Friday, June 30, 2017


Crows. Daytime they

perch and make a living using the naked top limbs of several old dead trees as their headquarters. As evening comes they fly across our hotel to the thick brush of several trees bunched directly across from us, a safe haven on a long island of marsh grass between Scipio Creek and Apalachicola River. 

My water-tank story is that when we moved to Apalachicola in 1984 the water-tank stood tall in the circle in front of Trinity Church. Summer of 1985 we had three hurricanes here. We left for the first one, an adventure for another blogpost. For the second we stayed in the rectory with lights off that night so the roving law enforcement wouldn't notice we were defying the mandatory evacuation order. I remember watching a bright spot off to the west of us during the worst of the storm as the eye moved ashore between here and Port St. Joe (or at least that's what I perceived). But the startling event was a tremendous crash, like an explosion nearby. The city water-tower down at the circle had been blown down by force of the hurricane winds, flooding water that washed down a part of the coping around the park out front of the church, and scattering metal parts all over. Some oil drum size orange street markers had been under the water-tank, and our first indication of what the explosion was, was a few seconds later as one of the orange drums rolled down 6th Street in front of the house. 

Within the next year or so, the city relocated the water-tank-tower up here near Scipio Creek, north end of town. Having loved its identifying location since I was a small boy, I was disappointed they didn't rebuild it in my front yard.

Visit to a town of my heart that I loved visiting with my father on his fish business in the second half of the 1940s after World War 2. In fact, I remember driving with him on Hwy98 east of here and Carabelle through Camp Gordon Johnson when the army still occupied the area in that end of the war time frame, because we had to stop for inspection by the MPs before entering and driving through. And seems to me our government housed German prisoners of war at Camp Gordon Johnson during that time. I wonder if any POWs managed to escape, blend in, and stay in America. 

Predawn. After five and before six, but the sun isn’t up yet. No lightning or rain, but now and then a far distant thunder boom. Now dawning. Photo effect of the screened porch.

And then I loved Apalachicola driving through here summers on the way to Camp Weed during the early 1950s, and coming here to the Dixie Theater with friends from camp when I was on staff those summers. After that, until 1984, a gap of thirty years for life to come along, happen and become part of the past, until we moved here in 1984 for a fourteen year visit while I was parish priest at Trinity Episcopal Church, golden years of living. 

In that time we watched Apalachicola evolve from a hidden quaint coastal fishing village into a tourist shopping boutique with shops, hotels and seafood restaurants, and the old nineteenth and early twentieth century houses restored into a quietly classy corner of creation. Days, the three blocks of downtown are thick crawling with tourists, visitors, but coming north four blocks it’s as completely bare of population as I remember thirty years ago, and the same potholes. We lived here at just the right time: this was home for our family of three, now back to two, and yes you can go home again.

Diamond Anniversary dinner last evening at the Gibson Hotel. Linda wearing her lovely earrings and necklace gift from beloveds who just returned from Dominican Republic. 

Gormley’s at the Gibson is the restaurant there, furthering Apalachicola’s stretch into the town's classy future. The chef, Brett Gormley, and his wife own the restaurant, quite an accomplishment for a young man. Brett and his sister Angela were small children when we were here years ago, I would have baptized them and presented them to the bishop for confirmation. Early in our years here, Brett’s grandfather Bill Joyner used to stop in front of the rectory, honk the horn, lean out the window of his old green Ford F100 pickup towing a cuddy cabin cruiser, and shout, “Let’s go fishin’!!” I’d drop my sermon notes, go climb into the passenger seat, and away we’d go up the river. We never caught one fish, but we’d stop and either anchor or tie up under a tree at the bank, and Bill would have brought a sandwich and a beer for each of us. A few years later, when Nicholas was a small boy, I bought that green F100 from Bill as my first pickup truck, and Nick and I enjoyed it around town for several years. 

One Sunday after church, I walked out the back, locked the sacristy door and down the steps heading for the rectory next door, just as a member of Bill’s family got out of a car and hurried up to the gate. “Dad’s at Weems Hospital, please come.” I was there with Louise, maybe Brett’s mother Beverly, and I think Annette, as Bill took one more gasp and stopped breathing and his daughter Anita murmured “Bye, Dad. See you later.” A few memories barely touch my involvement with Brett’s family over the years.

