Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
As we look for something to celebrate during this time of Thanksgiving and it is difficult to find a clear pathway in the midst of stress and distress, and violence and a general bankruptcy of jobs, and of freedom to roam, and of friends to mingle with, and of sports extravaganzas to attend — what will give us hope?
Looking back into the past, I have discovered some memories which lead me to have a blessed hope that things have been ugly in the past and then everything became better after the proper time and the generosity of others. Let me share a memory of the world in 1954.
I was in Strawn, Texas with Joe Scanlin. We were seminarians at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio. For our summer assignment, we had been commissioned to go to St. Kevin’s Catholic Church in Strawn to help teach catechism to the young children. We had four groups of young boys and girls to teach. They lived in Strawn, Haskell, Rule and Anson.
The pastor, Father James Meuree, had a pickup truck that we used to go from town to town. The 1950s were enduring a terrible time of drought. Dust was blowing in the air constantly. On arriving back at St. Kevin’s, we would have layers of sand in the folds of our shirts.
However, we had thanksgiving that things were not as bad as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s when a million people from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas formed caravans of refugees fleeing to California to look for work. They were blessed by the compassion of fellow refugees and by farm jobs in the West.
Some of you might remember a song from Rudy Sooter, composed in 1948..
Dear Okie, if you see Arkie, tell ’em Tex has got a job for him out in Calliforny. Picking up prunes. Squeezin’ oil out of olives!
And it finally rained in the 1930s and in the 1950s! My hope is based on the reality that misery don’t last forever, especially when it rains friends in California or next door.
Father Timothy Gollob is a retired priest of the Diocese of Dallas. He served as pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff for more than 50 years.