Royal Rose Of The World
Vincent Rosamond Rice
All Rights Reserved
The Brass Lantern
It was the spring of 1966 that I asked to look at the contents of my mother’s cedar chest. My friend, Bill Arnold was shown what was inside, when he was sixteen. Bill told Rosemary he aspired to be a writer. We both declared we were poets, but my childhood friend wanted to be a novelist. What I beheld were copies of Out West Magazine which contained short stories by my grandfather, Royal Rosalind, and, several of his poems. I was puzzled. I had shown real talent as a poetic prodigy, but, I was not encouraged. Why? As if to escape a ancient hex,
I recently adopted the pen name, Vincent Rosamond Rice, the name of my uncle, which did me a world of good. I am able to see clearly how I was thwarted, put outside a labyrinth I was forbidden to enter, lest I find my way to the epicenter? Minutes after I turned eighteen, Bill died – trying. He had become trapped, ensnared in the cruel thorns that grew around The Rose Tower. Rosemary could not see – how I could go on living! With the help of our childhood friend, Nancy Van Brasch, I would not drive my car Rosemary bought for me, onto railroad tracks just past midnight, and turn off my lights so the engineer could not see me. There was a wreck.
“What is this?” I asked this beautiful woman born to Mary Magdalene Rosamond. And I breached the barrier of Rosemary Pandora’s Box. I got hold of the object wrapped in green velvet, before I could be – waved off by a magic wand that meant me no good!
“That is my father’s lantern. He and the writer, Danielle Hammett, bought a sailboat together, and when they sold it, they each kept a lantern. Do you know who Dashiell Hammett is?” Rosemary inquired, she curious to know if Bill told me who he was. As I examined the brass object with the heavy glass, I got the clue I had been cheated out of my birthright, somehow, by someone who was not my kin. This would be a pattern that would come to haunt me for most of my life.
“I want this. I’m going to take this wiyh me when I go back to San Francisco.” I glanced at my mother, sideways, and beheld one of one of her infamous silent arguments, that were very audible in a psychic manner. I answered in kind [ Are you going to tell me Bill was more special to you than me?]
Giving a mighty psychic tug, I born this lantern out of Rosemary’s Box, and I heard her birthright, moan, it coming all the way from Saint Croix Island, where Royal camped with Black Masks authors. Only this year did I identify the man sitting next to my grandmother, as Norbert Davis, who the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, had a keen interest in. Known philosophers have suggested Ludwig could have prevented Norbert from taking his own life, if there had been face to face contact between the two authors. It is with great satisfaction to know that Rosemary did not know that Norbert sits next to Mother Mary – holding a gun! On the other side of Royal’s Rose Mother, sit Arthur Barnes, and John K. Butler. There are two other women in the photograph of this infamous camping trip – that needs the scrutiny of literary historians. Who will – rescue me? Are these women early California Writers? Why didn’t my mother become a writer? Royal had no sons.
Dashiell went on these literary group adventures, but, is not present on this boating to the Isles off the coast of Ventura. Were the boats lanterns used inside the tents? What was the name of the sailboat? If Rosemary knew all that I know now, she would gasp, and go into her dance of the Wounded Rosamond Woman that she learned when she was five. Mary Magdalene had her four beautiful daughters haul out boxes of her husband’s books he could not sell, out of the garage, pour gasoline on them – and burn them. Mary dressed her daughters in the authentic Indian garb I suspect was acquired from Charles Lummis, a editor for Out West and Sunshine Magazine. My mother and aunts were forced to dance around the bonfire of ‘The Copper Indian’ that I suspect were self-published. My Aunt Lillian told me they were all crying, as Mary swore, probably in German, that she spoke fluently. Were photographs taken of this Death of a Author and sent to Royal who had gone to New York to see Homer Croy about publishing his books? How cruel…this death of California Royalty!
“Don’t come home!” Mary told her husband on the phone, or in a message sent Western Union. And this was it – the death of a perfect dream! The Rosamond family – had it all! They were The First Family of The West in the eyes of fellow authors. Royal had run for office as a Socialist. Did Dashiell encourage him to do so? Did Mary believe Royal had fallen in with the wrong crowd? She looks very uncomfortable among these crazy science fiction, detective writers who are obsessed with murder mysteries? I suspect they smoked marijuana.
In 2012, I found an account written by Eutrophia Brown nee’ Wieneke about having to take over the wheel of the care her husband was driving because he became disabled. Eurtorphia did not know how to drive, but had to learn. Her two sone were in the car. She talked about how her hands hurt after driving most of the way from Iowa. She had trouble shifting. She was frail. She looks underfed. Indeed, all the folks in these photos look like they are not getting enough to eat. There is no food visible on the outing to Saint Croix. Then, Brown went insane, blew Eutrophia away with a shotgun, then took his own life. What I heard was he had a metal plate in his head from being severely wounded in Germany during World War One. This plate caused him much agusih. In the photography of this veteran, he looks shell-shocked. I suspect he has PTSD. Eutrophia is leaning away from her husband. Did Royal fear for the safety of his wife and kids?
What I suspect, is, my grandfather I never met, sent a telegrams to Mary, saying it was time for the Browns to move one, because, he could not feed this family of five. Did Mary show this cable to the Browns? There was a daughter that no one told me about. What became of her? I found te grave of John and Eurtrophia. Will I find a recovered of this murder-suicide? Sometimes I wonder if Royal was there And, he went and got his gun. Then, he had to flee to escape the questioning about this major tragedy whose repercussions has been hushed up. I can’t get any member of the Stark family to talk to me about it,
* * *
I was born John Gregory Presco on October 8, 1946, in Oakland California – during an amazing star-shower! I was born to be a writer – and a artist! I have been in therapy for over a year because I came to be aware there have been many authors about, within my family, and outside, who knowing very little about Royal, sense that something terrible had gone wrong, and, if they could edit that out, then – they would own The Rosy Gumball Machine, and, the world would be their oyster. They would not want for anything. The Rosy Cornucopia begs to be cleansed of Hidden Sins, and, the one who threatens to expose – all the royal dirt – should be blown away, as if he is a rabid dog, with a metal plate in his head.
Four days ago I discovered Phillip Jose Farmer and the Wold House. Alas – I am out of the Rosy Prison Labyrinth. Kurt Vonnegut is my idol, my favorite author. When I read Farmer hijacked Kilgore Trout, and authored ‘Venus On a Half Shell’ I now owned the blueprint and the mold to a literary genius and Renaissance, that I have traced to Holland, and the Swan Brethren who commissioned Bosch.