“A journey that takes the reader from a boy’s sad and perhaps self inflicted situations. To a young man’s filled with an egotism and confidence, that his Navy
superiors moulded in this mid-west and naive individual who would never question his role into what was then
a deep ‘East-West’ cold war. Orders were executed to the letter......What takes place years later, the reader see’s the complex web that was weaved by the writer and the absolute military prodding and ‘hanging’ carrots to make this individual sign away his life,liberty and most importantly, his freedom of speech!”
Mad Machine Media
This is a written journey of my walk through life. In many ways it mimics most of us.
Yet, the probabilities that I went from 0 to 100 in the time it takes me to have written
this. Each were critical moments that if not in the manner that how they just happenned,
I would or most likely not be here to explain the very hard to believe events that really took place.
It takes place in critically stages of my life that one must read to understand the journey I have gone through. In all, one can come to many conclusions. But, one for sure will explain how a delicate, extremely introverted boy, and at a early age was prepared for death. I believed that I would never reach the age of twenty. Actually, I prayed that I would never make it to that age. As it often is with the Universe
would be intersections to bring a 180° change in my life. These intersections would be life changing and would set the stage for self worth.
From a little child who absolutely believed he had of no worth, and only
complicated his world around him by being alive. Believing that the world would be better without him. But as life usually does I would hold a Top Secret Security clearance, be on a submarine and highly respected deep sea diver completing mission after mission placing myself in face of all of what nature has in store for me. Not to
say the danger and gravity of what I would do for my country.
Then have another 180° smack in the face that would set me on a completely different course in my life. This too would eventually have another 180° slash that set me free of a burden that I was blind to see it its totality! There are a coupleof near death experiences in one of my life changing events that gives me a special awareness into ‘inner self’ that I would not change it for anything! Then there is many of my good friends that died way before their time. Each and everyone touched me deeply.
Especially when a physician called me in the middle of the night and 200 kilometres away. Only to ask what should be done for a friend who was in the late stages of brain cancer, Chris Weeks, was 26 at the time. The man’s family completely disowned him and his partner died a month earlier. The brain surgeon tried all he could do but needed Chris next closet friend, as the doctor explained to me that his family did not even want the body when he died. With such coldest maker of act they would have nothing to do with him. My name and phone number was in the doctors records. I was perhaps Chris best friend, The doctor called in the middle of the night, He wanted to have someone close to him. “What should I do for your friend, being terminal in nature and absolutely no chance of recovery and perhaps one or two days to live.” My answer came from a calm and loving heart. I really liked my friend a lot. The decision was clear. As you read the four main themes. Each one with a Chapter letter head giving a one word caption to give the reader the idea of what it will mean when read. My hope is that I capture the reader in what was my mindset at this period of my life JASIV.
I was born to James Albert Smith Jr.,and Charlotte Agnes Vordran Smith On the 12th of March 1957. My father would explain later that on the day
I was born the weather was unusual for the season. The day began very warm the outside temperature; it was already 20 degrees. Where I come from 20 degrees was very uncommon. We lived in what is called by
many the “The Great White North”. By the time my mother went into
labor, which was at 15:00hrs, the weather was in the process of returning to what is normal for the time of year. The western sky was full of black billowing clouds, the wind had picked up to near gail force and the temps were dropping like a rock. Dad said he fought the coming storm as he
raced my mother to the hospital, some 50 kilometres away. He would
later tell of struggling to keep the pick-up truck on the road as the wind
and rain lashed against them. Half way to the hospital the rain turned to
ice and what is very un-common, thunder snow, started to lash the old
green chevy pick-up. This making the trip even more tense as he had to
slow to almost a crawl. My mother having contractions that were coming shorter every time, only made the drive that more intense, as one
As dad drove into the ER at St. Joseph Hospital located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My mother was in full labor and the ER nurse’s began the birthing process as she was lifted out of the pick-up and placed on the gurney. This was done outside of the ER itself as of course a pick-up would never make it threw the entrance. By this time over an hour and a half had past since she was put into our truck and with every inch of my fathers discipline they just made it! I, James Albert Smith IV, was born at 19:48, on a gurney as mother was being sweet inside to the maturity ward. By this time a full blown blizzard was underway outside.
From the beginning trouble was at hand. I was the second born to my mother and father. I had an older sister by years, Attempts to father more siblings fell short by still birth or they died immediately after birth. One has to remember back in the 50’s babies still struggled to be born alive and well. It was determined by my mother’s last miscarriage that my parents have what in the medical world is called, The ‘RH’ factor. This meant that my father has A+ blood and my mother A- blood. This condition is not uncommon in the world, but still in the fifties doctors had extreme problems with a mother to deliver a healthy birth after the first. This condition exist when the first child is born normally the mothers immune system develops anti-bodies for any further pregnancies. In other words any further attempts at giving birth would result with the mother’s immune system ‘seeing’ the fetus as a foreign body and there ́- fore the fetus would usually starve of oxygen in the third trimester. The procedure back then was a complete blood transfusion with, in my case was A- blood. Time was of the essences for the new born. Most babies already suffered grave oxygen deprivation during the time the women went into labor and delivery. Resulting in what the doctors called ‘blue babies’. I perhaps lucky that since my previous mother’s failure to come to term with child. The doctor’s had time to prepare for the immediate procedure. I weighed a small 7lbs, 2oz. Not quite a normal healthy weight, but with the proper health professionals. I was placed in then what was a state of the art incubator. St Joseph Hospital was run by nuns who were trained in Catholic schools and Universites. All in all, this inner city hospital had a good track record. My parents being of strict Catholic background naturally they had chosen the nearest Catholic hospital to give birth.
