Prologue: Caged

(February 19, 1969)


I was caged.

Then, I was driven.

Driven to Cherokee.

A hazy memory of riding caged in the back of a police car.

Two shadows in the front seat, the county sheriff and a female escort.

Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” buzzing from a tinny transistor radio.

Outside, the Iowa landscape bleak:

Cloudy and cold, condensation and frost riming the windows, piles of dirty snow dotting the countryside.

I, cargo.

Destination: Cherokee’s other place, the outline on the hill.

Shifting, crossing my legs…

Please, can we stop?

Hot and steamy inside.

Shivering, my teeth rattling.

Please…I have to go!

Hear something, George?

Naw, nothin’ important.


Cargo has no voice.

Madness has no voice.

Listen, crazy girl…

Two voices: We have come to take you away, ha, ha…

“I’m crazy, crazy…”

Fragments, crazy-quilt impressions, acid flashbacks…

I, crazy?

* * * * *

From I, Driven: a memoir of involuntary commitment ("Prologue")

© 2008-2010, by Jennifer Semple Siegel

Excerpt may not be used or copied without author’s permission.


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Saturday, August 2, 2008

News Clip--October 11, 1968: Revolution in Panama


Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid, elected president for the third time and twice ousted by the Panamanian military, is again ousted (for the third time) as president by the National Guard after only 10 days in office.

A military junta government is established, and the commander of the National Guard, Brig. Gen. Omar Torrijos, emerges as the principal power in Panamanian political life.

Torrijos' regime is harsh and corrupt, and will have to confront the mistrust of the people and guerrillas backing the populist Arnulfo Arias. However, he is a charismatic leader whose populist domestic programs and nationalist foreign policy appeals to the rural and urban constituencies largely ignored by the oligarchy.

Source (text and photos): Wikipedia

1968 El año de las rebeliones en el mundo (1968: The Year of Rebellions in the World)


WARNING! Some violent images! Viewer discretion advised!

Although this clip is primarily in Spanish, the fast-moving images transcend language barriers; this film is well worth viewing.


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