23: The Collected Works of C.J. Cala

This comprehensive new introduction looks at spiritual experiences from past to present, from the experiences of the founders of the major world religious.

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At the time, Carmen was just a little green parrot with red cheeks and not much other color, and I did not realize what a beauty she would eventually become. I took her home and fixed her a temporary cage and ordered a macaw tree. The cage very soon became too small for her, and when the macaw tree came, we found she could not reach between the perches on the tree, so I fastened natural hemp rope between them and also a knotted rope that went all the way to the floor.

Food and water were kept near the top center so whatever spilled went into the tray at the bottom.

This macaw tree was kept in my kitchen area and she played, ate, and slept in the tree for over a year. If she fell or flew off, she would run back to the rope and climb right back up. As we became better acquainted, I discovered the RFM's charming personality and acrobatic expertise. The only time she was noisy was when I ran the coffee grinder. She hated that and screamed her head off until it stopped. Other than that, she was vocal but not loud. She housebroke herself almost immediately, never even having an accident, always waiting to go back to her perch.

I fixed a car perch for her and put a paper on the floor and would stop and put her on the paper every 30 minutes or so and that worked out fine. She loved to wrestle and play "gotcha" and would squeal with delight with any games I could make up. She loved to be wrapped in a towel and take a nap on the sofa with the 1V on.

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At one point, I taught her to stand on roller skates. The skates I made for her were too big, and she only wanted to stand on one skate. Many sailors believe those to be what are known as Phantom Bells. Since bells are usually rung upon the death of a human being and many sailors believe a ship has a soul of its own, it is believed that one will hear phantom bells to announce that a ship has been lost. Many lake sailors believed it to be the phantom bells rung for the Rouse Simmons. It is also believed that a ship will scream out after it is lost at sea and many believe this sound to be caused by the air escaping from the hold or cabin of the ship as it is crushed by the pressure of the heavy water.

In the early years the trees would show up as fresh as the day they were cut due to being preserved by the frigid Lake Michigan waters. People would gather them up and decorate them for Christmas. In much later years the trees would turn up as skeletons but the trees would be cut into thin slices which would then be decorated as ornaments. It was said that Captain Santa was still delivering his load of Christmas Trees even in death. Miraculously, in , a burgundy wallet wrapped in oilskin washed ashore near Two Rivers, Wisconsin and was found by a fisherman and a lighthouse keeper.

The wallet belonged to Captain Schuenemann and was very well preserved after being submerged for 12 years. A friend of mine, named Ellen Rohr, recounted a story that she had heard from her great uncle. Her great uncle was born in , just 3 years before the Rouse Simmons was lost. He grew up near the area and would go down to the Point Beach Lighthouse to pick choke cherries from the trees near there. He told Ellen that people would go down to the Lakeshore usually on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning just before dawn to try to catch a glimpse of the ghost ship.

It was described as an old ship with tattered sails that would just bob in the waves. Someone would see it and it would just disappear. He said that many times people would claim to see a person waving a lighted lantern back and forth on deck. She also stated that the wheel from the ship was found in about 1 mile north of where the shipwreck was discovered which lends itself to the fact that they may have lost the wheel before the ship sank and were unable to steer the craft through the storm.

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The wheel itself, along with other artifacts, are located in the Rogers Street Fishing Village and the anchor is at the entrance of the Milwaukee Yacht Club. Starting in , the U. Coast Guard carries on the tradition of the Schuenemann family with a yearly re-enactment with an early December pilgrimage from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Navy Pier in Chicago. Marie Michigan and various volunteer groups help to unload the trees at Navy Pier in Chicago including kids from Goodwin Elementary school which just happens to be my alma mater.

Hermann is listed on her stone but his body was never discovered. Two of their daughters, Elsie Roberts and Hazel Groneman are also buried in the plot although their graves are unmarked. The Schuenemann stone has a single evergreen tree in the center and people claim that they can sometimes smell freshly cut Christmas Trees when visiting the gravesite.

I had the opportunity to visit the site recently and as I walked toward the site I did catch a smell of freshly cut evergreen. But that is alright by me. God help us. The next spring, trees weighted down nets hauled in by commercial fisherman.

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Twelve years after she sank to the cold depths of Lake Michigan, a fishing trawler hauled up a wallet belonging to captain Schuenemann. The wallet, well preserved because it was wrapped in oilskin, contained business cards, a newspaper clipping and an expense memorandum. People tell tales of bare Christmas trees washing ashore for years and years after the Christmas Tree Ship went down. Then, quite by accident, the Rouse Simmons was found.


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Scuba diver Kent Bellrichard was looking for another lost vessel and began searching an area where commercial fishermen were known to get their nets snagged. But he found the Rouse Simmons instead, in Her hold is still full of Christmas trees. The Christmas tree ship sunk November 23, and all hands were lost.

Many sailing ships carried Christmas trees on the great lakes, but the Rouse Simmons has held its place, as the most storied ship of the century. One year later, a ship was again being loaded in Thompson, MI. The ship was called the fearless. It was being captained by Barbara Schuenemann, wife of the lost captain.

Rouse Simmons’ Christmas Trees Need No Water | National Underwater and Marine Agency

She was interviewed and these were her words. They know where to find us. Schuenemann and her daughters continued selling Christmas trees until she passed away in the final shipment by schooner was made in A study of the wreck suggested that the ship had steerage and was sailing for shelter when it sank. The mizzen mast snapped off above the deck and the upper portion was not located.

The main mast was found forward and to the port side of the wreck with the base missing. The foremast is intact and lies nearly parallel but on top of the main mast suggesting at least one of these masts fell out of the mast step as the ship went down.

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Many of the trees are still in the ship's hold, though two were extracted and shown as exhibits. The ship's anchor was retrieved and now stands at the entrance to the Milwaukee Yacht Club. The remains of the wreck are listed on the national register of historic places. The Historic Christmas Tree Ship.