Hitchhiking Nightmare – You Wont Believe What Happened To Me 1

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A young man hitches a ride that he quickly regretted and a story that proves the world is a VERY small place. Welcome to the first edition of You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me!

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Please note we do not guarantee 100% transcript accuracy. The below reflects a best effort. Thank you for your understanding.

Dar Harold 0:01
True Stories of incredible things that have happened to people just like you.

Jim Harold 0:07
Some are happy or sad.

Dar Harold 0:09
Some are funny or just plain weird. I’m Dar Harold.

Jim Harold 0:13
And I’m Jim Harold. And this is…

Dar and Jim Harold 0:15
You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me.

Jim Harold 0:19
Welcome to the first edition of, You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me. I’m Jim Harold.

Dar Harold 0:26
I’m Dar Harold.

Jim Harold 0:27
And welcome to the show. And we’re really excited about this, aren’t we, Dar?

Dar Harold 0:31
Oh my gosh, I’m so happy to be doing this again with you.

Jim Harold 0:33
Yeah, I missed our interaction.

Dar Harold 0:36

Jim Harold 0:36
I enjoyed doing- we did Soulmate Stories for a little while, and put that on hiatus, what, right around the pandemic?

Dar Harold 0:44

Jim Harold 0:44
And now we’re back. And now we’re back. And we’re doing, You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me, and what the show is– well, Dar, why don’t you explain to them what it is!

Dar Harold 0:54
Okay. Well, you have the most wonderful show, Jim Harold’s Campfire, that allows people to call in with their stories of the paranormal. Right?

Jim Harold 1:05

Dar Harold 1:06
Their ghost happenings. Anything that was really “Whoa,” weird. Out there. Scary. That kind of thing. Well, we were thinking, wouldn’t it be great just to have a show where people can call in and give us the stories of the everyday kind of–

Jim Harold 1:22

Dar Harold 1:22
Yes, the non-paranormal–

Jim Harold 1:24
But still incredible!

Dar Harold 1:25
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Jim Harold 1:27
Yeah. The- the- the story I had was, and will tell this eventually, at some point, my house was shot up by an AK-47. And that’s– (Laughs) I’m obviously still here, and it was a case of mistaken identity. But I could have been very dead.

Dar Harold 1:47

Jim Harold 1:48

Dar Harold 1:48

Jim Harold 1:48
Or it could be, you know, the example I’ve used, Dar I don’t know what you think, but winning a lottery, that could be–

Dar Harold 1:55
Absolutely, like, when you, I mean, yeah, ’cause it changes your life. Or maybe you did something different that day. And, oh my gosh, you- you- you won.

Jim Harold 2:04
Meeting a celebrity is another one–

Dar Harold 2:06
Big one.

Jim Harold 2:06
We actually have some stories in the pipeline about that.

Dar Harold 2:09

Jim Harold 2:09
And just kind of weird- weird things that happen, because incredible things happen in our life. Another example– And it can be– the way I put it is they can be good or bad, happy or sad.

Dar Harold 2:21

Jim Harold 2:22
You know, this could be something that is the greatest thing ever. It could be something that’s sad, is pretty sad. One example I use, we haven’t gotten one like this yet, but surviving something like an airplane crash.

Dar Harold 2:32

Jim Harold 2:33
I mean, obviously, some of these things can be traumatic for people, if they’re not comfortable talking about them, but if people are comfortable talking about them, we’d love to hear these amazing stories, because it’s just part of life, isn’t it?

Dar Harold 2:45
Right? I mean, it’s- it’s great for other people to hear, like, just the extraordinary things that maybe you’ve gone through, and you’ve survived, or just, like, “oh, that- that was uplifting,” or “that made me kind of chuckle.” You know, just anything that’s kind of out there that you might want to share. That would be terrific.

Jim Harold 3:04
Yeah. And the thing is, is that it’s very easy to do that. All you have to do is go over to wontbelieve.com Wontbelieve.com. And it’ll have all the details there. And you just click there, and you’ll be able to fill out– Well, it will take you over to a page where you can actually record a little synopsis of your- of your story. So I hope everybody will go– we hope that everybody will go to wontbelieve.com Wontbelieve.com and submit their story so we can have great stories like this first one, Clete. Oh my goodness.

Dar Harold 3:39
Oh my gosh. This was freaky.

Jim Harold 3:42

Dar Harold 3:44
I was scared for him.

Jim Harold 3:46
Well, after hearing this, I don’t think I’ll be hitchhiking.

Dar Harold 3:50
Uhh, no, not at all.

Jim Harold 3:52
So, here’s the first story on…

Dar and Jim Harold 3:55
You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me.

Jim Harold 3:58
Well, Dar, this next story– when I heard the synopsis of it, I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.”

