December 16, 2005


    Thursday, December 15th, 2005

    11.10 pm. U.S. Pacific Time




    2003 – 2005



    In December of 2002, my wife, Mari received news from New Zealand that her middle brother, Peter, was in an intensive care ward with a staph infection that had seated itself in his spine.  At that time he’d been in a coma for several days and the prognosis was very dim indeed. 


    There was no question or conversation, we both knew she had to go to be with her family.  The earliest flight she could book left LAX early January and she spent the next two weeks with her Mom living at the hospital in Whangarei.  Her other two brothers, Ian and Graham were in constant attendance.  Pete was in a drug induced coma and on every life support system in the ICU.


    Mari returned home at the end of January, thinking Peter was on the mend, but within a few days, his condition worsened and she thought she would have to fly back to New Zealand again, but this time to attend his funeral.


    We spent many mornings in prayer for Pete and somehow I was prompted to tell Mari that Pete was going to get well, I just knew it in the depths of my being that God’s Spirit was at work within Pete healing his body.  I knew if God’s Spirit hadn’t been there doing its healing work, Pete would have already been dead.


    One morning Mari told me she felt like she was being torn in half, half of her wanted to be in New Zealand with her 80 year old, widowed Mom and her brothers, and the other half wanted to be here in the States with our family.  So I, not hearing all that she had said, half here, half there, only heard the part about living in New Zealand. 


    The following few weeks gave us some direction as to what we were to do.  First of all, I had a concert booked in Salt Lake City, I got a call from Randy Sparks asking if I could do a date with him and the New Christy Minstrels, and that date fell on the SLC date.  So I called Salt Lake.  They said they could move the date to another time.  I called Randy, said it was a “go.”  About a month later, Randy called me and said the date had fallen through.  So I had nothing on that weekend.  A couple of days later, I got a call from an old friend I hadn’t heard from in several years inviting me down to his church in Carlsbad, California.  I told him I guessed I was supposed to be there because his was the third booking I had for that weekend.  The other two bookings had fallen through.


    After the concert was over in Carlsbad, I was standing in front of the church talking to folks.  A young man came up to me and as soon as he said hello, I knew he was from New Zealand.  He said he knew Mari.  I said, “Well, she’s standing right over there selling cds.”  So he walked over, struck up a conversation with her, reminding her of how they had met and reminiscing about all their mutual friends.  Mari told him we were planning on moving to New Zealand, where we would probably be building a house.  He said, “My brother’s a builder, give him a call.”  We thought, “How amazing!”  He told us he’d seen a promotional flyer in a bookstore for the concert, he didn’t even go to this church.


    So, we called his family who put us in touch with some old friends who lived in the very area we were planning on moving to.  One of them was a phenomenal architect, and the other, a master builder. 


    We arrived in New Zealand at 6 a.m. on a Friday in November of 2003.  We had a quick reunion with Mari’s Auntie and family, brothers, cousins, uncles and aunts and then off to Orewa to our motel room.  We had a 2 p.m. appointment with the bank who told us they were unable to open our account unless we had proof of an address in the States.  Well, we had sold our house in the States, so we didn’t have an address, except for a box number.  About a month before, I had lost my driver’s license in California, something I haven’t done in 20 years, so I had to get a new one, and it had our box number address on it.  I just had the temporary license in my wallet.  The bank manager said, “That’ll do,” and opened the account.


    From the bank we went back to our motel room, where Mari’s youngest brother showed up with the real estate section from the local newspaper.  As the girls knocked some food together for lunch, I was looking through all the different pictures of properties that were available.  And lo, there it was, the perfect place.  We drove up, had a look at it, Mari’s Mom said, “This looks like McGuire land to me.”  We drove back to the motel, called the real estate lady, and said “We’ll take it.”  So, by Saturday night we had purchased the property and found our architect and builder, all within 48 hours of landing in Auckland.


    We spent another couple of weeks with family and friends and returned to the States to finish my concert commitments before moving to New Zealand.


    It took from April 2004 to January 2005 to build, and so we moved in.  All was going along fine until I started getting negative feedback from the New Zealand Immigration authority, inferring that because of my age and the fact that I had a pacemaker, they thought I would be a burden on the socialized health care system.


    The New Zealand system forces you to actually be in New Zealand before you can apply for a permanent resident’s visa.  Because Mari and I had been married for 31 years at the time, and she’s a citizen, we didn’t think there would be any problem at all with me getting a permanent resident’s visa, it wasn’t even a consideration for us.  But they had me jumping through all these medical tests, with months of waiting and then more tests and papers and more waiting. 


    One of the test results showed my cholesterol was a bit high.  My whole family has high cholesterol and they all lived well into their eighties and even mid-nineties, but the doctor wanted to get my cholesterol down to where he thought it should be, so he put me on a cholesterol lowering medication.


    The second pill I took, blew my heart into arrhythmia so off we went to the hospital where they hooked me up to all the machines and put a drip in my hand to give me some more medication, (amiodarone) that was supposed to level out the arrhythmia.  But instead, I went into a violent reaction, thrashing around on the table, vomiting, my heart went berserk, I had huge red blotches come up all over my body, my lips swelled up like somebody had punched me in the mouth, the whites of my eyes went totally bloodshot. 


    Meanwhile the doctor and nurses were banging on the medication dispenser because it wasn’t working.  It had only managed to put a drop or two in my veins when it broke down.  If it had continued working, I’m sure it would have killed me.  Another miracle in our adventure!


    After vomiting the poison out of my stomach, and the doctors detaching the intravenous feed to my hand, my body settled right down, heartbeat went back to normal, red blotches started disappearing, breathing was normal, blood pressure was normal, and the doctor’s comment was, “This appears to be an anomaly, we’ve never seen anything like this before.”


    They did tell me I was only the second person in that hospital that had ever had a violent reaction to that particular medication. 


    I wanted to go home, but they said, “No, you need to stay for observation.”  I said, “Who’s going to pay for it?”  They said, “Aren’t you a resident?”  I said, “No.”  They said, “Don’t you have medical insurance?”  I said, “I do have private insurance, but it doesn’t cover my cardiovascular system because of my pacemaker.”  That was the end of the conversation.


    Three days later, they put me on a treadmill, and released me with a discharge letter stating, “Next line of investigation would be coronary angiogram.  This has been discussed extensively with Mr McGuire but he has opted not to have further investigation in this country and would pursue this further in America due to financial reasons.  On discharge, he was well and had no symptoms of chest pain or palpitations.”


