My dad was not a big man, probably 5’8” and 170 pounds. But pound for pound one of the strongest men I had known. Yes, he was a preacher. In my lifetime he was always a full time pastor, but never afraid of work. Dad liked to ‘sweat’. When he worked, repairing fixing, digging etc he would soak himself down with sweat. He always said that was washing your body from the inside out.
Dad was born 1903, mom in 1905
Once after he retired and I was home from overseas, he came in from assisting as a volunteer to set up the thousands of folding chairs for a camp-meeting. He was as I had seen him many times, soaking wet. Mama was worrying about him, “AW Grace, this is good for me.” Dad was the epitome of the honest country preacher in the city, always himself, always caring for and about others.”
(Dad’s favorite place with his favorite book)
Many years ago, when I told him I was going to be a pastor, and had been assigned to a small church in Missouri, he gave one or two sentences of advice. “Son, don’t run up any debts, owe no man. You do that, God’s people will feed you and the family, just love your people.”
Pastor Jack & Sherry
That little church had the sweetest folk you ever wanted to meet. Our congregation was never over 40, but we had a lady singer who could have show-cased in Carnegie Hall. She had natural quality, tone, range, power and such a sweet personality. When she sang the rafters shook. Eileen Conrad was the mother of ten and a farmer’s wife. She was a Florida girl that fell in love with a soldier from Missouri. They were married and Kenneth took that girl from the warmth of Southern Florida and a home with modern conveniences, to the cold recesses of central Missouri, to a home with no inside ‘facilities’.
They were a great couple, a marvelous family. Kenneth was of German heritage. A strong work ethic, and thoroughly honest. Kenneth was not a big man himself, but I found a man who could match my dad pound for pound for strength, both physical and morally. We ate at their table on the farm many times. (God’s people)
(Kenneth & Eileen on one of our passes thru Missouri, Retired and no longer in the old farm House, these two are probably the ‘realist’ two people I have ever met).
My friend Kenneth has met Alzheimer, and has been robbed of that sharp mental ability he had. Eileen is still with her ‘Sweet Kenneth’. He did not know me the last time we visited, but I knew him. He is now around 90 and still strong as an ox. There are a couple words I have learned to despise they are CANCER AND ALZHEIMERS.
Yes, we still stay in contact with some of the children, all wonderful folk, not a bad apple in that crowd. Glenda the oldest daughter lives in Okeechobee and comments here. If you did not read her last comment on eggs, I want to reprint it here:
My egg "memory" is of Mom sending me to the chicken house for eggs, she wanted to make cookies. There weren't any in the nests, however one old hen was all fluffed up and I figured she must have a whole lot of eggs under her, nope, she was getting ready to lay. When I saw the egg come out it was liquid like and where it came from made me gag. It was the quickest trip I ever made from the chicken house to the kitchen, omg! "Mama, do you KNOW where those eggs come from??? For years I wouldn't eat eggs, nor ice cream we made in the old churn if it had raw eggs in the mix that goes in the freezer part surrounded by ice. To this day, they're not on my plate unless they're fried, as I'd tell Mama, "hard as the floor". None of that squishy stuff for me! Do like a scramble that has sausage fried separately, sautéed onion, mushrooms, green peppers, a little scrambled eggs & is topped with cheddar & served with rye toast. There's a restaurant on the coast where I lived and the menu to this day features the Glenda Scramble". Saw a review just recently and someone had commented that was it their favorite dish at Mary's Gourmet Kitchen....My egg story and I'm stickin' to it!!!
It is hard to beat country folk.