When my dad was preaching in Graves County, he was constantly planning outings for the young people. On Sundays after church services, we would go to someone’s house for dinner and let me tell you, it was good eatin’ too.
After lunch, we sometimes would get up a softball game and more people would join us for that. By the end of the afternoon, everybody was all hot and sweaty but we had loads of fun. Sometimes we would sit out under the shade trees and play gin rummy – not for money of course. I remember one time I called gin on my first hand, but I think I forgot to draw a card. Needless to say, everybody was pretty unhappy with me because we had to start all over.
Some Sunday afternoons, we would go to area churches where they were having a singing. If you don’t know what a singing is – well, everybody gathered in the auditorium and anyone who wanted to lead a song put his name on the list. Each person whose name was on the list led at least one song and sometimes we would go through the list twice. There were young boys who liked leading songs too but just didn’t have the courage to start the song. My dad usually would help them with that. On the way back, we generally stopped at a drive-in to get cherry cokes. We always had so much fun.
So, on to the trip. One night after church, the men of the congregation got together and decided that a trip to the St. Louis Zoo would really be fun. So it was announced that anyone who wanted to go could and the ladies were gonna bring snacks for us to eat on the way and stuff for lunch. One Saturday morning, they rented a Greyhound bus and off we went. That puppy was crammed full and you can just imagine the noise when all us kids got on there.
I don’t know if you remember or even have heard of this song, but “The Name Game” was very popular about that time. As I said, the bus was totally full and we started in the back of the bus and sang everybody’s name, and I mean everybody, including the bus driver Fred. We were worn out before we ever got to the zoo from singing all those names.
We made it there and found a big pavilion where the moms could get all the food put out so we could eat something before heading off in a gazillion different directions. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we walked all over that zoo, probably more than once. And, since we had lived in St. Louis when I was younger, I felt right at home. I have always loved animals; and at the zoo, there is every kind of animal imaginable to see.
Later that afternoon, we all got back on the bus and started home. No, we didn’t sing “The Name Game” because we were totally beat. I think we even slept most of the way back home.
It was a fun day for all of us but it was especially nice that we all had a good time together with family.
See ya next Wednesday.