I never claimed to be an angel in children’s choir. In fact I did my share of fooling around–but hardly ever in church. Our children’s choir sat in the first two rows in our white and blue robes and a couple of mean moms sat right behind us within thumping distance of any kid’s head or ears.
Probably the dumbest thing I ever did on any Sunday in church was to sit beside David Stinnet. Rev. Jerry Rosenburger was preaching away this Sunday. I looked down and David was twirling a cap pistol in his hands. I elbowed him and whispered to him, “Put that thing away you dummy, It’s gonna go off.”
“No it won’t,” David said. “It doesn’t have any caps in it.”
“They’re gonna…” CRACK! . . .The “POP” echoed all across the sanctuary. Several ladies behind us got startled and flinched in their seats.
A ring of white smoke wafted above our heads. Stinnett was frozen.
The pastor turned his head in our direction. All he said was, “Let that be a lesson to you.” and went on preaching.
I kept wondering whether we were going to face a firing squad or get kicked out of choir after church. As it was, my mom was waiting for me downstairs. Before I could say a word my mom, believing I had done it, asked me why I took a cap gun to church.
I forgot what our consequences were that day. I shouldn’t have suffered at all, but I was guilty by association. I don’t know if mom ever believed it was Stinnet not me.
This was an unfortunate music experience for me in fourth grade but it is one of hundreds of wonderful music events and stories in my life story of music that enriched my whole life.
Stinnet and I became close friends and even keep in touch with each other occasionally today in our seventies. Neither of us has ever mentioned that cap gun Sunday ever again.
I will admit it’s one of my favorite music stories to recount among friends in casual conversation. And I’m always certain to point out that Stinnet was the kid who let the cap gun go off.