(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.
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.
Hello, my name is Larry Blakeley - son of Roy James Blakeley (dec.) and Johnnye (Ashton) Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name
I would like to invite you to visit a couple of Web sites (everything's "free" - no pop-ups, no spyware - just honest writings about manhood, fatherhood, goodness, and, some help for you to better understand the digital world that is enveloping us all). All computer issues will be covered on my Web site at http://www.laryblakeley.com and everything else, on the other Web site that is named in honor of my father, Roy James Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name - a father that left us too soon for our liking. But, alas, we had no choice in the matter, and we carried on as best we could - in his honor, and, for me, in his footsteps.
But, most importantly, his Web site does not just focus on him - no, but it begins with him, and covers him thoroughly - who he was, what class of America he originated from, where he lived, and most importantly what he had to say about his wife, his children, his country, his friends, his parents - and, after you have finished with his story - you will see how this theme of goodness of the soul can be carried forth, and handed down, from generation to generation by common, ordinary, American men, to their offspring, and even their offspring's offspring, and so on, and so forth.
Then, as on-going project, I will use his Web site to teach these values of goodness - values and principles that seem to be hidden from view much too often for my liking, today, in the media, in our country's universities, etc. by liars and evil-mongers among us. All of which has insidiously been going on and increasing in these institutions that process to be seekers of truth.
And, more importantly to our future - after revealing these liars - I hope to ignite a spark, and create a fire of resistance against these liars. The time, now, is long overdue, for other fathers and men of character to leave our comforts of standing on the sidelines, as a passive protester, but rather, to rise up; look around; search for, uncover, and demand truth and accountability by our media, our university professors, our politicians, our government, etc. - truth of who we are, and the importance of our presence in American culture. It is time to take whatever action necessary to slay these liars and remove them from their havens - havens filled with other devious, stealthy, corrupt souls; souls that can legitimately described as wolves cloaked in sheep's clothing, insidiously in opposition to all truth that is based upon America's traditional values of manhood and fatherhood - lies intended to undermine our traditional values and principles of goodness of heart.
I invite you to read my latest stories, "The Belly of the Ship" http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles , look for the file name: belly_of_ship" and "Another Funeral: Youth Burying its Own" - same directory, but the file name is another_funeral.
This Web site is a repository of stories - stories that tie together issues dealing with the American male, fathers, our youth, and, quite simply, validation of the power of influence that the common, ordinary American man has had in the past, and must re-discover, and apply, today. I use the medium of "storytelling," - stories that are true; stories that describe real pain and hut; stories that conclude with "hope," especially for our youth; youth that are all-to-often abandoned by their fathers, and have simply become disposed, thrown-away, discarded, abused, and virtually, left alone, confused, and hurting.
I don't think that pain can be taught, for it's a feeling; a feeling of despair, loss of self-worth, self-esteem, and, just general, hopelessness. I believe our youth of today, are unfairly expected to be able to deal with, and just "get over" these complex, dark, and devastating emotions. The hardships created for them, by their abandoning fathers - and, especially, at a time (youth) that they just don't have the tools that, many times, can only be acquired through years of living life. There perspective is severely limited, and they just cannot be expected to analyze what is happening to their lives, without some sort of guidance, or "bridge building" by an adult mentor.
You can't see their pain? Well, I believe you can hear their pain, just by listening to what is held dearly to them, as it was, and still is to me - music. And, it is my hope that some of us will "back-off" a little, let them express themselves, as individuals, with real feelings, real lives, and most importantly, just listen - even though they may "seem" a little bizarre, or possibly, an alien from another planet, somewhere.
However, please don't misunderstand me here - I absolutely do believe there is evil-minded folks out there - and, one of the channels of spreading their evilness based predominately, hate - hatred of goodness; hatred of their fellow man; and, hatred of this country. And, unquestionably, one of their mediums for spreading these messages of hate is, in fact, through music, just the same as it is through books, and other methods of transmission. These evilmongers are hidden from our view, they are scattered throughout our society, they are in our neighborhoods, and, possibly, (it would not surprise me in the least), our churches - to the point where, you could make a reasonably accurate assumption that they are, in fact, "everywhere, yet nowhere." It is just becoming ever so difficult to spot these people.
My suggestion for a fair and balanced approach, is to be careful here - music is youth's life-blood, don't be hasty with your condemnation of what you perceive to be the devils-doing, and proclaim this area of communication, as unfit to hear. It's not your music, it's not meant for you, and, besides, if you are that narrow minded in the first place you have no business in a position that requires a level, fair and balanced head on the ole shoulders. Scatter-gun proclamations like this are nothing more that short-sightedness from those that don't mind "throwing out the baby with the bath water." And, besides, if you cannot stand the profanity, darkness, vulgarity, that exists in these havens of corruption, then, by all means, step-aside, and "get out of the kitchen." But, there are some of us that need to enter these havens of evil, search for our youth, and "return America back to its rightful owners before it's too late."
