The Back Story on Flo #1

Thing is, we all have a back story. Just not an invention for a movie or Netflix series.

The moment you are born, your back-story is written for and about you. This is true for both a character in a play or a novel and for her writer. Maybe back-stories of creator and creation parallel or intersect. Or maybe they are as different as chocolate and chalk.

Flo Golden became a Medium by accident – or so, she thinks; much in the same way as the person writing down her adventures. Maybe Flo and her writer share the same back-story – the accidental introduction to conversing with the Dead.

Maybe these experiences would be classified as “paranormal” or “ghostly”. Or, maybe “metaphysical”, which Flo prefers or even better, “mysterious”. Because you can bet there is a metaphysical mystery being cooked up, as we speak.

Away From Home

Actually, you’re never away from home when you carry all your senses with you. Home is not just brick and mortar, a tent, or a trailer. Being at Home means we can trust our subconscious self and our senses to guide us to safety and well-being, no matter where we are, physically, at the moment.

At times when our place or space seems uncomfortable and depressing, the ability to withdraw inside our mind and raise our awareness greatly helps maintain the knowledge the current discomfort is but transient and mutable.

So, if you find yourself lost and Away from Home, open the door to your mind and go inside. Check and enhance all your senses. Turn them on to heighten your self-awareness. And you will find yourself right where you need to be. Hard times bring us necessary lessons, but also help us find the way to accomplish new goals to meet the demands of the times. And, you are home.

The Banta Inn G(Host)

Flo and I were absent last week. We took a trip up to Northern California. If you’re familiar with NoCal, or even if you’ve just heard about it, there’s more to the area than San Francisco. Weed, for example, and Dunsmuir, Mt. Shasta and even Tracy, home of the fabled, haunted Banta inn.

We took our trip as a get-away from the stresses caused by a world-out-of-whack. I’d heard stories about the Banta Inn when I first met Flo and suggested a pit stop there. Since Flo fell into ghosts the hard way, she’d become interested in all things spectral. So the Banta Inn seemed like a good spot to visit on our way back. It was said to be haunted by Tony, the former owner, and perhaps, also a mother and her child.

We weren’t ghost-hunting, we were ghost-observing. I figured the chances of encountering a ghost, in broad daylight on a stop to take out food for the long ride home, were slim to zero. But it was worth it, just to see the place.

The Banta Inn is lively, popular bar and cafe. As I saw, the staff caters to the hungry and thirsty customers. There was no mention of ghosts inside the restaurant and bar. They seemed beside the point. That cheered me immensely. I suspect places that advertise.

So J and I opened the Inn’s front door and went inside the reasonably dark bar area. We heard something that sounded like a shrill shriek – twice

.”What was that?” J asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. Because there was nobody at the bar and the shrieks stopped as soon as we mentioned them. And, as long as I was inside, I never heard them again.

J looked around, used the head, and then went back to the car with Flo. She came in later, took some photographs, but heard and saw nothing. So I ordered some take-aways – french fries and fried zucchini, plus a coke, for the road. I sat at a small table, in a small room, near the kitchen and away from the bar. I put my $20 on the tip tray. I waited for what seemed like a long time for our order to come with the check. While I waited, some guy came opened the door across the room and went past me to another door towards the back yard. At some point, after he left, my $20 bill suddenly fluttered off the tip tray and landed on the floor.

My immediate, rational thought was, there must be a draft somewhere. But there was no draft. no wind. no blowing fans on the ceiling above. I didn’t connect it with anything unusual. After the server finally came with the packed-up food, I gave her the $20 and left to take the food to our car.

I returned for my change and secured the tip money under the tip tray.

And, it was only later, when I tried to replicate a floating bill by opening doors, blowing hard or fanning it, I realized it would take a strong wind or something else to make the money fly.

So, peut etre, maybe the Banta Inn G(host).

Life Is A Labyrinth


Life is a labyrinth. We go round and round. First We lost, and then We found.

Life is a labyrinth. Ups and Downs. First the Up and then the Down.

Life is a labyrinth. Some will See. How to Look and how to Be.

Life is a labyrinth. We all must tread. First we born and then we dead.

Life is a labyrinth,Never done. First the moon, then the sun.

Life is a labyrinth you may find – a loving path to The Divine.

