March average temperatures are a high of 53 and an average low 31, so with March hang on to your hat. Remember March, in like a lion out like a lamb? I always enjoyed that old weather prediction, because I can remember the bulletin boards in school in March reflecting windy days, and I knew that spring and warmer weather was close. I wonder if they still have those monthly bulletin boards in school.
Now my stories this month focus on situations that not everyone was able to experience. You see, my father-in-law Jimmie Anderson was a Shenandoah County Deputy, and I, from time to time, would ride along with him on patrol. He had the night shift which like all things had its good and bad points. You had more drunken drivers, breakings and enterings, but not as much traffic on the roads as the daytime deputies had to deal with.
It was on one of these ride-alongs that he received a call from the dispatcher that a call that a young individual had gone into his parent’s basement and was attacked. He tried to go back upstairs, but someone or something drug him back down to the basement. The dispatcher informed him that other units were on scene and would wait for backup because they had the intruder barricaded in the basement. Upon arrival county and town units entered the home and searched the house and basement thoroughly and found no one. After questioning the victim they found that the evil culprit that had a hold of him was drug addiction and not a person. Narcotics had nearly ruined his thought process, and all this was imagined. Isn’t that so sad.
Oh well, to my last story. I believed this happened in 1989 or 1990. I was visiting Cammie’s family, and if I remember it was Easter Sunday after church. Jimmie’s nephew stopped by with a concern. There was a red Ford pick-up parked in what was called the grave-yard field right below Tomahawk Pond. It was called this because of a small cemetery that was right near the entrance of the field. The nephew thought in previous days that there was someone in there marking timber, but now on Easter Sunday that would be less likely. So, to check this out Jimmie went out and sighed on to the Sheriff’s Department, In Service. As we entered the field, sure enough, now at the far end of the field at the wood’s edge was a pick-up truck. As he approached, we could see a man sitting, leaning back against a large pine tree at the wood’s edge. At first look we could see a large bottle of whiskey sitting beside him about half-full and numerous small bottles of whiskey (they called fingers) surrounded him. As we pulled up, he picked up the mike and keyed it, “Three Thirteen to Shenandoah County.”
“Go ahead, Three Thirteen,” the dispatcher replied.
“I have a 10-82, possibly 10-98.”
Now those State Police code numbers when translated into laymen’s terms were as follows, “Shenandoah County, I have a dead body possible suicide.”
Yes, “dead body, possible suicide.”
This became a day I will probably never forget. It still bothers me today. For not only were the bottles laying around him, but within a few inches of his right hand lay a 357 magnum. A man who became so depressed and discouraged and who drank enough “courage” to end it all. As more officers and officials arrived, they found he was from Northern Virginia and had been missing for nearly a week. Yes, He was someone’s son, brother, husband and possibly father. He had threated this act for the last ten years, and his family discounted his threats, but this time he wasn’t bluffing.
What a sad event! Later, I heard a Police Officer describe suicide as “a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. No one knew why he chose this area to come to, maybe he just drove and drove until he found this secluded mountain area and felt this large field would be a quiet place to be alone. Ironically, as you may remember he was found in the graveyard field, and when they checked the victim’s pick-up truck the battery was dead. The cause was he left the switch on so his eight-track tape player could play music while he sat and drank. The name of the last tape he ever played in his life. Hank Williams Sr, I saw the light.
In the Bible Jesus tells us that in this world there will be trials and tribulations, but be of good cheer, I (Jesus) have overcome the world. John 16:33 Encouraging words, and if anyone reading this is going through some rough times, please talk to someone, there is help available.
Believe it or Not
Until Next Time