World View – ‘Mystery Castle’
“There are times when life comes at you with ‘smoke and mirrors’ in a bold challenge to your carefully crafted World View.
“It is okay for you to raise your eyebrows and think, ‘Oh, my! another philosophical genius to enlighten our day and persuade it to go south’.
“However, with that thinking, you will close your ears and mind to a remarkable story that summons all your emotions…”
“Okay, enough with the preface. Get on with it, Milton – after you serve us another round of drinks.”
“You, Brett, and your three juveniles know the rules… I serve the first round, then, you are on your own. There’s my humble bar with beverage choices and mixes. Go for it, then settle in for enlightenment.”
With the noise of ice bouncing around inside the cocktail glasses, the jolly jokesters humming along with the background music of Paolo Mantovani, the guys reseated in the recliners, Bradley holds up his glass and speaks: “Okay, Miltie, lay it on us…it is your turn this week for ‘Most Remarkable Story of the Week’. Just, please, don’t be so pedantic and professorial in your spiel. We all know of your illustrious credentials…”
“How gracious of you, my once-good buddies…
“Okay, every claim I mention here can be verified on your laptops. In my humble…yes, humble…opinion, this is one of the great Human-Interest stories of our collective lifetimes…
“Bennet R. Chasen lived happily in San Francisco with his wife, Helene, and young daughter, Gabriela – nick-named, Gabbie. They were a close-knit family, took trips, went to the ocean, Bennet spending joyful time with Gabbie building ‘Sand-Castles’ on the beach. Not particularly rich in worldly goods, they loved and enjoyed their togetherness…
“The time was the 1930’s, and this loving father went privately for a medical examination for a condition he could not identify himself. That examination was to change the course of his and his family’s lives…
“Bennet was diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB) and given a short time to live. The doctor wanted to place him in ‘Isolation/Quarantine’, but the husband/father spent many hours in his own ‘mind-isolation’, emotions and tears colliding, so many ponderous thoughts turning his heart and mind into a maelstrom of grief and self-pity, into a kaleidoscope of pain and sadness. For days, he stayed away from his wife and daughter, fearful that any contact might transport the TB to them.
“After hours and days of isolation, the tears of sadness, his eddy of emotions, he made a fateful decision…he would, simply, disappear, lose himself in the world, notifying no one of his destination – including, his beloved wife and daughter. What, after all, could words possibly be worth in the final accounting? He knew he was to die. It was better to disappear than to introduce the concept of his immediate death to his wife and daughter. Let them think…he, just, disappeared, wary of his family life. That would be better than allowing them the truth of his decision. All the turbulence of his mind led him to the only solution he could make.
“The family would think what they would…he could not make it better for them with the truth. So, Bennet left San Francisco and would end up in Phoenix, Arizona…
“In Phoenix, this incredible husband/father would ‘homestead’ a lovely piece of property in the South Mountain area, and, sand bucket by sand bucket, rock by rock, cacti by cacti, wood pieces by wood pieces, any item he could find on the desert floor, at a construction site to be thrown away. There was an old covered-wagon left on the property that he built into a bar, until, some years later, he had built a huge ‘sand-castle’ for his daughter that would become hers at this death…that event occurred some seven years after his TB diagnosis…
“So, you ‘malcontents’, what say you now? Except for the names I’ve lent them, this story can be verified and proven beyond any doubt. The daughter would live on this incredible land and in this awesome home until her death, known by the guns strapped to her waist she wore daily in this wild and beautiful desert…”
In unison and wide-eyed, the buddies went to the bar and fixed more drinks. Back in their seats, incredulous, Milton met their eyes, and spoke again.
“If you guys can afford a small ‘tour fee’, you can visit this incredible tribute to a man who weighed all his evidence, made the only decision he could make, and created what is now called, THE MYSTERY CASTLE.”
BR Chitwood – January 19, 2020
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