Spirit Chronicles: The Escaped Murderer

Many years ago when I was in college my roommate and I were back in the mountains doing some Saturday morning trout fishing. We were down this long dirt road about seven miles off the main highway back in the woods working this little creek that had small but numerous brown and rainbow trout in it. We were having real good success and caught several big enough to keep and cook over a nice fire later that night. We were camping out in the area also just having fun and being college kids drinking some beer, chilling out and enjoying nature.

Later that night around midnight the two of us were joined by a couple of friends that had to work that day so the party got going pretty good as they came in with a re-supply of cold beer and some liquor also. As we were hanging out and having fun this tall skinny man about 6’5 and 170 pounds walked up to our remote campsite and began talking to us. He told us he lived in the area, but we were down there about every weekend and knew of no houses, cabins or homes within 10 miles of this remote out post we stayed at.

He told us he was doing some camping and that his car had broken down up the road a ways about a mile and he was just walking and hoping he would find someone in the area to get help. This is back when there were no cell phones and all you could do for help was use a telephone or drive for help. This triggered one of my friends to tell us that he did not see any cars as he drove into the site and the story was not adding up. We were very uncomfortable with the situation but felt protected because we had numbers with five of us versus one of him. I also had my 22 rifle and my roommate had his old single shot 12 gauge shotgun incase we encountered some type of wildlife we needed to protect ourselves from.

He told my roommate he needed a ride and his place was about another mile down the road or so back in the woods. We knew this was not true because the road ended a few hundred feet from where we were and it became a national forest trail leading to a series of waterfalls we would go dive and swim in. We tried to blow him off and get him to leave the area by pretending we were packing up to leave early the next day but he just hung around. He was wearing a long black coat with ragged jeans and cowboy hat. He was not clean shaven and smelled of liquor. That night I had a dream that someone got killed in the woods and saw people chasing me.

At the time I did not know my dreams were due to a gift I had and that it was a warning about what was going to happen. Spirit was telling me in a protective way to get away from him. One of my buddies tried to go to the car and the guy started acting paranoid asking what he was doing and where he was going. Being a young cocky guy my buddy told him to back off and that it was none his business what he was doing. That is when the guy opened his coat up like an old cowboy revealing his gun to another person. This guy showed us a long bladed knife and he made a comment that he had cut many “young punks” in his life and for all of us to shut up. We started to panic a little bit and realized this guy was not right in the head.

He went into the woods to pee so we came up with a plan to lure him into the truck and put him in the back of it for the ride. I would follow in my truck where my 22 rifle and the shotgun were at in case he tried to hurt someone. So we drank some more beer with him to let him see we were all cool. All the while we knew something was not right about this tall, lanky, creepy guy with a long knife. The next morning he asked us for a ride once again so we hatched out plan. Three of us would take him down the road towards the falls and the others would go for help in the nearest town.

He agreed to the ride and when he climbed in the back of the truck he pulled his blade out and out it on his lap. My roommates drove and rode in the front of the truck. I followed along behind him now with access to the guns we may need if he was to try something with us. We drove down to the end of the road and he jumped out of the truck and said my place is just down the road here a ways. We knew that was a lie and at this point figured out he had bad plans for us all. So my roommate jumped back in the truck and took off down the road with the guy running and hollering at them to stop and slung the knife at the truck striking the windshield.

I backed up and turned around and he ran towards my truck grabbing the passenger door and trying to open it. I floored it and that sent him flying onto the ground rolling down in the ditch a few feet away. My roommate had turned around and came flying up the road to get out of there also and drove by as he got to his feet. We left everything at the campsite and drove out of the woods to a small town seven miles away and called the sheriff. The sheriff deputy met us about hallway back into the woods to get a description and take a report.

None of us were in trouble as we were deemed to be defending ourselves during this process. He told us that the local park ranger had told him about a vagrant camp off in the woods somewhere they had to run people out of on a routine basis. So we drove back down, grabbed our gear and got back to school and decided until things cleared up not to go back down there. Two weeks later on the local news we say that man on television. He had been charged with attempted murder of two young college students using a knife. He was also known as an escaped fugitive that had been on the run for five years evading police by living back in the woods in a camp.

The guy was a convicted murderer that had escaped jail twice and was wanted for connection to several murders or attempted murders in various areas of the southern states. He was eventually caught and sent back to jail where he later died a few years later from a violent knife attack fight in prison. We escaped with our lives that day and had it not been for us just having a feeling that this guy was rotten to the core we probably would be dead now. All at the hands of the tall knife wielding murderer of that old mountain road.

I no know what my gift is and am figuring out how to interpret my dreams, visions and use my intuition better. Thankfully we survived this harrowing experience and I lived to tell another true story of the power of spirit and its battle of good versus evil. This man had an evil heart and wanted to take us with him and kill us. This story could end up a book or movie one day soon.

Spirit Chronicles: The Hairy Men and the Dog

When I was nine years old some friends and I were playing down on a small creek riding our bikes, looking for a shallow swimming hole and just being boys. We got deep into the woods and one of my friends had a huge dog named Cowboy. He was so big you could ride him like a horse. He was a mixed breed Collie and Saint Bernard and was very protective of my friend. We played all day down on the creek beds and as the early evening was approaching with the sun starting to go down in the west we heard a very loud growl about 150 feet from us. It was normal to be in the woods and see critters, animals and deer that the dogs would chase and fight with at times. But this growl was different, it was very low and loud and came from something I had never seen nor heard.

The growl became a yell and that alarmed us all and we took off running. It was getting dark and we were a good mile in the woods running on a creek bed. As we all started running I turned around to catch a glimpse of what I can only describe as a big “hairy man”. Cowboy attacked the thing and started fighting with it. This is where it got hard to believe or understand because Cowboy was standing on his hind legs and at 150 pounds he stood at least four feet high on his hind legs. Whatever he was fighting was on two feet and stood a minimum of six feet tall. We all called for Cowboy to come but he was engaged in a heck of a fight with this “hairy thing” right there in the woods.

We were running away and I looked back and this thing raised its hand and hit Cowboy one time and knocked him about ten feet away like he was tossing a cat. The thing then turned it glare towards me as I had frozen at that point, stopped and was just staring at whatever this thing was. It yelled really loud with a snarling growl and turned and ran up the hill and into the trees. It disappeared and I began to run as fast as I could away. I didn’t realize that my friends had all been gone for at least a minute running ahead of me. They didn’t see or witness everything I did so when I told them of course they gave me a hard time about it.

Several years later while hunting for deer and other small game in the same area I always had a feeling that something was watching me but I could never see it. I heard it moving in the brush, but could not find it. I stopped thinking and talking about after my friends busted my chops about it and tucked that memory away. I thought about it from time to time and have been infatuated about it for the rest of my life. I watch movies, shows and specials about Big Foot now because I firmly believe what I saw was not a bear (no bear in that area of NC) and I know the other animals that were in the creek bed area. Fast forward to 1987 and I am in the woods in the mountains of NC and as my roommate and I are riding down a dirt road heading for our deer stands early in the morning as the sun was rising.

I glimpse over to my right and on top of the mountain in a clearing I see what looked like the same thing. It was big and hairy and no human could be that big and that high up on a mountain. I caught a quick glimpse of it maybe three to five seconds and it ran off into deep thick woods. This being my second time seeing a “hairy man” it just made my curiosity even higher than before. Fast forward to 2021 and I am on the phone with a friend of mine that is very gifted in seeing things and I am asked about the thing I saw when I was young. That blew my mind and It validated what I thought the whole time. Until you see something like a big foot, odd creature, lake monster, cryptid or other unexplainable things you may be a sceptic You may say I am crazy and try to tell me what I saw. But I can say without a doubt that 45 years later I still can picture both “hairy men” in my head and will never forget the yell and growl that thing made.

Americana: Why Carry A Pocket Knife

Rarely do I leave my house without a pocket knife. I have a large collection of them that have accumulated through the years from collecting and buying them. My daughters buy them for me on my birthday and at Christmas time. I see them in stores and shops and snag them up for a few dollars. I keep a knife in every car for several reasons and often as stated have one on me at all times. I cannot have one on campus at school so that is about the only time I will not have a knife in my pocket. I do not carry it as a weapon, but it can be used to defend you and your family if needed. I carry it to use as a tool for many purposes along with possible protection. Knifes are part of Americana, like apple pie, baseball, BB guns, old toys, antiques and sports. They come in all sizes, shapes, colors and decorative styles.

My dad loved knifes and so did my grandfather. They both had some old timers that I still have until this day put away to give to my kids one of these days. You can pay as little as a dollar for a good knife to have on you at all times. One of my favorite knifes is from the dollar store down the road from my house. It is well made and very sharp. I like to switch them like watches. I have a collection of about 20 watches and probably 100 or more knifes that I rotate weekly. Growing up in the country you learned how to use a knife to survive and as a life tool. Be careful with a sharp knife and learn how to handle one before using it. Knifes are a great gift for any guy, son, wife, daughter or friend. Many of them hold excellent value and some of the best knife makers in the world are made in America.

Below is a list of the things you can use a good little pocket knife for so put one on your purse, in the car and in your pocket.

1- You can use it to protect yourself and your family if needed. It may not do a lot of harm, but it can be intimidating enough to keep someone from messing with or attacking you. If your not a gun person, then put a knife beside your bed or in the car.

2- You can use it to cut wood and whittle things. Sitting outside in the fall or late summer and carving something out of wood is relaxing and can be very creative. Recently while cleaning out a garage I found several old boy scout projects I had carved out of wood many moons ago as a teenager.

3- You can use it to cut open a can of food or poke a hole in a can to get the food out. I remember going camping in college and using a pocket knife to open cans of Beans and Franks to cook on the fire.

4- You can use it to cut your hair or fingernails. Yes, that sounds crazy but it happens.

5- You can use it to cut your sausages, cheese and other food items up when you are at lunch, camping or hunting. You can also use it in the kitchen.

6- You can save a life in a burning or wrecked car by cutting the seat belt in half to get someone lose. A knife will cut rope, seat belts and many other things that can have you locked down.

7- You can use it to strip wire, cut wire, trim things and use as a tool on the job. A knife will also turn screws, make holes, cut slits in belts and other cutting reasons.

8- You can use it to get the dirt out your fingernails and food from your teeth. I would rather use a toothpick, but hey a knife works also.

9- You can use it to cut bait, fillet fish, skin an animal and survive. Going fishing growing up we always had a knife handy to cut bait, cut tangled lines, fix the small screws on the reel or fillet the fresh fish we caught on the pier or in the pond.

10- You can just carry it around for the heck of it and know that you have one of the best multi tools in the world at your disposal at all times day or night.

Coach B!

Sports: Five Stitches and a County Title- Winners Never Quit, Quitters Never Win

Five Stitches and a County Title- Winners Never Quit, Quitters Never Win

When I was fourteen years old I had a ball game on a Saturday afternoon and it was a huge game.  I grew up playing football, basketball and baseball and after advancing into pony league ball I was a pitcher for the local school team.  Back in the day everyone played for their local elementary school distinct teams regardless of age.  Most started playing coach pitch, then moved to pee wee.  Next came a little league where the competition started getting better.  Then came pony league and at the time that was the oldest ages in my county about 12-14 years old.  I loved playing baseball and was a big kid so I learned to pitch the ball when I was little so I could use my size to an advantage.  

By the time I reached pony league I was 14 years old in the 8th grade and stood 6’0 and weighed 190 pounds,  Back in the late 1970’s that was a big kid for the age.  Now kids are like 6’2 240 at that age and many claim it is hormones in the hamburgers.  I just think kids just have gotten bigger over time as advances have been made in sports training, foods, and eating habits.  Anyways here I am on the big day.  A day I had worked for since I was seven years old.  I was the number one pitcher on the team, I was the ace on the mound and had a great season going.  Well, the morning of the county championship game I was in the dirt road playing with some friends and as I rode down the road on my bike a local dog ran under my wheel throwing me off the bike over the handlebars.

If you have ever experienced that you will know that crushed granite rocks on a dirt gravel road are not very forgiving with the skin.  The skin loses that fight and my hands, elbows and face got all scratched up.  I got up and went into the house to show my dad waiting on him to get me for being stupid on a game day and not relaxing like I should have.  Mom checked me over and my left (glove) hand had a big cut.  A cut under my thumb that would require stitches.  The game was at 5:00pm across the county and it was like 2:30pm.  Mom took me to the doctors office and they put five stitches in my glove hand, cleaned the wound and sent me home.  I was mad because the doctor said not to play that day because I would tear the stitches out and get an infection.

Well, we went home dressed and all the time my dad was very quiet and not saying much,  I could tell he was concerned about my hand, but also the team as I was the number one pitcher.  I was 8-0 that season in games and was scheduled to face the best team we would see all season in that championship game.  They had a pitcher that was really good also and he could really throw the ball hard for a 13 year old 7th grader.  He was tall and lanky and could bring the heat with an occasional breaking ball.  I was a fire baller.  I threw heat and tried to move the ball around and had no off speed pitch.  

We load up, get dressed and drive across the county 30 minutes to the game site.  Back then we had home phones so none of the boys or parents knew I was hurt until we pulled in and got out and here I am standing there with a wrapped up hand.  I instantly saw the stress on my teammates’ faces and tried to field their barrage of questions as to what happened, could I play, who was going to pitch for us.  My dad and a family friend named Leon were the coaches so they started warming up my friend Chris and he was a pretty good pitcher also.  He wasn’t very fast but threw strikes.  Chris warmed up and I begged him to let me play.  She told me the doctor said no game today.  

