A Semi-Divine Comedy

I lost track of singer Ray Stevens years ago, despite my affection for his fanciful story about Ahab the Arab and his clunky little camel named Clyde.  That meant I missed his tale of the Mississippi Squirrel Revival,  another funny song and a cautionary reminder to children of all ages: don’t take your critters to church!

When I recently was introduced to The Squirrel Revival, I laughed myself silly and then remembered another story about members of a congregation, a clutch of Pentecostals from the Texas Panhandle who tried to outrun the Devil on their way to Florida. Long before they reached the Sunshine State, they ended up wrapped around a tree in Vinton, Louisiana, while local cops stood around trying to figure out why they were naked.

A few years have passed, but the story’s just as funny today as it was back in 1993. Even some Baptists and Methodists in the area – folks who tend to take their religion pretty seriously – have been known to keep their clipping of the story close at hand. I saw the article tacked onto a refrigerator in Idalou, torn rather than clipped from the paper and starting to yellow with age. But there it was, bearing witness to the best part of the story – that it’s all true, every living word of it. Well, except maybe for those conversations the preachers had with the Devil. But no one’s even sure about that.


Floydada, Texas is about 550 miles northwest of Vinton, Louisiana. It’s cotton country, but it’s known for pumpkins, too, and likes to bill itself the Pumpkin Capital of the USA. It’s a flat and expansive land, with horizons that seem impossibly distant and days that barely can be distinguished one from another. Strangers develop a habit of looking around, as if to orient themselves. Even those who’ve grown up with the wind, the dust and the storms will say it aloud now and then: “This place will run you crazy if you let it.”

After it all was over, people wondered if Sammy Rodriguez and his brother Danny might not have been a little crazy, a little overwhelmed by their work, unable to get their bearings. When they disappeared along with eighteen of their relatives, Floydada Police Chief James Hale was one of the first to hear about it. Family members in Floydada reported them missing, mentioning to the Chief that the men had been saying some strange things. “They made statements like the Devil was after them, and Floydada was going to be destroyed if they stayed here,” Hale said. Later, someone was heard to remark that Floydada wouldn’t be much of a loss, but he said it quietly, and away from the crowds.

A few of the details varied from one report to another, but the broad outlines of the story were clear. After leaving Floydada in five or six cars, the family abandoned one in Lubbock and a second in San Angelo. A third was found in Galveston, filled with clothing, purses, wallets and other personal items. Eventually, all twenty people crammed themselves into one car and headed again to Florida, only to be stopped short in Vinton.

The troubles in Vinton began after a campground owner called police to say the group had tried to commandeer an RV. When a Calcasieu Parish deputy stopped their car, the driver seemed willing to answer questions, but when he got out of the car, he only had a towel draped around him. Vinton Police Chief Dennis Drouillard said, “When the officer went to ask what was going on, he jumped back in and took off”.

They not only took off, they took off down Vinton’s main street at speeds approaching 90 mph, until the car plowed through a fence at the baseball park and hit a tree. Fifteen adults and five children piled out of the 1990 Pontiac Grand Am. “And they were completely nude,” Drouillard said. “All twenty of them. Didn’t have a stitch of clothes on. I mean, no socks, no underwear, no nothin’. Five of them [the children] were in the trunk. The Lord told them to get rid of all their belongings and go to Louisiana. So they got rid of all their clothes and pocketbooks and wallets and identification and the license plate off their car and came to our gorgeous state.”

The car was totaled, but the injuries were minor. Sammy Rodriguez was booked on charges of reckless driving, flight from an officer, property damage and assorted minor traffic violations.


Like the police, city prosecutors seemed a little bemused and tended toward leniency. In exchange for Rodriguez paying a $650 fine and picking up the $975 tab for fixing the fence and a telephone pole, they dismissed charges of criminal damage to property. In a fit of good sense, no charges were brought for indecent exposure. As Court Clerk Mary Vice said, “The statute states that, for indecent exposure, you have to be exposing yourself in order to arouse someone. That wasn’t their intent.” Magistrate Kent Savoie gave Rodriguez 90 days to pay for the fence and 30 days to pay the fine. He was ordered to spend 17 days in jail, but after being given credit for six days served, the balance of the sentence was suspended.

After the proceedings ended, Savoie asked Rodriguez, pastor of the Templo Getsemani Assembly of God Church, why he and his nineteen relatives left their clothes behind in their flight from Texas. Rodriquez said he had a vision from God on August 17, telling him Judgment Day was at hand, and he and his family were to go to Florida. At some point in the journey, they became convinced the Devil was in the details of their clothing, so off it came.

Whatever Savoie thought of the response, he seemed to accept it. “I don’t know what possessed you to do what you did, but I’m relying on the statement you were told to do so by some higher being,” Savoie said. There are some suggestions that, by that time, Rodriguez had been thinking things over. “It wasn’t God, sir,” Rodriguez answered, his voice nearly inaudible. “I would like to apologize to the people of Vinton and Floydada for everything, and I ask for their forgiveness.”

Rodriguez said he planned to leave immediately for Lubbock and then Floydada. “When I return to Floydada I am pretty certain that I will no longer be the pastor of my church, unless the people there can forgive me,” he said. “I plan to look for a job as soon as I get back.” Rodriguez’ wife’s family sent her a plane ticket and she returned ahead of him. A relative drove the other 18 people on to Wauchula, Florida.

And that would have been the end of it, had not a fellow named Chris Stuart heard the story ten years later. He decided it was perfect song material, and went to work. He wrote a pretty good song, as a matter of fact – so good it got included in a collection of Car Talk Car Tunes put together by National Public Radio for Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.

When I listened to the song, I laughed again, and I think you will, too. I wouldn’t even be surprised to know God laughs every time he hears the story and the song. Let’s face it – we humans can be good for a laugh now and then. God knows.

Twenty Naked Pentecostals in a Pontiac

I was thumbin’ my way down to Baton Rouge, standin’ on the side of the road,
When a car pulled over and a voice cried out, “We’ll take you where you want to go.”
I jumped inside, but to my surprise, they were naked as a poor man’s toes.
It was a tight situation when the whole congregation said the devil was in my clothes.
Twenty naked Pentecostals in a Pontiac,
Brothers and sisters shoutin’ in the back,
Elders in the front, choir in the trunk,
Twenty naked Pentecostals in a Pontiac.
The sermon that morning was on Adam and Eve and the ways of the dreadful snake,
Everybody was clappin’ when the preacher pointed at me, my body began to shake.
I threw off my shirt, and my shoes and my socks,
My jeans and my BVDs.
We were all in the nude, shoutin’ “hallelu!”
and singing “Somebody Touched Me.”
Twenty naked Pentecostals in a Pontiac,
Brothers and sisters shoutin’ in the back,
Elders in the front, choir in the trunk,
Twenty naked Pentecostals in a Pontiac.
We had the cruise control set to fifty-five, when a Smokey got on our tail,
He pulled up beside, his eyes got wide, and the siren began to wail.
We ran off the road toward the tree of life, Lord, the future was looking bleak,
We hung on and prayed, everybody was saved, ‘Cause we all knew how to turn the other cheek.
Twenty naked Pentecostals in a Pontiac,
Brothers and sisters shoutin’ in the back,
Elders in the front, choir in the trunk,
Twenty naked Pentecostals in a Pontiac.

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Published in: on March 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm  Comments (66)  
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  1. What a tale – with the perfect title. (I used to love that camel, too.)

    • phil,

      The whole time I was writing, phrases like “the essential comedy of human relations” kept running through my mind.

      And don’t you know Dante would have a good time re-writing his Divine Comedy to take account of modern realities? Personally, I’d hope for a special circle to house these folks.

      I had a friend in high school who named her kitties Fatima and Clyde. We all were big fans.

      Linda

  2. Sounds like a mashup of Ray Stevens’ “The Streak” with “The Way” by Fastball.

    Did the congregation give him his job back?

    • Claudia,

      I hadn’t heard the story about the Howards, and I hadn’t heard “The Way”, but now I’m all – uh – up to speed. That’s quite a tale all on its own. They’ve put up big highway signs here to alert people to missing children, but far more often they’re providing information about “missing elderly”.

      I don’t have a clue whether the congregation took back the good pastor. The congregation’s still there, with a phone number but no email or web address. I don’t think I could bring myself to call and ask – sometimes it’s better not to intrude on family business. ;)

      Linda

      • Well, I didn’t realize “The Way” was based on a true story, so I wasn’t up to speed until now! The real story is never what I’d pictured going with the song.

        I hope I never discover that “Stairway to Heaven” was based upon me.

        • I hope so, too. That “art imitates life” business can get a little messy, sometimes!

  3. I bet Thanksgiving at the Rodriguez house is always interesting. ;)

    • Kit,

      Oh, my gosh. I hadn’t thought of that. I hope everyone’s big on “forgive and forget”!

      Linda

  4. Damn, girl! This is brilliant! Excellent post, like fresh air.

    • Martha,

      Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And you caught exactly what I wanted it to be – a breath of fresh air. Sometimes it’s enough just to tell a story, with a lot of humor and a little compassion.

      Linda

  5. “Later, someone was heard to remark that Floydada wouldn’t be much of a loss, but he said it quietly, and away from the crowds.”

    That’s a great story and you tell it so well!

    • Charles,

      You highlighted one of my favorite lines in the piece.

      It is a great story, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I love the natural humor of it all, but even more I love the absolutely unflappable Louisiana authorities. It appears they allowed the Pastor and his flock to maintain a little dignity in the midst of trying circumstances – a real gift, for sure!

      Linda

  6. Twenty naked people in that car! They should have applied to Guinness for world recognition of that physical feat, combined with wacko reasoning for pursuing it. The Lord does work in mysterious ways!

    • Rick,

      The five kids were in the trunk – apparently it was rigged so they were as comfortable and safe as five kids in a trunk could be. Plenty of air, and so on. That left fifteen in the car itself – I’m figuring four in the front, eleven in the back. Amazing.

      What’s even more amazing is that, once the damages were sorted out and arrangements made for restitution, everyone went on their way. No Children’s Protective Services showed up, no families were torn apart, no one was sent for mental evaluation. It happened, and then people moved on. Quite reasonable, really. We should be so reasonable.

      Linda

      • Aside from this being a funny story, that was what struck me the most…no CPS, no mental evils, … just moving on down the road with “I hope they’ll forgive me.” Great story.

        • Martha,

          There’s a place for CPS and etc. On the other hand, there’s no question we have people around us who live for the drama they can create, or who are willing to use other peoples’ troubles to inflate their sense of self-worth.

          Sometimes, this little dialogue is all that’s needed: “That was really stupid.” “Yes, it was.” “Are you going to do that again?” “No, never.”
          “OK. Get out of here.” I think the church calls that confession and absolution. ;)

          Linda

  7. Wonderful!

    • jmgoyder,

      It is quite a tale, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by – I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Linda

  8. I have made the trek from TX to FL plenty. I cannot imagine it sandwiched naked with that many people. Oh, my word. Hope the air condition worked!
    Red.

    • Red,

      I’m not sure about that AC. They may have needed to keep the windows down to allow a few arms and legs to stick out!

      Linda

  9. What a story! Thanks for posting this!

    • montucky,

      Don’t you wish you’d been there with your camera to record the goings-on? Or perhaps not…

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Linda

  10. I love how you told this far-fetched…but true…tale and preserved everyone’s dignity.

    • georgette,

      When it comes to dignity, it’s instructive to read some of the contemporary newspaper reports. They’re really quite restrained in their detailing of the facts, and not at all judgmental. Things have changed in twenty years.

      As the old folks used to say (and still do, in some places): “There’s just no accountin’ for folks”.

      Linda

  11. Great story: I’m tempted to ask how you keep finding things like this, but I wouldn’t want the magician to give away her tricks.

    Given today’s date (even if you posted yesterday), your link to the newspaper article was a good idea; some readers might have thought you were telling a tall tale.

    Your account reminded me of the opening lines of a story, this time fictional, from a different time and place:

    “There are strange things done ‘neath the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold.”

    The men and women in your story weren’t under the midnight sun, but they certainly were under the influence of something.

    • Steve,

      My gosh. I never thought about April Fool’s Day. I’m glad I linked to the article, too.

      There really isn’t any trick. Some women have closets filled with shoes, I have a mind filled with disconnected facts. Now and then I get a new thought, and I go rummaging around, thinking, “I know there’s something in here that will go with that…”

      I first heard the tale up in the Panhandle, in the midst of one of those conversations that includes a lot of statements like, “Well, you remember when…” I heard the song for the first time about a year ago, and then it popped up on Houston radio a couple of months ago. When “The Squirrel Revival” got dropped in my lap, I suddenly wondered if the song and the story went together. Obviously, they do.

      I just hope when it was all over, the good pastor was wearing a smile you could see for a mile. He deserved that, at least.

      Linda

  12. Giggle, giggle, giggle. Someone else asked this — where DO you find these things! And you know, I don’t care — so long as you find them and keep sharing them with us. I’m still laughing, too!

    (And you won’t be surprised to know you have a kindred spirit in an Ahab fan — every evening about midnight, he’d jump on his camel and ride! Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes and a bone in her nose, ho ho!)

    And on that note, have a great day!

    • jeanie,

      The first thing I thought of when you said you enjoyed Ahab was the good Mr. Stevens’ rendition of The Cat Song. I have a feeling Rick would get a pretty big kick out of it, too.

      The world is filled with extraordinary events and quirky people, that’s for sure. What I said on my last post about Ella applies here, too – often we know what people do, we just don’t know why.

      It can be a thin line between disaster and hilarity, but landing on the right side of that line can be wonderful. As we like to say, “It wasn’t funny at the time, but….!”

      Linda

  13. Further proof–as if it were needed–that truth is stranger than fiction. Wonderful story, so well told! Thanks for the chuckles, and the song. It has stuck in my head.

    • ds,

      And isn’t it interesting how the details of the events have been shaped in the song? It isn’t exactly true to the “facts” (there wasn’t any choir in the trunk, after all) but still it manages to communicate the utterly improbable nature of the whole thing.

      I’ve been trying to sort through my memories, to see if I can find anything equivalent in my experience. Truth to tell, I think it might be the night my mom got lost driving in a rainstorm in Kansas City, and ended up in the red light district, with a warehouse guard peering at her and saying, “Uh, ma’am? I don’t think you want to be down here….” Now that was improbable!

      Linda

  14. Squirrel Revival is so much fun!

    Juliet
    Crafty Green Poet

    • Juliet,

      Of course you’d like that! It is wonderful fun – squirrels know how to party!

      Linda

  15. Glad the story ended with a few laughs, no real harm done… and the Pastor had shown himself to have one teachable spirit, good for him.

    Considering other tales of similar sort ended with tragedy, like Waco, Jonestown, etc. this one can go down history as a – you said it, semi-divine comedy. You always think of the best titles, Linda!

    • Arti,

      The more I’ve read about the aftermath, the less I think this was Jonestown-ish. Granted, it would take one charismatic leader to get me to believe I was supposed to head from Texas to Florida with no money and no clothes, but some of the things that happened after the crash and arrest are pretty interesting.

      I purchased an article from the Dallas Morning News archives, and learned the group was taken to the Salvation Army shelter in Lake Charles after the pastor went to jail. By the time their kinfolk arrived, the people were gone – they finally were tracked down at the beach about 11 p.m. that night, and refused to come back. And, the police refused to force them to come back.

      There was a little investigation, especially in regard to the children – the Louisiana Child Protection Office got involved with them. But, in the end, no charges were filed, the relatives and the pastor’s wife went back to the Panhandle and the rest of them went on to Florida to preach. That had been their purpose all along.

      I know this – there are a lot of crazy things that happen in this world. Some of them make the papers and some don’t, but a good lot of them are just flat funny. When “funny” shows up, it seems impolite not to laugh. ;)

      Linda

  16. Ha! Made me laugh right out loud, which inspired HM to ask what was so funny (since we are in the middle of (not so intriguing) Sherlock Holmes circa 1946, thus my lack of enthusiasm – it’s not a good copy) and so I told him he’d have to read this OR listen to the video.

    What a funny little story this is…
    and I DO remember the stories songs/ of Ray Stevens…Ahab, Gitarzan and The Streak (egads, a college shocker & phenonmenon) to name a few. With his real name being Harry Ray Ragsdale, it’s little wonder he decided to sing some silly yet somehow evocative (memorable) stuff.

    Which is always a fun part of your entries – all the cool stuff they stir up that I’d not thought of in some time.
    Thanks for this.

    • oh,

      What surprised me most about Ray Stevens is that he’s been so active through the years – and has a good bit of material out there related to current issues. I’d missed songs like “The Obama Budget Plan”, which really is quite funny, no matter which side of the fence you’re on. He has a knack for tackling contentious issues without becoming hyperpartisan or snarky – a real talent.

      I didn’t know his real name, either. Apparently it was enough for me, in the 60s, to listen and laugh, without worrying about the artist. Quite a change, now that I think about it. Today, we have obsession with the celebrity, and so little regard for what they produce that “being famous for being famous” is quite acceptable.

      Glad you enjoyed the story – I love producing LOLs!

      Linda

  17. All I could think of was all those naked adults crammed together in a car (kids in the trunk not looking), wondering if they were getting away with murder! As Astrid often says, “A dirty mind is a joy forever,” after which her dad apparently always added “and a pretty girl is a toy forever.”

    ‘Course, if they were thinking the devil was in their clothes, I’m guessing they feared the devil wouldn’t let them get away with murder without them! Those Pentecostals….(said by an ex-Baptist!).

    • Ginnie,

      I woke up thinking about these folks this morning, and had a completely new idea about what they might have been up to.

      After all, it was August, and they were from the Texas Panhandle. Dry. Dusty. Hot. I went into the archives, and discovered the high temperature on August 17, 1993 was 101 degrees. That was the day they left.

      Think about it. No clothes, headed to Florida, found at the beach after they got stopped in Louisiana and unwilling to leave the beach. They weren’t worried about getting away with murder – they just wanted to cool off!

      After all, once they had a choice, none of the eighteen went back to the Panhandle. They kept on heading to Florida! That’s my interpretation, and I’m sticking to it! ;)

      Linda

  18. Well, I think this story takes the cake as far as bizarre directives from the One Above. And I will have to ponder a while on how the devil was in their clothing! How in the world do you find this stuff?

    • BW,

      That devil’s a sneaky one, don’t you know! If he can take the form of a snake, shoelaces ought to be easy!

      How do I find this stuff? Well, to put it in a more bayou-ish context, I like to go fishing for facts with a cast net rather than a fly rod. Heck – sometimes I’ll head out and trawl the bottom, just to see what turns up… ;)

      Linda

  19. Only in the USof A, nowhere else would/could this happen.
    Only in the good old, god-fearing, USofA. We have plenty of seriously religious folk here too, but you need to be of a very particular mind-set to take your beliefs this far.

    I love it; please forgive me for laughing

    • friko,

      Oh, no! I posted it to make you laugh – if I succeeded, I’m an exceedingly happy blogger!

      Whether this could happen only here, I’m not sure. There are some practices around the world that give me pause. But incongruity gives rise to laughter, and this country of ours has been filled from the beginning with folks whose beliefs and actions have been pretty heavy on incongruity.

      Personally, I’m just happy they were driving a Pontiac, rather than a VW or a Ford. It made that song so much easier to write, and much more fun to listen to!

