Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | November 22, 2015

On Being 65

One life in icons. Mine minus relationships.

One life in icons. Mine minus marriage and offspring.

So, I turned 65 years old.  And the Universe replies So, what?  Well, age 65 is worthy of some retrospective.   I made this chart – and upgrade from 2013 when I tried to tell a tale in icons.  Because, that is what my life is – a story.  A breathing narrative.   I know my place in the scheme of things, so my telling isn’t the narcissism of a professional pol on any day for any occasion but just the sharing of a story.

Speaking of icons, on my birthday my youngest daughter gave me the most extraordinary cake of my life – a cake covered in icons from my life.  Pictures will follow in this blog post.

The graphic above tells much of my life – minus marriage, children and grandchildren.

Read from Left to Right.

My ancestry mattered much in shaping the culture I come from.  Cue: Country song, ‘Where I come from’.  Culture commands.  What happened in the past 400 years shapes what language I speak and think.  What is right and wrong.  What family, faith and freedom mean.  How to be a man.  Etc.

Like all good Southerners I was raised on oral history.  Then, I became a history nerd in my own right, reading to make connections between my life, family, and history.

The longest thread was a tale I was told when I was about 8.  The whole story was, “Once our Clan won a great battle.  We defended from a house on a hill and killed many of our enemies.”  That’s it.  No names, dates, places.  But, guess what, that thread I was told about 1958 came from the victory of the Highland Clan Gunn in 1586 where 140 enemies were slain.  1586 to 1958!  The story got thinner and thinner through the years.  Didn’t say if it was the always-hated Keiths or the neighboring, thieving Sutherlands or Mackays – who were continually shifting friend to foe and back again as the tides turned.  But, it was a point of pride for a distant victory – family valor in fighting.  That was the message.

So, on the icons on the far left indicate I’m from the Clan Gunn and other Highland and Lowland Scots and Scot-Irish.  Add English.  And a smidgeon of Welsh and French Huguenot.

Cool cake.

Cool cake.

When the ancestors were kicked out of wherever, they all went to Virginia.  Then, Momma’s People went to upcountry South Carolina when it was frontier.   Daddy’s People went to West Tennessee when it was frontier.  The frontier experience shaped generations.

All defended their homes from invading Yankees during The Recent Unpleasantness.  That’s when the oral history really kicks in.

November 18th, 1950.  Daddy is an Officer in the 83rd Engineer Battalion, US Army.  Momma is awesome Momma. I have two older sisters and a huge German Shepherd who guards me and responds to my father’s commands in German.  I’m born a Bubba.   And, Atticus – 7 years older than the book.

Different names for different times and duties.

Different names for different times and duties.

As a boy, I lived in Oklahoma, Arizona, France, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, France again, Germany and Virginia again.

Step off the side of the world on July 1st, 1968 at West Point, New York.  Emerge from the United States Military Academy for 20 great years – Airborne, Ranger, Infantry Officer – at The Infantry School, 82nd Airborne, 2nd Infantry Division, 24th Infantry Division, Jungle Warfare School, Northern Warfare School, teach at West Point, 2nd Armored Division, 3rd Armored Division, finishing at Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).  Spend my youth serving as a soldier.  Still unswervingly loyal, faithful and dedicated to the United States Army.

Frozen chosen - Winter 72-73.

Frozen chosen – Winter 72-73.

Earn graduate degrees at Harvard and Columbia.

Retire from Active Duty and work over 20 years as a contractor.  Mainly for the Army.  All about ‘Futures’.  Write a first novel.  Activist in Virginia politics.  Incorporate – BowdenHouse Inc.  Now, starting up Virginia First Foundation.  Teach Sunday School.

'Rosetta 6.2'

‘Rosetta 6.2’

At age 65 – I’m “Papa”.  I’m grateful for vigorous good health.

The background is the King James Bible.   Lord Jesus Christ is the truth, the light, and the way for family and me.

The cake and my graphic don’t mention marriage for over 38 years, 3 children and 4 – soon 5 – grandchildren.  Daughter Maggie spoke to all that in her toast.  And, anyone who knows my voice knows they are my all and all.  All of me.  Nellie Katherine is gone from here and alive in Heaven, but she isn’t really gone from me.

Now, at 65 a new chapter – actually a new book – begins.  More icons to come as the Lord Wills.  A voyage begun.  Committed to a different path – meaning the unforeseeable future – however long it is.  Life is hope.  Hope is life.

I live in a place that I call “Sanctuary.”

I’m telling one, wee tale.  Just speaking one story – and sticking to it!  Hopefully for the sake of the other characters – and the occasional reader.

"Life is short." "God is good. All the time. No matter what. NO MATTER WHAT."

“Life is short.”
“God is good. All the time. No matter what. NO MATTER WHAT.”

