Friday, September 9, 2011


I don't have television.  I did have it for many years, but no more.  One day I realized that I had not turned it on in over a year.  I had been paying for service I did not use for the sake of visitors who never came to see me.  If they had come, I would not have turned the television on.  I would have wanted to talk. 

The day I realized I did had not watched television in all that time was the one day I tried  to turn it on.  It did not work.  The signal converter for my satellite antenna was analog. The days of analog television in these parts were gone.  The satellite company had sent a "smart card" for the change over to HD digital television.  I did not want to look through the stack of unopened mail for that stupid "smart card."  I called the company and told them where they could stick that "smart card."  So that was that.  They still send me mail every week offering to reconnect my service.

I remember when television changed from black and white to color.  Everyone seemed to have to have color television no matter what it cost.  Hmpffff!  I had always watched television in  color.  I did not need a color television, but I had gone along then with that change like  all the other sheep in the Amerikanski flock, but no more. There was no television in our house when I was a kid.  We had books.  Some of them had  pictures in them.  I suppose most of those pictures were black and white too, but I  always saw them in color.  The books which had no pictures at all often had the more  vibrant colors.  These days I listen to books with CJ and the colors are the brighter  still
Colors. Colors are not just colors you know, colors are alive. Tata drew pictures in the  air with his voice.  White split.  A plume of white went back to the green and beyond.  Another plume became whiter still and the red followed not far behind. A plume of black  came rumbling from the dark as though trying to catch up.  All of them leaving a trail of daffodils in their wake.  From the knot to the cauldron across the rolling plains they had come davno davno. Deda had songs about how the old ones put their wives and their lives in great wagons then and traveled far to the red of the cauldron.  Deda had songs about almost everything.

A few times Deda shook me from my sleep early in the morning with a big grin on his face as he softly said "dolaze!"  Under the pretense of going squirrel hunting we went down by where once stood the old school that he had built on his land long ago. Owning the land upon  which the school sits and building the building is one way to guarantee that you will be  president of the school board.  The sound of children playing in the school yard had ended  decades before.  Now, except for the forlorn sounds of the creatures that prowled  before the first colors of the zora painted the forest which had grown up over a few decades, all was quiet.  Deda struck up his one stringed instrument and began to sing such songs that even the wolves lay down respectfully close by and listened.  There had once been a stand of walnuts by a spring in such and such a place.  They found another such place and again planted walnuts and daffodils as they always did. 

"ona orah hory
hikori san"

 They did business with merchants from Petro Varadan, Asmara Khand, Takṣa Khand (which all mean the same thing even though they are not the same place), as well as Gandhara, and with merchants from Hayastan and Vihara where davno davno in each place there had also once  been daffodils and walnuts.  Then came another dieing time.

"mornarice engleski
osjetljiv tremolirati"

The old ones left behind a mountain with their name and a town with their name and came away daleko daleko.  This time the wagons had had wings and flew across veliko more.

"žuti narcisa
rijeka potoka i vode kotača"

The song continued about fire and flight, wagons and roads, rivers and streams, walnuts and daffodils, always the daffodils.

The cauldron is still there and you can see it for your self if you want to see it.  Anyone can see it.  After World War II it was given a new name which seems a bit odd theses days because the name honored soldiers in whose country the cauldron is not but was.  Well, kind of was anyway.  They began as the Česká setina, the Czech Centurions, inside the Russian Empire.  Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, after whom Masarykova ulica is named in almost every major city in Croatia, was involved up to his neck with the Československá střelecká brigáda (Czech-Slovak Rifle Brigade) as they soon were called.  Leon Trotsky, the People's Commissar of War ordered the disarming and arrest of the Legion, thus betraying his promise of safe passage to Vladivostok.  Afterwards the Czechoslovak Legion used heavily armed and armoured trains to control large lengths of the Trans-Siberian Railway (and of Russia itself) during the Russian Civil War at the end of World War I before they were finally evacuated.  In 1923 the Czech Republic renamed the cauldron to Štít legionárov. 