      Linda

  20. Quite the story! It would make a rip-roarer of a novel (well, but that it is a true story, as I gather). Or maybe a program with a name like People Do The Darndest Things, MC’d by Art Linkletter, what do you think? And you are absolutely right, thank goodness they were driving a Pontiac. Ah, alliteration, what would we do without it?

    • Susan,

      I suspect there still are stories to be told. Don’t you wonder what happened to the eighteen that went on? And the pair who went back home? I feel very much like we’ve got just a snapshot here, a glimpse into a much larger narrative.

      When I see photos like your most recent of NY, I’m always curious about the buildings, always wondering “What’s going on in there?”
      It’s very much the same with this little tale. We know what happened, but the “why” still is pretty elusive. It could be a lot of fun to start in Floydada and trace their route, fleshing out the story. There’s another one for the “to-do” list!

      Linda

      • Wouldn’t that be fascinating? I certainly would love to read what you might rustle up. Now, about that to do list–do you find that ten things go on it to every half of one that comes off?

        • Oh, the list. Honest to goodness, if I retired tomorrow morning and got busy, I’d never have enough time to do everything I want to do before I die. Part of the problem’s exactly what you’ve identified – that wonderful reality that “every stop there’s a place to start…” It’s just the nature of “la vie dansante.”

  21. Hi-larious.

    • Mary Ellen,

      Isn’t it, though? Life being what it is these days, smiles are to be cherished, and this story’s brought smiles to a whole lot of folks.

      I’m smiling even more broadly now, just with the pleasure of seeing you.

      Linda

  22. You’re such a great story teller Linda.

    I saw the article tacked onto a refrigerator in Idalou, torn rather than clipped from the paper and starting to yellow with age.

    and

    “Even those who’ve grown up with the wind, the dust and the storms will say it aloud now and then: “This place will run you crazy if you let it.”

    I’d love to know how they managed to cram 20 people into one old car. If this happened in 2012 those 5 kids would’ve been taken away for SURE!

    I also wondered whether it was an April Fools story!

    • Rosie,

      You know, it’s funny – I’m just beginning to figure out that I like telling stories! And I’m beginning to appreciate the dear Ms. Dickinson’s words in a new way:

      Tell all the Truth but tell it slant
      Success in Circuit lies
      Too bright for our infirm Delight
      The Truth’s superb surprise

      I figure: four in the front seat nine in the back, with five on the bottom and four sitting on their laps. But really – I try not to think about that too much.

      I can’t believe I didn’t think about April Fool’s day. All I knew is that suddenly April rolled around and I thought: “Taxes!” Time for a little less story-telling and a little more calculatin’!

      Linda

      • Oh, just spotted that Dickinson quote as I was about to go. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Yes, Linda, do, do, tell us more stories!

        • Isn’t it perfect? Emily gets a bad rap. I think she would like this story, too. As for stories – just wait ’til I get to the flounder decoy….

  23. Oh my. This is too hilarious and frightful all wrapped up into one!

    • Emily,

      Isn’t it, though? Sometimes, it’s better just to laugh and enjoy, and not spend too much time thinking about the details! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the kindness of a comment!

      Linda

  24. Oh mercy me! I laughed and LOL’ed all over… Great belly laugh pulling the throat. Naked Pentecostals on the run because the devil was in the detail of their clothes. I’ve seen Pentecostals do all kinds of things—but crammed naked in a small car? Really, we need more stories like this because we are all human. Thanks for the delightful storytelling and photos to go with! Oh, and great title too -“A Semi-Divine Comedy.”LOL LOL :)

    • Anna,

      You’re exactly right – we’re all human, and we all have our foibles, our silly rituals, our fantastic beliefs and our instances of poor judgment. When they pop up, they’re quite often worthy of a whole lot of laughter!

      I think that’s one reason I enjoy “country life” so much – and small towns. There’s still a lot of story-telling that goes on there, and a lot of the stories are flat funny. I have a few tucked away that still need telling – and guess who’s the butt of the jokes? ;)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it – and the photos. I never thought my little vintage postcard collection would be useful in quite this way!

