Mom thought the wisdom of Pat Boone might help me as a teenager.
When I was fifteen Mon was looking for help with me. She didn’t understand me; I didn’t understand her; I didn’t understand myself.
She bought a hard bound book (she was really serious) written by Pat Boone (well maybe not all that serious) titled Twixt Twelve and Twenty. The book was advice to teenagers from a 50’s point of view. It was like one of those public service movies we had to watch that warned of the dangers of acne and kissing too much.
Mom insisted I read it. After I read it she started to read it.
While she read it I began reading a Jack Douglas book titled, My Brother was an Only Child. You can guess which one had the greatest effect on me.
But I probably would not have ever remembered Pat Boone’s book if not for one event.
I preferred the off-beat humor of Jack Douglas.
A basketball teammate had five tickets to an Ohio State basketball game. He invited me to go with him, another friend, his older brother and his friend. The older brother was 18 and would drive to the game about ninety miles away.
This was a big deal for me. I was going to hang-out with my buddies and two older guys who played on my school’s varsity team.
As the time arrived for them to pick me up I looked for my ticket. It was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere. The inevitable went through my mind; when the guys came to pick me up I was going to have to tell them to go without me. I didn’t have a ticket.
Desperation is a funny thing. You do funny, strange, and bizarre things. Acts of desperation catapult some into greatness and others into oblivion.
My frenzied and desperate state of mind caused me to give consideration to using my Mom’s Ouija board.
The Ouija Board tried to seduce me, but I stuck with Jack Douglas.
The board spelled the word “pat.” After a minute or two of trying to elicit more information my mind raced trying to figure out what the board was telling me. Suddenly it hit me; Pat Boone, Twixt Twelve and Twenty. I rushed into the bedroom where Mom kept the book that she was reading each night before going to sleep. There was the ticket. She was using it as a bookmark.
I was grateful. I had a great day. Ohio State won.
That was the only time the Ouija board did anything. I tried it a time or two again and nothing.
The full implication of this event never had its intended result; to seduce me into allowing fate, spirits, superstition, myths, or charms to influence me. Those things have the affect of throwing common sense, reason, principles, true spirituality, and caution to the wind.
My Mom could see there was a good possibility of me being a delinquent teenager. She wanted me to have some sort of morality and character. She considered herself Lutheran, but never once cracked open the Bible to help me to see what its view was.
So why did she take time to consult Pat Boone? I think it is the same reason that religion has turned its back on the very book they claim to represent and receive authority; the Bible. Pat Boone was an easy read. Pat Boone thought for you and gave advice from his point of view. Many don’t like reading the Bible; only reading books by people who have read the Bible; sort of like CliffsNotes for the Bible.
I don’t see the event as providential, but rather fortuitist. Both Twixt Twelve and Twenty and the Ouija Board provide the unwary an easy way out. Navigating life is a chore best not left to chance, a person with scant knowledge of the scriptures and experience in life, or to a dubious entertainment board.
A few years later I became aware of the dangers of consulting uncanny and hidden powers. They shackle people into a life driven by paranoia and suspicion. Every event becomes an omen, every dream has a meaning, every bad act is because of what you have done wrong, or a curse.
The Bible frees one from such an existence: (Ecclesiastes 9:11) . . .time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all. (John 8:32) “ . . .and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free.”
I often wondered if Mom bought Pat Boone’s book becuase the Ouija board spelled out “pat.” Imagine that; a Ouija board obsessed with Pat Boone or it was a one tirck pony.
Mom was just trying her best.