SONORA, Calif. — Darvis Lee Jr.'s life felt like a country music song gone horribly wrong.
In the last six months, he'd lost his girlfriend and his grandparents, he couldn't find a stable job, and Friday night he fell 100 feet down an abandoned mine shaft into a dark, cold pool of water.
And there he shivered in dank misery until early Sunday.
"There was no light, no exit, just a hole. There was no way to get out," said Lee, who spent more than 30 hours in the ancient Leo Mine in Tuolumne County, contemplating the meaning of life.
"If I got out, I was just thinking, I've got to do something; I'm 34 and have really been doing nothing," said Lee, a part-time landscaper. "I was praying to God, saying I'll go to church, try to get better employment, try not to cause my mom grief."
Like a character in a country song, Lee found redemption. His came at 5 a.m. Sunday when a mine rescue team from Los Angeles pulled him out in a wire-mesh harness.
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