Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The unexplained, fear, and an angel without wings...

The unexplained, fear, and an angel without wings…
By Ken LaRive

Unexplainable things happen to all of us. Some will admit it, and some will not. There are times when it seems that there is indeed a divine hand in the doings and happenings of this world, and our lives are a tapestry of wonder, and astonishment. We explain it as chance, and rationalize it with every fiber of logic we can muster, but in the end, it is fear that pushes it aside.

With the chance of being labeled strange, I’m going to tell you just four things I have recorded in my life. It is all I have room for tonight, but I’ll tell you a fifth another time that will pail all of this. I swear to you, this is all true.

ONE: It was the summer of 1956. My family and I were on the midway of Ponchartrain Beach. Everyone was having a good time. Children were running and laughing, and there was the smell of popcorn and cotton candy in the air.

We had just finished a ride, and my sister Cindy and I were running down the sloping exit ramp, and past the heavy swinging gate, held in place by a large spring. She ran to my smiling parents, and they asked her if it had been fun...

It was the ride called “The Whip” and it looked like a tea-cup with a saucer stuck to the back, you know the one. It went around in a circle and because it was imbalanced would whip with a force that would pin you to the back. It was controlled by a steering wheel in the middle, and the “bad boys” would show off by turning it at the proper moment, pinning their screaming girl friends to the back.

Suddenly I got this feeling. Can’t say I can describe it really. I was only about seven then, not knowing the ways of the world, but this feeling was strong and directing my attention to the ride. I saw and focused on a little girl walking with her friends to get into a vacant tea-cup. I knew something bad was going to happen to that girl, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

Behind me I could hear my father calling for me to come on, but then… Her leg slipped into the hole, the slot, where the machinery met the tea-cup under the wooden floor. Then the heavy tea-cup swung off balanced and pinned her leg with a smacking force strong enough to break it. She screamed.

I remember her scream, and I made a promise to myself. If ever that feeling happened again, I would do something about it no matter how foolish I might have looked. I chided myself for not yelling out, but then, there is a kind of fear about such things…

TWO: Back in New Orleans in 1974…, back from San Diego and Vietnam, newly married, I was about to start University. We lived for a short while with my mother-in-law, “Dolsie,” as we were looking for an apartment. I went out with some old friends to the New Orleans Hypnotists Association meeting, a nurse and an X-ray Tec.

There were things I saw that night that I don’t have the room for here, but one very strange thing happened that I must tell you about…

While my friend the nurse was hypnotized, they made her guess a number from one to a hundred. The number was passed around on a scrap of paper, too fast for me to see, but I thought it was 29. We were supposed to think that number. My friend the X-ray Tec didn’t see it ether, but I whispered to him to think 29.

On the blackboard of your mind you will see a number,” said the hypnotist. “What is the first digit?”
“Two!” she said quickly.
“Yes,” he said. “Now, look at the second digit. It is written as plain as day. What is it?”
“Nine!” she said, as quick as the first.
“No dear, that’s wrong. Try again. Look at the board. What is it?” He said with a commanding voice.

I looked at my friend. She had chosen every number that was being thought!

My friends dropped me off around 22:30, and I couldn’t get all that I had seen out of my head. My Mother-in-law walked into the living room where I had just sat down on the sofa.

“Had a good time?” she asked.
“Wow, it was so strange!” I said excitedly. “They had my friend choose a number form one to a hundred…”
“Was it 27?” she asked.

THREE: Maddy and I were sitting around one night playing cards. I have never seen anyone ever beat her. Her uncle taught her the game, and I always thought she knew what the cards were.

“What is this card?” I said pointing to the freshly shuffled deck.
“Ten of diamonds,” se said. I turned over the ten of diamonds.
“What is this one?” I said pointing to the next one in the pile.
“Jack of Clubs,” she said. I turned over the Jack of clubs.
“And this one?”
“Three of diamonds” ..and it was.
“And this?”
“Seven of hearts...” It was. We looked at each other, and I could see and feel the same thing she did. Fear of the unknown. I can’t remember ever playing cards with her again.

FOUR: We were at the Evangeline Downs Race Track about ten years ago. I remember the oilfield was poor, and so was I. I had about sixty dollars in my pocket, for our gambling and lunch. Several races went by and we won them all, just missing the daily double. I was betting three dollars at a time.

I was feeling good, and the sun was streaming through the window making a halo on Maddy’s blonde hair. “You look beautiful Maddy.” I said. “You look like an angel, …the only thing you don’t have is wings.”

I turned the page for the next race. There, on line three, ANGEL WITHOUT WINGS, was number three.

It was a long shot, but I knew without a doubt it would win. I looked in my wallet. I had fourteen dollars left. I knew if I had had my entire life’s savings in that wallet that I would have bet the whole thing. It wasn’t even expected to show, but I bet all I had.

It was second to last at the start, and laid back, slowly creeping past one, and then another horse. In the stretch it was number four. I was yelling… “Angel without wings! Angel without wings!” Sweat was pouring from me like a heart attack. I can’t ever remember being so excited. It pulled up to number three and then took off like it had wings! In a moment it was first and left the last one behind by several lengths on the line.

I had to sit down. I had won $67.30.

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