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9.22.2012

#32 Epilogue



Charlotte died without a will.
The beach house, while paid off, was in her name.
Dorothy didn’t have a job, and Dorothy didn’t have a home.
Charlotte’s heirs were her seven older siblings.  Giving the property on the beach to the camp, as a memorial, was an obvious choice.  But it is not what they did.
They sold the house to Dot for a dollar and let her sell it to the Camp at fair market value and set herself up in Newberg. Everyone was certain that it is what Charlotte would have wanted.

9.21.2012

What Jack Said



Charlotte's Memorial was held on February 1, 1977 - her fifty-second birthday. 

Her body was not in Newberg Friends Church - they sent it on for burial at Greenleaf Cemetery where the second service was held on February second.

A series of weighty Friends spoke at the Newberg service. I have listened to the tape, the grief is clear in each one. Neither Dorothy or Mahlon spoke.

Yearly Meeting Superintendent Jack Wilcutts brought the following remarks. (lightly edited)

How does one react when one who is so greatly needed is snatched away, and whose friendship, and whose leadership, whose maturity, influence and humility means so much to so many people.  These are all questions that have no human answer, and so faith and trust in the infinite wisdom of God take on a new meaning just now simply because there is no other way.  “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord”
      
 One can hardly think of any direction in the life of our Yearly Meeting where the positive force of her faith and of her influence is not felt.  Her range of concerns and her personal relationships touched every meeting of our Yearly Meeting.  Her friends among the youth and the elderly and all of us in between found in Charlotte a totally trustworthy confidant whose capacity for caring, sharing, for praying, and giving of herself was simply astounding.  She had the rare gift of being almost everyone’s spiritual friend.  The younger pastors of the Yearly meeting, and not just their wives, looked to Charlotte for counsel and for encouragement.  When a problem in any church, or any life was shared with her, she not only entered into prayer with you about it, you frequently had the feeling that she had already been praying about it.  A lot is said about the gift of discernment, it is great to have seen it demonstrated in such unobtrusive, yet all inclusive ways.

 In reflecting upon her leadership in Silverton and the Board of Evangelism, the college and at Twin Rocks, the unique quality that stands out is what has already been referred to as her vision, and her courage to tackle impossible tasks.  She did things that couldn’t be done, and in preparing these remarks I tried to recall if I ever heard anyone say of her work, “ Well, she does good work - for a woman”, I can’t recall it -  her ministry and her accomplishments were so singularly Spirit led that she lived above the arguments of little people - about the place of women in the church and in the ministry.

Our Quaker heritage is filled with examples of liberated leaders both women and men, and it is good to know that this kind of Christian obedience and calling is still expected and is still happening.  There keeps creeping back into the Evangelical church the curious opinion that leadership in ministry is only for men.  It seems appropriate this morning to remind ourselves that to be like Jesus rests on character and gifts and the grace of God in anointing those who he chooses and calls.  When Jesus said “Upon this rock I will build my church” He was not referring to Peter’s masculinity, but to his faith in Christ the Messiah, and it was this same faith to which the Apostle Paul made reference when he was exhorting Timothy by saying “ This faith was first in your mother Eunice and in your grandmother Lois”.  And so we understand that in the kingdom of Heaven there is neither male nor female, but we need to remember that the same is true in the kingdom Heaven on Earth.  For God is no respecter of persons.  It should always be remembered that this truth is well explained in the Book of Romans by none other than Paul himself.

So let us hope that in the next 50 years in our Yearly Meeting that we will not forget this splendid example that we have remembered here today.  Her leadership and ministry among Friends represents something that we should look forward to when we continue calling our pastors, our board and department leaders, the selection of our college presidents, and of our general superintendents

  The influence of a Godly life is like a lingering fragrance poured out in sacrificial willingness to the Lord she loved and served so well.  And while a prayer chapel and the mountain overlooking the ocean are certainly appropriate memorials of her life among us here, the living memorial of her ministry is seen in the personal dedication of youth, of pastors, of the community of Quakers, who in the spirit of a fallen leader decide  to ask God today, to do what He wants with us - with you, and with me

Death is not a hopeless end, but an Endless Hope

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9.20.2012

"Longevity is not something I long for..."



When people talked about old age, Charlotte would often say that she wasn't enthused with the idea. Her father had lingered with dementia, which they called being "feeble-minded." Mental or physical weakness was not on Charlotte's wish list.

Things were going well at the camp. Charlotte had a great and long-standing friendship with the Yearly Meeting Superintendent Jack Willcuts. They wrote warm and humor filled letters to each other almost weekly on some business or another. She had a great deal of influence on Yearly Meeting business.

At the beginning of 1977 Charlotte was approaching her 52th birthday. her enthusiasm for development was not waning. She worked long hours most days. Planning for the Spring and Summer camps was well under way.

