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Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet On Word Press

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Samuel E. Warren Jr.,

The Prophet


Word Press

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Every writer wants to make his mark in the world. Ernest “Papa” Hemingway, William Faulkner, P.D. James, Barbara Cartland, Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner, L.Ron Hubbard, Stephen King, Samuel Langhorne”Mark Twain” Clemens,Thomas Wolfe, John Ernst Steinbeck Jr., Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe and, now, Samuel E. Warren Jr.


The traditional way, of course, is to work as a newspaper reporter, editor, magazine writer, columnist, movie script author or playwright.


Thanks to the Internet, social media, software, hardware, computers,streaming video, cell phones and the electronic inventions from the 1970s through 2013 – tradition has changed.


Writers Write


I love to write.


My philosophy as a writer is simple: “Writers Write.”


Blog writers or authors may never be invited to book-signings like novelist authors.


However , blog writers electronic articles are posted in the vast never closes Library Of The Internet just waiting for someone to use a search engine – to find the listing tucked away in the virtual card catalog.


Lessons Of The Sam I Am Blog


I began my Sam I Am Blog around 2005 as a basic one person, weekly, and sometimes daily electronic newspaper.


It was never intended to be the “Dear Diary” of many websites but a collection of my writing and photographs.


I post stories,anecdotes, photos, opinions, editorials, commentaries, news reports, feature stories, short stories and a collection of my life experiences revealed in a variety of different formats.


I had toyed, for a few months, with the traditional stereotypical writer challenge of “The Great American Novel”.


I actually completed two novels written out in longhand in two different notebooks. The experience was fun, but time consuming. I put them on the shelf.


On my “Sam I Am Blog”, as of March 6, 2013, I had 275 post of articles and photos under my belt on that blog, This post, naturally, changed the number to 276.


I decided to try another writing project to add flexibility to my writing.


I wanted to do something controversial.


Politics And Religion


From the time I was a small boy my mother had always warned me, “Never Talk Politics And Religion In Public.”


On the surface, it is wise advice.


In a democracy like the United States Of America, you should find a way to talk politics and have your opinion heard. I believe what President Thomas Jefferson said about an “informed citizenry.”


Once you begin working you pay local, state and federal taxes, which means you pay the salaries of those politicians. Since you are putting their groceries on the table, there has to be a way to tell them what you think.


You should “talk politics”, but be wise about where you express your political views.


In the Real World, anytime you talk Politics or Religion, in public, you can sometimes watch an ordinary person transform before your eyes into a raving fanatical, lunatic.


Talk politics and people get upset. Their faces get red. They raise their voices. Their sentences become overloaded and bloated with dictionaries of cuss words and their tones climb well up into the decibel range.


Regardless of the political topic or issue, at the end of the day, a Democrat is a Democrat and a Republican is a Republican.


As long as alcohol and firearms are no where near the discussion area, most people will grumble away and come back another day to discuss or argue the merits of their issue, candidate or party.


When the dust has cleared all you have really done is waste time and found out ,in no uncertain terms, where a person stands.


Alas, Politics is essentially the age old Chevy versus Ford discussion.


Farmers who own Chevy and GMC pickups seldom have a nice word for Ford owners. Likewise, the “Ford Faithful” look down on the Chevy lovers.


Dodge and the owners of Japanese made pickups are looked at by the good ole boys of Chevy and Ford like, “What planet did you say you were from ?”


The Internet is a wonderful location. You find a virtual street corner and put down your soap box to stand upon. Then, you go into your best Voltaire and Robespierre


I, Sam The Democrat, keep my politics on my “Sam I Am Blog”. . .for now, anyway.


Momma The Mentor



I, Samuel E. Warren Jr., proudly proclaim myself a

 “Momma’s Boy.”


I could ask my mother any question and she would give me her honest opinion.


Momma never pull punches with me. If I was “In The Right”, then, she supported me tooth and nail.


If I was “In The Wrong”, Momma did her best to try and be the first one to tell me.


As a young man, I even asked Momma my “birds and bees questions” and she answered them.


My mother was a truly unique human, who lived her beliefs.


