Category Archives: Authors

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859)

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Washington Irving
(April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859)

An American author, biographer, story teller, historian, diplomat, and essayist famous in the early 19th century.
Most known for his short stories Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, a resident of “North Tarrytown” which has been name-changed to the village of “Sleepy Hollow” in 1996/1997 to memorialize the stories and Washington Irving. The nearby Irvingtown is named after him and was called such even while Irving was still alive. He became famous in 1802 from the observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under his pen-name of Jonathan Oldstyle. After moving to England in 1815, he became world famous for his “Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.” in 1820 which contained the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip VanWinkle. He alongside James Fenimore Cooper were the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and were influential to other American writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. He also inspired European authors such as Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Francis Jeffrey, and Charles Dickens. He also wrote a five volume biography of George Washington before his death in Tarrytown age 76 years of age.

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Washington Irving loved the areas of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown living just down the road from Sleepy Hollow in his Dutch-style estate he called “Sunnyside”. He fought to have the Tarrytown Cemetery to be called the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery upon which he wrote:

    My Dear Clark:
    I send you herewith a plan of a rural cemetery projected by some of the worthies of Tarrytown, on the woody hills adjacent to the Sleepy Hollow Church. I have no pecuniary interest in it, yet I hope it may succeed, as it will keep that beautiful and umbrageous neighborhood sacred from the anti-poetical and all-leveling axe. Besides, I trust that I shall one day lay my bones there. The projectors are plain matter-of-fact men, but are already, I believe, aware of the blunder which they have committed in naming it the “Tarrytown,” instead of the “Sleepy Hollow” Cemetery. The latter name would have been enough of itself to secure the patronage of all desirous of sleeping quietly in their graves. I beg you to correct this oversight, should you, as I trust you will, notice this sepulchral enterprise.
    I hope as the spring opens you will accompany me in one of my brief visits to Sunnyside, when we will make another trip to Sleepy Hollow, and (thunder and lightning permitting) have a colloquy among the tombs.
    Yours, very truly,
    Washington Irving ~ New York, April 27, 1849

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He was born to two Scottish-English Immigrants – his father was William Irving, Sr. from Quholm, Orkney and Sarah née Sanders who were married in 1761. He had 10 other siblings, 8 of which survived as adults. The first two brothers named William had died in infancy, as well as the fourth – John. His surviving siblings were William, Jr. (1766), Ann (1770), Peter (1772), Catherine (1774), Ebenezer (1776), John Treat (1778), and Sarah (1780). They had settled in Manhattan, New York City. Washington Irving was born on April 3, 1783 at 131 William Street, during the same week city residents learned of the British ceasefire that ended the American Revolution. He was named after George Washington, the hero of the Revolution. While his siblings became merchants, he followed a career in writing. He had a hard time staying in class, often sneaking off taking adventures or attend theater events. After the 1798 yellow fever outbreak, his family moved up the Hudson to a healthier climate just outside of Sleepy Hollow. It was here he became fascinated with the local ghost stories and Dutch customs. He was inspired to write Rip Van Winkle after visiting the Catskill mountains where he wrote had the most “witching effect” on his boyish imagination. He wrote under many different pseudonyms, including Jonathan Oldstyle, William Wizard and Launcelot Langstaff. He began as a comic writer lampooning New York Culture and politics making him popular in the States by 1807. He also was the first to nickname New York City “Gotham” (Anglo Saxon term for “Goat’s Town”.

