February 08, 2008
Main Steet Bellflower CA. The City that was my home before we left on The Journey to Hawaii. The shopping district is in the process of redevelopement, Johnsons Jewelers my mentors and friends have been here since 1947 and is the business longest in one location in the city. The Downtown area is dominated by the 1920 Art Deco theater that runs the entire city block and seats 1500 people. Closed in 1970, it was purchased at tax auction in 1983 by a native son and restored to its roaring twenties splendor. In 1985 it reopened as the home of Hosanna Calvary Chapel, and that native son is still its seinor pastor. It was my spiritual "West Point" and a place where I fufilled my dreams of becoming a working professional vocalist
This week is a time for me to really put the past to rest. It all started with a call from my Aunt Jean months ago that showed us that we needed to take the time before I started school in Louisville, and go to California to see Aunt Jean. She is 88 and in poor health, but doing OK and I am glad of it. She is frail but sharp, and full of stories to tell. But this is the story she seems to need to tell me the most
“Let me tell you about your Father, Hoku…I loved Bobby, he was like my kid brother. My parents were evil people, and were very unkind to both of us. But I must say we had good food and we were dressed beautifully, and went to school. But they were hateful, and did it out of duty and not love. That was the sad thing. You father only wanted to be loved and respected. That’s what we all want I think… He loved your mother and he loved you. I know because he told me so and don’t you forget it…"
Woody and I have been spending a lot of time with her, but also attempting get in touch with friends we haven’t seen in ages. We went to church with Ed and Helen, the folks that encouraged us to move to Arkansas. John has all of his golfing/school friends and I have places I needed to go and see.
Waiting to worship, Calvary Chapel Long Beach CA
When we went to Calvary Chapel Long Beach last year the pastor there made a point to ask me for forgiveness, in the name of all of the Calvary Chapel Churches, for all of the wrongs committed against me by the church. This practice is becoming more common as there is recognition that people have been hurt by the dictatorial decisions made by a few people that had issues of their own, usually the pastors. Since then, I have felt a steady sense of healing. I can sing the old songs again with gladness, We often sing Pastor Chuck Smith’s theme song “Spirit Song” as a Gathering Song at the Methodist Church we attend. I often see Pastor David’s compassionate face looking at me as we sing….
Oh, let the Son of God enfold you, in the Spirit of His Love
Let Him fill you heart and satisfy your soul
Oh, let Him have the things that hold you, and His Spirit, like a dove
Will descend upon your life and make you whole
Jesus, Oh Jesus, come and fill Your lambs
Jesus, Oh Jesus, come and fill Your lambs
I no longer feel the knife twist of pain in my heart for lost friends lost dreams lost relationships
The front lobby of Hosanna Chapel, Coffee shop next door and Marquee above. The interior lobby has space for about 350 people to visit easily, The coffee shop known as the Java Oasis, was one of the first that we know of in a church and was installed in 1989. The tower in the back ground is the structure that rises above the stage and would have supported the use of curtains, projection screens, and backdrops. We had a shell permanantly installed for sound projection.
I couldn’t do it last time but this time I went to Hosanna Chapel, the Calvary Chapel that did me wrong and sat before the huge converted theatre in the heart of Bellflower, and tried to feel…something…I don’t feel much else but loss and as sort of “dried up” feeling. I owe them a lot. I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for them. Like my parents who did a lot of things that weren’t so hot, this body of believers was a loving home for me for many years, and nurtured me into a strong well taught Christian.
I have moved on. And I am very glad. I no longer dwell on that past that so hurt me and I feel so very good about it.
My Little House that owned prior to my move to Hawaii, looking very spiffy in a fresh coat of paint porch rails and a new and muchly needed roof! I noticed that they have coverted the shed that was as big as the house into a separate dwelling.
I found that true as I drove past the homes that I used to own and saw places that I frequented, and stopped and ate at resturants that were fixtures in my life. Places like Johnson’s Jewelers, where I was given the family welcome and discussed the opening of my new trade shop. They were very excited for us and want to be there as cunsultants and guides as we set up and get started… Some of the people that I thought to look up I said to myself… “No let them go, you have a new life a new faith…never more apparent than today Ash Wednesday , with the holy mark on my forehead that I wore proudly all day. I failed to try to call on my brother, or anyone else from the past but Ed and Helen. Woody was not able to see anyone but his friend Al and his wife Yolie. I looked into faces and at the surroundings and more than once felt like the seven years that have passed since I lived here, were a dream and that as the evenings wore on that I would drive into Bellflower and up the drive to my tiny clapboard house that I cherished and found a home in. Woody found himself thinking a lot about his mother and a life lived well. He says he has no regrets moving to Arkansas and is looking to the future now rather than towards the past
One day the streets of Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville will be as familiar to me as Buena Park, Whittier and Los Angeles. While I miss some of the places we visited this week like Descanso Gardens, Little India and Seal Beach very much. I too have no regrets as I am steadily surely heading towards a new future with more adventures straight ahead
The Place of my spiritual birth Seal Beach California
Labels: California, Faith, Family History, Traveling