July 3, Scarborough, Maine. June 26 Gus and I blew out of Montauk much as I did in ’96 and then again in ’07, with Shiner and Honey, respectively, as travel companions, having ‘given up house and home’ for the road life and a creative project (the details of which were, back then and presently, to be figured out en route), missing my planned bolt/conjunction with this year’s solstice by five days.
Dumping the relics of my old life took longer than expected. With my rig nosed up to a harbor view not unlike the one we left behind on the last left on Long Island, today, the eve of the official holiday called ‘Independence Day’ (it sure sounds good), I ran out of excuses to not start this creative project, this… blog.
It just occurred to me that the main advantage of a blog format is one and the same with its principal disadvantage: Since neither you nor I know where it’s going (except very generally) – the semi-real time aspect/vagaries of life as we know it – I am unable to come back and futz and edit later, knowing that which I do not know now about pacing and structure and what will pay off down the road and what won’t – hence I need faith that few of you will come back and check the whole goddamn thing beginning to end and harrumph at the weaknesses obvious in the long view.
With the result that I can take my time if that feels right – at my own peril, I realize, attention spans being what they are. (How many of you did I lose with the above inactive paragraph, I have to wonder…) The other thing I’m now realizing is that I have a bunch of film and (all right, video!), audio, and still pic editing to do, given my blabbing about the multimedia extravaganza I promised.
My goal of getting one of these out a week (with Part Two of Water Time waiting as well!)… I dunno… RICH GROVE & LISA ARBERCHESKI I use the squiggle (&) to link these folks out of a former script-writer’s instinct. In credits a squiggle signifies a writing partnership, as opposed to the spelled ‘and,’ which means that the two (or more) people worked separately, often at odds, i.e., the dreaded ‘rewrite.’ (Be advised if you’re a movie/TV credits hound: ‘and’ and ‘&’ could not be more different!)
Rich & Lisa are a partnership in the best sense of the concept, Rich being by far more ‘visible’ – but it’s Lisa’s smarts and diligence that allow Rich to do his thing. (Hang in and I’ll get to that; will I ever!) Theirs is a twelve-year relationship that has not only survived but bloomed under the most stressful of circumstances. Were I still in the H-wood game I’d be major studio-pitching a Brad/Angelina bio-pic feature based on the Rich Grove saga (an absurd fantasy on several levels, not the least being that Brad and Angelina, I strongly suspect, are in ‘real life’ – whatever that means – deadly enemies of us common folk, very much including Rich & Lisa) rather than writing this.
But point being that for simplicity’s sake I will henceforth (here and in later posts) be referring to Rich and Lisa’s adventures and their spectacularly useful/entertaining/ important, no, vital! website, Tragedyandhope.com, and my continuing correspondences with them, by using just Rich’s name. Here’s a road insight for you… hold on… …given that I see many more in the offing, let’s here and now start a trend/device, and we’ll number ‘em, see how far we can take the concept.
Road Insight #1: Parking/living on the street outside someone’s (whom you’ve never before met) front door for the better part of a week (six days, five nights) is a helluva way to get to know them, quickly and possibly deeply. (Sure, staying in their spare bedroom would work, but how many people are going to invite a stranger into their homes for that long?) Okay, but let’s back up a bit, find out why – not counting my overnight at the Orient Point ferry terminal – Rich was my first stop in my circumnavigation of North America…
Goes back to a film (not a video!) I saw a few months ago, the title of which is 20/20 Hindsight; Censorship on the Frontline, the sub-sub title to which is A Wall Street Whistleblower Proves That Money Never Sleeps.
Richard Grove is the title’s whistleblower and unless you’re an Alternative Media aficionado like me, you probably never heard of him, let alone viewed the aforementioned film. I’m going to let Rich tell his own story – he’s about the best pure (extemporaneous) speaker I’ve ever come across – so minimal set up is necessary.
In a nutshell, about half the reason I wanted to meet Rich Grove was because of an insight long and hard in the coming, and which, if you care to believe anything I’ve ever said or written, you can take to heart:
The only meaningful measure of character is behavior based on a decision/action that clearly and consciously goes against one’s ‘best interests.’
In other words, doing the right thing when it really hurts to do so. Absent that situation, true, deep character remains hidden: No matter how well you think you know someone – or yourself, for that matter – you don’t know squat until the decision/action occurs.
To put it simply, before 9/11 Rich Grove was a Wall Street sharpie who made his first million before age 30. He gave up that life and all its external benefits to tell you some truths. This is undeniable; I’ve really looked into Richard Andrew Grove. Did so before I pulled up in front of his home in suburban Connecticut. (One last time: Remember what I said about Lisa.)