You have to know your enemy, and to know your enemy, you have to be willing to become as stealthy as he is. There is no room for fear, here. If need be, you slay them with their own weapon of choice.
The following is an excerpt from a recent posting:
"And, my father speaks to me from the grave and asks, 'Larry, how was your day?'
And, I tell him, 'Well, Dad - I got up, went to school, but I could tell something had happened somewhere inside that made me different? So, I learned how to change color like a lizard in the desert and look just like the rest - and, it worked because I became very good at it over the years. I learned to walk through life and forget that I had a dead heart. But, when I got home I changed back to myself of loneliness, sorrow and pain. And, the 6 o'clock news - every stinking single day for the next 8 years was tough. But, I still miss you so after these 39 years.'" - Larry Blakeley, Letter emailed to William B. Rood, Chicago Tribune, August 23, 2004 at 4:00 AM CDT; 0900 GMT
File Name: william_rood20040823.htm
Re-Post Date: October 9, 2004 at 9:15 AM CDT; 1415 GMT
Why the re-post?
Well, first let's start with this statement from Mr. Carlson - a man with a vision and a motive that did not include wealth, even though his invention made himself, and others - very wealthy - money never really mattered much to him:
"Things don't come to mind readily, all of a sudden, like pulling things out of the air. You have to get your inspiration from somewhere, and usually you get it from reading something else."
- Chester Carlson, Haloid Company, a small photo-paper maker in Rochester, N.Y., precursor to Xerox Corporation, "The Story of Xerox," http://www.xerox.com/innovation/Storyofxerography.pdf
Now, what does that have to do with my re-post of this email?
As I continue to write - I occasionally go back to concepts and themes that brought me to where I am in my storytelling.
And, in an effort to connect the dots of my conscious efforts to make a particular point I will use my idea of symbolism, sometimes subtle droppings, here and there.
Why do I do this? For the fun of it - for the adrenaline of the "hunt" - the search for these innuendos, these twists of a word, a sentence, a phrase, or the inclusion of a song, a poem, or even the size of a letter - large to small, small to large - virtually, anything that I can scatter about - here and there - a nuance here, another there, and so forth - so, that, sometimes, you will re-visit what you thought I said, with possibly, questions of yours that might be similar to the following, questions of wonderment- but, mostly my purpose is ultimately to entertain the reader, challenge him/her to slow up, and read it, again:
"Did I miss something there, on that page, in that paragraph, in that sentence?
Did I really understand what he was trying to communicate?
Well, isn't that what is so wonderfully intriguing about storytelling? Well, it always was for me.
So, I suppose, at times, I am writing for me - "what" I would want to hear; "how" I would want the thoughts conveyed; and "where" in the story I think it should go, so that it would have the most impact upon my, and what I believe to be, the reader's consciousness, as well; a prompting style that encourages the reader to "think about it - once more, slowly this time." And, for those that can read between my lines, I hope to give you some joy of seeing these little twists of the written word - still the greatest method of communication ever developed by mankind, bar none.
In any event, since I know my limitations of communication, and, most humbly having to accept, in myself, that I do indeed "fail" miserably sometimes, at this everyday function - communication - that I take for granted, sometimes when it would serve me well, to ask myself, "Does this convey tomorrow, what I thought it conveyed today?"
Now, my failures at communicating with the written word is not advertent, but rather, inadvertent; not blatant, but subtle, - just, simply, best described as "thinking ahead of my writing." And, while were are on the subject, I must be truthful with you (I mean, my credibility as an author of ideas is, in fact, predicated on this basic promise from me to you) - the longer the articles get (higher word count), sometimes I'm just either too tired to read back over it; but, for me, it's usually because I'm never satisfied with how I wrote something - and, constantly in battle with wanting to say something, better - a battle with the unachievable standard, at least for this soul - perfectionism.
I'm reminded of what Thomas Edison said, "Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure." If I look back over - I might change things up - and, since I am responsible for my own writing, my standards for myself, at times, are difficult for me to achieve.
But, I do need to re-visit some of my past writings, every now and then - and, sometimes I can easily spot where I may have failed to communicate comprehensively enough for my liking; and, then there are those writings that maybe need a little of the "rough edges" smoothed out (such as when my emotions of negativity claim control of my psychic - in particular, expressions of anger or bitterness, that existed at one time or another in my life's journey, but really are just a memory of a bad dream, today.
