My Bethel Experience Part 16
We are nearing the end of the journey.......So this next two chapters will be called "odds and ends" or things I didn't put in the right chapters..........because I thought of them after those chapters were written....
Three guys are sitting around, each drinking a large glass of beer.........A Publisher, a Pioneer and a Bethelite.......Just then, a fly lands in ALL three of their glasses of beer........The publisher....pushes the glass away and says....."I can't drink this now"...........The Pioneer looks over, and picks the fly out of the beer and keeps on drinking............The Bethelite.........picks up the fly by its wings and holds its head over the glass and says "Spit it out......Spit it out!"
One guy, who didn't spit it out.........we'll call him Bob.......went to Jack Sutton’s Polish wedding, in Green Point.......Now those people know how to put on a wedding! It was what we called a football wedding (a bethelites dream) because there are two bottles of booze on each table, one on each end. Well needless to say.......Bob and many others had way too much to drink, that night .......We took Bob back to bethel.......he lived in the 124 building......the "most holy".........I told my friend Dave to take him to his room and put him in bed.........Which he did.......but as soon as he left him......Bob decided to go to the men’s bathroom, down the hall........so as soon as he hit the door he passed out cold, face down on the floor......at about 4:00 in the morning, some new boy went to the bathroom and saw him......OH! My GOD!......this guy thought.....This guy is dead!......So he called the Good Doc up and told him about the "dead guy" in the bathroom. After the Doc's examination, he said "He not dead.......but will wish he was, in the morning." Well, he was in George Couch's office (Bethel home servant overseer) the next day. He did what we called the "Indian Navajo trick".............which is begging and screaming for one's life. It worked, he only got a verbal reprimand.
They don't tolerate much at bethel.......but if they kicked everyone out of Bethel, for drinking too much, the place would have shut down years ago.......So I'm driving down the FDR drive one Sunday, taking an old timer back to Bethel, (been there about 40 years) after giving a talk in my hall............ he points over to the Schafer Brewery and says " Son,......if they ever shut down that factory, pointing at the brewery, they would have to shut down that one too, pointing to Bethel!
There are stories of Bethelites back in the 1920's, 1930's 1940's that they would find passed out Sunday mornings, on the sidewalk in front of the 124 building. They would just dust them off and bring them inside. Most of the folks like their booze there, including Knorr he would get "J&B" scotch by the case. Even Nathan could have sex after a couple of scotches.
Speaking of cases of booze.
I will tell you, the story of the missing 1,500 bottles of "Fine Spanish Brandy"
It was the summer of 1973. They were having the "Divine Endurance" international conventions (not the real name..... I forgot what it was) in N.Y.C. Brothers were flying in from everywhere. Two 747's full of JWs from Spain, were going through the factory on tour. My friend Armando, who speaks Spanish was taking this group on a tour through the factory. It happen to be the tour that had the Spanish Overseer in charge of the whole thing in it. At the end of the tour.....the Spanish brother said to Armando......."My friend....We have a gift for you and all the other Bethelites here, at the World Head Quarters. All of the brothers and sisters from Spain have chipped in to buy you and all the other HARD working Bethelites a bottle of 'Fine Spanish Brandy'............and this is your bottle!".........as he was giving him the bottle, the Spanish brother asked "So who would we talk to, about how to distribute the other 1500 bottles?"......" Well, I guess" Armando said "That would be George Couch......The Bethel Home Overseer"
That night, Armando come over to our room, and told us this story..........as we were drinking a glass of HIS "Fine Spanish Brandy."
You guessed it.........it has been over 40 years and I still haven't seen my bottle of brandy. Oh they got passed around alright.........and you have a good idea who got them. We even saw some of those bottles show up at local Elder's homes in the N.Y.C. area. The bethel “heavies” and their friends got it!
Something else happen that week. "The Great Grease Gun Fight of 73"........Most of the factory overseers were at the convention, so it was a loose ship there. That week we had the most tours going through the factory I have ever seen, they were like one tour after the other. The fight was between the press room guys and the "inkies" (Ink room personnel)......I think it started with someone putting a gob of grease in some other guy's shoes. It soon escalated into a full blown grease gun war. The grease guns were used to grease the presses and other machinery......they work by a lever action and they could shot a thick gob of grease about 15 feet. At one point the "inkies" high jacked my elevator for about 30 mins. I found in in the basement about 10 floors away. I got it back and headed for the ink room. They then they flipped the safety switch, so when I got in my elevator and shut the door, the elevator was dead.........they looked in the little glass window in the door.......I was trapped like rat in a cage, as they were laughing they put their grease guns in three tiny holes and shot me head to toe with grease. Then I finally remembered the safety switch and got out of there. I went up to the press room for reinforcements, Tom Plank and me grabbed our grease guns and went down to the 5th floor. We hit the door of the ink room with grease guns blazing. As I was chasing Mike Stillman through side door...........as the door flew opened...............grease was whizzing passed his head........Yep! You guessed it, a tour of about 10 brothers and sisters were on the other side. I had nailed 2 "sister's"......dresses........globs grease! I was screwed.
The door shut behind Mike.........The tour thought it was funny.............we knew it wasn't going be. The new boy tour guide turned us in. There was only one thing.......to do and that was, turn myself in and do "the Indian Navajo trick"............and beg them, not kick me out........of the "house of God."
Funny isn’t it. I begged them not to kick me out. Please “Brothers” don’t stop the beatings!
I have really enjoyed your stories. I wish that Witlesses who live in their dream world would read your posts. Everyone thinks that going to Beth-hell is such a privilege and they are treated like royalty. I know a brother who left Beth-hell 5 years ago and he still throws his title of being a Beth-hellite around.
.went to Jack Sutton’s Polish wedding, in Green Point
ha ha--i did a double take when i read that !!--thats my father's name !!
Where's part 15? Or maybe it was a typo. Nevertheless, I enjoy reading these bethel stories, and any stories from the past. Really gives a different perspective to us from future generations.
They all there. You just need to back far enough to see them. I have 2-3 more t post. I'm hardly getting any hits on them is why they are buried.
Good stuff New Boy, if you have time energy would like to hear about the other suicides at bethel, I don't think you were ever able to get around to posting that issue. I also noticed you published a book that is available on Amazon, I'll look into it soon. Thanks again Keith, all very appreciated you are a great help to me !
Brilliant writing, loving it.