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The Immortal Mr. Kirlin by Eddie Flotte
The Immortal Mr. Kirlin by Eddie Flotte

The Immortal Mr. Kirlin

We sat on Kirlin's deck at Grassy Sound becoming acquainted. Inside, there were several things that caught my eye. Dream catchers made of twigs, vines and feathers, an array of candles, lots of books of all kinds. Those that interested me most, were bound in leather, very old, baring what I registered as Wiccan symbols. He looked in at a particular dream catcher saying, "that's a little something I've been working on," he put finger quotes around the words "working on". He told me he's influenced every Philadelphia election since Rizzo. Again finger quoting "influenced." I silently estimated that he seemed too young to have had a hand in Rizzo's run, ...still I believed him. Of his many years in politics he humbly described himself as a tiny cog in an enourmous wheel, a grunt, a soldier, a small part of a very large team. That, in my mind, sounded like someone trying to fly under the radar, avoid the spotlight. The longer I know him the more I see that to be his approach. Next he told me he was a film maker. He'd produced documentaries on the Delaware River dock workers, the Pre-Revolutionary War Mummers, and more. I'd recently seen illustrations of the colonial Mummers. They donned hoods and animal head masks. They were depicted engaged in some sort of pagan ritual. Behind Kirlin on the outer wall of his bungalow was a red spray-painted spiral. He talked about life long friendships with the artists of Chaddsford, the painters of: Jack-o-lanterns, evil eyed ram's heads, vultures in flight and spooky old churches. I had only recently met Kirlin; he struck me as mysterious but I as yet had no idea just how mysterious he actually was.
— Eddie Flotte

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