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | November 14, 2015

Europe’s Long, Slow Suicide

Europe - including Russia will be majority Muslim by 2100. I'll be gone. My grandchildren could be alive. What a world we give them.

Europe – including Russia will be majority Muslim by 2100. I’ll be gone. My grandchildren could be alive. What a world we give them.

Take a look below at what I wrote in 2005.
Let me add these comments.
I was in Spain last week.  Traveling a lap around Andalusia and thinking about the history of the almost 800 years of the Reconquista, I pondered the difference between 300 million Americans and 300 million Europeans.
  • Europe is ruled by elites.  America is governed by elites and professional politicians, but it is still ruled by The People.  Our heartfelt ideas about individual freedom, responsibility and accountability don’t exist in Europe – except for, maybe, tiny minorities in the UK and Holland.
  • The European elites are worse than the royalty that used to rule.  The royals understood Islam was the enemy of Western Civilization from Charles Martel to the French Revolution – and fought back.  The Crusades were strategic COUNTER-offensives.  Learned leaders from Napoleon to Winston Churchill understood how backward and barbarian Islam was to the West.   Islam’s glory days ended over 800 years ago.  Their long decline is theirs alone – not the fault of the West which rose from 1492 until very recently.
  • European elites invited in Muslims.  Made criticism of Islam into ‘Islamophobia’ hate speech punishable by law.  Label critics as racists and Nazis – when the elites are, actually, traitors to their Civilization and what’s left of their country’s nationhood.   Also, apostates and Judas goats to Christianity, but the elites left long ago – especially after WW I.
  • There is no European Right which is like Conservatives in the US – except for a tiny minority in the UK.  Their Right is statist.  Their Right tends towards fascism and their Left tends towards socialism.  But, their people do rise up.   In the Middle Ages it was called a “Jacquerie”.   The velvet revolution of 1989 which brought down the wall was the last rising of their People.
  • Hard choices are at hand.  1 in 4 French under age 25 is Muslim.  In 20 years, half their youth is Muslim.
    • Will Europe secure its borders and stop the Muslim invasion – the so-called refugee crisis?
    • Will Europe build refugee camps in Muslim lands to keep them there?
    • Will Europe use its Armies and Navies to forcibly send many Muslims back to Muslim lands?
    • Will Europe change their speech codes – and allow freedom of speech?
    • Will Europe start having babies again?
    • Will Europe come back to Christ?
    •  And proselytize the Good News of Jesus Christ to Muslims for conversion?

or will European elites continue to betray all – until the Muslims do so many awful things that there is a more awful Jacquerie?

This cartoon isn't funny.

This cartoon isn’t funny.

From April 24, 2005
Why Europe deserves to die
The new Pope understands why Europe will die

By James Atticus Bowden

When Pope Benedict XVI was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger he told Europe to recover its Christian roots “if it truly wants to survive.” Amen from an arch-Protestant whose ancestors included refugees who fled Catholic persecution for freedom in Virginia. The new Pope is a scholar who sees history unfolding into the future. We agree. Europe will be Islamic and subject to Islamist Totalitarianism by 2100, unless Europeans turn to faith and family. If Europe fails to live for faith and family, succumbing further to Socialist Human Secular Totalitarianism, then European culture deserves to die under Islamic culture.

Many Europeans hope that Muslims in Europe will abandon their faith, as so many Europeans left Christianity, to worship themselves in personal hedonism. Some Muslim immigrants become modern, pagan Europeans. Human Secularism is just a new face and form of empty Pagan religion. Meanwhile, Muslim proselytizers convert more Europeans to Islam. Believing in something always beats believing in nothing. Human Secularist worship of self, indeed, is believing in nothing.

Europeans support socialism to guarantee themselves small incomes, long vacations, and social services from all powerful governments. They can’t afford children and don’t want them when parenthood demands personal sacrifices. So, European population will decrease from 728 million (2000) to 630 million (2050). Muslim immigrants (15.2 million) and a million more every year added to Turkey (68 million) are a population exploding to double as soon as 2015. Demographics are destiny. Muslims will vote themselves into power.

If Europeans become people of profound Christian faith, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox, they will marry more and have larger, happy families. But, faith will do more than foster family size competition with Muslims. Strong faith in greater ideas will challenge and convert lesser claims to Truth. Thus, Europeans must awaken to how vibrant Christian orthodox thinking offers a bright, better future than both Socialist Human Secularist Totalitarianism and Islamist Totalitarianism.

Socialism and Islamic cultures are based on obedience, peasantry, and the unity of theology and state. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that Europe is “moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and has as its highest own value one’s own ego and desires.” Christianity is built on love of God and others before self, intellectual inquiry, selfless good works and thrives when divorced from the state — which may be the way to make it rebound in Europe.