There was just one subject I could not get Momma to discuss with me: Religion.


I could never get my mother to discuss religion with me.


I did enjoy tossing out ideas and watching her shift around in her chair and try to change the subject.


Momma had been exposed to the Pentecost beliefs as a little girl, but, did not really practice those beliefs as an adult.


Every Human’s Achilles’ Heel


Thanks to Momma, I discovered The Achilles’ Heel Of Every Human On Planet Earth – Religion.


As a young boy, Momma had told me she would never tell me what to believe when it came to religion.


She held true to her word.


Through the years, I would run various religious ideas by her and her Midwest Ozarks upbringing made it obvious that Momma wasn’t fond of the idea, but, she never told me, “No.”


Through childhood, into the International Order Of DeMolay, into college and on to active duty in the United States Armed Forces, I came in contact with various people of numerous religions and faiths.


Through my life experiences, I have visited various churches, sit through sermons, Mass and lit incense in temples.


I never found “The Religion”, but I did discover “The Spiritual” in my Life.


In my Quest, I had to move past the salesmen and the recruiters and I did.


Religion’s Cereal Salesmen


Religion is like cereal, there are many boxes on the store shelves and they all come in different packaging and flavor. They all meet the minimum daily requirements.


I just never appreciated the self-righteous “salesmen” and the “quota recruiters”, who always tried to strong arm their way into my Immortal Soul.

Award a man or woman a sheepskin in religion and suddenly that person acts like they are “God’s Little Brother” or “God’s Little Sister” and they have all the answers.


The “Witnessing Religions” are the worst because they lead their religious associates to believe that they have to “spread the word” and carry out the “ministry”, so a man or woman starts to talk.


You listen. You can ask questions. But, if your questions have humor or any cynicism, sarcasm, or skepticism; then,”Lo, you are a disrespectful sinner”.


If one of your questions hits the aspiring apostle’s nerve or the devout disciple’s ego the wrong way, then, their facial expression changes and usually their voice rises and the person seems more offended and aggressive.


The serial salesmen don’t appreciate it when you call them on their “testimony.”


Their faith usually sends them out to do “testimonials” like a vacuum cleaner or a tractor salesman and you are suppose to be the good customer and not question company advertising and marketing.


After all, the salesmen and the recruiters have memorized the serials of stories and weren’t suppose to know if the product or service actually worked.


These testimonial people are serial salesman they can tell you an episode of Psalms, Deuteronomy, or whatever, but, they can’t actually tell you if Jesus ever went out on a date with a woman or Saint Peter’s wife’s middle name.


Through the years, I have learned, rather than risk teasing a hungry dog, who I will invariably,make foam at the mouth and angry – I smile and shut the door.



The Human Computer


Sometimes though Religion forgets it is “Food For The Soul” and not the Universal Hardwired Programming Of Each Individual Human On Planet Earth.


People can always choose to reformat their mental hard drives with Operating Systems of their own choosing and select or reject various upgrades to their programming based on their Life experiences.


The World’s Old Traditional Religions forget they are the FORTRAN, COBOL, assembly, and machine languages of past generations.


The sprite, peek and pope graphics of the early humans who were flesh and blood pizza boxes that were amazed by flashing cursors of light from lighting and swamp gas to St. Elmo’s Fire,


Like computers, people evolved over the years and Prometheus, got tweaked with enough intelligence to carry his own cigarette lighter and maybe even learn how to wire up a house.


Prometheus like other humans sought to expand their human programming on their own to reach out beyond Global Positioning Satellites to interface with God.


Meanwhile, while the old religions are still scratching their heads over the Apple IIe and the old Packard Bell 386 in the church, synagogue or mosque basement, people out in the Real World is glance at their Kindle readers, i Phones, and cell phones.


While religious officials may worry that they are becoming The 8 Track Tapes Of Humanity, people in the Real World wonder if they have the latest state of the art portable electronics to keep up with breaking news and check their email without switching their Internet Service Provider and upgrading to another cell phone plan.


The Vatican got Pope Benedict XVI a twitter account, which got canceled when he became the Emeritus Pope.


