2 Chapters
Medium 9781574411836

Onan Comes In From the Cold

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Onan Comes In

From The Cold j

When John was born, his mother said, “It’s a boy.” When Roybal was born, she said, “Another boy.” When John was a child, his mother told friends, “He’s a good boy.” When Roybal was a child, she told strangers, “I wanted another child but not this one.”

In Chillicothe Middle School, John was called Big John.

John liked being called Big John. Roybal was called Roybal and boys stretched it out and accented the last syllable—

Royyyy-bullllll. Roybal hated his name although his mother said he was named after a movie star. When he got to college where there was a library, he discovered the movie star was

Royal Ballet.

In high school Big John made good grades because he was an athlete with boyish charm and joked with his teachers. He never did homework because he was too busy chasing balls, girls, or a good time. He scored high on exams because the smart kids passed him the answers to win his smile.

Roybal made bad grades because he was smarter than his brother or anyone else in his school but he wanted to be liked and the smartest kid was never liked. He never did homework because he already knew all that stuff. He aced exams but his teachers gave him bad grades because they thought he cheated.

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Medium 9781574411836

Testimonial Time in the Baptist Church

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Testimonial Time in the Baptist Church j

Sunday night meant testifying at the Chillicothe Baptist Church and folks who weren’t Baptists came to see what their Christian brethren had been up to. Testifying gave a whole new meaning to the expression, “No news is good news.”

After singing, praying and a short (for him) sermon, Brother

Wachel opened the floor to those who wished to bear testimony to what the Lord had done for them.

With a husky voice Butch Trulove testified that his mother’s dying words to him were, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

After she died, he tried to drown his sorrow in a whiskey bottle. Late one night he left a bar and a piece of paper blew up against his foot. He picked it up and it was a tract with the words, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Butch recognized it as a message his mother had sent from the grave. “And that’s why I’m in church tonight,” Butch said.

Folks nodded politely but in West Texas sin tracts were as common as cactus. Baptists believed Butch started drowning in a bottle before his mother took sick. Methodists believed turning fifty had cured Butch of more sins than Jesus had.

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