    So after this little episode, we felt it was time to “get out of Dodge” before something serious happened.  Since I’m fully covered with Medicare and Aarp here in the U.S. we thought, that’s the next step for us.


    We sold our brand new, just built, beautiful house, set Mari’s Mom up in a lovely little two-bedroom cottage where we can go visit her two or three months every summer (winter in the US).  We packed the rest of our stuff into a twenty foot container and shipped it on to Fresno.


    Somebody just asked me, “How does it feel to be back in Fresno?”  I told him, “Well, you really don’t go back to anywhere, you may go to some place you’ve been before, but it’s not the same place it was when you left, everything is changing all the time, including us all.”


    So, that’s the sequence of events from start to finish on the New Zealand episode.  We wouldn’t change a minute of it.  Relationships have been established and nurtured.  We now have a US winter/NZ summer place to go to for holidays and time with Mari’s family, so it’s just win, win, win.  Only God could do something like that – what a great ride this last couple of years has been, and it just keeps on coming down the pike.


    Hope this satisfies any of you who might be wondering, “What happened?”


    Blessings on you all.


    I’ll be back, maybe?



November 11, 2005

  • Saturday, 12th November, 2005

    1.31 p.m. N.Z. time


    Hello everybody,


    We’ve just packed everything into a container and shipped it off to California.  I’ll be flying from Auckland to Fresno on the 16th November and it’ll take me a few weeks to get a new office up and running, so please be patient while we make this transition.  There may not be any new blog postings till after Thanksgiving.

    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.  We certainly have a lot to be thankful for whether we know it or not.



November 3, 2005

  • Friday, 4 November 2005

    7.39 a.m. NZ time




    In the Navy



    October 1951 I turned sixteen years old. It had been a great summer and I bought my first car, a 1941, two door, Ford sedan. What a dog. The car overheated on the way home from the used car lot. I should have taken it back to the dealer, but I didn’t because I was sixteen, it was my first car, and I loved it. I spent all my money trying to fix it up. I flushed out the engine, got a new radiator, did everything I knew how to do, trying to make it run cool, but it never did, it ran hot until the day it died.


    That year my cousin, Phil, joined the U.S. Navy.  He was driving a brand new metallic green hard top Oldsmobile. He was stationed in San Diego pulling Seaman Guard duty at the Naval Training Centre and he came home every weekend, driving his big beautiful new Olds. I thought, “wow man, I gotta join the Navy.” But I was only sixteen, and it would be another whole year before I would be old enough to enlist.


    So I went to the recruiting office and asked them what I would need to do to join up.   I didn’t tell them I was just sixteen years old, and the recruiting officer told me I would need some kind of proof to show I was seventeen years old. So I jumped in my Ford and drove back up to my old school in Newbury Park. I looked up my friend, Roy, and told him what I needed, a letter written on school stationery saying the school records showed that I was born in 1934, and my age was seventeen years old. And that’s what we did. I drove back to the recruiting office and told the officer I had called the school and they would be mailing him a letter with the proof of my age.


    A few days later my phone rang, it was the recruiting officer saying the letter had arrived, and I could come down and sign my enlistment papers whenever I was ready.   On the day after Christmas, (Boxing Day in the British Commonwealth) 1951, I, along with about thirty other guys, standing right in the middle of the Los Angeles Central Train Terminal, the very terminal my uncle Mark had helped to build back in ’37, took my oath of allegiance to serve faithfully in the United States Navy.


    Boot camp was typical, just like in the movies, with immunization shots, hair cuts, and clothes that didn’t fit. I thought the food was great but most everybody else complained and said it wasn’t fit to eat.


    I really liked all the marching around and learning the different rifle commands. I found the classes interesting and I learned a lot, except for the knot tying class. I got bored and went to sleep. The instructor saw me napping and woke me up with the question, “OK sailor, how do you tie a bowline?  I yawned, picked up my piece of line, and flick, flick, handed him the bowline. He suspiciously checked out the knot and asked, “What did you do before you joined the Navy?” I told him I had been a commercial fisherman, and he told me to go back to sleep. To the rest of the class he said, “If you need any help with your knots, just ask this guy.”


    I met some great guys in boot camp, one guy became a lifelong friend. We wound up being assigned to the same ship, the USS Toledo, a heavy cruiser stationed out of Long Beach, California, my old stomping grounds. He lived in Southern California and he loved cars as much as I did.


    I was dating a girl from El Monte. One day my friend asked me if the girl I was dating had a friend, thinking maybe she could set him up for a blind date, and we could all go out together double dating. I asked her and she said, yes, she did have a friend, and she put it all together. Well, it turned out that I knew her girlfriend from the 8th grade. To cut a very long story short, they fell in love and got married but that’s a whole other story that they would have to tell you.


    It got to where the four of us would go out together every weekend that we pulled a weekend liberty. Then came the news we knew was coming, but had been dreading to hear, our ship was ordered to join up with the Pacific fleet in Korea.


    Before we knew it, it was our last weekend ashore; the Toledo was scheduled to sail at 0800 Monday morning. The deal was we had Friday night ashore, but we had to be back on board Saturday morning at 0800 for morning role call. Then we could go back ashore again for the remainder of the weekend.  Well, it was so tough getting it all together that Saturday morning, and then driving an hour and a half down to Terminal Island, then catch the launch out to where our ship was laying at anchor, don’tcha know, we were late.


    We knew if we went aboard for morning muster, and we got there late, we would be put on report. Then we would be restricted to the ship, which meant we wouldn’t see the girls again ‘til we got back from Korea. We were all moanin’ and groanin’ and the girls were pleading, “Please don’t go back until Monday morning.” My ship mate and I talked it over and decided, because we were late, we were going to pull a Captain’s Mass anyway, so why not wait ‘til we were out at sea and receive our punishment (extra duty) there. So with laughter and cheering we pulled out of the Terminal Island parking lot and headed back home with 48 more hours to say goodbye.


    We piled back into our car at 6:am on Monday morning and once again drove down to Terminal Island. We pulled into the parking lot with thirty minutes to spare and the first thing we noticed was, the Toledo was gone.


    We asked around and found out her orders had been changed; she’d pulled anchor and sailed at 0700. We were an hour late and dead in the water. Missing ship is a whole different ballgame than missing a role call. We were in deep, deep sticky and stinky stuff, right up to our eyeballs.