Washington lost his 17 year old fiancée Matilda Hoffman in 1809, the same year he finished his first major book titled “A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasy” under his name Diedrich Knickerbocker. He pranked the citizens of New York at the time by placing a series of missing persons ads in the papers looking for his pseudo-name Diedrich Knickerbocker as he listed being a crusty Dutch historian who had gone missing from his hotel in NYC. He also placed ads from the hotel manager saying that if Mr. Knickerbocker didn’t return to the hotel to pay his bill, the hotel would publish the manuscript that he left behind. Many followed the story and manuscript with interest. Rewards were placed for his return by NYC officials, all the while gaining interest in his book. He later adopted the pseudonym that December giving him immediate popular success making him a celebrity. After his NY success, he became the editor for Analectic Magazine writing biographies of naval heroes and was the first to reprint Francis Scott Key’s poem “Defense of Fort McHenry” which was later immortalized as the “Star Spangled Banner” becoming the anthem for the U.S.A. He originally opposed the War of 1812, but after the British attack on D.C. in 1814, he felt patriotism and enlisted, serving under Daniel Tompkins, the governor of NY and commander of the NY State Militia. Mid 1815 he left for England to attempt to salvage his family’s trading company, residing there for 17 years. He wound up filing bankrupty and continued writing from 1817-1818. He became great friends with Walter Scottt and continued writing, composing “Rip Van Winkle” overnight while staying with his sister in Birmingham England. By 1818, he became the chief clerk to the US Navy staying in England to pursue a writing career. By 1819 he published the “Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent” which contained Rip Van Winkle and in the second volume published the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He struggled agains literary bootleggers, being victim of theft having numerouls of his sketches reprinted in periodicals without permission. He would up having to pay to have his first four American installments published as a single volume by John Miller in London, and through Walter Scott, procured a more reputable publisher for the rest of his book, London powerhouse John Murray who took on the sketch book. To protect from copyright fraud, since there was no international copyright laws at the time, he concurrently published in the U.S. and Britain to protect his copyright. Bouncing from Paris to London, he became a socialite who was honored as an anomaly of literature – “an upstart American who dared to write English well.” He continued travelling around Europe up through 1821, reading Dutch and German folk tales to get more material. After the death of his brother William, he reached a downfall with depression and writer’s block causing a slow down of his works. In 1822, he wrote “Bracebridge Hall” or “The Humorists, A Medley” that had a similarity to the Sketchbook narrating a series of 50 loosely connected short stories and essays. He then travelled back to German, settling in Dresden for the winter. He became involved with Amelia Foster and became attracted to her 18 year old daughter Emily. He was refused the marriage proposal to her. He then returned to Paris, collaborating with playright John Howard Payne translating various French plays for the English stage. By 1824, he published a collection of essays called “The Tales of a Traveller” which included another famous short story of his called “The Devil and Tom Walker”, all done under his pseudo-name of Geoffrey Crayon. The book wasn’t as well received as he hoped, depressing him, causing him to retreat back to Paris spending most of the year figuring out his finances and coming up with ideas that were never finalized.

In 1826 he was invited to Madrid to help process newly discovered documents about the Spanish conquest of the Americas. He stayed in the Alhambra palace in 1829 that gave him new inspirations. He began working on several books at once, publishing “A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus” by 1828 which wound up having 175 editions. These were the first of his to be published with his real name. A year later he published “The Chronicles of the Conquest of Granada” and then in 1831, the “Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus”. His works on Columbus were a mixture of fiction and history giving birth to the genre of “historical fiction” or “romantic history”. One of these works was the source of the the myth that the Earth was flat. In 1829 he left for England to become the Secretary to the American Legation in London. He also joined the staff of the American Minister Louis McLane and being assigned the role of “aide de camp”. That year they worked on a trade agreement between the U.S. and the British West Indies, sealing a deal in 1830. It was then he was awarded a medal by the Royal Society of Literature and a honorary doctorate of civil law from Oxford by 1831. He returned to writing again later that year, finishing the “Tales of the Alhambra” that was published in 1832. Mid 1832 he returned to America to assist Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, Charles La Trobe, and Count ALbert-Alexandre de Pourtales on a surveying mission in Indian territory. Through this he became acquainted with novelist John Pendleton Kennedy.

