[Page One Hundred and Thirty-Eight]



  • Windows 95 CDs

    Note: I'm surprised these weren't illegal. They are of German/American origin. I guess you could get this and pretend you were a hacker? I used to play Diablo online back in the day. There were lots of cheaters/hackers. They could make their characters invincible and give them hacked super weapons. But outside the game, in the many chat rooms, was where the real action was. The guilds of people were always at war and trying to gain access to the various chat rooms. People would use programs to freeze your computer, sever your internet connection, even shut your computer off. They would ICQ (an old message program) bomb people, sending thousands of messages at once. They would hack each other's guild websites, usually putting up some gay pornography and the like. Etc., etc.

    But I have to admit it was pretty damn fun. There was a lot of drama, but a lot of camraderie as well. It was war, but most of us didn't take it too seriously. Anyway, that's what these CDs remind me of. Those golden days of the internet in the 1990s. The digital wild west. The internet was nothing like it is today. You could surf for hours and discover all sorts of strange and interesting web sites. It was before 'smart phones' brought herds of idiots to the internet.

    [Above: CD case reverse.]

    [Above: CD]

    [Above: Hackerz Kronicklez - The Guide to the Underground. This one makes the first CD look tame. It has over 6,000 viruses ready to infect the world. I wonder if the Corona virus is on here? Man there is a lot of odd things on here... from Gameboy emulators to the Anarchist Cookbook.]

    [Above: Inside. It mentions Netscape. Back in the day your choice of browsers were Internet Explorer or Netscape.]

    [Above: CD case reverse]

    [Above: CD tray - is that Bill Gates?]

    [Above: CD]

    Faded Beauty of Yesterday


  • Fans

    Note: I thought you might enjoy seeing these old fans and a few other paper things I uncovered. There was so much more beauty yesterday than these dark and ugly times... I'd like to say I was born in the wrong times, but that would be wrong, I was born in the exact right times, born to fight these monsters who have declared war on all of us.

    [Above: Fan.]

    [Above: Fan.]

    [Above: Fan.]

    [Above: This is a cardboard box, about twelve inches long, by about 4 inches wide. I'm not sure what it was for.]

    [Above: Matches.]

    [Above: Very old playing card.]

    [Above: Another playing card, no where near as old as the other one.]

    [Above: An old phonograph record catalog for 1922.]

    [Above: Back of catalog.]

    [Above: Another catalog.]

    [Above: This is a large tile, not old but still neat.]

    Coffin Plate


  • A long way from home

    Note: These are coffin plates from 1871 and 1875 from the same family (I've edited out their last name from the plates for privacy). Apparently back in the day they would make these elaborate plates and display them on the coffin during the funeral, and later a family member would take them home. They were made out of many materials, and depending on how much money you were willing to spend, you could have them done in wood or precious metals (these are either silver or silver plated).
    I was wandering the countryside one day and passed an old country antique store off the highway. It was one I stopped in at once in a great while, so I decided to stop that day. There they were, the coffin plates, and they weren't too expensive, and they were odd and kind of morbid, which satiated my dark and twisted tastes! :)

    I researched the names of the dead and after a few evenings surprisingly found a lot of information about the family... in fact, I found a living relative on one of those genealogy sites! I emailed her and wow, it was like the great-great niece of the dead people from the plates. The person no doubt thought I was trying to scam her or something and was cautious at first. But we talked for a while and I sent her pictures. She was beyond thrilled and amazed that I found her. More so, amazed that a stranger would care enough to take the time and money to do something like this. I'm strange I guess.

    But anyway, she was in a different state here in the USA, pretty far away actually. We talked about how in the hell the coffin plates got here, so many miles away. I called the antique store and told them about everything I was doing, and they LOVED the whole story. They were very helpful in contacting the seller of the coffin plates and asking them where they got them from. Well it turned out they got them from across the country way down south! Wow. They've traveled the country in the 135 years or so after they were made.

    I mounted them on a nice wood background plaque and sent them to her (for free of course). It turns out they were about to have a huge family reunion and the direct great-great-great grandson was going to be there! She excitedly told me she was going to present them to him. The whole family was overjoyed and amazed. They sent me pictures of the great-great-great grandson holding them and everything. It was perfect and very cool. It was fun.

