As for Dave McClure, my old Circuit Overseer, if he ever had thoughts about the 1988 brouhaha, he never shared them with me. But then, he would have moved on by then to another assignment—he served our circuit just around 1980. He passed away in Florida several years ago.
The guy was a hoot, ever quick-witted with a sharp sense of humor. His wife was the same and they would tease back and forth at each other all day. The small town that Dave came from was so small, Betty would say, that its greatest tragedy was the day the library burned to the ground. Both books were destroyed and one of them hadn’t even been colored yet.
He got tired in the afternoon—he was diabetic—and ceded the driving of his huge Chrysler to me. He sat in as I conducted an afternoon Bible study with Alex, nodded off, and his book hit the floor—the thud immediately woke him again. I later brought him to another’s home and that person asked him the procedure for Bible studies with a circuit overseer around—would he conduct them or would the regular congregation member conduct them? ‘Well,’ he explained, ‘I usually ask beforehand and if the publisher wants me to conduct, then I do, but if he says that he would rather conduct, then I just nod....”
He asked me as the chauffeur one afternoon to stop by the Photomat and pick up his pictures—vacation pictures—they were probably developed by now. I pulled ahead just a little so that he in the back seat could go one on one with the attendant. The girl couldn’t find them. She explained that they must have gotten lost, that she was so sorry, and offered him a free roll of film.
”I’m not going to be satisfied with a free roll of film,” he shot back, in a manner that you couldn’t really tell—or at least, I couldn’t—just how nettled he really was. “Unless you want to take me on another vacation—then I’ll be satisfied—but otherwise”—he employed a hillbilly expression that I had never heard before, “there’s going to be blood in the sun lessen you don’t find my pictures.” He had that attendant tear apart her entire booth searching every nook and cranny for them.
Driving away without his film—the developed ones were not found and I think he spurned the free roll—he seemed a little sheepish to have shown himself so nettled. It wasn’t plain to me that he had been, but that girl had turned her booth upside down. “I understand that mistakes will happen,” he groused. “It’s just that cavalier attitude that I should be happy with a free roll of film that gets under my skin.” There is an art to human relations.
And as for his quick wit itself, it is yet another example of how people develop it as a defense mechanism, a compensation for times in which they were bullied as a child.