Again hitting accounting issues in his life, he started writing for more income and published “A Tour on the Prairies” which was a grand success. He was asked in 1834 to write a history of the fur trading colony in the American Northwest (Astoria, Oregon) highlighting fur magnate John Jacob Astor as “Astoria” finished in 1836. In 1835 Irving and Astor with help of some others founded the Saint Nicholas Society in New York. He also became friends with Benjamin Bonneville, an explorer who influenced Irving to have interest in the territories beyond the Rockies. He bought out Bonneville’s maps and ntoes, which he used in his book “The Adventures of Captain Bonneville” in 1837. During his time he built his Tarrytown New York home – the Sunnyside. It took him 20 years to get it the way he wanted it, and funding it was his articles sold to Knickerbocker magazine under his names Knickerbocker and Crayon. He mentored and advised many aspiring writers, including Edgar Allen Poe. He was also a forefront initiator to stopping piracy and establishing international copyright law.

In 1842 he hosted Charles Dickens and his wife at Sunnyside during Dicken’s tour. Later that year he was appointed Minister to Spain. He became too busy to write, and was wrapped up in politics and warfare. He fell with a crippling skin condition, and needed to return home in 1846 taking up permanent residence at Sunnyside working on an “Author’s Revised Edition” for George Palmer Putnam and made a deal that guaranteed him 12 percent of the retail price of all copies sold which was a first for that time period. In 1848 John Jacob Astor passed away and Irving became the executor of his estate and the first chairman of the Astor library. He continued writing during this position writing biographies of Oliver Goldsmith in 1849 and a work on the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 1850. By 1855 he published “Wolfert’s Roost” another collection of stories and essays first written for the Knickerbocker, as well as a biography for George Washington within 5 volumes published between 1855-1859. At 9 pm on November 28, 1859 he finished the final volume of the Washington biography, he died of a heart attack in his home of Sunnyside. He was buried in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery on December 1, 1859.

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His grave marker was commemorated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his 1876 poem “In the Churchyard at Tarrytown”. Irving was considered the first American Man of Letters and was the first to earn his living solely by his pen. He was seen to be the one to perfect the American Short Story with his stories firmly placed in the U.S. even though he borrowed from European lore. Many authors however saw him as over-rated, including Edgar Allen Poe who stated “Irving is much over-rated .. and a nice distinction might be drawn between his just and his surreptitious and adventitious reputation—between what is due to the pioneer solely, and what to the writer”. In addition to nicknaming NYC as “Gotham” used in Marvel comics, he also came up with the expression “The Almighty Dollar”. His pseudo-name “Diedrich Knickerbocker” is often still associated with NY and New Yorkers becoming a common use name amongst New Yorkers. He also changed how Americans celebrate and view Christmas – he inserted a dream sequence in his “History of New York” depicting St. Nicholas soaring over tree-tops in a flying wagon leading to the practice of individuals dressing up as Santa. He portrayed the idealic Xmas customs in a quaint English manor from which many Americans draw in their observation of the customs for the holiday. Chicago made “Irving Park” in his honor and The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation coined the “Irving Trust Corporation” after him as well. He is often quoted by the Flat Earth Society to prove the Earth was flat prior to the discovery of the New World.

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Sir William Colin MacKenzie (1877-1938)

Sir William Colin MacKenzie ~ 1877-1938: the surgeon, anatomist, philanthropist, orthopaedist

    From the Australian National Museum display: ” Colin MacKenzie was a Melbourne surgeon who studied marsupial anatomy in order to understand human anatomy. Like many other scientists, he believed Australian animals would soon become extinct. MacKenzie wanted to start a native animal sanctuary in Canberra to help with his research. It never happened, but he later founded the Healesville Sanctuary …”

