Cousin Rufus "Settin' the Atmosphere"


Dear Cousin Cletus,


It’s been a while since ah wrote you a letter. Choppin’ fahrwood took all mah time lately. Mah grandson Harley brought his log splitter last week, and now ah got a nice stack in the woodshed, just waitin’ to keep me an’ Ol’ Bozo warm this winter.


Last month Harley took me to the big city to visit. He thought he’d give me a treat, so he took me to a gospel concert. (Ah guess that’s what the young’uns call it.) It’s where folks get up on a stage and sing songs with their eyes closed, and they have big, fancy colored lights and dry ice that makes a mist all over the stage. And the piano player ‘bout busts the keyboard off, doin’ fancy playin’.


Did you ever wonder why folks sing with their eyes closed, Cletus?


Ah remember bein’ at our neighbors’ cabin in the holler years ago, when TV first came out. Ricky Nelson on the TV used to sing with his eyes closed. First time ah saw anybody do that. Ah thought Elmer Koon, over in the next holler, sang just as good, and Elmer sang with his eyes open.


Watchin’ those people on the stage got me wonderin’—could people in the audience still get a blessin’ if they did away with the colored lights and dry ice? Harley called it “settin’ the atmosphere.”


Ah remember times in the little ol' church in the holler, when we had a coal stove in the corner and kerosene lamps in the windows. When Elmer sang the old hymns we could almost feel angel wings flutterin' around. Now THAT was atmosphere!


Yep, you just gotta wonder if folks still would come if singers stopped makin' the gospel so entertainin'.


Your cuz,

Rufus


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