Sunday, October 5, 2008

Homecoming Men's Beach Trip

When Mulberry Baptist Church had homecoming it was a tradition for the men of the church to go on an overnight trip to the beach. It was the fall of 1983 when they went to Ironside Pier on the coast of North Carolina. The men left at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. The guys included David Goggins, Jim and Ron Medlin, Bob Miller, Jasper Forbes, Joe Randall, Bob Green, Lamar Brock and four other men.

After my back injury and knowing to always to be prepared, just in case I brought an old foam mattress that I had been using on our family camping trips and put it in the back of the bus. We were all looking forward to a great weekend when we left the church and started traveling to the beach. Not too far down the road, on Independence Boulevard, we had to replace a fan belt which was the only mechanical problem we had on the trip.

Just a little time after we had planned, we arrived at the pier at 10:00 p.m. and everyone started fishing. It turned out to be a cold night and seemed to get colder every hour. Around midnight, it became too cold for another guy and me so we went back to the bus and soon both were sleeping. We were sleeping well until around 5 a.m. when Jim Medlin came in to sleep a couple hours. He smelled so bad with stinking old fish and bait odors that we had to get up and try to continue our sleeping while sitting in seats in the very front of the bus. After a couple hours of sleep, Jim got up at 7 a.m. and went back to fishing. However, by that time the bus smelled so bad that no one could stay in it. The men fished until a little after noon and we packed the bus and finished cleaning up before we headed home.

We stopped at a fish place at Snead's Ferry to have our first meal since leaving the church parking lot. It was in an old building and we were the first customer's the day. Since we did not get hotel rooms, none of us had cleaned up too much, what a sight! Poor ol' Joe Randall looked worse than any of us and Jim put him at the back of the table. He slipped over and told the waitress that Joe had mental problems and for her not to get too close to him because he would grab and kiss her. We had a big dinner and a good time of fellowship.When we got back on the bus Joe wanted to know why the waitress would wait on everyone else but him. He had noticed that she would always give his food to one of us and we would pass it to him. Jim finely told Joe what he had done, Joe laughed being a good sport. We had a good trip home. This was the first and last fishing trip I ever went on with those guys.  Listen to me tell this story.

I am reminded of another of the many time we had fun kidding around with the members of our church. This time, John Rogers and I dressed up as a couple coming into the church off the street. It was on a summer evening service in July 1968 and not long after our family had joined the church. The pastor, Tommy Funderburk was caught by surprise after hearing the reaction of the folks there that night. At the start of the service he asked us if we wanted to introduce ourselves and share with the congregation. John and I jumped at the opportunity take him up on his offer and ham is up for the folks. I remember John answering his telephone that was ringing in his bag; this was long before cell phones.

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