You are here
Home > Perspective > Ladon Sheats Peace Activist

Ladon Sheats Peace Activist

LadonIt was 1979, I was sitting in the Denver County Jail waiting for my second escape trial to begin. The cell block door opened and in walked six men. I looked them over as all prisoner do when any new prisoners are given free room and board at the local crossbar hotel.
 
There was something very different about these men, I saw it the moment I set eyes on them. They seemed so relaxed and peaceful in their posture unlike most men when thrown into jail, there was no “rat in a trap” manor about them, there was a peace and calm hanging around them like a halo. As I watched them from the second tier, I made a mental note that I would talk with them to learn the Why, What and Wherefore. It was not long before I learned their dastardly crime. The TV set up on the wall was tuned to the news channel, and their they were, all over the main stream media. Their crime was: These six men and one woman had cut a hole in the barbwire fence that enclosed ” Rocky Flats” the site where the triggers were manufactured for nuclear bombs. They then entered the property, knelt down on their prayer rugs and began to pray. They were praying for an end to war.

I have never been big on prayer because it seems never to fill the empty bellies of the homeless and seemed to be only so many words in the wind. The only exceptions I’ve ever seen in prayers, was when the preacher was praying for our coins to fill his pockets.

As I sat there watching these six peaceful men, my mind was exploding with thoughts. I had seen many men come to jail over the years, Robbers, Rapist, Murderers, Drug Pushers, and all sorts of petty criminals, but this was a new first for me. I had never seen men come to jail for their convictions. It was to be a lesson I would never forget, it was not long before I knew, they had something I wanted. I was that rat in the trap and I wanted the freedom they felt as they were locked in a jail.

I would spend the next month talking with them in my efforts to discover how they could remain so calm in the calamity they faced.

One of the first thing I realized was how unselfish their act was. I had four young children at home, their act was so that my children as all children should be allowed to live and grow in a peaceful world. This was a very deeply held conviction held by all of them.

In that month, one man, Ladon Sheats and I would become close friends. This was the secret he taught me.

For every human being born to this world there is a tragedy waiting at some point in their future, the size, shape and color of that tragedy is of little importance, but what is important, is how we deal with it.

If we are gripped with fear and panic, our minds have lost much of our ability to reason and deal with the problem. Stay calm, stay strong and stay standing for what you believe in. The morrow will fall to its own devise. We enter this world as a newborn, crying and terrified, with our mind and thoughts we can leave this world with a serenity and peace, this is open to each of us.

My relationship with Ladon did not end there at the Denver County Jail, he first gave me the freedom from fear and then within a few short years he gave me the physical freedom from prison for which I hungered. Some called it a miracle as at the time I was serving three life sentences.

Ladon was a true Peace Activist.

B 1934 D 2002

Leave a Reply

Top