Maureen Kellar-Kirby is a semi-retired Early Childhood Education teacher, wife, mother and grandmother, who presently lives in Calgary, Alberta - Canada. Her other interests and talents include paranormal investigation, astrology, writing, movie script writing, song writing and performing.
She has worked in daycare centres and schools in Calgary, Alberta since 1984 and continues as a substitute teacher to the present day.
As Ministargazer, she has practised and taught astrology and worked as a telephone psychic.
As a musician she has performed in local bands and as a busker in Calgary, Alberta.
As a movie script writer she has entered scriptwriting contests, placing in several and attended Pitch Fests in Los Angeles.
She is author of the book "Go Back Jack", a children's book "The Leprechaun Who Was Not a Mouse", three movie scripts "Go Back Jack", "Jimi's Last Poem" and "Idiot House". She has written and recorded a music soundtrack of original songs for the script "Go Back Jack".
“Go Back Jack” is a true story about a young woman’s search for her previous life as a black American blues musician who "rode the rods", lived in the Deep South during the Great Depression and early years of World War Two and died tragically before realizing his musical dreams.
After a series of psychic illuminations, in 1972, the author travels to the U.S.A. seeking evidence of this past life, only to encounter the same temptations and circumstances that led to her tragic death in that previous lifetime.
In a struggle at a soul level, caught between good and evil, she finally realizes that only by facing and overcoming her karma, that has followed her from beyond the grave, will she be able to move on with her own life. Will she be able to resist the temptations that led to her premature death in that previous lifetime or suffer the same fate once more?
Come along with Maureen Kellar on her journey and you will not only be fascinated, but you just might be inspired to "Go Back Jack" and find out the truth about yourself.
"Go Back Jack" is a story unlike anything I've read in the past, taking readers along the ride with Maureen, the eternal wild child." USA reviews.
"The journey is as spiritual as it is dangerous, placing Maureen in plenty of dicey situations that would leave most of us screaming and running the other way." USA reviews.
This book forms the basis for Maureen Kellar-Kirby's movie-script and soundtrack CD of music. "Go Back Jack".
For my guardian angel, Angela.
My mother, who remained a constant friend.
My sister Kate, who served as a psychic channel between the dimensions.
My dear friend, Jann Bailey, late Executive Director of the Kamloops Art Gallery.
Music producer Daniel Lanois, who helped me to record the songs.
I would like to thank Sigrid Macdonald, my editor who patiently guided me through the trials and tribulations of my first book manuscript, always encouraging me, while being eternally fascinated with the content.
Signe Olynyk, Hollywood writer and producer, who encouraged me to not only write the script but also the book.
My sister, Kathy Kellar, without whose psychic work, this book would not have been written.
Daniel Lanois, world renowned producer and musician who gave me the chance to record the music.
Thanks to Bruce Moran, the publisher of Total Recall Press for making my dream of "Go Back Jack" come true.
Bruce Moran - Publisher
Come along with the author on a journey to investigate her past life as an American black blues musician who lived in the Deep South during the Great Depression and died tragically, before realizing his musical dreams.
Journey into the Past
Who am I?
Don’t ask me who I am
Ask those who have lived before
Ask the leaves and the trees that watched me come and go
Ask the fields where I ran barefoot in summer, as a laughing child
Ask the rock whose crevice contains my diary, hidden still
Ask the tree that bears my initials
Ask them, and they might tell you
That I’ve existed since time began
Just as they have.
So long ago, it seemed like an echo in my memory, I heard a voice–I presume it was my own–pleading urgently, “This time, give me something to remember. Give me knowledge, so I won’t make such a drastic mistake again. Let me help others to understand also, and give me a chance to help someone who is like I was.”
Birds singing, winds gently whispering, nature in perfect innocence was enjoying an endless summer’s day in paradise. A small group of people stood at the far end of a grassy meadow bordered by forest. Beside them, a shimmering, turquoise lake reflected a sky that seemed to glow with rainbow crystals in constant motion. A young, black, Hispanic man, Michael Jacksonish in appearance, dressed as if he’d stepped out of a 1930s soup-kitchen line, was deeply involved in a heated discussion with Angela, a young woman, a vision of ethereal, blond beauty.
“Don’t make me go back, Angela. I’ll do whatever it takes. Just don’t send me back!”
“You can’t stay, Nick. It’s not up to me. It’s been decided. You have unfinished business–but I’ll always be with you, even though you can’t see me.”
She gazed at Nick with sympathetic eyes and hugged him reassuringly, then vanished among the crowd of people he knew to be friends, slowly retreating.
