A Band of Brothers and a Sister

As I sit down to write these words, I think of the conversation I had yesterday with Baker a childhood friend and fellow baseball teammate back in our high school days.  In the early to mid-seventies in a little one traffic light place called Freeland, if you were one of us, you were referred to by your last name.  I give credit to the start of this last name tradition to my first and longest childhood friend Savard.  Back to the conversation between Baker and me. We were discussing the golf outing being put together by Radke during the Class of 1975, 40th year high school reunion coming up in August of 2015.  This event is going to be called the Hargreaves Memorial Golf Outing.   Sorry, I have to pause to cry, something I still do when my mind fills with the memory of Hargreaves who passed away two years ago this coming June.  The first time I cried was when Fite, Hargreaves first wife called me to say he had cancer.   Her and I just cried for awhile that day on the phone.  Heavy man, I know to the reader of these words, so I will start a new paragraph to help break the grip of this sadness.

When talking with Baker I mentioned that Hargreaves had called me on my cell a few months before he passed away while I was standing in the rental car line at LAX airport.  I was in LA to visit an author friend that I was planning to do a writing and photography collaboration with in the future.  I told Hargreaves on the phone that day, I wanted to come soon and play a round of golf with him.  We had never played golf together.  See Hargreaves was a great golfer and back in high school when he played the game, I used to say it was a silly sport.  I have since learned in later years, golf is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do. Hargreaves passed away before we could play together, I have no regrets, Hargreaves and I had spent a lot of quality times together over the years.  I try to share those wonderful memories with his son now.

After I told this story to Baker, he said I should share more of these stories with others.  Well that was the motivation I needed to share these words today on my blog.   Generally, I don’t write this kind of prose.  The prose I write mostly is more business structured.  I am a licensed private investigator who does corporate investigations globally, not the usual TV PI type of sloop stuff.   As an artist my writing style whether poetry or prose is more structured with an artistic flavor as it is creatively written.  Ok, that’s kind of the backdrop, which is, a part of this story.   How I choose to write is intentional.  I am forever an artist at heart.  I write what I call Artistic Prose.  It has its roots in the master storytelling performed by my Scot Irish grandfather as I grew up as a child.

You could say I am talking about this story as I’m telling it.  I am naming this story as I tell it as “A Band of Brothers and a Sister.”  This Band so to speak, is made up of people I played on a baseball team with back in high school.  The sister of the Band was our team statistician.  The brothers and sister of this band are my close friends in life and many of them I have know since attending kindergarten in Freeland.  These people are not only my friends, they are a part of my family.  This extends to their parents, siblings and children.  My bond and commitment to them is unbreakable.  They know I will be there for them no matter what. Heavy man again, I know …..

Baker was a part of that team as mentioned before.  This Band of Brothers and a Sister have last names like Hargreaves, Fite, Hahn, Savard, Pingel, Sumption, Morse and coach Hacker to name a few.  I have attended their weddings and sad to say as we get older, I’ve attended funerals with some of them.  When I talk to others about this Band many are amazed I have stayed so close with so many people I have known since childhood.  I always say it is the magic of growing up in such a small place and playing my favorite sport baseball together.

As Baker and I discussed in our conversation yesterday, that little one traffic light place called Freeland and its baseball team, is the center of this special bond we A Band of Brothers and a Sister will always have to keep us together.   In life and in death.

Now Baker  – we’ll have the chance to make this bond deeper by playing together at the Hargreaves Memorial Golf Outing in August.  Hargreaves I miss you dearly, but we will finally get to play that silly sport together when you are there in spirit. Just make sure all my golf balls get hit into the cup and the rest of our brothers balls safely miss the cup.  You know how hard the game of golf is for me to play.

