(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
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A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site.
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
1709 Enter Hamlet.
- "The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke," edited by Bernice W. Kliman, The Enfolded Hamlet Project http://www.global-language.com/enfolded.intro.html, http://www.global-language.com/cgi/openbin/enhamp?type=EN&frametype=frames, Global Language Resources http://www.global-language.com/,
I attended a funeral today (October 2, 2004).
Why? Because this youth crossed paths with my son, Evan, years ago. And, anyone that does so with goodness in their heart, becomes a part of our life, as a family. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larry_blakeley_family.htm
Just as many years ago, as I stood at the bottom of that pit in the backyard at our home at Eagles Nest, and I heard a booming voice addressing my attention with a question from me, "Whatcha doin,' Mr. Blakeley, digging a 'pool?'"
Well, I looked up to see what manner of man this voice could possibly be coming from, and lo and behold - there he stood, a frail youth that had been walking on this earth, no more that 6 years, at most - there, above, looking down at me in the pit, he was, all decked out in his green Ninga Turtle cape and suit of choice for the day's activities.
And, I chuckled to myself, and responded back to this youth (who was given the name of Cassity by his parents), and said, "No, Cassity - I'm digging a hole to put this here trampoline down into the ground, so that you boys and girls won't hurt yourself."
And, he said, "Awesome!!"
Let me tell you, the meaning of this short conversation between me and this young boy, will not be forgotton by me - no, sir - not as long as my heart is still beating down it's path to whatever "greater reward" is in store for me, and not as long as my memory stays with me.
And, my reward was given back to me, over and over, and, day by day. These kids came from all over the subdivision and jumped, laughed, and had all sorts of play - on top of that trampoline that Jackie and I had lowered into that pit, for them. - their safe haven from the slings and arrows of life's dangers.
I did not know the person of that unquestionably, troubled, 18-year old youth, but in a way, I did. This boy was born into the same world that he chose to leave behind, by the pains of labor endured by his mother, Melody, in a hospital bed located somewhere in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sunday, the 9th day of March, 1986. And, on that same day, he was given the name of Justin Daniel Hillin by his parents.
And, somehow, only 6,778 days later, he decided to leave this world - alone - by hanging himself at his home in Plano, Texas, on Tuesday, the 28th day of September, 2004.
What continues to haunt me is this? How? What? And, why? How could such a young person decide for himself that he had no alternative left, but to follow the path eulogized in Pappa Roach's, "The Last Resort," MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/last_resort.htm.
And, why did this happen?
This boy was a close friend, and prior neighbor of my nephew, Payton Camp. And, as a matter of fact, my own son, Evan, had snowboarded with Justin several years ago - during the spring break, March 9 - 12, 2002. My sister, Karen; her husband, Joe Gallini; his son, Breck; Karen's daughter, Blakeley and a friend of hers; Payton; his friend, Justin; and my son, Evan, all headed to the ski resort - Angel Fire, New Mexico for some fun and sun on the slopes. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/justin_hillin_ski_group.djvu
(Back row - left to right: Blakeley's friend, Laura Freeman; Joe Gallini; Karen, Blakeley
(Front row - left to right: Payton; Evan; Breck (Joe's son); Justin)
Neither Payton, or Justin, had snowboarded before. And, snowboarding was their activity of choice for fun on this trip, as it is for most of the youth. And, apparently, this boy was a natural athlete. For according to a recent discussion I had with Evan; this boy, Justin, started out - fearless. Evan could see this, immediately. He knew the nuances of using your weight distribution for making that board do what you wanted it to. Justin was immediately a driver instead of a rider. And, according to Evan, by the end of just the first day, Justin was already becoming airborne and working on 360-degree spins in the air - an unquestionable testament to the rest of us in the circle of boyhood, manhood, and fatherhood, of a determination to stay on top of, and master that "little fella" - and, continuing on down the road to manhood, a path filled with the thorns of those beautiful and sweet smelling, deceptive roses and arrows of your enemies, those demons in your soul trying to shake you from atop your board of life - only to crash, and burn.
Even though this boy was 3 years older than Evan, Justin and Evan ended up buddying-up with each other, and attacking the slopes - hard, each day, together. So, even though 3 years of age separated Evan and Justin, they ended up buddying up for several days. They rose early each morning, stood in line together on those cold, early mornings - waiting impatiently in the line for the lifts to start operation for the day, and carry them back up the mountain, again. And, they ended each day, racing down to the bottom of the mountain, just in the nick of time to catch that last lift, and riding back up to the top, to do it all over, again.
