VERY WELL WRITTEN, ONLY IN A CONTEXT THAT ONLY YOU COULD DO…FAMILY BACKGROUND, LITTLE LEAGUE SYNDROME ETC. I COME OUT OF IT FEELING VERY SAD. I ALMOST CRY SOMETIME LOOKING AT MY SONS, THANKFUL FOR WHO and WHAT THEY ARE and WHAT THEY MEAN TO ME. I COACHED THEIR LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL SEVERAL YEARS (ON THE BENCH) AND ALWAYS HUGGED THEM AFTER EACH TIME AT BAT WHETHER A STRIKE OUT OR SOMETHING BETTER. BUT… MAJOR COULD HAVE (SHOULD HAVE) REVERSED THAT “MEAN” PATTERN WITH LOVE and AFFECTION INSTEAD OF PERPETUATING “SIN OF OUR FATHERS”. HE WOULD STILL BE HERE TODAY, A BETTER MAN, IF HE HAD ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE IN TOUCH WITH THAT EMOTION AND NOT FELT IT A THREAT TO HIS MANHOOD TO BREACH THAT MACHO FACADE ! THERE ARE MANY OTHER DADS OUT THERE WITH THIS SAME PERVERTED APPROACH.
GUESS IT’S LIKE YOU SAID ” THE LITTLE LEAGUE SYNDROME ! LOVE TO YOU.
Davis stood fast beside me in March 2010, when I wrote a good bit about Major after he was reported missing, and I was catching lots of flack for it.
When I was introduced to Davis, in Helen, Georgia, in early June 2001, the first thing he said was, “Are you Major Bashinsky’s brother?” That astounded me, because I was introduced as Sloan Young, which was my legal name then. Turned out, the fellow who introduced us, for whom I worked part time, had called an old FBI friend in Birmingham, now practicing law there, to see if he knew of a Sloan Young who had practiced law in Birmingham. When I applied for the job, I told the fellow I once had practiced law in Birmingham, and was born and raised there. The former FBI agent said he knew of a Sloan Bashinsky, who used to practice law there. One and the same. Davis knew this before we were introduced. My employer told me about his background search after he was done splitting his sides laughing over Davis asking me if I was Major’s brother?
Davis said he had met Major at basic training in the Air Force, somewhere in Texas. Luke Evins, a childhood friend of Major, was there, too. Davis and Major and Luke ran together in Texas, and remained friends thereafter. But when I wrote to Major and told him I had met Davis and he had said he wanted to hear from Major, I did not hear back from Major, nor did Davis hear from him again.
Davis was the first person to read the manuscript of HEAVY WAIT: A Strange Tale, which I had just completed writing when we were introduced. He said he liked it and had sent it to Melvin Slotnik in Birmingham. I think Melvin and Davis had met at the University of Alabama. I told Davis that Melvin and I had attended Crestline Heights grammar school together. We were in the same class. He, and a few other boys bigger and faster-maturing than I, had given me a pretty hard time, which sometimes felt like hazing to me.
Davis said Melvin had converted from Judaism to evangelical Christianity, and he’d had a harder time with HEAVY WAIT, than Davis had had.
The tale is not exactly inclined in Christianity’s favor, but parts of it might appeal to rednecks like Davis half-way turned out to be, and to mystics, which I a bit more than half-way turned out to be.
Davis said Melvin sent back profuse apologies for the way he had treated me at Crestline. I said to send back to Melvin my promise that the next time I came to Birmingham, I would look him up and beat his ass. When I had finally started growing, I got bigger than Melvin and most of the other guys who had picked on me. My message back was a joke, but I told Davis not to tell Melvin that. He needed to suffer.
Davis said Melvin shared the HEAVY WAIT manuscript with Douglass “Kip” Culp. Did I know him? Was that alright to do? I said, yeah, I went to Ramsay High with Kip, we were in the same class, same home room. Maybe two weeks later, Davis told me Kip had died of a heart attack on the running track at the Downtown YMCA, leaving behind a fairly new wife and young child. I said, maybe I shouldn’t share HEAVY WAIT with anyone else. Davis said maybe not.
