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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
              Friday, October 12 2001 


I've always thought that a particular preacher's ministry had a profound impact on my mother's life. Even though I was born about the time she was being influenced by him and unable to comprehend the dynamic, he was so highly regarded in our house for years afterward that I was as aware of him as I was of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the depression-era/war-years President whose framed photograph hung in our dining room. What I didn't ever consider before now was the overlap between the years that Fargo was Mom's minister and the family's time of crisis over brother Gary's life-threatening accident at age 5 and years-long recovery.

I remember Fargo and Mrs. Fargo distinctly; they were the closest thing to grandparents, in fact, that I do remember. He came to Vintondale as pastor of the Baptist Church which Mom and my older brothers and I, in infancy, regularly attended. We moved out of Vintondale in 1946 and the Fargoes left it probably less than a year later. My oldest brother, Tom, who married when I was four, traveled a long distance to Fargo's new church to be married by his esteemed preacher. Mr. Fargo (I mean no disrespect, but we always referred to him as just "Fargo," and I don't know what his first name was) died shortly afterward, the victim of a tree falling in a lumbering accident.

Though Mom had been a church-going "believer" all her life, I've long thought that it wasn't until she got to know Fargo that she was challenged to make that commitment to Christ the center of her life. In fact, I'm sure she said as much numerous times. Her mother, I've been told by a first cousin who remembers her while I do not, was also a regular church-goer who tried to influence her family members to live Christian lives. But in earlier years, Mom's Christianity was less fervent, from all I can tell. She married a hardcore agnostic, and none of her siblings were devout, so far as I could discern.

What I've just come to realize is that the timing of Fargo's ministry in Vintondale and Gary's life-and-death crisis undoubtedly coalesced to bring a renewal of faith, if not complete conversion, in Mom's life, when her prayers were the main thing she had to fall back on to preserve Gary's life. I'm also sure the Fargoes were ardently praying for him, as surely also were the whole congregation and other friends and neighbors in the Valley. I even recall my elders quoting Dr. Prideaux, the Blacklick Township and Vintondale physician of the time, as decribing Gary's recovery as miraculous. I don't doubt that the crisis drove Mother to her knees, and that she also made some promises to God in bargaining for her son's life. Such promises play large roles in a number of lives in Bible stories, and no doubt they've molded me far more than I've been aware.

I haven't covered all the questions raised yesterday so, having run out of margin on today's poscard, will plan to revist this memoir on Monday.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Be careful what you pray for

A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am!"

Sent by Joe Pelayo

Greater things

God's greater work for you will almost surely require that you move beyond where you're comfortable—financially comfortable, maybe socially comfortable, maybe where you're methodologically comfortable, or geographically comfortable.

—Ron Hutchcraft

Sent by Jim Martin

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