This article was originally published on LinkedIn on December 27, 2021. It has since been updated to include a tribute to my Creative Writing professor from University of Redlands.
First Baptist Church
Sunday, December 30, 1951
At the direction of the church, a Council of Baptist Preachers met with Cecil Egerton this afternoon. I am going to ask the Clerk of our church, Mr. Russell Parrish, to read the report of that Council. Mr. Parrish:
Editor's Note: The following is an essay and recollection written by my father, Dr. Cecil Baker Egerton, of his first pastorate in Cloudy, Oklahoma, circa 1950.
I will never forget Cloudy. I learned so much there. I don’t know what the place is like now, but over a half century ago, it was a journey back in time to an America that existed long before I was born. Located on a ridge in the Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma, it was twenty-five miles from the nearest paved road. As a young man from the city of Knoxville [Tennessee] who was studying in a theological school in Fort Worth, Texas, going there was like using a time machine to visit a vanished world. The women still boiled their laundry in iron kettles on Monday. People drew water from their own wells. The younger kids attended a one-room schoolhouse, while the older kids rode a bus down to Rattan.