Friday, May 15, 2009

Anytown USA--God and Realtors

A soggy Midwestern town among the cornfields. Heartland USA. The realtor's meet in the old Victorian home from a couple of centuries before. They eye the man who has no business being there. He is writing a book or something but I'm allowed to sit in their meeting. We are a cross section of old and new America born before and after the last big recession in 74. Just had a bypass the owner tells me and asks that I not where jeans at the meetings. No problem. Rain outside the windows and in the old furniture now musty.
"My husband and I promised God that we would go to church every Sunday if the recession would end."
I look at the woman who gives me a fist full of cards.
"Just in case you know anyone."
I ask that she not miss any Sundays and she laughs. The meeting centers around a man who gives PMA speeches at churches. Three basic tenants. Help someone else. Don't hang around people who are complainers. Change. The meeting is not unlike a sermon. A lot of Christian themes swirl around but then again we are in the heart of Illinois. Cows and cornfields just outside the window. Everyone agrees that times will get better.
The owner tells about his parents. They bought some land during the Great Depression but couldn't afford to build on it. So they built a one room shack and lived in it until after the War.
"My father dug the whole basement by hand...can you imagine that?"
No. But maybe I will one day. They were pay as you go people.
"No one here is starving and we should thank God for that."
The meeting then breaks up and I get back in my car and head for Chicago. It's raining hard and I drive past old farms now empty. Glad the banks are doing better.

Books by William Hazelgrove