    We sat in the car for nearly an hour thinking and saying, “What are we gonna do, what are we gonna do?” Finally, I told my friend and the girls, “I’m going back to San Pedro and try and figure out what I’m supposed to do.”  After six or eight days of expecting the Shore Patrol or the F.B.I. to come busting through my door, I came to the conclusion that since I was still only sixteen years old, and under age, I couldn’t be legally held responsible for my actions. So the best thing for me to do would be to get a copy of my birth certificate, and report back to the Terminal Island Navy Base, and confess my age.


    And that’s just what I did, all dressed up in my “Liberty Blues” and ready for inspection, I walked up to the main gate and handed the guard my I.D. and liberty card. First he checked out my I.D. and then took a look at my liberty card. “The Toledo,” he said, “Holy sh–, she sailed more than a week ago. Put this sailor under arrest.” And they did, marching me off to the Officer of the Deck. He examined my I.D. and liberty cards and I handed him my birth certificate. He said “What’s this?”  “My birth certificate, sir.” He gave it a quick read, then looking up at me said, “Why damn son, you’re too young to be in the Navy.” “Yes sir,” I replied. “Take this man to the Base Commander.” “Yes sir,” said the two guards, and off we marched to see the Base Commander. The same scenario, “What’s this?” “My birth certificate sir,” “Damn boy, you’re too young to be in the Navy.” “Yes sir,” I said once again. So they shipped me down to Des Base (Destroyer Base) in San Diego, and there, about six weeks later, I received my discharge from the U.S.Navy. I got all my mustering out pay (that I used to buy a ’32 Ford Roadster). I got all my G.I. benefits, including life insurance and hospitalization, and because I had been on active duty for more than six months I never had to go back into the armed forces again.


    So there I was, a sixteen year old veteran, with a 1932 fire engine red, chopped top, column-shift, red and white tuck and rolled, leather upholstered Ford Roadster, with a ’48 Mercury engine and juice brakes. How good could it get?  I had all my G.I. benefits and I never had to worry about being drafted back into the military. At that moment in my life I thought I had just pulled off the smartest thing I’d ever done, and I knew I’d really had nothing to do with it at all, it just kinda happened by itself.


    Well that’s all for now, next time out, it’s 1952, I’m married at seventeen and working for a living.



October 25, 2005

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    12.30 p.m. NZ time


    I got this e-mail a while back and it was really fun for me to read and I really enjoyed watching my sci-fi brain come up with a reply. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had in writing it.


    This is the e-mail I received from a new friend:


    Mean’t to send this back at the beginning of October, sorry dude.


    I’ve been thinking for a very long time about the “cosmic” stuff you’ve been yammerin’ about and I’ve got this thing I’ve come up with that explains “reality”. At least for me it does.


    It’s easier for many people to look at the universe in all its magnitude and magnificence. That’s the macrocosm of life. But try going the other way, into the microcosm of life.  Think of the atom.


    For all intents and purposes the atom is a reflection in structure of the universe, a galaxy of spinning, orbiting bodies. If you understand atomic structure, you will also understand that the atom is not as we see it all, too often drawn to look like a sun with planets orbiting around it.  If anything, it’s more like a large cloud surrounded by another cloud.  This is because the “bodies” that make up the atom are actually smaller than we think, but there is a principle that we do understand even in the simplistic view of atomic structure, “energy” and “magnetism.”


    “Stuff” orbits in an atom because of energy (yet to be defined) and dose not “touch” because of polarized magnetism.  North (positive) cannot touch north (positive) nor can south (negative) touch south (negative) and what keeps everybody moving it the attraction of north (positive) and south (negative).


    Now here’s the “301″ of Cosmic Theology.


    If the components (neutrons, electrons, bosons, etc) in atomic and quantum physics cannot “touch”, then what exactly is “between” them? In a physical world we cannot have “nothing”, there must always be a “something” that can be described by the physicist in physical terms.  We cannot see “air” but we know it exists.  We can describe the “physics” of air and see (prove?) its existence. We know that air is composed of hydrogen and oxygen molecules (in a perfectly pure world of air). We know that those molecules are combinations of specially arranged atoms.  We know that those same atoms are composed of neutrons and electrons.  Quantum physicists even know that those elements can be broken down further into elements such as bosons, gluons and photons.  Sub-quantum elements are being defined every day, but no matter how small we get, there is a principle that stays the same, nothing.  Nothing must exist in our physical world for our physical world to exist.


    And here’s my point simply stated.  “Before there was ANYTHING there was NOTHING and before there was NOTHING there was God”. Else wise stated, “Before God created EVERYTHING, He created NOTHING to hold the EVERYTHING.”  The point of that being, God is greater than everything. He is even greater than the nothing. He IS. When He creates “the new heaven and the new earth” (everything, He will totally recreate the “nothing” to put the “everything” into.  Our new life will not be as it ever was before and John in the book of Revelation got a glimpse of that new everything.  The problem being that since it was based on a new nothing/everything concept; it would be like describing the color blue to a blind man.  What do you say to him to explain what color is, let alone blue?


    John did his best at describing the glory of God and that best is a mere inkling of the wondrous experience of color. Hey this is not a theology nor a philosophy nor even a solid concept.  It IS something to think about, but not too much.


    Thought I’d add my 2 cents into the “Cosmic” realm.







    My Reply:


    Hey Ho BMcA,


    Well I had to read and re-read your e-mail several times through, the first couple of times, to try and figure out what you were yammerin’ on about, and then the next couple of times just for the fun of reading it. I love this kind of stuff. I know we’ll probably never solve the mystery of creation, but it’s really fun to play with it, and try to look at from different angles.


    If you had a thousand people standing in a big circle, all holding hands, and in the middle of that circle there was a huge elephant, each person in that circle would give you a different description of what the elephant looked like. It would all depend on the angle of their observation. If you or I were to be transported back to the fourteenth century, and shared our present day world view with the secular and spiritual leaders of that day, we would have more than likely been burned at the stake as a heretic. I mean, they all knew the world was the centre of the universe, and the sun, the planets and all the stars orbited around it. But as our world view expanded, and we gained more knowledge on the workings and extent of our natural surroundings, we have discovered God to be much larger, much more pervasive, much more sovereign and loving, than I think they, in those times, could ever have imagined. As the angle or position of our world view changed and continues to change, so does our understanding of God expand into a Majesty that defies description!