“Please,” he cried out in anguish to them, but he knew that he had no choice in the matter. He had been overruled by a presence higher than his own who knew what was best for him. He would begrudgingly call Them "The Council," but he would not call Them God. He was alone now with his thoughts, a sense of deep sadness in his heart, resigned to fate, and then he seemed to experience a falling sensation, as if he were tumbling down, head over heels, through a tunnel of darkness.
I see skyscrapers shrouded in low hung fog
Deserted, boarded up buildings haunted by airborne pollution
Furnace factories laboring through the night
Shift workers coming up Wentworth and James
A workman’s town,
The lunch bucket crew
Loading up on beer when the working day is through
Jolly Cut on the mountain, coming down, hugging the hill at night
The city lights spread out below
Dofasco, Stelco, where sparks and cinders fly
Steel dust and smoke in my eyes
Both the steel and the city lights glow
In Steeltown Hamilton.
Christmas, pre-dawn, on Wilson Avenue, in Ancaster, just outside Hamilton, Ontario, 1954 suburbia. The moon shimmered silently over fresh snow on the front lawn. Inside the two-story brick and wood home, a massive Scotch pine in the living room twinkled with multi-colored lights and ornaments, almost entirely blocking the view of a snow-covered front lawn. Perched atop the tree, a delicate, golden star illuminated the shadows, now quickly fading into daylight.
A precious moment of silence was broken before the excited shouts of my eight-year-old brother, Bob Kellar, thumping down the stairs, burst into the room. A two-and-a-half-year-old toddler, Maureen Kellar, a.k.a. Minnie, I was in the arms of my father, Ken Kellar, standing beside my mother, Eileen, in front of this splendid Christmas tree, surrounded by huge piles of Christmas presents.
My eyes were focused on one tiny, red piano poking out from the branches at the base of the tree. Screaming in excitement, I ran toward it and grabbed it. My fingers found the keys and the touch, somehow, felt familiar. I banged the keys, “tink, tink, tonk”, “tink, tink, tonk”, amid the shouts and laughter.
Bob howled in delight, a new bike! He flitted about the room, ripping wrapping paper off gift after gift, and dumped his assorted treasures from the Christmas stocking, hung at the fireplace mantel, licorice candy, peppermint, oranges, a deck of playing cards, socks, coloring pencils, comic books. It was a veritable feast and a celebration this Christmas.
My father, Ken Kellar, in his home office of Kellar Steeplejack's Ltd. In Hamilton, Ontario in the late 1950's.
Kellar Steeplejack’s Limited, my father’s sandblasting and spray painting business, had prospered this year. Life was good for our family, enjoying this comfortable experience of 1950s suburbia.
My gaze turned toward my mother, as she modeled a new Persian lamb fur coat for my father, who watched admiringly. She strutted across the room in Hollywood mode. My father, a handsome and self-made man, reflected the arrogant confidence of one who has overcome the poverty of his Irish farming roots.
His was a rags-to-riches story. Before serving as a radio operator in the Second World War, with the Algonquin Regiment, 4th Armored Division, he had crossed Canada as a steeplejack, climbing bridges and tanks, taking the most dangerous jobs, learning the ropes, before starting his own business and meeting my mother. She was a young mother, ten years younger and disillusioned by a previous marriage to a cheating husband. She was living with her father and her young son, Bob, working in a factory when they first met on a blind date, and it was love at first sight.
My father had also been married before, to a wife who squandered his pay while he was risking his life in the trenches of war overseas. They had parted, long before I was born. There had been no children from the relationship. I was Ken and Eileen’s first child, born outside of a legal marriage. My father was already thirty-five and more than ready to start a family. It was taboo in the early 1950s to have a child out of wedlock–a disgrace, a rebellion against the norm–but my father was a natural rebel, and the lack of approval from the institution of marriage didn’t sway him.
Legal marriage to my mother would have to wait a few more years, until the divorce papers were final, and without a doubt, she trusted him. However, it wouldn’t be until six years later that they were finally given the green light and were officially married at City Hall, shortly before my sister Kathy was born.
I soon tired of playing with my little, red piano and saw a light shining from a crack from between the French doors at the far end of the room. It seemed to beckon to me. No one noticed as I slipped away, pushing my way through the doorway, into the kitchen. The light over the sink revealed a semi-opened cupboard door with an array of interesting bottles on its shelves. I saw a kitchen chair and knew how to maneuver it to the counter and climb up. I reached for the pretty, pink candies in one of the bottles, St. Joseph’s Children’s Aspirin, and climbed down, clutching my treasure.
I twisted the lid, which was loosely tightened. It slid off, without hesitation. Dumping the contents on the floor beside me, I picked up the pills, swallowing them one by one until they were all gone. Somehow, I sensed that what I had done was forbidden, but I was unaware of the danger.
Bob, now pretend aiming a new football at Dad, teasingly, suddenly paused in mid-air, scanning the room for someone. His gaze fell on the little, red, toy piano. He picked it up, looking disconcerted.
