|Author: Rhynes, J.D.
|Miracle's, past and hoped for
I'm sure that if all of us sat down and reflected on our past life,
we could probably come up with at least two or three genuine
miracles that have happened to us. You may ask, what got me to
thinking about this subject of miracles? To be honest with you I
think about them quite a bit, and more recently one that I am hoping
for in the near future. But first if you will, I would like to
reflect about some of the miracles that I can recall in my lifetime.
Looking back over nearly 75 years of life, I have come to realize
that I have probably wore out two or three Guardian Angels that God
provided to look over me. The first miracle I remember happening to
me occurred when I was about eight or nine years old. Without
telling my mother were I was going, I jumped on my bicycle one
morning and headed up Main Street towards Fair Oaks, a small
suburban shopping center on E. Main St.. As I was crossing a cross
street on my bicycle, the last thing I remembered seeing for about
12 or 14 hours was the grill of of 1938 Oldsmobile. The car hit me
and knocked me about 20 or 30 feet and rendered me unconscious. It
just so happened that my aunt and uncle were shopping in the store
nearby, and when they seen the crowd of people gathered, they went
to see what was going on and there I was laying on the street. They
took me to the emergency hospital, and my parents came and took me
home. The doctor said if I woke up I would live, and about eight
o'clock that night I woke up in my bedroom, with my parents setting
there weeping. Miracle number one.
After I graduated from high school in June of 1955, I went to work
at the state hospital that November, where I got to know Joe Travis,
and Herman Summers, two old-time gamblers that could cheat you out
of your eyeteeth. To say that they "knowed me up"about cards and
dice would be an understatement. Which leads us to miracle number
One night after getting off work at 11 o'clock I went with them to a
cardroom down on skid row in Stockton California. We were there for
about an hour and a half, when I got into an argument with the card
dealer. We exchanged words for about a half a minute when all of a
sudden something told me to get up and leave the cards and money and
everything on the table, which I did as fast as I could. The next
day at work, Joe Travis told me that the card dealer had a sawed off
double barrel shotgun on his lap that he probably would have killed
me with if I would've stayed there for another minute. Miracle
number two, and a lesson well learned. That lesson being; you never
play another man's game.
After leaving the state hospital I went to work in construction, and
this one particular summer jobs were really scarce, and I was down
to my last $20.00. This was back about 1961, and 20 bucks would
really go a lot farther than that it does now. My wife and I agreed
we would spend $10 on gas for the car[gas was $.20 a gallon back
then] and $10 on groceries. So we went and got five bucks of gas in
the car and stopped at the store to get some more groceries. My wife
waited in the car with our daughter Elizabeth who is just a baby
back then, and I went in and spent $9.97 on groceries, which filled
two big bags. I was walking up the aisle to the door when laying
right in front of me on the floor was a $20 bill. I couldn't believe
my eyes! When I bent over to pick it up some groceries fell on the
floor, so the bag boy come over and put the groceries in the bag and
stuck the $20 bill my shirt pocket. I put the groceries in the trunk
of the car, got in a gave my wife a big smile, and said look what I
just found and pulled up the 20 dollar bill. That lasted us for a
week and a half until I found another job. Miracle number three.
For a bout a four-year span there I was stuck in a rut with
low-paying jobs, with no chance of making anymore on the horizon,
when a friend of mine was visiting one day and told me that he had a
job offer for me that would double my wages. His mother was a
secretary for the plumbers and steamfitters union, and they were
really in a bind for qualified welders, and she wanted me to come
down and put my application in to join the local union. Long story
short, I did in July of 1966, and I am still a member of that
wonderful organization. Not only did it make me a good living but
has provided me with a wonderful retirement for the last 20 years.
Miracle number four.
When I lived in Valley Springs I had a huge shop, and one day when I
was cleaning out the attic, I was getting ready to lower a jig that
I had made for welding stuff together. The jig weighed about 200
pounds and I had it hanging on a chain in the attic, so I rigged a
rope through a pulley, which I had taken a double wrap around the
sway bar of a car chassis I had setting below. I was on an aluminum
straight ladder about 14 feet in length, and when I set it up I
mistakenly put the rubber feet in the air. I climbed up the ladder,
unhooked the chain and started to lower the jig when it bumped the
ladder pretty hard, and down I went! The rope wrapped around the
sway bar tied itself into a perfect overhand knot, stopping the jig
about a foot from my face. I lay there for 2 1/2 min. trying to get
my breath, when all of a sudden I could breathe. I laid there for
about a half an hour until I could move and made sure that my back
wasn't broke. I was sore as hell for a month! Miracle number five.
I have suffered back pain all of my life ever since getting bucked
off of a horse onto a blacktop road in 1958. I was going through a
particularly bad spell with my back the summer of 1984, when I ran
into a friend of mine's wife in the store and she told me of a woman
that could cure my back problems. She said this woman could call up
"spirits", and when they laid their hands on you you were healed
instantly. She said the woman call them "The Masters". I realized
the woman was dabbling in black magic and politely refused the
offer. Fast forward to the fall of '84, when I was in San Andreas
looking for a friend of mine that sold firewood. I was setting in
the bar where he hung out drinking a cold beer and waiting for him,
when into the bar walked my friends wife Mary and this other woman.
