Mere Mortals, All of Us

I’ve somehow become a member of the SHS Memorial Page. A Facebook page dedicated to all the people who went to my high school and died.

It may be “a thing” these memorial pages, but I find it discomfiting, and, I’ll admit, macabre.

But I Can’t Look Away

But, like a rubbernecker at a train wreck, I find I can’t look away. I keep paging through the years looking for familiar faces. Knowing when I find one, they’re dead.

I left Sprayberry High School in 1968 and I could count on one hand the classmates I’ve seen since then.

I never looked up anyone from high school, and the few overtures I had from others, I ignored. I saw high school as the last obstacle to overcome before I escaped my parents’ house and gained my freedom. I’d had friends, although no close ones. Most of the kids I knew had no idea of the life I had at home, and never understood my frenzied drive to get away. But they were teenagers and, how mature were any of us before age 30?

I’ve recently had what my children describe as a near death experience: four days in cardiac ICU. After I came off the drugs they gave me while I was there, I began to contemplate my mortality and the sum of what I would leave behind. Thumbing through the photos of my dead classmates I thought, too, of what they had left behind, and what I knew of them from long ago. At least what they had left behind that was my memory of them.

It is as if there is still a whisper, an imprint of those memories that is real, that people will pass through that shadow and be affected by it. And it is as if I can see those imprints. They are almost tangible.

jana anders, sprayberry class of 1969I think the most surprising death I read about was Jana Anders. Probably because she was so full of life, She died 10 years ago, a relatively young death in this time of 80-year life expectancy.

Even though I knew Jana from the second grade, we weren’t friends. It was more an acquaintanceship, but I admired her and sometimes envied her, starting at age 7.

We were in a play in front of the school, parents, teachers, etc. and Jana gave an Oscar-worthy performance of some character named duck or goose … It was so good that even now I remember my mother talking about it for a week and wondering how Jana had the moxie to put on such a show for so many people. Most of them adults.

My family moved out of that school district at the end of second grade so my path didn’t cross Jana’s again until the ninth grade. That year and every year after, she was the cheerleader who was known all over the state, along with being one of the most popular girls in school.

She wasn’t classically pretty, she was ‘cute’, maybe a little elfin, but she lit up a room when she walked in and I can’t remember her ever being unkind. And, she was a fabulous gymnast. Most of the complicated routines the cheerleaders did were designed to showcase her because, who else would do? No one. And … she was always marvelous.

I saw her two times after high school

Five or six years into adulting, I was commuting from Marietta to Atlanta to work. I carpooled with a couple of other people, one of whom, Donna, had also gone to Sprayberry and knew Jana. We were on 75N, almost home, when Donna fairly screamed, “There’s Jana!”

It was the sort of shout out one would make upon seeing Garth Brooks’ tour bus or finding Joe Perry in your favorite tattoo parlor. Jana had that kind of star power.

Donna blew the horn, waved, and kept yelling to get Jana’s attention. I waved, too, all the while surprised and a little disappointed to see her driving a rather old, ratty VW bug with the windows down which meant she could hear us plainly, but also that she was suffering through a summer in Atlanta with no a/c.

She was, after all, the ‘Star of SHS’ the entire time I was there. More so even than the boy athletes, she was probably the most well known student, I’m sure, for several years and not just at Sprayberry, but every high school who had played football or basketball against us also knew her by reputation. She was our own celebrity.

The next and last time I saw her we were 35 and in a maternity store buying clothes to wear while we carried babies we were already too old be be having. As I left the changing room, I said, “Jana? Aren’t you Jana Anders?”

“I was,” she said. It seemed sad to me considering the thoughts I’d had the time I saw her in her little bug, but I think her meaning was she had another name because she had married. I hope it was that and not that she’d lost herself somehow.

I told her that she had known me as Teresa Shultz, a name I didn’t use anymore, and as I saw recognition in her face I knew it was only the name she remembered. She admitted she wouldn’t have known me if I hadn’t told her who I was.

We didn’t have any sort of meaningful dialogue, but that meeting stayed in my mind, because I was once again reminded that I had expected her to leave this small town and perform. Perform Something. Somewhere.

cirque du soleil

And now as I read the notes about her death, aged 57, from colorectal cancer, I am so saddened by it. And I think to myself, ‘Oh, Jana, if only we’d had Cirque du Soleil in our youth! You could have been an international star of Circus of the Sun, and I could have worked with show horses my whole life.

