- To: "Sweeney, David B" <email@example.com>, "David B. Sweeney, Jr" <DBSweeney@msn.com>, "Sweeney, Beth Anne" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Johnson, Michael A" <T3M1@aracnet.com>, "DeMaio, Betty" <BETTYDEMA@aol.com>, "Mclaughlin, Jean and Rich" <RichandJean@worldnet.att.net>, "Skogstad, Kathy" <Bskogstad@aol.com>, "Levine, Laura Ann" <Parntldz@exis.net>, Mary Johnson <email@example.com>, "Rydzewski, Joseph." <Joseph.W.Rydzewski@skf.com>, Noel Wolfe <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Herb Kaemmer<email@example.com>, Dave Phillion <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Arturo Porras <email@example.com>, Patrick Reckner <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Ray Peacock <email@example.com>, Andrew Barnes <LRDPHOENlX@aol.com>, "Barber, Anthony L." <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Fretz, Barbara & Ken" <email@example.com>, "Juba, Joe"<TYKIJA@aol.com>, "Kelly, Jeannie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Klee, Carol" <email@example.com>, "Steinmetz, Paul" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Taylor, Joe" <Joetaylor2@Prodigy.net>
- Subject: The Stranger
- From: "Robert W. Sweeney" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 19:50:56 -0400
- Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE STRANGER A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who
new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this
enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The
stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the
few months later.
As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me
love the Word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger
our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales.
mysteries, and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our
family spellbound for hours each evening. He was like a friend to the
family. He took Dad, Bill, and me to our first major league baseball
He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made
to introduce us to several movie stars.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind, but
sometimes Mom would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled
one of his stories of faraway places, go to her room, read her Bible,
pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.
see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But
stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for
was not allowed in our house-not from us, from friends, or adults. Our
longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned
ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never
My Dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home-not even
cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened
to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages
often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes
distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely) > >about sex. His
comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally
embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman
relationship were influenced by the stranger.
As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did
influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents,
he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the
young family on Morningside Drive. But if I were to walk into my
den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for
someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name? . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
We always just called him . . . TV.