Monday, November 22, 2010

GETTING WEANED

"Nice day to be out on the road with your rig," observed Mr. McCarrow, the owner of the facility from which we had purchased our trailer.

"I agree with that", observed Betty. "It sounds better than sitting here in the showroom."

"Why don't you take the pickup camper out front for a trial run?" he suggested. "It's gassed up and ready to go."

"We're not interested in that type of vehicle," I volunteered.

"Why not try it anyway?" he persisted. "At your age you don't want to keep monkeying with torsion bars and the other stuff associated with pulling a trailer," he reminded me.

"Okay." I conceded. "It's better than waiting in here." Reaching for the keys, I led Betty to the indicated vehicle.

Her first indication that it would be unsuitable was the high steps to get into the cab. "Let me give you a hand," I offered. After boosting her up, I got behind the wheel.

"Let's take the circle around Eagle and Curriers," was my choice. The road offered a variety of pavement.

"It surely seems top-heavy," I observed as it made the corner, leaning heavily to the outside

"Let's see what it has to offer inside," Betty urged.

Pulling it off the road, we climbed down to view it from the rear. It looked like a big box perched in the bed of the truck. The rear door was reached by a short ladder leaned against the back bumper. No handholds were available to reassure the fainthearted.

We climbed in and found the accommodations limited. The small table was flanked by a sink and gas stove arrangement. The bed was suspended from the roof with exactly the minimum headroom for the average person. The area for food was limited judging by the size of the tiny refrigerator. Very little space was available for clothing or personal items. The toilet area was too tight for comfort or privacy.

Vehicle expenses were about twice what we had expected. Instead of reducing our cost, all parts of it seemed to grow. Instead of economy we could expect significant repair outlay in the near future.

Looking at Betty's assessment, I asked the question: "Do you think we are ready for a change of vehicle?"

Her answer was forthright: "Yes. I think the time is now. But this isn't what we are looking for."

"Then let's start searching for the right unit," was my response as we found at last that we were getting weaned from a trailer.

Monday, November 8, 2010

VOICES FROM THE PAST

The sound of the human voice can instantly evoke memories of both a person or event in the past. The "magic" has the power to bring back moments so poignant that we can thrill again and again as we listen to the words and tones of voices not now available to us or forever stilled. Do not squander these priceless gems that can be so easily destroyed

Do not equate these to recordings of simply words. The words spoken can again be reproduced but without the many inflections that are imbedded in their delivery. The meaning can actually be reversed by a different tone of voice or the emphasis lent to the words used. The actual words spoken or written are not alone the key message. Words are important but are not the entire sense.

Let us take some specific quotations from the recent campaigns. The speaker makes a statement that is quoted verbatim by his opponent. But the impression given is that the responder gives the same message. Not so! The hearer of the second repetition can receive the opposite or altered version, not because the words are different, but because the other factors have changed. They are not constant.

Why do I think we have been living at a remarkable time that has now been so practically closed to us? The few decades past have been devoted to the use of tape recorders with the messages recorded as spoken. There have been changes or improvements in the recording of the human voice during that span of time. One major change has been the switch from the open reel type to the more common type of cassette form. All of this has occurred without essentially altering the fidelity of the message. You can hear what was spoken with all the attendant nuances that were present. It comes through with these attributes that are present in normal speaking.

Of course it can altered. However it is far less likely to be affected than competitive media. The voice of the speaker tends to guarantee that what you hear is what was said. My personal opinion leans in the direction of giving greater credence to a taped message than to the other alternatives.

Monday, November 1, 2010

STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

The sharp crack of thunder made our tent vibrate.

"My! But that was close," remarked my father. "I think it hit something close by."

"Why don't you look out and see?" suggested mother.

We were camped at Lime Lake at the edge of Machias. To me it seemed like an ideal place for a four-year-old boy to have fun. At the end of a short walk to the beach were swings, a slide and the equivalent of "monkey bars". Rowboats were for rent and of course swimming was a prime attraction. Angling for fish added an
attractive option too. The lake was about a mile and a half long and a half-mile wide. A wooded grove provided ideal tent sites.

The roller skating rink was housed in a wooden building suitable for an auditorium. o part of the premises was a house that could be used as the base for providing meals. The chance to rent the property was made with the hope that this trial use would prove a fixed location for camp meeting. Up to this point in time no permanent place was used. Each year a fresh site had to be cleared for the temporary tent tabernacle and eating facilities. The rink would provide dry covered shelter for the services. Much discussion had centered around the pros and cons of the purchase.

Father pulled back the flap and peered into the murky dusk before stepping out to check on the sound. I was peering excited from between his legs to see what had happened. To my four-year-old mind something unusual had occurred. The site of the tent next door looked the same as it had looked before.

"Mother, keep Arnold here while I check on this" warned father.

He hurried out and soon other men began arriving. It seemed like a long time before he returned to report to mother, "Brother Fairbanks was struck by lightning. I'm going to call for help."

My curiosity brought all manner of thoughts to my head. "What was the meaning of 'struck by lightning?' Was the preacher dead, whatever that might mean?" I liked the friendly man who always took time to speak to me. As I waited impatiently, my alarm increased.

After what seemed a long wait, father reappeared with a man who carried a black Bag. They went into the next tent and took a long time. When father returned he confided to mother, "Brother Fairbanks was hit by lightning. He is conscious and will be taken to the hospital. He has difficulty speaking and shows other symptoms of shock. The doctor believes he will likely recover." I relaxed. That sounded like good news to me.

This occurrence was the topic of choice for the remainder of the camp.

The negatives came quickly. "This is a very dangerous place." "God isn't in favor of this wicked place in which to worship Him." "The young people will be led astray by the influence of businesses nearby that are open on Sunday." "The very presence of worldly activities nearby will divert attention from spiritual matters." "The money to maintain the facilities can better be used for missionary purposes."

So the decision to pass up this opportunity was made. The great depression made it appear to be a poor time to incur debt. The cost of maintaining buildings to be used only ten days a year seemed excessive.

About a decade was permitted to pass before it was again considered to be feasible to seek a permanent site for camp meeting. By that time the bargain had been snatched up by Odasegah Bible Conference. They continue to use it to this present day.