at all. A bizarre coincidence. And eventually I had to let Rick go also and spent the next 10 months totally by myself while my body tried to adjust to no Vallium by having several nightmare a night and countless body spasms each day.
But another coincicdence was that the big breakthrough job we did right before I got sick and Rick finished up while I was in the hospital was a program for Harley davidson about their ride across the country in 1985 to raise money for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. It was also the centenial of the Statue and was called the Liberty ride. I actually rode part of the way with them in a van so i could hang out the window with my video camera.
Anyaway, at that time Harley Davidson was about bankrupt and ready to go out of business for good. Actually they showed some of the footage from the tape we put together on CNN and Harley announced for the first time they were going to go public with their stock. Evey since, Harley sales have been going thru the roof. They sold copies of the program across the country, but I'm not saying it had naything to do with their sudden rising from the ashes, but it is an interesting coincidence.
I had become good friends with harley's director of marketing and she wanted me to do alot of other stuff for them but I was too sick and a year later when I felt good enough to get back to video, I was dead broke...and alone.
Actually, sort of ironic I now realize. To raise the last bit of money for my video equipment I had sold my almost new Harley and it was almost Harley that a couple years later would have been a big breakthrough. Almost. But no breakthrough as my health and destiny would have it.
Wrong. Biggest breakthrough of my adult life. I felt alive and wanted to go on living for the first time in 20 years with my brain no longer dulled by pharmaceuticals.
More connected events tomorrow. I have to go get some gas so I can pick up Warren.
Friday, May 13, 2005- So I picked up Warren last night and spent two hours with him and his brother-in-law debating the meaning of life. Of course nothing could be settled but Warren did read to us an interesting statement by Aldous Huxley: "Anybody who is able to live a satisfying and comfortable, s-called 'normal' life in modern society is an empty person."
Not saying i agree with that necessarily, but it did give me some comfort to know that just because you're not "normal" doesn't mean there is somethign worng with you. But, unfortunately there is still something wrong with my car because the mechanic left a bolt out yesterday and it caused a crack in the radiator. So if this entry is suddenly interrupted it means the sealer they put on the crack let loose and my car overheated.
Anyway, back to the subject of so-called abnormal coincidences where I lleft off yesterday, I now recall one that had to do with Warren. I hadn't seen Warren in over 30 years since we went to school together in St. Louis. I was living in Kansas and it was 1994. I had a bad tooth and my KC dentist was on vacation so I went to see his stand in, a Dr. Koshland. As I talked with his receptionist and happened to mention I used to be an electrical engineer, she said Dr. Koshland also used to be one. I thought that strange, going from engineering to dentostry.
When I got in Koshlands dental chair he mentioned he heard me talking that I had lived in St. Louis and asked me where. I told him in Olivette and he wanted to know the street. When I told him it was on Mansfield inoak Estates he said his roomate at college in Columbia, Missouri had also lived in Oak Estates and his name was Warren Wexler and he said he'd give Warren my phone number. He said he had just talked to Warren for the first time in about a year, actually the very night before.
And that was how I got connected back with Warren after 30 years, thru a KC dentist who went to school with Warren in Columbia even though both Warren and I knew each other from St. Louis. At any rate, Koshland was a nice guy so I kept him as my permanent dentist.
But a couple years later, while I was visiting St. Louiss a roott canal Koshland had done suddenly started to kill me. I went to a dentist in St. Louis and he said I needed the root canal redone, but when I called Koshland's office long distance in Kansas City I discovered he was on vacation. So the St. Louis dentist made an appointment with me the next day with a root canal man in KC and I sped back to Kansas. The next morning I went in to the new dentist and he redid the root canal in a couple minutes with some quick military technigue he used. But I must say his technigue was far more painful than I had ever experienced before. Strangley, as I looked up at him with mmy mouth pried open with rubber blocks I couldn't help but think how unusual he looked, his white hair immaculately groomed and a clean white mask over his mouth, so peaceful and confortable and safe, while I couldn't even scream from the pain his technigue was causing me because of the rubber blocks in my mouth.
Anyway, I was shocked the very next day when I saw a picture of his face intensley staring at you from the his masked face staring photographed from the patients point of view was plastered on the fornt page of the Kansas City Star. The article was about his new quick root canal technigue. Definitely a connected event. Now that I think about it, both the connected evennt with the Warren-Koshland thing and the connected event with this other dentist occurred when my actual dentist were on vacation. So nuch for that. But remember Missouri, kansas City, St. Louis are all big places and I doubt if the biggest newspaper in KC often runs stories about root canals on the front page.
Going back a bit to the period when I in the hospital and withdrawing from 20 years of "medication", I vividly remember the first dream I had in 20 years. It actually started as a nightmare. I was in the street of downtown KC and saw a crowd of people standing in front of a TV store watching Walter Cronkite announce that the US and Russia had just releaed their entire arsenal of nuclkear weapons at each other and the world would be soon over.. He was crying and everybody in the street began yelling and screaming and falling down on their knees and praying. And then we looked up and saw Russian rocket falling out of the sky. One of them crashed into a tall build across the street...but didn't explode. And Walter cronkite announced that none of them anywhere in the world had exploded.
Strange first dream in 20 years. I guess it showed just what a traumatic burden it put on our subconscious minds whether we realized it or not. Cetainly, thousands of other people of the 5 billion on earth had a very similar dream that night, but I was nevertheless relieved to se the cold war began to disintegrate in the following months with Gorbochovs Peristroika and Glasnost and the Iron Curtain begin to fall as I watched a TV series called tthe World at War and for the first time began to understand the history of the 20th century which had led up to the cso-called Cold War.. This was durig the year I was in my partment alone getting used to being pill-free. It was mightmarish year, as I'm sure I've probably already said ten times, but I did get some comfort from knowing that the frozen Cold War was begiining to melt a bit thanks to Gorbachov and the news video cameras that now linked the world together for the first time in history as never before.
And a couple of years later when I started writing my book and things I;d writte about would happen quitte I often, I almost started getting a Jesus complex. But all I had to do was remind my self of the imperfections and misdeeds I had and had done and I knew I could never even qualify as a cut-reat bible peddlar much less Jesus. I had enough trouble taking care of mmyself, much less the whole world. But the coincidences did seem to tell me I was doing osmething right by writing my book, so I''ll relate a few of them, tomorrow. I see my car's temperature guage is starting to raise a bit and it's supposed to start storming soon and the top of my car leaks and might mes up this old laptop. And I certainly wouldn't want to rob posterity of any of my precious recollections, now would I?? I almost have to laugh myself that I once took these coioncidences to really mean something. All they mean is that there are thing about reality which we don't understand and probably never will...just as Pip doesn't understand what I'm doing sitting here in the next to himm banging my fingers into a IBook blue chunk of plastic us humans call a computator.
I don't see any rain, but I'll sign off anywway.
Sunday, May 15, 2005- My gut and spirits hurt too much yesterday to do any typing. But I do have a minor newspaper coincidence that happened just an hour ago that typifies the thousands that happened on almost a daily basis while I was writing my book.
Just this morning I came across something on the internet which portrayed Lindbergh as much more anti-Semetic than I had realized. From the time I started the painting 4 years ago I read up on him and discovered he did have some bad feeligns towards Jews and had visited Hitler's reich several times before the war. But I did the painting anyway simply to display the ocurage of his flight across the Atlantic. Many Jews, friends and otherwise, who saw my painting dissapproved of the fact that I had done it of him, but I always would say that everybody dislikes some group of people and that doesn't take away from his courageous flight back in 1927.
But like I said I was reading somehting about him on the internet this morning which said that even immediately after the nazi concentration camps were liberated, Lindbergh said that the Germans had just done to the Jews what we were doing to the Japs. I found this a very offensive statement and for the first time, I wondered this morning if indeed I should not have done the painting.
Anyway, just a few minutes ago, on my way out of the men's room in the visitors center here in Forest Park I saw the Sunday Post-Dispatch and it's frontline headline reported how the "Lindbergh's Own" air squadron here in St. Louis which have sketches of Lindbergh on the noses of their palnes may soon be disbanded.
So much for that minor coincidence, but not os minor when they happened lamsot everyday when i was writing my book. Can you blame me for starting ot believe I was a prophet or some other bullshit?
On the subject of prohets, or at least soothsayers or mystics, we've all hear of the infamous Nostradamus who predicted things 500 years in advance, including Hitler's World War and kennedy's assisination. Now I've read some the original quatrains of text which were his so-called predictions and they are very bague and could be interpreted to mean almost anything. But anyway Nostradamus or al least the myth built up aroud him is an interesting thing and I read alot about it while I was first writing my own book. Before I named my book "In The Winds of Time" I titled it "No Sweat" for a couple years...to supposed say that even though the character David had had osme really rough times they were "no Sweat" to him.
So to finally get to the point, I wents to the library one day in KC to check and see if anyone else had used the title NO Sweat for their book. This is when they used card catalogues, not computers. And this was the central branch of the library so the card catalog was huge. I chekced and found no "No Sweat" title, but was surprised to see that if there had been such a title it would have alphabetically been right after the "Nostradamus" card. So this only reinforced my feelings that I had writing skills comparible to some great guys like Nostradamus. "Ha, Ha, Ha." I now think. But the ocnnected event does mean there are things about what reality and time are that we have to understanding of...as I have already said several times as far as I can remeber.
I guess the part in my book which gave me the most false confidence in my writing prowess was when I wrote in a biblical dream sequence in the last chapter of an early draft of my book, "When clear air of the East blesses our caisson once more, Faith and I look where Judah points down toward the bombed-out streets of Berlin and proclaims, 'Down there - the curtain, the wall and every other man-made barrier to universal freedom come down all over the world.'
Of ocurse, a couple years later when the Berlin Wall actually fell, I felt I had predicted the fall of it...and felt great false confidences in my literary prowess.
Right now the only thing that is about to fall is my leg is about to fall asleep from having my laptop computer wedged between it and my steering wheel, so I'll save more great eloguence for tomorrow.
And there will probably quite a number of more tomorrows in this chapter as it seems the more old connected events I dredge up from my memory, the more new ones I recall. I'll probaly have to split this chapter in a coouple or three parts to be more reader-friendly, jus in case there ever are any readers, friendly or otherwise.
I just checked and see that i have typed 37 pages since tsarting with this laptop in my car a month ago. That's not even a page a day average. As I have the notes scribbled down, I have 20 more coincidences to describe so I should be finishing up with a couple weeks I hope.
Back to more important things ofr a seond before Iz sign off for the day. Yesterday, for the first time, Pip couldn't make the full walk around the lake even on flat ground and in mild weather, so I had to carry him the second half. I hope it was just the sun shining on his dark coat which overheated the little guy. But it's sad to see him getting older so quickly. To show you how selfish I am, if there was just one wish in the world god or whoever would grant me, I would not wish for human world peace but owuld wish that Pip could live a quality life for many,many years to come. Iff I had a second wish it would be that Sparky could be ressurrected to join him.
Pip is sleeping peacefully and ocnfortaby beside me for the itme being, so....Finally, goodbye for the day.
Monday, May 16, 2005- I'm back here at the park with Pip sleeping beside me and just read a short 120-page book by Aldous Huxely called "Brave New World Revisited." My friend Warren who is in town from Denver loaned it to me last night and after I just finished reading I realize that my difficulties in life have their roots in two things. The first part being a totally non-nurturing or even communicative environment by parents who were busy with what society had already taught them was the most important thing...SUCCESS (their own). I no longer have any hard feelings towards them regarding this has I now at this late date realize that the second factor in my difficulties was something they had no control of...a society which celebrates either mediocre conformity on one hand or, on the other hand, great achievement in areas which seem so important and humanitarian but which are actually counter productive, even downright destructive, to any hope for the human race to someday live in harmony iwth the earth we have not only domsin over but have domination over.
I suppose I was either borne different from most or learned to be different from most at a very young age. As early as the begiining of my second decade of life I oculd see that the what the world celbrated was not right...and that, even if I wanted to, my psyche prevented me from participating in what has so loftily been referred to as "the pursuit of happiness." I knew there was no niche for a person like myself, but it has only been in very recent times that I have realized it is not that there was something wrtong with me, but that i realized on my own at an age when I was ill-prepared to cope with it what many well-known philosopher and soical commentators have written about....especially in the book I just read.
But why beat a tired old horse to death, or whatever the saying is. So I'll get back to osme semi-interesting coincidences.
Yesterday I left off with the coincidence of seeing the newspaper about Lindbergh as I walked out of the visitors center here in Forest Park. Well there is also something interesting inside the visitors center which was just rebuilt a year or so ago. Five years ago I buried Sparky in a densley wooded area about 3 blocks long and one block wide. On a giant map the size of a mural and ttaking up an entire wall of the visitors center there has just recently been placed a map of all of Forest Park. It is not a photgrph but an artist or architectur's rendering where they use little green cloverleafs to denote trees. Anyway in the rectangular area where Spark is buried which is bordered by streets on all sides, there are maybe 150 green cloverleafs completely covering the area, each cloverleaf touching the next one to show it is densley wooded. But there is one and only one place on this map of 150 tree where there is an empty spot the sicze of a tree. As if the person who made the map intentionally left it off for some reason...the exact spot where Sparky is buried...a one in one hundred fifty chance at best. But actually even more than those odds, since hwy did the guy leave one tree out at all and why only one tree?
Like I've said many times before this one things is no big deal in itself, but there were many more connected events having to do with Sparky's sickness and death. It's a bit painful to write about them but I'll do my best. This first coincidence is the sort I feel many of not most of us have experienced..that the weather seems to reflect their mood. Anyway, as soon as the vet in St. Louis told me Sparky needed immediate surgery in Cloumbia, 120 miles away, I stopped at my apartment for a few things and head onto Interstae 70. AsI headed toward Columbia I began to read the referal the note the St. Louis vet had given me to give to the animal hospital in Columbia. When I read that he wrote "the owner ealizes the chance of Sparky's recovery are not good," I burst into a agonizing crying like never before in my life and could barely keep my eyes clear enoguh to drive...and it started to rtain so harrd. It was like a torrential storm.
And I continued ot cry for the next ten tdays, for every day I drove to Columbia and back to visit Sparky. And every one of those days it stormed horribly. Trucks were going off the road everywhere. It was only a few days after Sparky died that my cousin told me that the storms were strangley limited to the area between St. Louis and Columbia. One good thing baout the 2 week storm before we buried Sparky was that the ground was very soft in an area where it owuld have otherwise been hard as rock almost. Or st keats my cousin's son who did the digging said.
Now he's really oginjg off the deepend you think. maybe. But many other wether related things had happened in recent years. I'll explain them after I cite a couple more Sparky coincidences I can recall five years after the fact.
I visited Sparkys grave every day and decided to sprinkle some grass seed over hwere he was buried so nobody would know digging had been doen and so it owuld look alittle nicer. A few hours after I sprinkled out the green grass seed, the first grass seed I'd ever used in my life, I went home and started up my computer...and it started up okay except that everything was shimmering and everything was green. Such a hting had never happened before or since. Then a series if abiut four other coincidences between Sparky and a computer ot tv screen happened in the following week, but I just can't remember them. They're written down somewhere on one of the thousands of index cards I've to this day cared in my pocket ever since starting to write my book 18 years ago. When the pile gets too big for my pocket, I throw away the unimportant ones and save the still important ones in big piles I have stowed away. Maybe I'll look ofr the cars wiith the other Sparky coincidences because I do remember writing them all down. What I do remeber though is that a giant tree, hwat I later discovered to be the largest in all of Forest park was directly across from the spot where Sparky is buried. And I used it for a ocuple years to know where Sparky was, until it mysteriouslt it just collapsed. i asked the park workers as they were cutting it up what had happened to it but they had no idea, said it just toppled over.
So I quickly found another, smaller tree to help me navigate to where Sparky is. But it soon strangly toppled over also.
