Chapter 1


“I was born by the river in a little tent. Oh, and just like the river I’ve been running ever since”. So, goes the well-known Sam Cooke refrain. As for me, I was born down on South Street in my grandma’s house, but “just like the river I’ve been running ever since.”



I was born under the sign of the crow or like some folks say, “I was marked by a crow”. At the moment of my birth, a crow crew thrice as he flew over Gramp’s house. The old folks say that if a crow flies over your house and crows three times, somebody is going to die. Well, I can personally attest to the veracity of that claim because, it is my understanding that somebody died that day. On the other hand, somebody was born on that day as well. Fortunately, I was one of the “born” ones.



I remember being born. I was ushered into the world by my Aunt Vulla, or as most folks knew her, “Ms. Flossie”. She was a midwife, who’d ushered many babes into existence. Her born name was Verlin. However, I only discovered that fact within the last 10 years or so. I don’t even think many of her children or grandchildren knew of that name. My grandma—her sister—told my siblings and I to call her “Aunt Verlin”, but what came out of our mouths was, “Aint Vulla”. That’s the best we could do at that time, and so it stuck.



She brought me forth from the darkness of the womb into the bright light of the world. She wrapped me in swaddling clothes and laid me in front of the fireplace for warmth. She had the utmost confidence that I wasn’t capable of rolling over yet and so wouldn’t be becoming just another log on the fire. As I lay there, I didn’t cry but I crew. I crew like the crow that crew at my birth. I was marked by the crow I tell you.



Aint Vulla laughed raucously at hearing my crowing. “That boy marked by the crow!”, she exclaimed between hoots. Gramp laughed as well. I don’t think Mom found it too funny because, she didn’t laugh. “Well, we know one of two things gonna be true ‘bout that boy”, Aint Vulla added. “What’s that Vulla?”, Gramp asked. “Well you know them crows is the smartest birds there is, but they is also known to be tricksters. So, he either gonna be a damn genius or he gonna be a STANADO!” They both laughed until they cried—sopping up tears with the ends of their aprons—only to bust out laughing anew.



What they didn’t know was, I was listening and when I heard how hard they laughed about me possibly becoming either a “Stanado” or a genius, I made it up in my mind—right then and there—that I would be a “Stanado” when I grew up because it sounded much more interesting.





  1. Hi Ron, I couldn’t keep the smile from my face as I read your interpretation of the moment you were born. Implying that you may have been born under the sign of the crow fascinated me—I knew from the nine months that we were close, that you were going to be the smartest and most wonderful son a mother could have. As for the crows, you were born in the month of June and that month is quite a noisy month for them, maybe that’s why you were so noisy lying on the fireplace. Also, knowing other things about crows may lead us to believe that having a crow as your sign (?) is why as a child you were so smart, playful, full of life, and willing to follow your dad around so you could learn from him. I did not laugh with your Gramp and Aunt Vurla because I knew you couldn’t possibly be a ” Stanado” or “starnated” person. You are one of the most intelligent people I know. And the most dedicated to being all that you can be. However, I don’t think the crows had much to do with it! Lol

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Mom! Of course, I made most of this up BUT according to one author, “The crow is a spirit animal associated with life mysteries and magic.  The power of this bird as totem and spirit guide is provide insight and means of supporting intentions. Sign of luck, it is also associated with the archetype of the trickster; be aware of deceiving appearances…it supports you in developing the power of sight, transformation, and connection with life’s magic.” Not a bad “spirit animal” to have.

      Do you remember a fellow named “Bot” in Cuthbert. They say he was “marked” by a frog. He kinda looked like one. lol


  2. Yes, I remember Bot and he did kinda look like a frog! I don’t know if we should say that! Lol
    All of the things that I mentioned about the crow, along with those you mentioned do remind me of certain characteristics in you. The smartness, June, your birth month, being their noisy month, following their parents around as babies. So,even if you used your poetic licenses, you could be (marked by) the crow, as some would say!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think Bot would mind us talking about him. He’s probably glad someone remembers. lol. I took a test yesterday which tells you your spirit animal. I was hoping it was the crow or raven, cause that would work so well with my motif, but it turned out to be an owl.
      I should have taken the test first LOL! Owl would have worked as well.


  3. Hey Ron, Gramp and Aunt Vulla gave us two paths to consider for your life’s journey. Those paths included “Stanado” or genius. For you, I chose the genius path. A typical parent, right? However, since you chose the “Stanado” a trickster’s path I can’t wait to read about all of the tricks and antics you’re going to present to us. Proceed young man! Make us happy with laughter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks to your writing I had to look up the difference between the Crow and Raven:

    Crows and ravens, although in the same genus (Corvus), are different birds. Ravens are bigger than crows and make a “caw” sound, while crows make a croaking “gronk” sound. Also, a crow’s tail is fan-shaped, while a raven’s tail is wedge-shaped.

    So, if the crow makes a “gronk” sound I’m guessing Crows are Patriot fans. And how about you, Giants or Jets? Have a great day Ron.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love it! Sorry I didn’t respond earlier. My technology is giving me hell. I can’t even blame it on tech, I think, it’s more of a mental decline😊

      I just don’t have the focus to try to figure stuff out.

      So, my iPad is down, phone went caput. However, I have a new number. All numbers are the same except last 4 which is now 2049. Text me when you get this.,🥰😍

      Liked by 1 person

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