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Warrior’s Welcome : Faithful 44

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Editor’s Prologue

January 25, 2015 — Philippines National Police Special Actions Force commanders enter the jungle to “Arrest” a suspected Islamic terrorist.  The PNP’s SAF commandos end up engaged in a firefight with “The Enemy.”

January 30, 2015 is declared “The National Day Of Mourning” to honor the memories of the brave men who engaged and fought the criminals and terrorists in the jungle.

I am a retired United States Air Force photojournalist and editor.  I am a pro-military writer.

Christy, my wife, is a Filipina.  My children, Samuel Ranilo Warren and Donna Junea Warren are Filipino-Americans.  My father, Samuel E. Warren served in The United States Army Signal Corps in the Philippines in World War II.  I was assigned to and served at Clark Air Base in the Republic Of The Philippines in the 1980s.

Needless to say, whenever anything happens in The United States or The Republic Of The Philippines, I and my family feel “Connected.”

I have been fortunate to meet and work with members of the Armed Forces Of The Philippines and The Philippines National Police.

I can understand and related to the grief of the families who lost loved ones in the combat in the jungle.

As a writer, I felt the best way I could express my condolences to the family members was to author a short story to celebrate the devotion, duty and dedication of the Philippines National Police Special Actions Force commandos.

Samuel E. Warren Jr.

One Warren Way

Barangay Baras, Republic Of The Philippines

Warriors Welcome: Faithful 44

FALLEN 44 Graphic e164b190-a820-11e4-b9c1-bf0dde9868b9_Screen-Shot-2015-01-30-at-9-32-29-AM

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Trumpets Of The Universe sound.  Planets in space reverberate. 

Comets and asteroids brighten for an instant and shimmer as the celestial symphony of sound passes them.

The solar bodies of stars glow with renewed radiation, which causes them to shine light Gold, Ruby and Lapis against The Eternal Charcoal Of The Universe.

For an instant, The Celestial Trumpets Sound and The Universe is a Crystal Of Courage And Compassion, which spreads throughout the infinite canvas of Eternal Night. 

Not a single scientific instrument on Earth or adrift in the Infinite Celestial Sea will record the miraculous music.

The Archangels and Angels, in their dress uniforms, stand in their positions, on both sides of The Red Carpet Corridor.

The Souls arrive at the end of the carpet and begin their measured step down the great corridor.

At the end of the red carpet is The Mystical Presence Of The Stranger.

The 44 Souls stroll the carpet past the formation of archangels and angels, who stand in Admiration and Respect.

The 44 Souls stop at about six feet away from The Mystical Presence Of The Stranger, which has the energy form of a human, but not the definition of flesh and form.

Before their eyes, the 44 watch The Transition.  The Stranger’s energy takes on a human form in a military dress uniform.

“Welcome To Valhalla !”

The words are spoken and emerge as English, Tagalog, Cebuano, and Waray.

The stranger smiles and nods.  “Call me, what you will, ‘ God’, ‘Mars’, ‘Ares’, ‘Thor’, I am your host for this ‘Welcome Reception.”

“You, Gentlemen, are ‘The Fallen 44 of the Philippines National Police Special Action Force’ we are assembled here, this evening. to salute, honor, witness and testify to your courage in battle.”

“You all perished in combat.  None of you made the conscious choice ‘To Die.’  All of you fought diligently and courageously to protect yourselves, your comrades-in-arms and to achieve your Mission.  No one in The Universe can question your courage and dedication.  You died in service to your country, your families and your fellow citizens.  There is No Greater Selfless Sacrifice In The Universe.”

“Tonight, this feast is to ‘Welcome You To Our Immortal Ranks.’  Tomorrow, you will witness from your positions here in Valhalla, ‘The National Day Of Mourning’ in the Republic Of The Philippines.  It will be a challenge for you.” 

“As Souls, you have your celestial bodies.  You retain the memories of Love for your families on Earth.  Grief, is difficult for humans to understand and express.  It will be difficult for you to watch your families grieve and it will be hard for you to accept and acknowledge the intense emotions.”

“Here, I have designed a way that you can welcome and accept the true emotions without you experiencing overwhelming grief for the families you have left behind.  Yes, your loved ones remain on Earth.”

“They are angry.  They are upset.  They are broken.  They are confused.  In time, they will understand your devotion and dedication to duty demonstrated your undying Love for them.  You sought to protect their Lives and an infinite number of lives around the globe by the successful execution of your Mission.  There was a definite valid reason for your sacrifice.”

“You, Gentlemen, are representative of what humankind was intended to be.  Caring, humane, selfless individuals who lived your lives in appreciation of each sunrise and helped other people on your journey through Life.”

“I salute you.  We salute you.  The Archangels and Angels Of The Universe salute you.  Gentlemen,  I welcome you to our ranks.”

“You, now, stand enshrined in eternity as “Heroes.” 

You out rank every prophet, saint, pope, ecumenical patriarch, archbishop, grand mufti, rabbi, ayatollah, imam, cleric, priest, preacher, or evangelist who has every lived, who lives or who will ever Live.”

“This is Warrior Heaven.  This is Warrior Paradise.  You ended your lives on Earth trying to protect and save the lives of others, there is No Greater Love.  You perished in a thought for your comrades-in-arms, your families, your country and your world.  No God, No Goddess, No Entity In All Of Creation could ‘Ask’ more of any mortal in The Universe.” 

“I Welcome You To Valhalla !”

God salutes the assembled 44, who stand at attention proud, but, slightly uncomfortable at the celestial pomp and circumstance.

The Archangels and Angels salute.

God smiles and nods.  “Gentelmen, the Valkyries, Amazons and Archangels stand ready to help you settle into your quarters at the conclusion of our formal dinner this evening.  Saint Michael and Saint Samuel will show you gentlemen to your seats at the head table.”

God winks.  “Tomorrow, will be a challenge for you, gentlemen.  Tonight, you dine and rest to witness tomorrow’s activities on Earth.

God smiles and gestures to The Official Reception Line.  “Gentlemen, this concludes my official welcome speech.  Here in the reception line are The Ancestral Comrades-In-Arms who are anxious to congratulate on your acceptance into our ranks at Valhalla.”

“I believe, many of you, gentlemen are familiar with the combat records and historic valor of your hosts this evening.  Allow me to introduce General Emilio Aquinaldo and General Paulino Santos of the Republic Of The Philippines and General Douglas MacArthur and General Mark Clark of the United States Of America.”

