Part III - Beginning; The Good Rebel in Most of Us: For What do Good Rebels Fight and Die

"Part III-Beginning: The Good Rebel in Most of Us"
("For What Do Good Rebels Fight and Die?")


How the Westbury High School Rebels
Houston, Texas, classes of 1962-1965

Saved Western Civilization  from Extinction"

Another Pretty True Texas Story

A Westbury High School Boy

This article continues the Pretty True Texas Stories series with the beginning of Part III of the Westbury Rebel essay (an editorial);

Series Contents

  1. “Part I: Women of Eden, Texas; 1838-1963-2014”
  2. “Part I: Navy Corpsmen: Tribute to a Westbury Hero”
  3. "Part II: (beginning) The Westbury Rebel's Meaning to Me," or "The First Play from Scrimmage in the Westbury vs Bellaire Fifty Year Rivalry"
  4. "Part II: (conclusion) What Happened at the End of the 1962 Westbury vs. Austin Football Game?"
  5. “Part II: Entertainment in the 1960s”
  6. "Part III: The Good Rebel in Most of Us (beginning); For What Do Good Rebels Fight and Die?"
  7. "Part III: The Good Rebel in Most of Us (continued); Competitions, Challenges, and Making Things Right"
  8. "Part III: The Good Rebel in Most of Us (conclusion); Distinguishing Good from Bad Rebels"
  9. "Part IV: Westbury Rebel Management of Really Serious Troublemakers in (and from) the Global"
  10. "Part IV: Master of the Lake; The Great Peking Duck and Yorkshire Terrier Battle; or, A Scientifically acceptable Anecdotal Example for the Study of Visceralness in Fighting"
  11. “Part V: Turn the World Right Side Up: Theory and Application for Depowering Psychopaths, BS Managers gone Berzerk (Bad Rebels), and the National to International Institutions they Manage"



When I initiated discussion of this controversial subject, now over a year ago, about our school's persona as represented in its symbols, I did not realize that I would receive so many responses about what the Rebel really meant to our citizens back there in 1961 Houston, Texas. Neither did I expect to study the matter as I have, given that I had moved on, no longer concerned about such issues stemming from a faraway past. But it was a big deal, after all, as it turned out. Following considerable review of the pertinent literature — those authors from the past three thousand years who've addressed this same subject, that is, how humankind has attempted to define its essence and then manage itself within its communities and nations — this amazing story of not just a Rebel, but its qualitative delineation of goodness in us all, or at least most of us, and which has never been told from this perspective of what it means to us until now, began to unfurl itself.  Accordingly, I concluded soon on that the time spent would be worthwhile, at least for my interests and hopefully for some of yours. For emphasis, the same battles and long wars fought as rebels and won by us, our parents, theirs and their ancestors, and then eventually our children and considered herein go on throughout the world today, and probably will for a while longer, no doubt after we are gone. But no matter our eventual passing, I will pull no punches in telling you here and without hyperbole, Western Civilization was not only saved from extinction, but it will always be prepared, and no matter its struggles and hardships, to do the right thing for itself and the remainder of humankind, and for all time to come — thanks be to providence and the dedications of a few other high school students coming out of the America of our era, and with special profound gratitude and  kindly appreciation for their not only courageous, but formidable brothers and sisters: The Westbury Rebels of Houston, Texas, classes of 1962-65.

 Essay: "The Good Rebel in Most of Us"
(Part III Beginning; For What Do Good Rebels Fight and Die?)

"If individuals are not bound by a commitment to history and tradition, if the connection between generations is broken and destroyed, there will be no passion and depth of emotion. If all identity is seen as fluid, if nationality is merely political and cultural, if it is seen as imaginary and therefore deluded, the mystic connections in time and space — what Abraham Lincoln called the mystic cords of memory — are lost."

Natan Sharansky (2008)

Introduction: Reconciling Conflicts in and
Changes to  Westbury High School Identities

So what happened to the fine academic institution that spawned the competitive spirit derived from the underdog Rebel analogy and depicted in the attendant two short stories? And what has that got to do with us today if anything?

Westbury High School's Rebel representing its Texas and southern persona were illegally, but understandably, executed and then buried in a pauper's grave along with the notion of the Confederacy from which its trademark — its flag — was taken and adopted at our school. Referencing my previous article on this subject and the history provided at The Friends of Westbury High School, in the 1990s the student body voted to expunge all traces of the  Texas South from which Westbury High School hailed, stripping it of its icons, the Confederate flag, Rebel mascot, our fight song "Dixie" and as I also understand through simultaneous funding cuts to the Rebelettes that fine organization from the campus.

"Illegally" because Westbury's start up students in the Spring, 1961, (the first footballteam began spring practice before Westbury opened in September of that year) were, for the purpose of providing a youthful population who could fill the seats, halls and lockers of the new program instead of watching the tax base migrate to Idaho (which was the plan at the time), offered something special. It induced, instead of using the command method not always easily implementable in Texas - America, unhappy transferees to leave their educational / social homes at Bellaire, San Jacinto, Lamar and, yes, even Austin, by making the unequivocal promise that they could select the perdurable colors and mascots at the new high school. The deal wasn't "If this doesn't work out we're going to change your color and identity selections based on the undulating demographics of the rest of the years of the building's and neighborhood's existences."

"Understandably" argues for the address of an equal number of hurt feelings and thus identity issues of the new population that required consideration. That is, how would you other defensive corner backs feel if you were born out of another heritage that had been institutionally and systematically depreciated to less than human status for centuries and then required to get out there and give your entire inner spirit to fighting for your ancestors' and even fathers' and mothers' oppressors (and worse): the legal national entity once known as the Confederate States of America, subsequently sundered into illegal status as a consequence of its formal loss to the United States of America in its great Civil War. You would have felt strange. And, you wouldn't have been able to do it, not fight all out or above yourself, that is! In their position you might play for them; but you wouldn't give what you did in the Westbury - Austin game. Neither would I.

And there's another principle involved. Mascots and identity icons are supposed to instill pride and create feelings of fun and enthusiasm in and for a population, particularly a youthful one, not hurt people. The South's images, regardless of the fine meanings to those recognized as legal citizens 150 years ago,  have the opposite effect for those whose ancestors were not properly recognized as human beings as they should have been. In that instance, the icons didn't create fun,  pride and constructive meaning. It's not supposed to be like that in the hopefully upbeat world of youth and students. They should not have to go through that time burdened with such conflict.

Regarding attempts to understand and in turn find a common ground between different ethnicities, the world changed and that difference needed somehow to be recognized for that group of citizens. But the problem was and still is today, that the concept of a rebel has a profoundly positive connotation in all civilizations, and particularly this one called America; and drilling down a geopolitical notch, Texas.

Given the way things were approached in that time between the 1970 and 1990s, and even still today in 2011,  something had to give; and it was the school persona that formed and bore our identity. The Westbury Rebels — we alumni — became "The Old Westbury," or what I've called Westbury I in the sister article to this subject; and the other or New Westbury (II) became a nationally recognized leader in diversity celebration, the current theme of the social management modality for trying to reconcile multi-cultural, ethnic and racial differences. Westbury II has demonstrated an amazing strength to do well in meeting the inherent challenges attending its new goals and approaches to achieving them just as we at Westbury I met ours in our time, in our era. Even better, the referenced history article demonstrates how this wonderful milestone in human progress has shown the world how to conduct itself.

"In the 1980s, Westbury became one of the most ethnically diverse schools in the country. In the 1990s, the school had an even more diverse student body. Today's "Rebels" speak thirty different languages. Palestinians and Israelis rub elbows in the halls. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists move from class to class together. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Anglos share classes and extracurricular activities."

What tremendous hope the compatibility management  theorists have brought to those conflicts resulting from thought differences, providing resolution to those sometimes clashing ideologies in the same area, the halls of Westbury, that we too used to frequent as children. I'm sure as different ethnicities come and go over the centuries, and additional social management models are adapted to smooth out these philosophical, ideological and epistemological idiosyncrasies, another concept of how to motivate a defensive halfback will also present. In the meantime, I recommend that Houston Independent School District not make any more constitutional styled promises it can't keep. I bet its best thinkers have learned that lesson very well.

As opposed to constitution undermining — implementing a power solution that requires either one or another group of fine citizens to undergo identity loss or the application of opprobrium to their notions of their roots, Westbury  adopted a partial solution from the lessons learned by Westbury's predecessor, The University of Mississippi, "Ole Miss." It reached a compromise on this very issue over these last decades by keeping the term Rebel as the word logo, and giving up the Confederacy's flag and the otherwise admirable Civil War veteran soldier as among other things referenced later, a hurtful representation of an illegal government that lost and had to surrender its authority. That decision has already been made at the cost of 619,000 dead Americans, counting both Northerners and Southerners. The deaths of those hundreds of thousands of people who served with the South are honored no matter that they lost the war and even served a bad cause — denial, as did Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Sam Houston personally, of an entire class of people their humanness, in the Rebel image and icon (our mascot) maintained at Westbury for nearly a third of a century.

Following Ole Miss's leadership didn't hurt us Anglo-centric Texans too much, because for a precedent the second father of our initial republic (the first being Stephen F. Austin), General Sam Houston — without whom there never would have been an independent state in the first place — refused to sign the articles of secession at what he called an illegal secession convention. He then resigned in protest saying no matter his understanding of and sympathies with the grievances regarding big oppressive macro style management governments versus more culturally attuned localized ones "This civil war is going to be a mistake for Texans!"or something pretty close to that.

Thus, when our cultural identity began to be challenged and then thrown out almost altogether finally in the 1990s, the City of Houston could have found an alternative, as in adequate compromise, by  maintaining more than just the word value of the Rebel for which it was intended at Westbury, or at least for which it eventually was felt, and at the same time not repudiating those elements of Southern and Texas identity enjoyed by the preponderance of the founding student body: the visual image of a fighter as was demonstrated in the figure holding the rifle at the ready and in the sports-based short stories attending this OPED component of the two articles. The notion of a Rebel, regardless of the issue delineating symbolic clothing he or she wears, is something pretty much all civilizations, ethnicities and cultures believe in from time to time when things don't seem to be going well.

