The Faulkner County Singing Convention, 135 years old, started last night at Pleasant Hill Church of the Nazarene. The church is located on Highway 225, east of Greenbrier, south of Enders. It’s a beautiful white church sitting at the top of a hill with a white fence on one side. We’ve heard some people have had trouble finding it. Come on, we’ve got a big day coming up today starting at 10 a.m. The singing was wonderful last night, it’s always great on Friday night. The refreshments and fellowship was enjoyed by the group. We start singing at 10, break for lunch at noon, start back at 1:30 for the last session of the 2013 convention and adjourn between 3 and 4, until next year when our convention will be 136 years old. It is quite different from the way it was years ago.

Originally it started on Friday night at 7, and Saturday morning at 10, with a large meal spread at noon. Singing back at 1:30 and break for supper; Saturday night session at 6. Back on Sunday morning at 10, sing until noon, have another big meal at noon. Back in the sanctuary at 1:30 for the last session, at this time all the committees reported their business and were dismissed from their jobs. Each year deaths from each community were reported and we have a "special memorial time" to remember those who passed since the last convention, this is still carried on today in the same fashion. A member of the memorial committee first read a scripture, memorial prayer, meaningful song. After the deceased are remembered, we finish up the afternoon praising the Lord in song. It has been reported that the last of July was chosen for the convention more than 100 years ago, because that’s when the vegetable gardens were most plentiful and the men had caught up with some of their work on the farm — back then most people were farmers.

I’m sure you people will be glad when this convention is over, but in my time, this is the greatest event of the year. My parents, John and Ola Sims, carried me to singings all my life. Now it has lasted 135 years and I’m 80 years old. May God bless each of you as I reminisce the old days.

My special friend, Bobi Hendrickson, is ill with cancer. She is having to take chemotherapy regularly now. We have people praying for her everywhere and ask you to join us. She is a wonderful Christian and love’s the Lord.

Congratulations to Marsha Brown on her new grandson, Haden Cole Brown. He was born Friday, July 12, 3 1/2 weeks early, weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces. His young cousin, Tennison, kisses him on top of his head as she passes by.

Rosa Lee and Robert McElroy visited Calvin and Edith Robertson at McGintytown recently.

Have a good week and pray for our country.

Shady Grove

Susan and I had a nice, relaxing time in Hot Springs last Wednesday through Sunday. We are fortunate to be able to stay in a condo on Lake Hamilton and enjoyed sitting on the patio a lot. The weather was great for sitting outside. I got to enjoy it more than she did, as she was obligated to attend meetings off and on during the day. We were there for the Miss Arkansas Pageant. Tyler was with us Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday and had to come back to work. Mike joined us on Friday for the weekend. We had a cookout for lunch on Saturday for some of her pageant director friends.

Gale Garrison visited Katie Bruich and her daughter, Ella Kate Johnson, in Conway on July 10. Gale presented Ella Kate with a baby afghan she had crocheted. She also visited with Sammie Bruich who was there.

Gale and Jimmie Lee Merritt accompanied the Central Baptist Church Golden Agers for lunch at Mather Lodge on Petit Jean Mountain Thursday, July 1.

Gale and Carl Garrison were Saturday night supper guests of Wendell and Joyce Talley in Vilonia. The Talleys attended church at Bethlehem Sunday to see their grandson, Luke Talley, sing with the students who had attended Vacation Bible School.

Bill has been out of commission for several days this past week with an abscessed tooth. I took him to the dentist in NLR on Monday to have it pulled. That did not give him any problems, but the swelling in his neck was like having a severe sore throat and he could not eat. Imagine that, Bill Love not being able to eat! You know something is bad wrong if that happens. He started feeling better on Wednesday after the antibiotics kicked in.

Dean and Marlene Patton had guests for dinner this past Tuesday night, including Bill and Wilma Robinson, Ralph and Irma Rodan, and Bill and I. It was a first for all of us, as we ate by oil lamp light due to a power failure. Luckily, Marlene already had everything cooked and ready when it happened.

Cary Wayne (Caro) Davis is doing great following his knee replacement. Reports are, he is driving himself to physical therapy already. Can’t keep a descendant of Osbie and Jessie Fay Davis down for very long.

Remember Todd Eason in your prayers. He is in CRMC being treated for cellulitis and has been very sick. Todd is Carl Garrison’s son-in-law.