Words by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~





The true national game and pastime

From the time I could put on my brand new Don Demeter autographed glove, I knew baseball was my favorite sport to play.  My father bought that glove for me in around ‘68 for little league and I used the same glove all the way through high school baseball.  I still have it to this day preserved in the bear grease I rubbed on it to keep it pliable.  I often wonder how many remember that Demeter played briefly for the Detroit Tigers in the sixties.  When I now think back about it, how odd it was to later work part-time for the very woman in her garage, who solely distributed in the US the bear grease my father purchased from Kmart to help keep his work boots from getting to wet.

Playing baseball as a shy child was my savior so to speak.  It over the years helped to bring me out of my shell and become the person, I am today.  I have often argued with others that baseball compared to all other team sports is the hardiest game to play.  Though I guess for now, I’ll leave that as a topic to be written about more fully on another day.  The playing of baseball as a kid in little league and then on school teams in the little one traffic light town called Freeland I grew up in was a big deal.  If you played it, everyone from child to adult knew who you were and kept track of how well you played.   As I recall, I can remember while playing baseball in high school, kids that were four or five grades younger than me, would say hello to me and then giving me that game well done acknowledgment.  Those who became some of my best childhood friends played the game of baseball with me or on teams against me.  It was this social bonding component that is the game’s most powerful force of all.  Is to me, why baseball at that time was in America the true national game and social pastime.

Back in the year of ‘68 the little league teams of Freeland, MI were blessed to go to a baseball game at Tiger stadium in Detroit, MI.  As our bus drove by certain areas in Detroit, there were ample signs of the riots of ‘67 that has left an everlasting impression on this person’s empathic heart and mind.  As an eleven year old kid, who loved to play the game and watch the Tigers like Kaline, Stanley, Northrup, Horton, Cash, McAuliffe, Oyler, Wert, Freehan, Lolich, McClain and Brown play, the happenings of that era took time for me to comprehend.  Of course we all had fun that day sitting way out in the bleacher seats of the old Tiger stadium.  We took fully into memory all the sounds and the smells of the ballpark it had to offer us (My girlfriend and I went to the 11th to last game prior to the old Tiger stadium being closed in ‘99.  She and I wanted to experience once more those sounds and smells of our childhood days in the ballpark before being lost forever).

Those of us who are ardent Detroit Tiger fans know how the ‘68 season ended.  My mother became way more than just my parent that year.  She became the coolest person in the world when she wrote a note to the school that I had a doctor’s appointment.  She then came and picked me up from school, doing so, so I could go home and watch the Tigers play game seven and win the World Series. My mother is my hero in life, but I’m starting to digress a little too much from the point I’m trying to make about the social bonding component of baseball.  It was this game called baseball being played during the year of ’68, out of the old Detroit Tiger stadium that as a social event morphed to become more than a game.  It, this playing of baseball became a force, a positive focus to start the process of healing among its fans.  The true national game and pastime showed why it was, yes by helping the people of Detroit and the rest of Michigan to come together and to act as one in support of a baseball team.  Through all this focus on the winning ways of a team working together on the field located at 2121 Trumbull Avenue, the social turmoil surrounding the ‘67 riots was for awhile at least set aside to let all the emotional unrest settle a bit.  The ills of the times were dampened just enough through distraction to allow the social bonding force of my favorite sport baseball to bring about and work its magic.  This is why I say baseball at that time was in America the true national game and social pastime.  However, time does change even the game of baseball.  What baseball was, the game back then to an eleven year old kid, isn’t what it has become, will be or how it’s perceived by others in America today.  Even so, I still have my fond memories to cherish of a game called baseball, I love to play.

Words by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

‘Cause gosh, me, I really, really don’t know

As a child, I don’t really remember when I knew I was a shy person, although I do recall when the realization of being that way hit me at full force, the 4th grade.  It was during that time in school when others from teachers to classmates started to comment about my nervous twitches, the constant blinking of my eyes and my chapped lips as “ring around the mouthy.”  Then in that same year, the final ingredient to the formula for this internal dilemma of being shy, I got those ugly black rimmed glasses.  The reason for bringing this up is to set the backdrop for a discussion I’ve had many times with other people.  That discussion centers on the value of children participating in competitive team sports.  How this type of social experience helps them to become cooperative adults, who have come to understand group dynamics well enough to work with others successfully in everyday society.