Anyway, until i can find the cards with the other Sparky events, I'll relate some of the the other weather events like I ssaid I wouldd...but I'll wait until tomorrow, weather permitting or not.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005- Well the weather is permitting, very permitting, a beautiful sunny spring day in the low 70's but I have to wait until near dusk before I can walk with Pip because even if its only 70 degrees the sun heats him up and he can't can't make it. At any rate I'll have to keep this short because in an hour or so I have to go pck up Warren and drive him to the airport to return to Denver. Actually, I spent about 3 hours last night discussing some very intense subjects like whether or not here is a god, etc., with Warren, a friend of his, and Warren's nephew a devout orthodox Jew. I pretty much wore me out and I didn't get home and into the sack until after midnight. At least the discussion didn't turn into a nasty argument and we all parted friends, maybe even more so than when we started our conversation.
I said yesterday I'd discuss some more weather coincidences, other than the one I already mentioned having to do with Sparky's last illness and death. But before I do I want to mention a coincidence I remeber just last night about Sparky's death and Audie Murphy.
While working on the seven paintings I did of Audie for almost a year and a half I fantisized there would someday be a grand unveiling somewhere and standing at my side would be Sparky and Pip. As it turned out there was indeed an uveiling of the paintings in the Texas museum on June 23, 2001 and I was called upon to make a speech, or statement, or whatever as I have already mentioned, but Sparky was already gone. He had died June 23, 2000...exactly one year before, give or take at the most two hours. And I mentioned this at the end of my statement. It was the closest I could come to having him with me.
On to the wether stuff. I'll only just mention two more of many. And like I said yesterday I realize that we all have days where the weather seems to reflect our mood...but these were a bit more than that or so it seemed and still does.
I was in the hospital after a mind-numbing medication for the MS drove me into a horrible state of mind when it actually made my hands burn ten times as much as they had before I started taking it and as a result also hadn't slept in a couple days. Anyway, as soon as I got to my 10th floor room, the doctors wanted to give me more medicine. I told them I wouldn't take it and they said I had no choice. Like I said I hadn't slept in a couple days and I was desperate not be medicated and locked up like back at Farmington somany years before. As the doctors approached me with the syringe I grabbed my suitcase with the intentions of htrowing it threw the window which was way on the other side of the room. But I was desperate and my adrenilin was flowing. I picked up the suitcase which was not real heavy and remeber thinking that even if I were able to hit the giant plate glass window it owuld never have enough momentum to go through the thick glass. But I tossed it with all my might, and to my surprise it was a bullseye and went smashing right thru the window out into the open air. Let me mention why I was throwing it. In my twisted state of mind I hoped it owuld let the outside world something funny was going on up in my room and thereby prevent the doctors from sedating me or whatever they were going to do.
Back tot he suitcase. The instant it twent smashing thru the window the sunny day turned to a very dark day and what seemd like a giant whirwind began blowing, caught my suitcase asnd swirled it around for ahwile before setting it down on the sidewalk far below. I don't remeber what happened to the wether after that because I guess the doctors got to me with the needle.
But several days later I asked my own doctor who had also been there if I had just had a hallucination form no sleep concenring the suitcase and the dark sky and whirlwind...and said that no, it had really happened and as a matter of fact my suitcase was recovered without a scratch on it. That was 17 years ago and I never mentioned this event to him or anyone else since...until now, to you. Aren't you lucky?? Or maybe I'm the lucky one that I didn't mention it sooner and get myself locked up. Not being paraniod, just joking,I realized if I had mentioned it people would have just thought I was crazy.
I need to quit rambling on and get to the point so i can go pick up Warren. But first let me men
Well I guess I'n not going to first mention anything. just as I weas typing the previous sentence my cellhpone rang and it was Warren to tell me he was staying in town another 2 weeks. So I of ocurse won't be taking him to the airport.
Back to the wether thing. It was about 10 years ago. I was still living in Kansas and was on my way to St. Louis to visit. It had been storming the whole way, about 150 miles. I stopped in Kingdom City at a greasy spoon to get something to eat..especially some coffee. As I was eating at the counter a guy down at the end of the counter asked where I had come from. I told him that I was coming from the Kansas City area. He asked me exactly where. I told him, Clearview City. And he said he lived right across the highway from Clearview City in Desoto and asked if it had rained all the way in. I told him it hadn't stoped once.
Anyway, I finished my food and opened the door to get ready to erun for my car in the heavy rain, and he yelled out, "Hey, why don'tyou turn the rain off from here to St. Louis while you're going that way." I yelled back, "Yeah, right!"
I got in my car soaked, pulledout on to I-70 and turned my wipers off. The rain suddenly stopped completely, and the rest of the 60 miles or so to St. Louis, even htough I oculd see it rainign in the distance on both sides of the highway, it didn't rain a drop on the highway. Just a coincidence, but sort of strange..because the guy that yelled for me to "turn off" the rain didn't say it in a joking way, or os I thought when he said it.
I'll ned otdays entry on a light if not downright humorous note. Hundreds of times inthe past 20 years I'll dsicover some item in the grocery store I espically like. Like a particular flavor of soup. But it own't be a new product, it's just that I first discovered it and liked it. It usually happens when I make a special trip to the grocery store to get that particular item. And I'll discover that of the hundred different flavors or favorities of soup, or tv dinner, or whatever it is,there are plenty of all the other varieties....and the only empty space on the shelf will be where the one I came for was sold out. Like someone had been looking over my shoulder the visit befoore and seen me pick that item and thought if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me. Just kidding about someone over my shoulder but it is a humorous sort of connected event that continues to this day...not to much lately of ocurse because the varety of things I eat is very limited to the basiics like potatoes and green beans and carrots and bread. Did I have to remind myself?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005- Well, I really didn't think I'd be doing much more work on this bio. A couple hours ago I reached for my computer in the back seat and it wasn't there. Earlier in the day I'd stopped at the library for a few minutes and left the windows down in the heat for Pip. So that's where somebody must of stole it. Man was I pissed off. I sped home to make sure I hadn't left it there, but I remembered specifically carrying it to the car. Just maybe I'd left it sitting on the ground when I lifted Pip into the car and forgotten to pick it up.
I got home. No such luck, but when I got to my door there was a note to call the leasing office. The maintenance man had found it sitting in the parking lot.
I went up and got it and so here I am again, proven dumb for leaving it and lucky for getting it back and rascist for cursing various minoritiy groups for stealing it.
So I'll get back to the coincidence, connected event junk. First I'll tell about one that happened when I first moved from Lenexa to Clearview City in Kansas, in 1990.
Clearview City was about the size of a suburban subdivision, except that all around it was open country. It was an old housing complex for the Sunflower Ammunition Plant, the largest ammunition plant in the world during WWII. Ay any rate I had absolutely no friends in this new place, except for Sparky, and there was a little small wodded park about a mile down the road, so i walked with Sparky there everyday and ate lunch there. I had been doing this for a few weeks, when for the first time I ran into someone else at the little park. It was a lady named Barbar who lived in Lawrence, Kansas and we started talking.
I explained to her that I had just finished spending several years writing a book but was wasn't going to work on it anymore. She asked me why and I told her that a friend in KC, my bookstore owner friend Don Martin had sent part of it to his old English professor at Kansas University to get his opinion of it. Don had helped proof read it over a period of a couple years and thought it was a masterpiece.
But, I explained to Barbara, that my very last day in lenexa, I called the profeesor because I hadn't heard anything form him and he had had it for over 2 months. I told Barbar the guy laughed at mje and said it was hopeless, that I need to sign up for his writing seminar. So, I told barbara, I decided to just forget about th whole thing.
But then barbara asked me who the profesor was. I told her his name was James Gunn and she said Gunn's wife was her best friend in Lawrence and that her husband James was a mean and cruel man both at home and at the university and always tried to humiliate his students. I was shocked that here this first ladyy I meet since I lfet kansas City is best friends with the guy that looked at my book in Lawrence, 50 miles away with a population of a couple hundred thousand.
Ignorantly, I thought God had sent thiis lady to let me know my bok wasn't bad afterall...so I went back to work on it full steam. I even got another dog to celebrate the rebirth of hope. That's when I got Pip. I'd work on my book for a few hours then walk them both to the park down the road, until my knee started having bad spasms and I had to start using a cane again and couldn't go for the walks anymore. But knowing my book would be an international bestseller and allow me to tell the whole world all my bullshit ideology made up for it.
Now two other coincidences pop into my mindd before I tell you the big one that happened my last day in kansas. Both of them are tied to unhappy events.
A couple years before I moved form Kansas Sparky had to be operated on for a growth on his rear end. I was frantic in fear. While I was waiting to hear if he survived the surgery, I even broke down on my knees and prayed to a painting of Jesus I had done, begging God not to take my boy.
Sparky survived the operation fine and while I was taking him home I heard OJ Simpson had been acquited that very same day. No coincidence there of course. Now I don't remeber if it was that same day or sometime later but I remebered that I had a reference to OJ in my book. One night I looked it up and saw it referred to him when I write my sick sister sat in row OJ at the Fox Theatre. And I remembered writing row OJ a few years before because it meant orange juice and great strength like OJ Simpson had. And in my book I noticed I had written that i sat behind my sister in row OK. I owndered what this could possibly mean. I knew it couldn't mean that it was okay that OJ got away with murder. I went to sleep wondering what OK could possibly mean.
In the morning, the Federal Builing was bombed in Oklahaoma City, OK. Like I said, this was a sad connected event. At the very least I wonder if anyone has made he frivolous connection that that year the 2 single biggest and most tragic news stories were OJ and OK.
And this next one is sad too. Like I've also already said i ws a devout believer in God at that time. It was a Saturday night and I was at a friends and his wife's apartment down the block. Somehow the subject of the movie OH God came up and I told them that I htought it was a horrible movies, a blaspphemous thing the way that it almost made the notion of God a comical thing. I even went so far as to say that if I was George Burns I'd be afraid to die because of making that movie. Then my firends wife asked me what I thought of the guy who co-srtarred with him, the country western singer. I knew who she meant and I could picture his face but none of his oculd thimk of his name. Anyway, i said that i'd almost put him in the same boat as George Burns, even though he didn't played God he took part in the travesty.
The next morning, the guy we were talking baout died in his private plane when it crashed into the ocean, John Denver. I always liked him and felt very sad, but at the same time felt it was worng for him to have been in that movie, but he surely didn't deserve this punishment. I didn't feel quilty, because at most it could have been that we had somehow had a precognition of the event and certainly hadn't caused it.
The next event is a rather innvolved one which started before I even moved to Clearview City and ended 8 years later the very day I left to move back to St. Louis. So I'll save it to give me somehting to write about tomorrow.
Man do I feel bad about cursing every punk in St. Louis for stealing my computer. But they have stolen my art supplies twice, run me off the road several times, and mugged me once, since I moved back here so I wasn't totally without grounds to jump to such a rash conclusion.
Thursday, May 19, 2005- Last night I thought of a synchronicity or connected event or coincidence I'll relate before getting into the more involved one I mentioned at the end of yesterday's entry.
Several days ago I mention the time I was in the hospitaL and threw a suitcase thru the window. Like I said I was in the hospital because doctors gave me medicine over a period of a few months before that I told them would make a zombie out of me ans then when they told me to quit taking them I went thru withdrawal and ended up in the hospital, actually for a several weeks after i threw the suitcase, against my will.
Anyway, the hospital bill was quite anumber of thousands of dollars. I didn't feel I owed them anything because it was thgat they didn't listen to me about the so-called medicine and was it therefore their fault I had to go into the hospital inthe first place.
This was after my video operation was finished and I was totally unemployed and without money. But a year or so later I received almost $20,000 from a profit sharing plan I had put money into over a ten year period while I worked as an engineer. So I put the money in my bank account. I was not going to spend my entire life savings on a hospital bill I didn't figure I really owed. At any rate, I hadn't heard from the hospital's collection agency for some time and didn't hear anything about the supposed debt until about a year after I got the $20,000 which, even with my frugal, subsistence-level living, was down to about $15,000. Actually the last i heard from the collection agency was almost a year and a half before when I got a letter from the County Court that the collection agency was seeking a judgement to get their money. I was informed that I oculd appear if I wished. But a few days later the collection agency phoned me and advised me very sincerely that there was no reason for me to appear, that they would take care of it and thta the whole thing was just a formality.
Back to about a year and a half later, I hadn't heard anything from anybody in alll that time, but I suddenly for no reason felt my money which might have to last me the rest of my life was no longer secure. So that morning I went up to the bank, withdrew the $15,000 in cash and put it in a sfae deposit box at a bank across the street. Two days later I got a notice from the bank I had withdrawn the money that the very afternoon of the morning I had emptied my account the coollection agencie's court order came through tot ake $10,000 from my account as a settlement for the account...but the account was empty/. So the matter was closed and I never heard from anyone again, and every month for a few years I'd go up to the safe deposit box and take a couple hundred out to help me get by. My so-called sixth sense had just barely saved me from homeless. But I say it was not a sixth sense that after a year and a half oif no activity suddenlt told me to take my money out a few hiours befoe it was to be taken by the collection agency. i say it was just anothe r connected event. Connected how, i have no idea and all the other peole that have similar things happen also have no idea regardless of what causes they may claim.
Enough of my financial dleinguency and on the the event htat ended the day I left kansas to move back to St. Louis. In the early 80's, after I quit engineering and before starting video production, I played some pool at a local bar and grill to pas the meaningless evenings. I started to get pretty good and got to be friends with a guy that could shoot much better than me, He worked the graveyard shift for the railroad and came into Applejacks to play pool for a couple hours every night before going to work. I'll call him Kurt. Kurt was a nice guy, intelligent and hardworking and we became very good friends. he had a nice family, a wife and two kids, and I often saw them. Kurt was actualyy the one that first got me interested in video production.
As they years went by Kurt even helped me get by when I was in the hospital twice. After I got sick and abandoned the video and started writing my book I was all alone, except for occassional visits from Kurt. And Kurt even had me over several time for Thanksgiving dinner with his family.
I mentioned a couple chapter ago that for a year or so during the erly 80's I used cocaine about once a month. Well, Kurt did so also. I quit when I got my profit-sharing money because I knew that if I didn't I now had enough money to kill myself with the drug. So I never did it once after that. But Kurt continued to occassionally. Not too often, because even though he made about $40,000 a year with the railroad it all went to supporting his family in their nice syburban house. He mostly just used money he won playing pool to buy coke.
But then Kurt injured his back and got a $200,000 lump sum settlement form the railroad and he started to use coke more frequently. I warned Kurt. Now I odn't want you think Kurt spent all the money on that. he even started a sign business that lasted a number of years.
At any rate, Kurt had even gotten a library card in his name for me to use while I was writing my book, because I oculdn't afford to pay the fines i had on mine from several years before. At some point, Kurt began coming over unexpectedly to my Lenexa apartment every once in awhile to use his cocaine so his his wouldn't know. I wanted no part of it, and aksed Kurt to come over with it anymore. But he continued to.
And it was just about ta htis time that my rent got too high for me to afford and I found a cheaper place out in Clearview City. I moved, but decided not to tell my best friend Kurt...because I wanted nothing to do with his drugs.
I continued htough to use Kurt's library card for at leats five years...and I owndered how Kurt was doing. I didn't want to call him because I knew he had a bit of a temper and figured he was really pissed of for me oving and not telling him.
I took up painting after I moved from Lenexa, so kurt knew nothing baout it, but I continued to use his library card to check out art books. I was vgery careful not to ever let them be overdue or they might send a notice to his address and he's know I was still using it. And even if I had the money to pay off my own fine, the women that worked at the library knew me as Kurt.
At some point, suddenly one day the guy that owned the bookstore and helped me dit my book five years before showed up at the DeSoto library as a part time librarian. He knew my real name of course, so I was forced to aplly for a new card. I was lucky, when Don checked the Johnson County Librrary system's computer showed I had never had a previous account. So I got my own card and finally quit using Kurt's. It was a nice coincidenc in itself that of all places Don, who I had become friends with while writing my book, would show up in DeSoto.
At any rate, after I had been painting for baout 5 years, I wrote letter to Kurt,, telling him why i hadn't told him I was moving and even enclosed some photos of the paintings I had done. Because I knew Kurt would be proud of me. But i never heard back from him, even though I knew he was still listed in the KC phone book as living att the same address. I just figured he was pissed off. Strangled, more than half a year later the letter and photos came back, un-opened, stamped "unable to deliver." I figured that maybe Kurt ahd gotten caugfht with cocaine and was in prison maybe and they wouldn't give him my letter. I didn't call his home because I figured even if Kurt wasn't there, his wife was probably mad at me for letting Kurt use the coke at my place years before.
