Letter #14: Big Fat Turquoise Submarine

In the 1960’s, in between the raging Civil Rights movement and the iconic Kennedy family I was a little girl.   I was growing up in E. St. Louis and times were changing almost at the same speed of those rockets being lobbed out into outer space with their target the moon. But just as any child does – no matter which generation or era they are born into, they’re just busy living. And so I was – in a large family (9 kids) 4 grown and 5 still at home – all girls, living in a small house with one bathroom. Live action history being made didn’t matter as much as your place in the line outside of that bathroom especially on a Sunday morning.   Soon Brother Higgerson (an older gentleman – grandfatherly type) from a local church would be on time picking us 5 girls up – being late wasn’t going to happen. My oldest sister Maureen saw to that. . .

Brother Higgerson drove one of those really, really big old cars from the 1940’s (it looked like a fat submarine, a fat turquoise submarine to the little 8 yr old that I was). He came faithfully to our house every Sunday and picked us 5 girls up and off we went to Sunday School and “Big” church. Truly when I remember the gentleness of this kind man’s heart I see warm spring days, me wearing a white sweater over light weight dresses and snuggled warmly between sisters in the backseat of that turquoise submarine! The world was convulsing politically and culturally – nothing was stable but Brother Higgerson showed up every Sunday and took us to church.

I loved going to Sunday School, it was way more fun than – you know, regular school. I always got a snack, got a Bible story and of course made a craft. The snack was devoured and gone within minutes, the craft – well the crafts didn’t make it into the shoebox of memories I still own . . . however the Bible Stories remained and so do I – in church.

Never think just cause they’re small (the kids) and the stories are short that they won’t endure or make a difference. The stories have gotten a little bit more backdrop to them these days for me but the essence of the story never has changed for me. I know I need Jesus . . . and He loves me !

So for every soul that works in the Children’s Ministries at your local churches I say thank you! And, Brother Higgerson though you never lived to know it, I can tell you for sure those 5 little girls all gave their hearts to Jesus who rode in that turquoise fat submarine and many other souls are heaven bound out of our individual families! I suppose I’ll know you when I see you cause I’m fairly certain that ole car went to heaven with you.   So I’ll just look for it and of course . . . the kids hanging out of the windows sniffing the clean air of heaven as you cart them on over to the crafts department. Do they argue in the backseat? Do the older ones ask the younger ones if they’ve brushed their teeth today? Not that I remember any of that going on back in the day 🙂

Seriously – thank you, Sir for that 15 minute ride – it’s some day gonna take me to heaven ya know – Yes, Sir indeed . . . thank you for that 15 minute ride!

SIDE NOTE: The adult “Little Girl” would still like to receive snacks @ church – can I get an “Amen” 🙂

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