Jesse Almquist was at the camp for a weekend of cooking for a retreat group. After finishing up in the kitchen one morning she found Charlotte in the windows of the Friendship Center looking out towards the ocean.  Jesse was struck by Charlotte's pose  - she was leaning against a pillar. This struck Jesse as odd because her normal position was two feet firm on the ground, back ramrod straight, hands behind back like the captain of a ship. Jesse watched her for a moment and noticed something even stranger, Charlotte was perfectly still - for a very long moment. Jesse could not remember ever seeing Charlotte so still. She finally spoke up.

"Charlotte, are you ok?"
"Oh, Hi Jess, just thinking - how are you?"
"I just fine, but Charlotte, how are YOU?"
"Honestly Jess, I'm a little concerned, I've been feeling a little puny, Dot made me go to the doctor, he doesn't like the way my blood looks - he wants me to go to Portland for some tests. It worries me a bit, Jess. You know me, I don't get sick."

Jesse Almquist told me this story 30 years after the fact and she could still convey mild horror in the vivid telling of it. She said she was shocked because she realized she had never in 20 years of knowing Charlotte Macy ever heard her express concern or worry about ANYTHING. It just wasn't part of her vocabulary.

On  Monday the 24 of January, Charlotte and Dorothy both left the beach house. Dorothy was meeting up with Mahlon and they were heading east for a big Sunday School and church growth convention in the Midwest - they would be gone a week.  Charlotte had put off the Portland tests until the week before Mid-year Boards. She saw no reason in making two trips.  She drove over to the valley and visited with the old Silverton folks for a day or two. She didn't tell anyone about her health issues.

On the plane, Dorothy told Mahlon that his sister had been having some unusual (for her) fatigue. Dot had insisted she see the doctor when she started having some unexplained bruising.  The two of them figured it was good that she was being looked at, and they would deal with it when they got back. Sometimes they had to tag-team Charlotte to make her slow down or take a rest.  Dorothy was glad for the back-up.

Charlotte checked herself into the hospital for tests on Wednesday the 26th. No one in the state knew she was there.

On Thursday, with no one present with her, the doctors gave her the diagnosis of acute leukemia. The prognosis was not good. The treatment options were limited. She let them call her older sister Anne.  She decided not to bother Dot and Mahlon, as she wanted to spare them bad news when they were far away and could do nothing. She figured Monday was soon enough for them to know. She was surprised when the doctors said, no, she could not check out and go to Newberg for board meetings.

Late Thursday she lapsed into unconsciousness.  Anne called the Yearly Meeting Friday morning, but the message that got to Jack was that she was sick and being treated. She was prayed for at Boards.  Clynton and Marjorie Crisman decided to go to the hospital to pay a pastoral call. When they arrived they were appalled to find Charlotte in a deep coma. Her brother Dwight and his wife were in the hall, Anne was by Charlotte's bed. When they came in, Anne said "Let's Pray for a miracle!" and at that moment the alarm bells went off and nurses rushed in, but She could not be revived.

It took until the next day to get a message to Dorothy, and Mahlon.
They did not believe it at first.
They headed for the airport.
Way too late.

They never got to say goodbye.

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9.19.2012

The Life of a Youth Camp Director

One small vignette to illustrate the challenges of Youth Camping.

A young fellow who would grow up to pastor several Friends Churches was at the Twin Rocks Friends Camp.  There are still lots of rules for campers, some are for safety, some are evangelical cultural norms - dress codes are about norms.  Back in the day the rules were pretty deep and taken seriously. One dictated that campers, male OR female who chose to wear shorts would make sure that those short came to their kneecaps. In the era of  "We love short-shorts!"  this was a bit of a sartorial burden.  Our young fellow, then or now, was not an archon of sartorial splendor, but he did have an early giftedness in smart-Alec - some might say it would become his charism.

So he arrived at camp with a pair of modified shorts.  The tops of these short pants were denim, but the legs, from the butt down were made of  clear vinyl.  The vinyl legs generously graced the kneecaps.  Appearing in these wonders he was challenged immediately. He claimed the letter of the law.  He was sent to Charlotte who took the side of the spirit of the law.  The shorts lost.

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9.18.2012

I am Charlotte - I speak for the trees.

Testimony of Forrest Cammack, retired minister  and missionary, Twin Rocks Board member, regular volunteer and great friend of Charlotte Macy.

"I remember one time that we had bought a lot of seedling trees from a defunct nursery near Salem, to be planted out at the camp.  Now, I had just cleared a very nice open spot according to Don Lindgren’s plans, for a parking place, and a few days later, I came back and Lo, and Behold! It was all planted with those trees!  and rest assured - I didn’t take those trees out.  She liked trees. She liked beauty, not only in trees but in buildings.
  