God smiles and steps back to allow the 44 Souls in their dress uniforms proceed to the reception line.

God proceeds to His Throne at The Command Table and raises his glass to the assembled heroes, “Gentlemen, I salute, ‘The Fallen 44’ !”  God renders a salute.

God raises his glass at the table and looks at all of the honored souls in uniform and into their eyes : “I welcome you into my presence.”

“I welcome you into Valhalla.  I hereby confirm your immortal rank, honor and glory and welcome you, as the risen ‘Faithful 44 ! ’”

The End

Philippines National Police Special Action Force National Day Of Morning Jan 30 2015 Image

Philippines National Police

Philippines National Police symbol 1017742_710715138969745_6654143956528279625_n

Philippine National Police — Quezon City — facebook

Fallen 44 Links

Acting PNP chief: Retrieving, treating casualties in Maguindanao clash a priority

January 25, 2015 11:48pm

At least 30 elite cops killed in clash with MILF

Posted at 01/25/2015 7:18 PM | Updated as of 01/25/2015 10:57 PM

Editor’s Epilogue

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I am not a religious man.

I do believe it is logical that there is an intelligence in The Universe beyond the understanding and comprehension of humans.

Thus, I tend to believe in “A Spiritual Intelligence” in The Universe.

In my mind and heart, I believe, “Heroes”, especially “Military Heroes” are always honored for their selfless dedication to their country and their fellow citizens.

I choose to believe “The Fallen 44“ have an immortal place of honor in the ranks of all the military warriors who have always served their nations and fellow citizens.

I salute “The Fallen 44“ as “The Faithful 44“

Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Written by samwarren55

February 8, 2015 at 1:58 PM

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“The Exorcist” October Creature Feature

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The film that transformed an obscure Church ritual into a sought after global profession



by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


In my lifetime from October 1955 through mid-December 1973,in the United States, if you needed an “Exorcist”, you would have few real options.


You could buy a plane ticket to go to the Vatican and try to convince a priest or the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.


You could try and find someone who knew a root worker or conjurer in New Orleans, Louisiana, who might be willing to help you.


You could try and contact someone who had a friend, who lived out in San Francisco, California and was into “The New Age Movement.”


If you seriously needed an “Exorcist” before 1973, in the United States, you really had to look under every stone to find one and hope you could find someone who had an understanding priest in the Roman Catholic Church, who would take you seriously enough to actually look for an “exorcist.”


The Real Deal Exorcists


William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel, “The Exorcist,” had aspects that were inspired by the actual Exorcism of Roland Doe in Maryland in 1949. Jesuit Priest, Father William S. Bowdern and Father Walter Halloran were the real exorcists.


There have been television shows that talked about the original exorcism and one fact all seemed to agree on is the family basically had to beg the church for an exorcism. The practice of exorcisms had become essentially a ritual that had been left in the past.


The “resurrected” ritual of exorcism did much not only for The Church, but for all churches. William Friedkin’s film, “The Exorcist” based on Blatty’s novel put God back up on the marquee that got people going back to all kinds of churches, temples, synagogues and mosque because Satan was real again.


Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Omen” were child demonic films of the late 1960s and early 1970s that also got people’s attention.


What always got me about “The Exorcist” was how such a “normal” little girl could be possessed ?


Effective Evil Effects


There were no Hollywood Computer Generated Images for movies in the 1970s, production and special effects people had to do create the effects the old fashioned way ‘– “They had to be creative.” Now, people smile at the “pea soup” that gets shot out of Regan’s mouth in the movie, but, it was one of those “Wow” moments in theaters in the 1970s.


The fashion sense, or lack there of, of the 1970s does much to make a film look dated, but, the story, the actors, actresses and effects did such a magnificent job Regan MacNeil, the possessed girl, is one of those Halloween characters in the shadow between vampires, mummies, Frankenstein and zombies that no one wants to think about because she just might be “The Real Deal after all.”


Face it, no one wants to have to tell their father or mother, “We won’t be coming home for Christmas because your granddaughter is possessed by Satan.”


The real fear of The Exorcist movie is that maybe, just maybe, your child could be possessed by Evil. The movie really does turn that parental fear into the worst case scenario by the use of suspense and the creative use of effects. It is little wonder why this movie has become an American Cult Classic.


You factor in the notion that you have a veteran priest, who has dealt with and faced Evil at various times and is ready for the battle. Then, you add the young doubting priest to the mix, who believes he is more “a man of science” than “a man of the cloth.” Basically, he let the Church pay for his education, so he could become a successful psychiatrist. Stepping into the ring, Satan has the upper hand and the odds are all in His favor.


Temptation Of Teenagers ?


Ellen Burstyn, who plays the actress mother, wants the best for her daughter. Linda Blair, who plays Regan Mac Neil, the daughter, is the average All-American Girl for the 1970s.


I grew up on a hog farm in the conservative Midwest of the United States of America, known as the Ozarks, right smack dab in “The Bible Belt.” My family, friends and neighbors went to the Baptists and Pentecostal churches. Some crossed the line into Taney County to go to Branson or into Greene County to go to Catholic churches, Lutheran, Methodists and Presbyterians.


The preachers and pastors of Stone County, Missouri took their “hellfire and damnation” lessons to heart and knew they were the First Line Of Defense against Satan and His Demonic Legions.


Thus, in the Ozarks and the Midwest, you never expected to see Satan walking down the highway or shopping for groceries in the local supermarket. But, in the 1960s or 1970s, if you are writing a story, script or play – how would you get Satan or any of his demons to realistically appear in the literary work ?


Demon Dare


As decadent and liberal minded as New York City was suppose to be in the 1960s and 1970s; there had to be a way to get Evil into the script and the movie. The All-American Fall Guy – the Ouija Board.


In the US, in the 1960s and 1970s, it seemed there were only two real ways for Evil to show up. Teenagers had to figure out some way to do “Satanic Rituals” or go to the store and pretend to be nave enough to buy and use a Ouija Board.


In this film, the Ouija Board is the culprit that is “The Three Mile Island” incident that starts demonic radiation leaking into the MacNeil home and poor Regan glows with it.


Use of the Ouija Board, helps explain how an East African demon gets through US Customs without a passport and visa. Then, again The Department Of Homeland Security is a story that doesn’t happen until the beginning of the 21st Century.


