Showing posts with label legend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legend. Show all posts

03 July 2014

Insulus Vitae

by Eve Fisher

I've been working for quite some time with a wonderful group of women artists, called JourneyWomen, in a series of collaborative projects.  We did Altars/Shrines/Boxes one year.  My piece was called "Cache" (accent on the "e"), and looks like this from above:


What we do is, each artist (there are 12 of us) takes a basic shape/thing to start and then passes it from artist to artist, everyone adding something to the work.  "Cache" started with a doll's trunk I found at the local flea market that was extremely old.  People added dried roses; a compass; a half a dollar bill; lace; messages; playing cards, etc.  (In case you're wondering, the woman is my second-favorite portrait by Van der Weyden.)

It's an interesting project, since we all have very different personalities and very different approaches to art. Some of us are darker than others.  One thing I added to a friend's piece was this little gem, lovingly photo-shopped by yours truly, of Anubis giving a massage:

It goes with this poem:
"The Body is a Temple":

          Quiet.  Calm.  Relaxed.
          The soft hiss of candles,
          the scent of wine and bread.
          Massaging hands.  Eyes closed.
          A light scent, sweet wood, rising.
         A thread of song:
                   "You belong to me like this plot of ground
                    that I planted with with flowers
                    and sweet-smelling herbs.
                    Sweet is its stream,
                    dug by my hand."
         Deep, deep, deeper.
         So many knots to be worked out.
                   "Dug by my hand.
                    A lovely place to wander in,
                    your hand in mine.
                   The body thrives,
                   the heart exults."                       
         Heart and mind, body and soul,          
         it takes so long to be made whole.      
                   "How beautiful is your face..."
         A dog barking in the distance.             
         A cry on the horizon.                          
                   "He who is on his mountain    
                    kisses you, caresses you..."  
          Look up:  your time is come.              
                                   Eve Fisher (c) 2011    
                                                       (Verses in quotation marks adapted from Poem 2, from IIc, The Third 
                                                        Collection, Papyrus Harris 500, circa 1000 BCE.)

This year, for one of the Spirit Boats, I photo-shopped (do you see a pattern here?) a variety of islands and named them Juventa, Fortunata, Marita, Aevus and Senecta, swirling around the Mare Memoriae:


With the following explanation:

"The Insulus Vitae, the Living Islands, a/k/a the Islands of Life, are known for their ease of access and their variety, in climate, terrain, flora, and fauna.  The following are some of the islands major sites, in alphabetical order:

  • The Broken Bridge
  • The Cliffs of Joy
  • The Caverns of Fear
  • The Dancing Pool
  • Heart's Desire
  • Hermitage
  • Mount Daybreak
  • The Mountains of Longing
  • The Overlook of Repose
  • Passion's Peak
  • The Sighing Shoals
  • The Slough of Despond
  • The Valley of Depression
  • Vanity Falls
  • Wadi Memoria
"The bewildering thing is that while these and many more sites exist, no one can confirm their exact location. Interestingly, bewilderingly, the location of each site changes with and for each visitor.  Legend says that every traveler will, at some point, reach at least one of these islands.
'Therefore pray, traveler, that thou mayest reach that most fortunate isle which is thine own.'"

Not bad advice, if I do say so myself.  




04 June 2013

The Death of Laura Foster

Today's article will interest both followers of American music and true crime, an investigation into the hanging of a folk figure, Tom Dooley, as researched and written by a descendent of parties involved.

John Fletcher and I began corresponding following an investigative article I wrote about Tom Dooley titled (with a nod to Twin Peaks), "Who Killed Laura Foster?" He was just beginning his research, which has become a new book, The True Story of Tom Dooley, published by History Press. It's a must for those interested in this legend.

Today, John shares the genealogy with us. Follow along with this tale from yesteryear…

Leigh Lundin




John Edward Fletcher
John Edward Fletcher
The Death of Laura Foster

by John Edward Fletcher

The Legend of Tom Dooley is an enduring mystery in western North Carolina even a century and a half after the incident occurred. Why is that the case? In part, the 1959 ballad hit by the Kingston Trio, “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley,” has helped to keep the story alive.

