It is amazing to me that, in the course of visiting these precious souls we call homebound, my past has caught up with me more than once.
I graduated from high school in Boise City, Oklahoma. In visiting with Bill, who loved to talk and share stories of his very full and rich life, he was shocked to hear that I had lived in Boise City. In his much younger years Bill dated a young lady in Boise City and his face would really light up when he spoke about her. This took place before I lived there, but to hear Bill speak of her, she must have been some special gal. To top off this story, this young lady’s father was the coach for a baseball team I played for in Boise City.
I was born in Shattuck, Oklahoma, but Darrouzett, Texas, was home. My father was the Methodist preacher in this dusty, dry West Texas town that no one has ever heard of. Judy is a member of our church. Many years ago on the staff Gazette it was announced that Judy’s mother of Darrouzett, Texas, had died. Well, I looked up Judy and we spent considerable time talking about this little town and its people. Judy lived in the country outside of town, but she went to that Methodist church. Judy is about 10 years older than I am, and can you believe it — she was in a Girl Scout group that my mother led. My mother died when my sister was born about 2 1/2 years after me. Judy had recollection of that and we even talked about the lady in the community who took care of me and my sister at our very modest little parsonage home.
The first church I served as a student pastor after Patty and I were married was St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. This church at one time was a large, prominent church in south Oklahoma City. As the city grew away from where this church was located, the membership declined to the point that they could not support the large building. Long story short — the original building was sold to the Oklahoma Indian Annual Conference and became a church for the growing Indian population. The original church relocated in the same general area, using the money from the sale of their building to build a very modest frame sanctuary with a large double garage attached to it. On top of the garage they built a nice little two-bedroom apartment that was the parsonage. This was the church I was assigned to in June before we married in August 1954.
Fast forward about 40 years. Jo is one of our dear saints who lives in her own home with 24/7 care. One day when I was visiting with Jo Oklahoma City entered the conversation. Jo was from there and the original St. Mark’s Methodist church was her church home. When Jo moved to Fort Worth and was a brand-new bride, she and her husband were welcomed to Fort Worth with the flood of 1949.
Rubin was not a member of our church. His loving daughter who is an FUMC member brought him to Fort Worth in his declining years so she could take care of him. Rubin had lived, many years earlier, in the tiny little community of Homestead, Oklahoma. He served as the Baptist preacher. Now Homestead is so small you cannot even find it with the help of Google. They at one time had at least two churches, a Quaker and a Baptist church. Before Rubin’s time in Homestead my grandfather was the minister of the Quaker Meeting House. As a young boy my family made many visits to this community to be with family. Rubin was recently buried there.
It is indeed a small world in which we live.