Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16, 2004

3:20 PM We arrived in Los Angeles about two hours ago. Typical Southern California weather—bright and sunny. Joanne Hale picked us up, and from the moment she and Marlene saw each other, they started talking—and they haven’t stopped yet. Her husband Rick was the chairman of the board when I was the pastor of Redeemer Covenant Church in Downey, 1978-1983. He and Joanne were also our closest friends in the church—and we’ve stayed in touch with them through all the years in Texas and Illinois. We dropped by the church and saw Ellen Hale and Nikki Grubb. Ellen was a charter member of the church when it was founded 50 years ago. Nikki said I didn’t look as tall as she remembered—and had I shrunk? No, but maybe Nikki is taller than she used to be. And what about my gray hair? Well, I didn’t have any when I was in Downey—but that was a long time ago. The church has prospered in recent years and has a growing Hispanic outreach. When we arrived at Rick and Joanne’s home, she offered me a Coke and some brownies—pretty much what I lived on in the old days. Some things have changed—I looked at the current Redeemer church list and recognized maybe 10 names. But that’s a good sign. I’m told that many people from our days are coming in for the celebration. There is a light supper at the church tonight where we eat, talk, and look at pictures. I speak at the banquet tomorrow night. We will attend the worship service on Sunday morning and then head back to Oak Park in the afternoon. So we’re here and the laughter has already started. It’s going to be a great weekend. 8:27 AM Up early, rode my bike and packed my bags. Marlene is ready, I’m ready. Time to head for the airport. California, here we come.

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