Max von Sydow, who stars in the role of Father Lankester Merrin really does come across as the devout veteran priest, who is ready to stare the demon in the eye and send it back to Hell.


Jason Miller as Father Damien Karras does an excellent job as the young priest, who really believes he is a long lost psychiatrist in his soul. One of the story twist is suppose to have the young priest broken up about his mother’s death. I didn’t get the message in 1973 and I haven’t gotten it since.


On screen the first time you see the aging, invalid mother, the film mom is sort of already a citizen of “The Twilight Zone” looking to move into “The Outer Limits.” Without more details or a back story to show the mother and son relationship, that story line to me wastes film. I’m a Momma’s Boy, so I’m critical.


Actor Titos Vandis, in the role of the young priest’s uncle works with Miller to pull off the story line, but, that is an area where I believe the movie falters and probably gets forgotten about in the overall bouts with the demon. In this movie, the mom character was dead before she was written into the script and she seems just as dead up on the screen.


Exorcist Era Excitement


This is the movie that “Really Did Start It All.” The obscure term, “exorcist” smoldering in the Vatican archives, “purified” the way for an American religious revival in Catholic and Protestant Churches and created battalions of televangelists and legions of lay (and lame) exorcists throughout the globe.


Satanic Seventies ?


The ongoing, relentless, never-ending Vietnam War had made young Americans jaded, cynical and skeptical. Grandparents and parents looked at the grandchildren and children and wondered if maybe “alien astronauts” had abducted” and switched their kids because “The Generation Gap” was the real deal.


Generations of Americans spoke English to one another in their homes and yet the message was like “A Day At The United Nations Without Translators “ – No one understood ‘nuthin’.


America’s politicians in the 1960s were the kind of leaders that people rushed to build statues to. By the 1970s, Americans politicians seemed to be like “used car dealers that you couldn’t get rid of.”


The Godfathers


America had the traditional movie and sports celebrities of their generation in the early 1970s, but, the “Godfather” movies did “the kinder, gentler dance” for Organized Crime. J. Edgar Hoover had gotten long in the tooth and the organized crime bosses of America had their own brash, public style that had to be the envy of America’s “stale bread politicians of the early 1970s.”


While American underworld figures weren’t holding their daily press conferences at their mansions, they were out and about and people couldn’t get enough of their exploits in the streets of America. The irony is the Crime Rate in America was pushing people to believe “Vigilante Justice” might not be such a bad solution as long as you don’t get caught. “Dirty Harry” had become the ideal lawman of America.


Nix on Nixon


Nixon had no use for the American news media and the American news media had no use for Nixon, other than the political cartoonists, who thrived on daily demonizing his facial features.


After Watergate, nothing Nixon said really mattered. The press didn’t seem to believe a word he said and his approval rating with the American public dropped faster than a bad day in the stock market.




Then, of course, Men in America actually got to wear something other than white shirts and black ties. Unfortunately, the Men’s Fashion Scene of the 1970s “overdosed” America’s fashion sense – too much, too soon. Wide ties, wide lapels, bright colors for men’s suits, white belts, white shoes, hounds tooth sport coats thrown into the mix with polyester and wide collars on mien’s shirts. Plus, there was the jogging suits to wear, even if you never intended to go jogging. And denim flared jeans and denim flared bell bottoms were still on the drawing board for the seventies fashion scene.


The early 1970s had America’s scurrying like mice on an exercise wheel – they just weren’t sure where they were suppose to be running to.


Demonic Days


If you look back at 1973, you wonder if someone on Satan’s staff had decided to literally “set the stage” leading up to the release of “The Exorcist.”


January 22, 1973 – US Supreme Court rules on Roe versus Wade and overturns states’ bans on abortion.


The Vietnam War “Officially Ends” January 27, 1973 with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. Nixon tries to take credit for the peace agreement. The American news media and many Americans actually see Dr. Henry Kissinger, America’s First Jewish Secretary Of State as the man who got the deal.


November 5, 1973, the term, “Shuttle Diplomacy” entered the American culture and described the efforts that Secretary of State Kissinger made in the Middle East at the end of the Yom Kippur War to help keep the region stable.


Despite Secretary Kissinger’s hard work to keep the Arab states and Israel living in a somewhat peaceful existence – some religious critics started shouting that Secretary Kissinger could be, “The Anti-Christ.”


March 29, 1973, the last United States soldier leaves Vietnam.


May 17, 1973, I wear the cap and gown and graduate from Galena High School, Galena, Missouri. It should have been a proud moment for God and Satan. It was a proud moment for me. By June, I was in college at the School Of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri.,


The US bombing of Cambodia ends June 1.


July 12, 1973 – The National Archives Fire – The entire 6th floor of the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis Missouri is destroyed by a fire. Countless US Navy and US Army records are lost, which will affect World War I, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War military people and their families for generations to come in the area of honorable discharges, military retirement pay and documentation of earned and awarded military decorations.


Egyptian and Syrian military forces attack Israel, September 11, 1973, to start the “Yom Kippur War,” in the Sinai Pennisula and the Golan Heights. I am working at KSOZ-FM, to work my way through college. I look through the large plastic window at the huge gray Associated Press teletype thrusting down the keys to announce the start of the War. I’m excited about the story.


I rip off the yellow sheet of news copy and hand it to someone in the newsroom. They nod and comment, “Another War in the Middle East.”


I understand now, why no one rushed to get it “on air” as breaking news. It was the 1970s, and there was always bad news coming out of the Middle East.


I saw the War as a possible start to “Armageddon.” Everyone else in the newsroom just saw it as more bad news from the Middle East to be read after the day’s latest Watergate story.


The Yom Kippur War ends October 26, 1973.


October 10, 1973, “The Saturday Night Massacre,” Richard Milhouse “Tricky Dick” Nixon fires Special Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus.


No matter What Nixon did – The Watergate Break-In June 17, 1972 – would not go away and each day’s newspaper brought a new “Watergate” headline in the continuing scandal.

By December 23, 1973, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, had doubled the price of crude oil at the pumps – just in time for “Christmas.”


American theaters flip the switch and Warner Brothers “The Exorcist “ flickers on to movie screens December 26, 1973.


By November 1979, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini labeled “America, The Great Satan: in a speech. Khomeini was the 1970s version of Al Quaeda’s Osama bin Laden.


