Circa 1957: Angola Migrant Farm Camp Central California
Everyone has that one uncle who is a little different. For me it was Uncle Herman, two years older than my sweet mama. Nothing was ever said to us about him, but it was something that you inherently knew at an early age.
He had an eye injury when he was small that gave him a wonky eye, but, it wasn’t just that he always had a crazed look in his eyes. He was athletic; spry and agile, always shadow boxing. He spoke the Chickasaw Language to us all the time, but it sounded like gibberish and made us laugh... that and his chewing and spitting brown tobacco juice everywhere… Bull of the Woods.
Uncle Herman was an amazing artist; he was fond of drawing Dick Tracey characters, and cars from that era. He used brown paper bags as his canvases… wish I would have saved a few of those works of art.
All my uncles were hard workers during the week toiling in the fields, but come Friday Payday they were drinking that damn Firewater and getting drunk. This usually resulted in Grandpa Henry and Uncle Herman breaking up the fights that erupted between Uncle Louis the Instigator, Uncle Dude, and Uncle Les. Grandpa Henry and Uncle Herman were the Super-Hero Team who broke it up fast.
Ahhhhh the Memories…
“I don’t know what that boy is seeking the answers too, but he’s at it again,” Grandma Lucy was telling my Mama, “He’s about to go on another of his Journeys.” Major concern in her voice.
“From what I know of those Rosicrucians* they are a bunch of Witches that deal with the Occult, they are not a Religious Group like he believes,” Mama responded.
“Can’t tell him nothin’, he won’t listen.”
Soon after Uncle Herman disappeared and was gone for what seemed like years, but when you’re a kid, Time is immeasurable. We kids missed his gibberish, drawings, and even his tobacco spitting. My Grandma Lucy and Grandpa Henry were worried about him, imagining something bad might have happened to him.
They talked of trying to get some money together to hire someone to look for him, but they had no idea where to start.
A few nights later, I woke to flash lights and shouting outside our cabin. My mother was gone, so I looked outside through the window. Grandpa Henry and my uncles were talking to a stranger who was pointing to a cotton field across the road.
Mama had her arm around Grandma Lucy’s shoulder as they looked on.
Grandpa Henry and my uncles along with the man headed across the road to the field. I continued to watch for their return. Mama looked my way, and I ducked down so she wouldn’t see me. Soon I heard the shouting again and looked back out.
The men returned carrying what looked like a body wrapped in a blanket above the body hovered three round globes glowing and pulsating red. They carried the body inside their cabin—now the red globes floated above the roof. Grandma Lucy and Mama rushed in after them. By this time I was sleepy and climbed back into bed.
The next morning I was surprised and happy that my Uncle Herman had returned, but he seemed very different from himself, and was never the same happy-go-lucky guy I remembered. He now seemed ‘Spooky’ to us kids, and his drawings were drastically different.
No more Dick Tracy, but landscapes of what looked like terrain, vegetation, and beings from other worlds other than Earth, and they were extremely life-like. I sure wish I would have saved some of those drawings.
Years later, Mama said the stranger came to Grandma Lucy’s door and told her where she could find her son. When they located Uncle Herman, he was naked and covered in ants that did not sting or bite him while those three red globes floated above him like a life-connection. His body was cold and he was unconscious until the next morning when he woke, but he remembered nothing. As soon as he regained consciousness the red beacons disappeared.
Years later I questioned Mama as to whether they all thought this was bizarre, but she responded that they had seen stranger things in the hills of Oklahoma. I could attest to that as I had heard all the spooky stories growing up. This was X-File material for sure.
Mama and all her family except Uncle Herman have made their Transition. He is the Last One Standing so to speak, in a Nursing Facility with Alzheimer’s, but he has periods of Lucidity, I’m so tempted to quiz him about his frequent disappearances to see if he might now disclose what happened to him that night.
In the mid-nineties I was on a work related project in Northern California on my way to San Jose and got lost. While I was finding the way, I came across the Rosicrucian Head Quarters. I stopped the car and got out to take a look as they give Tours.
I got in line and once to the gate I got the Creepiest feeling as the Attendant gave me a hostile look and asked for my ticket.
I said I didn’t have one, but could I purchase one… he growled and slammed the gate in my face.
Rosicrucianism is a spiritual and cultural movement which arose in Europe in the early 17th century after the publication of several texts which purported to announce the existence of a hitherto unknown esoteric order to the world and it made seeking its knowledge attractive to many.