The old religions are working with the electronics, but they have yet to grasp the ASC II understanding that their doctrine and dogma has got to be upgraded to be saved into the evolving servers of the human mind.


Despite the technology of the Real World, there are humans, who get that Amiga formatted floppy and the MS-DOS 5.0 floppy loaded into their minds and they do not want to challenge or risk accidentally overwriting their religious beliefs.


Therefore, they backup their religious beliefs to a hard drive in their heads and ward off any ideas they consider worms, trojans, viruses or back doors to their hardwired religious beliefs.


Nuclear Religious Reality


A Religious discussion can get you hurt, hospitalized or, based on some news stories, in the United States and around the globe: DEAD.


The topic of Religion is essentially the equivalent of realizing that you are in possession of nuclear material and realizing that you have to handle it carefully otherwise you are at Ground Zero of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.


Nonetheless, Religion is an important issue to every human on the planet because it always leads to a belief of some sort in an Afterlife.


I believe Religion is far more Nuclear than Politics.


Politics makes people angry because it takes money out of their wallets and purses, but people know they have to have some semblance of public order provided by government.


Otherwise, Life is a never-ending chaos of neighbor against neighbor for property and goods, which results in the legendary Hatfield and McCoys feuds that last for generations.


Politics ends at the tombstone.


Religion is one of those personal issues that goes to the core of the individual and challenges a person to examine their Immortal Soul.


Politics can lead to War; Religions start Wars.


Samuel The Prophet


I knew a religion blog would serve my curious and controversial needs.



I needed a catchy title. I got it.


I needed something to catch the eyes. I got it.


I posted some articles. I did it.


I post to the blog and wait for feedback and comments.


Publicity is always hard to achieve because it costs money.


Free publicity is rare.


Now, I have decided to do some publicity for my religion blog.


The Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet” blog is on a Word Press website.


Word Choice


I decided the word, “Prophet” would probably take some religious people to “Defense Condition One status and have a klaxon going off inside their heads.


At DEFCON ONE, I would like to believe they will visit my blog and read through some of the articles.


In the Midwest, Moses is an old respected Holy Bible prophet.


For someone in the early 21st Century to use that hallowed, revered, respected, sacred English word, “Prophet,” would be ?


Heretical. Not really, because a word is just a word, but the meaning gives the word Life.


To call oneself a “Prophet” is Blasphemous ? Not really, because financial publications have run articles on “Profit Prophets” of Wall Street through the years.


However, the word, “Prophet” does catch your eyes and stimulates your mind.


The word choice of “Prophet ?”


I done did it.


The Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet blog is a platform to look at religion.


I know I will not change anyone’s religion.


The purpose is not to convert anyone.


The purpose is to challenge religious ideas.


The purpose is to ask people to think.


The purpose is to inspire people to seek a religion that helps them in Life.


I challenge the traditional religions.


I’m the writer, editor and publisher, so I get to be “The Devil’s Advocate.”


Feel free to hit me with your “The Beast,” “The Anti-Christ”, “The Blasphemer,” “The Heretic” and other not so nice comments.


I have on my asbestos underwear, so I’m ready.


Keep in mind though that I do respond to comments left on my blogs.


If you want to look at other than traditional religious views, please, visit my “Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet” blog on Word Press.






Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet

Written by samwarren55

March 7, 2013 at 6:25 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Editorial, God, Holidays, Money, Mythology, New Age, Observances, Opinion, Religion, Religion, Sam I Am, Soap Box Religious Opinion, Spiritual, The Ozarks

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FREE PHOTO – Fire Pentacle – Fire Pentagram

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FREE PHOTO – Fire Pentagram – Fire Pentacle – Here is a photo that I shot a few years ago. I’m posting it for people who want to download it to use in presentations, on blogs, in magick rituals, or whatever. Story Behind The Photo — The basics of setting up the photo were pretty simple. I placed a pewter coaster in the yard after sunset and sat it briefly on fire to shoot the photo. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Written by samwarren55

July 3, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Momma’s Death Anniversary – Editorial – Opinion

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Momma’s Death Anniversary

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Friday, June 11, 2004 – The sun would come up. It did not matter to me.

