Submitted by Cindy Putnam Smith
My childhood revolved around church and music. Memories of Sunday school, Sunday morning and night, Thursday night prayer meeting, and especially those fourth Saturday night monthly singings. What a great time we had. My Singing Chairman daddy had groups “booked” months ahead and a crowd always filled the church.
We were a singing family. My parents both sang in quartets in their younger days and Daddy often talked about teaching music school in the summertime and going to “fa so la” singings. The gift and love of music was passed to us kids. Bless my parents’ hearts as three girls learned to play the piano and brother learned to play the trumpet.
Most Sundays found us gathered in the living room around the old piano. My sister Debra would sit down and begin to play. Daddy would get out the old convention singing books and the afternoon singing would begin. Daddy sang tenor or bass, whichever the song needed, and Mama was a strong alto. My sister Sandy would take the lead because she could hit the high notes, and I joined in with my loud volume.
“Find that brown book, the one with ‘Sing Me a Song About Jesus,’” I can still hear Daddy say.
“Sing one with the alto lead next so me and Mama can sing,” I can hear myself say.
What joyous sounds when family voices joined together in harmony to sing “That Heavenly Home,” “Sweet Hour of Prayer” and other wonderful hymns.
In those days there was no air conditioning. Screen doors and windows raised and one old oscillating fan were the only cooling system we had. When the singing started the whole neighborhood heard us. The melodious sounds drifted through the community. Sometimes the old dog outside would howl along.
In later years a new tradition of Thanksgiving afternoon singing began. Each passing November added voices to our family choir. Sounds of babies crying, toddlers playing and teens’ changing voices all mixed together for the videos that grow more precious each passing season.
Mama and Daddy sing with the heavenly choir now. Sunday afternoon singings are a thing of the past—just a part of my childhood memories. But, not long after dinner on Thanksgiving Day you’ll hear the run on the piano begin. The family begins to gather. The old red hymnals are opened. A house full of three generations making memories. “Glad Reunion Day” echoes through the house. If the widows were raised, the sound would once again drift through the neighborhood.
Safe Harbor Church of God will hold a homecoming on Sept. 22. Guest speaker is Michael Knight. Lunch will be served following the morning service.