Friday, September 25, 2009

Prehensile Toes

I am in Boise, Idaho this morning, enjoying the complimentary breakfast at the Shilo Inn. I drove down yesterday from Spokane and met up with Walter John Boris, now the Conference Minister of the Central Pacific Conference of the UCC. WJ has set up two opportunities for me to make members of his conference angry by telling them that everything they've been taught about stewardship is wrong. What an opportunity!

The drive was lovely, though long. I couldn't help but recall meeting a wrong way driver on the same, I-84 route during an all-night drive in 1990. I was really excited by the smoke ring blowing steam stack in Ontario, Oregon. Apart from those highlights it was a nice drive on a hot, early fall day.

I met WJ at about 7:15 local time, and we made plans to get some food downtown. The path to downtown was literally that: the Boise River Walk. We probably hoofed a couple miles on this lovely, well-developed trail, arriving downtown at the Reef Restaurant. The staff were unaware of any live music happening, which confused us, but a concert broke out nonetheless. WJ and I had good food and a couple beers while enjoying the offerings of the Shook Twins, from Sandpoint, Idaho. They played in a unique gypsy, folk, rhythm style featuring guitar, banjo, drums, and an interesting array of sounds emitted by the electronic mixer controlled by Laurie Shook's toes. I was impressed. Though banjo playing while barefoot is not rare - indeed, many banjoists have yet to become acquainted with footwear - I almost never use my toes for anything while playing. A new horizon beckons.

This afternoon we will make our way to Mountain Home, Idaho, for the Association meeting. I actually knew someone from Mountain Home once. He was the chair of a search committee that called me. After the congregation voted, this guy offered me the position for several thousand dollars less than it had been advertised for. I called the Conference staff person responsible, only to discover he knew nothing about it. It turned out that the guy from Mountain Home had cooked up the idea all on his own in an effort to save the church some money. I ended up taking the job anyway, though not at the reduced salary figure. In retrospect, I should have read the tea leaves.

Anyway, we'll venture forth, hoping that others in Mountain Home don't live down to my previous experience.

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