These carefree years were slipping by pretty fast, and before I realized it I was 15 years old and felt quite grown up. I made a little spending money working on a neighboring ranch, where the lady of the house had a flower garden and I used to work in it after school. She also had a hobby raising fancy chickens. The summer I was 15 years old she gave me a job helping her take care of them. I had to live and board at the ranch. I slept in a room upstairs in the barn with two ranch hands from Arkansas, who also worked on this ranch taking care of 20 acres of oranges. These two ranch hands were grown man and had been around the country quite a bit. They had many interesting stories to tell.
My job was to water and feed the chickens and clean the pens, help the lady doctor sick chickens, and make myself generally useful. Before the summer was over I was plenty tired of chickens and have never cared much for chickens through the years. I know one thing for sure; I was never looking forward to retiring to a chicken ranch in my old age.
Just before starting to work on this ranch I had been attending some revival meetings held in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The Evangelist was a very vivid talker, and was giving a series of lectures on prophecy and the end of the world, and talked a lot about the mark of the Beast. Anyway, the man had me half scared to death; I thought the world was coming to an end any minute. I remember the first night I went to work at the ranch, I knelt down on my knees beside the bed to say my prayers, one of the men asked me what I was doing on my knees. I tried to explain to him, but didn't get very far. I have never since attended a Seventh Day Adventist Meeting.