I’m not sure how old I was at the time, but I was young when I witnessed my first murder. I don’t think I was even a teenager yet when I saw my dad kill a man in a back alley of Huntington, West Virginia. Now before your mind has time to start wondering, we were minding our own business. It was my dad driving, my Uncle sitting in the front passenger seat, and I was sitting in the back seat eating my ice cream. A rather tall shirtless bloody man came walking up beside our car pushing a bicycle. He looked at my dad and demanded, “Get out of the car!” “Huh?” my dad replied. “I said get out of the car!” the man yelled. My Uncle had a 6 pack of Natural Ice Beer in the floor board, so my dad asked the man if he’d like a beer, thinking it might keep him walking. The guy seemed to look quite disgusted with my dad’s actions, so this guy grabbed through the car window pulling my dad out the window of the car, and punched him in the face. “Harry Lee, he just hit me!” Yelled my dad. “He just hit me” he said again. The guy walked back over to the car, leaned over and looking into my window asked me, “Are they bothering you?” Completely speechless and scared after seeing him punch my dad, I just shook my head no. My dad yelled at him saying “He’s my son!” “No we’re not hurting him!” my dad screamed. At that point, I saw my dad do just about every karate move he knew on this guy, and he just wouldn’t stay down. Then, the man picked up a giant rock and threw it at my dad. Thankfully, he missed, but my dad didn’t! He picked up that huge rock and tenderized that man’s face like it was a piece of meat ready to be cooked.
I saw my dad and this man fight for what seemed like an eternity. My Uncle and I stayed in the car watching, since there wasn’t much either one of us could do. My Uncle was disabled, and I was a kid. We both sat there watching in awe. My dad yelled for my Uncle to start the car, and just start driving. As we were pulling out from under the bridge, where all this was taking place, I saw my dad grab a sledge hammer that was leaning upon the side of a camper parked in the street, and started swinging it at this giant of a man. I can’t remember if my dad hit him with it or not because at that time, three guys that over heard the commotion, came running outside, as my Uncle was driving us away. The three guys convinced my dad that he didn’t want to hurt anyone, and that he should give them the sledge hammer. Well, that was a huge mistake! Turned out that these guys were friends with the guy who was trying to hurt my dad. Once my dad turned over the sledge hammer, that guy started swinging it at my dad. At that point, my dad tore out running, even passing us in the car screaming “drive, drive!” The next thing I saw was that sledge hammer flying through the air coming right straight at me. The guy chasing my dad on foot had thrown the sledge hammer at the car. I yelled at my Uncle, who I called River Rat, who was driving, “Hurry, the sledge hammer is going to land on the car!”
We weren’t too far from where my grandma Margaret was staying when this happened. She was living in town taking care of a woman named Thelma at the time. My dad ran to her house, ran in the yard screaming for my grandma to go in the house and get the gun. While she was headed inside, the man chasing my dad finally made it to the fence where my dad dared him to come inside the fence if he wanted to get shot! My dad ended up getting arrested that day for murder. The man in the alley was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Of course, you know he didn’t die. The EMT’s continued working with him until they got a heart beat. If I’m not mistaken, my dad was in jail for a total of about three hours. He was there, of course, long enough to nearly get into another fight. All over a cookie. Lol He said one of the other inmates wanted his chocolate chip cookie, and my dad said he wasn’t about to let that guy eat his cookie. He said he picked it up and just ate it in front of him. That’s funny no matter who you are!
I wonder sometimes, what if that guy had gotten a hold of me? What type of evil would he have done to me? Would I be the same person I am today? Would I even be alive? Again, I see the hand of God protecting me all throughout my life.