Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Favorite Story from My Organist Days

Recently got in touch with the current pastor of a church for which I was organist years ago. It brought to mind an incident which occurred one Sunday. I've shared this with the congregation, but thought I'd post it here:

The organ was up near the chancel. It was also near an exit door. During late service, since I'd already heard the sermon in early service, I used to sneak out to get a donut and coffee at a spot around the corner. I had just enough time to sneak back in just in time to play the offertory which was right after the sermon (this was back in the old TLH days).

One day, the line at the donut shop was extra long. I was sweating it to make it back in time. Finally, having shoved the donut in my mouth and chugging down the coffee, I jumped back in the car, with my black organist's robe bundled up on the shotgun side, and rushed back to the church. I made a rolling stop at a stop sign on the corner. A policeman on the opposite side saw me and did a u-turn. I knew he was coming to get me, so I immediately pulled over.

He walked up to my car, and asked, "Why did you pull over?"

I blurted out, in a panicked tone, "I know what I did at that stop sign, but I'm the organist at that church right up there, and I just stepped out to get a donut during the sermon, and I'm late, I gotta get back to play, and if you don't believe me, there's my robe right there."

"JUST GO!" he said, thankfully, and I managed to get back in the door, slip on my robe, and slide onto the organ bench as the pastor was concluding, "And the peace of God, which passes all understanding..."

I've gotten a lot of mileage out of that one.

Needless to say, that was the last time I slipped out for a donut and coffee.

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