They sat on either side of me, and Mary said, JD this is the woman
that I was telling about that can heal your back. The woman said it
won't take a minute, let me feel of your back. I politely refused
but she kept insisting, but God had a plan for a miracle to happen.
I did not want this woman to feel of my back, so I put my head in my
hands and prayed the most powerful prayer I had ever prayed up to
that time in my life. I prayed for God to repel her from me and not
have a thing to do with her. When she put her hands on my back she
let out a scream. Oh my God, she screamed my hands are on fire! What
have you done to me? What is inside of you? Then with a loud scream
she grabbed her purse and ran out the door! I got goosebumps all
over my body! I thought to myself;Boy father, sometimes you don't
mess around, you get at them! Mary said my God JD, what did you do to
that woman? I said Mary, it wasn't me, it was the power of Jesus
Christ, and you should really get to know him. Miracle number six.
In 1986 I went through a horrible divorce with my first wife. I
don't really like to talk about it, and will only do so here because
it involves a miracle in my life. I was allowed to go to my ex house
two times to get my personal belongings, and I knew that my wife
would have her attorney's secretary there who had vowed to put me in
jail. I prayed to God to have somebody there on my behalf, and lo
and behold when I got there here was a friend of mine that was a
personal friend of the attorneys secretary and her husband. When I
asked him why he was there, he said he didn't really know, something
just told him to be there that day to make sure I get treated right.
Miracle number seven.
In January of 1988 I remarried. I learned the hard way that poor
boys cannot marry rich girls, so in December of 1992 I was right in
the middle of another divorce, unemployed and could not hardly walk
on account of my back injuries sustained on the job in January of
1988. That was without a doubt the lowest point of my life up to
that time. It was about seven o'clock that December morning, and I
had finally got myself up right on the edge of the bed, and I was
sitting there praying for God to send a friend because I knew I
could not make it by myself that day. I had no sooner got that prayer
out of my lips when the phone rang. It was my good friend LeRoy
McNeese. He said JD this is LeRoy, are you all right? I asked him
why he was calling, and he said he didn't really know except he was
sitting there with his wife Jan and something told him to call me. I
told him that I had just prayed for God to send me a friend because
I couldn't make it by myself that day. He said well I am that friend
and can I pray for you, to which I replied you sure can. LeRoy
prayed a powerful prayer for me, and from that time on I was on my
way back up. Miracle number eight.
One of my best friends that I'll ever have in this life was Sonny
Hammond of Portland Oregon. Sonny passed away from asthma in the
middle 90s, and when his son called me to tell me of his dad's
passing, I was as broke as I've ever been in my life at that time. I
told his son Alan that I would love to come to his dad's memorial
service, but I could hardly afford to get out of town because I was
so broke. Allen said he understood, and we talked for another 10
min. or so and hung up. I poured myself a glass of whiskey and went
out into the woods to be by myself and mourn my friends passing.
About an hour later my son come to get me and said dad you better go
polish your boots because you're going to Portland in the morning.
Your buddy Steve Waller just called and said there's an airline
ticket for you at the Southwest Airline counter in Sacramento. So I
went to Portland the next day, and Sonny's buddy Mike picked me up
at the airport. I spent the night at Mike's place, and when we got
to the memorial service the next day, Sonny's boy Alan came running
up to me and said I knew you're going to be here. When I asked who
told him I was coming, he said your late wife came to me in a dream
last night and said; don't worry Alan Jerrell is going to be here
today, and here you are! Miracle number nine.
Well as my good friend Ron Thomason would say, told you that to tell
you this. As most of my bluegrass family knows I have been stricken
with Parkinson's for the last five years, which hopefully will lead
to miracle number 10.
I am scheduled to have surgery, hopefully within the next 4 or five
weeks, to where they put some implants in my brain to reduce these
tremors to almost nothing. My good friend Eddie Adcock had this done
a few years ago and it is definitely a miracle that he can still
pick his banjo. Another friend of mine had this done five or six
years ago and you cannot tell that he has Parkinson's either. So,
that's where I'm at today hoping and praying for miracle number 10.
It would definitely be miracle number 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, if
I can get to where I can play a guitar again. I gave my guitar"Miss
Lovely" to Russell Moore in June of 2010, and he promised me if I
ever got to where I could play again he would drive all the way from
Georgia to bring it to me. Let's all call that miracle number 16. I
asked the doctor what will happen if a bunch of little guitars and
fiddles and banjos pour out of my head when they bore hole's in it?
He informed me that it will be a miracle if that happens, so let's
call that one number 17 because I know it's going to happen!
Please pray for me folks because miracles do happen. I just told you
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