Gormley’s at the Gibson is now my choice for exquisite dining. Linda included oysters in her Guest Platter so I could have them, giving me four courses. Instead of a regular dinner, I ordered three appetizers. Seven fried oysters on spicy mayonnaise came piled delicately with the bitter greens that I like. Next, a bowl of about a dozen clams (not mussels) in their soup base; I saw the picture on the restaurant’s website and saw no need to resist. Penultimate, a bowl of Oyster Bisque, thick, slightly yellow orange and delicious, with Brett’s ingredients. Finally for my dinner, the oysters from Linda’s Guest Platter of grilled seafood. Two excellent desserts to close, and black coffee for me.

Upon returning to the hotel, we sat out on the porch for an hour watching as the crows flew over and settled into their evening roost, while just below observing a boat owner and spouse scrub their boat for an hour, complaining to the owner of the boat in the next slip about the mechanical problems they'd been confronted to deal with to restore the boat to seaworthy -- making it once again easy if I am ever forced to choose between owning a large boat and going to Hell.

After a stop for coffee and something sweet at the Apalachicola Chocolate Company, we may head for 7H. We plan to return to Oyster City for a wedding in October, and maybe for a long weekend at my birthday mid September.

DThos+ somewhere in +Time+  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 29, 1957

Just past four-fifteen, from our third floor porch it’s pitch black dark looking out on Scipio Creek. Occasional lightning flash in tall clouds to the east of me and every now and then distant thunder. Heading south, one boat has sped by as I watched, going fishing maybe, for livelihood or fun. 

Otherwise, it’s quiet. Now and then maybe some traffic sounds way south, but we can’t see Gorrie Bridge from this room, neither the bridge nor the causeway between Apalachicola and EastPoint. From our bedroom in Trinity Church rectory those years, traffic, truck gears shifting going up or coming down the bridge, was the main thing we heard. Although emergency vehicles speeding by on Avenue E, sirens screaming, did come down the middle of our bed, we were that close upon Highway 98.

So far in life, I’ve managed to abide by a life’s rule I set for myself in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the spring of 1984 upon accepting the call to Trinity, Apalachicola: never again, never ever again to live north of USHighway 98 or out of sight and smell of salt sea.

Don’t call us, we’ll call you: this is a private retreat, a getaway, as today is our sixtieth wedding anniversary. June 29, 1957: what has happened since then? Several, more than a few, entire lifetimes have been lived.  


Top: Anniston Star, Anniston, Alabama, January 27, 1957, Miss Linda Peters to wed Thomas Weller in Florida

Bottom: Linda Noble Peters and Thomas Carroll Weller, Jr., Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Panama City, FL June 29, 1957

okay, I was wrong: we can see the causeway from here:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gräf & Stift

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Princess Sophie of Austria-Hungary were assassinated by a nineteen year old Serb nationalist, giving governments an excuse to ignite the outbreak of the First World War. 

We humans love war, and our governments seize upon any reason to go for it, with enthusiastic support by their populaces. A tragedy of war is the topsy-turvy-ness of it that those who suffer and die mostly are innocent late teenage males. A rule should be that only government officials go to the front, them and their offspring. 

Once I believed that only mothers and grandmothers should be top government executives, thinking females more likely to value the lives of a nation’s children, but I don’t believe that anymore: the ladies are as confrontational as we are, or more so.

That day, on an official visit that reportedly also celebrated their fourteenth wedding anniversary, FF and Sophie were riding in a 1910 Gräf & Stift phaeton, apparently a seven-passenger touring car, owned by the Count who was one of their hosts for the visit.

The royal couple had a daughter and two sons, orphaned at ages 13, 12 and 10 when their parents were assassinated. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

On the Beach

Add caption

This picture of cars on the beach, not PCB for two reasons, one is that PCB was bare, no buildings at the time, another is that the cars are on a hard beach of beige sand, not on our sugar white sand, maybe it's Daytona, IDK; because of the newest cars shown, the picture is no later than maybe summer 1939 in my opinion, was posted on FB by a dear friend who knows me as something besides holy man or naval officer, with a challenge. I'll see what I can do. 