“Mom, where’s Maureen? Isn’t this hers?” Mother hesitated for a moment, scanning the room, alarmed.
“She was here a minute ago, playing with her new piano.”
The French doors that separated the kitchen from the living room were partially open. A dim light filtered through. My mother grabbed the handles and pulled them wide open to reveal me, pajamas covered with vomit and sobbing on the linoleum floor, the empty Aspirin bottle on the floor beside me. Behind, the chair, pulled up to the counter. The cupboard door hung open.
“Oh, my God, Ken! She’s swallowed them all!”
My frantic mother, followed by my father, both stunned, watched as I vomited again onto the floor, crying.
“Christ, Eileen! You were supposed to be watching her! We’d better get her to the hospital right away.”
Mother was panic stricken, disorganized.
“Bob, get dressed! Get your coat on. Hurry!”
Bob clung to his new football, reluctant to let it go. “Aw, Mom...”
How could everything so perfect have gone wrong so quickly? Perhaps it was then that I earned the Kellar family label of “shit disturber”–i.e., one who causes commotion, disruption, turbulence, in the midst of what should have been a peaceful interlude and enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures.
“Bob...I need your help! Please!”
Not stopping to undress me, she threw a blanket over my shoulders. I was sleepy now and starting to fade away. Vaguely, I heard my dad revving up the car outside in the snowy driveway, and then I lapsed into complete unconsciousness.
I awoke to bright lights, glaring in my eyes. I was lying on a hospital bed in an operating room, amazed by the all-pervading light, and my stomach felt sore.
Outside in the corridor, a doctor reassured my parents.
“She’s out of danger now, Mrs. Kellar. We pumped her stomach. Just watch her carefully.”
And then I was three and kneeling down in front of my bedroom window on a hazy, warm, humid, Hamilton summer evening. I could smell the neighborhood scent of cut, green grass, hear dogs barking and Jimmy Day, next door, practicing saxophone with his bedroom window open. I looked up into the sky at dusk. The sun was setting over the tadpole pond, and still farther on, the woods, the ravine, and north to Dundas.
The sound of a train whistle shrieked, eerily familiar. Listening to it clickity-clacking in the distance, I was somehow fascinated and suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of longing to go with that train, wherever it was going.
“Maureen, oh, there you are!” Mother had entered the room, searching for me. “It’s dinnertime, luv.”
“Mummy, the train!”
I pointed toward the window, eyes shining with excitement. She smiled at me, indulging the moment.
“Yes, dear, it’s the train. It goes by every night about this time. Now come for dinner.”
I looked up at her protesting, “But Mummy, I wanna go to the train.”
She smiled and said, “Someday, dear, just not right now.” She took me by the hand and guided me away from the window and downstairs to dinner, with the train whistle still tugging at me.
I hear that ole train whistle a comin’ down the track
And I’m headin’ for the track with a pack on my back
And I know that before tonight I’ll see the lights of New York City
Comin’ into sight.
Oh, train whistle in my mind
Oh, train whistle till I die
I’ll be ridin’ the rods, choking on dust
Ridin’ the rods ‘cause I know I must
I’ll be ridin’ the rods, baby, in my dreams
‘Cause I’m the Billy Bo supreme!
Fast forward to the summer after I turned four, and I was climbing out of a dusty station wagon holding a plastic bag in one hand and my father’s hand in the other. My face was a pale shade of green. We had arrived at the farm outside of Perth Road, Ontario, and I was going to spend the summer with my grandparents.
My grandmother Lottie, in a faded housedress and flour-dusted apron, silver-gray hair pulled back into a bun, welcomed the two of us with a smile.
“My Lord, I haven’t seen you two in a dog’s age. It’s about time for a visit.”
Then she noticed my pale face.
“Why, Ken, what’s the matter with Maureen? She’s greener than a swamp bullfrog.”
My father replied with a slight edge of annoyance in his voice, “Well, Mother, she was sick on the way down. I had to pull over by a ditch.” A look of exasperation crossed his face.
“She said she was going to throw up in the car, so I gave her a plastic bag, and she barfed in it.”
“Did you give her some Gravol before?” Lottie asked.
“Yeah, the Gravol didn’t work.”
“Ken–were you smoking in the car again?” Lottie drilled him with her eyes, and he turned his gaze.
“Smoking? Yeah, still do, once in a while. I’m tryin’ to quit.”
“Well, I hope you do. It makes Maureen sick. Did you roll down the window?”
“Just a crack. Didn’t want a gale wind blowing through.”
Grandma Lottie shook her head, disapproval in her eyes. I hung my head nervously, glancing from one to the other, swinging the plastic bag full of vomit slowly, as if apologizing for being sick. Lottie beckoned to me, and gingerly taking the bag out of my hand, she deposited it into an old barrel beside the garage.