In the early 1960s, Khomeini used his criticism of the Shah of Iran Pahlavi to rise to power among his Muslim followers. The Shah exiled him and he spent more than 14 years in exile between Paris, Turkey and Iraq. Khomeini did not like that the United States Government had close relations with Iran and that the Shah had moved to modernize Iran.


When you look back at 1973, it seems like God had gotten dropped off for church bingo and Americans weren’t sure if they were going to pick Him up or hand Him His “Pink Slip.”


Satan At The Box Office


The film brought in $66.3 million from theaters in the United States and Canada. It currently stands as “The Top Grossing R Rated Film Of All Time.”


The Exorcist” movie proved to be the “shakeup” that got God back in His penthouse and kept Him on as the CEO Of Heaven. “The Exorcist” woke up and scared Americans.


Before the movie appeared in theaters, many Americans were like Actor Lee J. Cobb in the role of New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant William F. Kinderman, something is wrong and you just can’t put your finger on it.


The approach worked for Cobb’s detective’s role in the movie and outside the theater in the streets of America, “something was wrong and no one knew how to put a finger on it.”


The Medical Men


Arthur Storch, in the role of the psychiatrist and Barton Haymen as Dr. Samuel Klein are the classic American “Medical Men” of the 1970s, “Of course, Science has an answer for it.” But, when Regan’s condition doesn’t respond to medical treatment, one of the doctors blurts out something about an “exorcist.”

The time devoted to the “Science” and “Medicine”approach in the movie is smart because by the 1970s doctors and scientists had taken to their academic pulpits and “preached” to anyone who would listen that science and medicine would find the cure for all the ills of humanity.

America’s New Prophets

America’s Psychiatrist were on a roll. Sigmund Freud had got them out into the limelight. People seemed hungry for the latest development from the psychiatric world. Hollywood didn’t let the fad pass by; they cranked out movies as fast as they could about doctors and psychiatrist saving the day.

Psychiatrists were America’s New Prophets. It did seem doctors, scientists and psychiatrist had an answer for everything.

The Supernatural” remained the chink in the psychiatrist’s armor. The responses of : “superstition”, “imagination”, and “all in your mind” worked until something happened before your eyes.

Find An Exorcist In The Yellow Pages

Before the movie, your best bet to find an “exorcist” would be to seek permission to search the Vatican archives for a vague reference to an “exorcist.”

After the movie, “Exorcists In America were thicker than hairs on a dog’s back.” At the current rate of growth in a few years America will probably be turning out as many exorcists as we do lawyers and doctors.

No doubt, none of the televangelists of the 1970s and 1980s will ever give “The Exorcist,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Omen,” or any of the other religious horror TV or movie spin-offs an honorable mention, but without “The Hounding Hell Horror Of The Satanic Silver Screen,” some of those preachers would of stayed on cable TV and still be going through the Ozarks trying to arrange “Brush Arbor Revivals” and church pie suppers.

A 21st Century Exorcist ?

Hollywood is silly if they don’t already have plans to do an updated version to compliment, but not compete with the original movie.

A new version could not compete because Linda Blair’s Regan MacNeil character had her unique unspoken, “I’m not going away. . .ever” look, near the end of the movie.

The silly 1970s wardrobe makes “The Exorcist” dated, but, hey, even in the 1970s, “We had to wear clothes.”

Casting Directors – Stellan Skarsgard has earned the right to be Father Merrin in an updated version. In Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist,” Mr. Skarsgard became the role. In “Exorcist:The Beginning”, he became Father Lankester Merrin, Roman Catholic Archaeologist Priest.

Now, if the Department of Motor Vehicles could just get Mr. Skarsgard ‘s name on his new license right and the Vatican would quit sending him offers for another exorcism overseas.

Darling Demonologists”

In another more contemporary version, it would be nice if the screenwriter could write in a way to bring in a senior ranking demon with more established credentials in religious history, which would allow for even more suspense, special effects and (probably) a bigger budget.

And, since the “Name Of The Game Is Horror”, a senior ranking demon could up the on screen body count to stress the possibility that today’s dog walker shouldn’t count on being tomorrow’s “Darling Demonologist.”

Exorcist 2013 Script Session

Quick, get Warner Brothers on the phone. I’ve got it.

Camera Fade In: Regan’s granddaughter graduates from Oxford and returns to the US to visit “granny.” They are doing the girl, “shoot the breeze” conversation routine. Suddenly, Regan’s youngest granddaughter comes up out of the basement with something in her hands.

You guessed it, America!

Sometimes the old literary devices are the best. All together now, “Ouija Board !”

They chuckle. Of course, granny has had a wonderful life and completely forgot about the initial possession (and probably The Exorcist” spin-off movies after the original).

They open the box, take out the board and begin to play.

Too late “Granny” remembers.

The granddaughter is now “possessed.”

Granny whips out her cell phone hoping that she still has an exorcist priest on speed dial.

The granddaughter does her contortions routine, while the youngest granddaughter jumps up and down screaming.

From here on out. . .it is up to the Hollywood screen writers. You guys and gals run with it. But, go for a demon, who usually gets top billing, with “name recognition.”


St. Peter’s Basilica from Castel Sant’Angelo showing the dome rising behind Maderno’s facade. Public Domain Photograph


Exorcists Resurrection

The Vatican is now admitting, “Exorcists exist” and is training them. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, a group of British school girls seem to be blurring the line between Fact,Faith, Fantasy and Fiction.

Based on the “Darling Demonologists” ages, someone should hand them an old mystic text and point to the section on teenagers,hormones and, “Oh, Look ! Puberty and Poltergeist ?”

Five Star Rating

The Exorcist” is an American Cult Classic, as it should be. Hands down I give it a Five Star Rating and remind viewers it carries an R rating.

For your Halloween viewing this is definitely a movie to watch on All Hollow’s Eve or the night before.

Incidentally, when you swing by Wal-Mart to pick up your Twizler’s and Junior Mints, you might want to make a quick stop at the church to make sure you have a crucifix and rosary beads handy. May, as well pick up a little Holy Water. . .to be safe.




Exorcist Information Links


Exorcism of Roland Doe

Father Walter Halloran

The Story of a Modern-Day Exorcist

By Gilbert Cruz Monday, Mar. 16, 2009,8599,1885372,00.html

British School Girls Exorcists

We’re not like normal teenagers’: Meet the exorcist schoolgirls who spend their time casting out DEMONS around the world





This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

October 18, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Creature Feature, Editorial, Movies, Opinion

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The Crucifixion ! Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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The Crucifixion !

