Fried Chicken, the 50’s and the church

Published 10:56 am Monday, June 5, 2023

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Tracy K. Hall

Dessert table

Sometimes life calls for a little respite, celebration and remembrance in the middle of the week. One of those “sometimes” was on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at a hunting lodge in Andersonville. A group from Salem Methodist Church gathered to partake of a feast of fried chicken and all the fixings to include deviled eggs, corn dip, pineapple sandwiches, salad, pimento sandwiches and pasta and bean salads. For dessert there were options to include straight candy like Tootsie Rolls, or saltwater taffy and for the more traditionalist, there was homemade pound cake, real whipped cream and seasonal strawberries. If you lean more towards a little chocolate, there was the ever-popular chocolate delight.

To make a random Tuesday special, welcome notes were placed at each table settings and centerpieces made out of God’s creation from around the property were placed. Tables were brought in and covered with fun table clothes. Guest were invited to partake of various teas and even Cherry Limeades were on board in case someone was up for a little nostalgia.

Rusty Warner strumming some tunes on a handmade guitar 

And nostalgia was on the agenda. Music from the 1950’s filled the air as diners were invited to eat inside or al fresco. Rusty Warner gave a presentation on the skills needed to make guitars and then the crowd was serenaded with a few 50’s classics to include some Elvis. Later, this was followed up with more strolls down memory lane as the group remembered some of their favorite television shows of their youth. Finally, it was game time, complete with prizes to be won if the contestants could recall the music of the time. One guest won for knowing about an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polk-a-dot bikini. Others were able to identify Fats Domino and knew who Big John was. Others remembered that sometimes souls are owed to the company story and purple people eaters could be a real threat. Little White Dove’s ill-fated love affair was recalled. After a couple of hours passed, and the prizes were all claimed, the group decided to linger and wanted to test their knowledge further. Perhaps sometimes it is nice to just remember the soundtracks of life.

So, what is the point and why is such an event noteworthy? In life we get to share special events, but on really good days, random days, something pops up that we get to wrap our hearts around. On some days, our hearts, which can be battle weary need a little respite to restore. This is sometimes found by ourselves in solitude. Sometimes, it calls for our friends to surround us and give us an opportunity to both share and to receive the goodness of the day. Why remember the 50’s? Same reason we dress up in 20’s attire or go to big band concerts. It hits home. We all long for home, we all long to tell our stories. We are each meant to live out of a full and thriving heart. Some of us realize we have long given up on heart’s desire which were alive in other eras. Events such as these remind us of that piece of us that still dreamed of things we long packed away. Perhaps the remembrance calls us back to places where we weren’t so dry. Perhaps to visit there for a moment gives our hearts just enough to time to beat again in a new way.

The feast 

A crowd gathers

Hosts Paul and Jeanie Hall

Does it matter that spaces are created with loving care so people can do absolutely nothing by the world’s definition? Oh, you bet it does. To indulge in unexpected delights is often the very best of life. To be so abundantly cared for is but a whisper of how our God pays attention to every little detail. To sit down to a weekday lunch where the offerings are rich in their diversity, it tells of God’s lavish blessings. To be surrounded by people who love you and your story? That’s church.

We love our Sundays for special reasons and many of us consider Sunday church day. But what if in the middle of the week there is a sabbath that speaks to the soul? That, in some people’s mind, is extra. But we serve a God of extra. Next time you get an invitation that’s a little out of your norm, consider it an invitation into sabbath. There may be no hymns, there may be 50’s music. There may be no preacher, there may be someone calling out song lyrics. There may be no stained glass, there may be hunting trophies mounted on the walls. It is still church. There is still a glimpse of God, there is still a Jesus smiling on his people. It is still a space where hearts are restored. And isn’t that the whole mission of our Jesus—he told us as much when he announced his goal in his home church in Nazareth—is he is intentional about restoring and binding up the broken hearted. On this Tuesday, amongst fried chicken and Elvis, restoration was taking place. Take a hint from Salem Methodist—go be the church and use all the creativity the great Creator has to offer. Maybe yours looks like a front porch sit, maybe it’s a chat in Wal-Mart, maybe its fishing, maybe it’s taking in a sunrise while waiting for that trophy buck, maybe it’s taking a tap-dancing class, submerging yourself in some Motown, or even a really good nap. Make a point to treasure your heart and reclaim its desires. You are following in the footsteps of the one who created you.