Two lives that were strangers to each other when they crossed paths, except for the common thread of boyhood, and its excitement for living in the fast lane, united together with a common joy of life, and then, just as quickly, separated, parted from each other, and headed down their own path of life - the other's name to never appear again until several days ago at the mall.
Evan never saw Justin again.
Apparently, this boy's enthusiasm for snowboarding lived on after this trip. He competed in the winter 2004 Colorado ski competitions.
But, even more importantly, according to Evan, he was just your typical youth - ready to have fun and enjoy the blood-pumping sport called snowboarding, at the expense of sacrificing his body to achieve the rush of wild-abandon, exemplified by this sport.
Evan; my middle daughter, Lori; and their father - that's me - had become avid snowboarders together on a 10-day trip we made as a family to Kirkwood Ski Resort, years ago. This quaint ski resort was nestled alongside the sides of the outer bowl of the mountain ranges surrounding Lake Tahoe. Their mother, Jackie, tried, but just couldn't put up with the constant falling - falling that I learned would dissipate within 2 days, or so. She went back to the comfort of her smooth, unreckless, safe, almost sleepy, approach to skiing routine. And, in fact, it would not surprise me that she had herself a few good laughs to herself, seeing an almost "old" man like myself subjecting themselves to so much abuse - just to stay on top of, and master that silly board. Well, I could see the charm of this sport, and, to my delight, within a couple of days, I was carrying my camera with me down the slopes.
And, besides, I must admit I did feel somewhat proud of myself for persevering until I got it. It certainly attracted the respect and admiration of the younger brethren that I rode up the ski lifts with. And, besides I, too, had some history riding on top of a board, a board supported by wheels and ball-bearings, many, many years prior, while growing up at George Air Force Base, California. This was the early 1960's, and the song of the days was filled with the voices of the likes of "Jan and Dean" and the "Beach Boys" - the beach party, surf-glorification days, and we were right in their backyard.
So, since we were on the edge of the Mojave Desert, and I wanted to go surfboarding, everyday, I settled for my skateboard - and, became an avid skateboard enthusiast - a passion, just as Justin had, just as my son, Evan has, just as most every typical boy has, a genetic thread of commonality tying us all together - ready to have fun, enjoy each day of our limited youthful days, with blood-pumping action - sports, snowboarding, anything, at the expense of sacrificing our bodies in order to reach this well received "high."
And, to my delight after those painful two days, I discovered that I actually had better control over my poor, aging, abused and limp legs while strapped together in those snowboard boots. No, sir, if there was going to be a crash and burn with this body of mine, all body-parts were going to stay together and take the blow as one unit of flesh and bones.
So, my genetics of youth rose to the occasion, and for several days, I actually may have believed I was 11-years old, again - until, when it came to drag this poor, limited body of flesh and bones from under the warmth and comfort of my bed, each morning.
I'm living proof of the power of that whispering voice of support from men that believed in me, "I could do it - one more time, just like before, come on now, just pull that one leg out, let it fall over the side of the bed, touch the floor, and start on that other leg, and when you get to the bottom, climb back up to the top, and start all over, again. There we go - no time to waste here - come on, up and running, here, again - everything will turn out alright, if you can just put one foot firmly on the floor, then the other, and put one foot in front of the other in order to continue down that road of manhood. Believe me, you can do it; and, I know you can do it, again; we, both can do it, again. This whispering voice must have spoken to you before - sometimes only occasional, and other times a lot more frequent, but the message is always the same - you can do this."
Why? Why, do those whispering voices disappear from some of our youth, leaving them shackled by the despondency, hopelessness, worthlessness, and depleted bank of self-worth, to the point of believing, "I can't do it, again. I'm tired. I'm weary. I just don't care what happens to me, anymore. Everyone will be better off without me."
Where? Where, have those whispering voices of support gone? Those voices we all expect to hear from our "bridge builders" of manhood, whispering in our ears, "I have crossed the bridge; come on, you can do it; I will help you all I can; just don't give up on yourself; I haven't given up on you. You may not know where these voices of your heritage are coming from; and you may not be able to see us; and, you may not believe you mean something to us, but we are out here - for you. Please, just pull that leg out, and let's do it, together, come on, one more time, just like the times before. Come on, now, come on, ..... please, come on .... just don't give up - just don't go here, 'The Last Resort,' MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/last_resort.htm"
How has the teachings of fatherhood left these youth with no such whispering voice to carry them through these periods of confusion?