The beautiful sunrise through the curtains of a waiting lounge at Cox South Hospital blanketed a new day on the world. I was numb. I had been shoved into my personal twilight zone. The hospital chaplain sat beside me at the table and tried to use words to comfort me. I have no doubt he believed them.

I wasn’t too concerned about my friend, God.

The most devastating event in my life had only happened a few minutes before.

Momma had died.

I had been at my mother’s beside and watched the gleam of life in her eyes disappear. The breath of life had been exhaled quietly for a final time.

I was truly alone.

The End Of The World meant nothing.

I had a front row seat at My Own Personal Chaos.

To me, The End Of The World happened Friday, June 11, 2004.

Floodlights didn’t flash on. News media vans didn’t roll up on scene and bust out their crews and cameras. Military helicopters didn’t land to secure the area and begin to set up a perimeter to get help to the suffering and hold back the looters. Humanitarian agencies didn’t respond in tractor trailer trucks and vans to set up portable soup kitchens to help the hungry and begin compiling lists of the missing.

Former President Ronald Reagan had died a few days before, thus, the American, Missouri and Springfield flags were still at half mast. I liked Reagan. Today, though, I decided the half-mast flags acknowledged Momma’s reassignment from The Real World.

Momma’s boy

My wife and cousin were at the hospital, by my side, but, at this moment, my body sat in a chair at a table and my emotions lashed out at the Universe to question and curse any entity that remotely resembled higher intelligence.

I am a Momma’s boy. I always have been. I still am.

The pain was my Ultimate Mentor had departed.

Higher Headquarters had issued the orders for her Eternal Permanent Change Of Station. She had no choice, but to comply.

Momma had earned her Earth Retirement Ceremony.

Death Anniversary

In the Republic of the Philippines, there is a custom that is not practiced in the United States.

On the Anniversary of the Death Of A Loved One. You prepare a plate of food and sit either at the table or on a family altar. You sit a favorite drink by the plate. If the person was a smoker you put an unlit cigarette in an ashtray. The place stays undisturbed until 6 pm Then, a person shows up to recite some vocal prayers to the Universe.

Once the Professional Pray Person (I don’t know the correct name) recites the vocal prayers, then, they leave. The family then decides to let someone eat the food on the plate or to let it remain until the next morning. (Naturally, in the United States, there would be all these health concerns of leaving the food out – but, the point is not necessarily to eat the food, but to make a spiritual offering and to allow the family to come together to remember the Loved One.)

Death Anniversary - A family observance to remember a Loved One on the anniversary of the day of their death in the Republic of the Philippines. I adopted and adapted the ceremony for an annual remembrance of my mother. Photo taken June 11, 2011 by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

If a family member is a smoker, then, he or she smokes the cigarette. If there are no smokers in the family, then, the unlit cigarette is lit and placed in the ash tray to naturally burn and someone watches to make sure no embers land outside the ashtray and start an unintentional fire.

The Death Anniversary Ceremony, I am told occurs repeatedly without fail every year for at least ten years.

Bus Stop In The Twilight Zone

Moments after my Mother’s Death, I stood alone in The Twilight Zone of my mind. My body knew that necessary and official tasks had to be completed, but when The World Ends, who cares about dotting an I or crossing a t ?

The Major Concerns Of Daily Life, in an instant, had become insignificant.

Since I was big enough to appreciate reality – my momma had always been here. She was The Beacon Against The Universal Injustices In The Nights Of Humankind. No issue had ever been too small or too big for momma to appear in her battle armor and beat back the insanity of daily life. To say, she was my Rock is to bestow the highest compliment on one of the most common elements of nature.

Naturally, I had to appear to function in the so-called Real World around me. An Emotional Zombie is simply a Robotic Mannequin that moves through the World Of Men And Women to carry out the expected functions and perhaps someday return to Life as a human. I became the Zombie, who could function enough to handle all the asinine legal matters at hand.

I stood in the bus station of my Twilight Zone.

