An article under the title “Foreword” was originally posted on April 21, 2010. My dear friend Diane Woodall replaced the original with this version on March 26, 2013. The original seemed rather ‘flip’ and amusing, and I realized there was nothing remotely ‘flip’ or amusing about what had led up to the creation of “The Oakdale Chronicles” (“TOC”), and I felt this revised version was a better reflection of the seriousness with which I viewed this work and the events that led to its being brought into existence in the first place.
March 26, 2013.
To My Readers:
The writings contained herein are the result of many hours of reflection, self-examination, and prayer. In the end, the complete ‘Oakdale Chronicles’ may only really mean something to me, but it means an awful lot to me. These ‘Chronicles’ have helped me to grow, to feel and express pain and remorse, and to help me declare my faith in God and to grow in that faith. God, in turn, has helped me to open my heart, my eyes, and my mind to the things I have done wrong with my life, and what I can do right with what remains of it.
I feel that I must dedicate this work to the three FBI agents who heard God whisper to them that day in August 2009 when they came to arrest me for possession of child pornography. Faced with the reality of what I had allowed my life to become, and filled with self-loathing, contempt, and anger for myself, I viciously struck at the veins on the sides of my neck with razor blades, opening them up in an attempt to solve a problem that my self-hatred had convinced me could only be solved by bringing about my death.
As I lay on the floor of the shower stall in a cheap motel in south Florida, certain that death was imminent, I did something I had not done in 40 years: I reached out to God. I asked for His forgiveness, and almost immediately the FBI agents listened to the frightened pleas of a toothless older black man who lived and worked at the motel with me. They went against all FBI procedure and protocol and breached the locked door to my room.
I apologize to them for the bloody scene that awaited them.
I have to believe they were affected by what they saw. After all, they are human beings simply doing a job. I am grateful to them and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
And I thank God.