    [Above: They sent me a picture of the great-great-great grandson at the reunion holding the plaques!]

    There were other times I've done crazy stuff like this. One time an old relative died and in there dark and spider-filled basement I found an old photo album. Inside the album was a lock of a baby's hair, tons of pictures, and a birth certificate. I looked up the name and found the father of the baby. It turned out he got divorced and the wife, some thirty years before, had lost all of her belongings from not paying a storage unit fee. My relative ended up buying stuff from that storage unit at an auction... and the photo album was in it.
    Well, it turned out that the baby was now in her thirties and was pregnant with her first baby. She was so excited. And get this, she had zero photos of herself as a baby! They were so happy. And the weird and ironic part: the father lived only about three blocks from me. Needless to say he rushed over and picked up the album.

    There are other times I've done this sort of thing too. One time I found an old black and white photo album. It had very cool professional photos of a baby and a beautiful woman. The pictures were so cool and beautiful you could hang them on your wall. On the back of one of the pictures was the woman's full name. There was nothing on the internet. So I called every person in the phone book with that last name and finally found her cousin!!! It turned out she was dead. But she was very special to him. He himself was very old, and told me how incredible it was that I had found him, and that he had not seen his deceased cousin in many years. He called up his family and they all excitedly made plans to get together to look at the book of pictures. When I dropped the pictures off at the old guy's house he was on the verge of tears. He called me an angel. It was nice. Anyway... thanks for listening.



  • A time of hope and magic

    Note: Here is an old letter from July 14, 1939 to Laguna Beach, California, from Germany (Allmannshausen in Upper Bavaria.). It has quaint little drawings, including a podium and a swastika. She describes a coming event:

    'Sunday we shall have to go to Munich for the day of German art. It will be a very big march.
    We have place for [...] The Fόhrer will also be there. You imagine what a joy they all have here.'

    Blood and madness


  • A recent email yielded these beauties

    Note: Some anonymous person sent me these via email. Wow, it's hard to comment on such insanity. This is actually more common than you may think. It is called Self Harm. Here's a quote from a crisis website:

    Self-harm can manifest differently for everyone. And, the ways people may self-harm extend far beyond the usual references to cutting in media.
    Simply, self-harm is anything and everything someone can do to purposely hurt their body.

    Here are some of the most common types of self-injury:

    Carving words or symbols into the skin
    Hitting or punching oneself (including banging one’s head or other body parts against another surface)
    Piercing the skin with sharp objects such as hairpins
    Pulling out hair
    Picking at existing wounds

    It reminds one of Albert Fish. When he was arrested they found many needles that he had inserted inside his groin (picture below).

    [Above: X-ray of the pelvis of Albert Fish.]

    'What a thrill that will be if I have to die in the electric chair. It will be the supreme thrill. The only one I haven't tried.'
    --Albert Fish

    Below is a letter from November 1934, sent by Fish to the mother of a ten year child he had murdered. This is the unaltered letter (complete with Fish's misspellings and grammatical errors):