When discussing this matter at length, I’ve often talked about my experience when playing sports and the positive effect it has had upon me during my adult years of life.  Being shy as a child was absolutely devastating for me.  For awhile I wrestled with its cause by blaming it on the way I was raised under the tutelage of a patriarchal Scottish father.  However, I’ve had to accept that many of my father’s traits thrust upon me as a child have led to my success as a leader in life. Actually as the premise for this discussion, its cause is immaterial and the means that helped me overcome my shyness is far more relevant.

As a shy boy growing up in a small farm community called Freeland located near the thumb of eastern mid-Michigan, my favorite sport to watch and play was baseball. My grandfather was an ardent Detroit Tigers fan and would religiously listen to their games play by play as announced by the legendary Ernie Harwell on the radio.  The day I got to play little league baseball on the ball fields that were a part of the playground belonging to the elementary school in town, was a joy so immense, to this day I find it hard to relate fully to others the feeling.  I showed up for the minors with my worn-out, hand me down glove of which had no back strap to prevent it from flipping off my hand when catching a baseball.

By the next year, I was with the big boys (as I viewed them) in the majors on a team known as the Giants.  Even though I was small at this age in comparison to everyone else, because of my athletic prowess, I got to play first-string in my favorite position called shortstop, highly regarded as the most dynamic defensive position in baseball.  This position on the field is naturally easier for right-handers to play and I was naturally born a left-hander, yet according to the traditions of old, my father made me a right-hander by forcing me to use that hand exclusively.  Ironically, this overly strict methodology became quite advantageous for me through the years.  Its overall effect has made me rather ambidextrous not only in body but in mind as well.  During this first year in the majors, my father bought me a brand new glove.  In the pocket of the glove was written the name of Don Demeter, who played three years on the Tigers in the mid-sixties.  Getting that new glove met so much to me, I used it not only in little league, but all the way through high school ball as well.  As a matter of fact, I still have that glove, which at the time of this writing, would make it about forty-one years old.

When I was out on the ball diamond, playing with my teammates and hearing the cheers of the fans, my shyness seemed to be cured or at least in a remission of sorts.  My nervous twitches, the constant blinking of my eyes and my chapped lips, didn’t appear to matter as much to those around me as it did while attending school.  Out on the baseball diamond, how I performed and played with others was the determining factor more than anything else.  It is there on that field, when you are so entrenched in battle along with your comrades, against the opposing team, all working together as a finely tuned unit, you begin to learn the benefit of participating in competitive team sports.  When you walk off the diamond covered in dirt, grass stains, with scrapes and bruises as a winner or in defeat after giving it your all, you know one thing, you didn’t do it alone.

Even if it was the bottom of the last ending, score tied, two outs, you at bat, a 3-2 count, the last pitch and you hit the game winning home run, guess what you still didn’t win the game all by yourself.  Only a person, who remains an egotistical soul and some do, wouldn’t realize that it was a combined team effort that led you to that unique situation in time.  The adrenaline rush of the team spirit resulting in victory as a whole with a feeling of satisfaction for a job well done can far surpass that of the individual achievement.  Why?  As part of a team you realize, you can’t control all of the variables that come up while playing with others during the game.  As they say, “shit happens,” and in the end, what happened, makes the gaining of the prize, oh so much sweeter.  You learn through the team experience that what you do as an individual no matter if great or in failure has an effect not only on you, but your teammates as well.  As an individual, I have never experienced the lessons found through emotional pain like that felt as part of a team, which gave it their all and still suffered defeat.

