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First Christian Church /  Southern Homestyle
Southern Homestyle

After Sunday dinner this week, I went by the farmers market at the hospital.  It was pretty picked over but I espied some purple hull peas and loaded up.  I’m so glad to live in a place where purple hull peas might be found on an August Sunday afternoon.  I’d like to have them with a pork roast, squash casserole and some sliced tomatoes. Cornbread would go well with that.

Being in constant companionship with a Latter Day Vegetarian, I don’t suppose I’ll have the roast, but it’s free to wish.  Soon it will be time for white beans, more cornbread and fried potatoes, and I celebrate living somewhere where that’s understood.

A happy surprise about coming to Duncan was the discovery that it’s about as Southern as anyplace I’ve ever lived except the subterranean Charleston, S.C.  I see it in the food and the pace of life.  I see it in crepe myrtles.  I was ready to buy the first house I saw with a magnolia tree.  There’s evidence of Southerness all around us in Duncan, not only in the surplus of Southern Baptists.  As a rule, these evidences of Southerness are cause for celebration, even the Baptists, but you know how it goes; for every rule there’s an exception.

This week I saw something in the morning rush hour traffic that was discouraging.  I saw this truck with ample evidence in it being driven by a Prince of Peace lover of the Second Amendment.  Four decals on a pickup weren’t enough to tell us how the driver viewed the world.  He had to have a Confederate battle flag flapping in the breeze.  For years in my childhood, I had a similar large one on my bedroom wall, and I took it for granted.  I’m over it and I covet better for this town.  Usually it only demonstrates some lame understanding of what it means to be a man, but it does so at the “in your face” cost of hurting others. (Anyone who says they don’t care how others feel needs to go get saved again, and do it right this time.)  Frankly, flying that flag shows a breathtaking lack of imagination.

If someone in Oklahoma, along with Tennessee, Arkansas or any Carolinan, needs to demonstrate their heritage, let them learn how to tell a good story, fry a pan of okra, or show real hospitality to the first comer. Develop a camellia that will thrive in Duncan.  Stick your arm in a catfish hole if you must, but let the flag be furled. As for me, it’s about the time for baking whiskey cakes, and I’ll be ready.

Glad to be your pastor, Arnold





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