UFO’s Fact or Fiction?

Polls tell us that the majority of Americans believe in UFOs. While government recently acknowledged the existence of UFOs, it is widely believed that government knows much more than they’ve released to the public. So where can someone curious about this subject go to find more specific information? Powerful alternative sources of information can be found on the internet from witnesses, whistle-blowers, academic researchers, military experts, and scores of interested people. However, separating fact from fiction may be difficult. This UFO book is a compilation of all the experts, their stories and research in one resource for you the reader to decide what is fact or fiction.

It appears likely that the keeper of secrets may not even be the government. If true, this might be advantageous to the designers of weapons of war, and those charged with protecting our country from external threats. But what is advantageous to government may be disadvantageous to the public welfare. For example, what if UFO research led to achieving nuclear fusion which in turn led to supplying the country with abundant, cheap, non-polluting energy, and ending our reliance on fossil fuel? Though there is no way to measure lost opportunity, it just the same is a real loss.

For many years, UFO sightings and reports of alleged alien encounters have been reported around the world. These strange phenomena have caused much debate and speculation about their origin. While some people believe that these UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin, others are more skeptical and attribute them to natural causes or misidentified aircrafts. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, research into this phenomenon continues as many seek answers to the unresolved questions surrounding UFO sightings and alien encounters. With advances in technology, researchers now have access to data from all over the world which could potentially provide insight into these mysterious events. Through further investigation and analysis of evidence, we may finally be able to gain a better understanding of what exactly is behind these unexplained occurrences. With more information, we can strive towards uncovering the truth behind these mysterious UFO sightings and alien encounters. 

A UFO Story Are We Alone?

The field of ufology is a complex one, with scientists and researchers investigating all aspects of possible extra-terrestrial influence from all around the world. This includes studying sightings, examining reports, analyzing evidence, and looking for patterns in events to try to find conclusive answers to the questions surrounding UFOs and aliens. Despite many skeptics claiming that there is no proof that extraterrestrials exist, there are still those who believe that life beyond Earth exists and has had some kind of contact with humanity. With more research into this phenomenon, we can hope to gain better insight into what exactly is happening when it comes to these strange occurrences. 

No matter your opinion on UFOs or Aliens, it is clear that this is an area of research worth further exploration. By continuing to investigate sightings and reports, and analyzing evidence more closely, we can move closer towards understanding what may be behind the phenomena. Until then, the subject remains a mystery and continues to fascinate the minds of many. 

This book by William Northwall, has been compiled to help those make their own opinions. The second edition has 100 pages of new information, like the findings at Skin Walker Ranch. Get your copy and see what is really out there in the universe waiting for us.

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Planning Your Life to the 52nd Power: Planner +

Our newest book is available from Richter Publishing!! Planning Your Life to the 52nd Power – Planner + by Danese Banks.

“Planning Your Life to the 52nd Power,” can help you change your life by changing one small thing a week for the next year. You can make big changes by starting off with simple things once a week.

Each week has a different power to contemplate and a few questions to consider regarding each power. The purpose is to help you focus and be mindful of how you schedule your days and spend your time so that you can experience a life change for the better.

The powers will actually empower you to change your life in an easy and “no pressure” way. Whether you have a big goal already in mind or are looking for guidance in figuring out your next step, this minimalistic styled planner has more than enough space to write your schedule and things to do while providing just enough content to help you develop and become your best self.

This planner is not created with a pre-planned year for you, so you can pick it up and start at any point and time in your journey. Who says you have to plan your goals on Jan 1st?! Just enter in the calendar year and month you wish to start taking control of your life. So, if you’re ready to get started changing your life, this is the planner for you! There’s no time like the present….START TODAY!

The planner is available in paperback and kindle versions. This planner can help you organize your life and create a better schedule. They allow for easy tracking of tasks, events, and goals to ensure that you’re on the right path. When using these tools, it’s important to be aware of all the features available so that you can make the most out of them. Here are some tips for creating a successful plan with this planners:

1. Prioritize – Choose what tasks are most important to complete and prioritize those first in order to stay on top of deadlines.

2. Set reminders – Take advantage of setting reminders within the planner itself so that you don’t forget key appointments or tasks throughout the day.

