In the fall of 1972, I found
myself in Tempe, Arizona after leaving the
comforts of home on a freight train. I was a lost
and wandering soul, wondering what adventure this
phase of my life was going to take me on.
I’d returned home from
Vietnam the year before and found myself living
the life of a hippie freak, unsettled and at a
loss with what I wanted to do. I was having a
difficult time fitting in, so I finally just got
fed up, put a pack on my back and hit the road.
In Tempe, I met a new friend
named Hobo, who began calling me Space. Soon
after, we were on a freight train headed towards
New Orleans. We traveled together for nearly a
year until we finally separated in Saskatoon, a
city in Saskatchewan, Canada. We travelled through
Texas, the Gulf Coast States, Florida, Arizona,
Los Angeles, Memphis, Kansas City, and all of the
Northern states from Wisconsin to Washington
before taking off for a trek across Canada.
We were a couple of hippie
freaks traveling through our nation’s cities by
freight trains and hitchhiking looking for the
next free ride to nowhere in particular. It was an
adventurous, carefree lifestyle in which every day
was a new adventure. Many times we’d never know
from one day to the next what city or state we’d
On one occasion we had no
idea where we were until we got off the train and
asked one of the workers in the yard. To our
surprise, we were in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Talk
about being in the middle of nowhere!
During this phase I was on a
spiritual quest to discover who I was in
relationship to discovering God’s purpose for my
life. I’d had been using drugs—everything from pot
and LSD to heroin since Vietnam. Because I’d been
mixing drugs and religion together, I’d become
very deceived and was now opening myself up to the
spiritual maze of beliefs of the early 70s.
In Vietnam, I’d had an
enormous spiritual experience that awakened my
spiritual senses. Me and my buddies began to get
into Jesus and the Bible while still using drugs
but the seeds of Christianity were being planted
in my life.
I grew up in Wenatchee,
Washington with apple orchards all around me. My
parents were Christians and attended church every
Sunday, which meant my three brothers, two
sisters, and I went along, too.
Our church didn’t believe in
going to movies, dances, playing cards, or even
going to carnivals. Combined with living out in
the country, we grew up without much social life,
causing me to be socially awkward with an
introverted personality, from which I developed
somewhat of a rejection complex.
In Vietnam, I began to crave
acceptance and was drawn to those who were
involved with drugs and considered outcasts with
whom acceptance came easy. As a result, I became
heavily involved with drugs for the next four
By 1974, I’d come to the end
of myself and lost touch with reality when the
goodness of God intervened and led me to
repentance. Over the previous years, I had close
encounters with God’s grace, but was continually
resisting. Like the fish with the hook in his
mouth that continually fights the tug of the line
until it’s finally worn out from the battle and
then is easily caught, so was I in the hands of
the Lord. The battle for my soul was over. I was
too tired and worn out to resist any longer. I
simply surrendered to what God wanted to do.
In retrospect, I know that
God had His hand on my life. I continually stand
in awe and am so appreciative for all He’s done in
my life. His compassion and loving-kindness when I
was a lost and wandering soul has caused me to
have a deep love for Him and His Kingdom and keeps
me continually looking forward to what He’s going
to do next!
It’s been over 40 years since
I surrendered to Jesus Christ. If God is trying to
hook you, too, give up the fight and let Him reel
you in! The amazing peace and contentment that
comes from knowing Him is worth giving Him your
My book, "The Adventures of Space and Hobo"
tells of all my experiences in Vietnam and the
adventures I experienced following Vietnam when I
put a pack on my back and hit the road. During
this time I traveled throughout the U.S. and
Canada, hitchhiking and riding freight trains from
one town to another looking for adventure in all
the wrong places until Jesus brought me to the end
of myself and revealed his great love towards me.
I was lost, but not forgotten.
May God Bless you as you read the story.