“Colin Mackenzie” or “Bricky” was nicknamed as such for his red hair was a man of great repute in Australia especially as a benefactor, museum administrator, anatomist, and director. He was born on March 9, 1877 in Kilmore, Victoria, Australia. He was the youngest of six as son to his Scottish parents John MacKenzie a draper, and his wife Anne nee McKay. He educated at Kilmore State School and on to Scotch College in Melbourne where he graduated with honors in Greek on December 1893. He graduated from Medical school from the University of Melbourne in 1898. He was first-class honors in surgery, women’s diseases, and obstetrics. He studied in Europe in 1903. In 1908 he tackled the extensive epidemic in Australia of people suffering in need of orthopaedic skills. During World War I he spent three years in England at the Royal College of Surgeons assisting Sir Arthur Keith in cataloging specimens of war wounds for the army and helped bring out the new edition of Treve’s Surgical Applied Anatomy. At the same time he continued his studies of comparative anatomy of Australian fauna. MacKenzie dissected dozens of Australian animals to help him understand human anatomy. For example, he thought dissecting and examining the shoulders of a Koala might help him improve techniques for human shoulders in surgery. He became council member of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. By 1918, he returned to Australia and converted his house at 612 St. Kilda Road into a laboratory and museum which he called the Australian Institute of Anatomical Research devoted most of his time researching Australian animals from 1919 until his death in 1938. By 1920 He had 80 acres of bushland at Badger Creek as a field station for his research. The facility was fenced, had a 6-roomed house for a curator, a cottage for visiting scientists, workshops, animal pens, and a staff of assistants. This eventually became the Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary in 1934. His collection of specimens became world famous, and was gifted to the Australian goverment in 1924. He married his assistant Winifred Iris Evelyn in 1928. He was knighted in 1929 and spent a good portion of the remainder of his life in Canberra. There he served as a member of the Medical Board and by 1933 became the second president of the Canberra-based Royal Society of Australia. His health began to decay and he retired in 1937 upon returning to Melbourne with his wife. He died on June 29, 1938 of a cerebral hemorrage at his home in Kew and was cremated.

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Echoe Park Time Travel Mart

Echo Park Time Travel Mart
* Echo Park * Los Angeles, California * http://www.826national.org/stores/ * 1714 W Sunset Blvd * Los Angeles, CA 90026 * (213) 413-3388 *

In the heart of Echo Park is the thriving little convenience mart for “Time Travellers”. Is your flux capacitor out of commission? This is the place to go for repairs. Need leeches? They’ve got them in stock. Need a Toga in a jar? Need beards for disguises? weapons? dinosaur eggs? freeze dried milk robot milk? Viking odorant, mammoth chunks, Ricky Martin lunch boxes? they are in stock. While this shop has everything to peek one’s interest and give a chance to get a souvenir while visiting historic Echo Park, in reality this shop is a facade for another artsy “www.826national.org” shop known as www.826la.org. These are amazing writing labs where kids can go to write and learn with a non-profit organization that tutors kids ages 8-18. Throughout America are 826 stores that have a creative facade to attract tourists and souvenir shoppers while supporting the non-profit witha mission to support the local community, sell books, and teach under-privileged youth. San Francisco’s shop is a “Pirate Supply Store”, New York City’s is a “Superhero Supply Company”, while Seattle’s is a “Space Travel Supply Company”, Chicago has a secret agent supply store, Boston a Cryptozoology shop, and Michigan’s Liberty Street location is a “Robot Supply and Repair Shop”. L.A.’s Time Travel shop is operated by Miguel Arteta, Mac Barnett, Joshuah Bearman, Nínive Clements Calegari, Dave Eggers, Jodie Evans, John T. Gilbertson, Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, Keith Knight, Melissa Mathison, Salvador Plascencia, and Sally Willcox as the Board of Directors. Drop In Tutoring is available from Monday through Thursday, 2:30-5:30 pm. Tutoring has a focus on personalized instruction offering local students individualized help with their homework. Often many of the student’s works are published by Dogtown Books, an in-house publishing outfit in L.A. Workshops are offered to help students strengthen their skills, foster their creativity, and give them an opportunity to execute projects that showcase their work. The 826LA also sends volunteers to local L.A. schools to support teachers in their classrooms.