    ' My dear Mrs Budd, In 1894 a friend of mine shipped as a deck hand on the steamer Tacoma, Capt John Davis.
    They sailed from San Francisco to Hong Kong China. On arriving there he and two others went ashore and got drunk.
    When they returned the boat was gone. At that time there was a famine in China. Meat of any kind was from $1 to 3 Dollars a pound.
    So great was the suffering among the very poor that all children under 12 were sold to the Butchers to be cut up and sold for food in order to keep others from starving.
    A boy or girl under 14 was not safe in the street. You could go in any shop and ask for steak – chops – or stew meat.
    Part of the naked body of a boy or girl would be brought out and just what you wanted cut from it.
    A boy or girls behind which is the sweetest part of the body and sold as veal cutlet brought the highest price. John staid there so long he acquired a taste for human flesh.
    On his return to N.Y. he stole two boys one 7 one 11. Took them to his home stripped them naked tied them in a closet then burned everything they had on.
    Several times every day and night he spanked them – tortured them – to make their meat good and tender. First he killed the 11 yr old boy, because he had the fattest ass and of course the most meat on it.
    Every part of his body was cooked and eaten except Head – bones and guts. He was roasted in the oven, (all of his ass) boiled, broiled, fried, stewed.
    The little boy was next, went the same way. At that time I was living at 409 E 100 St, rear – right side. He told me so often how good human flesh was I made up my mind to taste it.
    On Sunday June the 3 – 1928 I called on you at 406 W 15 St. Brought you pot cheese – strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat in my lap and kissed me.
    I made up my mind to eat her, on the pretense of taking her to a party. You said Yes she could go. I took her to an empty house in Westchester I had already picked out.
    When we got there, I told her to remain outside. She picked wild flowers. I went upstairs and stripped all my clothes off.
    I knew if I did not I would get her blood on them. When all was ready I went to the window and called her. Then I hid in a closet until she was in the room.
    When she saw me all naked she began to cry and tried to run down stairs. I grabbed her and she said she would tell her mama.
    First I stripped her naked. How she did kick – bite and scratch. I choked her to death then cut her in small pieces so I could take my meat to my rooms, cook and eat it.
    How sweet and tender her little ass was roasted in the oven. It took me 9 days to eat her entire body.
    I did not fuck her, though, I could of [sic] had I wished. She died a virgin.'

    [Above: Albert Fish was executed by electric chair on January 16, 1936.]

    Here is a letter Fish wrote his attorney involving the murder of another child (again complete with Fish's misspellings and grammatical errors):

    'I brought him to the Riker Ave. dumps. There is a house that stands alone, not far from where I took him ...
    I took the G boy there. Stripped him naked and tied his hands and feet and gagged him with a piece of dirty rag I picked out of the dump. Then I burned his clothes.
    Threw his shoes in the dump. Then I walked back and took trolley to 59 St. at 2 A.M. and walked home from there. Next day about 2 P.M., I took tools,
    a good heavy cat-of-nine tails. Home made. Short handle. Cut one of my belts in half, slit these half in six strips about 8 in. long.
    I whipped his bare behind till the blood ran from his legs. I cut off his ears – nose – slit his mouth from ear to ear. Gouged out his eyes.
    He was dead then. I stuck the knife in his belly and held my mouth to his body and drank his blood. I picked up four old potato sacks and gathered a pile of stones.
    Then I cut him up. I had a grip with me. I put his nose, ears and a few slices of his belly in the grip. Then I cut him thru the middle of his body.
    Just below his belly button. Then thru his legs about 2 in. below his behind. I put this in my grip with a lot of paper. I cut off the head – feet – arms – hands and the legs below the knee.
    This I put in sacks weighed with stones, tied the ends and threw them into the pools of slimy water you will see all along the road going to North Beach.
    Water is 3 to 4 ft. deep. They sank at once. I came home with my meat. I had the front of his body I liked best.
    His monkey and pee wees and a nice little fat behind to roast in the oven and eat. I made a stew out of his ears – nose – pieces of his face and belly.
    I put onions, carrots, turnips, celery, salt and pepper. It was good. Then I split the cheeks of his behind open, cut off his monkey and pee wees and washed them first.
    I put strips of bacon on each cheek of his behind and put in the oven. Then I picked 4 onions and when meat had roasted about 1/4 hr.,
    I poured about a pint of water over it for gravy and put in the onions. At frequent intervals I basted his behind with a wooden spoon.
    So the meat would be nice and juicy. In about 2 hr., it was nice and brown, cooked thru. I never ate any roast turkey that tasted half as good as his sweet fat little behind did.
    I ate every bit of the meat in about four days. His little monkey was as sweet as a nut, but his pee-wees I could not chew. Threw them in the toilet.'

    [Above: A different X-ray unrelated to Fish, this person has stuck phonograph needles into himself.]

  • Below are more pictures of mental illness.

    [Above: Ah, now we're getting artistic. Here is a deep and powerful image of a whale.]

    [Below: Why don't I leave you with this... this happened in 2011, some couple took pictures of the female climbing inside a dead horse 'to feel at one with it'. It was in the news... the 21 year old and her boyfriend owned the horse, which was 32 years old, and shot it due to its bad health. Well, at least they wore gloves... haha. Freaky ass world. Kali Yuga.]

