The Silent Brothers ~ Legacy of Defiance
[Over the last several Months, we have had an upsurge in requests for more information and material on a written Work that, for many, has much historical and persistent value about the state of our European ethos; more specifically, our American ethos.
We have highlighted this Author before, and Frank L. DeSilva is known by many as a comrade of Robert J. Mathews and David Eden Lane, and has written extensively on Philosophy, race, and Social sciences. He has begun to tell the story, the True Story, of the Silent Brothers or Bruder Schweigen, in which so much of this Story has brought us all to where we are, today. With so much going on today, with so many articulate and young spokesmen and women, it is always important to maintain a certain continuity, a memory, a Legacy if you will, so that one will always be able to gauge where, or how far, we have all come, in this continuing story of a Future West.
We are not sure how much material we will be highlighting, but whatever the amount, We here, at Foundations, have enjoyed every word. The Staff]
Word Count 3,224
On a cool and windy morning, in the deep canyons of Arizona, a whisper of voices carried, hauntingly, across the undulating river; irregular outcroppings of massive rocks protruding through the icy-blue waters, adding the weight of years and memory and adding, also, to the majesty that was the Grand Canyon. It was my first prolonged trip to this area of my homeland, although I had driven through it many times; it was now that I found myself amongst some of the oldest of memories – the great canyon, made by extreme force, pressure, and violence was now peaceful, tranquil, and created a sense of beauty and harmony.
The year was 1980.
I had traveled here with family members, and was now encamped on a large plateau of volcanic stone and fissures winding their way through and down smaller canyons, ending in beautiful and blue-green pools, rising steam could be seen in the early morning light. Horses were nearby, and they pawed the ground in anticipation of the coming day. It had been a spiritual time, surrounded by such primitive environments, and I reveled in its simplicity and harsh reality. It seemed, perhaps, that this was the perfect idyllic setting, the primal setting of a better relationship with nature and humanity.
Such are the dreams of youth and romantic idealism
The rough speech of the native Indian population, although spoken in English, had the rough accents bred with a people who had their own language, their own culture, religion, world-view, and independent destiny. They knew this. They lived this. It was not taught them by the State, nor was it taught them by the ‘white man’s schools’, but passed on to them, spoken aloud by their Chiefs and Medicine Men. This Race-Culture belonged to them without fear or favor, it belonged to their blood and bone.
There was no deep longing in my soul to be like these souls, to straddle both the ‘east and the west’, as many of these individuals attempted to do, fighting against their natural instincts to remain as their ancestors had been while, at the same time, trying hard to imitate, to get along with, that most compelling force, that ineluctable stream of civilization, of the West and her children who, unlike most here, did not know or understand this simple, complex, and powerful emotion – that of tribe, brotherhood, ethnic determinism and a sense of identity which marked them forever different, proudly different.
As the horses neighed and whinnied, pawing the ground in hastening agitation, saddled, and prepared for the day’s movement into the back-country, I motioned to one that I had come to see, and to call, Crow Face who, upon hearing his new name, scowled, and waved me away with a whoop. He was a good rider, but over-bold, and more confidence than horsemanship coursed in his veins; this was a continuing competition between the two of us. The family dog, an Elkhound, beautifully golden-brown, with a curved and fluffy tail, had already been embroiled in several fights with the dogs of this village, and had received grudging respect from the men of the village and, finally, most of the tribal dogs as well.
While getting my personal belongings rolled and tied to my saddle, my thoughts drifted from the night’s setting of voices, campfires, and the spiritual setting of Family, pitted against the brisk morning sky, sun bright but cold, taking in and observing, the marked difference between the two groups present: Indian and White.
There were, of course, similarities, and tremendous differences; the simple act of preparing the horses was, for myself and my family, utilitarian, mixed with sensitive remarks and gestures to the individual horses, not so with the young indian boys, who were rough, making sure that their ‘charges’ knew who was the boss – after all, these were lesser beings than The People – that ancient and telling story of the beginning of Man, the true Men of the universe.
Funny, I thought, as I mounted the large Bay, which had been loaned to me by the Chief of the village (in fact, all five had been loaned, and not without some disagreement by some of the others in the village, but that had passed quickly), that there were so many things which separated each of us, one to the other, that it stuck in my mind, clarifying many things which I had observed sporadically over the years – that, truly, we are unique, all of us, one to the other and so, are the races of men. The mode of dress, of speech, of faith, all were different, or suspect upon close reflexion and analysis – at least to myself, as my family members were, more or less, enamored with the spectacle of their surrounding, with the spiritual sense of nature, as opposed to their lives lived within boxes and concrete, yet they were not held in high-regard, as the distinct flavor of accommodation seemed, to these villagers at least, to be of lesser stuff than them.
I was left alone.
