Cousin Rufus Visits the Parson



Dear Cletus,

It’s been a nice, fall day in the holler. Ah spent the sunshiny part stackin’ fahrwood on the porch. Now it’s all done and ah’m ready fer Ole Man Winter to come blowin’ ‘round mah cabin.


Grandson Harley told me that October was Pastor Appreciation month. Ah had to ask him what that was, cause we never heerd of it when we was little shavers attendin' church in the one-room schoolhouse.


‘Member, Cletus, when the circuit ridin’ preacher come ‘round we all tried to help him by killin’ a chicken and givin’ him a good dinner, and maybe if anybody had money, give him a dollar or two to buy hisself new clothes?


Grandson Harley and me ate dinner with his preacher once when we visited his church.


It wuz last June, Father’s Day, an’ the preacher’s little boy’s birthday. We no more got set down to the table than the parson’s phone started ringin’. Somebody wuz mad cause he preached somethin’ thet stepped on their toes, (they call it gettin’ offended). He got a real chewin’ out on the phone, but he just took it so sweet an’ all.


Ah noticed his shoulders sagged a little after that.


Mrs. Preacher had made a big meal. Well, after the preacher got off the phone with the mad person, he got another call. Somebody’s uncle’s brother-in-law’s cousin got in a car accident and was rushed to the hospital. Even though the preacher didn’t know that person’s relative, the person that called insisted he go visit the poor, sad family. So, he gits up from the table—leaves a nice, warm plate of food an’ his little boy’s party—and takes out the door fer the hospital.


Ah felt sorry fer the man’s fam’ly. They had such disappointed looks on their faces. Mrs. Preacher’s shorely gonna git a crown when she gits to heaven.


So Cletus, iffen ah had to put together a Pastor Appreciation celebration, you know whut ah’d do? Ah’d git the church to pay fer the poor overworked man an’ his fam’ly to go away fer a week to someplace where they ain’t no phones. No bums knockin’ on his door askin fer handouts. No mad folks cause he preaches whut the Good Book sez.


And mebbe the nice, overworked man could enjoy bein’ like the rest of us for a while.


That’s mah thoughts on this belated Pastor Appreciation time of year. Y’all come visit me sometime in the holler, Cletus. We’ll go down to Lem’s Gen’ral Store and git us a orange sodee pop.


Yore Cuz,

Rufus


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