Holy Week in Leyte 2012_ A055 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

Soldiers Stand Guard – Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. Filipino citizens assume the roles of Roman soldiers and stand guard at the crucifixion site on the grounds of the Metropolitan Chapel in Palo, Leyte, during Good Friday’s Holy Week observances.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Holy Week in Leyte 2012_ A053 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

Mourners Approach – Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.   A raised mound in the courtyard of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Palo, Leyte serves as the site of the three crosses.  Statues on the crosses enhance the eerie feeling of realism.  The soldiers stand their post as people dressed as mourners approach the three crosses.  People who attended the Good Friday observance were able to watch the re-creation of the crucifixion, during the Holy Week observance.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Holy Week in Leyte 2012_ A056 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

Crucifixion Cadre – Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.  Citizens assume the role of the Roman soldiers of the Crucifixion Cadre.  The citizen-soldiers’ acting abilities enhanced the experience of witnessing the Good Friday, Holy Week observance on the grounds of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Palo, Leyte.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Holy Week in Leyte 2012_B 047 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

Witness to the Crucifixion – Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.  People who attended the Good Friday observance at the Metropolitan Chapel, in Palo, Leyte, were witnesses to this choreographed crucifixion.  The significance of the ritual symbolism, could best be described, as the emotional feelings of the individual — within the multitude of witnesses.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sermon to the Masses–Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Holy Week in Leyte 2012_A 041 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

Sermon to the Masses – Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.  People make the pilgrimage through the gates of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Palo.  In the courtyard, people gather to witness a modern day display of the crucifixion, during the Good Friday observance.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Holy Week in Leyte 2012_A 124 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

Good Friday In Leyte–Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Holy Week in Leyte 2012_A 018 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

Philippines Passion Play – Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.  Today, April 6, 2012, these people recreate the journey to the crucifixion.  The streets of Tacloban City are usually bustling with people shopping and going to and from work.  Today, the buildings resembled a modern day ghost town, except for the occasional car, truck, trike or jeepney.  Then, on Real Street in Tacloban City, this group of citizen actors recreate the journey to the crucifixion.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Photography Patrol – Holy Week 2012 in the Republic of the Philippines–Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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HOLY WEEK 2012 in the Republic of the Philippines_resized_Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr

Holy Week 2012 in the Republic of the Philippines — Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. Today is Good Friday. The church in the photograph is the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Pastrana, Leyte, Republic of the Philippines. Filipinos and Filipinas living abroad can participate in virtual Holy Week activities, according to a "Manila Bulletin” online article: "Internet Makes Possible Virtual Holy Week Rites


St. Francis of Assisi Chapel Photo by Samuel. E. Warren Jr.

Saint Michael On Duty In The P. I.

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Saint Michael On Duty In The P. I.



by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Saint  Michael, On The Ground, In Country and On Duty In The P.I. – Photo by Retired United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Samuel E. Warren Jr. – My wife, Christy Warren purchased this statue of Saint Michael The Archangel as a gift for me from the Holy Rosary Religious Store in Tacloban, City, Republic of the Philippines, March 13,2012.  Saint Michael The Archangel is known as The Patron Saint of all soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of all nation’s armed forces in peace and war.This Saint Michael is on the ground, in country, and on duty at my home in the Philippine Island of Leyte.  The coconut trees stand at attention against the blue skies of Barangay Baras.  Photo by Retired United States Air Force Public Affairs Staff Sergeant Samuel E. Warren Jr.


I am not a religious man.

I am a spiritual man.

As a child, I always knew “There Is A God.”

There is a supernatural entity beyond humankind’s logical and scientific frame of references.

Everyone knows that “Angels Are The Messengers Of God.”

In paintings, books and movies I have always been attracted to The Military Angels Of God, even as a child.

I believe The Armed Forces Of God, like any professional military unit stands ready to carry out their objectives.

I believe that Saint Michael is the ranking “six-star” Commanding General Of Heaven, who oversees, directs and answers to his Supreme Commander-In-Chief.

As the Patron Saint Of Global Military Forces Saint Michael – I believe, there has never been a man or woman who joined the military or went into combat that Saint Michael did not know about.

The Seraphim, are “The Enlisted Angels” and they are “ on the ground” and “in the action” – they are responsible for being alongside their human counterparts. Seraphim as “Sergeant Angels,” know they are tasked to make sure the mission is completed.

I believe, in human combat, The Sergeant Angels are always alongside their human counterparts fighting “the good fight” to survive and obtain the objective. And, Saint Michael sword in hand is always on the field of battle, land, air and sea.

Since I believe that God Almighty has his standing Heavenly Armed Forces, I believe that Saint Michael and the other Archangels are the “Celestial Pentagon” that serves alongside humans in combat and on active duty in peacetime.

I believe that once a man or woman has donned a uniform of their nation to serve as a soldier, sailor, airmen or Marine, that the members of the Celestial Pentagon are always with them. Once that human veteran or military retiree goes off active duty, I believe, they remain on the Active Duty Roster Of The Celestial Pentagon until the human warrior retires his or her earthly life. “Once a G.I., Always a G.I., In Heaven, or On Earth “ – Samuel E. Warren Jr.

While everyone will not share my beliefs about God’s Armed Forces – that is alright. I have worn and served in my nation’s armed forces, so I have earned the right to my Military Angels Beliefs.



This Saint Michael The Archangel statue was created in Manila and shipped to the Holy Rosary Store in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines.  This statue is about four feet tall and the wing span of the sculpture is also about four feet.  Prices always fluctuate in all businesses, but on the day of purchase this sculpture cost 7,000 pesos.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In the Philippine Islands, the sunshine, blue skies, coconut trees, and sapphire ocean waves are my Real World version of The Garden Of Eden. But, even in the P.I., you have to go about the daily matters of your life to earn a living and put food on the table. In the course of daily affairs in the barangay or in Tanauan or Tacloban City, my wife, Christy, often makes the time to stop by a church. The statues of Saint Michael always catches my eye.

A couple of weeks ago, when my wife, Christy,was shopping, near The Santo Nino Shrine in Tacloban City, we browsed the religious artifact vendors near the church and strolled along to the religious supply stores nearby. My eyes automatically scanned the religious merchandise and my eyes always “lock on” to the statues of Saint Michael from the smallest to the biggest statue. After all, a G.I. Always Recognizes Another G.I., In Uniform Or Out.





