“The Railroad fort”, not too far from my parent’s home I made a fort out of old discarded skids and cardboard boxes along the Wabash Railroad tracks. I would go there on my way home from school with a friend of mine named Robert, even though my family did not particularly care for him. Robert and I had a lot of fun because he too was another “Tom sawyer” type and we both enjoyed life to it’s fullest with adventure.
Roberts parent’s house was so filthy and piled with trash inside and out, that mice ran freely in the kitchen and in the living room. They also owned a pet monkey that would bite. Robert had his tonsils in a jar on top of the Television.
One day Robert was excited as he told me that he had just discovered spring of clear drinking water which was seeping out of the hillside along side of the street. He said it tasted sweet but I refused to sample it. Later we found out that it was actually a sewer pipe that had broken. Anyhow, this fort had a cardboard floor to cover the dirt and in the winter I used them to cover the skids to keep out the cold wind.
One day we spotted a railroad bum there and I became too afraid to return for fear of the unknown danger. A couple days later I saw him sleeping on a piece of card board next to a maple tree in the park which was next to our house. I felt sorry for him not having a place to stay. I wanted to do something for him so I made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and took him my Bible. I knew that Jesus cared for him and He could change his life for the good. He thanked me and assured me that he would read the Bible. As I rode away on my bicycle that morning I felt really proud of being able to tell someone about Jesus.