When I ran away from home I could have gone where I’d have been welcomed for my oddness and, well, like everyone else who met you, they’d have been mad about you! Neither of us were really suited to a desk or a boring life and we hardly knew where to look for anything else. We could have been running away to the circus. And what a grand one!

She may have been ecstatically happy with her professional life, I don’t know. I don’t even know what she did. She may have been happy to stay in this small town her whole life. I don’t have any impression of her other than my own memories, few as they are, and the expectations she brought to my mind with her exuberance for life.


Wind & Water, Understanding the Nature of Feng Shui

Feng-ShuiAs one uses Feng Shui to balance and harmonize home and work environments, the purpose, as I have come to understand it, is truly to balance one’s mind, body and spirit. . . to embrace spirituality, to encounter God.

The Bible tells us to make our homes a Holy place, where everyone who enters will feel safe and welcome . . . Where Angels would choose to come.

Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?

Perhaps that is what we are to do. Offer our share of heaven and our spiritual experience with everyone we meet.

As we “feng shui” our homes, our work, our lives, we are giving physical form to those thoughts and prayers of what we want our homes, work and lives to be and become. The things we do (hanging wind chimes and decorating with certain colors) don’t cause the things we want to happen; and the “chi” energy we release isn’t some magical thing that comes up from the earth and grants all our wishes.

The chi energy we seek to encounter is that connection with God that makes all things possible; and the wind chimes we hang, the special colors we use are the reminders to ourselves that this is our purpose. They are a reaffirmation of our faith and our goals.

They are also a statement to those who know and understand feng shui that we have chosen to pursue a path of enlightenment; they are an invitation to come with me, come with me … come with me now!

D. B. Cooper’s legend grows as the crime story ages

D.B. COOPER, BIGFOOT, UFOS HAVE A THING IN COMMON, Events and places in the Pacific Northwest are among those covered in a new book, 100 of the World’s Greatest Mysteries by E. Randall Floyd, a collection of hundreds of unusual happenings around the world, from ancient times to today. Four chapters deal with happenings that have direct or peripheral connections to this corner of the world. You can get it at Amazon.Com.

Since I wrote this “db essay” years ago it has remained the page most read on Laloba, after my journal . . . we really are cooper-snoopers, and why he stays at the top of my charts is beyond me. (Originally published Apr 13, 1998)

This is the chart for November 24, 1971, at 8:10 in Vancouver, Washington. That’s when and where (they think) db jumped.



The single most notable thing about this chart is the prevalence of planets in Sagittarius – the sign of the Archer. DB’s long been called a modern day Robin Hood, even though he didn’t use his money for the poor. Maybe all that Sag stuff just made us want to think he was more inclined to good deeds than he really was.

I’ve heard from tons of people about this page ~ the most notable are the women who tell me they were his wives. (And yes, I’ve heard from several. Eventually, they all talk about the book that will pay them for having wed db . . . )

Because I like astrology, I did a chart for the day he jumped . . .

AdZe MiXXeTMpresents A SuperPower Report for db cooper’s jump

note: this is an interpretation of the energy of the day – it isn’t db’s birth chart. And, it is a good representation of the Cooper legend.

Sun in Sagittarius: EXPANSIVE SELF-EXPRESSION Essentially you’re a good sport. The question is, “What’s your game?”

TIP: db, aim high and roam free. Now, was that good advice, or what?

When you are naturally enthusiastic, folks tend to like you. Cultivate your natural tolerance and you will be able to get along with many different types of people. You can get the power of positive thinking to work overtime. To do so, you must clarify your ideals and pursue your spirit of adventure. The ancients believed that turquoise could counter negative vibes and relieve melancholia for Sagittarians.

Sun Undecile Mars: SELF-EXPRESSION MODIFY MOTIVATIONS you have some strong and brave attributes. You’re reasonably driven, willful, energetic, aggressive, competitive, dramatic and enterprising.

In the pursuit of your goals, you’re willing to work hard and if necessary face danger. You tend to do what you think is right and are not one to give up or give in to fear. To become a star you need to channel some of your energy into physical activity, athletics and exercise. When you’re restless, you need to work out.

Sun Opposite Saturn: SELF-EXPRESSION CHALLENGES DECISIONS You’re serious, responsible, industrious and hardworking. You probably matured early and may have missed out on much of the joy of childhood. You tend to get along well with mature people and the elderly. You can become a star by becoming more purposeful. Your discipline can make you a self-made person. Or a legend in your own time!

You can become a star by learning how to get more joy out of the sheer struggle of life. Become consciously aware of the rules that you have made for yourself and for others. Become aware of internal voices that judge you.

