The Water Well (By Doug Fincher)

August 21, 2017 - Back in the fifties, I became pastor of the Bonaldo Baptist Church in Nacogdoches County (Texas). Located near the Angelina River, the church had an old log cabin parsonage (inhabited mainly with rats and snakes) and their ancient water well was filled with years of “dinner on the ground” leftovers. So I asked Buddy Pratt, a college friend, to help me clean it out.

I went down in the well and filled the buckets while Buddy “pulled” them up and emptied them. After a few minutes in the well, I suddenly gasped for breath and feebly called out for help. I grabbed a rope and tied it under my arms … and in an unbelievable show of willpower, Buddy pulled me out. As I lay recovering my senses, Patricia Smith shouted from across the dirt road, “Mama wants to know if y’all are hungry.”

After a generous meal of pinto beans, cornbread and buttermilk, we headed back to college. As we sang along with some peppy gospel songs on XERF, I noticed my ‘55 Ford speedometer was reading 85 mph, so Buddy advised me to play some slower music.

I’ve been Pastor of a good many small country churches since that day and have eaten a lot of cornbread and beans with the members. But I’ve never gone down into another one of their water wells.

I never will, either.