Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The "Ghost"… in the little church on the prairie

 The “Ghost”…   
in the little church on the prairie.

  The large white erase board stood by itself...  alone and blank... until one night... when some black lines appeared on it.
And several nights later... more lines.
And then you saw a story developing in the sketching.
And each week... the members of the Bible study at the Wangen Prairie Church looked forward to seeing what new touches would be added.
And who would find be the first to find them?

But who made the drawings?
The sketching started about a year ago.
Its story evolved around a theme that was familiar.
It showed a scene similar to the lay of the land around the church.
Rolling pastures... cropland and a farmstead.

Like a puzzle...

Folks would challenge each other to see who could find the different aspects that the “ghost” had added to the picture during the night.
Kind of like those children’s puzzles that ask you to compare two pictures and search to see what was different.
But this time they all had to remember the picture from the previous week's meeting!

The "ghost" ...

The “ghost” turned out to be the custodian, Dave Biron, who lives nearby off Hwy 57.   Until recently he had milked cows for 40 years and was a general type handyman.
When I made my first attempt to meet him I showed up but found the church empty.
But it didn't feel too spooky when I found out I just had the wrong time!
On my next attempt I had been caught in a "white-out" snow squall and was so exhausted that I cancelled the appointment.  (This is sounding more "ghost-like" all the time!)
When I finally met up with Dave I mentioned I liked his cap.  He explained he was wearing the same hat he had back in 1993.
“Good hat”, he said.

Just doodling...

Dave recalled that he has “always drawn”.  Basically in “fine point black ink”.  He says he’s “just doodling!”
He does cards too.
Dave started this style of drawing after taking a drafting class in high school.  
He doesn’t copy from a picture... he explained that he’s got “millions of pictures stuck in my head”.

And it's irresistible to him!

After Dave saw the blank erase board while cleaning the church, he found it was irresistible to him.   Although he finds it  hard to draw on a vertical surface.
Then he decided to add a new touch to the drawing each week.  Like the TV antenna on the farmhouse.  Or a plowed field.  Or a bull watching the farmer.
He likes to stay with normal farming issues... like a guy in a hurry to load milk cans... or hauling manure. 
And a year later, it seems like the church's resident “ghost” still has more stories to draw on the white erase board in the “little church on the prairie”.


  The sketches were like the puzzles that ask you to find the differences between two pictures.  Each week folks would try to be the first to guess what changes had been made.  

Sometimes it was as tiny as putting a TV antenna on the old farmhouse... or noticing if a field had been plowed... or if the bull snorting on one side of the fence had broken through and chased the farmer!

Can you see the changes?