About a year later it was time for me to move back to St. Louis. It took me a month to pack and I was finished except for the kitchen and bathroom stuff. For years I had been visiting my friends at the art store almost every day for several hours and it was a sad day indeed that I had to say goodbye to my only friends who actually did everything to dissuade me from moving.
Any I was sad that last day in kansas. i knew I had no friends or family waiting to see me in St Louis. But, to tell you the truth, I was really just moving back to St. Louis because that is where I wanted to die after Sparky and Pip lived out their lives.
Amazingly, it was half an hour before Coldsnow's art store closed on my last day in kansas that a girl walked in. She knew me immediately but I barely remebered her. It was Lynn, a really wonderful girl that Kurt and I had been friends with and hadn't seen in 12 years. She was as beautiful as ever and we talked for awhile. i even showed her some photo of my paintings, since she didn't even know I had gotten into art. As a matter of fact, i know remeber the last time I saw her was when I shot a tv commercial for her and her husbands retsaurant.
Like I said we talked enthusiastically and happpy for awhile, even though i told her I was moving form Kansas the next mornign. Then I asked her if she had kept in touch with Kurt.
She said she had seen him once in awhile, until he died three eyars ago.
I went into a state of shock and began crying outloud in the store lke I had never before done in my life. Istill consideredKurt the closest thing I ever had to a brother even though I hadn't seen him in eight years. Lynn hugged me and told me she had no idea I didn't know he had died. The store closed and I was barely able to drive the 20 miles hokme I was so upset. I didn't even finish my packing when I got home.
It was bizarre that minutes before I walked out of the art store for the last time, a girl comes inthat I haven't seen in ten eyars and tells me my best friend had died three years before...actually just about the time, I later realized, when I had quit using his library card.
But before leaving the store I told a friend of mine named Kevin who worked there about Kurt. Kevin made the remark that maybe Lynn was sent to tell me. I STILL BELIEVED IN GOD At thta tie, so I asked if he meant that God her. He said, "No, I mean maybe Kurt sent her."
But I had no idea then, nor now, what to make of the whole thing, but I continue to find it hard to believe Kurt is really dead and know I should have never let him use my apartment to do his coke even the few times I did.
I'll try to think of a brighter subject for tomorrow, probably osmething that happened after i got back to St. Louis.
Friday, May 20, 2005- It's already 5pm so I won't be writing much today. But I will tell you about something that happened when I first moved back to St. Louis.
I was really alone, it was a strange city after 20 year and I had no relatives or friends to visit or be with except for my cousin Joel who I saw once every couple weeks at the most. So, against my better judgement after my experiences with reformed Judaism in KC, I started going to saturday morning services at Shaare Emeth. The temple had about 2000 families in its congregation but only about 10 people usually showed up for saturday services.
But anyway to the coincidence. During my first week in St. Louis I did a drawing of my Uncle Izzy, Joel's father, who had died about 15 years before and who was a character in my so-called omnovel. And, I was shocked that a couple days after I finished the drawing, on my first visit to temple, out of the ten people there was my Uncle Izzy's brother, Al. I had only seen Al once before in my life, but over the next couple months we became friends.
Then, the second saturday I went to services, out of the ten people there was an older guy I knew well from the engineering company I worked for. He was Marvin, a friend of my father's and mine had gone to temple on the high holy days, twice a year, together....20 years before. He had known me since I was almost born.
I took both these meetings with Al and Marvin as a sign from above. So, at least I had some social contact once a week, at keast a few months until I realized what a mockery of true Judaism the temple was and had to quit going.
Ah, on the non-religious side of things, I almost forgot to mention two things that happened the first couple days I was back in St. Louis.
After being gone for 20 years i wanted to visit some of the old places I remebered. I drove toward Mt. Olive in U. City, the street whhere I was born, thinking maybe I oculd someday buy or rent one of the little houses there. On the way I noticed that not a single "for sale" or "for rent sign" was in front of even one of the houses on the way. And I passe at least a couple hundred houses...until I got to 1306 Mt. Olive, the exact house where I had lived for my first 10 years. It was for sale, the only one on the block. So i drove up and down many more of thee surrounding blocks and found that indeed it was the only one in the area for sale. God was saving it for me, I was stupid enough to think. But what was I supposed to buy it with, my $200 life savings, certainly not my good looks. But at least i felt God was looking over my shoulder...at what though I had no idea. And I did recall that I had recently read that both Jews and Christians believd a common thing. Jews believed that when their messiah came he would arrive at the Mount of Olives and Christians believed that whhen jesus returned he would arrive at the Mounnt of Olives...of course they both meant the Mount of Olives in Israel not in U. City or Jew City (as it used ot be called), Missouri. maybe a messiah would be cooming shortly to save the world and me along with it, I humored myself into thinking for a brief second or two at the most.
And within a couple days of coming to St. louis I had to find a place to get a prescription from Kansas filled. So I stopped at a Walgreens that was now in Olivette, where I spent my second ten years. I gave the lady the prescription and she typed my name into her computer. Then she said, "Oh, are you the Krause on Gleneagles?"
I jumped because my parents who lived in Florida lived on the grounds of Gleneagles County Club but not on a street named that. I said that i wasn't that Krause and we talked a bit while she refillled my prescription. She asked me if I had lived in KC. I tolder her that I had for 20 years and that i had just moved back to St. Louis that week. She said Kansas City was her home town and she had just moved to St. louis that week. This double coincidence did serve to give some comfort that I was not alone. i had the company of whatever the source of these coincidence was.
Ah yes, I almost forgot to mention what happened when i visited Ladue High School that first week back. I drove around the building and noticed a couple things. First I noticed a boat, of all things, parked right in the middle of the parking lot on a trailer of course. The name of the boat was "The Golden Egg," and it also said on the side it was from the "Hope Harbor." "Golden Eggs" had played a big part in my novel. All the member of the group who were supposed to save the earth wore one aorund their neck. And their secret password was "Hatikvah," hebrew for hope.
The second thhing I noticed at the High School was theat they had built a new gymnasium in a big building attacheed tot he main building. And in giant letters carved into the sotne above it was "Nielson Gymnasium." I knew who hey were referring to...Coach Steve Nielson who had taken the Ladue teams to victory so many times. Steve Nielson was also the father of Billy nielson who i had went to school with and the wife of my 5th grade teacher when i had been president.
That night I went over to see my cousin Joel and told him about the boat thing. Then i told him about Nielson's name in giant letters. Joel said the Jews believed every time someone read their name on sonmehtign after they died that they would be alive again for awhile. I gested that if Steve Nielson would have been Jewish, he'd be alive ofrever with the giant size of those letters.
The next morning I recieved an email that Billy Nielson had joined the ladue alumni email list. I had been on the list (not the group I started several years later) for 4 years and now all of a sudden after mentioning his name for the first time in 40 years he joins. Real wierd I thought. Not really. I didn't think it was wierd, I just thought it was another that God was somehow involved. But now I was starting to think that He was somehow involved in punishing me for some dirty deed in a previous life htat I knew nothing of and I thought that was reallyy unfair.
While on the subject of email groups I mmkight as well jumps several years after this event. About a year and a half ago, I signed a lease foir abooth at Ladue galleries to show some of my paintings. The very next morning a Ladue classmate who worked at Ladue news joined the group I started and which is still going well. I was surprised to discover The Ladue News where she worked was in the same building and actually adjoined the Ladue Galleries where I had just put my paintings the day before.
And tomorrow or whenever I'll relate something connected to another person from high school.
Saturday, May 21, 2005- It's already almost 6pm. The coincidence with the other person from High School has to do with Grant, one of the best friends of my life. I even made him a character in my novel though I hadn't seen him in a number of years.
Sorry, i was interupted for about an hour. It's 7pm now. My cousin Joel met me here at the park and he wanted to go get osmething to eat. We went to some outdoor yuppie joint in the fashionable Central West End and his corned beef sandwich, meat knish, and other stuff cost $20. That's what i spend in a week for food. I just had a piece of rye toast with butter and jelly. I figured I'd live dnagerously. And now both my gut and foot are hurting bad so I'll make this short.
Back to Grant. I visiteed him several times out in California after high school but had lost touch with him for the past 25 years. I tried to find his phone number but couldn't. Grant is the guy I ran away with to New Orleans in high shcool after we got into some michief...and he was the one that came downstairs to lift weights three times a week in high school.
Anyway, just a couple years ago, I was working at the bookstore and we had just closed on a Saturday, but several of us were hanging around shooting the shit. Wewere talking baout human consciousness. I told them that even if they could someday build a robot that looked and acted exactly like a human being and nobody could tll it wasn't, it still wouldn't be human because it wouldn't have a self-awareness, a stream of consciousness. And I told then that I last discussed this subject with a friend named Grant and he disagreed with me...he said it owuld automatically develop a stream of consciousness. I told the guys at the bookstore that this was risdiculous and I was surprised Grant hwo was a very intellligent electronic engineer could say such a thing.
I htink this is the first time I mentioned Grant's name to anyone in over 20 years. Like I said for two decades I had tried to locate him. The very next day, I was so shocked and happy when I received an email from him I started to cry...and we've been talking on the phone every few months or so ever since. Grant's a good guy and he has a nice family and lives out in high-tech California. I hope to see him in person at or classe's upcoming reunion in October. And maybe I'll finally be able to convince him that a robot could never have a stream of cousiousness.
Onle last thing baout Grant having to do with where he lived when I last visited him in 1972, but I'll save ot for tomorrow. It's getting late and Pip and I have to get our Saturday Night Feverless walk in.
Sundday, May 22, 2005- Before I move on, I'll mention a couple other small coincidences having to do with Grant, as I promised yesterday. I surely wouldn't want to dissappoint any reader with enough patience to wade this far thru all this stuff. My father died 3 years ago and after his funeral I ran into an old friend of both mine and of my father. He gave me a good deal on an apartment in a complex he owned and I a bit surprised when I got ready to move in that the name of the apartment complex was Half Moon Village. Grant, who I had just reconnected with shortly before had lived at Half Moon Bay in California for many years during the time period when I visited him twice on my motorcycle. And the apartment complex was right on Link Blvd. I had told my friend who rented me the apartment after the funeral that I had a painting at my high school of Lincoln named "The Link." A minor ocincidence, but interesting to my bored mind nevertheless.
On a totally other usbject it seems that many time over the course of my life, technological advances had happened just when I needed them...and certainly I realize when probably millions of other people needed them.
But anyway, one techo-coincidence that pops to mind as I sit here on my dead father's laptop computer in the heavy missouri humidity is that it was right in the mid 80's when I started to write my big book, at exactly the time when personal computers and their word processors came of age. I would have never had the patience to write my book if it had not been for my trustly little Macintosh and McWrite I.
And it was right when I needed to find an audience for my art that the internet came of age.
And a more life-saving hting, for better or worse, happened just two years ago. Three months after they put the first stent in my heart it cllosed up completely and they had to put naother one in. And, handily it was during the time between the first one and the tine for the second one that a nnew drug-coated stint had been approved by the FDA. That's what they used to replace the regular one that closed up and the new drug-coated stent has, again for better or worse, stayed open for two years now.
Something on a bit 'lighter" note, having to do with the first beginnings of my website almost 6 years ago. I had just moved back to St. louis and had just started coming to Forest Park everyday, so I decided to make Forest Park and it's Art museum my very own fictional Originaldo's Place for my website. The first painting I wanted to graphically display was my favorite, the one of Audie Murphy called "By The Dawn's Early Light."
For my website I wanted to place it on a pedestal beside the Grand basin lake in fornt of the art museum. But i needed a nice stone base to mount it on. So I took a picture of the Statue of Saint Louis that has been sitting high atop a grand stone base in fornt of the Art museum for 100 years. I used the stone base part of the photo as the base for my "Dawn's Early Light" painting of Audie by the lake and uploaded it to my website.
Aweek or so later I noticed the Electrical Company I used to work for doing some diggin around the Statue of St. Louis. I went up and talked to the electtricians. They told me that for the first time in a hundred years, the Statue would now be illuminated ta night (you know, like The dawns Early Light).
Additionally, I did a picture of a girfriend of my cousins giant size as if she were coming out of the Garnd Basin in front of the Art Museum. But I thought the pcture needed something more. So i added some fountians to the lake. That was 6 years ago. About a year and a half ago they completely rebuilt the Grand Basin for the first tije since the St. Louis Worlds fair in 1904...and they put half a dozen giant fountians in the lake for the first time.
On the subject of art, about a year ago, I was commissioned to do a paitning of a odctor who had recently died. I did the painting and everybody at the clinic very much approved of it...except for the doctors wife who said that it wasn't my best work and was just in general displeased with it. It was a greta blow to me, but the clinic still though i had done a good job and paid me in full.
But I still felt I had fialed on the project, until about 3 months later I was at a flea market over in Illinois and ran into a couple old friends I hadn't seen for awhile. One of them named Laura was an artist herself, so i told her I had recently completed a commission, but the wife wasn't very happy with it. Laura asked me the name of the doctor. I told her the last name and amazingly Laura said the doctors wife used to be her landlady and was the biggest grouch and bitch she had ever known and was never pleased with anything. Remember St. Louis is a big place. So this comment by Laura made me feel a bit better, and again, i almost, but not quite, started believeing tthere was someone or something looking over my shoulder once in awhile to ease my pain, much the same as Barbar had told me in the park in Kansas 10 years before that she just happened ot be best friends with the wife of the professor who laughed at my book and that the guy was a real sicko.
Again, as I prepare to relate this final coincidence for the timme being, I remind you St. Louis metro area is a big place of several million people. Maybe a million dwellings I'd guess.
Anyway, a couple years ago my isster ran into an old girlfriend of mine named Sally at the casino, actually the girlfriend who i mentioned many pages ago whose lamp I kicked over and ended up as a result on tranquilizers for 20 years. That was the doctors doings though, not hers. Anyway, Sally asked my sister for my phone number and I talked to her for the first time in 30 years. And I was shocked to discover where she lived. She had bought the very exact condo that my parents lived in before they moved to Florida full time. When I went over and visited sally a coule years ago, my fathers desk was still in the study because he had it built in place, and it was too big to get oput without ddestroying it. i evenn found some of his old papers still in one of the drawers. It was an eery coincidence and Sally agreed it was a million to one thing. Because she had no idea my parents had lived there when she bought it. She actually bought it from a couple my parents had sold it to.
And one other minor ocincidence here. Just a few days befoe I had mentioned to some friends at the clothes store next tothe bookstore where I worked that i had been a Marine. It was the first time I ever mentined it to anyone down there. And it was a few days later I visited Sally and discovered she still had my dogtags that I had given her 30 years before. I had totally forgotten I had given them to her...but I did take them back when she offered them to me, saying that when she dies her children will just throw them away if she kept them. So I put them on and showed them to my friend at Gus's fashions the very next day and told them the interesting story of how I had happened to just get them back.
Now all I have to do is to be prepared to behave llike a real Marine when my time comes. Anyway, enough of the coincidences for the time being and back to the regular journal-type stuff. But the entires still may be more frequent because it is more enjoyable typing in the car at the park than couped up in my apartment.
And I think Pip and will drive out on the highway and eat some pocorn on as he head toward Meramec caverns to celebrate getting so many of the connected events down on paper. And why do I enjoy driving out on the highway so often, even with a car that might breakdown? Because it reminds me I'm not locked up at Farmington anymore...and will make damned sure I never will be again.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005- Believe it or not this 10 day void is the longest I've gone wihtout writing since I got this laptop. I guess the novelty of it is wearing off, and also I've been busy working on some other things. I did a drawing of Katharine Ross and Audrey Hephurn. Though I think there is usually more so-called character in a man's face, maybe just because they don't wear makeup, I find that when I'm working on a woman's face I feel better afterwards because I have created a bit of beauty.
I also started adding some pictures of my artwork to this bio to make it a bit more interesting. I'm planning on adding one on each page and it will be a big job.
