This is a sequel to CONJURELLA posted at:
There are some words of praise for my CONJURELLA
series in the INSTRUCTIONS box, last page, in
TRANSMETROPOLITAN #17, January 1999. Since most
people assumed that my CONJURELLA series was part
fiction (it wasn't), I finally wrote one that WAS part
fiction. This is it. Warren Publishing Company fans
will remember me for my stories in CREEPY, EERIE, and
VAMPIRELLA, most recently reprinted in VAMPIRELLA OF
DRAKULON #1-3 (Harris Comics, 1996).
Best wishes, T. Casey Brennan
CONJURELLA AVOCA: BLUE WATER LAST MEMORIES
THE TWO JOHN WRIGHTS, AND HOW I SHOT ONE OF THEM
T. Casey Brennan
copyright 2000 by T. Casey Brennan
This is the story of the Blue Water last memories of
David Ferrie. No, this is the story of the two John
Wrights. The first John Wright I met through the
mails in my early days at Peck High School, circa
1961. He published a fanzine in Port Elizabeth, in
what was then the Union of South Africa. His zine was
called, I think, THE KOMIX. It contained no racial or
political propaganda whatsoever, only articles and
comics revolving around what came to be called the
Golden Age of Comics: World War II. A creation by
the first John Wright, a World War II British
superhero called Union Jack, was later to be
appropriated by Marvel Comics, by another one of the
first John Wright's early pen pals, Roy Thomas. The
second John Wright, proprietor of a combination
pornography and conspiracy mail order business called
Pacific Paradise, I met through a different kind of
mail, e-mail, after I had written CONJURELLA, the
story of how Dr. E of Port Hope, Michigan, and David
Ferrie of Ohio, where both my maternal uncles lived,
had kidnapped me on November 22, 1963, and forced me
to initiate the firing from the Texas School Book
If the first John Wright had helped invent the comic
book fanzine, the second John Wright had helped invent
dadaist conspiracy journalism. Wright hailed from
Port Huron, Michigan, where my late father, William J.
Brennan, had once sat on the St. Clair County Board of
Education, along with Thaddeus B. Vance, also of Port
Huron, who had invited me, briefly, into the local
chapter of the John Birch Society. Wright's Pacific
Paradise website included, among other things,
pornographic pictures retouched to look like Monica
Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, blatant political bigotry,
and dadaist conspiracy journalism born out of the Blue
Water's hellish Vietnam era, when those who had been
ensnared by the draft, returned to brag of hellish
atrocities against the Vietnames to those who had not.
Yet, of all the varied media outlets in the Blue
Water area, only John Wright and Pacific Paradise
would report on CONJURELLA, with a special section,
wedged between the pornographic photos of
pseudo-Clinton and pseudo-Lewinsky, and right-wing
meanderings I could accept no more easily in the '90s
than in the sixties.
But this was the story of the last Blue Water
Memories. And this was the mixture of truth, fiction,
and comic book promotion you THOUGHT I wrote.
I graduated from high school in 1965, at the age of
16. I should not have been that young, but when I
started school, in September of 1953, I was five years
old. My late mother, Alice Brennan, was the chief
officer of the Swamp School Board, which would become
one of the last K8, kindergarten through eighth grade,
school districts in the state.
Anyway, Miss Nolan, the teacher, saw that I could
already read, plus, I suppose she thought she could
get some points with my parents, so she put me
immediately into the first grade at age five. So I
graduated at the age of sixteen, from Sanilac County,
future home of itinerant drifter, Timothy McVeigh.
The Sanilac County official who signed my high school
diploma was Henry Hill, a John Birch Society member
Rodding around with a case. In the country, in the
sixties, that was what you did. Unfortunately, for
me, there was a deadly footnote to this: I was no
longer quite sure of who it was locally that I knew,
and who I did not know. Dr. E's injections, combined
with post-hypnotic suggestion, had produced a deadly
selective amnesia; other witnesses, along with our
alleged cousin, Howard Leslie Brennan, would manifest
these symptoms at the Warren Commission hearings.
"Casey, get in the car! We've got some beer!"