However, an examination of the existing records of the case raise many questions. For example, the original arrest record names Thomas Dula, Ann Pauline Dula, Granville Dula, and Ann Pauline Melton as the suspects in the disappearance of Laura Foster. The Court records, in contrast, name Thomas Dula and Ann Melton as the defendants and name Lotty Foster, Pauline Foster, and several others as material witnesses for the Prosecution. Who were these individuals and what was their relationship to the Murder of Laura Foster?

The murder Indictment charged only Tom Dula with Laura Foster’s murder, but it also indicted Ann Melton as an accessory before and after the fact. The “after the fact” charge was later dropped from Ann Melton’s charges, and her trial was separated from Tom Dula’s trial. This separation was made because if Tom were not guilty of the murder, then there could be no valid charge against Ann Melton. But, who were the other two suspects, Ann Pauline Dula and Granville Dula; and, what was their involvement in the murder of Laura Foster? Furthermore, who were the witnesses, Lotty foster and Pauline (or “Perline”) Foster in the local vernacular?

A search of census records from 1850 to 1870 reveals a curious result. Lotty Foster, Ann Melton’s mother, turns up as Carlotta “Lotty” Triplett in some records, but as Lotty Foster in other records. Her daughter, Anne, turns up as Angeline Pauline Triplett in some records, but as Ann or Anne Foster in other records. The other Dulas, mentioned in the arrest warrant, turn up as the children of Tom Dula’s uncle Bennett J. Dula II. That is, Ann Pauline Dula, age 16 and her brother, Granville Dula, age 13 appear in the 1860 Census. They are Tom Dula’s first cousins as their father is Thomas P. Dula’s (Tom’s father) brother. The question naturally arises, “Why are they never mentioned again in court records?

A second unknown is the mysterious person, Pauline (“Perline”) Foster who is not found in census or other records. She is identified in the court records only as a young woman from Watauga County who is a distant relative of Ann Melton. She reportedly came to Wilkes County to visit her (unidentified) grandfather and to see the local doctor to be treated for a venereal disease that she had contracted in Watauga County. Looking for local work to pay for her medical treatments, she was hired by the James Meltons to work for them during the summer of 1866 while receiving medical treatments for her disease. The Meltons were not aware that she was undergoing treatments when they hired her.

The court records show that Tom Dula’s cousins, Ann Pauline Dula and Granville Dula had nothing to do with the Laura Foster murder, and the person who was arrested with Ann Pauline Melton was actually Pauline Foster, not Pauline Dula, but why Granville Dula was arrested has not been explained. Possibly, he was a suitor of Laura Foster’s at the time of her disappearance.

Laura had many suitors, and was known locally to have “round heels,” meaning she was easily moved onto her backside by her suitors. Three of the persons named in the arrest warrant were arrested, but provided alibis for the time that Laura disappeared, thus were released as “not guilty”. The central question remains, “Who is this Perline Foster and how is she involved in the murder case?”

A search of Watauga County records turns up two census records in the years 1850 and 1870.

In 1850, a Levi F. Foster, age 25, is found with a daughter Anna age 4. In the 1870 census, the same family is found but is missing the daughter Anna. However, living next door to Levi is a John Scott with wife Anna P. Scott, who is possibly the missing daughter Ann Pauline Foster, age about 26. If ‘Perline’ Foster is a distant relative of Ann Foster Melton, then the connection must be through her Foster father. That means that the relationship of Levi Leander Foster must be traced to Ann Foster Melton’s Foster family. Levi Foster does not appear in the 1860 census of Watauga County; however, a careful search of the 1860s tri-county censuses for the first names, turns up a Levi F. Dula with exactly the same family members as Levi Foster’s family in the 1850 census of Watauga County. Living next door is the family of John ‘Jack’ Dula of Kings Creek, Caldwell County, NC.

To make a very long genealogical story short, Levi Foster turns out to be the illegitimate son of John ‘Jack’ Dula with a daughter of Robert Foster and Mary Allison, also residents of King’s Creek in Caldwell County. Robert Foster was the brother of Thomas Bell Foster of Wilkes County and he was the father of Wilson Foster, Laura Foster’s father, and Carlotta Foster, Ann Foster Melton’s mother. That explains Pauline Foster’s relationship with Ann Melton.

In fact, Pauline turns out to be the fourth cousin of both Ann Melton and Laura Foster. Also, Laura Foster is the first cousin of Ann Foster Melton. John “Jack” Dula is the grandfather that Pauline Foster is visiting there in Caldwell County, and also makes her a second cousin of the defendant, Thomas Dula.

