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Lew Daniels received his BS in Engineering from UCLA and an MA in
Business Administration from Cal State, Los Angeles. He has been an engineer, a
businessman, a writer and a rancher. He currently lives outside of St. George
Utah and herds an odd assortment of animals and equipment. His sport of choice
is tournament black jack.
He writes: "I was setting up the stress relieving procedures for the Chin Chan Nuclear Project in the Republic of China. Each day a car would pick me up in Taipei and take me over the mountain to the project. It was the greatest ride in the world. At the top of the mountain sat a Japanese built "pill-box" left over from WW2. Thus 'The Road From Tam Shui'."
The Road from Tam Shui journeys up the mountain toward heaven. Higher and higher until it turns to mist
Those clouds overflow the highlands and are so happy that they never leave. Filled, a fine vapor weeps from their body.
At the peak, where the road from Tam Shui crosses the path from Lo Ping, a tiny fortress guards their intersection. Made of concrete with a slit which allows a gun barrel to protrude and stand ready. The three Japanese who built and lived in its belly inscribed: WE SERVE OUR EMPEROR WITH HONOR: WATANABE-MIYAGI-TODA.
One must believe they peered down the gun barrel toward Tam Shui, dreamt of their families and wept of loneliness.
In 1945 the fortress stood alone until a few grains of sand settled on top. Then one bird rested and left droppings. They acted as a magnet. Soon a fertile mud lay beckoning life. A far away wind picked up a seed, carried it to the fortress, slowed then continued its journey to infinity. The seed fell upon the inviting bed where the oozing body pulled it to its womb. Lustful caressing caused a small root to grow. Then another and another and thousands more in an orgy of growth.
After five decades the guardian is barely recognizable as a structure of war, as it is the home to so many.
As you read these words, you should feel very secure. You now know the fortress still guards the road from Tam Shui.
© 1998 Lew C. Daniels
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