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The History of Leafworks, Inc. (1991-2000)

The History of Leafworks, Inc.
1991 – 2000

“… Just as trees sprout leaves producing beautiful inspirational works of art, Leafworks mimics this action in cyberspace by creating effective, inspiring, and entertaining web pages that provide informational resources for all.”

“Leafworks, Inc. was a web design, research, and informational service that sought to relay reliable, effective, and educational data in a cost effective manner. They were also in their era, one of the first “online research companies” of their time. Web Design, Web Hosting, Web Development, Graphic Arts, Research Services, Computer Upgrades, Logo Creation, Program Installation, Classes, Training, and Networking … pre-dating the “Geek Squad” popularity, they served their clients well and were popular with what they offered as they were amongst the first to provide these services at this time. They taught online instructional classes on Web Design, HTML programming, and Graphic Arts before many Colleges and Universities offered these expertises as well as having amongst some of the first online educational training program scripts. They provided an array of web pages including their own bookstore. They also had a movie times web site that pre-dated Yahoo! Movies, Fandango, and Movie Times called “www.todaysmovies.com”. Because many of their staff had full-time committments with primary clients, many of their highly sought after services was on a “first come, first served service” basis with priority going to those clients with whom they already developed relationship or had worked with longer. Leafworks began in 1991 as a Research Firm that on occasion offered Graphic Design services and/or Logos. Originally a sole proprietorship in the “research” days, it became a Corporation in 1996. Leafworks was founded by Tom Baurley, the webmaster of Florida Division of Historical Resources, Florida Governors Page, Florida Symbols, Florida Museum of Natural History, and Florida Folklife Pages. When he began receiving phone calls from patrons of the State of Florida web pages who asked if he did web work on the side, he at first started saying “no”. After discussion with his boss, he was granted permission that he could follow up on some of those complimenting leads for side work. Already having been doing Site File Research work on the side since 1991, he quickly put together a business plan. Within a year he had an office down the street from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. Business became so busy and in high demand, he eventually left his position as webmaster with the State of Florida. Teaming up with contractors from State Agencies who were also wanting to do web design, graphic arts, or programming jobs on the side, the business took off. Eventually opening an office in New York as well as the home base in Tallahassee, Florida. Much of the work towards the end of Leafworks, Inc. were done by Tom Baurley and his wife Hena. When they divorced, during the time of the .dotcom crash, Y2K scares, the company was deeply affected by all the turmoil in 2000, which led to its demise. After the company closure, several members of the original company started up “Wandering Leaf Designs, LLC” who picked up where “Leafworks, Inc.” left off. Many of Leafworks clients went with the new company. Since the closure of Wandering Leaf, LLC in 2004, much of the inspired content that they created was adopted by Technogypsie Designs and Services.

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The History of Wandering Leaf Designs or “Wandering Leaf, LLC”

Wandering Leaf Designs, also known as “Wandering Leaf, LLC” was a web studio located in the region of North America’s Pacific Northwest – servicing its clients in the United States & Canadian provinces. A Limited Liability Company, Wandering Leaf Designs provided their clients with top-notch web designs, logos, art, graphics, wireless / nomadic technologies, and hot spots of interest from 2000 until 2004. “Wandering Leaf Designs” was founded after the closure of “Leafworks, Inc.. “Wandering Leaf Designs” was closed when its C.E.O., organizer, lead designer/developer, and mover/shaker left the .dotcom industry to return to his passion of “Archaeology & Anthropology”. Once on the trail to doing work at the Camano Beach Excavation, Miami Circle’s “Icon Brickell” project, and finally to be the GIS Specialist/Curator for the U.S. Army’s Cultural Resource Management Program at Fort Carson, he no longer had the time to continue operating “Wandering Leaf Designs”, much of which was the lasting demise of the “.dotcom” collapse that started in the late 1990’s into the early Y2K era. The Company closed shortly after his absence.

