While not entirely germane to the overall discussion, some memories came back to me in the course of writing and as a result of some people from my past writing me. I want to put them down before I forget them (again).
First, Vineville Methodist had one of the finest choirs in the nation, in my highly biased opinion. Part was some good talent, and part was having the head of the music program at Wesleyan College as the director of Music. Sylvia Ross was gifted on several levels, including that of herding cats I suspect, and did wonders. She even brought in some promising students as members or guest soloists over the years. Along with the raw talent in the Church, that choir could and did hold it’s own against pretty much anything in the state, or even the nation. Again, my very biased opinion is that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir only beat them because of numbers. Smile.
That held true for a number of years, right up until the bass section lost what seems like about half it’s members to heart attacks and other health problems. The first I remember was Mr. Thomas, who lived not far from the house where I first grew up. Shame, as that section rocked it, as it were.
Also, the church had/has a magnificent organ. The organist, Mrs. Lawson, knew I had some favorites and would sneak them in on occasion for me. One I listen to regularly still, both as Christmas music and in general, is Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. Have a recording of that done in the Thomaskirk where the song was composed.
Second, I think the memory of going to visit Rev. Wilson at the parsonage was part of an evening of caroling by the children’s choir, of which I was a part. Seem to remember going to the homes of some members, possibly those in poor health and unable to attend, and singing for them. We may have finished at the parsonage where we got some food and drink to cap off the evening.
Third, my interest in the Catholic Church may have been far earlier than I realized. Popped up that I had some romantic notions about the Catholic Church and some of its actions that a 9th-grade teacher (who I much respected) had me do a research paper on said actions. Romantic notions busted, but it actually did help set the stage for a train ride across Italy where a Jesuit stuck with us took the time to tell me about the history and more of the places we were passing.
I also remember going to a certain monastery in Conyers, GA when I was about 12 with a church group. For those of you who read John Ringo, no I was not trying out for Team Conyers as I’ve always been (IMO) medium-speed high-drag. I was, however, rather interested in the life of a monk and starting to give it a bit of consideration. My parents, this time both mom and Dad, pretty much expressed their displeasure and disapproval of such thoughts.
A final thought is that all of the aptitude testing I took in late high school shared one thing in common. They all said one career I should consider was that of a preacher. That was NOT an interest of mine at the time, and I was looking rather strongly at the whole engineer, Air Force, astronaut route. Even Mr. James Doohan, Scotty on Star Trek, was giving me some encouragement on that, so being a protestant preacher did not get serious consideration by me at the time. As noted elsewhere, I am very glad the process of divination for becoming a Catholic priest is a cup that passed from me.
Just some flashes of memory that may or may not add to the background discussed the other day.
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