Will and his brother, Bud, were free spirits, to say the least, as they were growing up. Actually, a more accurate description would be “mischievous troublemakers.” They always cashed in on opportunities to cause a disruption that they could get a good laugh out of. And being brought up in Louisiana during the Depression years afforded many such opportunities.
High Life was the term used for a chemical that was used in those days to protect fresh peas and beans from weevils. When applied to the stored crop the bugs would not bother it and therefore the produce would be preserved.
But High Life was something that you did not want to get around your animals if you wanted them to keep their sanity. For instance, if a small amount was applied to the neck and ears of a dog it would drive him into a howling and running fit and mischievous farm boys, of course knew this. It was simply a prank and did not hurt the animal, but it provided entertainment for a boring day.
Well, one evening Bud happened on a tent revival that was being held by the local Pentecostal Church. Now, our Pentecostal brothers and sisters are well known for their lively worship services. We Baptists are much more subdued. But they are very vocal and are known for praising God in many loud and exciting manners.
The old time tent revivals were normally held in the summer and the sides of the tents would be rolled up and folks would sit along hardwood pews or benches made out of split logs. Their wagons would be parked close by and their horses would all quietly wait to pull the wagon back home, while their owners gathered inside the tent and sang songs of praise and worship, and the exciting service would grow in intensity as the evening continued.
Now, we aren’t sure why, but our friend, Bud, just happened to conveniently have a quantity of High Life with him. As he observed the situation, he noticed that a few members had brought along their hound dogs. The dogs were sleepily laying around the outside of the tent. Hmmm…let’s see – High Life possessed by a prankster, plus dogs, plus an open tent revival meeting…the perfect formula for some fun.
So Bud made the most of his opportunity and wryly dropped a few drops behind each dog’s ears then retreated to watch the show. The dogs began to howl and scream and run wildly through the congregation. It was like Ray Steven’s Mississippi Squirrel on steroids.
Instead of one squirrel, four or five dogs were in a wild rage under and over the pews and wreaking havoc with the whole congregation. Horses were frightened and rearing and pawing and people were screaming and running out of the tent, trying to avoid the mad hounds. You can imagine all the chaos. It was apparently total bedlam.
Well, they wanted a spirited worship service and they got one, even if it was with a little outside assistance. It was certainly a meeting to remember for many folks that night.