All the dead Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christian European churches are supported by the state more or less. The tiny, growing Evangelical (Protestant) populations are not. Maybe Pope Benedict XVI can take his great Church away from governments and give it back to The People. Consider how alive Roman Catholicism is in America, Africa and Asia where the state doesn’t support it. Meanwhile, the Protestant Reformation is sweeping Latin America where millions seek personal relationship and responsibility in faith. Christian ideas compete well where there is real competition. Offered in lovingkindness from an Evangelical Christian who lived in Europe 10 years and loves it.

First, Europeans must challenge their Socialist masters to criticize Human Secularism and Islam and promote Christianity honestly. Even if Christians dare call homosexuality a sin — without the Thought Police charging them for Hate Speech Crimes — as they do throughout Europe today. Free Europeans’ speech to have truly free religious speech or stay suppressed by Socialists and then, someday, oppressed by the Mullahs. If Europe continues to criminalize Biblical Christian speech, then the culture that produces such intolerance deserves to die.

When Europeans choose to follow Jesus Christ over Voltaire, Hegel, Marx, Nietzche, Darwin, Freud, Lenin, Hitler, and their statist EU cousins, they can confront the Muslims — again. Muslims repeatedly invaded Europe with ravaging Armies for a thousand years. Don’t blame the Crusades’ counter-attacks. The first invasion was stopped by Charles Martel (732). Later, a courageous Pope led the coalition which defeated another invasion at the Battle of Lepanto (1571). The Muslims came to conquer, kill, rape and rule until finally defeated at Vienna (1683). Now, after 400 plus years of declining civilization the Muslims bring their population bomb to Europe.

Europeans can enforce restricted immigration to keep from being overwhelmed. Christian believers can love the resident Muslims to Christ — just like the Muslim convert, Dr. Ergun Caner, new Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, said it happened to him in America.

Pope Benedict XVI would be bold to end European church-state supports. Europeans should stand with the Pope, however bravely he chooses, for the eternal truths of Christianity or watch European culture die.

© James Atticus Bowden

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 23, 2015

Heavy Weight of Truth on Hillary

The Goddess of Justice, the Roman Justitia and Greek Themis, holds the balance scales for truth.

The Goddess of Justice, the Roman Justitia and Greek Themis, holds the balance scales for truth.  The Goddess of Justice became the symbol for our Lady Justice.

A single truth came out of Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony and performance.  She, who would be Her Royal Highness Hillary I (HRH I), lied to the families of four dead Americans about why the men died.  She lied at their caskets.  She lied when their families first saw them as dead in boxes.  She knowingly, willfully lied.  She’s never apologized to the families for lying.  She’s never repented in public.

Americans can forget everything else about Hillary and Benghazi, if they remember her lie.  That’s what every American of every political stripe, persuasion and posture should never forget.  One truth came out about Hillary – her lie to the families of the dead.  That is the truth that matters.

There is truth – objective truth – at the essence of everything and everyone.  There can be more than one truth, like the many faces on a diamond, but there is only one diamond.  There aren’t competing, conflicting truths.  There aren’t versions of the truth.  Only pure, cleansing light is reflected by the diamond.  When we see the light, we see the truth.

The truth will out.

The truth may not triumph in the affairs of men and women, but it emerges.  Sooner or later.  Hillary will be elected HRH I if there is enough cheating in the swing state voting in 2016.  But, never forget her truth.  Never let others forget what she did.

It should matter to every American that a person who would be President – lied to families about why their sons died.  Lied to their grieving faces.

When Lady Justice holds the balance scales, the precise, accurate measure to weigh words is ‘truth’.

The truth is a heavy weight on Hillary.  Hillary Rodham Clinton has been weighed in the balance.  She is found wanting.

Hillary’s lie is despicable.  Her disgusting lie is the objective truth about who she is in her essence.

If Hillary will lie to people about why their loved ones died – right beside the caskets and in the moment of great grief and awful pain to their faces – what else will she lie about to any and all of us?

Every American should know the single truth about Hillary – what, when, where and to whom Hillary lied arrogantly.  Then, Lady Justice will weigh America in the balance – by what a horrendous, terrible lie means to us.

HRH I tires of the peasants' questions.

HRH I tires of the peasants’ questions.


Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 20, 2015

Big Stone Gap

Big Stone Gap is better than the movie.

Big Stone Gap is better than the movie.

Went to see Big Stone Gap today to connect to Appalachia.  My late wife, Nellie, was from Beckley, West Virginia.  Born in Naoma on Coal River.  The movie was about 1978.   We’d been married 3 years by then.  Loved the scenery.  Love those mountains.  Love the people from those mountains.  The movie was something less.

The writer and director is a native of Big Stone Gap.  Her Italian family came down from Pennsylvania to Virginia.  Probably like the Italian families my wife grew up with in Beckley.