Keeping the Rebel mascot with that word value, although he might be advantaged in today's society to take on a different wardrobe (to which I'll make some recommendations at the end of the OPED)  also in the process acknowledges the tremendous values for which the South and Texas are  recognized  and also found in our now former fight song "Dixie." It has been repudiated along with the Rebel Yell, our newspaper now replaced by the Pulse, and the Westbury Rebel Band. (But the new band is equally a great representative Westbury group, winning in 2010-11 major Houston competitions and making us both old and new Westbury Rebels so proud.)

If you're not from the South and thus possibly not familiar with the music references to things about Southern culture that we've loved, then you can find the symbols of a few of those happy thoughts elucidated upbeatedly in the newer songs, one by Alabama called "DixieLand Delight" and the other by Hank Williams Jr. entitled "Dixie on My Mind." The latter  particularly references our home of Houston, Texas. And Ken Burn's Civil War theme music "Ashokan Farewell" allows us to go back with quiet peaceful solace to those memories of a beloved time and place, adding a sweet carpet ride into and for the continuity of our lives. And who could do any of this journey, albeit some of it painful or attended by recollections of joy, to continuity — the ongoing assimilation of the meaning of our lives as we enter their later stages — without Elvis' taking us through it all with "An American Trilogy." That is why I added these pieces of research — source documentation to the playlists in these sections. We should always endeavor to prove up our qualitative differences in any good values-based debate. Or don't you think?

Defining Aspects of American, Southern, Texan,
and Westbury Rebel (1961-1965) Identity

Now, it's time to get down to it for this reunion hobbyist: what was this trilogy opinion editorial about for me? The answer is that Westbury High School's history in Houston, Texas and the changes it has undergone do not just function as symbols of a particular past or passed culture,  but they also exist as a microcosm of what this community and indeed the entire country has gone through in defining itself: what it stands for on the big issues that also clash globally today, and how we go about reconciling all our differences and at the same time defending our beliefs and values that make up our core individual and collective identities. Abstraction to others or no, we all lived it personally, not always understanding I'm told and felt, myself, what all this hoopla was about. So for the rest of this commentary, that is where I will go, as it all affected me and apparently some others of us more profoundly than I had realized.

No matter  the honorable former president of the independent Texas Republic and its governor Sam Houston's courageous stand on principle and my admiration for him, had I been alive in 1861 and living out there on the banks of the Allen brothers' (Houston's 1835 founders)  Braes Bayou, where as a child I grew up hunting and camping in its wilderness area in 1955-58 with Jeffo Lee, Ken Palmer and Dick Aubrey, and before I learned what I'll describe in this commentary, I would have gone with the majority and fought for the Confederacy, even though it was confused in part about what the fight was about. And even with the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision on slavery setting the stage  for what was to come, both sides were still very confused in the beginning: states' rights vs. Federalism and the Declaration of Independence's words directing an unrepresented population to throw off the yoke of an oppressor government vs. the Constitution's authority and mandate to hold everything together.

It turned out to be deeper than that. It was a continuing work in progress of the definition of what America was about from its inception. It was and still is today an attempt by a group of people to define what the human consciousness is and how it best and most logically functions. And even though my teachers at Westbury High School had tried to explain the depth of that topic to me, I wouldn't really begin to learn what that meant until I got it experientially in the fall of 1965 sitting out those raining nights in those holes in the jungles of another and far away country. Peering into the dark, trying to focus on any movement — a shrub swaying gradually in the shadows of a lightning flash, or the dim temporary glow of a distant flare, and trying to stay awake with my head lying on the stock of an M60 machinegun — makes you a thinker, or at least pose the question. What am I fighting, maybe even dying, for here, or almost as importantly taking someone else's life?

During the daylight hours one of my jobs involved protecting nearby villages and their occupants. They were in the main rice farmers, sometimes a Buddhist leader or other kind of significant religious priest, a teacher or two, fishermen who made their living for themselves and their constituents by taking their small sampans through the waterway and into the bay that emptied into the South China Sea, and common adults and their children. When we were moved to other locations, the village leaders of those people would become targets, not because they were militarily of value, but because they thought differently, mostly independently, from those doing the executing. The experience was instructive. It emphasized what I had been given twelve plus thousand miles away in Southwest Houston, Texas. There along that river bank north of Chu Lai and in the bay like waterways south of Tam Ky, I added to my definition of what it was to be a person, at least one who was free to think, even though at that earlier time I had yet to do that very often. 

While I was doing my part for that definition, others were working on it in another way back in America demanding that the term equal really meant equal. And they weren't being treated that way regardless that their ancestors had been emancipated, their chains literally removed by that civil war exactly one hundred years earlier. On the same weekend of March 7 through 9, 1965, that the first full combat unit comprised of the 9th Marines was landing at DaNang in the Republic of South Vietnam, a town full of African Americans were risking their lives to give meaning to the concept of equality in Selma, Alabama. And that clarification work goes on today throughout America and the entire world. 

For me the discussion wasn't just about what was handed to us in lectures about being a Marine: defending the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, or to make the world safe for capitalism — which individually based free enterprise economic modality fits like a glove with personal creativity enhanced by freedom — nor something a little stronger like the right to go to the downtown Majestic theater or South Main Drive-in on a Saturday night, or just some culturally attuned, depending upon the particular civilization's, idea or other notion of freedom. I came to realize particularly advantaged by the debates being held in my country upon return to it, that our definition was unique: we had and have the right to be. That is, every person has an ontology, the often not easily definable essence of themselves that regardless of whether the Greek or Hebraic formula of the soul applies to him or her makes them distinguished and wholly valuable not just to themselves but to the rest of humankind to that instant in time; to be able to think; to exist; to care about one's self and another; to love one's country; to create anew one's self for the betterment of his world and all things particular to it; to dream without instructive encumbrance by a king, or politburo, or a Behaviorist or other socialist improvement philosopher, or someone who thought he had a better understanding of and direct feed to a supra natural force  which was telling him to tell me what to think, and how to go about doing it.

Of course, behavior was another matter. Some of it that clobbers others requires some controls. Therein, a conflict could arise whereas too much control hampered the creativity stemming out of the individual existential essence of the human consciousness. Later at the ending of the twentieth and beginnings of the twenty-first centuries, those differences in the kinds of functions between thought, feeling and behavior, all making up this thing called individual human ontology, would be shown to be derived from various elements of the substrate originating from within attendant neuromolecular functionings of the organ that operated consciousness, the brain, giving the human being a biological basis for conscience. I'll come back to the importance of these facts later.

This country, unlike any other produced by humankind over all time, has bent over backwards, albeit not always successfully so, to implement the referenced behavioral controls that over time would act as storage for the former creativities that would become over generations the integral components of our traditions, mostly or at least often wisely guiding us, when providence was with us, so that our culture would not just respect what we had learned so far, but it would simultaneously honor the focus on the importance of individual free thought which also and at other moments spawn that demand for newness for the sake of betterment.

Eventually over years of study and work in the field of trauma, its resolution and then its management by systems, my focus was repeatedly drawn to and then concentrated upon the influences of enormous loss and radical change to the human consciousness. Through that activity, I would determine an attribute of human resilience presenting in parallel to and also in cooperation with individual creativity to  be centrifugally both initiated and stemming from the ability to care, to continuously seek and define quality of and in life, to be intuitive in evaluating and presenting new value, to see a need for succor in others and to respond by serving - to help,  to feel, to redefine one's self and environment as need be, and then simply love not just another person, but to do so such that one could become imbued by an idea, a cause, or God, or Allah, or Buddha or Jesus, or a poet's labors, or a composer's music and literature and movies and plays and ballets, or athletic and other competitively natured events, or just to be of a mindset to not agree and to be able to express that view so that the person initiating it can represent him or her self to the world. It was this capacity to care, sometimes seen for the moment to be less and in others more depending on the individual and circumstances, in and with which I eventually became enthralled.

The Rebel: Fighting and Pacifism — Incompatible
or Inextricably and Homogeneously Linked?

If there was anything I learned in those moments of profound pensiveness in that hostile theater, which again then was reinforced in my work with those traumatized by things like murder and contrivances to destroy another or even a community and advancing into intervening on perpetrators of that destruction while and sometimes even before they were imposing that heinousness on the innocent, it was that the right to Be with all its extraordinary meaning and beauty is worth fighting, and yes if necessary even dying for so that the human  being as taken from within its totality could stand up to the constant attempts by the hegemonous aspects of itself or from others to erode that instance of independent inviolate conscience. As the old and edifying trope goes, SOMEBODY has to do it; or we'll all live in perpetuity wandering around following someone  else's — who thinks he knows what he is doing  regarding acting, thinking, feeling and being and what to love and who to hate — directions! Richard Harris' soliloquy while playing Arthur in "Camelot" worked it out philosophically as "Might for Right." Then, less  than a decade later, Lyndon Johnson would strengthen, or at least add to, the aphorism with "And hope it's so."

I've raised these issues in this article because as I understand that general issue of fighting or the use of force as a protector or problem solver also influenced the Westbury mascot and  symbols debate starting with Westbury's demographic changes occurring between the 1970s and 1990s. In some of those arguments, the Rebel was seen, not just as an advocate of slavery, but as an inappropriate symbol of a society's manifestation of its inner hostilities as expressed through the surmised to be aggressive hearts and minds of its military service personnel. In the underlying national and worldwide debates, non pathological or sane people were supposed to be imbued with non threatening passivity. Thus, all fighting was bad, the philosophers of our  peace advocates would say, and the consensus of their followers posited. All of a sudden, the former prideful fighter icon as represented in that poised-to-do-battle Westbury Rebel manikin / mascot was stigmatized, right along with the Veterans who had returned from the Vietnam War. Some complainants were even rolling that opprobrium over to our Korean and WWII veteran parents.

