Saturday, June 18, 2005

Prairie Lights, Dad, and the Jehovah's Witnesses

Drove to Iowa Thursday morning to read at Prairie Lights in Iowa City and hang out for Father’s Day. Reading went pretty well even though my brother Mark seems to have a better memory for the content of my book than I do, and for the life of me I couldn’t think of “Bruce Lee” in answer to a question about where the title came from. Met a lovely woman who is apparently friends with a Mr. and Mrs. Wilson in Texas, big readers and literary boosters, and had me sign a copy of the new book for them. So: Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, if you happen to also be blog-readers, know that I am truly a huge fan of your offspring and intended to pay my tribute in a completely earnest, loving spirit.

Yesterday morning a couple of very sweet Jehovah’s Witnesses came to the door bearing Bibles and Dad, being a neighborly Iowa kind of guy, invited them in, in spite of the fact that he is an avowed non-believer, firmly planted in his intellectualism. (He likes to say things like “crik” instead of “creek” to make you think he’s a regular kind of guy, but I don’t think most regular guys will point out to you, while they’re saying it, that they say “crik” instead of “creek.”) Anyway, I tried to warn the women that they weren’t going to have any luck with him, but they came in anyway and Dad engaged in a rather lengthy discussion with them about a variety of issues, and they would point out passages in the bible relating to whatever the subject was. Lois, my stepmom, came downstairs after a while and Dad introduced them by saying, “These women have come to set me right,” to which one of them said, “But your daughter already told us that’s not going to happen.” Lois and I were both intrigued by the fact that one of them was a big NPR listener, which doesn’t seem very Jehovah-witnessy. Dad said something else really funny at dinner (unrelated to the failure of his conversion) but I forgot it already. Maybe Mark knows. When I said goodnight to Ben (on the phone), he said, “How’s your dad, is he still cute?”
Yeah, I'm gonna say he is.
PS. Propers to Lois, who rocked us strawberry pie from scratch.


Anonymous said...

This is just a test of the emergency blogcast system.

Betsy said...

I repeat, this is just a test.

Teodoro Callate said...

Hey Betsy...that's a sweet story. Sounds like a good weekend.

DAM said...

In no particular order...

I have a friend who is a JW, as she refers to herself. Since I know so little about the religion, I've been surprised by some of our convos. While she won't use the exact words we might use, she alludes to them quite clearly and convincingly. She attends "meetings," which are equivalent, I think, to what others call...Oy, ask Mark what word others would use for church or synagogue attendance.

I loves me my strawberry pie, but would you mind putting in a request for blueberry next time. Now we're talking pie nirvana.

Services!!! (No need to ask Mark, unless you want to try and stump him.)

I love that your father says "crick." What vowel does he use when he says paddle? Is he up a crick without a peddle, piddle, poddle, or puddle? (I kinda like puddle. If you're up a crick without a puddle, there's no way to row. I think it works, don't you?) Your father is most definitely a sweetly regular guy.

Betsy said...

We did have a really nice weekend - we had beautiful weather too, and the place has about 8 acres, so we also played Frisbee golf - and my Dad played too! He will say "crick" but make no mistake, he's a brainy one, and selective about his linguistic folksy-isms. He just likes to appear unpretentious, and in fact, he really is unpretentious, even when he's not trying to appear to be unpretentious.
If you came to Iowa and asked for blueberry pie, I am sure you would get a blueberry pie.