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Carla’s Niche

Carla’s Letter Tapes

CAVEAT: Warning! These letters have not been edited by Carla. Expect errors.

Letter to MT

December 31, 1990

Dear M,

If you want to have any of our Light/Lines that have to do with UFO’s—I think there was one—you’re welcome to the last one and you’re welcome to some copies of our books. I don’t know if you guys have any business interest in this big ol’ UFO convention that’s happening or not, but it is sort of a targeted bunch to sprinkle seeds on—I’m not sure about bullets but if you have a booth it wouldn’t take that much room to put a bunch of Light/Lines in. Anyway, let me know if you want them and I’ll send them fast.

But mainly I was—I must say you are remarkably able to deal with the (Mudge?) experience—I just can’t experience that much. I went to one in 1975 Don and I were working on one of the five movies that we had something to do with, all of which were taken from us and rendered completely harmless with no shadow of truth in them, but a successive bunch of vultures. Well, let’s put it this way—it’s more than I can deal with.

Anyway, in this particular movie part of the work that we were doing on it, we were consultants—I’m not sure if I got credit on that one, I don’t remember, I never cared—we were down in Florida and Don had worked and worked, we’d gotten a bunch of good people to be interviewed—Leo Sprinkle, who is lovable and sweet and very earnest—just a dear man, and I don’t think they were able to meet Hynack’s(?) price, but he might have been there, I think they might have been able to use some footage of him—who else did Don get, he got a marvelous explorer, not that I remember these names, but rumor had it that he had a source of diamonds in the lost city. That was a fun trip.

Anyway, the part of it that absolutely—well, I can’t describe what it did to me (it made me laugh a lot) was the 1975 cooperative convention where supposedly AFRO, MUFON, NICAP, one in the east, one German UFO person was there who was very nice—but it was such a big joke.

We were there making this movie and things happened that were so inexpressibly funny, they were funny beyond even being tacky and tacky was the order of the day, to the point of farce—to the point of indescribable farce. My girlfriend who is still my girlfriend was on the crew, she never had drunk anything and the producer, who was a particular sleazy but lovable chap was pouring us booze that came free from the movie makers so it was all part of a promotion to get people in good moods so they could get good interviews—Beth and I were bartenders and there couldn’t be any worse bartenders because neither of us had ever drank and we were serving and they showed me how to fill up a beer out of a tap the producers were going behind my back and Beth’s back and they were filling our glasses with gin instead of water, and I saw this happening but she didn’t and she turned into a beautiful iridescent butterfly and she was singing and this was going on for a long time though I wasn’t drinking I saw what it was doing to everyone else, and it was at that bar that I met Alan Greenfield who is my favorite anarchist of all time.

The last time I spoke with him he was still busily set on—he’s way past “get hold of the radio and destroy the water supply”—he’s way past that, this guy is a serious anarchist and is on a lot of lists. I got together with him in Georgia in 1983 and 1984 and we got together and had a grand reunion but haven’t talked to him since. At that time he was moving and did not send me his new address. He’s just not the kind of person who doesn’t communicate—the things that go on in his mind are very frustrating to him—and the most frustrating thing I am to him is a mirror, probably, but he was a very interesting person at that convention—probably the most interesting person I met.

He’s done a lot of “zine” work—science fiction magazines and then he got into UFOs and he even wrote a book on belly dancing for his then wife—he later lost her to her vanity as far as I could tell, though he’s not a person who would divulge anything bad about his wife because he still had a great deal of respect for her.

He was at that time hooked up with a lady who had renamed herself Lacy Rainbow, because he called himself Spider. She was interesting—she had almost no nose. There was just no outward curve, but she was strongly into the Wicca kind of magic that women get involved in for some reason. It’s really important to some people. I guess it involves finding your own passion.

This lady was busy looking at the stars at night and doing the things you do when you’re worshiping the goddess, but you know, I’ve got one handy (laughs) and I don’t really have to look at the moon—here I am, experiencing all of it myself, so I think I’m a little simplistic to be a wiccan.

Back to the convention—so he was a very sharp guy and I was very glad I’d gotten to know him and he later published a bunch of my stuff—he’d just tell me what to write and I’d write it. He’s a good guy, Greenfield.

Another good guy whose name I cannot remember—all I can tell you is that he was the editor of Caveat Emptor, which was a magazine that did impress me to some extent. It carried a lot of shaman material which I thought had been extremely underestimated and it was well edited, I thought. It was interestingly edited, it was quirky and it was interesting. At that time I was being paid to read and nothing really had been published yet so I had a lot of time to read and I really enjoyed reading his magazine. That was part of my research I really enjoyed so I was glad to see him—Gene somebody comes to mind but I just flat can’t remember his name.

