WHY I AM HERE
Don't Count Your Loses
My Uncle Dave is a precious character. My mother's little brother. He's ten years older than I am. He was and is the father figure in my life. He came home from Viet Nam and the Marine Corps in 1968. He carried a 150 lb. mortar pack and he only weighed 150. He survived two helicopter crashes and escaped death more times than anyone I'm sure, before, during and since that time. Someday I want to write his story. I was with him on some of those crazy adventures.
Why was he there? Fighting for this country, the first truly free republic?
His, and my mother's cousin Donald Mac Trent, served in Korea in 1951 - 53. The stories he can tell. He's in his 80's now. What an ordeal, they say it was worse than Viet Nam.
Their Uncle, my great Uncle, my Grandmother Cordelia's brother, Jack Trent was in the Marine Corps in WWII. Great Grandpa Trent lied about his age and got him in right before he turned 17! He served from the first invasion of Tarawa where they lost 1000 Marines the first day, clear through to the bombing of Hiroshima with the first atomic bomb. After all of that he had 57 pieces of shrapnel and lead retrieved from his body, besides those they never could extract. Until he died he could never make it through airport security!
Uncle Jack's father, my great grandfather, was Marion Francis Trent. One of his sons was Uncle Frank, or Francis Marion Trent. Do you know who Francis Marion was? He was one of the great heroes of the American Revolution. They called him the Swamp Fox. The British said, "The Devil himself couldn't catch Marion." Uncle Dave was called the Swamp Fox of the jungle. He flushed out the enemy.
Why did those men like George Washington and our brave founding fathers, attempt such risks for our Independence?
Great Grandpa Trent's father, my Great Great Grandfather was Crosby Trent. It's surprising to me, that I am starting to look like him in my old age. He was one of Lincoln's boys from Illinois. He was a wild man, even when he was old. He had several horses shot out from under him during the war. They had the Rebs chased clear down into Texas when news came that Lee had surrendered. Maybe you've seen the movie with John Wayne and Rock Hudson, "The Undefeated", based on the true story of the Confederate General Price (Hudson), who refused to surrender and escaped into Mexico. Well, needless to say, Crosby's group were a little excited, their superior officer, or inferior officer you might say, mustered them out of the service, at least what was left of their regiment and sent them home. The problem was, he was supposed to check in at the main headquarters, in Missouri I think it was. He found out later he was listed AWOL, and as a result he never got his back pay or his pension.
What was that great struggle really about? More Americans were killed in the Civil War than all the other US wars combined. At the battle of Cold Harbor in 1864, Grant lost 3000 men, in 22 minutes. In the North they lost 10 percent of the males age 18 to 40. In the South it was over 30 percent. Many wanted to totally exterminate the aristocratic slave power and culture of the South in retribution. If not for Abraham Lincoln they would have. As it is, that war went on for another 100 years until 1963 when John F. Kennedy was shot. They were still lynching blacks in the early 1960's. Actually, it is still going on. I hate to think of the barbarism that would have taken place without the example and influence of "Father Abraham".
My maternal grandfather, Bert Carr, we followed his lineage all the way back to Roger Williams, in the early 1600's. I just discovered that Sarah Palin is also a descendant. When you go back 400 years nearly anyone could possibly be. Grandpa Carr was also Pennsylvania Dutch and French Canadian Indian. Remember Roger Williams was ostracized and survived the winter with the Indians. This is no doubt why my mother has always had the long, thick, course, black, hair and brown eyes, the prettiest thing you ever saw, when she was young. I also have some French and Indian on my Dad's side. I would like to have a DNA test done to see how much Negro blood I have. I think there is some on my Dad's side. So you can see, I am very much a true blooded American! Roger Williams envisioned and started the first real experiment in religious liberty. It is truly amazing that we accomplished true freedom in the founding of our country and the design of our constitution. Williams rightly claimed that the first tablet of the Ten Commandments should not be dictated by anyone, especially the government.
What really created this quest here for personal freedom of conscience and equality?
To really answer the question, I'm going to go back even farther. Great Grandfather Trent and his wife Lena, had eleven children. They also took in a few others as their own during the Great Depression. Another one of their grandchildren is Aunt Carol, my mother's cousin of course. She married a good Mormon boy, Gordon Stewart. He always bragged about how his ancestors came over on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims. Carol started investigating the genealogy on the Trent side, and found out that our ancestors owned the Mayflower! They were Scotsmen that helped finance the Pilgrims and the boat to come to America.
