18. My memory is as good as.....my memory is as good as.....hmmm
what was I intending to say now?? Well, I do remember when I saw the film "BAMBI"
for the very first time. One thing I didn't realize, back then when I saw it as a
7 year old child,....was that Bambi and I, had one important thing in common. We both
lost our mothers. That somehow, didn't strike me until I saw the film again when I
was in my late 50's. I wonder why it didn't hit me then? But I do remember how
dramatic the story was. Shortly after that experience, I was devastated with the
fate of a collie dog, in "LASSIE COME HOME". Once again, an unforgettable experience.
There's more that I remember. I've already mentioned a few things I remember, earlier
in my story, but now I'd like to relate those times during historical moments. Take
for instance the advent of Hi-Fi! What a thrill that was to hear a wide spectrum of
sound; a "wall" of sound. I was about 14 years old, at the time. That would place
the time to around 1954. The arrival of television didn't have such a strong impact
on me. Maybe because the image was lacking in picture quality. Speaking about
picture quality, I do remember the thrill of watching the first 3-D film. I wonder
if that was "THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON" ? But there might have
been a film before that scary film.
I don't remember the first time I saw a jet plane. It might have been the
Canadian built Canberra bomber, as it glided in for a landing at Albrook Air
Force Base in the Canal Zone of Panama. The reason I never saw US fighter
planes, or heavy bombers, was because they weren't strategically a necessity
for the defense of the Canal. DC-3's and DC-6's were constant visitors to the
air base. Then one day, to the surprise of all the students in my high school,
a giant transport plane rumbled overhead, barely skimming the top of the school
building as it headed toward the landing field, which was within sight from our
three storied red brick school. The roar of that transport plane was enormous,
so we were forewarned as the plane prepared for a take-off in the direction of
the school, where most of the students watching the spectacle, I'm sure, kept
their fingers crossed hoping the plane would clear the school building. As you
probably understand now, I'm fascinated with flight. Flying through the air
on silver wings, or any form of space travel, even when it only happened in
comic books or on the silver screen, has been one of my greatest fascination.
Maybe it's because space, that truly "Wild Blue Yonder", is our last frontier,
and we have to go the distance. As a nation of conquerors, it will become
our destiny to start planet hopping, star system hopping and finally, the
incredible day we manage to traverse from one galaxy to the next. Anything
less is simply cowardice. We should have been on Mars today. We simply lack
the proper machinery of a more advanced flying machine, for rockets will
not be the final solution for space traveling.
Well, I am rambling along, forgetting that I'm supposed to be sharing
historical moments I can relate to. I do remember hearing how the runner,
Roger Banister, broke through the 4 minute barrier of the one mile run.
I remember what an earth shaking experience it was to watch the science
fiction film, "THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL". That was certainly a
mind boggling experience. The thought that there could be life on distant
planets within our solar system, launched the start of my own personal search
for ET's. I've been watching the skies ever since, for some sign or evidence
that "We Are Not Alone". I've seen a few things, but nothing to match the
famous encounter of Barney and Betty Hill, as related in the book, "THE
INTERRUPTED JOURNEY" by John G. Fuller.
I remember hearing for the first time, the incredible protest song,
that spoke for a whole generation; the song, "THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION"
telling us of the ironies and dangers of not believing that we were
heading for imminent destruction. I remember the impact of that song
as I departed from a Los Angeles Transit bus on Santa Monica Blvd. in West
Los Angeles. And not far from that location, south west, on Pico Blvd.
and 20th street in Santa Monica, California, in 1963, the echo of, "President
Kennedy was shot today in Dallas....." was playing again and again,
like a broken record inside my head, as I walked down 20th street,
heading towards Pico Blvd.
I remember sitting in the foyer of a hotel in Kirkeness, Norway,
watching the televised images of man's first landing on the moon. To hear
the pilot giving off the coordinates as the landing pod approached the
surface of the moon, has to be the greatest experience I've had. I wouldn't
trade this experience with any other. To have had the opportunity to
experience that "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind",
beats anything I can remember.
19. Geeze,...writing this story is not as easy as I thought it would be.
I'm now starting to suffer from that infamous "writer's block". I sat here
thinking for the past 20 minutes,...on how I would begin this portion of writing.
I tried to see images of my past,...searching for something noteworthy to mention,
but I was at a loss to find anything worthwhile to talk about. I could go back
to the time when I lived on the farm, out there in the Panamanian wild country.
I could tell you a strange story about a bird I wanted and how it was delivered
to me, in a most peculiar fashion.
Out in the jungles.....where blades of grass have edges sharp as razors....where
hummingbirds zip about searching for the sweet nectar hidden in flowers, where
crickets at sunset start the endless cacophony of their beating wings, that could
drive you crazy,.....if you weren't used to them. In the jungles it is not just
colors that will impress you,...but even the sounds. Crickets, parakeets, robins,
blue jays, and in the far distance, an occasional dog barking warnings of intruders.