The story may have been taken from fact, but played a little too much to what could be mocked by an outsider.  I think.  And, I’m an outsider.   My family is Southern to the eyeballs.  We are rednecks, not hillbilly.  Nellie bristled whenever I said that.  She didn’t like such characterization at all.  She let me know in no uncertain terms.

I was proud of her being from West Virginia.  She had much better taste in all things artistic, culinary, and fashion than I did.  She acted more refined than me.  Yet, she was all mountain woman – courageous – when needed, passionate, loving, forthright, laughing and fierce, hard as nails – when needed.  Kind, giving, devoted to family and friends adopted as family – and devoutly Evangelical Christian.

That Christian root, strong Baptists, that runs deep into the hills didn’t come out in the movie.  The drinking that’s there did.

The movie got the speech patterns and the way words are put together very well.  Like, “duh-dn’t” which is Southern, going beyond the hills, means “doesn’t”.  But, the accents, while not bad, could have been better.  They weren’t quite authentic.  The best I’ve ever heard on film was Laura Dern in ‘October Sky’.  A real southern Appalachian accent is rich and natural.  It isn’t as twangy as Texas or as luxuriant as the Deep South.  It’s in almost every syllable of every word – when it’s the real thing.  The movie made a nice try.

The cameo by Jerry or Terry Kilgore was a hoot – when Delegate “Kilgore” was visiting the local bigwig.

They mentioned Melungeons a lot.  That was fun.  I’ve known about them since I was a young man.  Probably heard about them from my Mother.  I don’t recall.  Thought more were in Tennessee and Kentucky than Wise and Lee Counties, Virginia.  Learn something every day – when I looked it up again.  Melungeons are part-black, white and Indian.  Some claim to be descendants of Portugese sailors who were shipwrecked and traded by Indian tribes inland to the Appalachia.

My wife wasn’t Melungeon.  She was English, German, a whole lot of Scot-Irish and a little Indian.  You could see the Celtic in her always and the Indian in the Summer.  She was a proud West Virginian.  Even though her ancestors fought for the Union (making my kids the children of a ‘mixed’ marriage), she called the West Virginians from Wheeling and those parts, “Yankees.”

The movie meandered, still, I loved seeing the mountains.  Liked knowing the movie was about folks a few counties south of where Nellie was born and raised.  Loved it being in our time together.

Bruce Hornsby sang about an "Appalachian girl".  Three generations of women proud to be from those hills.

Bruce Hornsby sang about an “Appalachian girl”. Three generations of women proud to be from those hills.


Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 9, 2015

Take One for the Team, Ed, Just Like McCarthy

Not running for Governor isn't like jumping on a grenade.

Not running for Governor isn’t like jumping on a grenade.


Ed Gillespie is a nice man. He is a talented, experienced lawyer, lobbyist and money raiser. He is dedicated to his Republican principles. He aspires to elected office. However, he can’t get elected in Virginia.

Ed Gillespie is running for Governor of Virginia. Last year Ed was the standout loser in a historic national Republican tidal wave win. Republicans won in liberal Maryland and Massachusetts, but Ed lost in Virginia. He gets points for trying, but no “W” for the team.

It’s the team that matters.

When a coach says to an athlete, “Take one for the team,” we all know what that means. The gifted athlete sets aside personal gain and glory to sacrifice for the team. So, the team can win. So, we all can win.

Yeah, it'll hurt for awhile.  May leave a mark.  So, the team wins.

Yeah, it’ll hurt for awhile. May leave a mark. Good for the team.  The team wins.

He won’t get elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2017. No matter how differently he feels these days, Ed is the poster child for Mr. Establishment Republican. He is a successful super lobbyist. He is the consummate Insider among the people who go from government to Washington lobbyist, back and forth. Virginia voters are fed up with Washington Insiders and the political ruling class. His track record, however successful, renders him unelectable.

Ed will be shredded for his help on immigration because he lobbied for Tyson’s Food.

Ed will be gutted for his views on ObamaCare and RomneyCare because he lobbied for Gov. Mitt Romney, and for what he wrote in his book regarding the “Individual Mandate.”

Ed will be smeared for Corporate Greed and Crony Capitalism because he lobbied for Enron and others.

Ed will be whispered against for his position during the Senate race to allow girls of any age to buy the “pill” over the counter without medical supervision.

Ed will be mocked for his connections to President Bush and Carl Rove, and his comment about being a “friennemy” (friend – enemy) to then DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe.

Ed will be branded as a Washington Insider with a Virginia address.

None of this makes him a bad person. But all of this makes him a bad politician.

The opposition commercials are already in the can – ready to go. Ed’s accomplishments will be used against him – again. That’s what happened last year and certainly will happen again. Ed couldn’t counter the perceptions.

What could Ed possibly say next year that is so different that he will win?

Voting is emotional, not intellectual. Candidates must connect with Virginia’s voters to win. Ed doesn’t connect with the average Virginia voter. If he had, he would be Senator Gillespie of Virginia.