Dar Harold 4:04
Oh, I know. I can’t wait.

Jim Harold 4:05
Clete is on- Clete is on the line from North Carolina. Clete, I understand you have a story for us.

Clete 4:13
Yes, I do, Jim. First, just let me say congratulations on new podcast.

Jim Harold 4:18
Thank you.

Clete 4:18
I’m pretty excited about it. And yeah, I’ll paint a little bit of a background before I get into the meat of the story. Which is 100% true. But Jim, you’re not gonna believe what happened to me.

Jim Harold 4:39
Okay. Okay. Lay it on.

Clete 4:41
So, because– So, again, to kinda just paint a little bit of background to kind of help explain why I was where I was, and doing what I was doing, and got into the predicament that I got into: I’m a long distance hiker. So, just a few terms that everybody, you know, may or may not be familiar with. So something like a “thru-hike” is defined, basically, as a- an attempt or- or a successful hike of the entire length of a given long distance trail. Usually, you know, within a calendar year, you know, is how it’s defined, as like, you know, successfully thru-hike.

Jim Harold 5:28

Clete 5:28
So, it’s always been a goal of mine, I set a number a number of years ago, to, you know, in- within my lifetime, hike, thru-hike, all 11 national scenic trails, and some of the more popular– probably the most popular one. I’m maybe less than 40 miles from, as I sit right now, but the Appalachian or Appalachian National Scenic Trail extends all the way from Mount Springer in Georgia, all the way up to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Dar Harold 6:02

Clete 6:03
And, you know, a couple thousand people or so, to hike that trail every year, with about a 10% or so success rate.

Jim Harold 6:12

Clete 6:14
For, you know, start to finish hikin’ the entire thing. So this was a goal and a dream of mine. And in 2010, I attempted the Appalachian Trail. Started in Georgia, I made it up to Connecticut, and suffered some- some knee trouble and foot troubles, and just decided it was better– rather than to, you know, continue and risk further injury. So it’s like, “well, I’ll just go home and rest and try again next year.” You know.

Jim Harold 6:42

Clete 6:42
So– but by the time January rolled around, I was aamped and ready to go. But it was a little too cold to start in- at the- the North Georgia, the southern terminus, of the Appalachian. It was just, you know, really icy, cold conditions. Generally people start around mid-March, and so, you know, January I was- I was amped ready to go and kind of discovered– I looked more into the the Florida National Scenic Trail, which is a– it’s on the list. It’s a National Scenic Trail. But- but this– at this time in 2011, it was not fully– like all the land and hadn’t- hadn’t been acquired that they, you know, projected. So there was a lot of sections that were just kind of sketchy. A lot of roadblocks, where, you know, from one trailhead to the next trailhead, you know, there would be considerable distance sometimes, and wasn’t always clearly marked. To just explain a littl– I successfully completed that thru-hike, and I was one of only sixteen people to do that.

Dar Harold 6:45

Jim Harold 6:48
Wow. Congratulations on that!

Dar Harold 7:27

Well, thank you. It’s more just because I think a lot of people didn’t want to hike through unfinished ramparts and roadblocks, but also, it was more just, like– I didn’t know– I was halfway into it before I kind of realized what I was into. So I just– You know, it wasn’t that big of a feat, more than was, just kind of, “well, you know, I got nothing else to do.” (Laughs).

Dar and Jim Harold 8:24

Dar Harold 8:24
I think it’s a big feat for those of us that don’t hike!

Jim Harold 8:26
I think so, yes. I would say so.

Dar Harold 8:28

Clete 8:29
Well, but what was really surprising, and not to waste too much time here, but the Florida trail, especially at that time, it was a- it was a very wild trip. Like, I was not expecting how– you know, the- just endless it seemed like, you know, swamps and just, you know, wild… Now, it wasn’t very difficult terrain or anything. There’s no mountains in Florida, but it was- it was very swampy, and wild, and not any other hikers around. So just very, like you know, I was out on my own and just kind of winging it day by day.

Jim Harold 9:07
I’d be worried about alligators.

Dar Harold 9:08

I saw several, and let me tell you, there’s nothing scarier than to be waist deep in a swamp and see eyeballs just go down.

Jim Harold 9:21
Oh, boy. (Laughs).

Clete 9:22
Definitely. Definitely sent some chill bumps in places you’re not accustomed to.

Jim Harold 9:31
But as I understand it, you- you ran into the most dangerous animal though, in the form of a human.

