Well, you see, what had happened was! I have started my fourth complete reading of the Bible. The further I got in to my reading, the less I felt like saying. Imagine that! Me, not having anything to say! I’ve been remembering the words of an old Randy Stonehill song where he said, “I’m speaking less and learning how to hear.” I’m a little over the halfway point right now. I just figured out for the first time that if you start at the beginning and read through Psalms, then you are right at halfway through. I have just finished Ecclesiastes, and hot diggity dog! I get to start into Song of Solomon. I might need to read this book a couple of times – if you can dig where I’m coming from. Even though I’m not putting a deadline on this fourth reading, I expect to be done before the end of this calendar year.
And let’s see what else is going on. Oh Hey! It’s almost June and I am still swearing off of the news. And I gotta tell ya, it’s harder than hell to avoid the news. I never really paid attention to how saturated we are with it until I tried to get away from it. I feel like a dog that has just figured out that he’s on a leash. I thought if I avoided the news on the radio, TV, and Internet, then I would have it covered. But I say unto thee brother “Nay!” I was greatly in error. The magazine racks at the checkout in WalMart want to let me know what’s going on. Folks talk about it at church, and Jay Lenno makes jokes about it on his show. People come to my shop and talk it: my email inbox is bombarded with it: and I even heard it coming from another guy’s radio while I was in traffic.
I saw Andrew Osenga recently. It’s been several years since I last saw him. He was in town for a concert at First Baptist. He told me he’s no longer with Caedmon’s Call. You know, when he joined that band, I wondered how long that would last. He was previously with a band called The Normals. He’s a really big gun and I didn’t think he would stay forever with somebody else’s band. If you look at the section called “Andrew Sightings” you’ll see a couple of new pictures of him. Also, take a look at the section “The Goings On Of A Wood Whittler.” There was a guy at Andrew’s concert I had met years ago, and managed to inspire him to build his own guitar. You can read all about it there.
During the first week of June, Sherry & I will be on the east coast visiting with my folks. They are getting old now and I’m not sure how much longer they will be with us, so I better see them again while I have opportunity. They live outside of Elloree, SC. You’ve always been wondering at how I arrived at the name of my guitar business. Well, there’s how simple the answer is. Elloree has always had a population of less than one thousand. When I fist started this business I wasn’t sure what to call it, but I was sure it would not be “Felkel Guitars.” Even in the small town of Elloree, where there are a lot of us Felkel’s, you would not believe all the different ways our name gets pronounced. Rarely do I ever here anybody mispronounce Elloree. And I always miss that small town, so I’m glad I chose that name for my business.
There’s nothing I can think of that’s worth complaining about. My family members are all doing well. I know four men who are better men than I ever expect to be and they have all lost their wives to death. I don’t know how a guy like me has been allowed to keep a good woman for as long as I have, but I sure am thankful. Our son just got a better teaching job, and our daughter and her husband are raising their four children – our four grandchildren. Our garden and fruit trees are doing good, and so is my daughter’s garden and fruit trees. It rains on regular occasions and every thing is green is growing. Our Rhode Island Red hens are grown and laying eggs of the highest quality. I got it way better than I ought to have it, and I am a thankful boy.
A few months ago I became a bonafide member of a small independent church. You know, I really had intentions of spending the rest of my life in that black church I was a member of. If there’s one thing I think looks real goofy, it’s for a black person to try to be white or a white person to try to be black. I’m happy being what the Almighty made me. If He had made me black: then I would have liked being black. If He had made me a red man, then being a red man would have been my favorite thing to be. But, I’m white, and white is just right. But there’s no getting around the fact that the black church suited my nature. I didn’t have to say “Amen” if I agreed with the preacher. I don’t use the word “Amen”. I say, “Right on,” or “I can dig it”. Nobody looked at me funny and nobody laughed at me or thought me to be some kind of comedy relief. Nobody got irritated when I played my guitar and rocked the flock. A person could dance or clap or cry or just bust out into a song and it was OK. I enjoyed that liberty.
This white church I belong to now is a lot more reserved than what I’m used to, but it’s a good place to be. My preacher has one of those reverse Mohawk haircuts. When he preaches he doesn’t do cartwheels and he doesn’t have snot and spit flying everywhere. But, he sure shoots it straight. He absolutely knows what he’s talking about when he preaches and he doesn’t bend, twist, or in general mistreat the Bible. One thing I noticed about the black preachers I heard was that being accurate was optional. The important thing was for them to get real excited when they preached. It wasn’t even a requirement that you be able to understand what they were saying. Sometimes in all the screaming and jumping, you couldn’t tell if they were speaking in English or French, or whatever. But, that didn’t matter so long as you could tell the man was excited about what he was saying – whatever it was. Give me my quiet, clear, truthful preacher any day. After all, I don’t just go so I can get a feel good fix. I need to learn how to walk right.
OK! Now we’re caught up – Kinda. I’ll try to write more and keep up my Bible reading at the same time. And so always, I am
Makin’ sawdust & Diggin’ the music