I will never forget running up to Main Street after the tornado went through and seeing the steeple of the Methodist Church sitting in the middle of Route 7. I know there are some images of this terrible event that will forever stay with me and that sight will surely be one of those images.
The West Liberty Methodist Church has always been a focal point of our town, with its beautiful steeple and white brick contrasting the blue sky. This was the picture I wanted to capture when I took this photo. Now because of the numerous power lines that were in front of the building on the corner of Prestonsburg and Main, it made getting a good shot of the church building very difficult. Not until I bought a 7 mm fish-eye lens was I able to photograph the church building by standing inside the power lines. If you notice, I still had the shadows on the front of the building. The afternoon light shining on the building gave a better definition of the white brick. I like the black and white because it showed more contrast with the dark blue sky.
When I was in my pre-teen and teenage years, going to church was important. I had many friends that went to the Methodist Church and I went to the Christian Church just up the street. When we were old enough to venture out on our own, we would have a quick assemblage between Sunday School and “church” at Don’s Restaurant located conveniently between the two churches. This was about as close to rival gangs as there were growing up in West Liberty in the sixties and Don’s was our turf battle. I would get a cherry coke at the fountain and a box of Luden’s cherry cough drops to get me through the next service. On some occasions I would be late for church due to an intense philosophical discussion with my rival friends on the differences of our two theologies. The dogma we usually argued about was which minister could get us out in time to get the good booths at Don’s for our afternoon meal. We, at the Christian Church usually lost that battle for we were always watching the Methodists eat first and head out the door with that “I-told-you-so” condescending smirk across their gravy-stained faces. As you can tell, I am still dealing with some issues from my past.
I will miss standing on the south end of Main Street and looking down the street and seeing the white-bricked Methodist Church building with its steeple rising majestically against a blue sky.
If you like this photo, you can see more here.