This year we celebrated Thanksgiving with lots of extended family on my dad’s side, because that Saturday we all reconvened for a memorial service. My dad’s brother, Uncle Lew, passes away in October. He donated his body to medical research. Before he died, he specified several things he wanted at his service, including live jazz music. My sisters and I were recruited to sing. Here are a few photos from the weekend.
My cousin’s granddaughter, Bridget:
Bridget’s brother, Tex:
Tex at his great-grandfather’s memorial service as Bruce Wayne. He wanted to come as Batman. This was a compromise:
“Men in Black” Jazz band. I loved watching the bass player. As soon as the music started, he went to a happy place:
If you read my Ten Dollar Challenge post, you know I recently spoke at a Christmas banquet in Pineland, Texas. Here are a few shots from that evening.
Centerpiece on our table:
The banquet serves 300+ women from the community. Husbands, sons, and other men dress in black slacks, white shirts, and bow ties to act as waiters. They also wear black garters on their arms. As you can see, they are generously rewarded for their efforts:
The food was delicious. Here’s a shot of the dessert table with my friend (and our pastor’s wife), Jamie, standing at the other end:
Don Falke is the pastor at First Baptist Church, Pineland. He also owns a local bookstore, Prospero’s, that has sold dozens of copies of Parting the Waters. And he’s also a total mess. In the photo below he is asking for someone to confess to stealing the “Baptist church’s liquor.” (Apparently some cooking sherry went missing from the kitchen.) The woman behind him, Brenda Byrd, is the mother of country singer, Tracy Byrd. She emceed the evening.
Another interesting moment with Don. Right before the festivities began I saw him walking around in a black leather jacket. I asked if he was about to make his getaway, and he said, “No. I’m on duty outside.”
“To welcome the women as they arrive?” I asked.
“No. We had a guy threaten to come get his wife.”
“You mean, ‘get his wife,’ as in come pick her up?”
“No. I mean kill her. We’ve notified the sheriff and we’re just keeping someone outside.”
“Oh!” I said. “Lovely.”
He grinned and walked away.
Until then I hadn’t been the least bit nervous about speaking, but the thought of an irate, shot-gun wielding husband crashing the party made me just a tad uneasy. However, that is not why I look frazzled in this next photo. I’m including it here because it cracks me up. When I walked up on the platform to speak, my reading glasses were on my head. Apparently, when I removed them, they readjusted my coiffure for me. Don’t you wish you could speak to hundreds of people looking like this?
After I set new hair-fashion trends, Tracy Byrd played a mini concert:
Fun evening! I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that the angry husband failed to make an appearance. I’m also sure you’ll all rush out to your hairstylists tomorrow and ask for “The Jeanne.” (Feel free to copy the photo and take it along, just in case they’re behind the times.)
Back tomorrow with Day Four of Twelve Days of Community! See you then.