Those were the predominant arguments as they were incorporated by one constituency on the consciousness and identity of the veteran of that era. Additionally, albeit probably not always contrived, that is, not all positing that view were intending to hurt veterans, those incorrectly demeaning views of our fighters staggered not just America's, but all previous stalwart countries' core thoughts as concepts about themselves. As the hysteria imposed itself into the culture, nobody knew who they were anymore, much less what they were supposed to defend against or fight for, or if they were supposed to fight at all for anything. The Westbury Rebel mascot would represent to those thinkers an icon of that inner human aggressiveness that would have to go. It certainly should no longer be celebrated, they would opine.

Please don't get me completely wrong as some say; peaceful people and that way of being are extremely valuable not just to a polity, but to the maintenance of all aspects of ourselves individually as well. All the big advocacy styled conceptualization kinds of folks from Buddhism, to Judaism, to Christianity, to Atheism, to Confucianism, to Humanism, to the Yogis of India have weighed in on the value of peacefulness. Then,  making things more complex, those same thinkers have during that passed time and still today opine on the more sophisticated  issue of fighting for one's existence versus its bete noir, unconsciously as many peace fans argue,  fighting aggressively-hegemonicly to expand one's political, economic and particular causes' interests. That's a hard issue to address which consensually managed societies take on all the time.

Aside from the populace representing those groups mentioned just now, a compendium of their sages, leaders who have understood very well the value of having an existentialist-based  aspect to themselves, have come down on the interpretation that having a peaceful soul does not require doing so to the point that a people, polity or country have to commit suicide. Even the peace movement's international representative parent organization in Europe has now added back into its constitution that there comes a time to fight in order to defend one's self and family.

Recognizing the practical — meaning staying alive is important for advocates of pacifism to be able to advocate — his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, notably the foremost living representative of all that has been considered peaceful discourse and philosophy regarding humankind, decided to take up residence down the block from me just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, while his home's community of Tibet, where old warlords like Hemingway's characters used to go to find inner absolution for their aggressiveness, was being overrun and demolished by the Chinese People's Army, who don't fool around with debate about concepts regarding  the value of individual ontology. That poor group of fine advocates of pacifism had already been run out of its conclaves in northern India by Islam's conquering intolerants between the eighth and thirteenth centuries which is how those remaining Buddhists not having been killed off ended up in Nepal, Tibet and southern India. With the bad luck attending the later Chinese take-over of their newer home in Tibet in the early 1950s, and combining that with his acquiring temporary housing in America, I supposed that a grand philosophical change might be in the offing; that fighting and some forms of confrontation may not be thought by the pacifists to be completely bad after all. Or so it seems his Holiness must have concluded in choosing to move so close to this once fairly aggressive but now retiring as in almost passively sedentary old Marine. But at least I still knew how to shoot if the People's Army came our way, too.

I can see the merger of two philosophies epitomized by Dalai and me sitting in a fighting hole together in Tesuceh — that's an Indian Res village just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico — sharing our first volunteer  Neighborhood Militia night watch, on guard.

His Holiness and the PFC

"What do I have to wear this helmet for? It's too heavy." "Put it on and keep it on." "Even when I'm sleeping?" "If they drop one in on us and you come down somewhere other than the afterlife — you are still breathing, you'll understand. Plus, then it'll feel lighter forever after that.  In the mean time, just follow orders." "What is 'orders'?" "Behaviorism." "Oh?" "It's a good thing. You don't have to think, just do what you're told. It's the management model the guys occupying your country use." "I'm not sure I understand it." "I know. That's why they are occupying your country. But it can be fun: a submission and dominance kind of thing, but without the sex." "Got it." "Don't worry. You'll like it in hindsight after this is over. If you do it right, it can almost be spiritual. And try to stay upbeat, would you?   This is going to be a long night." "Got a light?" "I quit smoking, Dalai." "I'm feeling kind of down, Jesse. Do you mind if I call you Jesse?"  "I like PFC Collins while I'm doing regression work." "Oh. That's pretty deep. But what's 'PFC' mean?" "It's the acronym for my rank, Private First Class." "Well what's MY rank?" "You are a Private; which means that while we are in this hole, I'm in charge." "I'm starting to think that this all may have big picture cosmic significance." "Not now, Dalai." "Why not?" "It's inappropriate." "Oh. Ok. But that's deep too. That word seems to do so much all by itself; stops me from having to explain a lot. It's refreshing and I like it. Sort of like that word 'absolutely' that I used to hear so much about a long time ago. And I never got a chance to use that." "Look, try not to keep thinking about this. And stop asking so many questions and talking so much. When it's over, this whole thing'll give you something to tell your grandfollowers about in your old age." "Well I certainly understand that! It's the enlightened way for my peoples. Thanks PFC Collins for explaining this to me." "You're welcome, Private Lama. It's the American way, helping people by giving advice." "Well I really like it. This is all so  new and different, even comforting. We don't have to dwell on things so much." "Right. Now shutup and that's an order! You're going to get us blowed up!" "Ok, PFC Collins. I'm starting to adapt to this, though, just like you said would happen. Looking out into the dark nothingness for Chinese soldiers here in Northern New Mexico is sort of meditative." "Goddammit . . ."


The Jews, whose extraordinary thoughtfulness over mankind's history added greatly to the underpinnings of Western Civilization's values related to reasoning, caring and trying to do what is right, had to work the peaceful vs. fighting to protect one's self and cohorts out for their culture. They did so over about thirty-eight hundred years as reflected in a summary of an exegesis of their historical texts (The Torah and Bible) consolidated in the Ethics of Our Fathers. Nevertheless, their understandings of the deifications of their life philosophies to forgive an aggression in lieu of fighting for a particular principle — for example, "It doesn't seem right that someone should kill my children while they are in elementary school or riding the bus on their way to a fun outing or celebration like a wedding" — had an ideological to methodological policy hole. In trying to be good and not always seek vengeance or retribution for having been done a wrong, interpretations lent themselves to supporting by internalizing and then hopefully distancing themselves from the untoward feelings of anger and hostility that became manifest after the attacks or other forms of abuse. The book The New Shoah dramatically shows through its recording of interviews of the fifteen hundred surviving family members of twenty-first century Arab terrorism and murder of its citizenry — innocent children, women, religious followers and leaders, students, parents and grandparents themselves survivors of the more noted twentieth century Holocaust — how the teachings from their heritage would guide many of them to not respond in kind through revenge killings of their neighbors representing the different and competing ethnicity and religion. That brilliant thread of thought underlies Judeo Christian philosophical influences on the establishment of those idioms that turn bad things into good through the use of the deepest elements of the soul that instill true peacefulness of heart and consciousness of being.

But proceeding with and then paralleling that application of goodness from the best that the human mind and spirit has produced, the new Jews, as they began to call themselves while Zionism was gaining some steam at the early part of the twentieth century, would finally in response to the exigencies attending the near extinction of their race correct the apparent error of too much goodness and fill that hole following the final big twentieth century pogrom which served to climax two thousand years of periodic slaughter of their otherwise perceived (excepting the reputation established just prior to that period by the Maccabees who notably were called rebels) as a non fighting race, ethnicity, or religion, whichever way you want to frame it. The Jews began to adopt another concept between the beginnings of the formation of Zionism in 1868-81, with assiduous application following their achievement of a state in 1948; they had to face the decision to fight or attack when confronted again (a third time in their new home of Israel) with the apparent upcoming death of their people on the eve of the Six Day War (1967).

These new kind of Jews, again emphasizing that that is how they began to reference themselves as they built their new country, handled it methodologically instead of philosophically — thus eventually hopefully turning it into an ideology — by adding another Commandment to Moses' codification of the first ten, at least according to Benny Morris in the first revisionist portrayal of Israel's new birth: Righteous Victims; a History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict. 1881-2001. The new eleventh one, which enjoyed more popular acceptance following the Holocaust, would be placed on a plaque that made manifest that ethnicity's procedural reconciliation of the matter. It was included into the decision matrix for that nation's defensive operational leadership and put on the wall so that everyone would remember the change in thinking. It read:

"The Eleventh (XI) Commandment:
Don't Get Murdered." 

With the Arab world massed at ten times Israel's military strength on its borders on June 5, 1967, and their antagonist's leaderships proclaiming their intent to bring about the Jews' second holocaust  of the century — the complete destruction of the state and annihilation of its people — the Israeli Air Force, knowing that it would draw dhimmi French and other  European states' condemnations for not being nice, struck a few minutes before the second conflagration was to start, destroying completely with precision timing and accuracy the entire Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi  air defensive and offensive capacities, all within thirty minutes. Doing the same to their competition's  massive armies on the ground, albeit taking a little longer - six days, these people raised themselves up and in the process established the new notion, countervailing the one they started and lived by for the previous millennia, and which was handed down to that part of our thinking that keeps us through good conscience from wanting to harm others. At least we strive to do the right thing and by holding the prospectively aggressive aspects of ourselves in check, even though the discussion will no doubt cause considerable interpersonal and sometimes even social turmoil. The idea, then, of a military service man or woman, or as in this instance a rebel — that part of us that fights from time to time for certain seemingly worthwhile principles, like staying alive — has attained and does now include some apparent spiritual support in these later years, thanks be, again, to the succinctness and clarity brought about by the new 11th Commandment. I look forward to that upgrade to their original system of peaceful thought being downloaded and installed into Western Civ's populations.

Ancient mixed with newbie pacifism and the peace movements of the twentieth century are not the only ideological influences affecting the diminishment of the Rebel's once great value previously held by this country. There's a newer only three decade or so old movement coming out of the 1960's to 1980s that's playing its part. In that body of thought, academia argues that there is no rationale or respectable reason for fighting, or putting it more bluntly having to go to war. Victor Davis Hanson addresses that issue completely in his recent book The Father of Us All. He demonstrates clearly how academics avoid the intellectual discussion of war, probably because  of the pain inflicted by it. More than that, the academic environment  has developed an ideology that concludes that war is just a function of a failure of proper intellectual address of the various needs attending both sides of an argument between peoples. If those citizens in near conflict would just study the matters as does our scholars, then the problems between the parties would be worked out. Understanding the other side's needs is the intellectual way to avoid conflict, making it then universally unnecessary, in this theory.

