Tragic Events and Great Days – Slab City

Jan 7th-2019

The last week here at the Slabs, have been nothing sort of a gong show. Sadly, on Jan 2nd, there was a terrible accident just on the corner behind our camp. There was a young man who was riding his bike with his girlfriend and dog in a cart he was towing. It was pretty dark outside. Meanwhile, another man from Niland had received a call that his brother was in danger near the canal and he jumped in his truck to rush up to the Slabs to help him.

As fate would have it, the man in the truck did not see the bike and cart and hit them head on. The young man on the bike was killed instantly when he went through the windshield of the truck, as was his little dog that was in the cart he was towing. Bing, a young woman in her 20’s was seriously injured. Kim and a few other friends stayed with her until the ambulances arrived, and then they sent in a medivac Chopper to airlift her to a hospital either in San Diego or Palm Springs. We heard later that her father arrived at the hospital where she was in ICU and eventually lost her leg. What a shame 🙁

I really feel sorry for the driver of the truck because he has taken a lot of horrible flack from some of the Slab residents for the accident. He issued a gut wrenching apology, and no criminal charges were layed because it was declared an accident. Some Slab residents claimed excessive speed was his fault and there was a lot of talk of brutal retaliation. According to the final police reports, although he was driving fast, he was not over the speed limit, and the dark conditions were a catalyst in this catastrophe. I sure hope Bing will be ok, and my heart goes out to the young man and his dog who lost their lives that night. What a crying shame 🙁

Then we had another gentleman named Doc, who had a tent set up just on the flats behind Salvation Mountain. He had been a constant figure at the Slabs, and had an open camp where he always had food cooking to feed who ever was hungry.

I had taken him down some supplies from the Pantry and noticed a festering wound on his lip that he said was the result of some recluse spider bite. Eventually he was so sick that they airlifted him to San Diego where he spend about a week in ICU. He was unable to return to the Slabs to continue making meals for the hungry, so he went back to L.A. When he was released some friends who were holding down the camp here, packed up and headed out. I sure hope he is OK. I have not heard how he is doing.

Trouble has also been brewing at the Church which is not cool at all. One morning, a fellow by the name of Double A came to hear part of Pastor Dave’s teachings. Our friend had his dogs in the Church tent as usual, and when Double A persisted in asking him to keep his dogs quiet, he flipped, Double A (ex military , I hear), pulled out a knife and the war was on. Our friend , chair in hand, went after Double A claiming the church was the dogs home, and that A was not welcome there. Double A wielding a large knife, called Drew (false name) out. Thankfully a lot of people heard the commotion and came and took AA away (false name). Not cool! All Double A wanted to do was to attend church.

I am not sure what has gotten into Drew but his temper is out of control. Unlike the friend we left last year, he seems consumed with anger and frustration. We have been watching him for the past week or so, and he is a very very angry man. I am wondering in part that he is just not able to cope with Pastor Dave’s illness. Regardless his volatile temper and rants are not ones that many people will continue to let slide out here. He really needs a lot of prayer. From what I am hearing, people have had about all they can take of his outbreaks, language, yelling and perceived attempts to be in charge of the Church and the area around it.

This year has also been different because of the amount of rain we have had. For days it has poured causing little rivers to flow around the unit. We have been told that Flash floods will happen but that we are in a safe area. As soon as the rain stops, you can see the desert come alive! Normal rain fall we have been told is about an inch or less a year. So far we have had several inches, and this barren, dry and dead land is beginning to change into something we may never in our life time see again. Already the brambles and smaller bushes have started to turn green and there are hints everywhere or desert flowers that will bloom. I can’t wait!

On another bright note, we spent the afternoon celebrating our neighbor

Steve’s birthday, here in Slabs, on Jan 3rd. He is well liked here and many friends came bearing hugs and gifts. He rocks. He has always made us welcome! So many friends shared how much he gives to the community and helps those in need. His friends are a testament to the heart of the man. He is dearly loved. He put on a great BBQ, and people from all over the Slabs stopped in to help him celebrate. One gift he received was some metal work of a Robot made by DNA. It’s absolutely a work of art. Steve has named him “Sal”.

We have also had the great pleasure of spending time with a new friend named Mark From Idyllwild. He has been at the Slabs for a couple for weeks, and recently discovered there was a church here, so he is now camped by Pastor Dave. He has been a breath of fresh air to have around.

Pastor Dave asked if we would lead Bible Study and Church for him a few days out of the week because he just has not been well enough to do so on a daily basis. Having Mark there, who has served as a youth Pastor for many years has made for some awesome conversation and study time. When conflict has started during a bible study, Mark has been able to settle things down, in part because of his calm personality, and in part due to his physical size as a body builder. I wish he would give thought to becoming a more permanent fixture at the church. His experience, love and grace would be a great asset to Pastor Dave. He will be leaving soon, and Doug and I are hoping to make time to get up to Idyllwild to see this Mountain community he lives in about an hour or so up from Palm Springs. It sure sounds nice 😉

Another person here that we have really come to care about is Tamahawk. Now we had met last year and spent some time visiting, but unlike recent stays, this year we have become very tight. I just love her! She has been hanging at our camp quite a bit, and the more time we spend together the more we look forward to seeing her headed our way for a coffee or cold drink. She’s a gem.

Oh, I almost forgot! For Christmas this year, Doug and I wanted to have something that could be a gift to everyone and anyone at the Slabs. So we brought down a great set up for outdoor movies. We got a great sound system, projector and screen that will cover a good section of the RV for movie nights! So far it has been too cold and wet to have one, but we are looking forward to setting it all up and inviting everyone to come. Avatar and Grand Torino are people’s votes for the first flick so far when the weather is warmer.

Anyhow for now I will sign off. Doug has not been feeling to well for the last few days and I am worried about him. He assures me he is ok, and has promised to go to the Yuma hospital in a week or so if he’s not feeling any better.

Cheers for now….

Hope everyone is safe and well, and continued prayers for Pastor Dave as well as Doug and I would sure be appreciated!

Sherry, Doug, Chicago and Journey

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