BY-WAYS - 10/22/42 - "Lord of the Harvest". Fruits of Friendship - October 15, 1942

Greetings and grateful thanks, you dear Pennsylvania folks!

Already three responses have come, in reply to my appeal for the beloved song "Lord of the Harvest." As St. Mark would say, "Straightway" Martha Robinson went to her home, searched out the old song book, worn by the frequent touch of music-filled fingers, and mellowed by time. She tied it carefully, along with another cherished song book; I think I recognize Pearl's beautiful penmanship on the manila envelope. And thus friends share their treasures. When I opened the first book (whose front cover is missing) it seemed as if old friends stepped forth from its pages, to greet me. Yes, it is the same song book we used out at Nowrytown; again I hear the voices of those little children, singing "Dear Mother Goose;" see them swaying together, as they sang "See-saw" in "Under the Bending Trees;" again I hear the boys' vociferous "Boom, boom, boom," in "Circus Parade." Another good friend, Mary Rose Fleming, of Blairsville, lifted the pages containing "Lord of the Harvest" right out of her song book, and sent them on the wing - to South Euclid. Mary and I met and checked on each other's ages at a time when women are not so reticent about telling their ages - eight and a half, to be exact. It was then that we agreed to be friends. She has fulfilled her pledge. I was indeed grateful for two copies this morning in Sunday School. I put the first verse on the portable blackboard, and the children learned its melody. Next week they will have mimeographed copies.

One of those hyacinths for the soul came yesterday in the form of a letter from one of those first pupils - at Nowrytown - and the first verse and chorus of our loved Thanksgiving hymn, written from memory. The little blushing blond who helped sing it over 26 years ago - Ethel Parsons - is now Mrs. Charles Gray; her little daughter now attends No. 14, where we sang these songs, and wrestled with readin', writin', and 'rithmetic. The fruits of friendship are the sweetest fruits in the world. If we can put some "soul" into our song this Thanksgiving, it will have come from the hills of Pennsylvania. *****

I am aching to tell you all about our Junior department at Sunday School. If I act as if I think I'm sprouting wings, it's because I am moving in the company of angels. When I took over this delightful job and privilege in August, my chief thought and concern was about the children. I shall keep on thinking and planning for their greatest good; but I need not be deeply concerned - or shall I say "disturbed" - about their spiritual welfare. For they are in the hands of the most consecrated teachers. Their interest and growing enthusiasm is a daily revelation. There are six teachers. Five of them are new this year; the sixth just dedicates her life to God's work. Although she had a serious operation this summer, she was back on the job the very first day. One of the most enthusiastic is a teacher about my age. (I would gladly give you the figures, but maybe my twin, Mary Rose, wouldn't like it)l This teacher was a school teacher before her marriage. She has always had a secret hankering to get back to it; but a temperamental husband objected - until now. Her only child - a daughter - was married recently. So now she mothers and feeds the "bread of life" to twelve little girls. Another - a "soldier's widow" who has a sparkling personality, has taken on a big class of boys. Although hers is an unusually happy marriage, she spends no time mooning over the enforced separation, but pours all her mental energy into making each lesson so interesting that sixteen rambunctious boys sit, enthralled most of the time. She is young, with raven black hair and twinkling black eyes. She has a responsible position in the credit department of our swankiest department store; but, even through the busy week, her mind is on those precious boys, and she will say, "I can hardly wait for Sunday to come." Can't you believe that it is an unadulterated pleasure, working with such teachers - and, of course, with those perennially sweet and trusting children? Now, I must close. But more next time.

Florence B. Taylor

Next - 10/29/42 - When a leaf reaches its greatest beauty...

BY-WAYS Table of Contents