Schuyler Satan Ambassador
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Blue Ridge Mountains 23

Morning Service

Church InteriorThe following Sunday I had to pay dearly for that evening. It was a bright sunny start to the day, a crisp fresh breeze stirring in the trees outside as I rose to begin the morning service. My smile quickly melted. There before me were row upon row of gaunt, brooding, stony faces, eyes turned disapprovingly away. The stronger I pressed out the versicles, the weaker grew their whispered response. At the end of the service, I mechanically shook "wet fish" hands and exchanged facial muscle movements intended to look like smiles.

Blue Ridge Mountains

The WaltonsOne kindly lady, who had taken pity on me, drew me aside gently. "Going to that Square Dance is the cause of all this, you know!" Then she added, "They consider you the ambassador of Satan, but don't worry, they'll get over it!" I was considered "Satan's Ambassador" for what I had done. Having a northern accent was bad enough, but spoiling my copybook in the eyes of my parishioners was unforgivable. Little did I realize, when I traveled down from the North to these beautiful "Blue Ridge Mountains," what problems I would face.

My accommodations there were at the luxurious, Schuyler Hotel. The next morning, I went for a walk to find out about the community. The Soap Stone Mining Company, its one and only employer, dominated the town. As I strolled, it gradually dawned that there were two quite distinct classes of people here.

"Schuyler Satan Ambassador"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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