ne of the fond memories of my parents as a young boy growing up were tent meetings. I remember them clearly. Pop held a number of
them and I suspect we went to those held by other preachers in the area. Pop has always supported his fellow ministers and brother
Two things stick out in my mind about tent meetings: The sounds and smells. Sounds like the soft swishing noise made by a hundred
hand-held fans stirring the summer heat. You remember those, the ones made with tongue depressors for a handle and funeral home ads on the
paperboard. Mom always fanned my brother and me.
I still hear the sharp
slap of an open hand on a bare arm, sending some mosquito to his early reward.
Popís voice coming over
those old portable PA systems was a little tinny and often accompanied by a slight background ring. Sometimes it wasnít so slight.
My brother and I would sit up on the front where Pop
could watch us. The singing was always good in the sense that food always seems better when eaten outdoors. The Paces all sing and I
donít know why, but we all seem to sing a little louder than most others. My Mom sings a real sincere soprano and Iíve always thought she
has a pretty voice. Pop sings his version of the tenor part a little absent mindedly, never too worried about getting all the words or the
tune. I think heís distracted from looking for people in the audience or thinking about his sermon.
Nothing reminds me of Pop
quite like the smell of old canvas and fresh cut lumber. I never pass a lumber mill with aroma of cut pine timber in the air that I donít
remember sitting on those hand-made benches the men would put together for us to use. My feet didnít touch the ground and they were
especially hard and splintery on bare legs fidgeting around waiting for Pop to wrap it up with that magic phrase, ďWonít you come as we stand