A little bit about me…
On my Mothers side, her mother was a Jew from Russia; her Father is of questionable origins.
On my Fathers side, I am a combination of French, Black, and Jewish, and the possibility of Native American, nothing is ever an easy answer. My Fathers Father is either half Black or a quarter black, and we are unsure as to the exact amounts; he was a French man of Black Dutch origins. His mother, a Russian Jew born in Germany. If you go back far enough, they are related (not too far, lol). Of course, they were not aware of this fact until my Grand Mother died in 1997. My parents met each other on a fishing pier in New York.
I would tell you more; however, my parents and their parents were not proud of their culture and have often lied about their origins. To me, this is not funny but truly sad; they, however, made their choices, and those of us left behind in the wake must live with them no matter how ridiculous they have become. Whenever I believe I know who I am, the story changes, not because of anything I have done but because of the legacy they have left behind.
Not even DNA tests can give an accurate account of who someone is...in my heart, I am who I am and no more or less than that. A name is just a name, a race also a tag; I chose to be me. Culturally inspired to be the best person I can be, by the grace of all that surrounds me, to hate to embrace all.
I spent my younger years in Charlestown, Boston, Mass. A white Irish community, where I attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church. My neighbor Roland was a Native American healer and tribal spiritual leader who was close to being a second Father to me. I was very blessed to have his guidance and his knowledge in my life for as long as I had it. He, like my Grand Father, made a significant impact on my future self. From both of them, I learned that I could do anything I set my mind to, and I have learned over the years not to back down and to enjoy a life full of passion and knowledge.
I have an excellent feel for historic places. I grew up in a 300-year-old haunted house that had been once part of Charlestown's great fire.
My biological dad even has pictures of me, helping him tear out the walls when I was just three years old. There was a lot of history in those old plaster walls, and I can tell you that at the tender age of three, I loved every minute of it and wanted more.
My biological dad, though, throughout the first 12 years of my life, helped me become the kind of person who could fix my stuff and by the time I went to middle school, I was convinced I could make almost anything from wood or metal. Back then, of course, in the ’70s girls did not work in wood or metal shop, but I made another first-time event and convinced a very reluctant teacher to let me take the entrance test the boys were taking and that if I passed, I would be allowed to attend. I took the test and aced it, did better than any of the boys I was up against. In reality, I am a powerful force when put in motion. Outside of school, I was also a mover and a shaker and by fifth grade had my first piece of poetry published and had changed the world and future for a whole bunch of kids when because on my insistence, the Boy’s Club of Boston became coed, no really look it up.
I grew up with a need to gain as much knowledge as I could. When not visiting Roland, being in school, hanging out with Grand Father (Andrew L. Brown), I could often be found as a child hanging out in the town history museums or climbing the Bunker Hill monument, which I did each day for many years. I had a life few people could imagine and often felt as though I lived between two worlds. Growing up in Boston gave me a perspective of art and philanthropy that has always followed me and my life path.
To this day, much of my photographic art details an almost lost history of buildings, barns, and farms of bygone days. I think of it as an honor to save records of these buildings and homesteads for a future time. For if we forget history, we forget ourselves.
I spent some years in Indiana, where I developed a great love and respect for the Amish people and their history. Living in Indiana, I believed I was being punished for some horrible crime, lol. But in fact, it did help me become the person I am today in a lot of ways. Living there taught me about a simpler life, and it taught me to deal with rejection, and well, there was that four years of free speech therapy, which is why now I speak very elegantly.
It also gave me two new parents in my late teens. These parents taught me so much that I would not have the room to put it all down here. I will say that many, many people love me and would give their lives for me; my Indiana parents inspired me and helped me to be a kind person.
The lessons I took from Indiana are that people judge you by what you wear, and well, let's face it, except for that brief period of tie-dye t-shirts in the 90's I am a basic black kind of gal.
I was a closet kabalistic Jew… I saw what they did to the one other Jew in Leo High School, and that was not pleasant; many years later, I regretted not standing up and saying something; time teaches us always.
Another lesson I learned from Indiana was about owning property and partnership; because of those lessons, I owned all future items myself, for the most part. At the tender age of 19, I owned a house on 1234 Smith Street (no, it is the real place, not sure if it is there any more or not); it was an old farmhouse with a small back yard. I lost this house trying to take care of my mother and my siblings, another ongoing theme of my life caring for my biological mother and losing stuff by doing it… it's only stuff.
I also owned an apartment building, which I lost within the first year and then again many years later; paperwork follows you everywhere…lol. I had a partner who made someone in the building department angry. Before I knew it, I was in violation of things I had no idea of and a fancy stop-work order, which meant I could not fix not one thing without going to jail, so there you have it, never make the building department mad.
After that, I moved into a home owned by a family of real live gypsy's, and while the whole thing was kind of cool, fortune-telling is one game I should not be allowed to play. I can say that I know my way around people and read most people very well, and if I wanted to, I could empty your wallet while I shook your hand, but thankfully I have never been that kind of person. I will admit that off and on in my life; I have hung out with carnival people, gypsies, and worse. I learned a great deal from all of these people and will often leave people where they are standing unless I can get past what I first see in their eyes.
Then, I moved to Orlando, Florida; I lived there for a few months, and after living homeless and sort of jobless working out of daily labor, I decided that the life I had lived was very soft. I took a vow of poverty, which I held for seven full years. During this time, many changes took place in my life, including my first children and a more orthodox following of my faith. I still maintained many of what other people would consider Native American customs as well.
At that time in my life, I met many famous and not so famous people. I created and ended friendships, I loved deeply and purely, and I grew into the healthy, clear-minded person I am today. Some people who know me will tell you I pull no punches, and that is often true though, over the last few years, I have tried to soften my steps a bit. I lived in Florida in many different places and left my mark upon each one. I learned many types of art, including glass making, and fine-tuned many of my other artistic skills, such as paint, carving, clay working, and more….I continued my work with the poor and oppressed. I am never ashamed of who I am, only that it took so long to get here.
In 2002 I saw Arkansas on a TV show and said, hey, I want to live there, so the kids and I took our first family vacation. I loved the place and live there now.
My second or third husband, depending on who you ask, were married in Hot Springs, Arkansas by Reverend Simpson, who retired after marrying us; now don't hold me to this, but I think we were the last couple he married, and he did it as close to Jewish custom as he could. He was a charming man who retold us his life and wondered why he had survived D-Day…I have always felt it was to meet my husband and myself so that we did not give up our dream of living in Arkansas and making a life here. I have lived in many places but never made a life until Arkansas.
My Work ethic
I am a hard worker who loves to learn. I am self-motivated, dedicated, and loyal. I pride myself on not only showing up for work but doing it on time.
For the most part, I have quit drinking and do not do drugs (I gave it up years ago, way too many to count).
I have been self-employed much of my life and have met many interesting people.
Here is a list of some of my jobs, if they're all not here, well I'm sorry, I am getting old.
I have worked as a florist, a babysitter, a dog walker, a gardener, a lawn care professional, a dry-waller, a painter, a divot filler (yes, it is a job). I have worked as a rock singer, a carvel freak, a baker, a glass artist, a card reader, a ride jockey, part of a teardown crew for a carnival. I took jobs such as counselor for drug abuse, a book checker at a binding company, a fact-checker, a toy tester.
Many years before 9-11. I worked on computers for the Airforce.
I have been a pewter smith and a white metalsmith.
I have even worked as a crystal healer, a Reiki healer, an herbalist, Indian tribal chief (yup, really).
I have worked framing houses.
I worked as factory worker( made about everything…lol, trust me, you do not want to know where plastic comes from).
A librarian's assistant in Boston, one of the sweetest jobs I have ever had.
A car salesperson, a gas station attendant.
I have worked in a print shop, well two.
I have been the head of a food dispersal system for the poor.
I ran a multi-million dollar scrap yard.
I was an office worker, secretary, bookkeeper for a nice old Jewish man.
I have worked in two reality companies.
A bunch of call centers.
Landlord, there is just too many to write….
All taught me lessons about myself and others.
I am a fabulous person that few people, if any in the world, could compare; in my life, I have done many things and will do many more. If I had to describe myself, I would say that I am.
Currently, I am writing books. Many of my books can be found on Amazon, some with my name on them even...
I am published many times over both with my art work, which can still be found in many magazine publications and print form, five books with my name on them, a hundred or so poems, and a few songs. My art work has been shown in many galleries worldwide, and I am told it still brings top dollar, even though I rarely see it.
Where do I live? I live on a small old world farm.
You can find out more about it by visiting my website. www.mahanaimfarm.com
I am an artist by trade; I am currently writing a few more books and creating lovely inspired artwork.
My husband was trained as a blacksmith but has retired due to health issues.
My hobbies include collecting and restoring classic Jeep Wagoneers; I own three, a 1978 Air force edition that is blue and saved me more than once, a 1973 Jeep Wagoneer that was the first year they had automatic 4-wheel drive. They are all awesome. We also have other old cars and trucks.
I love and cannot get enough of World and American History, Herbal medicine, old-world farming, old work cooking, spinning wool and making cloth, canning, making cheese and wine and teaching others to live below their means.
I am currently in college studying to become a Fema coordinator. I recently received a AHS degree from Ozarka College.
Yes, there are events and people missing from the above work, but what is life without a little mystery and getting to know one another.
Thank you for getting to know me.
Shekhinah Raziel Golden-Dove Davis
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