Sun Semisquare Uranus: SELF EXPRESSION CHALLENGES LIBERATION There is a bit of a rebel leader and a trouble maker in you. In itself, this doesn’t mean that you’re good or bad it just means that you’re self willed, excitable and capricious. You’re not likely to put up with being told what to do. You can gain respect by channeling your reform minded energy into a bold and practical enterprise. To become a star, respect other people’s need for freedom.

You’re more original than most folk. To contribute something positive to the world, become relatively stable; more cyclical and less erratic in your efforts, and more practical and persevering.


The energy of the day is keenly aware, sensitive and psychically attuned. Be selective as to who and what you allow around you. To become a star, learn to trust your first impressions and go with them.

You age very well and have the potential to extend your career far beyond the norm.


You can become a star by dealing with power issues and power complexes. You can be obsessive and extreme in your drive for power. Your physical, psychological and spiritual desires are all very strong. Once you consolidate your position, you will advance. Once you define and commit yourself to a goal, your physical strength, mental energy and creative powers make you unstoppable.

TIP: Your power is volcanic db. Within you is a crucible of creation. Translation: Great day for a hijacking.

You can take up a cause. You can right some wrongs. You can fight some injustices. You can change yourself and the environment. If anybody can begin again and restructure for change, it is you. You can create extreme success for yourself. Your willpower, tenacity and resourcefulness are extraordinary.

This is the energy that makes us attribute db as Robin Hood incarnate. Which he wasn’t.

Sun Trine Midheaven: SELF-EXPRESSION COOPERATES WHAT WILL BE You need a strong career. You would do well to work in a field where you can express the full force of your personality. At times it may be easy for you to overwhelm others. However you’re happier and better-off commanding their respect. You can become a superstar by developing character, especially your dignity.

TIP: Leave behind something that will survive your name, db.

You are something of a leader. Your work could put you in the public spotlight. Before you set out to achieve, define your basic sense of self, will and purpose. You are likely to accomplish something great. Powerful people will become your friends and allies.


Moon in Aquarius: FRIENDLY INSTINCTS You tend to process emotional events in advance. When things happen, they already seem to be in the past. So, you may seem to be emotionally detached and aloof. You need space and can’t stand to be suffocated. When you’re under too much pressure, you become emotionally detached and erratic. Your feelings can freeze over both literally and figuratively. You can be cool.

Be open to flashes of intuition. Perform some experiments. Embrace the unconventional.

Moon Sextile Venus: INSTINCTS COOPERATE WITH AFFINITY Your tact and diplomacy serve you well.

It is fairly easy for you to establish rapport and make people feel good. Part of you is cheerful,calm and optimistic. Using a mixture of charm and sincerity, you can get almost anything.

Moon Quintile Jupiter: INSTINCTS BRING OUT TALENT FOR ENCOURAGEMENT You can find success dealing with the public, especially with themes of home and family. People will give you their faith and trust. You have some good luck going for you and can beat the odds. You could become very adept at public relations and publicity. Your positive feelings and social conscience make you an exemplary human being.

You can be both optimistic and realistic. People tend to take an interest in you and your welfare.

Don’t ask why I studied db cooper. Goes with the James Dean thing probably . . . Uranian personalities appeal to me.

Man, myth, urban legend.

I’ve always been fascinated about him: who, why, how . . . like most of the rest of western civilization. So, when I started puttering around the web, I thought I’d make it easier for the next nosy cooper-snooper.

For those of you who don’t know the story of db:

On November 24, 1971, a man hijacked a plane from Northwest Airlines for $200,000 in used twenties.He asked for the money and parachutes and somewhere outside Vancouver, Washington it is presumed he jumped, because when the plane landed, both he and the money were gone.

And . . . he stayed gone.

The D. B. Cooper Days Celebration & look alike contest.

db cooper’s wholesale music exchange he must have spent all the money – its a free server. (2013 update; store is now closed)

D.B. Cooper – A crime immortalized by time By BRETT OPPEGAARD, The Columbian Publishing Company November 22, 1996

SKULDUGGERY BY PARACHUTE – The very best of everything I’ve read – Read this if you don’t read anything else. There is truly a dearth of hard information online about this obsession (Sorry, Johnny). 

And I don’t care that his name wasn’t D. B, but Dan, he’ll always be db cooper to me.

