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Favorite Authors – Keith McCullough Alex Haley Winston Churchill 2, 3, and 4

Not many of you will have heard of Keith McCullough of Hedgeye fame, that is unless you are interested in portfolio management. Most of you know, I love to read, it helps me learn, stay balanced and become versed in our history. I think one of the reasons that I write in the historical fiction genre is because we can gain so much understanding from our forebears. A case in point is a newsletter I read this week from Keith McCullough. His opening missive follows:

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A GRAY TIME “Monday, October 9th, 1933. A gray day in a gray time.” -Daniel James Brown
@keithmccullough
THE BIG PICTURE
Looking for some inspiration ahead of our Q4 Global Macro Themes Call on Thursday, I started reading The Boys In The Boat last night. It’s the story of 9 Americans and their quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

While the aforementioned quote probably doesn’t inspire you to get out of bed this morning and chase another no-volume US stock market chart on green, it is Daniel James Brown’s opening sentence to an epic story. I love opening sentences.

I read #history in order to stay away from the Old Wall’s noise. In gray times of both US and Global#GrowthSlowing, history provides me calm and context. Without knowing where we’ve come from, how on earth could we know where we’re going?

It is his last paragraph that should give us “pause to ponder”. Without knowing where we have come from, how on earth could we know where we are going? Doesn’t the above “kinda” remind you of an Alex Haley quote, frequently attributed to Winston Churchill. quote-unless-we-learn-from-history-we-are-destined-to-repeat-it-this-is-no-longer-merely-an-alex-haley-85-20-72 In fact, to get the whole picture I want you to see the quote that follows from Winston Churchill. quote-the-whole-history-of-the-world-is-summed-up-in-the-fact-that-when-nations-are-strong-winston-churchill-37-4-0472

This is why some of my favorite authors are Keith McCullough, Alex Haley and  Winston Churchill.

I think all citizens of this great country should reflect on those two pearls of wisdom. Our country is comprised of a generation of voters who have never read their history and we are dictated to by politicians who don’t know Alex Haley from Halley’s Comet. Now to more sanguine affairs. One of my novels, “Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls – Revealed” by Spencer Hawke is in the “Biblical Fictional Genre”. Let me know what you think. Read This Before You Buy Your Next Book!

For your reading pleasure I present, “Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls – Revealed”

A fictional story of what might have happened.

Episode 4

The second Roman nodded his head in agreement, then in unison they moved menacingly closer to Gavrel, swords held high. As they got within striking distance, the thugs drew their swords back even further and higher to get more leverage. That was all Gavrel needed to see; he leapt into the air toward them, left leg coiled like a spring. As he came down, he released his left leg in a vicious kick to the first Roman’s stomach. The man shot backward, gasping for air and bewildered.

The second Roman looked at his friend, then at Gavrel. He opened his mouth, full of black, rotten, broken teeth. He started to swing his sword, a vicious snarl on his face, shouting profanities, but before he could complete half his swing, Gavrel struck. He swung around to his right and launched his right hand open like a crab to grab his opponent’s trachea between his thumb and four fingers, then squeezed. The thug dropped his sword and clawed at the clamp-like fingers, unable to breathe; he died and dropped to the ground.

Gavrel swiveled back to the first attacker, who was by now sitting up. He walked over to the man, put his knee into the thug’s back and secured his right arm around the ruffian’s neck. He pressed forward with his left arm, very angry and using too much pressure, “Why did you attack me? Who sent you?”

The Roman did not answer, and Gavrel continued the sideways and forward pressure, only to hear the thug’s vertebrae crack. He released his grip too late.

Lazarus and Barnabus had heard the ruckus. Curious, they came up to see what was happening. “Is it safe for us to come out now?”

Gavrel did not want anyone to see the violence of the confrontation. “Go back to bed; we will talk in the morning.”

He sat down, trying to get his adrenalin back to a normal level, and brewed some sweet tea. Then Gavrel tied a rope around the neck of each dead Roman and hitched them to a donkey. He pulled them a good distance from the camp and released the rope.

He had no sympathy for these unruly heathens, but for their souls he had compassion. After releasing their bodies a sufficient distance from their camp, he prayed for them. “May God rest your rotten souls, and I hope you provide a feast for the wild animals.”

It was not a prayer he was proud of, Gavrel thought, but for these heathens it would do. After saying these few words, he moved slowly back to camp. If these ruffians had gotten this close to Lazarus and Barnabus, it meant the word was out and others would follow. The bounty on their heads must have been sufficient to even entice renegade Roman soldiers to hunt them.

Lazarus and Barnabus could not stay in these mountains another night; he had to get them to go down to the port to buy passage for Cypress in the morning. With those profound thoughts, Gavrel returned to his bedroll and tried to sleep. But it wasn’t easy as he worried about his family, about Jerusalem, and about Temple Mount. He felt the weight of the world on his shoulders.

This was where his pankration training came to his aid. When confronted by multiple enemies at the same time, he had been taught to identify the immediate danger then move on to the next and so on, until all of his problems were resolved. It was only after he established the identity of his most immediate problem that he was able to relax enough to sleep.

Even when he did, every sound piercing his subconscious, he was still not totally comfortable with his surroundings; there could still be other assassins on their way. Instead, it was hyenas that disturbed his slumber. They had found his victims, their crazed whoop-whooping laugh echoing through the night. Other competing cats – leopards or cheetahs – contended for the free meal, snarling, growling and hissing to try to scare off the hyenas.

Gavrel took comfort in the ravenous predators, finally able to sink into a deep sleep – he knew these hungry beasts would alert him if any assassins tried to get close to his camp, disturbing their feast.

He woke early, strangely refreshed and at peace. It was an odd feeling considering the events of the previous night. Lazarus and Barnabus joined him around the fire as he tried rekindling it.

Lazarus couldn’t restrain his curiosity. “What happened last night?” he asked.

“I suspect they were assassins sent by the Sadducee Priests. They died before they could talk.”
spencer@spencerhawke.com

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