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The Crucifixion of Esmerelda Sweetwater

By Don Elkins and Carla L. Rueckert.

Through the ’60’s, Carla was an attendee at the meditations but in 1968, she and Don began to spend more time together, as she had been divorced from her first husband. They became companions and were happily unmarried together for the next 16 years. In every mating there is a chemistry, and this parable of Esmerelda and her space-woman twin, and the rest of the cast of characters, was Don’s and Carla’s first work together. Into it were poured all the ideals and musings about being here on Earth, but being strangers here also, and all the attraction for each other and for the common hopes and concerns that two humans feel.

The really odd thing about the story is that it began coming true in 1974, six years after it had been composed. We had never gotten it published, though we sent it out a dozen times. But it was there in manuscript form. First we met Andrija Puharich, who was a ringer for Padeyevsky, a central character. His house in the book and his house in real life were so alike that I rather jokingly asked him where the peonies were, since I had ‘seen’ the house with a circle of peony bushes with my inner eye when writing the book. Andrija laughed and told us that they’d taken the peonies out two years previous. Then we started to see the trend towards crucifixion in the sacrificial lives of the group, especially Elkins. And in the end, we lost Donald from this realm.

And so the book does end without Pollyanna rescues, although with a sense of moving ahead as a spiritual warrior. It is a good tale, a tight plot about some space people trying to understand Earth ways. And it remains the most that Don ever allowed to be known of his inner nature, in his co-creation of Joshua Starr. All in all, it is a satisfying read.


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