1955-ON TO PERRY!
In the last chapter I related that we were finishing out Ministry in dear old Quitman, and had been reappointed to the Methodist Church in Perry, Georgia.
We were excited about the challenges of a new church, a new congregation and a new house, but bittersweet all the same as we were reluctant to leave Quitman; in the five years we had lived there it had begun to feel like home!
One of my Uncles had a large farm truck and it was into this that all our world possessions were packed for the move.
We were going to go by Tifton for a visit with the Grandparents, spend the night and journey to Perry the next day. We were happy to be moving back to Middle Georgia where we would have Macon as our shopping city, not too far away.
Judy and Marvin were excited about the new parsonage- it would be their first time living in a two story house!
The Parson and his little family (including Tippy) arrived in Perry in the afternoon;there was no large welcoming crowd on the porch to greet them this time, but there were the ladies of the Parsonage Committee waiting inside.
The ladies showed us through the house and we saw how hard they had worked to get the house ready; there was even a bedroom done in pecan Drexel furniture with a four poster bed and olive green taffeta curtains. There was a wicker chaise longue with matching pillows! Surely the room of a young girl’s dreams! It was observed that the walls of that room were painted deep chocolate brown and the upstairs bedroom walls were painted forest green! That was the latest trend but the Parson’s family didn’t know it then!
The house was beautifully decorated throughout and that had presented a problem; all of our moving boxes had arrived long before we did and the ladies would not let them be placed in the house. Instead they were placed on a screened in back porch and, you guessed it, the weather decided to let loose with a torrent of rain! Our packing boxes were wet and we rushed to bring them in before the contents were ruined; we were too late! Later Grace wept as she survey items that were precious to her, ruined beyond keeping!
After a few days of unpacking and adjustment, the little family began to venture forth to find out more about Perry. They discovered that it was an old, cultured and historic town and the Church, made of white wood, fit right in!
One set of residents that were very unwelcome were the gnats! On the first Sunday in the new Church the gnats nearly took the hymnbook out of Grace’s hand and every time she opened her mouth to sing a swarm of gnats flew in. The poor Parson had struggles of his own- there was no air conditioning and the only breeze was created by two large fans the size of airplane engines, and just as loud, standing on two tall posts!! The hum of the motors was so loud that he had to shout to make himself heard. He finally stopped and asked that the fans be turned off so that he could be heard and the rest of the Service was in the heat! That was a far cry from the cool, dark Sanctuary in Quitman!
It was not long before air conditioning was installed!
One of the great treasures in Perry was the New Perry Hotel! It was operated by Mr. and Mrs. Yates Green. The first time we were taken there to eat by our dear friends Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gray, Grace disgraced herself by telling Mrs. Green on the way out, “That was another green dinner Mrs. Good!”She never lived that one down!
We loved eating at the New Perry Hotel, but at first Judy and Marvin only wanted hamburgers to eat! The Parson and Grace tried to shush them, telling them that he Hotel didn’t serve hamburgers, but they persisted. Mr. Gray turned to the waitress and asked that the Hotel please prepare hamburgers for the children. They did and they were greatly enjoyed!
A feature of the Hotel was that they served cream of mushroom soup to every diner, whether ordered or not, at the beginning of each meal.
Judy and Marvin and the Parson and Grace came to look forward to beginning the meal this way and that soup became a lifelong favorite!
Next Time: CHICKEN DIVAN!