Monday, December 01, 2008


If you read Cliff’s blog or his column in the Midwest Producer, you know he has this whole word thing going. He can string words together in humorous, informative and thought provoking articles.

He’s also an accomplished public speaker. I have heard him give formal speeches and impromptu speeches both are good. He has a way of connecting with the audience.

But during our Thanksgiving trip to Tekamah, I learned when it comes to one on one communication he . . . well . . . he has room for improvement - at least with me. More than one conversation started with the words, “Didn’t I tell you that we were. . .”

Fortunately, only one incident was a little embarrassing. Unfortunately, it involved two hundred people and God.

We arrived at Tekamah and met Cliff on the lane to the farm. He was heading to Omaha where his church was helping the Omaha Baptist Church celebrate their 150th anniversary. Cliff was also speaking at the Omaha Baptist Church. I went along for the ride, nine hours in the car getting to the farm wasn’t enough I guess.

At the church, I found a pew and sat at the outside edge. Cliff and the others from Tekamah were a few pews ahead. Shortly after the service started in walked three physically challenged people who asked if I could move in. Not a problem, I moved to the center.

We sang some songs, we had a prayer, and a few announcements were made. Then it was time for Cliff’s talk.

As usual, he did a good job of holding the audiences attention. Then members of the Tekamah choir did a very nice job of singing.

Most of the choir members went back to their pew. Not Cliff, he headed for the door. He spotted me in the church, pointed his finger (index finger) at me, and waved towards the door. He walked out, holding the door open waiting for me.

I weighed my options - they were limited. I could squeeze by two elderly people and walk right through the center of the church or I could ask the three physically challenged people to excuse me. I choose the latter.

I soon realized that given their physical limitations – this might not have been my best decision. Scripture was being read, I was standing up, the three people were doing their best to let me by - things were in motion. One of the three asked in a rather loud voice, “Where are you going?” I whispered back, "I don't know."

I finally cleared the pew and walked through the door where Cliff was waiting. Cliff looked at me said, “Didn’t I tell you that we were leaving right after we sang?” “No” came out of my mouth. However, the words going through my head were more along the lines of, “Yeah Cliff, you told me – that’s why I was sitting right in the center of two hundred people!”

NOTE TO SELF: When attending public events with Cliff – wait for him outside.


Blogger Jim said...

Hi Ralph, you did the right thing. At a Baptist church, the good, make that the best, always sit in the back where you were.
Ditto those physically challenged persons and the older people (how old is old?).
Our TV shows you have slippery snow today, a lot of it.
And thanks for the encouragement at my blog-aversary today. I like that stuff.

8:02 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Ralph ~ Sound advice I am SURE! I hope you guys had a good time there! ~ jb///

9:27 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I didn't say anything? Really? I musta forgot.
You're a trooper buddy. I think a talk on the forestry dept in Co would have been more effective.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

Ralph, aren't you also a fire fighter? I'm thinking you would never have let yourself get boxed in like that in a crowd. It is just wrong to blame poor Cliff.

5:57 AM  
Blogger bobbie said...

this one really made me laugh out loud! I have the picture in my mind - never mind, I'm laughing again.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Live Well, Laugh Often & Love Much said...

Bobbie, I could have not said it better myself ! LAUGHING !!!!

6:37 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I agree with the last two!! I am laughing!!

I could see it all happening as well and you telling those people when they asked where you were going that you didn't know! At least you were honest!!!

9:54 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Cliff is always causing trouble.
I'm sure you felt mighty awkward trampling over those disabled folks as you bolted towards the door.
You might as well had a sign that read: I am Ralph and I am leaving early.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Next time sit on the back row, next to the door........I'm with Granny Annie on this

8:49 PM  
Blogger Marla said...

I think you should of had a sign that said, I'm with Cliff. I would have been embarassed climbing over the laps of those folks. Sitting in the back of the church, and sneaking away!!!

9:13 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

At least the pew was divided evenly, 3 and 3. haha

5:46 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I just checked his blog and found out what a good guy you are!
Your chivalry makes me shiver.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...


I love your story! How funny! Also, I think that maybe I need to make a ***"Note to self!*** when writing posts early...hehehe...

I really do thank you though so much for reminding me to change the date!!! When I wrote it Wednesday, I remember thinking that I must remember to change the date Thursday, and of course, the only thing I thought about today was to get it posted and linked! Thanks so much for the FYI!!!! I really appreciate it!!!

My new take on life motto will be ***Note to Self! It's a must for me! :)

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, am still laughing... seems you made the best of a bad situation.

8:43 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home