Anyone could say it, and I'd get in. Except, if they
were friends from over about a month before, I wasn't
sure if I knew them or not. Had to fake it, with the
names and everything. I actually didn't know.
Apparently, David Ferrie had been cruising 136, with a
carload of bodyguards, the day I decided to walk to
Avoca. Out ancestral home was about four and a half
miles from Avoca, at the corner of Bricker and Brennan
roads, almost. Now it's a park, named after my late
mother, and my adoptive paternal grandfather, James
Brennan, who adopted my late father, in 1906. But
then it was a home, sort of, and that day, I had
decided to walk to Avoca, and see what was going on.
David Ferrie must have been close, watching. He must
have suspected that I would somehow catch a ride to
Avoca, while I was walking, because he was there
waiting, attracting attention, long before I got
They can fail. They can err.
There was a market, a mom-and-pop grocery at the
eastermost end of town, on the left, as you head
toward Beard's Hills. Bill Brown owned it; I guess he
thought he was some kind of local do-gooder; you know,
keeps track of the people, help them out and all. He
was watching David Ferrie; he told me afterwards, he
was watching David Ferrie cruise up and down the
I open the beer and start swigging. I am only a boy
now, but I like to have people think of me as a man.
There are two men in the front seat; four in the back,
including me. It is crowded now, but not unusual for
a carload of drunks in Avoca in the 1960s. There is
only one problem. I don't really know who any of them
are. I am only pretending.
I get in at the left rear passenger door. There are
three men to my right. In the middle is David Ferrie.
I swig the beer and the man to my right issues the
"Don't look at David Ferrie."
And again, for that one brief, hellish moment, I
Again, the operating command, again the enigma,
wrapped in a quilt, and sealed in a crate, is lifted
up. Again the memory: I initiated the firing in
Again the operating command, again the murdered
But I try to look away. The man to my right is adept.
He can lean forward when I do, so I cannot see David
"You don't remember me, do you?" David Ferrie asks.
I smile and say, "A little..."
It is a forced smile and a forced answer, but it is
"Well," David Ferrie says, "I used to come around and
bother you when you were a kid."
"But that's over now. I'm going to stop."
He is not lying either. Within a year, David Ferrie
will be found dead of an overdose, as the New Orleans
District Attorney's 0ffice investigation of the
Kennedy assassination convenes.
I don't remember anything else that he says.
But when he lets me out of the car, after we've driven
north a ways on Beard Road, toward Beard's Hills, I go
over to Bill Brown's market to get a candy bar. Bill
Brown is frantic. Bill Brown still thinks I'm a kid.
"Do you just get in the car with anybody that comes
by?" Bill Brown demands.
I pause sheepishly.
His friend behind the counter says:
"Those guys were cruisin' up 'n' down the street for
near on half an hour. They were lookin' for
"Do you know who those guys were?" Bill Brown asks.
I shake my head, and Brown says: "Better watch who you
get in the car with." His sidekick nods
More than three decades later, when I would remember
who David Ferrie was, and transcribe those memories in
the legend of CONJURELLA, I would be approached,
through e-mail, by the second John Wright, John Wright
of Port Huron (and, briefly, Lansing) and Pacific
Paradise, who would read of CONJURELLA on a newslist.
In May of 1999, I e-mail John Wright and tell him that
a comic book from Evansville, Indiana, THE STORK #2,
is now on sale at The Underworld comic shop on Ann
Arbor's famous South University Street. He responds
by telling me he is coming to Ann Arbor to see me, and
to pick up a copy of The Stork #2, featuring my story,
Wright, unfortunately, has another claim to media
fame. He e-mails me the details, and I find a 1981
article from the ANN ARBOR NEWS, abour Wright's
adventures in Lansing, a UPI story entitled "Lansing
Man arrested for threats to assassinate Vice President
Bush". Excerpts from the article, taken from the
April 18, 1981 ANN ARBOR NEWS, follows. As
interesting as the fact that Wright's "threats" were
clearly coerced, is the fact that an officer surnamed
Ruby was sent for this supposed assassin.
GRAND RAPIDS (UPI) -
...John Wright, 39, was arrested at his Lansing home
by Secret Service agents Thursday after he alleged
<sic> made the threatening comments to Lansing police
officers investigating a harassment complaint.
The Secret Service transferred Wright to the Kent
County Jail to await arraignment in U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Michigan in Grand
Officers confiscated two loaded weapons - a
scope-equipped rifle and a handgun - from Wright's
...When they arrived and knocked, he emerged from the
house and closed and padlocked the front door, Sgt.
Irv Ruby said.
Asked why he had locked the door, Wright - who lives
alone and apparently is unemployed - stated the CIA
was blackmailing him and trying to kill him, Ruby
...The man then said he was going to kill the director
of the CIA and "everyone who's blackmailing me,"
adding, WHEN PRESSED, <emphasis added> that that
included Bush, who served as CIA director under
When asked if he meant the vice president, Wright
responded "that's right, he is the vice president
isn't he, but I'm not going to say that," Ruby said.
Ruby said Wright went on to discuss a number of
unusual matters, including UFOs, before the Secret
Service was contacted and he was arrested.
The following is fiction, for those of you who
demanded it, for those of you who said CONJURELLA must
be fiction. THIS is fiction, and comic book
Wright arrives at the Ann Arbor Greyhound station in
the summer of 1999. My meeting with him is
prearranged. He must wait at the bus station well
after closing, till I arrive to meet him, after work
at The Earle, the restaurant where I now work as a
dishwasher. I punch out, pocket the Glock 9MM, and
walk. As it rattles dangerously in the pocket of my
sport coat, I can hear the MK-ULTRA operating command:
DON'T KNOW THAT THE GUN IS THERE.
And I do not know. There is, in my heart, only
anticipation, only anticipation of a friendship with a
fellow Internet conspiracy writer, one who has
embraced my work, and written of it at his website,
however politically incorrect. Wright leans against
the wall of the Greyhound station, in the darkened
alcove where the buses arrove. I approach with little
cat footsteps, like Sandburg's fog. When he looks up
and recognizes me, I smile, and try to extend my hand.
But the MK-ULTRA command says:
IT ISN'T REAL. DRAW AND FIRE. JUST LIKE IN A DREAM.
Dangerously, the safety is off on the Glock 9MM, as it
rolls about in my sport coat. Wright looks up and
smiles for but a moment before my hand, involuntarily,
comes up with the 9MM. I have only a nanosecond to
see the smile fade, before I open fire: one in the
heart, two in the head. The sound is ffft, ffft,
ffft, as the silencer does its job. Wright, like
myself, has claimed through his Pacific Paradise
website, of memories of MK-ULTRA experimentation in
his youth. They will be his last memories.
The second John Wright slumps upon his concrete
deathbed like a rag doll. As he does, I pocket the
gun and turn and walk away, and already the gunfire is
a memory lost, like that day in Dallas. The MK-ULTRA
JOHN WRIGHT DIDN'T SHOW UP AT THE BUS STATION. YOU
NEVER SAW HIM.
And I walk down Huron St., humming an old song, sad
that my e-mail friend never showed up in Ann Arbor to
see me, as he promised.
Promotional Postscript: Optimists will be happy to
learn that after the regrettable shooting incident,
either comic character VAMPIRELLA showed up, as
scripted by T. Casey Brennan in VAMPIRELLA OF DRAKULON
#1-3 (Harris Comics, 1996) and VAMPIRELLA:
TRANSCENDING TIME & SPACE (by T. Casey Brennan & Steve
...and bit him on the neck just as he was going out.
roaring twenties Satanist Aleister Crowley showed up,
back from the dead...see the T. Casey Brennan story in
the Brazilian edition of Crowley's THE EQUINOX, Vol.
V, No III, advertised at...
...and had him sell his soul to the devil. Either way,
now the second John Wright is okay. Sort of. Just
avoid him...after dark.
http://www.morethanconquerors.simplenet.com/MCF/victm-hm.htm#Brennan http://tcasey.inri.net http://www.videogasm.com http://16ton.com/colo/tcb.htm
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