By Glo Parchman
This passage of scripture was unknown to me. I was eleven years old and living in Nevada during World War II. I was a new Christian. I did know the prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” and had memorized the 23rd Psalm in V. B. S.
Mother and Daddy were having marital problems. Mother was in the early stage of pregnancy with her fourth child. I am the oldest. She decided to move us back to East Texas where my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins lived. We had a long bed, four-wheel trailer that we had used to move to Nevada. Because of the war everything was rationed. We needed ration stamps to buy some grocery items and especially to buy gas, tires, etc.
We left Nevada in the fall. Mother had nausea the entire trip. Travelers were encouraged to give rides to service men who were hitchhiking. At one point we picked up a sailor. He helped Mother with the driving until we needed to take a different route.
Unfortunately, our route took us through the mountains south of Flagstaff, Arizona. We were enveloped in a snowstorm. A forest ranger pulled us over and told Mother that he had been trailing us. He said that the trailer was going to pull us off the road and down the mountain. He put his tire chains on our car and led us to a mountain village where we rented a vacated ranch house. We stayed there until the storm ended.
By the time we got to Fort Worth, we had exhausted our ration stamps for gas. Mother had to appeal for extra stamps at the courthouse. When we pulled off the highway and onto the road leading to my grandmother’s house, the trailer hitch broke. The trailer rolled to the side of the road with contents unharmed!
I now know, when you drive from Nevada to Texas during war years with rationing and an impaired driver, that the words: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” are literally true.