God’s Favorite Angels


Angels Among UsGod’s Favorite Angels . . . aren’t in heaven

They walk and talk on earth . . .
halos hidden, wings tucked in tightly,
so as not to startle those of us who need them.
They offer words of encouragement.
They make us laugh.
They give good advice.
They give gifts of time, money, self.
They lift us up from the mundane and
give us love that transcends human bounds.
They are the Sun that shows us the smile
on God’s face and the Rolling Thunder
of wisdom that reveals Him to us gently,
when we need Him most.
Merry Christmas and
Happy Hanukkah, Angels.
God has blessed me in knowing you.

The Good Die Young

There has been such a tremendous groundswell of interest in angels, I wonder if people are becoming more needy for something greater, or simply more aware.

The movie, City of Angels explores the “fall” of an angel (Seth) to mortality because he falls in love with a human.

It is the thumbnail of the descent of man from spiritual to physical.   And the final message, when an angel tells Seth, “This is life,” isn’t really reassuring.  Because in our consciousness, all we know is life.

And we want, or need more.

When I was 17, my best friend died in an unexplainable car crash.

There had been four of us — Jimmy, Tony, Bill and myself.  We were together night and day, except for work and sleep and if we even considered the rest of our lives, we foresaw that togetherness as our life.  We were blissful.  Other women would come and go in their lives, I was constant.  We were friends in the most extreme definition.

When Jimmy died we went through a fog of days at the funeral home, at his family’s home, or crying alone.  Alone for the first time in months. The three of us who were left were disjointed and wounded.  We never recovered.

In the three days before he was buried, I never say Jimmy’s body, nor his casket.   His casket was sealed because of his injuries, and seeing it bore a finality I wouldn’t face.  And so I avoided the room where he lay.  I sat, outside the door each day, but I never entered the room.

On the day of his funeral I went looking for his mother and father, and went to the room where they were.    It was across the hall from the spot where I’d spent the last three days – I had no idea why they were there but I needed to be with them.

Jimmy had been moved into that room during the night.  When I saw his casket for the first time I was so stunned, I staggered.  I felt myself literally falling apart.

Someone took my arm, held me up and walked me outside to Tony and Bill. I turned to thank my rescuer and no-one was there.  I felt the hand leave my arm and I knew it had been Jimmy.  I  knew.

I have never stopped mourning him, or missing his active presence in my life.  I don’t know that people turn into angels.  Or that he was an angel who had “fallen” to this plane for whatever experience he was in need of.  There’s a hierarchy about heavenly beings that I don’t understand.  All I know is that I’ll know when I’m supposed to know.

But I do believe my relationship with Jimmy has an angelic bent, because I believe he has been in and out of my life (or my consciousness) all these years.
I’ve felt his presence, and his protection, or guardianship more than once.

And I want to accept that he is doing what he is meant for while I’m trying to find my way.

My purpose in this life seems to be that of Mother – I have such responsibility for my little tribe, and I find myself, comfortably, in a position of counseling others frequently.  But I have, too, a longing for comfort and security.  A security that is not of this earth.

At the beginning of the movie, City of Angels, Nicholas Cage, as Seth the Angel, walks with the spirit of a small girl who has died.  She has left her body on the emergency room table, her mother crying hysterically.  The girl asks, “Where are we going?”

His reply?  “Home.”

Life on Europa? Who Cares?

Is There Life on the Jovian Moon?

from Wired News Report

If you haven’t read about the microorganisms that might be alive on Jupiter’s moon, Europa, feel free to do so now. You may feel, like the scientists at NASA that this is incredibly important and worth spending lots and lots of money to KNOW. After all, we’ll get the news in 2,008. I’m sure its worth the wait. (You may have figured out by now that I don’t think so. Maybe I should say, more to the point, it isn’t where I want my money to go.) Who cares that we’re going?

Maybe we’re looking for a location to which we can migrate after we’ve made this planet totally untenable. 

Perhaps the decision makers have read Edgar Cayce and believe that reincarnation sometimes takes place on other planets and in other dimensions, and they’re looking for someone important – Albert Einstein or one of the Kennedys.

Or, perhaps, they’ve simply forgotten what we owe to what we’ve got . . .

. . . a responsibility to see that no children starve whether or not we birthed them or sired them . . .

. . . that all people deserve a decent place to live where they’re safe and dry and fed. . .

. . . that everyone of us has some human dignity and should be respected for it. . .

. . . that we’ve got to learn to take care of this planet, before we don’t trash another one. Or even its moon.

Europa. Doesn’t that name sound like magic? Doesn’t it beckon to you? Unfortunately, it beckoned to the wrong people, too.

Life on Europa?  Who Cares? Mar20


Related Posts

Share This

%d bloggers like this: