Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

A Tribute to My 18th Cousin, Princess Diana

Princess Diana in pink silk suit

This photo of Princess Diana contains a flaw in the fabric of her jacket. My daughter and I haven’t decided yet whether it’s a food stain or an irregularity in the silk.  But, whatever it is, it represents a woman who was flawed herself — and all too human.

When she was six years old, Diana’s mother left the 8th Earl Spencer for another man. This scandal devastated Diana, scarring her for life. She felt abandoned, unloved, insecure, and alone. She tormented her nannies and mothered her younger brother, Charles. When her father re-married, Diana and her brother punished their new stepmother in every possible way.

Who knew that such a shy and gawky girl would one day marry Prince Charming? Diana always reported that she would grow up to do great things. She would not live an ordinary life. She knew instinctively that she would never become Queen of England. And, not long before her tragic death, she predicted that she would die in an auto accident.

Her life was brief. She was only 36 years old when she died. But she lived a full and remarkable life, in spite of her struggle with bulimia, her inability to find true love, and her deep-seated emotional problems.

The shy, gawky adolescent blossomed into a beautiful, regal, and charismatic woman. Always in competition with her husband’s long-time mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles, she played out her revenge by becoming a great success in her own right.

Fashion icon. Humanitarian. Mother of the future King of England. One of the beautiful people — the rich and famous. Glamorous and charming. A world celebrity. Unofficial ambassador for Great Britain. Princess of Wales.

Diana had it all. But her position and wealth could not assuage her feelings of loneliness and betrayal. Diana was, after all, an incurable romantic who devoured episodes of the popular British TV show, “Coronation Street,” and the numerous romance novels penned by her step-grandmother, Barbara Cartland.

The fairy-tale wedding of Charles and Diana, viewed by billions of people around the world, morphed into a Grimm Brothers nightmare. And when reality set in, Diana discovered that Prince Charming wasn’t so charming, after all.

Sleep well, Sweet Princess, on your lovely garden isle. Dream long and deep. We salute your bravery and love you still.

August 29, 2017

Dawn Pisturino

Copyright 2017 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death (August 31st) and the victims of Hurricane Harvey, please make a generous donation to the American Red Cross:

http://www.redcross.org

Thank you!

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Marx’s Conflict Theory

 

karl-marx

 

Marx’s conflict theory is having a profound influence right now in urban areas, especially among young people and minorities. Groups such as Black Lives Matter and the New Black Panthers  openly advocate separation from mainstream society due to the unfair, biased, and overbearing power of the dominant culture and the ruling class.

For them, laws reflect bias and unfair treatment and punishment of the poor and minorities by police and the American justice system. They understand perfectly that their communities have been left behind by globalization and the influx of uneducated, unskilled immigrant labor. Some of them advocate the overthrow of the American capitalist system and the creation of a communist or socialist society. They believe this is the only path to equality, happiness, and economic freedom.

Using class struggle as a shield, these groups justify inter-racial random killings, police ambushes, weapons hoards, acts of terrorism, riots, violent protests, and every other conceivable crime. They feel no shame or remorse because they see themselves as victims fighting for a cause. In their view, the police and other authoritarian figures are the real criminals. Poverty and economic disparity are the real crimes.

Unfortunately, they do not direct their zeal into cleaning up their own neighborhoods. They do not use their skills to benefit their own communities. Their goal is to strike fear into the dominant society with threats, disruption, and chaos. In fact, a strong law and order response threatens their agenda and their goals.

Such a politicized movement can only turn the dominant society against them. Mainstream Americans want law and order.

Dawn Pisturino

November 9, 2016

Criminology 225, Mohave Community College,

Kingman, Arizona

Copyright 2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Capitalism as Terrorism

dollars and American flag

 

 

“Guerilla Marketing,” “Survival-of-the Fittest-Capitalism,” “How to Succeed in Business by Killing the Competition,” “Hostile Takeovers,” etc., etc. We are all familiar with the books, lectures, seminars, economic gurus, trendy management strategies, slogans, etc., etc. which dominate the business world and corporate thinking. But have you ever thought about what these strategies and ideas really mean?

In today’s competitive world, competition has increased to the point of desperation where anything goes and every immoral act is tolerated — and even encouraged. It becomes harder and harder for companies to compete and survive. They must resort to evermore desperate strategies to survive the competitor around the corner who is waiting for a chance to rip out their throat. The business world is a jungle where only the very strongest can survive for long.

