As Mayor, I often have the chance to speak to various groups. Whenever I’m introduced, I always include two things. First, how I came to believe in prayer, and second, the fact I was the number one tetherball player in the sixth grade. My belief in prayer and my tetherball prowess were developed when a sixth grade teacher summoned all of us to the lunch room and announced they were going to start a sixth-grade band.
They had a few instruments, and they wanted us to take a letter home to our parents to see if they might purchase additional instruments. The other option was additional recess during band hour. It was OUR CHOICE. I looked at my friend Gary Ramsey and said, “easy choice,” and a tetherball champion was born!
There wasn’t the slightest chance that letter would find its way home --- much like the annual “shot letter.” For the uninformed, that’s where they asked your parents if they could line you up so the school nurse could dab alcohol and jab a gigantic needle into your arm. I swear it went in one side of the arm and out the other! Bandaids were needed on both sides! There was no chance that shot letter was making it home. Unfortunately, the school expected that result and had a contingency plan to do it anyway.
My belief in prayer was developed about that same time. My mother decided that my two little sisters should learn to play the piano. She purchased a piano (which had come across on the Mayflower), and placed it immediately through the wall from my bedroom.
I prayed fervently that the torture would end, and it did. After a couple weeks, my mother got tired of pleading and threatening my sisters. Peace was restored. Only recently did one of my sisters tell me she had also prayed for the same outcome. I guess two PRAY-ers are better than one!
I have an abiding faith in providence and still remember when the torture ended and my faith sprouted.
Mayor David Ogden