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Uncle Willie and the G. P.
by Asa Sparks

Waking from his afternoon siesta between the rows of cotton, Uncle Willie saw two clouds in the sky that said “G” and “P”. He lay there another twenty minutes while pondering this message from the heavens. Well, it was obvious to Uncle Willie that the message was “Go Preach.” He promptly went to his pastor at Second Freewill Pentecostal Baptist Church and told him the good news.

Pastor Haysus Pastor was wise in dealing with rambunctious church members. He told Uncle Willie that he would let Willie take on funerals when he was out of town. Since he did not know what to say, Willie would sit quietly at the wake with the family and this seemed to be of tremendous comfort. Uncle Willie could hardly wait until someone died and Pastor Pastor was off fishing.

Finally, the occasion came and the rain drizzled as they marched to the gravesite. The custom was for the family to sit under the canopy to the left of the casket while the pallbearers stood at attention on the edge of the grave by the right side of the casket and the minister stood at the head. Uncle Willie closed his umbrella as they walked under the canopy and stood respectfully to the side while the family was seated and the pallbearers bore their pall to the straps above the open grave. As Willie walked around to the head of the casket, he noticed that the water from atop the canopy was dripping right where he had to stand. As he walked into position, he took his trusty big, black bumbershoot from off his arm, began lifting it into position as he pushed the automatic-open spring-loaded button. The pallbearers all enjoyed a sudden horizontal shower and face washing. The members at Second Freewill Pentecostal Baptist Church did not believe in public foot washing.

The time had come for Uncle Willie to preach the dearly departed old sot into heaven. After only twenty minutes of preachin', he came to the part where he was to read the committal. Opening his borrowed Minister's Manual to the opening sentence, Uncle Willie boomed, "We come today to this newly opened see puhl kree." On the way home, Aunt Lena May told him that was no way to say "sepulchre."

Parker and his wife had an infant die during childbirth. Aunt Lena May was the church's self-appointed funeral coordinator. She regularly toured graveyards for ideas. This time she proved valuable by conning a local funeral director into free embalming and a casket for only $100 for this dirt-poor fisherman family.

Uncle Willie drove over to the mortuary in his Rambler station wagon and loaded the little casket in back for the drive out to a country church with graveyard attached. When they arrived, the diggers were not yet finished with the grave. So, while his wife waited in the car, Parker jumped in and finished digging the grave for his infant son. Uncle Willie could not help. He had on his only Sunday go-to-meeting suit. Aunt Lena May bragged for the next six months about the wonderful funeral she had planned.

On the way home, Aunt Lena May told Willie she had found out about the G.P. The bi-plane smoke writer had puffed out “Vote Hogg Pegram.” Maybe God really intended for Willie to get up and "Go Plow."


To read more of Asa’s stories at USADS, visit these links:
Uncle Willie and the New Car
Uncle Willie Shoots a Ford
Uncle Willie Gets Masseused

For more, click on the USADEEPSOUTH Articles Page.



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