At the same time, the companies who have succeeded in surviving look increasingly for ways to eliminate competition through legislation, buying illegitimate political power, investing overseas, downsizing, cutting wages and benefits, and creating an environment where smaller companies have a difficult, if not impossible time, succeeding.

If this competition affects corporations and small business, it equally affects workers who must equally engage in a jungle struggle to survive. The fear of being laid off or downsized out of a job creates an atmosphere of fear, antagonism to fellow workers, and outright hostility towards anybody perceived as a threat.

These fears and anxieties are carried home and into the classrooms. At a younger and younger age, children are told that they must learn to compete in school, in college, and in a future career. To not compete is to be eliminated in the social jungle that is called America.

Thus, we see a society torn apart by competitiveness and the need to survive.

Corporations seize control of their competitors; men blame women for entering the workforce; reports of domestic violence, child abuse, and rape increase; whites blame blacks; blacks blame whites; American citizens blame illegal immigrants; workers blame welfare recipients; the young blame elderly Social Security recipients; Democrats blame Republicans while Republicans accuse Democrats of every crime under the sun; the rich blame the poor, etc.

An economic system that encourages competition indirectly encourages violence, crime, and every act of immorality. People will do whatever it takes to survive.

When companies engage in acts of terrorism, it is considered good business.

When ordinary people engage in aggressive acts, it is considered a crime.

Ordinary citizens have as much right to survive as any corporation. And they have as much right to engage in whatever tactics are required to survive.

Dawn Pisturino

May 23, 1998

Copyright 1998-2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Published on the Committee for Direct Democracy Website and in the Committee for Direct Democracy Information Packet 1998-2000.

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Radical Writings: Direct Democracy

Your-vote-is-your-voice

Every condition which exists in the civilized (i.e., capitalist) society today was predicted by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels 150 years ago in The Communist Manifesto of 1848.

The expansion of free trade on a global scale; the continual upgrading and revolutionizing of the means of production; the loss of human values and personal self-worth; the degradation of the family; the wage slavery and dehumanization of modern day workers; the increasing disparity  in wealth between “the haves” and “have nots”; the concentration of power and wealth in fewer and fewer hands; market fluctuations with their resultant periods of economic boom and bust; the emergence of women into the labor force; the reactionary conservatism of the middle-class; the necessity of the minimum wage: all of these conditions of modern society were already foreseen in the distant past.

It is, therefore, fair to say that the problems afflicting modern civilization are not the result of liberal or conservative political parties; Democrat or Republican policies; religious or secular policies; racial or gender policies. Rather, the problems plaguing American society today — and which seem so insurmountable — derive exclusively from the nature of the capitalist economic system itself!

This is a fact which the national media strives ever harder to explain away and cover up. This is a basic truth which our liberal and conservative leaders choose to ignore.

But the truth cannot be suppressed forever. The truth will set us free.

Most Americans are already conscious of the fact that they are virtually powerless to change conditions in this country without resorting to radical means. Since most Americans abhor violence, however, they convince themselves that change is not practical or not possible. They console themselves with trips to the shopping malls; dull their senses with mindless TV and videos; control their negative anxieties with mood-altering substances.

We already see that this kind of self-delusion and self-indulgence serves no useful end. As the American people become more dull-witted and inhibited, society crumbles all around us.

In the midst of economic abundance, social degradation and political chaos run rampant.

It is therefore fruitless to try and organize people into a militant force. Unions, alternative political parties, political action committees, etc. — few, if any, of these organizations ever effect permanent change.

It is simply not enough to verbally attack the prevailing political/economic/social system. In order to win the war, the working class must become the rulers of the system.

But how can this be accomplished?

By empowering the people!

We are taught from birth that America is a democratic country. In reality, Americans support a representative form of government. We may elect our leaders in free elections, but the decisions made by those leaders are not determined by the people who elect them. The decisions made by political leaders at the federal, state, and local levels are, more often than not, determined by economic factors and the people who wield the power of money. This, then, is not democracy. It is merely power concentrated in the hands of a minority who pretend to do the will of the majority. Democracy in America is, therefore, a sham. The right to vote is equally false and misleading.

Representative government may have been a shining viable solution 200 years ago, but it is no longer effective in our vast, complicated society.

Then, what is the solution?

The only viable alternative to representative government is Direct Democracy.

Computer technology (specifically, the global networks) makes it possible for the American people to vote directly on issues affecting them as individuals and society as a whole.

We no longer need intermediaries who patronize us and throw us just enough crumbs to keep us from really rebelling against the system.

Empowering the people is the only alternative to outright violent revolution and social upheaval. Once the concentration of power is in the hands of the majority, we can re-shape the nature of politics, the economic system, and the entire social fabric. In fact, this will be an inevitable result of taking control of the political process.

Once the American people realize that they can control their own lives politically, they may eventually realize that they can direct their own lives economically, thereby instituting changes in the economic system and promoting a more harmonious social environment.

I urge every American citizen who cherishes the right to control his/her own life to work NOW towards the fulfillment of Direct Democracy in this country. With the power in our hands, we can bring about social evolution and create a better, brighter future for ourselves and our descendants.

Dawn Pisturino

March 26, 1998

Published in the Committee for Direct Democracy website and the Committee for Direct Democracy Information Packet 1998-2000, and in The New Unionist.

Copyright 1998-2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Reflections on My Visit to Cuba 2000

Havana Cuba

I did not know much about Cuba; in fact, I never really thought about it until I had an opportunity to go there as a U.S. Delegate in 2000. Prior to leaving, I did research into Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and the Cuban Revolution — fascinating stuff!

I did not know, for example, that Che Guevara was a medical doctor who suffered from severe asthmatic attacks. Fidel Castro came from a land-owning family and studied to be a lawyer. Cuba had been marked by political upheaval for about 75 years prior to the Cuban Revolution. The final insult came with the Batista dictatorship, which was fully supported by the U.S. government and U.S. companies, who owned large amounts of land, industries, and other resources in Cuba.

Poverty was widespread among Cuban workers. The Batista government tortured and murdered huge numbers of Cuban citizens. A wide gap existed between rich and poor. Political elections were rigged to favor Batista and his cohorts.

Fidel Castro was a charismatic young man who became a major critic of the Batista government. He led a successful military campaign, along with Che Guevara and other guerilla fighters, which ultimately forced Batista and his supporters to flee the country.

With the Agrarian Reform Act, agricultural tracts were seized and divided up among the peasants who had worked the land and suffered great deprivations at the hands of large companies and land owners.

In retaliation, the U.S. government imposed an immediate economic blockade against Cuba. The blockade has been successfully kept in place for decades at the behest of Cuban-Americans living in the U.S., right-wing conservatives, and companies such as the Bacardi Rum Company.

Over 4,000 people attended the 5-day conference, representing more than 115 countries around the world.

The first two days were devoted to speeches by government officials who explained the blockade, how it was hurting the Cuban economy, and what steps were being taken to adapt to the continued sanctions.

The next two days involved participation in various committees and listening to speeches by delegates.

One afternoon, we were encouraged to visit various medical and educational facilities. I chose to tour the Latin American School of Medical Sciences. In the evening, we were treated to cultural events and a neighborhood block party.

On the last day, we participated in an outdoor rally attended by Fidel Castro. Speeches by delegates and performances by Cuban artists were featured. That evening, we attended a five-hour speech given in person by Fidel Castro.

He explained how loans by the IMF and the World Bank impose harsh conditions on Third World countries,which gives power over these countries to larger, prosperous countries like the United States. He adamantly reinforced that Cuba and the Cuban people would not bow down to these conditions. They would prefer to remain poor and continue to fight the blockade rather than give up their independence to a foreign power. Although the speech was long and tedious, quoting lots of statistics, the information he gave was very valuable.

We were told we could not leave Cuba the next day, so some of us participated in various tours. Some people drove out to the countryside to visit the Che Guevara Memorial and to investigate the agricultural industry. Others chose to visit a cigar factory. I went with some others to Old Havana to explore the Museum of the Revolution and the Floridito Bar, where Ernest Hemingway used to hang out. We also saw the beautiful old Bacardi Rum building, which is now used for other purposes.

We were never restricted from going anywhere or talking to anyone. The only limitation was language, since most Havanans do not speak English, and most delegates did not speak Spanish.

It was fascinating to be part of such a multi-cultural experience. There were many people from Latin America and Africa. Many delegates came from India and Bangladesh. Six hundred Americans participated in the event. My group donated a large supply of antibiotics, antifungals, and medical journals. Quite a large number of Canadians were present, as well as a few people from Australia and Great Britain. One delegate from Israel spoke about the atrocities being committed by his country against Palestine. About ten Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon represented Palestine and received great rounds of applause. Other delegates came from Italy, Germany, Spain, Norway, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Iran.