As my blogposts are never put up as forums for conversation, discussion or argument, I often "react" in FB terms with like or love, but never or seldom respond; but, no mind, anyone who wishes is welcome to challenge my identifications. I'd like to know how to label the cars with numbers so I could then be clear in my list below, but I don't know how to do that.

So here's my go at it anyway.

Front row left to right. 1939 Plymouth four door convertible probably advertised as a phaeton; 1939 Chrysler sedan, I don't do motorcycles, red 1939 Buick with side mount spare.

Going back to the left, 1937 Ford convertible, and behind it a 1938 Dodge sedan. Behind the 1939 Plymouth convertible I'm not positive but the blue or black car with the redheaded boy in red shirt sitting on the front fender looks like a 1937 Cadillac to me (I'M CORRECTING THIS TO 1937 LaSalle), and behind that a 1937 I'm saying Oldsmobile. Behind the Olds with a red license plate and driver's head and arm hanging out the window of a 1937 Plymouth. Directly behind that 1937 Plymouth are three cars that I can't see enough to ID and then behind them the last car in that line slightly offset to our left is a 1939 Dodge; if you can't spot the 1939 Dodge, to its right our left off to the side is a red or orange car heading in the other direction all we can see is its rear end. 

See, absent numbers for absolute clarity, I'm trying to go right and back by sort of column even though the cars are not lined up evenly.

Behind the 1939 Chrysler could be a Model A Ford roadster with the boy wrapped in a purple robe, but I'm not sure. Behind that is a tan car that I wasn't sure but looks like a Chrysler product to me and I'm calling it a 1939 DeSoto but if someone can prove it's a 1939 Nash I'll be okay with that. Behind that with girl and boy standing on the roof I think is a 1936 Ford but I'm okay if you call it a 1935 Ford or even a different make I'll stand corrected. Behind that car is another 1939 Plymouth. The light green car behind 1939 Plymouth looks like a 1935 Chevy Master to me from here but I'm not sure. Behind that light green car is a GM car that is pretty fuzzy to me but I'll call as a 1936 Chevrolet.

Coming back to the front, behind the guy on the motorcycle is a 1936 Dodge. Behind the 1936 Dodge and to our left is a tan Ford that I'll call as a 1935 but could be 1936. To our right and behind 1936 Dodge the red car is a 1937 Oldsmobile convertible. Behind the tan Ford and the red Olds is a 1937 Buick with dual side mounts love it.

To our left behind the 1937 Buick looks like a 1938 Chevrolet. Directly behind the 1937 Buick is a black car that's trying to go crosswise to our right looks like a 1939 Ford Tudor sedan to me but I can't make out the front headlight silhouette enough to be sure; it could be an earlier year 1937 or 1938 and if it's a 1939 it also could be a 1940 as the 1939 DeLuxe and 1949 Ford are close and I can't see the front grill.

Behind the red 1937 Olds convertible and to our right is a green car that's hard for me to call somebody will know I think its a middle size GM car could be another 1937 Buick? and behind it in the top right of the picture is a black 1936 Plymouth.

Let's see, coming back to the left again, behind the blue 1938 Dodge is a car I can't ID with a boy hanging out the back window on each side; and behind that is a Chevrolet with dual side mounts: it's either a 1935 Chevrolet Standard or a 1934 Chevrolet Master. Directly behind that Chevrolet and slightly to our left is what was to me one of the homeliest cars of all time a 1938 Oldsmobile.

OK, just a couple of IDs in the background cars to our left and pointed toward our right. Anyone can jump in ahead of me, but I'm going to skip a couple of cars that I could look up and ID. I see another 1937 Buick. Behind the 1937 Buick I see a four door sedan that the front is hidden but has one of the early built in trunks and behind that the spare tire and I may go back and research to ID that IDK. There's a red or orange two door "touring sedan" because it has a built in trunk and the high rear lights that I'll call as another 1937 Oldsmobile. 

Finally, way in the background headed toward us are some great old 1930s cars too far back for me, although I do think I see a Packard back there, check for yourself.

