Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘solitude’

Hello Friends…

I trust you have all been well and good.

I’ve been asked lately about an embedded story in my novel “Bridges – a Tale of Niagara”   http://www.bridgesataleofniagara.com/ which recounts a strange man called the Hermit of Niagara, whether he was a real person or if I just made him up.

Let’s talk about him a little today…

WAS THERE REALLY A ‘HERMIT OF NIAGARA’?

Oh yes! There certainly was.

He came from England – he lived on Goat Island – he was musically talented – he frolicked in the brink of Niagara Falls – he spoke to no one – and he’s buried in Niagara Falls.

“He was real enough, fellas—a certified nut case for sure, but real all the same he was. Lived on Goat Island all by himself, ya know. Didn’t talk to no one, and he sure ’nough died there, too. The Hermit of Niagara is what they called him.” Ol’ Gordy; Bridges – a Tale of Niagara

Arriving in June of 1829, Francis Abbott shunned society. The villagers had this knowledge of him: He was an English gentleman. He was educated, skilled in music and drawing. He had visited Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France. He wrote in Latin but destroyed his compositions. After his death, when the towns people investigated his hut they found his dog guarding the door (which took considerable effort to remove) and his cat on the bed. There was a guitar, a violin, some flutes, and a number of music books scattered about. The pages were blank. He explored Goat Island extensively, which was a thick forest at the time and had relative solitary confinement due to the only access being a scary bridge crossing the fierce rapids.

“A narrow, rickety foot bridge crossed the treacherous rapids, dividing the mainland from the island. Few dared cross it—so violent were the rapids below, so unstable was the bridge—as it were mere yards away from the brink.” The Hermit’s Story; Bridges – a Tale of Niagara

He did, in fact, find and live in a small log cabin that had been previously erected by a pioneer family before the island was purchased by Peter and Augustus Porter. He lived in it for almost two years before being evicted by the Porters.

Did he hang on to those boards over the Falls like in the book?

According to many witness reports – he did!

The sketch below is the one that ‘Sam’ bought in the novel and was drawn by James Edward Alexander in 1831, shortly after the hermit’s death.  Look closely and you’ll see the Hermit hanging off the wooden planks located on the brink of the Falls at Terrapin Point.

“The walkway ended in a single twelve-foot beam, a mere ten inches wide, extending out like an accusing finger from the tempest. Francis walked the length of the beam for hours, as if strolling down a country road. Spectators were shocked and fearful and often broke into hysteria. He’d sit on the end of the beam, dangling his legs over the edge, and on occasion, he’d suspend himself off the beam, kicking his feet into the roaring maelstrom that spewed and tumbled down past him. Women swooned and fainted; brave men trembled, their knees buckling as they watched Francis casually pull himself back onto the beam with no more concern than if he was rising from his dinner table.” The Hermit’s Story;  Bridges – a Tale of Niagara

Did he really drown in Niagara?
Yes he did – but by the best accounts – he didn’t drown going over the Falls. I took a little literary license with that. After getting booted off the island, he resumed his hermit lifestyle at the base of the Falls. It was down there on June 10th, 1831, he was observed ‘bathing’ by a passing ferryman who saw Francis go under the water surface and not come back up. A search for Francis was conducted – without success. On June 21st, 1831, the body of Francis Abbott did surface at Fort Niagara and he was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, New York.

There is a headstone but it’s been knocked over and neglected so that it is unreadable now. It read:.

“Francis Abbott, the Hermit of Niagara Died June 10, 1831 He died in his 28th year” 

What happened? Suicide or accident? 
“What, it will be asked, could have broken up and destroyed such a mind as Francis Abbott’s? What could have driven him from the society he was so well qualified to adorn — and what transform him, noble in person and in intellect, into an isolated anchorite, shunning the association of his fellow-men? The history of his misfortunes is not known, and the cause of his unhappiness and seclusion will, undoubtedly, to us be ever a mystery.”  New York Mirror 1890

Of interest is that found on a rock on Luna Island was the following inscription:

“All is Change, Eternal Progress, No Death”

Did the hermit leave this?

Why was he here?

What was he looking for – or running away from?
To this day, no one knows.  ‘The Hermit’s Cascade’, located between Goat Island and First Sister Island, is named after Francis Abbott, the Hermit of Niagara. If you’d like to read further about the ‘hermit’ let me suggest the following:

“Niagara – A History of the Falls” by Pierre Berton

www.niagarafrontier.com

New York Times article:  July 6, 1875   http://bit.ly/qmnKK6
The Montreal gazette   Oct. 29, 1948      http://bit.ly/mOXxUm
.

What have I been doing lately?

Well, on a personal note, I’m been overwhelmed with a couple of things, not important here but they’ve taken up a great deal of my time.
.
Meanwhile – I’ve published another short story on Amazon and Smashwords titled:  “The Man in the Painting”. Take a look at it and leave a review.  Use this code during the next week and get it free on smashwords:  FA24C
.
Also, I’ve been writing two projects simultaneously. First, is a new novel that I’m not ready to tell you about yet. Suffice it to say it’ll be quite different from my previous work.
Second, is something quite similar to my previous work, which I’ll tell you about next time. (I know, I didn’t talk about either one. Sorry… what can I say?)

