Committee of Digital Correspondence
September 1, 2011
Committee of Digital Correspondence
Amelia Foxwell, Correspondent
Part 2 - A Lonely Stranger
Carla's story of her observations and experience with Sgt. Charles Dyer, the FBI, and S.W.A.T. continues in this simple, first-hand account. The gentleness and compassion of this woman's nature becomes apparent in the words that follow.
It was the last Friday before school was to start. Neither one of my boys, 6 and 8, were very excited about going back. We had just had the best summer of our lives. After three years of meticulous planning, we purchased our part of our American dream. We finally bought the RV we wanted and had been camping in Texas State Parks all summer. So, to cheer the kids up, along with my husband, and myself I made reservations in the closest park, Stephen F. Austin, which is only 35 miles from home. We had been experiencing record heat and knew that it would be 105 degrees, but off we went.
We arrived around 5:00 p.m. and checked in. I made the comment to the park ranger that I felt a little crazy for showing up in record heat, and she replied that there would be nine other RV sites with "crazy" people. As we drove through the park, I noticed there were no campers in the shelter area. I thought to myself, "Nobody could handle that."
Originally, we were assigned site #13, but when I saw it, I decided I wanted a space with more privacy since there were so many available spots. Number 19 appeared to be perfect and somewhat isolated. It felt as if we were the only ones there, for a little while. It was so very hot that no one was outside doing anything. The park was incredibly quiet. After we were done setting up, I decided to sit outside under the awning and watch some wildlife.
After a few minutes of sitting there, I looked over at the closest shelter and saw a man in long pants with a white shirt on. He was pacing around, apparently trying to use a cell phone. I noticed he wasn't wearing a park uniform, so I decided he must be a visitor. Then I noticed he had no vehicle nearby. These things combined caused me to be mildly interested and I briefly mentioned these things to my husband.
The next morning around 8:00 a.m. I decided to take a bike ride by myself, before the kids got up and before the Texas heat could melt my tires. When I got to the park shelter, I noticed there was laundry that had been "washed" and hung out to dry. My heart broke a little at that moment. I slowed down and mumbled a little prayer of "Thank you, God, that isn't us".
I began to think how awful a situation this person must be in. Then I noticed it was all blue jean material type clothing. How can someone wear that in this heat, I thought to myself. My next thought, "There is no woman here...she would never let those pants touch the dirt like that after washing them." This, needless to say, was starting to make me think.
That evening, after cooking dinner in the RV, I again went out to relax and watch the wildlife. I had thrown out a little deer corn earlier in the day and several deer had gathered around our site. While watching the deer, I noticed something red bobbing through the trees close to the ground. It was approaching from the portion of the park that is reserved for tent camping. Everything was dead and brown in the area from the drought that the approaching red thing easily stood out.
After a moment, I realized that it was a man carrying something. I thought that a camper had checked in unnoticed and he was headed to the bathrooms for a shower. It wasn't a short walk and I kept my eye on the man, as he got closer. It turned out that he was carrying a pretty good size red duffle bag that appeared to be full. On his other shoulder was another, but much smaller, black bag. I thought with mild amusement, "This dude is carrying a lot of stuff to the showers", but the man proceeded past the bathrooms without even glancing around.
At that point, my interest became undeniable. Where did the man come from? Who was he? What was he doing in the woods with those bags? While asking myself these questions, the man walked to the shelter where I had observed the laundry. "Ah", I thought, "The pacing cell phone guy!" Right away, I began to feel sorry for the guy again. I was thinking that he was dirt poor, living in a park shelter and just had a long walk home from somewhere after working all day. But, where was he coming from? We were out in the country!
About that time, my husband came out of the camper, and I immediately made mention of the man. I still felt somewhat emotional about this man's situation and said to my husband that I felt like I should take him Sloppy Joes since we had so much left over from our own dinner. Well...that didn't happen. I can still feel my guilt as I scraped the leftovers into the trash.
After cleaning up, we went back outside for a few more minutes. It was almost dark and a few deer were still around our campsite. The last comment I made to my husband was "That's odd, look at all the cars suddenly driving around the park. Where did they come from? Oh, they are taking pictures of us! It must be the deer they are looking at. How odd, so late, so hot...whatever, I'm ready for bed."
Little did we know it was the FBI that was beginning to watch us, and that they would continue doing so for the next 4 hours. We were about to experience the most traumatic and frightening experience of our lives.
End Part 2
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