    Kali Yuga insanity.

    Haunted Chest


  • Forgotten images

    Note: Where to begin... Some years an aged friend of mine passed away. He lasted till the ripe old age of 91. He was a great man, with what seemed like ten lifetimes of stories. I used to listen to him many evenings as he talked about the way things used to be. He had outlived his wife by decades, outlived all of his siblings, his friends and even some of his children. I used to ask him his secret - how he lived so long - and he told me this:

    'I don't worry about anything. I don't let things get to me. I don't worry about dying. I want to live, but when it's your time to go you'll go. And remember there are always people worse off than you.'

    [Above: Here he is, I think he looks like an old movie star.]

    I was given the trunk with a lot of photos and some odds and ends after he died. I'll share some of it with you in this listing. He would tell me stories about being in the CCC (the Civilian Conservation Corps was a voluntary public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942). You were supposed to be a minimum of 18 years old, well he lied about his age, he was really 16. He didn't look 16, more like mid-20s. Big and square jawed. A handsome guy. He traveled about the United States, building roads, bridges, buildings and much more. He told me about these auctions they would have with pies. Except the pies represented a women who you were going to have sex with. That was his first experience with a woman. During these days in the CCC was also the first time he got drunk. And the last time. Believe it or not he never drank again. He even had a picture of being held up by two guys, so drunk he couldn't walk.

    [Above: Drunk as a skunk. Here he is, as mentioned above, far left.]

    [Above: A large scroll photograph of my friend at the CCC work camp. I marked him for you.]

    Once back home he got in a fight one night with two guys. He ended up winning and kicked their asses. Well a boxing promoter saw the fight and asked him if he would be interested in boxing. He agreed. This was in the 1930s. Apparently he was pretty good, he even fought in Chicago on the under card of the German boxer Max Schmeling. He told me after the fights Schmeling came up to him and said

    'You're a German boy aren't you?'

    He proudly answered 'yes' and shook his hand. Two good German boys in the 1930s. Dangerous. I like it.

    [Above: Here's two photos from his boxing days. What a handsome devil.]

    He had a box, he told me, sometime in the late 1930s, with all his boxing stuff. Well he also had an Irish wife... and she liked to drink. She would get angry while she drank and one night decided to burn all of his beloved boxing stuff. Argh. So I didn't get to see any of that. All of his pictures, records and old gear, medals -- GONE. What a loss.

    He still had the body of a strong man. I'm not kidding you. Even at 91 years old, he still was built looking. Lean and strong. He told me a boxer never loses his punch. Everything else was stolen by age, but the punch, it never left. Whether that is true or not I'm not sure.

    He told me about his work during WWII at a bomber plant. That was where he met his second and final wife. He loved her more than anything. He had five children. He told me about his house and that when he bought it the street didn't even have street lights. He would walk a few miles home every night from work in the dark. One night he was walking along and 'BOOM'! He gets hit right in his face. HARD. He gets a black eye. He thinks someone hit him. But it turned out to be a pole he walked right into in the dark!

    [Above: My friend during the CCC days. 16-17 years old!]

    He had the oldest house for miles. In the old days all around the house was farmland. He even showed me the old deeds. There were records starting in the 1880s recording everyone who bought and sold the house. It was an interesting book with maps of the old land and other information.

    His old house was large and run down. It was once beautiful. I saw pictures of the old days when he was younger and could keep up the property. It was like a fairy tale beautiful old house surrounded by thousands of blooming flowers and nature of all kinds. Rock covered pathways led through the trees to other parts of the yard. One side was a pet cemetery. He told me even chickens were buried there, from the old days. But it was mostly cats and lots of dogs. In some places I could see black plastic coming through the dirt. I asked him what it was and he told me, kinda grimly, those were the bags the pets were buried in. Through time the dirt eroded and began to bring them back up... kind of grisly, eh?

    And the house itself was an odd, old place. And he had some rather frightening stories of the house being haunted. He told me some stories that were genuinely eerie, not to mention freaky as hell and well, I'll admit, scary!

    He showed me a place on the house, at the side of stone stairs, where every dog he ever had (he loved dogs and was never without at least one) scratched and clawed at this particular spot. It was just cement. He told me sometimes the dogs would claw it until their paws bled. Eerie...