Dar Harold 9:39
Exactly. And- and this- this ties– where I was in Florida at this time, you know, the alligators and the watermarks probably outnumbered people 100 to 1. I mean, we’re talking about just, out there. Just in the middle of nothing, and I had found myself, this one particular evening, I’d– the trail- basically, the trail, it came to a crossing where there was a small little highway type road. And, you know, I had some small maps and trail kind of guide books with me, and, could kind of, usually, you know, make out like, “Okay, this is what road I’m at. I need to get, you know, four or five miles or whatever into town to resupply.” And, you know, generally carry about a week of worths of food and find my way into a town about every once every week and resupply. So I was– it was that time, where, you know, I was low on supplies, down the road. Okay, I need to get into town resupply, get back to the trail. And that’s not, it wasn’t always so easy on Florida trails, again, because sometimes the trail would kind of stop and pick up miles and miles, you know,

Jim Harold 11:02

Clete 11:02
–down some roads, and it wouldn’t be marked in between those two spaces, so you just kind of have to find it. So, it was- it was a little bit of a logistical challenge to hike on the trail. But this particular day, I made my way into town, and I successfully made my way back, you know, to approximately where I thought that the trail would- would- would pick back up. It started to get dark. And, you know, I was not really worried. But, you know, it’s kind of one of those situations. You’re out in, like, pitch black darkness, you know, in- in Florida, which might as well seem, like, it might as well have been a desert, you know, just as far as, how desolated it all seemed. And so I started kind of getting a little concerned, you know, I need to find somewhere where I can at least just throw up my tarp, you know, sleep through the night, and make my way in the daylight, you know. And so during this process trying figure out what to do, I come across a train tracks. Where they– the actual, like blinking flashing lights, and there was no train coming, but for some reason, those lights were- were- were working. They were flashing. And so, it was putting off some like amber, flashing light. And I was like, perfect. So I ran up to the lights where I could actually see my map, I, you know, a map and a little book guide: a trail data guidebook. And I’m trying to, you know- trying to, you know, kind of piece together where I was, and where- how I needed to get back to the trail. And again, you know, just nobody around. So as- as I’m coming– you know, sort of figuring out– kind of getting more and more anxious as every minute passes. A truck, you know, basically pulls- pulls right up to me, right on the train track. And, “Sweet! Perfect!” You know, I had been praying so I was like, you know, answered prayers.

Jim Harold 11:29
There ya go.

Clete 12:31
And ran up to the passenger window of the truck, and so, you know, older guy, but you know, nothing unusual or anything. Excuse me, and basically, you know, he’s like, “What are you doing?” And I’m like, “Oh, I’m out here. I’m hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail and just trying to get back to the trailhead. Do you happen to know where it cuts across on this road?” And you know, he’s looking at me like, I don’t know what, and- but he’s, you know, just like, “Well come on, get on. Get in,” you know. And I’m just thinking, “Oh, perfect,” you know, “we’ll get in- in the cab of the truck, be able to figure out where we are, where we’re going,” you know, “nice guy’s gonna give me a ride, you know, everything’s cool.” So you know, without much thinking at all, threw my- my pack into the back of his truck and jumped in the cab, and, “Howdy, sir.” You know, “Thanks for the lift. If you can, just get me to the trailhead.” Kind of a deal. And you know, as we– as he, you know, accelerates away– this, I guess I heard, like, I heard a glass, like, topple over on the- on the floorboard.

Jim Harold 14:38

Clete 14:38
That’s when I saw that it was a Jack Daniel’s, like, whiskey.

Jim Harold 14:42
Oh boy. Oh, bad sign,

Clete 14:45
Almost empty. And that gave me those– that like- like the pit of my stomach kind of- that kind of like- like “uh oh feeling.” Yeah, like–

Dar Harold 14:58

Jim Harold 14:58

Clete 14:59
Like it, like, I just really screwed up bad. You know, and I’ve had those kind of, like, feelings maybe a few times in my life, you know, usually being in trouble with my parents or something like that, like, “Oh, I got caught.” But just, like, not here, like, just “Oh, no.” And so what– and then immediately kind of notice, like, he’s kind of swerving around the road. And he’s obviously, visibly, at that point, able to, to see that he’s clearly really drunk. And, um, you know, so my concern at that point, though, is just for my own safety, his safety, and anybody’s, you know, anybody that would be in his path’s safety. But again, it was so remote out there, there was no cars coming, you know, in the other direction. ‘Cause I actually remember thinking, like, if I do see another car, I need to be ready to grab the wheel, in case, like, he starts to swerve into a truck, but that never developed because, again, there was never- never any oncoming traffic. So I’m in that state of just, like, ‘I got to figure out how to get out of this vehicle.” Like, I was concerned–

Jim Harold 16:13

Clete 16:13
— about, like, you know, this guy’s drunk, and he’s driving recklessly. And, you know, if I would have had my bag in my lap, you know, I would have considered just, like, popping the handle and like, rolling out, like, you know, I’ll take my chances. But, you know, with my- with my- my pack– you know, for a hiker, that’s my home. That’s everything you need.

Dar Harold 16:34

Jim Harold 16:34
You need that.

Clete 16:36
And it- and it’s, you know, ridin’ in the back of his truck. And so, you know, that’s like, well, “that’s not gonna work.” Um, but again, you know, my mindset at this point is just still like, “okay, like, I’m just gonna watch this guy really good. Make sure he doesn’t run into a tree, into a car. Like, I just need to find my opportunity to get out, like, safely.” And that’s all I kind of thought it was. I was like, you know, “I’ve dealt with drunk people before, I’ll just, you know, go along with whatever they say. And then find my- my exit.”

Jim Harold 17:09
Now, we just have a couple of minutes left, because we have another caller coming up. So tell us, I know, it turned more sinister.

Dar Harold 17:17
Yeah, it- Yeah, and it’ll- it’ll wrap up really fast right here at the end. So, basically, again, he’s, uh, he’s in this drunken state. I’m concerned there. But you know, and he goes– and I won’t disrespect you or your- your listeners, just with- with the foul language that you know, he began to- to use–

Jim Harold 17:38

Clete 17:38
It was, you know, governmental, conspiracy type stuff. Just like really outrageous stuff. And, you know, at one point, I just said, “Well, yeah, I mean, I’m- I’m just out here hiking.”

Dar and Jim Harold 17:53

Clete 17:53
–he immediately interrupted me with this, “I don’t give a bleepity, bleep, bleep bleep–

Dar Harold 17:59
Oh, man.

Clete 17:59
— what you’re doing,” and blah, blah, blah. And it’s– now I’m like, really concerned about like, the mental state of this guy.

Dar Harold 18:06

Clete 18:06
And then, Jim, he goes into this story of how his brother now is in prison because of his brother’s wife. That is a, according to him, not so pleasant lady. And- and- and because of her, it was why his brothers ended up in prison and all this stuff. So anyway, it kind of bullet– like he was describing how he was wanting to murder his brother’s wife–

Jim Harold 18:39

Clete 18:40
–“and she deserves it.”

Dar and Jim Harold 18:41

Clete 18:42
Tellin’ me. He was telling me how he had thrown his back out, and he just needed my help with the body.

Jim Harold 18:48
Oh, god

Dar Harold 18:49
Oh, my god.

Clete 18:50
He said, “I’ll kill her. I’ll take care of that”

Jim Harold 18:53
Oh my god (Laughs).

Dar Harold 18:54
What a nightmare!

Jim Harold 18:55
I don’t mean to laugh. But, oh yeah. “I’ll kill her! I just- you just take–“

Clete 18:59
He tells me, Jim! “Because I threw my back out–“

Dar Harold 19:02
Oh my gosh.

Clete 19:02
“–I need your help with the body.” And so, Jim, all I could do was just agree with him. I was like, “Yeah.”

Dar Harold 19:09
Well yeah, he’s drunk. You don’t want him to kill you.

Clete 19:12
But I told him, I said, “Well, but I am dehydrated. I haven’t had anything to eat. You’ve got to let me get something to eat and get some Gatorade. Maybe get some beer. I, you know, before I can bury a body. I ain’t got no calories for that.”

Dar Harold 19:25
(Laughs) Oh no.

Clete 19:29
Finally, we see this dim little light. Just this- this little curb store gas station. You know, like- like a mirage in the darkness. Like, it like– it was like a heavenly, you know, the whole heaven angel sounds.

Dar Harold 19:46

Clete 19:46
And so I was like, “Yeah! Just pull over anywhere. I can get- I can get some food.” And so he pulls in. As soon as he pulls in, I jump out of the truck, grab my pack, and I run into the woods as fast as I can. I just shot into the woods and straight up, like, a little hill. And, you know, with this bad back, you know, he wasn’t running after me. And so I basically just perched up there on that hill and watched him. And he went in the store came back out, huddled around for a little bit, left. I actually waited a little while longer, he came back–

Dar Harold 20:18

Clete 20:18
–circled in the parking lot a few times and peeled out again. And- and I was just gonna like, I’m just gonna stick my tarp up, you know, crawling, muscling back. Just tent right here. But I felt like an obligation to, at least, like, report this. Because, even if–

Jim Harold 20:18
Oh, I think you did exactly the right thing reporting this. Yes, sir.

Clete 20:37
–he needed– he didn’t need to be on the road. So I got down to the store, talked to the clerk of the store and explained everything. A deputy came. I explained everything to him. But you know, apparently they put- put lookouts, you know, what have you. And we- we began to talk. I was telling him I was a veteran and also a former firefighter. And it all worked out, Jim, that he ended up taking me down to the fire station, which was about two miles down the road. I slept in a firehouse bunk–

Dar Harold 21:06

Clete 21:06
–that I woke up the next morning, got a ride back to the trailhead, which of course they knew exactly where it was–

Dar Harold 21:13
Uh huh.

