In the late 1890’s, a small congregational church was constructed around the corner from my grandfather’s home. It was made up of local folks, a number of whom were up and coming business and professional men and their families. Horse and carriage and walking were the most convenient mode of transportation.

My mother was the first baby to invade the church in mid-December 1900.

Later on, the church was well off enough to purchase an organ for its sanctuary. The keyboard was a sub-floor job sitting low in the choir loft. It had a long slender mirror afixed just above the music rack. This allowed the organist to receive nods from the deacons as the sanctuary doors were about to be closed.

Now in these particular times the women wore broad brimmed hats full of flowers and what-not. As they talked and bobbed their heads, the hats danced. They must be discussing the subject of today’s sermon or Sunday school lesson.

Our organist, a young fellow whose curiosity got the better of him as these two elderly women’s hats kept dancing in an apparent rhythm all their own, alternatively, of course.

Now the organ had a button marked “Swell,” which put the volume considerably greater than normal congregational singing.

Hats danced to the new rhythm, two faces glowed with intensity and all went as seemingly planned by our curiosity monger who kept his vigil.

Finally, he could no longer stand the rising anticipation as to what these two ladies were so excited about, so he pulled the “Swell” button.

To his grim satisfaction, he heard from the obviously full volume excited lady’s voice in the audience “and we fry ours in deep fat!”

Phil Pratt is a Lake Placid resident, who likes to share a little humor with our readers.

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