Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rob and Mr. Neopoli

Both sets of my grandchildren have attended church with me and met Rob, the kid magnet. One of the kids in our congregation called the church “Rob’s house.” Rob carries a plastic bag with candy in it, and the kids flock around him. He tells them that the orange ones are carrots and the green ones, peas. What mother could argue with that? 

When he taught my granddaughter in Vacation Bible School her brother was jealous, “because she got Rob!” I can’t think of another man, besides my husband, that I would rather have teach my precious grandchildren. He teaches in words, and in his actions. 

When I was a child I occasionally attended  large church in St. Louis. In the 1950’s it was quite formal, I had to wear a dress, white anklet socks and black patent leather shoes. I carried a little purse and wore white gloves. 

photo from
The church entrance rose from the street in grand, steep stairs, and we entered into the lovely narthex under a high ceiling. Every time, we were greeted by Mr. Neopoli, a short man who carried gum in his pocket for all of us kids. I had to shake his hand and greet him by name. Etiquette reinforced with a treat! 

I don’t remember a thing about the actual Sunday service, except for Mr. Neopoli. (That and the way Grandma could take a hankie, fold and roll it to create twin babies in a blanket.) 

My grandkids don't know the hankie trick, but maybe they’ll associate church with a kind man who showed an interest in them. That's a good place to start. 

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