a psychological (soul-lawful) biography

Song the first: A dry wind weeps across the deserts of time.  Pain draws him with a promise of relieving it, ... so entranced, Earthward he rushes, and graced of spirit he lets go the Eternal - the magic and mystical realm we call death - and falls toward and into matter.

Joy fills him to know that he will be about to spend his life to do a deed worth living for.  The world opens itself to his newborn senses, and his sister/self now broken off, too descends, fated for another path.

In dead prose we are forced to write, of a secret long held, known only to a small few.   Something unbelievable yet fine, at once remarkable - though for some a kind of brag.  Its not a brag.   Its an honor to tell this story and celebrate a life few even know possible.  The descent from heaven to incarnation on the earth, described above, was real.  It happened.  I was taken there to be with him - once upon a moment, by him, whose story I now share.

"Snoony", see below

- introduction -

details, with more emphasis on my own biography, are here: "biographical necessity"

Joey was a walk-out, instead of a walk-in.  The psychic Ruth Montgomery wrote the book titled, “Strangers Among Us!”, which was about one personality leaving, and another personality coming in - essentially sharing the same body in a sequential fashion.  For the most part we know of the second personality, but not the first.  For various reasons the second personality (or ego, or spirit, or soul) identifies itself to the world with greater strength for one reason or another. 

The seer/philosopher Rudolf Steiner spoke of this phenomena in some lectures given in 1911, when he described to members of the Theosophical Society in Germany, that the future Maitreya Buddha would be a walk-in.  That in fact this future Buddha, well known in appropriate traditions, would incarnate into the life of another human being, around the 30th to 33rd year, every century for about 5000 years.  This sequence of “walk-in-like” incarnations would be part of the preparation for the future Buddha, and they (the incarnations) were called: bodhisattva incarnations.

For example, a proper reading the biographies of George Washington and Clara Barton would reveal this type of change, where a “milder” (as it were) personality was later displaced by one that became more public in its influence on our world.  In both cases the Joey-nature let itself be formed by where it came rest, after leaving its star.  Then, when the time was ripe, the Joey-nature walked out, and what history remembers of Washington and Barton walked in.

An ancient/future invisible power came to live on the Earth for a time, and made something to leave behind for another: a physical body, a life of thought, and a field of profound feelings.  Then he walked out, and the walk-in inherited those three gifts, which were pure of nature, innocent of heart and built with a quiet endless fire of will that cannot be described.

Neither Ruth Montgomery, or Rudolf Steiner, or many of those who claim to be walk-ins on the Internet have had much to say about the prior personality.  The second one is assumed to be more important.  What if that assumption is a mistake?  What if the first personality - the walk-out - was the more important individual spirit?

What kind of individual would inhabit a life for 30 years, for example, and then walk-out or walk away?

The writer of this is a walk-in, and this essay is to be about Joey, the walk-out.  Who was he?  Obviously not many will take an interest, for many different reasons.  But owing a great debt to he who preceded me in this life, who I sometimes call my body-brother, I want to write about him.  To tell his story.  There is poetry there in a life lived only to be abandoned for another to take over.  Who does that?  Why do they do that?  Do they know they are doing that?

How can I tell Joey’s story, you might ask.  Well, one of the aspects of this change is that all his memories are left behind.  This memory-store as it were, enables the change to be harmonious, because there is no wrenching dislocation when the personalities change.  For me, for years, I didn’t know I wasn’t Joey - that’s how gentle was the change.  I only knew that one morning, on awakening, I felt my sense of my-self dissolving.  That complex of “identity” was falling apart, and the new “I”, the new personality which was to be me, began after a time to act entirely differently in the world than had Joey.  He was gone.  I was in.  

You think not.  Ask our oldest daughter, who around the age of five was awoken one night to what she could only in adolescence describe as a great wind, rushing by the door to her bedroom, in the direction of her parents bedroom, followed after by an immense dark shadow.  The new spirit - the walk-in, had arrived, and with it a new shadow - that special being that is charged with keeping all of us in check, for we are powerful dragons out of ancient lore, and gathered together on the Earth at this time, in order to suffer and to learn.  Dragons must be leashed until out of themselves they learn to control the powers of self.  Self and Shadow dancing through life.

As a consequence, the biography of that body and those memories changed, rather significantly.  I’ve written a little about that in the long essay from which this is a link, called: “Biographical Necessity”, for that which I did was made necessary by the change - by Joey's gift.  Now, I am 74, and wanting to tell more about Joey.  The world may know some about me, ... maybe, but in that case I also want the world to know about him.   If for any reason I deserve to be remarked or remembered, than certainly the same should be true for him.

*       *       *

Where to begin?

He was born in Great Falls, Montana, on December 23rd, 1940.  He was later told by his mother, Dorothy, that based upon what the baby doctor had said, she expected him to come on January 6th, 1941 (Epiphany).  There was little that was remarkable to this birth, except for one truly odd occurrence, ... the nature of which the reader must be free to draw their own conclusions.

About a week or so after this birth, Dorothy’s mother Edith, who lived in rural Montana, went to her mail box, and found there two letters.  One from Dorothy, her daughter, and the other from Virginia, her daughter-in-law.  Both women had delivered babies, on December 23rd, 1940, about two hours apart in time, and 1000 miles apart in space.  Dorothy’s baby, a male, was given the first name Joel (later to become the familiar: Joey), and a middle name of Allan.  Virginia’s baby was a girl, and she was named Joy, with a middle name of Ellen.   Edith - mother and mother-in-law - was the first to know of this.

Joel (Joey) Allan, and Joy Ellen - twin cousins.  How often does that happen?

The cousins did not see each other very much for the distance of the two families was great, but when together they were inseparable.  In Joey’s memories I have images of him rising early in a second story bedroom of a relative's farmhouse.  The morning is cold, he pees in the chamber pot, easier to do than get dressed enough to go outside to the outhouse.  Then down the stairs to the kitchen, where Mrs. Shaw (Virginia's mother) is preparing breakfast, with Dorothy’s and Virginia’s help, on a large wood-burning stove.  Meat, and eggs and pancakes and fresh milk just in from the cows in the barn outside.   A feast for three families (Mrs Shaw’s, Dorothy’s and Virginia’s), which beside mothers and fathers and multiple cousins, included a couple of farm workers as well, who had been up before dawn, milking cows and all that goes with the work needed by a farm in rural Montana, in the mid-1940‘s, while the rest of the world was trying to manage an end to a great and terrible War.

Joey and Joy were free to do as they wished, for the most part, and their favorite activity was to go out to the barn, and climb to the second floor, go to the small door in the almost empty grain silo at one end, and jump from there into the grain, into which they would sink up to their waists.  Then out the lower door of the silo, back up the ladder to the second floor of the barn - which floor was covered with bales of hay, and jumping again, and again and again.  They hardly needed to speak to each other and mostly held hands, laughed and giggled and played with abandon.

I think Joey was about 7, when the cousins, who lived in North Dakota and not Montana, would move to Fresno, California, and Joey and Joy would lose contact with each other for a long long time.  In fact, Joey had already walked out, when in my ‘60‘s I got Joy’s phone number and called her on our shared birthday one year.  I had become a kind of Christian-like new-ager (believing in reincarnation, meditation and much else besides), and she a fundamentalist Christian.  For a couple of years we tried to maintain that contact, but neither of us was any more what she and Joey had once been as children, so we had little that we shared in life, about which to talk.

There was no way for me to tell Joy of Joey’s gifts to me, which I doubt she would have accepted, and probably thought it meant that I had gone mad, from drugs or other kinds of moral decay.  That was not the only social dissonance that went with the “change” from Joey to Joel, for when I returned to Montana, after a long absence, for my/our 20th high school reunion in 1979, everyone I meet (Joey had left Great Falls, when he was 18), treated me (Joel) as if I was the personality they remembered from years and years ago.  Many of them even called me Joey, for that was the name most of them knew.

As we uncover more of who Joey was, the reader will see here a kind of tragedy.  He was deeply missed by many, for as a member of this high school class of 1959, he had been well loved, something which he himself did not fully understand.

To tell his tale I will, as needed, add some words to our vocabulary.  Such as: soul, spirit, astral body, ethereal body and so forth.  In this I am not making up myths, but rather just giving older labels to aspects of our psychology (soul-lawfulness) with which we are already familiar.  The older terms have a certain flexibility that will become very useful to us in coming to a better understanding of not only Joey, but our own time as well.

When Joey was little, Dorothy thought of him as a very sunny personality, and gave him a baby-talk name: Snoony.  He presented to the world a kind of personality that was innocent, and happy, and lacking any kind of aggressive nature.  He was easy to get along with.  I have memories of him playing in our mother’s kitchen, while she worked there, having at that time two sons, and a husband, Wally, whose own medical history had keep him from the war.  In these memories Joey was probably about 3 years old.

His favorite game was a kind of self-play, where he took a kitchen table chair, turned it on its face (back up), and gathering a pot top from one of the lower kitchen cabinets, and sat inside the legs of the chair as if it was a car, using the pot top as a steering wheel, imagined himself driving the car, while making all the necessary noises.  He did not bother his mother at all, but simply played along side her, calm, collected, and in an imaginary world of his own creation.

When outside, he liked to go next door, for the older neighbor lady enjoyed his visits to her kitchen, probably happy to see him for he was no trouble at all, where she might give him a freshly baked cookie.  To Joey, at that age before school, everyone was a friend and a playmate, and he had no need to pester or bother or demand they be anything other than what they were.

Dorothy, years later, told me, Joel, this story.  A couple of days a week Joey would go to the home of a woman who had a kind of pre-school there.  Joey mostly remembers nap time, for the lady would have everyone lie down at a point, on little individual rugs about the size of a beach towel, and be very quiet.  Joey liked the quiet, and the day dreaming.

One day the lady asked for Dorothy and Wally to come speak with her, together, when the time came to pick Joey up.  She had a concern she needed to share.  She described to Joey’s parents how it was that when he was involved in self-play, something he did regularly, if another more aggressive child was to take from Joey what he was playing with, such as a toy truck, Joey would sit wistfully for a moment, watching the more aggressive child take away his toy, but not under any circumstances cry out or make a fuss.  After this first wistful pause, he would immediately find something else to play with, and continue to be content as if the aggressive event had never happened.

The lady was concerned because she had never in all her experience had a child in her care that behaved this way.

Fast forward a couple of dozen years, and Joey, and his then wife Tina, are at a married peoples group, sponsored by the Church to which they belong.  The psychologist leading this group is also a member of the Church.   Most everyone speaks of their “issues”, except Joey who is, at the age of 29 or 30, still shy, naturally quiet, and self-contained.  The psychologist seems to find this passivity to be some kind of flaw, so starts to subtly, but clearly, insult Joey.  Trying to provoke (apparently) an emotional response from someone whose emotions are naturally harmonious in a way the professional cannot understand.

When Joey does not react with anger, or show evidence of egotism, the psychologist tells Joey he has something very much wrong with him.  The “professional” has never seen such a self-contained personality, and feels defeated when his effort to insult produced no reaction at all.

Joey had no need to become.  Yes, he adapted all the time his outer behaviors to accord with the needs of any given moment, but his core self was unchangeable.  This is not to say he had no feelings.  Far from it, he had more feelings than most people can imagine, for he was a natural empath, a gift he assumed for many years everyone else possessed.  In the tone of voice and the physical expressions of any person he meet, he perceived their souls.  He knew them, accepted them (a very high form of love), and if he wanted something it was only to serve them.

The world acted on him, and he reacted and adapted to it (as needed and in accord with his own conscience), but he did not act upon the world.  The world just was.  He just was.

Nor did he have a philosophy, although he was familiar with Christian doctrines, having been raised in his grandfather’s Church, which was Lutheran.   Then when he was just adolescent, his parents became Congregationalists, because the “social-set” was more their age, than was the Lutheran Church, which had many older people, and fewer younger.  In fact, Joey’s confirmation was at age 12, in the Lutheran Church, during which he saw an angel hovering over the altar.  Eternally shy and self-effacing, he did not speak of it to anyone.  The Angel was.  He was.  What would be added to the world by saying something, which he was smart enough then to realize would be treated as some kind of brag. 

Having a body, and being part of a community - the social community of his parents, and of the Town of Great Falls, Montana, let us pause a bit and consider for a while, the wider nature of the situation into which he descended, from the Eternal, and into the pains and puzzles of life.
*       *       *

Song the second:  It matters to me, for Matter to be, and that I, to Matter, do matter.  A poem I wrote which upon hearing it, the stones wept, for the Great Age of Science cannot conceive that all that exists has consciousness and will. 

The rays of light, the clouds in the sky, the currents of the ocean, the courses of rivers, the mountains tall, and the very stars themselves.  All live.  Everywhere life. 

“In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was toward God, and God was what the Word was.  It (the Word) was with God, in the Beginning.  Everything happened through It, and not one thing that happened, happened without It.  In It was Life, and the Life was the Light of the World”.  

When physicists appreciate that this religious poetry is equally and exactly scientific, we will have come to live in a totally different - completely more real - universe.

Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Chaos

If you have read this far, lets not pretend you have a closed mind to the possibility of a spiritual or religious explanation for the nature of reality.   Walk-outs and walk-ins are only possible if something in the human being is purely spiritual, and perhaps immortal.  If that is true, than what about the Earth, what about geography and the nature of “place”?  Is that spiritual as well, in one degree or another?

Places occupy spaces.  Empty spaces fill up, until they are made empty again.  When people live there, there is a force for permanence and order.  Streets, houses, traffic lights.  If it is a forest that occupies a space, that is something different ... most of the time.   Trees and grasses and bushes and stones and flowers and weeds and meadows.  Hilly or flat.  Water courses course through the spaces of a forest.  Animals make homes there.

Joey has a memory, of the street in front of the second house he came to live in in Great Falls.  He was eleven when they moved in, and he lived there until he graduated from high school, only to leave town about five weeks after graduation, never to really return except for a rare short visit.  There was this one Spring, where crews of men and machines repaved the street in front of that house.  Smells of asphalt in the air, and sand and gravel, when the old street was dug up a bit to make way for the new.  The curbs were not redone, just the asphalt roadway.

When you rode your bicycle over the new roadway, the tires picked up pieces of tar and such, and tracked them around, leaving trails over sidewalks, or a neighbor’s driveway.  If you didn’t have a flap on the bottom of your bikes front fender, the tar got thrown on your shoes and pants’ legs.  You did not want to track tar on your mother’s freshly cleaned kitchen floor.

At the end of that Summer of new road-making, on the edge of Fall, more crews of men came and dug holes in the new pavement, a trench down deep into the ground so as to lay pipe for a replacement of sewer and water movements.  The street, newly born, was scarred deeply, the fresh asphalt that covered that wound was a different color, so that by late Fall the street for blocks in each direction had this path down one side.

Neighbors wondered about the town management that somehow didn’t seem organized enough to fix the sewers and water lines first, before paving the whole road anew.  Joey observed, didn’t really understand, and added that mystery to a long long list of puzzles with which life presented him rather consistently, sometimes even daily.

Most summers he was busy.  The lawn needed mowing, and the edge of the lawn needed clipping - all done by push mower and hand clippers, for the family did not possess the modern devices of power mower and electrical edge clippers.  It was the 1950‘s, a very odd pause in the changes that followed a war he did not understand.   A war that took place in distant land, only seen in the movie news, or in the movie stories about the war.  Audie Murphy, John Wayne.  Names were I to ask if my children had heard them, they probably had not heard of the first, but perhaps the last.

Then there was baseball.

Television did not come to Great Falls until 1950, but radio was everywhere.  Mostly the music was Country, or Big Band like Glenn Miller, with a little Frank Sinatra stuck in here and there.  When the World Series was on, you couldn’t walk by a store where the games were not being played on the radio, and people could stop in groups and listen. 

The town had a baseball park, and a semi-pro farm team.  But it was never very good, and had the odd name: the Great Falls Electrics, I suppose because the town was built on the Missouri River, the longest river in America, and there were five small electric dams, one at each of the five falls that Lewis and Clark had had to portage around on their travels West.   Lewis and Clark left behind them names, so Great Falls was one, and across the river a little independent town, called Black Eagle, after a black eagle the pair had seen on the river bank there, and written of in their diaries.   At least that was the story we were told, one of a thousand stories about the town and the history of Montana that filled in the need for local legends.