None of the activities going on around me, concerned me in the least. If Charon, the River Styx Boatman, had been dressed in a bus driver’s uniform taking tickets I would not of cared.

Arrivals and Departures did not matter. I stood in the middle of my mental bus stop and let life go on around me. At some point, I would have to walk out one of the doors, but for now, I stood in my mind and let Riders Of The Real World catch their buses along their roads of Life.

The Longest Day Of My Entire Life seemed to last for millennium

American Grief Counseling

I’m sure the experts like to think they have answers for everything – they don’t.

Death is still The Universal Mystery That Is The Sole Property Of A Higher Realm.

I know the chaplain had his job to do. I did appreciate his sincere effort.

I had psychology classes in college, so I know all the educational gobbledygook, brouhaha, pig Latin jargon rhetoric and professional terms that go with A Major Life Changing Event.

What the Freud types don’t realize is sometimes in Life your Soul become intertwined with another human being and there is no way to acknowledge the person’s passing without realizing that a piece of your Soul is no longer in the Real World.

Obviously, the intent of Grief Counseling is to help keep Survivors in The Real World.

Naturally, bills still need to be paid, the real occupation has to be performed for anyone to keep their job and family members in the Real World have to know that some part of you is still attached to The Real World. It is all nice and logical. But, that day all of the nice logic meant nothing.

I have no doubt that Grief Counseling does work for some people. This article is not intended to Declare War on Medical Authorities and Psychiatrists. In the Legions Of Humanity, there are those of us, who seek more than a medical diagnosis, traditional cliches, and want a personal understanding that might defy the logic and rationale of The Real World.

When did Death ever sign a document to play by the rules of

The Real World Of Humankind ?

A Candle To Light Your Way

The intent of the article is to recognize that Death refuses to be trivialized and categorized. Death strands in front of you and demands that you look into his or her eyes and come to your own personal understanding.

Each reader Lost In Grief, should seek the help of family, friends, loved ones and if need be, the professional medical community. My article states the traditional approaches did not work for me. I had to find my own way through the darkness. If you feel as helpless as I did, then, perhaps, my article will be the candle you can use to light your way.

The Dumbest Grief Statement Of All Creation —

The Dumbest Of All Statements To Make To Someone In Grief Is: “You have to go on.”

Naturally, people are trying to comfort you, but, the old “You have to go on” is one of the dumbest statements of all time to fall out of the mouths of anyone. Forget the statement.

For me, it would have been better if someone would of just smiled at me, patted me on the shoulder, squeezed my hand or said, “There are no words at a time like this.”

There are no words at a time like this,” is a true statement, which maybe a cliche and states the obvious – but that statement does not insult your intelligence or belittle and trivialize the life of the lost love one.

Land Of The Living

Naturally, Psychiatrists Of The Universe should have been happy – because in time, I did appear to Return To The Land Of The Living. But, I did it without, “Letting Go.”

All the so-called “experts,” with their framed sheepskins and years of professional experience always seem to parrot “Let Go.”

All the psychiatrists like politicians always forget One Distinctive Quality Of Human Nature – Every Individual Is Just That An Individual – and Generic Sugar Pills For The Masses Never Works For The Individual. I didn’t need a Placebo. I needed an Answer.

My Mother was too significant a force in my personal life to ever “Let Go.”

My Own Path In The Grief

Christians would have cardiacs because you are suppose to realize that someday something about being with your loved ones at some far off time in the future comes about. It is nice that some people can find comfort in their religions.

But, I’ve always Dissected Religions and could only come up with my own Spiritual Beliefs, so the standard religious cliches fell on my deaf ears. I tried to be respectful to the hospital chaplain and nodded politely. I appreciated his efforts. But, I knew I had to find my own path in the grief.

Ancestor Worship

In the Pacific, some cultures have customs of Ancestor Worship, that respects and recognizes the sacrifices of family members who lived before.

My personal method of dealing with Being Left Behind is a combination of techniques that I have accumulated from my experiences in life, researching books and surfing the Internet. In a Life Changing Moment – all ideas were on the table in my mind.

