Stephenson Tales


My mom was determined that I was not going to suffer the stage fright that had always plagued her. SHe COULD NOT get up in front of a group and give a speech without going through the most agonizing spasms of stage fright. So, from the time I could talk--which, oddly enough was late--she taught me "pieces" to recite. One of my earliest memories is at South Haven where we were camping on the shore of Lake Michigan and a group of soldiers from Camp Custer were there and I offered (unsolicited) to recite for them. (Full story here.)
But sometimes my propensity for showing off had unhappy results. I was always a church member--and as a child I attended the services at the Bethlehem Methodist Church which was on the corner of Fourth and Williams--just across from Bach School. At Easter they had a special celebration for the children and gave out little gifts. I got a comb (RAH!); and there was an Easter Egg hunt as the high point of the observance. I had just been given a brand new brown suit--coat, vest and knickers. I was so proud of my new outfit that I probably strutted the entire two blocks to the church on the Big Day. So when the Easter egg hunt was completed I had found several eggs. One was a bright blue--my favorite color. So I was told the other kids that the proper way to crack an egg was on the top of one's head, which I proceeded to do. Alas, the egg was not only NOT HARD BOILED, but I doubt that it had ever been above room temperature. So, of course, the yolk and the white rand down through my hair, over my nose and cheeks and down on to my new brown suit. I was mortified beyond endurance and ran the two blocks to my house in about forty seconds. I burst in the door, screaming to Mom. She came and, sobbing, I told her what had happened and showed her the rapidly coagulating egg in my hair, eyebrows and my gorgeous new suit. Being my mother, her irrepressible Irish low threshold of humor did not allow her to take it very seriously and she burst out into mammoth, wide-mouths hoots of laughter which made my pain all the more acute. She cleaned me off with cool water, sponged the suit and then gave me a warm bath--suppressing her mirth as best she could. We never referred to it again.

© Jim Bob Stephenson 1992

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