I saw Daddy’s uncle coming down the road in a shiny black Cadillac with the radio blasting Hank Williams and a cloud of dust a mile high behind him. Reverend Joshua was Granddaddy’s brother and Pastor of a small church near Bay View Road. He was also a tent revivalist and snake handler. I was both fascinated and afraid of him. His sermons were stormy and full of thunder, and like John The Baptist he came looking to save us from the serpents.
They walked toward the creek and headed down a path into the woods. I could see dark clouds in the distance, and I saw the crows gathering. I could feel the chill walk down my spine, a warning that Reverend Joshua would soon unleash the word and hold the serpents high. Even my dog, Cookie, would not come out from under the house.
A rumble like a train coming down the tracks shook the fields and even made ripples on the water of the creek. The thunder rolled in the sky bringing an eerie darkness to the midday sky. Crows filled the trees as Daddy and Reverend Joshua broke past the trees to a freshly plowed field. The Reverend rubbed his chin and after much thought said this would be the perfect place for a revival. It is big enough for a large tent and if we widen the path a bit it will be easily accessible to the field.
Daddy had little use for The Reverend and less use for Cadillacs. He associated Cadillacs with funerals, yet he was Granddaddy’s brother and Daddy’s uncle. He was well known for having deep pockets and rumor had it that he was still running shine even after Granddaddy passed away. They made a deal that day, maybe one Daddy would come to regret. The thunder rumbled again, louder and more ominous, a forerunner of things to come.
Daddy stood by the Cadillac talking low, but I knew he was not happy. His uncle drove off leaving only a trail of dust behind. I knew things were not right under those dark skies. Grandma Pola was standing on the porch, and I knew there would be words passed. She didn’t like nor trust a preacher that drove a long black Cadillac and she certainly didn’t like shine. Just like yesterday I again thought tomorrow would be a new day and I was wondering how the adventures of today could ever be surpassed but they would indeed, beyond anything I imagined.