Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sept. Oct. 2001 Empire, Mi

Sept. Oct. 2001

It sure has been along time since I sat down to write. The last time was May of this year and I can tell you IT WAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF SUMMER!
As we were getting situated up at Empire at Sleepy Bear Campground it felt good! We'd had such a good summer last year and we expected the same this year. We had to put the trailer right next to the host's lot so that we could cover for them and etc. Our first week and a half were uneventful as we became acclimated to our jobs. We also had visitors, Rich & Carol Balkema, Fred and Joanne Vandomlen along with Sharon & Ike Eitiniear came up for a weekend. The host's came in from Iowa and we were happy about that. We didn't know what their jobs entailed and were happy to see that they were able to get up there. By the middle of June we weren't so comfortable in our jobs. I couldn't seem to to anything right and every 3rd or 4th day the owners would come over for a visit and bring new typewritten work descriptions for my job. They were always cordial but aloof and we couldn't figure out what the trouble was. In fact, we even talked about packing up and leaving but we're not that type of people.
We were all geared up for the 4th of July Weekend when the bottom almost literally dropped out of our world. On Friday, the owners got a hold of us on the radio and said they wanted to talk to us. They came over and he said, "M said that you grabbed her breast also, J won't work as long as you're here. Sally can continue to work but you'll have to stay back here out of sight. There are not going to be any charges filed & etc.". I couldn't believe what the man was saying. Also I couldn't think of any reason why M. would accuse me of anything. He also said "that being a holiday weekend we didn't have to leave because there would so much traffic." "I told him I've spent half of my life driving and I wasn't staying". I also stated that it would take us a couple of hours to pack-up. They left and we, in shock, started to put stuff away. Sally had taken a job for the Village of Empire and was supposed to work the next day. She had to go and tell them that she couldn't do it. Also we contacted another couple, Lloyd & Judy, and told them what had transpired, also we gave them some flowers and furniture that we NO LONGER needed. They helped us pack up and we said our tearful good-bys'.
I believe that being charged with a sexual misconduct charge has probably got to be one of the worst feeling in the world. You have to prove your innocence, you are guilty as charged. (since then all problems have been resolved and we were absolved of any wrong doing) As we were traveling south, Sal in her wagon and I in the truck, I'm sure her mind was going a mile a minute. I was trying to think coherently. Where were we going? What're we going to do? All of a sudden Church and God entered my mind and I remembered that our little church in Ferry was having a camp-out retreat this very week-end. I got Sally to pull over and told her what I'd just remembered. Also I stated that I needed those people. She agreed whole heartedly so off to the retreat we went. We were WELCOMED WITH OPEN ARMS, even after I told them what had happened up north. What started out to be such a dreaded week-end ended up being a spiritually up-lifting experience.
The next week when we pulled into the TTCM campground in Hesperia it was like coming home. Sally being born & raised there, was as happy as a kid opening presents on Christmas Morning. We found out our friends were still our friends. TTCM is a private campground and only charge $25.00 per year plus $7.00 per night camping. Through-out the summer we found out that a lot of people we knew were members of the camp. Phil & Deloris McGahan, Phil Jr. & Mary McGahan, Jim & Barb Annis, Ken & Betty Baker, Bob & Doris Robbins. Through the years I'd met these people and knew many of their children through our children,school & church. Now it was time for me to get and know these neighbors.

Camping with friends

Camping brings out the best of people and there was never a dull or hungry minute with these new found friends around. Betty and Barb both had hips and/or knees replaced and then suffered through infections and Barb with replacements plus infections. Just before we left Michigan Betty had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She & Ken are in our special prayers every night. Also Gordy & Linda Ruhl, from Texas, stopped by.
One day we returned to camp and found a note with some fresh produce from Annie Davenport. They were having a family reunion and we were invited!
She and her husband, Rufus, have become even better friends as the years go on. Their 8 beautiful children all went to Hesperia to school and then onto college and all have done quite well as TV producers, wall street guru's, and financial experts. The girls that were all cute throughout school years are all beautiful women. I believe all of them are married but 1 boy & 1 girl. With all the children and grandchildren it was a full house that they'd rented for the week of festivities. I'd never gotten to close to the children because I never had the opportunity to do so. Dad (Rufus) fixed ribs, chicken and heaven knows what on the grill and some of the kids, like MO, ran around with some of his shrimp that were also good. When we showed up for dinner it looked like food was being fixed for a large royal get-to-gether. So much quality food that I was ready to move in. Such a great day we all had! We were able to get together with them 2 more times this late summer. We were able to set at each other's dinner tables. We discussed our childhood and I listened raptly as Rufus and Annie told about growing up as children of share-croppers in Alabama. In fact Annie had bought a handgun and I'd given her a couple of hours of lessons. We laughed as Rufus told me what I'd said out at the gun range. I try to be safety conscious and was trying to impress on Annie the use of the safety on her firearm. I told her my ass was white and hers was black but we both had RED blood. These people are very good Black Americans. Not African Americans, they've never been to Africa.
Don & Nancy Myers said that they could use some help at Sandy Beach. Also there might be a chance for employment for next summer. We did our interview and were accepted for the 3 weeks. While we were whiling the time away out at TTCM before Labor Day, Lloyd & Judy came down from Sleepy Bear Campground. Also a welcomed letter came from M, from the campground in Empire. In the letter she absolved me of doing any wrong between her & I. It was a very nice 2 page handwritten letter. I showed it to a few people and under advisement decided not to pursue it any farther legally. What a difference that letter made in my life!
We were expected to just do sort of supervisory work at Sandy Beach Campground. A far cry from what we had been doing, which was a little of everything. We still don't know for sure about next year. While we were there Don talked me into setting up an appointment with an acupuncturist for my hearing problem. Nancy & Don have both been going because of their back and physical problems. My first trip was one of awe and wonderment. I was surprised as she explained what she was doing. 24 hours later my hearing restored during a raging thunderstorm. What joy as I was able to hear and understand normal conversation again. I made weekly visits and my hearing was good for 3 weeks then BOOM it went to hell again. I kept going back for my sessions getting more and more depressed each trip. She said my hearing would get much worse before it got better. She was right! My last appointment she did, what I'll call a "do or die" session as I told her I was leaving the next day. She said 24 hours my hearing should return. 24 hours it was better & 48 hours it was wonderful. What a way to leave Michigan, hearing again.
Sometime after Labor Day, Dan & Martha Revoir and Sally & myself met in Berrien Springs to have dinner with a old schoolmate (I guess we're all old now). Helmuth (Don) Von Reas has had complete Renal failure and now been diagnosed with a terminal cancer. Dr. Don, as Dan calls him, is a retired MD himself. He spent about 25 years with, I believe this is right, Immunobiological Revitalization setting up various immunization clinics in 67 countries. After he met with his oncologist and neurosurgeon and the prognosis that they gave him, not good, he decided to call on a Naturalist friend in Switzerland. He seems to be doing quite well and is comfortable. We had a nice afternoon at his his house. He was told by his oncologist and neurosurgeon that by Labor Day he would barely alive.In fact he has been well enough to be able to do some of his "calling" and that is leading some death row inmates and comforting them in their last moments of their lives. He and his friend Carol are also in our prayers.
During the late summer two of Sally's dear friends passed away. Martha Bergklint who baby sat Sally a lot of years ago and Ella Mae Ledbetter (Shriner-Johnson). A friend who had moved away about 50 years ago. Also Scott & Jaimie's little 6 week old baby died from SIDS. Nellie Gleason also passed away.
Finally we're leaving Hesperia Oct 13, 2001
Windy and raining and high winds out of the SE @ about 35 to 40 mph. We finally made Terre Haute and pulled into a county park and IMMEDIATELY got stuck. Had to walk to a phone and call a tow truck. When he got there he said a lot of the farmers had over 7 inches of rain. Officially it was 4 in. The next morning we go on into Eddyville, KY without anymore excitement.
As I sit here in at Chuck & Marcia's pondering the terrorist's action to our country, I can't help but remember when as a child and the patriotism of the America was at the same fervor as today. Every morning the pledge was recited in school. In fact I learned the Lord's Prayer in school as well as church. Prayer was available & welcome also. That was after World War 2. Now as a country getting ready for war, we have something to put our attention too besides who's sleeping with who & etc.
We have 2 grandsons in the Marines. Phillip is in California at Camp Pendelton and has been sharpening his skills with his anti-tank weapon. Kevin is in the active Marine Reserves in Grand Rapids and I'm sure sitting on "pins & needles " waiting. As well as his beautiful girl friend Katie.
Flag waving is common now and people are listening to our National Anthem instead of just shouting. Also I heard our President pray, our Supreme Court prayed, I heard, with tears in my eyes, the joint houses of Congress sing God Bless America, I heard my governor pray, Is it okay if our kids pray in school now?
NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!
As of this morning Oct. 22, 2001 we're headed for Texas. We've taken employment at Destination South of Padre Island. We must be there to go to work Nov 1.
Love to All, Darrell & Sally & Aimee (Dawg)

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