We were at a time when we needed to expand, and to winterize our buildings, to take on a year-round ministry.  That took a great deal of planning and work.  But from past experiences of hearing Charlotte at Silverton - often we would sneak away from Rosedale and go to be blessed by her ministry - I knew she could handle it.  I remember that one of her seed growers in her congregation said “Why, she could almost come out and take over the farm - She knows what to do next.”

 She had so many abilities that she could almost build a church single-handed.  She had the ability to buy wisely, and she was so capable in so many ways.  But she had a vision for Twin Rocks, and so we began.


I happened to be chairman of the buildings and grounds committee, and worked with her these many years along with the superintendent on the grounds.  It was a blessing to work with her.  We began the renovations and enlargements with the Friendship Center and our dining hall.  And of course, we didn’t do it ourselves, we had lots of volunteer help - with her direction and help.  She was an inspiration.  From there we decorated and re-worked the chapel and Hadley Hall.  We put heat in, and we added on to the shop, and built an arts building.  

Landscaping was continual, and of course - looking out for those trees.  All this to make the camp a place of beauty - to make it useful in winning souls to Christ.  We built a new cook’s residence,  and you know, we had to change our plans about where to put the house because of a great big stump.  It was a beautiful stump with sisal brush around the bottom, and with a hemlock tree growing out of it and huckleberries.  That was just like a vase to Charlotte - it was beautiful.   And we have many of these stumps around the camp.  We almost had to blindfold Charlotte if we had to take a stump out.  When we built the house for her, we had to use some dynamite on a stump and I believe she made herself absent on that day, because she loved trees and she loved beauty, and even to trim trees was difficult for her.  But I appreciate that beauty in our camp. And many have come and expressed appreciation for the grounds and the buildings and the way that we kept them up and made the camp a place of beauty.
    We were beginning to get cramped and she had a vision for more land and more acreage, so that we would have more building sites and more trails to make it a real camp.  For large camps to be certified, many acres are required.  So we were looking for acreage and it came about that we were given the opportunity to buy 83 acres to the south and the east of us to expand our camp.  That was a vision that Charlotte had for the camp and many prayers were made for this project.  And it came to pass, and on this acreage there is a mountain, well, a hill back of us anyway, but we call it a mountain and on this mountain the Lord had given us a miracle well, which is a 60 gallon a minute well, and in the spring we hope to build a reservoir to supply all our water needs and we are thankful for that.  We didn’t see that when we purchases this and we are planning on calling this mountain, Charlotte's Mountain.   You can climb it and look out on the beautiful Pacific Ocean and see the ships and you can see up and down the beach a great distance.  It is a blessing to have this land."

9.17.2012

The Beach House



Charlotte and Dorothy went hunting for a place to live at the Beach. They could have lived on the campgrounds but Charlotte wanted a little space to retreat to and craved a view of the ocean. The camp was on the other side of highway 101.

The house in Silverton was in Charlotte's name only.  This house would be as well.  Banks did not give mortgages to pairs of single ladies. The job was Charlotte's, so the note would be hers too.  Dorothy's work was mostly volunteer church work that supported Charlotte's work.

They sold the barn house on Eureka and took the tiny profit as a downpayment for something at the coast.  This was definitely pre-gentrification - vacation homes were primative by today's standards. Year-round residents usually built their own homes and did not often sell them.  Charlotte, no surprise, was looking for a fixer-upper.  They looked at run-down fishing shacks and a few homes beyond their reach. When Charlotte finally found what she was looking for, even Dot was skeptical.  On the beach side, just across from the Camp  was a dilapidated motel.
Dorothy later described it as uninhabitable, unlikely, and undesirable.  Charlotte stood with her and described it as she saw it could be.  They would add a log addition to the front with lots of windows - this would be their living area. They would gut the old section for bedrooms etc.  They outbuildings could become guest retreats.  Dorothy pointed out that unlike Silverton they did not have a dedicated and invested construction crew.  Charlotte said that the Lord would provide.  Well, the Lord and Charlotte's persuasive personality.

The home that they would live in for the next ten years was built by a rotating crew of "women, retired missionaries and college boys."  Today it is called The Lighthouse and the cluster of buildings is the Harbor Villa Retreat Center and belongs to the Twin Rocks Camp. Then it was just Charlotte and Dorothy's paradise.


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9.11.2012

Get Rosie Rolling! Book Sale







The Fabled Rocinante, Rosie to her intimates, is right now in pieces on the shop floor of Bill's Motorcycles Plus in Salem. When I get the call, I will redeem her with my credit card.  That does not mean that I have the Samolians to pay off said credit card.  

