Saturday, March 06, 2010

INTRODUCING....

A new personality on the blog.  He is an amalgam of a few colorful people I've known since I've been Orthodox. The main personality is Walter (memory eternal), a crotchety old Russian Orthodox man who was a member of our Mission. Before you read any further, click on that link and read about him.

Walter is my hero. He called it like he saw it, but not because he was bitter or mean, not because he was arrogant and condescending, but because he loved people enough to mess with them.  The twinkle in his eye as he looked away from you after sucker punching you in the gut was a glimpse of pure joy.  If you could take the hit and stuck with him he was a clairvoyant elder whose cell was either his trailer, his seat in the corner of the coffee hour room, or a 3 legged folding stool he kept in the trunk of his car so he could sit in the parking lot and smoke during the sermon. 

So, here's to my friend and hero, Walter. He's going to pop in here once in a while and visit in the character of

14 comments:

David Dickens said...

I'm already a fan.

s-p said...

You're way to easy... :)

JD said...

I think I will start smoking, at least until some of these fellows quit reading downloaded sermons.

Is this turning into a ex-CoC therapy group?

s-p said...

JD, LOL! At least in the Orthodox Church you won't go to hell for smoking. :) Having been around more than a few homilies I'd say you might actually have a blessing that your priest is reading downloaded sermons. It certainly isn't as exciting as a good ol' cofC preacher, but it keeps "orthodoxy" in the Orthodox Church sometimes. :)

JD said...

Yes, I have come to appreciate the orthodoxy value of that. It's just the monotone, nose buried in the script that makes me want to consider it the best time for a smoke break. Like Walter heard, "smoke 'em if you've got 'em". I am being a little harsh in the interest of feigned humor.

elizabeth said...

nice to meet the lastest blog memember!

babushkajoanna said...

Babushka loves Walter.

JD said...

Walter must have surely been a Navy man.

s-p said...

JD, Actually Army. After fighting on both fronts in WWII he was never promoted. He said he seemed to have this problem with his mouth with officers. :)

Ian Climacus said...

Sounds like a man we should all habe been blessed to meet; and someone we need to have around. Thank you.

The Ochlophobist said...

At the Orthodox church I used to attend in St. Paul, MN, there were two old men who sat on the bench attached to the wall in the back corner. One was Carpatho-rus, the other Russian, one born in America, one got here when a small child. They were both hard of hearing. They would offer commentary throughout the Liturgy. This was a small parish with a small nave. One time Fr. Jonathan was giving an especially long homily and George turned to his buddy and barked, in that loud voice old deaf men use, "he thinks just cuzz he went to seminary that he can go on and on an on, I wish they'd teach people there when to shut up!" Everyone, including the priest, had chuckled. It was a good morning. These two men were gruff and not impressed by anything, but they also were kind, concerned about everyone's families, especially the kids, and had that sort of pause from living difficult lives (both had done blue-collar work, one a pipe-fitter, the other working for the railroad). I was away from that parish for about 8 years, and then made it back there last spring. Ancient George was still there. He gets someone to drive him to all parish and panOrthodox events at which there is free food.

When I think of rustbelt OCA churches getting replaced with snazzy convert centers, well, I think of George, and I realize I will never, ever, be anywhere near as Orthodox as that man.

s-p said...

Och, Amen. I would have never known Walter if our "snazzy convert Mission" hadn't gotten forced to join up with a group from the across town ethnic parish, and I would have been the poorer for it. Walter would do the "running commentary" on things too, (it must be a Carpatho-Russian thing) and sometimes funnier than Mystery Science Theater 3K... nothing and no pretenses, cradle or convert, were hidden from his clear eye. "Orthodoxy in America" will be a shadow of the real thing if we only learn "Orthodoxy" as liturgical forms and dogmatics and not decades of life in the trenches from people like this.

el cuerpo negro said...

if only every congregation could be so blessed to have a Walter to make us pharisees recognize God's grace

DebD said...

This is going to be fun (and probably a little painful too).