In 1977 I was living in Bend, Oregon. I was in my twenties and had moved there from Portland. On the day I left Portland to move east, I ran into a severe snowstorm as I was approaching the Mt. Hood wilderness area. Driving was hazardous and, since I was in no hurry, I pulled off the main highway and stopped at a small grocery store. Inside I struck up a conversation with a young man named Brian, about my age, who was also moving to Bend. When he invited me to spend the night at his family's cabin to wait out the storm, I politely declined - wanting to, but somewhat suspicious of his friendly and hospitable demeanor. We exchanged pleasantries and said that wed probably run into each other again. Brian was moving to Bend to attend community college, but was also an avid skier and intended to frequent Mt. Bachelor, the local ski area.
We became friends. Brian was a character who made strong and lasting impressions upon people - though not always positive ones. He was handsome, intelligent, and had long blonde hair down to the small of his back. In those days Bend was rather a redneck place, and a longhair could easily find himself harassed. Brian, however, didn't seem to be bothered or intimidated by anyone or anything.
Brian and I started skiing together. He drove an old pickup painted John Deere green and would swing by and pick me up en route to Mt. Bachelor. One day as we were riding along he handed me a large book and said, "You might like this." His copy showed signs of use and wear. This was my first encounter with The Urantia Book, riding shotgun with a friend between Bend and Mt. Bachelor, having a few minutes to kill before we set out on our skis.
On a number of subsequent rides, I looked through the book and was repeatedly awestruck. As soon as Brian realized the depth of my interest, he offered me a copy - his own second copy, virtually brand new. I accepted his generous gift with considerable appreciation.
What never ceases to amaze me is the impact and "staying power" The Urantia Book has had in my life. I consider myself a late bloomer in terms of learning to live responsibly. There were long stretches of time when I didn't pay heed to the teachings in the book. But in my late thirties I began to settle down and make some positive life changes. The book quickly became an integral part of my life, shaping and influencing every aspect of my being. The Urantia Book is truly a treasure, and I'm very grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to benefit from it.