For the kids, for Joey and his friends, baseball and summer meant a lot.  The town was filled with small parks, and each park had a baseball diamond with a chain-link-fence-like back stop behind home plate.  When summer arrived you went to the closest park, signed up with the town’s youth league people, and if you were a group of boys that wanted to play together, you were asked to find a sponsor.

The sponsor paid a fee, and then the baseball caps and t-shirts with the sponsor’s name on back were ordered, so that every boy that wanted to play was on a team and had his own uniform.  You had to provide your own glove, but the town provided a single umpire for each little baseball diamond, and he called balls and strikes while standing behind the pitcher, and could see from there whether someone was out at any base. 

Without that adult, it would have been chaos.  The town provided a catcher’s mask, and padded chest-bib, a few baseballs and bats, and organized the play into an actual schedule of games.  Twice a week we would play some other sponsored team, and the rest of time we could go to the parks and practice if the field was otherwise not being used.

The town mowed the grass, and put down cloth bases as well, at first and second and third, with a rubbery home plate  - all provided by the adult umpire.

Fathers played “catch” with sons, and boys played catch with each other, in streets and yards, and wherever.  Often, when it was nearly too dark to see the ball, we put down the gloves and played kick-the-can in the alleys, which for the uninitiated is a hide and seek game with rules that must not have changed in a thousand years. 

You hid, and someone was “it”.  They went looking for the hidden ones, and if found there was a race to the can in the middle of the alley, and if the “it” boy won, they would say: “over the can on whoever”, and that boy would now be it.  If you missed someone, who was hiding nearby, they could come of out hiding and “kick the can” at which point you were still it, and had to go back to the can and count once more to fifty very loud so that everyone had time to hide once again. 

Almost all the blocks of houses had alleys.  Garbage was left there in garbage cans, to get picked up by garbage trucks.  Hollyhocks, a kind of towering flower grew in the alleys, against the backyard fences like weeds.  Their flowers were sometimes as big as small plates, and when bored we could take a glass jar and go catch bees who gathered around and in the hollyhock flowers.  Grasshoppers’ legs too were easy victims to curious boys.  Pity the ants, if someone came away from home with a magnifying glass.

Sometimes we would see him and hide.   He was the town’s only homeless man, and we called him “old black joe”, for the obvious reasons.  He prowled the alleys pulling behind him an old red wagon piled high with junk.   He was quite scary simply because he was a very large black man, wearing more than several shirts and several trousers all at the same time,  in a town so white that blacks were the most rare of species, except for the dreaded “Indians”, who lived apart, far from the center of town, on Hill 57.

Joe also could be seen, raiding your garbage can, and in a most disgusting fashion taking a partially eaten orange peel and finishing the job with what few teeth he had.  You can’t really say we were racists, either.  We were ignorant, but not southern redneck crackers.  We knew the word “nigger”, but never had a use for it among ourselves.  We did play war games and there where Nazi’s, but mostly it was Cowboys and Indians, from the Saturday afternoons at the movies.

Every Saturday: Two feature films, three or four new cartoons.  A  newsreel.  A Three Stooges Comedy, and a serial.  In the middle a break in the action, where we could go out to the lobby, get more cola and popcorn or candy, while meanwhile there would be a bubblegum blowing contest on the stage.  Cost for five hours of cinematic pleasure: 25 cents.  One quarter.

Notice I didn’t mine Joey’s memories here for girls.  They did not play with boys when he was eleven or twelve.  When the Fall came, and we started walking the eight blocks from where he lived to school, the boys tended to walk on the opposite side of the street from where any girls walked.  The girls were bolder, and would shout at the boys across the street, teasing this or that one for whether or not his trousers were too high above he shoes, or his hair cut left a cowlick in the back.  Sometimes we were accused of liking one of the girls, to lots of giggles, with the other boys looking at the named one as if he was a traitor to his sex.

Walk-in here: Joel.  This memory swatch was fun.  The memories mostly pleasant.  Others are not always pleasant.

For example, it is 1963, November 22nd.   Joey is working in a very large room in the City and County Building of Denver County, Colorado.  The whole building covers an entire block, all to itself.  Huge double doors are the main entrance to the room where Joey works, and are connected to a main hallway, that leads to stairways to the streets, elevators and other ways of moving in and about this huge building.  He works in the assessors section, where people come to work out issues regarding the tax evaluations of the homes and businesses.

If you walk into the room from the main hallway, through the double doors, you find in front of you a long “u” shaped counter.  There are signs indicating which areas of the counter are for what questions.  Behind the counter are several dozens of desks where people are working; and, around the edges of the room, if you went through the gates leading past the counters, are smaller offices, where officials with more complex responsibilities have more private places to work.  The smaller offices all have half-walls topped with glass windows, so one can see into them.

Joey works in the main area, handling paper work of various kinds.  A kind of disquiet enters the room, the normal level of talking starts to cease.  People move from desk to desk whispering.  A couple of people have transistor radios, and those come on.  People draw close to them to listen.  The News at first is only uncertain.  Shots fired in Dallas, Texas, at President Kennedy.  Some of the offices around the edges of this very large room have pictures of the President on their walls.

It soon is official.   The President is dead.  Fifteen minutes later it is announced that the whole main government building of the City and County of Denver is to be closed, and people are sent home.

People leave.  No one knows what to say.  Joey goes home, and Tina shows up around the same time, having picked up their one child, Marc, from the babysitter’s.  They sit in front of the television, unable to look away.  Meals are prepared.  Neighbors knock on the door of their apartment, checking on each other.  Marc, a baby, barely six months old, is held.  Touching each other relieves a little the numbness.  Phone calls are made to family and friends.  No one knows much at all.  Only the television provides what little solace it can, which is very little indeed.

For Joey the shock is enormous.   He had spent three years at the United States Air Force Academy, where he meet Tina.   She was what is called a Air Force brat - her father a career Air Force officer.   Joey had very idealistic ideas about America, and many hopes for the President.

When Sunday rolls around they are watching live television when Oswald is shot right in front of them.  All they have done since that Friday before was watch television, eat, sleep and hold each other.  Denver City Hall remains closed, even on Monday following, and the Tuesday following.  The kind of soul pain involved really cannot be grasped by anyone, who was not a part of that time, and following the whole thing on television.  It is the definition of indescribable.

Even now, as I the walk-in call forth these memories, I am troubled in a way that has no words at all.  What can be said about the death of hope?

These memories lead to others.  Books read and digested about the assassination.  Arguments about whether Oswald was a lone gunman.  As all this troubles our souls, President Johnson leads us into a vanity war in Vietnam.  Joey endures the ‘60‘s, and the war’s escalations, his only help is that his time at the Academy aids him to understand military and warrior culture, America style.  His father-in-law works in Hawaii, in logistics for the Air Force, making sure bullets and beer are ordered and place into the delivery pipeline, so that those fighting in Vietnam never run out.  Discussions with Tina’s father are helpful.  It is clear the lower levels of the officer corp are themselves unclear about why we are fighting there.

Hope remains hard to find, but life must go on.  Many years later, as the walk-in, I watch Oliver Stones movie JFK, at a small theater in Weed, California, which is an equally small town nested near the base of Mt. Shasta.  Stone’s movie brings it all back.  All the lost hope and the anger and the rest.  When it is over, there are a couple dozen of us stuck to our chairs.  We cannot move.  We look at each, other but what is there to say.  Clearly we all believe that our own government played a role in JFK’s murder.

Many of us lived the '60‘s and the ‘70‘s, ... the murders of RFK, and MLK.  We lived the descent into madness of the Nixon administration.  We protested and marched and tried to believe we could change the world.  It didn’t happen, and hope in our Nation seemed to remain as dead as it was, when it was murdered on November, 22, 1963.

Joey’s relationship to the political began when he was about eleven.   But first a word from our sponsor, the so-called “walk-in”:

“As Clueless as Angels”

I said this to my girl friend this morning .... a kind of casual aside to our usual banter.   She expressed, in passing, doubt, which is understandable.  So I thought about that remark some more because it was to me quite true: Angels are frequently “clueless”.  Why?  I though you’d never ask.

Because they’ve never lived in a  physical body or possessed all the related existential aspects of being human, including a mind that is deliberately cut off from the general field of spiritual community experience.   Angels live among and within each - individual yet together.  We live alone, isolated in a kind of darkness, possessed of “weight” (karma), which the Angels cannot even imagine.

Picture yourself walking down an crowded urban street full of people and related traffic noises.  A serious cacophony of chaotic sound and meaning.  That’s the normal human experience, made especially egregious by the fact that we are outwardly assaulted by sense experiences, while simultaneously assaulted by a chaos of inner voices and thoughts we have ourselves a very hard time organizing.  It is no wonder people who learn to meditate get better and more healthy on all kinds of levels, because they learn to move their mind’s attention (an aspect of our spirit-will) about, and direct it to specific tasks.  This skill, learned in meditation (and often just in life itself), then spills over into our ordinary chaotic existences.  More and more we only attend those aspects of experience we choose.

Now imagine that same crowded urban street, but in this case each individual noise belongs to someone whose consciousness is open to your attention.  Should you move your attention in the right way, what is in them is now in you, or you are now in them.  Community within individuality is the normal consciousness of Angels.

There are rules, or what I sometimes call: soul lawfulness.  If your Guardian Angel would like to help you, after you’ve become an adult they cannot - its a rule (for example, the Guardian Angel can help more directly before the hormonal change of adolescence).  But another Guardian Angel can help your friend, and inspire your friend to act and speak on behalf of what you need, because this other Guardian Angel is able to know intimately what your Guardian Angel knows.  So your friend can say to you to stop drinking and driving.


Because the order of the world is dominated by Love and Justice.  These can only arise if we are free.  Thus, any given individual is free (after their youth) of direct influence from their Guardian Angel, or even their friends.  Alternatives can be presented, but the choices belong to us.  Yes, it is complicated - even more complicated than we imagine.  At the same time it is very real.

Just ask a paranoid schizophrenic about their “voices”, which we treat as hallucinations.  The normal barriers to the spiritual, are in many so-called mental illnesses, not there.  As a result, the paranoid schizophrenic is assaulted by spiritual reality in a way we cannot imagine.  Yet, our age of materialism (all is matter, there is no spirit) does not appreciate what happens to a consciousness whose karma requires it to have an abnormal relationship to spiritual reality.

Everyone “hears voices”.   Everyone.   Most of us can push down the inner impulses and save ourselves from some of those influences.  At the same time we all know the voice of temptation, for example.  Many of us know the voice of obsession.  All human behavior has a spiritual explanation.  The brain is not the mind.  More later.

Now back to our show: the biography of Joey:

When Joey was about eleven, his mother Dorothy, subscribes him to a series of Juvenile History books on America, published by Landmark.  They come regularly, and at one point she buys a small (some assembly required) bookcase designed expressly to house these books.  There are at least a hundred, and Joey reads everyone, several more than once.

Remember, there is no TV, no cell phones, no video games in 1951, ... not even the dream of such things.  There is radio, and recorded music on vinyl, and even attempts by Dorothy to have Joey learn an instrument (piano, and then clarinet), but he has little skills and less interest.  He has heard, lying in bed in the early morning hours, his mother hectoring the older brother, Lou, and making him practice and practice at the piano, which does produce results.  But Joey finds a way around the painful domination living in his mother, and she is satisfied that at least this dreamy sunny child reads and reads and reads.

Once, when Joey had walked away, and I was in, Dorothy told me the story of how it was she raised her boys.  Being a farm girl (somewhat), raised with her brother by a single mother Edith, who made her living teaching in a single room school house in the plains of eastern Montana, and living in the attached small but home-like space, Dorothy was also educated into modern thinking, and thought of her boys as complex animals that needed to be trained.  So she trained them.

The older, Lou, when outside in his early years, was tied by her to a device purchased from a Sears Roebuck Catalog, that consisted of a harness and a rope.  Once in the harness, with the rope wrapped and well knotted around a tree, Lou was free in the yard, yet unable to gain the street, for that first home had no fences to otherwise safely contain a wandering child, and Dorothy was not interested in always watching him.  

She also recalled how it had become important to discipline misbehaviors, so when Lou was an infant, and like all infants do, spit out the oatmeal she was feeding him, she slapped his face.  After all, evolution theory (Dorothy had two years of college), recognized the human animal and growing up in farm country Dorothy learned how to train an animal.

With Joey -  the middle child - her means became more sophisticated.  She had only to speak in a certain tone of voice, to which Joey, with his natural empathy, well understood as masking a threat behind which stood a kind of madness, and he complied.   He had been less difficult than her first child, but still spankings were common, and sometimes Wally had to apply them when he came home from work.  The pants had to go down, the naked butt exposed, and the strong, but not too harsh, punishment applied.

So Joey behaved, and found ways to keep the peace, reading always exactly the songs in his mother’s voice and moods.  Hiding somewhat in the Landmark books, he became invested with the most romantic as possible myths of American History.  Even school did not contradict these myths, such that when Joey’s real political thinking awoke around 1956, when Eisenhower and Nixon were opposed by Stevenson and Kefauver, a profound dissonance arose. 

Listening to their words on the radio, and then TV which came to Great Falls in 1955, as well as reading about this election in Time and Newsweek (both magazines arrived by mail every week to their home), Joey became mystified.  There was no relationship between the romantic view of history living in Joey’s soul, and the painfully false rhetoric of the campaigns.  The speeches, when heard by his naturally trained ear, lack truthfulness and the passion and love of the American Way, that Joey had expected. 

In this his natural idealism of soul sustained a deep wound, which was to last all of his short life, and as noted above, was made even more deeply acute when JFK was killed, and something of the spirit of hope in the future of America was murdered.   This wound of soul I inherited, when he walked out and I walked in.  But what I did with that is mine, and this story here is mostly his.

Perhaps we should add this:  In 1968, Joey was 27, going on 28.  Martin Luther King was murdered in April that year; Wally - Joey’s father died in May; Robert F. Kennedy was murdered in June; and, in August was the Democrat Convention in Chicago, that drew anti-war protesters from all over the Nation, and resulted in what the report that examined those days of strife called: a police riot.  Following these dramatic political events Joey became a bit unglued from what before had meaning in his life.  He quit his job as an adjuster for Allstate Insurance Company, stepped away from his marriage to Tina and their two children Marc and Doren, and by December 1968, even though possessed of a law degree, he was washing dishes in a upscale restaurant, the Broker, in Denver, finding some solace and tiny bits of happiness just in living alone.

Once more he “played” by himself, although the aggressions of others, including the demands of social obligations, required he find the time to center himself before going on with life.  Working at the insurance company involved supervisors who demanded, for example, what to Joey were immoral acts.  Tina liked to run their shared lives - she did not share power in the marriage.  So reflection and peace, and reading and calm had to be sought.  Hard work, the dish washing was six days a week, kept his hands busy and his mind free to wander and live in the imagination, a world he was familiar with all the years he went to schools.

Let us switch memory streams here a bit, and take up Joey’s relationship to systems of education, for there were many and each had its own formative influences.  Remember, it was his Way to be centered and calm, and adapt.  The world mostly acted on him, and he acted on the world only so far as social conscience demanded.  A father worked and earned money.  Wally had shown that.  Joey dreamed, always dreamed.  We might call it: natural meditation and prayer.  Prayer that was believed, when hope still lived, and before faith was destroyed by “education”.

A small precis:  Joey went to school in Great Falls, from first grade to twelfth.  Then he entered the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he met Tina, got her in a family way, and left to get married at the beginning of his fourth or senior year.  Later he transfered credits to the University of Denver, where he took courses which allowed him to graduate with a B. A. in one year, with a kind of pre-seminary emphasis.  Then a change of emphasis and the going to law school in Missoula, Montana.  Three years leading to a J. D., and entrance to the Bar in Montana, licensed to practice law.  These are the hints of his formal educational experiences.  The real bones and flesh are more complicated, some of them tragic.