I am told the tab will be just about a Grand. That is about a hundred books.  I have 86 books in the house.  I need everyone who has ever enjoyed one of my motorcycle tales to buy a book or two. I do not make this stuff up. I need the bike to go collect more stories. I also need the bike because she is a material contributor to my general sanity - nobody wants to see what it would look like for that to dissipate. I apologize in advance for being crassly commercial until I own her free and clear again. I also apologize for any excess exclamation points!!


Until further notice all books are $10!
 


Book options at the moment:

(longer descriptions accessed at Unction.org)


 So There I was...  60 UPI columns normally $20 now $10!

So There I was in Africa...  normally $15 now $10!

(there are only 8 copies - then this one is out of print for now)

Messages to a Refugee Planet- post modern Gospel messages

Still only $10!


To order books,go to unction.org or email me at peggysengerparsonsATgmail.com, or use the paypal button on the left.

I will deliver From Albany to Portland.  If I need to mail your books please include $2 per book for postage - they will come media mail.


I thank you for your support

Peg



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9.03.2012

The Only Documented Fib


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 This is Dot sitting in a new 1968 Carmen Ghia that was Charlotte's pride and joy. The Pekinese's name was Sammy.  This is as Hollywood as their lives ever got - right here. Cute girl in shiny red car with fussy little dog.

I do not know how they did it. I know that Silverton never paid more than 200 dollars a month to their pastor.  But somehow Charlotte managed to Wrangle a loan to buy the Barn/house on Eureka Avenue. The payment on the house was 60. a month, utilities cost 45. That left 95 a month to live on, and somehow they saved. They drove a Bug in Silverton.

The Ghia shows up right about the time they move to the coast. I think Charlotte used Jedi Mind tricks on loan officers. A New Carmen Ghia cost 2200.00 in 1968. And yes, I know that a Ghia is a bug in candy coating.

Dorothy told me that Charlotte got tickets in the Ghia on a regular basis  - and claimed every single time that she was not speeding.

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9.02.2012

The Call of the Ocean

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Somewhere between 1967 and 1968 Charlotte was recruited to be the director of Twin Rocks Friend camp at Rockaway Beach.  She had given Silverton 10 years.The congregation of 23 women, men and children who built the building in the fall/winter of 57-58 had grown to 140.  About the same size that the church is today.

There is no evidence that there were any hard feelings except grief when she announced that She and Dorothy would be moving to the coast. She maintained close friendships with the people at Silverton until her death.

I am fairly certain that she was not bored. In addition to sheep-dogging a growing church and being active in the local community, she was serving the Yearly Meeting as well. She was on the nascent board of Friendsview Manor. One of the members of that exploratory committee told me this: “Charlotte had this idea that a bunch of Quakers could build a building that cost a million dollars – I thought it was the dumbest idea I ever heard – good thing they didn’t listen to me."  That million dollar building became a multi-million dollar campus that was Dot's final home.

She served on the YM board of Evangelism. She was chairman of the Spiritual Life Board. She was a member of the George Fox College Board of Trustees. She drove to Newberg a lot.

But she felt a strong call to the training of young people. She believed that camp experiences were an important part of that work. The Camp at Rockaway Beach was still pretty primitive.  It wasn't a lot of use in the winter. Charlotte had this dream where it became a year round conference center that offered nurture, training and retreat to all ages and types of folks.

Jesse Almquist thought that giving up regular Sunday preaching was a hard thing for Charlotte. But the Silverton folks recognized the signs of a true calling in her. After all, they had seen it before. 


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9.01.2012

I would not have ye ignorant brethren.

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Everyone says that she was funny. In and our of sermons. They note that she did not tell jokes, per se, but that she observed the real world in a way to highlight the ridiculous.

She was a wit, and had a lot of stock quips. When asked how she was, she was prone to say, “I feel more like I do now, then did at I first.” Chuckling as people tried to parse that out.

My favorite was quoted to me by several sources. When the old question came up about why she didn't have a husband, she took to quoting 1 Corintians 12:1.  The King James makes it "I would not have ye ignorant, brethren..." Charlotte  left the comma out,and would point out that in the original, punctuation is supplied by context. Some contexts clearly called for her translation.

Charlotte not only could dish it she apparently could take it.

I had two sources for the following story.

At an Alumni Banquet, Charlotte was honored as alumni of the year. The following joke was told - who told it is apparently not remembered.

"So when Charlotte was back at Asbury in Kentucky, she decided to take in the Kentucky Derby, though horse racing is usually against a Quaker conscience.  She was down by the paddock and bent over to tie her shoe.  Someone mistook her for a horse and threw a saddle on her back {laughter} oh, but that's not the end of the story. Charlotte won the derby by a nose!

It was reported that Charlotte thought this was hilarious and often repeated it herself. She loved the punch line.  They laugh at you - and then you win.

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