Life in the Shadows


Musty Groves was walking near Glen’s Glen when a fox squirrel fell out of a tree and landed dead at his feet. He saved the tail if anyone wants it.

Joe Pye says that when he was young, Sycamore Shadows always had a town drunk.

According to Minister Westminster, the baptistry heater has broken and the church will accept no baptisms until it is fixed. Anyone needing saved should make other arrangements.

Ben Coddler remembers seeing a mobile baptistry in Castor and says the church might look into renting it, but he doesn’t remember the name of the company.

Herman Smiley says the name of the company is “Salvation on Wheels” and that his cousin John—the one who [censored]—owns it, but it’s mostly for carnivals and fairs.

Myrtle Blemmish says she’s been to a lot of carnivals and never saw anyone being baptized.

Herman Smiley says that’s why his cousin started the business.

Jiggs Rabourne tells me Salvation on Wheels was at a carnival in Jessup last year, and he got baptized again, “just for kicks.” According to Jiggs, “All you got to do is pretend like you’re a sinner and pay $6.95—they don’t ask no questions. They got a video of that Jordan River showing behind you, and it looks like you’re right there. The Jordan comes standard, but you can get baptized about anywhere in the world for an additional three dollars—as long as they got the video. I was going to choose Plymouth Rock but I had spent all my money on fried dough.”

Leena Freeman reports that Robert Laughridge, minister of the Church of the Lost Sheep, 1957-1963, has died in Michigan.

Retired hymnboarder Hank Bowser points out that Otto Hopp, in addition to holding the office of town coroner, owns the funeral home, is a graveyard trustee, writes obituaries for the Evening Shade, and preaches an occasional funeral sermon. “You listen to me,” Hank says, “Hopp’s going to make himself a special hat one day and we’ll find ourselves living in a police state. It’s too much power for one man—it’ll go to his head. I never seen such a town. Next thing you know, we’ll be celebrating Earth Day.” Mr. Bowser is well-known for his efforts in having the phrase “Live free or die or leave town” added to the Sycamore Shadows flag.

Time sure does move along; someone mentioned that it has been 20 years this month since Officer Jonathon J. Wilson was found dead in a clump of trees on the Keene Farm, known as the “Cop Corpse in a Copse Incident.” 

Nippy Keene said if he’d known Mrs. Wilson would spend three hours a day at her husband’s grave, he wouldn’t have permitted Mr. Wilson’s burial on his property—he’s tired of mowing around her.

Curly Dowd says Mrs. Wilson sure does make being a widow a full-time job.

Minister Westminster notices that several hymnbook ribbons have been tied in knots again. He prays this will not require another admonition to the congregation.

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