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BACKYARD NOTHINGNESS: SEARCHING FOR F J

Written By: F. John Surells

“ Someday you’ll find out. Someday you’ll have others to support.” Those were F J’s words to those who said that someday never comes.
And yet, you tell me of anything that’s ever occurred upon planet Earth that eclipsed for importance the simple passage of time. Oh, it was all so significant when it happened, but it’s not as significant anymore today. But nonetheless, mankind’s existence will always legitimize Earth’s superiority amongst the planets.
And the first installment of “Backyard Nothingness” was supposed to be dedicated to the past; and to one person in particular who was an acquaintance of a friend of mine. And thus, no, the F J referred to in the title of this first part of a three part submission isn’t me F. John Surells.
But I’m going to tell you now that I never knew F J. Yet, while that’s true, I’ve always felt I’ve known him through stories about him, and my subsequent “takes” from those tales. And everything in these three parts of “Backyard Nothingness” may, or may not have ever occurred in the phenomenon of earthly time. Nevertheless, here’s my prayer that these words aid us in our search for salvation, and assist us in our attempt to avoid damnation.
Therefore, here’s to the finger shakers, dedicated scolders, cigarette smokers, alcohol consumers, drunken drivers, and all such types who were born too long ago to have been able to abuse illegal drugs and various forms of technology. “Someday you’ll find out” they warned us. “Someday you’ll have others to support.” But I think they meant we’d have family members to aid as long as they needed our help. The warners didn’t know then that in years to come all “the cool leftists” would demand that we also supply political support to people whose only real goal was to rip us off financially as well as morally. And it was too early yet in America’s history then to be saddling us with the needed support of drug addicts, sexual deviants, illegal aliens, people who feel the world owes them a living, people who kneel in front of, instead of salute our flag, people who disrespect our Constitution and the way of life our elders pursued, people who defecate and urinate on city streets, and political candidates who champion those above mentioned types while informing those who still work in America that they’re to blame for all that’s wrong in the world because they didn’t care enough about the people who were inconvenienced after they’d illegally entered someone else’s nation.
But sometimes, after some time elapses, some amounts of time, perhaps initially deemed wasted, are found out as not having been so. And, later, it sometimes seems some of those time amounts were used quite well. Nonetheless, before the game was played was when adequate preparation should have been had. But maybe it was too difficult then to take a stand amidst all the crap floating down the pipeline toward one.
And let me be very candid now about two things that are troubling me at this very moment. First, I think America’s liberal based political party has done a great disservice to its nation’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government by pursuing an impeachment process which had no grounds for implementation. And if the person facing impeachment had done no impeachable offense, then what was the reason for the House of Representatives’ resolution and the Senate’s trial? Was it all only a charade perpetrated to perhaps help the liberal party in upcoming elections? And by the way, how dare those people criticize the lifestyles of others? Let them look at their own first. And secondly, I’ve taken issue with my city’s new mayor, George Jennifer, for wishing me to write my city’s first three internet submissions in 2020. “There are a lot of other writers and artists besides myself in this city who should be given space here” I told George.
“Yes, but you were the one your former mayor, and my predecessor Ralph Hawk always considered to be the best of the lot” he answered. “And I want to get my tenure here, as well as this new decade, off to hopefully good literary starts by having three time related pieces submitted. All of them of course will follow very loose outlines, but one should basically feature the past, one the present, and one the future. And together the three separate pieces should form a rather nostalgic whole which the citizens of this city may use as an introduction to this reality’s new decade of THE TWENTIES.”
“That might be a challenge” I replied. “And especially since I have a mind which often strays far from the specified topic.”
“Yes, but I know you’re going to do a great job with this” said mayor Jennifer. “Your friend Ralph Hawk told me that you always produce something good, even if it sometimes barely speaks to what it was supposed to have addressed. But if your meanderings do become too plentiful, remember that you have three submissions to work with here.”