3. Use the powers – The powers help you recognize events, and goals in your life. This helps to keep everything organized and easy to locate in the planner.

4. Review regularly – Take time each day or week to review what has been accomplished, what is still pending, and how best to move forward with the plan. This can help you adjust your strategy as needed so that you stay on track.

By using this power planner + effectively, you can make sure that tasks are completed on time and that your lifestyle is more organized. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a successful plan that works for your needs!

5. Customize – Customize the planner according to your needs by adding sections or pages that are most relevant to your lifestyle. This will make it easier to stay organized and on track with tasks. This is also why we left the calendars blank, so you can start at anytime in the year!

7. Stay motivated – The planner + is as a tool for motivation and inspiration. Use them to set goals and track progress so you stay focused on achieving them!

By following these tips, you’ll be able to get the most out of your book planner and create an effective schedule that works for your lifestyle! With the right tools, you’ll be able to stay organized and on track with your goals. Grab your copy today on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/dp/1954094337/

Danese Banks is the founder and CEO of the Life Changer Coach, LLC. She is both a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She spends her time coaching people whose inner blocks and obstacles have gotten in the way of achieving their outer goals, particularly those she refers to as “deferred dreamers”. In her “previous career life”, she was the Managing Partner of the Memphis office at The Cochran Firm, founded by the late Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. She has been an attorney for over twenty-five years and still uses her “legal brain” as a mediator in her separate business, Banks Mediation Services.

Both jobs provide her with the opportunity to serve people in the way she loves best, by solving problems and resolving conflict. When she’s not doing either job, she enjoys walking, dancing, being silly with her husband, two children and fur baby, traveling and shopping. She plans of writing children’s books one day in her future. You can learn more about her at www.thelifechangercoach.com and www.banksmediationservices.com.

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Living Wisdom

As we go into Easter weekend, on this Good Friday… remember “Living Wisdom: Principles for a Life Well Lived.” A book 📚 we published back in 2016 by Rev. Chad C. Fernald. So what is living wisdom? How does a person discover it? 😇💗

The Biblical books of wisdom contain a wealth of practical insight for the ordering of life based on sound principles which lead to healthy patterns for our personal lives, our homes and our communities. “Living Wisdom: Principles for a Life Well Lived,” provides a framework for balanced, principle based living by exploring key areas of life in which God’s Living Wisdom may be readily applied. Living Wisdom invites the reader to be challenged and changed by the straightforward teaching of Biblical Wisdom and confronts all with the call to be wise! Get your copy on Amazon, B&N, BAM! Everywhere books are sold. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692602542

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We want you!

Richter Publishing is working on a documentary about the publishing industry. It is a blackhole of information out there for new authors. And they get lost in figuring out the different avenues like traditional, indie and self publishing to see which one is the right one for them. Many times they get taken advantage of in the process. This is why we started Richter Publishing 10 years ago. To help authors. We want to interview authors who have already published their books and have gone through other avenues to their book out there. We want to hear your experiences. The good, the bad and the ugly!

We are working with a Capstone class at USF to assist us with the documentary. Please fill out our google form if you would like to be considered for the film. We will reach out to you if we feel your story is a good fit.


Richter Publishing USF Documentary

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Happy International Women’s Day! March 8th 💪🏽🌸✨

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day! It’s is a day to celebrate the women in our lives and recognize the strength, resilience, and courage of all women. It’s a reminder that women have been breaking boundaries and achieving amazing feats for centuries, and that they will continue to do so. This year, let us honor these women and stand together in solidarity to recognize their contributions, lift each other up, and create lasting change. Let’s celebrate women with passion and determination who never give up in pursuit of their goals – women who show true grit even when faced with obstacles or adversity. These women are strong leaders who inspire us every day; be sure to thank them for being powerful role models! We can look towards them for inspiration as we fight for gender equality around the world. On International Women’s Day, let us celebrate women everywhere and pledge to create a better future for women everywhere. Let us use our voices to make a difference. Together, we can show the world that progress starts with women!