But some people are actually reading it on my website and getting something out of it. I don't remember if I already mentioned it, but a few weeks ago a guy from Brazil wrote me a real nice email about my bio. I'll put it in here when I get home later.
You´re amazing...The last 3 hours I read your "Just another apprenticeship" and frankly I don´t know what to say...It can´t be invented...The only thing is that I just cannot accept that God would put you up through so much suffering without equivalent compensation on the bright side. Either you are a new Van Gogh that we will be hearing from after you die or... you have a filter that does not allow you to tell just about everything your life is all about...
A couple of years ago Van Goghs letter´s to his brothers were unveilled and an editor from National Geografic took a sabatic and did not only a through research on them, but repeated all the routine they refflected.
You should read it.
Best Regards from Brazil,
And he said he was going to mail me a book about Van Gogh. And sure enough, just the other day I got my first package from a foreign country in my life. When I emailed him my thanks, he followed up woith an even more considerate email than the first and I'll also put it in here.
I´m glad it came through. I knew that these things had to reach you. Don't ask me why. I have extreme difficulty about the fact that the world is created being in extreme need of help when I see and feel the beauty and care that reality around us shows off. Even though at 62, father of three successful boys, grandfather of two lovely boys and extremely ashamed of being ungrateful to what life (or God) has given me, I still feel sad and revolted when I know that some existences might put people like yourself or Van Gogh, or any other, through such mill as both of you did. And the most intriguing part is that perhaps it is this that makes it possible the world to be helped. But the very last thing I would like for me or my boys, or any body, would be to go through such pains even though to become a Van Gogh, or for that matter, you, that is not that famous, but surely belongs to the same league.
After savoring the book about Van Gogh, and along that line of thought, (not mine, but the book or the report in the National Geographic, that you didn't mention, but I assume you received), you should get acquainted with Henri Nouwen,. He was a Dutch priest and former catholic theologian at Harvard and having spent a lot of his later life at L'Arche community in France. This community is perhaps the opposite the one where you had your flight over the cuckoo's nest. Although the site bellow about him is based in Van Gogh and indeed it's true that Nouwen loved him, it was Rembrandt the real inspirer of his soul. Even though you do not seem to me having had sons or having had the structure to allow you to go through the experience or for that matter, having been raised Jew, to have acquaintance with the parable of the Prodigal Son, I strongly recommend you to order.
Incidentally, although as you I was raised catholic, I became atheist right after adolescence and recovered my belief in God when my boys reached age to make first communion, because my wife is strongly catholic.
I feel loosely Christian and have extreme difficulty with the idea that I should be saved by the sacrifice of another creature (even if it is God re incarnated) the way it is proposed in the holy Bible. I love the Bible, especially the old testament and one of the paradox I have to deal with in my (psycho) analysis is that it seems that I have not surpassed the God of Wrath of the Old Testament and accepted the God of Love of the New.
I have no intention to influence your religious beliefs. I an bit quite sure about mine...
We are just two soul searchers exchanging thoughts.
Thank you for your offer, I like works of art, I have many paintings at home and will carefully choose something from you, hang in my house and will remember this event with joy.
PS Last but not least. Your style, not your life story, is much more akin to Rembrandt than to Van Gogh.Please excuse me for being so prolix...
I've also gone back to doing a few swapshots for my website. For instance the one I did yesterday is a poster of the movie "Romancing the Stone." But instead of hanigng onto Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner is holding onto a stone statue.
Also the high school email group has gotten a couple new members and that always puts me in a better mood. As a matter of fact, six of us got together for dinner last Thursday and I ate a big greasy toasted cheese sandwich and some french fries. And it brought on a good... Let's just say it was good for my digestive system.
A girl i went to grade shcool was with us last Thursday and it brings to mind naother connected event. I had lunch with her, seeing her for the first time in 42 years, a couple months ago. Then I ran into her a second time in 42 years, just 3 days later, at a movie. Oh yeah, that brings to mind another similar thing. Last summer about six us from High School got together for dinner at the art museum, but one of tthe girls wasn't able to make it. But exactly one week later, to the hour, I ran into her, seeing her for the firts time in 42 years.
I've read the first 100 pages of the book about Van Gogh and find it fascinating, though I'm no big fan of his art. Many of his ideas about llife, though, I find similar to some of my own. So maybe after Pip and I are gone, they can sell my paintings for a thousand times what they're worth, like they did van Gogh's.
Speaking of my so-called art, I took a big chance yesterday and cut my statue of liberty painting off its stretcher bars, cut three inches from each side to make it narrower and glued it to a piece of formica. It was tricky, I lamsot ruined the painting, because it curled up when I put the glue on and it was a mess. But I think I slavaged it. It does look better narrower. Lady Liberty looks more prominent.
And this subject is a good lead in to a connected event that just happened a couple hours ago. Since the painting is no longer a standard size that ready made frames come in, I wanted to find someplace that sold cheap custom sized frames. The ones at even the cheapest frame shops is more than I can afford, so i checked the internet. I typed "Picture Frames" into Google on the internet and it came up with hundreds of thousands of listings around the world. I checked the very first lisiting and found a not-to-bad frame at a price I could afford and ordered it. And afterwards I discovered the place, that could have been anywhere in the world, is only 3 blocks from where I live. So I can pick it up and save $8 shipping.
When i'm busy working on things, my mind is off my pain and I feel better, and I don't think about the tunnel I'm in thta has no light at the end of it. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, to idstract my mind from the truth. But it's all i have left that I can do for the time being. At any rate, I'll stop typing ofr now and start a drawing of teeny-booper Alicia Silverstone before I burn up too much gas sitting here with my engine idling and the AC on.
Wednesday, June 1, 2005- Just a short note today. Yesterday I mentioned the girl from high school that I hadn't seen in 42 years and met her for lunch a couple months ago, then, 3 days later I saw her a second time in 42 years, this time by chance, at the movies. Well, I got a phone call from my mother today and she told me that she was someplace with her friends today, and this very same girl, who hadn't seen my mother in probably 49 years and who I just wrote about yesterday, came up to her and asked her, "Are you Richard's mother?" Like I said, St. Louis is a big place, and I have no idea how she knew it was my mother. I'll have to ask her.
Sunday, June 5, 2005- I did ask how she knew my mother, and unbelievably, she said she just recognized her, even thogh she hadn't seen her since 6th grade, 49 years ago.
I'll have to make this short again today, because even though I have he overheating problem fixed with my car for the time being, the engine is starting to burn oil real bad after i sit idling for too long. I've had to add a quart of oil about every two weeks, but you could never see it pumping out blue smoke like this. Actually a Park Ranger stopped while I was sitting here, and asked if I knew my car was smoking.
So if I drive it aorund every a bit every 15 minutes or so, it doesn't smoke at idle, but it gerts to be a big nuisance. People who have knew cars that don't give them a constant worry about whether it's going to breakdown and hiw they'll get the money to fix it don't appreciate what they have. I include myself. When I was gainfully employed I took a dependable car for granted. Like the old clliche goes, "Money isn't important, unless you don't have it."
Getting to the point of thtis entry, i had an interesting ocnnected event yesterday. I got a phone call from the Director ioif the Audie Murphy Museum in texas, where my paintings are. She told me Audie Murphy Days was coming up in two weeks and wanted to know if I coukd get here some 4x6 prints of one of the seven paintings. I told her I would take care of it and she asked me if I oculd make it down to texas for the upcoming event. I told her I doubted it because of car trouble. It was the first time I had heard from anyone from the museum in Texas in two years.
Then, a few hours later, my cousin Joel, the taxi driver, called me to tell me he had given a guy a ride who had moved to St. Louis from Texas not too long ago. Joel asked him if he had ever been to the Audie Murphy museum in Greenville. Anyway, as it turns out this guy had seen my paintings at the museum down there and Joel had a long ocnversation with him aboout me and my artwrok. It turns out the guy produces programs for PBS and, being familiar iwth my Audie paintings and seeing my other paintings and stuff on my website, he wants to come see my work and myself at my place, which Joel told him have fixed up like a small gallery. Joel even told him, "Hey, my coousins's life is a story in itself."
Of ocurse, I know not to get nay hopes up, but here is definitely an example of connected events. Same day I hear from the Texas Museum for the firts time in 2 years, my cousin meets someone from Texas who has seen my work and is interested in it.
Car starting to smoke. Gotta sign off.
Wednesday, June 8, 2005- I never heard from Joel's friend, the TV production guy, but I did get 100 photos of 2 of my Audie paintings in the mail to the museum today. Week after next iis Audie Murphy Days in Texas and they wanted them for that. If I had a decent car I'd drive down there, but...
A couple connected events to report. In the past couple days I did two different humorous "swapshots" of Hnery Fonda for my website. So, this morning I decided to do a drawing of him, but couldn't find a good photo on the internet. But an hour later when I walk into the post office to mail the photos to Texas I see they have a new celebrity stamp out...of Henry Fonda. So I bought one to do a drawing from. All over the course of my life it seemed that like when I needed something it just appeared. Like a special spring I need for a front-wheel suspension I was building for my mtorbike. I just happened to be sitting on a lawn chair which had springs the exact right length and strength. And that sort of thing happened all the time. That's why i misinterpreted it to mean I was going to save the world with a great invention, and when i didn't I felt my life was purposeless.
And hundreds of times over the years I've gone to the library looking for some sort of a book on a certain subjct, and sitting right there on a table where you walk in is the book I need.
Back to the present, though. I had my oil changed yesterday because I hadn't changed it in almost a year because I'm always adding fresh oil, about a quart every ten days. Anyway, the mechanic couldn't believe I hadn't changed it in a year,and when i drove out with the oil changed, hoping maybe thta would stop the oil burning, a car pulled in fornt of me with the personal license plate CHNGED.
On another subject, I got an email yesterday from a guy asking the price on my Lindbergh painting. It turned out he lived in Sty. Louis and was Vice President of a naton wide medical supply company. So I emailed him back a price and then never heard from him.
I spent half a year on that painting which I consider to be my best, but he probably expected to be able to by it for what he earns in a week or two. Well he expected wrong. I asked was than what the average American earns in 6 months, and that's for a painting whcih Lindbergh's own flesh and blood said is the best ever done of Charles, and which is the #1 image of Charles Lindbegrh in the world on Google. Am I being greedy?
Well this starving artist will continue to starve rather than be taken advantage of. The guy could of at leatss been considerate enough to write back that he was sorry but he wasn't interested at that price. I guess he was too busy trying to figure out how to jack up his medical supply prices so the old people would have to fork over more of their retirement cash to his company so he could afford to buy a new Lear jet and go visit the trashy modern art museums around the world filled with paint splashings and elephant dung done by "Famous artists."
I may sound cynical, I guess because I am, and with good reason. I see the world the way it really is...a giant purposeless theme park. Except of course for you, the reader. I don't want to alienate you, because I was born a part of the theme park, but not by choice. Enough for now before my blood starts boiling and my oil starts burning.
Friday, June 10, 2005- It's about 7pm friday night and I'm sitting in my car at the park in a heavy rain with the temperature still almost 90. What's good is that with the rain the Park Rangers can't see my car burning oil as I sit here with the AC on. What's bad, or maybe good, is that things finally seem to be coming to a head. I'm sure I've probably written that before, but this time it's different. I got a call from a nice lady named Kim that runs the medicated stent research program. She just wanted to make her yearly check on how I was doing. I told her my heart seemed fine, but i still had horrible gut cramps and that if I knew over two years gao that this is what I ws going to have to endure, I would not have had a stent or anything else put in my heart. She was real nice and said she understood.
We've talked before at length so I told her that it was just so frustrating because I knew that if doctors would put me in the hospital and with all their fancy equipment monitor and look at exactly what happens to my gut before and after I eat they could discover what medicine was causing it, if it was indeed the medice and noit the MS. What was sad is that when I told her I knew dpoctors and hospitals didn't do that sort of specialized intensive treatment, that they were set up to treat patients on an assembly line in a short time for a lot of money, she agreed.
So, to get to the point, I have no option but to graduallty reduce my heart medication on my own. But it's rsiky especuially because both the heart medications I take are time-release capsules and can't easily or accurately be reduced. But i have no choice.
What to do about my car? I can't do anything, but hope the police odn't bar me from the park for burning oil when AI idle for long periods of time. I can't stay at home all day. As it is I work on art about 5 hours in the mornign before I come out here. What am I supposed to do, especially considering I can't watch TV and don't smoke or drink. At least I still have Pip to comfort me. Right now he's sitting in the passenger seat snoozing with no idea what's on my mind. But when he's awake and sees me worried he knows it. I just don't know what the fuck to do.
I saw my cousin Joel this afternoon and he ate at Denny's and insisted I eat somehting. So I got a bagel with cream cheese and had stabbing pains for two hours afterwards. Maybe that's why I'm in a bad mood. But it just isn't fuckin' worth it any more.
I'll see what happens when I start reducing the heart medication. I made provisions a couple years ago to assure that the email group for my high shcool class will continue without me. But the guy that took care f it in my absence is now unable to, so I'll arrange for someone else to take his place.
Like I said, it's friday night, so I better sign off and try decide how I''m going to get thru it. Weekend nights are always more difficult to endure alone and with out nasything to do. I actually today for the first time really got sick of even trying to pass the time with my so-called art.
Who knows. Maybe just writing about my pitiful complaints will somehow miraculously fix them. Who am I kidding? I bet that even if Moses was aorund it would be easier for him to part the Red Sea than to stop a 1993 White Chrysler with 140,000 miles on it from burning oil...not to mention fix the side effects of medication...and most difficult of all the frustration of living in a world with no purpose or use for an idiot like myself.
At least I'm not locked up at Farmington and can pass Friday night the way I want. I got a dvd from the ibrary about Orville and Wilbur Wright. maybe I'll watch t later if my foot does....forget it...talk to youlater dear duiary
Saturday, June 25, 2005- It's about noon and I'm sitting in my car at the park wiith it at 97 degrees outside. I have my sidewview mirror adjusted so I can see see when my tailpipe starts smoking. At any rate, it's been 2 weeks since I've written anything, Just haven't felt like it. I mention that about 3 weeks ago several of us from high school got together for dinner. I don't think I menhtioned thta it was to greet a classmate named Chris on his visit to St. Louis for family and neighborhood reunions. I also didn't mention that Chris slept on my couch for 3 of the 5 nights he was in St. Louis. Chris has had many serious health problems over the years but seemed very ennergetic.
And I found out, actually of the very evening of my last entry, that he had gotten pneumonia and died from a heart attack less than a week after he got back home to Miami.
I was sort of in a daze for awhile, finding it hard to believe. But now I do believe it. That's all I can say. Other than at least he's out of all his pain.
Back to the more mundane and trivial, I was driving here to the park yesterday and passed Washington University on my way. And it remined me of a coincidence ro connected event that happened over a decade ago. It was 1982, the year before I took up drawing and painting, and I was doing my first crude artwork graphics on my computer. One of the graphics wa about a satiracally fictional political party, the KraUSAnity Party. And when I came to the party platform page, I left the place for the platform paragraph on each subject blank and put "to be revealed at Washington University Field House" in giant letters across tthe whole page. Wash. U. came to my mind because that's where I went to engineering school and I put the fiueld house because thta is where I went once with a girfriend for the only dance I ever went to in college.
Well anyway, to the point, a month or so after i did the graphic it was announced that the first persidential debate of 1982 would be held at the Washington University Field House in St. Louis. At the time I thought it was the first one I had ever heard of being held there, and I just chekced this morning and verifyed that it was indeed the first ever held at W.U. And since that first one they have had several there...of course, without my presidential-class, prophetic self present. How rude and inconsiderate of the organizers:)
While world decisions are made without consulting me, I continue to pass the time doing drawings and swapshots.
Thursday, June 30, 2005- I've done osme serious thinking in the past few days, and realize that I have about 40 paintings and almost 200 pastel portait still in my possession and I owuld feel better if they would end up somewhwre they might be appreciated rather than in the dumpster, so i decided, for a first step to see if the Bush family is interested in the oil paintings I have of George Sr. and Barbara Bush. So I'm preparing a letter and may possibly send the paintings unsolicited, in addition to the compositional study for a painting I was going to do of the present President Bush.
