Monthly Archives: May 2015

Charlie was more than a PET!

Charlie was a Member of our Family!

Charlie and Socks

Charlie helping Tom put on his socks!

A good friend sent a card “In the loss of your pet!”  What a wonderful thing to do.  But was Charlie ONLY a pet?  Let me tell you a little bit more about Charlie

Charlie had quite a personality and was the smartest dog I have ever known.  When we would begin to get ready to go on vacation, Charlie knew we were leaving.  Charlie knew that we were going to leave and protested the suitcases on the bed in the bedroom by barking and, then,  becoming lethargic.

On the way to the kennel or to the vet, Charlie knew when it was going to happen, he would howl out his brains.  His little lips would quiver so that you would think he was being tortured.  He did not want to leave the house but, then, he was a runner!  It does not make sense.

At Stockton Lake

At Stockton Lake

When Charlie was young, we trained him to sit and shake hands.  He shook hands with his left paw.  (That should tell you something about Charlie.) Later, he learned “wait.”  But all we had to do was talk to Charlie and he knew what to do. Caretakers at the kennel marveled that Charlie was like talking to a human being.

When he wanted something from me, he would come and sit in front of me and try to talk to me.  I would go through a list of things that he might want.  When I hit the right one, he would jump up and down.  He did not bark.  He made different types of noises and moved his lips.  Even on the day he died he was trying to tell me something, but I did not understand him.  I can still see his crumpled up lips talking to me.

Relaxing Charlie

Relaxing Charlie

Charlie knew where everything in a room was located.  If something was different, new, or out of place, the first thing he would do would be to go over to whatever was changed.  What a nose he had!  There is so much more to tell about Charlie, but this is enough.  I am may be  boring you.

 

 

We took his collar and hung it on a wall in our house.  Charlie is gone, but he will always be with us.

 

As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge.

 

Charlie, Our Best Friend is Gone!

Charlie is on the Left

Charlie is on the Left

A few weeks ago I was walking and came across a squirrel that had been hit by an automobile. He still had a leaf in his mouth. I searched for some sticks, and lifted him up off the road so that he would not be totally squished by oncoming traffic. As I placed his remains by the side of the road, a man stopped and looked at me and said, “Thank you.”

Sleeping Charlie

Sleeping Charlie

Only two days ago, during my walk on Highland, I came across a beautiful turtle that had been run over by a less-than-alert driver. He was not moving. I gently picked him up, and placed him by the side of the road. Was he only stunned? On my way back, I checked to see if he had moved. His little life was gone.  I wanted to plan a funeral for him, but I didn’t.

Today, a neighbor brought the collar of our precious Charlie to me.

Earlier, Charlie had escaped from the yard. I screamed as he ran down the street, but his adrenaline was pumping and he did not hear me.   I, and neighbors, looked for him for hours. They kept saying he was going to come home. But he never did.

Charlie is wrapped up and sleeping

Charlie is wrapped up and sleeping

A neighbor found him laying by the side of the road only three houses away. Was he coming home? Had he been hit by a car? He had grass in his mouth? There was no blood anywhere. My neighbor offered to bring him back home in his golf cart. We wrapped him in a white towel. A passerby helped lift him into the cart. I wrapped him in another towel and hoped for him to start breathing. My neighbor carried him to our house and placed him on a bench. Every few minutes I went out to see if he had come back to life.

Charlie was an unusual Jack Russel, who at 16.5 years, looked like a dog half his age. Our Vet said he had a good five years left in him. But Charlie could barely hear and his eyes were dimming. His nose kept him on the right path.

Charlie and Twinkers

Charlie and Twinkers

When Charlie came into our lives, he was timid and shy. Maxi (our deceased Schnauzer)  taught him to bark, and he learned that he could rule all of us. Soon, he was tearing apart all of Maxi’s toys. Maxi went into deep depression for almost a year. But soon they were brothers, sleeping and barking together.

Charlie was more human than dog. He talked to us about everything. He would sit in front of me and complain when Tom was working in

Charlie, Twinkers, and Tom

Charlie, Twinkers, and Tom

another country. He had an opinion about the heat, the cold, the weather and only liked to stay outside when it was warm. When the alarm for the dryer would go off, he would sit in front of it, asking for a hot towel. He usually got one. He liked his food softened with water and fought over treats with Twinkers (our Maltese mix and his sister). He would let her steal his treat and then bark at her. He watched television with Tom, and was always interested in the story. Charlie gave us so much attention–almost every waking minute. He did not like to be alone.  I can’t imagine living without him!

Charlie was shy with other people.  He did not want to meet them if we were around.  If guests

Charlie watching TV

Charlie watching TV

came to the house he would keep circling them until they left.  He barked at everything that moved, and taught Twinkers how to do the same thing.  It is a tradition, I guess.