The other half of the reason I wanted to meet Rich had to do with where he was on 9/11. When most people are asked that question – imagine a sing-song voice querying ‘Where were you on 9/11?’ – the answer has something to do with a TV set. Where someone was when he/she saw via the broadcast media what was transpiring in New York (usually) that morning.
Here’s where Richard Grove was and how he found out that something bad was happening at the World Trade Center: He was stuck in downtown Manhattan traffic on his way to a meeting on the 98th floor of the North Tower. He was to drop off some papers to colleagues, papers proving massive financial fraud by one of the nation’s largest corporate money managers. Rich was running a bit late.
Right. Rich found out that all was not well at the WTC by looking up at the floor he should have been on and seeing smoke and debris pouring out. As he suspected but would soon know for sure, his colleagues were all dead, or would soon be.
Were I back in H-wood, pacing a studio exec’s floor, all wound up at my riveting (yet ‘…based on a true story!’) pitch, I’d probably have described the above scene then said with a mock-casual shrug, ‘This is under opening credits.’
Then I’d launch into the essence of the story, the meat and heart of it, how this Wall Street insider knows more about the deep causes, historical inevitabilities and, yes, the Whodunits of 9/11 than anyone outside of the cabal that pulled it off (talk about fantasy, as if a studio – let alone Brad/Angelina – would go for that)…
My goal in what I’ve written so far is to get you hooked enough on Rich Grove to experience a bit of him telling his story (more than a bit, actually). If you get truly hooked (as I am); trust me, it will change your life, or your view of it (same thing, no?). Click the Play link below, listen to Rich. You’ve come this far: Just click it!
Make no mistake here: I’m interested, very interested, in what Rich Grove has to say, in what I can learn from him about How the World Works, but I’m also interested in him.
Incredibly, 9/11 was just the beginning… Here’s my question, and yes, it’s rhetorical: Where are the other Richard Groves of this world? Why is he not only an exception, but such a rarity that – having burned the last few years studying recent world events – I felt that I had to meet him and find out what makes him tick? Why are there not just a few more people out there who, like Rich, are willing to make sacrifices in order to simply do the right thing?
If nothing else of note – aside from getting to know Rich and Lisa – transpires on this circumnavigation of North America it will have been worth it. And if my personal efforts at spreading the philosophy and methods of critical thinking are a failure, if I can persuade even just a handful of you to join the Tragedyandhope.com Research Community, it will all have been worthwhile. More to come from down the road…
Postscript Days and miles passed since the formation of the above post – I’ve been offline and unable to get it to you (the other reason for no videos this time is the slowness of the Net connect here). I am currently parked/camped (fine line) on the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada, after an eventful border crossing in which I was singled out for a fine-tooth-comb interrogation/search of my home. ‘I, uhhh, dunno,’ is probably not the best comeback when asked by a border inspector what you intend to do in his country.
I also had neglected to mention… I had outright lied when asked if I carried any firearms so it got tense when they found the shotgun and rifle I had (I thought) well stashed, and then – for some reason – it got much more tense when they found the GoPro I had surreptitiously running in the back as they ransacked my home (they made me wait elsewhere). Why a little camera upset them more than my gun-running activities is a question I held my tongue on; maybe they’d forget about the guns whilst pointing fingers at me and yelling over the hidden camera transgression. Yeah, right, good luck, Al.
On the bright side, when all was said and done, the confiscation of my arsenal was all that I suffered. Considering how differently it would have gone if a Canadian was caught transporting illegal firearms into the U.S. of A… I got off light… Perspective: Watching the 50-foot (vertical drop) tide do its Biblical thing out my window…
More to come on that in my next post. And oh, another meanwhile: Here’s part of an email I got from the Chain NYC Film Festival yesterday: Allan Weisbecker Water Time: Surf Travel Diary of a MadMan Documentary Feature I would like to thank you for your hard work and I am thrilled to let you know your film is officially selected to be part of the second annual Chain NYC Film Festival! We are overwhelmed with the talent and couldn’t be happier to showcase your amazing film in our festival.
Good news if you liked Water Time but don’t get distracted: go to the Tragedyandhope.com link, start to get to know Rich Grove… …but if you’re so moved, when you come back from T & H please buy two signed (and sent from the road) Water Time DVDs – one for you (which will be personalized in the signing, using your first name) and one for a friend (and burn all the copies you want), for a mere 15 bucks total. Go here and scroll to the PayPal link or send it to me, Allan Weisbecker (not Banditobooks), P.O. Box 395, Montauk, NY 11954. (Then, if you want, send an email with your address to firstname.lastname@example.org to speed up the process. I’ll trust that you sent the bucks…)
By the way…
In case you missed it, here’s the film you came here to see: