Camp meeting ran for ten full days, actually starting on a Thursday night and ending after the evening service on the second Sunday next. Plenty of time for prayer, praise, preaching, potatoes, and palaver with many from near and far.
Now our camp meeting typically started in mid-June, running, for example from the sixteenth through the twenty-sixth. The days were long, without doubt, and could get hot, more than likely. Thirst, and not speaking here of spiritual thirst, could get intense. But provisions were made! On the south side of the kitchen, on the outside wall, was a standard bib, or faucet, which one could turn on to obtain water. Yet a container for the refreshing elixir was required, so hanging on the bib was a tin cup. A beautiful, standard tin cup was placed there for the convenience of one and all.
Thirsty, we never gave it a second thought. One wonders how so many of us survived, even unto old age. Yet even in that unenlightened (and probably better for it) time, there were one or two who did give it a thought. I am thinking of Mrs. W, wife of one of the pastors on the district, a lady always dressed just a tiny cut above the run-of-the-mill "outfits" worn by most of the women. So Mrs. W gets thirsty, as do we all. She traipses up the walk to the spigot, reaches into her beautiful black calfskin purse and pulls out a ring-like object about two inches in diameter. She grasps the nether portion of the ring in her left hand, the upper part in her right, and pulls. Behold! it becomes a drinking cup! She runs the water, quaffs her refreshment, takes a hankie from the purse and wipes the cup dry, folds it and returns it along with the handkerchief to her purse. She ambles away.
Three of us kids standing nearby watched this little skit play out. Just as she was, we hoped, out of earshot, two of us started snickering. "Some people are too good for their own good," said Wes. "Yeah," I chimed in, "I hope there was snot on her hankie." "No, no. Now stop that," said Andy, who was two years older than we, and therefore presumably wiser in the ways of the world. "You should be grateful that she was considerate enough not to smear her cooties on our cup."
Gleeful laughter as we all skipped off to see what other wonders might appear to further enhance our day!
This was not our tabernacle, but it is a look-alike.