In little league, one of the most remembered times I felt the hurt of loss as a team, is when the little league teams of Freeland combined players and went as an all star team to play in Bay City, MI.  We were all so excited and hyped up about playing there in that baseball tournament.  We were so confident we would win and then go all the way to play the Japanese kids in the little league world series.  I was honored to be picked to pitch that game and even though we gave it our best, we were eliminated in a close game.  We were so devastated on the ride home that evening because of thinking we had let our town and ourselves down.  We learned as a team that there are times you get to shine ever so brightly in the rays of the sun.  At other times as a team, we had to learn to lick our wounds hidden under the shadow of the clouds.  We had to stay there to build each other up to mend, until once again we got the opportunity to shine in the sun.

As an individual player involved in team sports, no matter how good you are, to be successful, you have to prove yourself valuable to the team as a whole.  You have to show you can get along with others even if you don’t get everything your way.  You learn when you get knocked down, it’s not happening to you alone and that it’s your team members who help you to get up, clean off the dust and go on. In my case, I especially learned these lessons during my high school years of playing baseball.  I remember my first year on varsity, even though the coach told me I was the better player at the position of shortstop, it was the custom for the senior on the team to play that position.  Well I had to go suck it up and play left field my junior year.

During that year, this same senior while hot-dogging to catch a fly ball hit directly to me in left field, ran into me with his head and knocked both of my front teeth into my mouth.  Due to my teeth being loose, this injury sidelined me for awhile and then I had to suck it up again and go play right field.  Along came my anticipated senior year to redeem myself from the mishaps of the previous year in baseball.  First came football season and as if fate was not going to leave me short-changed as to lessons to be learned, I broke my right hand during practice. Being as competitive as I was, as well as not wanting to let my team down and against my mother’s best wishes, I played the whole season hurting my hand again and again.  Over the winter, my hand seemed to have healed by the time baseball season rolled around.

The 1975, Freeland High School baseball team, is by far the best team I’ve ever played on and the coach was the best I’ve ever played for since.  The main reason for our success was because we were a very close team, like brothers of a family that started for many of us when playing together or against each other in little league baseball.  We knew each other’s strengths, weaknesses and personal traits during the test of competition inside and out.  Our coach for four years had taken a personal interest in each of us and had honed our skills to play the positions we played.  Our skill level as a team was never truly appreciated by most of our other schoolmates at the time.  The previous year, this baseball team from a small school in Michigan made it to the state regional’s and almost to the state finals.  So going into the ‘75 year as a team, our expectations were to finish what we hadn’t did the year before, go to the state finals and win everything.  However my year personally, didn’t workout that well.   My hand that was broke earlier in the year in football started to bother me and affected my swinging the bat.  I don’t remember if I told my teammates about my problem or not, like before, I sucked it up.  As my batting average plunged during the season to a modest 315, I had to refocus my efforts more on my teammates to encourage them to step up their game to fill for my lesser play.  This was an important challenge as to the future development of my true character as an adult.  For me, it was a defining moment in my life to really step up to the plate as a leader.

The lessons of life didn’t at all disappoint, putting me in the most humbling of situations throughout the season as if I was destine to prove my worth in this role as a leader through example.  One of my toughest challenges did arrive in the form of the ultimate sacrifice, literally.  It was during the closing innings of a baseball game in the state district tournament, where elimination for our team seemed forthcoming, I came to bat.  As I stepped to the plate, as usual I looked down the left field line at the coach for a sign and then it happened.  Coach gave me the sign to lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance the base runner.  In the following seconds my thoughts raced back and forth questioning what I was going to do.  In my mind’s eye I could clearly see myself swinging away and hitting a home run making me the hero of the game.  Then the ball was suddenly pitched and in the manner of a leader by example, I put aside personal glory to make the ultimate sacrifice for the team, I laid down the perfect bunt.  The runner advanced and as things worked out, we still lost the game.  Afterwards as we got on the bus to head home, it took all of my self-control to not reveal my disappointment to my fellow teammates.  Especially knowing our season had ended on a bad note and this was the last game I would ever play with my longtime teammates.  Later that year I represented Freeland in a game playing on the area all-star team and that was the last time I played competitively as part of a baseball team.

