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A Dream-y Pistle to my Grandchildren

Dear Grandchildren:

Must write to you about an experi­ence I had when most of you were at our house last Mother’s Day. After that heavy Sunday dinner you must have noticed that I went to relax in my rocking chair in the corner of the family room. I closed my eyes in order to listen better to your chatter, but I must have dropped off to sleep because what I was hearing from your innocent lips could only happen in a dream. I dreamed (or did I?) that you were criticizing Charlene and her cousin Tracy who had done something or other about speed. I wondered about such severe criticism about speeding when I remem­bered how I had done that with our old Model T in my youth. Why, sometimes we gunned that Ford until it reached the speed of 35 mph! Then I realized that it was a noun, speed, not the verb, speeding, that was under discussion. The dream got quite hazy at this point because speed was now called a drug. That tipped me off that I was dreaming because anyone knows that speed is a swift motion, not a drug. Coming out of that haze I heard one of you, Art, I believe, accuse his sister of (excuse the expres­sion) using pot. Now, that I could understand; but we never talked about it in mixed company. But I noticed that Art said something about smoking pot. That made no sense to me so I knew that I was dreaming (or was I?) again.

When I began hearing talk again I heard some talk about kids in your high school who were caught shooting some­thing that sounded like coke. I drink coke sometimes instead of coffee, but I wouldn’t know how to shoot such kind of stuff. So I knew that I was dreaming (or was I?) again. Wishing I had a coke, I began my slow rocking again and imagined that I heard you speaking about two girls named Mary and Wanda, or was it one girl whose name was Wanda and she was merry? It sounded like she had gotten in trouble at school and was hiding, but got smoked out. And how you snickered when you referred to her by calling her “smoking Merry Wanda.’’ I didn’t get it. My hearing faded out for a while and then I heard you mentioning a girl who had done some kind of life-saving act, I think, because you were saying “heroine” all the time. What puzzled me was your criticism of that heroine; I thought a heroine was always admired, but this one was in disgrace, it seems. The next voice that came through was Brewster’s, who was talking about his Civilian Band Radio, I think. I know all about the C.B.ers, but Bruce was pronouncing it wrongly, for he called it P.C.B. I’m sure that the Police have not joined that group, so this did not make sense until I heard that the vet had used it to tranquilize a mad dog. Then I realized he was not talking about his radio but something entirely different. The dream (or was it one?) became more confused because the teacher was so disturbed about the fact that Brewster sold some of that stuff to that fat girl, Eloise. Then I noticed that Ferris was whispering about “controlled substance” and Barry said, “Shh, Gramps might hear you”; but Noreen said, “Huh! he’s way off in dream land, anyone can see that.” So attention was diverted from me in the rocking chair and directed to the shindig some of you had after the graduation exercises at your high school. It seems you went to the beach, and then I was back in my dreams again (or was I?) for the words, pot, merry-wanda, speed, pcb, and coke got all mixed up; spinning around like a Fourth of July pinwheel. What a confusion!

Then, oh then I knew I was dreaming again (or was I?) for I saw the Bible lying beside me open up by itself; pages began turning, stopped, and a Voice came from it: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinner, and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” In my dream (or was it one) that voice from that leather-bound Book was heard by you all. I heard no more chatter until, at length, Penelope sug­gested going to that church on the corner to hear a Gospel Rock Group. Russ suggested listening to a few rock tapes first, which they did. That wakened me for sure! What a terrible noise! I couldn’t understand the words — or I hoped I didn’t! I gathered from your idle talk that such music was erotic and of a promis­cuous nature, performing in music like pornography performs in literature; that it arouses the lewd side of nature. Its “beat” works on human emotions in a wrong direction. And though this awful music seemed to have religious words in it, I failed to see how you kids could label it to be Christian. Even Christian words placed above that rock music do not make the music Christian in that setting. Sodom and Gomorrah music called Christian. But, though I thought I was wide awake I must have been dreaming again (was I?), for surely none of my grandchildren would call any group of rock singers “Christian.” “Christian Rock Music” is a contradiction of terms. No music originat­ing in the world, with an emotion arousing beat in it, can ever be Christian! All you cousins have been taught in Sunday School, in catechism, and from the pulpit that there is only one Christian Rock, and that is Christ Himself. In my further dreaming (or was it?) I saw that leather-bound Book open up again, flip­ping pages till it stopped and the Voice again spoke: “…for they all drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” More pages turned, and again the Voice: “Wherefore it is also contained In the Scriptures, Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious, and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto him therefore which believe he is precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient whereto they were also appointed. But ye are a chosen genera­tion, a royal priesthood…that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you from darkness unto his marvelous light….” Thereupon, hearing the word “light” from that open Bible, your charter turned to your convention theme and you talked about being lights, and how you could make your light shown among men that your Heavenly Father might be glorified. Now I was wide awake, and that horrible dream (was it one?) was over. And I heard Bev and Bill discuss what Psalter numbers you would choose for the convention banquet; some of which sang of the Rock and the Fortress which is God. That was a marvelous ending of a bad dream. The Bible lay at my side, closed as I had left it. The rest of the afternoon was pleasant as it usually is when all the cousins come over to our house. It was time for coke and cookies for the young folk and coffee and cake for the oldsters. I surely hope that Father’s Day is not a repeat of today!

Love, Gramps