Clete 21:14
–in a shiny red fire truck. And, uh, yeah, they took me breakfast, and told me that it was–

Jim Harold 21:20

Clete 21:21
It was perfect.

Jim Harold 21:23
You get the ying and the yang.

Dar Harold 21:24

Jim Harold 21:24
Good and the bad. That reminds me of that old Hitchcock movie, Strangers on a Train, you know? Where the guy–

Dar Harold 21:33

Jim Harold 21:34
–wants to kill somebody. Criss-cross and all that business.

Clete 21:36
(Laughs). And, Jim, I tell you, the only– if I- if I ever was gonna, you know, write a short story or- or turn it into a kind of a show type of a deal. I’ve actually– was just thinking the other day, that what a wonderful way to end it. Very Hitchcock- Hitchcockian too, when I get into the red firetruck the next day, and we take off, I look up, and the bottle drops, and it’s that guy driving the firetruck.

Jim Harold 22:09
Ooh, there’s a twist! Well, Clete–

Clete 22:12
That’s the only part that’s not true.

Jim Harold 22:15
Well, you know, you did the right thing, reporting all that to the police.

Dar Harold 22:19
Glad you were able to get away from him.

Jim Harold 22:20
–and getting away, using your head, to get away from him.

Dar Harold 22:23

Jim Harold 22:23

It all happened very fast and very slow at the same time.

Dar Harold 22:27
Yeah, yeah.

Jim Harold 22:28
Very strange, I tell ya. That’s pretty wild. Well, Clete Thank you. Thank you for your support. And thank you for your service to the country.

Dar Harold 22:36

Jim Harold 22:37
It’s my pleasure, guys. And I know I rambled and went long, but it was truly an honor to to be- to be able to talk to y’all. And just the absolute best of luck going forward with everything. I just- I just love- I love the- the- the platforms that you provide for people just to come together and share stories. It’s just what it’s all about.

Well, thank you, Clete. And thank you for being a part of the new show; we appreciate it.

Dar Harold 23:09

Jim Harold 23:10
Oh boy. Oh, boy. Oh my.

Dar Harold 23:12
Wow. Wow. I’m just so happy he got away,

Jim Harold 23:16
Me too.

Dar Harold 23:17
–that guy has never come back.

Jim Harold 23:19
Oh man. That is just frightening. Well, we’re glad that Clete is okay. And we want to reiterate, if you have a story, that you think could stack up to Clete’s, or something totally different! Could be something happy. Maybe you hitchhiked with someone who gave you a thousand bucks.

Dar Harold 23:39
Yeah (Laughs).

Jim Harold 23:39
Whatever it is.

Dar Harold 23:40
Yeah, you wouldnt believe that! Right.

Jim Harold 23:42
Wontbelieve.com. Wontbelieve.com And this next story, you know, it is truly a small world, isn’t it, Dar.

Dar Harold 23:54
It’s bizarre how small the world can be sometimes.

Jim Harold 23:57

Dar Harold 23:58
Like who you might run into.

Jim Harold 23:59
Yeah, people you would never expect–

Dar Harold 24:02

Jim Harold 24:02
–with a connection you would never fathom. And that’s the subject of the next story on…

Dar and Jim Harold 24:09
You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me.

Jim Harold 24:12
Well, Dar, this next story. I gotta tell you, this is a really, really interesting story. And it just shows that in the walk of life, you never know who you’re going to meet. You never know what the connections are. And Beth is on the line. And she’s going to tell us her story. And it is a remarkable one. Beth, welcome to the show. And thank you for joining us.

Beth 24:34
Hi, thank you, Jim and Dar, it is an absolute pleasure. I do to start out by saying you will never believe what happened to my dad.

Jim Harold 24:42

Beth 24:43
Not necessarily to me, but to my father. I will just get to it. My father, yeah, my father met the brother of the man who murdered our great uncle. Now, that may sound a little bit like a tongue twister.

Jim Harold 24:58
It’s like “I’m My Own–

Dar Harold 24:59
We need one of those family charts!

Jim Harold 25:01
There was an- there was a, old song called, “I’m My Own Grandpa.”

Beth 25:05

Jim Harold 25:05
But anyway, go ahead.

Beth 25:07
Yeah. And so for this story to make sense, I do have to do a little bit of backtracking just so that you get the general sense of where the layou,t and where this took place. So, my great grandparents were Ukrainian immigrants, who migrated here at the turn of the 20th century. So they came here in like the early 1900s. When they settled in the town of Cedar, Pennsylvania, they actually purchased the house that was, at one time, a boarding house for other coal miners. There was, actually, in the same town of Cedar, there was a very popular swimming hole, where locals from all over the area would drive and actually walk to go swimming there.