Let’s stand together in solidarity this International Women’s Day and celebrate the true strength of women. Their determination, courage, and resilience are an inspiration to us all. Let us not forget the incredible contributions women have made throughout history – it is only with their tireless efforts that we have achieved so much. With passion and dedication, women can drive real change on both a local and global scale. So let us honor these strong women who never give up; thank them for being powerful role models to look up to. Today, let us come together and create a brighter future for women everywhere!

Support amazing strong women, by reading their books! We have many female entrepreneurs, leaders, non-profits owners and just all around badasses in our publishing house. Get their books and read their ground breaking stories by clicking on their books below:

Happy International Women’s Day! 💪🏽🌸✨

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March is National Reading Month!

National Reading Month is an annual event celebrated throughout the United States. This month-long celebration brings together parents, teachers, librarians, and students to promote reading for pleasure and education. During this month, schools typically provide special resources on reading and literacy development. Schools also often host book clubs, author visits, storytelling hours, library time extensions, and other activities that promote books and reading. All these activities help to create an environment where books are valued and literacy is celebrated. National Reading Month is a wonderful opportunity to bring books into the lives of children and adults alike. Whether you’re looking for books about adventure, science, current events, or just for fun.

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March is designated as National Reading Month. Dr. Seuss pointed out that National Reading Month emphasizes the importance of literacy and encourages children, teens, and adults to read more books throughout the month. Dr. Seuss believed that reading plays an essential role in developing important skills such as comprehension, critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and digital fluency. He also noted how reading can help to reduce stress levels and increase one’s knowledgebase and understanding of different cultures, people, places, etc. Dr. Seuss wanted everyone to recognize the power of reading during this month-long celebration so they are better equipped with the tools needed to maximize their potential in life. The goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves while celebrating the joys of reading and inspiring others to do the same.

National Reading Month is a great time to explore the wonderful world of books! There are so many fun activities that you can do with your kids or by yourself. Spend some time picking out new books at your local library, or create a cozy reading nook in your living room. You can also make it into a game and challenge yourself to read a certain number of books throughout the month. No matter what reading activity you decide to do, make sure to get creative and have fun! National Reading Month is all about celebrating reading in all its forms and genres. So find some time this month to appreciate reading and get lost in a good book. You won’t regret it!

Check out our list of books from our authors in Richter Publishing to cozy up with this month. Here is our top five best sellers from 2022! Listed in order from most selling books #1 to #5:

Or find all of our books by going to Amazon by clicking below:

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Rule # 4 Avoid the Knight in Shining Armor in the Dating Jungle

Today is Valentine’s Day. February 14th, 2023. It’s the day to celebrate the love your life. To honor your love for each other. However, for many people, it’s not all puppy dog tails and rainbows. Instead it’s full of broken hearts, empty promises and lonely nights. I know all this too well. After my divorce, I spent 10 years on dating sites searching for my perfect match and was instead met with fake profiles, wasted time on guys who never actually read my profile and only looked at my pics and just wanted to get laid. It was just one disaster after the other. The only thing it did do was give me tons of content to write my Dating Jungle Book Series. My very first book I published way back in 2012 and was the platform that helped me launch my publishing house years later.

Writing your pains is very therapeutic and how I help my authors in their journey. It assists you in the healing process, in order to move on and also help others on their journey. As I wrote about all of my bad dating experiences it helped me become a more emotional stable person to not bring those past wounds into the next relationship. So I could finally find my happy ever after. Which I did. I am now engaged to be married to the love of my life in just two short months, April 29th 2023.

We took a nice cruise just a few weeks ago to destress from the holidays because we are both business owners and the holidays are actually busier for us. What I did not expect to encounter on this cruise was Rule #4 from my first book I published. We were a few days into our cruise, sitting in the formal dinning room. I with my back to the wall and Pete looking at me. I got up to go to the bathroom, came back and I got the feeling a woman was starring at me from across the room. I looked in her direction and was like hmmm.. this stranger keeps starring at me. Why? I know my hair looks amazing… It took me awhile to notice the man sitting next to her. Because he isn’t very special. You know some people’s auras just don’t pop, they blend into space like they don’t exist. Or they shouldn’t exist, for humanity’s sake. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. OMG it’s Rule #4 from my book. HOLY SHIT. I literally thought this man would have been in prison. Well, he had been in prison, before I met him.

