To the Editor:
I live in Shelbyville, Indiana and my journey began when I was about 10 years old. My friend and his father were into the outdoors and hunting, fishing etc. They asked if I wanted to go hunting with them and as intrigued as they made the stories to be I jumped at the offer. My friend’s father — Carl “Dick” Jefferies — took me under his wing and made sure I learned the necessary tools to hunt. They owned 98 acres on Plum Creek Road in Vevay. Immediately I fell in love with the entire scenery. I never had a clue as to how much the outdoors would affect me until the next day. My very first day out I shot two deer. Needless to say, I was hooked and became the hunter I am today. Mr. Jefferies passed years later and Mrs. Jefferies sold the land. It was my sanctuary and I had put in so much hard work, sweat to build it as we wanted it. A place to escape from the hustle and bustle, noise and life and get piece of mind. It was the one true places I could go to get a piece of mind, relax and get away from it all.
I was lost and no where to escape now. I started to have a bad run of luck. Started getting into trouble, running with the wrong crowds and experimenting with drugs and alcohol, which landed me in the jails and prison. I lost myself along the way. Needless to say I put everything and everyone on the back burner. While in prison I met a very special, beautiful woman “Lisa Jo”. She brought me back from the other side. We became serious and started to make a “go” at life. She being from the big city life and me a small town. She sparked an interest in bow hunting after all the stories I had talked about my earlier days of hunting. She didn’t know how much I was paying attention and went out and bought her a new bow. I took her to be fitted and sized for her bow. We learned she had to convert over to a left handed bow. She still took it up like a true natural born bow hunter. She could actually shoot better than most seasoned bow hunters. So we started practicing and not long at all I had her hitting light bulbs and then ping pong balls at 30 yards. Pretty impressive I must say. Especially being a beginner and having to covert to a left handed bow.
However, with deer season fast approaching we still had no safe land to hunt. I thought we were in a jam, and something brought me to my days in Vevay, Indiana.
That following Saturday morning we found ourselves driving down Plum Creek Road. Still had no clue what I was up to. I started knocking on every door, asking to hunt. Just about everyone I asked politely said they already have people hunting. We took lunch at A.J.’s. Wendy is awesome and a “hoot”. We headed back door to door of course, Lisa being uncertain. I did all the getting out knocking and talking. It was getting late and getting frustrating as well. I came upon a small winding road that as a little boy back then I always wanted to venture down, but didn’t. I turned on it ‘Popcorn Ridge.’
Lisa wanted to head back to Indianapolis and I as well was ready. I said “the next house will be the last and we will head home”. As we come to the top of the hill and saw the layout of the next house I immediately fell in love with it. We pulled in a and as I got out I turned to Lisa and said to say a prayer and cross your fingers. As I slowly walked to the door I was looking out over the land at one of the most beautiful panoramic scenery to date. My eyes have seen. In hope to hunt it, but let alone what they get to see everyday. As I approached the door I heard two small dogs barking, “Abby and Angel.” It seemed like an eternity for someone to come to the door. Finally a very nice woman appears and asked “May I help you?” I asked if she allowed any hunting. She stated “Hang on let me ask my husband. Again, it seemed like an eternity for her to return. She came back and opened the door and said, “Come in.” I turned to the car to motion Lisa in and had the big smile on my face as a kid was on Christmas Day. Ready to open his presents! We went in and immediately felt at home.
“Jim and Pam Bladen” I will always — always — love you both! You both have been so nice to me. Let me be me, let me escape from day to day problems and most of all allowed me to be in your lives. I truly thank you and could never give you what you have given me. Thank you both for allowing me to find myself! I also want to add: Jim and Joan Barry, you don’t and will not find four people who are any better than these four are! You guys have been so great to me and I am truly blessed to have had God put me in your paths. I will forever be in debt to them because I can’t bless them for how they have blessed me. The small town of Vevay, Indiana is truly a better shining, glowing diamond with these four people in it.
I love you all and will see you again,