July 12, 1951

 

This Article Appeared In The Times

But Was Not Actually Titled Calís Column

 

Transcribed by Janette West Grimes

 

Editor Honored On His 60th Birthday

_____

 

†† The editor of the Times, who is also a Baptist minister, received on Sunday, July 8th, a highly complimentary birthday anniversary dinner, given at his home church, Mt. Tabor, about a mile south of Pleasant Shade, in Smith County. The editor knew something was brewing and believed that he was to have a birthday dinner, but did not dream of the size of the affair. He had been invited to come to Mt. Tabor on the second Sunday in July to a special service, which, he supposed, he was to have charge of and expected to preach. On arriving at the church about 11 o'clock Sunday morning, he found a crowd of about 500 persons already assembled and a long, wire table stretched between trees which were 150 feet apart. As he started toward the church house, he was greeted with the song, "Happy Birthday." He hardly knew what to do or to say on account of being taken aback over unexpected events and particularly the size of the crowd and dinner.

 

†† Dinner enough to cober the long table and even more was spread about eleven thirty o'clock and at noon, about 500 persons were fed to the full, including ye editor. The long table had for its center feature a cake about the size of an ordinary wash tub, on which were 60 candles, the number of years the honoree has lived. On that long table were, fried chicken, stewed chicken, roast beef, beefsteak, ham galore, vegetables by the score and even more, cakes, cakes and still more cakes, big cakes, little cakes, white cakes, yellow cakes, pink cakes and other in variagated colors, pickles, pies, and "honey-cadoodles," and perhaps a few other items. Anyway, there was enough food on that long table and in the boxes which were not opened to have fed at least 2,000 persons.

 

†† The editor was so overcome he could not rally his appetite to do justice to the big feast. However, he is more than appreciative of the honors conferred upon him. In the afternoon Elder F. W. Lambert, the pastor of the church, took charge of a program on which appeared Elder C. B. Massey, and Gordon Turner, the Tennessean's Roving Reporter, as well as the editor. At the close of the program, a free-will offering or gift was made to Elder Gregory, consisting of $179.50 in cash and approximately $75.00 in gifts of shirts, socks, handkerchiefs, ties, suit, and other items. It was in several respects the greatest birthday dinner the editor ever attended. The size of the crowd and the amount of food and the gifts were beyond any he had previously seen. For all of these kind deeds, offerings of every kind, congratulations and good wishes, we offer our profound thanks to those who had any part in the celebration of the editor's 60th anniversary. God bless and reward each of you.

 

†† We extend our thanks for the splendid arrangements made to insure the success of the occasion, the help and co-operation of the churches at Mace's Hill, Peyton's Creek, Dixon's Creek, and elsewhere, the bringing of Gordon Turner to the church for a story and pictures to appear shortly in the Tennessean, for the scores of smaller details which had to be worked out.

 

†† Calvin Gregory was born on Wednesday morning, July 8, 1891, about sunrise. It was a hot morning, so our father once told us. Our parents were Thomas M. [Dopher] and Marietta Ballou Gregory, and the writer was their first-born. Nine other children, two sons and seven daughters, were born in the years that followed our advent into the world. Our "pappie" and "mammy" were poor and not able to offer their ten children a great many advantages. However, we always had plenty of good, wholesome, well-prepared food, although we were very poorly dressed in our childhood days. We still recall the patched clothes we wore to school at Mace's Hill, which towered just above our childhood home. Our father and mother carried a tremendous load and under it, our mother fell on November 24, 1912, just two days before our own son, Lawrence, was born. Two more years of loneliness, hard work and worry over how to care for his large family, mostly girls, were too much for our father, and he folded his weary hands on the morning of November 19, 1914, and left us to return to us no more. But God has provided for us and we have had His blessings through the years.

 

†† Your minister-editor was converted on August 3, 1909, in a brush arbor meeting at Mace's Hill. He became a member of Mt. Tabor Baptist church on October 3, 1909, having been baptized by Elder R. B. Davis. Elder Davis was baptized by Elder E. B. [Ned] Haynie. Haynie was baptized by John Wiseman in 1819. Wiseman was baptized by Thomas Durham. Durham was baptized by John Waller. Waller was baptized by James Read in Virginia in 1774. Read was baptized by the famous Shubsel Stearns in 1756 or '57. Stearns was baptized in North Stonington, Conn., in 1751 by Walt Palmer.

 

†† On July 24, 1914, Calvin Gregory was ordained at Mt. Tabor church and set apart to the full work of the ministry. His membership has remained with Mt. Tabor church from that October day, nearly 42 years ago, to the present. Now on his 60th anniversary he is in a way more highly honored than ever before in all his life. For all these things we offer again our thanks to our brethren and sisters in the Lord, and to our God.

 

†† We are in only fair health, being rather nervous and carrying a tremendous load. But we are glad to be able to work and to have the opportunity to carry on. Again we thank every friend and ask an interest in your prayers.

 

†† Our good wishes and thanks go to those who sent us birthday cards.