But Charlie liked to run. He was so naive. He thought life outside the house was just as safe as inside.   He escaped probably 4-5 times a year and generally ran the same route, down to the dam at the lake. Once, when we lived at Shoal Creek, he ran out into four lanes of traffic and survived. He also ran down a hill across four lanes of traffic, and found friends at a huge apartment complex. (He liked people when we weren’t around.  He took his job of protecting us seriously.) He was a runner but when we approached him, he would always come to us. Today, Charlie ran for the last time.

There is a great emptiness in our hearts … and our lives, and we will never forget how much love he gave to us.  

Charlie sitting in the front seat of our old motorhome!

Charlie sitting in the front seat of our old motorhome!

We just purchased a new motorhome with Charlie in mind.  We knew he would need space to run, and now he will never experience that space we chose for him.

Goodbye Charlie, we loved you!

As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge.

Elvis and his Exploration of the Freemasons

Inside Elvis’ Exploration of the Masons

Remembering Elvis

Remembering Elvis at a local diner in Missouri.

TCB

TCB Taking Care of Business

Writers on the left and the right have paid attention, some hypercritical, to the symbols that Elvis wore in his concerts. The most obvious is the lightning bolt with TCB inscribed on it. “Taking care of business” was an African-American slogan from his early life that he adopted for himself.

 

 

 

 

Templar Cross

Templar Cross

There is evidence that Elvis studied the Freemasons and their symbols. Some suggest that he was a member himself. Both Larry Geller in his book If I Can Dream, Elvis’ Own Story, and a list of books Elvis read, obtained from a staff researcher at Elvis Presley Enterprises, mention books about the Freemasons. An obvious symbol that Elvis wore was a Templar cross. Many suggest that masons were involved in the Crusades during the Middle Ages whose goal was to take back Jerusalem from the Muslims. Elvis also wore and used many other symbols that will be summarized in another blog.

Starved for answers to personal questions and an interest in other cultures and peoples, Elvis considered the Freemasons. After all, thousands of powerful and influential people throughout history claimed Masonic allegiance. Check out Wikipedia and its very short list of Masons. Kings, Emperors, Presidents, Islamic Scholars, Christians, Jews, soldiers, politicians, composers, entertainers, reporters, and even astronauts claim to be members. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Freemasons_(A–D)

Symbol of the Freemasons

Symbol of the Freemasons

Freemasons claim to offer its members an ethical and compassionate worldview. While they do not want to be termed a religion, there are traces of many religions in their literatures. Masons assimilated many belief systems and re-interpreted them to create their own “legends.” Their literatures often point to a Divine Essence or Being, (Supreme Intelligence, Triune Self) but it appears that they were open to members of any faith.

Some point to Deism or Universalism as an influence. I found links to astrology, numerology, Hinduism, and more. For instance they mention the “AUM” symbol as their own, as well as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They include stories from ancient Israel found in the Hebrew Bible. “Sin” is also a component of their belief system.  And Solomon is the featured character along side the ancient temple of Israel.

My father was a Mason. He said he was a 32nd degree (whatever that meant to the Roseville Lodge?) and often brought new members to our home and taught them how to read secret books. He explained that being a member of the Masons was like joining a union, and that members helped out each other. This secret fraternal organization was only open to males. Some lodges admit females now.

Masons

Eighteenth Century meeting of Lodge of Masons in Vienna

Harold W. Percival in his book on Masonry and Its Symbols (1952) (which Elvis read) also describes some of the masonic rituals. I am including a painting of a Lodge Meeting in Vienna, Austria around 1786. Take a good look at this painting. The new member is blindfolded. Men are sporting swords. Some are wearing aprons. A religious official sits to the right and there is a cross on the left. On the table in front are several metal and stone items. (It is unclear as to what they are from the painting.)   Some claim that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is sitting on the far right? Mozart could have been a connection for Elvis too! Note the triangle with candles and the curtain that is about to close to maintain secrecy.

According to several Masonic sources during the initiation ceremony of a new member, the man is blindfolded and stripped naked. A rope or cable tow is placed around his neck. Sharp instruments prick him.  He is paraded around the room like this.  As the initiate progresses in the fraternal order, he “receives the signs, grips, and words.” (Perceival, 9) Then, he receives a lambskin apron to cover his private parts. The initiation or an additional ceremony continues with the slaying of Hiram, who is purportedly the chief architect of Solomon’s temple. The candidate is ritually killed, and then raised by Solomon. All of this symbolizes the new member as leaving a previous life and entering a new life with the Masons.

Masonic Temple

Masonic Temple in Hannibal, Missouri

What actually happened during the ceremonies?   Details are unclear, but a person living in the twenty-first century can recognize the “hazing” and “secrecy” that is found within the Greek societies flourishing on college campuses today.

The Roman Catholic Church, according to one writer, disallows its members from joining the Freemasons.  My father told horrible stories about Roman Catholics, and I wonder if it was a backlash against Roman Catholic Church banning of the Masons?  see:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_ban_of_Freemasonry

This blog is only a peak at the information that will be contained in my forthcoming book on Elvis and his religions, title to be announced when it is published.

As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge