The Evangelist and The Playboy During the 1960-70's there was a great deal of construction going on at the campus in Pasadena, actually it was more like destruction because there were dozens of buildings and old homes being torn down, making way for what would eventually be the Hall of Administration, Auditorium, Student Center, Track, the Printing facility, as well as Imperial Schools.
Account by Lewis Boring
Written by Bob W.
It is interesting to know that before the college purchased the old homes and integrated the grounds into the present campus, these areas had the highest rate of murder in the nation. It was a rough and dangerous neighborhood. Definitely the worst in the city of Pasadena, at least up until that time.
Some of the nicer homes were temporarily converted into offices, and even Imperial Schools, and the infamous Visiting Program occupied some for a short while. In the end they were all demolished to make way for the new facilities. So while the college was slowly buying out the neighborhood, it literally pushed the crime right out of the area. The city of Pasadena thought we were all a little wacky, actually they thought we were nuts because of what we believed, they did however, love us for making a major contribution to cleaning up as well as beautifying their city.
But sometimes strange things would happen as the various old and dilapidated homes were torn down...
It was late on a Friday afternoon, the activity of construction had quieted down from a steady roar of equipment and men in action, to just the simple background noise of traffic and animals. Since the Sabbath would soon start, most of the equipment needed to be cleaned up and put away for the weekend. The work areas along the streets had already been cleared of debris or were properly barricaded to protect pedestrian traffic. So most of the men were already either in the shop, making preparation for the following week, or they were on the way.
Since virtually no one was working at the construction site, it was possible to walk through without being in danger of getting run over by an over enthusiastic worker running a Cat or dump truck. There was little danger of being hit by falling debris as long as common sense was used.
In fact it was rather interesting to stroll through the rubble. It reminded me of a war zone, houses in various stages of destruction. Old furniture, refrigerators and stoves, even old cars scattered every where. The scene was almost like that of an old junk yard, a mound of worthless odds and ends.
The construction site itself seemed to be, at first glance, organized confusion, but upon closer inspection you could see there was a logical plan being developed. If for a few moments you would just let your imagination go, squinted your eyes real hard you could almost see the future of the campus and how these areas would some day look.
It was an amazing time to be working for the College, and looking back it was the most interesting as well as happiest times in the work of HWA....maybe not the happiest time for the ministry, but for the workers who could divorce themselves from the petty bickering and backstabbing politics, and just enjoy the job, it was a wonderful time.
On this particular, afternoon Mr. David Jon Hill was walking through the construction area. Perhaps he too was pondering the future of what would become the new Printing Facility. For he was the evangelist who was designated to oversee and manage the entire printing and publishing facility. Or perhaps he was just looking for some quiet time to be alone. Life at the top was anything but peaceful it was hectic, a constant battle for survival. It was not the serene setting that they would have you believe. It was as vicious as any worldly corporation, and perhaps in some ways it was worse.
As he walked along he notice among the rubble a broken box containing dozens of National Geographic magazines. Being interested in history he began to thumb through them, picking up one after another. In his haste, he did not notice the magazine that he just picked up was quite different from the others. As he began to look through it, all of a sudden, the center portion of the magazine just fell out and unfolded before him. As he began to view the image you could almost read his thoughts. This image did not resemble any pygmy or aborigine that he ever saw...this one was totally different. It really caught his eye and attention..... For among all the assorted National Geographic magazines was several copies of Playboy. I honestly think he did not realize what he had picked up until the center fold unraveled before him. I think he was surprised and astonished, even somewhat shocked.
The picture itself, now that is something that makes the male heart pound a little harder and faster. He looked around to see if anyone was near or watching, not a sole in sight. So like any warm blooded American male he looked up and down at the figure in the magazine. Amazing! Now that really got his old ticker thumping. Another quick look around to see if anyone was near, noone in sight....
He did not see me approach from behind, not that I was trying to sneak up on him. Its just that he was obviously so enamored in the magazines image, he just did not hear me as I walked up. When I saw what he was looking at, I said in a loud voice, M r. H i l l !! There was a loud, WOOAAH !! That shout out from his mouth as he jumped what seemed like ten feet. I think he just about had a heart attack, his face first turned white as a sheet then bright red. The magazine went flying at least 30 feet into the air, any higher and the sucker would have gone into orbit! He just stood there as if to be frozen in time, completely still, not able to move as muscle. Like a little kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he was embarrassed. For a brief moment he thought God had called from heaven and he was about to meet his maker. Even though it was only me that called his name, it nearly scared him to death. When the magazine came back down it hit with a thud, it was a good thing when he jumped he had moved from where he originally stood, otherwise it would have knocked him unconscious.
I think when he turned and saw it was only me that called his name, he was greatly relieved. His color started to return to his face, he felt a little weak in the knees so he sat down on some crates for a few moments.
David Jon Hill was one of the few ministers that had a real sense of humor. We talked about what had just happened and laughed until we could laugh no more. Then after a few more moments of conversation we went on our separate ways.
Every time I saw him after that he would get a rather strange look on his face, as if snickering inside, and smile.
Life on campus was full of the unexpected, and sometimes it would leave us breathless....
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