Do You Know This Man?

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Do You Know This Man?

By BR Chitwood

Do You Know This Man?

No? I knew him, not so well, some forty years ago…he was a habitue, a devotee, of the Phoenix neon night life, searching for parts of himself he lost along a long emotional road from the hills of Appalachia: lost in an abusive and disoriented childhood; lost in a flawed and impetuous marriage; lost in the glittering promise of booze and women. Yes, I knew him, not so well, as he made all his stumbles along the way, losing not only himself but the connections to family and friends, to the people who loved him.

Yes, of course, I’m the man in the photo, and there’s a lot more to the story…hope you’ll read THE CRACKED MIRROR, Reflections of an Appalachian Son, by Billy Ray Chitwood.

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https://www.brchitwood.com

Excerpts from “The Cracked Mirror…”

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In the end, my story must be like so many others, a story of a simple kid who grew up eating emotional soup and spending a lifetime trying to digest it. There are no spectacular or heroic moments. I’ve been in the United States Navy, but I’ve never fought a war—except the one I’ve declared within myself. So I know not the pain of holding a bleeding comrade to my bosom as he or she gasps the final breaths. I know not the anguish of a parent losing a child in an accident, or, in war—unless losing a child to drugs can be comparable. I’ve loved and been in love, but I’ve never stepped far enough from myself to know the true and natural profundity of its happiness and joy. I’ve been born but never died—unless the demon of the past is segmented death. The prospect of dying scares the hell out of me—not so much the prospect itself, but the pitiful legacy that is left behind. I’ve known insecurity and fear, along with self-confidence, loyalty, and pride. There have been the sins, small enough, I hope, to keep me at least somewhere in the thoughts of those I’ve loved. At times I’ve longed for ‘Nepenthe,’ the drug mentioned in ‘The Odyssey’ as a remedy for grief, the potion used by the ancients to induce forgetfulness of pain and sorrow. But, then, without some pain, can the soul truly seek refuge when the long journey is over?

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The jail cell brought back sobriety and a stark reality. Sitting on a hard dirty ‘bed thing’ in the dimly lit, tiny barred enclosure, the demon thoughts came and possessed me. My world was disintegrating around me! The claustrophobic cell was my coffin of contriteness, a veritable symbol of my languishing life. There again was the ‘dark closet’ feeling within me, an anxious and suffocating hell! Grabbing at the bars I pitifully called out to the jailer, but no one came. Within the limited space I paced, stopped at the ugly stained wall, splayed my body against it, and tapped my forehead against its roughness. The jailer eventually came. He showed me a smile of compassion and told me that morning would come soon; then, I would be arraigned. The fitful night would pass.

***

It is Time that wears down the acts and deeds of man into something forgettable, mundane, heroic, noble, historical, and unforgettable. It is Time that leads us warily toward the greatest secret of all: That which lies beyond the dark veil!

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“…There are men like you in the world, Prentice, through whatever kind of intervention, divine or otherwise, who must make us cry and laugh, who record for us the stirrings of the soul which we might otherwise never know.”

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BR Chitwood

Okay, here I am today, no longer chasing those windmills, still trying to figure out this ‘one foot in front of the other’ thing. There are times when it seems I’m pretty close to figuring out this grand production, but those times are little teaser moments to stir something in the soul — sort of like a dreaded visit to a doctor or dentist, getting the car repaired – feels great when you find out the blood pressure is normal (thanks to a little round pill taken each day), the teeth cleaning and exam present no new cavities, and the car now carries no shameful dent.

All in all, living for some years on the rolling bluegrass hills of lovely Kentucky, a good wife, an aging, lovable cat, great daughters and sons, have given me happiness and joy. Back in Arizona the past still gets in my way at times in inscrutable ways, like a misty longing for something valuable I’ve left behind. I’ve never abandoned my faith, though fragile it might be, and there are many more good days than bad,

With all this said, I’m still writing, still searching…guess that only stops when mortal time gives up on me…

 BR Chitwood – April 6, 2022

If you like books of mystery, suspense, action, romance, many of which are inspired by true events, please visit my website at  https://www.brchitwood.com – after a short bio, just scroll down the ‘home’ page to preview the books and synopses of each.

More: It’s all here: https://www.brchitwood.com

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Nine of the author’s 20 books shown below…  Go to https://www.brchitwood – Website with synopses of all 20 books, over 375 blog posts, short stories, poetry, songs, author info, and BUY SITES AT YOUR AMAZON SITE…

Please visit! You will find some good reading with ‘BUY SITES’, book reviews, et al!

BR Chitwood – Author

April 6, 2022

NOTE:

All books below have 5-STAR REVIEWS on AMAZON!

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If you like books of mystery, suspense, action, romance, many of which are inspired by true events, please visit my website at  https://www.brchitwood.com – after a short bio, just scroll down the ‘home’ page to preview the books and synopses of each.

More: It’s all here: https://www.brchitwood.com

*

***

Nine of the author’s 20 books shown above…  Go to https://www.brchitwood – Website with synopses of all 20 books, over 375 blog posts, short stories, poetry, songs, author info, and BUY SITES…

Please visit! You will find some good reading with ‘BUY SITES’, book reviews, et al!