Regrettably, as Melanie Phillips (A World Turned Upside Down) and Paul Berman (Liberalism and Terror) weigh in through each of those books, that problem solving ideology forgets to detect psychopathology in both the personalities of the leadership of an opposition and in the modalities that they use for discussion. The opposition, and particularly when represented in non consensually managed societies, may not be so rational afterall. And those people as also argued by Mark Stein and again Hanson may incidentally even be psychopaths, who are often unreasonable folks. That means that the academic treatist that  ALL the world is rational which undergirds the elitest thesis that intellectual discussion solves all, may have missed something: crazy people who kill innocents and destroy other countries because they just simply think they can get away with it. And there you have psychopathism summarized for you in a nutshell; if something wanted can be taken, it will be, no conscience involved.

The Rebel mascot stands in the way of advocates preaching the all-the-world-is-rational-like-us view. They can't celebrate, particularly with their children's same recognition of the notion that the standing poised and ready to fight rebel mascot is something our youth should even condone, much less support. Our we-are-all-the-same academics propose that that idea about fighting possibly having a place in our increasingly civilized by passivity-based thought system is simply unacceptable. So the Westbury Rebel's gotta go, some thoughtful intellectuals, who are often in charge of our  professional educational settings, argue.

Well. Is there anything requiring that that group of Rebel nay sayers include the actual need to fight, to do battle against serious and vicious aversaries, that would allow us to do just that when required, and manifest that need, that requirement in an icon like the Westbury Rebel? And not only that, but to be proud of that fighting aspect of ourselves, even determinidly so? I think there is.

For What Does the American, Texas and
Westbury Rebel Fight and Die?

There's more to fighting, which includes prospectively dying, as the Rebel is prepared to do,  though, than just rational practicality; and that "more" comes first. It requires making a thoughtful, to mean here both rational-cognitive and emotional transformation from that of a peaceful and everyday conforming-civilized citizen to being capable of responding to challenges that attend war never before even imagined.  But not to worry, the capacity to make that transition is there for many of us, usually enough in the, now called, consensually managed society to do the job.

In that regard, there's something about the ontological aspects of humankind that, particularly during trying times, fuses people together in ways that can have either positive or negative outcomes. When it is good, and the homogeneity with all its phenomenons of projection and transference interwoven with calls for acquiring enough visceralness to survive, and then even win, have been done well as they were in the 1962 Lamar, Austin and then Bellaire football games for that team back at Westbury High School in the fall of 1962, then the resulting synergism temporarily raises up the individuals involved to a higher standard of functioning of performance, which attribute then contributes to strengthened learning about themselves, their missions, their depth of definitions of who we are, what we are trying to be, and how much we are willing to commit in order to support and achieve those new concepts, notions and goals, and then answering as well the stubbornly perdurable question: "Are they worthwhile?"

To emphasize that idea of being raised up, the question asked earlier but postponed goes when answered to the heart of these matters. Although this question doesn't predominate consciousness and discussion of the American service person, it does get solemn play and at some level becomes a, if not the, big issue. "When I do my duty, meet the threat, say in an hour, or a day, or this evening, or the next morning at daybreak"; when it comes time to load onto the helicopter or naval landing craft; when the American Soldier, sailor, airman or Marine puts his head down along side the next guy's hip so that maybe the combination of the bone in it and the steel helmet he wears will stop the speeding deadly metal that's coming through — splat splat splat — the assault craft's bulkhead  from entering his brain, the American service man and woman ask through sometimes states of shock and numbness of feeling and thought "for what do I die should that worst case occur?" That is the question posed to rebels and those defending against them to advance or maintain the status of a  particular view of life, or in some instances in fact of life itself. And the interrogatory and answer becomes the deciding moment for the collective definition of a civilization's identity, its Being, its raison d'etre.

Not all defenders or aggressors respond to that discussion the same. Russians live or die for Mother Russia;  the British for the Queen, King and country; Germans for the Fatherland; Islamic warriors for Allah; Christian Crusaders for Christ; Soviets and Bosheviks for the Revolution; and the Japanese for the Emporer.

But the American fighter on the eve of his prospective death or causing someone elses' considers something somewhat different, less easily defined or capsulated in a single trope, or even felt nebulously without thoughtful — done under the influence of serious stress — clarification. The military historian S.L.A. Marshall studied WWII American combatants fighting all over the globe between 1941 and 1945. That work determined, with some scientific flare, that, generally, Americans really didn't like killing members from the other side as did and might the latter. Only 25% are said to have even fired their weapons, holding back from this more destructive but nevertheless more defining element of the psych. John Keegan, The Face of Battle, would interpret that the influences of individual identity as a primary inputter to human consciousness under the American management system would lead to the development of fighters who, out of respect for the concept of individuality, empathized as noted by Marshall more demonstrably with the fighting men on the other side.

Looking at those subjects of fighting, living, dying and killing back during my time and then as recalled through hindsight, those myriad notions of what those difficult subjects were all about were conveyed in the discussions held by those confiding their notions to me / us in those moments before departure for a battle. "If I die tomorrow," which the American warrior always endeavors not to do — as George Patton made famous the notion that martyrdom is not our thing — "then my life goes for something bigger than me: my children, my wife and family, and my sisters and brothers and their children, and theirs, so that they may not be so imposed upon, so that they can have something quietly better, and for those good and sometimes very peacefully oriented neighbors who rightfully can't conceptualize committing brutal and other horrendous acts even in the name of defense of the community who I wish also to protect from this experience of horror, that they may live their lives within all that I and they care for."

The school teacher turned Army Captain in the movie "Saving Private Ryan" explained, as the officer was bleeding out from his wounds, it succinctly, and in the process disclosed the theme of the film artwork: a tribute to the American soldier, Marine, Airman, Sailor, and yes I include the Rebel. The captain whispered, so that we couldn't hear, to private Ryan for whom the officer's squad had searched throughout the battle in WWII Europe — because the private's other four brothers had been killed in the sinking of an American ship and Ryan was the only representative remaining from within his family — the secret to why some people die for others. At first that answer was kept back from us, and the young Ryan seemed to not know exactly what that secret meant until at the end of the movie. There he journeyed back after half a century to the Captain's grave maintained as a sanctum in Europe to convey his sentiments. With his children and his grandchildren accompanying him to that cemetary in France, the once young but now aged Ryan told us for what the Captain and that squad of men had died by saying aloud  the words shared by that officer at his death and those of that team of fighters that sacrified with their commander: "Live your life!" And Ryan answered metaphorically standing in front of the Captain's cross with "Yes sir. I did. Here it is." "It" referred to not just his aged self, but his loved ones and others who stood behind him while he said thank you to the officer for giving up of himself so that Private Ryan and his descendants could live and do so fully with meaning, forever.

When I evaluate Westbury High School's meaning in hindsight and in relation to the War that we fought, and I'm not just referring to Vietnam, it is for me like Ryan's standing at that grave, looking back to those men who didn't, as did I  albeit I left part of myself there with them, come through that shadowed valley and return safely home.  So where I've spoken and will again to why we fight, the biggest conceptual hurdle to address is the question asked earlier and that requires we all answer at some time. "For what did they, men like  my boss — our Group S-3 Operations, later to be called Special Ops as the millennium changed, Exec and Marine helicopter UH1E pilot Major William Goodsell posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for saving those lives  who themselves were accorded similar,  equivalent and greater awards; to include one Staff Sergeant Jimmie Howard who was on the ground below Goodsell with his half dead and all remaining severely wounded recon team, and who received because of his selfless efforts in the same battle in which Goodsell fought and died from fifty feet in the airspace above the NVA twenty MM cannon while he marked the deadly target with smoke, the Congressional Medal of Honor; and Private Ray Nora, my bootcamp compadre  and closest friend who used to share with me the fighting holes in the rain I've referenced and who by the time of his parting was  a husband and Marine truck driver with the desire some day in his hopes of  returning home to be an automobile mechanic and who even better and more than that was the father of three children,  was ordered in response to the 1968 TET offensive to make a second and life ending tour, die?" "Was it for nothing?" as many have opined over the years. Or "Was it for something of exceptional value?"

And then as I have been privileged like the character of Private Ryan over my own fifty years to see your lives and what you did with them; you've done so much — your children, your families,  yourselves — I have been able to affirm my answer concluded from that period that I knew then to be true. That is,  every time I hear described one of the  weddings of your children or grandchildren; and each shower you women give for your neighbors and your loved ones to start and contribute anew to and for the benefit of another life; when I see you argue and stand firmly for what you think is right through the formation of your rebel Tea Parties; when you celebrate the births of your grandchildren; when they and your children complete a new level of education and graduate and strive to improve their lot;  when one of your children join up to become a member of the armed forces or defend our lives and homes by becoming police officers or firemen or to otherwise advance our communities by becoming teachers or care givers for the infirm or accountants and other financial experts or lawyers or auto mechanics and other tradesmen or EMS workers or salesmen or people who love and till the soil; when you head out to the golf course or on a fishing trip to the ocean, or a quieter lake, river or stream to enjoy something that you love doing and that brings solace, enthusiasm, comfort and enjoyment to your life; when I hear and see how you commune with God and your Savior and then carry that communion throughout the rest of your life into your interactions with others; when you enter the political fray, whether epistemologically left, right or somewhere in between, and assert leadership for the advance of the particular principles you advocate regarding how we should manage ourselves on the issues of the time; when you develop your hobbies in photography, bird watching, manicuring your lawns and growing your gardens; when you buy a new automobile or dress or shirt or jacket or pair of pants or trousers  or a special piece of jewelry or other adornment that fits your ideas of who you are; when you purchase a home of, for and from your dreams and then invite your community of friends and loved ones to see and share it with you; when you adore and sacrifice for your pets that you care for so dearly; when you give all that's best of yourselves to your causes whether they are about building an estate for your family or saving lives and souls or becoming an athlete; when you fall in love and know romance and share passion  with another human being; when you have friends over for dinner, or meet new people in a social event; when you listen in the privacy of your santuaries to your favorite music and read a good book; when you strive long hours and exhaustively hard in your jobs to make something of practical substance for yourselves and your loved ones; when you create something of art like a quilt, an embroideried pillow or cushion for a sofa, or a poem or a song or write your own book or your memoirs that then are passed on to your grandchildren and theirs for infinity that special ontological essence of you; when you endure the pain of loss and despair and hardship but with someone's trying to care for you at those extraordinarily seemingly unendurable moments where no answer to your grief makes you ache; when you present the strength, courage and determination to live your life secularly; when you face your shortcomings and overcome natural human frailties we all share like predjudice, bigotry and sometimes even rightful hatreds, instead calling upon — when pitted against difficult challenges — the intrinsic qualities of honesty, reason and trustworthiness that make you who you truly are; when you are the one doing the sharing and caring for those less fortunate and who need someone at those horrible times; when you strive to evaluate and understand your world's complexities and to respond with natural anger, or fear, or sadness or with the goodness that imbues you; when you believe strongly in whatever values you hold most dear and then convey them to the rest of us or keep them privately for yourself; when you accept, love or sometimes even dislike yourselves, and at the same time strive for improvement just for the sake of learning and making your self stronger and your world a better place; I know, then, as did Private Ryan  for what his team members — his and my Brothers — died. As they were raised up in those moments of profound fear that portends the ending of one's solitary existence, they became more. Recognizing and honoring that greater Being in each and every one of them, the American service man and woman died, and still do today die, for you.

