CONTINUING AND FINISHING.

I have realized I could write a very boring book about myself and I might not want to read it, but I need to finish what I started 2 weeks ago. When I finally stop trying to go to Tech I had several jobs and none were satisfying or paid well. But I was growing spiritually and as a person. I knew I could depend on myself for most things and I had found a new home. This was probably 1976. Being baptized in a creek on a fall afternoon, dancing before the Lord at meetings and being with the best bunch of Christians brothers and sisters I have ever met. That is what made that time so great. Playing softball in the church league was definitely fun. But don’t ever ump in a league, even in a church league. I learned the hard way. It is really hard to say how much this time affected me but it is a time that was blessed and memorable. I knew I never wanted to leave but that might not have been God’s will. Because in 82 I had a very hard time finding a job. Now a lot of people was in the same position but I had decided I needed to go back to Prairie Grove and find work. My brother Tom was a supervisor at a factory in PG and he got me an interview. Well for the next 5 years I was there. Money wasn’t great but it was a steady check. I went back to the Methodist church for a while but I knew I needed something different. Across the street from me lived Bob Pease and family. They went to a small fellowship in Lincoln. Well I found a new place to worship and grew to appreciate people of all back grounds. It was a very good little church. In 84 I took a 2 week vacation and drove to Yellowstone Park. Yes by myself. Truly one of the best experiences as a nature lover.
In 91 I met Fran, Hannah and Marc. A bind date (sort of) when I met them. Marc was 6, Hannah 8, Fran a few years older but not too much. Well we met in early in early September and was married in the next February. Dickens said it best “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times”. I will not go into any details because it would do no one any good. But to say this. We lost Marc August 1, 2000 from cancer. The marriage lasted until August 2004. I am not proud how I led that family in many ways. I was not the man I should have been. I am glad Fran and I are friends and she helps me stay in touch and that Hannah has turned out to be a good daughter. Well I said I was going to finish but to shorten this some what I may get forget some details. Fran and I went to several churches during our marriage so after we separated I went back to OUTREACH CENTER. One of the several we had gone too. It reminded me a lot of the Fellowship in Russellville but smaller. I have grown to love each of them and grown in the Lord also from being there. Three I must mention are Don Leetch, Dean Kerns, the founders of the church and Day Spring Cards. The third is Pastor Dave Flack. All three have treated me special and will always be in my heart. I could have gone back to Russellville but I think God has told me to stay here and learn and grow here. Now I an not sure If I finished on the same topic I began on but I tried my best. God Bless.

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Ben-High SCHOOL AND COLLEGE AND THE FELLOWSHIP.

Switching back to Prairie Grove school was welcomed by me but I was again back in the middle of the pack and no leadership qualities to be seen. For many years I tried to blame my class mates for my lack of achievement but that wasn’t true at all. I was mediocre in grades and no athletic ability at all, or very little. So I guess it was natural I wasn’t the star of anything. Now when I say this I am still blessed because there were people in my class that was despised and because they were from really low income they were supposed to be hicks and some played that part very well. I truly tried to BE friends with every one but I ran in no certain circles. Wasn’t good enough to be called a jock though that was what I wanted to be. Not red neck enough for the neckers and not poor enough and didn’t want to hang around with the poor kids. I never smoked or drank, not even a little bit so I was considered a square by a lot of kids and didn’t want to smoke pot or do any drugs so that cut me out also. I guess the biggest reason was I didn’t drive. Never got my license until later. Now I know that kept a lot from taking place.
I got saved my senior year but very few noticed. I was still that nice kid in the middle of the class that didn’t fit. While I think about it Coach Loyd Jones made my life bearable back then. He and coach Staggs let me be the manager for the athletic teams. Sophomore thru Senior year all sports. Of course back then there was only 3. Going to the games and being on the B squad helped me make it through school.
I graduated in the middle of my class and had no idea what career I wanted.Most of the summer of 71 was checking out local factories or reading booklets from the small colleges around the state. The U of A was too big so I decided to go to Arkansas Tech.
Arkansas Tech was new experience in many ways. I was on my own. I had no transportation, and I knew very few people. I met new people, saw new things, had to adjust to college life. I also had to keep track of money because it was always tight. I grew up fast and did it fairly well. Sports again helped and getting to know the right people at an early date helped. Coach Dempsey of the football team saw me hanging around and by the end of the season, though never officially, I was a part of the team. They were great that year and came in second nationally. I also became a part of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. Both helped out early in my time at Tech.
Second semester was a big deal because I met Melvin Bryant. We worked together in the cafeteria kitchen. Melvin is black, wide grin always on his face and a laugh that is truly his own. He is one special person and friend. Then and now. Somebody to hang out with. I was beginning to out grow the boy from Prairie Grove.
Next big thing to happen was meeting Chris Horan, also in the kitchen slopping plates. A couple of years younger but a maturity beyond his years. Soon I become part of the Fellowship and my growth shoots up. Better stop. Getting long.