Anyway, he came from New Jersey—he’d done some UFO field research, his eyes bulged out slightly, he was not a prepossessing person, he wasn’t then anyway, but he had accomplished a good deal apparently, but he was just blasted by this divorce he was going through. Well, he and Greenfield had come to this convention, Greenfield in the most hideous leisure suit I’d ever seen in my life. A leisure suit in itself makes “hideous” redundant, but there are depths of bad, and this guy was baaaaad. But his friend, Gene, was worse, I can’t remember exactly why but it was wrong, it was very wrong, very very wrong.

At any rate, he was so down, he was slumping into his drinks, he was whining and bitching and moaning, and oh, my goodness, so I came over to him and said “hey, hello, you okay?” and went on. And this guy got the most, let us say, encapsulated view of the intention of that touch that couldn’t possibly be imagined by man or dog and was panting after me for the rest of the weekend.

Now you have to understand that there was this woman from (inaudible) and there was I, sort of a 5.5 in the 10 of life, but long hair and a figure, and there was, dare I say it, the female half of APRO (her name will come to me) who sounded a lot like Elizabeth I of England is reported to have sounded, at least in her thoughts. This woman was a schemer. She did a lot of good for UFOlgy but her personality was perhaps not the most attractive I’ve ever heard, because I was serving her for three or four hours, and listening, perforce, to many things that she said.

Basically, my attitude is to nurture people around me whoever they are, I just prefer not to know strangers, but I had a good time. I’ve always enjoyed stuff like that. But this woman was a tough case—she was hard to love but I loved her anyway. I believe both she and her husband had sickened and retired from the scene of UFOlgy.

It was such a funny place. It’s the way you described the convention in Phoenix—it’s extremely reminiscent of my experiences which I’d never thought to write about, actually. I’ve never had a platform and to tell you the truth, things seem very much to me like a soap opera sometimes and I don’t really give myself credit for the kind of observation of which I’m capable.

I just wanted to congratulate you on catching the absolutely wacky-doodle flavor of the convention. Other things that come to my mind about the 1975 convention is MUFON and their wooden insistence on dragging a model of what the Pascagoula extraterrestrial being looked like. Okay, it’s made of wood, right? And this is what it looked like. Or maybe it was drawn on a flat piece of paper. They can do better than this at Disney, folks. (Laughs)

And there was Charlie Hicks, talking in his drawl, and saying (Carla speaks in a very southern drawl) “well, I believe I saw what I saw and I’ve got to say it because I’m a God-fearing man and I wouldn’t want to be un-God fearing cause I got to tell the truth ‘cause on the final day I’ll be judged and yes I saw him and he had feet like an elephant trunk,” and I had the feeling that I was seeing the 32nd take, you know. (Laughs) Why oh why did the director want so many takes, I don’t know. And by this time it’s probably up in the thousands.

I don’t know if you had Betty and Barney Hill, the one with the star map, and Marjorie Fisher’s star map, and all that there, but it was inundated with that too, she was there, and Leo was completely misused. Instead of his extremely interesting bright nature being able to talk, which he does very fluently about the experiences he has had anecdotally, with the various people have come to these conventions, which we were starting at that point, and already he had a large data base, he was running tests on me, and he told me how many were in his data base and I was impressed. He’d already done a good bit of work, serious PhD type scholarly work, and you don’t see a lot of PhD’s doing work like that—it’s just a fringe area.

But what did they have him do? They had him hypnotizing and regressing another person that Don had gotten, a UFO contactee. And the whole thing was filmed in such a way that the guy was in shadow, and so you saw Leo dangling this thing and doing this really brief induction which isn’t at all right, although we found out that this particular chap was a real good subject, so he was able to do that, but it really looked fakey—it was cut to look really fakey, and the information that was given was purposely not dramatic, it was chosen to indicate that there were two kinds of UFO’s, which I thought was extremely canny and it was research I had helped with.

So it was cut that way, it was all hokey and the guy ended up, the movie that we were making at that time was a complete falsehood which rendered the entire movie completely suspect. In addition to all of that, it was cut in such that it was a joke. As a matter of fact, it was called “The Force Beyond” and Don always called it “The Farce Beyond.”

