In 1963 while deer hunting my good right eye started clouding up, when I got home it continued to get worse. A neighbor knowing my predicament introduced me to the Church of Christ where I was baptized. A year earlier I had tried reading the New Testament, but couldn’t figure what it was about.
Attending church services, sermons and bible classes the New Testament became in a short time what was contained in the various books it was composed of and how it came about. But this took awhile as my vision got worse before it started clearing up. When it cleared to the point I could drive I went back to work, but I had lost some of my central vision.
Through sermons, bible studying classes and studying I grew in knowledge about the teachings of the New Testament. Unfortunately that church broke up due to a disagreement over an incident. Half of the members including me there relocated to another area where I taught a teen age bible class on church history.
In those days computers didn’t exist and our efforts to bring new members into the church was by means of talking to people where you would meet them, finding those we could visit where they lived, inviting them to a church service and with literature.
I left the church after a divorce around 1973 and the company I was working for folded and I went to work for another one.
In 1980 I had to quit driving because of my eye sight. I remarried in 1981 after going together for three years. But divorced in 83 and quit working as a busher in 1984 after my vision got to a point work became to difficult.
In 1985 through 87 we built a house above a town called Trucky. But after we finished it we sold it because the house payment was to hard to keep up. We figured we worked for a dollar an hour, but we decided the experience was well worth it.
In 1990 I found myself in a blind school learning how to function without sight, mobility like walking down the street, caching the bus and riding mass transit. They had a great wood shop where I learned to run a table saw again, the drill press and the click rule for measuring.
In my shop in my garage I have a table saw, a compound miter saw, a drill pres and a lot of tools. It’s only things around the house though I work on or will make an item I can’t find to buy.
Fortunately it became quite easy to do many repairs or upgradings, but of course I’m limited on some things, like using a tape measure etc.
At the blind school I learned many things like braille, but only use it to mark things as my finger tips aren’t sensitive enough.
I was impressed with the development of the computer at that time, but I had to learn typing again, because the keyboard is laid out like a typewriter and they wouldn’t give you an overview of it until you could type some. Although I couldn’t see what I was typing a sighted person would let you know what you typed wrong.
A while after I graduated I bought a DOS 486 computer, which seemed to be the best at that time. I had to use a screen reader and I liked Microtalk, and found myself in a huge learning curve.
Finding Recording for the Blind in Princeton New Jersey and working with a fella there I soon found a consultant that was also blind; from him I learned a lot. After learning what I could from the consultant I went out on my own, graduating to a better editor. With that powerful editor is when I learned how to make better files, which I call my books.
In 1999 my ex wife was taking care of my daughters two children; age 1 year a boy and 2 1/2 a girl, over across town in an apartment. I called her up one day and asked her if you want to come over to my house and live I’ll have an addition added to my house and you can live here and bring the grand kids over and I’ll help take care of them while my daughter worked.
In 2000 I bought a computer with Windows 98 OS on it, it was two parts, Windows and DOS. I switched to the screen reader Window-Eyes because it worked in both DOS and Windows. But I quit using the computer with the operating system Windows 98 as it would lock up without notice.
I kept using my DOS 489 computer which worked fine until 2003. I then bought a computer with Windows 98 Second Edition OS, on it, Two parts, Windows and DOS and switched to the screen reader JAWS version 6. Then I started learning how Windows worked.
My next step 2008 I bought a computer with XP OS on it, windows only and changed to newer of versions of JAWS as they came available.
As I started learning the Internet I thought of having my own website. First I worked on FTP where you upload files to your website — that was quite complicated. I learned of WordPress a program that is installed on your website. It is much easier to use for what I do.
I took lessons on WordPress from a blind lady. She was very good and soon had her start developing a Website for me. When she moved on to other things I had to find another one.
With Judith, my new webmaster who is sighted and has 20 years of experience, my site is better organized. She helps me organize the site and I write the articles, name the categories and relay in what category to insert the articles in. I have also learned much from her.
Now running computers with Windows XP OS, up to JAWS version 14 I’m sailing around on the Internet learning much all the time. I’m using a Windows editor, Boxer, making files all the time again which I call my books. I have hundreds of files, many on the bible and what it teaches. Of course my knowledge on the Old and New Testaments has grown with years of study. History comes into consideration when understanding what the Old and New Testament sets forth to teach. I always have this on my mind in writing articles for my website.
My ex-wife passed away in 2011, but the grand kids by that time could live at their house with the help of their mother and dad. They could get themselves ready and attend school during the day and by that time their mother was home to look after them.
My daughter and the grand kids are a big help to me, we do things together and my daughter at times brings over dinners or I visit and eat at their house. With my website developing to the point it has become most of my time is doing research or writing articles.
I forgot to mention I play guitar, but I don’t have time for it now and have got rusty in trying to play it. For a hobby I am a movie buff and get a lot of info on movies I’ve listened too on IMBD, a Website that has information on thousands of movies.
During the day I write articles for my website or put together articles of interest. At night I listen to TV, I like western movies so on the Encore Western channel, they’ll run a movie I can follow if there’s a lot of talking, no commercials. But half the time their movies aren’t interesting so I try other channels, Animal Planet, National Geographic or one that keeps my interest.
Also I’d like to mention I’ve been teaching my grandson from around the age of five on how to use my tools. Now that he’s 14, I’m slowly taking time on showing him how to use the table saw. He’s taking over for me on working on things I used to do.
Because my website has become so developed with all the articles on it, it’s a way I can reach out and teach. My great concern is hopefully my articles will be read and the knowledge in them imparted.
Why do I call myself an ambassador? All Christians are called ambassadors. Note what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:20 (KJV) which applies to him and also to all Christians.
- 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
D. J. Derrick; An Ambassador of Christ