Davis said what seemed to have caused the heart attack was Kip had gotten back into boxing, and he had gone to a gym and gotten into the ring with a fellow much younger, and had received a hard punch to his heart, which had bruised his heart and had stopped the sparring and had sent Kip to a doctor, who had told Kip to take it easy on the exercise for a while. Kip didn’t lay off long enough, went to the YMCA, got on the running track and dropped dead.
I told Davis more about me and Kip. I said Kip was a Golden Gloves boxer in high school. Next I saw Kip was after he moved back to Birmingham from Louisiana, where he he had practiced law. He had opened a law office in Birmingham. We casually chatted some when we bumped into each other at the court house and YMCA. We both were struggling.
I told Davis that I gave up on practicing law and moved “out west” and went off the edge of the world, some would say. Ten years later, life brought me back to Birmingham, a very different person.
I ran into Kip at the YMCA, we talked about life. I shared some of my experiences. He seemed somewhat interested. We met from time to time. I suggested we both were way beyond still needing to prove ourselves physically, and he might want to spend more time with softer physical pursuits, while working harder internally, on Kip. He did not seem inclined to go softer physically. It was really important to him to keep pushing himself in that way.
So, although sadly, I told Davis that I was not all that surprised to hear Kip had died on the running track, after being told by his doctor to take it easy.
That was Davis’ first real time to see something on this world happen that somewhat resembled what happened in parts of HEAVY WAIT. The literal interfacing between this world and the spirit world. The first of many times Davis would see that interfacing in stuff that happened in my life. Interfacing I didn’t get the impression Davis wanted much, if anything, to do with. Who could blalme him?
My recollection is, after reading the HEAVY WAIT manuscript, Davis said he wasn’t sure some, or a lot of it wasn’t true. I said maybe that was because some, or a lot of it was true.
How it came about that I went to Helen from Key West in late April of 2001, and how I came to know I was going to write that strange tale the day after I got to Helen, and how I came to stay that summer in Helen, is told in the Preface to the tale. Also told in the Preface is why the tale really is a poem, and not a novel.
As for how I came to be Sloan Young …
After my father reacted very badly in late 2000 to my inquiry about having an older half-brother, who had been revealed to me in my and my then two best men friends’ dreams, one of the men had been a valued Golden Flake employee, the angels told me to change my name to Sloan Young and to renounce all of my inheritances, and to notify my father and my daughters, my brother and sister, and some of my former wives, and my father’s lawyer. I did that. Then, I was sent out of the country for a while.
My travelling companion was a woman who later would be the model for and the muse of HEAVY WAIT. Together, we began to circumnavigate the globe, relying mostly on cash advances we got from banks using our credit cards. We did Costa Rica, Amsterdam, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Tokyo, Honolulu, Molokai and Maui. The banks cut us off in Molokai, and we ran out of cash on Maui and went homeless.
I suppose the pinnacle of the trip came when we were on Mauritius, when I told my mate that I was getting that there was a greater evil than Lucifer, and she said she was getting that if Sloan was getting that, then it was true. Soon after that, we were shown together that Mary had molested Jesus, and I was so upset that I told heaven I no longer trusted Jesus because that information never should have been withheld from humanity; the havoc it had wreaked in the collective subconscious of Christendom and the entire species was beyond calculation. We were told Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s realm is huge, and eventually I would get over my rage and put it behind me.
Also while on Mauritius, we were by then aware of the life review all human beings get when they leave this life, and that we were getting at least part, if not all of our life review before we left this life. It was brutal. I wrote to my father about the life review, said it was up to him whether he had it before he passed over, or afterward. I wrote to my daughters and told them things I can only imagine left them also convinced I was insane.
