Tuesday, March 10, 2009




If not, on to 
the ALICE HICKEY Biography

Here are links to
the two journal entries
currently available.




A Short Biographical Memoir

by Her Son,
Christopher A. Hickey

The first thing I should tell you about my mother Alice is that she has always been a very, very private person. Yet, because of her extraordinary psychic abilities, many have been curious about her personal life. Unfortunately, she has remained quite determined to thwart that curiosity, so much so that after some 80 odd years of an extremely active life, very little is known about her outside of a small circle of friends.

Alice at 9 (left) and at 12 (right)

But there are some things I can tell you about my mother. The first is that my mother decided early on that I was to be an only child raised by a very independent single mother. This decision allowed me to observe her up close from a very early age. We were seldom apart. She kissed me goodnight every night and woke me up every morning with an almost identical kiss.

Me shortly after birth in Arcadia

As a child, I found this a bit confusing as I sometimes I thought she wanted me to go back to sleep. As I got older, however, I saw it was her way of suggesting there were other kinds of waking states.

When she traveled, I traveled with her, and she traveled a great deal. Yet for all of that closeness, there was something very businesslike about our relationship. There was a certain kind of distance. That may seem a strange thing for an adoring son to say, but it’s true. My mother was not your every day mother; not by a long shot.

Me (left) at age 7 with Aunt Iris in Edinburg

I want to make it clear that I never wanted for anything, nor did I ever feel neglected. I realized much later in life, however, when I had my own children, that my mother never showed a certain kind of warmth, the kind of sudden hugging and kissing and Oh I love you warmth that automatically bursts out of a mother’s continual concern for the well being of her children. It was as if she already knew what was going to happen to me, or how I was feeling, or would feel. You might say my mother was always prepared. Maybe a better way of saying it is the future didn’t hold any surprises for her.

Because of this "distance", it became easier for me as the years progressed to call her "Alice" instead of mother, and she never objected. It simply fit better. This is not to say she was selfish; on the contrary, she was generous to a fault. And despite the fact she was by nature a serious person, she was also completely capable of letting loose and kicking her heels if the occasion called for it. Even in her sixties, she was capable of clearing the floor at the local square dances.

Me at 17 and mother Alice (with rare short hair)

I often asked my mother why she had never published the over 500 psychic journals she had written over the years. They contained her detailed thoughts about the psychic world and I was sure they would be of interest to others. I had found them fascinating as a child and even more so as a grown man. Her answer was always the same: they were private observations, a sort of intellectual diary meant to help clarify her own thinking, and were never intended for others.

What she never mentioned, but which I’m sure also entered into her thinking, was her desire for privacy. The entries were often very personal, even sexual. Alice was never able to completely separate her personal life from her psychic life, something I can personally attest to; in fact you might even say she had no personal life as we normally know it. Yet you could say the same thing about any intensely creative person.

Some of Alice's Notebooks

When she finally consented to the publication of her journals in early 2009, she insisted I edit out the personal, something easier said than done. I have decided therefore to re-write significant portions of many entries. I shall signal this re-writing through the use of a different type face. You will have to trust me that the rewriting accurately reflects the original intent. Finally, let me assure you that no edited entry will be published without having been read and agreed to by Alice.

My mother’s psychic interests were extensive. They reflected her own wide-ranging psychic capabilities as a clairvoyant, channel, prophet, and healer, yet she attached little importance to them. She knew she was gifted, but took little credit for those abilities. She once said to me, “The only thing I can take credit for is that I somehow had the courage to lean with my unfolding fate. As soon as I did, the door to my true life opened. Nothing was ever the same after that.”

"The door to my true life opened."

She often objected to my calling her observations “journals.” She preferred the term “notebooks.” Even the way she recorded them (in handwriting in ordinary black and white marbled school notebooks) reflects her inherent simplicity and modesty.

I have decided the best way to release her “notebooks” was not in the order they were written, but alphabetically, by subject matter, and she had no objections. The dates of their initial entry, however, are always noted. I decided on this course because Alice often went back to the same subject over and over again at different periods of her life, so the progression in her thinking on a given subject should be immediately obvious. My mother had no pride of ownership; she would reverse her thinking on a dime if the evidence changed. I wanted this short biography to reflect that.

The second reason I have decided to release the entries alphabetically is to honor my mother’s mother, Antigone Pappas. If some of our neighbors considered Alice an odd person, her mother Antigone, or Grandma “Anti” as I called her, was in class all her own. Antigone was the youngest child of Achilles and Medea Pappas, two Greek immigrants who had settled in Tarpon Springs in 1890.

