The Breaking of Old Ways The New Foundations and the Naming of Ace "Hoof prints the making of Ace" Esteban Erik Stipnieks



Ace and Leisha were at the Coliseum at UNT. They sat side by side at the graduation of their other class. Ahnsan Al Asad took the podium for the salutorian speech. Last Friday of May 1994 the macabre twisted humor and defiant attitude spilled….August 18th 1991 however things ere not nearly as fun. Ace snickered a bit as the five dollar wall clocks that were supposed to be the new multi system that teachers never figured out how to use the red tiles the closed campus the lawsuit and broken promises were lampooned. In hindsight they were or might as well laugh at it.

Barry Malik as principal of Denton high Ryan Campus could not have been a worse man at a worse time. Barry Malik was far more of an academic than Dr King. Barry Malik was stuck in a position where he would be paying the price for the broken promises and poor planning. Dr King while having a brutal streak often used her brutal streak in a productive manner. There were heads that needed to be taken. Barry Malik had been convinced that the Renaissance program would work and that the new multi media system would make learning more accessible. His selection as principal occurred before Dr King had arrived. While she had seemingly brushed aside her son’s warning. She did make note.

Within 48 hours what Stephen had feared was in full manifest. Renaissance was a joke. The end of closed campus for seniors created a depressed feel in the whole campus. The clock display on the TV screen was oddly comical. The school had a huge number of students. While most noticeably Bronco pride was gone. In Biology class Stephen king was offered LSD by a resident Wiccan. There were also gang wannabes far more visible on campus.

Coach Dean in biology was probably the most boring man ever to enter a classroom as a teacher. He was Stephens Biology teacher. Soon as the teaching began Stephen within 5 days of school found himself wrestling with evolution as a process literally undermining his belief in God. Unlike Coach P who offered subtly alternatives Coach Dean taught it as fact. Coach Dean did not comprehend that the teaching of it as fact had all kinds of philosophical effects.

In honors English 2 Stephen met Kara, Matthew and Mark along with Gretchen and Jeffery. To all of them Stephen King was a blend of Kerouac of the back roads and a hopeless rube from a hick down that harbored Ex Nazis. The class also had Cameron Weinberg who was typical of the bright students in a college town he was half Jewish and had been raised a Methodist and spent time in Boy Scouts. Jeffery was the son of professional musicians he had spent many a moment in Austria.

August 21st hit King was the last name of Stephen it had been Americanized. It was by consent his real last name was Krasts. The coup in the Soviet Union drew attention that suddenly as the TV was watched in English class the news Stephen had never expected to hear…..Latvia was liberated the maroon and white flag new flew over a free and independent Nation. Never in his wildest dreams did Stephen dare think it possible. Stephen had yet to fully grasp the simple fact that the last two years of his life had been powered by improbability drive.

On the team Allan Boyd had accepted Stephen King but Stephen King had been an odd ball. He was from a strange land of Unicorn. Stephen and Allan worked out after school. The runs as Stephen King were as scene as an armpit…in comparison. Denton Ryan Campus sat on a Farm to Market road that dead ended at Baptist encampment on the shores of Lake Lewisville.

By Friday Stephen King was left feeling awfully alone out of sync and lost in the huge mass that was Denton. The anger of broken promises had filled the halls of the campus. As he tried to vocalize his desire to go back to Unicorn land because of the deep feeling. Dr King repeated “You pack your chute….you pack your chute you pack your own chute”

In the heart of Stephen king was the feeling of being kidnapped. He had lost all his friends from New Braunfels including the collection of geeks he hung around with at lunch. The sources of nurture that Stephen had clung to were in New Braunfels. Stephen’s father was off in Chinook school. Dr King was profoundly busy. Nothing Stephen knew of life had been taught of life applied in this strange world of Denton. Stephen made an issue of the ride home. Stephen’s parents responded by putting him Drivers Education.

In the end things started gong from bad worse while Ace had secured a place on JV. In the cold hard rational world of Denton a mechanistic world unknown to him he was quietly rebelling. Also his profoundly intuitive mind was struggling to process the organizational sequence needed to write out a geometric proof. So by the time the cross-country season was half way through Stephen King found himself academically ineligible to participate in the sport.

