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Handouts & Brush Fire

On the phone the other day, my big brother told me two stories from McPherson, Kansas — our family’s days before my time:  Our mom’s sandwiches and Bob’s brush fire.

Quick to give a sandwich

Bob said many men were riding the rails through McPherson looking for work. He remembers our mother, pictured here, being quick to give a sandwich to anyone who came to the door.


Brush fire

match-with-flame-igniting-200x200Bob almost burned down Dad’s dairy. Out in the field next door playing with matches — thought he had his little fire out, and hours later heard a great commotion as people rushed to put out a brush fire moving toward the dairy.


Big brother’s story puts a grin on my face because 15 years later I did the same thing ─ almost destroying Dad’s pallet shop in Spring Arbor, Michigan.

3 Responses to Handouts & Brush Fire

  1. Donna Caddell April 11, 2017 at 12:11 PM #

    Sandwich givers are the best! They have hearts of gold from God 🙂 It made me feel warm inside when my Mom would give the bums (homeless men) that came to the door on our front porch at the Erie FM Church. We lived in downtown Erie for a year while my Dad served as Pastor and built the new FM Church on W. 26th street. On a cool fall day, I answered the door to find two disheveled men staring at me. I said HI with a big smile, are you hungry? I was kind of used to seeing things like this happen. Of course, they replied yes, is your Mother here? With the door wide open, I called out MOM, these men are hungry, she cam running and said, okay, closing the door, you men stay out there and I’ll get you a sandwich! ….. After that, I didn’t answer the door anymore, lol Being a pastor’s wife, or just having a heart for the Lord, it was kind of normal to feed the needy! I loved growing up Free Methodist!

  2. Arlene (Wilson) Barnett April 11, 2017 at 5:07 PM #

    My Grandma Carr was not a pastor’s wife but definitely had a heart for the Lord (and was a Free Methodist) She fed many hobos on the back porch of home in Youngsville, PA. Grandpa was a PA Rail Road engineer and told her not to feed the hobos but said he knew she did because there was an “x” painted along tracks beside house. She taught us to welcome the stranger, feed the hungry. and even give clothing to the naked (when it was cold she would give an old jacket, blanket, hat or gloves). I too loved growing up Free Methodist and am pleased to say I am still Free Methodist.

  3. Donald Ingram April 11, 2017 at 11:21 PM #

    Pop (Merrill Douglas Ingram) told me about a brush fire he inadvertently started: His Naval job around 1939 was airplane mechanic, and he flew with the plane. His pilot flew to a meeting at some remote airport. Pop simply had to wait by the airplane until the pilot was ready to return. In his inquisitive boredom, he found a flare in the hold of the plane, and set it off. Well, it set off a fire near the plane, and he was in a panic until he got it under control.

    Summer 1959, at Pop’s suggestion, I bought all Grandpa T.M. Woodhull’s tools (Timothy Miller was a blacksmith). Ellen and I then went to Texas, where I worked for Joe Hart, Pop’s fellow hobo friend, now a successful land surveyor and oil well owner. Ellen went on to Colorado to be with the Grandfolks G.B, and Elma Ingram. That fall, we returned to North Carolina, Pop told me sad news. He had been burning off the brush around the house, and it caught the tool shed on fire and burned those tools. Since I owed him money, he said he would cancel the debt. I was able to rescue a few of the less burnable tools, however, and still have them.

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The Days of Elijah - a story

The Days of Elijah – a story

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