    So, how about this angle:


    Before God created the universe, there was only God. He spoke (I don’t know how he spoke, for there was no air to carry His words, or what language he spoke in, Hebrew, Aramaic, French, Spanish, English, but somehow He spoke.)  And into His own Being He created a universe of light.


    Now from what I’ve read, light, (photon particles) travel at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, and I’ve heard that at the speed of light mass becomes infinite and time itself stops. So it sounds to me like time forms a kind of unpenetrateable sphere that contains the entire universe. Everything within that sphere is moving slower than the speed of light. I’ve always thought of time as kind of an anti-body that keeps sin from breaking out into the timeless Being of God. (But that’s another thought for another yammer.)


    Anyway, God creates this universe within His own Being, a universe that keeps on expanding and expanding. What is it expanding into?  How about it’s expanding into Himself? (We move and breathe and have our being in Him.) Maybe what we think of as empty space, that eternal unending dimension of nothingness, is really the very substance of God’s Being?


    So, we have a Universe. What if the Universe is really a “cosmic uterus,” created for the specific purpose of establishing a birthing place for all organic life? Just like when you plant a pecan seed, it takes six to ten years before it starts producing pecans. Or, just like when you plant an apple seed, it just doesn’t grow another apple. First comes a tiny sprout, then a leaf or two. That’s about it for the first year. The following year the sprout, that eventually becomes the main trunk of the tree, grows taller producing more leaves and maybe even a branch or two. This process goes on for three or four years, until finally out of one of the shoots, growing on the end of a branch, the first apple blossom appears, followed by a real apple.


    The whole point of all this “yammering” is this….: programmed into the DNA of the seed is the entire growth sequence of the tree. So it doesn’t just evolve, (although I guess you could say it does) it emerges according to an exact, pre-sequenced program, that dictates the exact growth pattern that will transpire from that first seed, to the seed-filled apple according to the DNA mandate placed within the original seed.


    Now, what if, contained within the original mandate of God’s command, “Let there be light”, was the entire sequence, for the moment by moment, step by step, emergence of all that is? This would include the entire galactic dance, cosmic dust coalescing around tiny black holes that were formed in the first few nano seconds of creation, forming stars that in time would go nova, blasting their substances out across the Universe, only to coalesce again into the next generation of stars and planets. Finally, at just the right, predetermined time, (sequenced within the original mandate of God) we have, on this little ball of star dust we call home, the emergence of organic life. And then, once again, at just the right pre-sequenced time, just as the apple tree is programmed to send out its first little branch, that will itself, at just the right time and place, shoot out a tiny twig that will at just the right pre-sequenced moment, produce the blossom from which will come the fruit…..(The Human Race)….. which is the very thing that the entire living organism (Our Universe, or Uterus, whatever?) was designed to give birth to in the first place.


    Hey, like you said, this is not a theology or a philosophy or even a solid concept. It’s just fun to think about, but as you also said, not too much.


     I once read you can count the number of apples there are in a tree, but you can’t count the number of trees there are in an apple.


    I just love this kind of stuff!



October 23, 2005

  • Monday, 24 October 2005

    10.34 a.m. N.Z. time



    I can’t call myself a Christian


    To me, the word Christian means “Someone who is Christ-like.” It would mean someone who thinks like Jesus thinks, and talks like Jesus talks, someone who responds to people and situations, just as Jesus would respond, and I must confess, I’m not there yet.


    It would be like me calling myself “Humble,” “Yes, I’m a humble; I go to the First Church of Humility.” “We’re so proud of our humility, we gave our whole movement that name.”  “Come and join us, we will show you how you can be a Humble too.”  Even if someone were actually to receive a “Humility Award,” they couldn’t display it, because the moment they did, they wouldn’t be humble any more. Others could call that person humble, but if they were truly humble, they would never call themselves that, for if they did, they would no longer be.


    So, I can call myself a disciple of Christ, a follower of Jesus, because that’s what I am. But can I call myself a Christian….? No, I think not. I would be, however, totally honored if someone else were to catch a slight glimpse of Jesus in me, enough so they might call me by His name. “Oh look, that guy must be a Christian.” Wow, what a privilege to be perceived by others as a person worthy to be called by that name.




October 20, 2005

  • Friday, 21st October, 2005

    1:46 p.m. NZ time


    Here’s a recent email I got from my friend.  He asked me a very relevant question I thought some of you might be interested in.  So, here’s his email followed by my reply.



    A day early, but may you have the happiest of days on this milestone birthday, and many more to follow!


    My other thought: and I raise this, not as a challenge to the well-known teachings of Jesus, but because quite often my logic-driven mind requires me to examine dimensions to an issue I haven’t yet seen addressed….


    We are taught that the most important thing is to accept Jesus in our hearts—to understand, fully, what he did on the cross was for us and to surrender to his will.  That to approach a relationship with God half-heartedly is not the key to salvation.


    That being said, what is your understanding of the fate of people who, not for lack of trying, but due to normal developmental milestones—are never able to GET to that point?  The mentally retarded, the infants, or, in many cases, even the children or adolescents, or non-enlightened adults?


    And, to segue the above situations—what about all the levels in between what I might call “spiritual neutrality” and that of full acceptance, belief, and surrender?


    I look at my own situation and realize that for 37 years, I never GOT it. I had an awareness of God and Jesus and professed to be a believer and a Christian, and I’ve always been a basically good, honest, hard-working, and caring person, who, —although admittedly a sinner—was never without remorse for them, and never outright REJECTED God.  What would have been my fate had I died before last year—damnation, punishment?  No salvation?


    I guess I am troubled in the sense that I know SO many people, good, loving, close people, who aren’t “there” yet and aren’t likely to take steps to get there.  Barry & Mari, what is your understanding–or what can you tell me has been written and/or taught about what is required for salvation, and what leeway is likely to be extended to those who are deserving, but where the real potential for a relationship with God never really “clicked in”, maybe partially due to the fact that we ARE imperfect souls?


    Just wondering…


    Blessings on you both–




    Hi Dan,


    Sorry for the long delay in getting back to you, but your questions were too deep and too important to just answer off the top of my head. So after a few days of prayer and percolation this is what  surfaced within me.


    First of all, I know that I know that I know that our God is pure Mercy and pure Grace. Listen to what these few scriptures have to say:


    In John 12:32, Jesus says “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” Acts 3:25, says in Abrahams seed all the families of earth shall be blessed.


    Romans 5:19-20 says, “So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men; even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” “For as through one mans disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”


    1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”


    2 Corinthians 5:19 says, “Namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”


    Philippians 2: 9-11 says, “Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”


    Ephesians 1:10 says, “with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.”


    Colossians 1:16-22 says, “For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.  For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.  And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”


    1 Timothy 2:4 says, “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”


    1 Timothy 4:10 says, “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”


    Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.


    Hebrews 2:9 says, “But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for every one.


    2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”


    1 John 2:2 says, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”


    So Dan what do you think, I know what I think, but what I think doesn’t  seem to fit in with what I’ve been told by most of the teachers and preachers I’ve met over the last 30 years.


    I think the picture is much bigger than we’ve been led to believe. And we’re just scratching the surface. Sometimes I feel like one of those little water spiders that are so small and so light that their little fuzzy feet don’t even break through the surface tension of the water they’re walking on. As I gaze down into the bottomless depths of God, I can feel the deep within Him calling unto the deep within me, and at last I can feel the surface tension dissolving from under my feet, and I’m sinking into His  Being.


     Romans 5:20 says “where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound.” So at this time it may seem like sin is the big “Bully Boy” on the block, but the truth of it is, Grace is even bigger. Sin may be running rampant for a time, but Grace will ultimately swallow it up, and sin will be no more.


    Dan, thanks for your wonderful questions, they always make me dig deeper into “The Way, the Truth and the Life.”


    Blessings on you





October 10, 2005

  • Monday, 10 October 2005

    4.24 p.m. NZ time



    Eve of Destruction



    So many people ask me about “Eve” and how it all happened; I thought I would put this account down as best as I can remember it.


     I left the “Christies” in January 1965. I’d just spent four years on the road doing 200 to 300 shows a year. When Randy Sparks and I co-wrote the song, “Green Green”  in 1963, it pretty much summed up my philosophical outlook on life.


    “Well I told my momma on the day I was born don’tcha cry when you see I’m gone, there ain’t no woman gonna settle me down,  I just gotta be travellin’ on, Yeah There ain’t nobody in the whole wide world gonna tell me how to spend my time, ‘cause I’m just a good lovin’ ramblin’ man, hey buddy can you spare me a dime” It was all about me, me first, me second and me third.


    But as time went by, my exposure to world inequity and the moral hypocrisies I saw, even in my own life, changed the way I felt about everything. But the owners of the group didn’t want us to change. They wouldn’t let us sing anything controversial. They just wanted us to go on singing the shallow, little fun songs we were known for. I reached the point where I couldn’t sing “Green Green” or “Billies Mule” one more time.


    So, when we returned from the San Ramo music festival in Italy, I quit. One of the owners of the “Christies” told me if I left the group he would make sure I would never work in Hollywood again; he told me I would be finished in the music business.


    And it was true; every door I knocked on was closed to me. Every record producer was out of town, out of the office or just too busy at the moment to see me. Would I please leave my name and number and they would get back to me. But they never did. I couldn’t believe it; I mean I had just spent four years as a lead singer/song writer with one of the biggest groups in the country and I couldn’t even get someone to call me back on the telephone.


    I remember walking down Hollywood Boulevard with my friend Paul Potash. We were on our way to a movie and just as we were walking past this music store, I heard my voice coming out from inside. They were playing “Green Green”. There I was; I had $5.00 in my pocket, just enough to go to the movie, buy a popcorn and a Coke. Then right at that exact moment a convertible stopped at the stop sign and playing on its radio was “Chim Chim Charee”. I just stood there dumbfounded, here I was dead broke on the street, (when you only have $5.00 to your name, you’re broke) I’m standing there listening to my voice, coming from two different directions, singing two different songs and there isn’t an A&R man in town that will see me. I felt like an actor playing a part in a movie, who could write a script like this?


    A month or so later some friends of mine were introducing their new hit single “Tamborine Man” at Cirros, a one time hot club on the strip. It was Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, (who’d come through the Christies) David Crosby, Chris Hillman and ?????????? As I recall it was their first public performance and everybody had turned out for the show. All the A&R guys that were out of town must have suddenly come home because they were all there. The Press was there, Bobby Dylan was there, and I was there, and at that moment I didn’t care who was there because my friends were breaking a new sound that had never been heard before, and I was dancing! I loved to dance, whirling, leaping, spinning, swimming under water, just trying to wriggle out of my skin.


    Right in the middle of my self-generated euphoria, someone nearby called my name, “Hey Mac,” (as I was called in those days) “What you doing these days?” I danced over to his table and told him I was dancing, he said “Yeah, yeah, but are you singing?” Right away he had my attention. “No, not right now, no one wants to see me.”  He introduced himself, “My name is Lou Adler.”  He invited me to sit down at their table saying, “ these are some of my friends, Phil Sloan, Steve Berry and Bob Dylan.” I said something like “well it’s great to meet you guys, what’s up?”


    Lou told me that Phil was writing some new tunes and they were looking for somebody to sing them. He asked me if I would like to come by his office next week and give them a listen. I said “Sure, I’d love to.” So Lou gave me his address and phone number and I danced off into mental oblivion.


    Three days later, I was staying with a friend in North Hollywood when the phone rang, it was Lou. “Hey Mac, you’re a tough guy to track down. I thought you were going to come by and see me this week.”  I told him I’d lost his number. He asked me where I was and told me to stay right there and he would send a car to pick me up. Two hours later I was sitting in Lou Adler’s office listening to Phil Sloan’s new tunes. They were very cool songs and Phil’s lyrics were saying exactly what I felt. So we set a recording date for a couple of weeks later.


    It was a three hour session. We’d finished two songs and Lou thought the third song sounded too much like the first song, so he said let’s do something else. I’d been working on “Eve” and had the hand-written lyric sheet in my back pocket, so I said I would really like to do “The Eve of Destruction.” Lou said, “Let’s go for it.”


    So I pulled out the wrinkled up piece of notebook paper, smoothed out all the wrinkles as best I could, and hung it on the music stand over in the corner where I’d been singing. None of the musicians that day knew the song, so Phil went through it twice, all four chords.  Hal Blane said, “We got it, let’s cut it.” So with Hal on drums, Phil on guitar, and Larry Knechtel on Bass and me over in the corner singing the words from the wrinkled up paper, Bones How pushed the red button and it was a done deal. One take.

    I missed the high note in last chorus, so we did a very rough punch in and that was it, we were out of time. Our three hours was up and another band was out in the hall waiting to get in the studio.