Those extraordinary men and women do so that you may live as fully perfect, but with all its rigors, joys, fears, depressions and other ups and downs, the person that you are. Synthesized, some in trying to explain this phenomenon call it freedom; others elaborate upon the notion with the  summarizing expression oft referenced in this society - culture as the Individual Freedom to Be. Scouring the world in all its harsh and edifying realities, it is no where else to be found, with the possible exceptions of a couple of nations like Australia and Israel — which seem to be getting the point along with us,  but in America.

I believe that — because I've worked during the preponderance of my life not just with the victims of horror but with the perpetrators of it — I have seen from both the incremental and aggregate perspectives the best and the worst of us all; I've been privileged to know you and particularly those who gave so much of themselves and who are no longer with us. And I've concluded over this half century that you and what you have done with your lives was worth, and particularly with due reverence for the extraordinary expense in grief and sadness from our loss, the price of theirs. Having known first hand of their gracious and so honorable magnanimity, and thus now testifying accordingly to you regarding it, I do not believe that I presume unfairly by saying that I know that they  would and likely do look upon all that you've done, accomplished and become with your use of their gift to you — reiterating for emphasis the Individual Freedom to Be — and that today, no matter that those men, in my case the Marines, could and did from time to time complain and gripe and were of the capacities to see the philosophical glass half  empty with more erudite arguments than any soul on the planet, that they in this bigger view now accorded to them do agree with me: what you've done with your lives, as did the symbolic character of Private Ryan and his family,  balances out our most honorable ones' sacrifices. And they, too, would assuredly share my view that with each moment that you live your life so fully as you have shown us that you have, that you in turn are honoring them and their contribution to you and yours.

An Epistemologically Focused History of the Westbury,
Texas and American Rebel's Consciousness

John Adams, George Washington and even Thomas Jefferson knew all or at least most of those things about the freedom to Be and the value of individual life, and about human sacrifice for notions of betterment and all so importantly about the relationship regarding state of being vs. behavior and the latter's needs for control to ensure the opportunity to experience that fullness of life, and to include the understanding of various groups' manifestations or at least the propensities toward aggressiveness if not watched carefully, but within the parameters of maintaining respect for ontological aspects of the human consciousness when putting together the first charter level documents or management model that would run this country. But amazingly from within all that study and intellect, Washington and Jefferson, plus later as would my hero Sam Houston, still even owned slaves, operating in that split consciousness where they could while also doing good  compartmentalize into tragedy for political expediency real people due to race, color, ethnicity or even gender.

Abigail Adams saw it  clearly, though, and railed about it constantly with her husband in their over thirty years of correspondences. Although John agreed with his extraordinary wife in principle, he argued back and which conclusion became the policy in the formative struggle that he needed the South's - slavers' assistance to get the English King's killers off the backs of John's constituencies' necks way up there in Massachusetts. Those brave, albeit sometimes intellectually confused Yankee souls were fighting for America's embryonic substance all by themselves, while the rest of the colonies contemplated and debated the issue — King George's more demonstrative representatives had not yet descended upon those edified colonialists including the fine  non slave-owner Pennsylvania Quaker and ever sincere pacifist thinkers. They too, would join up for the fight eventually thanks be to that George's putting them on the list of the unredeemable; all members of the Continental Congress were to be hanged as rebels regardless of their war voting posture or other inclinations toward the crown or the new America. Hence, the sardonic Franklin's opportunity to bring them all on board, as they say, with "Either we hang together, or we shall indeed hang separately."

The DOI followed pretty quickly after that — within a couple of months — and the definition of American identity began institutionally and with emphasis on sincerity. Prospective or other near death experiences will often turn one into a serious thinker, and if not careful sometimes make an innocently docile and deeply kind religiously imbued human being into a fighting hero, like the backwoods man from Tennessee who made the transition from conscientious objector to Medal of Honor recipient, Alvin - later also internationally reknown as Sergeant - York. This deeply thoughtful in his conscientiousness to principle man would become WWI's most decorated soldier.

Washington of Virginia gave John Adams what he needed, an Army from the south primarily comprised of men from the General's home state / colony, to survive and in kind Adams dropped Abigail's argument about slavery by not presenting it to the Continental Congress, which resulted in not just the institutionalizing of the dehumanization of African Americans, but women — she argued for that group's legal right to be considered a live human being or individual way back a hundred years before the other ladies of the late 19th century caught on to the concept, or at least discussed it openly.

So in that initial definition formation period Mrs. Adams vociferated for the idea that women were thinkers too. That if this new America was going to set up these rules for recognizing humans in a different light than as they were as subjects of various rulers and other leaders — like those running Europe, then individual identity of all people should be reflected in the declarations. But thinking quickly, John said "Well that just seems to be so unnatural: you may be taking this identity argument too far." Then he closed with "After all, you women are the real power behind our thrones. Why do you want to ruin things just for something like a vote?"

To shorten this read, you are invited to skip the sections set out in their individual frames and distinguished by different colored fonts. They tell a parallel story which principal purpose is to reflect pride in my personal ancestry as some of its members contributed to the story and concept of rebels fighting for freedom. The information also demonstrates, though, how I would eventually get to America, Texas, Houston and Westbury.

 Coming to America 

Simultaneous with those conversations and discussions of 1774-1776, and then again leading up to the US Constitution's ratification in 1788, my paternal (great as in seventh removed) grandfather, Thomas Wharton Collins, who had married Susanna Lloyd in 1762 in Philadelphia and then after her demise in 1772 Mary Hinton; and after having come to America following an unplanned interruption (where in a fair duel he killed the Commanding Officer, a British Royal Dragoons Captain, of his unit who had damaged the virtue of his younger sister to the point of causing her death) to his career as an officer (Lieutenant) in the Brit's Dragoons. The duelist Collins served in the colonies' military contingents until 1775 in the Adjutant General's office as an aid to Philadelphia's General Mifflin. But no matter that honorable record, he would undergo some drama causing controvery for our family.

When a group of Tory spies attempted to blow up a colony's cannon that controlled / prevented British Naval access to the heart of a major inland waterway, they were then apprehended. One of the men implicated my great grandfather, whereas he was then imprisoned without trial. The four who had participated in the traitorous scullduggery were hanged. But because my relative claimed innocense of participation in the plot in written and well documented correspondence to General Washington - for whom Thomas Wharton Collins had also directly worked - and because three of the executed Tories would not corroborate their cohort's claim of Collins's guilt, his life was spared. But he sat out the rest of the American Revolutionary War in prison while everyone tried to figure the story out. Eventually,  his lovely wife, Mary (Hinton) Collins, personally called upon their old friend, The Commander (General Washington), and secured her husband's release. This adventuresome fellow would die in 1790 at age fifty-eight, but not before having nine children, the eighth of whom, William Wharton Collins, would become a North Atlantic schooner captain plying from Liverpool to Nova Scotia to New Orleans and settle eventually in the latter city, leaving a son who would bring  me ever closer to Westbury High School in Texas.

Of equally less significance to the overall story, again other than showing pride in my family and demonstrating how the author of this trilogy editorial about the Westbury Rebel got to America in the first place, the referenced Dragoons Lieutenant, duelist, and then member of the American Revolution's Continental Army, Thomas Wharton Collins, at the age of fourteen  with his younger sister had watched the murder by British soldiers (Dragoons no less) of his father, the Scottish Episcopal Priest and Christian pacificist Thomas Wharton. He was killed (executed) along with his wife at the 1746 Battle of Culloden in Scotland. His and his wife's crimes were that they had given humane care through medical aid to the wounded Scottish Rebels who participated earlier that day in the main fight. The English General, a Hanoverian relative of the same dissent as the sitting English King, The Duke of Cumberland would later be branded because of these acts the "The Butcher of Cumberland" and be reprimanded for this atrocity. During and following the battle of Culloden in the field, Cumberland ordered the deaths of anyone  providing any kind of succour to the wounded who also were slaughtered along with my great grandparents in their church which was adjacent to their home. My grandparents were not alone in sustaining those deaths. Many, many of the townspeople of Culloden, Scotland on that infamous day suffered the same to include numerous tortuous deaths.

The murdered Episcopal priest, my great grandfather, was the son of James Campbell, the fourth son of the Ninth Earl of Argyll (then promoted 1686-1700 to Duke), otherwise comprised of the Sottish Highland's Campbell Clan. It is depicted factually in the movie Braveheart through the story of the boy who was Wallace's friend during childhood. He's the young man who threw the large and heavy rock back and forth with Wallace. That Campbell, my great grandfather thirtieth or so removed (I've forgotten that final number since first counting the lineage twenty years ago) is the fellow who also symbollically (in the movie) threw his Long Sword at the ending  as the Scots engaged the English at the later 1314 Battle of Bannockburn. It gave Scotland its independence for almost five hundred years from England until the so called Act of Union with England in 1707 and finally the calamitous (for Scotland) Battle of Culloden referenced earlier — and following Wallace's rousing speech (on horseback in the film) about the meaning of freedom (actually made much earlier during the first decade of that 14th century).

