It is good to be able to leave on vacation with, to the best of our knowledge, all in order. Key staff had worked together for two or more years, and the first six week of camp had run smoothly. Camp was full with a waiting list through the end of the summer. Board member Glen Hinkley and his family would be staying in our new home at the ranch for at least a week while we were away, and a missionary family that served in the jungles of Brazil would be staying in our home in Dallas as they packed up all of their supplies for the next three years. They would be gone the night we returned from vacation and return to the house the next morning for a few more days of packing, then off they would go to a very different world.
While on vacation we were able to spend a week with Sally Jo’s family at the cottage on a small lake she had enjoyed for 15 summers. The cottage originally had a pump at the kitchen sink and an outhouse in the garage. We were also able to spend a week with my family at Honey Rock Camp where our family had spent many summers. These were wonderful days for all of us.
The afternoon we arrived home in Texas I received a telephone call from the Chairman of the Board asking me to come to a Board meeting the next morning. I went to the Plaza of the Americas as I was asked to do. While sitting in the reception area, Jo Stone, a friend and the secretary to Clyde Jackson, in whose conference room we would be meeting, came by and asked what I was doing there. I told about being asked to come for a Board meeting. She said she knew that – but why was I sitting in the reception area. I suggested that perhaps I was going to be given a raise – or it could mean I was out the door. She laughed and said something like – “You are a long, long way from being shown the door!”
Minutes later Walt Byerly, Chairman of the Sky Ranch Board, asked me to join the meeting. When I walked into the room, I remember that there was dead silence. Walt then said something like “Chuck you have done a tremendous job directing Sky Ranch these past seven years, but we have decided it is time to change Executive Directors. Therefore, we will give you this check for $20,000, if you will resign. He went on to say I was free to say anything I wanted to, but what I said would not change my situation. I was also told that no member of the family could return to the Ranch without a Board member present, and that Sally Jo and I should not attend the 25th anniversary banquet.
Somehow God’s spirit came over me and I was able to look each Sky Ranch board member in the eye and tell them that I loved them, then sign the letter of resignation, pick up my check, and leave the room.
I drove home…numb. When I walked into our home everyone was packed and ready to go to the ranch. I asked the family to sit down at our kitchen table where I told them I was no longer the Executive Director of Sky Ranch and that we would not be going to the ranch. Then I told them, as best I could, what had happened.