OLE STUFF AND SUCH Country teenage life in the fifties, part II
By Frances Garner
From time to time we had some rather unusual but interesting preachers.
One that I remember vividly was a city preacher who had come to run our revival and this happened to be a morning service.
He had gotten well into his sermon, about five minutes worth, and one of those hot August showers suddenly came up.
Well, everything went crazy. People started jumping up to go let their car or truck windows and the rest started letting the church windows down.
All of these had a wooden stick propped under them to hold them up. Well, I think some of the boys, just for meanness, would pull the stick out and just let the window fall.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Maybe you can imagine the racket and general confusion. The poor preacher completely lost his train of thought.
When everyone finally got settled back down, he just wiped his sweaty brow, and said “I believe I’ll just go to another sermon.” So he did.
Maybe the Lord did not want us to hear what he had to say in that other sermon anyway.
Then there was the one who went to eat with one of our better cooks the first night of the revival and evidently not being accustomed to such good food and made himself sick.
The next night it was my turn to feed the preacher. So I cooked up all the good things I had and he just sat there looking weak eyed until we got to the coconut pie and he had a couple of large pieces.
This happened to be the one who said when he got to heaven he wanted to walk up to a mountain of ice cream and ask the Lord for a shovel so he could dig in.
Yes, he was a very large man and knew how to dig in.
The little Methodist church in our community was hot, too.
I was spending the night with my Methodist girlfriend and their revival was in progress. They had a city preacher from Greenville who brought two sons.
They played in the Greenville Band and he probably wanted to show them off to us country kids or perhaps he thought the instruments might enhance his preaching.
They played trumpets or some sort of horn instruments, so we just called them the horn blowing boys.
He insisted on those boys accompanying the piano during the song service, so he would sit them up front and they would be blowing, huffing, and puffing, until they were red as a country grown beet in the face.
All of us young people would take the back row and try to stifle our giggles because it was so comical to us.
Out of the blue, this preacher pointed to me and my girlfriend and asked us to come up front and fan those hot boys.
What could we do? This was no more a laughing matter for us. We stood up there and fanned with one of those funeral home fans, first with one arm, then the next.
We would prop, change feet, and on and on, not daring to hold our head up, just praying the song service would soon be over.
We never did have to do that again. My girlfriend’s daddy did not like that city preacher and when we got home he told her if she ever did that again, he would take a brush to her. Saved by the brush threat!
The old cardboard fans played a big part in revivals. They provided all the air you could get.
The churched did not even have ceiling or window fans. The funeral home always provided these.
I guess they thought it was a wonderful advertisement. If you fell out from the heat, their number was readily accessible on the back of the fan. The front would usually have a picture of Jesus in color.
Sadly today, the social life of our youth does not revolve around the church.
Now you must not get the opinion that our generation was ‘goody, goody,’ because we spent a lot of our time in the church because some of us did not go for the right reason.
Church, to most of us, meant food, fun, and fellowship. Still, there were seeds planted and times shared that would far surpass some of the things you do today and bicycles were not nearly as dangerous as cars.
We just did not have any money but we did not have to keep up with the Jones’.
Maybe the old saying proved true, “if you have not had it, you do not miss it.” We may not have had it but we sure had a good time!