What are my disappointments in the picture? I didn't spot any Pontiac cars that should have been clear with the Silver Streak. No Hudson cars that I could ID. No cars to positively ID as Nash but have a go yourself. The cars I ID'd as 1937 Buick could be 1938 Buick as the only difference was the front grill bars in the 1937 Buick were very thin and delicate while they were thick and bold instead of delicate in the 1938 Buick.

On almost any and all I can stand corrected except the 1939 Chrysler products, the red 1939 Buick, and that ugly 1938 Olds.

DThos+ loving +Time+ 

Thanks, Vicky!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday &c

First, foremost and forever for Fire Controlman First Class Gary Rehm, hero of USS Fitzgerald, who according to the article below, made twenty trips into the flooding crew berthing compartment to rescue shipmates before himself being caught below when the watertight hatch was secured to save the ship, leaving him trapped to drown with six other sailors. Rehm has proved himself the best that we can be. This story keeps growing, and I'm feeling that it will never leave my heart. The story confounds understanding, maybe it takes a destroyer sailor to hurt so. Said before, I've slept many nights snuggled up against the cool skin of the ship, lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean rushing by a fraction of an inch away, knowing every man on the bridge, and with total confidence that I was safe, never the least thought of risk. It was Trust, unconditional Trust. I never thought about it at the time, but looking back nearly sixty years, it defined Trust. Someone or someones betrayed shipmates in a way that is beyond comprehension. The facts will out, cause will be fixed, cause and blame, there may be courts martial, shame, punishment, and ruin, but such failure to keep faith with Trust defies understanding and, even to a pastor and clumsy theologian, is beyond forgiveness.

Overcast this morning, still dark predawn, with beautiful lightning in clouds off the Gulf coast and southwest of 7H. 

We love condo living, 7H life is ding nigh perfect and ten-year-old Harbour Village is beautifully kept, nicely maintained. Quite cheap compared to owing a house. For example, at one point, after Hurricane Ivan I think it was, my homeowner insurance policy was canceled and my new policy-in-desperation premium was ten thousand dollars; here, same nephew, my policy is four hundred. Of course, now we're only insuring contents, inside. Utilities a hundred compared to three hundred at the Old Place. At six hundred monthly, HOA fee covers the outside and many other things including maintenance and reserve. It may be a relatively pricey HOA fee, but frankly it’s damn cheap rent. 

In recent months the side of Harbour Village that faces the park was painted, the first time it needed painting in ten years. For some weeks we’d been looking forward to their renovating the lobbies and elevators, and that began last week with our, South Lobby, first. What was originally announced as to take 8:30 to 4:30 Monday stretched out all week and more as unexpected issues were uncovered and corrected, still not all finished. Presumably they won’t start the West Lobby until ours is done, but mox nix mir.

The inconvenience, minor, was that lobby and elevators were closed and residents in our South and the middle tower had to either walk over and around to the West Lobby and elevators or take the stairs. Going down, I walked stairs, then partway up. It was a welcome opportunity of being forced to experience the stairs, with the exercise which, having learned and found it beneficial, I pledge myself to continue, although I overdid it Sunday afternoon after my long pastoral nap. An alternate, as I say, was to walk the, well what the hell, it’s a couple of blocks which wasn’t a chore, but being outside and seven floors up was unnerving to not a heights person. We’ve been here two and a half years and I’m accustomed to the short and enclosed seventh floor walkway between elevator and 7H, but walking longer distance in the open in both height and high wind was discomfiting. 

I’ll be glad when the project is finished. It’s being done beautifully, worth the minor inconvenience that kept us mindful of our good fortune to be in the South Lobby wing, garage access inside instead of West Tower and Lobby having to walk outside all weather to get to the underground garage; and the stairwell exercise both down and up is a good health lesson. 

My only sadness is that reportedly some residents have been ugly, rude, quite vocally unpleasant about being inconvenienced. Oh my, is life so tough? Whine, whine, whine. To hell with the lot, they can stuff it.

Sunday afternoon after my nap we sat out on 7H porch, one with a glass of wine, one with V8 and Absolut, watching sky blacken with clouds and storms approach and pass through. Linda watched mullet jump while I exchanged communications with Kristen. After the storm, we watched frantic thrashing of, judging by the fins and no rolling, three sizable sharks supping on mullet just below 7H. 