Who is responsible for this?
I want to know. I want to fight back against you. I want to defeat you.
Evan did not attend the burial services. He was tied up working on a school project with some schoolmates from Cistercian Preparatory School http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/cistercian_promise.htm . However, I offered to accompany my sister, Karen. But, I wanted to go anyway - for I had many unanswered questions that could only be partially answered by my attendance - questions such as, "what type of crowd attended, was it predominately teenagers, adults, or an even mixture of the two, in what manner would the preacher address teenage self-inflicted death to his friends, and, what would catch my attention - that seemed different to me than the ordinary "full-life" death situation?"
But, I was somewhat unsure of how I would emotionally handle a ceremony to bury the young. I sat on my booth and wiped away the tears with only my hand, for I did not have a handkerchief, or even a Kleenex. So, I ended up with the tight lines of dried salt on my face.
How did I first find out about this boy's death? Lori and Evan, went to a Dallas mall together, the day before the funeral, and ran into their cousin, Payton Camp (Lori, a freshman in college had come home from Lubbock, Texas for her first return-home trip). And, that same afternoon, Karen called to inform Jackie that same afternoon.
Karen's son, Payton, has had his share of struggling with the demons of growing up without a father. His father lives here in Dallas, but, for the most part, is absent emotionally. So, Payton is typical of today's youth - more the norm, than the exception - a battle that is overwhelming carried on without a father's guidance and "bridge building." This thread of commonality of today's youth is ubiquitous - nowhere, but yet everywhere. It's a very sad state of affairs between father and son.
The confusion that our male youth are faced with is being recorded in the lyrics of their music - "Father of Mine" http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/father_of_mine19971007.htm. These lyrics of their personal accountings of abandonment by their fathers should be startling, to say the least, but those that need to listen can't even tell what they're singing - as if, they were speaking in tongues, or some foreign language - the same reasons of miscommunication. I mean - you can't miss it - unless, of course, you're some kind of idiot. It's right there on your radio dial. Most of these worthless men as fathers, refuse to listen; refuse to understand; and refuse to come down off their throne of self-indulgence - god's gift to the world, leaving their scattered derelict sons at their dirty feet. And, then have the stupidity to call this music - "garbage."
If there is such a place as hell - I hope you end there, soon. I hope you for once experience what pain you have mercifully inflicted upon our American youth - ever while, clutching your bible, spitting its scriptures out of your forked tongued mouth at your children's feet, as if you were god, himself - damn you - son-of-a-bitch.
But, I have listened to their music - and let me tell you - the searing lyrics of today's songwriters will wake up your sense of truth, pain, desperation, and the anger - that unmistakable, anger burning a hole in your soul. No, sir - let there be no mistaking here - their words are profane, blunt, and direct - no punches held back here. They will deliver a sharp left to your hard-assed jaw, followed with a powerful right to the side of your shallow intellect that will put your lights out. You will be looking up at life from the floor of the mat of your despicable life MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/no_talking_just_head.htm. And, if you can't stand the heat of this honesty, then you better stay out of harm's way, because the guns are pointed at you, and the anger will pursue and destroy your heartless soul - once and for all, never too late. There are no prisoners taken here MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/scorpion_megadeth.htm.
Their journey of music is dark, profane, vulgar, and painful for those of us that hurt for them. Your so vain, you think it's someone else that sing about.
Oh, sure I can recall a few songwriters of the 1960's and 1970's that tried to describe what they saw as life's inequities, but, in my opinion, for the most part, this pool of songwriters never even came close to the depth of feeling exemplified by today's songwriters. This period was typified by electronic experimentation, aerobatics of the stage, and theatrical shock antics of myth and make-believe, instead of mastery of the poetic, lyrical storytelling of life's experiences that many of the writers of today produce. In my opinion, the lyrics to the songs written in the 1960's and 1970's do not hold a candle to the depth of feelings conveyed in the lyrics written today.
