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From Backbay Chronicles - Mama And The Po-Lice by Pauline A White This is a story for pre and teenagers. It is part of a series o... [2,981 words]
From Backbay Chronicles - Visiting Day
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TITLE (EDIT)
From Backbay Chronicles - Visiting Day
DESCRIPTION
Sometimes the Spirit can hit you really hard...
[1,337 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Adventure
AUTHOR
Pauline A White
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A middle-aged woman, living in Queens, NY who enjoys sharing her thoughts and imagination with children of today. She has written a series of short stories of life in the country in the 1950's, when things moved slower and children DID have fun before video games.
[June 2002]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (7)
Backbay Chronicles - Randy And Sandy (Short Stories) 'A boy and his dog' is an old theme. Love is even older, and more rewarding... [2,696 words] [Adventure]
Blind Man's Bluff (Short Stories) She had always been kind to those less fortunate. [2,085 words] [Horror]
From Backbay Chronicles - Mama And The Po-Lice (Short Stories) This is a story for pre and teenagers. It is part of a series of short stories about the South in the mid to late 1950's. A little girl, who lives in New York City, visits her 'country cousins' every... [2,981 words] [Adventure]
From The Backbay Chronicles - Revival Week (Short Stories) Sundays in August were special times in the South. You had Revivals, Family Days and Visiting Days at the neighborhood churches. Children are always up to the devil, on any given day... [1,551 words] [Adventure]
Jungle Jim (Children) You tell me where Jungle Jim is now. [2,023 words] [Animal]
P.S.-I Love You (Short Stories) Frankie was just a good old country boy.He felt honored when Della became his woman. She was smart, city-wise and beautiful. Then she began working for a law firm in the City... [6,861 words] [Suspense]
Squat The Turtle (Children) This is a children's story, about an over weight turtle who loves his family and friends very much. Although sometimes hurt by the teasing about his chubbiness, he is till a friend to all around him. [4,520 words] [Adventure]
From Backbay Chronicles - Visiting Day
Pauline A White