BR Chitwood – Author

April 6, 2022

You Are Your Moods

You Are Your Moods

BR Chitwood

You are your moods…just sharing some of mine…

My mother was a gentle, generous, and kind woman from a large loving family of four boys and four girls, the matriarch of the brood fervently involved in her Protestant Faith. The father was a quiet, gentle, corpulent man, a railroad foreman for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, a most pleasant person who seldom interfered with the demands of his pious wife who each day offered a loud, long, tearful, prayer to her Father in Heaven, with all present kneeling for her long wailing wishes for blessings and forgiveness of sins committed by her and her brood. Despite the parental toughness of her ways and the seriousness of her moods, she was a kind and gentle person.

Two of the four boys would serve their country in World War Two, one ferrying our brave warriors to the shore at Omaha Beach. The youngest of the brothers was murdered as he was closing down his ‘Filling Station’ late at night in Knoxville, Tennessee. Stanley was his name and a most wonderful Uncle. Uncle Stanley saw me through some difficult times in my early life. I loved this good man and think of him often through all these years.

Uncle Stanley and my mother were so much alike, both holy of heart, soul, and honorable in their daily living…

My Mom was a boarding house cook and a Bell Telephone Operator/Supervisor. Because of economic conditions at the time my mother had to rely on the state of Tennessee and my grandparents for boarding and financial help – it was a necessary procedure for many families at the time.

My most memorable years came when my mother brought my sister and me to live in a lovely home across from a beautiful college where I played tennis with some of the students and attended elementary school. Times got better for our small family. My sister blossomed early and wanted all that went with a pretty face and desirable body…problems, yes, but the family worked through it.

Much of my life was molded from those early days, still given to thoughts of a past with too little good and a lot of ugliness. I served my country, got through college, taught writing to high school seniors, did some acting, commercials and film, married a few times, sired three beautiful kids who constantly amaze me with their goodness, settled at last with a lovely lady who is all a man could possibly want.

Oh, and I have written twenty books, many based on true crimes, mystery and romance, a couple of memoirs, some 375 blog posts, many ‘flash fiction’ pieces, short stories, and poetry.

Okay, had this quiet afternoon of reflection, felt like writing some of it down, and I feel better…and, I just felt like sharing it with people who might be reading my posts.

All of my books are on: https://brchitwood.com

Hope you can read some of my books…and perhaps leave an Amazon review if so inclined…

Until the End

Until the End

BR Chitwood 

So, it seems I shall be ending this fascinating life adventure as I entered it, confounded by the sounds of jubilation and tears, yet, without a kindly grandmother slapping my rear end to bring the breath of life to a reluctant new birth in a small clapboard house in Appalachia, a saw mill hamlet of dirt roads and a railroad spur for bringing logs to the primary employer of most of its scant population of farmers, most of whom were in a prolonged ‘Great Depression’.

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As a man ready for his final destiny, a man with precious little of consequence for the reader who might chance upon these few words I write here, the words will have little historic value or any other kind of value that would perpetuate a useful understanding except for some amusing and pathetic experiences. At best, the words herein have been written by many others facing their final breaths of air on this orbital craft that ended up with the name of ‘Earth’.

So, skipping over my apathetic problems with school and teenage acne, some good buddies, and a couple of young ladies I was too dull and dim-witted to approach, and an early entry into the United States Navy, marriage to a ‘Navy Wave’ with her own confused history, college, teaching, and emotional experiences that not only paralyzed me but would put me on the path of unrighteousness…yes, alcohol and lovely women of the night – indeed, a shameful and wonderful foray into an almost every night ‘Whoop-de-do’.

Mistakes of a shameful quality?  

A ‘big time’ Uh-Huh! Years of willful neglect to career and inner peace. Still, it was fun and disaster – now, you know where the phrase came from, wait for it! ‘Honkytonk-Heaven’ or, ‘Neon Madness’.

So much time wasted?

I suppose – but it was my life for a time. Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias wrote and performed the lyrics and music For All the Girls I’ve Loved Before. It is a song I should have written. In other words, I could not have written a better epilogue for my life.

 My good wife of nearly forty years has encouraged me in my writing efforts, always steadfast and loyal. She also with her love and unselfish nature brings a smile to each new day.

Somehow, in the aging process, I found the gift of writing, much of it venting moments of my life.

Twenty books – some based on true crimes, some in different genres, give glimpses into my life…Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Biography.

Short Stories,  FlashFiction., Poetry and over 375 Blog Posts!

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Perhaps, I have atoned for some of my ‘low spots’ in life… Regardless, my writing speaks ‘Truth’, and it is my hope that readers can find in my books not only the joy of reading but some essence of inspiration. All my writing can be found at: https://brchitwood.com complete with synopses and Amazon Buy Sites.

Wishing everyone a happy and frustration-free 2022, with the scourge of Covid and Omicron all in our rearview mirrors.

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