The degree of honest songwriting seems to me to be their way of collaborating and communicating with others of their generation - these experiences of abandonment. These messages of truth are just not ready for the "prime time" majority - neither is an article such as this. It's just too accusatory and honest. MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/king_gone.htm They just don't want to hear about their failures - preferring to remain in the safety and comfort of their own convoluted lies to everyone. Many are stuck in the past - a past that lip-synced concepts of "peace" and "love." But, many of us have come to see through all of this false ideological recitals of concepts such as "peace" and "love" as just empty messages - messages that would be abandoned by most just as rapidly as they were embraced - to be ultimately expunged by these "cop-outs" from this era in favor of material wealth accumulation.
If you really want to understand what our youth is struggling with - then all you have to do is "tune in" and "learn" for yourself. But, for most of us - we want to label this music as just vulgar and profane. But, if you strip their lyrics of its profanity, you strip them of their unmistakable anger - words of truth to be communicated with other youth about their struggle with the unfairness of their youth experiences suffered at the feet of the devil - their fathers.
And, furthermore, this music wasn't written for you in the first place. You are a lost cause, and they know it. So, go ahead, stick that overgrown head of yours in the smallest hole you can find, and bury it. You have not, nor will you ever understand, anyway.
Much of the music of today's youth addresses 10x more concepts of substance in a 3 - 5 minute period than any artist from my youth's generation could address on an entire album - hands down, no question in my mind. These songs address much tougher to understand and communicate, issues, such as: "I just don't fit in this "paint by numbers" world of our parents; why have we been abandoned by our fathers; and, then, to top them all - the failed attempts of their fathers to 'trick them into love,' an attempt to control their young, to conduct one more assault upon their children's intellectual being, an attempt to win at all costs, all the while cloaked with the auspices of 'fair and balanced' fatherhood." Your time is up.
You are a lie. Your legitimacy, respectability, and validity as a parent, is arbitrarily defined by you, alone - a definition composed of your same old lies - lies that you employ to cover up your failings as a father and a man; lies with the destructive motive of deception; and lies intended to give your children just enough hope, that possibly - and, just maybe, you have changed, seen the light of day, repented at the feet of your own statue, they might believe you, this time - and, snap, you've duped them, again.
You have not earned what you demand from your own children - respectability, validity, and believability as a spokesman and example of what fatherhood and manhood truly is. These lies of yours are deployed by you to further confuse our troubled youth - forever, confirming in their tender and malleable hearts and minds, the fallacy of their unrequited love for you, their father - love that they freely gave to you, for so many years of their youth; love that was unconditional, but over time became weathered, tempered, and altered to coincide with their realization of your contradictions in the way you lead your life - you freely talk the talk, but never walk the walk. Over this extended period of time, their dreams of stability - dreams that can only be fulfilled by the united front that the concept of mother, father, and family, can provide.
Personally, my message to these men of lies and deceit, is this: you have abandoned your spouses, your children, and your responsibilities as a man; you have no right to demand your children to "do as I say," when your life has been consumed with your own self indulgences - to the detriment of the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the health of your children. You have given up your rights of fatherhood; in fact, you never really earned your badge of manhood, or fatherhood. Your empty preaching now falls upon deaf ears; you are a disease that was insidiously transferred to your own offspring, to eat your fellow man, and our country's premise of the American traditional sense of goodness - a disease that needs to be cut out, burned, or exterminated by those of us that refuse to let you cross the bridge of manhood and fatherhood - a disease of your own creation, a disease that has so insidiously infected our American youth's soul.
"You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing," Plato here. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations/plato_quote.htm
It just never ceases to amaze me of just how easy fatherhood really is. I mean it's really quite simple, in theory. It does not take a "mental giant" to get it - or, rather it has seemed easy enough to me for these 25 years of fatherhood. And, I would presume there are many other fathers that would agree - you base all of your efforts on one undisputable truth for success with your children - the giving of yourself, your time - time spent with your children; time to work on "bridge building;" time, time, time - time that you freely give to them because you choose to, you want to, and, you just quite frankly, wouldn't have it any other way; for you are not just giving here - you are, in fact, receiving - receiving their love, devotion, adoration, and respect, all exemplified by the giving by them of their unconditional love; a love that overlooks from time to time, your minor transgressions and mistakes of parenting. There are absolutely no shortcuts, here. None - not one single one - "time is of the essence" to the success of this project of love.
And, just in case my message to these men seems unclear - let me just present for you a synopsis of what I have been writing about: you will never be admitted across the bridge of fatherhood and manhood; you will never join the rest of us, there; our gatekeepers can see through you; we know who you are; who you are not; what you are; and simply - you will not cross.
