Crazy Owl

Posted in History, Holidays, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 6, 2019

It started as a rumor, and was quickly confirmed. Crazy Owl…a.k.a. Charles Emerson Hall…passed away April 4, 2011. He was my friend for many years. Many stories could be told, and here are a few. Here is the biography from his website, Crazy Owls Perch. This is a repost.
These few lines will introduce you to Crazy Owl, the author of this website. His life began August 5 1927 at 6:02 AM in Akron Ohio, USA. His mother named him Charles Emerson Hall.
In 1960 The University of Wisconsin awarded him a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, He pursued a career in mathematical statistics and research methodology until 1975 when he predicted that a cancer epidemic would engulf one-third of the population by 1985. Thereupon he “dropped out” and went into the community lifestyle and ate organic food. In summer of 1987 he took the name Crazy Owl and accepted the Barred Owl (the original “Crazy Owl”) as his totem.
Sometime during these years he became interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM for short). In 1980 he started studying acupressure at the Acupressure Institute in Berkley California. Since that time he has been a Healer with TCM as the core of his practice. From 1985 to 1997 Crazy Owl taught TCM in The School For Gentle Hands in Atlanta Georgia. He had a clientele in Healing and a business in herbalism as well as students.

The School for Gentle Hands was in an old horse farm on Flat Shoals Road, just off I20 and Gresham Road. There is a subdivision there now, and the K mart is a Walmart. This space is a mile away from East Atlanta Village, and is an up and coming neighborhood now. When Owl moved there in 1985, it was run down. He had a beat up barn, a dirt driveway, and a pipe bringing county water in. Some government agency made him get a porta potty, a bright green facility with a lot of nicknames.

The School For Gentle Hands was about nine miles due south from my attic apartment. One of the events was the friday night sweat lodge. You drove down, found a place to park in the weeds, and walked down a hill to the lodge. Owl would start the fire, put the rocks in, and hope that someone was there to join him. I sometimes served as the helper, balancing the glowing rocks, on a pitchfork, while Owl held open the door to the lodge.

One friday, the sweaters were talking about the things they were grateful for. The previous friday night, I had been in a tacky bar in Tucker GA. Everyone except me chain smoked, while the band played “Melancholy Baby”. Seven days later, I was naked in a makeshift hut. I was grateful for the variety in my life. All my relations

In those days, AIDS was on a rampage, and there was little that industrial medicine could do. Crazy Owl helped quite a few people. Some did well with his treatment, and are thriving today. He taught that AIDS was not a disease, but a condition, and that it could be reversed.

Crazy Owl was a traveling companion of mine in those days. For a while, it seemed like every time we went anywhere, it would pour down rain the entire time. On a pre Thanksgiving Wednesday, this turned into ice when we arrived at the valley in North Carolina. We woke up the next day to find ourselves in an ice crystal wonderland.

He is not on this plane of existence any more. As for what he expected, I honestly don’t know. Not everyone is obsessed with life after death. I suspect that Crazy Owl is going to be all right.

Update: Here is the story of his final days. The story of the Memorial Service is here.

The jury found James Arthur Ray guilty of manslaughter , or the ending of a life. He conducted a sweat lodge ritual in Arizona, and apparently had the room too hot and too crowded. People were not encouraged to leave before the end. Three people died as a result. (James Arthur Ray is a different person than James Earl Ray, the convicted killer of Martin Luther King. This is one time when the custom of referring to perps by all three names is valuable.)

PG used to attend sweat lodges hosted by Crazy Owl. These were much smaller, and gentler, than the fatal affair in Arizona. There was always plenty of water, and an onion tea was drank before entering the lodge. As you entered, you said “all my relations”, which did not mean you looked forward to being with them for eternity.

Friday night at Crazy Owl’s was an informal affair. Once inside, prayers were offered, and songs were sung. One of the favorites was “Amazing Grace”. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a life like me . That was the version that Crazy Owl favored. Some of the others rebelled, and sang the traditional version, which saved a wretch like me. One night, Crazy Owl said that he would preferred that we sing “Amazing Grace” with life instead of wretch. PG thought he was a crazy old man, and went on saying wretch.

A few years later, after Crazy Owl’s life had ended, PG understood what he meant. You are not a wretch, you are a life. You were made by G-d in her image. She does not make junk. Many religions do not give their flock credit for being worth very much. You are a wretch, bound for hell, and only marginally better if you adopt the correct opinions and go to heaven. To say that you are a LIFE, a sacred creation with G-d in your soul, is a much better way to see things.

Last night, PG went to a celebration of life. (Pictures are from the Midsummer Night’s Dream.) While riding down Buford Hiway, he saw a huge rainbow. Ryans steak house was the pot of gold at the end. The summer solstice had been a few days earlier, the longest day, the height of the growth cycle. How sweet the sound, that saved a life like me. This is a repost.

One Response

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  1. sistersoami said, on April 7, 2019 at 1:08 am

    What a sweet read this day, dear Cam, hugs from Sr. Mish stirring up the cosmic dust

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