Category: Memories

Jail Visit

This happened several years ago and his name changed in this account.
James was a quiet teenager. He was very normal and blended into the youth group. I knew of him but didn’t know him until I visited him in jail. We sat in a room at the jail as James gave me his story. He told me that God had given him many warnings that he was going down the wrong path. “I didn’t listen as I continued to have dreams,” James told me. He wouldn’t look me in the eye but talked to the floor in his matter of fact way. I couldn’t get over the fact that James was an average teen. James was transferred from that jail to a state prison. I visited the 20 year old James there. He told me about his wife and child. I listened to him as he began to tell me about his prison world. I went back to visit him when his wife and child were also there. My heart broke as I watched him raise his family in prison. James is still in prison as he committed vehicular homicide.


The weather was a perfect nice 70 degrees. But I wasn’t outside, I was inside the YMCA. The weather was cold and the ones I loved was at my Mom’s house. We were separated. I knew no one at the “Y” in person but knew them all because we were in the same situation. Navy guys unable to go home for Thanksgiving. I had my ten dollar roll of quarters and waited in anticipation to make my call. I and Kim talked for one hour. That is the only hour I remember that day. But it was an hour that even now brings tears to my eyes. I don’t know what we talked about but I remember that phone call like it was yesterday. Even the silence at the end was so precious, not wanting to end our conversation. Not wanting to be separated on a day when family’s are together. I would not trade that memory, for today is more special because of that day so many years ago.

1880 Adventure

I carry my camera like a a western gun fighter carried his gun. I out camera many and get the right picture – of course that’s after several pictures are shot. There’s a story behind this picture. The boys are smiling because it’s an unexpected adventure. We broke down in our van and had to stop at the 1880’s diner. (It’s a old train made into a diner.) We did managed to send all the kids on another bus headed to camp and all was well.


The merry go round went round and round. When it stopped the kids and I went on imaginary planitary expeditions. Sometimes the kids would interject an idea, but mostly I was the leader in cotton candy village. We would travel in space on the merry go round and when it stopped we explored the territory. One particular planet was a favorite and you probally already guessed it had “candy” trees. The candy gave energy to fight the candy cane poles. Sometimes we had to hurry back to the merry go round and blast off. We were being chased and haste was in order. The blasting off was fun because it involved moving as fast as possible, but once orbit was broke the travel was smooth and slow. The descent onto the planet was a little bumpy at times but that was ok because another adventure was on it’s way.
(This was how I played with the kids at the church day care.)

Any certain games you played with your kids or with kids?


The roof was a great place. I could run on the flat surface and jump to the next roof. On the ground looking up, it looked like a long jump, but from the roof it didn’t look like much of a jump. When I grew tired of that I went into our garage and spent countless hours of space travel. I grew up in a gas station and loved to go into the storage garage with all the spare parts. I set up the radios like a space ship. I visited many planets and had many adventures. I flew to imaginary planets and ate all the candy I wanted on those planets.



Paddle Fish

Paddle Fish

I remember as a boy going fishing with my Grandpa. He had a house boat and we’d fish almost every Saturday. Sometimes he would fish for Paddle Fish. He would have huge hooks that snagged the prehistoric look fish. The fish were easy to clean since it didn’t have bones and the taste was great.


One of the things I liked in the Navy was the humanitarian deeds we did. We picked up refugees. The children were so excited over getting balloons. It looked like it was the first time they had ever seen the colorful round items.

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