Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to the fourth grade

Repetition is one of the perils of a blog like this, one that plods on year after year, and looking back I see that roughly the same photo illustrated roughly the same post at this time last year --- Curator Marilyn Johnson instructing a roomful of scholars in Puckerbrush School.

Aimed for variety this year but fell short, neglected to charge the battery before running out of the house at 8 a.m. yesterday and so the camera fainted after this shot was taken --- and that was that.

It was a great morning otherwise, however, as more than 100 (it was either 113 or 130; can't remember which) fourth-graders moved through nine stations at the museum in two and a half hours flat, then sat down for sack lunches on the lawn. The kids were all bright, attentive and well-behaved --- yes, really, I'm not just saying that.

At my usual post --- Otterbein Church --- I get to ring the bell at half-hour intervals, helping to keep the schedule on track. I like that, too, because my great-great-grandparents, John and Isabelle Redlingshafer, were among charter members of the Otterbein United Brethren in Christ when the congregation organized back in the 1860s and John led the pledge drive (yes, they had those back then, too) in the 1880s when faithful decided they could afford to move from Gartin School to a building of their own.

Two other members of the vast Redlingshafer conspiracy, LCHS board members Frank Mitchell and Ilene Church, were in charge of other stations --- along with Jim Secor and Cliff Brewer, Marilyn, Jerry Pierschbacher, Fred Steinach, Ron Christensen, Darlene Arnold, Lucinda Burkhalter and Betty Cross. It was a great day.

You do tend to become a little delusional, however, when it's time to begin the seventh of eight similar presentations delivered at 15-minute intervals --- and begin to babble slightly.

And then there was a time I could shock and appal fourth-graders by telling them that back in the good old days when churches like Otterbein dotted the land, it took some preachers an hour just get their sermons launched. That doesn't work well now, however, because we have many students whose parents are natives of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and who attend Slavic Pentecostal churches. Accustomed to three-hour Sunday services, they are not impressed.


Richard Beck resurrected a few words of Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and visionary, the other day. If you're feeling frazzled this morning read "Talking like the Rain." It'll only take a minute.


1 comment:

Norm Prince said...

Morning Frank,
For some of us older folks repetition is needed to keep the mind recalling the past and I think that is much of what this yearly gather is about - sharing with the kids what is was like some time before their time. Also today I am grateful to be able to even plod as a number of 'old things' seem to keep wearing out on the body so forward movement of any sort is great. I greatly enjoy your daily offering of life, history and photos.
peace -