Aunt Alicia 
Antigone had only one sibling, an older sister, Alicia, who left Tarpon Springs and all things Greek at a very young age to pursue a dancing career in Boston. Antigone, it seems, was so awed by her sister Alicia's decision to leave home and start a career of her own that when Alicia wrote home years later telling her she had succeeded beyond her wildest dreams, Antigone immediately shipped my mother off to Boston, hoping something would rub off. My mother told me that as a young teenager she spent most of WWII living with her, and that Aunt Alicia was in a class all her own. Alicia died in 1992, leaving my mother a considerable sum and three large trunks of lingerie.

While Achilles pursued a highly profitable career as a sponge diver, Medea began steeping young Antigone in the Greek classics at a very early age.
By age 12, Antigone could recite long passages of the Iliad, the Odyssey and Aristotle in the original Greek.

Achilles Pappas at 50

Medea Pappas as a young woman in Tarpon Springs Fl.

Medea(l) with her Mother on a visit to Greece


Sponge Docks at Tarpon Springs

She was reportedly a Tarpon Springs celebrity because of this ability, and was often featured, as she told it, at local festivals and gatherings. The idea of a bunch of grizzled Greek sponge divers sitting around the docks drinking Ouzo and listening to a twelve year old girl a recite the Iliad in that high, screechy voice of hers might seem highly unlikely, but not that unlikely once you understand a Greek immigrant's intense devotion to any and all things Greek.

Young Antigone Pappas, left....... ....Antigone "Anti" Hickey at 22 on Hickey Farm

The second thing that seems to have made her a local celebrity, or perhaps oddity, was her passionate and publicly proclaimed belief that all alphabets had magical properties. This epiphany seemed to have occurred at about the same time as she began publicly reciting the Greek classics. Anti told me as a young boy that even her mother thought she was completely crazy on this matter, yet some fifty years later a series of books by Hebrew scholars and mathematicians has emerged declaring that a prophetic code is buried within the Hebraic alphabet of the Old Testament. Perhaps Anti wasn’t as crazy as everyone thought.

Anti, however, could never adequately explain to anyone why she believed this was so. “It just is, like the air, or the sun!” she would exclaim before stomping out of the room in her thick, black shoes. To the day of her death, she fervently and insistently believed that all alphabets had magical properties, especially the Greek alphabet, and that the letter “A” (alpha) had more magical power than any other.

Once when I was eight years old, the devil made me press her on this matter. She grabbed me by the ear and screamed into it with that incredibly high, screechy voice of hers, “Listen to me Little Mister Know It All, the most magical words in the world are ABRA CADABRA, not OBRA CADABRA, or UBRA CADABRA or EBRA CADABRA or IBRA CADABRA. Only ABRA CADABRA can make things disappear, things like small boys with big mouths.” I never brought it up again.

(L) Abbott Hickey at 60, ....... His siblings ( young Abbott on right)

Abbott Hickey Farm

Thus, I believe it wasn’t any accident when Anti consented in April 1895 to marry a freckled, red haired farmer, Abbott Hickey, the eldest son of Arthur and Elaine Hickey .

The Road to Arthur Hickey Farm......... Arthur Hickey's Farm

The Hickeys were Irish immigrants who ran a substantial chicken farm in Arcadia. Abbott was purported to be a good catch, but I don’t have any doubts that the clincher had to be his first name began with the all important "A".

Archie and Ari age 6
Archie and Ari  age 28
Archie and Ari  age 9 mos.
Abbott and Anti Hickey had three children. By fiat, Anti named all the children. Abbott just chopped wood, as they say. She named her twin sons Archimedes and Aristotle upon their entry into the world in 1920. As a child, I knew them as uncle Archie and uncle Ari. They finished each others sentences. And then in 1927, my mother Alice came into the world.

When I asked Anti years later why she had departed from the Greek in naming my mother, she said, “To tell you the truth, Christopher, I don’t really know why. I never told anybody this, but "Alice" just formed on my lips and leaped out into the world under its own power, I mean I was thinking of naming her Antigone, but the word "Alice" formed on my lips and jumped out like a rabbit out of a hat.”

Unlike my mother, who left home at the age of 12 to live with her aunt Alicia, my two uncles remained in the Arcadia area, farming and operating a small automobile repair business until their deaths in 1989. They called their repair business AAAAA (Archie And Ari Arcadia Automobile) much to Anti’s delight. My mother had it engraved on their tombstone.

"Terry" Li

My mother married for the first time in 1946, after meeting Sun “Terry” Li, a Chinese Nationalist Air Force Ace and the only son of a wealthy Shanghai family. They divorced in 1965. All that I knew about him was what Alice said, which was very little, and a picture of him (above) that Alice kept in the living room. Once when I questioned her about him as a teenager, she said to me, “All you have to know about him is that he was a good man with a dark heart.” When I asked her how that was possible she said, “Terry was two people living in one body, and neither would leave. They almost killed both of us.”

