December 12, 2016 - In 1984, I became the Pastor of The Magnolia Baptist near Vinton, Louisiana in a community called “Big Woods”. It was a utopia for anyone wanting peace and quiet. The church was so hidden on a backwoods road that that there were days that not a single vehicle passed through “The Woods”. I was particularly overjoyed when I learned that my sister Meri had married my friend Mike Duggan and that they’d be living only six miles from me. My sister’s living near me not only gave me her excellent company……it also gave me her excellent cooking. Her son Jeremy was a senior in high school and often visited the night service at our church. After church, Jeremy, Pam and I would cross the river for a hamburger at Nick’s Café.
One afternoon I was on my way to photograph a high school Rodeo star at the Louisiana Tourist Bureau. As I changed lanes to approach my turnoff, I remember a loud jolting boom….. and awaked minutes later staring at long strands of hair hanging from my smashed windshield. Then someone shouted from the highway: “Don’t move, Preacher…don’t move!” On the way to the hospital Sherriff Landry told me that I had crashed into a car that was stalled on the inner-lane of the highway.
When I got home the next day my brother-in-law came and picked glass fragments from my scalp and forehead. My cracked ribs made it impossible for me to get out of the bed and as I lay wondering what to do, Jeremy walked in the door. “How’ye doing, Docta?”, he laughed. “I’ve got a week off from school and have come to take care of you.” He stayed with me all week and did everything needed to speed me to recovery.
Pam and I met Jeremy and his wife for lunch in Marshall, Texas last week. Jeremy was the same boy (just 30 years 0lder)…jovial… and still laughing at my warmed-over jokes. He plays the bass guitar and teaches Sunday School in his church in Tyler, Texas.
I’m not just so proud of Jeremy.…… I love that boy.