The Republicans, who’ve fought so many good fights for so many years across the Commonwealth, need to politely and privately tell him, “Take one for the team, Ed. Don’t run for Governor and lose. Raise millions of dollars for a fresh, new face to win. Use your skills for good of the team.”

Seeking office for personal ambition is the dress coat of a career politician. Giving selfless service is the badge of honor for the armed forces and patriot public servants.

Kevin McCarthy stepped away from Speaker of the House. Ed can do likewise.

Ed Gillespie could make the difference in winning the Governorship next year, if he uses his skill set to raise enough money. His voice would be heard by the new Governor – giving good counsel for conservative policy.

I regret ruffling some Republican feathers for being so frank, but the truth needs to be told. Someone must tell the emperor he has no clothes.

The truth is Ed needs to take one for the team, like Congressman Kevin McCarthy. Earn a badge of honor. Help our Republican team win Virginia.


James Atticus Bowden

Poquoson, Virginia

Former Member State Central Committee, Chairman 1st District and City of Poquoson, RPV

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 11, 2015

9-11 in 2015

How surprising for the suddenly informed and how unfortunate for those who insist on not learning about Islam.

How surprising for the suddenly informed and how unfortunate for those who insist on not learning about Islam.

The Muslim attacks on 9-11-01 weren’t a surprise to me.  The attack by Muslims and the means – hijacked commercial airliners – were predicted in the Army After Next Wargames in the 90s.  The date was the only new news.  The commentary in the Wargames was that such attacks were likely from 2005 on.  They attacked earlier than expected.  The huge, gigantic surprise for me was the appalling ignorance of most Americans about Islam – and the mental and moral acrobatics of the US Government – from the President down – and Establishment to not name Islam as the reason.

Ignorance is no excuse for adults.  As a child in the 1950s, I knew when I watched Robin Hood that the good king, Richard the Lion-Hearted, was away fighting the Muslims in the Crusades.  I knew the good guys and bad guys as a child.  It takes a willful, purposeful ignorance not know Islam has been the enemy of Western Civilization since Mohammed’s first genocidal massacre.

It gets even harder, and worse, to maintain and build on such ignorance after 14 years of evidence – and plenty of time to read history.

It becomes dangerous when the truth, about Muslim culture, religion and history, is labeled as bigotry, racism, and hatred.  It’s sinister to make the truth censored, ‘verboten’, in public.

Yet, the truth will out.

I’m shocked that it’s taken so long to get so little truth out about Islam.

Islam is a totalitarian ideology and identity which includes a backward religion.  The barbarian cult of the Koran was a bloody fit for the 7th Century and unreformed since the 13th Century.  Consequently, Islamic culture – and its tribes, countries and civilizations – are at least 800 years behind Western Civilization.  (The barbarian Visigoths who sacked Rome were only 600 years behind Roman Civilization.)

Individual Muslims, like individual Nazis and Communists, might be lovely people.  Good family folks.  Especially, the more Westernized the Muslim, the more pleasant the person.  One person, or a few, don’t make a people or a population.  Unfortunately, the more Muslims together as per cent of the population, the bigger the problem.

And, the problem is Islam.

Islam is the unity of state and mosque.  Government and religion are one under Sharia law.

Any American who supports Sharia law in the U.S. is a domestic enemy of the U.S. Constitution.

Furthermore, because Islam is a monster ideology with a puppet religion, the religion should be not be afforded Constitutional protections.  For example, the polygamy of 4 wives per man shouldn’t be protected as the free exercise of religion.  In the 19th Century a confident Judeo-Christian American Congress and President didn’t grant Mormons religious freedom for polygamy.

Nor, did the U.S. Government ever say the problem with Indian massacres was the radical Indians who hijacked their ancient pagan religion.  They never said native Paganism was the religion of peace.

The Indian Wars, 1608-1890, are a rough analogy to the long, long World War against Islamists.  The U.S. Army used Indian allies to fight Indians – and every tribe was different.  It was a very long series of unique campaigns.

Whether the current war began in 627 AD with the genocide of Jewish tribe, in all the Muslim wars that followed, against the Barbary pirates or in the 1920s with Muslim brotherhood, in 1947 in Israel, 1968 in Munich, 1979 in Iran, 1991 with Gulf War I or 9-11-01, the war is based on Muslims following the Koran- as it’s written.   The war will last as long as people believe the Koran.

Running away from the Muslim countries won’t avoid war.  Muslim immigrants to the West who don’t become Christians or secular hedonists bring conflict – and, inevitably, their war.

Obviously, not all Muslims are on jihad.  If it’s only 10 per cent – and pretend 90 per cent of Muslims are all docile, peaceful persons, then the problem is the 10 per cent – or mere 140 million Muslims today – will be on jihad in every year of every generation.  Jihad continues until Muslims change their beliefs or are incapable of fighting.

How many more attacks in America will it take until Congress passes laws on Islam like it did on Communism?

The key distinction between Islam and Communism as threats is the eagerness of some Muslims to use nuclear weapons against Israel and the West.  This makes the current Iranian non-treaty treaty worse.

The Republicans, like Sen. Corker of Tennessee, and all the Democrats who enable Iran to build nuclear weapons have done worse than appeasing Hitler before WW II.

As long as the U.S. fails to put together the coalition for a punitive campaign to destroy ISIS, there will be a refugee crisis, war crimes and Christian persecution.

The military age male refugees pouring across European borders will include many recruits for more war.

I hope it doesn’t take another 14 years for most Americans to lose their monumental, tragically and fatally flawed ignorance of Islam.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 2, 2015

Second Summer

Mortal remains resting place - Arlington National Cemetery.

My shadow across my wife’s mortal remains resting place – Arlington National Cemetery.  My bones will lie with her bones.

This is the second summer of my whole adult life without Nellie Katherine Kyle Bowden. Two summers she hasn’t lived since 1948. First two summers for our family without a Mother, Grandmother, and Wife – connector-of-all-human-life (her words!) and force-to-be-reckoned-with. It’s the second summer of grieving and living, living and grieving.

I used to feel a slight sorrow when August, despite its super hot ‘dog’ days, gained speed in its passing into September. This season’s passing is immaterial to what matters most. She is gone.

I know she is alive in Heaven. But, she isn’t here. I am. Her family, her kin and friends are. That matters. Sadness and missing are facts of life, not tests of faith.

The big deal I know, see and feel this second summer is how different it is from the first.

I’m astonished by my good health. Last year at the moment of waking came the realization that she was absent. Then, the pain came. Real, physical pain from my toes to my head. The iron bands of constriction were stacked and clamped hard. Even as they loosened a bit every week, I carried their weight and felt their squeeze all last summer. Then, during the day sudden waves of sharp grief overwhelmed. Weeping could last for hours – when I didn’t know a man could cry that long.

It was hard to concentrate. Time consuming to get simple things done. Much time got lost in a nothingness of foggy memories and thoughts bumping into one another.

Not so in second summer. I cry on occasion. Tears come with a hair trigger and no safety switch to stop them. Yet, I can get control in just a few.

I feel remarkably healthy as a man almost 65 years old. Still got fight in me. Deeply, humbly grateful to God, because I know a stroke or heart attack or cancer can come darken any fine day.

I live in a place of profound, exquisite, continuous beauty. My home on The Bay is called “Sanctuary”. Living here is a healing therapy. Every day and night.

Light shows at sunrise and sunset. Andrew Wyeth clouds change colors by the minute.

Light shows at sunrise and sunset. Andrew Wyeth clouds change colors by the minute.

My oldest daughter and her 3 kids lived with me for a year. They moved recently, so I end the second summer with a new solitude. And, it’s a good time to complete the second year which Nellie Katherine, the death and grieving counselor extraordinaire, said was so important. It’s the time that brings a survivor to the ‘new normal’.

My new normal is so different from my past that I’ll have to experience it to even begin to understand it.

When I was 16 I decided to live life under a set of vertical hierarchical duties. ‘Me’ being last and least. From age 21 on I had a relationship with one woman, Nellie, and then our family – which made those duties – and the Army, then Commonwealth, always the South and our America under the Lord God – become real, everyday living. I still have duties as father, grandfather, brother, kin, friend, Church family, teacher, citizen, etc. but no one, no duty debt holder, will be in my house. My immediate family will be 180 and 570 miles away. New world for me.

I’m going to have more dock time alone – with the Lord. I’m going to heal from the inside out to become the new normal for me – for the time I have left. I’ll do my duty to “read and write.”


His works made manifest in the world - seen from my dock, my deck, the windows and doors.

His works made manifest in the world – seen from my dock, my deck, the windows and doors.

01d8cc85e2d1e7ef069906211539dc9f901ad82c1aThe Lord Jesus Christ is expanding my heart, multiplying it, for agape, philos, storge, and eros love. Companionship is a blessing.  My heart is happier, and it doesn’t feel disrespectful to my Beloved, in this second summer. Maybe peace and joy are built like a new house on top of the grieving foundation – and all the past.

In the second summer I can tell the flow of time is different. I can feel time, itself, is different

Yet, when I visited her grave, and took a picture of my shadow across our tombstone – on purpose, I was knocked off my balance for over a week. My breath knocked out seeing the granite – cold in the winter, so warmed in this second summer – with her name. Her sweet, precious, cherished, devoted, desired name etched in stone and done. Finished. Gone from my touch.

We shared all our adult life together. Sometimes it’s perplexing that she would be gone and, still, I’m here. I don’t get it. How can this be?