Life is a labyrinth – you must open wide. To connect to the Other Side

-Florence Goldman notes


Flo Makes A Pre-Diction

As part of her study on psychics and extra-sensory-experiences (ESE), Flo tried to determine how many psychics predicted events that actually came true. She finally admitted the field was too big to narrow down to just hits vs. misses, with the misses clearly in the lead. But she found famous psychic/astrologer Jeane Dixon’s prediction about the future alarming.

“She said the world was going to end in 2020. And, gosh, I hope not,” Flo sighed. 

Although if you looked at it realistically, 2020 now seems like a pretty good candidate for the noun, dystopia, at the very least, with the Pandemic, Political Turmoil, Protests and Unrest worldwide.

“Well, what do you see, then,” I asked her.  I could tell she was reluctant to predict anything, unless she heard it first from one of her visiting Apparition Ghosts. 

‘Well, Old Hattye said, “Once upon a time, there were two Popes. And, for a time, history’s gonna repeat itself. You’re gonna have two Presidents.

“I really didn’t think too much of that idea – because Hattye came to me about another subject.  And we moved on from Popes and Presidents to Poisons.  She really knows a lot about cyanide.”

“So are you comfortable making that a prediction, now, in 2015 – five years before the world’s end?”

“Predictions are not my glass of scotch,” Flo said. “But if you insist, I will.  Hattye seems to know a lot about a lot. And, so long as you’re not quoting me or making it public, then yeah, I’ll go with two Presidents. But remember, I’m a Medium, not a future-teller. Got that?” 

Flo looked at me, as if she knew it was really hard for me to keep a secret.

And it was.






Flo Dips Into Some Richard S. Shaver

Thanks to me, Flo is getting a new education in science fiction, also known as “The Truth Is Out There” (XFiles).

She recently invited me to go downstairs with her to her basement to unpack some of the old boxes Alvie’s Dad had sent them years ago, when he evicted a bookstore. Flo had already opened one of the boxes and it contained some pulp magazines, mainly from the 1940s and ’50s. Thankfully, the magazines were inserted into clear plastic envelopes, so they looked like they were still in good shape.

Flo pulled out one of the “Amazing Stories” from 1947, and paging through it, was entranced by an illustration for a story,” Zigor Mephisto’s Collection of Mentalia”. The story was by Richard S. Shaver. I realized he was controversial, but after he died, he gained some notoriety as an Outsider Artist, like Henry Darger. In the ’40s, he had a  big following as a writer about creatures living underground, but he also drew scrutiny he was mentally unbalanced. In later life, he abandoned sci fi fiction for finding Ancient messages left in rocks, and began painting and photographing them.

Flo never heard the term,  “Outsider Artists”, or Richard S. Shaver or “Amazing Stories,” although I half-way convinced her she had her own “Amazing Story” to tell. Her life was Supernatural and Paranormal. Andt not fiction.

“I suppose you could look at it like that,” she conceded. “But I don’t want to scare myself by labeling myself as a weirdo by just doing what comes naturally.  Thankfully, only you and the “visitants” know about my deceased visitants. Let’s just keep it that way.”

I could tell Flo was a little peeved I’d mentioned her startling, new abilities, because she closed up the magazine carton, and headed back upstairs.  As I followed her, I noticed she was still carrying the “Amazing Stories” Shaver pulp. “I like the art,” she said. But I was wishing I could have seen what else was in that box.

The Hills’ UFO Abduction Book

“You know I had an epiphany last night when I couldn’t fall asleep,” Flo said, during our routine, daily phone conversation.

“Maybe I never told you, but right before Alvie and I got married, I saw a UFO. And it was on a night just like last night, I was also having trouble sleeping, worrying about the enormity of marriage and becoming a double-for-life. So, around two in the morning, I looked out my apartment window and I saw this lit-up square, floating like a blimp in the night sky. It was going so slow – it hardly moved. And, then all of a sudden, its lights started flashing and it took off like a rocket. I stared out the window for quite a while, but it didn’t return.

“The reason I remembered this is I realized I had the same feeling of unreality when I first saw Mim floating around the kitchen ceiling – that maybe I was imagining or hallucinating this small blonde woman dressed in 1930s clothes, passing above me like a small bird.”

“Wow,” was all I could muster. “That must have been so heavy – so startling to see the UFO then – and now, the ghosts…”

“Yeah, but here’s the thing,” Flo gushed, “I think I figured out maybe only certain people can see UFOs – and also maybe ghosts. I think those sightings are connected somehow.. Like maybe it takes a tuned-in person to see what’s not apparent to the normal naked eye. You might need to be Supernormal to see beyond….