Christy had noticed me intently studying the colors, artistic composition,sculpture, and craftsmanship of all the Saint Michael statues and listened as I asked the saleswoman, “Do you have any Saint Michael SMALL SAINT MICHAEL STATUEmedals ?”

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 – Christy, Marife, Ninoy and I strolled into the Holy Rosary Store in Tacloban City. My eyes widened when the smiling salesman walked past me carrying the large Saint Michael statue and I watched Christy takes the pesos from her wallet to pay for the statue.

This small Saint Michael statue is about 10 inches tall and has an approximate wing span of about 7 inches.  The size of this statue would allow it to ride on an automobile dashboard or to be sat on a dresser.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In the Real World, when a general or admiral walks into a room, the modern day warrior rises out of protocol and respect. At home, I rearranged things to give Saint Michael, his place of honor. A senior military commander, officer or NCO, should always be treated with honor and respect. Since the statue of Saint Michael represents a Heavenly Host Commander and the Ultimate Armed Forces, it was only appropriate to find the statue the proper “Command Post.”

My Saint Michael statue arrived with “Permanent Change Of Station” orders to go “PCS” to my home. This General Saint Michael is now “On Duty” in my home, which in a military literary sense, makes my home a “Base Of Operations,” for Saint Michael. I trust that the general will watch over this old soldier and his family. I believe, Saint Michael is now “In Position” to watch over any of my nieces and nephews, who may answer their nation’s call to don the uniform and serve their country, on land, in flight in the air, and afloat on the sea.

“Present Arms !”


“Order Arms !”

“Hoo-rah !”


The Real Memorial Day – May 30

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Stone County Custom & Tradition

The Real Memorial Day

May 30

by Junior Warren

In the Good Old USA, the Memorial Day Weekend signals the Official Start of Summer. From the Memorial Day Weekend to the Labor Day Weekend, Americans grab their calendars and start trying to pencil in the dates for their long awaited summer vacations.

Meanwhile, in the hills of Stone County, Missouri, the Memorial Day Weekend for the Opal M. DeLong-Warren Family is about a family custom and tradition.

A Memorial Day 2010 arrangement made by Christy Warren

Charles H. and Martha L. Delong Family loaded their earthly belongings into a Conestoga wagon at the beginning of the 1900s and made the trek from northern Missouri to Stone County, Missouri, in southwestern Missouri.

At the time, “Charley” and Martha had their eldest son, Richard, a small boy about two years old, who would grow to be a farmer in Stone County.

Richard B. DeLong

Yocum Pond Grave Digger

In his youth, Richard became one of the grave diggers at the Yocum Pond Cemetery, near Reeds Spring. In the days before backhoes, graves were dug by local men in the community. Richard B. DeLong dug many of the graves before backhoes began to be used.

As late as the late 1960s, I remember being at the cemetery on Memorial Day and strangers would come up to Uncle Richard and they would ask if he knew where a family member had been buried. Uncle Richard would usually nod, point and start walking in the direction of the grave. Along the way, he would tell them information about the person and the circumstances surrounding the funeral.

During the Great Depression, Uncle Richard explained that some of the local families didn’t have the money for headstones. Usually, they would try to write the information on a large rock or wooden board or cross. Over time some of the markers would rot away or be removed, then, the only way a descendant could find an unmarked grave would be to try and find one of the original gravediggers.

Even in the 1960s, there were people who decided not to spend money on tombstones, which meant the graves went unmarked. Uncle Richard made less than favorable comments about some of the family members who seemed to cheap or greedy to spend a few dollars for a headstone.

In his lifetime, Richard B. DeLong cared for the family graves at Yocum Pond. Throughout the years, he would make occasional trips to the cemetery to make sure the grass was mowed and weeds had been pulled from around the headstones. Even the rock hard soil of Stone County tends to settle over a grave after a few months and the result is a sunken appearance in the earth. The solution is to apply fresh soil to the grave.

Filling Up The Graves”

A couple of weeks, before Memorial Day, Uncle Richard would always put soil in the back of his 1952 GMC pickup and drive out to the graves to put the soil on the graves. For a time in the 1970s there was a large pile of soil, near the entrance to Yocum Pond that family members could use to “fill in the graves. This “filling up the graves” procedure was the way to maintain the grave to present the traditional appearance. To my knowledge, there has always been a cemetery caretaker for Yocum Pond, still throughout his life, Richard B. DeLong took care of all the landscaping requirements of the DeLong family graves. The caretakers would mow around the headstones before Memorial Day but two or three days before May 30, Uncle Richard would load his lawnmower into his pickup and make sure the graves were ready for memorial day.

Holiday Shuffle

During the 1970s, the U.S. Government began playing with the calendar and moving around holidays. In elementary school it had been a tradition to observe Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12, and Washington’s Birthday, February 22. As a grade school student – there was “no school” on those days. We even got to celebrate Columbus Day, October 12. By the 1970s Uncle Sam began to shuffle holidays like cards in a deck. Washington and Lincoln’s birthday got merged into the newly created “President’s Day.” Uncle Richard didn’t pay any attention to Uncle Sam shuffling holidays until the U.S. Government took it upon themselves to start hopscotching Memorial Day around the calendar.

In the Charles H. and Martha L. DeLong Family, it was Richard B. DeLong, who proclaimed Memorial Day to be May 30.

“It doesn’t matter what day the government picks for Memorial Day. I’m going to keep celebrating ‘The Real Memorial Day – May 30″  Richard B. DeLong

Richard B. Delong’s dedication to keeping May 30th as the real Memorial Day meant that family would go to visit and decorate the graves on May 30. True, the upkeep of the graves were a family tradition of the DeLong family, but, for Richard DeLong, the upkeep of the graves was a labor of love for him. Uncle Richard is the only person I ever knew who truly looked forward to Memorial Day. He truly lived for May 30.

Perhaps, God does have a sense of irony. Richard DeLong left the Land Of The Living on one of his Memorial Days – May 30.

Opal M. DeLong – Warren


Charley and Martha DeLong, originally settled ,near Reeds Spring , in Stone County, Missouri. Before The Great Depression in the 1930s, they would move to a homestead, known as “The Old Sheriff Oliver Place,” between Abesville and Galena, Missouri.

Charley and Martha’s only daughter, Opal, would go to school in Peach Tree Holler, near Reeds Spring. The old one room schoolhouse that she attended would eventually be moved to Silver Dollar City and be used as a church. When Opal attended the school, it was called “Wilson’s Creek” and she graduated from the eighth grade in that building.