Second summer hasn’t brought all answers, but it brought balm and calm. Good health. Lovingkindness. Peace, joy, hope. Life is hope, hope is life.

Storms come and go. Light and darkness cycle. Seasons flow like tides.

Storms come and go. Light and darkness cycle. Seasons flow like tides.

Psalm 63. A psalm of David.

 I have seen you in the sanctuary

and beheld your power and your glory.

Because your love is better than life,

my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live,

and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Summer is sweet. Hot and sweet. God is good. Always.

Summer is sweet. Hot and sweet. God is good. Always.

Second summer’s grieving is blessed by Grace and gratitude. For me. For others. For our clan’s future.

IMG_1059God is Good. All the Time. No Matter What. No Matter What!

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | July 15, 2015

To Bonnie: On Being Three

Bonnie Kyle Buchanan - spectacular Christian woman in the making

Bonnie Kyle Buchanan – spectacular Christian woman in the making

Bonnie Kyle Buchanan is three today. Look closely at the picture above. Good Lord willing, 80 years from now her grandchildren will look at the picture of the toddler – a baby – and shout, “That is so you!.” The person to be, the grand woman, is already there in this wee one.

Look at her posture.  Her smile – slightly twisted like her Grandma.  Her bright, intelligent, lively eyes.  That look.

Bonnie, you’ll be remarkable. You already are.

I’ve never seen a child with your physical courage – fighting back when the nurse gives you a shot. I’ve never seen such tenacity in things whether they are big or small to your will. Your will is quite some will.

I’d like to attribute that to your “We never, never, never quit” heritage. But, let’s try to be honest. Yes, your Da is 100% Scot-Irish Southern. And your Mommy (my baby) is well over 50% Celtic Southern. So you’re about as Orange Irish and Scot ethnicity (and with a wink to my departed Daddy – Black Irish) and Southern culture as it gets, but you are all Bonnie. Already.

You have the heritage of the matriarchs of the Holland-League family and Bowden-Maley Clan and the West Virginia line from Nellie to Bonnie to Wavie Winona. Not to forget your Mama. And, your wonderful Daddy.

You are such a joy. You are so joyful. You delight in life.

I remember your Mommy doing the same. When she was three plus in the cool spring of 1988 in Germany, we played ‘ball’ in our tiny yard after church one bright Sunday. The grass was thick and green. We rolled a large ball back and forth – about 5 feet between us. She squealed with delight – without stopping. Her smile was ear to ear. Her ‘Shirley Temple’ ringlets tossed with her laughter. It was the greatest game ever.

My heart ached and soared. I was wounded with family deaths and career death, even though life had been better for a year. I thanked the Lord for my baby – Maggie Kyle. I asked the Lord God to help me remember this moment for the rest of my life. I can live in it still – now.

Now, I’m sad your Grandma is gone and can’t share such moments with you. She would be so insanely joyful all the time – with you. Just because you are you. Nellie Katherine Kyle Bowden’s laughter would echo through the house – and our hearts on hearing. But, like the times with your Mommy, you make simple joys exquisite.

Bonnie, you are so bright and so much fun. How can you know letters, colors and numbers before three? You dance, sing, play, snuggle, swim, and talk with such energy and focus. I’ve pushed you in a swing for almost an hour non-stop. Your smile speaks to your contentment doing what you like – and knowing what you like. At Three.

I love who you are, Miss Bonnie. I’d be thrilled to see you become the Christian woman you will be in another 20 to 30 years. That makes life so worth the living. I’ll be grateful for as much as the Good Lord lets me share with your bright light.


Being Bonnie is already a form of expression.  Bonnie  – on being Bonnie – is a form of art and life.

I’m proud and honored to be your Papa.  Please spend more time on my dock.

Bonnie Kyle Buchanan, June 2015

Bonnie Kyle Buchanan, July 2015

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | July 12, 2015

Southerners, Bring More Flags

Bring this flag of faith to fly with the flag of heritage and history

Bring this flag of faith to fly with the flag of heritage and history

As the political hysteria wans a bit from South Carolina Gov. Haley going back on her word and making the insane connection between mass murder in Charleston and a historical flag monument in Columbia, consider what Southerners should do now.   The Puritan Liberals will keeping pushing hard to culturally cleanse the South of all things Confederate. They’ll say it’s because everything Confederate is a symbol of hate. Of evil racism.

Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Cajuns, Protestants, Catholics and Jews fought for the South, the States, to be left alone.

Protestants, Catholics and Jews fought for the South, the States, to be left alone.  Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Creoles and Cajuns served under Confederate Battle Flags.

Southerners, don’t let this fight become about race. Keep it about culture. And, since our culture is profoundly Judeo-Christian – bring more flags out. Carry the Christian (or Protestant) flag, Roman Catholic Papal flag. Bring the Star of David Israeli flag. Since our culture is let and let live – and we don’t want the tyranny of big government, carry the Gadsen Flag – Don’t Tread On Me.   Bring more flags together with the Confederate Battle Flag because it’s one team, one fight.

