I remember New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1999 in New Orleans—what an amazing party it was. My then 8 year old son rode on my shoulders as we were crushed among the crowds at Jackson Square. I recall we had a really good view and nearly a perfect vantage point at one early point about an hour before midnight, but got distracted by something and then by midnight we were just in the square crushed by what seemed like millions, looking at the fireworks from the Riverwalk by the Old Jax Brewery. Elena and I had discussed when deciding it was time to “get pregnant” with Charlie that it would be fun to have a child who would remember the transition between the 20th and the 21st century, and having Charlie in 1992 was almost the last chance to have such a child. Charlie was born during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 on August 23, 1992, in Palm Beach, Florida. It was an amazing event. We were on the first page of the Palm Beach Post the next day—a beautiful picture of Elena holding Charlie with me on the telephone in the background. We knew we were going to have a boy and it was a foregone conclusion he was going to be Charles Edward Lincoln IV, but we added the name “Andrew” as a second middle name, and among other oddities, the windows of St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach were all duck-taped with gigantic X-es, which on the horizontal hospital windows looked like transparent Scottish flags bearing St. Andrews’ Crosses.
This holiday vacation, as I mentioned before, is the first time since 2001-2002 that Charlie and I have been able to spend the entire Christmas and New Year’s holiday together. The fact that we have done so (in California) as well as the fact that we spent the past two summers together in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a tribute to Elena K. Lincoln’s spirit and willingness to compromise and/or admit de facto defeat or mistake, in the face of her de jure victory in Court, which was the event or series of events which changed my life, and caused me to take the paths I have taken in life since 2002.
Yes, during the past decade, the first 1% of the Third Millenium, I dedicated my life in large part to attacking the Texas Family Code, a tradition which I continue now in Florida, and would like to begin in California. The Texas Williamson County Family Court establishment was my first great confrontation with a major establishment. The City of Lago Vista Police abuse cases in my hometown/backyard in 1997-98, which ultimately got me disbarred in the W.D. Texas and , were just a very mild warmup to what became a major anti-establishment civil rights and reform career. Lago Vista Police Chief Frank Miller and his “prize” officer Bart Turek were my first major civil rights adversaries, but I did not hate them or even particularly dislike them. They had just instituted and upheld a misguided and injurious police policy in Lago Vista. The people I came to hate were those who destroyed my family and took my son away from me for during 2002-2007, with only a few respites. I have dedicated my life to exposing the lies and the evil embodied by Williamson County Judge Michael P. Jergins, Laurie J. Nowlin, J. Randall Grimes, and Michael Davis, as well as their henchment such as the crew of psychologists including Don Jones.
But this moment, these two weeks with my son, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with the low hills of Catalina Island in the background, is one of the sweetest moments of my life, and I thank God, and Elena for it. I should note that I invited Elena here to share this moment not once but many times. There’s enough sleeping space here for three to be in private rooms, as was proved when Peyton and Charlie were both here for Thanksgiving. But Elena demurred, preferring to go to Cancun, ironically enough, since the Yucatan Peninsula was where Elena and I met in 1985.
Anyhow, to everyone out there, I wish a glorious and prosperous New Year 2010, and I hope that whatever happens to me, Charlie, and Elena, and to everyone else, that the next decade will be as full of emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth as the past decade has been for me. In every defeat and setback I have found the inspiration to move forward and see deeper truths and meanings, and for such experiences I can only be thankful to all who gave me such opportunities, even if they meant me harm by doing so. The absolute rock bottom low-point of this decade for me was clearly the death of my grandmother Helen in May 2001. But not a day goes by that I do not recall fondly and given thanks for the century of life my grandmother enjoyed on earth and at all the time I shared with her and her husband, my grandfather Al, who predeceased her by 21 years in 1980. The high points of the decade were all spent with my son, and none were higher than our days on Harvard Square and in California.
On this beautiful New Year’s Day looking West, I remember and give thanks to all my good friends and allies during the past ten years (whether we’re in contact to this day or not), in particular to my trustee, Peyton Yates Freiman, a more honest and truer soul does not exist! I also recall my oldest friends Helen S. Carr (the only person not related to me by blood who has remembered every birthday, Christmas, and intercardinal solstice or equinox to me since the 1970s) and John K. Naland, but also to my newest best friends just made in 2009, Robert J. Ponte, Dennis & Milenne DeLeon, Renada Nadine March, and (irony of irony’s, because I first heard of her as an adversary) Lisa Liberi. In this transitory life, in this “shake and bake” world we live in, there are many people who were once important to me whom I never see anymore, even if I have not forgotten them, but I hope that my new friends from 2009 will remain with me always.
No inventory of my most steadfast friends could ever be complete without “honorable mention” of Lisa Cook, my sister-in-law in Michigan, who talked to me and understood me and listened to me for years when to do so meant that her own husband’s family (my wife Elena’s relatives) would heap scorn upon her during “the war years” when Elena was calling me “Not Family, but Cancer in the House.” Lisa was always there for me and I tried always to be there for her, even when nobody else was. Charlie’s Brazilian Godmother Helir Arlotta from Palm Beach and Tarpon Springs, Florida, falls into this same category…. I don’t have Lisa’s new telephone number (I tried to reach her over the holidays) and Helir has vanished, but we do not and will not forget each other, I’m sure.
Throughout it all, the priests at St. Luke’s-on-the-Lake in Austin provided genuine friendship and support—and I will never forget them even though I might never spend much time in Austin again. Father James P. Jameson, a fellow Harvardian, Father Philip May, and Father Mike Wyckoff were there for me (during the “war years” with Elena) when I had no one else to whom I could turn. They are true Christians, true gentlemen, and truer friends than I ever deserved. Father May was actually willing to meet with me and Charlie in secret in 2005, to provide “aid and comfort” like the Church Martyrs of old….
I remember more often that they will imagine possible the close relationship I had over three years of tumultuous conflict with my steadfast attorneys during the “War Years” (withe Elena of 2003-2006 Francis Wayne Williams Montenegro and Valorie Wells Davenport. They worked mostly for free, certainly without any profit, and their dedication to my cause was incomparable, encapsulated in Francis Williams’ statement that he would support me even if threatened with a firing squad, and I believe he meant it at the moment, even though he and Valorie, once actually faced with an “offer they couldn’t refuse” by way of extortion or a “constructive bribe” from the Deputy Texas Attorney General James Carlton Todd, Mike Davis, J. Randall Grimes, and the obviously intimidated visiting Judge James F. Clawson (who replaced Jergins after the Federal suits), ultimately gave up the struggle rather than face sanctions. Francis and Valorie also introduced me to two good people Corinne Irwin and Rod A. Dal Sasso. I remember and pray for my late father Charles Edward, Jr., who supported my struggles until he could not stand to hear about them anymore.
I remember my friends in the Southern District of Texas early mortgage note battles: Dan Swank, Jacques S. Jaikaran, Mike Palma, Robert Bruce, and David A. Sibley (who despite some ironic vicissitudes, started off a friend and returned to friendly status) from 2006 and Jon Drew Roland, my first trustee and closest friend and ally from 2004-2007.
Daniel Louis Simon of Liberty Hill joined my crusade against the Texas Family Courts and Code and has become a steadfast and probably last-long friend. He holds the dubious distinction of having been sanctioned for following my lead against the Texas Family Courts and Code by Judge Walter Smith, who sanctioned Dan and me jointly and severally to the tune of $150,000.00 in March 2008 for the sole purpose of preventing us from continuing our crusade against the Texas Family Code in Federal Court. His continued friendship and support is a great comfort to me, and I hope I can provide the same for him.
Between January 2005 and September 2007, I went through major ideological transformations in my life, realizing that the “normal” paths to reform were all but closed in the United States. It was during these years that I also met and first had the privilege of meeting and working with Senator Jerry O’Neil of Columbia Falls and Kalispell, Montana. Many friends, even on this ten year list, have already come and gone out of my life, but I hope Jerry will remain my friend for all the rest of the days we might both be living on earth. He is the truest Patriot I know, one of the greatest constitutional scholars of the “Old School”, and one of the most honorable men on earth (in addition to being, as my son says, “the coolest guy I ever met”).
I remember my Florida friends and accomplices Nancy Jo Grant, Bob Hurt, Bill Trudelle, Pearl Lanier Bryan, and Kathy Ann Garcia-Lawson. Nancy is a hero who should be known to all Patriotic Americans. Bob, Bill, & Pearl have provided me with so much support and courage. Pearl is a warrior among warriors. Kathy Garcia-Lawson is in so many ways my soulmate, with regard to our parallel paths crusading against (respectively, the Texas and Florida) Family Law and Domestic Relations Courts. Kathy is such a paragon of the devoted, virtuous spouse committed to and still in love with her husband, even after five years since he left her, I can only stand in awe of her. Kathy breathes new meaning into the words “family” and “until death do we part.” Kathy’s funny, sassy, and spunky daughter Alexandra, and all of their friends whom I have met in Palm Beach Gardens, especially Claire and Rebecca. I love Kathy, her character, and her mind, and hope that she and I will also forever be friends. And yes, in connection with a person to whom Kathy introduced me, I even will toast on this day Orly Taitz whose affection and company “woke me up” in so many ways up through November 4, 2009—May she find peace and harmony and achieve freedom from want and freedom from fear sufficient that she might break free from the golden shackles that hold her prisoner in what may be a comfortable or even palatial prison.
And I would especially like to remember Vance Fecteau and Moshe Leichner, whom the Federal government continues to hold in prison, who were my closest friends during the worst 54 day period of my life, and who made even that extreme low moment a much brighter, more enlightened, and so more bearable moment. I doubt that it will happen within the next decade, but I pray for a day when America and the rest of the world will be truly free again, when 1-2% of the population will no longer be incarcerated or on supervised release of some sort, when crimes will be established and measured only by their actual injury to others, so that no person will ever again be incarcerated merely to increase the arrest rates and the prison population so that large corporations owned by major politicians can make larger profits. I can honestly say that all my experiences in the past decade have educated me and made me a better person and patriot.