By the time, Opal’s mom and dad had moved “out on the highway,” she was a young woman, who had set out to find her place in the world. World War II would find Opal working as a welder in the Todd Houston Shipyard in Houston, Texas.

By 1960, she had returned to Stone County to “take care of her mother and bachelor brother” – Uncle Richard. From the 1960s until her death, Opal M. DeLong Warren handled the funeral arrangements for the DeLong family and the floral arrangements for Memorial Day.

All families have their disagreements through the years. Sometimes a family is blessed to have a diplomat in their ranks. Opal M. DeLong-Warren, my mother, proved to be the diplomat. Uncle Willie had been killed at a chivarie, near Reeds Spring, in the 1930s. In my lifetime, momma, always did her best to look out for and protect her mother and brothers: Richard, Joe and Hobert to the best of her abilities. Uncle Hobert and Uncle Joe had their own families.

In my lifetime, Uncle Richard always made sure the graves looked immaculate. Opal M. DeLong Warren always made sure all the “DeLong graves” had flowers. Momma always shopped for the flowers and eventually came to rely on a local woman to make the wreaths for the family headstones. Now, my wife, Christy, shops for the flowers, foam and artistic accessories to make the wreathes for the headstones.

The DeLong Graves

Life and Death being the human condition, the DeLong Graves change through the years. Upon my mother’s death, my wife and I accepted the tradition of decorating the graves that my mother had always made sure got decorated. There are other DeLong graves in Yocum Pond, but, those DeLongs have their own family members who should be able to decorate their graves.

C.J. Bellamy, “Grandma Bellamy,” I never met her. She was my mother’s grandmother. She died about a quarter of a century before I was born. The stories that my mother told me of Grandma Bellamy is that she was a strong willed woman – stubborn. I have never found any documentation to prove that she was a suffragette and she lived long before the 1970’s definition of feminist. Yet, she was a woman, who apparently was stubborn.

She outlived one husband. When her second husband decided he didn’t want to leave northern Missouri for Stone County, Missouri; she left him. Grandma Bellamy decided she wanted to live with one of her daughters and her new husband, so C.J. Bellamy left her second husband.

Grandma Bellamy is legendary for her strong-willed nature. She is also remembered to be a practical business woman.

Daniel Salsbery, “Uncle Dan,” is a son of Grandma Bellamy. He was a farmer in Stone County, Missouri.

"Uncle Daniel" Salsbery's headstone before the flowers were added for Memorial Day 2009.

Earl DeLong, “Uncle Earl,” is a Springfield, Missouri relative resting in Yocum Pond. In the 1930s, during The Great Depression, Grandma DeLong and my mother told me how hard it was “to make ends meet” and earn a living day to day.

"Uncle Earl" DeLong's headstone displays the Memorial Day 2009 flowers.

When “Uncle Earl” died apparently some of the relatives believed the DeLongs of Stone County were better able to afford funeral expenses. The story that I always heard is that is why his body was brought to Yocum Pond for burial.

Willie DeLong, “Uncle Willie,” is one of my mother’s brothers. He had the reputation of being “The Outdoors man” He loved to fish and hunt. Grandma said he would spend weeks camped out on the banks of the James River. Uncle Willie was murdered at a local “chivarie,” which was basically an Ozarks wedding reception in the 1930s.

Charles H. and Martha L. DeLong, “Grandma and Grandpa DeLong,” I never met grandpa, but the numerous stories that I’ve heard about him; he was an interesting man. Grandma is the type of woman, who should have here own biography of wit and wisdom on the shelf of the local library.

Richard B. DeLong, “Uncle Richard,” was a Stone County, Missouri farmer. Paint a portrait of the American farmer behind a team of horses and don’t be surprised if the man looks like Richard DeLong. For years, he plowed the fields with two Clydesdale named “Bob and Fred.” He chewed “Day’s Work” and “Good Money” chewing tobacco. Even though he bought a narrow front end John Deere tractor, he sometimes found it faster and more efficient to hook up “Old Kate,” his white mule, and “Hazel,” his young brown mule to the plow.

Grandma said Uncle Richard had a girlfriend when he was a teenager. Everyone in the family always said, “the girl ran off and married someone else.” He never had another girlfriend.

Uncle Richard was hard of hearing, which meant that he spoke in a loud voice. An unusual brain condition in his middle age years gave him a speech impediment, which meant that sometimes I got to act as a translator for him because strangers didn’t always understand what he was trying to say. He had a great sense of humor and his ideas of entertainment meant watching “wrestling” on the small rabbit-eared black and white TV.

Taking a “day off” from farming meant it was Monday and Uncle Richard was going to Noel Cox’s Sale Barn in Ozark. Sometimes, he would go to buy cattle, but usually, he just like to watch the cattle, goats, and horses sell. It also gave him a chance to see and visit with old friends and other farmers. Every time I smell cow manure and hamburgers, I remember going with Uncle Richard to the sale barn. We always made a day of it. Lunch meant that we would be eating in the sale barn cafe. In those days, the aroma of the sale barn barnyards found their way into the cafe every time the door opened or closed.

Evening entertainment for Uncle Richard meant that it was Thursday night and time to go to “Play Night” at the Coon Ridge Saddle Club. We would sit on the benches and watch kids and some grown ups riding horses and practicing for upcoming horse shows and rodeos by honing their barrel racing skills. One of Uncle Richard’s closest friends was Fred Atchison. We’d take our seat on the bleachers to watch the riders.

Some Thursday evenings, the black stake bed Ford truck would arrive. Fred’s kids or grandkids would unload their horses and lead them in the ring to perform. Fred would sit up by Uncle Richard and I on the bleachers. The two men would talk about days gone by and farming. I’d usually ease down off the bleachers and try to convince one of the young riders to let me ride their horse. Sometimes I got to ride and sometimes I didn’t, but, it was always fun going anywhere with Uncle Richard.

Samuel E. Warren and Opal M. DeLong Warren, “Dad and Mom” Daddy was a short haul East Texas trucker that got drafted by Uncle Sam to serve in World War II in the European and Pacific Theaters of Operation. He grew up on a farm in Simpsonville, Texas, near Winnsboro and Gilmer. After the war, he worked at Cameron Iron Works in Houston, Texas. He didn’t invent the word, “workaholic,” but he embodied every letter. In addition to working full time at Cameron’s, he worked part time as a bartender at Cooks Hoedown and later a bartender and bouncer at the Dome Shadow in Houston, Texas. He was always passionate about a job getting done right.

