Convention “Highlights” - bwhahaha!
Pheeebs - Those food trays we had back in the 60s, with separate compartments for your food. I loved them.
Yes. I remember those Bakelite trays. Moving along the line with someone bunging stuff in the compartments. Custard slopping over your mashed spuds. Now those WERE the days.
Standing in a long rain-soaked queue at Wembley.
I saw Nathan Knorr in a crowd there. If I'd known then what I know now.......................custard and mash slopped over Nathan.
Sometimes thrilled by the End of days assurance from the speaker. Never took notes except a few times.
Afternoons were boring and drowsy where I would walk outside the arena and sit alone somewhere, half sleeping. Wife would be upset on this.
What a waste of time.
Dodger Stadium, with two small children, a real test of endurance. We had those clip on umbrellas in an attempt to not to die from the sun, but it was still really hot. Cranky, tired children and an hour long bus ride at the end of it, next day get up and do it again.
The open stands at Twickenham. Torture. Jobos with plastic sheets over their heads to shelter from the torrential rain.
When I was a believing JW, especially in the 80's and early 90's, the District Convention was the highlight of the year for me. I anticipated it and looked forward to it. It was exciting and I hated it when it was over.
I remember one year meeting at a large coliseum in a mid-sized city. When the program was over, I leaned on the railing of the 1st level (above ground floor) and looked out over the floor as the stage was being disassembled, the chairs were being put up, etc. It was so depressing. I didn't want it to be over; I didn't want to leave that atmosphere and go back to "the world". I felt so safe there. It seemed like such a wholesome, loving atmosphere. I was meeting together with a select group of people - those who had "the truth". We were part of the small group on earth who were in the know and were going to survive the upcoming end of the world and live forever in paradise on earth.
I looked ahead in the program and tried to anticipate where we mighty get "new light" or some exciting information about when to expect the end or some exciting info concerning prophecy. I would anticipate some kind of new or exciting info all the way until the last talk and then be really disappointed when there was nothing because I knew it meant another year of drudgery - knocking on thousands of doors, getting up meeting parts, going to meetings, reading four magazines (usually very boring material) per month. I thought I was doing right, but I was miserable. I wanted the "new world" because I wanted to see an end to suffering and all the other bad stuff, but I also wanted deliverance from the boring, exhausting drudgery and misery of my life as a financially broke, hard working JW in full-time service. It was a life during which I never felt I could do enough. I could never catch up with all I was supposed to do. I hated that feeling.
And then... gradually, I learned the real truth - the truth about "the truth". I still, though, look back with nostalgic feelings to that time - to what I felt at the time about the conventions. I wish it had been what I thought it was.
The fruit bags. Was that the 70's & early 80's? What was in them? I think I remember a banana, some grapes, maybe an apple? Was that just in the U.S.?
Putting a Watchtower or Awake in the rear window of the car while travelling to the site so fellow JWs would recognize us on the road.
Sitting in my seat before the start of the program and hearing the chatter. It was a unique sound. I can hear it in my mind now.
I believe that back then the JW higher-ups really believed the hype and were more concerned about people and the ministry. It seemed more genuine.
Now, I think the real powers in the org (whoever/whatever they are) are just concerned about keeping the gig going. The org is about money and self-preservation now. I think the powers of today know or at least sense what most of us know - that the org has lost on the doctrinal front. The passing of time and the availability of information have led to its defeat.
I think this has led to a new/different tone and feel in the org, and the conventions could just never be what they were. But, that might just be to me (and others who know TTATT). I'm thinking about the bunker video and the new JW videos (movies). Maybe current JWs feel the same about the conventions now as I did in the 70's, 80's, & 90's. Don't really know.
Speaking of Highlights..
Remember how there was always someone sitting nearby and you couldn't help but notice that almost their entire Bible was highlighted in yellow?
I always wondered if this was done to impress nosey people like me or were the comparatively few scriptures that were left un-highlighted, the ones that they considered noteworthy?
Magnum, excellent reflection
Yankee Stadium when I was just a kid back in the mid-late 60's.
"Dinner" always served in the massive tents they set up and cost 65 cents. Some cheap-ass cola as part of the meal. "Tables constructed of pieces of plywood. You stood when you ate. Pioneers ate free. The smell of the steam cleaning they used to clean the trays.
Getting some change from my parents and buying an ice cream from the Good Humor guy out front.
Sitting in the upper levels and watching the subways go by.
Walking through the maze of vendors around the stadium selling bible covers and portable fans.
Sitting in a seat until 9PM at night and hoping that Freddie Franz did not have the last talk which could go on for another hour.
Hoping that Freddie Franz did not have the final prayer on Sunday which was in itself another talk.
Enduring 6-7 day assemblies.
Clapping for whatever reason when everyone else clapped.
Getting into the subways at the end with lines that added another hour or so due to the mass exodus at the end of the convention. No air conditioning, just very slow moving ceiling fans.
Being constantly told to watch out for pickpockets.
The summer-time heat and humidity in New York City.
Starting the whole process again the following morning.
Rub a Dub
the old Wembley stadium--London UK--about 69 / 70. non stop rain. jam packed foot walks sitting in the open air in the rain. singing kingdom songs. sheer misery.
i vowed never to attend a bid assembly ever again.
i kept my promise.
Years ago when I attended the district conventions at a university stadium in South Africa (with the sun bearing down upon us - it was hot as hell) the vast majority of the attendees sat in the grandstands sweltering in the heat or got soaked in the rain. A minority of us used to sit behind the mound under the trees - we erected gazebo's and sat comfortably in our camping chairs with the cooler boxes containing our lunch and a couple of sneaky drinks - lol. We couldn't see the stage however the sound dept set up speakers. I used the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.