“I lived in a town called Branson and I heard it referred to as Pigeon Forge West. So, I started looking at Pigeon Forge on the computer and I saw that it’s almost the same. I really wanted to get back to a Jesus town because I grew up in Tulsa. I also saw they had an IHOP, so I work there.
I decided to go back home to Tulsa for the holidays, for Thanksgiving. I have an old boss that always lets me work when I’m in town, so usually when I visit home I’ll stay for four or five weeks. I packed up my truck, left Sevierville, and broke down at Exit 383. I went to the Motel Six and got a room, but the next morning all my stuff was gone. Some kids stole it all. My camping stuff, my suitcases, everything. And my truck got impounded, and I don’t have the money to get it. So I lost everything. Just like that. But it’s okay, you know, I’m like Job. I had nothing when I got in this world, I’ll have nothing when I leave. You don’t see a hearse pulling a U-Haul, you know. Somebody told me one time that if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans. My plan was to load up the truck and go home for the holidays, but God needed to slow me down. And that’s okay.
After all this, I found the Salvation Army. It’s such a blessing. A lot of people don’t realize it’s not a shelter, it’s not a thrift store. It’s a church, doing what every church really ought to be doing, which is seeking out lost souls and doing it through our hands, through our actions, you know. And I adore the Salvation Army. I’m on hard times, but I still tithe every payday. I believe they truly are doing the most good. You know when you have nothing, and need something, you find out who your true friends are. And sometimes your true friends are perfect strangers. When you can’t reciprocate in any way, shape, or form, the blessings that are bestowed upon you, you find out who truly cares. Who are my father, my brother, my sister? There’s just so much love. There you go. There’s just so much love.”