Saturday, the 10th of July, 1965, I was bailed out of jail I had just spent the night in, on the condition I show up in Court on Monday, July 12th to face the charges of attempted murder.
It began in a bar room fight, after a day of hunting and drinking, far out into the Mojave Desert and away from town.
The fight was between two strangers and a friend of mine.
I was not involved in the arguments over the music, but playing cards at a table near by when their voices grew loud with threats and the invitation to step out back.
Seeing two guys on one made me angry enough to leave my game and make the fight equal, well unequal to my friends advantage cause I had a gun.
Before I get judged too harshly for this, let me explain.
The only reason I had the gun was because we had been hunting and on our way home stopped for a beer and to spend no more than an hour.
It was a small .22 pistol, not given a thought for until I seen this bull of a man about to jump on my friend, and me after I stood up.
I had just got out of the US Army a few months back and my reflexive reaction was training, for such threats, forgetting I was not in a comnbat situation.
Seeing what was happening, someone in the bar called the law, and before the law got there my gun was out and a shot fired.
And I went to jail for attempted murder.
I spent the rest of saturday thinking about the seriousness of spending more than a few years in prison, and I was scared.
Both my mother and grandmother were devout Christians, so I was not ignorant of the Lord.
I opened the Bible to find help and I opened it to "ask and ye shall recieve, seek and ye shall find, knowck and it shall be opened.
I went into the bathroom and knelt down and asked for help, I called out to Jesus Christ, then I knocked on the bathroom wall, I did not know where I was supposed to knock, so I knocked on the wall.
That night I had a dream,maybe a vision as it was so real, it was real in fact.
A light so bright I could not look, and a holiness of a Devine person.
A young Evangelist was coming the the Church my mother and granny attended on Sunday Night.
I got myself ready and sneaked in, sort of, late.
I cannot remember but one thing the young Evangelist said, as he read my heart and mind in thinking through my pain how I was ever going to clean my life up and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
He said openly to the Congregation, but directly to me, Jesus would take me like I am and clean me up, I had no need to clean myself.
I broke into chest heaving sobs, repenting for my sins and asking for help, I found myself alone with the same Light my vision had revealed, I could not see anything but this Light, and then a Pure Love I am once again feeling as I re-tell this, and telling ti with thankful tears to the Lord for His Mercy and Love that went way above all jmy understanding of what was happening.
Next morning in Court, the Judge dismissed all charges against me and gave me back my bail money, and my .22 pistol and the bullets that had been in it.