As a person in our San Diego community who has worked in the food and beverage industry for over 42 years and a good 25 years of photographing our community events, I get the privilege to meet all difference types of people from all types of backgrounds. I love the fact that you get to know people first for who they are and not what they do for a living, or what they believe in, but how they treat others. My very first customer as a bartender in 1975, who taught me a valuable lesson that first day, was a woman who came in after a really hard day at work and ordered a margarita. As I made her drink, I started to make conversation with her. I asked her what she did for work? Right away, without missing a beat, she politely said to me, “I did not come in here to talk about my work, but to relax and escape from work.” So, instead I let her start the conversation, we talked about her life, she wanted to know about my life as well; I never forgot that moment in all the years since, I have never asked another customer what they did for work while tending bar. In bartending, you need to know your recipes to create a really good drink. I also believe there are many things in life that require each of us to know our recipes to ensure a good life. I am so excited to introduce to you my dear, loving friend that lives and works as a witch doctor for good and is an incredible writer, who has just written a television series soon to come to life, Silas Buckley.
I asked Silas if he remembered how we met and he said: “I had just come off a ghost-writing project and was starting pre-production for the television series I write. I needed some photos and had seen your ad, so I gave you a call. Best experience I’ve had with a photographer, and you were very professional the entire shoot. We had a great time that day.” It was true Silas was a lot of fun and knew what he wanted his photoshoot to look like.
As we worked together, we hit it off extremely well. After showing him the photos I took, he was so happy with them, we just stayed in touch with each other and built a very close friendship; we have become like brothers with each other. In the process, I have learned a lot about this life like the things he grew up learning, which has become a part of his journey as he has gotten older. Our introduction was based on his writing and what his goals were to further his talents. Silas has created a new series called “Botanica Massasauga” and he describes it as “kind of like ‘Goosebumps’ for adults, but sexier, scarier, and funnier. Plus, we use real magic.” It will be a dark, magical, fun series filled with stories that have characters which include witch doctors and hoodoo — along with horror, and blood, it just cannot be helped. And yes, money is always involved as Salas says: “We’re shopping out buyers now. But if any producers are out there reading this, my name is Silas Buckley, and yes, I put out.” One thing I enjoy most about Silas is his truth and humor.
Silas relocated to San Diego 10 years ago, by way of Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley to be exact (like that song “Oh, Shenandoah”). As Silas described it to me: “Yeah. Lots of hillbillies and rednecks, especially at family gatherings. It’s beautiful and the mountains really are blue; a chemical from the trees makes them do that. But too cold. I don’t ever want to see snow again.” I personally have never been there myself (I am not much for the cold) but would love to see the Blue Ridge Mountains one day. The part of Virginia that Silas grew up in as a child was a hoodoo hot spot, so he picked up learning about that kind of stuff early in life. He grew up as root workers would call a “two-headed doctor.” In the years to follow, he became a yoga teacher, traveled the country in the fitness and medical industry, and earned a master’s in Fine Arts. In his witch doctoring, he is a priest of Regla de Ocha, with a Creole-Cuban backbeat, and splits his time between “witch doctoring” and his production of “Botanica Massasauga.” Just so you understand, Silas promotes good, well-being and ways to better yourself as a person. His work helps give individuals opportunities to ask questions and he helps to open roads and doors to achieve their goals. Believe it or not, his knowledge and skills are very much sought out and he stays remarkably busy helping people. I, too, have asked for help from Silas and found it to be interesting, positive and full of goodness. If you have never worked with anyone that knows this art and spirituality and you would like to, Silas is one of the best in this field.
Silas, as I have gotten to know him, would tell you he has lived a charmed life and that his passion with his writing and metaphysical work feels more like a hobby because he loves it so much. We always take time out every week to drive up to Del Mar together, listening to old school R&B, throwing coconuts out the window, drinking healthy smoothies, and of course, watching all the hot surfers. Silas has a new goal to learn how to play the ukulele — in fact, he bought one on our last ride up to Del Mar.
I asked Silas what he wanted people to know about him, along with a quote he would like to share:
“I don’t work for either side and focus on the middle ground, that’s where I believe change takes place. Seeing all sides of things is good for the writing and the work, but makes for less dinner invites.” Well, I always enjoy dinner with you. Leaving you with this quote: “A mind without fear can do anything.”
What I have learned from Silas and appreciate from him is how hard he works, how important it is that he lives an honest life, how he stays true to those he loves and how much he wants to help others better their own lives. He has helped me to believe in myself more, which is an incredible gift to have. I thank you, Silas, for reminding me I’ve always had it.
To get ahold of Silas to learn more, ask questions or even have him help you open doors to better your life, then email him at: Silasbuckely@yahoo.com, Instagram: PASTORJUJU619 or text him at 540-245-0732.