I did not then know my father was sharing all of what he received from me with my daughters’ mother, who held a PhD in psychology, and he was relying on her evaluation of my state of mind on matters about which she had no experience of knowledge. I did not yet then know for sure that she was the person responsible for what I was told in my sleep, in Helen, while I was writing HEAVY WAIT: “Your son was murdered.” I wrote to my oldest daughter about that, and then I dreamt she had no right arm, which told me I would not hear back from her. I did not know it meant I would never hear back from her, nor from her younger sister, in a human way.
Eventually, the spirit load became too great for me and my mate as a couple, on Maui. I was told waking one morning, “Go to Big Pine Key.” I said, fine, but I had no money. In three days’ time, I was in the air, headed for Los Angeles, from where I would travel by Greyhound to Key West eventually. I did nothing to cause that to happen, other than to accept what showed up. Passing through Tallahassee, the state capitol, I was told in a dream that I would be getting into politics, which I despised. I got into politics, attended and spoke at many city commission meetings. Then, I ran six times for office, three times for mayor of Key West and three times for county commission. Now, I am announced as a write-in candidate for the local school board. I still despise politics.
On Maui, the angels began a subtle, often confusing for me campaign, to get me to become Sloan Young Bashinsky again. Eventually, they told me a mistake had been made, their mistake as far as I was concerned. I fought it, because I really liked Sloan Young, even though I really did not like his circumstances. I liked the name and the man, who was the toughest, bravest man I knew at the time. However, the angels were persistent and, reluctantly, I finally did what was required to become Sloan Young Bashinsky, Jr. again, and to revoke the renouncements of my inheritances.
I’m a pussy compared to Sloan Young, who was told one night during the early writing of HEAVY WAIT, “You are an ordained Melchizedek exorcist priest going back into a prison where you once lived, to try to help others still living there.” The next night he was told in his sleep, by the same voice, “You cannot do this work correctly, if you are trying to get anything back from the people you are trying to help.” Looks to me like he and I are still in that prison trying to help people still living there. Perhaps we’re not supposed to sell copies of HEAVY WAIT and receive royalties, but if people don’t buy the book, how do they get its message?
As the tale fell out of me, I kept telling the woman who later would become my 7th wife, before I knew that, but perhaps she knew it, that the book was being written by God. After she read the manuscript, she said, “It was written by God!” Although I was given the basic storyline up front, I went to sleep each night not knowing what the next chapter would look like, and when I reached the Helen, Library each morning (except Sunday, when the library was closed), I sat down at the word processor I had been allowed to use to write the book, and the next chapter just fell out of me. I only dreamt of the tale once during the entire writing, and was told to let the judge, rather than the jury, determine the hero’s and thus the heroine’s fate, which was far more pleasant than Sloan Young’s fate turned out to be, even after he became Sloan Bashinsky again.
Here is a short “review” from a few years ago, from a very old and very dear Keys amiga, followed by some email banter:
I ordered ‘Heavy Wait’ about a month ago and it arrived in the mail Friday. I finished it last night. Could hardly put it down and if my eyes had cooperated a little longer I could have gotten through it in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday.
I enjoyed it very much, laughed out loud (heartily) many times and enjoyed the twists and turns and surprises. I think you should write another novel soon. And I can say, I would look forward to reading it. For now I think I will read, ‘Kill All The Lawyers.’
I’m glad you enjoyed “Heavy Wait.” You must be crazy. I wrote about that tale today, not yet knowing of your comment to which I am now responding. I usually get a notice in my email account of a new comment but had not received notice of yours. Something “told” me a little while ago to check the comments, and voila, I found yours.
I wrote “Kill All the Lawyers? – A Client’s Guide to Hiring, Firing, Using and Suing Lawyers” in 1985. My farewell to the practice of law. Nothing like “Heavy Wait,” which was from the spiritual dimension. More like something Ralph Nader might have written in 1985, “Kill All the Lawyers?” was. “Heavy Wait” killed a few lawyers, though, and clients, too; and I imagine it would kill a lot more, if lawyers and clients were to read it. A different kind of killing, of course.
