“Two magic gardens are now frozen in time and thousands of miles apart present themselves as witnesses and the backdrops to one man’s life early turning points.”
S.H. Oden was born in Spokane, WA. in 1953, and was taken to Mexico by his mother at the age of 5 for 13 months after the split-up of his parents. The family re-assembled later in Spokane valley for ten years before splitting up again. Oden emigrated to Australia for three years, first living in Melbourne, Victoria for four months, and subsequently moved to Darwin, Northern Territory in the tropics for the remainder of his stay in Australia. In the Territory, he survived a near-death experience with crocodiles in the Daly River of ‘Crocodile Dundee’ fame, spent a night on Ayer’s Rock in the outback interior, and flew twice with the Royal Flying Escort Service escorting psychiatric patients to treatment facilities in southern Australia.
Like an old salmon returning to spawn, Oden went back to the Pacific Northwest with his Australian wife to settle down and start a family. He landed a psychologist position with Idaho Health and Welfare, which he kept for 28 years working in psychiatric rehab and forensics. Over time he was awarded the Presidential Bronze Award from the Bush administration in 2006 for his relief work in Albania, Uganda, and Mexico.
From the lush terraces of Lake Chapala, south of Guadalajara, Mexico, to the northern end of the Upper Galilee in Israel, author S. H. Oden explores the pain and exhilaration of his formative years in faraway lands. Meet beloved local Mexican patriarch Papa Mendoza and Circassian businessman ‘Karifar’ who does it his way in his personal quest for creative resource reallocation.
Explore the Sinai Peninsula and the wreckage of the 1967 desert war between Egyptian and Israeli forces as seen from 1971 on a once-in-a-lifetime trip into history. Glimpse the role of the volunteers that came from all over western Europe and the Americas to stream into the Israeli kibbutzim systems as part of the cultural movement in the 1960s and 70s. All set in motion by an electric love affair that should never have happened and split a family...