Thank you very much for that article, I want to wish you a Happy New Year. I really don’t want to take up your time past this. There are all kinds of great things happening in our lives, movement for me is not one of them. (Laughs) I don’t care—it’s a fairly comfortable life, I can do all the work I’m capable of doing—I don’t know how you can ask for more than that. It is kind of novel to have a reason to sing every day. I sing from one of the classics every day. Right now I’m learning all the solo parts, first soprano parts to Bach’s Magnificat, because, well, there are two reasons.

First of all, I’ve had a real near death brush lately with my neck paralyzed and so forth, and being unable to move and my consciousness breaking in and out, I didn’t go over to the other side but I was losing this one, and so I wanted to learn it before my death. It’s one of the few things I haven’t sung first soprano on yet. Melvin has had me sing alto, second soprano and first soprano on almost everything—all of the classics, like the Messiah, the B Minor Mass and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, all the Braham’s wonderful motets, we did a lot of that.

It’s novel to have a reason for singing. That it’s healthy, it exercises my upper body, it’s the only way I can exercise my upper body because my spine is a goner. But I’m still hoping that floatation—I have to wear a weight belt—I’m still hoping that floatation will enable me to exercise my legs enough to make this deal a little bit less debilitating. So far I’m just basically climbing stairs and every time I have to go to the bathroom I climb the stairs. That’s pretty simple but I think it makes a difference, because I can’t walk, even underwater, without screwing up my spine worse than it is, and it’s basically spam.

So I’m sort of resting and getting back in shape to where I can maybe wear a weight belt—it’s the only thing I haven’t tried—it didn’t work in water up to my chest, but maybe if I wear a weight belt, because I float in water up to my shoulders, and run the water up to my chin in order to hold the C-1, C-2 area in the water and therefore offset the weight of my skull, which is actually very small, but I don’t know, I guess it’s too heavy for me to sit up. That’s basically the problem I have—I’m like a little baby that can’t hold her head up, it just hurts. So that’s the only blot on the horizon.

But so much of what I do is thinking about things and sort of trying to vibe in on needy people who are asking me these questions, and put myself in a prayerful attitude, not great guidance from on high, not the great soap opera that I use when I’m working for other people, but if I’m just working within myself and my own guidance, it isn’t a big deal, it’s just allowing yourself just to hang out with the stuff for a second or two and find out what comes to mind. That’s a kind of channeling too, I think most everybody does it if he’s good with people.

Anyway, it’s all so very much a matter of the attention being distracted from the outer environment anyway, that this isn’t a particularly distressing outer environment for me, and I think it still provides me with an adequate amount of catalyst in the pains which accompanying me, which are non-stop, and pain isn’t wonderful, headaches aren’t wonderful, nausea isn’t wonderful either. There’s catalyst there.

There’s also catalyst in my concern for Jim because he has to do everything even though he says he’s just really glad to be here, I still go “huh-huh.” There’s catalyst around. But other than the obvious, death, taxes and catalyst, things are quite in a state of perfection here. Things look good.

Hopefully Barbara Brodsky and Pat Rodegast are coming sometime in January or February for the book project which I think should be fascinating whether Pat comes or not. I haven’t heard from Pat. Barbara is a friend of Pat Rodegast. I only know Pat over the telephone and by letter. Barbara and she have actually spent time together which is a wee bit better.

By the way, if you’re ever in the neighbor, please come visit. At this point I can’t even get out of bed. Come see me. Anyway, these people supposedly are going to converge on (inaudible) Kentucky, because I’m not traveling these days very well. We are going to let our people that we channel, our contacts, have a book, do a question and answer book. I’ve asked Jim to be the questioner to be backed up by Kim—actually all of us but only one person can ask the questions during the session.

Or not, I don’t know, we’ll see how Kim does. Either she’s a collaborator or she’s a person who has to ask her own questions, I really hope she’s a collaborator, but she certainly hasn’t been in other matters like sharing kitchens and sharing space. She’s not talented at that and has a strong sense of courtesy as does Mick. Needless to say, they didn’t do well in the same kitchen or the same house, so she doesn’t live with us, but she works very hard for us and it may be that the chemistry between them is such that she’ll have to ask her own questions.

If I don’t object to including her simply because she and Mick have reached a respect for each other but never the kind of honest deep affection, really infinite affection that he and Don felt for each other. Don respected Jim and he respected very few people. Jim had this perfect happiness at being all by himself and he and Don’s only difficulties came from Don’s wanting to slow people down. Jim is always running and Don liked to walk slowly, like a birdwatcher. Jim has lived life in a hurry for a long time.