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

dk Levick

 


Read Full Post »

Hello All –

Been tied up this past week with a lot of things that have taken up all my time – and energy. Sometimes life takes us along on a ride and there’s not much we can do except fight to stay upright and ride it through.  We’re doing just that.

But – I did get to publish a story on Amazon and Smashwords!

And I’m giving it to you as a gift from me. Go to Smashwords and search for “Potatoes  dk levick”.  Use code # RL64M to buy it free.  It’s a short story so it won’t take much of your time away and I think you’ll enjoy it. If you do – then let me know and I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a review on Smashwords and Amazon too.

If you’re not familiar with Smashwords, then you should check it out and join (it costs nothing to join). You’ll find lots of good writing there. Once you get something you can download it in various forms. The one I like best is .mobi which is the Kindle format. If you don’t have a Kindle that’s not an issue. You can go to Amazon.com and click on “All Departments” and then search for “Kindle for PC” and you can download the Kindle software to run on your computer.

That will allow you to gain access to all the Kindle features to include buying books. Once you download from Smashwords you can run it on your computer Kindle. It’s actually better than the Kindle itself because you have full color for the cover and any pictures.

“Potatoes” is a story about an old man who goes back to the scene of an accident. Take a few moments of  your time and take a look at it, I wrote it for you.

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

dk Levick

Read Full Post »

Welcome Friends –

Sorry I missed last week. Was visiting family and dealing with the aftermath of a storm and then some business issues that came up.

This week’s post is written with a pondering heart while resting on ‘the hill’ and is a gift for each of you who ‘climb the hill’ and ponder.

I hope you enjoy….

The Hill

It is dark as I climb the hill,

so dark  I see no horizon. No moon. No stars. Only dark. I move slowly,  arms outstretched, feeling for trees to steer clear of, branches to grab and stones to avoid so as not to trip and stumble. I am sore, bruised and weary. What is this hill I climb? Why am I here? Why do I climb it? What sits at the top?  Why do I seek it?

I stop and sit -to rest and to ponder these things. Sitting thus, looking down into the blackness from where I have come, it looks no different than from where I am going – all is darkness.

Why am I climbing this hill?

Because it’s here.

But why am I here?

Because I’m alive.

I live – therefore I climb.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

This weeks blog post is in conjunction with the Blog-A-licious Blog TourI am pleased to be on the tour along with some very interesting and informative writers. At the bottom of this post will be a listing of the addresses of the other bloggers also discussing this weeks subject. I encourage you to visit them also.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoy it.

The topic for this week’s Blog-A-licious Blog Tour is:

.

 “Freedom To Me Is…”

.

I sit in the corner of the room and I open my eyes…

… The room is small, eight feet by ten – smaller maybe, not any bigger for sure. The floor is cold, hard and wet. The walls are stone and they too are cold, hard and wet. They seep a gooey mixture of condensation and slime that smells and oozes down the walls forming green puddles on the floor.

There are no windows in the room and so – there is no light, except for a narrow slit cut through the bolted, heavy wooden door, no larger than the width of an eyeball and just a few inches long. I don’t know why it’s there, it just is but it allows a small sliver of dirty light to invade the room. I never knew light could be dirty but this light is dirty having a dingy, yellow pale just bright enough for me to see the outline of my hand (although it looks nothing like my hand but more closely resembles a mangy paw from some poor creature that’s been run over in the street). When I hold it in front of what was once my face but is now an infested, matted hair covered orb, it is unrecognizable as anything once belonging to my body.

The room stinks a foul, pungent odor of stale urine, decay and blood. Things crawl in here.

How I miss the privilege of light.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

This weeks blog post is in conjunction with the Blog-A-licious Blog Tour. I am pleased to be on the tour along with some very interesting and informative writers. At the bottom of this post will be a listing of the addresses of the other bloggers discussing this weeks subject. I encourage you to visit them also.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoy it and sign up to follow it.

The topic for this week’s Blog-A-licious Blog Tour is:

 “The Book that Inspires me the Most”.

Okay, dk – what book inspires you the most? Wow! That’s a tough one. Kinda like going to a Baskin’s Ice Cream parlor and having to choose one flavor for the rest of your life.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

It all started with the cave man – bonking his mate on the head and dragging her into his cave. Ahhh, The blessed wedding night!  

Honeymoon in a cave?

How times have changed…

…It’s 1837 now andHoney-lunacy is becoming quite popular being a far cry from the common “wedding night walk” where many a wedding night was ruined by going from one local establishment to another, with the entire entourage of family and friends in tow! By the time the bride and groom were finally alone on this once in a lifetime (?) night… they were useless to one another, if still conscious.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Silently the moon hides, the earth is black.

So black you cannot see the hand held in front of your face. The sky opens and the moon winks from behind the clouds offering you the silhouettes of the trees.

The moon likes playing with the earth.

The ground is cold and damp but warms quickly from your body as you sit on a cushion of leaves and dew-laden grass. The crisp pungent odor of earth mingled with fallen leaves rises from the ground – the perfume of the forest.  You breathe in, pulling the fragrance deep into your soul. It mixes with your blood, flows through your body filling it with the essence of earth. “From dust you came and to dust shall you return“. You merge with the forest.

You are alive. The forest knows you and it welcomes you.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »