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Ignorance is bliss! Maybe I should say innocence is bliss. A world of rich possibilities and dreams carry many young people from high school graduation to attend college and eventually a career. These innocent minds leave home and if they aren’t already, they are seduced into allowing their raging hormones to begin to make their decisions.

I spent my last year of high school on the back side of the Chiwawan desert. My dad had been called as the principle of the little Christian school in Alpine, Texas. My mom and dad, my 3 brothers and I returned to live in Marfa, a little cowboy and border patrol town north - west of Big Bend National Park. Eventually we moved out to the ranch where we had lived years earlier to operate a cattle and land erosion business with an old cowboy that could remember when there were no fences in Texas.

Life on the ranch was like a dream set in the old west. The sunsets can take your breath away. The dusty valleys would produce an evening show that filled the whole sky from horizon to horizon. The sun would cast a bright orange and yellow shadows across the sky and as it sunk into the hills the flames of color would change to darker hues of red and purple, finally dragging its blanket of color to bed with it.

I loved Texas. Sometimes on Saturdays I would mount a horse and ride all day across the 40 section ranch (25 thousand acres) with a 22 rifle just seeing what I could see. Everything moved twice as slow as it should especially to a 17 year old that was about to go to college. I worked at a veterinary hospital to earn some extra money after school. But all this wasn’t enough to keep me from missing a girlfriend I left behind. I wrote her letters but I couldn’t wait to return to Tennessee to go to Bible College where my dad had attended and where we had just moved from.

Finally the day arrived. I graduated second in my class of three and received a $100.00. I promptly bought a new rifle. Now I was ready to go to college. It seems like just a few years ago that I arraigned to go to work for the large church the college was associated with, working on the church buses. Originally I had planned to go to work in the youth ministry office but with this job I would have an apartment off campus.

The trip on the Greyhound bus took over 24 hours. It took me a day or so to get my bearings, but once I got settled in, I was ok. A man named Phil about 10 years older than me was the guy who set this up for me and I was grateful. I began to go to work about a week and a half before school. He taught me a lot about engines and at first I enjoyed being there. ...

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