A Reunion of Friends

Thursday was an interesting day.

For a week, I had been leaning forward in anticipation of Thursday for on Thursday Kay, Grace, and I would be attending the Koinonia Family Reunion (which I wrote about last week). Beyond being able to see hear and see some of the musician that formed me, I knew it would be a time to see friends that I haven’t seen for fifteen or twenty years.

I knew our schedule was tight. The sitter was coming to stay with Anna at 5, and the pre-event would begin at The Factory in Franklin at 6:30. It takes us almost an hour to get to Franklin, especially in traffic, but as I pulled into the parking lot at Hickory Hollow to wait for Grace’s bus to arrive at 4 p.m., I figured we had plenty of time.

At 4:15, Graces bus had still not arrived. “That’s odd,” I thought, but figured that they would be pulling in at any moment. At 4:20, she called me and let me know that they had shut down the interstates due to a bad wreck, and that the bus driver was trying to find a secondary route. At 5, we talked again, and they were still miles from the mall, seemingly heading in the opposite direction. By the time the bus finally arrived at 5:30, I was a basket case. She jumped in the car and we zoomed home.

Of course, our panic at being much later than we had intended transferred over to Anna, who began to freak out at the thought that we would be leaving right away with no transition time. She melted, pitching a fit beyond reason, and we ended up leaving her screaming in the arms of the sitter (who we immediately prayed for).

Okay, it’s now ten ‘till six, and we have an hour drive ahead of us, however we also have to stop through a drive thru somewhere to get dinner. Unfortunately, the route that we took doesn’t have any drive-thru’s so we end up pulling into the parking lot of The Factory at ten ‘till seven hoping and praying that there would be food inside the complex.

There wasn’t.

But it didn’t matter, for as we walked in, the glow of good will began to feed us. Yes, our stomach’s growled (especially poor little Grace’s) but as Jim, Amy, Billy, and Alan came on stage, we knew we were in for a treat.

 There really isn’t much use in trying to describe the night, which for me involved a flood of emotions and memories:

  • Laughing at the photos from the past on the big screen and the crazy hair that we had back then, and then looking around to see much of that hair either missing or grey.
  • Hearing Amy Grant singing “May The Morning Bring Me Word…” by Mike Hudson, one of the finest unknown worship songs of all time.
  • Talking with Henry Martion, my mentor in running sound and hearing about the long strange trip he has had, leading to a new phase in his life.
  • Seeing current friends like Robin and Tony sitting across from us and recognizing the shared memories that go back for thirty years.
  • Watching Grace take it all in, especially her look of pride when Brian Mason mentioned my name from the stage as one of the sound guys back in those days.
  • Hearing stories of many of us who had thought we were on top of the world during those simpler times of faith, but who had lived through much woundedness along the way. Are we the people we were back then? Nope, but that is probably a good thing.

It’s hard to identify a high point of the evening, but I think the for me a musical high point may have been the Fireworks reunion. I remember regularly sitting at Gwen Moore’s desk at Hummingbird (owned by Bob Farnsworth of Homecoming) and talking about life. To see her on stage again singing with a sweet purity was a great deal of fun. I also continue to be amazed at Gary Pigg’s endless energy.

 But then again, the winsome spirit of Homecoming was energizing. The amazing songcraft of the writers set with Amy Grant, Billy Sprague, Jim Weber, and Alan Robertson was inspiring; and the tight harmonies and simple joy expressed by Dogwood was simply fun. It was all great, and I hope that we don’t have to wait twenty years to do this again.

Thanks to all that made this amazing night possible.

And thank you God, for bringing these people into my life.

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