    [Above: An unknown woman from the trunk.]

    He told me dozens and dozens of instances of strange things. Like boot prints in the snow starting in the middle of the yard and then ending suddenly in the middle of the snow? Okay that's strange. He told me they would sometimes find blood in the snow. The whole family experienced this haunting and I eventually got to hear more of their stories too.

    I even got to experience something for myself while sitting in the house. How to explain this... we would sit in his kitchen at his table, and it had a view of the front door and a big window leading to it. Sitting there one evening I caught something out of the corner of my eye. Someone walked by the window and was going to be knocking on the door any second. Except I got up and walked to the door and no one was there. I'd swear I saw someone walk by that window to the door. Well, it turned out this was a common occurrence. Very strange.

    I'll tell you a very freaky, rather frightening story. Some of his stories went back decades, but this one was only from a few years ago. Okay, the set up of his bedroom... it had two doors leading into it, one was from the living room and the other was connected to a bathroom, which then connected to the kitchen.

    Well one night he was laying in bed trying to sleep, alone in the house. He had two small dogs which he would put in the bathroom at night. As he lay there in the darkness he heard faint talking... It sounded like a deep gravelly voice, but muffled. He couldn't make it out, so he sat up in bed and listened closer...

    It sounded like it was coming from inside his house!!!

    Coming from the direction of the bathroom/kitchen door. He got out of bed and walked over to the door. Since the electricity didn't work in his bedroom he used a flashlight. I know, that makes it even creepier. But he didn't turn it on yet, he just silently walked over to the door.

    He could hear two voices behind the door... gruff, deep and low voices talking to each other, but he couldn't make out what they were saying. If someone is in there why aren't the dogs barking? Hmm...

    Then he heard it...

    The voice was louder now.



    The voice called him by his name and told him to open the door!!!

    Being the stubborn old guy that he is, guess what he did? Yep, he opened the door!!!

    And what does he see. His two dogs are sitting right in front of the door looking up at him.

    Nothing else was there.

    And get this: one of his dogs, a pug, he told me he got the feeling it was him talking!!! Something talking through it... fucking creepy.

    [Above: A spooky looking picture from the trunk. Click on it to see more.]

    Okay, another story.

    First let me tell you about his basement. It had stone, rough cut stairs leading down. It looked like something from medieval times. Dungeon-like. The basement was spooky. Full of cobwebs and old discarded stuff. The basement was shaped like a 'U'. It started in one end and halfway through the 'U' was a door. Beyond the door was an old furnace room, more spiders and old stuff, and eventually, at the end of the 'U', was an old fruit cellar. It still even had a few forgotten old pale blue canning jars on the spider web-encrusted shelf. One of the jars was dated back in the early 1980s. Fruit from a long forgotten summer. Canned by a long dead human hand.

    But back to our tale. Back to the 'U'. Down the medieval stairs and half way through the 'U' were a washer and dryer. One day he was down there bending over taking clothes out of the dryer. Suddenly, he feels a tap on his shoulder. He looks up to see someone run into the door halfway through the 'U', leading to the fruit cellar!!! He said it looked like a women in an old fashioned dress. Well, crazy ass hell, he walked back there after her.

    No one was there. C R E E P Y.

    [Above: An old World War One picture I found in the trunk. It is a rather ominous picture of the side of a German tank. You can see the Iron Cross painted on the side.]

    His family also experienced a lot of supernatural things. A few of them rather horrific. Before his wife died she was sick and slept in her own room. One night she woke up to someone touching her and saw someone standing right beside her... she looked up and saw that it was her husband, Fred... except he had an evil look on his face... and also a look of 'let's have sex'... she said she knew that look, even though they hadn't had sex in decades. She and her husband hadn't been getting along, so she balled her fist and lightly punched out at his stomach... her hand passed right through him! He then walked out of the room. She died shortly after this.

    His wife had a dog, the same dog that was 'talking' in an earlier story. She loved the dog with all her heart. It's name was Gloria. After she died Fred came home one evening to find that the dog was gone. It didn't greet him at the door like usual. He called out for it. Nothing. So he searched the house... nothing. It was gone. What the...?

