BOOK DETAILS

One Man Alone: The Calvary Road Less Traveled

One Man Alone: The Calvary Road Less Traveled

by Ken Hall

ISBN: 9781503146235

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Biographies & Memoirs/Travelers & Explorers, Biographies & Memoirs/Memoirs, Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction

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Book Description

One Man Alone is the nonfiction tale of a troubled Georgia Tech student who searches for reasons and ways to live his life after a series of career-altering setbacks and disappointments. Read the disastrous and surprising decisions he made on the path toward happily ever after. Ken finds answers in the most unlikely of places, all in good time. And all in God's time.

Sample Chapter

Let There Be Light

The Christmas holiday commences.

I must change the official mailing address Georgia Tech has on file. At the end of each quarter, they send my grade report directly to my father. I usually average Cs. My parents don’t complain, so I don’t worry. Today, however, I hope for either the annihilation of the U.S. Postal Service or a massive earthquake to swallow our house. I’m good with either scenario.

When my grades arrive, rather than leave the envelope on the kitchen table for my father to find, I intercept the bad news and hide it in my wallet. I hope he’ll forget that I’m in school or that I even exist.

I should be so lucky.

When he finally asks about my grades, and watches me reach into my pocket to retrieve them, Hoover Dam would not hold back his anger. He lectures long and loud about my poor grades, how irresponsible I am for opening his mail. A multitude of crow-like sounds flood from his mouth.

I am deaf. His words pour past me as I stand resolute like a lighthouse on a stormy cape.

Christmas time has always been a happy season in the Hall household. Not this year. Not for me, at least. I avoid the home front as much as possible. I only sleep there. I spend most of my time with Randy.

My father condescends to speak to me once during the break. He asks about my plans for the future, which is so thoughtful and reassuring. He must be counting the seconds until I will graduate.

I haven’t the foggiest idea how to answer him. I cast about in my brain, and hook something semi-passable. I tell him that I plan to transfer into aerospace engineering. I tell him that if I cannot fly in space capsules, at least I can build them. It muzzles him for the moment.

I dread Christmas Day. The friction between my father and me is muting the Christmas spirit in our house, affecting everyone.

This is usually a magical time of the year when little clues about this item or that thing wind up wrapped underneath the Christmas tree. I cannot bring myself to hint to my father or mother that I want a new radio for my car. My heart is not in it. I don’t want to owe them anything more.

I really want a radio, however, and I am broke. I love to lose myself in the rhythm guitars, saxophones, drums and vocals as I drive here and there.

One night, Randy and I are out drinking with his brother. Ron works at a large electronics retail store. When he hears about my plight, he suggests that he may be able to find me a poor orphaned radio. And he does.

Merry Christmas, Ken.

Randy and I spend our vacation days working together at a warehouse and our nights drinking beer. We often drive into downtown Atlanta to watch the Atlanta Flames play hockey or the Atlanta Hawks play basketball. Since his father’s company has season tickets to both teams, Randy and I get to go whenever his father is not entertaining a customer, which is oftener during the holidays.

As long as Randy and I have known each other, we have used my house as our base of operations. The bars that we patronize are in my neighborhood. One night, however, knowing the dismal state of my relationship with my father, Randy suggests that we switch to his house.

Ordinarily, I would have jumped at the idea, except for one unenticing element. With a twinkle in his eye, and a sinister grin on his face, he informs me that I will get a big kick from meeting his mother. Evidently, she is some sort of religious freak. He informs me that she’s a charismatic Christian, whatever that is.

I am not the least bit interested in listening to someone blab about her religion whenever a stranger enters her home. The thought of listening to her harp on about something detestable to me is nauseating. I’ve experienced my share of people like her.

My new roommate is a Christian enthusiast. He gripes about everything and listens nonstop to crappy Christian music. I was sick of it and him after one week.

All church-people are alike in my book. Churches are nothing more than social clubs that follow ancient prescribed rituals. They are glorified chicken coops peopled with clucks who think they are better than the rest of the world.

Regardless, Randy’s suggestion also strikes a pleasant chord. I know that he means well. I want to stay as far away from my dad as possible. As my best friend, Randy is trying to help me, which is more than I can say for the rest of the world.

I decide to play along with his little charade. Watching his mother perform is a small price to pay to get to that first precious beer. Who knows? Maybe it will have some entertainment value.

Before we enter his house, Randy outlines the plan to “get her going.” His scheme sounds so queer that it makes me wonder what about his mother could possibly cause him to behave this way. I’ve never seen him like this. He’s giddy with excitement.

Now, I am intrigued.

We walk into the house and find the living room empty.

“Good,” he says.

The television blasts its nonsense against the walls and furniture. Above the sofa, I notice a charcoal drawing of a hauntingly sweet-looking man with a short-cropped beard.

I feel silly. It is obvious that Randy has meticulously thought this through.

He places me at one end of the sofa. He says, “This spot is closest to her chair.” Then, with the cunning grin of a con man, he whispers, “Are you ready?”

“I don’t think this is a good idea,” I object, rethinking my decision, but it’s too late.

“Hey, Lola,” he hollers.

I cringe. What kind of son calls his mother by her first name?

He announces, “Ken, here, is into astrology and ESP and stuff like that.”

Under my breath I mutter (but inwardly scream), “Randy.”

Lola is already scurrying in from the kitchen. I turn to Randy, pleading for help, wondering what he’s gotten me into. He just leans back with a satisfied expression, locking his hands behind his neck, settling in for the comic beginning to our evening. He cleverly omitted what he was going to say to get her going.

Her voice squeaks a little with a Midwestern twang as she says, “You better get out of that stuff.”

Click.

A doorknob turns slowly, almost imperceptibly, somewhere deep inside my mind.

Nobody ever said that to me before, so I ask why.

“It’s Satan’s way of keeping people away from God,” she says.

A second click.

A small, inexplicable, unpretentious light flicks on, deeper still.

She goes on to explain how Satan lives in the spirit world and uses his power to blind people to the reality of God; how God also lives in the spirit world and uses his power to break Satan’s hold over people; and how Jesus Christ is the way into the spirit world to God.

This is different. She is a different type of Christian. I’ve never heard anyone talk like this about spiritual things. What she says makes sense. She speaks with authority. She’s not arrogant, dogmatic or overbearing. She speaks as though she knows from firsthand experience what she describes.

Like magic, what she says causes a few pieces of the huge puzzle in my head to snap into place. A few distant stars connect in the sky. Curiously, I understand her. Her language and imagery fit into categories previously formed and hammered out in my head.

Randy tugs at my shirt to go. We leave. In his car, he says, “You really listened to her, didn’t you?”

“What she said made sense,” I say.

“That blows my mind,” he says.

“Mine too,” I say.

Continues...

Excerpted from "One Man Alone: The Calvary Road Less Traveled" by Ken Hall. Copyright © 2015 by Ken Hall. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Ken Hall

Ken Hall

Born in Washington, DC in 1956 and raised in the deep south in Atlanta, Georgia, Ken Hall completed his first book in 2015. One Man Alone: The Calvary Road Less Traveled is a memoir of his hell-raising, rebellious days at Lakeside High School and Georgia Tech--and the subsequent, unexpected events that changed everything for him. He wrote it in the hope that it would resonate for teens, parents and anyone else who has struggled to find their place and purpose in life.

View full Profile of Ken Hall

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