Published in the Rains County Leader on July 9, 2019:
On the first Saturday of every month, the House of Prayer on FM 515 serves a great breakfast in their Family Life Center beginning at 9:00 am. There is a donation jar to help cover expenses, but other than that, that is no charge, and the event is open to the public. The turnout is usually pretty small, but the event is very popular with a number of the Senior Center regulars. The members of the church are gracious hosts and good cooks, and it’s another opportunity to visit with friends.
We met Bill and Susan a year or so ago when they began attending Believers’ Baptist Church. They lived about thirty minutes away but were planning to relocate to Emory once they found the right property. While they attended Sunday Morning Worship regularly, they didn’t get too involved in the community until recently when they found the perfect location. Now they live in their RV while they supervise the building of their new home. The wet weather has slowed progress to a crawl, so they have free time to explore what Emory has to offer.
Since Bill and Susan had already found a church home, David’s first recommendation was the Senior Center. They began coming for lunch a few weeks ago, and like most of us, they have found it an enjoyable place to take a midday break and catch up on the local gossip. It’s also a good place to learn more about people you previously only saw in their Sunday best. The first thing David noticed was that Bill has almost as large an assortment of Mopar T-shirts as David has of Harley shirts.
For those who are as uninitiated as I was, Mopar is a combination of “MOtor” and “PARts” and is the name of the parts, service and customer care division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. That might not be such a big deal except that, over the years, Mopar has become associated with Chrysler made race cars, muscle cars and classic cars. David once owned a 1967 Plymouth GTX and a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner that he still regrets selling, so he was immediately intrigued. He was even more intrigued when he discovered that Bill owns a 1970 Dodge Challenger. He’s quick to tell you that it’s actually Susan’s car, but you can tell that it’s really his baby.
I’m sure you’re wondering what Susan’s Challenger has to do with breakfast at the House of Prayer. Well, this past Saturday was the first one of the month. All week, our friends at the Senior Center reminded each other about the breakfast, and David made sure that Bill and Susan knew the details. Sure enough, when we pulled into the parking lot, there sat a fully restored purple Challenger convertible with white interior – and there stood a grinning co-owner, surrounded by admirers.
The group slowly moved into the building, all the while talking about specs and parts that I can’t even name much less explain what they do. The guys continued to talk cars while the ladies greeted each other. After the Pastor welcomed everyone and asked the blessing, the line began to form for the food. Susan looked around for Bill and laughed when she saw him headed back out to the car with a fellow enthusiast following close behind. Two others were watching out the glass doors, trying to decide whether or not to follow. They eventually did, and the next time I looked, there were four heads under the hood.
Everyone came back in before the food got cold, and we all had a happy time of fellowship. At one point I said something about Bill’s car, and one of the other women corrected.
“No,” she said. “That’s Susan’s car.”
Susan smiled. “Do you know why that is my car? So that when he wants to spend money on it, he can come to me and say, ‘Your car needs this’ or ‘Your car would run better if I added this.’”
We stayed and talked until the kitchen staff began wiping the tables, so David and I headed outside. Bill had just started the engine – I noticed he was in the driver’s seat of Susan’s car – and David hurried over to talk about whatever parts made a sound similar to an idling Harley. As they pulled out, Bill and Susan were wearing caps and big smiles. It was a perfect top-down morning to be followed by many more now that the late spring rains seem to have stopped. I can’t wait to see the reaction the first time they drive the convertible to church.