So, in this particular case above, where this 11-year old boy was hypothetically having a conversation with his father; it just seemed too possible, too risky that someone may not understand what I am trying to convey by the telling of this story, a story about a conversation that occurred nearly 40 years ago, but that I can recall today, just as vividly as then - a conversation that only this boy, his father, and this 50-year old man writing to you - and, now, you - ever knew about.
You may wonder, "how did I come to know this 11-year old boy?"
Well, he was my constant companion in life; he went with me everywhere; he was my best friend (and, still is); he laid down beside me; he listened to me; he cared for me; and today he provides my inspiration to tell others who he is, where he came from (i.e. "who done it"), how much he means to me, and how much I love him - even after all these years - friends for life, blood brothers, you might say - a companion that helped to bridge the gap between youth and manhood.
And, since this 11-year old has forgotten more that I can even remember, he speaks through me - thoughts that have not been disclosed to anyone before. So, my inspiration comes from this 11-year old boy. And, some of my writings, my thoughts, are from this 11-year old boy; and, furthermore, I may not be aware of who is writing to you - me, or him - until I re-visit the piece of writing: the page, the paragraph, the sentence, or even the lowest common denominator, the written word, and the truth is revealed to me of just who this is from - and, maybe I need to clarify such, or maybe I'll just let it be.
But, in this case, I don't dare to "let it be," for I fear, I fear that just maybe someone may misinterpret what it is that this 11-year old boy is, in fact, saying to his father.
Why is this short recant of a conversation so important to me to clear up any ambiguities that may exist in the mind of the "youthful" reader?
Why is so critical here to be understood by the young? Because, this 50-year old man would not be here without this conversation taking place nearly 40-years ago. For conversation validates a method to deal with pain, and live - to survive.
What method did this boy employ for survival? The method of adjusting himself, fighting back the pain, fighting back the depression, sadness, hopelessness - those same feelings of destruction to the self that may possibly be killing many of our youth, today; as well as they most probably would have killed this 11-year old boy.
And, who is the one that gave the boy the frame of mind, the solid base to sort through life when left behind and alone? "Who done that?" Who suggested this method? The boy, or the father? And, who is responsible for saving this boy from the finality of death?
Well, if you study this Web site named after my father, you will have all the answers to these questions.
And, you will understand why the common, ordinary American man is so important to the lives of our youth - to continue to chose, "life" over "death."
And, for these potential consequences of misunderstanding, this conversation is re-visited and re-posted for a guidepost for the lost, that cannot seem to find their way home in the darkness - looking, in vain, for the light indicating which path to follow.
And, to fulfill the promises of the reasons for choosing survival - life over death - I needed to go back, and make sure that this message is used as a stepping stone to moving in the right direction - a direction that will intersect the path of life, and survival.
The pain itself (regardless of the origination) must always take a backseat to the higher calling of survival. And, the pain and hurt has to be put in its rightful place on the shelf of reality: yes, it will be permanent; yes, it is true, you will never be the same person again; yes, it hurts, and it hurts deep; no, you will not be able to "dream" it away - no matter how long you sleep, no matter how hard you try; and, yes, you will always wake up the next day to face the reality of that pain.
But, it's not the pain that shapes your life. It's not the pain that should control who you become. It's not the pain that must go away. No, my friend - it's what you chose to do with that pain that determines whether you will live, or die - and, whether you will have the strength of character to become a man, build bridges for your children to cross, and bring goodness into their lives, just as someone brought into your life. And, if that never happened for you, then your strength must come from within yourself, or possibly by reading what the 12-year old boy has to say about it. May you find peace and live for others.
It really is a matter of "life, " or "death." And, those of us that have looked down into the deep ravine of death, and turned around, know this.
And, since the 50-year old man that this boy told these thoughts to, knows the limited abilities of youth to sort through, analyze, and take action to combat these dark, profane, vulgar, seemingly, unrelenting, thoughts - thoughts that threaten your existence here on earth - thoughts of worthlessness, hopelessness, despair, depression gone rampant, anger and bitterness possibly resulting from your abandonment by your own father, and his vain, "throw-away" mentality - thoughts of destruction, thoughts that just won't stop, thoughts that continuously bombard your consciousness, thoughts that bring you to the edge of the ravine for another look, thoughts that promise you peace and serenity, promise you that the pain and hurt will stop, if will just jump.
