Sunday, June 19, 2005

‘'Y GOD!"

(Originally run 12/20/03 on our old site)

Ernest Simpson

Grandpa Bennett told me this story, and I remembered it only recently. I wanted to jot it down before I forgot it again. Values were simple and straightforward in those days, but were made very clear to those who wished to hear the explanation.

One of my Grandpa Bennett’s relatives, I believe it was an uncle, maybe uncle Ben, had a colorful phrase he used often in conversation, the old timer’s called such phrases a “by-word:” sounds like it may have come from “By God!” and comes out, “ ‘y God!”

Each sentence was punctuated with his by-word, Aye God. It was not difficult to be used in a sentence, for example, “‘Aye God, me and Sadie went to town this morning, and it took us prêt near all day.”

“Aye God, I told Cletus not to prop his foot on the log while he was chopping wood, now look at his big toe.”

You get the idea. Anyway, Uncle Ben was a God-fearing man, went to church each time the doors opened, and appreciated the need for spiritual guidance from above. However, the church elders were concerned that his by-word might be interpreted by some as profanity, and talked about it at length, as how to approach the subject with him. His reputation was at stake in the church, and they, of course, did not want any disrespect to befall him because of his language.

So, one Sunday afternoon they decided to make a call on him, and went to his house as a group; there were three or four on the committee. He greeted them warmly, glad to see them, but I’m sure he was curious as to why they were there.

“Brother Bennett,” one started, “ we wanted to talk to you about something that has come up. Some members of the church are concerned at your language. They believe your cussing will not do, and we are worried that this will be a bad influence on the young people in the church.“

Uncle Ben was immediately offended, and spoke emphatically to the problem: “Aye God, I don’t cuss, never have, never will.”

“Yes, but some feel you do, and want you to leave it off.”

He repeated, “AYE GOD, I SAID I DON’T CUSS!”

The elders looked at each other, and one said, “ Well, Brother Bennett, I see, and we just wanted to bring it up, in case someone might raise the question.”

He thanked them for coming, they said goodbye, and left.

The subject was never brought up again.


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