Robert Mathews was driving down the road, thinking of how he was going to prepare his family against that rising tide of colour which, he knew, was growing like a cancer, preparing to move northward, into his peaceful and serene valley of Metaline Falls, Washington, the place where he had chosen to move, where he had brought the woman he loved, Debbie Mathews (McGarrity), a down-to-earth, soft-spoken girl, pleasant-faced, and bringing with her the americana of a more traditional life; she knew the boundaries of men and women, but also knew the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach – and with this power, she could win the day, no matter the occasion – excepting, perhaps, Robert’s fiercely understood passion for his native soil, his country, and his People.
This was 1980, and many things had transpired since his arrival here, in Metaline.
In the ‘southern half’ (this being the designation of everything below the Oregon border, and everything east of the Dakotas), there was talk of crime waves, of struggle and conflict between the races, rapes, murder, robbery and the appropriation of Land by those whose ancient memory of nationhood, Azatlan, was being stoked by certain politicians and catholic spokesmen who, one and all, were actively abetting these ideas and, like Aristotle to Alexander, were mentoring numerous individuals and groups to ‘take back’ their ancient tribal homelands – mostly in what we know as California and Texas.
Bob knew this feeling, Homeland, and felt just as passionate and bitterly opposed to giving up territory, that real and physical mark of sovereignty, as this was, in his mind, the ultimate mark of a weak and cowardly people – having once held this in trust – now, willy nilly, giving it away to those who had not even fired a shot. He had promised himself, a long time before, that as long as there were men like him, and red blood in their veins, this would not be allowed to happen, could not be allowed to happen.
The old truck was worn, but not out, and slowly he made it up the grade, down-shifted, and let the engine whine and brake itself as the view of his ‘homestead’ came into view.
It was a modest home, a small out-building was being framed and the plans were for it to house hay, and miscellaneous food and material for his Galloway cattle, which he had chosen for their hardiness, as well as the fact that his Scottish heritage made it a commonsense decision – as Scotland offered much of the same cold and temperate climate.
After settling on the land, Mathews had brought the first Scottish Galloway cattle into Pend Oreille County. Angus are bred by Galloways, and Bob erected a sign at his fence, complete with a painting of a hefty bull, saying, “Selkirk Mountain Galloways, Hardy & Thrifty Scottish Cattle.” He knew with their thick coats, the Galloways consumed much less feed in the winter, making them better suited for the climate than the Herefords almost everyone else raised in the valley. His bull was named MacGregor. The bull and a cow, Bonnie Lass, sired a calf, Rob Roy. Bob’s sense of his heritage was rich, robust, and a little humorous to many who knew him.
Debbie was waving at the doorway to welcome him home; he dreaded the evening conversation, that Debbie was unable to bear children, and that Bob was determined to have a Son – adoption was being discussed, and a close friend, some have said his closest friend, Ken Loff, and his wife Marlene, who had bought property in 1973 in the same area, were having another child, and the four miscarriages that Debbie and Bob had suffered, were wearing on the both of them. Bob, of course, wanted as many children as he could manage safely – that is, afford – and the remorse which Debbie had often felt, not so much guilt as simply knowing that Bob wanted his own ‘about him’, in the traditional Celtic fashion of the Irish and Scots, and she was determined to work something out for the two of them. This was the traditional American way, it was about Family, and this had been passed down by the rich Germano/Celtic traditions of the early American settlers, and Bob and Debbie were true sons and daughters of this stock.
As old Hooknose, a well-known mountain peak, belonging to the Selkirk Mountain range, laying north of the modest homestead looked on, he parked and got out of the truck; he paused, thinking of many things, and foremost among them, was the time when Bob first spoke to his Father, Johnny Mathews, about helping him purchase ‘Mathews Acres’, a 60 acre plot of land, off Boundary Dam Road, a full 480 feet above the township, and how he felt that the whole Family, not just him and Debbie, should leave Arizona and come up for good. It was thickly wooded, with a 60-foot drop on the north side to Beaver Creek, which cascaded down to the river. It was almost directly across the river from Bunker Hill Mine, a local business ,which employed many in town.
Johnny Mathews’ ancestors left the Scottish Highlands to settle in North Carolina. He was born in 1915 in Atoka, Oklahoma, while his father ran a store there. However, the business failed and the family went back to North Carolina before finally moving to Detroit when Johnny was nine. His dad had gotten a job running the dining room at the Ford Motor Company training school. The rest of the time he was busy meeting people and making lifetime friends; he brought with him a sense of community and social responsibility.
The Mathews Family was the prototypical all-American clan of the 1950s. They came from hard-working, idealistic European stock. In the early 1950s, Johnny not only was Mayor of Marfa, a very small Texas town, but Chamber of Commerce president, upstanding businessman, and scout leader. Una Mathews, his charming, loving wife, took on the role of the town’s ‘den mother’ and matriarch of her brood—three boys, spaced four years apart. By the early ‘60’s’, the paint on this idyllic portrait was peeling: the American ethos of Rockwell having faded, like a rotting canvas.
