The Dandelions

.. the mutual admiration and bashing society.

Tribute to the Hopeless Romantic

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on August 9, 2008

A romantic gesture – a light kiss on the cheek; a walk by the beach in the sunset; strolling hand in hand; lost into each other’s eyes. But melodramatic romance does happen, many a times in the movies. In Shakespeare in Love, William Shakespeare, played by Joseph Fiennes, falls in love with Viola de Lesseps, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. It was a doomed romance, for Shakespeare is married, and Viola is a noblewoman whose parents would never permit her to marry a commoner. In the end, the lovers were to part, never to meet again. But out of their love, Shakespeare used Viola as his inspiration to write, immortalizing his lover by making her the main character of his play, Twelve Night.

But the hopeless romantic, as in the fictional Shakespeare in Love, do exist in the real world. The story of Edward Leedskalnin is one of them. His story enfolds in Latvia, his hometown. Edward Leedskalnin was then age 26, and is engaged to be married to his one and only love, Agnes Scuffs. She was then only 16.

Agnes cancelled the wedding just one day before the ceremony. Crippled in heart and soul, Edward left Latvia, and he rooted himself to faraway Homestead, Florida. Homestead would serve as his lonely solitary confine. It was there that he spent the rest of his life creating a monument to his lost love. The next 30 years was spent carving and sculpting over 1,100 tons of coral rocks, turning it into a castle; his Taj Mahal; as a testimony of his profound love to Agnes. .

Coral Castle, as it is known today, is Edward’s physical manifestation of undying devotion to a callous lover. Love moves a man. For Edward Leedskalnin, it all so true. A man of only 5 feet in height, and weighing a mere 100 pounds., he toiled all day and night to lift and maneuver blocks of megalithic stones to create this magnificent castle. Edward never married. He died in 1951, at age 64, still pinning for lover.

Edward Leedskalnin’s love story was made into a beautiful song by rocker Billy Idol back in the 80s, appropriately entitled Sweet Sixteen, with the following lyrics:

” Gave my heart an engagement ring

She took everything

Everything I gave her,

Oh sweet sixteen

I’ll do anything

For my sweet sixteen

And I’ll do anything

For little run away child “

Closer to home, the love story of one of our greatest judge, the late Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader, never fails to inspire. The great judge had two loves in his life; one was the law, the other his wife. It is said that he loved the law to madness, and the only thing that he loved more was his wife.

Tan Sri Eusoffe was among the five courageous judges who were suspended in the 1988 judicial crisis. During that time, the judge went to great lengths to make sure his beloved wife, Haseena did not see or hear what was happening to him over the TV. When Haseena passed away in 1993 after a long illness, the judge was devastated. For every year after that, on Haseena’s death anniversary, he took out full-page advertisements, dedicating love poems to her. He would pen the poems in Latin, a language which he has a penchant for. In 1994, he penned this poem in Latin and inserted an English translation:

” My love, Light of my Life!
I think of thee in silence
And often speak thine name:
All I have are memories
And photos in a frame;
To thy resting-place I wander
To place roses with love and care::
But no one can know the heartache
As I turn and leave thee there;
No monument can stand more stalwart
Than the everlasting love we share,
let’s then rejoice and ever bear in mind
That such a bond surely makes us but
one of a kind.”

It is said that Tan Sri Eusoffe had been profoundly depressed after Haseena’s death, and his zest for living was no longer there. The judge died in 1996 by taking his own life in tragic circumstances. This is a man who literally died of a broken heart.

29 Responses to “Tribute to the Hopeless Romantic”

  1. Amused Taxpayer said

    And you Oscar, with such a beautiful written piece, must be a great romantic too…….

  2. Madame said

    Awww…Oscar, that was beautiful!

    Be still my beating heart…sigh😉

  3. Cherubim said

    *weep*

  4. mesoso said

    i’m in love……… :p

  5. missjolie said

    awww…Oscar…such a sensitive side. Mesoso, still barking up the wrong tree ;P getting warm…try again😉

  6. saggiethewarrior said

    Oscar is indeed a hopeless romantic…

  7. mesoso said

    mesoso likes this kind of trees lah..cannot meh?

