The Spirit of an Angel (Chapter 1 - The Train Ride, page 1 of 12)

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"There is an Angel for everyone; and everyone has an Angel… MM

It was the summer of '65; we had graduated from High School and it was a time to make decisions that would affect the rest of our lives. I wanted to put it off as long as I could.

The train slowly swayed back and forth as it ambled down the railroad tracks. I was enjoying the trip - traveling cross country. I was traveling to Denver to visit Dr. Joseph Prescott, Mattie Hall's son. I had always been fascinated with trains and this was a great opportunity to take a long ride. There weren't many passengers on the train-which was fine with me. It was an opportunity to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. We made a stop in St. Louis where as many passengers got on as got off. I noticed a young couple get on. They were dressed like "hippies". They both had equally long hair and flowered outfits. They seemed very giggly and high spirited.

My friend Dave Barkley was sleeping in the seat next to me and paid no attention to the hippies. I had talked Dave into going with me. He had earned a scholarship for wrestling but wanted to do something special before heading toward all the responsibility of college. We were both happy to get away and we planned on having some fun on a journey that not only was on a train, but in the end proved to be a journey that would begin our adulthood.

I was wishing my friend Amy could have traveled with us, but she was preparing for college. Unlike Dave, she felt it would be too long to be away. She would have enjoyed listening in on the conversation of the young couple. They had sat down in the double seat right in front of me. I could see them partially between the four inch space in the middle of the seats. I was enjoying watching them and couldn't avoid hearing their conversation; they provided a little entertainment on an otherwise dull journey.

For the first time I picked up the book my brother Mitch had given me to read, "Watership Down." I opened it and was acting like I was reading and oblivious to them, although they had my full attention.

They were talking about a variety of topics but what got my attention was the mention of a robbery. That's when they began to whisper. I could feel the girl turn and peek at me through the space in the seats, but I kept my eyes glued to the book acting like I was not hearing a word they were saying. When on a train, the sounds are deceiving. Because of the noises of the tracks passing underneath and the steady rumble and vibrations I could see why they would think their conversation would not be heard, even with me sitting right behind them. But I could hear every word.

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