And since I’ve undertaken the task of writing the first of these three parts, it’s become obvious to me that the words I’ll employ in this three part task will most likely barely concern the twentieth and twenty first centuries’ decades of their twenties. And instead of content relevant to those two decades, what will probably be addressed here will be “images” or “imaginings” which I’ve recently experienced. And only you’ll be able to deduce whether those mental pictures and stories speak to actual occurrences, or figments within the mind of a man who daily confronts a living environment of “strangeness” – to say the least!
So, let me begin here by stating some personal beliefs and observations, I’m aware that some people believe words are cheap. And some others believe they’re cheaply used. But, in my experience, communications are most often seeking “A BOTTOM LINE,” although seldom “THE BOTTOM LINE.” And in that sense then I’d ask you to loosely juxtapose the twenties of one hundred years ago with those of today.
But remember, as users of words, humans usually find themselves either constrained or protected by the various forms of spoken or written communication. And usually humans speak and write the truth – but not always. Sometimes they utter or write falsehoods; and sometimes they verbalize or put to paper what might be termed “speculative statements.” And that truism may be a primary factor in whether or not a communicator is ever considered a professional, or whether he or she remains basically a hobbyist in the eyes of all who’ve experienced some success in anything more than a basic “saying and writing what’s necessary to get by in the present” format.
And, to address the written form specifically, I think all who write enter the writing “contest” knowing that very few submissions will ever leave a “mark” upon literature’s history. And we’ve all been told that other writers are our friends and not our competitors. And thus, maybe the only thing writers can justifiably expect, is that their divulgences will constructively impact all who can be influenced.
But personally, whether considered a hobbyist or a professional, I’ve found that those who say that they really care about the people of tomorrow, usually produce both artful and non-artful testimonies and works which pale in comparison to those of such people who are simply seeking a peaceful passage of present time. Still, if you feel differently, I’m supposing I won’t dissuade you. But yet, you’ll not be able to “kid” me either.
Alright, I have four admissions to make. One: This piece will appear in three parts; thus, you’ll not finish reading it today. Two: I used some input from a friend of mine, R. F. Husnik, as part of the content of this piece. Three: Since R. F. is not a resident of our city, I can’t, with all assurance vouch for the complete truth, half-truth, or complete fabrication of anything he’s told me. And four: Not all the “stories” contained herein are R. F.’s, some are my own, yet, all of them, no matter their source, may or may not have ever occurred as actual events.
L was raised by his grandparents, because his dad ran away and left him to be the sole responsibility of his mother, who then moved back in at home with her parents. Spouses were sometimes known to abandon their mates back in those days circa 1905.
And L then grew up to be a young man of the roaring twenties. And since he and his uncle (the last child born to his grandparents) were basically the same age, they had many “good times” and “nights out” during that decade of exuberance. Yet F J, who was L’s cousin, and who was born in 1920, detested the twenties lifestyle (perhaps because he was too young to be a part of it), and, from what I’ve heard, carried that distaste with him all the way into the twenty first century.
But, out in the backyard today, we can still see F J standing there, looking back across the years. And as we look at him, we can see that he’s someone who had a lot of difficulty interacting with the generations both before and after his own.
And now he’s remembering how he went away once to fight in the anti-Nazi, anti-empire of the rising sun war. And he’s acknowledging now that when he returned from those struggles his parents said they hardly knew him. But he told them he’d gotten into a fist fight in Southampton; and that while sent to fight fires in California, he’d actually lived on Spahn’s Ranch. But years later he refused to speak about a notorious family who’d also lived there many years after him. And could you blame him? After all, talking about grisly murders and words written in blood on walls did nothing to affect where he was “at” at the end of the sixties and into the era of Nixon. But he did respond to an incident at the beginning of the seventies. At least that’s what a friend has told me. “Sometimes I think we remember only the bad things about him,” said my friend. “Oh, and in 1970 he did remark that four had died in Ohio.”

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