Healing Bones

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

An essay on my origins. For G.D. Rip and John Gregory Jacobs

Healing Bones

By SN Kjaerbaek

 

  1. For those who are hip I was adopted. My adoption was not the voluntary kind. The Vital Statistics Agency stole me from my parents via court order and not through the adoption process. The authorities took me thirty-six hours after my birth. They obtained a mandatory court order from the Supreme Court of British Columbia. I was born on December 21, 1975. It was a Sunday. I arrived around six-thirty in the morning. My birthplace was listed as Powell River, British Columbia. The address was listed as a rural postal route box for my biological mother’s residence. Her name was Donna. She was American, of Dutch and Native American extraction. My biological great-grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee. She was the daughter of a Chieftain and married to the son of another Chieftain. Trained as a doctor and highly literate, she practiced traditional Cherokee medicine and educated other Cherokee in reading and writing English. My grandfather was a white man of Dutch background. He was the clerical type and had a degree in education. Along the way to his bank clerk job, he typed and worked as a teacher. He ended up in the Cherokee administration and later worked for the state of Oklahoma. Some of my ancient relatives walked the Trail of Tears. Others took off for Ohio or returned to Tennessee. My biological mother was a lesbian and an artist. She trained in lithography, silkscreening, and illustration. Known as a painter with a great knowledge of art history, she worked for various silk screening companies, paint stores, and museums before she became a radical. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. My mother Donna became a driver for radical groups and joined an all-female bomber group. She was not a bomber herself. Both my biological mother and father opposed the Vietnam War and apartheid. At an anti-apartheid protest at the John F. Kennedy Airport in Austin, Texas, she faced arrest from a police officer. Before they could handcuff her, she led them on a chair past the entry point to the final gates of take-off. She picked up a bottle of acid and threw it in the face of a police officer. He ended up blind in his left eye and lost part of his ear. His face was permanently scarred from acid burns. It was necessary for him to receive major reparative cosmetic surgery. My father was raised by English and Polish Jews, who came to New York in the early part of the twentieth century. My biological great-grandparents were the Baron and Baroness of Crossharbour. My grandfather had some Scottish ancestry and worked as a solicitor in London before he came to the United States. For a while, he worked as a teacher at a community college until the American government took up McCarthyism. An active socialist involved in Labour Party politics, he quit his job when the political survey came. As a teacher, he was considered a federal worker and subject to political interrogation by the government HUAC and similar groups. My grandfather was named Douglas and he quit immediately. Having taken up the cause of journalism, he spent time in Mexico. He was famous for covering the Spanish-American wars. He ended up in WW II and Korea, a Veteran twice over. He lost a leg to his tenure in Korea, when a landmine blew up his leg. He then became an advocate for Veterans and disability rights. My grandfather never actively worked as a solicitor after he left England. His family had money. To this day, there is still about $6 million in assets never claimed. He was worth about $30 million US when he died. Most of this money was left to my grandmother, Lucille. She was a librarian who had a Master’s Degree in Library Science. She enjoyed knitting circles, writing, and participation in women’s labour groups. My grandfather had originally married a socialist and journalist, but she did not want children. Mary preferred partying and writing a column to family life and activism, so he ended the marriage after four years. My father had a brother, Ron, who drove a school bus and preserved his writings. My father was in the graduate program of Columbia University when he left the SDS and joined a radical group opposed to Vietnam. He organized riots and protests, including the occupation of a gymnasium. He hated racism and war. His politics were brutally radical. As a fan of Trotsky and Guevera, he glorified Cuban-style Communism and radicalism. He never engaged in bombings. He made threats against the US government and stockpiled weapons, ammunitions, books on bombings such as the Anarchist’s Cookbook, and dynamite. A particularly skilled speaker and writer, he led debates and training sessions. He wrote manifestos and articles on radical scholarships, having learned typing at university. He had obtained a Master’s Degree in Political Science. His Bachelor’s Degree was in English Literature. A fan of music, he was often found singing along to the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Bob Dylan, and Fairport Convention. He once set fire to the Dean’s Office in protest of C.I.A. presence at the university as well as Vietnam. He opposed conscription, bombings, and US interference. Cambodia was a particularly sensitive topic. He hung out in bars, hiked, played pool, wrote, and ate in Chinese restaurants. A terrible driver, he often took sharp left turns and sped. He missed many a car by an inch and received many tickets. For him, driving licenses were opportunities for anarchy. He disappeared from his first group after a bombing in New York. He disappeared again at Devil’s Lake after the bombing of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was a paid consultant to radical groups involved in the bombing. A tennis shoe in his size on the left foot was found near the bombing that night. He spent time in Mexico and then ran off to Canada after the F.B.I. tracked him down to Los Angeles. He had a false passport and papers. I am not certain if he received outside help, but I do know my grandfather sent him money. Many of his underground friends and sympathizers had access to false identification, housing, weapons, and other resources. He ended up working in labor when he arrived in Canada. He continued to take courses in English Literature and Political Science upon arrival. He helped build a Buddhist Temple and planted trees. Melanoma claimed his life in 1997, owing to genetics, a pale complexion, and many years as a gardener and stone cutter. He was known for his singing and love of books. My ancestry is complicated by the history of war, racism, occupation, and European history of the last half of the nineteenth century and 


Submitted: February 08, 2021

© Copyright 2021 SN Kjaerbaek. All rights reserved.

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