Vision Quest

My personal understanding of a Vision Quest means that it is a journey only you, the individual can take. Only you can find the answers you seek. This would not be a Real World ritual sit out in the boondocks that required physical survival as well as spiritual insight. This would be a personal Vision Quest in The Real World that would reach inside my Mind and examine the needs of my Soul.

Critics And Skeptics Be Damned!

In dealing with my personal grief, I pulled out all the stops.

If I could of stood in a Great Marble Hall In The Depths Of The Universe and stood before God Almighty and Satan and asked, “Why?”

It would have been enough to have an answer and risk whatever punishment would of come from my personal audacity and arrogance to have the strength to ask such a face to face question of the two most powerful entities in the Universe.

I might not find the answer. But, I had to arrive at some level of understanding for Life to continue to make any sort of sense. All types of information would be looked at and examined. My Mind and Soul needed something other than cliches, fairy tales and wishful thinking.

I knew I would not find any detailed commentaries of dead people who had come back and done in depth interviews. I had to find some type of information that would speak to my Mind and Soul and say, “Relax. There is a Method to the Madness of Life.”

The issue was not a Quest For Self Discovery – I know Who I Am. The issue was not Fear Of My Own Mortality. The issue was Life Beyond The Personal Grief – I demanded a clue that Momma’s Life did not end in a hospital bed.

I had to find some type of information that would give me the peace of mind to understand and believe that Life is not just A Flashbulb Flash In A Universal Night.

All ideas were on the table. No idea was too ludicrous. Whatever works – works. Critics and Skeptics be damned!

Religion deals with The Supernatural, or as people in the late 20th Century preferred the more scientific sounding term, The Paranormal. I tried to find answers – not cliches – not theatrics – not theories: Answers.

Born a Scorpio, the Universe had hardwired my appetite for Mystery and The Unknown and programmed my Curiosity into my first breath.

No Concrete Answer.

Wake Up The Old Gods And Goddesses!

But, there were ideas and techniques that helped me.

The traditional interpretation of God, Jehovah, or Allah is a single supreme male entity, who sits high above humanity and looks down upon the industrious ant-like mortals. I have never believed that God was simply an Immortal Kid With An Ant Farm or An Immortal Scientist Obsessed By His Collections Of Lab Rats Locked In The Perpetual Maze.

I’ve been exposed enough to modern religions to know that they come up short. The only current religion that ever held any interest to me is the Buddhist. But, I was not on a quest of Self-Enlightenment. I wanted some tangible assurance that Momma was in an Afterlife.

I appreciate anthropologists.

Humankind has existed for Millennium. Current Society usually shrugs off the contributions of Ancient Humans like a cold, rain through a leaky umbrella. But, the people who lived before left us had a wealth of knowledge from science and mathematics to funeral customs and recopies for beer and pharmaceuticals.

Ancient Men and Ancient Women survived droughts, floods, wars, and plagues in their daily lives so they had to be doing something right. Did they have any insights into an Afterlife?

I’ve always admired Native American cultures and Ancient Egypt, so I did review their beliefs.

Magick is usually seen as an entertaining pastime for children. You take a kid to a local magic show or they watch a magic movie about beings wielding wands and searching for magic cups. Society likes to ignore that some icons of science had an interest in different approaches to knowledge and understanding.

Thus, I could flip through my magick books or surf the Internet and study up on Dion Fortune, Aleister Crowley, Samuel Mathers and others for indications of any revelations of an Afterlife.

Ancient scientists, philosophers, doctors, astrologers, mathematicians sought answers and guidance – these people might have been in their imaginations or maybe they did go beyond the traditional confines of the Real World, but they had ideas of Magick that reveals a Faith beyond The Real World.

In 2011, people usually snicker at The Old Gods And Goddesses Of Mythology. One distinct advantage of the Old Gods and Goddesses – they were “hands on” with mortals. They had Real World issues, even on Mount Olympus, in Valhalla, in Asgard or Shangri-La. They had dysfunctional families and they lived like mortals.

Wake Up The Old Gods And Goddesses !

If you take away their bath robes, give them shaves, haircuts and send them to tailors for business suits, denim jeans and cocktail dresses – then, some of the Ancient Greek, Roman, Norse mythology suggests that an entity can relate to us mere mortals of earth.