In the meantime the Car fell. Back in "U RAJ NIJE PIVO" we discussed Ferdinand Maksimilijan Josip, Carskog izHrvataska and then of Meksiko, who came and went in almost in a twinkling of an eye.  Today's historians look at the Car with disdain.  Maksimilijan after all was a foreigner was he not?  He was an Austrian, probably German speaking, maybe since he was the Car Hrvatska he spoke some of a Slavic Language as well, but certainly not Spanish, so what was he doing in Meksiko anyway?  The official historians dismiss him without remembering that Maksimilijan's last words in this life were "¡Viva México!" 

The man who replaced him also spoke on Spanish as his second language.  His first language was Zapotec.  Hmmm, he was no more of "Spanish" descent than the Emperor.  On 19 June 1867, the rifle shots that rang out on the Hill of Bells killed the Car, the Carica's sanity, and the Mexican constitution which Benito Juárez swore to protect. Not only did Juárez refuse to allow Maksimilian's body to be sent home to his native land, he rejected titles of nobility, the church, the constitution and everything decent. José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz said "no."  The Constitution, you see, forbade re-election.  Amidst the Porfirio rebellion, Juárez died of a heart attack.

Porfirio ushered in the Nova Zora.  This was the era when Cars were Cars, nobles were nobles, knights were knights, bishops were bishops, and entrepreneurs were entrepreneurs. The new Car wore the grand Grand Cross of the Royal Hungarian Order of St. Stephen as had Maksimilijan and the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour from France. He was a knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.  He wore the Star of the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky and the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.  He was a Grand Knight of Most Honourable Order of the Bath and in Joe's stash of yellowed old documents is his ancestor's invitation to the inauguration of José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz  as president of Mexico as the dawn rose on the twentieth century.

Like any enlightened Car of the period, taxes on business transactions were repealed.  Telegraph lines began to operate.  Railroads were constructed.  Payrolls blossomed. Prosperity began to show its face.  A middle class appeared. The Amerikanski began again to "lose" shipments of rifles and cartridges near the border.  25 May, 1911, Portfirio sailed quietly away from the maelstrom to France and the Mexican dream receded into the Mexican nightmare as the revolution began.

The revolution had already begun. Seven years later the Car was murdered. He and his wife and his children , the family doctor and the servants were shot.  The reign of terror had spread into Europe where it would remain for a long long time.  Lev Davidovich Bronshtein was a leading terrorist in Europe and in North Amerika.  Marijan, a cousin x number of time removed related tales of the battles fought in Brownsville between the colors.  They were the "Reds" and the "Whites" who were associated with Bronshtein, or Trotsky as he was also known.  Marijan worked for the Amerikanski government but in Teksas he was on his own for the most part.  Several times he found himself caught between the parties whereupon he had to shoot his way out.

Once he was assigned to "lose" rifles and cartridges across the border.  The Federales took some exception to that. He and his partner found themselves trapped on the Mexican side with the sheer cliffs leading to the Rio Bravo descending at their back and the Mexican Federal army at the fore.  There was nothing to do, he said, except to shoot his way out.  Marijan told me that he was assigned by the United States Secret Service to Francisco Villa, to protect the man at the same time General Pershing was supposedly hunting the man.  I might have dismissed his stories as the wild stories of an old man except the University of Texas mounted an expedition to the location he gave for this particular adventure.  There in the desert were the remnants of many Mexican uniforms, and an unmistakable pile of spent brass cartridges where Marijan had made his stand.

Adelita.  A song of the Mexican revolution.  Adelita - a song of the Russian Revolution.  Adelita was a favorite of the Serbian communists as well.  Hmmmm, and no wonder, the practice for the Russian revolution took place right here on the border between Teksas and Tamalipas.  I've been planning to do a video of the song Adelita.  Soon, soon I will do that.

Oh, Bronshtein?  Jaime Ramón Mercader del Río Hernández killed him on 20 August 1940 in Mexico. His aunt is buried underneath the altar of a church here.  Her name was Adelita.  That's all I'm saying. 
Štít legionárov is no longer Štít legionárov, nor is it Stalinov Štít, nor is it in Austria nor Hungary, nor Czechoslovakia, nor Poland any more.  (Did they move the blooming mountain? hehe) Never-the-less, the mountain is still the Kotol.  The mountain is the Cauldron and it will always be so as long as anyone sings "ona orah hory, hikori san" and daffodils bloom. 

do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,

Canovals a.k.a. Slavonac
9 Rujan 2011

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