Is that the Pastor’s Wife in the Bar?

My husband sleeps, this Easter morn. We can’t go to church, and I will miss praising our Father with all of our good friends. All is prepared for the family meal, later on, so I sit, and think, and wonder.

My husband’s Dad was a Lutheran pastor. His parish was in a town called Power, Montana, with a population of about 100. My daughter sketched this picture from a photo that we had in an old scrapbook. You will see the church and a tiny house next  to it (Circa 1940) at the rear of the drawing. That is where my husband grew up.

The picture looks a little lopsided; that’s because I slanted it a bit, to avoid the reflection of the glass on the frame. Actually, Power was pretty darn flat!

My husband has shared lots of stories with me.

  • About how his Dad gave two sermons; one in German and one in English, each Sunday.
  • He told me how they were never short of pies, cakes, and an occasional duck or fish, due to the generosity of the neighbors.
  • He told me about the time that he (the pastor’s son!) put a toilet over a little girl’s head and it stuck.
  • He told me about the time that he (the pastor’s son) and his buddies dismantled a horse and buggy, and reassembled the buggy on the roof of an old guy they didn’t like much.

He also told me about the time his Mom was seen in the bar. Look at the picture. There was only one bar. When she was pointed out by a member of the congregation the next Sunday morning and asked for an explanation, she had to ‘fess up to the entire congregation that she was buying a pack of cigarettes for her husband, who was ailing at home and that was the only place she knew to get them.

We traveled back to Montana a few years ago, so that I could see Power: the old church, the house, my husband’s school, the grocery store, and yes, the bar. We went into the old grocery store and sat down at the bar (it was in the store) for a soda. There were three old farmers sitting there, in their bib overalls, plaid shirts and beat up old hats, sharing a beer and stories. After watching us for some time, one of them asked “Are you from these parts?” My husband said, “Actually, I grew up here. My dad was the town pastor.” The farmer took a closer look, nodded his head and said, “Well, you must be Elton, or the youngest, Walt.” My husband (Walt) and I looked at each other in amazement. He said to me, “That’s what I’ve been trying to explain to you.”

I realize now that there are lots more questions I would like to ask. I know that Walt’s father and mother, and those people of Power, instilled a strong faith in that young boy, so many years ago. That faith has remained strong through several decades and it will carry him through to the end — or shall I say, the beginning?

Don’t forget to ask the questions.

With love.


About susansplace

Widowed in 2012, I am a mother and grandmother. Born in San Francisco, I now live in the town I grew up in: Mill Valley, California. I love nature photography. Just an amateur but that's OK! My goal: world peace. Got any ideas?
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4 Responses to Is that the Pastor’s Wife in the Bar?

  1. Laura says:

    Don’t forget to ask the questions. Yea, I get this. There are questions I wish I had asked my grandparents about their lives when they were still alive. I think it isn’t until we are older and begin to appreciate the history more, that we start to have the questions…

  2. sweetopiagirl says:

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  3. Tony says:

    Great story and sketch! Thank you for sharing it! Tony

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