I missed a lot of good entertainment shows and many educational TV programs because of my mother's beliefs; in particular I didn't get to see the Davy Crockett series of shows on The Wonderful World of Disney, but all my chums did and that hurt worse than me not seeing them; Davy was one of my local and legendary heroes. I also loved good cartoons, and I still do. No Donald Duck animated shorts for me, though. I was God-fearing, but I was more mama-and-her-switch-fearing. My life seemed to me to have become a 'go to church and go to school' type of existence. Of course, my plight did have rewards. I always had more toys than did my pals, and more and better clothing, too. I had no older siblings so I didn't wear worn hand-me-downs. Another thing I had which so many of my peers seemed not to have was a wild imagination. Every hollow stump was a space ship or a submarine. Other boys wanted to play shoot-em up western movies or war movies, but I was living in my sci-fi thoughts, saving Thuvia, the beautiful maiden of Barsoom and fighting space pirates in a far galaxy. My summers were spent mostly alone in the woods and fields, listening to tiny creatures sing their love songs and eavesdropping on trees as they gossiped among them selves.
Another Sunday morning rolled around in another year, 1960 I think it was. I was plenty disillusioned with being forced to do something which I was becoming to not believe in as I was being taught. My mom awakened me at the usual hour to get ready for church, but I decided it was time for me to quit being her little boy and to refuse to go. Physically, I was almost as big as she and the few whippings had become no more than a nuisance. That day, I told her I was not going to church and we were soon having an argument of which I am still ashamed. As she was threatening me with earthly mayhem and ever-lasting hell, I was smart-mouthing back to her and somehow she decided to slap me upside the head as she had done a few times before; it had become her unwritten exclamation point. However, this time she had a sachet cream jar in her hand and when it hit just at the top of my right ear I went to my knees, nearly unconscious and seeing stars. It scared her as much as it did me and there was a bit of blood on my ear to add to her angst. Well, I got my wish and I did not go to church that morning and neither did she, but until the day I turned 18 years old, I never missed or resisted going to church. I know she did not realize she had the sachet jar in her hand and I know she would not purposely have hurt me. In fact, up until her death in 2002, we both still got a big laugh out of the events of that long-past Sunday. I always chidingly blamed her for trying to kill me be cause I was refusing to go and worship a man who had been killed by the people he loved because he was being a rebel, same as I. Anytime I was at her house and she was displeased with something I was saying or doing, she would go the her bedroom, retrieve the very same sachet bottle which she had kept as a reminder, and hold it in front of my face without uttering a word.
Since the day I turned 18 in 1962, I have not been inside a church building except for an occasional wedding, for too many funerals, and to make a random photo. My fall from the foot of Jesus to the dark side of the force was complete.
Have a thoughtful Sunday, my friends.