Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Third Time In 100 Years

Yesterday I got so worked up ranting about my garbage cans that I forgot to get a newspaper. So I missed seeing the article that quoted me!

How dumb is that?

Here the reporter had interviewed me last Monday for an hour but I missed seeing what he did with my eloquent words in print because I was so worked up over trash.

Fact is, the reporter trashed most of my words and only used a single snippet from our hour’s conversation.

Here is a link to the on-line copy of Dan Scanlan’s article: http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/100706/ner_5456707.shtml

The occasion for the article is that one of my old college professors turned 100 years old on Friday.

Dr. Robert Gee Whitty served as a prominent Baptist minister here in Jacksonville for over 70 years. He also was founder and president of Luther Rice Seminary.

It was funny that Scanlan chose to interview me because I was one of the few non-Baptists ever to study at the school. The reporter tracked me down from a reference to Dr. Whitty in one of my Jacksonville history books.

Here’s the passage concerning Jacksonville’s Bay Street back in the 1950s when I was a kid sneaking into the movies:

On Friday nights we'd have to stand in line to get into the movies at the Palace theatre and across the street -- on the steps of City Hall -- Dr. Robert Whitty, pastor of Central Baptist Church, would preach to us sinners going into the movie

"Turn Ye. Turn ye; for why will ye die," he would plead.

And the line into the Palace would inch along.

"Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him turn unto the Lord," the preacher said.

And we boys saddled close behind some tall grownup.

"Come to Jesus, tonight," he called.

But for us boys, Bob Steele, Nyoka the Jungle Girl, and Bulletman called harder.

In the '70s when I enrolled at Luther Rice Seminary where Dr. Whitty was president, I reminded him of his street preaching days.

"What took you so long to come forward," he asked.

Anyhow, sinners that we were, my buddy and I never thought of going onto Bay Street until my Mother warned us not to.

Here’s a photo of Dr. Whitty taken two years ago:

From Dan Scanlan’s article I learned that even at his age of 100, Dr. Whitty maintains a website; his address is http://www.rgwitty.com/ .Please stop by and sign his guestbook.

To me, the two most interesting of many features on Dr. Whitty’s site are his published diary (http://www.rgwitty.com/mylifeandtimes.html) and his flash presentations in the Meet Jesus section -- take a look at his "Roman Road", that's typical of his message.

He bought his first computer at aged 80 and taught himself how to use it to establish his website!

I’m impressed.

I seriously doubt that Dr. Whitty would remember me; I was an unimpressive student.

And until the reporter called, I had not thought of Dr. Whitty for ages.

So I find it strange that our paths cross a third time in the course of his 100 year career and that Dr. Whitty still has important things to teach me.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 4:52 AM


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