Stephenson Tales

The Pigeon In Church

When we moved to Kansas to take up my position of Director of Theatre at Kansas State, in 1960, (See Robin's "tale" which relates the record of her prodigious memory elsewhere in this saga) we attended the Manhattan Congregational church--a small congenial congregation with a charming pastor named Julian Johnson. In our second year there I became the chairman of the Board of Deacons, and so we always arrived at the church well before the service began to share with Julian any announcements that had been passed to me, or dicuss any problems that we thought the other should know about. One Sunday in spring we all trooped in together: Lucy Chase. Lucky, John, Evie and Robin. To our surprise the minister was running around the church waving a broom and shouting. All the windows were wide open. He paused in his flight long enough to point out to us that a pigeon was loose in the sanctuary and he was trying to shoo it out. There had been two, and he had persuaded one of them to leave but the other just kept swooping too high to go through the open windows. Finally, he gave up and closed the windows, and went back to put on his robe for the service. He came back through the entry-way beside the altar and took his seat at the right beside the pulpit. We sat, as usual, near the front and composed ourseves into a reverent attitude. Suddenly I had a wicked impulse and jotted a note on the back of the program. "Lucky" I said, "go down the side aisle and go back"backstage" and hand Julian this note."

She did.

I thought Julian was going to have a convulsion he was tying so hard to stifle his laughter. What I had written to him was as follows:

"If that bird says 'NEVERMORE' I'm leaving."

How he shifted his concentration to his sermon and the rest of the service I do not know, but I was too full of glee to even be ashamed of what I had done!!!

March 22, 2011

© Jim Bob Stephenson 2011

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