“Not My Time to Go” by Thornton Cline

Chapter Five: The Attempted Abduction

2016, for me, was a year of reflection and gratefulness. When my debut Indigo Sea Press book, “Not My Time to Go” was published last summer, it gave me time to reflect on all my near-death experiences of the past. The people I met, while at the different libraries on my tour, welcomed my new book. They could relate to my book because many of them had also experienced near-death experiences. Many had their own stories to tell.

When I think of July 1967, and how me and my family almost lost our lives in a terrifying attempted abduction, I am most grateful for my life and for how my family and I have been spared. In chapter five of “Not My Time to Go”, I describe our family vacation trip to the pristine beaches of Mathews County, Virginia back in the summer of 1967.

We packed our old green Rambler with a week’s worth of clothes, toiletries, and food and headed east on Interstate 64. We remained calm and peaceful. On our drive, we laughed, told stories, and shared dreams of what we would love to do once we hit the beach. Robin, and I sang along with the Beatles on the radio. It was already 12:30 p.m. and everyone was starving. We took the West Point exit and headed over the river on a long, hunchback drawbridge that led us to the Lamplighter Restaurant.  The aroma of steaks and burgers on the grill invited us in. We were so hungry that we couldn’t stand it any longer.

We were quickly seated. Robin and I ordered the rib eye steaks. Bob and Phyllis ordered the sirloin strips. When the food arrived, we prayed together, thanking God for all of our blessings and for keeping us safe from harm as we traveled. The steaks were mouth-watering, so good with the baked potatoes and fresh salads. We were in paradise.

That memorable meal at the Lamplighter put us in a very good mood. We lazily strolled out of the restaurant and stopped at a long traffic light. It remained red for so long that it felt like the light was stuck.

Suddenly, a scraggly, rough-looking man with an unkempt beard and mustache, opened the back door of the Rambler where Robin and I were seated. He pointed a gun directly into my face.

“Take me to Richmond!” the man demanded.

“We’re not going there!” my Mom quipped back with curtness.

Robin and I were terrified.

“I beg you, please don’t hurt us,” Robin said as she cried for mercy.

“Please, please, don’t shoot us,” I cried.

The gunman had forced half of his body into our car and had planned to sit in the back seat.

“I don’t think you want to do this,” my mom said to the gunman, trying to discourage him. A thousand nightmares ran through my mind in seconds, including awful scenes of us being cut up into tiny parts and thrown out into some grassy field.

My dad realized that time was running out for our family. This man was desperate and he was serious with his demands. Bob had to do something fast or we were all going to die. We were facing our worst fears.

With no warning, Bob shoved his foot firmly on the gas pedal, gunning it as far as it would go. Our old Rambler surged through that traffic light, catching the desperate gunman off guard. As we sped forward, the force of the moving car pushed him completely off of the backseat and slammed the door into him. He flew out of the car and into the curb. We never looked back to see what had happened to him.

Bob kept going, driving that Rambler faster than he’d ever driven before. He kept his eyes on the road, trying to forget what had just happened.

This was close call number three for me, of many close calls that I would experience throughout my life. I only knew that I was thankful to God that He had spared me and my family once again for a purpose. It was not my time to go, nor was it theirs. The July 1967 attempted abduction is a distance memory now,  but it proved, once again, how God had more for us in store in our lives.

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