Where do these thoughts originate from? I really don't know, just that they do, in fact, exist and they are very real to those badgered by them. I suppose it may come from a hell, and some of its occupants that want to shove you over the edge, and "bring you down, to them, permanently." And, instead of the whispers of good men in your ear, whispers of encouragement: "stay the course, turn away, come back to us, don't give up, you can do this" - whispers that become silenced by the babbling and wailing of those from below, lying to you - making promises that are just not true. And, you want it to go away, now; so, you start to believe what they are saying to you; you start to believe the false promises of "easing your pain, permanently, and forevermore;" and, you become lost, confused of who you are, why you are here, what you are capable of doing, and how you can fight back these demons - and, that your most powerful weapon is "free choice;" freedom to choose life - walk away, never to return for another visit. And, by so choosing to live, these demons will leave you alone, and move on to the next pleading soul, pleading for the pain to just stop.
But, if there is no whispers from the goodness of man, you may, in fact - jump.
Now, the most important point here for another youth to clearly understand, of what message is being communicated by this 11-year old boy is simply this, nothing more complicated, and nothing less simple (and, you could extend the analogy without much alteration of wording to a girl, as well):
"Whatever your source of pain - abandonment, abuse, depression, whatever - you can carry-on, you can become functional, you can make a life for yourself - if, you only just "stay the course; don't give up on yourself; don't believe these lies; make the adjustments that you feel like are necessary for you to survive, to proceed with your life. And, make them expediently - for time really is critical here for your survival, essential for your survival, and is the essence at this point of desperation."
And, you need to realize that "you can make it to manhood; you can make it to fatherhood; and just maybe, as I have tried to teach in my essay, 'The Belly of the Ship,' - a story of goodness, hope, respect, adoration, fatherhood, manhood, and love - you will envision 'what' this young man wanted to be; 'why' he wanted this; 'who' he wanted to emulate when he grew up; and 'how' this is achieved.
But, most importantly - you will be awakened to the absolute 'power' of influence that the ordinary, common American man can have on a child, an 11-year old boy, a young man, and ultimately, a father - the chain remains - unbroken - the immortality of these truths of life transferred from one soul to the next - sometimes, in silence, but the lessons of life learned by observation of these men that 'talk the talk, and walk the walk' of truth, goodness, and character - men too often overlooked in this fast-paced world where profits, income, houses, cars; and, "money, money, and more money" are advertised as the true measure of success of manhood. These are outright - lies - lies that have absolutely nothing, not one single iota, of what a real man is. Never has, never will - dream on. Your just trying to convince your vain self, your family, your friends, and, anyone else that will listen to your self-created image of yourself, wrapped within a skin of nothingness, but falsehoods and grand illusions of your own self-image - all to the detriment of your youth, desperately in need of the truth - children looking up to you to give them guidance and clues of what they should become - a vanishing breed in your circle of life.
And, the young, continue to wonder, silently - forever, looking to other youth for an answer that they might as well ask some dumb oxen, "Just what is a man, anyway - I'm not sure of what he is, for I do not have one in my life to teach me these things? And, I'm supposed to be one, someday - aren't I?"
And, the real men are those that give their time to their youth, build a foundation of character built upon their rock-solid sense of manhood, know that all the money in the world will never buy "the knock at the back door" - a person to be forever remembered, never to be forgotten, and, always emulated with pride, as you go about your simple walk through life. Amen. This is my kind of man. This is the man that I knew. This is the man that I became. This is the man that I will remain - until it is time for me to pass to my greater reward.
By telling the story of the "knocking at the back door," an episode that happened shortly after the death of the second man that influenced me with the goodness of a real man, my granddad Ashton, http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/john_lewis_edna_ashton.htm, I try to convey this concept of the incredible "power of influence" - the power on our youth of the way we walk through our lives, as models to these youth - youth that are sitting right next to us in the truck, hanging on to our trousers, or just silently, observing - observing how a simple act of kindness can make our youth proud of us, just simple things of life, day-in and day-out, one conversation at a time, one moment of a time, one fleeting short truth exposed to your consciousness for storage, retrieval, and use when it comes your time to be a man.
And, yet - our lives are carried on simply, day by day, moment by moment, one step at a time, without any particular fanfare - just living the way we should, and caring the way we should, and giving of ourselves the way we should.
And, may someday you be seen for what I know you are, because I've seen it: "a man of character, of strength, of compassion, of goodness of soul - a father figure to be looked up to, respected, and emulated - and, for realization that sometimes the most lasting moments are those that you show the young just what you are made of - and, may your immortality live on, may this be your reward after you are long gone - that your children, their children, and their children's children will teach those things that you lived by, day in and day out, in a world of simplicity - a world of the common, ordinary American man.
And, your immortality of character and goodness will be passed on, down the chain of life, principles and values of character that remain -unbroken.