Jim Harold 25:47

Beth 25:47
It had a calm stream, large rocks, and it was actually really close to the town of Johnstown, which is Flood– they call it the Flood City. There was a, actually, a terrible flood that happened there in 1889.

Jim Harold 25:59
Sure. Yeah.

Beth 26:00
But because of that, it was sort of put on the map. And the swimming hole, again, people would come from all over. After they, my grandparents, great grandparents, moved to the town, they had their firstborn son, and they actually named him Michael. But to this day, there’s actually a curse around this name. And we, to this day, again, cannot name any firstborn son, Michael. But that’s a story more suitable for The Campfire. So (Laughs).

Jim Harold 26:28
There you go.

Dar Harold 26:29
Everyone, stay tuned!

Jim Harold 26:31
Sign up! JimHarold.com/campfire.

Beth 26:34
And story has it, that going back to Michael, he was taking the cows up to the pasture on a scorching hot day. He- he knew that he was not allowed at this swimming hole. And my great grandparents told him this, but we assume that because it was so hot, he decided that he was going to do it anyway. He was 10 years old, at the time, as well. Or actually, I’m sorry, eight years old.

Jim Harold 26:57

Dar Harold 26:57
Oh, wow.

Beth 26:58
The- the swimming hole was actually within walking distance, it was about a three minute walk. And so he began his– he walked there and just began kind of cooling off and playing in the water. There were other people there, but again, the time period was 1934. And you know, it’s a lot different. There’s no cell phones that could have called 911. And it was rumored that a boy was skipping a rock, the rock hit my uncle, and caused him to drown. And no one ever found out who did it. It was a very tragic accident that really took a toll on my family for years. And I think because just we never knew the truth. And, you know, it was sort of, “Well, did he get hit with a rock? Did he trip and fall?” It was always up in the air. And because, again, this was 1934, he was, the little boy was, Michael, was eight years old. He spoke very little– my great grandparents spoke very little English along with him. And the event was not investigated. It’s sort of a very– you know, it’s sort of stopped there. They buried their son too young. And they did continue to have children. They had nine more children. The last of the children being my grandfather, and he was born 17 years later. So this is sort of like a generational thing that passed down. But the- the odd events to follow actually occurred a few years ago. Um, my father, for a very long time, was a coal mine part salesman, free local mine in our area. And as you know, you know, mines are very prevalent in southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio.

Jim Harold 28:34
Yes, yes.

Dar Harold 28:35

Beth 28:35
And, so, he would have to travel to different ones and sell replacement parts. Well his normal route, he was visiting a coal mine in Ohio, I won’t say the name, just because that might be a little too obvious. And he hit it off well with a manager, and we’re going to name this manager, Jack, just so I don’t accidentally slip.

Jim Harold 28:55

Beth 28:55
So we’re gonna just call him, Jack.

Dar Harold 28:57

Beth 28:58
And Jack had a very common last name for our area. So you know, as they were striking up a conversation– and if you ever talked to my dad, he’s very easy to talk to, very easygoing. And my dad asked him, “Hey,” you know, “Hey, where are you from?” And Jack said that his family was originally from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Which was like, Oh, wow.

Dar Harold 29:16

Beth 29:17
Where we’re from. Um, and it shocked him, because, you know, again, this was like a town that was maybe 10-15 minutes away. And again, the town in Ohio was five hours away. So you know, just a coincidence–

Jim Harold 29:31

Dar Harold 29:32

Beth 29:32
–that this guy was from our area, which was crazy. And my dad said, you know, “How, since you’re from there, like, how the heck did you end up here?” You know, and- and my dad was kind of confused. So Jack proceeded to say, “Oh, well, it’s sort of a weird story.” And my dad had time. So you know, he was like, “Oh, you know, I have time I’ll listen to it.”

Jim Harold 29:53
Mm hmm.

Beth 29:53
And Jack proceeded to say, well, he was from a very large family, but while he was just a baby, his family packed up and left the area in a hurry. And he said that his reasoning was, his oldest brother was at a swimming hole in a neighboring town called, Cedar. He was skipping rocks, and accidentally hit a boy in the head, and the boy drowned.

Dar Harold 30:14

Beth 30:15
He went home in a panic, his family was afraid that the boy was going, his older brother, was going to get in trouble. So they packed their belongings and split. And my dad just was, stood there completely silent and shaking, and just, he could barely breathe.

