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
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
"Snoony", see below
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
About 800 new cadets started basic, and perhaps 650
finished. Didn’t make any difference who your Senator
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.