Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

by Lee Smith
Southern Cultures, Vol. 10, No. 1: Spring 2004

"My mother used to call it GETTING ALL WROUGHT UP and viewed it as a kind of sickness, like the flu."

Back when I was a very dramatic and religious girl, I often spoke at Christian youth groups and camp meetings. As my minister once said in introducing me, “This here is Lee Smith, and she just loves to testify!”

As if this weren’t bad enough, I embarrassed my staid Methodist parents further by developing a fervent addiction to revivals when I was about seventeen. Not the nice little revivals we held in our stone Methodist Church in town, but tent revivals out in the county when the word of God-ah! was shouted out by hard-breathing, wild-eyed gospel stompers, and people hollered out and danced and spoke in tongues and threw their babies. I’d sneak off to these revivals with my school friends, and every time they issued that familiar altar call and that irresistible hymn started up—”Just As I A-am Without One Plea”—there I’d be, up out of my seat before I even noticed I was moving, then rushing forward, in a pure-T frenzy to rededicate my life one more time. Frequently they’d immerse you on the spot—right there in the river or the little tent behind the big tent—and then I’d come home all dripping wet again—and then of course my mother would know exactly where I’d been.