Thursday, November 9, 2017

SCARED... A Memoir Presented by Monolin Moreno



The Trail of Tears...

In 1837, Samuel Hough...became part of the great East-West movement, which was spurred by the creation of the non-slave Northwest Territory, a transportation revolution, a flood of new immigrants, and government sale of millions of acres of western land after the subjugation and forced removal of American Indians from their ancestral lands...
--A Village in Time by Neil C. Hughes



Everything has a beginning origin,
creation story
the universe, earth, rivers, trees,
you and me...

Manny

Moments

Sage burns in an abalone shell
Smoke spirals to heaven
My thoughts are on a mission
For things to think about
There are many stories to write
But this hummingbird has me on its wings
What happens now will not happen
Again as it is happening
I will not be remembered sitting here
Caught in this cross-fire of solitude
The smoke spiraling to heaven
Will not ascend this way again
Shadows moving across the ground
Have neither tongues nor eyes
***

I remember waking up at dawn on September 14, 1986, hungover like a big dog and putting on a pot of coffee to snap out of it. I got wasted the night before celebrating my thirty-first birthday out at Frank's Corner and only slept a few hours.
The sun was rising above the rooftops and streaming through an open window where I sat at the kitchen table, as cool breezes splashed in across my fact sobering me up. Everybody else was still in bed and the sounds of a train passing through Livingston echoed in the distance.
I was peeking out at the leaves of the big weeping willow tree in the backyard falling down like a shower of the feathers and carpeting down like a shower of tiny feathers and carpeting the ground around it in a circle. Suddenly Grandpa Manuel popped into my mind planting a long twig in the middle of the backyard in 1968, as a gift to us when we first moved here. I never believed it would grow into this big beautiful tree but Grandpa proved me wrong.
In my drunk and drugged stupor I was imaging grandpa's spirit was in the tree trying to reach out to me. That's what I wanted to believe and I whispered almost crying to the tree, "Help me Grandpa, help me." But I got no answer.
When the coffee was ready I got up and went into the bedroom to grab some pens and notebooks and sat back down to start writing out of desperation about my journey on this road of life. I wanted this book to be my gift to the family. But I never realized how hard it was going to be...
This is what I began to write about with the jitters on this morning thirty years ago, how my life evolved into becoming my worst enemy and about the shell of a man I had become...
"It's good to know where you come from so when you get asked to introduce yourself you can say who you are and who your ancestors were."
~~~

SCARED
A Memoir

Monolin "Manny" Moreno


Although we all know the history of what was done to our Native Americans, Manny Moreno, in his memoir, says little about how his life was affected as a man of color...Brown... Even his ancestry was questioned sometime... When I saw the cover picture of Manny, I wondered how this could be questioned... I had always admired Chief Dan George who used to appear on television when I was young and recognized the same strong features in the face of Manny Moreno...

They came to the room and Mom said "Sophie brought these elders to pray over you."
The husband said "Hello Manny, my wife and I would like to pray over you, do you mind?"
"Oh...yeah whatever," I was thinking if it weren't for them being elders I would have told them to go f... themselves. The three of us held hands and began to pray.
As they were praying I felt this electricity flow through my body from my feet to my head and then slowly back down to my feet. A great unexplainable peace came over me. I didn't know what to think. I couldn't think. All my senses were flowing with calmness. When they were done praying they left and I fell into a deep sleep...
I patted around my stomach when I woke up in the dim room and didn't feel the bag. There was only a piece of thick gauze where my gut had been sticking out. She said it was a miracle. That the bag was removed and I was patched back up...
~~~
I have enjoyed reading two of Manny's previous books, The Bridge is Gone, and The Elder, and suggest you read my reviews before you leave today and check these books out as well...

The key thing for me in highly recommending Manny's Memoir is that, even with the plight presented historically to our Native Americans and today, Manny chooses not to blame history. Yet, it is known by many that the movement of American Indians onto reservation land, and the concurrent discrimination of those who were here in the United States...first... led to a life of poverty and homelessness at the same time that, with no jobs available, many had nothing to do and began drinking and using drugs to escape... often staying out all night drinking and drugging at local bars listening to Santana...

While Manny also participated to his detriment, he openly shares  his early life experiences and allows us to realize the life of both he and his friends as they succumbed to hopelessness...

This is not an easy book to read. This is about being a child, children, and adults being forced to take jobs that nobody else is willing to do, it's about becoming an alcoholic or addict and what that meant to some--Death. Manny talks about being SCARED quite often...Manny spoke to my heart...and I believe he will touch many through his powerful words. 

Not only does he share about his own early life but he tracks his family activities as much as he was able to discover. For much of his life, he was mostly involved with Chicano friends. He knew he was Yaqui but could not find many documents of birth or place of origin. Still, his work is a major contribution for both his family and those interested in the history of Native Americans.

Manny shares of discrimination against those with brown skin, even in school and in their towns--"I remember these white business owners in town saying stupid things like, Mexicans are used to being poor, they're happy like that, they're content to have cheap dirty menial jobs and didn't mind living out in Gallo camp cramped like sardines in tiny cinder block shanties and in town in old dilapidated shacks." Seriously? Sometimes I just don't understand some of those people who also have white skin like me...

It was when Manny got involved with his heritage that I felt better, even though he got to that place by going into detox... There is a different approach to the author's writing as he begins to talk about those days. And readers see the man, who had struggled for so many years, awaken as he began to feel better about himself and to meet others who spoke of and celebrated their ancestors.

Many of us have been intrigued by the supernatural surrounding Native Americans, but as Manny shared stories he had experienced in his early life, several were quite scary and inexplicable... at least to me... except the one where he was healed after being prayed for...

Although his latest book is his memoir, I believe there is still much for Manny to share with his readers... It is clear from the various talents he has--artist, poet and writer, that God has presented him with many gifts... In his story, several incidents felt to me that God's intervention had more than once saved his life...

A note about the writing...Manny speaks from his past life, with much street language. There are also minor proofreading errors but not enough to prevent the reader from understanding and placing much value on his story.  Through help from many, Manny continues to speak for his Indian world while becoming recognized as a spiritual leader in ceremonies and the various communities where he shares his ancestral dances and stories for the young. A final personal note from me...when you buy one of Manny's books, as I did this one, you are helping him meet his basic life needs of food and shelter... Through Manny's story, you may find recognition...sympathy... or even despair knowing how our Native Americans live in today's world. Please check this book out as well as his other creative contributions...


GABixlerReviews




Welcome, I am Monolin Manny Moreno. I grew-up in the San Joaquin Valley in a small town named Livingston. My roots here go back to 1919 when my grandparents arrived here looking for work, from Sonora, Mexico and Arizona, Yaquis. In those times along the border and south of it, the Revolution was taking place and many Indigenous families came north looking to survive and raise their families. My family Yaqui records date back so far to the late 1700's. I am an Enrolled Member of State Recognized Texas Band of Yaqui Indians.
I grew-up during the 1960's and 70's DE-colonizing my mind. During these times I was writing poetry and painting. I have been writing since I was a boy, inspired and encouraged in part by my mother and an aunt. I accumulated many notebooks over decades and self published small chapbooks along the way. My first book released in 2008 is titled The Bridge is Gone, poetry. My latest release is titled The Elder, a tribute. My memoir, Scared, has just been published.

I work seasonal and the sales of my books helps me to get by another day. I am striving to write and record life in this area but living circumstances make it very difficult. So all proceeds of my books when ordered directly through me go to me.
I have also included videos, interviews and art work as well as some publicity clips on my work.Thank you for dropping by and don't forget to order...Click to my site now...

Manny