My mouth probably hit the table. Pete, my current fiancé, had no idea what was going on. He kept asking me, “What happened? What is it?” Yet it felt distant, like a far away echo as my mind spun and memories from 20 years ago started to play like a movie in my head.

I finally found the muscles in my mouth to respond, “So you are not going to believe this story….” And I dove into my past that I had completely forgotten about so long ago.


I was 25 years old. After living in Florida for about a year, I was working at a dead-end job with a mean boss that I hated. It didn’t pay that well and I was stressed out, but didn’t know what to do. I had to continue going to the office and taking the torture because I had to pay my bills. I was stuck in one of those ruts that a lot people get trapped in. Sometimes reality isn’t fun, but you have to do what you have to do.

I was single at the time and didn’t have a whole lot of time for dating since I was working to death at my horrible job. I could barely drag myself out of bed in the mornings because I was dreading the day ahead of me. I somehow made it through the 8 hours of my boss yelling and screaming at me all day, to just sit in rush hour traffic at the end of the day, drag myself up 22 stairs, make a TV dinner, sip a couple glasses of wine, and fall asleep early. The next day, I got up and did it all over again.

I eventually starting dating again and met a man I really liked. We started spending every day together. I told him how much I hated my job and he said I should quit. That he would take care of me. He wanted to move into my condo within the first month so he could pay the bills and I wouldn’t have to work. He wanted to get married and have children. He wanted a wife he could take care of. He was a strong, sexy man in his paramedic uniform, going out and saving lives every day. I knew moving in with someone so soon wasn’t the best idea, though I thought maybe he could save me, too. It’s hard to resist a man in uniform. I really wanted out of my current situation and this seemed like the perfect solution.

After moving in together, his car needed a new stick shift. He said he didn’t have the money or a credit card to put it on because the limit wouldn’t allow it. If I put it on my card, he would pay the monthly bill. He was desperate because he depended on his car to get back and forth to work. Since we were already living together and there was talk of marriage, I figured it wasn’t a big deal. Plus, he was paying most of the bills since I wasn’t working any longer. He assured me he would pay it back. No problem.

I had never lived with anyone prior to this. I was excited to play house with a man. It all happened very quickly, but I was excited. I was the good little wifey, ironing and starching his shirts, packing his lunch while he would go out in the world and rescue the civilians. After his long days, he would tell me his heroic stories of what happened that day over a home-cooked meal. 

Pretty soon he proposed to me and we were going to be married. I was ecstatic! I started planning the wedding and figuring out the details. He was paying the bills and asked for all my pertinent bank account info. I gave it over easily, since we were engaged and going to get married. That’s what you do, combine bank account info, right?

Soon, he began working a lot, taking on extra shifts. He was working nights and weekends. Often, he wasn’t making it home for dinner anymore. Then he started not coming home at all and said he was working doubles because he needed to help pay for all of our bills since I wasn’t bringing in any income. Eventually I was spending every night alone, with a bottle of wine and movies on TBS, wondering where he was. 

One day he finally came home in a flight suit and said he got a promotion to be a flight paramedic. It was a big promotion for him and he would be making a lot of money now. However, it meant that he would have to be gone for weeks at a time. I figured it was good for his career. Now I was totally alone and unable to even reach him via cell phone. If I called him, he wouldn’t answer. His excuse would be that he was flying or in another country picking up patients and he didn’t have coverage. (This was way prior to smart phones.) The scenario went from my knight in shining armor saving me, to us being roommates who never saw each other. I became even more miserable and lonely than I was in my dead-end job. Now I was an at home wife-to-be with no one to take care of. I was totally isolated. 

I was checking the mail one day and I got a collection letter from my credit card company. I hadn’t been checking my accounts online because he was supposed to be paying the bills. I immediately went to the computer to check that account, and found he had only made one payment in the last six months. I started looking in other accounts and there were multiple withdrawals and unauthorized charges for stuff I didn’t know about. I started doing more research, and looking up our cell phone bill. When he said he was actually gone off flying, he had been making multiple calls to local phone numbers. When he came back from one of his so called “flights” I checked his phone while he was asleep. I matched the numbers on the bill with his contacts and they were all different women that he was calling daily. Then I rifled through his paramedic jacket and found condoms. We didn’t use condoms because he wanted to have a baby. 