    So he sat there and tried to rationalize what could have happened to it? It was crazy. There was no way the dog could have got out of his locked house. So what the hell? Well there was one place he hadn't looked. One room. His wife's room. He hadn't gone in the room for months, since she died. It was exactly how she had left it. So he walked up the creaking old stairs and to the old brown wooden door of his wife's room. He knew there was no way the dog could be in there. But he still had to check. So he opened the door and what do you think he found? Gloria, the dog, standing in his wife's room!!! Very creepy.

    [Above: Wow, this is creepy. Another World War One picture. What in the hell could this be? You can see a boot, a gun stock and even a British helmet amongst the bones and skulls.]

    Another story is from his daughter and grandson. This is the earliest story so far, tracing back to when Fred still had his grown daughter living with him. Well, the daughter and his grandson were coming home late one evening. Her father was gone from the house and no one else was in the house. The house had a large steel gate around the property, which was about an acre. They parked the car right outside the gate and walked up to the entrance of the property.

    There was blood everywhere on the gate. I mean EVERYWHERE. They continued onto the property and saw that the blood was all over the stone trail that led up to the house. They almost expected someone dead on the porch of the house. She said though 'someone must have had a terrible car accident and stumbled up to the door looking for help.' There was blood leading up the stairs and onto the porch of the house. There were even drips of blood all over the door and on the doorknob...

    The door was locked but they walked into the dark house with a measure of fear... but the house was normal. The next day she carefully watched the news on television. No car accidents. No shootings. She never found out what had left all the blood.

    [Above: Shit, another creepy picture from World War One. These are so strange, I'd love to know the story behind them. I've never seen anything like this from WWI. How was this soldier allowed to just rot away, in full uniform. Why wasn't he buried?]

    One time I saw blood on the property with my own eyes. It was winter and I was walked out to the old pet cemetery in back of the house. Before I got there I saw blood drips and boot prints, like heavy, large work boot prints, in the snow. It was out in the middle of the yard. Like someone just appeared and walked six steps, dripping blood, and then disappeared. There were no prints leading up to it. The snow was untouched for maybe a hundred feet and then suddenly the blood and prints. Impossible. Yet it was...

    As I already mentioned, the house had beautiful gardens of flowers and plants of all kinds in the early days. One time our man of the story and his daughter and her boyfriend were outside working on the yard. Eventually the boyfriend had to urinate so he went into the house. While he was doing his business he heard someone stomp fast and hard down the stairs. It scared him at first and surprised him. One of those outside must have followed him inside and went up the stairs for something...

    When he got back outside he asked 'Did one of you just go upstairs? They told him that they hadn't! Then who the hell just ran down the stairs?!

    [Above: Wow what in the hell is this?? Naked bodies... it looks like the pictures from WW2 they've shoved down our throats. I've never seen this kind of thing from WWI, ever. What the hell could this be?]

    There was another time that the old wife and one of her daughters were alone in the house, sitting in the living room watching television when a very loud dragging noise came from upstairs. They said it sounded like a heavy piece of furniture being dragged across a room. They sat there scared waiting for something else...

    A short time after the daughter who lived there got home. Her bedroom was upstairs, where the noise came from. They didn't tell her of the noise! So she went upstairs to her room, not knowing what had just happened (if they had told her she never would have went up there! Yeah it was a dirty trick). Nothing was out of order. No furniture had been dragged. This would happen several more times in their lives. Loud banging or dragging from upstairs.

    The daughter had an attic trapdoor in the ceiling of her closet. She sometimes would hear strange noises in the night from the attic. The attic trapdoor was just a wooden board on the ceiling in the closet. It had a wooden trim and was painted. If you moved it you could see the old paint on the edges. When they painted they didn't paint the whole board, just what was showing. So if you moved the loose board you could see the part on the edges not painted. Well sometimes she would hear noises up there, like someone walking across the attic. Sometimes she would check the attic entrance to see it had moved. She would know this because the old paint was showing. Freaky. I'd have put damn padlocks on it!

    Let's see, what else is there...?

    Here's one of the creepiest ones... One night Fred was laying in bed watching TV like he usually did. The lights were all off and it was around 11:00 when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye... He sat up and tried to focus his eyes on what he saw...

