This is one of my favorite, though strangest stories of my travels in the United
States. It begins in about 1996, while living in the Yosemite area of California. There's
a great deal to the background of this story, but suffice it to say that I had ended up in
a string of corrupt business dealings with individuals, the State of California and a
couple of other companies that caused me to basically go bankrupt, become very angry, and
come to the conclusion that it would be nice to get away from it all and take a rest from
the corruption I seemed to have a knack for getting unwittingly stuck in the middle of.
While I was there, and when I began to get my spirits up again, I began working at a
small radio station as a disk jockey, something I love to do, as well as writing a great
deal of music and mingling with a number of people who were considered
"weekenders" and tourists.
These were people who owned properties in the development I lived in, and who enjoyed
dropping by at the hours of their choosing, at which time I'd play them a set or two of
the songs I had written recently and over the years. It was a great deal of fun, and I
became fairly proficient at playing the guitar and singing again. I had decided I was
going to make an attempt at going professional, and started making simple demo tapes to be
sent to publishers and record companies.
I had done this many times in the years before, and always got very positive responses,
but they always requested better demos. I considered myself a songwriter more than
anything, so I never made a better demo, but enjoyed getting positive responses from the
pros which, of course, was encouraging, and made me believe that someday, when I figured
out what my purpose was in life, that I could use those songs to finance whatever project
I decided God ultimately wanted me to do. I thought of them like a savings account.
The point of all that is to preface what happened next.
One night, I was bored, watching a movie and playing the guitar, when an ad came on TV
for the Psychic Friends Network. I was so bored that I thought, just for the fun of it,
I'd call and see if these people were truly psychics or just glorified Tarot card readers.
I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, for the most part, and took very seriously
the instruction not to delve into oracles, I believed that psychic and healing powers were
to be left to holy men, and that dealing with spirits were all basically sins. So, I never
really told anyone that I had always been fairly psychic.
I could read people's minds and other things since I was very young. When I was
attending Soquel High School in Santa Cruz, California, I was part of the "drama
troupe", and hung out with some people who would get together 2 or 3 times a week
and, just for fun, develop our psychic skills. We could wake people up, do remote viewing,
astral projection and a lot of things that would be considered parlor tricks. I always had
this gut feeling that if I wanted to, I could levitate, and thought that one day I
probably would just for the fun of it.
I was best at remote viewing, simple telekinesis, and I was very interested in the
practice of healing. I won't say that I mastered any of these things, but I
confirmed what I had always suspected about such things - that I was able to do them and
that, in fact, anyone could if they wanted to - was absolutely true.
But, since I had been raised to believe they were wrong things to do, I always felt a
little guilty about it, never really told anyone, and decided not to use it because it
would be unfair to the people who didn't know it was possible. My favorite trick was to
talk to people on the phone, and, never having seen their houses, tell them exactly what
it looked like, inside and out. I could spot cheerleaders from a mile away.
I liked them a lot, and could nearly tell them what they thought was their life stories
simply because they, at least at that time, characteristically came from well-adjusted
families, and so, their relationships to other family members and "church-going"
habits were quite predictable. There was nothing psychic about that, though, just a good
observation of human nature and a reasonable conceptual understanding of chaos theory.
Another reason I mention this is because I want you to know that you can do it too, and
if you're interested in exploring it, I would recommend searching the web for a man named
James Twyman, who was a Carmelite or Franciscan Monk for a time is a
"channeler" for some people called "The Psychic Children", and has had
audiences with the Pope concerning his work and world peace, and actually has developed
online courses that teach "mental power" skills that I am told are very
effective. The Psychic Children are interesting to me because a friend had shown me some
of their prophecies, and they were right in line with my own, at the exact same times. I
will say, I have never actually investigated his work myself.
I have to say, too, that my original interest in it began because of a TV show I saw
when I was 6 or 7 on NBC or CBS about psychic phenomenon. It scared me a little, but I
knew I wanted to do it, and other members of my family showed distinct abilities as well.
While practicing these things in high school, the show "The Sixth Sense"
starring Gary Collins was a popular TV show.
I tell you all this partly because these experiences were why I believed I was
qualified to decide whether the people on the Psychic Friends Network were authentic or
not. I was just curious. Since I was also running out of money and dealing with "next
to starvation experiences" and coming close to homelessness, I thought it may also be
Out of 5 people I ended up talking to over the next month or so, 2 of them were gifted
psychics. One in particular picked up on my music writing skills, and contracted me to
write music for her web site. She said I sounded a lot like Barry Manilow. And, in the
course of our discussions, none of which I ever (mysteriously) got charged for, we somehow
ended up making a deal that I would move to Brooklyn, work a 40 hour a week job, do
contract web programming and she would manage the business end and set me up with some
gigs at clubs in Greenwich Village.
I've never told anyone before that I went to New York because of a contact made with a
person from the Psychic Friends Network, but, since God had me write that thing about
lying, I decided I should not cover up that fact (since I wrote a different version of
this story over a year ago that wasn't quite accurate and needed to correct the lie with a
number of people who read it.)
There are many reasons why I've told you all of this, the least of which is why I ended
up living on the East Coast for the second time.