The very first “school” experience were terrible.  Above was mentioned the woman who had a kind of pre-school in her home, where Joey was describe by her (to Wally and Dorothy) as unlike any child she had ever met before.  There may have been a kindergarten, the memories are vague.  It appears to have needed only to be a half-day long.  At the least it did not leave a much lasting impression.   First grade was very different.

The teachers name is the only one he remembers, until 6th grade at another school.  She was called: Miss Piper, and he loved her.  Her teaching him to read opened up a whole world, into which he would later flee and hide from those “other” aspects of life he found so troubling.  His relationship with his peers in First grade was not difficult, for the hard parts were in the school yard, when the older boys, the ones we today call bullies, came forth and with acts which to him contain surprising cruelty, they plied their trade in the terrorism of younger students.

Some of what the bullies did was silly.  For example, they taught Joey that you do the “give someone the finger” gesture with the “ring” finger, not the middle one.  Then after a couple of weeks of encouraging that gesture, they explained he was doing it wrong and that they had made of him a fool.

Then there was the usual tripping, when one least expects it.  Pushes in the hallways into other people.  These bullies were not as sophisticated (as it were) as the modern ones, where the adults in the schools have lost almost complete control of things.  In Joey’s time, teachers were quick to punish, and corporeal punishment with a nice flat board was not uncommon.  Spare the rod and spoil the child was truly the rule in the years after World War Two.

For Joey, however, what was difficult was just the gesture of cruelty - the emotional urge and out of control will to harm someone on purpose.  Nothing like this existed in his nature, in large part because with his empathy, it would have been like being cruel to himself.  Impossible to conceive with a child’s thinking, and even more impossible to act out in the world.

In the class room he learned of learning, and in the school yard he learned of the darkness of the soul, which did not exist in him at all.  To appreciate the consequences, I need to borrow an older and traditional spiritual concept: the astral body.

Sometimes the astral body is called the desire body.  Hungers exist there, physical and emotional.  Shyness and slyness as well.   Today we might refer to the astral body, and a necessary companion the ethereal body (where thoughts live and die), as “consciousness”, which includes what Freud and others later called: the unconscious.  This is also the “soul”.

The spirit is that which experiences, and in consciousness are the experiences which are experienced.  So, for example, all the senses of which we have awareness.  Today modern thinking imagines that those images the eye of the mind sees, of the outer world, are transmissions of light data, through the eye, and via nerves to the brain, where the brain interprets the data into what we believe we see, such as a tree.  This is necessarily brief, and among my writings, as the walk-in, are many details and elaborations of the philosophical and phenomenological questions.

For our purposes, the cruelty effected a deep wound of soul in Joey’s astral body, and the matrix of thought life related to that astral body that exists in the ethereal body.  The modern psychologist knows of these wounds, and uses other language conventions to describe where they set their roots, but that is a problem beyond the scope of Joey’s story.  For Joey, lacking as he did any need or urge to be cruel, for his empathic identification the “other” - the Thou - was complete, he was not just wounded personally by such actions, but his slowly growing view of reality was wounded as well.  He could not comprehend, with his virginal mind, a world that contained such acts of evil.

As life advanced, he (of course) became more and more acquainted with cruelty and immorality and all those problems, such that when we review his religious life, we will come at this from an entirely other direction.  Here we are just noting the deep wound of soul, that each new experience of cruel and immoral actions around him made worse.  When he walked out, and I walked in, this wound in the astral and ethereal bodies he bequeathed to me, drove me to seeking to understand, philosophically and religiously, the nature of evil.  Eventually I was to write in my late sixties and early seventies this book: “The Mystery of Evil in the Light of the Sermon on the Mount”.

From this we can see the service then rendered by Joey, the walk-out, to Joel the walk-in.  His genius of spirit was far different, and far more pure than was mine.  He took the world in, consumed it as it were, and from this “food” made/colored the astral and ethereal body we both were to share.  When I came in, I had to transform those astral and ethereal bodies - to make them my own, and from such acts of transformation discover what then later inspired a great deal of my own thoughts and writings.

Please recall from far above: “Joy fills him to know that he will be about to spend his life to do a deed worth living for.”  We have just described a part of this “deed”, which was to know the world from innocence, and leave behind the mystery of it for his eventually coming body-brother to resolve.

Joey’s “education” in the school yard required he pay a tragic price, the victim of a crime committed against his innocence.  This bullying was a crime shared by many, but his task was to bear this wound and pass it on to another, who would then be inspired to try to redeem, philosophically and theologically, our concepts of the meaning and nature of evil in human existence.

By the way, if you, the reader, has thought to ask whether Joey knew his destiny ... he did not.  Who of us gets to do that?  When he walked-out, and I walked-in, I was totally (almost) unaware of this change.  Except for the previously mentioned fact that my self-image sense of self began to dissolve, right away that morning after the “change”.  A process that continued for some time, during which  I began to exhibit new behaviors and new thoughts, that as Joey I had not possessed.  But again, that’s my story, not his.

So ... Joey had a cowlick.  When you are an adolescent boy in the mid-1950‘s, combing your hair before going to school means you have to look in the mirror.   Some modern haircuts aren’t like that - their wearer just runs their hands through their hair and they are good to go.  But for Joey it was comb his hair, find the part, part it down one side and over the other, and then look at the cowlick sticking up and feel stupid and awkward and unlovable.  I’m sure a modern barber/hair stylist has no problems with cowlicks, but back then ...

There were three basic kinds of hair cuts for boys in style in high school in the 1950‘s.  Crew cuts, regular cuts, and greaser or duck-ass.  Adults wore crew cuts (Wally, Joey’s dad, did), and regular cuts, and you had to be “low-class” in some fashion to wear greaser hair as an adult.  Joey wore regular.  It had a part, the sideburns mostly non-existent, and the back short, the neck shaved.  Getting enough facial hair to have to shave was a kind of plus.  They were making power razors in the’50‘s, so he was spared having to learn to shave with an actual razor.

Not too much as to fashion, regarding clothes.  Around Easter Dorothy’s boys all got new trousers, fancier shoes and a sports coat, or maybe a suit.  Had to be well dressed for church on Easter.  In the Fall, before going to school, a trip with Dorothy to the department store was in order (Penny’s or Sear’s): new jeans, new shirts, new tennis shoes and perhaps some new winter clothes and/or underwear and socks.  Otherwise, the child (through high school) did not get to pick his own clothes.

Middle-class boys all basically looked alike - in general.  To not look alike was to ask to be mercilessly teased.  Girls, the great mystery to Joey, wore skirts and flats and blouses, sometimes matching, and on occasion knee high hose.  Their chests began to protrude.  Not much skin was shown, that would be too “slutty”.  Hair was mostly long, and styled like movie stars of the moment.

Some kids were “popular”, and as today the jocks and the cheerleaders ended up dominating in those categories.  Most kids looked awkward in one way or another.  Most didn’t have perky personalities, and athletic abilities and features.  There were around 1400 kids in the high school, and in between classes usually just about five minutes between bells.  Time enough to change books at a locker, and hang out for a minute or two in one’s regular spot. 

Joey knew some of the jocks and some of the cheerleaders, and had himself tried out for football and basketball, but only developed a modicum of ability at tennis, which he taught himself by spending summers hanging around public courts and getting involved in pick-up games with whoever would play with him.  He could also practice it alone, and like reading this solitary activity he found quite enjoyable.  Being quiet and basically not really competitive and aggressive, he liked going un-noticed.

He was also friendly, and though shy, was liked because his natural empathy meant that other kids that talked to him enjoyed this experience.  They were “seen” by him.  This produced a number of odd occurrences over the years.

One was that in spite of being neither a brain or someone who ran for office, or a jock and popular (in that sense), a girl in his home room class nominated him for senior class president, and he won.  He was embarrassed, because he knew that none of the other nominees was a jock or a cheerleader, so he felt his winning was some strange kind of accident.  Even Joey’s best friend agreed - if a “popular” kid would have run, Joey would have lost.

Actually, probably not.  Later reflection on his situation reveals that because of his empathy he was friends with almost everyone in his class of 400.  He knew most by their first name at least, and it was common for him to walk through the halls of the high school and nod greetings to many.  To him it was normal ... nothing special.  Great Falls was basically a small community, less than 50,000 total in the ‘50‘s, and most of the kids had known each other for years, from summer swimming, to baseball, to hanging out anywhere. 

He was nice.  He was not stuck up.  He was approachable.  He was not a brain, or a jock, or a greaser, or any of the basic class and social distinctions others felt were important.  He was just Joey, and people liked him and he liked people.  They were like each other.  Most of his class saw him as them, just as he saw himself as them.  No us and them, just us.

Joey, however, was so embarrassed he didn’t tell his parents Dorothy and Wally he had been elected Senior Class President.  So one day about three weeks later, he came home from practice and Dorothy and Wally were sitting together in the living room, and Dorothy was holding a wrapped present on her lap.  They were not surprised their strange child had not bragged to them immediately.

He was also a kind of a brain, which is another one of those odd stories.  In their junior year in high school, his whole class was given this big standardized test, taking two or three days to complete.  A couple of months later the results were announced, and were so good they made the local paper, the Great Falls Tribune.  The class as whole, measured against other groups of high school students that took the test nation-wide, was in the top 1%, which was called the 99th percentile. 

Of the 400 some members of the whole class, about 33 were individually in the 1%, or 99th percentile as individuals measured against other individuals nation-wide.  The day these results were all announced, the teachers who had juniors in their classes met, and were told the names of these 33, because several of them (about five) did not have grades to match the test scores.  Obviously smart, but not producers of good grades.  Joey was among those five, and all day long his teachers gave him shit, for underachieving.  It was an embarrassment to them.

Joey’s problem was not really a problem, except in the minds of others.  He was a dreamer.  He would sit in class and doodle and draw.  He lived in fantasy, and had become a big reader of science fiction: Bradbury, Azimov, Clarke, Heinlein.  He did not study, or seek to achieve.  He was content to be what he was.  Nothing ever changed that core aspect of his true nature.

When he took standardized tests, he did not worry it.  Since these were mostly multiple choice, his mind which was quick and imaginative (not intellectual at all), figured out easily what was the answer, and if possible and necessary, he would eliminate answers that made no sense, reduce the possible answers to two, and make a quick intuitive guess, without knowing how good a strategy that actually was.  To him such tests were puzzles and games, not tasks about which to get nutty.

And, yes, ... he was normal.  He touched himself for pleasure.  Had the not so odd desire to find out what girls hid under their skirts.  He did dream of being a great one thing or another, but knew it was mostly a dream.  Remember ... he adapted to his situation, borrowed behaviors from others so as to appear normal, copied the insides of others that he knew through his empathy.  He made himself be like others, without knowing what a remarkable skill that was.  He really did have little of what we would call ego.

When he was a freshman in high school, he joined the high school group at the Congregational Church, called: Pilgrim Fellowship.  It was a small group, just 8 or 9 kids.  For reasons that completely perplexed the minister, two of the older girls, sisters, decided Joey should be the group’s president, and so that was done.  That summer then he went to his first Pilgrim Fellowship State wide summer church camp, as the President of the Pilgrim Fellowship from Great Falls, the state’s largest city at that time. 

Here was a place where his religious nature could express itself more fully.  Recall the Angel he saw at his Confirmation.  His faith was (at the time) unshakable.  He was kind and nice and empathic and completely likable, without having to try and pretend to being a “Christian”, because he was born one.

Still it was a “summer camp” of adolescents.  He had been to previous summer camps with the Boy Scouts, which of course were entirely male.  These were held just outside Glacier National Park, in north-eastern Montana, and that Park was used for all manner of hiking and other activities.  But Church camp had girls, and Joey, in between being a high school freshman and sophomore, was at once even more awkward and shy, yet able to speak from his heart about religion and Christ because that was where his heart, and life of feeling, lived.

While he was not made State Pilgrim Fellowship President (not to say he wasn’t interested), he was made State chairman for planning a special state-wide conference of Congregational Youth.  In the summer between his junior and senior high school years, he was picked to be one of seven youth to travel by car for several weeks from Montana to Washington D.C. and to New York and back, for a national Congregation Youth conference.

In fact, near the Fall of his senior year in high school, besides being voted in as Senior Class President, the local DeMolay Chapter (Masonic youth group for boys) gave him the Degree of Chevalier, which is the highest honor an active DeMolay can receive.  His experience of this was typical.  He was called on a Sunday to meet with the local adult DeMolay leader, who informed a group of about 12 young men that they were to receive this award.  As everyone else left that meeting Joey stopped and asked the adult leader why, because Joey knew he had not been an active member.  He was told that he was being given this award for his services to religion, of which the adults who oversaw DeMolay work were well aware.

This then leads us to how Joey ended up going to the United States Air Force Academy for three years.  And, maybe, why.   Joel, the walk-in, knows a woman - deeply spiritual - who writes in her book On Becoming an Alchemist, that how we get to a certain point in life we can see - the how makes itself visible in the past, but the why of it, that comes out of the future.  So we shouldn’t say, for example, that Joey goes to the Academy to meet Tina and then father three children with her, although that is one set of events that clearly happens.      Perhaps the “how” is intriguing, but the “why” mysterious.  Joey, at least, before incarnating knew he was going somewhere and why.  Then he is born and forgets.  Same with me, Joel, ... must be.  Before I walk in I have to know, but when I walk in I have to forget.   And Joey, after being born he forgets why, and was he surprised when he walked out?  Goes to sleep one night and doesn’t wake up in that body.  What was his experience of my walking in?

The day he gave me the pre-birth memory image, which begins this book, he also gave me another image.  He showed me (and I felt) him as a toddler, maybe 20 months old.  Walking in a kind of golden egg, being held by the hand by some very large golden aura’d entity - his Angel?  Christ?  Me?   I seem to know a lot, but the hard truth is that I really know so little.

The United States Air Force Academy ...

Joey read an article in a magazine, Boy’s Life, that came as part of his belonging to the Boy Scouts.  It was early Fall 1958.  Joey would be 18 years old that coming December.  The article was about the brand new Academy.  Something stirred in him.   A longing.  No more than that, but at the same time he knew this was a big decision.  He investigated how to get in and found that most “appointments” were made by Congressmen (people) and Senators, with the President and Vice President getting some too. 

With his father’s (Wally’s) help Joey found out that all those people in Montana had already made appointments.  But as part of this appointment process, each appointing person was to offer 12 alternates, in case the original didn’t pass the induction tests.  One would be, after all, joining the Air Force.  Joey made his way on to a list.  He was the 12th alternative for a Montana Congressman.   Understanding the odds, Joey prayed, and promised God that if he somehow was appointed he would go, whatever other college prospects he might have.

As his senior high school year passed, with its odd events already mentioned (there were more, by the way), Joey applied for and was admitted to a five year architecture program at the University of Washington at St. Louis, and to Grinnell College, a small liberal arts college in Iowa.  Spring came and Joey needed to decide.

Early one morning at school, someone from the principle’s office took Joey out of class, telling him that his father was calling and that it was important Joey come answer the phone.  Wally explained that he had received a telegram from the Pentagon, offering Joey an appointment to the Academy.  They wanted to know right away.  Joey told his dad to send a telegram back, saying yes.  He had, he thought after all, promised God.

There was a lingering question.  Why the appointment from the Pentagon?   Wally called in a favor, being friends with the then majority leader of the Senate, Mike Mansfield, who was from Montana.  A call was placed, and it was explained to Wally that the pool of alternates, all of whom were tested and examined and had FBI background checks, teeth checks, and you name it checks, was very large - in the thousands, which enabled the Academy to pick and choose, whether for their sports programs or whatever, others beyond those the politicians appointed.  Joey was in the “whatever” category, which made his being president of his church youth group and his senior class and recipient of the DeMolay award, all of which were to Joey “accidents”, look like a possible keeper.

Between the day Joey graduated from high school, and the day he left to travel to Colorado, and join the Air Force as an Academy cadet, there was about four weeks.  He spent most of his time hanging out at his favorite local tennis court, looking for pick-up games.  He’d been on the high school tennis team, which was so small it consisted only of him and one other boy.

One day he started to play with a man in his twenties, and after some casual conversation it turned out that this man, who alleged (this can't on reflection be true) he was a recent graduate of the Air Force Academy, had been just assigned to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, and like Joey went to local tennis courts looking for pick-up games when not on duty.   His one bit of advice to Joey was to not get noticed, and mind his own business as much as possible.  For a naturally shy 18 year old, this was easy to conceive, but not always easy to realize.