Dar Harold 30:34

Beth 30:35
And when he finally got enough breath back into his body, he looked at Jack and said, “Jack, that’s– that was my uncle.” And Jack just immediately kind of got silent, and changed the subject, and pretty much got back to business, you know, completely pretended like they did not just talk about that. And about two weeks after the event took place. My dad got word that Jack no longer wanted him as a sales representative for the company.

Dar Harold 31:10

Jim Harold 31:10
Oh, man.

Beth 31:12
And that they actually request– Well, my dad, they actually changed his business route because of it.

Jim Harold 31:17

Beth 31:17
And they took a– put another salesman on that route. Um, and so, and then I guess another two years later, he was at a coal mine convention, my dad was. Because he would have to, you know, man a booth there and represent the company.

Dar Harold 31:31

Beth 31:31
And he actually ran into him, and the guy completely avoided him. Jack, we’ll call him Jack, completely avoided him, so…

Dar Harold 31:39
Oh my gosh.

Jim Harold 31:40

Beth 31:41
Just again, you will not believe what happened to my dad.

Jim Harold 31:45
Yeah, absolutely.

Dar Harold 31:47
Oh my gosh.

Jim Harold 31:48
And- and- and it’s one of those things where his reaction, you know, his reaction’s kind of disturbing, because it didn’t sound like your dad was angry with him or anything. It wasn’t his fault.

Dar Harold 32:00
More like shocked, right?

Beth 32:01
Yeah. Yeah, more or less. I think it was just a shock. And- and, you know, for– and my dad said– he kind of thought that the guy seemed embarrassed. And- and you know, that’s not the case at all. It’s not his fault. What his brother did. I–

Jim Harold 32:14

Beth 32:15
I– and you know, too, we’re not the type of family or people that would hold a grudge over something that happened. I mean, going on. Wow. Like, thirty-four, so going on almost 100 years ago. And.

Jim Harold 32:27

Beth 32:28
Um, you know, I think more or less, our family’s just very much at peace, knowing the truth, you know.

Dar Harold 32:33

Beth 32:33
Because for- for years and years, going- going on almost 100 years, which doesn’t sound real. But considering the time gap between his age and even my grandfather’s was 17 years, I, you know, it- it’s just crazy that we were able to find this out. And I think we’re just thankful that we know what really happened.

Dar Harold 32:54
Do you think, like, what does your dad say about how Jack just, like, requested a different salesperson? I mean, does he just think it was because he was– he felt guilt or he was uncomfortable just being around your dad? I mean, like, what was? Because I can’t believe that, well you know, neither of them were involved in the situation, why would you have to avoid him?

Beth 33:18
I think that he, like he said, he felt more or less he was embarrassed. I mean, do you mind if my Dad–? What do you what do you think, Dad?

Beth’s Dad 33:26
I just, well, he told my– he told the owner of my company that he just actually didn’t fit in. We didn’t get along very well. And he didn’t meet– our personalities didn’t quite click.

Jim Harold 33:36

Beth’s Dad 33:37
So, but–

Dar Harold 33:38
Well, that makes you look bad.

Beth’s Dad 33:41
I had two- two weeks prior, like– prior to him telling you this, when I first really got to be kind of friends with them. He he took me to his house. Met– I met his wife. He took me– he was a bike rider. So he took me on a trail– ride. Bike trails with them. And I was allowed to do, because he’s a big customer. So my boss didn’t care what I did as long as, like, the customers were happy.

Jim Harold 34:02

Beth’s Dad 34:02
So, yeah, so for him to say that we didn’t get along was very hurtful for me.

Dar Harold 34:07

Beth’s Dad 34:08
The owner of my company knew better, because he knows I treated everybody the same way. And I- I never didn’t get along with anybody.

Dar Harold 34:15

Beth’s Dad 34:15
So, yeah. So it was just, I wonder if he got panicked and thought that we, you know- you know, and his father was already– his father had passed away that did this.

Jim Harold 34:24

Beth 34:24
Yeah, I think that they were– he was almost afraid that our family was– they were going to, you know, there’s gonna be repercussions.

Dar Harold 34:24
Okay, Yeah.

Jim Harold 34:26

Beth’s Dad 34:28
Or try to question himm–

Jim Harold 34:34
Oh my.

Beth’s Dad 34:34
–or try to figure it out and put better closure to it. So it kind of seemed like that was the case.

Beth 34:40
You know, like I said, too, um, I think it’s just more or less, like the siblings that were alive– My grandfather has passed on since then. But, um, you know, it was just an event that really changed my great grandparents, and how they were as people.

Dar Harold 34:55
For sure.

Beth 34:55
And I think just for- for my uncles and my aunts that were still alive, at the time, I think it was just nice to know that, you know, who it was. But it was, you know, that and that– and what actually happened? Um, so yeah, that’s our that’s our story.

Jim Harold 35:12
That is a great story, isn’t it, Dar?

