Saturday, September 22, 2007

Good to be home

We stopped at Lenny's Bar and Grill and Swapmeet this afternoon, on our way back from the barbeque cook-off and airshow that was held here locally. This combination event is held annually, with baked beans and sausage and ribs and brisket and helicopter rides and vintage warplanes all sort of rolled into one. It's a good time for the whole family, but (perhaps because there are so many family members of the underage persuasion running around) there is no where there to get a bowl of beer.

So we adjourned to Lenny's.

Now, I don't expect, when I go into Lenny's and grab my spot by the door, to see a man of the cloth, much less a woman of the cloth, but sitting at the bar, plain as the nose on my face, was the Reverend Miz Olivia.

Keep in mind that Lenny's isn't just a bar, and when we got there, Rev. Olivia was having an early dinner: chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, and white gravy. With steamed baby carrots on the side. And a Coke. I think it says something about the food at Lenny's that some folks will ignore the bar part and come for the grill part. And it's not just preachers who do so. Which is not to say that I don't enjoy a bowl of beer once in a while.

Anyway, Rev. Olivia was sharing conversation over dinner with a young person whose name I never did catch, but it seemed she was telling of her struggles as a young preacher.

"As a young minister," she said, "I was asked by a funeral director to hold a grave-side service for a homeless man, with no family or friends. The funeral was supposed to be at Pilgrims' Rest cemetery, way back in the country the other side of Georgetown, and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.

"I wasn't familiar with the area, and you know how MapQuest isn't always spot on, so of course I got lost, and by then there was no where to stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late, and spotted the backhoe and the crew. They were eating lunch, but the hearse was nowhere in sight.

"I apologized for being so very late, and walked over to the still-open grave, where I could see the vault lid already laid in place. I assured the workers I wouldn't hold them up too long, but this was something that had to be done. They gathered around, still working on their lunches. I have to tell you, I poured out my heart and soul.

"As I warmed to the task, the workers began to chime in with 'Amen,' and 'Praise! the Lord,' and 'Glory!' in all the appropriate places. I preached, and I preached, and I preached like I'd never preached before, from Genesis all the way to Revelations.

"I wrapped things up with a prayer and headed back over to my car. I was opening the door and taking off my vestments, when I overheard the backhoe operator saying half under his breath to one of the other guys, 'I ain't never seen anything like that before and it's twenty years now I've been putting in septic tanks!'"

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Blogger Trucker Bob said...

Nothing says "home" like a chicken-fried steak and a bowl of beer.

2:43 AM  

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