Joey's first year Academy picture (left), his senior year high school picture (right)

It is difficult to describe the first day there, because most people have no clue, except to say for Joey it was crazy-making being yelled at constantly, given 20 or 30 push-ups to do at the drop of a hat, and trying to learn to stand at attention, properly say yes sir and no sir, to upper classman who looked for any flaw at all.  Joey, having not eaten much for breakfast, before boarding the bus from the motel in Denver to the Academy, was standing at attention in a hallway in the dormitory, when because he locked his knees to keep standing up, he fainted.

As soon as it was noted he was conscious again, and not needing any medical attention it was back to the yelling and screaming.  

The first sixty days are called: basic.  Learning to march in formation.  Learning to wear the uniform.  Learning to make your bed right, and fold your clothes right.  While you didn’t have to be at attention in your room, unless an upper classman walked in, you had to be at attention everywhere else, walking in hallways, eating at the table and on and on and on.  This was going to last for a full year.  A full year.  One could relax in one’s room, in the Academic Building, in the huge gym and on the athletic playing fields, but no where else.

Joey’s entry weight was 165 lbs, and by the end of the first 60 days he weighed 140 lbs.  They tore down his body and then built it up again.  The caloric goal in the dinning hall for basic was 4400 calories, because physical training was twice a day, and by the end of the first month, they ended morning physical training (all kinds of exercises), by running ten miles.  Keep in mind that the Academy was intentionally placed at 6500 ft, more than a mile above sea level.

Four or five times a week, motivational movies were shown.  Hollywood movies about the Air Force.  One was shown several times: 12 O’clock High, because it was about leadership and stress and combat.  B-17 bombers flying daily out of England, over the channel, and into the air above Germany. 

About 800 new cadets started basic, and perhaps 650 finished.  Didn’t make any difference who your Senator was.

The most serious class-like time during basic was about the honor code.  No other subject was taken more seriously.   When basic was over, you were on it.  On your honor.  “I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate among us those that do.”  Most people who left for honor violations turned themselves in.  If you tolerated yourself, you violated the code.  People would generally tell a lie, under all the psychological pressure, and then their conscience would make them turn themselves in.  The honor committee would meet (all cadets, and all selected by cadets - one for each squadron in the Wing, and decide, and if you were out, the place was set up to get you out, paperwork and all, in a day.  Violate the code, report yourself or be reported by others, and out, gone, done.  When you were gone, the honor cadet for your squadron would call a meeting just before taps, and tell a brief tale. 

When Joey was there the Cadet Wing was 2400, give or take, with about 100 per squadron.  Presently, I believe, the Wing is 4000, and now includes women.  There were no women when Joey was there.

Sports were essential.  If you were on an official team, you didn’t need to be on an intramural team.  Each squadron participated in all intramural sports.  If you were on the Academy football team, in the Fall, when winter intramurals came around, you were on one of them.  When Joey was  what we call a sophomore, and the cadet Wing called a third classman, (seniors were first classman etc.), his squadron (the 7th, whose motto then was “we are lovers not fighters”) Joey played on the water polo intramural team with an upper classman in his squadron who was a half-back on the football team, the Falcons. 

During a practice, the half-back pushed up with his legs out of the water, to take a shot at the goal, and Joey blocked it with his left hand, which so perfectly cupped the very hard moving ball, that the upper arm ball was torn from Joey’s left shoulder socket, and then popped back in.  As a result many ligaments were torn loose and slightly rearranged.  Joey got out of the water, and since there was a lot of pain, but no obvious injury, he ignored it.  Sometimes at night he would lie in the wrong position and the not correctly connected ball/socket structure would come apart and Joey would be in great pain.  He discovered that if he grabbed the left arm with his right hand and pulled the left arm over his chest the dislocated bone would pop back in.

The next Fall he was playing intramural football, and when he went to do a practice tackle, the shoulder popped out.  He was taken in one of the many ambulances that haunted the dozens of practice fields for soccer, rugby, and football etc., to the Academy hospital.  After he described his pain, an airman/nurse had Joey hold a fifty lb. weight in that arm and took an x-ray.  The x-ray revealed no dislocation, and Joey was sent back to the dorm with his arm in a sling.  He was further excused from football, for the Fall, and turned into an official for soccer games, a sport about which he knew nothing.

Why ignore the injury?  Because it was common knowledge that if you got a serious injury like that, you would not be able to maintain flying status, and what was the point in graduating from the Air Force Academy and not going right away to flight school.

Joey remained a dreamer, and his academic grades were very anemic.  At the end of his fourth class year (the freshman year), he handed in an essay in the English class that had so many spelling errors that since this was a major aspect of his grade, he would be failed, and if failed have to leave the Academy.  To guard against this possibility, the Academy had what were a kind of do-over exam, called a turn-out exam, giving everyone one last chance.  So Joey took this exam, wrote a terrible, in terms of content, 500 word paper, taking most of the four hour exam time to meticulously look up in the dictionary he was allowed to bring to the exam every single word over three letters.  When he meet later with English faculty members, they were impressed by the fact that he had no spelling errors at all.  They had also been impressed by the paper with all the spelling errors, but the system for mis-spelling required a certain escalating percentage to be subtracted, that this original paper, however well written in terms of content, had to be give a failing grade.  The English faculty involved appreciated Joey’s solution during the turn-out exam, which he explained to them at the interview, after which he was allowed to go onward and remain a cadet.

During his third class year, Joey had a religious crisis of conscience.  He had come to understand that if he was to fly a bomber, he might be compelled to drop an atomic bomb.  He was uncertain as to whether, when the time came, he could fulfill his duty.  To appreciate this issue for him, we need to step back in time a bit, to the summer before the start of this third class academic year.

Summer for cadets included leaves like anyone in the service, and as well time spent on what was called: the detail, which were the duties involved in taking a set of new cadets through the basic summer 60 day course.  Detail involved a 30 day tour of duty, which left time (besides leave to go home) for the Air Force to send you someplace where you might see them in action.

For Joey, he was sent to George Air Force base in California, which is near Los Angeles.  An older woman who was a friend of Joey’s in the Congregational Church in Montana, Lois Hamner, had become the Pacific Director of the pacifist organization: the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and now lived in LA.  Joey took a bus to LA, from George AFB, to visit Lois on a weekend.  She had him come for dinner and invited a friend over to join them, by the name of Linus Pauling.  Yes, that guy, vitamin C, and so forth.

It was 1960, the cold war was in full force, and everyone with some sanity knew that both the Russians and the Americans were making noises about who could drop the most atomic bombs on who.  Needless to say, the three of them had a very interesting discussion.   Joey was beginning to understand warrior culture, and what it meant to promise to protect one’s Country, especially the people, with weapons and by fighting and risking one’s life.  At the climax of the discussion both Lois and Linus agreed that they believed only God could keep the world from an atomic war.  For Joey it was a sad, but understandable admission, for these two fine minds to confess to the belief that politicians would be hopeless in keeping the peace.

Just a reminder for the reader ... we are trying here to come to some sense of Joey’s “education”, in all its richness.  You could not plan the “education” he was getting, which would lead to me - the walk-in - to receive as aspects of his astral and ethereal nature.

Joey was methodical when he undertook to face a problem, so that Fall he started going to Christian Chapel, which was a small daily worship service, in the cadet dormitory areas, just before breakfast.  If you were going to this event, you were excused from having to march in formation to the dinning hall for breakfast, but needed to catch up and eat before everyone was dismissed to go to their rooms before going to the Academic Building for classes.

Cadets ran the Chapel services, but a regular Air Force Chaplin sat in.  The cadets took turns, offering a prayer, or some songs or making some comments.  It was very short service, perhaps not more than 15 minutes.  When it was Joey’s turn, he used it to ask a question of his fellow “Christians”.  “How did his fellow cadets, relate their understanding of following Christ, with their choice to become warriors, and becoming willing to kill?”

The Chaplin interrupted, and said that was not a question that belonged in the Chapel process.  The cadets ignored him, and over the next few weeks each one took his turn offering his answer to Joey’s question.  They all found healthy reasons for being willing to become warriors and still be Christians.

In order to proceed deeper into Joey’s struggles here, we need to get some sense of the weather in which the Academy had been placed - weather being a big factor in terms of mood of soul.

The full Academy grounds covers about 1700 acres, and includes homes for the office corp for running the Academy as well as the Academy academic faculty.  In addition, officers assigned to nearby Peterson Air Force Base, as well as the underground Air Defense control center buried in nearby Cheyenne Mountain, can find housing on the Academy grounds.

These 1700 acres are set up against what is sometimes called “eastern side of the rampart range of the Rocky Mountains”.  Part of what this means as that as Fall goes into Winter, the sun setting in the West first goes behind the mountains, causing the whole 1700 acres to fall into shadow as early as 4 p.m.  There is light, but also lots of shadow during the course of the year.

Various storms are not infrequent, and when Joey was a freshman (fourth classman), he woke in late September to too much light and loud voices calling down the hallways in the 7th Squadron’s part of the dorm.  Two feet of heavy wet snow had fallen during the night, and power was out everywhere.   The cadet Wing had to be woken up, and showered and feed and schooled without any electric power.

The grounds around the Academy buildings were laced with tarmac, and stone.  All this could be cleared of snow by big plows, and in almost all kinds of weather, the whole Wing marched everyday to its meals in the giant dinning hall.  That hall, feed at one sitting, 2400 cadets when Joey lived there.  Inside was over two stories tall, with great windows on three sides.  On the kitchen side was a great wall, behind which all the food was prepared.  Machines that turned thousands of slices of bread into toast worked there.  Food was brought to the tables, each of which sat ten cadets, by mostly Mexican-looking servers pushing large carts of covered food containers.

Each table has a comment card, so that the managers of the food services could track problems and find out what variations might be desired.  One winter, when the dark was there at breakfast and at dinner, and the most asked for meal was bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, the dinning hall director served them for breakfast six days in a row, and on the seventh, a Sunday, also served ice cream for breakfast.  Think for a minute about how many slices of bacon had to be cooked to feed 2400 cadets this set of meals.

In a community of boys becoming men, jokes and pranks were common, in spite of which the seasonal dark made for a somber world, and Joey that third class year tried to resign from the Academy, because of his lack of confidence in his ability to perform his duty and maybe end up flying a plane where, at the crucial moment, he would fail to drop an atomic bomb and kill thousands upon thousands of people.  The seed planted by the previous summer’s discussion with Lois and Linus grew something sour and hard in Joey’s soul.

Notice I said: “tried to resign”.  The rumor was that the cost of graduating a single cadet was $250,000.00.  Joey and others suspected that was a severe underestimation.  In fact, one interesting conversation, among at least some of the cadets Joey hung out with, was whether the purpose of the Academy was to produce Second Lieutenants or Generals.  Everyone who graduated was the former, yet is was understood that the latter were the ones who did the truly remarkable things.

The Academy resisted Joey’s efforts to resign.  After several attempts at counseling, his parents called him, explained that they had been told they would have to agree, in order for Joey to break his “contract” with the Air Force, and that they were not going to agree.  Joey should stick it out to the bitter end.  Eventually he resigned himself to not resigning.

Joey’s dreaminess endured, and he was noticed as among the five or six cadets at the bottom of his whole class.  At graduations, the cadet who received the greatest applause, was the last one to receive their diploma, and the lowest ranking member, sometimes called: the goat.  Joey was in-line to be goat.

The reader should keep in mind that a couple of books would be required to tell all of the Joey stories from the Academy, and while it was a significant aspect of his “education”,  there was much else besides those three years.  So now it is time to discover how it was he left the Academy.

The Academy hired two older women to manage and provide dating services to the cadets, who really did not have the time for much contact with the opposite sex.  Tina, who was later to become Joey’s first and second wife, was the daughter of an Air Force officer who was stationed at Peterson AFB, and lived in a house on the Academy grounds.  Tina, as a high school junior, was considered okay as a matched date for a cadet looking for someone to go to the movies with, in the Academy theater, which sat 3000 people.  Tina started dating a classmate of Joey’s, Howard.  So Tina and Joey met, on occasions.

Howard and Tina got serious, but Howard was Jewish, and from LA, such that his parents forbid him to marry a gentile.  Again, this is 1961, and young people still tended to follow their parents wishes.  Tina was crushed, and reached out to the ever approachable Joey, for comfort.  He was a virgin, she was not.  Over the Academy school year 1961 to 1962 they spent a lot of time together, and she was by that time a freshman at Denver, University.  Joey was now a second classman.

Only first classman could own cars, and there was a special parking lot, near the dormitory, for their cars.  All the same, while it was against regulations, many cadets owned cars, and had their girl friends take care of them.  Joey wanted a car, so that on weekends it would be easier to get to Denver and see Tina.  Cadets get paid, but only half of the base pay of second lieutenants.  He asked Wally for the money for a car, and Wally was glad to provide it, saying more or less that Joey, by going to the Academy, had saved Wally a lot of money that would otherwise have been spent on Joey’s college.  There were negotiations, and while Joey wanted a muscle car, a Pontiac Grand Prix, he ended up with a Corvair Monza, the car Ralph Nader wrote a book about: Unsafe at any Speed.  It was two-doored, rear engined, and black with a red interior and had a four speed gear shift.  It would have to do, and Tina and a girl friend of one of Joey’s former roommates, Bobby H., kept the car at the girl friends house in Colorado Springs.  The four of them often double dated on the weekends and the car served their needs very well.

Everything was going along fine, when Tina’s father, a major working under a general that managed logistics for the Air Force, was to be transfered to Hawaii, as the Vietnam situation started to heat up.  Tina and Joey pleaded she be allowed to stay at Denver University, but the no was clear and resounding.  Its the summer of 1962, Joey is now a first classman, and Tina is in Hawaii.  The car is in the parking lot.  Bobby H. has bought a red MG convertible, and Tina calls Joey to tell him she is pregnant.

Arrangements are made to fly Tina to Denver, but she has to sneak away from her family first.  This does not go well, and Joey is woken up in the middle of the night by a very angry Air Force major, wanting to know what is going on.  The father is able to spend some time with his daughter and releases her to go to Denver, where Bobby’s girl friend picks her up and takes her to Colorado Springs, where the girl friend lives.

Joey tries to resign to get married.  Growing up in Montana, not doing that is not even considered an option.  The Air Force demands a pregnancy test, and even suggests they not get married, and Tina live in Colorado Springs until Joey graduates.  Everyone finally relents and the lovers are free to forge a new life.  The most sour note comes from Dorothy, who when the situation is explained to her, only wants to know: “What should I tell my friends?”

Tina and Joey are married in Great Falls in August of 1962.  No one from her family attends.  They honeymoon at Flathead Lake, in a house owned by Joey’s grandmother Edith (she, who first knew of Joey and Joy - the twin cousins) and her second husband Carl. 

Joey and Tina on their wedding day, just before going on their honeymoon

So as to not leave the reader with the idea that the Academy was an overly harsh place, let me end this discussion of Joey’s “educational” Academy experiences with some stories about cadet humor.

First some necessary context ...

While the Academy grounds and buildings were being constructed, Lowry Air Force Base, in Denver Colorado, was used to house the first groups to become cadets.  At the time that Joey entered the Academy, no class had yet graduated, and the three classes above Joey’s had all spent their prior years at the Lowry facilities.  Joey’s class, had he graduated with them, would have been the Class of ‘63, and when Joey’s class began its basic training, in the summer of 1959, that was the first time the other three classes were actually operating on the Academy grounds, instead of at Lowry AFB.

So, there were four classes now there: the seniors or First Classmen, that would graduate in the Spring of 1960, the juniors or Second Classmen, that would graduate in 1961, and the sophomores or Third Classmen, that would graduate in 1962.  Plus, Joey’s class, the Fourth Classmen or freshmen.

