I always loved the wilder part of Rayford Road. So on my way home from Spring School District I usually went “the back way.”
As I drove along Wiley Fuzzel immersed in my private enjoyment of the deep pine forest of the backroads, I came to the corner turning onto Rayford Road.
As I slowed and made the left turn my electrified mind couldn’t grasp what was happening! At first I could only see a man whirl around to face me and the handgun clearly pointed at me. (Later I realized I must have surprised him as much as he shocked me.
I reacted as I’ve always done when students tried to shock me, keeping a straight face and playing like I hadn’t actually seen it. I had myself on automatic brave, uh, and unseeing eyes as I kept driving by.
My 60s era VW bus had a good rearview mirror. So I kept a steady pace, all the while trying to get his license plate just in case. I did get a partial…
Like many of life’s little dramas, there was no clear ending or resolution to this mystery. But for some reason I avoided going the back way for a few weeks tillI could push it to the back of my mind. Of course, there was no 911 or cell phones back then and the county sheriff was probably occupied.
My theories included a poacher, hunting illegally, or a guy out practicing in the woods. I didn’t let myself even entertain the thought of things only a crime detective should speak of.
Up Close and Personal Gun in the Blackberry Field
We loved living in the deep dark piney woods north of Houston. Our house got dark about 30 minutes before the rest of the subdivision since we were surrounded on four sides by forest. We didn’t know who owned the land around us, but in the several years we’d been there no one had ever come around. Having seen blackberries on a walk in the woods, I decided to go picking one Saturday.
I was enjoying the quiet of the trees when I heard a rustling sound. As I turned I found a gun in my face. At first I couldn’t process what was happening. Then I realized the man was yelling angrily at me, shouting that he was the owner and I wasn’t allowed there to pick berries! Once I understood he was griping about my picking blackberries, I offered to fix him a pie, clarifying I didn’t know it was his berry patch.
He was having NONE of it. He gestured with his gun, telling me to move on and never come back. We lived there a number of years, but I just watched the berries rot on the vine and never ventured out there again.
For some reason my face breaks out in fear when a gun is pointed at it.
Living by Rayford Road brought my family many joys, but some adventures I could do without.
Copyright 2018 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.