In January, I began writing a series of articles about the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston. It’s a year-long project which will end in October. It’s interesting and if I did not already have a full-time job, it would be the perfect project for me. I spend my spare time searching and researching for obscure facts in old newspapers, French journals, and (of course) the internet. I’ve learned a lot and I enjoy the time I spend in the past; nevertheless, every Monday morning I wake up and anxiously survey the material I’ve collected and wonder if I can cobble together enough interesting information to churn out 500 or so cogent words.
Did I say it’s making me anxious? I try not to discuss it with anyone I know, lest I’m given the usual sympathetic bromides like “you need to take better care of yourself,” and “find what brings you joy instead.”
Then, of course, there is the response “I saw a book on Oprah the other day…”
During my research time last night, I had a strange moment of “there is nothing new under the sun.” In the late 1950’s, folks were worried about the Russians, nuclear missiles, and building backyard fallout shelters. Some proponents thought the federal government should be more involved in the bomb shelter business, while others wanted to see the matter handled on a state and local level.
The nation was anxious.
As you can see from this column in the February 19, 1957 Gadsden Times, feel-good bromides were never far away.
Dr. Franklin was an Alabama Methodist minister. He died on December 13, 2002 after a long life of service to the United Methodist Church and Birmingham-Southern College.
The book Dr. Franklin recommended as “one of the best books I have ever read concerning anxieties, worries and fears” was by Dr. Leslie Weatherhead. Weatherhead wrote many books in the pop-psychology and theology genres, but my favorite is The Busy Man’s Old Testament.
Dr. Franklin doesn’t provide a compelling case for Weatherhead’s book in his 200 or so words. Let’s hope this week’s Basilica piece is more thrilling than this “book review.”