As the years have passed by the many lessons lived during the experience of participating in competitive team sports has proved time and again invaluable to me in adult life.  No doubt from being thoroughly dowsed in the zeal of the competitive team spirit, is where a shy boy so paralyzed with fear was socially baptized under fire to become well versed in the ways of group dynamics.  I had been adequately prepped to confidently communicate and fully use the skills learned during the trials of competition to become a capable team player in other aspects of life.  Through the experience, I had to learn self control by dealing with the good with the bad, the positive with the negative, the egos with the personality conflicts, etc., more than enough to prepare me for the future.  All to equip me with the proper mindset and forbearance to be able to work well with others to successfully accomplish a purpose.  Without hesitation, I have been able to step up to the plate to take on the role of leader and then like in the past, I’ve been able to do it well by starting with the sacrifice of personal example.

So tell me the critic, what is wrong with a youth acquiring these kinds of social skills while playing competitive team sports?   ‘Cause gosh, me, I really, really don’t know.

Words by    ~Keith Alan Hamilton~


proud to be American

In the year 2002 as a proud, everyday American, I left my career in sales and marketing to better reach my potential by staying home with my computer to act out the role of a wannabe writer/poet.  Don’t ask me why, but after watching for the first time the movie: Paris When It Sizzles, starring William Holden and Audrey Hepburn, I was going to someday be a writer of some sort.  During this period and at least every other Saturday morning at around 6 a.m., I’d meet up with my next door neighbor at the town diner where we lived in Massachusetts.  These meet ups brought back to mind the tradition of my father who in rural Michigan would go to the local coffee shop to socialize with the town folk.

Back then the owner of this diner was in her golden years and yet energetically attempted to do most of the cooking.  On Saturday her daughter would help out, while her son-in-law assisted with the preparation of the food in the backroom of the diner.  Every so often the son-in-law would emerge from the back of the diner with a tray of freshly cleaned whole potatoes and then would place them in front of his mother-in-law to be cut into home fries.  Not on like so many occasions in the past the son-in-law would start to engage the patrons in conversation.  In his expected charismatic manner, he would ask them about their families and lives.

As patrons, we took this son-in-law’s charismatic manner of entertaining us for granted. We viewed him as just one of the everyday folk that made up the culture of our town.  Even though I have not lived in this town all of my life, this uniquely vivacious person has been entertaining me even before I moved to Massachusetts.  When I still lived in Michigan back in the seventies and if you were a baseball fan, especially an ardent Detroit Tiger fan like my grandfather, you would know this player.  In 1976, he had a 2.34 ERA, a 19-9 record and was the American League Rookie of the Year as the pitcher, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych.

To me anyhow, Mark for who he is and all he was, along with his mother-in-law and the patrons of Chet’s Diner represent the potential breadth of our American culture.  Within this small shell of a local landmark, Chet’s Diner, the spirit and breadth of our national culture thrives proudly with its great potential.  Within this place of gathering dwells all the same hopes and dreams, the successes and letdowns, coupled with the strength and the endurance that’s characteristic of the everyday, American people.  Yes that everyday person living out each day with and for family trying to productively contribute to the overall cultural well being of our nation.  In America, our people, our historical figures and heroes are rooted in this everyday kind of folk proudly aspiring to reach their potential in a variety of ways similar or somewhat different than Mark Fidrych.