In 1860, the Levi Foster family are using the surname of Dula, his father’s name and Ann Pauline Foster is actually known locally as Ann Pauline Dula. That is why Wilson Foster named Ann Pauline Foster as Ann Pauline Dula in the arrest warrant. That was the name he knew her by when they were living near him in the 1860s. By 1866, her family had moved back to Watauga County, but she returned to Wilkes for medical treatments. These relations also explain why Perline knew and was fond of Tom Dula; she was his second cousin, and probably knew both him and Laura Foster well from the time she lived near them while growing up in Caldwell County.

That brings us back to “Lotty” Foster, aka Carlotta Foster Triplett. The 1860 records list her as Lotty Triplett, with her three children, Pinkney Andrew Triplett, Angleine Pauline Triplett, and Thomas Triplett. Why are they listed with the Triplett name if all her children were illegitimate as other authors have written? A detailed genealogical search of the Thomas Bell Foster family lists the first name of her husband as ‘Francis’, but no last name is given. One easily then surmises that his surname must have been Francis Triplett.

Who was Francis Triplett? A detailed search of period records does not reveal anyone by that name. However, there is a clue in Carlotta Triplett’s census records from 1850. She is living in the household Of James and Nancey Brookshire Brown, who are in their 70s. Why is she living with them? It turns out the Browns have two daughters, Nancey Brown and Adeline Minerva Brown. The first daughter, Nancey, was married to a Martin Triplett in 1820. The second daughter, Adeline, was married to Bennet J. Dula II, and they were the parents of Ann Pauline Dula and Granville Dula.

Martin Triplett was divorced from Nancey Brown by 1822, but they had two children, a daughter Irene and a son. After the divorce, the son remained with his father and a stepmother Mary Winifred Hall, the daughter of Thomas Hall and Judith Dula. The daughter remained with her mother after the divorce. The son, Francis Triplett, married Carlotta Foster about 1839-40 and he fathered, at least, the first three of Carlotta’s children. By 1850, Francis is absent from their household, and Carlotta with her three children, are living with her mother-in-law’s parents. In other words, her children’s great-grandparents.

What happened to Francis is unknown. One might speculate that he left for the 1849 Gold Rush and may not have returned. Sometime after that, about 1859, Carlotta Foster Triplett changed her and her children’s surname to Foster, her maiden name. Exactly why she did this is unknown, but it must have had something to do with her husband’s disappearance. Thus, we now know why Lottie Foster, Pauline Foster, and Ann Foster Melton each had two different surnames. Carlotta’s children, at least the first three, were not illegitimate as is popularly believed, and Ann Pauline Dula who was named in Wilson Foster’s arrest warrant was actually Levi Foster’s daughter, Ann Pauline Foster.

Perline Foster, the principal Witness for the Prosecution, may not have been of high moral character, but her objective during the summer of 1866 was to be cured of her venereal disease so she could complete her marriage bond with her fiancĂ©, John Scott. For that reason, she was not a paramour of Tom Dula, who was her second cousin, and was not a romantic rival with Ann Melton and Laura Foster and others for Tom’s romantic attentions. She did not transmit her disease to Tom Dula, who in turn, passed it on to Ann Melton. That disease transmission became the primary motive for the murder of Laura Foster. The evidence is that Laura was, in fact, the source of Tom’s infection.

Pauline Foster may have slanted her testimony during the trials to protect Tom Dula and to implicate Ann Melton. Pauline certainly had no love for Ann Melton who had treated her quite badly during the summer of 1866. However, others testified that her testimony was very consistent during both Tom Dula’s trials. She implicated Tom and Ann Melton in the events leading up to the disappearance of Laura Foster and to the subsequent discovery of her burial site. Her testimony coupled with the other circumstantial evidence clearly defined Tom Dula as the likely murderer and that Ann Melton was fully engaged in its planning and the instigation of Tom Dula to commit the murder.

Tom’s final heroic act was to take sole responsibility for the murder of Laura Foster and to absolve Ann Melton from her involvement. Because of his final written confession, the Wilkes County Jury had little choice, but to set her free.

Angeline Pauline Triplett Foster Melton lived another seven years after her final trial. She bore a second daughter, Ida V. Melton, in 1871 with her husband James Melton. She died a very painful death in about 1875 from internal injuries received in a buggy accident. Justice was apparently finally served.