The concepts of Wicca as a Nature religion suggests, as I understand, looking outside oneself into the Universe. The rituals serve to focus the mind to seek guidance beyond the Real World.

I accepted some of the ideas and rejected a lot. My quest was not to find a personal religion. Nor, was it to adopt a Personal Dogma Of Spiritual Beliefs. I wanted more tangible evidence of an Afterlife.

Spiritual Research years before had suggested: I give God a partner – Goddess. No one – not even a God should ever be truly alone in any exsistence called Life.

Work The Grief – Find Your Answer

After the funeral, I had time to devote to this Afterlife Quest. Whenever it felt as though I was strolling into my Twilight Zone Bus Stop, I knew I should pick up a book or surf the Internet to find some information. Working The Grief in The Real World is a personal issue, that requires you to put one foot in front of the other.

On a day to day basis, If I’m walking down a city street or through a field and want to talk to Momma, then, I do.

If I want to put together some personal ritual to practice across the road in the pasture to attempt to enhance communication – I do.

I realize my mother’s physical presence is gone from The Real World.

Life Can’t Be Pointless !

Life can’t be pointless. I have always rejected the notion that people come into this life to work like work horses, raise children and then simply die and disappear.

Lucky people leave tales of their lives as authors of novels or can be found in history books. By the late 20th Century, most people were fortunate to be recognized with an Obituary in a newspaper.

But, I believe the overall intent of a Human Life does not end at a Cemetery Headstone or a Funeral Urn.

Find Your Own Path In Grief

Society teaches people to bury their deceased loved one and then to get back on The Gerbil Wheel Of Life. After all, your absence is bound to affect the economic output of the Universal Work Force.

Nonetheless, as a human, you need time to live in your grief. If Society’s theories work, then, use them.

If you have to find your own path – then, find your own path.

No matter how Society At Large attempt to generalize the individual human life – the Universe realizes each individual is unique and makes their contribution in their own way.

Loved Ones will try to help. But, you live in your skin. You have to find your answer.

If you look for information or a path outside of what Society At Large considers – “normal” – be careful about talking to people about it. We all have different experiences in Life and people who profess open minds will sometimes seem confused, dumbfounded, skeptical, or, “at a loss for words.”

Loved Ones can provide Emotional Support. But, Mental Support, my definition, means you climb inside your head and look around. Of course, if you believe in professional counselors or psychiatrists, then, seek them out.

If you feel it is a personal journey that only you can make, then, do so, but do not retreat from The Real World or Loved Ones.

In the Practical, Logical, Rationale Real World, no one really understands the individual who feels as though the Universe has turned against you and brought Death to someone you do not want to leave your life.

Thus, whether you decide to Let Go of your Loved One or wish to keep their presence within arm’s reach the rest of your life – it is your decision.

Your Own Afterlife Procedures

If you wish to keep the Spiritual Presence of your Loved One near, then, you will have to come up with your own procedures.

I did not find any guarantees of an Afterlife. But, my gut instinct tells me there is one. Religion would call the instinct: Faith.

The idea of stepping, “Into The Light,” is poetic and provides for easy special effects on television. I can believe we step or pass into another dimension, but, I need to believe that I can send thoughts and feelings to that dimension.

I need to believe Loved Ones in that dimension can sense, feel, watch and find a way to send back love and guidance.

“Rest In Peace” on headstones to me, means beyond the reach of politicians, bureaucrats, power companies, cell phone services, telemarketers, satellite carriers and others who complicated our daily lives. But, I also believe, RIP means I can be with my Loved Ones in whatever dimension of Time and Space.

I will stand at a Cemetery Headstone and talk.

I see the Cemetery Headstone as A Supernatural Computer Terminal In The Real World. You speak your mind and believe that your words are being saved into a Universal Email that goes to the Person’s Spirit.

My gut instinct tells me Human Life is more than A Match Flame That Dances Briefly Against A Universal Breeze – each life has meaning that transcends the physical body – and, I believe, lives on.