The Highlands Campbell Clan (as Argyll) is well known in Scotland for its contributions to that country. The group got its initiating notoriety and lands from the performance of the referenced grandfather in that Battle at Bannockburn. He was recognized thereafter by the Scottish King Robert the Bruce that Campbell had supported in that fight. That great grandfather was given the title Lors Chieftan (the Great Chief). The family and its clearly delineated lineage, codifed back to 1260AD (with heritage claims for the clan to 100BCE) and influenced by the Norman Invasion of 1066, would provide support to the Scottish Kings thereafter, and then later various Scottish - English Royalty, depending on the politics of and religions in power in the times.

By order of the King and Queen involved, two of the Earls of Argyll, each one a great grandfather of mine, would lose their heads during the tumultuous seventeenth century to the executioner's axe, but not before passing on the name and title to male children, for supporting the wrong religious power during those often portentiously changing spiritual times. As Kathryn Hepburn playing Queen Eleanor would add at the end of one the most extraordiary marital discord fight scenes in filmdom with her husband King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) in the movie The Lion in Winter, "Well, every family has its ups and downs."

To allay any last name confusion that the reader might  be experiencing so far in this chronology, James Campbell in a political move intended to influence differences between the throne of England and the authority in Scotland, went down to London in 1686 and kidnapped a thirteen year old girl who was the daughter (not declared in the registry due to the shame of this incident to the family) of the Marquess Thomas Wharton, Lord of the Privy Council (the office that took care of the British Royal Family). Although the English retrieved the young lady with a military contingent, it was too late. James Campbell had married and gotten her pregnant. Those who had helped him were hanged by the English. He was imprisoned beginning at the end of 1686 for several years in Edinburg Castle. The British Parliament annulled the marriage and the infant, James Campbell's son, was given his maternal English grandfather's name, Thomas Wharton, and then raised by the same (the English Marcuess Wharton instead of the Scottish father Campbell).

Historians report great irony in that the philosophical Presbyterian academe and minister Francis Hutcheson who initiated the Scottish enlightenment at the beginnings of the 18th century by undermining the harsh Calvinist doctrines of John Knox, would be said to have only been free to bring about that peaceful and loving interpretation of Christianity but for the fighting support of the Highlands Chief Archibal Campbell, the son of again my great grandfather the first Duke of Argyll. Although this (nor most of the Campbell Clan's Chiefs) Archibald was not known for his peacefulness, nor as a partisan supportor of a particular version of protestant Christianity (in case you don't remember from Westbury's World Civilization history classes, protestants stood against the Scottish Catholic Tudors who comprised the royal leadership for the Jacobites) — the different versions kept resulting in the taking of the heads of his father and grandfather — the noted Archibald's ferocity and leadership skills in battle made Hutcheson's philosophical sea (world) change possible when Archibal Campbell's army defeated the Jabocites in their first uprising in 1715.  That work then done by Hutcheson and added to by the Scottish Enlightenment greats — Robertson, Hume, Kames, and Smith would profoundly influence the writings and design within the century of the formation of most of the world's and emphasizing America's concepts of freedom and governmental management of it for its citizens. In America, those philosophies brought about by the unlikely but fortunately for western civilization conjoint management teamwork of Hutcheson and Campbell, still predominate today across most ideas of humanity and especially Christianity.

As a religiously peaceful Christian  young man and priest to be, James Campbell's son Thomas Wharton would  marry an English lady whose last name was Collins. After his (Thomas Wharton - Episcopal Priest) and his wife's deaths at Culloden, and then following his  son's coming to America — after having served twelve years in the British Army (the Royal Dragoons no less) and soon after dispatching his Commanding Officer in the (fair and formal) duel, the young man (twenty-seven years of age) was allowed, even some say encouraged for the preservation of the harmony of the unit to leave the Dragoons. He would  adopt his mother's maiden name of Collins when landing in America at Philadelphia in 1760. The Captain he had killed is reported to have been very popular as the CO of that famous Regiment. Some of the British military were said to still be unhappy about their loss.

And so that's how I (Jesse W. Collins II - Skip) would get to America as a Collins instead of a Wharton or Campbell.

Note for AnnMarie Lube McDonald. Please be aware that the most infamous 1692 Glencoe Massacre of the thirty-four McDonalds by Robert Campbell's troops by order of King William occurred not by my ancestors. I had already been split off in 1686 and was being raised (meaning my great grandfather) by the Marquess of Wharton down in England when the heinous crime occurred. Aside from that, my grandfather James Campbell, fourth son of Archibald Campbell the ninth Earl of Argyll who would become the first Duke, and not of the infamous Breadlebane Campbell group, was still in jail in Edinburg Castle, playing no part in the massacre. Although Captain Robert Campbell was ordered by the chain of command reporting to King William to bring the McDonalds down, Scottish law disallowed murder no matter formal orders to do so. Such  things had to be done under the rules of combat, as is the case today in American military law. Regardless, I, or at least my chromosomes, weren't there in February 1692. They were in London starting to grow in a soon to be Episcopal Priest's pacifist's mind. I guess that reticent part of my ancestry is why I'm such a nice person today.


Returning to our discussion of the Westbury Rebel in America, circa ending of the eighteenth century, a couple of years later in 1810, a little less than pious Catholic priest down in the middle of Mexico would influence the destinies of us Westburians, or at least how we would see  ourselves. Being one of that country's first true rebels, the work of the Americans in their attempts to define humankind and how it should manage itself was not lost on him or his native Indian constituents and natural born Mexicans.

The Indians, who  fairly well had had their own inter-nation management methodology development problems, were conquered, sorta, by the Spanish over the previous couple of centuries. "Sort of" because neither the Commanches in our neck of the woods nor the Apaches a little further west acknowledged being conquered until the Texas Rangers had it out with the former and Generals Cook  and Miles of the U.S. Army finally talked the rebel Geronimo into moving to Florida, where he would become a talk show celebrity all the way into the beginnings of the Twentieth Century.

This Mexican priest's work, which included the Indians who too were becoming rebels in this revolution, was then added to by some others from the indigenous (Mexican born Spaniards) population.  That thinking and eleven year rebel activity produced in 1821 a new and Independent Mexico, no longer run by a sovereign from Europe. It then, contemplating that everyone's ideas about human ontology were moving along the same track, invited Americans to settle the northern part of their country in Coahuila y Tejas.

 Coming To Texas

Continuing the parallel, but also integral personal elements of my ancestors' participation in this American-Texan-Westbury story, my great grandfather (five removed) was brought by a Louisiana St. Tammany Parish (New Orleans) Judge named Tate in an estate takeover by swindle plot at age eight to the newer Mexico in that opening year of 1821. The boy, being the only remaining heir to the Louisiana property (the boy's father,  William Wharton Collins, who was the eighth child of the aforemention Thomas Wharton Collins, 1732-1790 — descendant of the Scots Campbell Clan and with his young sister to witness his Christian pacifist parents' heinous murder at Culloden — died in a storm on his schooner on Lake Poncetrain in 1816,  was the cofounder before doing so in 1808-12 with his younger brother, John Thomas Wharton Collins, of the town known today as Covington, Louisiana) was dropped off in the wilderness by the would-be-murderer St. Tammany, Louisiana Judge Tate in that year of 1821 near San Augustine (Tejas), and left at eight years of age for the Indians to dispatch as they saw fit. That's how this Westbury High School boy would get to Texas.


The American settlers coming to Tejas had similar ideas about the value of the individual as embodied in the American Declaration of Independence and which underpinned the dreams of the initial Mexican Revolution. But those notions were thrown off course by a new and not so individually oriented dictatorship takeover led in 1824 by El Presidente Santa Ana.

After a little over a decade, enough totalitarianism became enough as they say, and those settlers became rebels, too. After paying a pretty good price in human lives and suffering — the Mexican Army having annihilated the 185 defenders of the Alamo, and executed Fannin's four hundred men who had conditionally (on agreement to be hauled by wagons to the frontier border with the promise not to rejoin the rebel cause-fight) surrendered at Goliad. Then driving before that overwhelmingly superior in numbers and cannon Mexican force, the Tejas settlers who were fleeing in rightful terror and panic from their homes and having to ford at high waters the Brazos, Colorado and Trinity Rivers, and with the new Texican-raised rebel army running with those home folks until the Texas Rebels, along with ninety Coushatta Indians from East Texas, would make a last stand just east of Harrisburg, Texas.

Harrisburg was the current albeit temporary capital of the fighting state to be. There at the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836, and after that capital of the newly born Republic was burned to the ground (not more than two stone throws from the place of my birth on the east side of Houston, Texas) by General Santa Ana, himself, the small Texas group of rebels would take not only the northern Mexico region known as Tejas, but eventually what would lead to the full western United States all the way to the Pacific ocean, away from that more hierarchially managed Mexican organization.

 Coming To Nacodoches

 Moving along with the chronology pertaining to how I got to Westbury High School in the twentieth century, during the transition decade of the great dictator's rule, the boy, whose name was George Thomas Wharton Collins, dropped off earlier in the wilderness managed to escape the Indians, get a job in a lawyer's office, return to Louisiana at age fourteen (1827) and reclaim within the courts (the boy represented himself, pro se) his estate from the judge.  The now fourteen year old boy then returned to his current home in Tejas to become a man and marry my grandmother, also five removed, Ms. Martha Ann Bridges of the same notable Texas Revolution family's namesake. He eventually thereafter would serve as the first sheriff of Angelina County (Nacodoches and then Lufkin) in the brand new Texas in that first year of  its existence, 1836,  as an independent republic - country.


