So, Elizabeth, this is what’s happening in the continuing saga of the life of the kid born to the underclass world of The South Bronx of the 1950’s. It might be more interesting if i post this as a communiqué on my WEB site. In fact, i’ll start by inviting you to be the first of the folks in my little radio drama e-mail group to get an official missive from The Unsequestered Monk. First a note to all in the circle – it is said legendary television pioneer and radio broadcaster, Arthur Godfrey used to paint a smiley face on his announcer microphone. When asked why this was done he said it was because he communicated with his audience by talking to one person. When i do NOMMO Radio i use the same philosophy, even as i understand my audience is for all future time. So i will, in turn, address each person during these current travels.
We begin by going back to a statement i wrote in a notebook while in New York City’s Central Park on Sunday, 24 June 2001 sometime in the afternoon:
In the spring of 1973, while I was serving in the United States Air Force as a Medical Laboratory Specialist, I took extension courses for Trenton State College. An English course was lead by, one, Willam Craycraft, whom I call CC.
It was a creative writing course.
In the fall of 1977, at a writer’s conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, I ran into CC… He asked me if I was doing well with my writing…and was I publishing anyplace, for surly I had the stuff it took to be famous.
I explained that while I was indeed writing, and as a matter of fact, was working on some plays. I was not looking for fame. I had just culled a fact from the conference that the mean age of a writer was 52 years of age. So, I told him I was not looking for notoriety or any sort of fame, celebrity, success or otherwise …until I was 52 years old – 27 years for the time we were talking on that Manhattan Street.
On Tuesday, July 3rd at 6:15 PM I will be entering my 52nd year on this planet. For the next two years I will exercise in the most difficult of all disciplines. I will enter the realm of self-discipline as
The Unsequestered Monk.
These are my chronicles.
Last year, on July 27th, less than a month after my 52nd life-day i was frolicking in the newly dredged surf of Virginia Beach with my 13 year old niece. We were on boogie boards and a wave flip my board up with me on it as an undercurrent hurled me head first to the sand packed bottom, snapping my neck back. Because of my Capoeira Angola training, a had an automatic reaction of putting my forearms in front of my face, which I believe absorbed most of the impact of this paralyzing ocean act. And paralyzed i was, like a turtle faced down in the water. Then what i call "the normal Sloan" reaction kicked in, which was to say to myself, "Oh, this is interesting, doesn’t seem like I can move my head. I wonder how long I can hold my breath." Followed by the thought – Sure wish someone would turn me over so I can get some air. And i heard my niece saying "Uncle Anthony, Uncle Anthony!" At this point i must have blacked out for a few because the next thing i knew was that i was on the beach with a whole bunch of folks surrounding me, asking questions and me saying, "I’m alright, just let me get up." Meanwhile the lifeguard is telling me not to move and poking at my legs, asking me if I feel anything. Well, to make a long story a bit shorter, feeling started to come back in the emergency room. After three days in ICU, i was moved to the ward, where i immediately rolled myself out of bed, got hold of a walker, and began a process of recovery through self-healing. The healing has been aided by my Sister, the Veterans Administration hospitals in Richmond, VA and Washington, DC, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, a wonderful woman in Silver Spring, Maryland, who opened her living space and life to me for nine months, the house i am about to leave in Washington, DC and a host of friends, colleagues, and Community radio listeners around the country. One of those is our AMARC colleague Zane Ibrahim of Bush Radio in South Africa, who i call my big brother. (I even look somewhat like him now that my niece has cut my locks and my hair is all off.) As you may, or may not know, Zane has been trying to get me to do a live radio drama workshop in his region of the planet for quite sometime.