I spent Thursday evening at a cookout and pitch-in with some Joyful Saints.
Not every day one can say that.
The Joyful Saints are a fellowship group at the Wilkinson Church of Christ in Hancock County. I knew they’d be a nice bunch. (With a name like that, how can they be otherwise)?
My first impression came when I rolled through the parking lot ahead of schedule. Much as I try to arrive at my book-program venues early to make sure I find them in time, unload and have a moment to myself, I almost always get caught! Sure enough, I couldn't sneak in last night, either.
I by-passed the handicapped-parking spots and continued looking for a place close to the entrance so I could unload my goods. But I had been spotted at a distance by a gentleman in his 80s arriving as well. He stopped the car and rolled down his window. “Are you from New Castle?” he asked. How did he know?
The long story is that no, I’m not from New Castle, but the short one is that yes, I came directly from New Castle and my day job as a newspaper reporter there.
“Go ahead and park in the handicapped,” he told me. “That’s just for Sundays.”
Once I turned off the motor, I was met by Joan Cupp, a lovely woman who has taught piano in Shirley for 61 years. She wanted to walk in with me, but I hedged as I needed to get settled by checking my cell and putting away the GPS and a couple of other things first. She waited on me inside the church door so I didn't have to walk in alone!
These Saints are helpful! Would you expect less?
Inside I met Barbara Alexander, the woman who had invited me to speak and who had shared on the phone our connection: We are not only both from Union County originally but she and I both attended first grade at the then-Dunlapsville School! Her two younger sisters were coming down last night from Fort Wayne for the occasion. Photos were taken. Landmarks from “down home” discussed. She was originally a Pentecost, I a Jobe. The world is small.
In her 80s and a busy-bee part of the Joyful Saints, Barbara said it would be wonderful if one day the four of us – her two sisters and the two of us – could take a drive together around Liberty and look at some old haunts. She mentioned streets and sites I know and know well. One of those, I believe where her parents or grandparents had lived, was Seminary Street.
It so happens that tomorrow, Saturday, June 18, I’ll be visiting Seminary Street myself—2 E. Seminary Street, Liberty, Indiana, to be exact. At 10 a.m. the Union County Public Library is hosting a talk and signing. It’s free and everyone is welcome. There are rumors of cake. And a couple of door prizes. And I want to visit with everyone. I’ll be there early to set up. So come visit!
I’ll have both books available and be pleased as punch to sign them.
It’s alumni-banquet day in Liberty, so I imagine things will be hopping. A year from tomorrow my class will be honored for its 40th anniversary. FOUR OH! I keep redoing the math and coming up with the same figure. How can it be?
We won’t think about that just yet.
If you are available on a beautiful June Saturday to join me in Liberty, Indiana, tomorrow, please do! Did I mention the cake?