The Shadow Man - A True Story


I have waited a long time to tell this story. It began over thirty years ago and after all this time I wonder if all this really happened? Have I forgotten more than I remember? Let's see what I remember.

It was November 1969 when we arrived in Chicago from Laramie on our way to Boston. We were on our way to fulfill a conscientious objector obligation. Let me explain. Jimmy R. the owner and driver of the blue Dodge van that we were in, was a coward. He was terrified that he might get drafted and go to Vietnam. So right after high school he applied for conscientious objector status. It was unbelievable. He totally bullshitted those people. He forged signatures, wrote phony letters and lied, lied, lied. And he got it! However there was a hitch. He had to do two years in some civilian public service in one of three cities of his choice. He chose Boston.

The group of us who went to Boston consisted of Jimmy R., Jane S., and another Jim B. we called “Butch” as in the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid movie. Jim B. saw the film a few times, lost his mind and became “Butch Cassidy”. He was mellow about it so we let him be whoever he wanted to be. Being rather nomadic at that time, I decided to join Jimmy on his journey just for the hell of it. Jane went along because she was the girlfriend. Butch went along because Jimmy was his Sundance Kid. I think in his mellow mind we were the hole in the wall gang and this was a great adventure.

Our trip to Boston was rather uneventful with the exception of two events. The first one happened to me and me alone and it happened while we were in Chicago. It was the first of what I would call the Shadow Man experiences.

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