27 November 2012

The Next Big Thing– Dean Version

by David Dean

As John Floyd has so ably explained in his post of the 24th, "The Next Big Thing" is a sort of promotional tag game being played by writers across the country, perhaps the world for all I know.  I guess it can be described as a "grass roots" publicity gambit to which you, dear reader, are now being subjected.  I didn't want to do this to you, but the alternative was breaking the "chain", and I'm sure you all have some idea what can happen when you do that.  You know the urban legends, it's not pretty according to the films– the best you can hope for is to just painlessly disappear; the worst… well, it doesn't bear thinking about.   

However, in order to make a clean getaway I've had to snare others into the scheme.  Again, I didn't want to, but what choice did I have– to be the last in the chain?  No, thank you.  So I lured the redoubtable and deeply talented, Janice Law, as well as the rising literary star, Tara Laskowski, into my web, where they are now stuck fast, desperately trying to line up someone, anyone, to "tag" and be next in the chain.  Sorry, ladies, but surely you can understand the predicament I found myself in.  Blame Barb Goffman if you must; she snared me!  In order to take the sting out I've included links to all of these writing dynamos at the conclusion of my own shameless self-promotion.  Please do go to their sites on the appointed days and read their thoughts on their work.  It will, undoubtedly, be both entertaining and illuminating, as I hope the following on my own is.

First, let me set the scene.  Picture, if you will, a room full of clamoring reporters, and perhaps a scattering of ardent, young literature students, all attempting to gain my attention and ask the following, burning questions:

What is the working title of your new book, Mr. Dean?  "Oh please, just call me David, we're all friends here (there's relieved chuckling; they didn't expect me to be so personable, so accessible).  Well, the working title has come and gone, I'm afraid, as the book, "The Thirteenth Child" was released over a month ago.  The publisher and I are expecting a sale any day now.  The original title was more of a short story– "A Child Twixt Dusk And Dawning", it was called.  My editor questioned the pithiness of my choice and suggested (strongly) I go with his recommendation, which I did in the end.  We are no longer speaking, however."

Where did the idea for the book come from?  "That's an excellent question, young lady, and one which I am anxious to answer.  I was thinking of old legends, and ghost stories, concerning travelers meeting spirits and demons at lonely crossroads, then disappearing, dying, or having misfortune follow them from that moment on.  These tales appear in a number of cultures (European, African,etc...), and sometimes concern the taking of children by these same fairies, trolls, or other supernatural beings.  So, I took it one step further, I thought, what if this creature that waits on lonely paths was not supernatural at all, but very real, and no longer haunting forest and fields, but suburban streets and yards; forced out of its comfort zone by the steady encroachment of civilization?  That was the beginning."

What genre does your book fall under?  "Unquestionably horror, though it has an underpinning of police procedural and even a touch of romance." 

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  "I'll leave that to the experts, like Mr. Spielberg.  He's done wonderfully well at that sort of thing.  Undoubtedly, when hell freezes over and he decides to do a film version of my book, he'll make the right choices in casting."

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  (I chuckle tolerantly at this) "Obviously, my boy, you have not read my book.  A book, such as mine, containing the depth of character and breadth of thought that it does, cannot be contained in a single sentence.  However, since you've asked, I'll do my best to reduce it down so that everyone can understand it: When children begin to go missing from Wessex Township, disgraced professor, and now town drunk, Preston Howard, encounters something he wishes he hadn't, and soon faces a terrible decision--save the children...or his only daughter.  How's that?"

Is your book self-published, or represented by an agency?  "Neither, old man.  I've somehow managed to get my book published by Genius Book Publishing of Encino, California without representation or payment of a fee."

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?  "It took about six months for the first draft...and probably another three months in rewrites and edits, followed by several years of anxiety." 

What other books would you compare this to in your genre?  "Phantoms by Dean Koontz, Dracula by Bram Stoker, and the short story, Gabriel Earnest by H.H. Munro.  How's that for reaching for the stars?"

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  "I haven't usually written horror, but the idea behind "The Thirteenth Child" struck me as so original that I felt compelled to give it a go."

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?  "It contains a good deal of history and myth from southern  New Jersey, including some Native American lore from the Lenape peoples of the region."