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Three Wishes Faerie Festival (Bodmin, Cornwall, UK)

The Three Wishes Faerie Festival
* http://www.3wishesfaeryfest.co.uk/ * Colliford Lake, Bodmin Moor, Bodmin, Cornwall, England * June 18-21, 2010 *

One of Europe’s most infamous and exciting Faerie Festivals, Three Wishes does not disappoint in the Realms of Enchantment. It was my first (of hopefully many) Three Wishes Faerie Fests. A gathering place for the faery clans to meet with the mortal humans in heartland of the historic faerie tromping grounds of history … in Bodmin Moor, on the shores of Colliford Lake (where the Lady of the Lake presented King Arthur with Excalibur) right in the magical lands of Cornwall. Just taking an adventure in Cornwall is mystical enough … but adding a visit to Three Wishes definitely added to the charm of the exciting quest. A three day festival for kids, families, and adults with an assortment of fun. A whole different world than the infamous American Faerieworlds, you’ll find many of the same mystical folks and kindred wandering around. Set in the heart of Midsummer, a portal is opened into the realms of the fae where those curious can come out to play with the good neighbours and see the “little people” close-up. Why Three Wishes? According to the web site, Karen Kay – the founder and creator of this magical event, was out in her garden hanging out laundry to dry when she noticed a single dandelion seed head standing strong and tall amongst a recently cut lawn – and as she watched it, three of the little seed heads appearing like faeries flew up into the blue sky … and thence, Three Wishes was born. This annual three day festival in the heart of Cornwall has been growing by leaps and bounds sounding the horn for fae from all corners of the world to gather each year around the Summer Solstice. Concerts, artists, fashion shows, workshops, art exhibitions, forest walks, games, exploration areas, food, drink, festivities, friendship, kid parades, drumming, meditation, yoga, late night parties, wishing wells, clottie trees, and frolick abound. Sunday ended with a early morning greeting of the sun with a Druidic rite to welcome in the sun. What a mesmerizing time!

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Memorial Tribute To A Great Scholar: Phillip Emmons Isaac Bonewits (R.I.P. 1949 – 2010)

A Tribute To Phillip Emmons Isaac Bonewits, Scholar & ArchDruid Emeritus
Rest In Peace : October 1, 1949 – August 12, 2010


