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When People Disappear…

In a time when children did not just disappear, one did. It was December 9, 1961 when 11-year-old Andy Sims went outside to play. It would be the last time that he would walk out of his humble, middle-class house on the corner of a subdivision that sprang up in perfect square unison, exploding with those popular little box homes so popular in the post-war era.

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Andy was a somewhat typical boy of his day, attending Jefferson Elementary School, playing ball, and riding his bike. He was just the type of All-American wholesome kid that you now see in reruns and commercials of the 1960s TV shows.

He was seen around the neighborhood a lot, exploring, peeking over fences: adventuresome but not bothersome. Sadly, in an era that we like to gloss over and refer to as “the good ole days,” there was someone else watching who was not so good at all.

The question remains…who harmed Andy that day and why? A drifter? A neighbor with a dark secret? A serial criminal who was never caught? The one thing that seems certain is that Andy did not just “go away” on his own. Search parties looked with volunteers on foot, in the air, neighbors were questioned, classmates were questioned, the area lake was searched and dragged.

There are people in this town who went to Jefferson Elementary with Andy and remember the day….the day an idealistic boy went outside, when the weather changed that afternoon and the howling north wind brought a bitter cold change, a frosty, sinister air that blew into this average town, and jerked people to their core. The day something happened to Andy, and he was never able to return home to his family again.

Sadly, there is really no chance of ever knowing what happened, it has been 53 years ago. Sadly again, it is a crime that has repeated itself way too much in many other towns, cities, countries where innocent people pay the ultimate price at the hands of the misguided, malevolent and the depraved…

Andy left

before he had a chance

to grow up

and discover that the world

can hold beautiful possibilities.

Andy left

one December day

taken from this life.

On the other side,

hopefully he found peace

and promise

gentle hands

compassionant arms

that made all the bad things

go away.

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