The sounds of animals,....especially when they are in groups.....can be fascinating.
I've felt the ground rumble like an earthquake....when a flock of sheep started a run.
I've heard an orchestra of parakeets chattering their excitement. You'll hear them
from several hundred meters moving like a ball of sound....flying just above the tree
tops.....skimming the trees,...and moving with great speed, and if you're fortunate to
have them cross your path,....flying close by,...you can't help but be touched by their
excited chattering. Parakeets of Panama are very green in color. Beautiful emerald
green! Small like the popular buggies, these birds learn a few human sounds when
they are held in captivity, locked in cages. They are sold in market places and are
One day as a flock zipped nearby our house, one little green thing fell from the flock,
dropping like a stone, not more than 25 meters in front of me. I walked over and picked
it up and it hardly protested the capture, and I wondered if it must have been a young
one just learning to fly, unable to keep up the pace, and just ran out of gas, to fall
for me. I kept the bird. Found a makeshift cage to keep it in. What a pity then,
I didn't have a camera at the time to record the happening. It would have been nice
to see again, that beautiful creature that allowed me to enjoy its' company for a few
months. I had clipped one wing in the beginning....to make sure it wouldn't fly away.
Later I allowed the wing to return to its normal wingspan, and lost the bird back to
the wilderness, from whence it came. That was a moment of magic. Something of a
miracle, because I wanted so much to have such a parakeet. it must have felt my desire.
Another unforgettable jungle tale I will share with you, happened as I was carrying
lumber on my shoulders. At the time, my father was building our home-to-be. We would
often join him to the dump yards, where the remains of torn down houses and refuse of
just about item you could think of, was to be found. Chairs, tables, sofas, wooden
boxes of all sizes and just plain ordinary junk. But my father, already ahead of his
time, had nothing against recycling. So here I was, carrying "sidings" and "two-by-fours"
on my shoulder, walking a narrow path, the beaten path to our very own plot of land.
I think it was about 2 and a half acres of land, which the government distributed to
everyone who was willing to use and cultivate the land, one way or another. As I am
on my way down the last 50 meters of the pathway, with the construction site in view,
I happened to glance downward and caught the sight of some color in motion. The
ground is usually brownish red with the edges decorated with patches of struggling
grass. I stopped, turned around and saw to my horror, a coral snake slithering.
I missed stepping on that poisonous snake by only a few centimeters. They are
wicked when threatened. They do more than just snap at intruders. They grab a
hold on anything bitable, and chew on the victims. It chills me to the bone
to think of how I would have managed to rid it from a deadly grip somewhere along
my bared legs, for as a child I often went around in short pants, due to the tropical
Speaking of snakes; a few years later, while rushing down a dried out man-made-
concrete-ditch, looking for a snake too slow to escape being caught, lo and behold,
I found such a small creature. I picked it up and carried it home, not giving any
thought to caution. When I arrived home with the snake, a elderly neighbor of mine,
upon seeing what I had caught, told me that I was lucky, for I had captured a poisonous,
young snake,....but since it was too young, it couldn't see me. Such snakes are born
blind for the first few weeks, relying on their sense of smell to coordinate themselves
in their surroundings. It was not mature enough to understand that I was a potential
threat. You can guess correctly that I let the snake go free. That was the last of
my snake loving days. By the way, boa constrictors make great pets, though I never
had one myself. I've seen and held them, and consider them a very beautiful
example of the reptilian world.
20. Less than 50 days, well actually 48 days, 3 hours, 58 minutes and 45 seconds
until the start of the new Millennium, and what have I got to show for the time I've spent
walking the face of this Earth? Would you care to know my personal feelings on this
subject? In most cases you'd probably ask for a "rain check", and forget about ever
returning. Who really wants to know the truth about the meaning of life? Who really
wants to know what is truly happening to this world? Well,.. to be more accurate I
should be saying, what WE are doing, what the human race is doing to this planet.
Who really cares? You,..me? You've got to be joking. Oh, I can try to care,
making a feeble attempt to do all that I can to protect and defend the life we all
share, and please don't get me wrong, I'm not thinking solely of Mankind, I'm taking
into consideration the rest of life. The whole spectrum of life. Fauna and flora,
to be precise.
The human over-population is reaching a breaking point. Something horrific is
in store for us. The past 100 atrocious years, with several national leaders
trying, in vain, to solve the problem of population growing pains, have somehow
failed to find a lasting solution. How will the next attempt to take control
over this dangerous situation be expressed? China, India and Germany have tried
unsuccessfully, and they certainly won't be the last countries to try. At this point,
any solution will be controversial since we are already on the brink of waking up
from our sleep to find a dead planet, no longer able to sustain life in the oceans,
or on terra firma, yet we will all fight tooth and nails to hold on to our personal
lives, not willing to give an inch to right the wrongs we've collectively done to our
planet, for our planet Earth is going through the motion of dying. There is no way
to deny that truth.
