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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: The White Glue Factory
By Brian Pilling
04/27/07


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The day they shuttered the doors for good at "The White Glue Factory of Chesapeake Virginia" a proud black man with a famous name, Frederick Douglass was named employee of the month. Frederick gave his employer forty hours a week, week in and week out as the company's third shift supervisor. Frederick worshiped labor for labors sake, and was proud of the purity of "his glue" and proud seeing it on the shelves of the big box stores and in his grand children's elementary school classrooms. Frederick always asked them "is there anything more important in life than glue?"
Frederickís wife Mary gave up a promising music recording career to raise their seven children. Frederick, ever the philosopher, was fond of saying "too many people don't have the courage to live their lives in obscurity." So, as a thirtieth wedding anniversary present, Frederick offered to leave the house the minute his wife showed him a newspaper story in the Virginian Pilot about a gospel revival in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Mary thought it was a sign from God, because she knew that Mahalia Jackson first sang at her fatherís Plymouth Rock Baptist Church, even though that was in Louisiana. So they set out to drive twelve hours straight.
Frederick thought his wife had the voice of an angel, and therefore he never once bought a car with a radio in it. Eleven hours later she was still singing, now Vera Hallís blues song, ďAh-hoo, well Iím goiní out in Texas, black woman, Ah-hoo, to hear that wild ox moan.Ē
Frederick came up fast on a water filled pot hole and braked hard. Behind them a Volkswagen Carmenghia skidded on the wet pavement and left the road.
Blood red cranberry's floated in a flooded bog ready for harvest. The ice cold water rippled against the galvanized steel guard rail now scraped with orange paint. The vintage 1960 Volkswagen flipped upside down, the wide white wall tires spinning. A dozen workers in white sleeveless singlets strained from all sides, using the bright polished roof rack to turn it upright, the driverís head now rested on the padded steering wheel with the Wolfsburg crest at its center. The plastic wood-grain dashboard was dripping with the same red color of the cranberries.
One thousand silver and blue kazoos littered the highway. Tied to one of them, a small box wrapped with a gold bow. Mary ran across the road to retrieve it, inside she found an engagement ring inscribed "flower power". Later they learned that the driver had purchased every last one of the toys in stock at a party warehouse store. His fantasy was to have all the guests at his wedding hum "here comes the bride". The bride's maids would be in sunflower sun dresses the groomsmen in silk shirts printed with tropical hibiscus blossoms.
Not one minute after the ambulance arrived Frederick decided to cash in their retirement fund, keep just enough for the two of them to live on comfortably and donate the rest to charity.
Today Frederick and Mary live in Nashville where Mary writes gospel songs for their little church and Frederick runs a diner named "Seven Loaves, " the profits from which supports seventy seven food banks across the country.


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