Isaac @ Newgrange, Ireland
photo given to me by Isaac, photographer unknown

I fondly remember when I first met Isaac back at the Gathering of the Tribes in Atlanta Georgia in 1991. At the time, I was a Graduate Student doing his research on the Ethnography of Wicca in the Southeastern United States – having not only the academic interest but undergoing a transformation from being a devout Catholic to a Neo-Pagan Witch. Various covens I had initiated with and worked under as well as studied had not so many nice things to say about Isaac. Many of the coven leaders I had known at the time were threatened by him and said he stirred trouble for Witches. Oddly, I took that as truth so was very biased about this amazing man in 1991. Mix that with being a relatively new Wiccan and having a bit of Fundamentalist Witch attitude about me – I was actually rude to him when he walked up to my table. He humbly picked up my ‘Wiccan practitioner survey’ and asked if he could have one to fill it out … I snapped at him and said “You’re a Druid, Not A Witch.” He looked crushed and walked off. This was not the man I was forewarned about. So I had someone watch my table and I wandered off to his workshop “Introduction to Druidism 101”. What I met in that lecture was an overwhelming sensation of connectedness to the Druidic faith and admiration for this man others spoke harshly about. Turned out that “Druidism” described who I actually was, not “Wicca”. I apologized to him and quickly sought out his book “Real Magic” and information about his Druid Organization “ADF: Ar nDraiocht Fein. I found him to be an amazing kindred soul – and it was canny that our paths to Paganism and the Occult were pretty identical from Catholic upbringing with a Catholic mother and a Presbyterian father to being altar boys looking into becoming Catholic priests. We were both intrigued by the divine at a young age and discovered spellcraft independently by Voudon priestesses while visiting New Orleans. I think that was a cohesive glue that gave us a commonality. Within months I started up a proto-Grove in Tallahassee, Florida called “The Wakulla Cypress Grove”. Within a year I had a full clergy and we gained Full Grove status. Correspondence and chats with Isaac were very motivating as was learning from him, attending his multiple workshops at Starwood and Wellspring. I videotaped a number of his workshops (reminds me I need to convert them to DVD and Youtube) and learned everything I could from the Man. I was roped into becoming the Assistant Pursewarden for Regalia in ADF – carrying ADF wares with me to various festivals. But after dealing with Debt, Death, and Divorce – (Divorce from my Wife, Death of my Father, and Bankruptcy) I had to resign and moved off to the Pacific Northwest where I started another ADF Grove – the Ancient Forests Proto-Grove in Eugene, Oregon. With Isaac’s long-distance guidance we had tried to kindle it with the Outpost proto-nest of the Church of All Worlds – but it was short-lived as I had to move back to Florida to deal with my Bankruptcy. Isaac was very supportive of me with my ups and downs at the time. He also guided me through some things I was uncomfortable with when I was getting my Minerval degree with a local chapter of the O.T.O. (Ordo Templaris Orientis) I had always known I could depend on him for answers … he was my personal Merlin of sorts – a Dial a Druid – with his own 800 number at the time … 1-800-DRUIDRY. The man made me laugh, gave me a deep insight into questioning various Pagan groups and their claims of heritage, to use academic scholarship to cross-check everything in the Occult. He was truly an inspiration to me. I went from despising to loving his “Devil’s Advocate” stance with all Occult Groups. I used his shared knowledge, articles, treatises, and handouts for all of the classes I taught from “Neopaganism 101” to “Druidism 202”. While from 1991 until 1996 my involvement with him was only thru a distance when I was part of ADF, and what adored times I got to hang out with him at various festivals annually. I even left ADF when he stepped down as Arch Druid (of course drama in the organization at the time contributed to that as well).

Then in 1996 he came to Tallahassee to legally handfast in a Druid Ceremony me and my second wife Hena. I was nothing more than honored. It was an event I’ll never forget and will always hold true to my heart. A couple of years after our handfasting, Me and Hena moved to Putnam Lake, New York where we were only a short drive from Isaac. Isaac was kindling up the “Black Dirt Protogrove” and roped us into re-joining ADF and assisting him in getting it started. It was a honor and ceremonies with him were amazing. I always learned something new every time I saw him. He had suggested I write his Biography at the time, which I had always pondered, but never pursued as I was very busy at the time with the Dotcom wave in running my own Web Development firm and things were getting rocky between Me and Hena. Life shattered for me and after divorce I was on a walk-a-bout to the Pacific Northwest and Canada. I fell out of contact with him, except for the annual visits to his camp and workshops at Starwood or another random festival we were at during the same time. By 2005 I completely fell out of touch with him until we re-discovered each other on Facebook when it came out. I always regretted that. This was a man who inspired me so much through my life – I should have taken him up on his offers to come back to New York and write his Biography for him. I truly Appreciated Isaac and all that he taught me. He’s been a role model. He’s been a guiding light. Much of what I contributed to the Neo-Pagan community wherever I lived was because I saw what Isaac gave to the community and I wanted to do the same. It was also Isaac’s dedication to the Goddess Brigid that led me onto the path to her. He may have been the one to introduce me to her. I do not remember. But thankful nonetheless for that wonderful connection.

    “Isaac …. you did so much for the Neo-Pagan movement – You are loved and honored – You are an amazing man and soul. Thank you for all that you have done. You will be missed tremendously, not only by Me, but the Neo-Pagan movement in all its faiths, traditions, and sects. We would not be where we are today without you. May your Passing to the Otherworld and Summerland Be An Amazing Adventure – I Hope You Are Reading This As You Sip Mead Side-by-Side With The Gods … Thank You. “

About Isaac Bonewits:

Continue reading Memorial Tribute To A Great Scholar: Phillip Emmons Isaac Bonewits (R.I.P. 1949 – 2010)

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