What commitment does it require for successful fatherhood? An understanding and acceptance of the lowest common denominator - you must earned it, the old-fashioned way, no slipping under the radar, here. You will be required to roll up your sleeves of compassion and love for your offspring. You will have to exercise daily messages of teaching them how to prepare themselves for the next rung on the ladder of development - ever so thoughful and understanding of their minor failures and transgressions of youth. And, the part that so many parents overlook - you may not hold-back from your children the one commodity required of the rest of our kind - successful fathers - simply, your precious time. And, your love for your children must be based on this unwavering premise: day in and day out, yesterday, today, and tomorrow - unconditional love for these youth, with no strings attached, no pre-conditions for your love and devotion, whatsoever - none.
These absent fathers have been so consumed with their own self-interests that their children can easily see through them. And, you have no right whatsoever to preach your untruths of manhood and fatherhood to these troubled youth. You are using your rod of false fatherhood to carry on your own cause of self-interest. The youth of today has uncovered you for what you are - a "false prophet" of fatherhood and manhood.
From my perspective, our youth's pain, too often originating from the abandonment by their fathers, is just too much for many of them to deal with. And, the effects of this abandonment has resulted in far too many of our youth trying to hide their pain from others, only to later have their inflictions ooze out, in a form that is unrecognizable to most - a bizarre, destructive, and unacceptable youth behavior. You see, what you fail to recognize is that pain hidden cannot remain so for long; it ultimately sneaks out at the most unexpected times and in the most unusual forms of expression. But, don't fool yourself, this pain will emerge, it will ooze out, take on different forms and shapes, and become essentially unrecognizable to most, except to those with the most keen lookout for reaching for the true root of the problem. And, if you do not understand, or recognize the behavior that seems to you to be unacceptable - how in the world can you help these youth? How can you build the bridges necessary for them to cross to manhood, and ultimately to their own fatherhood in their future?
I respect the mothers of today - those that are facing battles like my sister, Karen, alone - women of strength; and, in her case, I know fully well what her upbringing as a youth was based on - love by her father and her mother, parents that met their responsibilities of parenthood because it was "their choice." And, their love for each other can be experienced at http://www.royblakeley.name - a Web site devoted to our father, Roy James Blakeley (http://www.royblakeley.name); our mother, Johnnye (Ashton) Blakeley; their love for each other; their love for their children; our struggles as a family, struggling with a tragedy in our lives that just seemed unbearable, unfair, and, at times, leaving us with a fear of not being able to deal with the pain, overcome it's effects, and "find our way back home."
What is sad for these mothers that are bearing these children is by the time they realize the damage done by these men, sometimes it's just too late to save the young. MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/damage_done.htm
"Woke up this early morning, nothing but black, God's creation hidden from view. My heart is heavy, remembering, again the love lost - and I wept and feel and write as the tears flow down my cheek - forever, wiping away the pain. And, as if God reaches out to wipe my tears, I look up and, see again His great creation .... and give thanks." - Larry Blakeley, July, 2004.
"But, through all of this, we can honestly tell others that the hope so aptly described in this sweet hymnal of redemption of the soul, "Morning Has Broken," MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/morning_has_broken.htm is, in fact, true; and will occur in your life - sometimes the timing is off, but something you can "hang your hat on," in your fight with the unfair and unjust world we all live in together. Some, lean on Jesus, some lean on Buddha, some lean on this god and that god, some don't lean on any god, whatever it takes for you, personally, in your heart, for you to survive in this world.
So, Payton was at the mall to pick up his tuxedo - for he was one of the pallbearers. So, was Collin Donner, Jonathan Henson, Robbie Yeamans, Eugene Pilipovsk, Keyvon Gilanshah, Nick Lloyd, Allen Carrey, and Ryan Lahar - all children, there to bury their own.
What was missing at this funeral? Fathers.
What was peculiar to this funeral? The young were there to bury themselves.
What was the most disturbing incident for me? When the officiating reverend - Larry Ravert, spoke of life, Justin's life, and made a statement to the effect that Justin had "lived a full life, even in his short time here."
What demon from hell below could have possibly consumed this man of the cloth's sense of truth, taken him hostage for that one moment, and possessed his faculties of good judgement to speak to this young, hurting audience with such an absolutely, unequivocal, outlandish, irresponsbile, and outright - lie.
- "Another Funeral: Youth Burying Its Own," Larry Blakeley, October 5, 2004.