AN AGES OLD FAMILY PROPHECY COMES TO PASS... AGAIN
A living dream for two becomes the presaging of a living nightmare for millions. How two faculty members defeated legions of Administrators and their lawyers, and how one of them saw in it a revelation of things to come.
Please Bear With Me On This. The Satisfying Punch Line Is At The End.
I wrote this story long ago after the dream of Fascist tanks rolling down my street in Oak Park and Berwyn Illinois. I feared after the dream that it might come to fruition some day. Now I am certain it was predictive of the current regime in Washington and it's attempts still in the future of turning the military on American Blue Staters, and further in my news letters in the late 1990's and again before and after Bush attacked Iraq, but here it is again if you missed it then. A story very similar to this appeared in our written family history in the late 1920's and 1930's, predicting WW II and the family gossip is that at the turn of the 19th to the 20th Century, again, the family had premonitions of "The Great War" WW I.
If You Believe In Faeries, clap your hands... If you believe in God clasp them. If you believe in neither, pray to your friends. Regardless of what you believe or do not, I hope you believe that there are human's, though very few, who do see the future, the past and the present, in other places obscured from their location, and often clearly. It might have something to do with the quantum, quanta light packages, and Socrates theory that all knowledge of past, present and future ride on a the ether, (the quantum?) on a stream of consciousness throughout the universe and some have the physiological or spiritual skills to recognize and interpret those quanta that ride back and forth throughout time on which I called Conductus in my youth (Latin for transport, carrying, conveying) but which now are called Tachyons and the quantum. So, the family theory was correct, but the name was a bit different.
Like the rarity of correct premonitions, so are people which are courageous, loyal, altruistic, honest, wise and enduringly, unrelenting in their integrity. I know people who come from good homes, nice parents and siblings, and they are rotten to the core. I said 'nice' people. Nice, however, is not necessarily productive of children of the adjectives I use above. I have even known parents; men and women, who possessed all of the above, but seldom was it present in both genders of a marriage. Why this is so, is a mystery. Why it has always been so is a greater one, and it is to me, evidence of the existence of a Supreme Being, which allows, as I said before in my articles and Blogs, like the movie, a Groundhog Day wherein the same heroes, eon after eon fight the same demoniacs, until human life is no more.
A cousin of mine, we will call him Rocco, (if for no other reason that that it is actually his name) who was part of an astounding story and because of our close filial and male-bonding friendship, he inveigled me to join him in that adventure, which most men only dream about or watch John Wayne movies about. He taught at a few colleges before he chose one at which he wanted to be tenured. He had a sterling record as an entrepreneur, and he was very wealthy. He decided to give it all up, all the glories of being CEO and teach. He was a great professor, as brilliant and successful at teaching as he had been at business. He was also a concern of those suspicious of tenured, wealthy men with great business experience and success. Some faculty hated and feared such men. We had made a vow to each other that whenever we, after lengthy and close study had met a JUST man or woman anywhere, we would meet for lunch or dinner and compare notes, and attempt to bring them into our tight group which we called The SMPEA-The Saint Michael Protected Earthly Archangels. (We were kids when we dreamt this name up)
At the first institution at which he taught, he met a professor who had the virtues I list above. He was the only professional at that institution, a City of Chicago community college, which he met, that did, (of course he did not meet them all) including the faculty union representatives, who were especially treacherous.
At that same college, I met a faculty member when I was a student who was an inspiration. Later when I taught there he was just approaching retirement and I was a colleague, I told him that he had inspired me to teach. This was a few years before he died. He was so happy and proud that I followed his example. He had happily married a beautiful younger student, as I was to do later on. At another, my cousin met a teaching Rabbi, which we agreed was a just man. At another it was priest, a war protestor, immovably strong, ready for martyrdom if need be. At the next few, at which he taught part time while running his businesses, he met none.
In the business world, of the hundreds we worked with and for, we met very few. As we, both moved around Illinois and some other states, we have been members of a number of churches. We are both Catholic so those churches were manned by priests-we are talking hundreds here, of priests, not churches. In all we met between us, maybe three or four men or women who possessed the qualities I mention above. We met many more in some of the Orders of priests, which took the vow of poverty.
At the one University at which he was tenured, he met six men of honor-six out of a three hundred faculty and about one hundred administrators. That ratio in and of itself is a telling of something rather unpleasant. AT his businesses, the ratio was more like 25 or 35-1-workers to executives. The faculty were often more dishonest and corrupt than the administration, which themselves were among the most corrupt people he had ever known, In the beginning there he had an altruistic president and what seemed to be a fairly altruistic faculty, but some worked hard to get the altruistic president removed (and for petty reasons). They succeeded, and he was replaced by a man of immense ego and ambition, and the faculty became like the last congress, timid, cowardly, snide, unempathetic, greedy and practiced incivility just because they could. The administration was more uncivil. It was like a contest, one inspiring the other to see who could take the decayed black ring of evil doing, first and most often. The faculty was cowards, frightened of their administration; my cousin was contemptuous of both faculty and administration.