You may think how horrible the attempts of the past have been, to control our
irresponsible procreation, but sooner or later we have to grab the monstrous problem
of our reckless procreation, by the tail, run the risk of losing a part of our humanity,
or else be eaten alive by the collective madness of the human race derailed.
How much longer will it make sense to develop robots that do the work of humans,
as we hold on to the out-dated ideology of the social dream of having "full
employment"? Full employment for whom? Man or machine? There will never be
full employment of humans, but there exists full employment of the mechanical
robots working in industrial factories once peopled with humans. And where do
the disfranchised citizen go, but to the modern ghettos, our ever increasing penal
system, where most of the "have nots" end up, sooner or later. Something is
dreadfully wrong here. Population control would have been better. Warning
humans that robots are replacing them, relegating the ever increasing mass of
the replaced ones, with the humiliating label and stigma of being added to the
growing list of "unemployed", when in reality they should be considered displaced.
Several nations have tried controversial solutions to control the ever
increasing population, but have failed, and certainly, we have not seen the last
attempt. Of that you can be sure. The longer we put off the problem of coming
to grips with the catastrophe that is awaiting humanity, the more horrific will
be the final solution. Look at how we are behaving as a specie. On one side,
if you try to control the population growth, you are shot or blown away with bombs,
and on the other side of the fence you find those who are feeding the fires of
over-population, doing the same, also using bullets and bombs. Pure madness if
you ask me. How religious leaders, blatantly exploit the masses, and do nothing
to truly help all of Mother Nature's living creatures, I find extremely despicable.
If animals had monetary incomes and bank accounts, you can bet that religious
leaders would be there to collect their expected share, to leach off any exploitable
flock. Tis the Crime of the Century. Greed and avarice.
There are moments when I feel that life, isn't turning out to be a terrible
mistake, but it has somehow been denied the potential to flourish and advance without
population growth, while keeping in mind a sense of balance. The life you see around
you, is like a train derailed. And like a "train out of control", plowing into the
ground, tearing up the earth, and all the life forms, do we ever think of any other
beings whose lives are being uprooted while damage is being done? No,...we are only
concerned with how many humans died or were injured. That is our problem. We see
ourselves first, and all else beyond our periphery of awareness, is given minor notice
and attention. Our self-centered concern for humanity in particular, demonstrates
our lack of respect and concern for the rights of other life forms to exist. That
is what I consider to be the raping and stealing a planet.
We use the trees to satisfy our humanistic needs...but do we care that it is
the lungs of the planet? We suck up from within, the oil that is our planet.
Earth is an oil and gas planet, and it is not the product of some false speculation
of being "fossil remains". Oil and gas are the products of Black Holes. So
here we are "burning down our house". We are burning up the contents that make
up the size and shape of our planet. Do we ever stop to think that the size of
the planet will obviously shrink? Do we think of the weight of the planet that is
being altered which can possibly affect the movement of our planet, as it orbits
the sun? Will we fall closer to the sun or glide away from it? The earthquakes,
record rainfalls, terrible weather conditions, must be the side effects of a diminishing
planet compacting as it shifts its shape. We also have the great loss of our forests
affecting the distribution and amount of rain water. And who is bothering to think
of these consequences? Are you concerned? I doubt it very much. You all drive around
in your gas and oil guzzling cars, heating your homes with oil, creating more plastics,
digging up ores, melting it into metals to make more machines that will in turn burn
up more oil and gas. We are literally melting the land we roam, into metals to build
the machinery which burns the oil beneath the surface of our planet. Where will we
draw the line? When will we stop this rape of our planet? Don't we have enough
sense to know that we shouldn't be "biting the hand that feeds us"?
If we sought to have some sense of balance in life, with consideration for all
of life, this wouldn't be happening. This madness wouldn't be taking place. We
would not be multiplying selfishly, thinking only of the good of our private lives.
Life cannot be good if it allows one single species to deprive the existence of
the remaining links in the chain of life. We humans do not have the right to
destroy the rest of life, in the name of human survival security. We are not
the center of life. We are an inter-dependent link in the chain of biological
life. I need the rest of life to be alive and well.
such a vulnerable, delicate planet, with so much water to move around in, with
some surface above sea level decorated with mountains and valleys in which to
roam, and then if you are lucky to have silver feathers, you can take to the skies
and try to reach the stars. But sadly, we are losing it, we are 'losing it'!
Wake me up and tell me this is only a nightmare I'm going through. Wake me and
tell me that the beauty of life is not fading away at the expense of human greed
and its' narrow minded ways.