And, yes, ever so often a rambunctious young boy will "jump up from his bed, eager to start another day of activity, rush to the window of life, and, upon seeing the changes that just seemed to appear from nowhere, virtually, overnight, and say, "Who done that?" This, my friend, and fellow man, is your reward.
And, just to think that all of that started with a simple observation of a man from the upward-looking eyes of a child - too young at the time to have any idea, whatsoever is happening, and what truths he is witnessing.
And, these same themes tie-in with my essay written titled, "Another Funeral: Youth Burying its Own," a story of great sadness and pain, but one that is concluded with the message of "hope."
The pain mentioned in all of these articles - the 11-year old boy's pain, my pain, and, possibly your pain - is secondary to the messages of hope http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/hope_lblakeley200407.htm - nothing more than a description of the depth of pain that can be truly felt, in particular, to help those that have never experienced this sort of hopelessness, and despair, to understand a little better, that this is not to be feared, but to be acknowledged for nothing more, and nothing less, than it actually is - a consequence of life, and life's unfairness at times.
No, my friend, the objective should always be to teach - to teach someone else (our youth) of "how" to deal with this demon of the heart, so that they may "find their way home," and live their life to its natural completion; become a man; become a father; raise your children unselfishly, with love, devotion, and understanding; and, that your past is not theirs, and shouldn't become another burden for them, life's difficult enough for one soul, keep your pain away from the innocent.
And, by doing so, your children will recognize your strength of character, that you made the adjustments necessary in your life to become a mentor for others - your children.
And, quite possibly, when the "knock on the back door" comes one day, they, too, will validate your existence as a man, and think, silently to themselves, "I'll have what he's having," or "I want to be just like him when I grow up - an ordinary, common American man
- Larry Blakeley, October 9, 2004 - a statement of elaboration, and possible clarification on meaning.
Now, for those that are wondering, what is the purpose of all this, anyway?
In a nutshell, here is the author's intentions:
- show what men were, years ago;
- show how they expressed love of family;
- show how they expressed duty to country;
- show how their families survived tragedies that resulted from duty to country;
- show what kind of people - such as the Fisher County, Texas folks - are representative of "grass-roots" America;
- show pain felt, worked through, and the emergence to the other side of the essence of "fatherhood";
- show to the young that these men - you and I - do care, and want this to be known;
- use my skills, knowledge, and understanding of computer technology, internet functionality, and world wide web empowerment to common folks like me to get these messages out to our young, our despondent, and so forth - if not directly, at least through others that can pass the word along to those in need to hear these messages of goodness;
So, that means that issues and information about these issues (such as where to go to in order to find answers) will be moving through the "Articles" section of the Web site - and, on occasion I will re-visit some personal pages in order to tie-back my articles or essays.
For example, the stories "The Belly of the Ship" and "Another Funeral: Youth Burying its Own" tie directly back to my life's experiences of a youth looking for answers to manhood from my mentors - John Ashton and of course, Roy Blakeley. But, there are other stories that will be forthcoming. Like I said somewhere else in this storytelling - I sat next to my Granddad, many, many times on the bench in front of the Frazier Drugstore (used to be Riley Drugstore), the both at the caf‚, and have heard these farmers talk, laugh, and just basically - enjoy each other's company for a brief 30 minutes, or so. And, by sitting there I saw across several generations of manhood - a glimpse of real men leading ordinary lives that have meant so much to their family, as my granddad meant to me. The faces are different, but the essence of the story is the same - these men were filled with "goodness" of heart - and, I have proof to spread to the newer generation coming through.
And, it's these experiences of youth that are the reasons for the yearnings that I feel that are expressed in lyrics to songs like "Country Boy MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/johnny_cash/country_boy.htm," or "Southern Accent MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/johnny_cash/southern_accent.htm" - songs of my roots that were molded from youth by the men in my life. And, these men need to be lifted up for what they did for their offspring - never to be forgotten by others that insist on degrading manhood and fatherhood with lies to confuse today's youth.
- "A Message to the Common, Ordinary, American Man," Larry Blakeley, Author and Publisher (imagine that - author and publisher - and, even further, imagine the power of enablement and empowerment that the internet, world wide web, and the "unquestionable power of the written word," all intertwined, combined, and originating from within the soul of a good man, ready to speak his heart and his mind - all from just a common, ordinary American man. Think about it. These truths are what I am trying to help you realize! And, if you don't understand - then sleep on it. And, if you still don't understand - check your blood pressure, pulse, and all those other methods that indicate whether we are living, or not. But, most importantly - don't give up trying to "get it."), October 10, 2004.
File Name: common_ordinary_american_man