At any rate, we’re fine. We’re going to have a good time questioning, they all want question and answer and they all want to work with each other, that much we’ve checked. Other than that, we’d much rather just let it happen because there’s no sense in trying to figure out what they’re going to say about anything, but it will be a fun project and hopefully helpful in showing people, number one, that there are three channels in this world that don’t thrive on ego and number two, that the contactees, whatever their sources, if they’re positive, are saying pretty much 95% the same thing one way or another.

The information, when you boil it down is essentially “the information”. It takes a linguist, I suppose, or it takes an intelligent person to see that, maybe a very intelligent person, I don’t know, certainly not a genius, I’m in no way, shape or form a genius, but intelligent, yes.

So hopefully that will happen. I know Barbara is going to come because Barbara is needy right now and I’m in a position where I can help. She just needs a friend, somebody to talk to about things that she can’t talk to people about.

There’s a line on your palm, actually the shape of your palm—if you’re able to open your fingers so that your palm is flat you can’t keep a secret, but the deeper and the wider that hollow is in the middle of your palm, once you’ve spread your palm out to its utmost the more likely you are to be secretive. Of course, the negative side of that is deviousness, and perhaps I am that too, but I certainly am able to keep secrets.

Barbara has confided in me and I know she wants to talk more and I know she’ll come and I also know she is an absolute marvel for work. Her work is her joy whereas I work only by appointment you could say. No, I work happily but I don’t like to go back and edit things. I don’t like to look at things a second time. I’m a lazy person, that’s why I’ve always resisted being called anything like a genius because I see myself as an extremely lazy underachiever.

I don’t sit down and compose on tape, see it in form and endlessly correct. I don’t write books out of the stream of my thoughts and I am going to (inaudible) next year. Which brings me to the other project we were thinking of, there’s a statistical chance that I could get famous. I know this seems like a screwy thing to say, but it’s happened to me a couple of times in my life and I dealt with it the first time, so it doesn’t spook me the second time around.

When I was a kid I was into folk songs a little bit before it became fashionable. When I was 14 I was collecting old Irish Folk songs and tuning into the Childe Ballad collection, that was before they even had it out in paperback and I was heading down to the U of L Library to study that, well it all got started because I’d been so ill for so many months. I’d taken up collecting folk songs because it was something I could do in bed and enjoy a summer’s day looking out the window and work with music which has always been a joy.

That’s where it started. But by the time folk singing was real popular I was singing with a guy around coffee houses in town and in college. We had about sixty songs that we’d made up from either poems we’d written together or poems he’d written or poems I’d written, or a lot of poetry that I’d eclectically found in all kinds of places. I would just go into 812 or 822 and riffle through the little take-out poetry books that are in most University’s collections, second water poets that maybe wrote something delightful once in a whole book and I would go into the stacks and pore over them, I just loved that.

So we had lots of nice songs. I’m proud to say that I’m the first person to sing a folk song about apartheid and protestation of it. I’d found a beautiful poem called “Sana” by Allen Peyton and we put it to music “…the others go to hear the words of grace,” that kind of thing.

Anyway music has always been a wonderful thing for me and I did get close to being famous. Peter, Paul and Mary’s manager came to me and Jim and offered us to open for Peter, Paul and Mary on their tour. We sounded quite competitive—as Steve used to say, good enough for folk. It was too bad that he couldn’t sing and be married at the same time. I guess it’s like patting your head and rubbing your stomach, kind of a Catch-22. I married him so we could be on the road and be moral, and then we couldn’t go on the road because we were married.

It was pretty hysterical throughout the entire marriage. The way the key to it all—we laughed throughout the entire tragedy so I’m not sure it was a tragedy at all.

The project involved is my memoirs. I was thinking that there is a possibility that I could get famous because I got close to being famous once before—I would probably have been famous if Dewitt had continued playing the guitar because we did have an original repertoire, and uncanny ability to sing so much in harmony, that even a cappella, without even having any hint from Jim’s chord changes, we would tend to follow each other’s ideas and this was from extremely different training. He had the kind of training a Baptist song minister would have—I had the kind of training that a young woman who sang in Anglican Choirs and whose mother and father were both professional musical performers and jazz musicians.

