308. Organic Musings

I have played with various organs during my lifetime:

1.  The pipe organ at St. Patrick Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa taught under Sister Mary Madelene, I played regular Masses – Requiem, High Masses, funeral and wedding and memorial Masses.  The biggest deal was at Christmastime, or at funerals or weddings.

Or – miracle of miracles – on the times when someone paid us money for a ceremony  (because that wasn’t usually done in those days).


2.  The electric organ at Mount Mercy Academy in 1947-52 in Cedar Rapids, iowa. I helped pay my tuition at that school while fingering the keys under direction of Sister Mary de Lourdes.  I was a really awful organist, but somehow, they put with me.

3.  A home electric organ that we had for several years.  My favorite music at the time was anything by the Beatles. 



4.  A mouth organ that some of us are currently learning to use, and,

5.  My final directives and my driver’s license which specify that in case of death, my organs – should any remain – are supposed to be re-cycled.

All of which is by way of bringing up the following story:

A minister was  preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church  building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that  the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute  wanted to know what to play.

“Here’s a copy of  the service,” he said impatiently. “But, you’ll  have to think of something to play after I make  the announcement about the finances.”

During  the service, the minister paused and said, “Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the  roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and  we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.”

At that moment, the substitute organist played “The Star  Spangled Banner.”

And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!

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