Friday, July 20, 2012
IS "YOUNG ELDER" AN OXYMORON?
Each year since 2004, at our county fair, the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints has a booth adjacent to the Fayette County Democrats booth. Each year there have been two, earnest, young men occupy the booth. Each year there are two different young men; their being at the booth was part of their "mission" and each wore a badge with "Elder" on it. Each year, I use this gambit to initiate a conversation: "Isn't it an oxymoron to be a YOUNG ELDER?" I am sad to report that in the intervening years, not one of the "young elders" has known the meaning of the word "oxymoron". I then ask them if they know of the work of the author George W. Givens who wrote the definitive book about the tragedy at Nauvoo. Of course the youngsters know about Nauvoo. When I see that I have piqued their interest, I explain that I am a descendant of George Givens and the author George W. Givens is also a descendant and we are collateral cousins! By this time "the Elders" suspect that I might be a member of the faith! Oh, but they have been trained to be diplomatic; they are not going to ASK outright if I am! A nice amount of cozing ensues; thus, my week-long "relationship" with them begins!
This year, I am greatly disappointed because there are two young women at the booth instead of the usual two "young elders"! I worried, "HOW will I initiate a conversation with them?"
Both young women were wearing long skirts and black Mary-Jane shoes. One of the women had the pinkest legs I have ever seen. I thought, "I wonder if she's wearing pink hose?" Of course I had to get close enough to see. I went close to their booth; I bent over to pick up a pen I deliberately dropped. Yep, no hose; it's the pinkest skin I've ever seen. My sick curiosity satisfied, I noticed that there was a large selection of DVDs on the table. I asked, "Is there one about Nauvoo?" I could see that they were excited and probably suspected that I might be a Mormon! Except, they must ask themselves, "Would a Mormon be wearing those liberal campaign buttons?" Still, they were very interested. Neither had heard of George W. Givens, but when I completed my spiel about him, I said, "You can find his book In Old Nauvoo at Amazon."
I returned to our booth. I said, "Five will get you ten that they'll be over to talk to me!"
Gerald asked, "Why do you tease them?" I said, "I actually feel sorry for them because they work so hard and get very few people to stop; I am the anti-boredom factor for them!"
See last year's fair article about the ELDERS: July 26, 2011 "7 Fayette Center".