As I sit here today in 2009 to rewrite this piece of a few years back, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych tragically died in an accident in April of this year.   Although the cutting short of Mark’s life is extremely sad, it is the “how” in the way Mark lived his life that will be remembered and embodies a lot of the reason why I’m proud to be American.  I say this despite the dislike felt by others in the world toward us proud Americans because of the way they perceive the political actions brought forth by our nation’s government.  They outspokenly have a dislike and cast criticism toward our fellow citizens, which includes the honorable service of our brothers and sisters that defend our country for being proud.  This limited and bias view of why Americans are a proud people is unduly misplaced in my opinion and I think mainly due to a lack of understanding about the ideals of our people.  For them to truly know and speak about and then judge proud Americans, they must separate us, the everyday folk or people from the veneer of government and politics.  To do so they must openly walk and experience without the stain of bias the highways and byways that literally breathe the spirit representative of the heart and soul of our nation.  They must have the want and sincerity to truly know the reasons behind we the people as everyday Americans, are so proud.

To my fellow everyday Americans, I can only say I’m still proud to be American.  My saying this is not some emotional and unfounded reaction that’s in denial of past and recent events surrounding our country. I have freely and openly walked and experienced the highways and byways that literally breathe a spirit representative of the heart and soul of our nation.  It is because I am free filled with liberty that I am able to be fully aware of and appreciate the type of people that make up the American cultural landscape.  I know many of us are fully aware of the responsibility associated with the actions of our government and don’t shirk or take flippantly our responsibility as a citizen.  We stay active as citizens, even if we don’t fully agree with our past and/or current governmental actions as a nation. I know despite our feelings or wants and opinions, we through republic representation do suffer limitations.  Limitations as to our influence on those or our ability to control those that are elected into office, as well as the electoral process in selecting which administration should lead our government.  I also know from personal observation and cooperative experience that we are a concerned, caring, loving and generous people.  As humanitarians we take the lead not only amongst our own people, but throughout the world as well.

No matter our perceived shortcomings as a nation, it is our commonality as everyday folk or people that makes our nation something to be proud of and what it is today.  As well as being the very backbone of what gives us the strength and the endurance to be what we can be proud of in the future.  As long as we keep trying to proudly reach our full human potential, we can overcome any obstacle placed before us.  Others as a part of human nature will continually try to make us feel guilty about our actions and the setbacks we may suffer.  We are no doubt fully aware of the misery we the people inflicted on others during the founding of our nation to acquire such a hope as freedom and liberty for our family. We also know full well what we as a people have had to do to preserve and sustain our hopes and dreams since the beginning of our country.  The humbling reality of it all, well as I was raised and so taught, is that Americans have had to be a proud people.  This is due to our struggle to survive, to do whatever it takes to save our family in the past and over the years as a people predisposed with a disposition from once having to flee servitude and oppression.  We the people once the commoners, the everyday folk have come to know all too well within the struggle to pursue our ideals, hopes, and dreams, the frailty and shortcomings of our humanity; thereafter being revealed on to us as a people as our lessons to be learned resultant from our actions.  America tends to be looked upon as “the” sole superpower in the world, as the one to be blamed if lacking in example.  We the everyday folk or people have somehow in the minds of others, appear to be technologically advanced, successful, materially prosperous and therefore deemed with the stature of omnipotent/omnipresent.

The reality of it all when we get right down to it is Americans as our history of acts reveal are not much different in many ways than any other human being or nation trying day in and day out to go on and survive.  It is within the struggle for our humanity as a nation and the principles as a country for which we measure ourselves daily, is why I’m proud, as we say to be American.  In the light of such expectations and in all humility, as a citizen of my country I’m fully aware that Americans as a collective nation fall short of the expectations we’ve set before ourselves.  We the people, that everyday American have the same right to be proud of our cultural style and manner, as any other nation or people have a right to be proud or not of their own cultural style and manner.  America, whether some superpower or not.  No matter if made up of everyday humans, folk or people full of imperfections. Daily to me anyhow, the spirit and breadth of our national culture that thrives proudly with its great potential, is found to be encapsulated in the small shell of Chet’s Diner if one cares without bias to find it there.  It is those like Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, who in life and death reminds me of why I’m proud to be American and why I’m so inspired to write about it and defend the merits of it.