They seemed without a clue that what they were doing was weakening their position. The newer they were, the more they sided in with the administration. Large merit raises fell from double-digit numbers to numbers most often below 3%. Clauses were allowed into the contract that destroyed a once powerful faculty senate and it crumbled into a rubber stamp.
He and a bare handful of others, stood like the Spartan 300 against 10,000 and the cowards multiplied.
Whenever the administration would attack a faculty member, who my cousin thought to be innocent, my cousin would attack the administration. Whenever they did something he saw as corrupt, he attacked them. The faculty, as frightened as lambs often were either neutral or sided in with the administration, or they would scatter and run for cover, silent as lambs. They allowed stupid destructive things to happen to their sacred contract, their rights, and their constitution. What a few saw very clearly the vast majority didn't see at all, not even through a glass but darkly. No-bid contracts were let. Waste was extremely apparent and no one cared. Toxic chemicals were used everywhere. Floors were expensively stripped and sealed several times a year with toxic chemicals, when there was no need to ever seal them and where there was system that would seal those floors once, which would last twenty years. My Cousin brought it to the attention of the administration and the board of trustees; they ignored the facts and then attempted to discredit him. They attacked him in every way possible, and he never defended himself, he simply attacked back.
They had lawyers , deans and sub-deans, all over him with nasty letters over trivialities, lies, and he replied to them in moments while they examined his letters and tried to formulate replies that took them days, even weeks. He was outnumbered exponentially but he filed more grievances than the entire faculty had filed in the history of the college and he won them all-him against the academic world. In all that time, the only help he sought and got was me. I wrote all his letters. I wrote a letter and then wrote the answers to what I thought their reply would be. They would send a reply to him after ten days to two weeks and they would receive my pre-written reply, with only minor adjustments, where I gave them more credit for intelligence than was justified within a half an hour of receipt of theirs. They were mystified-two against the world and we always won. Even the union rep that at times accompanied them was stunned. I began to accompany him to the grievance meetings and the administration began to double and then triple their numbers at attendance of these grievance meetings. We hammered them with requests for data and when they produced it, we tore their data to virtual shreds in our arguments. They would enter these meetings loaded down with papers we would walk in with not even pencils or pad, they would walk in with bristling hubris, and leave crestfallen, in despair. The administration were spending tens of thousands of dollars trying to beat him, he spent nothing. They tried in vain to intimidate him; he instead intimidated them. They showed him a legal budget of millions of dollars, which they had to support their wars against him, he showed them our net worth, all of which we both pledged to this battle-they left crestfallen again. We were having fun they were clearly not.
We peppered them and their contractors with Freedom of Information Act Requests, with requests of every possible kind. We were on a mission. A non-Catholic colleague, a supporter, one of very few, gave each of us a St. Michael medal, having found that before each stage of the battle, we made brief petition to the Archangel Patron Saint of Battles.
The administrators were reeling. Sensing that, we made demands on them. They acquiesced on all of them. He got an office and conference rooms of his own the largest on his side of the campus, both of his choosing, in a building of his choosing. He was exempt from every distraction. He need attend no meetings unless he called them and they were never held in the offices or conference rooms of the administration, they had to come to him, for they were always held in his. We had won, big time, even some money. They were thoroughly defeated. In all that time my cousin had filed 20 grievances, the entirety of the rest of the faculty of about 300, filed five, all except one of which they dropped, that one had to go to court and the faculty member who filed it was a female, she won in court, Of my cousin's 20 grievances, we won them all and he never used a lawyer, just his wayward cousin.
After the wars were over, the enemy completely defeated and humbled, one day we were sitting in his conference room, feet up drinking Dr. Pepper's and eating his mom's to die for, homemade meatball and sausage sandwiches slathered with tomato sauce, with sweet Melrose peppers, mushrooms, all heartily sprinkled with Romano, Parmegiano, and hard grated Ricotta. We agreed that we'd both fallen deeply in love with the war against evil. He said something about Einstein's year of magic, 1905 and the theories of Special and General relativity, and in that moment, I had an Einstein worthy revelatory moment!
I said to him, "Rocco, I had a premonition. One which I know will become a nightmare, a horror!" Premonitions and prophecies in my family were not so rare, as in the population at large, and were rather frequent between he, our grandfather, and I, and they were infallibly accurate.
"What are you talking about?"
"I am talking about this experience we've just celebrated."
"Well, what of it?"
"Do you recall my dream about Nazi tanks rolling down our streets a decade or so ago?"