At any rate, while working on this endeavor, I remembered a fairly recent and dranatic coincidence worth mentioning. As I said I have a layout for a new painting of George W. that took me a couple weks to put together about a year ago. I really liked the image when I finished the digital composition and decided to title it "Let freedom Reign." In the picture, Bush and a picnic bench of kids are in a small park with lady Liberty towering abpve them and I even have engraved on Liberty's base, the words "Let Freedom Reign," which was actually a play on the words Let freedom Ring from the song God Bless America, i think. Back at the time, about a year ago, I liked the phrase so much, I htought I'd check and see how many other people had used the phrase. I checked on Google which has over 5 billion internet pages catlogued. I was quite surprised to find that only one person in the world had ever used the phrase. I was shocked to discover whi that one person was. In a speech to the UN that phrase was used by none other than the subject of my picture, President Bush. What does it mean? Does it mean I am on the right course. I don't think so. Like I've said so many times recently in these overstuffed pages, it just means there is more to reality and or mental ebergy than we understand...or that probablty we need to or even should understand. I'll leave it at that and sign off. It's 99 outside and I need to move my car before it starts smoking..and I start cussing.
Friday, July 1, 2005- Just a couple short comments today. I may have already mentioned this. I don't remember...but maybe not as a connected event. All the while for the year annd a half I spent painting the Audie Murphy paintings, I envisioned that some day my work, not necessarily the Audie paintgs, would be unveiled aat some event and I would be standing up there so proud with Sparky and Pip at my side. When Sparky died I had no idea there would be any grand unveiling of anything or of any sort. I knew then that my dreams were just bullshit fantasies. I hadn't heard anything from the Audie Murphy Foundatiojn in a couple years, but about 8 months after Sparky died they called me and told me they were putting the paintings on extended loan to the museum in Texas. And they asked if I could be there at the unveiling and make some sort of statement for a couple minutes. I now remember that I did mention this, that I did go to Texas and make a speech. But I didn't specifically point out, I don't think, that Sparky died sometime late in the afternoon of June 23, 2000 and it was late in the afternoon of June 23, 2001 that I made the speech or whatever you want to call it. Within an hour or two at the most of exactly one year after he died I did have an unveiling, but without him. Pip wasn't with me either, but at least i had him to go home to.
On the brighter side of things, I've temporarily figured out a way to keep my car from smoking while I'm sitting here at the park idling. I have the AC adjusted so the compressor is on all the time, rather than cycling on and off, and that way the engine is alwys under a small load and burns the oil as quickly as it gets into the cylinders. It still burns it, but you can't see it because it doesn't hae time to collect in the cylinders while the engine is running under no load with the compressor off and then burn it all off in blue smoke at once when the compressor kicks on.
Tuesday, July 5, 2005- On the subject of blowing smoke, I just yesterday thought of something interesting thta happened quite a number of years ago while I was working on the first draft of my book. Even though it would have been 18 years ago, back in 1987 I do remember it was the first draft because I quit smoking after I spent a year on the first draft. I knew I owuld be sitting infront of my computer for a long time to rewrite and edit it..I didn't feel like sittign there all that time with my eyes burning and coughing in a clud of nasty smoke and I also wanted my mind to be as clear as possible. So, with great difficulty, I quit smoking...smoking that I had started 15 years before at age 27 at Farmington.
Anyway, off the tangent and back to the thing that happened in 1987. During the course of writing the first draft, 4-6 pages per day for 364 days (thats right, I only missed one day and that was the day I was told I had MS) I had become interested in psychic stuff because of all the unusual connected events that were happening at a very accelerated rate since I started the writing. I was laying on the couch reading a book about psychokinetic abilites. You know, like bending spoons or moving thiings or levitating in air. I would have never before this time wasted my time reading such stuff, but I had almsot figured anything was possible. But when I read about all this spoon bending and floating in air, I slammed the book closed in disgust and muttered aloud, "Oh, bullshit."
I had been holding by flip-top box of Marlboros in one hand and threw it onto the coffee table in disgust as I said the words, "Oh, bullshit." It slid (the pack of Marlboros, not the bullshit) across the mirrored top on its side, came to a halt...and stood up. I couldn't believe it. I went over and inspected the mirrored table top lookihg for maybe a rough spot where it might have gotten snagged forcing it to stand up, but there were none. It was almost as if some force was trying to display to me that the crap i had been reading about wasn't crap at all. At any rate, a similar so-called psycho-kinetic event hasn't happened to me in the 18 years since. But before that, the two times I escaped death in my 20's when my motorcycle went into slow motion and a few months later when my overturned car stopped in midair long enough for me to get my head out of the way could have been what they call psycho-kinetic. That would make 3 in my lifetime.
So, who knows, naybe I oculd have a few more, like maybe some of my paintings could walk themselves to the National portrait gallery in Washington or to the Louvre in Paris.
Enough milarky for one day, especially considering the not too good mood I'm in. A couple weeks ago i started decreasing one of kmy medications and for a few days my gut pains were much better, so I of course jumped to the conclusion that soon they would be gone. But they came back in full force about 3 days ago. Hey,maybe I oculd use some psycho-kinetics to make both my pain and my complaining jump out of body and jump off a cliff holding hands like Butch cassidy and the Sundance Kid did.
Sunday, July 10, 2005- I have to make it quick today, because I'm sitting in my car as usual with the motor running for the AC and since gas is now $2.30 a gallon, I use about $15 worth of gas every couple days...mostly just to power my air conditioner.
A couple days ago I noticed on my daily web stats that a good number of people were viewing a picture I did about 10 years ago of Candice bergen, sort of a spoof of her seminude as the Dime Lady. So I checked Google and sure enough i was ranked about 10 out of several thousand for Candice. So, I figured since some people were looking at it I'd see if I could improve it. I worked on it a couple hours and it was much better and so I uploaded it to my web site. I checked Google later that day and the picture and just in those couple hours the picture had moved up into the #1 position. I've mentioned before that it seems that quite often the particular part of my web site that I'm working on suddenly increases in popularity. Moving from 10 to 1 in a couple hours is almost unheard of.
I know this movement isn't all that interesting, but it reminded me of something that I think is. About 10 years ago, right when I was finishing the picture of Sprint's Dime Lady Candice Bergen, my nephew gave me an unexpected call. he was in Kansas City for some sort of meeting for a new job he had applied for. We agreed to meet that night for dinner at his hotel. So i went to his hotel and while we were at dinner I showed him the picture of Sprint's Dime Lady...and we were both shocked. It turned out that he had come to K.C. just to interview for the job with Sprint. He got the job, went home to St. Louis and worked for Sprint for about 6 years becoming their 3rd biggest salesman of business accounts in the country.
I stayed in kansas City and continued my artwork, thinking coincidents like the one with candice's picture really meant something. Any, back to the more immediate and more mundane. Just last night, I stopped at Walmart to get 5 things. I went in, found 4 of the things right off, but they only had large boxes of 50 trash bags and I only wanted 10. I looked all over that area of the giant store but it looked as if they only had boxes of 50 for $4.95, so i decided to wait and go to Save-A-Lot where I do my grocery shopping for $20 a week and get 10 bags for about $1.50. But as I was standing in line to check out at WalMart I noticed a box of trash bags sitting right next to the counter that looked like someone had decided not to buy at the last minute. It was a box of 20. I had the cashier check the price. It was $1.95 so i went ahead and bought it. I should say it was absolutely the only item at this particular checkout that some one had abandoned..exactly what i needed. I'll close for the day with the comment that it sometimes seem that fate is on my side...just enough to help to keep me going, maybe just to tease me, but never enough to... There I go again, starting to sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself. Talk to you later.
A sidenote: Though it still isn't worth the effort to go back and proof read or correct my typing mistakes, I have just started to use the automatice spell checker with this program and so entries should start to be easier to read. Still plenty of grammatical and other errors, but not typos.
Saturday, July 16, 2005- Again, I should make it quick because I'm spending about $220 a month for gas just so Pip and I can sit in a cool car rather than be couped up at home. This summer is a really hot one and I'm spending more than twice on gasoline what I spend on food for the both of us...$25 a week. Being out here at the park surrounded by trees is our greatest pleasure. I did go to a movie this week for the first time in quite awhile. I saw Cinderella man and it was really good, the true story of a guy down on his luck who triumphs over insurmountable odds, not for glory, but so he can take care of his family. Anyway, before I go into how this sort of movies, while inspiring, can at the same time give false hope, or before I give you my weekly grocery list I thought of a couple connected events to write down. Even if no one reads this, it is good to get them down on paper to relieve my surely already strained subconscious mind of the task of trying to remember them. For, at the time they all happened, they seemed important.
Two of them i remembered a couple days ago when i got an email from a friend of mine named Ron who owned the photo shop I used to go to in Kansas. I went there for the most part to get photos developed of my paintings as i did them. But then I made friends with Ron and his grandson Brad and a girl named Alicia who worked there along with her husband Tony. A young girl also worked there named Lindsay who I did a painting of. Any, to the point, I had been going there for almost a year, several times a week But I had never showed them an actual painting I did. They fop course saw the photos but I wanted to get their opinion on how the painting looked compared to the photo. So one day I packed my painting of Rembrandt in the car and took it there. As they were looking at it and saying it looked much better in person than in a photo, in walked the art teacher who had given me two painting lessons a couple years before. I quit taking his class because I wanted to do faces but he said I wasn't ready.
Anyway, I was surprised he recognized me because he had only seen me twice and that was 2 years before. He said I certainly had flourished since the last time he saw me paint. Flourished or not, it was a big coincidence seeing him there that day. I had probably been in moto photo 100 times before, but here the first time I bring a painting he shows up. And I never saw him again in all the several years after that that continued to go to Moto Photo on an almost daily basis.
Something else interesting happened at Moto. I took my painting of Barbara Bush in to show it to them. It was important because I was about ready to send it to Bush's museum in Texas. Suddenly while we were looking at it, an elderly woman spoke up and said it was just lovely, and went on to tell us how she was the Bush's nearest neighbor for many years down in texas. She even told us some of the Bush's personal habits.
The third coincidence I will relate today has nothing to do with Moto. But it does have something to do with a painting. I had just finished a painting of Yonnie Netanyahu, the Israeli hero who led the raid on Entebbe and died in the process. I took it over to the Commissioner of Johnson County Elaine's house to show it to here. I become friends with her and her husband when we gave Bob Dole the painting I dod of them. At any rate, she wasn't home, so I left it with her husband. She called me that night to tell me how beautiful it was and also told me that there was lady having dinner with her that night who just loved it and wanted to help me show it to the President of Israel. Her name was Isabelle and she was his cousin.
Fourth connected event for the day is about five years ago I had already moved back to Missouri and hadn't talked to my good friend jeannie in a number of years. I wanted to tell her about how they unveiled my Audie Murphy paintings in Texas and how I made a speech. She would really be proud of me. I didn't know how to get ahold of her, so i called her father Dave jackson of jackson Artists for her number. I hadn't talked to him in many years and told him about my Audie paintings. And he told me about a guy standing in his office right then that had just finished a screenplay for a movie about Audie Murphy. He was amazed at the coincidence and sent me a copy of the script and I told him how to see the paintings on the internet, and he said the producers of the movie wanted to use some of my work. But, that eventually came to a dead end.
On a humorous note, the fifth event for the day is about a picture I did of Lindsay Wagner as half woman, half horse, standing with Stephen King in front of a photo I had taken of Washington University. It was a satire of a movie poster and I said that it was for a horror movie called Genome filmed on location at the Washington U. DNA Lab. Of course it was fiction. Though they probably had a DNA lab someplace the picture was of main entrance and parking lot of the school. But a month or so after I did the picture they suddenly started digging up the whole parking lot in the picture and constructing a giant Bio-Engineering Building. Hey with weird coincidence like this happening how could I not feel i was being inspired or some other bullshit??
I'm finished for the day without going into my depressing notion that Cinderella man movies can give false hope, but I will give you my weekly shopping list:
1 pound green beans $.79
1 pound carrots $1.29
7 bananas $.80
3 pounds ground dark turkey for Pip $2.20
Half a five pound sack of potatoes. $1.20
1 pound turkey bologna for Pip $.98
3 pounds artificial cheese $2.70
3 loaves bread $1.50
2 pounds ground white turkey for me $3.00
1 pound sliced turkey for me $3.00
And then there's miscellaneous stuff like paper towels and plastic bags, the total for the week usually comes to between 20 and $25. Real cheap because we eat the same things all the time and shop at a real cheap store Save-A-Lot.
I'll save alot now if I shut down this computer and head home before I use up any more gas.
Monday, August 22, 2005- First time in over 3 weeks that I've been at the park in my own car, even though it's still not running right. The oil-burning got so bad I had to have it fixed. We thought it was almost for sure just leaking thru the valves so it was going to cost me $1500 for a valve job.
I got a loan for the work, but when they took the heads to the machine shop, they said the valves weren't that bad to cause it to burn oil. So for another $500 the mechanic said he'd put in new rings and bearings in the engine. So i got some more money. It fixed the oil burning, but to make a very long story short, after a total of almost $3000 the engine idles erratically making it difficult to drive and the air conditioner still squeals, but not as bad as before. Tomorrow I'm taking it back to a Chrysler dealer so i can pay him $110 a half hour to see if he can figure out the problem so my mechanic can fix it. But I'm not too optimistic.
But I will report a connected event having to do with my car. Without my own car I've been spending more time at home doing pictures on my computer. A few weeks ago I did half a dozen "Billboard siblings" pictures and for some reason put the famous picture of the sailor kissing the girl on VJ Day in all of them, standing alongside the billboard in the foreground. And I was at the Chrysler dealer waiting for them to look at my car and I was watching TV (which i don't watch at home) and the news reported that that very day, a statue from the photograph taken 60 years before was being unveiled in Time Square, just days after I had used the photo in my pictures for the first time.
My 60 th birthday was last week. I can't believe I've made it this far. Last week i was reading a book called "Parable of the Tribes"
which agrees with all my ideas about the unnaturalness of what we call civilization. At least I now know there's at least one Harvard scholar who's a screwball like me.
On a good note, Pip seems to be holding his own, even though he has increasing difficulty walking. The Vet said it was arthritis and I need to get a special diet supplement which can supposedly reverse the damage but will take a couple months to work.
One more interesting coincidence before I have to go get my laundry out of the dryer at the laundramat (first time I've done laundry in 2 months). I send an email to the high school group every morning with some sort of famous saying in it. This morning I came across for the first time a saying by Aristotle about how excellence is no accident but a habit. But I decided not to use it at the last minute thinking people might thinking I was claiming excellence on my own part. Anyway on the way to the park a couple hours later, I started thing about connected events and how maybe they happened to biblical prophets so it made them think they were doing the work of god. I thought for a second that maybe it did show they were in tune to some unusual level of conscience, but then decided they probably just random coincidences like mine...when suddenly a pickup truck drove by me on the highway with the exact saying about excellence I had read this morning painted on the rear gate of it. It was even signed by Aristotle. I've never before seen any saying of Aristotle's painted on a car, much less the exact one I had just come across and was going to use a couple hours before. It seemed for a few minutes like maybe some mysterious force had sent this pickup truck to try and tell me it was no coincidence after all. Or so it seemed for a couple minutes anyway. Speaking of minutes, it's time to get my clothes out of the drier.
Thursday, September 1, 2005- No big news to report. My car is still not completely fixed. The missing and stumbling at idle is gone, but it still surges when I'm in drive with the AC on. But, at least I'm able to come out here to the park for an hour or two a day to eat lunch and try to relax while I burn up a $3 gallon of gas an hour to run the AC. That's right, while I was having a $3000 repair job done, gas went up to $3.00 a gallon and I now spend more on gas than anything else.
I used to usually spend the evening out here at the park, relaxing in my car and going for a walk with Pip. But the weather is too hot this summer and the gas is too high to run the AC that much. So, I've been spending most evenings at home. I haven't watched TV in years but I do have a DVD player in my computer, so I check out movies at the library and watch them for lack of anything constructive to do. A couple nights ago I watched a movie called "The Day After Tomorrow" which brought to mind a mildly connected event. And I've recalled a couple others I hope to relate to you in this installment.