“I’m proud to be American because I have walked and experienced the highways and byways that literally breathe the spirit representative of the heart and soul of my nation; for all those who dislike me for being a proud American, you’ll have to learn to live with it or try to truly know the reasons behind we the people as everyday Americans, are so proud.”


Words by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

We as Individuals for a Democracy on a Global Scale

“We as Individuals,” amidst the many on planet earth have voluntarily come together without coercion regarding this declaration of independence for a Democracy on a Global Scale. We are Individuals of the same viewpoint, if the HUMAN-KIND is going to survive drastically disruptive earth change – the most viable option for success would be independence through a Global Democracy (a collectivity of cooperative individuals). The words herein are directed to all people individually, regardless of a person’s present allegiance to a particular collective society, nation, culture, group, way of belief or economic status; all words that follow, will only be deemed final related to the purpose pertaining to the pursuance and eventual establishment of our collectivity of cooperative individuals for a Global Democracy and its basic precepts of organization.

It is foremost as this emerging collectivity of cooperative individuals, “We as Individuals” are a people fully acknowledged to be INDIVIDUALS; individuals who have voluntarily and mutually agreed on a democratic structure of oversight and rules of order. Such oversight would be administratively sworn to uphold the ideal of liberty and its noble expectation concerning human rights for all people as Individuals; wherefore, while in the pursuance and eventual establishment of a Global Democracy, each individual shall experience fully without encumbrance the same rights associated with personal choice, freedom, equality, justice, well-being and “self” responsibility. And furthermore “We as Individuals” mutually agree that our ideal of liberty in congruence with Global Democracy will be placed to the forefront of our allegiance and therein remain to assure its rational and intelligent progression.

Until a viable alternative is found, a democratic election process for a representative administration of oversight, a body made up of Individuals, will be utilized; although, in a specifically defined and limited capacity with checks and balances in accordance with rules of order. This representative administration of oversight must judiciously regulate the distribution of all mutually agreed upon rules of order throughout the collectivity of cooperative individuals – no matter what participating collective society, nation, group, way of belief or economic status these individuals freely have chosen to live under without coersion. Regardless – the rules of order this Global Democracy will choose to operate under – even if amended or any unforeseeable condition befalling our people, despite any influences by a majority or a minority inside or outside this collectivity of cooperative individuals, the primary tenet for rules of order will not change. The  representative administration of oversight will above all else preserve and even defend from harm if appropriate, the sole rights afforded each and every individual as it relates to the ideal of liberty that organized this union as a Global Democracy.

Liberty is the spirit bringing “We as Individuals” together; it is the blood nourishing our allegiance as a collectivity of cooperative individuals; it is the life breath that will sustain the soul of our people by encouraging their individual “self” growth to be one that’s voluntary in manner.  Liberty nurtured in an intelligently progressive way through each individual shall hopefully lead to a diverse and rich ethnicity within our people; even though such a rich diversity of individualism will be advantageous, it may also cause complexity and many perplexing situations that will test our ideal of liberty to the fullest. Quite possibly at that time, “We as Individuals” will more fully understand this ideal of liberty and will utilize the “self” discernment obtained from living the freedoms and choices of its experience.  If so, “We as Individuals” may be able to create and then contribute the novel alternatives necessary, which will continue our progression intelligently as a collectivity of cooperative individuals and sustain its overall existence as a Global Democracy.

The expectation inherent in this declaration requesting others to make allowance for concerning our voluntary independence as a collective cooperative of individuals; we as a collectivity of cooperative individuals, as a Global Democracy will also honor the same and make allowance for regarding any other collective cooperative of individuals not similar to our own.  Any relationship our collectivity of cooperative individuals as a Democracy cultivates with another will be centered on a reasonable amount of “self” contribution by each party involved; furthermore, we will withdraw from any relationship incurring an over-reliance of one party upon the other or any party being placed in the role of liberator in relation to another.  Our collectivity of cooperative individuals desires as much as possible a free exchange with other individuals that comprise a collective cooperative by staying open to an array of philosophies and opinions within the communication process; hopefully, these relationships built on this type of premise, will lead to a mutual progression intelligently for all concerned as to “self” growth, “self” efficiency and “self” preservation.