Life Is Good. Too good to last forever. 

DThos+ in +Time+  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Servants Like the Master

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith: thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is its equal in every way: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

But we have not loved you with our whole heart, we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves, we are not truly sorry and we do not humbly repent.

Romans 6:1, our lesson today: Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? μὴ γένοιτο! By no means! God forbid! Let it not be so! How can we who died to sin go on living in sin? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Might walk in newness of life. Might walk in newness of life. Might walk in newness of life.

Might walk in newness of life. But God help us, we live in a venomous age of hatred, hating one another, hating anyone different from us. And though we’re aware that it’s a malignant national contagion, we are “carriers,” we continue to spread it. “Love God, Love Neighbor,” the basic commandment of our Lord we sneer and contemn. A nation of Typhoid Marys of Hate, we infect the earth, we poison creation: we conservatives hate liberals, we liberals hate conservatives, what’s the matter with us? We are not Christian, baptism and spouting the Baptismal Covenant and the Nicene Creed do not make us Christian, only taking up the cross and “becoming Christ” makes us Christian. We do not love Jesus, we have sunk into the shadow, and there is no health in us, miserable offenders.

The world and, for shame, our God Blessed America have fallen back to Genesis 1, The Beginning, when darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God had not moved over churning chaos, and God had not said, the Word had not spoken.

Yahweh saw that the wickedness of ha-adam was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of our hearts was only evil continually. And Yahweh was sorry that he had made humans on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (Genesis 6:5,6)

We grieve the Holy Spirit. I am no longer glad to be human, no longer proud to be Christian in a nation of consummate hatred, how does God stand us, how can we stand ourselves? Do you hate? God forbid. Are you a carrier of hatred, are you spreading hate? God forbid, but if you speak hate, if you write hate and press send, if you forward hate, if you pick up political, ethnic, racial or personal slams on the internet and share hate, liberals damning conservatives, conservatives damning liberals, Christians damning Muslims, demeaning others in the darkness of hatred -- if we do that, we spread hatred, Christian, it is Sin, we must stop it, you are to stop it, only you can stop it. We are neighbors, every American is “your neighbor as yourself.” Thou shalt love.

Thirty years ago I had a parishioner, his name was Westin Schumacher (a slight name change so you cannot look him up), he was the most dense, thickly obtuse, self-unaware human I have known in all my years. Wes never “got it”, could not “get it,” he had no comprehension of the dullard offensiveness of what he was, was saying, was doing, was repeating. Wes always had an inappropriate story. With his southern drawl, he considered himself funny with his racist jokes about black people, Jews and others. 

In due course, I commended Wes, along with half dozen other people from my parish, to a Cursillo weekend at Beckwith; and as we did in those days, as soon as Sunday church was over, Linda and I piled into the car and, we had developed a large Cursillo community in our parish, so with everyone else who wanted to go, we sped the five hour drive to Beckwith for the Sunday afternoon Cursillo closing, a joyful celebration to cap off the Cursillo weekend. 

The bishop was there, Charles Duvall, as preacher — a focus of that particular Cursillo weekend, and therefore of the bishop’s closing sermon, had been learning to become self-aware of one’s attitudes, and especially here in the South, to examine oneself about subconscious biases, prejudices, unconscious racism, to become Christ instead of self, to become self-aware and consciously avoid racist comments, racist humor, to become introspective, thoughtful and self aware to spread love, not hatred. To become Christ.

It’s been long years, and I do not know how they do it now, but in those days the Cursillo Closing Eucharist ended with The Peace, when those of us who had driven from afar as a surprise, would greet and welcome our new Cursillistas. As I took Wes Schumacher’s hand, congratulated and exchanged The Peace with him, he pulled me aside, chuckled, and began to tell me the filthiest N-word joke in his repertoire. It was clear Wes had not thought a thought all the Cursillo weekend. Wes had not heard one word of the bishop’s sermon. Wes was unaware, obtuse, AWOL, vacant. The stupidest man I have ever known, he was oblivious to himself, to his sin, to his evil, his wickedness, to the inappropriateness of his thoughts, he mouth, his very being before Most merciful God. 

