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The Church Picnic or Fatten Up That Kid...

Story ID:7151
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Things to do
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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More memories of my youth...

The Church Picnic or Fatten Up That Kid
By Chuck Dishno

When I was a small lad of about 4 or 5 years old, Bly, Oregon had a Methodist Church next door to our house.

The preacher, Reverend Bradshaw, would come from Klamath Falls each Sunday and hold service about 10 AM. He would then head for Beatty, a small town 13 miles West of Bly on the Klamath Indian Reservation, and hold service there at their small Methodist church.

Reverend Bradshaw was a good friend with my Mom and Grandmother, Etta. Etta played the piano each week and we all attended including my dog, Ring.
On many occasions, Mom would invite the pastor to stay and have lunch with us since the service in Beatty didn’t start until afternoon.

One Sunday, Reverend Bradshaw, invited me to go with him to Beatty as the congregation had planned a picnic on the Sycan River just East of town. I liked him so I agreed to go even though I had never been around Indians very much. I wanted Etta to go but she declined.

When we got to the picnic site, which was right under the hill where the cemetery was located, I could look up and see all those grave markers shining in the sun. I’m not saying I was afraid but I wasn’t too comfortable being there.

It wasn’t long before I was the center of attention. I was surrounded by all these Indian ladies sitting on blankets and mountains of food, which included some kind of meat, lots of fish and huge cakes of all colors.

I sat as close to the pastor as I could but those ladies kept singling me out and trying to feed the “white boy” as much food as they could. I think, in my mind, they were fattening me up for the kill.

I recall Reverend Bradshaw saying, “Don’t be afraid, all they want to do is make sure you have enough to eat.”

Sure, tell this to a kid who had grown up watching cowboy & Indian movies at the theatre in Bly.

As I recall, I ate everything they poked at me and became rather ill on the way back home.

Many years have passed since that hair raising incident and I never pass that cemetery but what I don’t think of that picnic and the time the Indians almost did me in.