Delegates represented all adult ages and socioeconomic groups. There were laborers, students, ministers, teachers, doctors, nurses, and retired folks. Disabled people included a 91-year old gentleman, a blind man who brought his seeing-eye dog, a man bound to a wheelchair, and a young man who could only communicate through sign language.

We were all required to wear special badges and could not attend events without showing them. These badges also identified us to the general population as participants in the conference. People would stop us on the streets and thank us. Children would cheer us and clap their hands. We were always treated like VIPs.

Delegates visited the homes of local Cubans and were hosted for dinner and lodging. One American girl lived with a family for three days.

During the conference, delegates were provided with transistor radios and earphones which could be set to receive the English translation.

Transportation and lodging were provided by the Cuban government, but delegates were free to walk around Havana at any time of the day or night. Although there were scores of police, most of them only carried a night stick. They did not hassle delegates. Their main function was to provide security and control the flow of traffic.

 My delegation stayed at the beautifully-restored Copacabana Hotel, which was a famous luxury hotel and yacht club prior to the Cuban Revolution. It was also one of the hotels controlled by the Sicilian Mafia, which was kicked out of Cuba by Fidel Castro after the Revolution.

Local Cubans were very open about their poverty and devotion to Fidel Castro. In their minds, the Cuban Revolution is on-going. They are very proud of what they have accomplished under difficult conditions. They reiterated over and over again that they would defend Cuba to the death.

There was a great deal of hatred expressed among delegates and by Cubans themselves toward the U.S. government, and the presidential election of 2000 became a hot topic when the possibility of election fraud came up. We watched the news coverage daily on CNN.

The Cubans have created a very stable society based on solidarity and mutual cooperation. The basic unit is the family. Families are assigned to neighborhoods. Neighborhoods are assigned to a district. Each district boasts a health clinic, schools, senior center, and police force. A committee elected by the people oversees the district. Committee members ensure that children are vaccinated, seniors are cared for, and families receive adequate housing and food.

Food is rationed, with pregnant and nursing women, children, and senior citizens required to receive an adequate amount of calories everyday. There is a ratio of one doctor to 170 residents. In the schools, classroom size is limited to 10-20 students.

Education and healthcare are free. 85% of Cubans own their own home, and there is no property tax. Rents are kept very low. The prices on basic commodities are kept at 1960s prices. The average wages are ten to thirty American dollars per month, and there is no income tax.

Travel is limited by a shortage of oil and gasoline. Tourists from Canada and Germany are commonplace.

November 20, 2000

Dawn Pisturino, RN

Copyright 2000-2015 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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FDR’s Four Freedoms

The Four Freedoms

(click to enlarge)

January 6, 1941

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivers a speech which is now remembered as The Four Freedoms Speech. His goal? To involve the United States in World War II.

The Four Freedoms

1. Freedom of speech, which is protected by the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, has been a fundamental right of all American citizens since the thirteen colonies broke away from British domination and established a new country: the United States of America.

2. Freedom of worship, which is also protected by the First Amendment, found its precedent in our Puritan forefathers, who left Europe for the New World in search of religious tolerance and liberty of conscience.

3. Freedom from want, which is the most controversial component of his speech, proposes that economic opportunity, employment, social security, and adequate healthcare are fundamental human rights. Although these conditions are not guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the battle over what constitutes a basic human right rages on, seventy-three years later. Roosevelt proposed these concepts as an incentive to fight against Hitler’s aggression in Europe, arguing that all people across the world are entitled to these basic human needs. President Obama and members of the Democratic Party use these arguments as an excuse to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens while ignoring the fundamental rights of American-born citizens. Republicans traditionally view the social safety net set up by FDR as government overreach and a burden on taxpayers. Right or wrong depends on personal opinion.

4. Freedom from fear, which is also not guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, embraces the idea that all people are entitled to live in peace, free from the threat of outside aggression. Expanding this concept further, people would be entitled to live in peace without the threat of violence from internal sources, such as criminals, drug lords, terrorists, police, the military, family members, employers, and psychotic individuals.

How well has the United States fulfilled Roosevelt’s dream? Is it even practical? Can we really, as one nation, bring peace, prosperity, and equality to the whole world? Or is this obligation dragging us down as a nation?