    I didn’t like my vocal because I had missed the last note in the chorus and there was a place in the song where I go, aaaaaaaaugh, you can’t twist the truth….. The reason for the aaaaaaaaaugh, was because I lost my place on the wrinkled paper. I wanted to re-cut the vocal track but we were out of time, so we decided we would come back next week and re-do the vocal.


    I think that was on a Thursday afternoon. The next day Ernie Farrell, who was a professional photographer as well as a record promoter, came by Lou’s office to see if he had anything new. While Lou was out of his office, Ernie picked up a couple of dubs off of Lou’s desk. “Eve of Destruction” was one of those dubs. He went straight from Lou’s office to photograph a birthday party for a young teenage girl whose dad was the program director for KFWB.  In 1965 KFWB was the number one rock station in Los Angeles.


    After a few shots Ernie ran out of flash bulbs, so he went out to his car to get some more, and he saw the dubs he’d picked up at Lou’s, so he thought “Hey, I think I’ll play these for the kids at the birthday party and see what they think.” So he did, and when he played “Eve” the kids said, “Can you play that one again?” And he did, two or three more times. The girls grabbed the dub and ran into the house and said, “Dad, dad, listen to this.”

    He did. He then told Ernie that if Dunhill could get this record mastered, pressed, and shipped by Monday A.M. he would go on it as a “Pick to Hit” for that week.


    Ernie called Lou, as usual Lou couldn’t find me, so he got some background singers to go “ooooooooh, aaaaaaaaaah” and over the weekend he mixed it, mastered it, pressed it, and shipped it. So four days after I recorded it, I got a call at the North Hollywood number where I was staying, saying “Barry turn your radio on to KFWB.” I did and there it was, “The Eve of Destruction” it still had the “aaaaaaaaugh, you can’t twist the truth…..” line in it because I never got to back in to record over it. Sometimes raw and naked is the way it’s supposed to be. Over the years people have said to me, “Wow, you really sound angry and frustrated in that song.” I always tell them “Yeah I was, I couldn’t read the words on that dumb piece of wrinklie paper.


    When the song hit the charts I started getting all kinds of hate mail. “Go back to Russia you commie Bum.” Years later I found out they even had an F.B.I. file on me. They immediately labelled the song a “Protest Song” which to me it never was. If you go to a doctor and he tells you, you have a melanoma that needs to be removed, do you call him a protest doctor, I don’t think so. To me “Eve” was, and still is, nothing more than a societal mirror, reflecting back at the world the hypocrisy of this present age, Political hypocrisy, Industrial hypocrisy, Social hypocrisy, Spiritual hypocrisy. The song offers no answers, it just asks the questions and hopefully the listener will wake up and look around.


    Years later I wrote and recorded a song “If you’re still alive and you can hear this song, you know this world cannot survive ‘cause somethin’s all gone wrong, you may not like hearing it, you could be right in fearing it, but this world of ours is dying and you know it won’t be long till it’s gone. So don’t blame God for the sins of humanity, the human race has fallen from the ways of the Lord, Yeah, don’t blame God for the sins of humanity, livin’ for the dollar we’ll be dyin’ by the sword.”


    Not a happy song, but sometimes I feel like a passenger on the Titanic, running up and down the companion ways, shouting, “The ship is sinking”, but everyone is so busy wheeling and dealing, so busy making money and chasing their sensual fantasies, they’re just not interested. And the few who are trying to do the right thing, just don’t know what the right thing is to do.


    How about you, do you know what the right thing is to do………?


    I still sing “Eve” because I feel it’s more valid today than it was when I first recorded it forty years ago.


    Rodney King once asked “Can’t we all just get along?” The truth of it is, without a common God or a common enemy, human beings just don’t seem to be able to get along…………..What do you think?



October 1, 2005


    Saturday, 1 October 2005

    4.28 p.m. NZ time






    200 %   SOLUTION



    About fifteen years ago, my wife, Mari and I discovered something new about this man named Jesus Christ. It seemed to us He is a two hundred percent person.


    He’s a hundred percent man, and a hundred percent God. Not half and half, half God and half man, but a hundred/hundred, totally God and totally man, all at the same time.


    Then as we started considering what the scriptures were telling us, we discovered “The Full Gospel” to be a 200 % Gospel.


    Think about it. First we read, we “war” not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of wickedness. Then it goes on to say, we are given the “peace” of god that passes all understanding. So it would seem that we are a hundred percent at war, and a hundred percent at peace all at the same time.


    Then we read, we are saved through “faith,” not as a result of works that no one should boast.  But as a result of Abraham’s “works,” his “faith” was perfected.” So again, we have a two hundred percent reality going for us. A hundred percent faith and a hundred percent works, all at the same time. Not half this and half that, but all this and all that.


    Then we get to the big one, is it Freedom of Choice or Predestination?


    Here we go again. Paul says, “God chose” us in Him before the foundations of the world. Then Paul goes on to say, “He predestined” us to adoption as sons.  So it sounds to me like it’s already a done deal, because Paul goes on to say, we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to God’s purpose. Even Jesus said, we have not chosen Him, but He has chosen us.


    Then there’s the “Flip Side.”


    We read, “if” my people who are called by my name, and we read, “choose you” this day who you will serve. Then it goes on to say, a blessing “if” you obey, or a curse “if” you disobey,”  all of these “IF” youse and, “CHOOSE” youse give me the impression that I have the “Freedom” to “choose” my destiny, “if” I want to.


    So it is a two hundred percent reality, One hundred percent “Freedom to choose” and one hundred percent “Predestined” before the world began, all at the same time.


    One hundred percent at War, One hundred percent at Peace.

    One hundred percent embattled, One hundred percent Surrendered.

    One hundred percent Aggressive, One hundred percent Passive.

    One hundred percent at Work, One hundred percent at Rest.

    One hundred percent by Law, One hundred percent by Grace.

    One hundred percent Predestined, One hundred percent Free Will.

    One hundred percent Alive, One hundred percent Dead.


    All at the same time!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    It’s kind of like an Eagle with two wings. Without both of them, it can’t fly a lick. But one wing is “War” and the other wing is “Peace,” one wing is “Predestination” and the other wing is “freedom of choice,” etc, etc, and on it goes.  Our natural thinking minds find it very difficult to accept two seemingly opposite realities at the same time. So what do we do? We keep the wing we like, and cut off the one we don’t like.


    But then the Eagle can’t fly. So it’s doomed to go around in circles, gradually descending into oblivion.