This'll drive the Liberal Puritans more crazy.  The South is the best friend of Israel - in the world.

This’ll drive the Liberal Puritans more crazy. The South is the best friend of Israel – in the world.

The race pimps will work hard to make any controversy a race issue. Give them Grace, ignore them and stay filled with Christian love, patience and courage. Remember that Winston Churchill in his History of the English-Speaking Peoples said the Army of Northern Virginia was the most devoutly Christian army that ever marched.  Kindly ask our Black Southern Christian brothers and sisters to keep tolerance a two-way street. Because, even though the Segregationists tried to hijack our flag 50 years, they lost.   They lost to the love of Lord Jesus Christ.

Molon Labe

Molon Labe

The transformation of the heart for most White Southern Christians is profound. The morally ascendant ideas from the Holy Bible triumphed. Agape love replaced the wall of racial identity. Increasingly, still, the identity of Southerners isn’t black or white, but evangelical Christian. The Northern Puritan Liberals, Hollywood, the media and stupid, self-hating Southern Liberals who walked away from faith, didn’t get the memo. Racial identity is less than religious identity in a personal relationship with the Risen Lord.

Don’t let the Confederate Flags be argued in terms of race. Reject it. Say it plainly to their face – the flags and monuments and names are all about our family, faith and freedom. It’s being told by others what you can say, sing, wave and think. And, being told, “That is forbidden. You can’t say, see or think that. It’s politically incorrect.”

Bring more flags, and many more Confederate flags, to rallies, everyday events, and parades. If the fight is over one flag with the Cross of St. Andrew alone, the visual from one clown in a Klan dress will ruin it.  One loon spouting racist hate is all the media needs – and wants.

The Puritan Liberals will re-write history and culturally cleanse the South as ruthlessly as their Totalitarian cousins – the Nazis and Communists. Like the Nazis and Communists, they declare their enemies to be evil enough to eradicate them. Like Totalitarian Islamists, ISIS, they will desecrate graves. If Southerners let them.

Bring out more flags. Bring out all our flags.

Deo Vindice

Keep showing the Puritan Liberals this flag picture.

Keep showing the Puritan Liberals this flag picture.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | July 9, 2015

Should the South Awaken

The US Government paid for this monument to Confederate soldiers in Arlington Cemetery.

The US Government authorized this monument to Confederate soldiers in Arlington Cemetery.

The US Congress voted to ban Confederate flags on Confederate graves on Federal land.  Even though earlier Congresses declared Confederate soldiers as American veterans.  Congress even authorized a Confederate monument in Arlington Cemetery.

The cultural cleansing of the Confederate battle flag is a Princess Di moment of mass hysteria.  It’s fueled by decades of ignorance, bias – actually, real hatred, and indoctrination by the Progressive, Socialist, Communist, Liberal Human Secularist Totalitarians.  It’ll get worse before it gets better – when we win.

These zealots share what passes for ideas with the Democrat Party, Media, Hollywood, Academia – from K thru Higher Ed, most of Government and large Corporations.  They are the other side in the Great U.S. Culture War.  They inherited the witch-burning, dissident-banning, slave ship-owning, abolitionist race war-baiting culture of absolutism…Puritan Yankees, which got worse when they gave up God, to become the PC Puritan Liberals.

They hate the Cross of St Andrew because the people who love it are the only thing standing in their way of creating a Progressive, socialist paradise.   They hate the Cross of Jesus more than they hate the Cross of St. Andrew.  They know the people who love the old red flag with one cross worship at the foot of the other – and, worse, read the Bible, believe it and try to live it.  People who try to live to the written words of the Bible expect government to live under the written rules of constitutions and laws.  Not make them up, rule as they please, in all three branches of government at all levels of government.  So, they hate the South.  They have to culturally cleanse the South from being Southern.  But, they’ll fail.

We have the Bible – the Word on our side.  We have the Truth on our side.  We have history on our side.  We have the heritage of courage, honor and fidelity on our side.  We have the blood of our ancestors – and for some who are Southern by choice, a shared family closer than some kin.

The extreme words spoken against the South and Southerners are inversely proportional to the actual threat Southern manhood is to the speaker.  Or, even our Southern womanhood.

In coming years if Southerners go to these National cemeteries to put Confederate battle flags on graves on Confederate Memorial Day and national Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veteran’s Day, they could be arrested for a misdemeanor.

When 10 people are arrested, it’ll make the news.

When 1o,ooo people come to be arrested, the politicians will pay attention.

Before a million people show up, and all can’t be arrested, it will change.

Wake up SCV and UDC.  Lead, or someone else must.

Who is willing to be arrested for a misdemeanor – for honoring veterans’ graves?

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