A 70 year old mystery–A BRAND NEW ONE FROM THE MOUNTAIN MAN 9/24/2020

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Daily grist; no matter how slowly the wheels turn I refused to be ground down, and eventually will die a complete person. JD Rhynes

A memory from 70 years ago still haunts me. The setting was the middle-class neighborhood of East Stockton in which I was raised. It was late summer on a Saturday afternoon if I remember right, I was riding my bicycle back from the store and I was almost to my home when I passed a woman carrying a small brown suitcase in her left hand, and a small boy of seven or eight years old was holding her right hand. I noticed that the boy limped on his right leg. The boy was carrying a bundle in his right hand bound by a leather strap, and they were heading towards MainStreet which was a very long block a way to the north. The woman had a scared look on her face and was virtually pulling her little boy along behind her as fast as she could. I ran to the back door of my house into the kitchen, set the grocery bag down containing a loaf of bread and a quart of milk, and my mother asked me; who is that strange woman walking up the street with that little boy? I don’t know I said but I am going to find out and headed back out the door, jumped on my bicycle and took off after them. By this time they had nearly reached MainStreet when a two-ton flatbed truck pulled up next to the woman and a man got out and told her to get in the truck. By this time I was within 20 feet of them and I could hear everything that was said. He was pleading with her to get in the truck and she kept refusing him, accusing him of hitting her, and she turned to me and said look what he’s done to me, and I could see a slight bruise on her left cheek. It was obvious to me that they both had been drinking which had ended up in an argument. I noticed that the little boy’s right leg was about 2 inches shorter than the other one and he had a built up sole on that shoe which made it heavier and made him limp as he walked. The bundle he was carrying was about eight or nine comic books, bound by heavy cord, with a leather belt fastened around the middle of them so he could carry them. I realized those books were his most precious possession on this earth. All the while, the man was pleading for her and little Jimmy to get in the truck and go back home with him. After much pleading and apologizing and promising, she helped little Jimmy into the cab of the truck, and her and the man got in and headed east on Main Street and left never to be seen again.

   It has been at least 70 years since this incident happened. I never did know who they were or where they lived. The sight of that little boy limping along beside his mother carrying the bundle of comic books has haunted my memory lo these many years. I have often wondered what happened to him and his mother, did she get out of that abusive relationship? Or did they get married and straighten out their lives? I remember that I didn’t see any wedding rings on her hand or his either for that matter. What happened to little Jimmy? Did he grow up to be a good man? Was he able to get an education to allow him to overcome his handicap?      Many a night for the last 70 years I have prayed for little Jimmy and his mother that they may have had a wonderful comfortable life of happiness together. When I step through that veil after this life is over, right after I get to hug all my friends and loved ones, that is one of the first questions I’m going to ask God. What happened to little Jimmy and his mother? I know that Jesus takes care of children like Jimmy so I have a good feeling that the answer is going to be a good one. A 70-year-old mystery with a happy ending, thank God !

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