Thanks be to the greatness of those Rebels who fought and won that Battle of San Jacinto, including the seven hundred and fifty Texas Rebels, Ms. Emily West, a free and part African American woman just down from New York City and who would serve to inspire the lyrics and music for the song "The Yellow Rose of Texas," and General Sam Houston, a former Governor of and U.S. Congressman from Tennessee, and who had volunteered to help by leading the Nacodoches Tejas Rebels, eventually being given the job of leading the full Tejas-Texican rebel army.

However, and although their contributions to the Texas rebels' cause was building this new idea of man and his capacities, slaves and women were still not yet included in the definitional formula. For the concept of slaves to be recognized as humans with a conscience of being, it would take a great deal of horrendous  destruction to figure that out. It was interesting that in that day an age throughout the world and as emphasized by America's formation,  individual ontology was something that was assigned or declared as a consequence of leadership or management thought. For example, as soon as a slave was freed, he or she instantly was assigned a conscience with all the attendant trappings of a bona fied person. The idea hadn't yet seeped through philosophical thought that the individual identity  component comprised of ontology was a biological outgrowth of the philogenetic integrative aspects of the brain. And each person had his own regardless of social or other ruling contract status.

The cost of that little idiosyncratic hampering perspective of the human consciousness would be substantial. The American Civil War required that more than a half million of us fighters (those in the culture comprised of the psychological wherewithal to physically apply themselves to do battle where required to either protect or overthrow the various social management models) go down to make that correction to the error created between 1776 and 1788 in definition of what America is trying to do here come out right.

Morgan Freeman spoke up on the subject from another perspective as the First Sergeant of the brilliant 54th, the first fully (except all Caucasian officers — Massachusetts is always protecting its leadership role no matter what) Negro outfitted Regiment of the United States Army formed during the American Civil War. In the near apex of the many dramatic scenes in that movie, Freeman stands against Denzel Washington who didn't want to fight for the Crackers (I'm afraid that in my older age, that term may have come from another movie) due to his horrible experience as a slave. Said Freeman "I was on the burial detail on all those battles where thousands of those white men and boys in blue uniforms were being carried to their graves so that you and I and the rest of us in the unit could be free men!" "Hmmm." said Washington's character. And he went on to magnificently defend and even die for the concept of freedom for every man, and no matter his legitimate hate that he personally had felt all his life, in the great battle in which the 54th distinguished itself in that horribly sad but necessary — that is, if one believes that some things like freedom of concience is worth fighting, even dying, for — war. The movie's title is "Glory" and it fits those courageous men, every one.

Mrs. Adams, who I've always thought of as the true founding mother of this country, was right about ontology not being an attribute particular only to one gender. And her constituents of that other category, which a hundred years later would include Susan Anthony, finally overthrew their constraints, men, at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. But still, however, and even while I was trying to learn to  be a thinker, I could not understand why we gave up those controls to the throne without a set piece battle having occurred some place. Aside from that and as Mrs. Adams' husband, John, predicted two hundred and almost fifty years ago, things have become so confusing since we surrendered the right to vote to those otherwise fine and remarkably lovely ladies.

But that group has been saved from my lack of intellect by another learning experience, hands on. In 1993 I attended by chance the dedication of the Vietnam Nurses Memorial, a bronze statue shown first in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Glenna Goodacre, before moving it to its lifetime home in Washington, DC. For three days and evenings I listened on the sidelines to the stories of those women about their work in theater. Some provided the factual basis for the TV series China Beach. Heck. I didn't even know there were any American women in country, excepting those that performed in the USO shows. In fact, of the three and one half million Americans fighting in that war, 45,000 of them were women.

On the final day of the dedication, the primary religious chief from Santo Domingo Pueblo conducted an inpiring ceremony. And this would be where I learned about women in war.

The nurses formed a large approximately thirty feet in diameter circle where they were connected by holding hands. Then the spiritual man's drum player stopped the ceremony on the chief's order. He told the men, of which there were about ten of us, on the sidelines who had served in Vietnam to join ranks with the women. At first we said no. This was their service. But the Indian got mad at us and we joined up quick. On my left was a woman nearly my age who had served south of me in Qui Nhon. To my right was another lady somewhat younger and who had been in Pleiku.

The Indian behind the spiritual man played on a drum when the spiritually-based fellow came up to each person while we danced by moving our feet as instructed keeping our position within the overall circle. He shook a gourd with rattlers in it in the face of each person chanting and singing a song directly in front of his or her body. The men and women shuffled in place with their heads raised high and with stoic looks on their countenances; excepting that as he spoke - sang - chanted to each participant,  tears would begin to run down their cheeks. I asked  out loud to seemingly no one "What do those foreign Pueblo Indian language words mean that he's saying to us?!" as this seance was appearing to become pretty personal, not to mention spooky. Another Indian who had heard me crossed the circle and explained what was going on. "This is our ceremony where we bring our combatants home. He is praying and ordering out the evil spirits that affect and stay with each warrior following battle. He's removing those effects from those braves' souls so that they don't have to stay influenced by war for life."

The woman holding my hand to my right stood strong as the chief moved in front of her and prayed into her eyes and face. He then while singing his prayers shaked that gourd starting above her head, moving the rattler all around it, then down and in front to encompass her entire body, doing the whole individualized ceremony to the rhythm of the drum and accompanying Indian chants being sung in the background. She then cried. So also did the nurse on my left. I would, too, but no doubt all the while maintaining appropriate Marine Corps imbued masculine dignity.

Women have been doing the same feats as did these  exemplary ladies for centuries. And now they were being treated like the returning warriors they were, with the respect and dignity that they deserved. They were equal citizens with the same character of being and strength of individuality as their male counterparts. And I understood; which learning helped me to be a better thinker, and more importantly to be able to understand and to care for those brave valiant women. On that day, they and I became one. And I knew better what "equal" meant.

 Coming To Houston

The boy, George Thomas Wharton Collins, who came at eight years of age to Texas in 1821 and survived the Indians to become Angelina County's first Sheriff, died in 1890, but not before initiating and then leaving quite a few descendants. One of them was his great grandson and my immediate grandfather, Bud Collins, a bar owner in Lufkin. He emigrated to Houston in 1907, establishing a whiskey selling enterprise, which for a while was illegal during the days of Prohibition, on Commerce near Main Street. The youngest of his three children, Jesse W. Collins - who was my father - was born in 1916, just one year before the Houston Massacre occuring just down the block from him on August 23, 1917. It is also called the Houston Race-Riot of 1917.

There was no race riot. There was no "mob of armed Houstonians" as depicted in revisionist lore. As taken directly from the myriad and completely congressionally reviewed court martials, a significant element of the Military Police Battalion of the US Army's 24th Regiment were fallen in to ranks, ordered to draw 15,000 rounds of ammunition from the armory, and with their weapons then under the command by their sergeant — who would later on a Houston empty railroad track take his life because of the calamity of his hysterical error — initiated a murderous literal rampage killing seventeen innocent and unarmed, and with noted contradiction to the revisionist WIKI article on this event, Houston civilians and city  Police Officers, wounding seriously another fourteen. The unfounded rumor-initiated horrific  murderous act took place starting just outside Memorial Park and continued as the killers walked in formation along West Dallas shooting and slaughtering with bayonets and swords local people who otherwise were standing on their front porches to see what the commotion was about, or who were randomly riding in transit in their automobiles or taxies on West Dallas Avenue. The murderous catastrophe then rolled into the borders of the neighborhood known as the Heights, which is where my father and grandfather's family lived during that event.

Bud would die before getting to the Great Depression, leaving my dad to take care of his mother, Bud's wife, Ms. Lucy Davis Collins, who also was an aunt of Olivia Hooks Wagner, a Davis family descendant and Westbury girl class of 1965, and thus my third cousin. Jesse W. Collins would sell newspapers in downtown Houston beginning at his age seven and continue doing so until he graduated as the "Student Most Likely to Succeed" in the 1934 class with Walter Cronkite from Sam Houston High School (some revisionists are claiming that the high school was San Jac - impossible).

The first Jesse Collins would then get a job with Shell Oil Company and become that organization's Personnel Manager representing the Central United States for 44 years.  During that early time, I can remember being bathed at eighteen months old  in the dishes-rinsing section of our kitchen sink in 1947 when Texas City went up. Shook the whole house and neighborhood there  in southern and eastern Houston. My mom quickly put me on the floor and ran out to join my father on the front sidewalk. I watched naked from my hands and knees out the front screen door as they both looked ominously toward the south and while feeling recurring tremors. Leaving us to respond to the emergency, I remember while being carried in my mother's arms outside her expressions of concern to Jesse Collins as he backed out of the driveway to head for the Shell Refinary in Deer Park to help out.

He was the Houston Personnel Association's President for two consecutive years in 1958-1959, and  that company's management interface with Federal Government's Office of Equal Opportunity serving to facilitate the policy of Integration within the private sector and originating in Houston in the 1960s. He accomplished all of that having only a high school education and diploma.


When I contemplate matters that have to do with my or someone else's loss, particularly when it is a decisive one as occurs in someone's death as in the loss of a defender of lives, I go back to that period of thought for me when I was young,  sitting in those holes in that darkness, contemplating meeting my maker with every Camel cigarette I chained smoked, because matches wouldn't work in the moisture, and with my head ducked low out of the target area, and partially covered to block out the rain. Every moment there was sharpened, highly focused as if critically important. After living in that environment for a fairly protracted period,  and later going on those helicopter missions, and carrying in the wounded and dead, some of them also black, others brown, and a few of a pale oriental shade, I came down on the Declaration of Independence's side of the debate. All men, not just those who are born right or lucky by geography,  genetics, intellect or economics, but ALL MEN were created equal, despite their various gifts brought as if sometimes magically to humankind, in terms of their legally ordained right to be who they were.They would deserve that recognition and receive it from me accordingly forevermore in this life  albeit it would take some serious work on my part to make the full change.

Seeing an African or Hispanic American male you never knew before that moment in time give his life for all of us, including this Westbury High School boy raised in  the multi-cultural racial segregation management format applied in the South following the American Civil War, clarified this issue of ontological value. And that experience was the same for those women and all others who've born the hardships attending the human race since it began.

