January 6, 1967 was a clear, cold day and I was on a train headed for my old hometown in the northeast, hoping for a reunion with the man who had influenced my life so greatly. My hopes were high, imagining how he would react when he saw me again.
When I walked down the steps of the coach, I looked around, expecting everything to look the same as when I left, and was disappointed to see it was not. In fact, the depot seemed smaller than it was then. It also looked dingy and not very well cared for. Little did I realize that the passenger trains were on their way out, and soon would not be running any more. In a few years, Amtrak would be running the passenger trains.
A taxi idled nearby, but I knew I could walk to the police station, and soon was on my way, walking rapidly, eager to reach my destination. My heart was beating with excitement, in anticipation for my meeting.
I had not called him, instead wanting to surprise Sgt. Finley. He probably wasn't a sergeant any longer, but probably a captain or lieutenant, I imagined.
When I arrived at the police station, I asked for Sgt. Finley, and they looked at me in surprise.
"Wow! I haven't heard that name in a few years," said the desk sergeant. "He and his family moved to another state a while back."
"Really? Where did they go? Why did he move? What happened?"
"Whoa! Hold on a minute, young fella. What do you want with him anyway? Who are you?"
Wondering why they were being so evasive, I just looked at them. Did they think I was some kind of person wishing him harm? Why would they think that?
"I'm a friend of his from about eleven years ago. He led me to Jesus, and changed my life. He also kept me from getting involved in criminal stuff."
"Yeah, that sounds like him. He was always a regular do-gooder. That's what got him shot up bad a few years ago."
"What? Where is he? Where did he move?"
"Oh, I think maybe somewhere down south. I have the address back here in the desk, I think. We threw him a going away party. Boy! That was some whing-ding."
He went back to another desk, and rummaged around in the drawer until he came back with a scrap of paper.
"Here it is." He wrote it down on another piece of paper and handed the address to me. I was determined to locate him.
Thanking them, I left the station and headed back to the old neighborhood to look around while I was there.
(To be continued)