Opal M. Warren, my mother, is one of those people, who always seemed to be more myth than human. She represented the embodiment of the word, “Family.” She always went “above and beyond” to help grandma and Uncle Richard. When ever one of her brothers called her, then, momma would be there to help out. She may not of been one of Missouri’s first women hog farmers, but she managed 25 head of hogs from Hampshire to Duroc. Like her grandmother, C.J. Bellamy, Opal M. Warren was a practical business woman, who was strong-willed and downright stubborn.

Willie’s Children

Opal M DeLong Warren always tried to keep in touch with family members throughout the United States. It was understood if you were trying to reach the Charles H. and Martha L. DeLong Family that your point of contact would be Opal Warren, in the days before computers. She always responded to the phone calls and letters.

Opal Warren served not only as the Guardian of the DeLong Family, she also became the Protector of the Family History with the passion expected of a historian working for the United Kingdom’s College of Arms in London.

Momma’s brother Willie had been murdered in the 1930s, so she always tried to stay in touch with his children. Harold DeLong, the son of Willie DeLong, served in the U.S. Army. His whereabouts are unknown.

Reva DeLong, Willie’s daughter was born after her father died. Grandma DeLong and Momma made it a point to tell Reva all the stories that they could remember about Willie, her father. As a young girl, Reva spent some time living with her Aunt Opal in Houston, Texas. Opal Warren loved to tell the story of how everyone though Reva was her little sister. Reva’s funeral was held in Minnesota.

Other DeLong Graves

There are other DeLong Graves in Yocum Pond, but these graves are probably related to Hobert or Joe DeLong. Uncle Hobert and Uncle Joe had their own families, so I will leave the documentation and listing of those graves to those family members who are responsible for the care and maintenance of those graves.

Respect For The Dead

The Charles H. and Martha L. DeLong family’s commitment to “The Real Memorial Day of May 30” is a tradition that is part of the overall Big Picture of the DeLong family’s attention to the graves at Yocum Pond.

America is a hodge podge of cultural ideas and identities. Likewise customs and traditions evolve and change over time. Ozarks customs are slow to change. While “Cremation” may be a cheaper alternative that the traditional expense of a funeral; it was never an acceptable alternative for the Charles H. and Martha L. DeLong Family, nor, was it ever considered when Opal M. DeLong-Warren made the funeral arrangements. In the 1960s and 1970s, some local farmers would burn their trash. The thinking of the day was simple: “You burn trash; not people.”

The Charles H. and Martha L. DeLong Family of Stone County always taught the belief of “Respect For The Dead.”

As a child, I realized on Memorial Day, when you went to the cemetery, you stayed glued to Uncle Richard. I was taught to always have a respectful attitude in the cemetery. When I was a child, Uncle Richard remind me time and again about “watch were you step.” Like a drill sergeant, he always reminded me never to walk on or step on a grave.

DeLong Family Memorial Day

Photography Tradition

My mother, Opal M. DeLong Warren as a young girl saved money for film. She had a changing arsenal of cameras through the years. Her main specification in cameras was “the simpler the better.” Throughout her life, Opal M Warren documented birthdays, holidays, graduations, weddings and special events in pictures. For a “shutterbug” like my Pisces mother, Memorial Day meant taking the camera to the cemetery. Once a headstone was decorated, she took a picture of each and every headstone. She did it to remember what the flower arrangements look like. I continue the tradition.

Ancestor Worship

The Charles H. and Martha L. DeLong Family always honored and respected the memories of family members who had passed from this life. The DeLong Family observances were not what would be considered ancestor worship.

My childhood memories of Memorial Day meant that Uncle Richard would spend the day walking between the graves and looking at the appearance and the floral decorations. He would tell you stories about the family member, whose name appeared on the headstone. If someone asked where someone was buried he would walk the person to the grave and tell them stories about the person and the funeral.

In a poetic sense, on Memorial Day, I see the man with the long face, the work shirt and the overalls walking among the graves. Regardless, who the man may actually be; I see Richard B. DeLong, “Uncle Richard” walking among the headstones, reading the names and the dates and commenting on the flowers.

My Mentors

Richard B. DeLong, “Uncle Richard” taught me respect for tradition reminds you that you are connected to the ancestors that went before you.

Martha L. Marcum – DeLong, “Grandma DeLong,” had an Irish, Cherokee background and lived in a community that had an intense belief in Christianity. Other grandchildren, might have had different experiences, but, grandma never talked or preached religion at me. I did learn from grandma that by remembering the history and stories of your ancestors you remain connected through the ages.

Opal M. DeLong Warren, “Momma,” got exposed to the Pentecostal religion as a young girl. At an early age, my mother told me she would never tell me what religion I had to believe in. She kept her promise. I could never get momma to discuss religion or politics; and I tried several times through the years. I learned from my mother to be flexible with religious ideas, but to observe family customs because the customs remind you that family struggles on from generation to generation.

Junior Warren, thanks to my grandmother and mother, I have always been interested in history. Born a Scorpio, I love mystery. There is no bigger mystery than the After Life. The DeLong Family Commandment of Respect for the Dead has driven me on to examine customs and traditions relating to death. The experience of being able to travel to other countries, exposed me to other cultures that have their own customs and traditions of relating to ancestors.

Catholicism proved to be an important religion in the Republic of the Philippines in the 1980s.

I’ve been exposed to the Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist religions. I’ve been exposed to Catholicism and Buddhism.  I chose a spiritual path that would allow me to accept and reject dogmas and beliefs that feel comfortable to me, rather than signing on to any one religion. If there are any DeLongs or Warrens that can be pointed to for “ancestor worship”; it is me. In the 21st Century, I do magick and blend ancestral customs and traditions into the customs and traditions that I was taught.

Uncle Richard, Grandma DeLong and Momma’s lessons last throughout the years. Each May, I know it is time to begin the preparations for Memorial Day. Memories of childhood and adulthood arise and I can’t help to smile as various memories from the years come to mind. My only major concern is come May 30, will Uncle Richard be looking over my shoulder, pleased with my arrangement of the decorations on The Real Memorial Day- May 30.

Junior Warren

For more information on the history and ancestors of Stone County, Missouri visit the US Gen Web site at

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