Then, I really contemplate the event…yes, it was real. It is a true story.
Rachel over at Once Upon a Miracle has a great blog carnival called True Story Tuesday.
I think I will join her and share this true story with you…
It was a cool fall morning in Southern California. I was in my freshman year of college and was getting ready to go off to class. The drone of a helicopter could be heard in the distance and, as always, I was interested in finding out why it was around.
The local sheriff’s department often sent helicopters out to search our neighborhoods. Not really sure why most of the time, but they would circle and circle and circle. At night, a spotlight would illuminate the ground as the officers above surveiled the suburban sprawl below. Often, I would sit inside my home and wonder if a criminal was creeping just outside my window, evading the brilliant spotlight.
But this was different, it was broad daylight.
What could they be looking for?
Soon, I heard the muffled sound of a loudspeaker. Was it coming from the helicopter? Running outside, I stood on the driveway looking for the airship.
Within a minute, I could see it coming towards me.
“We are looking for a lost boy,” the pilot announced, “7 years old, blue shirt, blue pants. Please call 911 with information on his location.”
The helicopter circled around, closer to my home.
“We are looking for a lost boy, 7 years old, blue shirt, blue pants. Please call 911 with information on his location,” the crew repeated.
A lost boy? I’m going to go find him!
I have always been a can-do kind of girl, and this was a job for Super-Julie!
Dashing into the house, I grabbed my purse and keys. I ran back out and hopped into my car.
That’s when it happened... I had a clear vision of the boy walking outside of the department store of our local mall.
Driving out of my cul-de-sac and through my subdivision, I hit the main road in town. Racing towards the mall, I felt an incredible sense of urgency. I had to get to this young child before anyone else does.
It was less than a mile away, so I arrived quickly. Driving to the backside of the mall, I headed directly to the area that had flashed through my mind. As it was only around 08:30 in the morning, the place was deserted. I parked as close as possible to the store fronts. Quickly, I unfastened my seatbelt and raced towards the buildings.
From a distance, I could see a small figure in blue.
Could it be?
As I got closer, I could see that indeed, it was a young boy.
Slowing down, I approached him cautiously, not wanting to alarm him.
“Hi there, I’m Julie. Are you here alone?”
He looked at me sheepishly, but he did not seem to be frightened.
“Yep,” he replied, avoiding eye contact.
“Where is your family?”
“At home,” this time he looked me in the eye.
“Well, I think that people may be looking for you. Please, come and walk this way with me.”
We walked together to the parking lot, and I began to wonder how I was going to get this boy into the hands of his family or law enforcement.
Don’t faint or laugh your bottoms off, but this was before the days of cell phones. OK, I have just aged myself.
So, I decided that I should try to walk him towards the boulevard and see if I could find a police officer.
We chatted casually as we walked through the parking lot. Then, at a distance, I saw a sheriff’s car. Waving my arms in a huge gesture, I tried to flag them down.
They saw me! Great!
The sheriff pulled up and rolled down his window.
“Sir, I think that this is the boy you are looking for,” I blurted out.
“Why is he with you?” the officer said with a furrowed brow.
“Well, I heard the helicopter announcement and I came out to look for him.”
He looked genuinely baffled, as he stroked his bushy mustache.
Then he shrugged, “Okay, hop on in,” he said to the boy.
The boy scurried into the back seat, and the black and white drove off through the vacant parking lot and disappeared around the corner.
I stood there stunned, trying to take in what the previous 10 minutes had held.
Then I turned and walked to my car.