Where do you stand in the public debate?

Dawn Pisturino

November 14, 2014

Copyright 2014 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Respect Your Freedom. Protect Your Rights.

betsy-ross-flag

Many Americans seem to forget that our forefathers, the great men who founded this country, were once Englishmen living under a despotic ruler.

These men knew what they were doing when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. They had learned from personal experience how a greedy and self-serving government can rob citizens of their money and their rights.

The U.S. Constitution was written to protect American citizens from their own government. And yet, year after year, I see American citizens throwing away their freedom and their rights and allowing the federal government to control their lives.

Every time a hard-working American citizen accepts a federal income tax increase without protest, he is throwing away his right to adequately support himself and his family.

Every time an able-bodied American citizen accepts welfare unnecessarily from the federal government, he is throwing away the opportunity to improve his own life through gainful employment and education.

Every time an American citizen refuses to speak up, he is denying his own freedom of speech. Every time an American citizen refuses to vote, he is denying himself the power to choose.

Every time a law-abiding citizen turns in a gun, he is throwing away his legal right to protect himself and his family.

We need to remind ourselves of our own American heritage. There is nothing shameful in honoring our flag, honoring our history, and honoring our heritage of protest and freedom.

This is why our country was founded.

This is also why, after 200 years, we are still free. Our biggest enemy is not found in other countries. It is the ignorance and complacency of our own citizens.

Respect your freedom and protect your rights!

Dawn Pisturino

Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, February 13, 1994.

Copyright 1994-2014 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Trapped in the Snow

angelo-christo-snowcovered-forestDelaware Territory 1755

Nunganey trudged through the crusty snow searching for signs of beaver and other game. He longed for a blazing fire and his mother’s warm smile. But the villagers were counting on the hunters — the best of the tribe — to bring back fresh meat.

“Turn back!” shouted his father over the rising wind as a shower of white flakes fluttered down from the sky.

Nunganey’s heart dropped with disappointment. There would be no fresh meat. His younger brothers and sisters would cry with disappointment when their mother served hot watery broth, brewed from old bones, and meager portions of mashed acorns for dinner. His own hunger raged inside of him, and he longed for a piece of fat beaver cooked over a hot fire.

Suddenly, one of the hunters shouted, “Raccoon tracks!”

Nunganey’s father pointed at an old tree with a large hole in the center of the trunk. “Nunganey, follow those tracks and see if the raccoons have taken shelter in that tree.”

With the wind and snow blowing in his face, Nunganey followed the tiny footprints to the old tree, but the tracks led deeper into the forest. He knew he should turn back, but the boy was determined to find the raccoons.

The tracks disappeared at the base of another large tree. Nunganey climbed up the tree and peered into a large hole. He had found the raccoons!

“Yohoh!” he called into the wind. “Yohoh!”

Shivering with cold, Nunganey clung to the tree and waited for a response. He called again, trying to shout louder than the wind, but no familiar voice shouted back.

Where were his father and the band of hunters? Had they left him behind? He scrambled down the tree and trudged through the snow with the wind at his back, looking for dark shapes moving among the trees. No voices called his name or answered his desperate cries.

Lost and alone, the boy shivered with hunger, wet, and cold. If he did not find shelter soon, he would freeze to death. He had his bow, arrows, and tomahawk, but nothing to build a fire. Even if he found shelter, how would he stay warm?

Old Grandfather’s words echoed in his head: Be strong, and Owaneeyo, the Great Spirit, will guide you. 

He soon came upon a hollow tree with an opening large enough for him to crawl inside. The center of the tree was dry and wide enough for him to stand up and move his arms and legs. But the wind and snow blew fiercely through the opening, chilling him to the bone.

Nunganey crawled out into the snow and looked around. Nearby, a dead tree had fallen to the ground. He chopped off the top of the tree with his tomahawk and propped it up against the opening in the hollow tree, leaving a small entrance to get in and out.

He fashioned a small block of wood out of the trunk of the dead tree and gathered a large pile of small sticks. When he had finished, he crawled inside the hollow tree, drawing the block of wood behind him to close up the entrance. Then he used the small sticks to plug up any remaining holes. He was now snug inside the hollow tree, protected from the wind and snow.

With his tomahawk, Nunganey removed the rotted wood lining the hollow tree and pounded it into small pieces on the ground. He now had a soft bed to lie on.

But it was cold and dark inside the tree. How could he get warm without a fire?