Since I already had an older sister named Elaine. There was a five year difference between her and myself. I would later have two younger brothers each two years apart. When I was older I asked why there was such a age difference between Elaine and myself? During these early years it was a major breach of protocol between child and parents. One has to remember years ago and in certain ethnic backgrounds. Children never dared ask certain question about family members, relatives or family background unless told so by them. I received a frank and humiliating rebuke for daring to ask a personal question concerning a grown up. After this rebuke I was quickly informed that question of such nature were for adults not children! Of course I felt bad that I dared inquire such a personal question.
One must put all this in the proper perspective. Back in the 1950s medical science still struggled with pregnancy from the time of conception and birth. Things we take for granted today was not the ‘norm’ for the day. Also, I came from a strict Catholic background. My mother’ side of the family came to the United States in thee early 1900’s and her side was from the south of Germany and near to the French frontier. Where as my father side came from the North of Germany near Hamburg. My father’s side was more or less Lutheran in faith, but my father quickly converted to Catholic for my mother’ sake. Also, my mother coming from a very strict background would never let her personal feelings be known to anyone. Perhaps my father, but for surely not any
of her siblings. This would look as having bad genetics, or not having control over every situation! For her to ever speak such things to her other seven sisters. Not to say speaking to her six brothers was forbidden.
It may appear that our family was not a loving and caring one. This is not true at all. It was just the makeup of different back grounds, My grandfather on my mother’ side was very strict and his word was taken with out question. With eleven brothers and sisters, my grandfather’s word was not to be questioned! In todays world it made the fathers word a sad and many times questionable in his discussion’s that controlled the families everyday world. The sad and eventually to their demise my mothers six brothers were allowed to do almost any thing they wanted. The women, and most importantly, my grandmother was to obey and not question her husband’ word. As the Catholic church gave m(en the absolute authority in the last word. Once again this was in the late 1890’s and early 20th century, come come to think of it, and even when they immigrated to the US. Much of the states still held onto what we now see as draconian and repressive in nature. Which as we now come to understand is just that! This forced and condone by church and state method of the father having the last and binding word would of course become ingrained in my mothers siblings. My father on the other hand was raised by strict parents, but given the ability to explore more then what the church dictated. My father’s sister was never made to believe she was less the whole of herself. Of course back in the these times children behaved as they were told....in general that is! Let me stress that what we see today is incomprehensible in of itself. My I remind the reader women were not given the right to vote in the United States until the 1920’s after a very long suffrage movement that eventually led to the 19th Amendment to the the Constitution of the U.S on the 18th of August of 1920!
To put this in persecutive, this does not preclude that the family unit was not loving and caring. Indeed I would like to say with some interpretation. That in many ways which is hard to get ones head around it. Some find it hard to believe. This human inclination to assume that the physical and sometimes stronger male dominance prevails to this day. As most of us know the interpretive thought is not only sexist but unfounded in fact. Achievements of the female sex have indeed surpassed that of many male advancements. Only naive, low self-esteem and arrogant male attitude prevails in modern society.
Penicillin. Origin from the modern Latin name genus Penicillum. Noun ( mass noun ). An antibiotic or group of antibiotics produced naturally by certain blue moulds, now usually synthetically. Penicillin was discovered in 1928 and during the Second World War became the first antibiotic used by doctors in the field. This discovery undoubtedly saved millions of lives and still does on a daily basis. Yet, there does exist allergic reactions to such life saving medical revolution.
Allergies come in many forms. Some are mild and barely detectable. Others are more complex and require testing in it’s effectiveness to the patient. Some can withstand the allergic reaction if it known before hand or observed in a clinical environmental setting. Then there are those whom will fall into anaphylaxis shock. I fall into the later category.
At three years of age, 1960. I became violently ill from contracting ‘scarletina’. It is a infectious disease affecting especially children, causing fever and a scarlet rash. It is caused by streptococci. When my parents realized that I was not suffering from a regular flu. I was already in three days of the infection. My mother took me to our family doctor after the two days before my body temperature went from 31°C to 41C°. Once at the doctors office my temp was 41.5°C. The family doctor was not sure what was going on. So before I was sent to the hospital he administered me with a dosage of penicillin, as a pre-emptive treatment. Lucky, the hospital was only few blocks away. Apparently I immediately went into shock. As I can remember nothing of these events I rely on my parents, older sister and Dr. Beniofff. Dr. Benioff had to preform CPR along the way to the ER. I was placed in ICU and this area was sealed for fear of the Scarletina spreading to others such as staff, doctors and patients.
To be continued...