Mission Bench Dedication

 Day Three

The Dedication of the Bench

part one




Finally it was the day of the dedication, Saturday, August 2nd, 2003.  To say I was nervous would be such an understatement, but the day was here and I felt good, too.  I think Julz summed it up the best about arriving at the mission that morning, "The mission was just as lovely as I had remembered it.  Its glistening white washed walls against the cobalt blue skies and its graceful silhouette make it a stunning site.  I was amazed at all the people who were lining up to pay for the tour and the luncheon.  What a tribute to the mission and to the appeal of Zorro."





Mary Lou and I still had not talked to Father Ben about exactly how we were going to do this.  The night before she and I had discussed who was going to begin the program and all she said was something to the effect, "You have the experience talking in church, you do it."  (Me and my big mouth!)  Anyway, after we had asked around, someone finally said, "He just came in from the garden.  Over there," he added, pointing.  I looked, then I looked again.  Okay, so I'm not used to seeing priests in University of Tennessee orange-colored tee shirts and priestly brown shorts, with newly collected basil in a basket.   But he was ultra cool.  Father Ben is always cool.  Let's have part of the dedication in the chapel, he suggested.  Excellent idea!   I was already sweating, but couldn't tell if it was the sun or something else.  With that in mind, he excused himself to change into his cassock, and I went out to the cemetery to lay out the cape I had brought, along with one of Pat S.'s montages.  This kind of bench isn't conducive to that sort of thing, but I did the best I could and then realized I hadn't gotten my ticket for the barbecue.  

Back to the front.  It was getting close to eleven.  Oh, my, what a crowd.  It was wonderful!  Kathy C. had her commemorative stamps.  They were beautiful.  I got mine, talked with new and old friends, watched the crowd grow.  

Alize arrived about then and had this to say, "A young boy, (about ten years old), came to the mission, dressed as Zorro.  He was probably the star of the show for the time and enjoyed his fifteen plus minutes of fame.  We all thought he was adorable." 




                                                               Little Zorro                                                                 





                    From the back of the mission. 


Alize continues, "Soon it was time to get inside the chapel (for the tour).  The room began to fill up and I looked back to see when it was going to end.  It didn't seem that the line of people would ever stop.  Even when Father Ben started talking, people still kept slowly coming in."




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