Dar Harold 35:14
I mean, wow, to be in the same– it’s just like, how many things had to fall into place?

Jim Harold 35:19
Too much a coincidence, to be a coincidence!

Dar Harold 35:21
Yeah, there we go.

Beth 35:21

Jim Harold 35:22
This might be a Campfire story, actually.

Beth 35:24
Oh, wonderful. And too– like, that would be amazing. I love, I mean, I’m just like I said, I’m such a big fan.

Jim Harold 35:32
I know, I gotta interject, you compared me to Justin Bieber, which, in that case, it should be my You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me. Somebody compared me to Justin Bieber. (Laughs).

Dar Harold 35:40
(Laughs). (Sings) Baby! Don’t let me sing!

Beth 35:47
It is, too, it’s uncanny the resemblance that he has to my actual grandfather.

Jim Harold 35:52

Dar Harold 35:53

Beth 35:54
Like if you have a photo of both of them, you know, obviously 17 year age difference, but– more than that, actually, yeah about over 20 years, it’s really weird. Like, it’s those- those people that think of– believe in reincarnation? I mean, it’s- it’s creepy. Um, but like I said, I do have a, I have other really creepy tales about Michael and the family that I would love to call back in and tell. But it was just an absolute pleasure to talk to both of you, Jim and Dar. And thank you so much.

Jim Harold 36:24
And thank you for being a part of, You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me.

Beth 36:29
Wonderful. Thank you.

Jim Harold 36:31

Dar Harold 36:32
Oh, man.

Jim Harold 36:33
What are the chances?

Dar Harold 36:34
I know.

Jim Harold 36:35
I mean, that’s just–

Dar Harold 36:36
Yeah, like, just not even in the same area and say, yeah, I mean, that’s–

Jim Harold 36:41
–and I thought the reaction was kind of strange.

Dar Harold 36:44
I did, too. I did, too.

Jim Harold 36:45
It’s kind of like, “Hey, yeah. Yeah, whatever.”

Dar Harold 36:49

Jim Harold 36:49
But it’s like, if anybody should be angry, it shouldn’t be you. (Laughs).

Dar Harold 36:53
Yes. That’s right. (Laughs). Yeah, well, unless he was just so, you know, weirded out, then he wanted to just, like, stay away.

Jim Harold 37:02
Distance- distance himself, yes.

Dar Harold 37:03

Jim Harold 37:03

Dar Harold 37:04
I don’t know. Oooh, see, wouldn’t believe what happened to them! (Laughs).

Jim Harold 37:07
Now, you know, as time goes on, we’ll probably have more stories, some short, shorter, some are longer. Today, the stories were a little longer, but you know, we’re gonna mix it up. We’ve got some funny stories coming up that we’ve got–

Dar Harold 37:19
Oh we’ve got really good ones,

Jim Harold 37:20
–celebrity sightings–

Dar Harold 37:22

Jim Harold 37:22
–and meetings coming up. So there’ll be a–

Dar Harold 37:24
some chance occurrences that you just– Whoa.

Jim Harold 37:27
Exactly, exactly.

Dar Harold 37:27
I can’t believe that happened.

Jim Harold 37:28
So, get in on the fun, go to wontbelieve.com, wontbelieve.com, and sign up. And also, Dar, we would appreciate if people would follow or subscribe in the podcast app of their choice. Now, right now, as we’re recording this, on Monday, March 28. We are on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. So you can subscribe or follow there. Of course, you can listen to the show at Jimharold.com too, if you want to go the website route. But if you follow and subscribe, rate and review, because that really helps us, it moves us up on the charts. We will get more people listening and more great, Won’t Believe stories!

Dar Harold 38:07
Right, more stories, too, so that we can keep it going and entertain you all.

Jim Harold 38:13
Yeah, yeah. And I can’t wait to hear some of the stories, because I know from Campfire, on the supernatural side, I’ve been doing that show since 2009, and I can tell you that there’s always something unexpected. I kind of think, “Oh, I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard it all.”

Dar Harold 38:29
No you have not! (Laughs).

Jim Harold 38:29
And then somebody will call in like, “Whoa, where did that come from?” And I fully expect the same thing with this show.

Dar Harold 38:35
Oh, for sure. Absolutely. Because everybody’s always, I mean, I don’t know. I’ve talked to so many people who are like, “Oh my gosh, you can’t believe what happened to me.” So, why not share it?

Jim Harold 38:45
That’s right. Wontbelieve.com is the place. So make sure to follow and subscribe.

Dar Harold 38:48

Jim Harold 38:48
And we thank you so much for tuning into this first edition. And we’ll be back next time, in two weeks. With the next edition of…

Dar and Jim Harold 38:57
You Won’t Believe What Happened to Me!