I was born in 1984, when my mother was 55. Despite the fact that doctors advised her against having a child at such an advanced age, she immediately decided to do so after meeting Joaquim Gouveia during a visit to Rio de Janiero in 1983 to study Macumba spiritual practices.

Joaquim at 35........... Joaquim at 50


At the time, Joaquim Gouveia was 35 years old. He was a dancer of Portuguese descent, with wavy, pomaded black hair. He was thin, baby-faced, and about three inches shorter than my mother. He once told me once he was immediately drawn to my mother despite her sensible shoes and straight hair. “Like a moth to flames,” was the way he put it.

Like Alice, he was a psychic of some renown, but made a living as an exhibition and ballroom dancer. He was also a much sought after ritual dancer in the various Macumba ceremonies that took place in the high barrios of Rio. It was at such a ceremony that he and my mother met.

As my mother tells it in her no-nonsense way, they no sooner met than they knew they were destined to mate. Neither wasted any time and immediately flew back to the states, where they married and then consummated the marriage by conceiving me one hot April night in Arcadia Florida. Thus I entered the world and Joaquim became an American citizen. I can still hear the crickets .

Things were never simple with Alice. She and Joaquim divorced a few years after I was born. It seems the divorce was a part of their initial agreement to marry and neither had any problems with it. Alice wanted her independence and Joaquim wanted to dance throughout America; so as soon as it made sense, they separated. Alice told me they had a party that lasted all night celebrating the event.

Thus Alice became Alice Hickey once again, and I was renamed Christopher A. Hickey. Like Harry S. Truman, my middle initial (A) didn’t stand for anything. My mother told me years later that the “A” was in honor of her mother Anti’s mystical obsession with the magical properties of the alphabet and the letter “A.”

Despite their quick, convenient marriage, my mother couldn’t get enough of Joaquim whenever he visited, which was usually when he was dancing in Tampa or Miami. My mother would be standing by the screen door and suddenly say to me “I can hear Joaquim humming” and sure enough, a few hours later, he would show up in a white suit carrying a large, highly scented bouquet of gardenias and a lusciously sweet, white, tres leche cake.

One of Joaquim's fabulous tres leche cakes 

Alice would swoon over the gardenias like a young girl and I would attack the cake as they chatted furiously in Portuguese and drank dark, sweet coffee laced with rum. Joaquim always brought the latest album of Cuban or Brazilian dance music which he would immediately play and then begin to dance to as the evening progressed. He was incredibly graceful and passionate. The only way I can describe his dancing is to say he had more woman and more man in him than anyone I have ever seen.

My mother couldn’t resist him. She quickly lost her normal reserve and would soon begin to dance with him, but to tell you the truth, she always had two left feet, and it was only the incredible skill and balance of Joaquim that allowed her to participate on something like an equal level. She told me dancing with Joaquim transported her to a different world. She would talk about it for days after he left.

In 2008, she reconciled with her first husband Terry Li, and began a new life with him in Asia. Joaquim, who had become a pilot in his later years, flew over the airport they were leaving from and did several magnificent figure-eight loops before being threatened with arrest.

It was shortly after arriving in China with Terry that she finally consented to publish her notebooks . She currently lives with Terry in a small suburb of Shanghai.

I hope this small memoir gives you some small insight into my mother’s character. Hopefully, her notebooks will give a larger picture. Despite her desire for privacy, she often had an enormous impact upon the lives of others. A striking example of that can be found in the recent book Alice Hickey: Between Worlds by poet Justin Spring about what happened to him after meeting my mother in a Sarasota supermarket. It contains a very good portrait of my mother in her later years, as well as an excellent and highly detailed presentation of her character, thinking and mature psychic abilities.

Poet Justin Spring


Jane Washington


One last thing. Alice is more than aware that many will want to express their opinions on her entries, and that some will want to question her findings. She told me she has no problem with others expressing their opinions. "After all," she told me,"that is how we learn, but people should understand that differing opinions about the psychic world are the nature of the beast. There is no one answer when it comes to the psychic world. Besides, my time is too precious; I’m only a few steps away from a visit from Brother Death.”

She did say, however, that she had spoken to Jane Washington, a Nigerian psychic living in America, on the subject of possibly answering those queries which did warrant a reply. Alice holds Jane in very high regard, and told me that even though Jane’s opinions are sometimes diametrically opposed to her own, she had a razor-sharp mind, and “knows how to cut the mustard when it comes to the psychic world.” I have spoken to Jane and will forward posts to her that I believe warrant a reply. Hopefully, Jane will report back within a relatively short time in “JANES’ CORNER”.

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