As fate would have it I was standing there beside the other pitcher talking to him and our catcher threw the ball back a little wildly and it came right at me. Out of instinct I reached out and snagged the ball with my glove and in the process the stitches out of my hand.  And it didn’t hurt too bad (well honestly it hurt bad) but I wasn’t going to tell.  I proceeded to warm up and get ready for the game.  My friend got real nervous and started the game and after a few batters was in trouble.  All I could do was stand and watch in the dugout with my torn stitches and open cut.  Chris ended up having to come out and we were in a bind with nobody better than him. I told my dad to let me throw.  If I hurt bad enough I would walk away, hand him the ball and we could go with put #3.  

I walked to the mound, threw a few warmup pitches and the catcher threw the ball back to me very easy each time.  The umpire called the game back into action and here I am on the mound 8-0 with no outs and bases loaded.  I had a torn hand, busted stitches and was hurting real bad.  I looked at my glove and many years earlier my dad had written this in the glove.  “Winners never quit and quitters never win”..  It hit me that I had to do this, I had to take one for the team,  I had to survive and try to help us win.  I went on to pitch the best game of the season.  Struck out three straight batters to end the first inning and avoid any runs crossing the plate.  I finished the game with ten strikeouts and no hits allowed with one walk.  

We dominated the game and won 16-0 in five innings of play called due to the lead being more than 10 runs after five innings.  My teammates did a great job making a few key outs when the ball was hit by the opposing team and we smashed the ball at the plate for 16 runs.  I was the #4 hitter in the lineup (cleanup hitter).  I didn’t bat until the 4th inning as a teammate pinch hit for me.  I went to the plate with my old wooden monster named bomber.  Tom, the opposing pitcher, had gotten tired and walked the bases full.  Well, he hung one of his curveballs over the plate and I got it all.  Old bomber sent it over the left field fence for a grand slam which made the score 10-0 and blew it wide open for the win.  This story is not about how great a pitcher or hitter I was.  It is about the power of positive thinking, working hard and pushing through life events that can get in the way.  Winners never quit and quitters never win!

Coach B!

Health: Physical, Mental and Spiritual Impact of Tragedy

Today I am writing a brief post about one of the hardest times in my life.  I was coaching at a local high school and halfway through the season our head coach and my good friend passed away suddenly and unexpected.  This was a huge loss for his family, students, athletes and the community as a whole.  I am going to go into all the details of what happened, but instead will talk about the loss of a dear friend and coach and how the coaching staff and team responded to that loss.  Losing important people in out lives is never easy and brings a rush of emotion that we deal with for sometimes months or even years.  I was the offensive coordinator at the time so when my friend passed I was asked to continue the season as the interim head coach.  I remember the conversation with the principal when he asked me to take things and finish the season.  

I gladly took the responsibility not because it was a chance to take the program over.  It was the right thing to do in honor of my friend, players, community and school.  I went home that day and just prayed and cried about it.  This was a really bad situation and I had to find a way to step up, hide my emotions and feelings and stand tall for my players.  I sat down and came up with a plan that I wanted to use to try to manage the coming weeks activity which included a memorial service, a funeral, practice. planning, teaching, counseling crying and overcoming the fact that I was not Coach C.  My goal never was to replace such a great man, it was simply to honor him.  I will leave the football story at that and move into the emotional, physical and spiritual impact that this loss and the events that followed took on my mental, physical and spiritual help.

As you can imagine, by the end of the week I was broken in all three areas.  I was wore out, tired, emotional, couldn’t sleep and many other things that were going on.  I was trying to manage life at home, life at work, coaching, grieving and supporting the players, coaches and staff.  When tragedy strikes we often are tasked with the responsibility of stepping up and leading through these tough times.  We do not expect it or ask for it and without warning bam, we are now sitting on the toughest situation of our lives.  I have always been a person to step out front when needed and do what I can in whatever capacity.  I willingly took the responsibility with a goal of just keeping things as normal as possible as we all worked to overcome the loss of our coach and friend.

1- It is in tragedy and strife that we become our strongest.  It takes courage, strength, internal fortitude and drive to keep going when things are really bad.

2- It is in tragedy and strife that we realize just how important people were to us when we tell them goodbye one final time.

3- It is in tragedy and strife that we learn to overcome the physical, mental and spiritual beating we take by just moving forward.

4- It is in tragedy and strife that we see how pushing emotions, grief, anger, and all the other emotions to the side can build us up, but also tear us down later on.

5- It is in tragedy that we honor those we love, help their family, our community and friends out who are in need.

6- It is in tragedy that we look to our faith in God, family, friends and community to make it, to deal with it and to adapt.  We seek counsel and grow in our faith in all things good through the bad.

We all face tragedy, especially the lose of loved ones in life.  We fight the emotional, physical and spiritual burdens brought on by that.  But we also step up, rise up, battle, fight and eventually overcome all of it and live with the precious memories of our dearly departed souls we miss everyday going forward.

Coach B