Dr. King in October found herself stuck in three bedroom house with a militant angry teen. Dr Anita King was a left brain dominant person and had adopted a healthy amount of post modern thought. She also feared and hated he own father who was dead. The last three years had been a triumph of gun decking. She had deluded herself into thinking she and her husband were raising their son when in reality the son had been for the last two years raised by two aunts two uncles and a scout troop. Dr Anita King had also underestimated the love and loyalty Stephen King had for the land of the Blue and white. Stephen King was quirky while Winston School had been where he went to school in 7th and 8th grade he had been raised by and mentored by a man who effectively put Stephen King in the New Braunfels of the 1950s. Stephen struggled some in NBHS because its decadence while Denton Ryan was like Winston in terms of overt debauchery Stephen King was unable to escape the environment. In processing the anticipated ease of move she had no clue the underlying contradictions. The month of October and the month of November had a nightly argument with raised voices slammed things and a few broken plates and glasses. In aviation terms Dr King was taking Stephen King through a series wildly out of control inertial coupling episodes. Soon though she would get help in calming down. The screaming matches seemed to go on nightly.

Chris Bynum noticed the long tall sophomore who ate lunch alone. Chris Bynum also knew the sound of his master’s voice. The scripture and the voice of the holy spirit within him was clear. Chris Bynum would later join the Marine Corps. Jake Chancey his buddy likewise saw the lonely sophomore. Both were also shocked at the shattering of Denton school. They calmly invited the lonely sophomore of Stephen King to eat lunch with them. By Friday night Stephen King was invited to Denton Bible Youth group.

What happened Stephen’s first night at the hangar at Denton Bible was shocking. Stephen was parched looking for truth. Denton Bible had two things Stephen King needed lots of truth….and love. There was a third thing the truth and love also started a vision of a new future. Chris Bynum and Jake Chancey understood Stephen King’s gripes about lack of school spirit and the how kids were falling through the cracks. In the end Stephen King was right. The campus that year truly was at an all time low.

In two weeks being emphasized honor your father and your mother and the presence of real love the fireworks of Stephen began to diminish somewhat. Stephen King was told in no uncertain terms that his mother was lost and throwing a temper tantrum will not help her find Christ. For Christ Bynum Stephen’s story was remarkably like his own family who later came to Christ.

The first three months of life in Denton had been remarkably like the first 48 hours of Basic Military Training for Stephen King. The World the trainee had known was stripped methodically away from them and the identity they were meant to be was placed in front. It was not that God did not want to use the dyspraxic quirks of Stephen or even the Romantic spirit of Stephen King but both had to be subjected to the authority of God himself. A scripture says rejoice in trials…..Stephen had been heated to melting for the first time living as follower of Christ Jake and Chris Bynum were the first of the dross removers.

Soon after Friday night visits began Wednesday night visits began to the hold house off Mingo road. They would remain forever in Ace’s mind as supernatural. What Stephen did not realize he was encountering sola scriptora for the first time. The Old house living room and rec room were now gathering for Denton Bible’s youth group. The rec room had wood panel walls. The house was a two story pier and beam. Its staff A small stage overlooked the eastern wall of the house which in turn was dominated by a large gravel parking lot which had a basketball court on 1 side. It was here the philosophic naturalism taught in Biology class was washed out.

It would be later a native of India who had gone through med school at UTSA ran into Ace at Fellowship Bible San Antonio. The two were in the same bible study group and the man spoke of how in Qatar as a Christian living under threat of death quickened and strengthened his faith. Ace would marvel and realize that November of 1991 a story in his life was partially defined. In New Braunfels being good was somewhat easy. In Denton the assault on values at school was palatable. Stephen was yet to recognize the fundamental strengths of the school.

Thanksgiving was among cousins in Grand Prairie Texas. Stephen as he was informed that summer of his Latvian heritage he that day was informed of another saga the trip of I-35. Anita’s older brother had moved first to New Braunfels and later to Grand Prairie in search of opportunities and jobs. He had been near the front of the browning of the Interstate thirty five corridor. Now his children adults were doing well in DFW metro-plex a few having memories of Agua Dulce left behind.

Stephens Dad came back at the end of November acutely aware that Stephen King had one agenda item rejoin the New Braunfels class of 1994 and he voiced this incessantly. Stephens father was also aware of the overt hostility Stephen showed. November went through December and the only feeling Stephen father felt from his son was anger and distrust.

The last two six weeks Stephen managed to nurse the grade up in Geometry to a passing level. Stephen had barely this allowed Stephen two speech and debate tournaments and allowed Stephen to sign up for track. January ended with ice and frost and another battle looming the battle of drivers ed.

Christmas and New Years was another set of arguments. Stephen King sorely wanted to leave Denton even if he had shot a good set of practice pictures for football. The yearbook spread for cross-country was effective yet yearbook was the only class Stephen King did well. Christmas brought its own set of sparks between Stephen King and his sister. Stephen’s sister was becoming like Dr King. Stephen on the other hand was realizing the horrors he had grown up in. In the stress other memories surfaced they were real they were unpleasant. The heavily orchestrated trip to Immaculate Conception for midnight mass was its own elaborate act. Christmas dinner at the house in Denton was another elaborately staged event. Dr King could rule by her temper and what happened at the house was no different. Before both events were the other set of arguments Stephen King demanding to be sent to New Braunfels to live with his aunt. His cousin who was the female Garfield added to the fire telling Stephen about another classmate dying. She had overdosed on heroin after she moved to Samuel Clements. The drug of course had been picked up in New Braunfels at the lively party scene. In another note Panther Canyon burned by the cross-country team. This meant an obligatory screaming match New Years Eve.

Stephen King upon his return was still fearful of track. So as he pulled a passing grade by the hair of his chinny chin chin in Geometry he was only in JROTC and speech and debate in addition some Latin club activities.

The first six weeks of the new semester brought another failing grade in geometry. Stephen King had soured on math and science period he wanted to be cop. The hobby Stephen had also developed was a bit macabe was allowing his grades to drop in English the first third of a six weeks than he would have to recover. This typically meant C a couple times a B. Dr King was furious wondering why Stephen’s analytical mind had frozen. Not much was written about the emotional effects of dysphasia and in many cases aspbergers and dysphasia over lapped in terms of stressors. Oddly enough though Stephen had on one side grown addicted to adrenaline but there was a point where too much stress and not enough nurture could cause a real mess. To Stephens parents he was one never ending temper tantrum. What his parents did not realize was the fact they demanded so much and listened to little they were attempting to put out the fire with additional kerosene.

The 2nd six weeks of the new semester brought passing grades on TASS and additional acceptable Yearbook performance. Stephen King had been given by a bully a new nickname….Ace. The nickname came from Stephen wearing black bird print T-shirts to school of military aircraft. The nickname began as an insult. Stephen was hopelessly a nerd who did not party did not drink and made a token effort to make acceptable grades.

Stephen also began drivers ed at first hating going because it was in his mind another pawn off to other people. Stephens father Warrant officer King took the belt to Stephen King. Stephen King reluctantly agreed to it. Warrant officer King continued to drop in the eyes of Stephen who had no use for him outside the realm of aviation.

Internally Dr King had established for herself a reputation as the smart person who fixes things. In academia she learned what she thought was the answers. She had been influenced by the 1960s and sincerely believed that quality time over quantity of time. The philosophy allowed her to build an identity as a professional educator which was a time consuming. For her husband he trusted her implicitly because she had the PhD in education. What was missed was actual problem solving skills. Stephen her son had provided lots of information anecdotal as it was about the emotional conditions of a dyspraxic. The problem was while each screaming match exploded their was at the time very little information about the emotional aspects. In Dr King’s mind because it was not in the literature it did not exist. Stephen and her had 50 arguments in the first 12 weeks of the new semester.

Chris Bynum decided to confront Stephen. Chris Bynum a senior had seen Denton West Campus. Chris Bynum had seen what the fall was. As bad as things were at Ryan the crash had allowed the slate to be wiped clean. As the youth group of Denton Bible grew a vision was growing. Also Stephen was still underneath it all a skirt chaser liking his younger sister also a sophomore but that was kept under wraps. Chris had figured out the arguments while diminishing between Stephen and his parents were diminishing but they had not stopped. Chris had talked to the youth leader in Bible study about confrontation and it was time to do so.

