Simpson was my most favorite town to live in while growing up. Anderson, IN was the second but that is for another memoir. Simpson, to this day, is a quiet little town in the middle of nowhere. Located in Vernon Parish Louisiana, the population remains around five-hundred. Dad was called there to pastor one of two hopeful congregations. This particular memoir will not describe all the memories of those days lived in this delightful place. This is simply an excerpt from those pages.
Back-in-the-day as we say in 2014, pastors invited other pastors, evangelist, or guest preachers to come to their church for week-long revivals. I enjoyed them for one particular reason. Food! Yup, that’s right. The county folk love to shower the guest minister with food, and especially sweets. Now I was blessed to carry extra weight as a child—I still am. I guess it was occasions like this that added a few more pounds.
I was nine years old in the summer of 1959. The evangelist was Bill Livingston. He was a tall and slender man with a perfect head of white hair. Unlike my Dad who had little hair, his was combed to perfection with Brylcream (“a little dab’l do ya”). He had been a missionary, somewhere, I don’t know where, and was now speaking for a week in our church. Best of all he was going to stay at our house—in my room.
I sat on the front porch patiently waiting. For what you asked? Food, of course. The townspeople would gradually start bringing plates and bowls of butter beans, cornbread, and sweet potatoes. Fresh beef one day, pork chops the next. Sometimes a little venison would come as a welcome surprise. Oh my, I could not begin to describe the amount of food coming in. My job was to be the scout. Of course I created the position; it was all mine. Being the scout meant I got to greet our neighbors and receive bowls and platters of food. While they stood and talked to Dad and Reverend Livingston I continued to the kitchen with the vittles. Though not a written job description secret agent was apart of the task. We had a guest and it was my job to protect him from harm and see just what everyone brought. We sure didn’t want Reverend Livingston to get sick now did we? I was really looking for one singular dish among one particular category of food.
Sweets galore! Yum! Lemon pie (yuck). Coconut pie, well okay. Chocolate pie, where was it? There was never a chocolate pie. I was hurt. I was devastated that someone, anyone, would not bring this guest speaker a chocolate pie. Smile. Day after day I grew weary. Scouting was no longer any fun. No chocolate pie…no chocolate p…no choc….six days and disappoint arrived. I had given up hope until the last day of the revival. I just knew the neighbors were saving the best for last. Before church, during church and after church the plates arrived covered and ready for my inspection. Still, no chocolate pie. Disillusionment accompanied by dejection and annoyance set in.
That last Sunday evening I sat in church listening to the last sermon. I could only think of one thing and I knew it was not going to happen, until…well…the sermon was over. Bill Livingston began to thank everyone for such loving hospitality. The welcome was great; the responses to his messages each evening were amazing.
His last words were, “I cannot begin to tell you how incredible the food was at each night.” He went on and on about it. He made the congregation chuckle when he said he had gained ten pounds. The real laughter came with his last statement. “I need you to do me a favor please. Andy has looked at the delicious food you brought each night. He was also disappointed every single day that there was never a chocolate pie. Will someone please bake Andy a chocolate pie this week?”
The entire church broke into laughter. I was on the floor and under the pew. His words showered me more attention than I have ever had and it was no drizzle either. I was drenched in torment and pesterin’ for weeks. Oh, you ask, did anyone bring a chocolate pie? Well, of course, five of them—that week! Yes in deedy, I made myself sick on chocolate pie and I didn’t mind one little bit. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
© Copyright 2014
One more word. I hope you enjoyed One Delicious Memory. It is written from my memoirs. This will be my last post for some time. I have so much writing I want to do and finish and just don’t seem to have the time to do so. I want to target on my memoirs. There are two writing task I feel the good Lord has given me as well. I need to focus on all of these. I must say this blogging thingy is amazing. I have met some wonderful people here and I will carry you in my heart always. Thank you for following and blessing this simple old man and for the undeserved blessings you have bestowed upon me with your comments and love. Blessings to you all!