One day in 6th grade Danny became aware that one of his friends was going to be beat up for whatever lame reason after school. Danny left school first and arranged a signal, putting his books on his head, which meant that the bully wasn’t present and Danny’s friend could hurry home safely. Danny had another signal if the bully was nearby. The first day went well. The second day the bully had turned his wrath on Danny. Somehow he got wind of the plot to save Danny’s friend and confronted Danny after school. He called Danny a little $@%&* so Danny knew he was serious. The next day Danny was to signal “safe” so his friend would come out expecting safety. The bully would be waiting. Danny was full of anxiety and wasn’t sure what to do. So he confided in the most wise, trustworthy man he knew: Dad. No problem, Dad would call the bully’s parents and put an end to it all. And so Danny’s dad made the call and the entire problem went away. Later in life Danny sold a piece of land to a young man. After comparing notes, it was realized that the young man was the son of the bully. Danny told him the story and the young man was amused and thought that was uncharacteristic of his dad.
Junior high school was grade 7-9, and it was about time to attend the big school with lots more students and challenges in life, as well as new opportunities. Along with the new opportunities came new expenses. For years Danny had been receiving 5 cents times his age for an allowance. So at age 12 his allowance was 60 cents a week. This was fine in grade school, but Danny quickly found that $2.40 a month wasn’t going to cut it in this new world of good times. First of all, Danny’s parents came to the rescue. Seeing the new, legitimate needs, they raised his allowance to $2.50 a week! What would Danny do with all that extra cash! Well, said, Mom and Dad, first of all, tithe. So Danny was introduced to tithing and has had the privilege of being a cheerful giver ever since.
Keeping up the family trapping tradition, Danny also bought some traps and began his pocket gopher trapping career. Each gopher was worth 30 cents so a good week of trapping could turn into real money! To improve things drastically, Danny’s grandpa discovered his county paid $1.00 per gopher. So Danny cut off the front feet of each gopher, put them in Mom’s freezer for storage, and had Grandpa Erickson sell them when he had a chance.
Another income stream was mowing lawns. Danny secured two lawn mowing accounts. One paid 3.50 and the other 5.00 per mowing. But now Danny was faced with another challenge: He needed better, more dependable transportation to his mowing jobs. So Danny went bike shopping. He decided on a 1970’s orange, Schwinn Varsity. It was priced at $120 but Danny wanted fenders so it then cost him $127.00. Sold! The Bike and Danny had many good years together, until some loser stole in broad daylight.
It was now the early 1970’s. Men had walked on the moon, a president and Martin Luther King were assassinated, the unpopular Viet Nam war was coming to a close, Danny was a city slicker and most importantly he had decided to follow Jesus. Something else was happening: Danny’s voice was cracking and there was some fuzz on his upper lip. Danny was becoming Dan.