There was another oddity, of sorts.  In the forming of the different classes, besides looking often to high school seniors to admit, the Academy admissions process made space for many other kinds of individuals, including serviceman of various ages, that were already in the Air Force, or other situations.  Not all newly admitted cadets were 18 or 19 years old.  Many were older, some in their late twenties, and these had already been out in the world, maturing as it were.  One was the son of a famous Army Air Corp fighter pilot from World War II.  Joey knew cadets, who were in his squadron (the 7th), that had been in the lower ranks of the Air Force.  One had been through an Air Force language school and learned Chinese, for example.

In the about to graduate class of 1960, which would be the first graduating class, were then many older individuals. 

Now the Cadet Wing is developing its own culture.  It is new, and virginal in a sense.  No traditions.  There are rules and regulations, structures and processes, but not yet any traditions born in the hearts and minds of the members of the Cadet Wing themselves.  An empty slate to be filled, and everyone in those early classes, of which Joey’s class was a part, knew that they were creating traditions.  Some traditions had already been born, during the Lowry AFB years, but what was to happen on the actual physical Academy grounds would be fully new.

For example, there was a duty, called: Security Flight, which was a group of cadets, members of one squadron at a time, that managed certain aspects of the day to day operations, including using the electronic announcement system, that announced reveille (time to get up) and taps (time for lights out), with appropriate music.  These cadets, plus a regular Air Force officer who also rotated from one to another, stay overnight in the Security Flight area, where outside phone calls after taps and before reveille would be answered, for example.

During the day, if something needed to be told to the whole Wing, in the dormitory areas, there would be this, over the speaker system: Attention in the area; attention in the area; followed by the announcement, which would often involve something so simple as the uniform of the day in times of inclement weather.

Each squadron had its own area in the dormitory (a very large building), blocks long and 6 stories high), and each squadron had a kind of office room where a cadet on duty would receive messages, and receive attendance, for at both reveille and taps, the whole Wing was counted.  Each squadron had a regular Air Force officer assigned to it, and that officer had his own office.  All these officers were called: the officer in charge, including the one that stayed over night in the Security Flight offices.

Now this may seem silly to know, except for the fact that young men like to play pranks, and many of their pranks were directed at the various “officers in charge" ... a kind of rebellious fun, as it were.  At least once a year, usually in the deep darks of winter, some cadets would sneak into Security Flight, steal the officer in charge’s pants, and run them up the flag pole. Winters were very boring.

This kind of stuff went on all the time ... a typical young-male letting off of steam.  Sometimes these pranks were mean, in part because sometimes the officers in charge of a particular squadron turned out to be serious assholes.  One officer, near the squadron where Joey lived, but not his squadron officer in charge, had these pranks played on him. 

His office was filled with balloons, over the weekend when he was not on duty.  The balloons on the floor were filled with water, so that when he opened his door and walked into his office to get the balloons out of the way, the ones on the floor broke, flooding the whole place.  On another weekend, some chickens were put in the office, and on the floor of the office were those pans which we use to roll paint from, and theses pans were filled with yellow paint.  The chickens shit all over the office and tracked yellow claw prints all over everything.  One weekday, when he left his office to go to his car, he found his car stuffed with grumbled up newspaper, and when he went to start that car, a smoke bomb attached to the engine went off.

Cadets near that area, where they could see this car, had been alerted before hand so they could watch this event, and Joey was one of those watching.

One of the way the architects had designed the dormitory building, and the nearby roads, made it possible for civilian visitors to see cadets, in their dorms, through the windows, and from other view points watch the Wing march to meals, and on Saturdays, in good weather, there was always a parade on the parade ground - cadets in more formal uniforms, carrying rifles and swords (for cadet officers).  This being watched constantly led the Cadet Wing to describing the Academy as: “the Blue Zoo”, not always in an affectionate manner.

There was a kind of collision between the Honor Code, and the rules of conduct, for violations of which a cadet could get punished in various ways.  The basic understanding was that no superior in rank cadet, nor any regular Air Force officer, was allowed to use the cadet’s honor to not lie, as a means of getting a confession.  A question that would turn the cadet’s honor against him, was called: an unfair question, and did not have to be answered.

What this meant was that when a prank was played, those in charge could not go around asking who did what.  Cadets had to be caught in the act.  Part of what made the Honor Code work, is that it had been developed earlier at West Point and the Naval Academy, so already a lot of those possible problems had already been worked out before the Honor Code was adopted at the Air Force Academy.

Joey, as a fourth classman lived across the hall from two first classman, both of which, being in the Class of 1960, were a bit older, neither mere boys just recently out of high school.   The hallways had alcove’s and each alcove (indentation) led to doors to four rooms.  So across from Joey’s room were two doors, only one which held first classman, the other more fourth classman.

The two “men” living there, were a very odd pair.  One of them was the shortest cadet in his whole class (in fact that class of ‘60 was considerably smaller numbers in size that Joey’s class), while his roommate was very large, in fact a tackle on the Academy football team the Falcons, which was winning a lot of games that year.  These two would prank each other, in this way.

One would get back from dinner, or being out, before the other, go in their room, and lock the door from the inside.  Then they would go open a window, bang on the window of the room next door (which had some of Joey’s classmates in it) and step around between those two windows (there were no balconies, and these dorm rooms were on the sixth floor).  The little guy did this a lot, and would then go off to visit elsewhere, leaving the large man locked out of his room, and facing the choice of getting his bulk out of the window of the room next door and into his own window, a choice he not only did not relish, but was very loud of expression when facing this dilemma.

One Fall week, these two disappeared for a couple of days, leaving behind a lot of speculation.  It was the week before the first Army - Air Force football game was to be played.  Later Joey heard this story:

Those two (remember these are more men than boys in a way), plus a couple of their classmates, arranged with local Peterson AFB non-commissioned officers (Sargents etc.), to gain help from a DC-47 (Gooney Bird) crew to fly to West Point, New York, kidnap an Army mule (the West Point mascot), to show it off at the coming game.  This was the feat of all feats done by the class of 1960.  I don’t know if it was ever repeated, but the first time it worked, and was a special memory for all.  That game against Army was played in Yankee Stadium and ended up in a 13 - 13 tie.

When Joey as a junior (2nd Classman), he became the co-editor of the cadet humor magazine: the Dodo, (named, obviously, after a extinct bird).  This magazine, written by cadets for cadets, sometimes did not get published, because the overseeing regular Air Force officers did not approve of the content.  As with all “humor”, it was naturally rebellious, and an outlet for various frustrations the cadet Wing might feel, but otherwise be unable to “officially” express.  His co-editor was Joe W., who like Joey was on track to be goat: both were in the last five or six in rank in the coming class of ‘63.

By the end of that following summer, before the start of their first class academic year, both Joey and Joe had resigned.  Joey to get married, and Joe because he had inherited a lot of money upon the death of his father, who had been a vice president in a large insurance company.  Joe quit the Academy, and bought a red corvette.  Nothing more needs to be said, at least on that subject.

One of those long dark winter days, Joey and Joe were sitting around talking, and Joey thought it might be an interesting idea to make up a fake cadet, sign him up for classes, get his name announced over the intercom, and whatever other ways it might be possible to create a comedic  “tradition”.  Joe thought up the name, and thus was born: Nino Baldachi.  They did what they could in this regard, but since they both left a few months later, they had no idea what was, or was not, eventually to become of their creation.

Fast forward 25 years, and I’ve walked in after Joey walked out.  I’m studying Anthroposophy (see my website), and I am living in Sacramento, California, and starting to go to a small group that studies this creation/invention/discovery of Rudolf Steiner.  At this meeting is a young Air Force officer, stationed at either nearby Mather, or McClennan, AFB, both near to Sacramento.  He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy.  Without telling him why, I ask him if he is acquainted with Nino Baldachi.

This produces a most curious look, so I proceed to tell the story of the creation of Nino, as if I was Joey, a process I had done for years, because to otherwise try to explain my relationship to my body-brother would be far too complicated.  He then tells me this story ...

At the graduation of a class before his class graduated, the commencement speaker was then Vice President, George H.W. Bush.   Part of the commencement speaker’s ceremonial duties was to read the list of graduates as they came up to receive their diplomas and Air Force commissions as 2nd Lieutenants in the Air Force.  When the Vice President read the name: Nino Baldachi, there was great laughter among the cadet Wing, and some consternation on the reviewing stand because no one was rising to come up, during which a general officer (probably the commandant of the Academy) had to explain to Bush the “joke”.  How that name got on that list is certainly a “prank” of considerable beauty.

A few years ago, I tried to see what was going on by contacting some cadets via the Internet, and yes, sometimes there and sometimes not, Nino Baldachi still lives.  Of all my Joey “stories” this is my favorite, in large part because it expresses not only his genius, his intelligence and wisdom, but his appreciation of the crucial, yet less serious parts of life.  Knowing how and when to be foolish is very important.

Remember, Joey is basically a dreamer.  He is intelligent, but not disciplined in an intellectual way.  The academics taught at the Academy contain a lot of science, and so he holds a favorable view of scientific paradigms, although still fully believing in the God of the New Testament.  Once no longer at the Academy, freshly married and on the way to being a father, he is confronted with the question of what to do next.

Tina wants to live in Denver, so they do.  Joey finds work, and as indicated was working for the City and County of Denver, in a clerical job, when JFK is  murdered.  Joey applies to Denver University, and is told that while his academic record is weak, they will accept all his credits from the Academy (which has a remarkable reputation), and there are so many that Joey could almost immediately graduate from Denver University (DU).

However, they will not give him a degree unless he takes a full years worth of credits (45) in residence, and so an effort is made to figure out what kind of major or minor fits with the credits he has transfered.  After some consultations, and given his religious inclinations, Joey is admitted to a pre-seminary program, and will have instead of a major, three minors: math, history, and philosophy.  He has to take five credits in math and history to fully transfer those academy credits to DU, a several credits in philosophy and religious courses in order to establish that minor.

He also has to work full time to support himself, pay for school, and provide for the new family situation.  He finds a night job (4 p.m. to midnight) at the City and County of Denver, and in his interview with the official responsible for the job, discovers that not only is it very lite duty (he will be answering a phone and looking up car license numbers), most of the time he can do his school work while waiting between calls (sometimes no more that 40 a shift).  To call this a stroke of luck is to completely underestimate the grace involved.

Again he is barely a good student ... still dreaming, though intelligent.  He nearly fails a necessary philosophy class, but when the professor is informed that Joey would not graduate without a C-minus, this very strict, former European, philosophy professor, who normally only gives D’s and F’s, again gives Joey some grace.

The serious trouble comes when Joey takes a religious course at Denver Theological Seminary, which is part of DU.  It is not that he barely squeaks by, that is not the problem, but rather what the course and how it is taught does to the religious part of Joey’s soul life.  A blow is struck that nearly destroys his Faith, and does turn him into a conscious agnostic - completely uncertain as to the existence of God, of Jesus, or all that he formerly believed.  You are right to ask, how such an event could be accomplished by a Seminary, which ought to have and supported the exact opposite effect?

Joey, the dreamer, the person who sees an Angel at his confirmation, who gets deeply involved in his church youth activities, has a crisis of conscience while in a military academy, who is so naturally and instinctively moral in nature - so good and innocent due in part to the gift of his empathy - how does a Seminary fuck up his faith?

He takes a course in the Four Gospels, a “historical course”.  Little does he know they will not be studying how to practice being a Christian, which is what he strives to do, but how to de-mythologize the Gospels, by taking their miracles, and reducing the study of them to arid academic questions of scholarship, as if to be learned and scientific, could ever capture the Mystery of Divine Love.

Joey lived the Mystery.  The academics at the Seminary, believing they were doing some version of scientific scholarship (as against religious practice) reduced the Gospels to stories written years later by people who were not present at the time of the events.   The writers of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were not the actual Disciples, but something other.  For Joey, how could he not accept the weight of expert thought that was dumped on his heart, and nearly broke it.  He bought the meme, and while a tragedy for Joey, it was an essential goad and good for me.

Recall, if you will, the great riddle buried in Joey’s soul by the cruelty and evil he experienced for the first time in the school yard.  Nothing in him was like that, and he had no way to wrap his dreamy mind around it.  So he just endured it, as he did all the following evil that came his way in his life.

Then in his adolescence, filled with a romantic ideal of the spirit of America, he heard and read what leading politicians in 1956; and onward where to say, up to and including the events on November 22nd, 1962, when political and civic hope was murdered.

Now he is in his early 20‘s, and life grabs his heart and ripes out the Mystery of Faith.

Three times wounded: hands and feet nailed on the cross of cruelty in childhood, head crowned with thorns in adolescence, and then chest speared as he begins his life as a family man.  All the same he endures, and when he walks out, he bequeaths to me these three great riddles:  1) Why is there evil in the world?  2) What is the real spirit of America?  and 3) What is the true nature of the Divine Mystery.

Joey had no answers - only questions, but my receipt of his astral and ethereal wounds drove me to seeking how to find the whys and wherefores he could not.  The dreamy child of innocence and empathy was a very special person, without whose “feelings” of soul, I could find to purpose to exist.

Without going too far into my own work, let me do a brief consideration of the problem of academic scholarship of the Gospels, as I solved it, while he could not.

The world at the time of the Gospel stories was an oral culture.  Yes, scholars wrote things down in Greek, or Hebrew or Latin, but ordinary people heard stories.  So when the Disciples walked the earth, following after the first Pentecost, when spiritual flames made them capable of speaking to all, they walked and walked and visited villages and told the Good News.  Thus came into existences an oral tradition, which was like all the other oral traditions that proceeded it, with that one singular quality: the stories were memorized, and retold from mouth to ear exactly as heard.  So when the time came to write them down, into Greek or whatever, what was written was the story as told by the Disciples: Matthew, Mark, and Luke and John.  Exactly, precisely.

If changes were made, they were made by the Roman Church which rewrote these stories to conform to already existing dogmas.  So while it was factually true that when the stories were written down, they were not written by the Disciples themselves, they were nonetheless exactly what that Disciple had told, when walking and talking and teaching.

But the faculty at the Seminary did not practice the Gospels, so they did not know how to know a religious truth, but could only work out an academic truth, which when feed to the innocent dreamer that was Joey, turned to ashes in his mouth, and left him mourning and empty in the face of the near-death of Faith, even today still lost to most traditional Christians, who have reduced Faith to mere systems of Belief, and not to the trust in the Mystery, which is what a real active Faith produces.

Enough said on that subject.  So ... what’s next?

Joey goes to law school.  Oh, boy.

Well, he’s married and he has a kid and he just graduated from DU with a B.A. in a pre-seminary direction.  Except, for the fact that the teachers at the Seminary wrecked him as a institutional Christian.  Some where he hears of this thing called: the LSAT, or the Law School Admissions Test.  He believes he should do more, and he still is a romantic politically, to a degree.  Maybe in the law he can find something to do that fits his moral landscape.

He takes the test, and gets a 698 out of 800.  Standard for Joey on standardized tests.  Writes to the University of Montana School of Law, in part because he has all kinds of connections in the State, and with only a few bumps in the road starts to go to law school in the Fall of 1964.  There are a lot more of those fortuitous events that have to happen, but they do happen. 

Marc, the baby, is a year and a half old.  Tina knows she has to go to work to support Joey going full time to school.  Tina teaches herself how to take dictation, applies for a job with a local law firm, run alone by a guy who used to practice in Chicago.  He likes Tina, and promises to make her the best legal secretary ever.  That promise, this real Jewish shyster, who a couple of years later is disbarred, actually fulfills.  Jewish shyster here is said with a great deal of affection.  He was not so much sleazy, as lazy.  He was a “type”, neither truly defective or ineffective, but just liked to cut corners.  Joey does after-class intern work for him, too.  Great place to learn stuff, although not always the “right” stuff.

By the summer of 1968 Joey gets a J. D., and Tina gets a Ph.T, or putting hubby through.  They are poor, their social life is interesting, in part because they make good friends with another couple with small children, and most weekends spend Saturday night playing bridge and drinking beer.  As a graduate of the Montana School of Law, he gains what is there called: “privilege”, which means no Bar examination, the teachers of the law school are expected to manage that.

Law school is not easy, but Joey, our dreamer friend, still finds a way.  Some stories ...

The first day of law school Joey learns a remarkable lesson, stated at least a couple of times by different teachers.  It goes like this: the law is not the moral.  The law is the least socially acceptable behavior, while the moral is the highest socially acceptable behavior.  In law school we do not study the moral (which Joey might have studied in Seminary), but the rules that if you screw them up, lands you in jail or costs you money.

