Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Message from Shirley Gilmore

An E-Mail I Just Received:

Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 07:10:37 -0700
From: (E-Mail Address Hidden; Sent by Shirley Gilmore)
Subject: Mark Pettigrew from Springfield?

Did you grow up in Springfield, Mo, and was your father Don Pettigrew the optometrist and preacher?

My Reply

Yes, Shirley, I'm that Mark Pettigrew.

I still remember playing with you, Mary Ginn and Ronnie Ginn, before and after church at Elwood United Methodist Church. I still remember the wart you got when you were a kid, and how I was afraid that I'd catch it! (I got one of my own years later when I was in college. Not pleasant! Now Dr. Scholl's makes an ointment designed to freeze them off.)

You may recall the incident where Wally Springer let out a few choice words not normally heard during church after a wasp found its way up his pants leg one day.

Perhaps you recall the many grasshoppers which loved to gather on the lawn in front of the church, and behind the church, on hot summer days. You probably recall the wooden fans with which folks kept themselves cool during worship services, since there was no air conditioning. You may also recall the small house, just north of the church, where you and Mary and Ronnie and I used to play.

You may recall the various events, such as softball games and hayrides and pot luck dinners, which Elwood held for its members. And who could forget Vacation Bible School!

You may or may not also know that my first serious girlfriend was Karen Smoots, who I met when my Dad took me on a return visit to Elwood. (I think Karen started going to Elwood after Dad stopped serving Elwood as its regular pastor, because I don't remember her being there when I was younger.)

I still think of you from time to time, especially when I see that TV show entitled "Gilmore Girls". It's great hearing from you!

If you're interested, you should know that I have a blog, at I have another website at Feel free to check them out and let me know what you think. And be sure to let me know more about what your life is like these days.


Mark W. Pettigrew
30 W. Chicago Avenue, Room 1212
Chicago, IL 60654


NOTE: I don't normally publish e-mail exchanges in the form of blog posts, but in this case, most of the contributions to the preceding e-mail discussion were mine, and I figured that there wasn't anything in my reminiscences which was too private to share with others.

Incidentally, Ron Ginn, the father of Mary and Ronnie, was the Sheriff of Greene County for a while, and my father was his campaign manager.

Initially, I published Shirley's e-mail address when I posted the article, and then it occurred to me that she probably would prefer that I not do so without her express permission, so I edited that part slightly.

If Shirley hadn't contacted me, I probably would have written a blog post about this subject at some point anyway. My memories from the three years when my father was the "Methodist lay minister" at Elwood are part of what makes me the person I am today.

It's interesting to see the way that the Internet and e-mail can facillitate reunions of people who haven't seen one another for many, many years.

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