As before mentioned, all words herein stated, will only be deemed final related to the purpose pertaining to the establishment of our collectivity of cooperative individuals as a Democracy and its basic precepts of organization.  Regardless of whether other individuals and/or any other collective cooperative of individuals acknowledge or validate, find deficiency within or doubt the realization of the intent related to this declaration for independence; “We as Individuals,” will not be deterred in accordance with our voluntary ideal of liberty, which compels us together as a collectivity of cooperative individuals as a Democracy.

just saying…..
peace out

Artistic Prose by    ~Keith Alan Hamilton~
Rev. 5-8-2022

Giving Honor & Respect

Recently I visited the gravesite of my lifelong friend James Lee Hargreaves.  Jimmy had passed away in June of this year and three months later, Jim’s headstone was still 8 weeks away from being placed at his grave.  Being the sentimental artist type that I am, I wanted to place something on the head of the grave until the headstone arrived.  However, I want to explain the main reason why I visited Jimmy’s gravesite so soon (at least for some) after his passing.

The picture included in this blog post illustrates what I placed at the gravesite.  One aspect of my artistry is to combine a photographic image with poetic words to enhance the significance of the creative experience as it was preserved in time by the artist (I call this art Images with Words).  The events that led to this type of artistic presentation are as follows: in 2010 I was working with the flash flip-book technology to create an electronic memory book of my recent 35 year high school reunion.  I was combining words with images in the flip-book format of the 35th reunion and past reunions to be sent to my classmates on a CD.  Also during this period I went to an Ansel Adam exhibit at the MFA in Boston, Massachusetts.  While at the exhibit I noticed Adams had done a few photography books with the words of poets during his era.  I thought wow; Ansel would have loved messing around with this new flip-book technology to present his photography to the public.  Then I thought to myself, why can’t I do this type of artistic presentation?

Fortunately, I had developed a network of relationships with fellow artists through a group I started on Facebook.  I chose to collaborate with two of what I think are world class photographers in the present day, Pd Lietz from Manitoba, Canada and Regina Walker from NYC.  I wrote the poetry to go with the photographic images they provided. Regina at the time was experimenting with Smartphone photography and her work is exhibited at the Ceres Gallery in NYC.  Pd’s art has been featured on so many magazine covers around the world to numerous for me to write an exact number.  My experience of creating with them, especially Regina who has become my mentor, I have picked up my Smartphone as a photographer to combine words with images all my own.

Why did I go into all of this detail to explain the main reason why I visited Jimmy’s gravesite so soon (at least for some) after his passing?  I wanted to illustrate the perceived magnitude and value given to the artifact I placed at the head of the grave belonging to one of my dearest friends in life.  It is the best I can humanly give to bring honor to the life lived by one of the greatest humans to walk the face of this earth, James Lee Hargreaves.  No matter where Jim in spirit is now believed to be, my belief for going to the gravesite of a loved one is to show honor and give respect for the life that loved one lived.  It also allows the living left behind by that loved one to eventually heal from such a loss.

Side note: while placing my artistic creation at the gravesite it started to rain hard.  With a smile on my face, I looked up to the heavens as water bounced off my glasses and said, “geez, thanks buddy.”  Only a heavenly reflection of Jim’s past earthly sense of humor.  The little bird in the picture was previously left at the gravesite by Jim and Roberta’s dear friend Bobby.  Roberta is Jim’s first wife and another one of my dearest lifelong friends who accompanied me on that day to the grave.

Image & Prose by   ~Keith Alan Hamilton~

Artifact: dancing with the angels ~ dedicated to James Lee Hargreaves