I’m still listening Charley…

12/6/10

Continuing in my pursuit of railroad transportation of illegal moonshine, it is interesting to see which rail lines run from Clyattville north and west of Valdosta back in 1966. You must understand that the rail system was some what disconnected back then. Segments ran from one juncture to another- then switched ownership and ran in other directions. Suffice it to say that even though it would have been beyond belligerent to be as bold as to run moonshine via railcar back then– you could manipulate such a feat considering the power this group of individuals possessed. Nothing was sacred. In fact, it was this disconnectedness that made it very possible that smaller segments could have been secured for such illegal errands and gone undetected by anyone of true authority. After all- who was going to tell the law… on the law??? And thus we have the total conundrum of this entire case. How do you go to the law to insist that unlawful things were happening, when it was the law who was puppeteering the events? Now I know that this begins to sound like a bad Kirk Douglas western… but it is fact. In 1966 the law was corrupt- every strain in that tiny little sandbox burg of it was corrupt and without apology for being so.

Ahhhhhhhhhh… those in position of authority- there’s the rub. What does one do? Thus brings to mind the, “Lucifer Effect” as charted by Phillip Zimbardo. Look it up my dears and educate yourselves as to how seemingly good people can come to do bad things. But even more than those phenomena- how bad people can commit such crimes and suffer absolute immunity of conscience. Hey… wait a minute. Maybe that should be the title of this book. “Immunity of Conscience”. Yea, I like the way that sounds. OK- so now duly copyrighted as appearing in print- I shall consider it. (Though I believe I have decided to go with Exercise of Evil as final choice- this looms as great alternative or segue to another novel in outline already.)

Alas, I digress. November was a cosmically violent month for me with more unexpected changes than I believe I care to shoulder into the New Year- but there too, I am but traveler and not navigator these days, even unto my own world. Still, this past weekend has served my sense of balance well. I sold many books and met some wonderful people. In my sharing of segue from my first novel, The Danburg Diary (about Moore’s Ford Bridge Massacre 1946) into this next about Charley… I believe I have captured the imaginations of many who may begin to follow here now, his story. I caution them again:

Go back to the beginning my friends. You must start from the beginning a year ago now. This is not a tale in which one can simply plop down into the middle and comfortably move forward… it must be begun from the first and followed with keen memory, attention to detail and brutal diligence to understand the web being constructed. Because it is real- it comes without script or schedule. You see, that is the thing. I cannot suppose or fabricate these events. They are orchestrated from places I cannot go. Hindsight is my only compass and serves me better in my deciphering, but it is the addiction to the anticipation that captures and holds me captive. I fear many who will read my first book and then blindly venture here will not understand that the first book was constructed- this blog however constructs itself day by day as I wait for further instruction. It is not the Hallmark Channel rendition of murder where we find crime, then backfill. I am very much still with paint brush in hand, waiting on further canvass to create. This is raw and unbridled flow of information- based on others greed and disdain that has brought such literary footnotes before you. Many people bought the first book and I pray that they understand that one cannot tackle such as this without reflecting the horror that it is.

For here you have a man; a family man whose eyes may have wandered for want of something less familiar for a brief moment… but to serve up cold and cruel death as penalty for what Jimmy Carter once voiced as, “I lust with my eyes only” is abuse of the highest order… especially when we see that sex was both impetus and default in this murder. Lust is lust and as has been learned, the imagination breeches boundaries our conscious lives never could… or perhaps… never would admit to. Take Charley… a cup of coffee here and there. A smile, a look, and a nod to a pretty woman… and suddenly your life become the centerpiece of the 11 o’clock news. It is not my job to determine if in fact he strayed or not. It is however my duty to determine the reasons why they pushed to make that venue so believable and to defend whatever margin of innocence before both public and private court.

Charley’s fascination with a pair of brown eyes places his guilt neither here nor there- for it has nothing to do with this murder beyond convenience of segue. Charley was murdered because of the information brought by the MOT; by what he found when he began to investigate the disappearances of Jessica and Roxanne… when he got too close … when names and numbers began to make sense. When bloody shovels and compasses began to speak of the unspeakable. When blonde hair floated in the water and could no longer hide the bruises. When maids found bodies left for dead in downtown hotels. When those in charge began to feel the grip of justice begin to close around their throats- they reached out and went for his. When Charley presented physical evidence that sent chills down their spines- not for what they had done- but for what others would come to know about them if it got any further up the agency food chain…

Charley was baited, lured to Clyattville–Nankin Road that night and murdered because too many carrying badges could not conceive of their lives and immorality being gutted and splayed before the public domain. These men and one woman lived their lives comfortable and warm, tucked beneath a blanket of lies and their shallow guilt as they watched the grieving widow struggle to keep her children safe.

Do not forget the coffee grounds strewn about the kitchen floor in a message of obscenity, by the energy with the red fingernails. Do not forget that this same woman slept with the older energy and toyed with the younger. Do not forget the words of our victim who called her the black widow… and clutched his chest saying she had led him to his own slaughter. Do not forget how one man washed his hands of the blood that night, but his soul remains tainted forever. Do not forget the Grim Reaper who leads them all to their death and then smiles from behind his religious fervor as though pure as the driven slush.

In this season of forgiveness and peace, remember to cherish those beside you. Through it all, Charley has made his children the focus of his redemption- seeking their forgiveness for having left too soon. Through out this all, I too have done what I can to enable this redemption.

I’m listening Charley.
I’m still listening.
Whisper it in my ear.
Tell me more.
Tell me more.

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