Starry Night (from Kathleen’s Memoir of The Great Depression Part 1)

imageLike most of the people we knew, we didn’t have an car, so we never went anywhere at night we couldn’t walk, except for once.  Mama got the news that there was to be a brush arbor revival in Cuthand, hosting a guest evangelist!  To my everlasting amazement, we were going!  We put quilts in the back of the wagon, since we’d be getting home long after dark.  We hopped up in the wagon dressed in our best, headed for the revival, in a holiday spirit long before dark.  I had no idea what a revival was, but couldn’t have been more excited than a kid headed for the fair!

We pulled up to find dozens of wagons parked next to a brush-arbor in a clearing, a simple roof of branches on a make-do support sheltering rough benches. Though it was summer, a few small fires were smoldering, their smoke intended to discourage mosquitoes.  Before long, the song leader got us fired up with a rousing rendition of “Onward Christian Soldiers.”  The singing was wonderful, but eventually gave way to the Hell-fire and brimstone sermon, something that didn’t thrill me nearly so much.

It was late by the time the preacher concluded the altar call, releasing us.  After visiting a bit with our neighbors, we headed for home, long after the time I was usually in bed.  I lay in the back of the wagon with Annie and John on the quilts, looking at the magical night sky.  Travelling under its full moon and sparkling stars was a gift.  A slight breeze cooled us, keeping the mosquitoes at bay.  As the horse clomped along, Mama and Daddy told stories and talked amiably.  With all those I loved around me, I never wanted this night to end.

to be continued

28 thoughts on “Starry Night (from Kathleen’s Memoir of The Great Depression Part 1)

  1. This brought back memories.

    I once went to a revival meeting in North Charleston. I don’t know how I got there but I vividly recall the lights in the tent and the preacher. And singing, lots of singing and clapping.

    What I love about your work is that it helps me to remember what I loved about the South.

    In that sense it is healing.

    Like

  2. This is such a wonderful memory! Kids of today have really missed out on a lot of the fun things we did as children. I remember when they first put carpet in cars, and the first seat belts we had to install ourselves. Remember when people used hand signals to turn the car… now that we have blinkers ….. very few people use them. lol

    Liked by 2 people

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