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Young James Experienced A Rather Un-lucky Strike

This article first appeared in issue 25, and was written by Staff.

In an Adair County church about 50 years ago a teenager named James (we'll protect his innocence by leaving off his last name) recalled standing with his hands in his back pockets, sweating, in front of the congregation, making his first youth group presentation.

As he talked, he kept noticing another of the girls in his youth group sitting near the front of the audience, pointing toward him, then pointing to her chest, grinning.

He says he was greatly distracted but didn't know what on earth to do, so he continued.

The girl sent him the same signal again and again during his presentation, and he also noticed other reactions of humor. James says, looking back, he just thought he was making an entertaining presentation.

After it was over, he would discover that his friend had been trying to alert him that his then-stylish, see-through seersucker dress shirt with breast pockets allowed the logos on his cigarette packs show through.

And the reason it was humorous was that the cigarettes were Lucky Strikes which had a big red, bull's-eye circle logo on the front of the pack -- one pack in each pocket, over each breast.

You may know this James who loves to discuss justice over coffee at local hangouts, and who equally loves to tease people.

For instance, to help a friend who bought a church and was planning to move into it and become a credit to the neighborhood, James visited the devout, Methodist widow next door to the church, pretending to be the new minister of a nondenominational group who'd just purchased the building.

"Yes, James assured the woman, "We'd love to have you join us in praise at Sunday services where we'll be experiencing the glories of snake handling."

This story was posted on 1999-04-15 12:01:01
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