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Monday, February 8, 2010

The Kid Who Did Not Want to Play the Trombone

Farmersville High School in Farmersville, Texas, assigned their band director, Stanley Walker, the task of monitoring a study hall period. He did. One of his students was a young man named Charles Watson. Charles graduated, moved to California, and became known as “Tex.” He joined the infamous “Family” of Charles Manson and is now serving a life sentence for murder.

Shortly after Stanley Walker monitored Charles Watson in study hall, he accepted a job as the Band Director at a high school near Linden, Texas. While there, one of his students told him, “Mr. Walker, I think I am going to quit the band. I don’t like playing the trombone.”

Walker replied, “Well, Don, why don’t you play the drums?”

Don did. Later, playing the drums, Don Henley became a founding member of the Hall of Fame rock group, The Eagles.

Obviously, Stanley Walker and other teachers at Farmersville High School attempted to influence Charles Watson to do something more positive in life than join a cult and commit murder. Unfortunately, sometimes, people like Charles Watson reject the message. Others times, people can be influenced to make a seemingly minor decision that ends up producing a major positive impact—such as the case with Don Henley.

Jesus called for his disciples to be salt and light. We infiltrate our culture, allow God to work through us, and accept the results with a faithful trust in God’s Kingdom work.*

* Thanks, Jamie Whitley, for sharing this story from the life of your family’s long-time friend—Stanley Walker.

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