I was furious! I couldn’t believe he was playing me for a fool. I kicked him out of my condo. He really had nothing to say for himself, since he had been caught red-handed. In the following months everything completely unraveled. The sheriff’s department came to my house looking to serve him with contempt of court. Apparently he had a teenage daughter he was paying child support for. That was news to me. I had no idea he had a daughter or was even married before. He had told me all his relatives were dead, and that he had no one. It wasn’t that he didn’t have any friends or family, it was that no one would talk to him because he was a con-artist. I eventually found out that he had been married 6 times before. He was in prison prior to meeting me for almost beating a man to death in a bar fight. The entire flight paramedic was a lie, apparently that didn’t even exist in our area. He made it all up just so he could leave the house for weeks at a time. I didn’t even know where he was or what he was doing. He got the flight suit on eBay.

My knight in shining armor wasn’t looking to save me, he was looking to drain my bank accounts and get whatever he could from me. Thank goodness this entire charade only lasted for about 9 months and I found out before I became his seventh wife. I got out pretty clean besides a few racked up credit cards and a bruised ego. The lesson I learned from this is that no one can just swoop in and save you. If you’re unhappy with things in your life, you need to save yourself. Don’t get caught up in the fantasy. Soon enough reality will come rushing back in and knock you on your butt. Keep yourself grounded. When someone comes into your life and says they can make everything better, watch out. Little red bells should go off in your head. Not just one person is going to wave a magic wand and make life better. Yes, falling in love is great, but when it’s with the right person. Just remember to keep your feet on the ground when your head starts going off into la la land. Make sure you are making the right conscious decisions even though you’re in love. 

Every now and then give yourself a reality check. Remove yourself emotionally from the situation and look at it from a third person perspective. Think, in this situation, what would your girlfriend think about this? Or what would someone else, even a stranger think, about this if you told them the story? It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of romance. Guys and girls will say anything to charm someone they like, especially the smooth talkers. I know, I’m a sucker to fall in love, too. I fall fast and I fall hard. Sometimes without really taking the time to see if this person is as wonderful as they tell me they are. Actions speak louder than words. Watch out for the little things they do, not the big stories they tell. That is what really sets people apart. Anyone can talk a good line of BS, but what do they actually do about it? 

Excerpt from 10 Rules to Survive the Dating Jungle. Find this and more great stories on Amazon!

So the funny thing is we kept seeing Rule #4 on the cruise after the fact. He kept sweating because he knew I knew the truth about him. He was probably with wife number 34 at this point and time. And I could have blown his cover at any point and time during the cruise. But I am in my happy place in my life now. And his karma will get him. But Pete and I did have fun messing with him. Every time we saw them on the boat we just yelled out really loud, “Where’s my flight suit? Have you seen it? I can’t find it?!” I just feel bad for the lady. But I can’t change their life path. I’m sure he already filled her head with lies. But we all know the truth.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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A Galentine’s Day Celebration with Great Books and Friends

This Valentine’s Day, why not celebrate the wonderful relationships you have in your life with your closest friends? Galentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to get together with your closest girlfriends and celebrate each other. What better way to do that then by gathering around a great book? Whether you are looking for a light-hearted read or something more serious, there is always something special about reading a story as a group. Here are some ideas to help you plan the perfect Galentine’s Day celebration!

Choose Your Reading Material Carefully. The first step in planning the perfect Galentine’s Day celebration is to choose the right book. The type of book should depend on what type of atmosphere you want to create for your celebration. If you want an evening filled with light-hearted fun, opt for a comedy or romance novel. If you want to focus on more serious topics such as relationships or self-improvement, pick up a nonfiction book that all of your friends can relate to. No matter what type of book you decide on, make sure it has plenty of discussion points so that everyone can participate in the conversation.

