More About the Author
Handicapped by an alcoholic stepfather, Sir E.J. Drury II set off on a crusade, after high school, in search of the very soul he had lost to this ogre. Upon entering the Navy after a brief stint at the US Naval Academy, he struggled for two long years, both in and out of sleep, with the true enemy of mankind--the Beast.
As a sailor then, in the US Navy circa 1967, he continued his search for she who must be obeyed if he was to overcome the beastly side of his nature and reunite himself with soul. "Whatever you do," was he forewarned by a fellow shipmate, early on, "don't let them rob you of the most precious gift you have, your humanity, for the wraiths will claw away at it until all that remains is the shadow of what was once you." And so must he, at all costs, resist the temptation of his fathers before him, to live out the visions of others rather than the one with which he had been entrusted at birth, a quest that eventually pits him against the Navy as he comes to a fuller understanding of the true meaning of military service.
Returning to St. Louis after his eventual discharge, he sought out and joined a loosely knit community of antiwar activists, vegetarians, and free-spirited thinkers who published the city's only underground paper, The St. Louis Free Press. After not quite a year of leafleting the induction center downtown and of helping disaffected GIs from a nearby army base at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he joined another community of radical Catholics forming a Catholic Worker House on the near south side of the city. There he stayed until he left for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, later that year, to work at an alcoholic treatment center on the near south side. After suffering through one of the coldest winters he had ever experienced, he moved back to St. Louis to work on a psychiatric floor at Lutheran Hospital. Upon leaving there in protest, with other health care professionals, over the performance of a lobotomy on a 15-year-old patient, he wound up working on an orthopedic floor, and later, a psychiatric floor at Jewish Hospital, for the next seven or so years.
At the same time, he purchased a farm about a hundred miles south of St. Louis, where he had begun to experiment with growing organic vegetables, he marketed back in St. Louis. There he built a cabin and began to acquire the tools and equipment he would need to farm 10 to 15 acres of organic fruits and vegetables.
Upon leaving Jewish Hospital around 1980, he went to work for a friend and general contractor who was in need of a carpenter. Around this same time, too, he married and began to raise a family. As his oldest son approached the age of two, he started building a new house on the farm, only to have his well-laid plans dashed by an unfortunate but permanent injury to his back, that left him unable to perform any kind of manual labor on a daily basis, ever again.
Thrown into a quandary, he eventually went to work for the City of St. Louis as a building inspector, where he worked for two years to the day, before taking a similar position with the City of Richmond Heights, under whose employment he has remained, to this day.
After a series of dreams he had in his second year with the City of St. Louis, he started writing, two hours a day until he had completed the book, originally entitled Close Encounters of a Very Special Kind--a recounting of his first year in the Navy, his encounters with soul and their eventual but brief reunion. The book was so poorly produced, it went nowhere. Crushed but not defeated, he continued to work on the book, off and on, until it reached its present form, a work of psychological and social import entitled A Different Kind Of Sentinel, prepublished in 2009 and finally released in 2010, and again in 2013, after its third and final revision.
For his part, Sir E.J. is a self-taught, self-made man who has struggled mightily, to live up to his soul's expectations of him, acquiring along the way, whatever it took to get them through the next stage in the development of that one person they are destined to become.