The law has this huge history, and remembering that history is often crucial.  Some basic legal rules go way way back, to common law in England, and if you want to get into it, further back (which I - the walk-in - later studied) to the community and social processes of the Celtic tribes, who were the Germanic so-called Barbarians that ousted the Romans.  At lot of law has roots in Roman Law, and uses Latin names, e.g. res ispa loquitur, or the thing speaks for itself.

Law is intentionally and outrageously complicated.  It is another language, which is of great advantage to lawyers.  For Joey, the teachers in law school are high minded, thorough, and mostly demanding.  They take their responsibilities seriously.

You take a course, and there is usually only one text book for that course.  There is only one test, at the end of the semester, and that’s where you get your grade.   The books consist mostly of abridgments of legal cases - that went to trial, something got appealed, and the case-law, as decided by the appeals courts, is what you need to learn.  In class you are expected to come prepared to discuss several pages of cases.  That’s a lot of reading and note taking, so the teachers accept and the students practice/work what is called a “study group”.

The study group divides up the cases to be known, and each individual is to write a summary of those cases assigned to them individually, and what are the important points of law.  This summary is typed up, with carbon copies for the rest of the study group.   Mostly we read what someone else in our study group wrote, and then in class the teacher calls on individual students to stand up in class and describe the case and the important points of law.

Please remember the personal computer is not even someone’s wet dream at this point in time.

After the report of the individual on that particular case, there may be discussion, and sometimes serious criticism of the report by the teacher, of the report and of the discussion.  We argue.  We are forced over time to absorb a kind of logic, which might be called the logic of the law.  Law school doesn’t just teach laws and their meaning, but it teaches something more important, which is a quite specialized type of thinking.

Joel does well at this style of thinking, but is not much interested in remembering the details of the various rules.  He passes his classes, which mostly involve these twice a year week of tests (called finals), that involve mostly essay, hand written, answers.  Some students are brilliant at this, and some don’t even bother to join a study group, but do it all themselves.

At the end of every finals week, most everyone in his whole class (we all take the same courses) goes to a local bar/pizza place, gets drunk and maybe later throws up.  One wag calls the survival of law school as determined by “ass” power.  That is the ability to sit still and read and type and listen and talk and take tests.  Always on your ass.

Yes, there is law review, and mock trials, but mostly its all the same.  Big books full of abridged cases, and discussions that maybe and hopefully are more informative than they are confusing.  There are  also interesting people.

One kid always shows up at least three weeks late for the start of the term in the Fall, because with his brothers he is an actual farmer, and that time of year they are harvesting wheat.  Another fellow, older, and very fat, who used to work for some Navy survey outfit as a civilian charting all the oceans over the world for variations in the magnetic currents between the poles, so that navigation can be accurate, dies suddenly one junior year night of a massive heart attack.  When they go to pack up his apartment they discover that he has a dozen of the same red shirts, and the same tan pants that he always wears to class.  He loved to make bar bets that he could outrun anyone for 25 yards, which was true - he was really really fast.

You soon find your own group of pals.  Joey got involved with three other fellows who, instead of studying between classes (the breaks were long), played gin, and kept a year long record of winnings, at five cents a point.  At the end of the year, the one with the lowest winnings had to take out the one with the highest winnings (with spouse, if relevant) to dinner. 

Before the start of the first Fall, in 1964, Joey moved to Montana from Denver, and went to work for the Montana Highway Department, which had a major office in Missoula.  He also worked for two summers, mostly on survey crews.  When he went to see the local manager for the third summer, the man lost his temper and yelled at Joey that he wasn’t going to hire him anymore, regardless of what he was told to do by the Commissioner of Highways, who was a friend of Wally, Joey’s dad.  Here we see Joey’s social clueless nature in action.  He had no idea this man was being ordered to give him a job.  Joey was very hurt and ashamed to have been a part of this.

So Joey spent that summer working part time for Tina’s boss, the shyster lawyer (oh, the tales that could be told), and part time for the Missoula County district attorneys office, managing paper work and becoming acquainted with the usual collection of domestic disputes and routine drug and theft problems normal to small towns.   At the same time, there were pluses to go with the minuses.

One Saturday night, when Tina and Joey were playing bridge with their regular friends, two officers from the Missoula County sheriffs office came to arrest Joey for over $600 in unpaid parking tickets.  Turned out the tickets were Tina’s from parking in front of the offices where she worked and not always keeping money in the meters.  Tina called her boss, who also happened to have made himself the lawyer for the local law enforcement associations, and he told the sheriffs that he would pay the tickets that coming Monday, which he did.

Joey’s grades were passable, but nothing to write home about.  Except for one anomalous situation.

All the classes were taught be professional law school teachers, except for the Evidence class.  That class was taught be a local practicing attorney, who specialized in representing insurance companies against law suits for damages, and who shortly after Joey took his course, this lawyer was appointed to the Federal Bench as a Judge.   In fact, the lawyer Tina worked for tried a case before him, which that lawyer lost, in spite of Joey having told that lawyer about a certain problem and what was the solution to it. 

Anyway, at the Spring awards ceremony that year, which happens after finals, Joey discovered that he had gotten the high A in the evidence course, and had won a four volume set of books on Evidence Law.  Now, for the reader, Evidence law is all those rules where lawyers object, and other lawyers disagree, and judges rule for or against the objection. 

Now evidence law is a kind of subset of the logic of laws, or the logical thinking about the law mentioned above.  Its core principles, as a subset of the law, is whether or not a jury should hear a piece of evidence, and the rules are pretty much based on the degree to which that evidence can be trusted.  For example, there is the general rule against hearsay. 

That rule says that one witness cannot quote someone who is not present, and who cannot be cross examined, with the quoted material being offered to prove a fact.  Otherwise, someone could put words in anyone’s mouth, and the veracity of those words could not be tested.  So, if someone offers a quote, we would get an objection that this is hearsay.  There are a number of exceptions.  For example, if the testimony quoting the material is meant only to offer evidence that the words were said, but not to have those words prove something else, then that is not hearsay.

Joey was very good at this, and did in fact aspire to be a trial attorney.  He liked the possibility of cross-examining witnesses, and with his empathic abilities, felt he would be very good at eliciting the truth, whenever a witness was reluctant.  His fate, however, as we know, was to take him elsewhere.

At Christmas of his senior year in law school, Joey receive from his older brother Lou, who was doing post-doctorate work at UC Berkeley, a two page letter, with a capsule pill, telling Joey that the pill contained LSD, and here were the instructions of how to have someone “trip-sit” Joey during this experience, so that he could have a good “trip”.  The school year was 1966-67, and so Joey waited until classes were over that Spring, the usual after finals party was done, and there were two weeks until the graduation ceremony and admission to the Bar.

Everyone had been hearing about LSD.  Tina trip-sat Joey, as did a couple from down the Rattlesnake Canyon road where they lived, who had a child about Marc’s age.  By then Doren, had been born, in September of 1966.  It was a warm Spring day.  Joey took the capsule pill, and they all waited.

He was laying comfortably on the braided rug in the living room.  His tummy begin to quiver a bit, about 20 minutes in.  Soon his whole body was alive in a way he had not felt before.  He started to laugh, and laughed for about half an hour, which he later learned was called: cosmic laughter.   The more he laughed, the better his body felt, the better his body felt the more he laughed.  His trip-sitters were a bit concerned, thinking he might be going mad, but he got up and walked about and talked to them very rationally, although he did very much want to take Tina into the bedroom.

He lay back on the floor, on his tummy and stared at the braided rug.  After a while he could see through the rug, as if it was clear water.  He had expected to see irrational hallucinations, but never had any of those.  He noticed a spherical object on the other side of the rug, as if he was looking through glass.  This object rotated.  The surface of it changed.  He found that the most remarkable aspect of this was that he could control the turning of the sphere, its general shape, its colors, and nature of the surfaces and so forth.

He had not been expecting to control anything.  He had been expecting to be out of control in some fashion. 

He investigated all kinds of objects to look at, things to smell and taste, and all manner of sense experiences.  He did not investigate his own mind, but had not expected anything to happen there, because from Joey’s point of view his mind was something he did, not a place to go or experience.  The want to rub against Tina came and went, ... the children were around, the evening came, the trip-sitters talked.  He was not talkative.  He knew something was true, that he had not been taught by his culture about perception, given his ability to push the hallucinations in certain directions.  But, he did not dwell on the logical philosophical questions, for the sense experiences themselves were far too delightful to waste in mental trips.

Someone put the Beatles on: Sargent Pepper had just come out.   He closed his eyes and the music and lyrics made images then, inwardly.  He gave himself to that, and let himself be carried away.  After a while, the being carried away began to subside, normal consciousness more and more returned, and he was tired and wanted to sleep.  He lay on the floor and just was.  Content, satiated.  Nothing more needed to happen at all.

It was a perfect way to celebrate the end of three years of law school.

A few weeks earlier, he had agreed to go to work for Allstate Insurance Company in Denver Colorado, as a motor vehicle claims adjuster - they wanted recent law graduates.  They had even sent recruiters to the law school, and because Tina wanted to return to Denver, off they went after graduation.  Funky old car, two kids, and a trailer with a bunch of used furniture.  A license to practice law in Montana, he couldn’t use.  They might have been big frogs in a small pond if they had stayed in Montana, but in Denver they were going to little frogs in a very big pond.  Joey had a sense of the relationships left behind in Montana - mostly owing to Wally’s - his father’s - connections, while Tina did not.

Settling claims for Allstate was a curious business, and aspects of it disturbed Joey’s moral character.  Tina, meanwhile, was able to parley the legal secretary education given to her in Missoula, into a high paying secretarial job in Denver.  The year ‘67 became ‘68, and as noted before in April of ‘68 MLK was murdered, Wally dies in May, in June RFK was assassinated, and in August was the police riot in Chicago, at the Democrat Convention.  Joey, did, amidst all that social chaos, take and pass the Bar in Colorado, but made no move away from Allstate.

Tina had had to confess to some infidelities, Joey was tempted for the same.  He quit work for Allstate when they demanded he cut back on his sideburns - the beginning of a interest in longer hair everywhere.  By November, Joey had left Tina and the kids (Marc and Doren), moved out on his own and was washing dishes in an upscale restaurant.  Stories of his mom, Dorothy, were appearing ... about how hard a time she was having because Wally had died.  Dorothy came down to Denver, ostensibly for a Christmas visit, but after she left to go back to Great Falls, Joey followed a few weeks later.  Catching a bus with a few string tied boxes of possessions, he went north to live in his mom’s house.

The same network of pre-existing relationships, that would have made Joey a big fish in a small pond, found him a job as a law clerk on the Montana Supreme Court.  So he moved to Helena, Montana, the State Capital where the Court was located, and learned certain practical truths that made for him an end to any desire to practice law.

One of his classmates from law school was already working for the States Attorney General.  Another was one of the chief lobbyists for the combination of major corporations that included the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, and Montana Power, the monopoly electrical energy company in the State.  This latter friend told Joey that the legislative committee on which he worked took an official position on all legislation before the Montana Legislature, including such innocuous tasks as rules governing the hair-styling industry.  The legislative branch conformed to all the positions this committee took.

The Court, itself, was just moving away from a situation where one of its members had been senile for years, but whose dementia was now so obvious, that there was no advantage anymore to the remaining four members (who could get this sick man to vote anyway they wanted), had to let him go, and be replaced by someone unknown to the existing old-boy network. 

The judge Joey clerked for never really wrote his own opinions.  The judges would meet, and with a quick vote, just after the oral arguments were made, assign to one of themselves the writing of the deciding opinion.  Joey was told to write the opinion, when his judge was assigned this task, using the winning lawyers’ brief as the basic structure for that opinion.  The judge would review it, seldom make any changes, unless Joey strayed too far from the winner’s brief.  In effect Joey became a conduit through which case law was made by those law firms with the most pull before the Court.  Following this experience, Joey completely lost his taste for the law.

Tina did a do-it-yourself divorce, while Joey was in Montana, but as 1969 progressed, they talked often on the phone, reconciled and by August of 1969 got together, backed up everything in Joey’s Oldsmobile station wagon (that had been Wally’s), and pulled a trailer from Colorado to California, following the siren songs of the Summer of Love and the Flower Power generation.

They arrived two weeks after the People’s Park riots in Berkeley, ready to smoke pot, and become weekend hippies.  An apartment was found in the little town of El Cerrito, one suburb over from Berkeley.  Tina found a job for an executive in Oakland almost immediately (she could type 140 words a minute on an IBM Selectric), and Joey found a job at an insurance company with offices on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley.

They acquired interesting - very liberal - friends, protested (marched) against the war, remarried and had another baby, Jennifer.  Joey’s hair grew longer.  No one seemed to care.  At the insurance company where he worked, low paid semi-hippie clerks routinely called in bomb scares on Friday afternoons so everyone could get off work early.   They would get up weekend mornings, before sunrise, and drive to Marin County to Muir Beach, to play with the kids and the sea and the sand as the sun rose.  They listened to rock ‘n roll, smoked pot, and moaned about the state of world affairs.

 Joey was given an interview at work, where he was told that he didn’t fit in, mostly because he couldn’t get along with the sales people.  Joey had been made an insurance underwriter, and thought it was his job to evaluate risks and deny coverage, when it was his job to figure out, without being told, that the rules were to be bent for the top salesmen.  So Joey quit work and  became a house-husband, and Tina could continue to work, as she made considerably more money as an executive secretary.

At one point, years later, Tina was being paid $90,000 a year to manage all the legal secretaries and paralegals for a large law firm, with offices on Sacramento (the State Capital), San Francisco, and Los Angeles.   Ultimately she left this 100 hour work-week stress, went back to school and got a masters degree in 6th Century B.C. Buddhist art.  I point this out to give some credit where credit is due.  This is Joey’s story, however, not hers, which someday may need to be written as she passed away a little over a year ago from the time I am writing this, because of a rather aggressive cancer.  Tina was quite remarkable all in herself.

Two years into this somewhat idyllic routine, Joey walked out and I walked in.  It was the Fall of 1971.  This change took place while Joey was asleep, and I woke up inside his bodies and memories believing I was him.  There was the odd fact that the matrix of soul, which we might called “self-identity” was dissolving right that next morning, and by the time only four months had passed I was having major discomforts continuing the pattern of passivity established by Joey, of letting Tina make all significant family decisions.

I was quite awake inwardly, in a way Joey never was, and so told Tina one day that this pattern could not continue.  At that point our relationship became very uncomfortable, without devolving into actual fights.  I became very depressed - emotionally, and morally gridlocked.  I wanted out, but had already divorced Tina and left the kids (who were now three) once before.

In this deeply depressed state, I left our house early one Saturday morning without saying anything, and began to aimlessly walk.  I ended up at the foot of an odd geographical feature of the flat areas next to San Francisco Bay, called Albany Hill.  I walked to the top, where there was a open area, and some large rocks.  I sat down, and prayed.  Joey had not really prayed much since he had become an agnostic, while studying at Denver Theological Seminary.

The prayer was mostly aimless, but it was clear I was seeking some release from the paralyzing moral conflict.  In an instant, the depression was gone, and I felt, with great clarity, that any choice would be right.  There was no perfect right move, except the false and dangerous move, which was not to choose at all.

Thus, comforted by Christ (of which fact I had no doubt), I walked home, returning in the late afternoon.  I went to the bedroom, and sat on the water bed.  Tina came in, clearly worried, for there was no doubt between the two of us that we were in trouble.  I turned to her and asked: Why did we have all these babies without it being a decision we made together? (Tina always had cramps when she ovulated, so she always knew when she was fertile.)

Before those words, I never knew how bothered Joey had been all those years, during which Tina led and he, the perfect foil and innocent virgin, followed.  He trusted life, and he trusted others, and seldom let himself even realize how hard sometimes other people could be.  He was not that way, and did not understand that Way.

I broke into tears, and all the pains that Joey had borne poured forth.  Tina tried to comfort us (Joey had to still be around in some sense or other), but I cried and cried and cried.  At least a half an hour, with Tina leaving the room helpless before the deluge after justs five minutes.

