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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Theological Discussion

By Nancy Leitz

When we moved to Hampton, Virginia, Jerry was five years old and too young to go to school so he mostly hung around with me and luckily, there was a boy just his age living across the street who he played with every day. The boy's name was Chris and he and Jerry became great friends, and had long discussions on many topics in our back yard.

The spot they chose to sit in to settle the important matters they debated was directly under my kitchen window so I was privy to most of the discussions they had.

Once they invited another boy who was an Air Force "brat" to join their conversation. The topic this day was "Where is the best place you ever lived?" Well, our Jerry had been born in Darby, Pennsylvania and had recently moved to Hampton so that was the extent of his experience in strange and exotic places.

Chris's Dad was a local attorney and he had lived in Hampton for all of his five years. So when the Air Force kid, named Bootsy Myers, answered the question with "Well, it's between Stuttgart and Okinawa," they were immediately intimidated and kicked him out of their discussion. They didn't need that one-upsmanship; they were cool in their own situation and comfortable with their lot.

Once, the boys were sitting under the kitchen window, as usual, and the discussion turned to religion. This was a new subject for them and they very tentatively decided to step into the theological waters. Actually, they didn't step, they plunged! But you really need a little background to understand their concerns.

The Hansen's had recently had their home painted and the painter who did the job was named Jesse Kursy. Jesse started the job on Memorial Day, May 30th. He painted two small windows and decided to go fishing.

He came back the following week and was painting another window when he heard the fire siren sounding and was off and running to the excitement of the fire.

A month went by and Jesse came back and scraped the front door, then left to go to a softball game.

This went on all summer and finally, on Labor Day (September 6th), he put the finishing touches on the house. It was the next day that the boys began to try to figure God out. Their conversation went something like this:

CHRIS: "Who made the World?"

JERRY: "God made the World."

CHRIS: "Who made the sky?"

JERRY: "God made the sky."

CHRIS: "Who made this grass?"

JERRY: "God made this grass."

CHRIS: "Who made my house?"

JERRY: “God made your house."

Chris jumped up, put his hands on his hips and shouted at Jerry, " Well, God might have made it, but Jesse Kursy painted it."

Jerry knew he had lost this one. He threw his hands in the air in defeat and slowly stole away.

Another day at another time he might be able to best Chris Hansen, but not this time, and not on this subject. This time it was cut and dried, he was done; and he knew it.

We had all watched Jesse Kursy take an entire summer to paint five windows and a door. The debate was over, the winner had left in triumph and Jerry was left in abject defeat. Maybe next time!

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:35 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Thus, a couple of debaters were born right under your kitchen window.

Very funny, Nancy. I guess painters must have been hard to come by for the Hansen's to put up with Jesse's indifference to the job.

A very cute story, Nancy! You have a great memory.

Enjoyable story Nancy. Aren’t kids the best? We’ve had a few Jesses in our lives, but usually they’ve been relatives offering to do work without pay.

Great story Nancy. I love being a fly on the wall when children are talking.

Hello Darlene,Judy,Claire Jean and Grannymar,

Thank you for the nice comments about my story.

Glad you liked it.

Oh delightful. I'm sitting here grinning. Then again, you know I like anything you write. Thank you.

Thanks, Mage. You are very kind.

You reminded me: an overheard conversation between my son & his pal I took care of, both in kindergarten. "My mommy makes the best soup."
"No, MY mommy makes the best soup. "No, MY mommy does."
"No, MY mommy does, and besides she's adorable."

Hello Lyn,

That's adorable. As Grannymar said, " I love to be a fly on the wall when children are talking."

And, as Art Linkletter used to say, "Kids say the darnest things."

Thanks for your comment.

That is too cute...and too funny Nancy. My Lord that paint job took forever. Kids kill me....and your son was a hoot.

You must be one quiet dishwasher. How did you keep the boys from hearing your giggles? Great story. I know you use real names because Jesse Kursey sounds like a derelict painter's name.

...and in the autumn, Jesse rested.

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