New York Years - West Stephentown Baptist Church


It's interesting that we moved from Nassau, Bahamas, to East Nassau, NY, but the church we attended was a few miles away in West Stephentown.

It was an old church, with tall stained-glassed windows and hard pews. Pastor Herman Heintz was our pastor. He had dark hair that was slicked down and combed straight back from his forehead. I remember he had a short children's sermon before the main one. I used to listen for his pet phrase,
"getting down to the nitty-gritty."

I thought his wife was a wonderful mother and home-maker. She had a soft voice and often invited my brother, Phillip, and I to join their family activities. We went to the CCC Dam, and took walks in the winter wonderland. Pastor Heintz taught us, "I am a Happy Wanderer." We had a snow picnic. (the first time I had s'mores) They had a TV, and I saw Mister Rogers for the first time. My mother was a good mother and home-maker, too, but she was different. It was good for me to have another role model that had the same values as my own mother.

I became involved with Pioneer Girls. It is much like Girl Scouts with a Biblical emphasis. I still have my sash, with all my badges on it, and the little blue beanie cap. Mrs. Fleming was my Sunday School teacher and my Pioneer Girl leader. I made friends with Penny Williams and Darlene Sweet.

The road back to our house had many hills and curves. My father liked the challenge of turning off the engine on top of the highest spot and gliding in neutral all the way home. He would have to not brake much to keep his momemtum. My mom would get so flustered over his shenanigans. It was probably pretty dangerous, with streams and ravines and trees all around, but as little children, we thought it was great fun.

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