Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Winter Warmth in Loonville

Ironically, I made a reference to the fire burning inside when we last visited Loonville. The old house in which we lived was heated with oil-burning space heaters, large stoves whose pipes connected to the central chimney. All went well more than 99% of the time. But on two occasions while we lived there, a tremendous wind, contrary to its normal routine, blew in from the northeast. Somehow this allowed the force of the air to push down the chimney, preventing the smoke from rising, and worse, blowing soot a-l-l o-v-e-r the interior of the home.

So there we were. Outdoor temperature below freezing, no fire now inside, and the whole place covered with black, oily grime. The amount of scrubbing, laundry, and overall thorough cleanup you really don't want to know about; and you certainly never, ever want to experience it.

Also, the tank for the fuel was a 275 gallon behemoth that stood on stilts beside the house. And even though the price of fuel was less than thirty cents a gallon most of the time, unbelievable as that may be, to fill the tank could easily take an "investment" of over sixty bucks. It was something one could not postpone to more flush times. If it was oil or bread, we took oil.

We did not have microwaves, garbage disposals, or television sets. Okay, okay. Finally when the oldest child was in fifth grade we bought a 19" b & w Zenith on which we could get two channels. We were no longer the only home on the block without this marvel, though we should have remained so. Two things I remember about this time frame. "Sky King" which we thought suitable for the kids after school; and Lorne Green and the Cartwright gang who changed the face of mid-America forever. How so? I hope you are asking.

To this time, most fundamental, evangelical, and even many of the old-line churches had Sunday evening services which typically were held at 7:30. Virtually all churches chose at that time one of two alternatives: move service up to 6 o'clock so everyone could get home in time to visit the Ponderosa; or, eliminate evening service entirely. Over the intervening years, many of those who chose the first alternative, eventually defaulted to the second, and churches all over the Bible belt sit darkened on the evening of the Lord's Day.
© 2010 David W. Lacy

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