Henry Richardson

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We met Henry Richardson back when I was a child. My father and I was looking for a place to build a camp and was checking out the back roads in our area. My dad, I recall, spoke up and said who the heck is that in the middle of the road? I looked in amazement but also very bewildered by a man blocking the road.  The man was very scruffy looking with a long beard and was wearing overalls. He was holding a pitch fork and  was waving it around in a very aggressive stance towards us. My dad applied the brakes and we came to a halt a short distance from this man. I’m not sure why but my father started beeping the horn which only seemed to makes this man angry. I could hear him hollering from about twenty feet away . I was not sure to run or hide, I was really getting scared . My father rolled down the window and said to the man. What are you doing blocking the road? The man spoke up and told us his name was Henry Richardson and he owned all the woods around here and we better get out of here now or we are going to have pitch fork holes in our tires. My father spoke back to him with a soft voice. Sir, We are only riding around looking for some land to purchase for a hunting camp. Henry replied, today is not the day, so get out of here. I’m thinking how can one person be so angry at the world and hate people so much. My father continued to talk with this man. Henry finally calmed down and started talking with us a little more. We found out that he was a veteran from the Korean war and had lived out here in the woods all his life . He was tattered by the thought an enemy could cause him so much mental duress. Today we call this PTSD, but he never went to a doctor to prove otherwise. He had survived living off the land and managed quite well considering. Not too many people had ever ventured this far into the woods, we were only a two of them. I noticed that he walked with a limp and his face was deformed slightly. I found out he was shot at many times when in the war and suffered greatly from these injuries, never going to a doctor after the war to help him with the pain. He seemed like a very lonely person for what I could tell. The last parting words from Henry when we left was please don’t tell anyone that I live out here. I want to live the rest of my life in solitude. My father and I both nodded and we continued our search, maybe this would be the day we found some land. One thing for sure is never judge a person by what they look like or what they have been through. You just never know what people have been witness to, or what their background is, but that doesn’t make them a bad person. Good day Everyone, I’m going out searching for something. I just never know where I’ll end up.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

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