Our oldest son, Will, was due to be born on October 31, 1982. He jumped the gun and came into this world on August 17th of that year. Being right at two and a half months premature, his weight upon arrival was a mere three pounds four ounces. A couple days later, he shrank down to two pounds and fourteen ounces. Carol and I felt extremely blessed that outside of being so early and so small, Will was a remarkably healthy and active newborn. He did so well that the hospital allowed us to bring him home on September 12th, when he weighed just four pounds six ounces.
Back in those days, the last Saturday of each October was the Fall Festival Soup and Sandwich Supper of our local Methodist Church. Since this was always close to Halloween, the ladies and kids dressed in Halloween costumes to serve the supper. In 1982, Halloween actually fell on Sunday, but Saturday night everyone showed up with their costumes.
We arrived at the hall well before the supper was to be served. As we were getting out of our pickup, the lady minister pulled into a parking space beside ours. She was a divorcee in her late 30's, with two small children. She must have found a baby-sitter for the evening, because the kids weren't along. She was wearing a mini-skirt and sporting a spiked butch-waxed hair-do. She informed us that she was a punk rocker, before she oohed and aahed over Carol's costume, and that of Will, who Carol had dresses as a miniature Smurf. The preacher lady then looked me up and down, and said, "Did you come as Tex?" I said, "No, this is how I always dress."
It was a successful supper, with serving from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. One couple showed up at about 8:15, as cleanup was in full swing. The sandwiches were gone, but there was still a smidgeon of soup left. The ladies dished up some soup and brought the pies back out. The late-arriving lady checked out the food supply, and wistfully complained, "What, no sandwiches?" Somehow this has become a family byline through the years.
I don't remember if it was this particular supper, but on one occasion I was following an older gentleman through the chow line. He was working hard to extract a piece of pie from a full pie plate. I suggested, "Lloyd, there are pies already cut further down the table," He said, "Yes, but they aren't Ruth's." Ruth was his wife, and an outstanding cook. Lloyd sure didn't want to take a chance on anyone else's pie.
Supper was over, food put away, and the hall was cleaned. Everyone headed for home. The next day at church, our lady minister told us that as she drove the 24 miles back to where she lived, she came across an automobile accident about halfway home. There were only minor injuries, but the lady got out of her car, still in the costume of a mini-skirted punk rocker. She introduced herself to the accident victims, and said, "I am the local Methodist minister. May I be of any assistance." She admitted that the victims turned down her offer.