Home > 1 > BOOK 3. Sula and The Music Of Morning, As Some Of You May Know, Archie Faringhy

BOOK 3. Sula and The Music Of Morning, As Some Of You May Know, Archie Faringhy

BOOK 3. Sula And The Music Of Morning
On Sundays I make it my business to try and visit with Sula for two or three hours. I bring her a salt fish Pate (pa-tay) and two to four little cans of juice, depending on how much loot I have..
The pate is for her to eat, the juice is so that she has something to offer to visitors and guests during the week.
Sula is 107 years old and still pretty sharp (of mind AND looks) I am one of her “boyfriends” “de Whiteman who is a recording artist” she has three others (an ex policeman, and two Moravian Ministers) right off the bat, along with an ever-growing list of wanna be boyfriends. I have been her boyfriend for over twenty years now and she is yet another one of my sweeties that is hoping that I will make some money.

Sula lives in a little wooden house on the north side of Crown Mountain where she has lived all of her (amazing) life. When she was born (1903) the midwife took a look at her and told her mother that. “The best thing to do is to just leave her in the bush somewhere and forget about her, this little one is just too tiny and fragile to live”

Her Mother wouldn’t hear of it and eight days later, when little Sula was still alive, her grand mother took her in her arms (I tease her that her Grandmother stuck her right in her shirt pocket) and walked all the way to town (“In those days all we had was donkey and donkey cart yu’know and we did’n have none of dose”) to the hospital to see the Doctors.

When Sula was twelve she caught the Typhoid Fever and was not expected to live a single day. Her Doctor (The locally famous Danish Doctor, Knud Hansen) called her his little sparrow and said he refused to let her die. Somehow by the grace of the all-powerful, much prayer and the best medical treatment that the great Knud Hansen could provide, Sula survived Not only survived but thrived, she became a teacher at 13 in the Danish school system in 1915. She is now the oldest living Virgin Islander and may in fact be the longest lived Virgin Islander ever.

We are sitting together on her old red couch listening to the choir and the priest at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul (Sula was born Anglican but joined the Moravian Church at Nisky after the Moravian minister extracted a promise from her mother to switch her if she survived the Typhoid Fever.)

The Moravians are a wonderful community with quite a history of activism here in the West Indies; they are the folks that snuck into the ‘cane fields to teach the slaves how to read and write and then provided the schools that delivered all of the education for centuries. My own childhood education at Nisky Elementary School was among the last echoes of their ‘cane field missionary work.

In any case, Sula is not particular about where her Sunday morning music comes from and together we will listen (in turn) to the choirs at Saints Peter and Paul, The French Town Evangelical Assembly, The Salvation Army, and The Anglican Church at Sugar Estate. I love the singing, Sula loves the songs.

As Some Of You May Know..
Some of you may know that I am a recovering person, for the rest of you, I’d like you to know, I’m a recovering person.
In addition to having a first class case of dipsomania, I am a child and grandchild of dipsomaniacs, by the grace of God, good luck and way too many good people to count on fingers and feet, I have been in recovery (as of this writing) since May 24th 1978.
Recovery was passed along to me at a New York City meeting on the upper west side called appropriately “Chock Full Of Nuts” (not the nice little coffee shops). I have been an activist for recovery ever since. I will write much more about it as we move along, but for the moment..

While living with my Bridey Annie and our twins Lelia and Archie up in the Mountains in San Diego County, it became crazy obvious that I had to do something to generate some kaboosh beyond my pitiful music royalties. consequently, I wound up spending two years and six months at UCLA (January 1987 to June 1989) for training and certification in Drug and Alcohol Counseling and Program Design and Management.

While there I designed and started a program called “BIZRAP” (The Music Business Recovery Assistance Program) “BIZRAP” in turn, divided into two programs “MAP” (The Musicians Assistance Program, run by Buddy Arnold, and “Musicares” (The NARAS-Grammys Program) under Michael Green.)
Since then, I have started or participated in the starting of a number of programs and non profits. I am telling you this because it is so and “things related” will naturally come up again and again..

While going to school in LA, I lived alone in a small residential hotel on Lafayette Street, in Culver City that I called “The Bombay Arms” I took city busses to work (at 4 AM I cleaned “The Kingston 12” a night club in Santa Monica, at 10 AM I took the bus to my second job, shipping posters from a garage in LA, at 4 PM, I took the bus to UCLA and after school, the bus back to the Bombay Arms.)

On Saturday mornings I would take the number 33 (Venice Blvd) to Union Station,in LA and take the train down the coast to Oceanside, then two more buses, (the first to Escondido and the second up the mountains into Ramona). There Annie and our little ones would pick me up in the little Datsun and on we would go to “Witch Creek” eight miles further out-of-town. Just before San Isabel, we’d duck off the old Julian highway, go two and a half miles down “Slaughter House Road”, over the bridge, across the Crik’ up the hill and under the Oaks, to the pad..ah Cabin..ah..pad.

When I think about it I don’t know If I want to laugh or cry, or tell it so you laugh or cry..I do believe that in this instance we could do both at once. It was the craziest juxtaposition of characters and circumstances.
The bright lights in this extraordinary mud pie were the children, our twins Lelia and Archie. Two of the sweetest most even keeled little people I’ve ever known, and there was not a single day or part of a day spent with them that was anything less than inspiring and beautiful. They were champions. We had much fun together. I love them completely.

Archie Faringhy
Annie’s Grandfather Archie Faringhy bought the 100 acre ranch (with cabin) in the late nineteen forties and had started two vineyards and orchards of Peaches, Plums, Apricots and Nectarines with a few Pear trees thrown in for good measure.
Maybe 10 15 acres were under cultivation and the rest of the ranch was still “wilder bush”.

We had (Annie, Lelia, Archie and I) come out from New York to California to visit Annie’s Grandparents a few years earlier, and came up to visit the ranch then. The living area consisted of four buildings three of which were original old-time wood slat constructions and a more modern one (the kitchen) that Archie had built himself in the early sixties. Grandpa Archie was quite a crusty and colorful fellow (and not just because he was a redhead)
He’d been born at Fort.Wachuka, (Thunder Mountain) down in Apache territory in Cochise County, Southern Arizona. His father was a Cavalry man and his was mother was a full-blooded Navaho lady. Archie’s Grandfather Faringhy, was a young man from Flanders who had stowed away on “The Mary” and wound up in South Africa, became a Doctor (medicine, not witch) shipped for America and came west as Kit Carson’s Medical Officer.

Kit and his crew participated in much wild west action and were big time good guys or bad guys, (depending on which side of the fray your people were on)
In any case they had passed this way with Gen. Kerney in the time of The Californios, and seen the beauty of these mountains and valleys. Somehow many years later, his Grandson Archie had found/made his way back and bought a small piece of it.
Archie loved this piece of wild world and so did his redheaded grand-daughter Annie.

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