“Let’s get you some nice, cold, well water to settle your stomach. You can dip the cup into the pail yourself. There’s fresh, homemade donuts sitting in a barrel behind the old, wood stove. Don’t you worry about a thing, dear. Gramma’ll take care of you now.”
I followed my grandmother up the weedy flagstone path of a tidy, wire-fenced yard, carved out of cow pasture, sumac trees, and rock, past an old well pump and an outhouse perched on a rise on the front lawn. My dad stayed behind to pull luggage out of the trunk, then retreated to the shadows of the garage, watching them. Taking a cigarette out of his pocket, he lit it with a “Don’t tell me how to raise my child” kind of look.
Taking a few precious drags, then suddenly disgusted, he tossed the cigarette and ground it into the dirt.
Dad only stayed the night and left the next morning. I looked forward to spending the whole summer on the farm. I was the only one who ever wanted to go there. The poverty didn’t seem to touch me. When snow drifted in between cracks in the old, log walls, I dived under the covers or warmed up at the wood stove. When flies buzzed about the kitchen, I helped Gramma hang sticky fly strips up from the ceiling to catch them. Ice cream was a real treat. Grampa would bring out a brick and cut it into thick slices on Sundays. Granma Lottie had a talent for baking and quilting and would sew while sitting in her rocking chair overlooking the cow pasture. The back kitchen smelled of pails of fresh cow’s milk and smoke from the wood burning stove, and drifting in through the windows, the smell of cow’s manure and hay. We were not only close to nature; we were essentially a part of it, drifting with the changing seasons–a world apart.
I loved the pastures, the trees, the lake, the horses, jumping into piles of hay in the hayloft with the two native Children’s Aid boys that Gramma and Grampa were fostering or spending time on the swing on the front lawn. I waded with Grampa through a foot of cow manure in the barn to feed the pigs and sat on the hay wagon on its bumpy ride through the fields behind the draft team. Sometimes Grampa let me ride on Queenie, holding onto the harness horns. But most of all, there was the old, upright piano in the parlor. I would spend hours plink-plonking away on its yellowed keys, sometimes picking out by ear old hymns like “Jesus Loves Me” or “Children of Salem” and other times trying to match the melodies in my mind to the keyboard in front of me.
One morning, I sat in front of a big, black, upright piano in the parlor, picking out a tune, and watching Gramma Lottie shove an apple pie into the old, wood stove in the adjoining kitchen. As my fingers wandered up and down the keyboard, I slipped into a trance-like state, almost as if I were dreaming.
Nick Jackson, a young, black man, twentyish, stood alone in a dark alley outside of an inner-city nightclub, left shirtsleeve unbuttoned at the cuff. His right hand grasped his left arm, and he leaned against the building, looking dizzy. Muffled sounds of laughter and music floated down the alley. Nick bent over and vomited behind a garbage can. A black teenager, resembling Fats Domino, coming around the corner, spied him.
“Hey, Nick, whats-a-matter? Are you sick?”
Nick nodded, his eyes closed, still leaning against the building for support.
“Are you gonna be all right?” The boy had a look of concern in his eyes.
Nick mustered a grin. “I’m okay, man.”
A black musician, carrying a guitar case, stepped through the nightclub doorway leading into the alley, searching. He was a young Percy Mayfield. His gaze took in the boy talking to Nick.
“Hey, boy, your mama know you here? Nick, get a move on or I’ll have to play piano for ya, and I’ve got a real lady waitin’ inside for me...name’s Isobel!”
He grabbed Nick by the arm and led him into the crowded bar where a drummer waited patiently. Isobel, the attractive black woman, all dressed up for Saturday night, sat at a side table, patiently waiting. Nick slid onto a stool at the piano and launched into the intro to his “Little Girl Blue.”
Coming out of a trance, I hesitated for a moment, and as if pulling music out of thin air, I began to play the same intro. The music intrigued Lottie. She wandered over to the doorway, listening to it.
“I didn’t know my granddaughter was so talented. Did you write that? What’s it called?”
I could only shake my head mysteriously. “I don’t know, Gramma, but I think it’s called “Little Girl Blue.”
Firelight in the tunnel
Keep up the pace. Don’t slow down till you’ve found what you’re searching for
Find the door
Open up your eyes to a beautiful sunrise
We know we have been blind
See what we cannot find,
But locomotive rider in the night
Shadows in the mind, blind target found
On the edge of a precipice looking down into
Firelight in the tunnel
Curiosity propels us from flesh to dust
And beauty is in the word
And freedom, like the flight of a bird, eludes us
My friend, I cannot say there is an end, Peace.