I looked online yesterday for how to get “Heavy Wait” and didn’t see much. Most of the online book sellers were out of stock, but I saw it is still being promoted by the online print-to-order publisher, PublishAmerica.com. Easy enough to click on that link to that website, open the bookstore page, and type “Heavy Wait” in the blank space provided, and press enter or search, or whatever. PublishAmerica will tack on about $8 in handling and shipping, bringing the total close to $28.
What I sometimes wondered was, would I write a sequel? I started something last year (2009) that was so bizarre it was just creeping out of me, instead of flowing like “Heavy Wait” had. Meaning, because of the creeping, it was really bizarre. Even so, my dreams were supporting it, and then someone stole my backpack with my laptop in it out of the Internet Cafe where I was playing chess, and that was the end of the sequel because the back up disk was in the laptop. I had part of of the frolic backed up on one of my websites, but I don’t think I could have reconstructed the parts that were not there, and it went by the wayside.
Maybe I should write a novel entitled “Kill all the Humans.” Not necessarily in the gun and bullet sense exactly, but probably some of them might be better off to be taken out that way.
Ha Ha Ha ~ I’m glad you enjoyed “Heavy Wait.” You must be crazy. ~ You may be right.
From your post ~ “Heavy Wait” killed a few lawyers, though, and I imagine it would kill a lot more, if lawyers were to read it. A different kind of killing, of course . . . ~ Of course.
And last, but not least ~ Maybe I should write a novel entitled “Kill all the Humans.”
Just write another novel. Begin.
Tell me, Louise. Do you nag your husband and relatives and friends, too? But then, maybe you herald a new novel coming out of me. If so, She, that is, my Muse will make her sentiments known when she’s ready, and if history is any test, she will be insistent. Sloan
Historical trivia about the wannabe novelist, ahem, moi:
“Heavy Wait” was the fourth novel to hatch out of me. Its genesis is told in the Preface. My first novel was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., which is a vanity press. The next two novels only were published in prototype form. All four novels were weird-squared. Weird-squared begin about one year after “Kill All the Lawyers?” was published by Prentice-Hall in 1986. The third best-seller book P-H mangled for me. Thereafter, I published the books that fell out of me, about 17 in all, of different sizes, shapes, flavors, mostly non-fiction and poetry, and the novels, which sometimes were accused of being non-fiction, while my non-fiction sometimes was accused of being fiction. What’s a wannabe author to do? Fuck if I know.
So far, nothing new, other than heaps more ongoing drivel on the goodmorning websites, which perhaps are stranger even than HEAVY WAIT, because they don’t even pretend to be made up …
Of late, I have seen a few copies of the tale carried by some online booksellers, including Amazon.com. It centers around how angels went about healing a country woman who had suffered incest in her backwoods Christian family, and a gifted trial lawyer who had lost the love of his life, and before that his beloved older brother in Vietnam. Nothing like what you read in mental health journals or hear about in churches or at new age conferences.
Louise and her husband Frank were the caretakers of the lovely Atlantic-side home and guest cottage my father bought on Lower Matecumbe Key, the lower end of Islamorada, in 1963. Louise and Frank lived in the caretaker’s cottage. Frank was a very good flats fishing guide. Fishing one day with Frank, after one of the owners of the “Fish House” decided not to go out that day, Louise landed what then was the women’s world record permit, which was mounted and hung in their living room – a monster. For non-fisherman, a permit is a giant close-cousin of the pompano. Probably the most sought-after game fish in the world, perhaps even in the universe, I never caught one, not even in a dream. But I do have a lovely one made out of copper by a lower Keys sculptor, mounted on my living room wall.
In my dreams, the muse for this new page at goodmorningbirmingham.com is my first wife, the mother of our three children, one of whom died in infancy, the other two of whom died later, in the I never heard from them again sense. She was the instigator of that, too. Had he lived, our son would have been called Young.
Christians today don’t seem to have any clue what it was like for Jesus and the people who walked beside him. They gave up everything they had to walk with God.