WRITING: FOWG’s tunnel

2011 Highway 2
After Action Report

This was the away team’s 571st consecutive nightly effort to bring people out of NuYurk. The eight man team was dedicates to helping the refugees escape. For security purposes, after the first night, we pledged to do it for as long as possible. To prevent leaks, we kept the operation a closely guarded secret.

Our Sister Church would collect refugees in the meeting house. After dark, they would hood the refugees and load them into a member’s delivery truck. It would bring them to the East End Warehouse that was built over the west entrance. Lashed together the refugees were led down and through the tunnel to the East End Barn. There they were loaded onto three smaller delivery trucks. Those trucks each went to our Church by different routes; timed to arrive at different intervals.

At the Church, the refugees were unhooded, assigned a shepherd, and sent on their way to Canada, New Hampshire, Maine, or other free counties.

On the night of Christmas Eve, our activity was uncovered. Elements of the NuYurk State Secret Police surrounded the West End Warehouse. While we were unarmed, as our faith demanded, we did have some diversions planned. Fireworks and explosions were to divert them while we saved as many as we could.

The team and about 25 refugees were taken. It’s unfortunate that several of the Secret Police died as a result of gunshot wounds. And, despite assertions of their state run media, we were all unarmed.

As previously agreed the team, stood mute.

After several months in jail, a release was negotiated by the Swiss Embassy.

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Historical Marker:

FOWG’s tunnel In the last days of the United States of America, a man, aware of the Shoah, bought a farm on the New Your State / Vermont border. For a decade, alone, he carved out a 4.2 mile tunnel. When the Terrors struck in what was to become the Pepuls Republik of Nu Yurk, Nu Jerzee, and Chusetts, but before their “Real Id”, fences, and Border Patrol could limit the movement of “political undesirables”, thousands of people fled to safety.

In this particular place, aided by the Society of Friends on both sides of the border, it’s estimated that over 36,000 people reached safety via the tunnel. Many details are lost, due to the silence of all involved.

After the collapse of the People’s Republik, the west end of the tunnel was rebuilt and the two sites across the now peaceful border was dedicated as a shrine to Courage, Liberty, and Civil Disobedience.

The meaning of the one sign, “FOWG’s highway to hell”, over the Vermont barn is lost. But, there is no doubt of the meaning of the other: “Bon courage a vous tous / God Bless Vermont”.

One can only wonder who FOWG was and why he undertook this Noah-like project. He passed before it was used for its intended purpose. So many details are lost; what was not lost was lives. This was life saving effort to those refugees and their progeny.

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WRITING: Addie finds peace (a fragment from a future effort with the working title “Joan D’Arc; One Story from beginning of Third Vermont Republic”

Addie finds peace

Church bells! Church bells announced War’s end. Not heard in Vermont since the Blue Hat’s began their reign of terror.  Addie knew what she had to do. Donning her famous pink helmet with “warrior princess” above a scratched out “in training”,  she slung her “Uncle John”. That full size 12 gauge was heavy on her shoulder. She peddled her pink bike down hill from the farm almost effortlessly. The beautiful Green Mountain hills were a little greener today. The sky a little bluer. And the bells a little sweeter.

In what appeared to be the blink of an eye, she was at the Bennington Bridge. She looked around and a crowd had assembled. How had they known? She strode to the heated “Headsman’s Pike”, where the evil Blue Hats had “posted” the latest victim of their “justice”. She knelt before it and prayed for her Uncle, her Brother, her Comrades, and All that had died at this terrible place. She rose and saw that the crowd had knelt with her. She stepped off five long paces from the pole. The crowd receeded back like ocean. She unlimber Uncle John’s favorite gun. Waved the crowd back on the left and right. They moved slowly. She just waited. When it was safe, she fired at the pole. About head high. Took five but the pole shattered in the middle. The top fell to the river below. She walked to the stump, actioned out the remaining ammo, hung the gun on the stump, and topped it with her pink helmet.

It stayed that way forever. The helmet faded. The sling rotted. Some one nailed the rusty gun to the stump. But, it was said to be there for her return should ever Vermont need another heroine.

That was the end of the public appearances ever reported of Joan D’Arc.

Needless to say life didn’t end for Addie. Although to conceal her identity, she began to use the name Megan.

Life was good. The Farm prospered. Peace abounded. People returned to the normal ebb and flow of life. But the Third Vermont Republic, founded on the blood of patriots, developed a national identity, that prevented the disunity of any disagreement from becoming personal and nasty.

The fact that dueling was reintroduced helped quite a bit. Heinlein said it best: “An armed society is a polite society.”

From time to time, when in Bennington for errands and chores, Addie, now called Megan, would stop at her Uncle’s favorite tavern by that fateful bridge and have one of those disgusting beers he liked. His stool at the end of the bar was always empty with a glass, a pencil, and a pad of sticky notes as if he’d just stepped away. She sat on the stool next to his. It made her feel closer to him. That corner had pictures. One of te kneeling prisoners, arms bound behind them, surrounded by the hated Blue Hats. This minutes before the massacre. Someone had framed the New York Times story reporting that the “criminals were apprehended, given a fair trial, sentenced, and executed”. Below the story, scratched on the frame, scrawled roughly a title: “Lest We Forget”. Did anyone in Vermont ever read the New York Times after that?

She shed no tear. This was now a lesson of history. She could only pray it wasn’t forgot.

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WRITING: An injineer’s bedtime prayer

A fat old white guy injineer’s bedtime prayer


Now I lay me down to sleep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

And should I luckily awake, 
Help me be the best me I can be,
like the one you did make.

Teach me to see my flaws,
long long long long long,
Before others, offense they take

When you send me my troubles,
a test to take, 
brave, me, You should make!

The poor, me to see, Your help, please,
comfort them I should, 
That warrior I would be, I am, could, would, did.

At my own stumbles,
with a laugh gift me,
So that others I can join,
I have so much to be about.

And help me, God,
with all the things you know,
help with, I need,
that too blind to see, am I.

With the politicians,
patience, me you should grant,
if they had been smart, after all, 
they’d have been injineers too.

But most of all, 
help me check all my signs,
So that bridge doesn’t fall down.

Humbly submitted for your consideration,
this very night. 
In the sure certain knowledge … …

zzz zzz zzz zzz


© 2012 F. John Reinke

with apologies to:
MaryAnn (MC1989) McCarra-Fitzpatrick