      Linda

  25. I commented somewhere above, but just went back and listened to the song. Because it’s about something that actually happened, it makes it all the more interesting and funny. Wonderful story.

    • Martha,

      It is a great song. I tucked it into my “feel good” tune file immediately. My next task is to listen to the whole Car Talk Car Tunes CD and see what else they might have. Who knows what other treasures are on that thing. After all, woman does not live by Clapton and Cale alone!

      Linda

  26. Had to revisit here to wish you a lovely Spring/Easter weekend. My email seems messed up this a.m. which is why I’m writing you here rather than there.

    I can see the backyard from the corner of my eye and it’s calling to be mowed yet methinks I’d rather jump in the car and take a roadtrip…still need to see Galveston.

    I imagine you’re up to something very cool and hope we get to hear about it. Or, perhaps you’re sitting on the dock, listening to the water lap up against the boats. Which would be a lovely way to spend some time this a.m.

    • oh,

      And happy Easter & Spring to you, too! In fact, I was on the road this weekend, and yes, you’ll be hearing about it – today, for sure. The photos are processed, the words are in process, and I think you’ll enjoy it. It involves flowers, for one thing, and a goat, but they’re not connected in the way you’re thinking.

      These holiday weekends are great times to get away from the water. There are too many jet skis, too many people, too much drinking. There are sights to behold, for sure. But there are better things to do, so I did one of them.

      I hope your weekend was delightful, colorful and happy!

      Linda

  27. This one takes the cake. I can’t stop visualizing it. I know it’s all going to replay through my head when I try to go to sleep tonight. Thanks for the laugh.

    I do love that phrase… in a fit of good sense…

    • Bella Rum,

      It’s one of the best stories, ever. I’m of a divided mind about knowing what happened down the road. I’m curious about how everyone got back into reality – or if they did. On the other hand, this is one of those “slice of life” moments that I’m equally willing to just let be. It’s perfect, just as it is.

      Glad you like my little phrase, too. I don’t have a clue if I’ve heard that or if I made it up, but it would be nice if more people were overcome that way!

      Linda

  28. Well, I was supposed to comment on this a week ago – (I can read your blog at work, but can’t comment so I email myself a reminder, but the reminder doesn’t work if it gets buried in my other email). Anyway, thanks so much for making me laugh out loud – I’d heard the squirrel revival song, but I had NOT heard the Pentecostal one. Thanks!

    • Bug,

      Isn’t it wonderful? There’s something about real humor – not snarkiness, or ridicule – that’s just so refreshing. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve always thought laughter was one of the best gifts in the world.

      Remember when that painting of the “laughing Jesus” first showed up? It’s been years ago, I suppose – maybe decades. I remember how scandalized some people were. I guess they thought everything in life is supposed to be serious, all the time. Thank goodness it isn’t.

      Linda

  29. “Later, someone was heard to remark that Floydada wouldn’t be much of a loss, but he said it quietly, and away from the crowds.”

    I agree. I’ve been to Floydada, and it wouldn’t be that much of a loss, seeing as how there’s not that much to lose in the first place. I’ve got room to talk. I live in “Buddy Hollyville,” a few miles down the road. Twenty Pentecostals in a Pontiac, speaking in towels, no doubt.

    Here’s one for your collection:

    Scroll on down here for some background on the song.

    Not quite up to 20 Pentecostals in a Pontiac, but close as in horseshoes, or maybe hand grenades. . .

    • WOL,

      “Speaking in towels…” I haven’t stopped laughing at that one yet!
      And all it took was reading “Buddy Hollyville” to get this one playing in my head. The article you linked does a terrific job of providing some historical context, not to mention a sense of what was going on in the hearts and minds of some great musicians of the time.

      That old approach-avoidance conflict gets played out every day, in more ways than we can imagine. Sometimes it gets resolved, but most of the time we just keep bouncing back and forth, enjoying things like the onion championship before we get back on the road. ;)

      Linda


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