Then he had an idea. He jumped up and down, waving his arms, whooping and hollering, and dancing wildly inside the tree, until beads of sweat trickled into his eyes and he could jump no more.

Using his wet moccasins for a pillow, Nunganey wrapped himself in his damp blanket, curled up in a little ball, and went to sleep.

When Nunganey woke up, he didn’t know if it was day or night. But he was warm and dry, so he lay still for a very long time, listening to the wind, and finally the noise outside began to die down.

Nunganey put on his moccasins and felt around for the block of wood marking the entrance to the tree. It was so dark he couldn’t see. But then his fingers touched the rough contours of the block, and he sighed with relief. He pushed his hands against the block, expecting it to move, but it wouldn’t budge. He was trapped inside the tree!

He beat his fists on the trunk of the tree, tears stinging his eyes. Would he ever see his family again?

Then he remembered Old Grandfather’s words: Be strong . . . Owaneeyo will guide you.

Pushing his back against the trunk of the tree, Nunganey kicked the wooden block with all his strength. This time the block gave way, and a great blanket of snow fell down on the ground. A blast of cold air rushed in, and bright daylight flooded the tree. He was free!

Nunganey crawled out of the tree into the powdery snow. Many of the older trees grew moss on the northwest side of their trunks. He followed the moss-covered trees for many miles until he arrived at the creek which flowed past his village.

Suddenly, a large buck deer crashed through the bushes. Nunganey grabbed his bow and arrow. Aiming carefully, he waited until the rushing animal was almost upon him. Then he released the arrow, holding his breath, and watched the buck fall slowly to the ground. There would be fresh meat for his brothers and sisters!

Old Grandfather would be proud.

Dawn Pisturino

May 1, 2012

Copyright 2012-2014 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

PHOTO BY ANGELO CHRISTO.

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Mayflower Descendants

John HowlandThose of us descended from Leonard Spencer and Grace Hambleton are “Mayflower Descendants” through Grace’s mother, Alma Jane Stiles. Alma was a direct descendant of John Howland, a Mayflower passenger and the thirteenth signer of the Mayflower Compact.

During the voyage from England, John narrowly escaped death when he fell overboard during a terrible storm. He grabbed onto a rope that was floating in the water and was pulled to safety.

Just think — if John Howland had drowned, none of his descendants would be here today!

John came to the New World as an indentured servant to John Carver, the first governor of the Plymouth Colony. When Governor Carver died, John Howland became a freeman. He acquired lands, married, and served the colony as selectman, assistant and deputy governor, surveyor of highways, and as a member of the fur committee.  He is still remembered as a founder of Plymouth Colony.

Famous descendants of John Howland include Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush; actors Alec Baldwin, Humphrey Bogart, and Christopher Lloyd; Governor Sarah Palin; writer Ralph Waldo Emerson; Mormon founder Joseph Smith; and Dr. Benjamin Spock — all our distant cousins.

HAVE A BLESSED AND PROSPEROUS THANKSGIVING!

Steve, Dawn, and Ariel Pisturino

Copyright 2013 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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My Salem Roots

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WITCH HOUSE — SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS

(click to enlarge)

I’ve always felt a strong pull towards Salem, Massachusetts, but I didn’t understand why until I began researching my family history. As it turns out, my 12th great-grandfather was Reverend Samuel Skelton, the first Pastor of the Puritan First Church of Salem. The church, established as part of the Anglican Church, later split off and became the Second Independent Congregational Church in New England. This split enabled the Pilgrims and Puritans to unite as one colony — the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Reverend Skelton died in 1634, so he missed the Salem Witch Trials. His daughter Mary and her husband, Nathaniel Felton, spoke out against the trials and signed petitions of innocence in favor of John Proctor, George Jacobs, and Rebecca Nurse. In spite of their efforts, nineteen people hanged, unjustly convicted of witchcraft. I think of these people every Halloween and admire the courage they showed in the face of such intense hysteria.

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

salem-witch-trials-hawthorne

SALEM WITCH TRIALS (HAWTHORNE)

First Church of Salem marker

 PURITAN FIRST CHURCH OF SALEM MARKER

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PURITAN FIRST CHURCH OF SALEM – NOW A UNITARIAN CHURCH

John Proctor Petition

PETITION TO FREE JOHN PROCTOR

Rebecca Nurse Petition

PETITION TO FREE REBECCA NURSE

Text copyright 2013 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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