Franzoni's "In the Spirit of the Seatco"
A Book Review by Joe Hector Beelart, May 2009
Henry Franzoni is the Laughing Buddha of Seatco. He is knowledge, understanding, genius, immense fun, and a lavish communicator. I also have the grand privilege to call him my friend.
Not once, or twice, but many times I have been fortunate to listen to Henry speak for one, or two hours or more about life, the universe, cosmic powers, and the single unearthly being known to mankind, the spiritual entity called by Native Americans, “Seatco,” or as we Ameri-Euros call him, Sasquatch. The word “Bigfoot” means something, but to Henry, whatever it means makes him laugh.
When Franzoni talks, only in the rarest of moments does he repeat himself. And, that is always to solidify another point. But, be aware, Henry does not take himself too seriously. Of all men, only Franzoni, and perhaps a handful of others, know what balances on the point of a pin in the cosmos. So his soliloquies are often interrupted, to politely listen to questions and observations, but more often to laugh quietly, at what?
Finally, after so many years of waiting, I have in my hands Franzoni’s first book, “The Spirit of Seatco.” Now, I can finally read and study and try to formulate my thoughts, and reflect on my experiences in the mountains with the Master’s words literally at hand. In those pages, I can almost see Henry as he entered words into his electron machine, reflected on them, and then chuckle at what so little he does know; which is far more than almost all of us.
What is in this book, “The Spirit of Seatco?” Over a year ago, I was privileged to read and review the first draft of it. I immediately recognized the value of his raw work, and since Henry sent to me via email, at considerable expense, I had the draft printed in color and bound. I still read the draft because the final product lost much of the power of it.
Over this long time, I have come to think of Henry’s work in only a few words: simplicity, energy, spirits, and history. Nothing is complicated or complex; but all is complicated and complex. Simplicity brings laughter about the paucity of human knowledge and values.
Energy – all is energy. Everything our human senses can detect is energy. And we understand almost nothing about it. A man Franzoni spends many words on, Nikola Tesla, knew energy as well as any human has known it, including his contemporary, Thomas Edison, and later Mr. Einstein. While it is not in the book, one of the main Teslan concepts is the transmission of energy, in particular electrical energy, without wires, through the cosmos and our earth.
Another notion of energy that Franzoni does not address, but is an underlying factor throughout most of his book is the relatively recent theory of parallel universes. When Henry, a cat lover, asks if the universe is like a cat (page 123) I see him thinking about much more than the illustration of static electricity which follows. I see him conceptualizing parallel universal fabrics caressing each other, trading energy, and the beings in each.
Spirits and history: through Henry we see not our Ameri-Euro flat paper records of spirits and history, but the Native American, First People legends of what is more than us, what is transitory in this world, mostly unseen by humans. These accounts (not stories mind you, but accounts) of the elders were not for a flat page; rather, they were for memorization, exact retelling, and encouraging the next generation to memorization. Then, and only then, after knowing the accounts could the wise and the elders go into the mountains and plains and see more than elk and moose, bear and buffalo, and hummingbirds.
The First People – or, are they the second or third people – named the places where they saw apparitions with names like Skookum Lake, Spirit Mountain, and Camino Del Diablo (road of the devil). Centuries later these places found themselves on white men’s flat paper maps.
Franzoni found this and saw the names had two things in common, the 45th Parallel and the Continental Divide, both dividing lines of great energy; the Continental Divide in the raw physical power of water, and erosion of great mountains, and the 45th Parallel in magnetic energy.
The astute student will think, “There are other dividing mountains in the world. And, there is a 45th Parallel south of the Equator.” Now, can you hear Henry laughing?
I have heard criticism of the book because of many pages given up to latitude and longitude coordinates. This criticism is dismissed with vigor. My immediate thought was how could the critics be so obtuse? Have they not heard of GPS devices and topographical maps? Do they never want to go to one of the places using computer mapping and satellite image programs? Do they never want to physically stand in a place once so important to Native Americans that it was named after a spirit?
I could go on, but will not. After what seemed like a forever of thinking about writing a review of Henry’s book, nothing happened. I had no words. Then at dawn this morning, with unseen birds starting their day, a morning after a night of heavy rain, these ideas came pouring out in one inexplicable burst of energy.
I conclude that Henry Franzoni’s book is not for everyone. If you are of the firm opinion that there are giant apes roaming our mountains, it is certainly not for you. For someone at the other end of the spectrum, a person seeking the meaning of the universe, it is not for them. For the neophyte Bigfooter, it is not appropriate, unless they are given to wander the mountains and want to see places in the list.
The book is expensive, but not expensive. If the actual dollars are too much, ask someone to lend the book. In the spirit of sharing that is Henry Franzoni, you will soon have one. But, return it.
Since we are mortal, there is an end to this form of life. And to that end, many people will maintain a small library of books. Indubitably, Henry Franzoni’s book will be one of them. Then Henry will not laugh, but he will be happy knowing you have read his work and thought about his words. And the creatures will be happy knowing yet another human has tried to understand them.
“In the Spirit of Seatco” a book by Henry James Franzoni 2009
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