My mother was living in the Yosemite area with my brother at this same time. There were
2 grandchildren in Maryland whom she had never seen before. She was in poor health, and
she thought she might never have another chance to meet them. Since I was going that way,
she and I pooled our money, packed up a trailer that we hitched to my Camaro, and off we
went. It was a fabulous trip. Long and tiring, but exquisite.
It was exquisite because my childhood wasn't exactly like a fairly tale. Up until the
time my father died, I always say I lived a "Leave It To Beaver" life. But, when
she began living with a man named George afterward, we lived a true hell. He was a violent
and abusive alcoholic. The first week he lived with us, he got a hold of my father's
Savage 300 hunting rifle, and, in a drunken rage, threatened to kill us all and himself. I
don't even know why.
If It hadn't been for my brother in law, known as Sergeant Rock - a 3 hitch Viet Nam
War vet who had gotten shot up pretty badly after General Westmoreland took over command,
George probably would have done it. I buried the ammunition in the hills as soon as Rock
got it away from him.
I coped with it by accepting that there was a "time to every purpose". I
still believe that's true, because I learned a great deal about behavioral psychology by
dealing with him and surviving him over the years. My conclusion was that I could never
condone what my parents had done during those times, but I understood how people in pain
could do horrendous things to people they love without intending to. I knew it had nothing
to do with me. And, I always believed it was part of the education God was giving me
toward whatever I was supposed to do later in life. Maybe I'm just a perpetual optimist of
sorts, but that kind of thinking gave me hope and kept me true to my principles and
Still, after I had moved out of the house, and my mother and George finally broke up,
my mother finally told me one too many lies that were very hurtful and disruptive to my
relationships with the rest of my family, so I had refused to talk to her for a little
over 10 years.
The trip to the East Coast gave me the chance to get to know her again. And, I
have to say, out of it, I learned to deeply love my mother not just as my mother, but as a
person. I truly admired her. She went through hell, helped me to understand why we had
gone through what we went through (i.e., battered woman syndrome), still had a heart of
gold and was a devoutly Christian woman.
The Bible I read is the one she used for years. She asked me if there was anything of
hers I would want, and I remember I told her that if there was anything I would want, it
would be her Bible with the concordance. The concordance was always fun because it allowed
me to get cross references on important passages - a variety of ways to view the symbolism
used in the Bible. It lets you unlock the code of what the Bible really says and means.
For me, that translates to understanding much more about the intent of God, the
"owner's manual" I talked about before..
I remember telling her I felt funny to take it from her then, since I assumed she'd
still want to use it.
She insisted I take it long before she died. She didn't tell me why, which I thought
was odd because I was one of the least religious, though Christian, of her 6 children in
what I believe were 8 marriages. My father and George were her last 2.
Getting to know her again, and resolving all those things left undone was probably one
of the most important experiences of my life. If you have unresolved relationships with
your family members, particularly your parents, I would highly recommend that you get to
know them again, as if you never knew them before, like a new friend. You'll probably find
out that they have a great deal of insight and love to give you.- just as I discovered
with my mother. Before that, I honestly believed she had nothing to offer me, but the
typical nagging and moaning and groaning that mothers sometimes have a reputation for
being like. She had seemed more like a nuisance or problem to me. She became one of my
very best friends.
And that Bible - it had all of the most profound passages relating to Revelations and
the Son of Man and the end of days clearly highlighted in pink and yellow highlighter
My father was also an alcoholic, something that runs in my family on his side, though
nowhere near as bad as George. He was the quieter type, and had bottles of whiskey hidden
around in places in his workshops. But, that history is why I decided I would all but
refuse to ever drink alcohol. I was afraid to become like them in terms of unwarranted
arguements and such because of a reaction to alcohol - which I liken to a reaction from an
When we decided to leave Yosemite, some very bad fires had broken out in the hills
surrounding the highways, due to dry lightning storms. I had been on the air and announced
that they had started - less than a quarter of a mile from the house that I lived in - and
was in such a hurry to get gas before heading back home that I filled my car with gas and
forgot to pay for it. The funny thing is, when I realized this, I immediately drove back
to pay for it, and apologized profusely for having driven away without paying.The
attendant hadn't even noticed I had been there.
The fires delayed our leaving for 3 days. But, we loaded up and headed off to the East
Coast with my dog Barney, a black purebred springer spaniel and my tabby cat appropriately
named Gray Mouser, both about 14 years old and well seasoned long distance travelers.
Each time I've driven across the United States, I took a different route so I could see
more of the countryside. We both loved the Grand Canyon (my second time there).
I remember standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon the first time, and, like Danny
Glover said in the movie Grand Canyon, when you view its immenseness and consider the time
it took to form, you realize how insignificant you are as an individual in the grand
scheme of things. Like an ant at a picnic. Of course, as I stood on the edge that time,
and the other two times I visited, I always had that feeling that I wanted to spread my
wings and fly.
She and I talked a lot along the way. For a couple of days, our favorite joke was to
speculate what we'd see next as we rounded the corners. The answer was always corn. We
went wading together in the Great Salt Lake. One time, I caught her walking Barney in the
middle of the night at a motel, clad in her nightgown, sound asleep.
She really loved that dog. So did I.
Eventually, I dropped her off at my sister's house in Maryland, stayed the night, and
headed off to Brooklyn alone.