It was on the front porch of Stephen’s house Stephen’s parents were gone….not Stephens parents being gone was uncommon. The bible is about speak the truth with love. Stephen was about to get a lesson

Chris asked his first question “Are your parents believers”

Stephen replied “No”

Chris asked “Are your actions showing the love of God to them” Chris began with the stare indicating he knew the answer

Stephen replied “No”

Chris asked “Are your parents going to let you go back to New Braunfels”

Stephen replied “No”

Chris than asked “What are doing to lead your parents to Christ”

Stephen King winced in response.

Chris replied “ I know school is rough I saw what was left behind….in the long run all the tears this campus is going through this year are needed I would rather have the drug use overt where we can see it you know you are being challenged and in the midst we can allow Christian service…..I like the fact jocks are not celebrated in the town I like the fact there are no super kids something is going on you just witnessed the pain filled start……in the meantime try to love your parents and stop arguing with them…I also refuse to date one day I will find the woman I love I will court her”

Stephen paused…..Chris than quoted scripture referencing God will vomit out the luke warm

Chris asked “Are you luke warm ace”

Chris saw the look of repentance it the confrontation had gone the way he wanted “God loves the humble”

Chris walked away with a grin “I know you love Unicorns but learn to as Crosby Stills and Nash say love the one your with”

Chris had demonstrated the form that Ace would use over and over again later. The use of Ace had rattled him but he could almost sense the tag would not leave him. Ace was left wanting to be like Chris. Chris had played football the previous year and had a discreet confrontation with Tara’s father who went to church with Chris. Chris confronted with love and than restored. Strange when you read the bible you start acting a certain way. Chris’s emotional tone while only being 2 years older than Ace had just disciplined Ace in a way Ace had never been discipline while wound was faithful it was given with love. It was also given in a highly controlled manner. Three weeks passed without an argument Stephens mother agreed to send Ace to the fourth annual friendship festival.

Years later Ace was on the way to a day of student teaching at Tivy high school when he was listening to KFAN. Shake Russell’s deep in the West played. A flood of positive emotions memories came out after which. Ace understood while LLYC had some of his most painful memories he had lived the Valley was a place where God taught him. 1992 this quirk of Stephen was yet to be fully realized. April 30 as a car drove this quirk un discovered would play out. There were lessons two to be taught in the valley of the Eastern Frio a little bit bitter very sweet their purity would play their own role in the making of Ace.

Truth be told summer of 1988 last session was an unpleasant memory for Ace. The unsettled nature of was the suction that drew Stephen King to valley where the seed of his faith had been planted summer 1987. The faith now was a weak sapling that had been subjected to near gale force winds with intermitted periods of rain. The Friday night three years later an apology came for the mismanagement of the summer. The apology was public and it was to all assembled. Ace recalled and forgave instantly. As he sat on the wooden benches in the roofed structure without walls. The lesson was a simple one mighty men of God can still make mighty big gaffes. The other lesson was the joy of forgiveness. Ace never walked up to the old man to say you forgiven…..had he would have been treated in a way familiar to Ace dealing with the old man on and off. The old man would have approached Ace like a friendly loving playful Labrador retriever it was hard to call your dad bad if you had gone through such an encounter. The love of God flowed through one of servants you knew it you felt it.

The second lesson was as powerful as the first. It was Sunday Morning May 1st. That night the cofounder of camp had been called home for good. The group of people gathered for the morning service the readings were from Ecclesiastes. They were contrast of man seeking his own desires ignoring God futility. The contrast was hammered home never had this man dreamed or dared thing his obedience to God would make this camp unite that group of people a common bond through Christ. The development had been by God the group mourned and celebrated in equal portion. Implicit while man striving for man’s ambitions was a fundamentally futile thing…a man who bowed to Christ and said to Christ not my will but yours done would have the work of eternity done through them. The spectacular rock cliffs that made the eastern bank of the Frio river were a powerful image.

The six hour ride to Denton would pass for those who were watching the last month of School could see the kid called Ace a little more mellow and grades were getting stable. He would wind up passing geometry and make it through the school year passing period. Another surprise Ace’s parents were given the option of sending Ace to first session a week for free and that simple act allow a more useful summer to elapse that was agreed.

May ended with Warrant officer King’s older brother dying. At Ft Sam National cemetery the flag of adopted homeland flew high the flag of the now free Latvia was present. The Stars and stripes had liberated the flag of Latvia. All of Warrant officer King’s siblings had been united they had seen the homeland they had fled from free once more.



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