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Well we all shine on ...

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
... like the moon and the stars and the sun ...
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SAN MARCOS, Texas – On November 11, 2014, I posted a Dust Devil Dreams article titled “Maize/maze” I address the very interesting history of corn in North America, tying in the presence of corn and cornfields that I had been noticing at that time, and something that sync pal Loren Coleman, at Twilight Language, has been writing about quite a bit as of late.

And re-reading that post, I was struck by the connections and links I make between corn and America’s somewhat dark history, particularly in relation to European settlers and their encounters with Native Americans. In fact, it’s a very dark chapter in our history, a chapter involving genocide and one that has not been fully addressed, even to this day.

Which is why the “corn” subject has been coming up time and again for those on the path of synchromysticism. It is a path that chose me and has chosen others. I merely write what I discover on a day-to-day basis. As a friend recently noted, if you go back and look at all the Dust Devil Dreams posts of the past five years or so, a definite pattern emerges.

And corn is part of the pattern. We seem drawn to corn. In our food. In those times we are searching for something (labyrinths, mazes) and in unlocking secrets long hidden. (As an aside, the year 1980 has also been coming up a lot as well. Note this April 2015 DDD post, "Fire on the Mountain," and its link to Portland, Oregon, a city I will discuss a few paragraphs down ...)

The POPS Arcadia Corn Maze in 2015. Note "UFO" in the sky. (Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report)

Which brings me to my main point: the opening paragraph in my “Maize/maze” post. I was stunned, when I was reminded of it. Here goes …

"I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you. You were always the best of them. Best goddamned bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine. Or Portland, Oregon, for that matter.” – Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980).

This famous scene features Jack (Jack Nicholson) having a whiskey-on-the-rocks in the haunted Gold Room of the Overlook Hotel, as the ghostly bartender Lloyd pours the drink and weakly smiles in agreement.

And as has been analyzed in Room 237, about director Stanley Kubrick’s real message in The Shining, the theory that the genocide of Native Americans by white settlers in the Americas – from the time of Christopher Columbus in the late 15th century until present day – was one of the messages Kubrick was sharing, holds more credence with me by the day.”

The famous "Gold Room" scene in The Shining. (MGM)

Again, in light of a resurgence in Native American activism, I am sensing there is something to this. And the genocide of America's indigenous peoples is rising to the top of the conversation, in a way I have not experienced in my lifetime. Back in Oklahoma City, Native American activists have struggled to get the City Council to hear them and have Indigenous Peoples' Day implemented, replacing Columbus Day, a holiday that celebrates a "genocidal maniac."

Of course, as I have relayed before, one of my earliest memories, in a basement room I oddly called "The Apple Room," in our old house in Chevy Chase, Maryland (outside Washington, D.C.), I had some encounter with a Native American apparition (the Nacotchtank tribe once called the D.C. area home) ... 

In any event, take a look at this video, titled "Native American Genocide Themes in The Shining." Recall the manger Stuart Ullman saying that the Overlook was "built on an Indian burial ground." And that the settlers building the hotel had to ward off attacks by Native Americans in the area.

Now, the Apollo Moon Landing controversy, struck a chord initially. And with a new emphasis on sending folks to the Moon in the next few years, and possibly answering those 45-year-old questions about whether a 70's-era, Apollo "Moon buggy" is still parked on the lunar surface.

As anyone who reads Dust Devil Dreams regularly already knows, syncs with The Shining are quite notable. It comes up often, like a riddle that is begging to be solved. And I think a lot of it is right here in our own backyard.


The Chili’s Grill & Bar here in San Marcos is nothing special, really. I’ve been to better ones. I’ve been to locations that are far worse. The Chili’s here at 102 N. Interstate Highway 35 is pretty average. At least on this Ides of March.

Big-screen TV’s, mounted to the walls, are primarily featuring sporting events and largely family-friendly and bland entertainment.

But after being seated, along with my companions on this journey, a friendly young man with a thin beard approaches our booth and asks what I would like to drink. I respond by saying a particular brand of bourbon I prefer – on the rocks, of course.

He takes my order and before walking away he says: “And if you all need anything, my name is Lloyd …”


I sit there thinking upon that name. A chord has been struck. And I have to say that this waiter is very friendly. Likable, even.

A few minutes later he returns – sans beverage.

“I’m sorry sir. We have a full bar but not that brand. We do carry Jim Beam, however,” Lloyd says hopefully.

I nod. Jim Beam on the rocks is fine. My gonzo, literary hero Hunter S. Thompson loved a good, ice-filled glass of Jim Beam. Good guy, Lloyd.

Lloyd returns quickly with the glass of ice and bourbon and he walks off. I take a sip and this quote, from The Shining, hits me. Of course. I mull it over in my mind.

I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you. You were always the best of them. Best goddamned bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine. Or Portland, Oregon, for that matter.”

I keep thinking about “Portland.” In The Shining, as exterior shots of that 1980 Stanley Kubrick film, set in the Colorado Rockies, were shot at the Timberline Lodge, 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon. In fact, the city of Portland, Oregon had come up just a few days earlier, on Twitter, a rock musician and actor, Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and the program Portlandia, had packed a Portland Trail Blazers cap in her luggage and noted it on Twitter.

The TV at Chili's, showing the Spurs-Trail Blazers basketball game. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

My eyes are then drawn to the TV screen near our table. I am looking at an image of NBA player Damian Lillard – star player with the Portland Trail Blazers – sporting a jersey reading “PORTLAND” and his number – “0.” The Blazers are in nearby San Antonio playing the Spurs in a game that the Portland team will win - 110-106.

Front of the sports section in the San Antonio Express-News on Mar. 16, 2017. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)


Just then, Lloyd the waiter reappears and asks if everything is all right. I smile and say, “Lloyd, this may sound like an odd question, but have you ever watched the film The Shining?” I then repeat Jack Nicholson's famous line to ghostly bartender Lloyd, played by Joe Turkel.

He was familiar with it. And then his expression changes. He pulls out his smartphone and says, “You aren’t going to believe it, but (my wife?) and I are planning a trip to Portland, Oregon next month and I was researching the hotel in The Shining (the Timberline). 

Lloyd excitedly shows me his recent searches on his phone. Sure enough, he was looking into visiting Portland, Oregon and "The Shining hotel." 

Incredible. I'm stunned. 

Actors Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper share a laugh at a 2004 L.A. Lakers / Portland Trail Blazers basketball game. (1059 Sunny FM)

Well, I wish Lloyd and his beloved a safe trip. And what I told him before he left our table was that just days before getting to San Marcos was that while in my backyard, I had come across a faded keychain. It was from The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where novelist Stephen King stayed in 1973, during the off-season, and came up with the idea to write The Shining (the title was inspired by John Lennon's 1970 hit "Instant Karma!" - featuring the line, 'well we all shine on ..."). And the Stanley is most definitely haunted. King stayed in room 217  (not 237), and the weatherbeaten keychain was to Room 401, considered the Stanley's "creepiest room." 

According to "that women shouldn’t be surprised (in Room 401) if they receive a few intimate touches while in the room. Women have felt arms around their waists, someone playing with their hair or breathing in their ears."

Anyway, after my experience with "Lloyd the Waiter" at the Chili's here in San Marcos, I noticed this post from Loren Coleman just a day or so later: "Cryptokubrology: Two Jacks". The sync was strong that week, my friends.

What caught my attention is that San Marcos, Texas’s history is like many frontier outposts that settlers tried to build up. But at a price. San Marcos is home to the "Devil's Backbone," along Highway 32, a picturesque road running through the Hill Country. It is considered a "paranormal hotspot," as the Overlook Hotel seems to be, being built on an "Indian burial ground." And recall my Shining/cornstalks sync post a while back, "Dopey little tykes ..."

Notes "The route that runs along State Highway 32 for 122 miles is one of the most scenic in the hill country of Texas, but it also can be one of the most treacherous and spookiest. Its history, like many areas of the West, has seen its share of violence to Native Americans and white settlers alike. And many ghosts seem to have lingered."

I have to say, that while in San Marcos, I sensed something strange. Perhaps otherworldly. And my chance meeting with Lloyd, heading to Portland and "The Shining hotel," well ... something to ponder.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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