I was in.   Joey was letting go.  A few weeks later Tina and I separated.  My story is in my long essay: Biographical Necessity, the necessity being the change - the walking in, while Joey walked out.  More of my story is in: Nobody Knows My Name, an essay-overview of my works since arriving.  All the same, lets next just take another, overall look, at Joey.  This is still his story.

Please keep in mind that there are hundreds of tales that could be told.  His shyness with regard to girls, and his confusion because of the lust they stimulated.  Rock n’ Roll started when he was in high school, and social dancing changed.  Playboy magazine appeared.   All manner of movies were around and about, such as Rebel Without a Cause, staring James Dean.

The social world of America, and the whole world to some degree, impressed itself on Joey, and he took it all in, as deeply as possible, a treasure trove of memories and experiences that I still mine for pleasure and for wisdom even now while writing this.

To describe Joey as dreamy, is perhaps a bit misleading.  He had no philosophy of mind, and accepted that psychologists must know something.  He did not spend much time at all in introspection, although in the last couple of years before the change, after moving to the Berkeley area, he started reading “spiritual” literature, and became curious about his inner life.  Ideas of enlightenment, meditation, and the like, confused him.

He felt no need to change his “self”.  He lived, had experiences, adapted to the social demands of the time, and for the most part, had this place “inside” where he “rested” pleasantly, which we might call: the imagination.   Why?

The outer world he had little control over.  His inner world was entirely his.  It was a place of play and freedom.  The modern brain scientist might not recognize this “territory” as real, but for Joey it was as real as the sense world. 

There were people in the culture in which he grew up that disparaged the dreamers.  Comics and science fiction and fantasy were called: escapist literature.  An idle mind is the devil’s playground was the cliche.  And, by “idle” was meant a mind not focused on some real world work, that needed to be done, like repainting the house, or building a fence.  Joey’s mind was in “idle” as much as was possible.

The fact of the matter was that it was with this “idle” (dreamy) mind that he scored high on all standardized tests, and from which he acquired the intuitions, moral and otherwise, by which he lived in the world.  This dreamy idle mind lived in the ideal.  In a way, it was the spiritual ground of existence, for him, and every act fell out of that ability to contemplate and imagine.  For example, when he was the senior class president, he (sort of) chaired a committee that had the responsibility to formulate what was to be the theme for the senior prom.  Lots of ideas were floated, and Joey, as was his Way, listened, and then offered an idea that was a kind of perfection, and immediately accepted.  He wasn’t any kind of authority, but his mind “saw” in ways most of his contemporaries did not.

There had been a recent popular film, that won several Oscars and starred Marlon Brando: Sayonara, which is Japanese for “goodbye”.  Joey “saw” and said lets call the prom Sayonara, and use Japanese decorations, because we as a class are saying at this prom, to which all classes can come: goodbye. 

This quiet, shy, kid, who dreamed, led, and was looked up to precisely because of the goodness (and lack of ego) that came with his offerings.

Basketball, a team sport without the physical contact of football:

Besides tennis, Joey’s favorite sport was basketball.  When television showed up in Great Falls, in 1955, for some reason every Sunday, they got the pro-basketball games of the Boston Celtics.  Joey and Wally always watched together: Bill Russel, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Bob Cousy, and company, all coached by Red Auerbach.  The Celtics dominated professional basketball at that time.

One day, early on - Joey was maybe 13 or 14, he asked his mom, Dorothy, about his dad, Wally, having been a college basketball player.  There had been hints and stories, but no details.  Dorothy took Joey down stairs, and opened up a cedar chest and took out three huge (2' by 3’) scrap books that had been kept by Wally’s mom.  Joey then spent several hours learning about his father, the star high school and college basketball player.  Wally, in fact, had had to drop out of high school for a year, because he got rheumatic fever, and there were no antibiotics, so the only way to live through that was to completely rest.

Damage then to Wally’s kidneys, and early arthritis in his knees and ankles from running  up and down a basketball court, let Wally be 4-F, even though, like many, he immediately volunteered after Pearl Harbor.

Wally has also been a member of the Montana State Golden Bobcats, a kind of historical feature of the early college basketball era.  The Bobcats, with Wally as a freshman member of the ten man team, had beat everyone up in the Western United States, and a kind of war broke out between Western and Eastern sports writers, about just how good or not the Bobcats were, with the Eastern sports writers saying the Bobcats could not have beaten any of the Ivy League Schools.

The legend told to Joey was that because of the disagreement among the sports writers, an after season tour of the Bobcats was arranged.  They would play five Ivy League teams over a couple of weeks time.  The Bobcats, national champs in 1929 (first team to play pressure man to man defense and then fast breaks), won 72 of 76 games in the 1928-29 seasons, scoring 63 points a game in 1929, a record at that time.

Wally built a basketball net and backboard over the two car garage, and Joey could practice by himself almost all year long, except for winter of course, when he played basketball indoors.  Sometimes Joey would be practicing when Wally game home from work and they would play “horse”, with Wally always winning because Wally could still sink two-handed set shots from 25 feet.

With this as a kind of inspiration, Joey tried out for the high school freshman basketball team.  The same day he was due to show up for a kind of tryout, he had also been asked to participate in a  kind of freshman class drama skit practice.  Because of the last, he ended up being a bit late for the first.

During the tryout, which lasted about five minutes, he scored two baskets and stole the ball while on defense once.   He thought that was pretty good, but was rejected by the coach because a) he had been late after all; and, 2) the coach had coached the junior high (7th and 8th grade) team, and was mostly putting on the freshman team players he had already coached, which didn’t include Joey. 

Subsequently, the local DeMolay chapter created a basketball team of kids who had not made the regular teams.  The Masons had built a large youth center in Great Falls, called the DeMolay Memorial Youth Center, dedicated to the DeMolays and Masons that had died in WW II.  It had a bowling alley, and large full size gym (where dances - sock-hops - were held most Saturday nights to recorded music) and a cafe, as well as meeting areas and so forth.  The town “fathers” looked after their kids.

Joey was on this “rejects” basketball team, whose coach was a paraplegic young man in a wheelchair, who had been a local sports hero before falling off a cliff while playing golf, breaking his back.   Basketball was a serious team sport in Montana, and there were many amateur leagues of various kinds, and their coach got Joey and his friends games in these leagues, which including nearby really small towns, and local teams that had for their members former college players, who still wanted to play basketball at the DeMolay Memorial or the court at the YMCA.  Some of these local teams were sponsored by bars.

The most fun/interesting part of this was when their coach challenged the high school junior varsity coach, to a game between their two teams, ... no audience just the teams, as a kind of spirit building fun thing.  The first year the DeMolay team won.  And the second, and the third.  The junior varsity coach didn’t like it that the rejects were that good, but he also knew that the embarrassment suffered by the JVs was a good thing, especially since no public was involved.

Joey played guard, in a kind of two point-guard system.  They would bring the ball down the court and evaluate the situation as the defense set up.  They had set plays of course, but mostly Joey and his partner point-guard just made stuff up, knowing the skills of their two fowards and their center.  Their favorite move was where the other point-guard would screen off the defense player guarding Joey, and Joey would drive toward the basket threatening to make a lay-up.  Don’t appreciate the jargon? - too bad.

With Joey threatening, this would force a defensive player covering one of the forwards or the center to try to get in Joey’s way, and Joey would then bounce pass to the undefended player for an easy shot.  The “rejects” played well together, and did well in the league play.  They just didn’t make it to the “official” school teams.


Lou, Joey’s older by five years brother, taught Joey how to play chess when Joey was five.  By age 7, Joey was beating his older brother, who would then get angry and knock all the pieces off the board.  Joey borrowed chess books from the town library, and but didn’t have the discipline or the interest to learn all the openings and so forth.  He did like one book, which was old and worn, written I think by a grandmaster named: Lasker.  It only a few games detailed in it, and mostly discussed general matters of strategy, such as power, position and time, in a manner which fit in with Joey’s imaginative capacities.  He learned to see the board differently, but still had no interest in mastering the details.

One year he tried to go to a tournament for young people, that was held in the gym of the DeMolay Memorial building.  He played a kid his age (Joey was maybe 11), and was trounced, seriously trounced.  Took the kid about ten minutes of fast play.  Joey could see then that chess was an interesting “game”, but not something at which he could become skilled.

Except, ... bored his sophomore (3rd Class) year, at the Academy, Joey went one Saturday afternoon to an open meeting of the Academy chess club.  There were a little over 20 cadets in the room, tables with boards and chairs and clocks, and the club had a regular Air Force officer in charge, who taught math in the Academy academic department and was introduced as the champion adult chess player in Colorado.

Joey was one of three new cadets interesting in joining.  The officer, a lieutenant coronal, decided to play all three new guys at the same time.  Joey, who had studied a few openings, decided to throw the officer a kind of curve ball.  Joey, and the other two cadets, were all given white, and had the first move, but what Joey did was not a regular opening move at all.  Instead, he proceeded to move a set of first moves that followed a defense strategy, called: the Sicilian Defense.

The officer did not expect much resistance, but when seeing something that was being played kind of inside out, as an opening, it took him a while to realize that something unusual was happening.  By the time he did, Joey was in a position to capture some serious “wood”, a major piece, which often bodes victory.  So the officer asked Joey if he could finish with the other two first, before concentrating on Joey’s offered opening.  Joey said okay.

Joey got the major piece once combat had commenced again.  All he had to do now was hang on to this advantage.  He then played very conservative, keeping in mind the teachings from the Lasker book about power, position and time.   Joey won the game.

He never went back to the Academy chess club, knowing that he had already reached the highest point of that effort possible.


Dorothy can come off in some of the previous comments a bit badly, so lets take a few paragraphs to get a better grip on her personality.

Lou was born in 1935, and Dorothy and Wally had left college to get married in 1933, with Wally a graduate and Dorothy not - she had finished just two years.  It might be fair to say, in the inherited sense, that the smarts that Lou, Joey, and Doug got from their parents came mostly from Dorothy.  Smart lady.  Liked books and classical music.  Trapped in a culture where she was expected to be a housewife and mother, to three sons and a husband. 

A typical evening might find Joey laying on the floor in front of the radio, listening to The Shadow radio series, with Wally sitting reading Time magazine, and sipping one of the two regular cocktails he had most nights after work.  Dorothy, this lady with a brain, would be sitting in a chair, under a lamp, with a light bulb stuffed up someones sock, darning the holes in the heels or toes.  Lou would be studying in his room, and Doug wasn’t born yet.

Joey was five years younger than Lou, and eight years older than Doug.   When this next bit happened, perhaps Dorothy was pregnant with, and about to loose, another baby.   Anyway, Joey came into the upstairs of his house to find Dorothy on the floor, sobbing and in distress.  He got a neighbor, Wally was called, and Dorothy was taken away to a hospital, where she stayed for three or four days.

No one tells children anything, but a later consideration suggests that Dorothy was being treated for a common woman’s mental problem, called at that time: hysteria.  Which was a man’s way of saying “being too emotional”.  Imagine the shock.  An emotional, perhaps depressed, recently pregnant woman.  Somewhere in there Dorothy was prescribed the hormone estrogen, for her “female” problems.

This powerful hormone, prescribed always by male doctors, to an intelligent woman far before the feminist movement was to be born, became for Dorothy always there.  Then her husband dies young - at age 58.  She is 55, and has no job skills, and the income provided by Wally does not keep her for more than a few years into the economic life she had while Wally lived.

She becomes something of an alcoholic, low level, but the booze and wine probably  compensates for the hormones, which the doctors just continue to prescribe, apparently without much thought other than perhaps the belief that if they don’t, the previously diagnosed hysteria will return.

She becomes thin, develops a kind of dementia and a few obsessions with things and people.  Has car wrecks, and can’t manage her life.  By age 85, she is living on social security, and has a single room in a large facility for poor elders, and when I (Joel) go to visit her for her 90th birthday, she is regularly incontinent and frequently confused.  Her once bright mind has gone walk-about.

Shortly after that visit, the family and friends get her into a kind of rehab center, and a young doctor there takes her off estrogen.  In two months, she is fat, no long pencil thin and easily agitated.  Nor is she incontinent anymore.  She sits in the hallways of the rehab center smiling.  Her mind - her intelligence - is still walk-about, but the grace of age descends, until her passing at age 95, in a hospice setting.  Doug is there to be with her at her crossing, and when he is not playing his guitar and singing, she writhes in pain.


A rock, a moral rock.  Not in the tell you how to be sense, but just by lived example.  No wonder Dorothy loved him and bore him three sons.  Joey remembers a day when there was a family meeting called, and Joey was in high school, Doug in grade school, and Lou away getting his PhD.  Wally explains that for years he had been being asked to serve on this or that community institution, and had refused for family reasons, but now that his children were older, he was deciding to do it all, over the next two years, so we were being warned he would be away a lot in the evenings, doing these tasks his community was asking of him.

He was already a 33rd degree Mason.  The Church wanted him to chair the Board of Trustees.  The Chamber of Commerce wanted him to be President.  The Rotarians too.  The Board of the YMCA.  It was a long list, and he did it all. 

Wally owned a small advertising agency.  His father, Joey’s grandfather, had started the company, and after WWII Wally bought it.  Wally had illnesses, mostly nervous type illnesses, from stress in life and at work.  When Doug was young, Wally took a year off from work, Joey was away at the Academy, and Wally, Dorothy, and Doug lived for a year in Hemet, California, hoping Wally’s stress related illnesses would respond.

A few years later, he went to the Mayo Clinic to have exploratory surgery, and they found non-malignant masses in among all his major organs, whose pressure was causing all kinds of weird symptoms.  They also discovered that Wally’s aorta had many aneurysms in it - all kinds of bubbles that might blow because of the high blood pressure.

When Wally was 58, Mayo had him come back in to have the whole aorta replaced with plastic, and because all the major organs received blood from the aorta, the places where blood leaked were many, and they opened him up three more times trying to get the bleeding to stop.  In all, during this long and multiple surgeries, Wally received 86 pints of blood.  He did not survive this assault on his physical body.

600 people came to Wally’s funeral.  Politicians from Washington even, as well as the State Capital in Helena.  This group included Chet Huntley, who was a leading television prime-time news reader, part of the paired Huntley-Brinkley Report, that ran for 15 years on NBC.  Chet had been Wally’s SAE fraternity brother, from Montana State College.

Wally was a pillar of the community - the real thing.  His kids, including Joey, until this funeral, had no idea at all.

Wally takes Joey hunting and fishing:

Hunting and fishing are major activities for “men” in Montana.  Wally was part of a poker club, that got together once a month to play cards and drink.  Every summer Wally and his club friends would go away for a week, to a out in the woods at a hunting and fishing hideaway, and catch trout and play cards.

In the fall, Wally went hunting for ducks and for pheasants.  The hunting seasons were regulated, and licenses were required.  If a farmer “posted” his lands, no hunting, otherwise after the summers harvests, the fields and marshes were full of birds and water fowl.  Sometimes Joey was brought along, and taught how to carry a shotgun and use it.  Joey did not enjoy this activity.

Some families hunted deer and elk in season.  Joey’s family did not.

Hunting fowl required hunting dogs.  These were also the family dogs.  The first was Duchess, a cocker spaniel.  She had papers and was regularly bred, and the puppies sold for profit.  The town had a parade each year, just before the State Fair opened.  It was called the Pet and Doll parade, and children marched, helped by parents, showing off their favorite Pets and Dolls.  One year Joey was dressed as a clown, and Duchess and her new puppies had clown cone hats on in the same colors, with the puppies put in little tall boxes like jacks in a box.  The boxes were in Joey’s red wagon, and Duchess was rigged up to help him pull it.  They won a blue ribbon prize that year.

When Joey was about 10, and Doug two, Doug got out of the fenced yard and headed for the street, which had a lot of traffic, being a main road to the nearby Air Force base.  Duchess caught up with Doug, just before he stepped into the street, and knocked him down and sat on his chest, until Doug’s screaming brought aid.  A few years later, when Joey came home from a day at Junior High, Dorothy, and her mother Edith who was visiting, were sitting waiting for Joey to tell him Duchess had been killed by a truck that day, and taken away.  Joey did not cry, and in fact did not know what to feel, although clearly these two women expected him to have strong feelings of some kind or another.

