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In the summer of 2017, I find myself writing occasional opinion pieces on politics and the Left. In the summer of 2014, I found myself standing on a hill in a remote area of Kentucky called Fluty Lick. In the summer of 2001, I found myself standing on Route 3 in New Jersey, looking at the Manhattan skyline. In the summer of 1995, I found myself reading a minor news article about Afghanistan. In the summer of 1980, I found myself in the company of a genuine southern belle.
Let me start with her.
It was more than just that the naïve eyes of my youth found female beauty everywhere: By all objective standards, Carla Almeida was a beauty – a Kentucky-bred Holly Golighlty, each man she met found himself helpless to her beauty. And I was certainly no exception. Today however, with my only picture of her lost in a flood, and with no trace of her on the Internet, if it weren’t for Connecticut court records, it would almost be as if she never existed at all. In fact, in the twenty-nine years since her murder, I’ve met few women who have even remotely reminded me of her: Sensual, rarely beautiful, kind.
But, as youth is, and as Golightlys are, everything with her was transitory. We parted and made our own youthful bad decisions. Unfortunately, in 1988, instead of leveraging her incredible beauty toward acting or modeling, her bad decisions brought her to a questionable employment as a “masseuse,” employment that ended in just six weeks when one of her “clients” shot her in the head, dumped her body in the woods, and then fled the country.
When I had heard about her disappearance and probable murder, I held out faint hope, as did all who knew her. Four years later, when her remains were found and identified, I heard the news too late to attend her memorial service.
Thirteen years later, while working for an Internet tech firm, I read an article about a radical Islamic group in Afghanistan called the Taliban. That article was my introduction to Islam. It reported that the Taliban was firing tank shells and rocket propelled grenades at the ancient, giant, sandstone statues the Buddhas of Bamiyan, with the intent of destroying them. After their second attack in 2001, they were largely successful in their intent.
Six years later, I stood, stopped on a New Jersey highway, and looked at the week-old smoking hole in the Manhattan skyline. Later, remembering the Buddhas of Bamiyan, it came as no surprise to me to hear that, among the rest of the senseless murder and destruction, pieces of the priceless, private collection of Rodin sculptures held by Cantor Fitzgerald were either damaged, lost, or destroyed in the Islamic attack on the World Trade Center.
Thirteen years later, my family and I fled from the socialist sinkhole of Connecticut for the freer prairies of Wyoming. We traveled separately and I made a long overdue side trip. Before we fled, while I was tying up loose ends, I had finally discovered where Carla was laid to rest – a family plot in Fluty Lick, Kentucky.
In my youth, Carla had told me of her family’s yearly gatherings at Fluty Lick. She had promised to take me there one day. And so she did.
Fluty Lick is a reunion venue, but moreover, it is a cemetery. Generations of Carla’s family are buried there, generations which extend back to the Civil War. Fluty Lick is a Confederate graveyard.
I have been wanting to tell this story for a while now, but it has not been an easy one to tell. Unfortunately, recent events have spurred me to finally tell it.
I have often advised to no longer put anything past today’s unhinged Left, that there are no “slippery slope” objections to be made, that if you fear it of them, then expect it of them. And so, my fear of the Left’s current mania to erase and debase all things from the Confederacy. No longer content with banning the Confederate flag, defacing Confederate war memorials, and demanding the removal of Confederate statues (legitimate art), the American terrorist group AntiFa now plans tomorrow to “protest” at Gettysburg National Cemetery where they intend to add “ghoul” to their resumes as they defile Confederate graves by burning the Confederate flags placed at them.
And I doubt that AntiFa intends to stop at Gettysburg.
The short span of my life has shown me true beauty. It has also shown me that madmen will intentionally remove beautiful things from this Earth. These madmen, whatever their ideology, refuse to admit that in flawed things, very often because they are flawed, true beauty can be found.
Such madmen should be given no quarter.Published in