In 1930, at age fifteen, Johnny ran away to Arizona, where he found work on a ranch near Red Rock, in the hot terrain of widely spread and deeply etched valleys, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. There, he was impressed with the wide open spaces of the Arizona desert. The sparse hills, bereft of vegetation, the blistering sun and freezing nights, were far different than the humid laden Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina; rather more like Texas. There were no dense stands of old-growth trees, and here one could see for hundreds of square miles at a single glance. The sky, an unspoiled sapphire, a vision hauntingly different than smoggy Detroit, or any metropolis of medium to large size. It was cleaner here, than Johnny remembered of Texas – it must have been something in the breeze, passed down from the large mountains looming in the distance – a scent of Pines was always in the air.
He and Bob had spoken many times about the move in which Bob had taken his family, with his father’s help, to Washington State; now, Bob was imperative about Una, his mother, as well as his father, traveling up to the ‘northwest’ and planting roots – Bob had made it clear that this was a good move, a smart move, for all of them to share land together. In this way, each would be responsible for the other in a true, and real sense. He finally agreed.
This had changed Johnny’s life. Ken Loff as well.
A few years earlier, while Bob was working his land, a car with California plates rolled into the valley, and soon was parked next to Mathews’ Acres.
Ken Loff was a native of New York, via his home in California, and he struck Bob as someone who might be lost, but soon found out that Ken had purchased the land next to his. Ken was easy to talk with, his easy manner, lacking in the usual sharp-edged ‘new yorker’ attitude, put Bob at ease and they quickly became friends.
Ken Loff was an unlikely contemporary man for the north woods. A local resident of this area, would have given odds that he would be a ‘big-city’ man his whole life, if they had seen him walking the streets of the old towns in this area – he had an ‘air’ about him.
Ken was born in 1951 in Oceanside, Long Island, just east of New York City; Loff grew up in the quick and bawdy Irish-Catholic and mixed Jewish neighborhood. After high school, he spent more than a year in trade school before finding a job with a refrigeration and air conditioning company. Then for four years he was a meat-cutter at a local chain supermarket. Ken was a charmer, however, and Bob and Ken hit it off – after all, there were not too many men left who understood what Bob and many others in the Northwest were seeing of the ‘lower half’. This was, after all, what brothers did for one another – help each other get on with the business of living and dying, and everything else in-between. This is what Friends were for.
Traveling through the back-country, the Bay was smooth riding, and the scenery was spectacular. My thoughts soared, and drifting lazily they formed into clear and present realities.
There were things to do and people to meet at home.
Things were heating up in Southern California: there were initiatives to restrict Gun sales; President Ronald Reagan had just been elected, and was the first election I had ever voted in – I was a Reagan man, like most white men I knew; the National Rifle Association was generating a lot of activity, garnering funds, and promoting a more ‘rural’ life-style for the average citizen, one in which an average man could feel somewhat stronger by maintaining his role as protector and head of household – owning a firearm was, after all, the ‘american way’, the traditional White way. This had caused plenty of conflict within the ‘inner-cities’, and names like ‘stein’, rothman’, ‘sachs’, ‘reiner’ and others were starting to play prominently in the debates and confusion surrounding the ‘right to keep and bear arms’. I was making acquaintances, and forming bonds of friendships; there were things that needed to be done.
I had made friends with Henry Sinella as well, a member of the Tribe, and we had had some interesting conversations; he had made the balance between East and West seem easy, yet chose to live in the village, I am not sure if he was born there, but he had vowed to never leave it. The Chief lived in a Tee-Pee, the traditional fare for a man of his years, and would not live in a ‘white man’s’ house, as this would further deepen the estrangement felt by many a young man of a different generation. The Elders, after all, were duty-bound to pass on the legacy of their fathers.
As I drifted on, this was not lost on me.
I respected the life of these people, yet knew that this could never be a part of my world-view; the lessons were quite stark, and looking back on it, remain clear: we are bourne into a certain life-cycle, a gift from the gods, from God, and to discount this gift was the gravest of indiscretions and, ultimately, the gravest of crimes to oneself, and to one’s ancestors.
Like many of my peers, I had been raised on the media of Movies and Television although, in my case, Books had been of the utmost importance, having learned to read at the age of five. The first book was the Bible – the second, The Federalist Papers, I read before I was six – I have since reread both several times.
Growing up in California, much to the chagrin of many, was not only wholesome, invigorating and diverse, as we had both the Mountains and the Ocean, with a sprinkling of the open Desert to make or break one and was, in my mind, the very best of environments; all of these added to my youth.
Like everywhere else, change was coming; there were, perhaps, others like me who, just as I, saw a darkening coming, a Storm of nature’s design, ready and able to rend and tear all that I, and we, had learned to love, all that we had been taught to know and respect.
My two weeks were about over, and I began to make my preparations to go back home, back to California. The day finally came, and giving my thanks and good-byes to those that had shown me hospitality, headed out of that mightiest of canyons – that Grand Canyon – of which Nature was so rightly proud.
Heading down that long stretch of Highway that only Americans can truly understand and appreciate, the future looked bright, as only a younger man can see it.
Frank L. DeSilva