I wonder today, as an American — I listen, read, watch and wonder what introspection, self-examination fellow Americans do who call themselves Christian, go to church Sunday morning, hear the gospel read and preached, hear the love of Jesus and his commandment to Love God Love Neighbor, confess “we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves; we are truly sorry and we humbly repent,” accept the blessing of Absolution, and heedless of Paul’s warning, presume to eat the holy Bread and sip the holy Cup — and then, oblivious, Revert to Mr. Hyde once out the door and, Carriers of Hate, resume spreading hatred of those who are different, other. 

Examine yourself is a harsh commandment, a hard saying: examine yourself. But we serve the God of love: you shall not be a carrier of hatred.

We have this wonderful Book of Common Prayer, but we don’t go every place it can take us. I have an assignment for you. I’ll never know if you do not accept it, but you will know, self-observant you will know. Your assignment is self-examination: Easter is behind us, Lent is over and done, but self-examination is your assignment for the week ahead. 

You and I know that you love God or you would not be here this morning to pray, worship and eat and drink. We both know that you love God — but do you love neighbor? Have you loved your neighbor as yourself? Or have you, do you spread hatred? Examine yourself.

Please take a prayerbook from the pew rack in front of you, and turn to page 316. Page 316, three one six. An Exhortation. Based on St. Paul at 1st Corinthians 11, to examine yourself “lest you eat and drink damnation.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-29 KJV) 

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh κρίμα damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. (1 Corinthians 11:23-29 KJV)

Page 316, remain seated and follow along as I read aloud, your daily homework for this week.

An Exhortation

Beloved in the Lord: Our Savior Christ, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood as a sign and pledge of his love, for the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, and for a spiritual sharing in his risen life. For in these holy Mysteries we are made one with Christ, and Christ with us; we are made one body in him, and members one of another.

Having in mind, therefore, his great love for us, and in obedience to his command, his Church renders to Almighty God our heavenly Father never-ending thanks for the creation of the world, for his continual providence over us, for his love for all mankind, and for the redemption of the world by our Savior Christ, who took upon himself our flesh, and humbled himself even to death on the cross, that he might make us the children of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, and exalt us to everlasting life. But if we are to share rightly in the celebration of those holy Mysteries, and be nourished by that spiritual Food, we must remember the dignity of that holy Sacrament.

I therefore call upon you to consider how Saint Paul exhorts all persons to prepare themselves carefully before eating of that Bread and drinking of that Cup. For, as the benefit is great, if with penitent hearts and living faith we receive the holy Sacrament, so is the danger great, if we receive it improperly, not recognizing the Lord’s Body. Judge yourselves, therefore, lest you be judged by the Lord.

Examine your lives and conduct by the rule of God’s commandments, that you may perceive wherein you have  offended in what you have done or left undone, whether in thought, word, or deed. And acknowledge your sins before  Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life, being ready to make restitution for all injuries and wrongs done by you to others; and also being ready to forgive those who have offended you, in order that you yourselves may be forgiven.

And then, being reconciled with one another, come to the banquet of that most heavenly Food. And if, in your preparation, you need help and counsel, then go and open your grief to a discreet and understanding priest, and confess your sins, that you may receive the benefit of absolution, and spiritual counsel and advice; to the removal of scruple and doubt, the assurance of pardon, and the strengthening of your faith.

To Christ our Lord who loves us, and washed us in his own blood, and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father, to him be glory in the Church  evermore. Through him let us offer continually the sacrifice of praise, which isour bounden duty and service, and, with faith in him, come boldly before the throne of grace [and humbly confess our sins to Almighty God].


Sermon in Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Panama City, Florida, Sunday, June 25, 2017, Proper 7. Romans 6:1b-11. Matthew 10:24-39. The Rev Thomas Weller. Posted never in pride but in humility and shame, and keeping a promise to a beloved friend. TW+

sermon later

To go up early this afternoon, like it or lump it, today's post the text of this morning's sermon. Meantime, though I've somehow managed to delete it, a friend sent me a picture of one of my all time favorite cars, a 1949 Cadillac Series 62 sedan, 

so it's an early moment to reminisce about cars I loved and lusted. 

