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Cheryl B Sellers

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Member Since: Jul, 2003

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Ole Sinner
By Cheryl B Sellers
Thursday, September 04, 2003

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this is written with the memory of respect and remembered in humor

 Dressed in our Sunday best, in the days long gone of skirts and handkerchiefs.
 We children always tried to get a rear seat in church next to the window in a pew, all the radiator's were located under the windows. There was little heat in winter and only fans to keep the church cool in summer.
     Looking for friends so we would all blend in one child always saved seats, a trip to the candy store between Sunday school and holy Sunday services many of us made. Spending allowances or some of the money you had been given to put in the church offering plate.
  Hoping, "OLE sinner" would not sit with her class, Sunday school teacher keeper of the wayward sass she had appointed her self. Now we children were not being disrespectful in calling her that, it was her favorite song.  At least we did not think of calling her that as an act of disrespect.
     Then the Deacon would come to the center of the church and proclaim in a loud voice, "Would you'll please rise" ending his sentence with, "Stand up church" if everyone did not get up fast enough as the senior choir marches in, swaying in long black robes like a line of crows.
     As each mama passes us she gives us a nod, as if to say I know where you are, our mama's sat up in the choir pew loft, hymnals in one hand a fan in the other looking down at us with squinted eyes.  At times the fans would move faster as they looked at you with a displeased gesture of the fan you knew to stop what ever you were doing and sit up straight.
     There came a bustling this one Sunday at the back of the church as OLE sinner comes in, fresh in her new dress. Often between services she went home to change clothing and freshen up. Down the aisle she comes till she finds her class, whispers to us, "move over make room."  Our hearts sink a little at that moment, for we had packed the row with as many of us as we could.  All our hopes dashed as she removes one child at the end of the pew and says, "sit on the pew in front of me." 
       The head deacon leads the church in that first Sunday prayer, always the same so we kids start to fidget and take in the perfumes in the air. We never knew if he wrote that prayer long ago and rehearsed it until he could say it to perfection, but by the time most of us were ten we knew the prayer and could recite it along with him. He always finished with a baleful look in his eyes and would go back to his seat head lowered and drenched in sweat like he had found the devil and they had done a might battle.
      The preacher then stands and greets the church with an, "Amen," thanking the deacon for the mighty prayer. He then looks at the choir calling for the first hymn.
      Now we kids cross our fingers even try to cross out toes, with the hope the song delivered will be well jubilantly composed. He looks down from his lofty perch straight at our pew calls for the choir to strike up hymn forty-two, "Ole Sinner don't you weep,"
      From that moment on we children knew we were free.  For our Sunday school teacher gets moved by the spirits when she hears the first chords of her favorite song. Piano and organ start out with a blast, then the choir picks up the gospel descant.
     We feel sorry for the child next to Sunday school teacher but each of us is thinking I am glad it's not me. At the second verse she lets out a yelp and off went her hat as throws her head back, the spirits I guess don't like your head covered while they are in possession of your soul. Her feet start to dance as if in a trance, she flings out her arms hitting the child next to her as if just by chance. 
     Now most times the ushers would rush to her side protect her from harm fanning her whipping her brow until she is composed.
     On this one Sunday I don't know what happen, no one could make it to her side. So up from her seat she rose, looking to us as if the heavens had given her a spring in her bottom and wings on her heels. Out of the pew she went in a flash down the aisle towards the back of the church.
     We all sat there mouths agape as she ran like a sprinter right into the back wall and bounced off to the side.  Now in the days long gone, women like her went to the hair dresser on a Saturday night to have their hair done.  She being a women of great pride never failed this press and curl ritual.  So when her head hit the wall she left an oil stain one that could seen I am sure to this day if the church still remained.
     There was a hush that fell over the choir and church, as Ole sinner sat flat on her bum. More shocked then us was she that day, when the spirits gave wings to her feet.
     Never again did I hear the preacher ask for the choir to sing hymn forty-two, "Ole Sinner don't you weep." 


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Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/5/2003
a delightful read, thanks for sharing, cheryl! LOL (((HUGS))) and love, your texas friend, karen lynn. :)
Reviewed by Jackie Brooks 9/4/2003
I could picture this , poor lady, she must have been a funny sight to the children. Jackie <> <

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