More importantly, I do not accept my Mother’s Spiritual Presence vanished without leaving a Universal Call Forwarding Procedure or a Universal Email Address to maintain surveillance, communication, or the oldest of all procedures: – A Mother’s Love.

My Death Anniversary Ceremony

Saturday, June 11, 2011 – This morning, Momma was not sitting at the kitchen table with her cup of coffee and her cigarette burning in the ash tray.

But, tonight at 6 pm, I can sit a cup of hot coffee on the table. I can light a cigarette and place in the ash tray. I can even light a candle and place in a holder by her coffee cup. I don’t have the Filipino Professional Pray Person to call on for guidance. I can sit look at the area and think my thoughts or open my mouth and speak.

Momma will not magickally step from the ethers and sit in the chair to talk, drink her coffee and smoke her cigarette.

But, I can sit across the table for a moment and look at the empty chair. I can smile and remember, the countless times she passed on her advice without me asking for it I can sense those numerous times in childhood and adulthood that Momma “came to my rescue” and saved me from myself or reminded me of ways to avoid similar traps in the future.

Pity The Poor Psychiatrist

Pity the Poor Psychiatrist, who “Lets Go.” Do psychiatrists really believe that cliche ? Do they parrot, “Let Go,” because it is part of the accepted training ?

In my country boy opinion, Only a Fool Lets Go A Loved One.

Who would undergo Open Heart Surgery and ask a surgeon to cut away half your heart to “let go” a loved one. You accept the Emotional Sword Slash Into Your Heart and realize that you must live with the wound.

I reject that “Time Heals All Wounds” – it is a tired cliche, best left with dinosaur bones.

You realize that you must “Solider On In Life.”

For me, I had to find a technique or belief that would allow me to get out of bed each morning and step back into the petty cares of the insanity of The Real World. For now, I remain engaged in The Flow Of Life In This World.

In the brief moments of the Annual Death Anniversary Observance for me, Momma is alive again in the Real World.

Momma’s presence may only be in my Mind’s Eye, but she is Wonder Woman, Super Girl, Mother Teresa and The Virgin Mary all enshrined in the vision of my mother. She may only speak through a sensation of emotions in my mind, but the awareness of her presence somewhere in the Universe is all I need to know that I am not alone.

The woman who always smiled at my accomplishments and reminded me, “Don’t brag son.Noonelikes a braggart.” I never had to – Momma always took pride in my accomplishments and told the details to friends, neighbors and family members.

Momma would “lecture” me on issues: How To Know If A Member Of The Opposite Sex Loves You, Find A Way To Set Aside Money For Emergencies. Learn To Save Money. Family Comes Before Anything In Life: You Can Always Find A Husband Or Wife – But, Family Is Family And Above All Else. While I didn’t always listen, when I should of; momma’s advice keeps coming back in The Trump Cards Of Live – She is still Aces And Spades. And, still holds The Winning Hand.

Today, Sunday June 11, 2011, is another of Momma’s Death Anniversaries. I don’t know if my experiences will help anyone in grief.

It is not my intent to “lock horns” with the American Medical Association or to fire an opening salvo into the Legions Of Global Psychiatrists.

My country boy intent is to recognize in our rationale world of expert answers: Death Stands In Front Of The Veil And Smiles You Have To Find Your Own Way To Understand Me. I would hope that my article will help someone standing at the brink of The End Of Their World – lost in grief, will find a way to step back and find a way to recognize the personal loss and develop a way to put one foot in front of the other each day to continue their life.

For me, I will observe Momma’s Death Anniversary by adapting the Republic Of The Philippines custom to work for me. I will remember the stories and the advice that I learned from my mother, Opal M. DeLong Warren.

I am the son of the six-foot-one, Missouri brunette, who spent her life sacrificing for me.

I am still a work in progress.

But, the hillbilly wife of a Texan, had stubbornness and determination hardwired into her Soul, so she still watches and finds a way to keep in touch beyond The Real World.

A little thing like Death, is a nuisance, but not even The Great Wall is nothing more than an annoying obstacle to a Mother’s Love.

Thanks, Momma.

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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