MONTGOMERY—I am giving a speech to six hundred Methodists tonight.
These are happy people who smell very nice. Their combined scent in this auditorium is so wonderful that I could keep breathing until I hyperventilate.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Methodists. I’ve known a lot of them. I even married one. Well, sort of. My wife is half Methodist on her mother’s side.
My buddy Allen went to a Methodist church and after every service they had huge potlucks. The first dish on the line was always squash and cheese casserole.
The church also had a bell choir. You’ve never seen anything more fun that a bell choir.
Methodists set up fifty bells on tables and ring them at rehearsed intervals. Some musicians are better than others.
If you are good bell-ringer, they let you play more than one bell. If you are great bell-ringer, they put you on salary.
Once, I was in the Methodist bell choir. I was filling in
for Miss Henrietta, who had hip replacement surgery. Miss Henrietta was also the church pianist. I filled in for her on piano, too.
After service, we visited Henrietta in the hospital. Her visitors brought so much cheesy squash casserole the nurses had to tell people they weren’t allowed to bring any more.
When Henrietta got released, they say it took seven coolers to store all her squash casserole.
The very next Sunday, she played piano at service. They dedicated the service to her as a surprise. After the singing, people got up and read memories about her.
There were a lot of memories to be read, the old woman had been attending that church since Calvin Coolidge was in office.
At the end of service, she was invited to say a few words to the congregation. She was overcome, all she could manage to say was,…