    It was a form of a man bent over facing the opposite wall. He said he was moving his arms and it looked like he was going through clothes that were piled near the wall. As he watched this the man slowly faded away.

    Holy shit. I would have run out of there so fast. But he just went to sleep. Some... shadowy figure frantically going through my clothes in the dark... Oh my god.

  • Here are some other photos I found interesting and thought you might like to see. There were hundreds and hundreds of photos in the old trunk. Here are a few of them...

    [Above: Here is another photo scroll of his days in the CCC.]

    [Above: Here's a picture of some of the boys in the CCC. Check out the studs on their shoes!]

    [Above: Here is a picture of the camp barracks.]

    [Above: The CCC boys carving out America.]

    [Above: Real men, unlike the pansies of today.]

    [Above: A CCC camp called 'Camp Devils Den'. It also says 'Hells Angels' on it! ]

    [Above: A handsome devil. This was around the time of his boxing days.]

    [Above: Side view.]

    [Above: Not sure about this one, but it is a pretty cool look into those days.]

    [Above: This is Fred's father and maybe his mother. He was from Germany. Check out that cool chair.]

    [Above: I don't know who this was... but she is a cutie!]

    [Above: There's Fred in the middle, the youngest. He would outlive all of those in the picture, not to mention the person taking this photo. Shit, probably everyone on the block too!]

    [Above: This is his brother (on the left) and his father. His brother would become a professional photographer and even have his own studio. A lot of the photos in the trunk were in fact developed in his brother's studio.]

    [Above: Some of his brothers and sister.]

    [Above: Wow, some real men working on the railroad. These guys are so cool-looking and strong. If they could see what has happened to their country...]

    [Above: The baby is our man Fred. That's his brother Alfred, who would later fight in WW2 in the Pacific.]

    [Above: Wow check out this bar. That's his dad on the far right.]

    [Above: I think this is his sister.]

    [Above: A family shot. Once again he is the baby. Check out his pretty sister in the back middle.]

    [Above: Our man yawning on his dad's lap.]

    [Above: Still on his dad's lap. His sister in the back left looks so pretty!!! I like the way his dad looked too, rugged and serious and there always seemed to be a hint of sadness on his face. He tragically died shortly after these pictures... he went to Chicago to look for work and a car jumped a curb and killed him. The family must have been devastated.]

    [Above: Here's a colorized picture. Fred's wife actually worked at a studio colorizing photos. It was a big thing back then.]

    [Above: I found this photo on the bottom of the chest. Wow. Time had nearly destroyed it, but I saved it and put it on the internet for the world to see. This is his grandma and grandpa.]

    [Above: CCC camp 'Devils Den' newsletter.]

    [Above: CCC camp 'Devils Den' newsletter, reverse.]

    [Above: CCC camp 'Devils Den' publication.]

    [Above: CCC camp 'Devils Den' safety bulletin.]

    [Above: CCC discharge paper, front.]

    [Above: CCC discharge paper, reverse.]

    [Above: Envelope sent to the CCC, January 1935. The postage stamp and the advertising stamp seen here are not the NRA (National Rifle Association) known today, but the 'National Recovery Administration'. This NRA was an agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. The goal of the administration was 'to eliminate "cut throat competition" by bringing industry, labor, and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices.']

    [Above: Letter from a friend writing from home, November 1933.]

    [Above: Letter from a friend in the CCC, January 1935.]

    [Above: There were various old things in the trunk as well. Here are a handful of trinkets. That weird thing on the top right is a lighter and a mechanical pencil.]

    But... that's not the end of the story. My friend Fred died at 91 years old. He died of natural causes one evening. I saw him up at the hospital the day before he left us. He was alert and talking on the phone when I arrived to see him. He was happy and gave me a hug. I hadn't seen him in some months. I guess I had been busy with life and Mourning the Ancient. We talked about what we were going to do when he got out of there. It made him happy that I was back from my little disappearance.

    I learned from his daughter that he had signed a 'Do not resuscitate' at the hospital. That meant if his heart stopped they would not try to bring him back with CPR. It surprised me because he loved life more than just about anyone I had ever met. He had had many heart attacks, had a pace maker and heart stints and had survived it all.