This brings us to the very basis of our reason for being here in this great country. It all started with Guttenberg's invention of the printing press in 1436. The light was going to start to shine after the darkest time in earth's history. For the first time in almost a thousand years, people would start to read God's Word for themselves! The Pilgrims, the Puritans, the Huguenots, the Mennonites, the Amish, etc. all would give their lives for freedom of conscience. That's how convicted they were with the knowledge they gained from having the Bible in their own hands and in their own language.
Now I want to be more specific, and tell you some more interesting history to explain WHY I AM HERE.
I remember my Great Grandfather Trent. I was 8 when he died at 88, in 1963. He was an irascible old preacher. He never smoked or drank. He was an original Seventh Day Adventist. His first child, Aunt V, was born in California when he was logging in the Sequoia Redwood forest, in 1900. Here's the story I heard from my Grandmother's knee. Marion and Lena lived in a cabin in the logging camp with their new little baby, 15 miles from the nearest little town. It was so wild and remote, they had a hard time keeping their food away from the lions and the bears. They cut the biggest trees there and those that are left are still the biggest in the world. The first time they were ready to fall a big tree, after they had arrived, they sent someone to town 15 miles away to warn them to take the dishes down from the cupboards so they wouldn't break. Lena had a lot of dishes broken then, apparently she didn't think they were serious. Later they would have a dance on the stump (some were 30 ft. diameter!)to celebrate.
Here is another story. Marion was a short stout Englishman. After lunch when it was time to get back to work. Someone would jump up, grab the peavey, and yell, "Whose afraid of the butt." They would scurry on each side of a heavy butt log and see who could roll the log against the other man. It didn't matter how big and strong they were, no one could get him down because he was short and quick and he'd get his shoulder under the peavey. The old loggers were a rough tough, hard working, hard drinking bunch.
Why do you suppose Marion Francis Trent gave up drinking, fighting, and gambling? Lying, cheating, and stealing?
1900, was also the year Ellen White came back from Australia where she spent several years establishing Avondale College. She lived at Elmshaven in Saint Helena California until she died there at almost 88, in 1915. She is considered by millions to be a true prophet. She is the most widely translated female author. She received over 2000 visions. Her work began at the outset of the worldwide Advent Movement in the 1840's when she was just 16. For seventy years her primary work was to bring people back to the knowledge of the simple truth of the Bible. God gives specific tests in His Word to know a true prophet. The most obvious and essential, that they agree with Moses and the Ten Commandments. This was the mission of every prophet in history, to bring the people back to the basics of all truth. This was especially true of the Messiah. Here then is one of her quotes, give or take, "If the people would have just read the Bible for themselves, my life's work would not have been necessary." Any competent 5th grader can read the Bible and understand the basics of truth. "Every problem is based in false religion, every false religion is based on humanism." It's always been easier for people to believe in a man.
Of the eleven plus Trent brothers and sisters. My grandmother, Cordelia, the second to the youngest was the only one baptized into the Seventh Day Adventist church. (On the same day as the second most powerful earthquake in history. Anchorage Alaska 1964.) All the others were absorbed into the California Philistine Culture. Most of them became alcoholics. Some of the boys died of alcoholism before their father.
Bert and Cordelia had four children. Uncle Dave, mentioned above, has been smoking and drinking all his life. His older brother Uncle Jim, started smoking and drinking when he was 12 or so. He died from lung cancer at the ripe old age of 57. My mother discovered Ellen White's book, "Great Controversy" in her mother's library in 1958, when she came back home, after my Dad left on his quest for women and horses. This was when I was about two. This was also the beginning of my education in health and fitness. Grandpa Trent's preaching started to make sense to her.
I had a half brother 6 years younger. He took his own life when he was just 40. A victim of drugs and alcohol. I also have his brother 9 years younger than I am. He managed to escape the drug and alcohol business after spending time in prison and boot camp. Now he is a very successful, professional, responsible family, man in a foreman position. My little sister and I are very close and very conservative in the truth, in God's Word.
Now you know WHY I AM HERE. Don't count your loses. "The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword." "No matter where you've been, it's never too late to get started on the right road." All we have to do is take Him at His Word.