  8. barbie said

    what mesoso means?

  9. missjolie said

    mesoso is a seriously confused dude. he likes what he cannot have?! hmmm….

  10. mesoso said

    ms jolie ah..mesoso not confused lah. i like what i like and i’m having it…
    but some times hor, cannot have enough..so want a bit more mah..hehe
    just like haagen dazs ice-cream..how to stop at one?

  11. erniejean said

    LOL!! Well, mesoso, I suppose, a hopelessly romatic grouch can seem very temptingly tasty somtimes huh?

  12. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    mesoso, your gaydar is not exactly accurate, haha. Try again, see if you hit the bull’s eye.

  13. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    i dont mean brown eye, ahem

  14. mesoso said

    at the rate mesoso is going…me thinks me needs to use GPS..ahemm..for more accurate targeting next time..

  15. Wow.. what a guy Eusff chin was.

  16. Dude, it’s Eusoffe Abdoolcader. Not Eusoff Chin.

    Eusoffe is a true judge, in every sense of the word. He couragously stood by Tun Salleh Abas during the ’88 crisis; put his judicial career on the line; and got dismissed along the way.

    Eusoff Chin, on the other hand, is the dimwit Chief Justice that got embroiled with the VK Lingam controversy.

    Eusoffe Abdoolcader, as my article points out, is a true romantic – in law; and in life. Eusoff Chin, on the other hand, is, in all probability,an ignoramus dork when it comes to love.

  17. mesoso, see, this oscar the grouch is not as sentimental as you think. he will always be in the DOMINEERING TOP hahahaha

  18. mesoso said

    abracadabra..tat means i have to be bottom lor…hehe. is ok, me is like roti prata..flip, flip, flip also tasty..with the correct sauce of course..

  19. Apple said

    Mesoso,

    you just wouldn’t give up, would you? LOL…

  20. joelight said

    How beautiful…touchingly narrated…

  21. mesoso said

    mesoso is such a hopeless romantic..how wonderful to have all these sentimental new age men…
    it breaks my heart to read this..

    boohoohoohoo…

  22. V.E.G. said

    Edward Leedskalnin, born Edvards Liedskalnins, inherits his castle to his nephew Harijs Liedskalnins, best known as Harry Leedskalnin. Edward has no family of his own.

  23. V.E.G. said

    There is another one like Edward Leedskalnin. Lelan Louis “Joe” Brookins is a frail, sickly man. He never married and he dies quietly in his sleep.

  24. mazni said

    Dear Dandelions,
    What a great love story…. Do u guys by any chance hv anythng on eusoffe abdoolcader’s profile. i need to do a short write up on him but couldn’t get anything on the web. other than d part where he was dismissed in d 1988 crisis.
    Do email me if u guys hv anything…..
    thanx in advance
    Mazni

  25. Dear Mazni,

    Alas, it is near impossible to gather any information on Eusoffe Abdoolcader from the web.

    You may gather information on him from the local law journals. As far as I know, there is no write-up on his personal profile. The articles are strewed all over and you may need to arduously go through each and every Malayan Law Journal to find what you are looking for. There are also some intimate write-ups in the Bar Journals, written by lawyers of yesteryears, reminiscing of their experience with the great judge.

    There was an article, perhaps 15 to 20 years ago, in the Star, entitled “The Lion of the Law”, or something to that extent. I doubt, sadly, that the article was digitally archived.

    On another note, my ex-thesis supervisor – before he embarked on an academic career – served as a court interpreter in the Ipoh High Court before Judge Eusoffe. The personal anecdotes on Eusoffe Abdoolcader which he has narrated to me were quite priceless.

    Do let me know if you need anything. I’ll be glad to help.

  26. Hey, thanks for the post.Really thank you! Cool.

  27. Anna said

    Thanks for tribute to the late Eusoffe Abdoolcader. He was really a rare gem of a true romantic. His legacy of love will never fade.

  28. Can I use the poem translation on my blog thepositivespin.wordpress.com? I’m writing about Old Love.

  29. […] Here, I would like to share one of his poems, courtesy of another blogger.  […]

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