"Well, that's all the time I have now.  I appreciate you press guys and gals turning out like you did; especially when you could have been covering something actually newsworthy."  (This gets a big laugh, and a lot of shaking of heads– they had no idea how humble I am.)  "Thanks so much for your time.  But, before you go, I just want to throw a little something your way… in fact, I'm gonna give you guys the inside track on the next big thing times three!"  (The scramble for the door ceases and a sudden quiet descends on the room, the pens and pads come back out in the expectant silence.)  "Jot this down, boys and girls, and follow it up--you won't be sorry, let me tell ya; cause the three gals at the end of these links are hot and gettin' hotter in the writing field!  Let me make the introductions:

"First there's my sponsor, Barb Goffman, who writes about her newest story, "Murder a la Mode" on the Women of Mystery blog.

"Next up is Janice Law, whose book, "The Fires Of London" is already garnering some rave reviews and a growing public.  Read about the workings of her formidable talent on Dec. 3rd.

"And last, but never least, and brimming with originality, is Tara Laskowski, who will post about her newest collection of short stories, "Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons" on Dec. 5th.  Don't you love that title?  Well, read her post and, amongst other things, you'll find out how it got conjured up.

"Well that's the scoop– follow my lead on these stories you mugs, and maybe a few of you will be pulling down some Pulitzers.  No… no… no more questions, I'm bushed.  Besides, I've got to get to work.  These books don't just write themselves you know!"  (Big laugh on this one– who woulda thought the ol' man had such a great sense of humor?)

04 September 2012

Jersey Fresh

by David Dean

Not being a native of the place one lives in can sometimes offer a fresh perspective.  And even though I have dwelt in the Garden State for over twenty-five years, I do often find the place fascinating.  First of all, let's face it, Jersey takes an awful beating as a result of Snooki and the Gang, corrupt politicians, and the view from the infamous Turnpike of oil refineries, chemical factories, and rubber plants.  To some, these may look unappealing ( and I include Snooki and friends with this).  But there is a whole other New Jersey out there that is largely hidden away from the tourists on their way to NYC.  It is a place in which I often set my stories, and bears little resemblance to Soprano Land: a place of leafy suburbs and rolling farmland; salt marshes and barrier islands; pineland forests and windswept beaches.

The county I live in is called Cape May, and named after a Dutch explorer by the name of Mey who sailed by sometime in 1623.  He was too busy exploring, apparently, to bother landing on this new cape that he had discovered.  Of course, he had only discovered it for the Europeans who were to follow.  Native Americans had fished and hunted the area for thousands of years before Captain Mey bobbed by in his little ship.  The historical tribe was known in their own tongue as Lenape, an Algonquin peoples.  The Whites would call them the Delaware after the river, which was in turn named after Lord de la Warre, who saw to it that the English, and not the Dutch or Swedish, would dominate this part of New Jersey.  The poor Dutch got stuck with Soprano Land and NYC; the Swedes just went home.

The first European settlers to the area came mostly from New England, Virginia, and Long Island, and they came for the whaling.  In those early days, whales often traveled along the Atlantic coast side of what would become Cape May County, and even into the vast Delaware Bay that washes the western half of the peninsula.  The locals would simply row out to harpoon the great beasts and tow them back to shore.  Even back then, with only a sparse population of whalers, it didn't take long to deplete the animals and virtually kill the industry.  The English turned to farming and fishing, and for the next several centuries this was what they did.
Pirates frequented the region as Jonathan Dickinson wrote in 1717, "We have been perplexed by pirates on our coast and at our Capes, who plundered many of our vessels."  Captain Kidd, that most unfortunate of pirates, spent some time in the area, as did Edward Teach, of "Blackbeard" fame.  Naturally, tales of buried treasure abound.  Most of these are baseless, but try telling that to all the folks with metal detectors walking the beaches… fugedaboutit!  It never made much sense to me that pirates would risk hiding their treasure on land.  After all, sometimes they might be gone for months or even years.  But then it was explained to me that this was mostly done when the boys in pantaloons were planning a visit to a large town, such as New Amsterdam, to replenish their stocks and provisions.  There was always the chance that they might be recognized as pirates and arrested.  The treasure trove on board could be damning.  Hence the lightening of the load prior to docking.