Anyway, about 10 years ago they made a TV movie called "The Day After," which was about life after a nuclear war and which ws the most watched TV movie in TV history. This subject of nuclear war was a part of the fictional book I was writing at the time...and I was surprised to discover that the movie had been filmed within a couple miles of where I lived in Clearview City, Kansas. No big deal, just sort of mildly interesting.
Also mildly interesting was what happened when i went to buy my first 35 mm camera. I was working on a painting of Captain Picard from Star trek at the time. I had done it from the photograph of a Franklin Mint Collectors Plate in TV Guide. When i finished the painting I gave it to my friend jeannie. While at her house a guy named Brian told me he had a 35mm camera for sale, but it was in a pawn shop. I paid him $250 and he gave me the pawn ticket. I really needed a good camera so I could photograph my painting myself rather than pay someone to do it. And was I surprised when i went into the pawn shop to get the camera and discovered the Franklin Mint Collectors Plate of Captain Picard on proud display...the only plate in the whole shop. Actually it was quite useful. i was able to see the actual artwork rather than a grainy picture of it in TV Guide...and I must say I think my painting came out better than the original.
So much for Picard. But here is another coincidence in having to do with jeannie. I had just finished a layout for a painting of some famous violin player holding his violin. I went over to Jeannie's house to get her opinion of the layout before I actually started the painting. As I walked in I couldn't believe that her 10 year old daughter was holding a violin. I had never seen her with a violin before. She told me she had just gotten the violin that day.
No big deal again I guess. Here's one for you Latin-lovers. For some strange reason one day when i was writing my book the phrase "Quid Quo Pro" came into my mind and I kept saying it over and over as I drove home. But I had no idea what it meant and why I was thinking of it because I didn't recall ever having heard it. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into my apartment, still wondering what the phrase meant, when i turned on the TV. I watched TV back then and it was on CNN and the first phrase to come out of Larry King's mouth was Quid Quo Pro and his quest explained what it meant, simply "this for that."
And here's a more interesting one having to do with TV. I went to sleep one night and had a dream about my cousin Joel who I hadn't seen r thought much about in 20 years. I dreamt that Joel was standing in a giant field of locusts and the wind was blowing. When I awoke I thought that the dream scene sure seemed like something from the bible. I opened the bible and was surprised to find there was an entire 3 page Book of Joel which I had never seen before. So I read it and sure enough there was a description of an apocalyptic storm of locusts to descend in the end times, "when young men dream dreams, and see visions at a time when communications are much more advanced, etc."
I never realized there was book of Joel before and certainly had never heard the verse about young men seeing visions before. I wondered how II had had a dream about my cousin Joel in a scene in the Book of Joel which I had never read before. I flipped on the TV and the first words out of the TV were actually out of the mouth of a presidential primary candidate...and they were the exact Bible line I had dreamt about.
I have one more connected even having to do with the bible that I would like to relate, but I'm not sure my laptops battery will last. I'll try though. I had just moved to Clearview City and finished writing my book after five long years. The fictional names of the three lead female characters were JoAnn, Suzanne, and Mary. Anyway, since I was finished with my own book and was now living out in a rural area for the first time I decided to read Huckleberry Finn for the first time. I was about half finished with it and called up Jeannie in K.C. and told her I was doing some reading and Huckleberry Finn was the most interesting novel I had ever read. Jeannie was pretty religious and suggested I read some of the New Testament. So i started reading about 20 pages of both the New testament and Huckleberry Finn each day. And within the week I came across a passage in Luke, Luke 8, I think, that mentioned the names of the 3 women that followed Jesus around Galilee...JoAnn, Suzanne, and Mary. The exact 3 same names I had used in my book. I thought surely this was proof I had been inspired by the Bible even though I had never read it. And I was even more sure later that very same day when I came across a chapter in Huckleberry Finn, where Huck is visiting his 3 cousins down south with the exact same names, JoAnn, Suzanne, and Mary. So then i thought that surely Mark Twain had also been inspired by the Bible and maybe even I was Twain's reincarnation. The triple connected event inspired me to submit my book to some publishers again. But, alas, I realized I was but a reincarnation of a fool when I got only rejections.
Talking about fools, I'm still one. I've burnt up about $5 worth of gas while writing this gibberish. Talk to you later when the price of gas goes down.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005- My car is still not completely fixed but it's driveable and actually the price of gas has gone down some, from $3.20 right after Hurricane Katerina to $2.65 now. Again, no big news to report, other than I have to get a big molar tooth pulled tomorrow...and a small connected event.
I've been watching some dvd movies on my computer at home at night since it is too hot to stay out at the park without the air conditioner on or walk even after dark. Anyway, I try to convince myself I'm not totally wasting my time watching the movies by doing screen captures of interesting frames from the movies to supposedly use in my artwork. I was especially feeling guilty about it for some reason last week when i was watching the movie Troy. I saw a real nice shot of the gates of Troy and did a frame capture of it. Later that night I used the gates as the entrance to a picture of the Garden of Eden...and replaced the picture without the gates on my website. The very next day I got an email from someone who had visited my site complimenting me on the picture. And even though I have 4-5000 visitors to my site a day I only get a couple emails a month...and I have never before gotten an email about that page...much less praise about a specific picture I had just changed and had been feeling guilty about watching the movi...oh forget it. it's just all bullshit, true but bullshit neverhteless. talk to you later. When i get home I'll paste the picture here.
Saturday, September 24, 2005- Well, I had my tooth pulled and surprisingly didn't have much pain afterwards. The only pain medication I took was some ibuprofen the day of the pulling. The dentist said it might be because some of the nerves are dead in my mouth from the MS.
At any rate, a couple days after the pulling my back and the tops of my legs started hurting real bad. I can only stand for a minute or so without the pain becoming overwhelming. It's better when I lay down but I can still only sleep an hour or so at a time. The pain in my legs is similar to the pain I suffered for a few months about 6 years ago, shortly after moving here from KC. At that time, you may remember I made plans, will, etc., for my demise but the pain magically subsided as the summer turned to fall. I can only hope for the same thing to happen. Like I said I can only selfishly hope, I can not pray, for I would be a hypocrite. Do I pray for the billions of animals that are slaughtered and tortured every day and the billions of cubic feet of the atmosphere that are tainted every second?? So why would I pray for myself? I do hope though, I hope that I'll be able to stand and walk at a decent level for an important social gathering coming up next month.
Tuesday, June 25, 2006- Well, its been quite a while since I last wrote and alot has happpened. Most importantly, even though he's having old age problems and can barely walk, Pip is still with me and still gets some enjoyment out of the day, if not anywhere near as much as before. And that imprtant social engagement I referred to was a 43rd high school reunion last October. It ws the first reunion I ever went to and it was great...the most enjoyable weekend of my life, I must say.
And, for the 8 months since then I've been working non-stop on a video of my artwork and my ideas on the human place in the world, "Hotel Originaldo: Dream daVinci."
And why i happened to write today is probasbly because I stressed myself out with Pips health and working on the video nonstop and wondering how long my small savings will last and everything else and, last Sunday my computer screen started jittering and I had a heart attack and just got home form the hospital 3 days ago. My strength seems to be coming back a little each day and Pip is holding his own so I'm glad about that. My video is 2 hours long and I'm about ready to send it to a film festival. It is the creative accomplishment of my life...but my expectations are realistic, or at last more so than usual.
This is the 50-word description I wrote of my video for the submission form to the festival:
"After a twenty-year medicated stupor, the ICBM Drive-In finally reopens with all its neo-artsy-fartsy splendor. But what still appears to be the Hotel Originaldo remains a cramped apartment studio cluttered with optical masterpieces and uncensored remarks on the sense, and nonsense, of civilization. Our peg-legged artist's gold-crowned cousin and palavering dachshund add lively fun to this deadly serious allegory of the real Hotel Originaldo...Mother Earth."
Here's a front and back cover I made for the dvd case:
Back to ym heart attack... I had been working night and day for quite a number of months and I wasn't getting much sleep and I was drinking 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day and suddenly, for the first rtime in my life, I was sitting at my computer editing my video, and I couldn't remember how to do some of the things I do all the time. It scared me. I thought I had had a stroke. My mind, for better or worse, is alll that has kept me going all these years...and now I was loosing it?? I talked to a couple of friends and decided my procedural memory loss was just fatigue...so i decided to take Pip to to a enarby park and eat lunch in my car like I always do. Pip can't walk much, so i was carryign him to the car and suddenly started feeling weak and slightly out of breath and I knew somehting was wrong. I took Pip back inside and drove to the hospital. I barely made it and had to be carried into the emergency room. Then I got chest pains and pains in my arms like I had never imagined. My body was contorting horrible in pain and I was so agonized I asked the doctors ro lett die, that I had had my share of satisfactin in lidfe. My arms started to turn purple and I didn't know physical pain could be so bad. They were ijecting ym eith all kinds of things and I had nitro glycerin under my tongue..and gradualy the agony subsided over a 5 minute periosd. I had had an official heart attack and later that night when I was transfered to a different hospitsl I was shown on the ultrasound where a small part of my beating heart wasn't moving any more. Anyway, gradually over the next few days my all of my heart started beating again and my EKG returned to normal and the doctors put me on some more medication and I was released. Boy, am i glad to be back home with Pip.
The expewrience scared me more than any other in my life. Not because I'm afraid tp die but because I'm afraid tp go thru that heart attack agony again. So I'm slacking off on my work and trying to take it easier and have even taken to reading the NY Times everyday. My other foot and gut pains are no worse for the experience...and Pip looks better than ever.
Sunday, October 1, 2006- Well, I finished my video and submitted it to the film festival in August. I won't hear anything until December as far as whether or not they're going to show it. I've continued to do some work on the video but not the intense nonstop work I did do on it for so long and it is taking a little getting used to, not having it to occupy me all the time. I've done several drawings of celebrities in the past month and have found they're easier to do than when i last did one almost a year ago.
And alot of my time is now going to Pip. Several health problems have cropped up. He can hardly walk, except indoors. There's nothing much i can do about that other than I wake up several times a night to help him get comfortable or to help him get back from his water bowl or to clean up a mess he's made. Also a growth he;s had for 5 years suddenly split open and started to bleed and he has an eye infection, but all the problems seem temporarily under control.
I guess the real reason I decided to write something today is because of a few connected events or coincidences that happened this week. I think they're sort of interesting. Anyway, at the beginning of my video there is my painting of Mona Lisa and then I do an animation to make her smile. I''ve never really been happy with the smile since I did it about 6 months ago, but I finally decided to fix it last week. I spent a couple hours redoing it one night and the next morning I was surprised to find on the news that a big x-ray study had just been completed on the Mona Lisa to try and determine why she was smiling.
Later in the week I decided to go visit the art museum for the first time in awhile. To tell you the truth without my video to work on nonstop I've been getting bored. Anyway, on the way to the museum I decided to maybe, in a future video, do an animated tour of the art museum, remade as Originaldo's Place. I decided, that even though I preferred a turquoise background in a portrait, that technically blue was the complementary color to flesh colored orange so I should to paint the walls of my fictional portrait museum blue. This is the first time I every thought of blue as a background. color in the 13 years since I started painting. I was surprised a few minutes after thinking this to find that the largest gallery room in the St. Louis Art museum had suddenly been changed from a hall of giant biblical and landscape scenes to a giant portrait gallery...and the 40 feet tall walls were painted blue, instead of the eggshell white they had been for almost a hundred years.
One of the museum workers told me this was a permanent change they had made a month or so before. So, of course, as i was walking out of the museum I was pondering the meaning of connected events and decided I would never have any idea what caused them but I was just cheating myself by not admitting they did mean my subconscious mind was somehow aware of certain things more than most people. And sure enough, as I backed out of my parking spot, my car went dead...and I remembered how I had just bee thinking that afternoon how lucky I had been that my old car hadn't broken down once since I started working on my video almost a year ago. I even, for the first time, thought that afternoon that maybe I shouldn't wait for it to break down, but maybe specifically do some preventative maintenance like maybe replacing my battery and terminals.
And sure enough several hours later it was one of my battery terminals that had broken loose. I borrowed some pliers from an art museum worker and fixed it for the time being. I decided still one repair was not bad in a year. On the way home as I drove past the high school where I had met Charles Lindbergh's grandson a couple years ago, I started thinking about whether or not I should send him a copy of my video which contains a subplot about the Charles Lindbergh landing in paris and Leonardo daVinci. I also starting thinking that certainly Lindbergh's 1927 landing in Paris was second in the 20th century only to Armstrong's 1969 setting foot on the moon. I even started thinking how unfortunate it was that Armstrong had misspoken, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The statement was written and rehearsed to have been "That's one small step for 'a' man, one giant leap for mankind." But Armstrong had left out the 'a," and the statement was thus confusing. How unfortunate I thought as I drove home last night. And much to my surprise the headline in the news this morning was that an Australian computer analysis of Armstrong's statement 40 years ago now showed that he had indeed not left out the "a."
Unfortunately being somehow precognizant of this event did not keep my car from breaking down again. The brakes went out. Two breakdowns in tow days....but most importantly Pip's condition is improving.
Saturday, October 7, 2006- Connected Event Entry- I was never a big fan of JFK because I felt he played out the Cuban Missile Crisis in public rather than privately and played it like some high stakes chess game rather the most deadly confrontation in human history. At any rate, my opinion of him has improved some recently and I am running out of famous people to draw so i did a drawing of him week before last. So, it was only natural that I do a drawing of his brother Bobby who I actually liked more than him. I found a photo of Bobby to use and started yesterday on the drawing..then this morning I discovered on the news that there was a new movie coming out in a couple weeks about Robert Kennedy..."Bobby."
Wednesday, November 29, 2006- Jumping back one entry to Pip's improving condition, he improved right into the grave last Saturday, November 25, 2006...two days after Thanksgiving. And I guess we got another bit of thanks for a job well done when I got the following form email this morning:
RE: UNF1050 - Hotel Originaldo: Dream daVinci
Dear Richard Krause,
Thank you for submitting your film to the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Unfortunately, we are not able to include it in our program this year. Please know that it was carefully considered by our programming team, and the decision was incredibly difficult to say the least. This was one of the most competitive years on record, with so many deserving films vying for the very limited space in our program. I know that this is no consolation, but we are forced to make many difficult decisions when making our selections.
Please do not let this decision discourage you in any way. I would like to wish you the best of luck with your film, and we look forward to having the opportunity to view your work in the future.
Director, Sundance Film Festival
What an ignorant naive fool I am...but I did give Sparky and Pip good lives.
Enough apprenticeship and lessons for my lifetime. Enough. I just feel so empty.
Monday, February 12, 2007- Yes, I'm still here and I'm very alone and I'm not sure I feel it's right that I'm still here. Nothing is the same without Sparky and, now, Pip. I didn't realize until now how they were really my main reason for living. At lleast Pip is bried near Sparky out at Forest Park. And in the two and a half months since he died I haven;'t missed a single day goin out there to visit both of them. I kow they're not there or anywhere else but I guess it just makes me feel better whenever I do whatever I can to make sure I never forget the goodness they brought into my life.
I'm still working on my website and my video, just to kill time until I don't know what. Nothing different...as far as my car still breaking down. I've been doing osme part time work at a rare books place but the few dollars I earn doesnt even pay to keep my car running.
Everybody tells me I should get another dog, but i won;t even consider it. Sparky and Pip were my babies and they can't be replaced...and just as importanrly I don't want them to be replaced. It would be an insult to them if I got another one. Even though they wouldn;t know it..I would.
Back to the so-called art and video bullshit. It just pisses me off that I have to subject myself to the judgement of ignorant foilm students and money hungry... It's not even wprth talking baout.
Not at all sorry to end this entry on a nastily angry, but totally sincere, and certainly truthful, note.
Sunday, February 17, 2008- Yes, I'm still here again over a year later. I guess I always decide to write somehting down when I'm at some sort of crucial time...and this time is crucial, but firts let me say somehting about what ha happened in the past year.