    How can we live in two opposite realities at the same time? Simple, just accept the fact that “you” can’t do it, and you will discover that the Spirit of God is already doing it through you.


    I used to think I had to die to myself, so God could live through me. But now I find, it’s only when I come in total surrender, and die to the demands of the strong man, die to his threats of punishment, die to his fantasized promises of rewards that I’m truly free. It’s only when I place all of that on the altar, and expose it to the presence of God’s love, that the “I” within me comes alive and I can experience being one with Christ, and the reality of “I am that I am.”


    Yes, I do die, but not biologically. I die to the threat of punishment that fills me with fear and guilt. I die to the promise of reward, that does nothing more than ignite my longings and inflame my jealousies and my insatiable lusts and greed.


    The strong man is dead. He has lost his power over me. Now I have a new husband. Now I am the bride of Christ. I am dead to the old law of sin and death, and now I’m married to the higher law of Love and Life.


    I find when I am totally dead to the outcome or the results of every situation; it’s then that God is free to move through me, free to respond in whatever way He might choose. I can actually sit back and enter into His rest, all the while watching Christ use my body, my back, my arms, my voice to address whatever it is that’s taking place around me. When I’m dead and surrendered to God in Christ, my body is no longer mine, it is His instrument, His temple. It’s His temple, His body, His back, His arms, His hands, His mind and His voice to think and speak whatever thoughts and words bring Him pleasure. While I, His bride, fully experience the reality that He is allowing to happen all around me. Without the least bit of fear or worry in what He is doing, having total confidence in His omnipotent ability to finish His history of man, and to bring to fulfilment His eternal plan of love.


     So there it is! How to become one being with Christ in God. It’s a two hundred percent reality. A hundred percent God and a hundred percent me, all at the same time. Think about that, itsee bitsee teeny weeny tiny little nano  speck of near nothingness, me, merging with the eternal, immeasurable, all powerful, all knowing, from ever lasting to everlasting, I am that I am, Being that breathed the Universe into existence. What can I possibly say in His presence?  How can ‘I’ tell Him what He should be doing? Even Jesus said He did nothing of His own; He spoke no words of His own. Jesus only said and did what He heard and saw His Father doing. I can only surrender myself to His wisdom and love, knowing that whatever happens to me, indeed what ever happens to this whole world, is His perfect will. It’s the good and evil program running its course, transmuting His children into the exact likeness of His Son.


    And he endures the tragic horror of it all. But that’s another journey into “Cosmic Theology 101.”


    Until our next moment,



    (Say, what do you think? What do you believe? What do you “KNOW” to be real?

    If you’re out there E-mail me, and let me know.)

September 29, 2005

  • Friday, 30 September 2005

    10.43 a.m. NZ time






    I met a cosmic cowboy, ridin’ a starry range

    He’s a supernatural cowboy, an’ He’s dressed up kinda’ strange

    At first I didn’t see Him, bein’ out there on the run

    But that ol’ hat that He was wearin’, shinin’ brighter than the sun

    An’ when my eyes adjusted, to the flashin’ of His smile

    I saw His invitation, sayin’ come on Barry we’ll go ridin’ for a while


    We rode along together, for more than half a day

    Right out through the changin’ weather, the sky was all turnin’ grey

    Chilly winds were blowin’, the cold was cuttin’ deep

    Then it started snowin’, an’ the trail was gettin’ steep

    I was just about to turn around, head on back down the way we came

    When somehow, without a sound, I heard Him call my name


    Lookin’ up I saw we was high up on this ridge

    He took me by my arm, an’ led me right over to the edge

    I was so scared I couldn’t find a single word to say

    I mean there’s ten thousand feet of empty air an’ it’s just about an inch away

    But a million miles was out beyond the wavin’ of His hand

    An’ I was lookin’ through His eyes, right into another land


    He said, “This is my Father’s ranch, just as far as you can see

    He made it out of nothin’, every branch an’ every tree

    Made the stars an’ all the mountains, the rivers an’ the streams

    Made the oceans an’ the fountains, an’ the valley of your dreams

    That’s right, I know that place you been lookin’ for, that place you long to be

    Truth is I’m the only door, you’re gonna have to pass right through me”


    Then bendin’ back I tipped my hat to look Him in the eye

    He just smiled an’ gave me confidence, sayin’ “Go ahead an’ try”

    Well, it was now or never, an’ I knew I had to start

    So I took my first step an’ I went fallin’ deep into His heart

    First thing that I noticed comin’ out inside

    Was all my fears were washed away, He’s teachin’ me I can fly


    Yeah, there’s a cosmic cowboy, an He’s ridin’ a starry range

    He’s a supernatural ploughboy, an’ He is dressed up kinda’ strange

    At first I didn’t even see Him bein’ out there on the run

    But that ol’ hat that He was wearin, shinin’ brighter than the sun

    An’ when my eyes adjusted, to the flashin’ of His smile

    I saw His invitation, sayin’,  “come on Barry, we’ll go ridin’ for a while”


    Cowboy, of the light, shootin’ rainbows through the nigh

    He’s my Cowboy, of the light, shooting His rainbows

    Golden rainbows, eternal rainbows through the night


September 28, 2005

  • Wednesday, 28th September, 2005

    11:28 p.m. NZ time


    Back to San Pedro


    I loved the feel of San Pedro in the 50s. It was located on the southern bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, overlooking the great Los Angeles Long Beach harbor, one of the largest shipping ports in the world. In fact from my perspective, the whole world lived in San Pedro. We had everything from the big military and merchant ships to one of the largest fishing fleets in the United States, coming and going every day with all the support industries that went along with them, ship yards, and dry docks, fish canneries and automobile assembly plants. There were multiple of thousands of men and women employed in and around the San Pedro, Wilmington, Long Beach area. Every nation, every race, every skin color and religion were represented in that micro-society of America.


    With the Newbury Park Academy experience receding in the rear view mirror of my life, my mom and I drove south on Pacific Coast Highway and turned right onto Western Avenue. Heading back into San Pedro, I couldn’t help but feel excited about the great unknown adventure stretching out ahead of me. I’d lived, off and on, in San Pedro before. It seemed to be the place my mom would always head for whenever she and my step dad broke up, which had happened quite often during their six volatile years of married life.


