When living in Beaman, Iowa my mother and father always set an extra plate at the table. This was because "If Christ or a person came to visit during mealtime, He or they would be "most welcome." We always said "Grace" and thanked the Lord for taking care of us. And if some man traveling through stopped in at mealtime and asked for a meal, he was invited to go to the wood pile and cut some wood for the kitchen stove, before washing his hands and eating with us. This was standard procedure.
As a family we worshiped on Saturday. This was because my Mother and Father were Seventh Day Adventists or Baptists. About one half the town were Seventh Day or Methodists. We went to a nice church up on the hill. And as I recall, when old enough, I turned or pumped the air bellows on the organ so the organist could play the organ. When in Hammond, Louisiana the same thing took place. However, this did not happen when we arrived in Biloxi. My parents gave us a choice of joining a church of our choice. I chose the Methodist Church, which was in town on Main Street, and a Mrs. W.T. Bolton was my Sunday School teacher. (Her son was the Dr. I met at the CCC Camp north of Biloxi and later when I had an appendicitis operation when at the Tivoli Hotel). I never missed a Sunday school Class f or the first year and receive d a Boy Scout knife, and the second year I never missed a Sunday and received a Boy Scout hatchet. To me this was quite an event, I learned a lot about the Bible and was rewarded for doing so. (Smile). Electric street cars were used for traveling and cost 5 or 10 cents per trip, but were only used if it rained.

When 12 years old I belonged to Boy Scout Troop 1, which met on Porter Avenue, in the Old West End School, where Winn Dixie is now. When at home I memorized the Ten Commandments and the Twenty Third Psalm, for which my mother rewarded me the sum of twenty-five cents. I am sort of ashamed to tell you this, but my mother was determined that I would learn some of the Bible.

In 1953 when Marie and I and family were building our home at 1643 Brodie Road in North Biloxi. Mrs.Warren (Nell) Goodman, who lived down the road toward D'Iberville stopped in and invited us as a family to go with her to the First Presbyterian Church in Biloxi, then located on West Howard Avenue, just North of the Buena Vista Hotel. Mrs. Goodman was a Sunday School teacher, there at the Church, and we went there from then on. When we joined the Church in 1953 a Rev. Glen Lindley was the pastor. In 1954, a Rev. Victor Augsburger became pastor and served until 1964. In June 1957, a new Church was built at 1340 Beach Blvd, in Biloxi. After Rev. Augsburger left, the church had trying times until Rev."Buck" Mosal took over in 1977, and when he left in 1989, Rev. James Richter took over as pastor. During this time Marie and I and family prepared many fish fries and invited the new incoming members as well as regular members of the Church to our house for "all of the shrimp and fish" they could eat. We had music and people sang songs for the occasion. We both spent much time fishing in Back Bay and usually had 50 to 100 pounds of speckled trout, red fish, and flounder on hand. At these occasions we also made "HAND Cranked Ice Cream" served with cake and cookies. As an added thought, we raised beef cattle and usually had a freezer full of all kinds of meat.

Here's a good one that took place at one of the last "Fish Fries". In about 1993 Curt and Jesse Wilkinson, good friends of ours, attended one of our specials and as we were churning ice cream, using crushed ice in back of our house, Curt called over and asked each of us the following question: " Since both Marie and I have terminal cancer, does anyone have any objection to us going fishing when we get up to Heaven?" We all agreed and said, "We think that this a wonderful idea and now we all have something to look forward to."

Bird Dogs and Keesler

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