The Jersey Devil legend sprang up in this period as well, and comes out of the haunted pine barrens.  It seems that the dirt-poor and miserable Mrs. Leeds of that neighborhood, upon learning that she was pregnant with her thirteenth child, cursed him; wishing the devil would take him.  Apparently, she had some pull in hell, for her son was born with wings and hooves and flew out the window to begin a reign of terror over that dark and lonely region.  He does so to this day.           

Cape May became a county in 1692, via a charter from the Crown. In those days there was a West and East Jersey--Cape May County being in the west.  There is a cemetery at the county seat, Cape May Court House, that dates to 1766; prior to that people were buried in their back yards, a custom still observed for former business partners in North Jersey.  By the way, nearly everything in the county is named Cape May Something: There is the aforementioned Court House, wherein sits a several hundred year old (you got it) court house, there is also Cape May City, West Cape May, Cape May Point and North Cape May.  There was even once a South Cape May, but the sea claimed it as its own some time ago.  God's judgement, perhaps, on one Cape May too many.  Enough already with the Cape May.

New Jersey became known as the "Cockpit of the Revolution" during the War of Independence because of all the important battles fought on her soil.  Washington slept everywhere, and New Jersey named not one, but several towns, after the father of our nation.  Having a maritime economy, the southern half of the state was affected by the War of 1812.  This region also produced one of our nation's earliest naval heroes in the person of Richard Somers.  This young man was to lead what amounted to a suicide mission against the Barbary pirates in Tripoli.  Sailing directly into their harbor under cover of darkness, he and his crew boarded a captured American vessel and blew it up in spectacular fashion.  Though the resulting explosion and fire damaged and destroyed many of the pirates' ships, it also took the lives of the brave American sailors before they could get away.  Their graves still lie in a small plot in Libya.  His home exists as a museum in Somers Point, the town named for his family.  I have had the privilege of visiting it.

As the northern half of the state embraced the industrial age, the south remained agrarian, not unlike the nation as a whole at that time.  The capitol even boasted the proud motto, "Trenton Makes, The World Takes," in huge letters across a bridge spanning the Delaware River.  It's there to this day.  South Jersey, meanwhile, continued to make the Garden State just that.  Most of the "industries" practiced in the south related to the exploitation of natural resources: cedar mining (the reclamation of prehistoric cedar trees from the fresh water swamps for shingles and ship building), bog iron collection from the streams of the Pine Barrens (this naturally occurring iron tints the water the color of tea), harvesting salt hay from the marshes for both animal feed and lining coffins, the production of glass from the fine sands of the region, etc... Then came the trains.

By the late 1800s, the great population centers of both Philadelphia and New York had discovered what would be forever more known as the Jersey Shore.  Trains made it possible.  The industrial era had given the working man both stable wages and a few days off a year.  He spent both at the shore.  The tourist boom was on and the great shore towns began to spring up--Atlantic City, Asbury Park, Wildwood, Avalon, and yes...Cape May.  Of course, many decided to stay, and the local population took a decidedly Irish and Italian turn.  Catholic parishes began to pop up amongst the Baptist and Methodists.  The small town of Woodbine was founded as a Jewish colony, while the town of Whitesboro became the the county's first predominantly African-American municipality--a by-product of the Underground Railroad, not the one from Philly.

By the mid-1970s tourism was king.  Though farms remained, they had grown smaller and began to adapt to specialized crops in order to survive.  Commercial fishing survived, as well, by both downsizing and growing more efficient.  The waters off New Jersey continue to be one of the greatest producers of scallops and clams along the eastern seaboard and oyster farming is making a comeback in the Delaware Bay.  But the tourist dollar, and vacation real estate, are the mainstays of the current economy--battered by the recession, but still king.  Unemployment here in Cape May County during the off-season (roughly from November to April) can reach 12% or worse.   But you take the good with the bad, and this is the place I happily call home.  My literary characters, Chief Julian Hall and Father Gregory Savartha, both live here, as does a ponderous and troubling little girl named Mariel, who is the subject of my next story in EQMM (Dec. 2012 issue).  The bewildered protagonist of "Tap-Tap", though he meets his fate in Belize, worked for a tourist agency here, while Kieran, the young kleptomaniac of "The Vengeance of Kali," lives just around the corner.  There are many, many more.

So, as you can see, after twenty-five years in a place, you make some friends; form some ties.  And luckily for me, having a fresh perspective, a "Jersey" fresh perspective on my adopted home, made it all possible.