“ THE VISITING DAY “
   BY PAULINE A. WHITE

During Revival Week, there were always churches from the surrounding areas that visited Mount Olive Baptist Church. In return, Mt. Olive would send their choir, and anyone who wanted to attend the services, to the other churches. Great planning went into these services. Our pastor would practice his sermon for two weeks ahead if he was scheduled to appear at another church as the visiting pastor for the day. We were always welcome, with plenty of food and beverages available for all who wished to partake.
This particular Sunday, I had the lead in three songs, having a first soprano voice. My cousin Helen, and I, always were up for the solos. She had two or three songs to lead herself at this service. We were supposed to wear white dresses. Mamma had sent extra money ahead, so that my clothes could be bought before she and my father and grandmother arrived from New York. My cousin Audrey, in her early twenties, took me and her baby sister, my cousin Jean, to Norfolk to shop. We found the prettiest dresses our allowances could afford; which was considerable. White patent leather shoes, white pocket books, and we were ready. The rage was Shirley Temple curls, at the time. We both had them done up into our hair for the big day. Jean was very short, so she was always in the front of the choir. I, being already my full height of five eight, at thirteen years old, was in the back row until time for my solos.
My godmother, Eloise, lived in Brooklyn, in the same building that we inhabited. Her family came from Newport News, Virginia. This year, she was going to visit her family, but stopped over with my mother to hear me sing.
My godmother was an integral part of my life from my babyhood. I loved her dearly. She was an accomplished seamtress. She made all of my clothing until I was an adult, married woman with children. She was the one who taught me to sew. In her livingroom, there was a bust, made of cardboard, shaped to my specifics only. She didn’t need me for any adjustments or fittings; which I loved. The only things that I bought from stores during those years were undergarments. Even my slips were made by “Aunt” Eloise, down to the eyelet lace trimmings. She and my mother had been friends forever. They married friends, too. I always thought that was so special, just like she and my mother were.
Whenever ‘Aunt” Eloise went ‘home’ to Newport News, she would sew herself a wardrobe fit for a queen. This particular year, she had bought a huge hat, wide brimmed and white, with a cluster of flowers in one corner. Straw, it was beautiful to look at, and cool to wear. I don’t remember the name of the church we visited that day, but it was a rural one, not too big. Certainly nowhere as large as Mount Olive. The grounds were big, though. Tables and chairs were already set up outside with pans and pans of food waiting to be consumed after services. We were the second choir to sing that day. The first up was the choir of the church we were in. As guests, we should have been first, I thought. But, I was only thirteen. What did I know? We all were nervous that day. Peeking out from behind the curtains, I saw Mamma, Daddy, Grams, and dear “Aunt” Eloise sitting together in the third row middle section. It was getting warm inside, and there was no air-conditioning. Fans were liberally allotted around the pews, and people were fanning themselves all over the church.
When our turn came, we marched out on the stage that had been constructed for just this purpose, took our places, and began our recital. One song, in particular, was to be sung by both Helen and myself as co-leads. It was a fast-paced hymn, with a lot of repetitive words. Having practiced all week at each others’ homes, we were ready as we could ever be. Something about our two voices was compatible. We never made mistakes when singing together. If I had the lower part, Helen would instantly take the higher and vice-versa. Our ears were tuned in to each other perfectly.
The choir began to sing, low, at first. Then, when it was time for us to begin our solos, Helen and I both came forward from the back rows opposite each other. She was as tall as I was, and we were both thirteen.
Directly behind my family’s pew, there was a lady sitting with her husband. This woman was huge, dressed in a frilly dress, and wearing a large hat somewhat like my godmother had on her own head. As the congregation began to really get into our song, people were shouting and moving around in their respective seats. I saw my own mother and grandmother clapping and smiling at us. My Daddy always was quiet; never moving much except for his head, which nodded in time to the music. He smiled at me. I was his ‘Mooch’, his baby, the one and only one that he had. I never could figure out why he was so subtle where music was involved. In churches, anyway. He had been a musician from day one. Mamma had told me that she had met him at the Savoy Ballroom, playing in a band, in Harlem. He made his living as the owner of a dry cleaning company, but on the occasional weekend, he would bring out one of his cases, and play for me, while I danced for him. Under his bed there was a guitar case, a clarinet case, and a saxophone case. He was proficient in the use of all three instruments, plus drums and piano.
The heavy-set woman was clapping and dancing in her seat when the song began to really take hold of everyone. Helen and I felt their vibes, which made us begin to dance and shake on stage. We had practiced moves, also. Each with a mike in hand, we cavorted around the small area, singing to our heart’s content. High notes, low notes, we kept up with each other through out the song. About mid-way, when everyone’s spirits were soaring, the big lady jumped up from her seat, feeling the Spirit within her. As she arose, she flung out both chubby arms, hard, which in turn sent my “Aunt” Eloise’s lovely new hat sailing upwards like a Frisbee. Flying high, the hat turned and turned in the air.
My cousin Jean had a tenor voice when singing. But, she laughed, in baritone-loud baritone. Always a comedienne, she broke out in her boisterous laughter on stage, but it was quickly muted out by my own, and Helen’s soprano high notes. Improvising, we kept it up for a long time, until Jean could get over the giggles. Others in the choir were also chuckling, but none of them could be heard off stage. Meanwhile, the lady just kept on joyously dancing, now in the center aisle, while my godmother continued to watch her new hat dance on the air in the church. When the hat landed, chaos followed. Our pastor and the pastor of the church, were seated upon the stage, off to the left of the choir. The hat landed; perching right on top of our pastor’s bald head, and there was nothing to be done about the laughter that followed that surprising landing. It was even funnier than the take-off. My godmother was so mad, she saw red. Her hat was given back to her after the services, but she never wore it again to my knowledge. She couldn’t really say anything to the fat lady because it was done in a fit of the Holy Spirit hitting her; hard.

                                                         The End

 

READER'S REVIEWS (1)
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"Pauline, I find your sentences to be choppy and quite adolescent. Your sentences also lack the proper structure that is required for writers. However,I do find your story's idea to be a good one as the unnamed protagonist reminisces about church revivals of her childhood,but the bad sentence structure fails to put in the mind of a young girl who is preparing for a solo at her church revival. I also found some inconsistancies in your story as well. For instance,if the young girl lived in the south how could she and her "Aunt Eloise" possibly live in the sam apartment building in Brooklyn? The idea is good, but the story must be revamped." -- simone .

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2002 Pauline A White
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
June 2002
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1730
 

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