The first seven had all been valedictorians of their

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Unformatted text preview: explained. She asked me if I wanted to say the blessing, and I declined. Praying was not something I had done in a long time. She was far more gifted. She took my hands and we closed our eyes. As she spoke to heaven the rain tapped the tin roof above our heads. "Where's Esau?" I asked after my first three large bites. "At work. Sometimes he can get free for lunch, often he cannot." She was preoccupied with something and finally said, "Can I ask you a question that's somewhat personal?" "Sure, I guess." "Are you a Christian child?" "I'm sure I am. My mother used to take me to church on Easter." That was not satisfactory. Whatever she was looking for, that wasn't it. "What kind of church?" "Episcopalian. St. Luke's in Memphis." "I'm not sure we have one of those in Clanton." "I haven't seen one." Not that I'd been searching diligently for a house of worship. "What kind of church do you attend?" I asked. "Church of God in Christ," she answered quickly and her entire face had a serene glow. "My pastor is the Reverend Thurston Small, a fine man of God. A powerful preacher too. You should come hear him." I'd heard stories about how blacks worship, how the entire Sabbath was spent at church, how services ran late into the night and broke up only when the spirit was finally exhausted. I had vivid memories of suffering through Episcopal Easter services that, by law, could run no longer than sixty minutes. "Do white people worship with you?" I asked. "Only during the election years. Some of the politicians come sniffing around like dogs. They make a bunch of promises." "Do they stay for the entire service?" "Oh no. They're always too busy for that." Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html "So it's possible to come and go?" "For you, Mr. Traynor, yes. We'll make an exception.&q...
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