Posted here before, one day in the late 1940s, as I sat in a chair of Ralph Sorrentino's Barber Shop on downtown Harrison Avenue, a man pulled up and stopped outside to show a new car. He was a salesman at Lloyd Pontiac Cadillac, and the car was a brand new Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special sedan.

From barber chairs we gawked, and someone asked him the price of the car. "Fifty hundred fifty dollars," he shouted and we gawked a moment longer as he drove on off. Flashy and unaffordably expensive, it was a honey, a beauty, shiny black with white sidewall tires.

Except for the practiced or obsessed eye, the Cadillacs for 1948 and 1949 were near identical. Same body. Subtle change to the front grill and the way it wrapped around the front corner of the car just above the bumper. 

The real difference was under the hood: concluding long years of flat head V8 motors with the 1948 model year, the 1949 Cadillac featured a brand new ohv V8. Overhead valve, or valve in head, ** supposedly superior, though I remember going from our 1942 Chevrolet with its ohv six to our new 1948 Dodge with flathead six, that the Dodge motor was quieter. 

Anyway - -

General Motors did an odd thing with their large body senior cars for 1948 and 1949. For 1946 and 1947, Cadillac, Buick Super and Roadmaster, and Oldsmobile 98 continued their identical pre-war 1942 body style, again my obsessed eye saw the differences, but they were the same. 

For some reason, GM introduced their brilliant new postwar body design on the 1948 Cadillac and 1948 Olds, but for Buick not until the next year, 1949 Buick. The differences were significant, completely new styles from the pre-war, streamlined, curved windshield instead of flat, and on and on. But under the hood, the change-year was different. While Buick continued their proud valve in head Buick Eight for several more years (not changing from ohv straight eight ending 1952 to ohv V8 starting 1953), Cadillac changed engines from flat head V8 ending 1948 to ohv V8 beginning 1949; and Olds 98 changed engines from flat head straight eight ending 1948 to ohv V8 beginning 1949. We still didn't have power steering, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, air bags; but we still and always had R&H and WSW.  

As their spiritual director, my adoring readers have been anxious to receive this information.


** An overhead valve engine (OHV engine) is an engine in which the valves are placed in the cylinder head. This was an improvement over the older flathead engine, where the valves were placed in the block next to the piston. ... Lifters or tappets are located in the engineblock between the camshaft and pushrods. (pinched online, thanks)

radio & heater and white sidewall tires, an American oddity from about the 1920s through into at least the 1980s cars

red: 1948 Cadillac Series 61 sedan
green and cream: 1949 Cadillac Series 62 sedan
red: 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special sedan
blue: 1949 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special sedan
blue and cream 1946 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special (WSW not available immediately postwar, but quickly back in fashion)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Feast of John the Baptist

5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

8 Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10 Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16 He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” 19 The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

21 Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23 When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24 After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25 “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

Canticle 4     The Song of Zechariah     Benedictus Dominus Deus
        Luke 1:68-79

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, *
    for he hath visited and redeemed his people;
And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us *
    in the house of his servant David,
As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, *
    which have been since the world began:

That we should be saved from our enemies, *
    and from the hand of all that hate us;
To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers, *
    and to remember his holy covenant;
To perform the oath which he sware to our forefather Abraham, *
    that he would give us,
That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies *
    might serve him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before him, *
    all the days of our life.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, *
    for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord
                               to prepare his ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people *
    for the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God, *
    whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us;
To give light to them that sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death, *
    and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.

For June 24, the good old-time Sunday School Bible story of the annunciation and birth of John the Baptist on this his, in RC terms, solemnity, high ranking holy day, as the sun clears our horizon, small boats head out across StAndrewsBay for Shell Island and into the Gulf of Mexico, and Saturday matures into another bright summer morning.

If this were 1950, Walt and I would be, already dressed, face washed and hair combed because that was the minimal standard for coming to the breakfast table, eating oatmeal then brushing teeth and getting in a car or truck to ride to StAndrews for a day’s work in the fish house and washing the trucks that were back from their weekly routes up into Alabama and Georgia. I see the exact spot from here. Looking north from 7H, I can see Life’s Beginning from its Ending.



StAndrews from 7H north
Feast of John the Baptist
StAndrewsBay from 7H south