“Like you,” I said. “And you’re just understanding you have that ability. That’s so cool. I’ve never seen a UFO or a ghost – the closest thing I have to knowing how that feels is reading about it. I have another book you might like – it’s about a married double, as you put it – Betty and Barney Hill, who actually said they got abducted by aliens – back in the ’60s. They not only saw the space craft, they experienced it inside when the Aliens took them there. They were the first to report an abduction. Over the years, some people found them credible – and others incredible.. But their story is fascinating, right?”

“Oh, I can’t wait to read about it,” Flo said. “I’m beginning to think there is a link between seeing UFOs and seeing Ghosts. And, I wonder how many people, like me, have seen both?”

“Maybe more than a few, but I don’t know if anybody keeps track of that. It’s a scintillating thought, Flo. I wish I could see what you’ve seen…”

“Really?” Flo asked.. “Not to cut our conversation short, but what I see now is Mutt, sitting by the door, whining and wanting out. And either there’s a ghost hovering near by – or he really just has to go. “

“OK, I’ll drop off the book,” I promised.

And, then, I did.

Flo Gets Ahead Of Herself

While Flo has finally recognized she has some kind of paranormal talent by being able to talk with apparitions, she also recognizes she has no second sight.

“If I was clairvoyant, I could have prevented and predicted what was going to happen to me,” Flo said recently, over dessert at her house. We were eating some newly-defrosted cheesecake, and seated at the kitchen table where ghosts have appeared.

I was slightly nervous, being on the look-out for any spectres. But I only saw Mutt wander out of the kitchen when no cheesecake dropped on the floor. Mutt was certainly not a ghost.

“But I have been thinking quite a lot about what they call the third-eye,” Flo mused. “I even looked in the mirror and all I saw was new wrinkles on my forehead. No other eye! However, since then, I learned about other ways of knowing about people. Like being able to tell about a person from the bumps on their head. Especially if, like me, they don’t have the eye in the middle of their forehead.

“The head bump reading was a thing in the 1800s called ‘phrenology.’ Supposedly if you measured head bumps, you could tell what sort of character or talents a person had. Like if they were a murderer or a genius. I think, if we’re being honest, that’s quite a lot like being clairvoyant….”

Flo took a bite of cheesecake and a long sip of her scotch-laced Earl Grey tea. “Fads come and go, you know. Phrenology is gone, but Clairvoyance is still a thing.”

I didn’t have much to say about that, because I am psi-zone deaf. Nothing every appears to me – or disappears – unless I toss it out. For that reason, I’m truly in awe of Flo’s life-changing talents.

“For a while I thought I was crazy – that talking to dead people was all in my head. But when dead Nicholas told me some stuff that turned out to be true – I had to figure out if I knew facts because I was a clairvoyant or a medium. After a lot of research, I’m going with Medium – for now.”

Flo seemed quite pleased with her self-realization. A half-smile danced across her lips. I wondered if that was because she was finally acknowledging her gift or was, perhaps, enjoying a little too much tea.


The Ghost Dance

Recently, I’ve noticed a lot more “Spirit Energy” swirling around me. Not landing on the stove-top or the book shelf, like Mim and Nicholas talking loudly, but silently spinning around like miniscule tornadoes.

Now, that’s a strange thought, but some ghosts do not want to sit, while others do not want to stand or to whirl. I don’t know how I know this; I just know.

The other night, I was sitting on the couch in the living room, swishing the last swigs of my Dunsmuir around in my glass, when two very small people began foxtrotting on top of the bar cart.

They were as transparent as all my Visitants, but they did not want to talk. They just wanted to dance. I was transfixed watching them, step, step, stepping off the cart and over to Alvie’s chair. They repeated the steps over and over and I began to get dizzy trying to follow their rhythm around the room. There was no music, but somehow, I heard it in my head.

When Mutt came into the room, he ran up to Alvie’s chair and he barked. One bark. Two barks, then three, and without hesitating, the dancers danced away.

Now, I can tell you about this, because I know you’ll understand that dancing ghosts is not just a Disney thing, but real enough to see in person and also to have inspired an old 1983 British movie titled “Ghost Dance.” Which I’m going to try to find now. Because, well, you know, any validation helps when it comes to ghosts.