Up until a month ago i was still working part time at the rare book and antigue warehouse and every day both before and after work I'd stop at the park and visit where my boys are buried...until in about October Forest Park decided to subject the spot wherew they are buried to a "Wetlands restoration." To make a long and paindful story shrt, they totally mowed down the dense jungle area where they are buried and all that is left now is an open muddy field. I don't know whether Sparky and Pip's bones were dug u[p or not. I was able to get Pip's marker stone before they hauled it away but Sparky's headstone is gonew forever. Of the thousands of places in the park that they could have done the work they had to of course pick where my biys were buried...and it was like losing them all over again. I sitll drive by there and stop for a minute or two when I'm at the park but it's not the same. To be honest, when they were sitll buried there it was a beautiful spot and it was the most important thing I did eveyr day was to stop there for aa long a time as possible. Even that, I feel that some sort of twisted destiny had to take form me.
.....I never dirve out on the highway any more. It's menaingless without Pip beside me. On the psoitive side, a lady i sold my Moses painting to a few years ago gave me her 1998 Oldsmobile with only 50,000 miles on it and so I at least have a dpendable car now and I'm thankful for that.
.....And I suppose i should also be thankful for the fact that I've been able to sell some prints of my art on ebay since august and I was also still working at the warehouse...until about amonth ago.
.....I suddenly started feeling lightheaded and nauseated and had to go into the hopsital and have naother stent put in my heart.
Actually, here's an account of the events I typed up so i wouldn't forget some of the details. Those of you not interested in medical details can skip it.
Five years ago, in February of 2003 I had a stent put in my heart for a 95% blockage in a major artery which, it turned out, had caused me problems for a number of years. It closed up after 3 months and a drug-coated stent was put in and it remained open. Over 3 years later, in July of 2006 I had a heart attack but it was found that the stent in the artery was still open and there were no other major blockages. I was relatively cardiac symptom free for a year and a half until I began having problems on Saturday, January 19, 2008.
It was bitter cold that day and I had exerted myself quite a bit, going in and out of a half dozen stores, etc. I had also drank a cup of coffee which I rarely if ever do. Suddenly while I was walking briskly through a store late in the afternoon, I became lightheaded, dizzy and nauseous. It felt similar to some of the symptoms I had when I'd had heart problems before. It wouldn't go away so I made my way home and layed down for a couple hours. Finally the symptoms subsided. But when i tried to eat, the symptoms immediately returned. The next afternoon, on Sunday Jan. 21, the symtoms remained and I went to the emergency room at barnes Hospital on Kingshighway. They checked me over. My blood pressure was very high and they admitted me. I also noticed that my temperature was 98.5 while it is usually 97.2. So, I hoped my problems were simply some virus or flu I had picked up.
I was given a stress test on Tuesday which showed a blockage. On Wednesday an angiogram showed that the stent from 5 years before was still openbut there was a 50% blockage about an inch below it. Another stent was put in and I was discharged form the hospital on Thursday, Jan. 24. Several hours after I got home my leg began to bleed where the catheter had been put in for the angioplasty. I tired to stop the bleeding for a couple hours but couldn't. I live alone so I was forced to call 911 to get to the hosipital. I went to Barnes West and it took them a couple hours to stop the bleeding. I was discharged the next morning, Jan. 25. But the lightheadedness never went away.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29 I made an appointment with my doctor and told him about the continued light-headedness and nauseau. He prescribed a medicine to reduce stomach acid and increased the dosage of Imdur I had been taking for several years. The nauseau almost immediately went away and the lightheadedness gradually diminished over a 3 day period unti it was gone on Monday, Feb. 4, so I fully resumed my daily activities and two days later the nauseau and lightheadedness returned, on about Feb. 7. It contiued and I noticed that it was its worst after I took the Imdur in the morning, so I gradually reduced the dose to to what it had been before the increase a week or so before. As of Feb 14, the time I began this writing, it seems as if the lightheadedness is somewhat better, but not gone.
On Feb 17 the ligthheadedness still isn't gone. I had a very bad attack of it yesterday and a bit of a temperature. I'm hoping maybe I just have some sort of flu or infection and that it's not the MS. I've been off owrk now for four weeks. I was planning on starting back part time tomorrow for a few hours but I can't with this lightheadedness.
Back to the dialogue of this so-called bio, like I said baove, unfortunately the lightheadedness stil isn;t gone and its been almost a month since I got out of the hospital. If I can;t get rid of the lightheadedness it is indeed the end. I'm noyt going to lay and vegetate in my apartment.
Sunday, April 27, 2008- Yes, once again, I'm still here, but I'm increasingly wondering why. Needless to sya my dizziness isn't gone and its made my life a nightmare because i never know when its going to strike. I've tried everything. I've decreased certain medications to see if they were the cause and have made some improvement but then it will suddenly get worse for no apparent reason. I had my eyes checked and needed new glasses and will pick them up inn a vcouple days. I'm hoping maybe that will help. I've been doing more walking than ever just to reassure myself that it probably isn't my heart. That's about al I look forward to is being able to walk out at Fiorest park because it also menas I'm still able to live independantly, not in an institution, hwich I will never alow myself to do again.
It does seem that using my eyes too much, especially to read, triggers it. Like I've said i've reduced certan medications but even if that would get rid of it eventually, then I have a increased risk of heart attack or worse, a stroke. If I would have a bad stroke my worse nightmare could become a reality. My mind could go suddenly and then i'd be unable to what I've come to call "turn out my own lights," self-resolution in other words.
Actually, just as I'm typng this as 3pm Sunday Wal-Mart called to sya my glasses are ready. I'm almost afraid to go get them, afriad that they won't help my dizziness and light-headed panicky feeling.
That reminds me that some inteerestign connected events have happened at an increasing rate lately. They used to happen almost dialy while I spent 5 years writing my book and over a decade doing my artwork and video but I came to almost hate them, because they had come to somehow mislead me into thinking there was something positive down the road in my existance. I need to remember not be misled by them but they are interesting nevertheless.
1. A couple ears ago I had infections on my eyelid for about six months and eventually discovered it was from Pip's blanket. He slept right next to me and I gues his blanket came into contact with my eye when i rolled over osmetimes. Anyway, I started wahsing his blanket more often and never got another infection...until about 3 months ago. I've had an infection now for almost thta long and I was starting to think last week that maybe the infection was putting pressure on my eyeball and causing me vision pronblems and dizziness. I was driving to the downtown book warehouse where I work alittl eeach day amd I was thinking maybe it was from Pip's sweater which I sleep with over my herat ever since he died. I was debating with whether i should get it washued or not as I pulled up to the warehouse. I really wanted to leave it the same way it was when Pip last wore it at his last moment of life. Anyway, I hadn't decided yet when i went into the warehouse and checked the caler ID which i do everyday to see if naybody had caled before I got there. Sure enough someone had called. The caller id said one caller had called and it was the "Animal Eye Assoc", just minutes before I arrived. I had never heard of the association and they had of course nebver called the book warheouse before. i guesssed they were probably calling for donation or something. But it was interesting that such a party called right when I was thinking baout the connection or association between Pip's sweater and my eye.
2. I think I mentioned in an ealrier installment that Forest park had totaly excavated where Sparky and Pip were buried and it was no more than an open ifeld now. They did it last fall and I just noticed last week that there is one place where grass is growing. When I discovered they were going to dig the area up last fall I sspilled a small splotch of blue car touch-up paint on the stone curb to mark exactly where I used to enter the forest to visit their graves. Anyway, 6 monbths later there is only one piece of grass in the 50 yard wide area...a narrow swath of grass from exatly where I poured the paint on the curb, growing down the hill to just about where they are, or at least were, buried as close as I can approximate. I took a picture of it and am placing it here:
I have some more interesting events to relate but will describe them later. If I type toom uch at a time I get dizzy. But before I shut down for the time being I'll makew osme notes to remind me of the events so I can detail them next time.
Kennedy-Marilyn sex video.
Audie movie theatre.
talking about V.P- Michael with Nixon letter walks in.
talking to albert about robin spanish lessons, lady on phone cuts in talking spanish.
talking to John about glasses, Randy send glasses video.
wished had more photos to prove events, then Richard's Photograpjhy van with saf-t plate in my parking spot at Forest park.
Ordered new advance directive...radio show baout it. No big deal, but every day for 5 years while writing book.
Tuesday Evening, Oct 14, 2008- I think it's been 6 or 7 months since my last entry in this journal. I have no way of checking since I have no access to my computer. I am in the hospital...under lock and key, writing with pencil and paper.
I think I mentioned the lightheadedness in my last entry, that kept me from most reading, working on my save-the-world video project and even simple things like having a conversation with a friedn or even watching a few minutes of TV. I was in a horrible state of mind...going from one specialist to another trying to find in vein what was causing the life-ruining problem...until Aug 17 I had a heart attack and a few days later open-hart surgery.
The surgery was successful but my life got much worse.
Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008- Well I wasn't able to write too much in the 2 week lock-up so I'm back at my computer writing this story of my life which seems tto more and more sound like a bad joke. Anyway, The surgery was successful but my life got much worse. As a result of the antiseptic scrubbing they gave my right foot after they put me to sleep, the pain in the foot is 5 times as bad as before the surgery. It was worse than the pain where they cut my chest open. Of course the whole thing got even more complicated. I developed pneumonia and 2 quarts of bloody fluid had to be drained out from my chest cavity. Also I'm now anemic, not enough red blood cells...even after a transfusion.
Anyway, after spend a total of two weeeks or so in threee different hospitals I got home, unable to do much because of the continued lightheadedness, etc. So, just laying around and going for walks at tthe park near where my dogs were buried Istarted to gget more depressed than ever. I also, since the surgery have had no appetite and have lost 20 pounds. I'm just barely able to force mytself to eat enpugh to keep from getting in bad enough shape to want to kill myself and, even worse, get sent back to the psychiatric ward where I spent two weeeks.
I've been out ten days now and struggling to get through each day...but I'm not sure how much longer it can last. I'm hoping the depression is from the surgery which was 10 weeks ago and I'm hoping it will eventually fade away and maybe my lightheadedness will fade away too so I can get back to working on my video...and doiing all the things I oncwe took from granted, things like reading, having a conversation, eating, using my computer for more than a few minutes, having a bowel movement without ... I think I better end this entry now. now...but not before I say there will probably be more entries because I no longer have the 9mm Tpokorov I was going to use to end my pain.
Saturday, Nov 29, 2008- Well its been a month since last entry and it just the same old depressing stuff including a four day stay in the hospital for an impaction and a rapid heartbeath which I still have. Last week, during brief periods between depression, I thought for a second that I might try and find a publisher for my bio, so I made a synopsis or timelinew of my life, and here it is:
Richard "Originaldo" Krause Timeline
1941: Originaldo's parents married by Navy Chaplain at Pearl Harbor.
1945: Originaldo is born on August 16, the day Japanese are ordered by their emperor to lay down their arms and unconditionally surrender.
1946-1955: Originaldo grows up on Mount Olive in University City Missouri. Rather uneventful age 1-10, other than Originaldo gets bored with toys very quickly. Scholastically speaking, he gains entrance into the National Good Handwriters Club.
1955-56: Originaldo moves to Olivette and is elected president of his class at Old Bonhommme Grade School. In 6th grade he takes girls to movies.
1957: Originaldo moves on to High School and becomes very much a loner when he notices his hands shake and he can no longer write well. So he commandeers sister's typewriter and begins typing everything. He takes up motorbikes as a hobby and builds 4-engine go-cart. Eventually he loses all interest in schoolwork, but nevertheless graduates H.S. in the top 10%.
1963: Studies Engineering at Washington University for 2 years, makes Dean's List first quarter but then begins to find it very boring.
1966: Enlists in Marine Corps and gets Honorable Discharge.
1969: Frustrated Originaldo is given first taste of psychiatric medication and many shock treatments.
1972: Is committed to Missouri State Mental Hospital at Farmington after harmlessly discharging a gun into the ceiling of his parents suburban house when no one was home.
1973-1980: Works as Electrical Engineer and eventually gains certification as a Registered Professional Engineer but swallows 4 valiums and smokes two packs of Marlboros a day to cope with the boredom. During this period Originaldo's only goal in life is to stay employed so as not to get sent back to Farmington State Mental Hospital.
1981-84: Originaldo starts a small Video Production Company, names it Motion Video, naively hoping to eventually make a movie which will save the world???? But Health Problems force him to shut down the operation and end his pipe-dream.
1985-1987: Originaldo stops taking the drugs his doctors had him on for 20 years and goes through a lonely and painful 3 year recovery.
1987-1992: With his mind clear for the first time in his adult life Originaldo remembers his youthful hopes of adding something positive to the world, and, living at subsistence level with little money, he decides to write a book to achieve his elusive goal. During the first year of writing he is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis which he is told he has had for many years. Nevertheless, with horrible pain in his hands, he types for four more years until the book is finished.
1993-1999: Living in Clearview City, kansas with his two beloved Dachshunds, Sparky and Pip, Originaldo makes some simple illustrations for his book, hoping it will help attract a publisher. No publisher is immediately found, but Originaldo continues to teach himself how to draw and paint portraits. In 7 years he paints almost 70 portraits of celebrities and other famous people, but finds that art galleries are more interested in the scribblings of Modern Art and he stops most of his painting.
2000: Sparky dies a year after Originaldo moves back to St. Louis due to his increasing health problems.
2001: Seven of Originaldo's paintings are unveiled at the Audie Murphy Museum in Greenville, Texas, and Originaldo is on hand to make a speech.
2002: Originaldo stumbles upon a less than minimum wage job at a used bookstore to help support himself and Pip.
2003: At age 58, Originaldo has his first cardiac event and is in and out of the hospital that entire year. On the bright side of things, Originaldo foils a mugger and puts him in prison for 9 years (the mugger, not Originaldo). Also it should be mentioned that Originaldo has a web site for all his artsy stuff which eventually draws 5-7000 visitors a day.
2005: Originaldo begins work on a video feature length film "Hotel Originaldo: Dream daVinci" which, for better or worse, he eventually considers to be the single most creative project of his life.
2006: Originaldo has a major heart attack in the summer and 2 days after Thanksgiving, Pip dies and is buried next to Sparky in Forest Park. Originaldo arranges for his own ashes to be sprinkled on his boy's grave site when his time comes.
2007: Working hard, as best he can, Originaldo sells almost 2000 prints of his paintings and drawings on eBay.
2008: In January Originaldo has another stent put in his heart and from that day on he suffers from lightheadedness and nausea when he does almost anything and is forced to stop selling on eBay. Unable to hardly do almost anything, even talk to friends or use his computer much, because of his health problems, Originaldo decides, sadly, it's just about time to call it quits. But before he can act, fate grabs free will from his hands. A major heart attack strikes him and he receives open heart surgery for the first (and last) time. Complications, including (but not limited to) Pneumonia, fluid around the lungs, Anemia, a threefoldfold increase in the foot pain he has already suffered with 24 hours a day for 12 years, and finally deep depression all take their toll on Originaldo. Overwhelmed, Originaldo is forced to seriously reassess his life.
Back to Saturday, Nov 29, 2008, At any rate I showed it to a few people and they all wondered why a publisher would be interested in the autobiography of an unknown. Oh well. I guess I have painted myself into a corner with no way out. MY entire life I have based on the hope I could make a significant cpntribution to the well0being to the world as I could see it was really messed up. I always knew it was a long-shot that I'd be able to do it. Just like the Unabomber tried toget a audience for his Manifesto by doing negative things I had hoped to get my Observations to the world through doing good deeds. And here I am now at age 63 first realizing that what I've based my whole life on is impossible. All I can say is it's a little ;ate ate age 63 to change the entire course or purpose of my life...even if I wasn't physically ill and depressed. I have no idea what to do, but my options are rather limited.
Sunday, Nov 30, 2008, I just came across an old photo of me wshing my first car. I guess it's good that us humans can't see the future, for I doubt if I would have been ejoying myself so much if I could see the bumpy road ahead:-(
Saturday, Dec 7, 2008, Well I guess it'ss about time, or long past time, to wrap this thing up once and for all. Glancing back at the timeline of my life which i typed up a couple weeks ago I at first thought, "Oh what a miserable and failed life." But now I see it in a different perpective. Yes it's been forr the most part a very emotionally and physicaly painful experience on the whole. I've never had a wife, a nice house, fun vacations, etc., etc,...but I never pursuewd those things. I never became a well-know artist or qwriter...this is true and I did pursue those things to some degree...not for there own sake, but so I could have a time in the spotlight to explain what both myself and many other writers and thinkers far mor prolific and wise than I believe humans have done to their own lives and the lives of all the non-human animals around them...and more importantly what can be done to first minimize then even reverse them in a timely fashion. Anyway, yes i failed at reaching this central target and self-imposed purpose of my ewntre life....but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I tried very hard, sacrificing nearly every other pleasure in life...and that staisfaction, the fact that i at least tried, I will take to the grave. So see...we have a happy ending afteral!!