I'm glad to say that the young man — although I would if competent play for my team that represented what my roots meant to me — would not today serve a country that did not wholly subscribe to the 1776's Declaration that we were all equal under the law. Despite the Confederacy's thinking that it was fighting a battle to stop the tyrannical majority  — the northern well populated manufacturing states — from imposing unfair taxes in the form of tariffs, the North nevertheless was coming hell bent, albeit mostly unconsciously-driven (nobody up there was smart enough to understand their truer motives — defining the human consciousness — other than just domination of people who enunciated the English language differently  than did their Yankee relatives), not just to impose majority rule, unfair or not, but in my view to stop slavery, an evil that HAD to go. At least that's the way it turned out by the end of the War.

So in this life of 2011 and given the advantage of retrospective psychodrama on learning through hindsight and no matter my deep regard and respect of my favorite parts of the culture of the old South, and my agreements with their standing against the unfair - scandolous financial rule, and adding to that the pride that I have had for my heritage that is  embodied in some of the symbols of my old high school alma mater, and when applying my fifty year litmus from those rainy evenings to this decision matrix, that absent the extrication of slavery from it I sadly would not have fought  and more importantly would not today fight for the idea of the Confederacy. And that conclusion has split my soul for quite a while; not to mention that my community at the time had I had that much forethought and courage would have probably had to hang me, splitting their souls, too (I would hope). However, — although no matter we were on the right side of fighting against oppression by an otherwise pretty and almost always rude majority, we were on the wrong side of individual freedom for ALL people on that issue, I mean not just legal citizens — I admire those men who did fight and give their lives for their understandings of the value of their culture at the time which absent slavery was otherwise substantial.

Jesse W. Collins

Upon returning from the service to Houston in 1968, I interviewed for jobs that would support me while attending the University of Houston - no GI Bill yet. Being politically naive, I had placed in a vita my Marine Corps skills and promotions to positions of responsibility during the War and upon return as a Training NCO instructor and Platoon Sergeant with the 5th Marine Division. I was very proud of those things. Two interviewers, though, would ask if it made me feel manly to kill babies. I remember, then, removing the Marine experience from the resume out of fear of not getting a job.

My father, who was the quintessence of the concept of a company man, then did the reprehensible; he got a family member, me, employment with his company in Shell's Data Center, then maintained in the Prudential Building at  Holcomb and Fannin. I would work with some Westbury boys, Tommy Wilchek and Charlie Davidson while there.

When I made it to computer operations and would sit at my 1108 Univac console, men I didn't know would seek me out to tell me about their experiences of being hired by my father. There were two predominant cultural and ethnic groups represented in these conversations.

The first were for some unknown reason young men who had gone to Texas A&M. They would tell me how nervous they were and how Jesse W. Collins would make them feel comfortable by telling them jokes about Negroes. These men were deeply grateful to my father, who they said had shown real sensitivity to their nervousness, calming them with humor. In those days, jobs were important and they appreciated getting theirs.

The second group was comprised of African Americans. They would come and sit by me and tell me in all sincerety how much my father had meant to them during the hiring processes. He had worked a lot with Texas Southern University's President and other leadership in integrating these men into Shell's mostly caucasion work force. They were deeply appreciative of my father and particularly his sensitivities to their fears and nervousness during the various hiring and testing activities. Each and every single one of these men would whisper to me that Dad had a unique way of allaying their anxieties with humor. They would laugh about my father good naturedly and with genuine affection, saying how he would tell them  the most hilarious Texas Aggie jokes.


As iterated earlier I would, though, along with 70% of our eligible class serve later for the United States of America as it is symbolized by the single flag, the Stars and Stripes. It represents each man and now, too — thanks be to Abigail, Elizabeth Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan Anthony, and all the women who pulled this country, and to include our state of Texas, together and who fought for it and defend it today — a woman's right along with the rest of us to be a free thinking, free feeling  individual, and if they so desire a loving human being, or an erudite, or angry protesting citizen, or one undergoing an upbeatedly imbued new awakening, or even a heretic curmudgeon who's become unimbuable in his later years, depending on what phase or stage of life they find themselves. For me, my favorite heartfelt pastime if not political identifier has been smoking brisket, ribs, chicken, turkeys, and mostly hamburgers for a group of friends on our special occasions, the Fourth of July for example.

Coming to Westbury

During the Great Depression, Jesse W. Collins would marry my mother, Lillie Harrison. She was the daughter of William Henry Harrison, born 1880 and a relative of Benjamin Harrison. William Henry would marry my maternal grandmother, Rosie Dye, also the daughter of a Coushatta Indian woman.

I'm sorry to say that I do not know that great American Indian grandmother's name.  But I do remember many Sunday nights when my father and mother and others of her family would visit her Indian ancestrial (grandmother's) home at the Alabama Coushatta Reservation (Big Sandy) in Polk County, Texas.

We would sit around the evening campfire while Mother would participate in the various Indian dances. She was very good, doing the Coushatta's dances perfectly, as our Indian relatives told us. Her family's Anglo side burial grounds are next door to Big Sandy at Midway Cemetary. We would pilgrimage annually there to honor through working that graveyard  with the rest of her family to keep it presentable, even pristine, holding that part of her / our heritage in the esteem it deserved.

When I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, later in the 1990s, I was privileged to attend on several occasions the Gathering of the Indian Nations ceremonies. I sat in the bleachers near the Alabama Coushatta constituents, proudly watching them perform their dances and music in their wonderfully colorful costumes. During the intermissions, I would talk with and tell them of my great grandmother and share with them my recollections of childhood evenings visiting my relatives at their home in the 1940s and early 1950s.

My parents would move the family from Pecan Park on the East side of Houston and near the old state capital of Harrisburg, Texas, which was destroyed in April 1836, by General Santa Ana. They would purchase one of the first five homes built in the new southwest subdivision, Westbury, in 1954-55. Meyerland at that time, which started across the street from me, was only a developer's dream, leaving the great wilderness area of Braes Bayou for my friends and me to explore and conquer between the ages of ten and twelve years. By the time we were thirteen, the vast open fields comprised of wild rabbits, snakes, possums, racoons, beautiful singing Meadowlarks and baby blue colored catfish that surfaced to select certain bugs for devouring — and they would then bask on the heavily wooded bayou's almost clear surface in the day's sunshine — were gone.



For the conclusion of "Part III: The Good Rebel in Most of Us" click here,
or number 4 in the Series Contents (below)

Series Contents

  1. "Part II; (beginning) The Westbury Rebel's Meaning to Me," or "The First Play from Scrimmage in the Westbury vs Bellaire Fifty Year Rivalry"
  2. "Part II; (conclusion) What Happened at the End of the 1962 Westbury vs. Austin Football Game?"
  3. "Part III; The Good Rebel in Most of Us (beginning); For What Do Good Rebels Fight and Die?"
  4. "Part III; The Good Rebel in Most of Us (continued); Competitions, Challenges, and Making Things Right"
  5. "Part III; The Good Rebel in Most of Us (conclusion); Distinguishing Good from Bad Rebels"
  6. "Part IV: Rebel Management of Really Serious Troublemakers in (and from) the Global"

About Some of the Music

Each piece of music relates to an element of this essay's theme.



In case you don't recognize it, "Men of Harlech" is the anthem made famous in Joseph E. Levine's first (1964) movie "Zulu" as the inspirational fight song sung by the defenders of Rorke's Drift Crossing, South Africa in that January 22-23, 1879 extraordinary battle between 139 British (note please that the English were represented by the Wales Regiment and the music is performed by the Royal Wales Regiment Band) troops and approximately 5000 warriors representing the great Zulu nation of the time.

Marian Anderson, one of America's finest female vocalists of all time, should be the Rebel icon for African Americans; or she is for me representing their struggle and no matter that that was not her life intent. She sang this song "Lord I Can't Stay Away" at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 at a special impromptu concert called because the Daughters of the American Revolution had banned her from singing at their hall for no reason other than the color of her skin. It was part of their policy. They did later profusely apologize, and they changed their rules, soon after acknowledging their mistake and graciously inviting her to perform.

I placed the Soviet and German ("PanzerLied" - made famous in America by our era's very well done 1965 movie The Battle of the Bulge) historic organizations'  anthems on this list in deference to the old high school football competition tradition of ensuring that the other side got to play their music. Plus, not only do their tunes have something in common with "Dixie" — the organizations representing the music have all devolved — but as their stirring anthems' show, they were determined competitors, almost on a par with the great Stephen F. Austin High School football team of 1962. Should the reader not know, Yusuf Islam, who sings "The Call To Prayer" for Islam, is its converted version of our generation's famous American entertainer, Cat Stevens. OF course you all know La Marseillaise had to go in, not just because they've (the French) been antagonists since the last half  of the Twentieth Century, but without their 4-6,000 troops, we'd have unlikely taken down Cornwallis at Yorktown and become an Independent nation, at least at that particular time (1781-83). I've enjoyed Placido's version of this anthem. And finally in this section regarding giving one's honorable competition the opportunity for expression, with regrets and apologies I could not find an Internet version of the Bellaire Cardinals' theme song; and I'm still not certain if they even had one. It just didn't seem to stand out.

El Deguello means "no mercy." The Spanish born and Mexican applied trumphet music was played at the Battle of the Alamo to signal that the Mexican Army would yield "no quarter" to the Texas Rebels occupying the mission / fort.

To demonstrate that just because I've been sober for thirty-five years that I don't operate this site predjudiciously against Westbury's  drinking constituency, I added in all the Hank Williams Jr. music. Plus, he did an entire album about Dixie, which is the key word I was looking for in music. Then there is one more reason for including so many of his songs; I referenced that one in the body of the text.

I couldn't find any music representing Atheism. If those of you adhering to that faith - religion would send me a copy of your anthem, or when you get one should you not yet have such a symbol of your program's upbeatedness, I'd be glad to post it herein.

No Darryl; I haven't forgotten. And until the end of time, this Westbury Rebel never will. Thank you, though, for your eloquent song's  both poignant and fiery reminder of what happened to some of our innocent good citizens on September 11, 2001. What was done to them was done to all real Americans; they won't forget either.


Copyright © 2011
Jesse W. Collins II