As I said last time, in the ministry, we preachers sometimes tie several sermons together under an overall theme of – well whatever: You know; “The Second Coming of Christ”, “The Christian Life”, “How to Learn to Love your Mother-in-Law”, Etc, Etc, Etc.

So, I reckon it is allowable that we columnist types can do the same??? Ok???

So today, boys and girls, I would like for us to continue our journey into yesteryear with yet another episode into the time “long ago in a galaxy far away”; and “Going Back To the Place.”

Fred Marvin and Josephine Celeste always promoted entrepreneurship in their children. So, Freddy (The Big Ugly) came in one day with a paper route for the Knoxville News Sentinel.

On background, some of you might remember that Knoxville had two papers delivered to Newport — “The Sentinel” and “The “Journal”; and I forget which was the morning edition and which was afternoon. I’ll leave that to my friend Ed Walker, III to get straight – but I do know we took them both – and we carried them both for a little while!

Truth be known, my friend Ed probably has some of the first editions of both of those papers in his files.

But Freddy, Bobby, and Tommy were hot on the trail to become newspaper tycoons as we established our huge paper route.

We picked up the papers at Jim Maloy’s Store on Lincoln Avenue. We even had the official little pocket wire cutters because the bundles were bundled with wire in those days. (I guess plastic strips were only a figment of some entrepreneur’s mind at that time).

The route reached all the way up to the small handful of homes on “no-man’s land” on Eighth and Ninth Streets; and stretched all the way out Edwina Road to Jim Woods’ home – way out there. As I said, it was huge!

One day, we were “collecting” (something we had to do in those days); and Bobby (The Music Man) and I were waiting outside a home on East Broadway (long since torn down) for Freddy (The Big Ugly).

And we waited and we waited. I clearly remember it was long enough for Bobby to compose a new song in his musical mind and we could hum a few bars. And we waited and we waited. I can remember it was long enough that I almost started shaving, outgrew my clothes, did two week’s worth of homework, and doubled our money on bank interest (that shows you how long ago that was – and how long it was we waited – but maybe I exaggerated just a little bit).

Anyhow, we decided to boldly go up and knock on that big door and find our big brother. What had they done to him?

We found him!

He was sitting in the big living room on an overstuffed antique chair holding his hands up while the lady was winding crochet yarn into a ball from the loops on his hands! I can still see that scene – my big brother (The Big Ugly) sitting there meekly while she wound up her yarn! She was talking all the time about how “nice” he was to “volunteer” to help her; and was probably going to make him a sweater or something (whatever you make with crochet yarn).

Ah, memories! Then it turned to smiles, then snickers, then laughing, and then outright guffaws – at him sitting there.

Suddenly, we forgot about all the lost time collecting because he was “voluntarily helping her”. I know he has probably forgotten that; but I bet she never did!

We do things for other people – he helped her and we didn’t whup him for helping her; but nothing can top what The Lord Jesus did for us – go to a Roman Cross to die for us – to forgive us our sins!

Have you thanked Him for doing that – I mean lately – I mean today? It’s not too late; you still have time! And if you haven’t accepted Him as your Savior, it’s not too late to do that as well.

Don’t know how?

I do; and I will share!

Tom Mooty has served Newport’s West End Baptist Church as its Supply Pastor, Interim Pastor, Guest Pastor, Pastor, Senior Pastor, and very, very, very Senior Pastor for a total of thirty three cumulative years; and writes this column for The Newport Plain Talk’s Wednesday and Weekend Editions. Please let the “Plain Talk” know your comments concerning this column.

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