Friday, December 25, 2009

Coming Face to Face With The Real Christmas Spirit

Saved from a horrible situation by a Saint named Jesus

By Ozboy

On Christmas I look back to another time and another place where I came face to face with the real Christmas spirit.

It was back in the early 70's, Bill Glassman and I had been promoting concerts together. We had a lot of fun and some success in the beginning, but our last show a few months before that Christmas season we had busted out big time and I was flat broke and wondering what the hell I was going to do next.

The show was a Leon Russel concert in the Salt Palace, and although it was terrific and a real crowd pleaser, Bill and I had made way too many wrong guesses and it was a financial disaster for us.

So there I was in Ogden, I had already sold the Bentley a couple months before to pay some of the debt I had incurred and I didn't have enough money to get back to LA where I lived at the time. (Bill and I still laugh at how we drove a Bentley into the Salt Palace to do the show and left in a 62 VW that we had to push to get started because the battery was dead)

So there I was as Christmas was only a few weeks away and I didn't have enough money for a bus ticket back to LA and the comfort of my friends and a temporary job I had lined up. I did have enough for a ticket to Cedar City, so bought it and off I went.

Later that very cold and snowing night the bus pulled into Cedar City and the driver announced we were there. He knew some one had bought a ticket for Cedar City. I opened my eyes, looked out the window and saw nothing but blowing snow and ice. Most of the people on the warm bus were asleep. I sure as hell didn't want to get off and into that winter night, so I pretended to be asleep - hoping the driver would just forge on. He didn't. So he went down the aisle checking every one's tickets until he finally got to me. He shook me "awake", found I was the one and without further ado kicked me and my meager bag of stuff off the bus into that cold, dark and lonely night. The "bus" station was just a small all night gas station a few miles north of Cedar and was manned by a very unfriendly attendant who begrudgingly let me stay inside until 5AM when he decided to shut down and go home because of the winter storm.

So there I was beside the road in a winter snow storm, cold, hungry and feeling the blues big time. There was very little traffic but I had no choice but to stand there on that road with my thumb out hoping that some one would stop and pick me up.

After about an hour as I was numb with cold and getting very desperate, an old beat up 62 Chevy came down the road. It was going very slow and for the 5 minutes or so I watched him approach I hoped and prayed with every thing I had that he would stop. He did! I jumped in and the warmth from inside that car was heavenly.

The guy behind the wheel was a Mexican about fifty and he said he was going as far as Las Vegas - if his car held out that long. As we crawled along that highway through Cedar and down the long canyon toward St. George and out of the storm, he told me how he had been up in Montana cutting Christmas trees and he was on his way home to El Centro and hoped to make it by Christmas so he could be there for his wife and 7 kids.

The dawn appeared and we left the storm behind as we crawled into St. George. Just as we pulled into town the old Chevy breathed it's last.

Knowing my lack of funds and options, the driver offered to buy me a bus ticket to LA, as he was going to the bus station to get himself a ticket for El Centro. I took him up on his generous offer. We made it to the station, he bought the tickets and off we went on the same bus as far as Las Vegas after which we took separate busses.

At the station in Vegas I asked for his name and address so that I could send him the bus fare back when I made some money. I was really set back when he wrote down his info and gave it to me. His name - Jesus Saintz! Nothing could have been more appropriate in my circumstances than to be saved from such a horrible situation by a Saint named Jesus!

I never saw Jesus again although every Christmas season I think of him and wonder how his life has been. Yes, to me Jesus really did live and really did save wayward travelers along the highway.

8 comments:

Stephen M. Cook said...

Great story, Jebus, and Leon Russell.

Happy Mad Dogs And Englishman to All, and to all a good night.

Jim Hutchins said...

This one's for you, Oz.

Jesus on a Greyhound — Shelby Lynne

Merry Christmas.

what would jesus say said...

Oz,
That is a great story, and I know for a fact that it has insipred you to be the Man you are today. You are a Saint to many of the youth and less fortunate here in Ogden.
God bless you.

No pun intended by poster.

history tells all said...

Oz....
I was at that concert and I wish I had known you then. I could have saved you some suffering.

Curmudgeon said...

Comment moved to new article

Ogdenite said...

Wow.

Great story.

Man on the street said...

Awesome story. Thanks for sharing. A true Christmas spirit story!!!

Hunter S. Thompson said...

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

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