The Little Hope Christian Harmony Singing
Little Hope Primitive Baptist Church
Sunday, June 5, 2005
<Greetings, Art. As before, I'm annotating these minutes with some notes that may be of interest to you and putting them within arrows like this < >. Sorry for the delay. It doesn't mean that this will be any better than if I had sent this earlier. I'm actually in rural Michigan (Lyons Township, Ionia County) at the moment with family and friends, telling them about Christian Harmony, among other things. I folded up the piece of paper on which Ruth and I took the minutes and took this precious little piece of Alabama with me.>
The seventy-sixth annual Little Hope Christian Harmony singing opened with President Billy Thompson leading 323 and 281b.
<Since you told me that the first year of the singing was 1929, I thought I'd just do the math and add 'seventy-sixth' to the minutes.>
Prayer offered by Jeff James. The following leaders were called: Danny Creel 149, 123; Ruth Wyers 107, 264; Henry Guthrey 59b, 64; Tim Cook 63b, 44b; Teddy Creel 109, 184; Bill Hogan 135, 51; Harrison Creel 93, 364, 326; Margie Simmons 95, 142.
<See some names of old friends? Harrison Creel came again with some of his family. Unfortunately age is stealing Flarce's health and she couldn't be with us. Three of their children came, though, Ann, Teddy, and Danny, and Flarce's sister, Elsie. Henry Guthrey is a longtime Sacred Harp singer from Cullman County, a friend of all of us who frequent singings in that region. It was his first time to a singing in Bibb County, but so many of us knew him that it wasn't like the first time -- more like a family reunion. When I saw Bill and Nancy Hogan, I thought how nice that they would travel all the way from Mobile, but it turns out that Bill now works in Montgomery and they live in Millport, which means they can join us a lot more easily than before. It seems like I quite often tell you that, except for Donald's funeral, I had never seen so many people in that little church. This time too -- I've never seen such a big singing at that church. It would have lit your heart to see all those people come from far and wide to help us sing.>
Billy Thompson resumed the class leading 130b. Tim Cook read a letter from Art Deason, former president of the Alabama Christian Harmony Association, and now shut in.
<That refers to your e-mail. You sure put this technology to a blessed effect and everyone loved hearing your note. They even applauded after I read it.>
From points near and far (Iowa and Oklahoma), the many descendants of Barney Thompson entered the square and led 78, 178, and 117.
<The faraway folks refers to Margie Simmons's daughter from Oklahoma and Margie and them's sister, Maude Peterson, who settled in Iowa and who brought some of her children and grandchildren. I hope we made them proud of their Southern roots. They seemed to enjoy the singing.>
The class continued with the following leaders: Elsie Moon 31t, 322; Ann Jett 170, 180; Jeff James 277b, 128b; Douglas Wyers 58b, 46t; Mary E. Thompson 91, 349. Lunch. Tim Cook offered the noon meal blessing.
<During lunch I was talking to Mancie Turcotte and she asked about Mako who was home with a cold, and we talked about how a summer cold is worse than a winter cold, etc., and she said she was blessed not to get colds ever since she had a real bad one, and that the real bad one was back around . . . World War I. I missed a beat there as I asked her how she could be old enough to have had a cold during World War I. It turns out she's 90 years old, which I'm sure is no news to you, but I can say that the years are being very kind to her.>
Billy Thompson called the afternoon session to order leading 59t. The following singers were called: Douglas Wyers 201; Tyrone Morris 19, 106; Robert DuPree 367, 293; Loretta Rigdon 16, 204t;
<That last one of course is What A Day, by Loretta's father. She wanted it slow, which I liked.>
Louise Crunk and Dawson Dockery 248; Jeff James 341; Ola Meadows 163t, 140; Connie Stanton 293, 86t
<Now there's a name I bet you don't know. Connie was the very farthest visitor, from Portland, Oregon. She's a Sacred Harp singer who is in Alabama during the whole month of June, the best singing month of the year, going to as many singings as she can and to Camp Fasola at the end of June. Camp Fasola is a new summer camp near Anniston for people of all ages, although grandparents and grandchildren seem to predominate. I've never been there, but isn't that a marvelous idea? I know it takes a lot of work, but I hope some day we can think about a Camp Doremi too.>
Harvey Dockery 358; Coleman Crocker 313;
< Harvey and Coleman wore ties, which is hardly noteworthy except that I saw a picture of a singing in the 50s and all the men were wearing ties. Hester Creel was with us in the basses in the morning and he even wore a suit. Church attire has certainly changed, which isn't necessarily good or bad, but their ties warmly reminded me of that picture.>
Dawson Dockery 171; Danny Creel 131; Tom Nelson 143 in memory of Billie Margaret Deason Loyless and Bertha Deason, 85;
<Tom ? that's Tyrone's son-in-law. He loves to sing.>
Henry Guthrey 69, 82b. Announcements were made. In closing Ruth Wyers and Doug Wyers led 92 and 77, and Billy Thompson led 23. Harvey Dockery offered the closing prayer.
<You may notice the names not here. Luke Smith had surgery for appendicitis and Donna Carol was taking care of his children. We missed Tish who I think is overworked and underpaid, even on weekends. Cecile Cox, who we?ve missed for quite some time now, is in a nursing home in Northport. Ola says sometimes Cecile can talk enough to carry on a conversation, which is an improvement over how she had been. Although he wasn?t a singer, you probably knew Douglas Feaster, the husband of Ruth?s daughter, Debra. He had been living with lung cancer for quite a few years and passed away a week before the previous Friday. Debra and her family were with us. Martha Sue was kept away by shoulder surgery.>
Respectfully submitted by Tim Cook
<We sure miss you. Tim>