We at Richter Publishing have the best Galentine’s Day books for you and your gal pals! Check out our titles below for your perfect day:

Gather Around the Table. Once you have picked out the perfect book for your Galentine’s Day celebration, it’s time to gather around the table and start reading! Make sure everyone has their own copy so they can follow along and participate in discussions. You can also set up snacks like popcorn or homemade treats so that everyone can snack while they read. Be sure to encourage all of your guests to share their thoughts about what they are reading—this will help keep everyone engaged and interested in the conversation!

Discuss Your Favorite Moments. Finally, after everyone is done reading, take some time to discuss your favorite moments from the book. Ask each person what their favorite part was and why they liked it so much. This will allow everyone to share their own unique perspectives and insights into what they read—which is always an enjoyable activity when shared with friends! It will also give everyone an opportunity to get closer by sharing stories and making connections between one another’s experiences with reading the same material.

Celebrating Galentine’s Day this year doesn’t have to be complicated—all it takes is curling up with a great book and enjoying some quality time with your best friends! Choose an interesting story that captures everyone’s attention and serves as a jumping off point for meaningful conversations about life, love, relationships, and more. By doing this, you’ll create memories that will last long after Valentine’s Day has come and gone! So grab a copy of your favorite book today—it’s time for some much needed girl talk!

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#1 Best Seller New Release, Secrets to Sustainable Solutions!

Secrets to Sustainable Solutions by Lisa Blackburn Ullven hit #1 Best Seller and #1 Hot New Release in multiple categories yesterday when it was released on Amazon! Here are the results are the first 24 hours. The book is still on discount until Friday. Get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Sustainable-Solutions-Business-Non-Profit-ebook/dp/B0BSTNVPGZ/

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Excerpt from “Secrets to Sustainable Solutions: Tips From Business, Science & Non-Profit Expert” by Lisa Blackburn Ullven

12.1 The Stranger Who Saved My Life

Things happened so fast; I went to travel school and got offered a job to work for an airline in Tampa at the exact job I wanted, close to the exact college I wanted to go to. My best friend said, “Come stay with me at the dorm for a couple weeks while you find a place.” When I arrived, Penelope, with her vibrant megaphone-like voice, yelled, “Hey, Lisa!” from the second-floor window. Yes, she took out the screen to stick her head out the window to get my attention. Afterward, even the people who lived on the downtown streets knew my name and said hi to me each day.

Since my new job at the airline had training in the evening, I often returned late to the dorm. Being just 18 years old—naïve and excited—I felt safe because there always seemed to be a lot of people and activity on the streets when I returned each evening. I started noticing that the same people walked the same exact routes each night. I even wrote to my mom about how nice the homeless people were and how I thought it was interesting that they seemed to have schedules. Seriously, if there was one perk to being homeless, I thought it would be sleeping in and not having a schedule—so I found it intriguing that they walked the same route each night, down to predictable details.

In particular, I was fascinated by one homeless man. With my training, I had to carry three large binders plus heavy official airline guide books that were like those thick, heavy, old phone books so I was especially grateful to him as he opened the door for me each night. I would say, “Thank you very much,” and he’d respond saying things like “You are quite welcome.” When I asked how he was, he would answer, “Very well, thank you” or “Quite well, and you?” Despite his ragged exterior, I could tell he was very intelligent and kind. He seemed more like a butler in an exclusive hotel than a homeless person.

Perplexed that he seemed more like a PhD college professor than a homeless man living on the street, I curiously asked, “You are very well educated, aren’t you?” He looked me in the eyes, smiled, and in a hearty, jolly, Santa-like tone, he replied, “Yes. I am very, VERY well educated.” I felt like he must have been a captain of a ship, a chief officer, or some big position before landing in his current situation, sleeping in front of a door with his main purpose in life seeming to be opening the door for college students. As I looked back at him, I thought there must be a very sad story of how he’d gotten here. I was not ready to hear that story and not sure he was up to sharing, so we just paused for a moment and went on our way.