    I thought back on the day WW2 was over, and I was standing at the soda fountain in the Pacific Electric station located at 510 Harbor St. between 5th and 6th streets, one block away from the Police station and just over the tracks from Terminal Island Ferry building. All of a sudden car horns started honking, trolley bells started clanging, and the big steam whistles on all the ships started hooting. People were going crazy, sailors were jumping off their ships into the harbor, people were running, screaming and laughing, all grabbing at each other, hugging and kissing and dancing in the street.


    I had just turned ten years old and I was thinking, “what the heck’s going on,” when someone came running through the P. E. Station shouting “It’s over, it’s over, it’s over, the Japanese have surrendered, the war is over.” I remember thinking it must be a good thing, because everybody was so happy. It wasn’t until many years later that I would learn of the horrific price the world had paid, in order to experience that one joyous moment of human history.


    But that was then and this was now, November 1949. And I was 14 years old and on that Sunday evening, driving home with my mom, life was just one big bowl of cherries.


    My mom found an apartment for us on 13th St. just north of Gaffy Ave. It was right across the street from the San Pedro Boys Club, and only a short walk up the hill to my school.  I enrolled mid-term as a student at San Pedro High school, into the graduating class of “Winter 54″. Because I came in half way through the year, most of the required subject classes were already full, so I had to take whatever was left over. As it turned out “History” was all that was available. So the classes I wound up with were, Drafting, Electric shop, History, two periods of Art, and because I played football, Physical Education was the last class of my day.


    After I got into it, I found I really liked History, although I did fail the class because I never turned in any homework assignments. When I was in class I would totally listen to what was being taught, and I got straight “A”s on all the daily tests, but I never did one lick of homework. When my school day ended at 3:05 in the afternoon, I didn’t think about school again until 8:30 the next morning when the bell rang…. Well, I was a busy kid; I had places to go, things to do, buddies to hang out with, girls to meet. There were a million girls out there and I was determined that I was going to meet and date as many of them as I possibly could.


    My three best friends in school were Fred Bique, Dick Muldoon and Bruce Froud.


    Fred Bique never had trouble with anybody, because when people saw him comin’ they’d just step aside. He was a French Canadian kid who was built like a young gorilla. He was a free-x gymnast. From a hand-stand position he would do one arm push ups, then drop down into a side flange, roll his body weight over onto his other hand, and then push back up into another one arm hand-stand.  He had perfect balance, perfect poise and nobody ever messed with Fred Bique, nobody, ever!


    I really liked hangin’ out with Fred, because when I was with him, nobody ever messed with me either. He was also a fantastic artist. I actually met him and his friend Dick Muldoon in one of our art classes, and the three of us became cartoonists for the school paper as well as life long friends. We used to strap 12 foot long solid redwood surfboards on the roof of my 41 Ford sedan and off we’d go at four in the morning looking for some big waves. We surfed and snorkeled our way from Huntington to Zuma. Sunset, The Palos Verdes cove, Manhattan, Redondo, were the beaches we loved the best. Our dream was to someday sail and surf our way through all the islands of the South Pacific. Living here in New Zealand, I often think about Fred and Dick, and how for me, our teenage dream came true.


    Early in the spring of ’50 I met Bruce Froud playing football. His dad owned and operated al live bait boat, the “O & K”. It worked the L.A. harbor from San Pedro to Newport. One day Bruce asked me if I’d like to come working on the boat with him and his dad, and without a second thought I jumped at the chance. I couldn’t believe it, me, Barry McGuire, working on a real live fishing boat, how cool was that. It was hard, hard work but I felt like I was in an old movie with Lionel Barrymore and Spencer Tracy.


    Paul had two boats, the “O & K” and the “Irene II”. the Irene was a twenty footer that we used to set the lights that were scattered out all around the harbor. “The lights” as we called them, were ten foot skiffs with a one cylinder diesel engine in them that powered an electric generator.


    The generators were connected to four powerful light bulbs that swung out over the water. The bulbs were covered with deep lamp shades that directed their beam of light straight down into the water, and at night, tons of anchovies and sardines would school up under the lights.


    Round about 10: or 11: o-clock the “O & K” would come out to where the skiffs had been anchored and drop off a crewman into it. The crewman would carefully pull the anchor and then using his oars he would hold the skiff right where it was so it wouldn’t drift off downstream with the tide. While he was doing that, the “O&K” would run upwind a few hundred yards or so, and “drop the cork.”


    “The cork” was a 5 foot long shaft, threaded through 10 or 12 big cork  doughnuts. On one end was a bright red light, and on the other end was a lead weight. The cork was attached to the tip of the left wing of our pursing net. The net itself was about a quarter of a mile long and it would be carefully stacked on the fantail of the boat after each set, ready to be used again.


    When the cork hit the water, we’d play out the left wing of the net, as the boat made a wide circle around the skiff that was still holding the anchovies in place with its bright light. Half way around the big circle we’d “dump the sack.” The “sack” was a huge quarter inch mesh scoop that would purse up under all the schooling fish. Then continuing on, we’d play out the right wing of the net as the boat, being guided by the bright red light, made its way back up to the cork.


    Once having retrieved the cork, the real work began. Firstly we’d drop the anchor to hold the bow of the boat into the wind. With the anchor line, we could also control the downstream drift as we pulled the net in. Pulling the net took four men, two on each wing. One man on each side would pull the cork line, while the other man pulled the lead line.


    The net itself was designed like a giant curtain. It ran about fifty feet deep, by fifteen hundred feet long. The tip of the wings started with a four inch mesh that graduated down in size to a one inch mesh that was attached to the quarter inch sack. All along its top, the net was attached to a line that was laced through hundreds of large doughnut shaped corks. They kept the net from sinking. All along its bottom, the net was attached to a line that was laced through lead weights, about the size of a walnut. The lead line would drag the bottom of the net down deep into the water so the fish couldn’t swim under it.


    Pulling the cork line was easy. Pulling the lead line was hard. So of course the older guys on the boat always handled the corks, while the new guys, like me, always worked the lead line. But I was 15 years old, I was young and strong and I loved the feel of life rushing through my arms, legs and back as I put my muscles to work, dragging living treasure from the bottom of the sea.


    I could easily write an entire book about my life on the “O&K,” but all the words in the world could never describe the feeling of the experience, you’d just had to have been there.


    Without a doubt, those were the most wonderful years of my teenage life and I want to thank you Bruce for introducing me into your world. Your Dad and them men of the “O&K” will live within me for as long as I last, and I believe that’s going to be a good long time.


    That’s it for now.  Next posting comes 1951 when I’m 16 years old and I join the U.S. Navy. What a trip!