But, in Montana, boys don’t cry.  In fact, Wally’s father Louis, after a few beers at family gatherings, used to routinely hard slap Joey and his cousin Bobby on the face, to toughen them up.

Duchess was replaced with a Springer Spaniel, whose name escapes me.  Then later, after Joey moved out of town, there was another dog, a wire-haired pointing Griffon, named Gypsy Rose Lee.  After Wally died, Gypsy became Doug’s dog and lived afterwards in San Francisco.  She was also sort of famous, for Doug made independent films, and a short of Gypsy trying to lick peanut butter off of the roof of her mouth, set to an upbeat jazz tune, played a couple of times on Saturday Night Live.

Joel learns about gambling and drinking:

When Joey was about 7, Wally had a concession at the week long State Fair, to have printed and sell the quarter horse racing forms, showing what horse were running in which of eight daily races.  Joey was permitted to sell the forms in the stands, carrying them in an apron with pockets in it.  He was even permitted to take money and go to the ticket place, and place a bet.  Sometimes.

One day while Joey was in the stands, a horrible accident happened.  Two B-25‘s (double tailed small bombers) did a low level fly over, crashed into each other and then fell into the horse barns killing and injuring many horses, as well as human beings.

Among his pals, they played monopoly when going outside to play baseball was not possible.  Later this changed to poker with money and far too many wild cards and weird games.  In adolescence, a couple of these “pals” made apple-jack, which was a gallon of apple juice with yeast and stuff in it that was allowed to sit in the back of someone’s closet and ferment.  He didn’t like it.

One New Years eve, Joey and his pals were wandering from house to house, and came to his house to discover, that while Dorothy and Wally were at a party, and Doug was being babysat somewhere, Lou and his pals had left a half bottle of wine on the table where they had shared dinner.  Joey and his friend raided Wally and Dorothy’s liquor cabinet, and poured a little from each bottle there (so as to disguise the use) into the wine bottle.  Joey’s friends urged him to drink this concoction, and he became quite intoxicated.

While wondering outside, Joey threw up on the sidewalk, with such acidic powers, that it etched the sidewalk in such a way that years later you could still see the big splashy mark.  The pals got Joey home, took his clothes off and showered him.  The next morning Lou and his friends realized Joey was seriously hung over, and before Wally and Dorothy woke up, took Joey with them sking, knowing that the fresh cold air would help Joey recover.

By the time of the change, Joey had discovered that a) beer made him need to pee too much; b) wine gave him a headache; and, c) hard liquor got him drinking in a way he could not stop until he passed out, and threw up, or threw up and then passed out.  As a consequence, I went after pot, and hallucinogens, and stayed away from alcoholic products entirely.  Yes, I did become addicted, and finally entered recover in 1987.

Joey and Girls ... I did not think I was going to write this, but there has to be a balance ...

For Joey, sports was with boys.  Basketball, tennis, competitive.  The Academy.  Girls ... a huge mystery.  Always there, always strange.

In grade school- 6th grade - at recess the kids play games.  Marbles mostly for the boys, while the girls play Jacks.  Some jump-roping.  Hopscotch for both sexes.  If you don’t know these games, look them up.  In the Spring the town sponsored mini-track and field stuff, so Joey was at a park one day, supervised by some adults, and tried high jumping over a long stick held in the air by two rods.  He came down hard, and hurt his ankle.

An adult was helping Joey get to a car, when another kid pushed Joey, saying Joey was faking it, and Joey fell forward, and hit the curb by the street with the instep of his wounded foot.  He cried out, the adult was upset, but not surprised, for boys will be boys.

The school called his father to take him home, and Wally took Joey to the town Clinic, an association of doctors, where his ankle was x-rayed and declared broken.  A plaster cast was constructed, and Joey was given crutches on which to get around.  The next day Joey showed up at school in his cast, and with his crutches.  The boy who had pushed him the day before genuinely apologized.

Joey’s sixth grade class room was up several flights of stairs, difficult to manage on crutches, so Joey was allowed to stay up stairs during recess, and at lunch those kids who ate school lunches started to include Joey.  Mostly the school lunch kids were from out of town, and bused into school from their farms.  So Joey would not be alone, another boy, much older having been twice held back, stayed with Joey.

There were two girls also on that floor during lunch period, being given duties at the library on that floor.  Teachers and the librarian all had duties watching the lunch hall in the basement and the outside play areas, so these four children were alone upstairs.  The girls would go down at the start of lunch and bring up four trays, so they had their own little club for about an hour every school day.  Sometimes Joey would chase the girls about, threatening to catch up to them and raise their skirts with one of his crutches.  The older boy knew dirty jokes, and the two girls lived on farms, so the scene had many delights, which up to that time had been outside of Joey’s experience.  It was basically innocent fun, in a world where there were not even bra ads in Sears-Roebucks catalogs.

When Joey was in eighth grade, a girl named Marscella introduced him to kissing.  Joey would lie to his mother and say he was going to a weekly swimming meeting at the YMCA, and sneak several blocks over to Marscella’s house, tap on her window, and she would sneak outside and let him kiss her, with her back leaning against her garage.  She had full lips, and these kisses were wet and juicy, but not yet “French”.  Dorothy noticed Joey was not coming home with his hair wet, and caught him sneaking away from the Y one week, ending that adventure.

When Joey was a freshman in high school, he would go to the football games, sneaking through the bars surrounding the football stadium, in part because he lived only a block away from the stadium and with his buddies had explored every inch of that territory over the course of many years, so that he knew which of the uprights of the bars were wider and could be gotten through easily.  It saved the price of a ticket.

One night as he came through the tall hedge just inside the bars, there was an older girl there on the grassy hill, looking down into the stadium.  She was smoking a cigarette, and flirted with Joey (flirting was not something he understood at all), but she liked him and asked him to take her to the movies, which he did a couple of times.   Her name was Patricia.

One morning a few weeks into this arrangement, that his mother knew about, he was awoken in the morning by Dorothy, and shown the daily newspaper, the Great Falls Tribune, and on the front page was a story about this girl and an older boy being murdered outside of town, execution style.  That day at school, Joey was taken out of school by some sheriffs officers, along with several other boys, and questioned at the jail.  He was even directly asked if he had murdered her and the older boy.

The girls parents called his parents in a few days, and request that he along with some other boys, be pallbearers at this girls funeral.  No one urged Joey not to do it, and it seemed the right thing to do.  After the funeral, Joey spoke to one of the other boys and they discovered they were both readers of science fiction.  Other than that, Joey had no more contact with those boys,
or the parents, they not being of the same “economic” class as Joey.

This murder remained unsolved, until a recent book by a local former Great Falls police detective, claimed that Patricia and that other boy had been victims of the Zodiac Killer, who this book claimed was responsible for all manner of murders all over the country for decades.

The summer after this adventure, Joey went Church Camp (as discussed above), where he met Janet.  She lived in Billings, and they stared to correspond, which I suppose was a kind of elaborate flirting only made necessary because there was no e-mail, no cell phones and no other way to keep in contact, except by letter.  For Joey these we very special letters, for he very much liked being liked by girls, although was at the same time totally confused about what to do with that fact.

The boys he knew talked all the time about first base and second base, and told stories which were probably lies.  Certainly they knew little about sex or women, but this was high school in the late 1950‘s, where slow dancing and having a girl’s thigh rub against your penis led to erections and the most strange and exquisite kinds of pleasure, only resolved latter by self-abuse.

The next summer Joey spent a month at a large cabin at Lindbergh Lake, in northwestern Montana, which included a Dude Ranch (had horses to ride), and was named after Charles Lindbergh, who had gone into hiding there for a time, because of all the press chasing him after the kidnapping.  Joey was there for a month, and it was a way for Dorothy to get away from Great Falls, with Joey and Doug, and few cares, since Wally only came up on the weekends.

Dorothy read a lot, Joey played with Doug, and they swam and used the camp’s boats in which to row around.   These lakes were rather amazing because the water was so clear you could see thirty or forty feet to the bottom.  This was before the age of parental paranoia that would have had all children buried in flotation jackets, and a certain sensibility was assumed.  In fact, Joey had been through the Red Cross water safety rescue training as soon as he was old enough.

There was another family there, that brought three younger children, and to make their life more easy, also brought a girl Joey’s age as a nanny/babysitter.  Her name was Mary Ann.  It took our dear shy Joey a week to gain enough courage just to talk to Mary Ann at the beach.  She lived in Missoula, and by the end they too were “flirting” via letters exchanged not more that once a month at best.

The next Spring - Joey’s junior year of high school, there was a State basketball championship tournament in Butte, to which Joey got to take his mother’s car to, and to which he went with his co-point guard partner, from the DeMolay basketball team, Jerry.  Of course, Janet from Billings and Mary Ann from Missoula meet each other and discovered they were both letter-flirting with this shy kid from Great Falls, Joey.  Of Course.  Had to Happen. 

Then to top it off, they found him at a dance for attendees to the tournament, and teased him horribly.  There is no greater cruelty in the world than that which can be inflicted by girls on boys.  I have come to believe girls are instructed by their mothers in how to push male buttons, but I’ve never seen it happen, so can’t be certain.  Maybe boys just go around with little subliminal messages hovering over their heads, identifying all their wounds.  Its the females who teach the males, that the cliche: “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me”, is absolutely false.  Yes, a bit of sarcasm here, but also a lot of truth.


As noted above, Joey went to a national Church conference in NYC that following summer, before his senior year at high school.  He met a girl there, at the conference, which took place at Union Theological Seminary.  They liked each other and there was kissing involved.  So began another exchange of letters, but these were more frequent, sometimes almost every week.  Sarah (nicknamed “Saucy”, which was very apt) lived in Minnesota, St Paul I believe.

It happened somehow that she travel through Great Falls, on route to elsewhere, and stayed overnight with a shirt-tail relative for a couple of days that winter.  Joey and Saucy went out, parked where they could watch a display of Northern Lights, kept the car engine on and the heater running, and touched more intimately than Joey had ever touched a girl,l or been touched by a girl, before.  If there was in his brief life a first love, she was it.

Saucy slowed his advances, which in the Ways of those times, girls had to learn how to do.  Yet, the first letter to him following the adventure of the Northern Lights, said to him that she had wanted to give him everything, but it was the time of her monthly courses, and she could not.  The letters continued, and by the time of the subsequent Fall Joey was at the Academy, and Saucy was going to nursing school.

As Winter headed toward Spring, Joey wanted to propose, long engagements being common among the cadets.  Having little money he bought a small ring, and made perhaps, given the secret magical nature of reality, a very bad error.  He bought the ring from another cadet, whose girl had refused it, and written him a Dear John letter.  Obviously the ring was hexed, and Joey was oblivious.

He had the ring for a few weeks, waiting for the right moment, when IT came.  Saucy had met someone else.  In accord with tradition, Joey placed his Dear John letter on the Squadron’s bulletin board, with the ring hung from one of the pins.  Sympathy came his way, comments were written in pen and pencil on the letter, critical of the style and spelling - again it was the tradition for such events.   Joey sold the ring back to the jeweler that had originally provided it to the first loser, warning him of the curse.

Saucy became history.


A sexual powerhouse, and a very intelligent woman.  Through her father she had Sicilian Blood, and as you will seen in the picture of Joey and Tina at the Ring Dance, near the end of his junior (2nd Class) year, she was hotter than Sophia Loren, who was famous and all over the movie pictures.

Tina sang.  She hoped to become a Broadway singing star.  She had dreams.  She belted songs like she was Bette Midler, before anyone had heard of Bette Midler.  She and Joey’s favorite movie was West Side Story, a film of fated lovers.

Tina was born in August, and took the astrological archetype of Leo to heart.  Leo was her.  Fate, however, had other plans.  Howie she loved first, but his family did not approve.  Joey was solid, safe, dependable and shy.  She ran him over in all the best ways an attractive young woman can run over a young man.

Years later I - the walk-in - was to write a poem about Lust, which is a word better captured in its mystery nature by the more ancient term: Eros.  The world is far more real, and even more Holy than the modern atheists fancy.  One of the greatest powers is that of generation, which manifests in procreation.  That is where we meet most strongly Eros as the Earthly power of Love.  Without procreation-generation, there are no bodies in which the star-born spirits of human beings can incarnate.  Earth existence is impossible without Eros, and the real Design of Existence is far Grander than any physicist has yet to imagine.

The so-called Big Bang is an event that hardly compares at all to forces of Love.  So young men and young women lust after each other, and in our age we do not yet appreciate that there is a third lust involved - the lust of the not yet born for earthy life.  So Tina and Joey were Doomed by Eros to receive and care for three children: Marc, Doren, and Jennifer.

The thing was, that in spite of the normal human flaws, Tina was a pretty good mother.  She set aside her dreams with little regret, put Joey through law school, and worked hard for a long long time.

This is Eros action, everyday and every night where lovers meet and dance and open the gates of life to that which seeks, as did Joey in the very first words far above:

“Song the first: A dry wind weeps across the deserts of time.  Pain draws him with a promise of relieving it, ... so entranced, Earthward he rushes, and graced of spirit he lets go the Eternal - the magic and mystical realm we call death - and falls toward and into matter.

“Joy fills him to know that he will be about to spend his life to do a deed worth living for...”.

Tina becomes pregnant, and Joey leaves the Academy.  And, ... we billions hardly notice how ever present these true powers of the creation are, except, when we have faith and trust in life, so as to realize how profound and special it is to have it.

Taken, or Pushed:

There was a TV show, many episode mini-series.  About alien abductions ... the meaning the how and the why of it.  “Taken”, as a TV series, suggested alien’s were breeding human beings for a purpose that was to be beneficial to them. 

The History Channel shows a lot of films in which ancient peoples are described as visited by aliens.  All kinds of unusual facts of ancient times are explained as the results of alien visitors acting upon our planet and its early population.  It is possible to watch those History Channel shows, and use the words spiritual, or angelic, instead of aliens, and describe the same cause and effect influences for which these shows use the idea of “aliens”, or extraterrestrials.

There doesn’t seem to be much difference between the two ideas: aliens and angels, at a causal level, except for the fact that we live in a materialistic age in terms of our conceptions of the nature of reality.  If, as asserted in general by natural science, all is matter and there is no spirit, we easily get an “alien” explanation.  If there is spirit as well as matter, then we get a spiritual, or “angelic”, explanation.

Is there spirit?   I don’t recall who said it, but it was said clearly at one point, in a speech given at a serious convention on evolutionary biology, that if biologists let in spirit, at any point, the whole materialist edifice would crumble. 

The problem is that spirit confronts us every single day.  Every.  We call it thinking.  If we investigate thinking in an empirical fashion, then the whole edifice of evolutionary biology has to take account of something non-material.  I don’t mean by this to study the physical brain.  That is just more of the same.  We study our own mind.  That is what makes the difference.  One of my principle influences, Rudolf Steiner, wrote in his book The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity: “One must be able to confront and idea and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its bondage.”.

To be raised in a modern language, as influenced by the thinking of natural scientists, is to live in a prison - to be unfree before the dogmas of their thoughts and world-views.

Joey was a “serious” dreamer.  He lived in the world of inner pictures, the way a fish swims in the sea.  To him, there was nothing extraordinary there.  It was like breathing, except his breath was of images and ideas, not physical air.  The only problem, if we wish to call it a problem, is that the general scientific paradigm in which he was raised and educated, did not take religion, or art, as seriously as it took science.  Except, perhaps, such as Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

When I walked-in, and Joey walked-out, I brought the light of reason to the inner world of pictures and ideas in which he had lived.  I was awake, where he slept and dreamed.  From one day to the next, that was a core aspect of the “change”.  That was the “Biographical Necessity” that drove me - an experience of the limits of the ideas of mind, which to Joey had been accepted and taken for granted.

I took it for a prison, and he did not.  Which of us better loved the world?  My vote is on Joey - my body-brother, for his influence lingers to this day, an unforgettable presence and effect, lodged securely, with beautiful precision, in angel-aided memory and thought in which I daily thrive.

The top signature is Joey's, from when he had to get a social security card
his Junior summer in High School.  The second signature is from a
couple of months ago from a check I wrote.