One night, I had to stay at work much later because we had to do a special training after the office closed that required full access to the computer systems. By the time I headed back to the dorm, the streets were totally deserted. Even though it was a short walk, I didn’t feel good about walking alone. I considered going to a hotel, but I had a very bad experience when I was a kid when a gang tried to break into my family’s hotel room. Plus, I’d seen way too many movies where the single lady walks alone through a parking garage and something bad happens. Plan B was sleeping in the car, but I pictured myself waking up to an angry police officer or worse yet—a mad stranger. As many times as I said I was going to stay up all night, I was always the first to fall asleep, so not sleeping was not really an option. No option really seemed good, and I had to be back to training in a few hours, so I decided the best of the bad options was to go to Penelope’s dorm.

My crime watcher, “be-aware” mindset kicked in. One of the things I’d learned was to have your actions planned out so that if something does happen, you jump into action versus wasting valuable seconds trying to figure out what to do. Having a big pile of heavy books, my action plan was to immediately throw the books at the sign of any trouble. The only other option would be to run to my car, and I had seen way too many suspenseful horror films with the person jingling their keys and the predator right behind them. Throwing my books would pretty much be throwing away my perfect job, but that was my emergency plan. I figured it would distract them and slow them down as they would have to avoid tripping on the binders or slipping on the papers.

As I walked in my business suit with my pile of books in hand, my pump-shoe heels made a tap-dance type sound on the cement sidewalk with each step. It seemed like the sound echoed through each intensely quiet crevice of the downtown block, announcing my presence. As a precaution, I scanned the neighborhood just in case I needed to run. I looked across the street and closely examined alleys and inlets between the downtown buildings.

No cars, no people—I could almost hear my heart beating. Then I took a step forward and looked to the right. In between two buildings, I saw five men dressed in all dark clothing. As one of them uttered, “Get her,” I saw five shiny silver objects flash as they flicked their knives open. At that moment, I threw my books to the right and ran as fast as I could. Most people run well in sneakers, but for whatever reason, I could book it in high heels.

I got to the first-floor dorm entrance, pulled open the door, and ran up the stairs. While I never looked back, I heard the door open and slam and then immediately open and slam again. I imagined at least one of the five men had gotten into the corridor, but I could not imagine why the door slammed hard two times close together. I kept running, got to the second-floor door, and went inside. I heard a rugged voice yell, “Leave her alone. Stay away from her!” The sounds of the door opening and shutting quickly and then quickly again made sense now. Whoever that man was, he must have stopped the gang of men from opening the bottom door—causing it to slam and then slam again. I stayed up most of the night wondering what had happened and who that man was, where he had come from, and whether he had literally taken on a gang of five men.

The next day, the homeless man seemed upset and said, “Why didn’t you tell me you changed your schedule?” He acted like a protective father, upset at his daughter for staying out too late. I’d never had that experience because my father passed when I was very young, but at that moment, I suddenly felt like he was the caring, upset father—up all night, worried sick about his daughter. Confused as to why a homeless person would ask me such a question, I paused in silence. He then said, “We arranged our entire schedule to protect you—reserving a parking spot, having someone at various points. Why didn’t you tell me you were going to get home so late?”

At that moment, he handed me the school and airline books I had thrown into the street. He must have stayed up for hours putting the papers back into the binders, in perfect order. When I went to work, I noticed that there would be one page that still had mud or a stain from a puddle and then the next page would be in perfect condition, showing that he’d taken the papers that had flown out and had put them back into the binders where each page belonged. You could even tell how he’d tried to clean off the dirt and mud stains as there were brush marks on the papers. It was then that I knew for sure that he was the mystery man who’d stopped the gang members from getting to me.

Later, I learned that the college had flyers sent out saying not to go out at night. My friend was fearless and super busy, so she ignored the flyers and didn’t share the flyer until I mentioned the gang that chased after me. The flyer basically said that the campus police were escorting students, but then the escorts started getting beaten up, so the new instruction was not to go out at night. 

The good news is this expedited my new apartment search. I moved into a new apartment that week. Weeks later, I came back to say hello to my friends and stopped by to talk with the wonderful homeless man who had saved my life. I asked someone if the homeless man by the door was around. The person responded, “It’s safe now. They got rid of those homeless people.” The irony is that, had it not been for that gang, I would have never known that the homeless people arranged their schedule to protect me. I hope that kind, well-educated gentleman realized how grateful I am to him. Many times in corporate life I have been advised to stop caring so much for the “little people.” Those little people may just save your life someday.

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