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My Realizations The Autobiography of Julian Lee  /  COPYRIGHT 2009 JULIAN LEE
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As a child

My mother and father had six children, four older boys, and two younger girls. I was third, with two brothers above me.

I was a shy kid. I was more-or-less afraid of people. I didn't deal with many people on the isolated dead-end street where I lived my first 6 years, where there were mostly crotchety old people who stayed inside. I didn't have a chum until about the age of 7, and then it was tenuous and brief. My first friendship was at around the age of 8. I cherished it dearly, capable of a huge affection and regard for a good friend. A boy naturally wants to know other boys, do things with them, find out who he is in context with them, and feel part of something. And my brothers did not, somehow, make the best friends for me. His name was Fred Schissel, the son of a doctor. How I wanted to feel closer to him, and feel confident in our friendship. But he was of a different class, the son of a doctor on the "south side of Grand" where the better-off Whites lived, and my parents did not run with his parents. I didn't even know what he was talking about when he said he "went to camp" last summer. It made me feel so separate.

My experience with my brothers and family did not give me self-confidence. I had a great deal of pride that probably came both my own karmic inheritance, and wounded pride from my early life. If a boy at school insulted me, I was quick to come right back on him, take him to the ground, and go to the brink. Jim W., Pat F., Mike M., Bobbie G. -- we all tasted dust together. (And my salutations to them all.) But my brothers were not to be challenged.

I remembered as an adult seeing an old family movie for the first time. My dad was a camera buff and especially loved photographing his boys and taking movies. In those days, fathers were more morally restrained and decent, thus they liked having sons. (When men become immoral, they distance themselves from male friends, and from their sons.) Dad was proud of his boys. We were all dressed up for church in our suits. We had short-cropped hair. It seemed Dad was directing us to assemble a certain way and I was trying to find my place in the group. We were four. My little brother Joe was in the group, and my two older brothers. I looked about four years old, lamb like, rather dear. My two older brothers were very strong and dominant. And one thing about them in those days: They were not kind.

As I scurried about in my dignified suit-and-tie, blond buzz hair shining in the sun, trying to find my place in the group, suddenly one of them delivered to me a savage slug. The White European races have many splendid virtues including love of beauty, serviceful skill, and humanitarian idealism. Among these many splendid virtues of the White Europeans, a warrior-like, aggressive nature has often acted as a fault rather than a virtue. Especially the fault of warring against each other in great fratricidal wars. I believe that some of the White European male's aggressive, quarreling nature comes from inner pain through the loss of so many fathers in great wars. This includes the emotional loss of fathers who, though still living, were so damaged by their participation in wars that they withdrew emotionally from their sons. My father was like that. In World War II 50 million were killed, mostly men. We have no proper conception of how much the loss of so many future fathers, brothers, and sons affected the White Gentile societies over time, and led to their later direction. Missing fathers and emotionally remote fathers created the seedbed for the "angry White youth" of the 1960's. My brothers were expressing, some kind of anger or fear about pains of their own.

Watching the movie my attention perked up. I observed the boy's behavior. He scrambled away looking fore a safer side, face turned downward but only enough to hide it without being noticeable. He did not cry, and tried to disappear while at the same time, appear, because he seemed to have been eager to appear in a family picture. The Family in this moment had seemed like such a Great Thing. That is how dad had made it seem. So I absorbed this hit as if it had not happened.

Nobody seemed to notice my getting slugged. It did not cause any holdup in the project. I could see my face working hard not to reveal pained humiliation as I scurried for a place among my titan brothers. My face did a good job of hiding it for a boy so young. Looking down at the ground just slightly had helped keep me from crying in front of my Dad and brothers. I had probably already learned that this would only invite razzing or worse from my brothers, or impatience or disappointment in my father. But I could see it, and it was hard to see. Having a certain detachment from the figure in the picture, and now being a father with kids of my own, I looked at the innocent child that I was and thought, "That  was a poor, innocent boy!" I found it surprising to see it later, as a full grown adult. I had no memory of that moment. It happened so fast, like the wink of an eye. But I see the same things in the photo below.

The Mickunas boys Joe, Mark, Vick, and me. Clean, butched and manly as they both liked us. I had not seen this photo in decades. As I look at it a few things occur to me I'd not noticed before. First, I appear to be the youngest. Younger Joe  (in front) was obviously far more robust; I was of comparatively slighter build. Dad, who usually lined us up according to age,  valued physique and was showing off his robust youngest boy. Second, Mark is very happy. He had impressive good looks, and is also stout. He must have been the apple of dad's eye. I appear rather bewildered, sad, even terrified. Not part of Mark and Vick's fun mood, in any case. I appear to have been crying just before. Based on Joe's pensive face, some sort of drama had occurred earlier. I can read my face here and what I was feeling: "Do I fit here? Am I included? Am I visible? Why did he put me in the back and Joe in front?" I appear to be trying to figure everything out. Mark and Victor were strong personalities. It makes me sad to see this picture. In the background you can see one of the trees my mom has painted on the wall, part of an extended mural featuring us boys. Another thing I notice is Mark's beautiful hands. My father's hands, also, were amazingly able and beautiful. Mark's were a refinement on his more ample hands. Mark became a man who loved to use his hands and make things from slot cars to wardrobes to architectural models to better beehives. Last I was with him, he was sitting in one of his rooms sewing a shirt by hand. He now lets his yard grow wild, notwithstanding flack from the neighbors and the city -- to help the bees.

My family must have been an emotional hell for me, especially considering that I ran away from home in a serious way four times before adulthood. I think my mother felt my pain through the years, but there was nothing she could do. When I was a toddler and receiving too much persecution from my brothers, her habit was just to snatch me up and let me ride, above the maelstrom, on her hip. Womens' hips are surely designed for her toddler to ride, one arm free for serving the rest. But this she couldn't do forever. Now walking, I was down with the tigers. In general my mother and father were not able to successfully intervene in the steaming cauldron that was life with my brothers, and I've often reflected that my two older brothers affected my personality just as much as my parents did -- or more. They had their own pains and frustrations as sons, but they took them out on me.

Mother is our first introduction to life, and she forms us at the root. So it is right to speak about her first. But to understand her, I have to speak first of her own mother and father, and of Amos Lee.