Signs and Sounds of Summer in Oysterville

Jul 3, 2012 | 3 comments

The energetic plink-plunk-plunk of the piano keys and the bikes and trikes parked in front are sure signs that the Oysterville Church has young people visiting.  Very young people.  When they are unaccompanied by adults, it’s safe to say they are Oysterville kids, here for a summer visit with grandparents.

It takes me back sixty-five or seventy years.  I don’t remember a piano, although there could have been one.  The attraction for my generation was the baptismal font under the trap door in the dais.  Shortly after I arrived each summer to visit Granny and Papa, I had to make the pilgramage across the street to visit the church and go down into the font. Had to.

These days, the furnace hides there in the erstwhile font but I don’t think most visitors give that a thought.  Although the sign on the cranky old pump organ says “Please Do Not Play,” the piano invites visitors to have a go.  Once in awhile passers-by are treated to a concert-level performance.  More often, it is the delighted experimenting by children.

There is something about the old church that is unlike any other old building I’ve ever visited, be it church or otherwise.  It matters not whether I’m there by myself or surrounded by the Sunday vespers congregation, the feeling is the same.  Four-year-old Amelia Wachsmuth knows exactly what I mean.  She, too, visits the church every time she comes to see Oma Carol and Opa Tucker.  It’s a necessary and important part of being in Oysterville.

This last weekend Jim and Anne Kepner’s grandchildren were in town.  They were all ages, from preschool to college, and they not only visited the church, they did the rest of us one better!  After vespers on Sunday, they came to our door and proudly thrust ten dollars into my hand – a five and five ones.  “It’s for the church,” they said.

It seems that they had made $41.00 at their lemonade stand that afternoon and had decided to donate a percentage to the church!  I was so nearly speechless that I don’t even know if I thanked them properly.

Summer is definitely alive and well in Oysterville!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I love the Oysterville Church and am glad it got a donation! Clearly Dave and I should have renewed our vows there last summer since this year we will not even be together for our anniversary.

    I did not make it to vespers the first week, but hope to this coming Sunday and wonder who is playing and preaching. I think that there is a story of your childhood summers in Oysterville that could make a lovely novel, Sydney. Not-so-subtle-hint.

  2. Nancy

    Hummmmm, childhood summers in Oysterville. An encounter with a “spirit” from the past, perhaps in the church? Or by the rhodies? More than a few ideas for a novel….double dare on the desk!

  3. Abby

    Well done Anne and Jim!!!!


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