The Implosion of the BSSB as Remembered

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The Implosion of the BSSB as Remembered

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:26 pm

A friend of mine father was employee of the BSSB before the Fundy Disaster. Here are some thoughts he posted on facebook a few days ago shared with permission:

I remember.

Regardless the varied vicissitudes and the contrite claims I have read the past few days that what we must do now is “look to the future," I will remember.

When dismissive words come surrounding the implosion of the Sullivan Tower this day in Nashville—even when such words come from ones whom I deeply respect and dearly love—I will remember.

To dismiss is NOT to brave storms.
To dismiss is NOT to invoke relief.
To dismiss is NOT to reflect God.

And so, I remember . . . .

I remember Yvonne and I remember Dot.

I remember that Yvonne in the cafeteria at the Baptist Sunday School Board ALWAYS remembered me—I mean she REALLY remembered me. She remembered exactly what I liked on my sandwich, what type of bread I preferred, that I liked it toasted, and how I liked it cut. She remembered that I ate Fritos corn chips and not Lay’s potato chips on each visit and she remembered, too, that I liked sweet pickle chips and not dill pickle spears. She knew I’d drink lemonade and not a coke. But mainly, Yvonne remembered my name—and in so doing she remembered ME—just like she remembered hundreds of others of you, as well.

I promise you Yvonne that I’ll not forget. I will always remember.

I remember Dot. I remember her hair in a bun and I remember her sweet smelling perfume. I remember her proper posture and that I never walked through the front door of that sacred space at 127 Ninth Avenue North in Nashville that she didn’t: (1) make me sign in, (2) treat me like an adult, and (3) offer a piece of peppermint.

I remember that she always told me not to run. I promise you, Dot, I will never forget.

I remember Elsie Rives and I remember Muriel Blackwell. I remember Sue Jones and Ginny Davis, Vera Kittrell and Mary—both Mary’s actually—Mary Neblett and Mary Beauregard, too. I remember Jane Reed and Judy Latham, Glenda Adkins and Beth Taylor (thinking of you especially today). I remember placement of desks and where offices were located on that fourth floor of the North Wing of the Sullivan Tower at “the Board.” But MAINLY I remember that I was always treated with respect and showered with love. I remember the genuine interest each one showed in me and in each of my brothers, too.

I promise you ALL that I will always remember you and your unchecked faith in me.

I remember your laughter. I remember your fun. I remember your work.

I remember coffee breaks in the cafeteria and being asked open questions and becoming enthralled in dialogue with adults—even “when only a boy”—a phrase Dr. James L. Sullivan often used when referring to the biblical Timothy.

I remember the place. I remember the time. I remember.

I remember knowing, EVEN THEN, that I was being raised in that space by a great cloud of witnesses—mostly feminine—witnesses.

I remember the others and their impact, too.

I remember John Cochran and Garry Insko. I remember Tom McMinn, Leon Castle, and—in later years—I remember Cos Davis.

Certainly in that space and in all the sights, smells, and sounds that go with it, I remember my dad, Fred Heifner.

I remember Lloyd Householder, Liz Lee, Larry Yarborough, Linda Lawson, Bob Turner, Sharron Lyon, Tommy Dixon, Betty Bedsole, Gene Carter, Jim Coile, Reagan Frazier, Martin Bradley, Bill Young, Philip Poole, Bucky Rosenbaum, John Oldham, Wayne Jenkins, and a host of others, too.

I remember the great awe and respect with which I held “Uncle” Lloyd Elder when he came to serve as the seventh President of the Sunday School Board. I remember that Brother Will Campbell was there the day the trustees cut his heart out, too.

Even though I was only a boy, I remember.

I remember change. I remember the toll it took. I remember joy reduced to dread.

I remember Don Whitehouse and I remember Don Trotter. I remember the cost.

But when all is said and done, I remember the great cloud of witnesses those women formed around me and around each of us. I remember thinking then that I was being raised by a village of midwives and surrogate mothers—that only served to amplify the seminal role of my own mother in my early life.

I remember and I know that any boy blessed by so many incredible touches on his young life is a blessed young man indeed.

Just this week I’ve spent the week working at a spiritual retreat center—Ring Lake Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. The entire week I have been blessed in bible studies led by the Reverend Canon Marianne Borg, widow of the late, great theologian Dr. Marcus Borg. She spent each evening reminding us all of the incredible growth role that grief plays in our lives. Even in the midst of her own lingering grief over the untimely death of her husband, she wisely nudged each of our guests to embrace our own griefs—to name them, to acknowledge them, and not to dismiss them superficially in favor of expediency and feigned relief.

And so, I remember.

I will always remember.

As John Prine pens, although they blow the building away and "write it all down to the progress of man," I will remember.

Thank you God for the life and influence of Dr. James Lenox Sullivan and Mrs. Velma on my own.

Thank you God for this present grief.

Thank you God for allowing me to “Remember When.”
Stephen Fox
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Re: The Implosion of the BSSB as Remembered

Postby Haruo » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:32 pm

What was in the long empty space at the beginning of the Facebook quotation?
Haruo (呂須•春男) = ᎭᎷᎣ = Leland Bryant Ross
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Re: The Implosion of the Sullivan Tower

Postby Sandy » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:25 pm


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