The reason why we went to Accident in the first place to attend the ordination service of Rev. David Oester, recently graduated from Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN. Rev. Oester is the guy in the middle of the picture. His family used to be members of the church my father served in the Cove, about four miles outside of town. But there was some turmoil in the church a few years before we arrived. His family transferred to a congregation in Glen Savage. Long story short, the pastor at the church resigned because of health issues and the were without a pastor, so David and another layman stepped up and conducted services. It was a proud day for David and his family. His cousin, Rev. Jim Oester, preached a wonderful sermon. Rev. Jim Oester also gave the homily at my father's "graveside" service back in February. Jim is the tall, thin man on the left of the picture. Jim obviously took very good notes and paid very close attention in his "how to preach classes."
Shortly after my father died, my mom and I contacted David Oester and asked him if he would like my father's stoles. He had two sets. The older ones (the ones on the left) were his originals. The ones he got when he was first ordained (in 1962) The second set was purchased sometime in the '80's I think. We took both sets up and gave them both to him. He decided to keep the newer set, we're supposed to get the older set back, eventually. I think I like that idea. For some reason, I have an attachment to the older ones. That sounds silly, but I think you understand what I mean; I can't quite find the words for it. I have a picture of my father on his ordination day. He is pictured in his robes and his red stole (do you spell it stole or stoal, for some reason, I've never known, ah well).
The "excuse" to go to Accident as Rev. David Oester's ordination. But this picture should give a good you a good idea as to the "reason" we went to Accident. This picture is of the Cove. A valley about four miles outside of town. We lived here from 1986 to 1995. I honestly believe that Accident made me who I am today. I lived in that valley for almost ten years. I didn't have cable and my friends from school were too far away for me to visit regularly, so I learned how to read. I knew how to read, but I didn't know how to read. I didn't know how to get enjoyment out of it, I didn't know that books could do that things they do. I also had a topnotch library system that allowed me to get just about anything I wanted. It is because of Accident that I went to college and eventually got my masters. But more importantly, I found my faith there. Its where I got my bible that I use to this day. When the Concordia Self-Study Bible first came out, Concordia Publishing House sent a couple of gratis copies of the Self-Study, it had (it is now covered with duct tape) a red binding. It was, in short an ideal place for someone like myself to grow up and discover the world. I learned about the circle of life there. I was able to watch calves being born (kind of an ugly, scary experience) and I have seen dead cows decay naturally. I was able to be a part of live church life cycles, too: baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals. The seed of faith that had been planted in my heart was fertilized, tended to, and grew in that little valley. William Carlos Williams wrote in his long poem Patterson the following:
My surface is myself.
to witness, youth is
Everybody has roots
Accident is my roots. I have two, to quote Kinky Friedman, "spiritual homes;" the first is New York. That's my genealogical roots and New York City just holds a special place in my heart, but Accident, that's something more to me. That's roots, right there. I'm a part of Accident and Accident is a part of me.
This is one of the pictures I took at the
Adventure Sports Center International. Its the manmade whitewater rafting river that I wrote about in my last last post. It was actually quite amazing to see. The it looked like a great big, rock festooned floom that you might see in an amusement park or something like that. It looked like fun, but the prices a bit high. Though, I was informed that they have a "local wednesdays" which means that local folk can do the rapids for 20 bucks a pop. That's more my style.
This picture was snapped on Route 40 near Grantsville, MD. Its just kind of shows the thick forest that covers the land of Garrett County. Rte 40 is a thin, two and four lane highway. It goes east to west. One day a friend of mine and I went to a small bar/restaraunt called the Anchor for some beer and wings. It was almost by definition, a dive bar. I loved it immediately. Sadly, I've gotten used to the clean, well lit places. This place was not so much dirty, nor very dark, but there was certain greasy feeling to it. Okay, let me put it this way: when I asked what they had on draft (like a typical whiteboy suburbanite) the bartender, a woman that looked like she might also double as the bouncer on a rough saturday night looked at me and said "we don't have draft, just bottles." So, to make myself look even more like a tourist I asked what they had in bottles... she rattled off a bunch of different brands, you know that good old whitebread beer: miller, millerlite, bud, budlite, etc, etc. Then she said the magic words: "Iron City." I stopped her right there and ordered me an Iron City. That beer is cheap, but man, is it good! And the wings.... friends, if you're ever even near Addison, PA on rte 40, stop at the Anchor and get you some wings! That's all I have to say about that, to quote Mr. Gump.
It was a wonderful time. It was something I needed. This was the first vacation vacation I'd been on since February. I'd used all my vacation and personal time helping out when my dad got sick. So, for both my mom and I it was a welcome break. I think we both felt a lot better about life and ourselves when we came back. Though,I must admit, there is a bit of shock and not a little let-down coming back to the 'burbs after beig amongst all the beauty of the Garrett County nature.