A sing-along tape is really helpful. I make them myself when I think that I’ve got it right once and then for the rest of the time that I practice before a concert I sing along with myself and I self teach—I don’t keep a record until I’ve sung a record with no mistakes, but I always tape when I practice, so right now I’m just giving myself artificial—I guess it’s like playing anything with one person, you have to make your own rules. I’m giving myself fake recitals by making practice tapes that are perfect and therefore I can practice with but now, instead of the practice tape being a means to an end there’s an end to which I must record each practice until I get a perfect tape which has been the practice tape in that part. And I only like that idea because there are a lot of wonderful things to practice in a repertoire. I think I’ll tackle the Christmas Oratorical after this, no, maybe I’ll tackle “The Messiah” first, I can do the soprano and alto and fudge in the second pretty easily on that one. I might do that one first and knock it out so that people can use it next year in the Bach Society, but I really can’t sing onstage in the Bach Society, unless they let me lie back in a lounger so that my neck is supported and of course it’s about as easy to sing flat on your back as flat on your stomach. (Laughs) You don’t get a lot of breath in your lungs.

So I sincerely doubt that they’ll want me in the Bach Society although it’s not a bridge I’ve cross yet, so I’m not closing all options. I do think in terms of service. I have to change my singing into a kind of service that I can give, if even only in a very humble way because I can’t teach anybody the very fine art of singing properly, except that I know how to enunciate and how to breath for long spaces and stuff like that. I can breathe audibly so that people can hear me. So if it’s all in tune and correct, I’ll keep it, my talent is slender but at least I see a way to use it.

I hope you all are flourishing, but whatever ménage you have I wish you well, I wish you well with your ministry, thank you for the Thunderbird. We really got a laugh out of [Gene’s?] article and I see that there’s more to come.

I am still allowing the stream of letters versus trying to read up in my own field, to roll around inside because I don’t think one makes appropriate decisions of that depth, one comes to realizations about how to use one’s time rightly and since I have absolutely no idea I would prefer to err on the side of people, but I am going to write my memoirs.

Now we come to the second project. Writing my memoirs has struck me as being interesting, not that I have had an event-filled life, or a challenging one, but in terms of being famous, like I said I almost was, and having heard the records after being lost for 25 years, I’ve got to say, they’re competitive, so it did almost happen once, and I thought about it and I just thought it was neat to be able to share my love with the world.

“Southern Accents,” by Tom Petty, if you haven’t listened to it, do. I enjoyed that album.

Memoirs—what I had observed was that were I to become famous what would be interesting about me would not be what biographers would be able to find out about me. That is the stuff of what true biographies are made but the only thing I could do that nobody else could do would be to write memoirs, which in their idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, downright forgetting, telling it wrong, embroidering the tale, changing in the mind the circumstances of things that had happened with putting things together. To me those are the things that we come into this world with and leave with. Those are our true treasure. They are not only our distortions, they are also what are called our “biases” by one of the Confederation sources. We have certain biases, these are the treasures we want to enlarge upon.

So, I want to write what amounts to basically “ye old personal myth.” I am going to put it away after I write it and I think from now on will just be a taped journal when I have a quiet time which I can whenever I want to really, except the time that Jim and I arrange to be together, which we do both hold to because we both have a tendency to work all the time. Either that or I’m so exhausted I have to sit in front of the TV. So if I sense that my energy is low enough I put myself down quiet.

And on that note would these two very interesting things, looking at me in the future, plus of course the answer of letters and helping people I hope, although you do it and you let it go, you don’t attach very much to the outcome because you can’t—people take what they can and leave the rest. You may not hit on target so you just sort of go—or at least I do.

So Jim’s part—he’s awfully busy, awfully busy. We’re paddling on this. It’s not a simple thing to face, the changes that are taking place in my life because I’m not able to exercise appropriately, or go to church, or sing, or go see my girlfriends, or drive, or all that stuff. It’s an adjustment, but we’re both quite dedicated to having a good time together and most people are as happy as they allow themselves to be which I invoke daily, if not hourly.

So I leave you to your devices, have a wonderful year. May your ministry be blessed. Don’t you feel funny when people write you those ravey notes, and I think, God, I’m not a guru, I just work for a living as a thinker, okay? I’m a philosopher—let’s not have this (inaudible) stuff. I just wonder why do people need so much to have somebody above them, to worship. That’s there on earth. I don’t understand that, we’re all relativistic beings. It is impossible for us not to sin, if you want to use old fashion words for error, or screw-up, or do a faux pas, I call it all sort of things in my efforts to avoid emotion-laden words.

But the truth of the old church saying is that it isn’t possible to be perfect, no matter how you define perfection.

Wishing you the energy to get through this gargantuan UFO thing that you’re going to subject yourselves to. Good luck, may you come out alive. Remember that you’re warriors of peace.

Carry on, ol’ chap, cheerio, goodbye.

Carla

  Skip Navigation LinksL/L Research Carla’s Niche Letter Tapes December 31, 1990

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