Who are you and what have you done with Ben or Which is truly the real me.

I am not sure if this will ever make sense but it has bugged me for a long time. Does a person truly change personalities sometimes or are you just fooling yourself. This isn’t supposed to be fiction so if you disagree then that is okay but please tell me where you feel I missed it. My first memories were in here in Arkansas. I was three when my family moved to Prairie Grove from Gage Ok. I have no memories of Gage. Our first house was a rent house and the neighborhood was full of children. Martha across the street, the Kruse clan just down the road and others close by. I remember very little about that but in spurts. It was great fun and good times if a three to five year old can have those. What I wish I could remember was Jean Ann Webb holding me and rocking me but sorry to say the memory is not there.
By the time you are six your personality is supposed to be set. Either you are loud and boisterous, quiet and shy or some where in the middle. More on those later. I think I was on the quiet but not so shy type. Definitely not loud or boisterous. I made friends and had good times. Carrol Hudson was my best buddy in the lower grades. I will have to expound on my first visit to his families farm sometime. It was an eye opener for me. I don’t know why I was a different me but in Junior high I went to a special Ed. school. Not for retards but supposedly slow learners. Some were like me just too lazy to do the home work, others just needed some confidence, and others, the schools I think said here you take ’em, we don’t want them. I met some great people there. Terry M. whose last name I will never be able to spell. Gary Greer my truest friend I may have ever had. Sorry to say he died in an auto accident several years later. I also had some great teachers, Elise Hansard, who taught me to be a gentleman even when I didn’t want to be one, whom I also had a junior high crush on. Mrs. Brown who was a very happy person all the time and Bill McCann who tried teaching me math and karate. What was the different personality part, I was an important person there. At least my ninth grade year, eighth grade the older kids mostly just tolerated me. But that year I did become student council vp and the ninth grade became president. Hey I was proud of it. This could never happen in PG because I wasn’t in that crowd and not that open personality wise.
Time to split this up. More coming soon.

Mothers Day and PG FUMC

It has been too long since I have done this. Ideas come and go but very few new things really have come to mind. Today is Mothers Day and like last year I went to Prairie Grove to visit the Methodist church there.I enjoy seeing old friends and meeting new people. My sister Janice was there with her husband Marvin. It was nice to be with them. If it wasn’t for them I am not sure when I would go back. Yes the friends are there and family friends, but they have moved to a new building 3 or 4 years ago now. It is a very nice place and I am sure it meets the needs, but it isn’t the beloved building I grew up in. Some of this is just my personality, I hate change. Now most change is for the best. I have now finally come to that conclusion but I want to be dragged into it still sometimes. The old place has a lot of memories in it and it will always be my church no matter who is meeting there. It is very sad that the last service of any kind there was my niece’s Jana’s funeral. But the happy has always out done the sad. Biggest thing for me was I got saved Oct. 15 1970 on a Saturday night there. I may have to try to write about that weekend sometime but it has been over 40 years so the memory may not be as good as it should. The new building has 2 services. The first is a contemporary with the youth in the Choir and sing the newer songs. Pretty good attendance there. Sunday School and then a ‘regular service’. Today there might have been 25 altogether at the second service. Now that is okay if they want to continue,I shouldn’t and don’t have a say, but some day they will need to combine. The one person I will always want to see is Joyce. She is playing the organ still. When I started going to that church she was playing the organ. I was three. She is a cornerstone to that church no matter where they meet.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU MOMS. May God Bless You All.