Time Travel Agent

As you can imagine, taking a vacation is the farthest thing from my mind right now. I’ve ankle-deep in trying to understand the mysteries and auguries of how one comes and goes from The Other Side. Do you call it venturing, embarking on a Passage, or simply taking a Journey?

I am beginning to think my Visitants are really Time Travelers. I know they’ve either traveled quite a distance to my house -or maybe not even an inch. I haven’t asked them yet, because we have so much else to talk about. But, I might one day.

I’m not big on travel, myself. I have a semi-fear of flying. Not enough to keep me grounded, but enough to order multiple drinks on the plane. Just saying. But the Apparitions don’t seem to have any fear about getting here or getting back. So maybe their Travel doesn’t include severe turbulence or screaming babies. And, maybe somehow, I’m their Agent.

Time Travel is a definite maybe for my ghosts.. I’m not alone in my belief about Time Travel. There are all kinds of science fiction stories and books about the voyages – The Time Machine, A Wrinkle in Time, even Slaughterhouse Five (Vonnegut is Apparition Nicholas’ favorite author). Just to note a few. I’ve read some of them, at one time or another.

Recently, though, I had another timeless journey – a bit different from the Out-of-Body-Experience of going to Paris. On a recent night, I found myself feeling melancholy about not being able to take the River Cruise with Alvie, so I borrowed one of his Xanax’s and it lulled me to sleep. This time, I found myself in Italy – and I was trying to get to Florence. For some reason, I was the only passenger on the train, and all I had was my guide book. I was looking at the maps, when the train lurched to a sudden stop, and that’s when I woke up.

It wasn’t light out yet, but I had a bit of trouble re-orienting myself in my bed. I remembered so vividly my seat in the train car, and how all the signs were in Italian and, out the window, the countryside whizzing by. I wished I could go back inside that OBE and see if I ever made it to Florence.

But Mutt bounded into the bedroom and jumped on the bed. At that exact moment, a song started playing on my Phone resting on my nightstand. And, It was “Volare.” We both knew someone far away was calling.

Marilyn Monroe’s Long Distance Learning

Flo recently connected with her favorite movie star icon, Marilyn Monroe. This meeting was quite by accident, as I’ll explain.

Flo was going through some more boxes of old books and magazines and discovered a 1954 Modern Screen magazine with a two-page article on MM.

As Flo began reading the article, Marilyn just jumped off the page and into the study, where Flo was sitting on the floor. Marilyn sat down on the couch and a flustered Flo could only manage to say, “How are things?”

Marilyn laughed like Flo made a joke.

“I’m keeping busy,” MM said. “It’s easier now all those stupid paparazzi are out of the picture, Also, I’ve blocked the ones that are still haunting me.”

Flo was still in disbelief that the great Blonde Bombshell was sitting just a few feet away and talking to her like they were old friends.

She seemed not to notice Flo’s surprise

. “I’ve had so many visits from Mediums and psychics,” Monroe said. “I just don’t come through to most of them. And so they make up stories about what I said. It’s kind of like being back in the movie business where the fan mags were so full of bs. But, every once in a while, I feel like visiting some one I can trust and updating my fans.. And, I can trust you, right?”

“Well, sure….” Flo sputtered. “I’m not sure how you found me. I’m not really public as a what-ya-ma-call it. Medium.”

“That’s not so important,” Marilyn sighed. “I’d just like to get it out there to people who still care, that I’m feeling really good about where I am now. I’ve learned 12 languages – including Danish, Norwegian, Polish, Hebrew and Wolof. Also, I read all of Ibsen, and my favorite play, of course, is “Ghosts.” Now I’m working on reading all of Dickens. I started with A Christmas Carol, of course. But there’s so much more to read. What the Dickens?” she chuckled. “He’s a major project.”

Over drinks, Flo told me about her visit with MM. I was having a Gin and Tonic and Flo was sipping, as usual, her Dunsmuir, although this time on the rocks. I almost choked when she told me about their conversation, since all of Flo’s previous visitants had been connected to her life and to Terrisann.

“Actually, once I got over the shock of her appearance, I realized I had an opportunity to set the old record straight. Marilyn Monroe wasn’t just a bubble-head. Or a bobble-head, neither. She’s an autodidact. And an accomplished autodidact at that. So, let’s toast her bravado.”

“I’ll drink to that,” I said. “Skal.”

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