Saturday, Jan 31, 2008, Well I thought it was a happy ending, but not quite yet. Almost 6 months after my bypass surgery my depression has finally reached a bearable level...oyher than not knowing what I'm going to work on for the rest of my life. For the past couple moths I've been selling a couple prints of my work on ebay each day and then spending the rest of the day sitting in the library near the park where my boys are buried. Alas I may not have to worry anout what I'm going to do for the rest of my life. Just a couple days ago I got a horrible pain in my left arm. I saw my doctor about it yesterday and there is good chance it is my supposedly repaired heart. I'm having a stress test Tuesday to find out. Bottom line: Nobod is going to cut my chest open again, not after the hell I've gone thru these last 6 months.
Saturday, Feb 14, 2009, Well I guess I lucked out, depending on how you look at it. The stress test showed my heart is working just fine. They have no idea what that horrible pain in my left arm was. During the seveeral days I was waiting for the verdict on the stress test I did some deep reminiscing and rememberd a unigue dream i had awhile ago. It was not too long after Pip died and I was really miserable. Nothing, not even the diversion of doing drawings of celebrities could take my mind off Sparky and Pip no longer being with me in my futile attempt to try and contribute somehting good for society. In the dream I was talking to God (even though I don't berlieve in an omnipotent and righteous God due due the way he allows humnas to irreversibly torture other animals). With extreme anguish I was rtelling God I could no longer go on...the pain. lonelinesss, and frustration of my life was too much to bear any longer. God simply replied, "You have two more years to suffer, Richard." I pleaded and screamed, "No, no, I can't take it any more." God simply replied, "You must endure two more years living like this, Richard." Then I woke up.
I just realized a couple days ago that this dream took place in the early Spring after Pip died, the Spring of 2007. The Spring of 2009 marks two years since the dream. Does the dream mean, if it indeed means anything at all, that I will die in a couple months or that my misery will end in some other way...or that I'll once again realize its just all pure bullshit.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009, Guess what? Spring has been here for awhile and still no big surprise...just the same old struggling to get thru each painful and frustrating day. About the only halfway productive thing I've done is spend a couple months on a painting of Marlon Brando. I've been coming here to the library every day now for over six mobths and I read 5 books about Brando so I decided to do a painting of him. Unfortuanately a few weeks ago the lightheadedness came back. I never know when its going to happen. The pain in my foot is even getting worse and I'm hardly able to walk or sleep. So actuallyh there's nothing new to report, just a recurrence of the sasme old bullshit inclunding depression.
I am thinming about doing one last thing before I give up on everything. I read a couple good celbrity biographies by a certain swell known author. One of the biographies I read was about Jimmy Stewart...so I'm going to send an email to the author and offer him my painting of Jimmy Stewart...and also send him a copy of my bio and a copy of my dvd. Well I better sign off for now before I start getting dizzy fron to much stress.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009, Summer's about over now and I'm still just doing the same lonesome meaningless crap. Going to the library and reading mostly biographies and philosophy shit. I'm still barely abel to sleep at night and if I dare take a 5 minute nap during the day I have terrible nightmares and depression the rest of the day. Life has become like a torture thing. I've read about "Humanism" and found I agree with most of it...other than I don't think humans are any better or important than non-human animals.
When I first read about Humanists I wondered what gave them a motive to continue living if they don't believe in any god or afterlife or purpose for life. But then it dawned on me that probably most of them have more pleasure or comfort in their lives than pain...so sure why not go on living? Nothing to lose if life's not a totally painful thing.
But mine is and has been increasingly painful for the most part since I was 12 years old 52 years ago. It's only going to get worse and there's no reason for me to cintue to subject myself to it. .But I don't think I have the guts to do what I really need to..
Sunday, July 11, 2010, Almost a year later annd I'm still sitting in the library 2 or 3 hours a day. I must say I'm pretty sure my heart is in okay shape as I very rarely get lightheaded no matter how many hours I rant and rave about my new idea. I call it Caretaker Dominion. What it boils down to is that I propose humans end all predatory activity on Earth, both by humans and non-humans. For the first time humans coukd be a positive impact on the Earth by reducing the pain unnecessarily inflicted on animals by predators, including humans. Of course it would be a very very long range goal. I've also been making a video to present it. Prersent it to who is of course the same old giant question mark. But at least I can get ready for the end of my life knowing though it was a life of non-stop pain, I still came up with a wonderful idea, no matter hiow far-fetched and difficult to realize it is. I have a link to it on my website www.caretakerdominion.com When I get home I'll paste the text of it in this entry.
Here's a bit outdated version of the script:
EPILOGUE SCRIPT v.6.08.10
Richard: Hello out there. As my cousin so colorfully announced, my name is Richard Krause, and I'm honored to be here at the same hallowed spot where Lindbergh returned from Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis way back in 1927. Before I begin let me say that that rocket attack on my Spirit of St. Louis flying bookmobile and art gallery here was not a terrorist attack at all but a couple of playful kids practicing up for the fourth of July. So without further adieu I'll begin my epilogue statement. I'd like to say...
David: you'd like to say?? Begin your what statement? I thought the whole purpose of all your artwork and stuff was so you could make the video we jus saw and stand up there and tell us all that the human population needed to be drastically reduced by all families having at most one kid...and that would supposedly fix everything we've messed up. Well I been thinking too. A big reduction in the human population might someday get rid of the negative impact of humans on earth...but that's just a neutral thing. It's not positive. But I sure couldn't figure out what we could do so humanity would actually be a positive force on earth, not just not a negative force....
Richard: Good thinking David. Like I was about to say before you so rudely but wisely interrupted me. Though it's very brief and simple, I offer an epilogue statement that I've spent many past years thinking about...the idea of something, like you just alluded to, not just passively neutral, but undeniably positive that we humans could do. I call my proposal: Caretaker Dominion: On a Purpose for Human Life
I think every sane person agrees that we humans inflict horrid torture, death, and unspeakable pain on totally innocent non-human animals. These are atrocities which we continue to purpetrate to this date at an ever increasing pace for simple reasons of personal greed and convenience. We allow ourselves to get away with these horrible things because we feel a false sense of superiority to all other things on our planet and that's plain bullshit!
David: Yeah, I get your drift cousin. What sin could all these non-human animals of the earth be guilty of to deserve such slaughter and such unspeakable pain inflicted by us humans and also inflicted by other animals, Huh? They sure didn't commit no original sin like we supposedly done.
Richard: These non-human, instinct-driven animals are certainly in their innocence guilty of no sin deserving such treatment from us high and mighty humans, or, like David said, from their fellow animals for that matter?. They are guilty only of living in a world controlled by sly, but ignorant and arrogant homo sapiens who have achieved abusive dominion over them. And our over-inflated egos mislead us to believe we are free to do as we please.
David: That's no joke. Yeah, alot of my most educated buddies wonder their entire lives what the purpose is for everything. They even wonder if there is a purpose for human life at all. They wonder if we developed a big brain just so we could get real civilized and pretend we're not like other animals. But what kind of bullshit purpose is that?
Richard: Well said, David. And one of the reasons humans have wrought so much destruction in recent times is because with machines doing most of our work for us we have little else to do except pursue pleasureful entertainment of the ego, the palate, and the sexual organ at whatever cost and as ends unto themselves. I too have painfully wondered as to a purpose for life, and at an advanced, near-the-end-of-the-line age, I can believe there is only one possible purpose.
David: I don't believe it. What possible bullshit purpose could you have possibly come up with?
Richard: It's quite simple actually, and it's certainly not bullshit. I propose that all humans of all societies of all countries devote their entire lives and all their technologies to move our species toward one goal, toward someday becoming benevolent caretakers of both the earth and all creatures on it. No matter how many years, centuries or millennia it may take, humans now have the ever-growing technology and genius to someday realize a planet where no animal, human or non-human, hunts, slaughters, tortures, or consumes any other creature.
David: You mean there will be no carnivorous or omnivorous predators at that distant day if we begin now, while we still have the ability and slight modicum of sanity to do such a humongous thing before we destroy each other?.
Richard: And our ongoing purpose after that Realization will be to see that no predators, ourselves most of all, return. Carbon Dioxide-hungry Plants and Oxygen-hungry animals will live in total symbiotic harmony except of course for the painless taking of plants for animal nourishment and the painless taking of animal waste and remains for plant nourishment.
There will be many who will label such a plan to eliminate all predatory practice as playing god. So be it. Is it not better than playing the part of the Devil as we have been for so long. But, as a matter of fact, I ask you my dear cousin and all other caring souls on this planet we share, had not somebody better play god...and the job falls upon us humans by default...only because no other species can do it. So, I repeat, our ongoing and only collective mission in life should be to seek out all predators on earth and either convert them or sterilize them in the most pain-free way possible. Certainly, with the help of both Mother Nature and Divine Destiny we can achieve this inevitable and wonderfully good end.
David: Bravo. But putting Mother Nature and Divine Destiny aside, how can it possibly be accomplished pain free?
Richard: If not today, then someday soon our high technology will allow us to chemically alter the DNA or some other system of the predator in a painless way so as to become an herbivore or to be rendered sterile or infertile, unable to reproduce and perpetuate their instinctual yet no less horrid ways.
David: You're one far-out dude, cousin Originaldo. What you propose has a one in a million chance of ever being enacted.
Richard: More like one in a billion chance. But don't the doctors of a dying cancer patient try almost anything to save the life, no matter how scant the chances of succeeding? Well, our human society has been a cancer on the face of the Earth and along with our host,the Earth, our so-called society is dying, so we need to try to execute a cure no matter how monumental the task of enacting that cure is.
And...to be totally honest, I believe it is the true destiny we humans were borne to, to eliminate all predators from the planet..and with little time left for myself, I want to get that notion on the record so I can at least selfishly feel that I have lived a less than pleasureful life for some purpose, even if it is but to put forth what will surely seem like a radical and apparently ridiculous idea even to the few people who will ever hear it in this epilogue..
David: To such an end of inter and intra-species war and butchery I say Cheers and Amen. You got my vote Doctor Krausenheimer.
Back at the library on July 11th 2010 I must mention that though my heart seems okay my feet hurt worse than ever and I have been unable to tolerate any kind of pain medicine. I can't take any during the day because I have to be alert and able to drivee and write bullshit like this, because I have no one to help me if i can;t take care of myself 100%. I'll never go in a nursing home or assisted living. Never, I swear. I just hope I can continue to bear the increasing pain when i walk.
Sunday, June 5, 2011, Like I said in the entry almost 11 months ago, my heart seemed in pretty good shape...I thought. I spent the summer of last year (2010) making a video of what I consider to be the most important idea of my life...the idea that humans shoud not only quit their pown predation of every non-human thing on the planet, but that they should also begin, over a long period of time, to rid the planet of all other predators, in one way or anotherr. I called it Caretaker Dominion, posted it on youtube and a handful of people viewed it. My reward for working so hard on the projet was a heart attack in September. And a coule months later, preparing for telling any one interested what was thankful for, I half-heartedly felt I was thankful for only one heart attack in the past year. And sure enough I had a second heart attack, a very serious one, in November. I guess I wo't joke about heart attacks any more. Of course I wasn't serious about the two heart attacks being my reward for a job well done. I don't beleie there is such a thing as a reward r a penalty for any thing..at least not form any higher power.
At any rate, they put another stent in my heart and after a rough , but rather brief recupperation I began producing one vidseo after another on subjects I felt were important to the world,. Between Dec 2010 and Apil 202, I put togeth 11 short subject videos, posted then on youtube and had even a smaller handful of people view them. At any rate, not knowing how much time I have left (after 6 heart attacks since 2003) I decided to put al my viedeos (seven hours worht) and a pdf file of my 3000 page website including both books I wrote...putting my life's works on one dvd to give to friends and anyone elsse interested. Amd thats what I''m working on now..and will hopefully finish before another attack, heart orr otherwise.
Thursday, February 7, 2013, Like I said in the last entry more than one and a half years ago, my heart still seems to be behaving itself and where I used to get some level of angina almost daily, I don't believe I've had it even once since they put the last stent in 26 months. All around I have more energy than I've had in ten years or more. I don't even get light-headed when I talk too much. So I've started doing some work at a local rare book wharehouse to try and save some money. Now, with my improved health, there is a possibility I could live longer than I had previously expected, so I need to have more money to keep my car running and in repair for a longer time. I had really had high hope for the short videos I made over a year ago but it seem like there are no more people interested in them than interested in my art work. So my hopes of ever getting a significantly large audience so i can preach some of my ideas about how unnatural the world is have pretty much vanished. So I really don't have too much purpose to continue living seeing as I am not doing anythig to help make the world a better place for human animals and non-human animals alike. But, who konows, there's still that ridiculous idea in imyhead that lightning might really strike Oh well. I'll write more now seeing as I now have the ability to edit my website from several different computers.
Tues, February 25, 2014, Okay, so I haven't taken the time to write anything more in awhile, since I've been busy strugglng to make it to a job in a nasty filthy old book warehouse for the past two year. It's called Hirschfeld galleries, and Michael Hirschfeld runs the place. He inherited the budiness from his family and most of his sales are limited to online. That's what I do, or I should say did, for over two years. In the unventilated moldu place I got paid $10 an hour to list books on the internet. I worked 30 hours a week and usually had chase Michael down at some restaurant orr bar on Friday to get paid. Even still with my non-stop pain in my foot, I didn't miss a single day in over two years...until the day after Thanksgiving 2013. Michael sent me an email the night before essentially telling me I didn't need to come to work any more. His nephew was taking my place. So I haven't worked in 3 months now, at least not for money. While my small savings last i am working on a new video project to expouse my views on how the world is and how it came to be that way. My heart seems to still be holding out, so i've been working on the film many hours a day. Like naythig else that goes against the grain of modern society, it will never be seen by anyone other than a few friends. Bu at least I know I've treid my best. Will write more about the project and the scrooge Hirschfeld later today I hope. Maybe htis evening.
Not too terribly long ago, back in 2008 a few months after my heart bypass, I got an anonymous letter in my mailbox. The return address was San Jose, CA, but no name or anything else. It was a one-page crtitigue of the bio you just read.
The first paragraph of the anonymous letter said, "Hello, Richard, I believe that nearly everyone has at least one book in them. Having read your blog / autobiography its obvious you're one of those people. However, those who rewgularly read books know when an author hasn't told absolutely everything (the whole truth(. Simply, no one consistently emerges blameless from the complicated situations life throws at them. Therefore, I believe that your real book lies somewhere in the parts left out."
Well, I'm not sure whether the person who wrote this letter actually read my bio. It may just be a form letter from some outfit that might send me another letter in the future offering me their editorial services for money. At any rate, sure I'm not blameless for many of the rough parts of my life. To be totally honest, now in hindsight, I can see that many of my difficulties were caused by me. Throwing all humility aside, I was a very perceptive person born into a not very perseptive world, indeed, a world actually blind to all the artificial surrogate pacifier activities and merchandise thrown at the modern civilized citizen to keep him, her, or otherwise from complaining or revolting against a menaingless life on the social assembly line...an assembly line serving the super wealthy and powerful (who, by the why, are also blind to the nature of a natural life).
Yeah, I'm guilty of being able to see through all the mind-numbing bullshit thrown at us all, so kill me for it, better yet, go ahead and crucify me for it.
I dedicate this writing, and my life, to my always heavenly babies, Sparky and Pip
Okay art lovers and bargain hunters, after fifteen years of having nothing for sale, by popular demand and dire financial necessity, we now have prints of a few of our paintings for sale on EBAY. To take a look, CLICK HERE.
©2014 Richard, Sparky, & Pip Krause
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