If the madness continues, I can only hope for a swift transition of humans
into machines, in the evolution of earthlings. At least it will put an end to the
senselessness of humanity.
21. By now you must think I'm wallowing in pessimism and apathy. Don't
think too much of it, because beneath it all, I'm really enjoying my life, without
building up within me, an enormous guilt complex for not being at the forefront,
waving banners, joining at the barricades, to protest the onslaught of Mother Nature.
I've never been a party or member of any group. I lack the brains to be political.
I've more or less, allowed my collection of photographs speak for me. Nothing bold
or revolutional. Just the everyday experiences of a common man living with my own
collection of routines, to "help me make it through the night". I might have
indirectly been a part of the "Flower Power Revolution" during the early sixties.
I say indirectly, because I just couldn't embrace the "Movement" and all the
"Happenings" because it would have made me a hypocrite, since I wanted no part
of the drug scene, which at the time, was an important ingredient for those who
wanted to "drop out" and escape the horrors of a crass society on the verge of
self-destructing. Our life today would have had better quality, if my generation
had learned, as I did, that cellular lungs are not made of bricks, and that smoking
defeats the drive to stay alive. That you don't have to smoke cigarettes to be
"grownup", that you don't have to smoke your lungs to openly declare your role as
an adult. That you don't have to smoke certain brands so that you can relate
to "The American Way".
I think it is cynically mean of tobacco pushers to use symbols to lure
the naive soul to fill their lungs with smoke, and believe this to be a meaningful
act, when in reality, it would be the just as sick to show someone how to stab
themselves with a knife. The blade of a knife and the smoke of tobacco both kill.
I live in a world that approves, for the sake of profit, collective suicide on a grand
scale. Very sick if you ask me. If you insist on killing yourself, there is a
more humane way to do it. Ask Dr. Jack Kevorkian; he can certainly be of great help.
I tried smoking when I was a teenager. A so called friend gave me a couple
to try. I even learned how to inhale the smoke into my lungs. But I didn't feel
more mature or like a macho man, Bogart style, with a cig hanging from the edge of my
lips. It did nothing, nor did it add anything to my character. Thank goodness I had
the sense to think for myself at an early age and not fall for the peer pressure that
a "friend" was exerting on me. I find it very disturbing to hear adults speak
approvingly of the addiction to cigarettes. It would have made more sense if they
used a child's pacifier. Pacifiers don't kill; cigarettes do.
As you probably understand by now, I'm not the kind of a guy to use stimulants
to enhance or distort reality. What kind of sense does it make, to light up a
cigarette after you've been making love with your partner? First you celebrate
and enjoy the act which can create life, and then you light up a piece of vegetation,
which can kill you. That doesn't make sense. No wonder we've got problems. So
much of what is acceptable in human behavior, is often contradicting good sense.
Does it make sense to kill yourselves slowly with tobacco and then say in the next
breath, that you are against the Death Penalty?
Let me change the subject. I'll tell you about a lost moment. A setting that
I wish I could relive so that I could catch a lovely moment forever on film. I
often visit a small square in the center of the city of Halmstad. If you sit long
enough, during the summer months, you will see many visitors from many countries,
passing in review; most of them being families. You can hear the many different
languages that are spoken. I can now recognize many of the languages spoken in
Europe. I can hear the Danes, Norwegians, Dutch, French, Italians and Germans.
One warm day, I found a bench in the shade of a tree and to my right, on another
wooden bench, I saw a young girl "in waiting". She must have been in her 8th
month, full in her belly and her breast. She had the features of Slav, a so-called
"New Swede", and I could hear her speaking Swedish, with a blonde girl in her company.
Her legs were folded, yoga style. She was so relaxed, even while being so large
in her belly. I was fascinated. I kept seeing pictures of her. The different
positions she took, and I noticed that she had lovely hand, lovely fingers, so that
any position she took, her hands looked graceful to supplement her bulk. Her long
hair bundled at the top of her head, with a few stray strands, framed her face.
While she was conversing with her female friend, I kept thinking how I could possibly
approach her and tell her that I'm a photographer artist and how attractive I found her
in her pregnancy. I wanted to ask if she would be willing to let me photograph her
later, at another time. I didn't have a camera with me. I knew somehow that she
would probably need the consent of her husband, or her lover, but I was prepared with
a reply, that I would have nothing against photographing both in a group picture.
She and her friend got up and left, and I still wanted to ask, and knew that I'd have
to act quickly, go after her, and state my wishes of wanting to capture her on film.
I looked around to see how many would have noticed my leaving at the same time with
her, and noticed that too many eyes might notice, so I let her go. I felt so sad at
having lost a great model, for possibly a great picture.
Continues Anita's Child
April 7, 1999
Return to PART TWO