From Nashville, Texas, the Church Army moved me to the expanding oil fields of Eastern Texas. Churning wells were flowering all along the horizon and making new towns like Longview, Marshall and Gladewater in frontier days fashion. Arriving by train at Longview, I hurried to the boarding house.
Standing alone in the muddy street, it seemed a gloomy prospect in the yellow glow of a solitary street lamp. The warped screen door opened with difficulty and I peered into the darkness of a front room. The moonlight streamed through makeshift curtains, highlighting two beds, one with two men in it the other with one! This was life in a boom town! I crept in on tiptoe. The boards creaked and a lumpy body turned over, coughing huskily. Undressing quickly, I lowered myself gently into bed beside this fellow I had not even met. As I did so, he suddenly raised himself for a moment, stared at me through slits of eyes and then slumped down again yanking the covers over to his side!
The next morning, I began to wonder why on earth I was here, for everyone was busy except me! Down by the jail house, a young fellow was hauled off by the Sheriff. He was being charged with vagrancy because he had no money. I was reminded of another time when I rode from New Jersey to California on a motor cycle and the police arrested me on the same charge. The Lord's words sprang to mind, "I was in prison, and you came to me." In court, I pleaded for the release of these young fellows into my care until their case was heard. I was called "the guy who opened jail doors."