    It made me really sad because the next day after my visit I was told he decided to change his 'Do not resuscitate'. He wanted to live now. He had been so lonely those last months during my hiatus and when he found out I was back and we made plans it changed his outlook.

    His appearance had really declined in those last few months. Age had really caught up with him. He looked like skin on bones. But he was still lively. His golden spirit still shined. As it did until the end. I went to the hospital the night he died... but I was too late. I entered the room and a nurse sitting outside his room whispered to me 'You know what happened?' Has someone told you?'

    Well I had just talked to one of Fred's family members and they told me he wasn't doing good. So I answered 'yes' and went into the room.

    I wasn't expecting what I saw. My friend, Fred, laying on a hospital bed, dead. One of his family members was standing back from the bed silently... He still had all of his I.V.s in his arms. His heart had finally stopped. That powerful, golden heart that had beaten without fail since 1917. That yawning little baby in his father's arms... gone. Just like that. He had outlived his entire immediate family. Outlived all of his friends. He lay silent by the window of the hospital room.

    I loved him more than my own family that had died. More than my grandmother when she died. He loved me like a daughter and more. He had wanted to leave me in his will. He went to his lawyer one day and left me everything. His house. Car. Savings. 91 years of belongings...

    I told him no. I didn't want it. I made him change the will back to his surviving children.

    So there he laid. They told me when his heart stopped they did CPR chest compressions for twenty minutes on him. But he was gone.

    I fought back my tears and just stood in the doorway for a few long minutes. I couldn't stay in that hospital room so I left and went on a long night drive.

    That was it. The end. Or was it?

    No, remarkably it wasn't. Fred and I had talked about death many times over the years. We made a deal that whoever dies first would send a sign to the person still living. I reminded him of our deal numerous times over the years.

    That night after driving around for a while I came home and thought about things. A few hours went by and eventually I went into my kitchen for something. I saw in the semi-darkness a blinking red light. It was the light of my answering machine. It meant that there was a message. I thought 'well that is weird'. I had used the phone since I got home and there were no messages. I didn't hear the phone ring... hmm...

    I pressed play on the answering machine.


    The machine was locked up. It wouldn't do anything. Like it was broken. So I looked on the phone sitting next to it. The caller ID read a name.

    It was the name of my friend!

    What the...?

    But oddly it didn't have a number, which was impossible. Even if someone's name didn't come up on the caller ID it still said 'unknown number'. But it didn't. Just his name. Oh my god. My heart raced. It was also missing any other information, like time of call.

    A chill went down my spine and my eyes filled with wonder. Fred had remembered our deal. My god this was his message!

    Insanity. I used a different phone and called my friend and she raced over to my house. I thought 'I should get a camcorder and record this'... but I didn't, I thought it is frozen and the caller ID still said his name, it wasn't going anywhere.

    How wrong I was. By the time my friend arrived it was back to normal. And the caller ID with just Fred's name on it... gone. The answering machine was no longer locked up. I cursed myself for not recording it.

    I know some of you won't believe this story. I wouldn't have either if I hadn't experienced it myself. It changed the way I think about things. About death. And life.

    Fred was still out there. Somewhere. But where? How in the hell could he have sent me this message. How could a 'soul' have gotten into the phone lines and left his name on my caller ID!? It sounds absurd. Yet, it was true. What exactly was this thing called 'death'?

    I guess we would all find out sooner or later. But I didn't want to wait that long. He had reached out to me from death. What else could they do? What exactly were the rules? I thought about all the angles. I just couldn't fathom it. It was a curtain we weren't meant to peek behind. But it drove me crazy thinking about it. I couldn't believe it. Yet, it was true. It defied logic as I'd known it. It made me rethink many of my beliefs.

    It made his death so much easier.

    I knew he was out there.

    That only part of him had died.

    That we'd meet again.

    Our love and friendship had beaten death.

    [Above: Fred and me. You'll notice I have a black/cut eye. I had just been almost killed by a drunk driver. Even though I had my seat belt on my face crashed into the steering wheel. Well, it's not a very flattering picture, but I wanted you to see it anyway. This was taken a few years before he died.]

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