Howard Ryall's birthday. Yes, it is. How do I know? Because he was here today, bless his heart, and told me so. His voice over the 'phone sounded quite dignified; but I could picture only the slender boy in the seventh grade. So eager was I to see him that, in my enthusiasm, I was quite ready to give him a hug. But I am very sure that he entertained no such thought. As he lingered out at the curb to lock, with meticulous care, his handsome new Dodge sedan, I realized that here was a mature and dignified gentleman, who could never be so impetuous as to hug his old teacher. We had a delightful visit. I had urged him to bring his wife along, but she was busy at her brother's home, in Willoughby, with the cares that ever beset a housewife. Even in travel the family clothes must be washed and ironed. Howard brought along two pictures of "Kathie," his six-year-old daughter. She has big brown eyes, and looks like a sweet and happy child. Howard, as you Presbyterians know, is pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church in Brownsville, Pa., about forty miles south of Pittsburgh, on the Monongehela River. He dearly loves his work. He has taken on the shepherding of another flock in a small church across the river, whose name I now forget. This church is now pastorless. Howard preaches there Sabbath evenings. I would love to meet his wife, who is a true helpmeet in that most exacting and self-sacrificing of roles, that calls for the greatest finesse. Before her marriage she spent two years in West Africa, teaching French in a Presbyterian mission. Her father is a retired Presbyterian minister. I am happy to report that Howard's mother, living in Pittsburgh, is in good health. It is twenty years since Howard's father passed away; but how vividly we recall his wonderful ministry in Saltsburg! Howard is justly proud of all his father was, and all he gave, to his community.
I have shown a great many visitors through our beautiful church, that stands at the borderline of three Heights suburbs - the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland. But I have never found so appreciative and responsive a visitor as Howard Ryall. Because he manifested such interest, Dr. Phillips' secretary offered to take him up into the "tower rooms;" the study which belongs to our associate pastor, Rev. Wheaton (where the Board of Christian Education holds its monthly meetings) and above that, a room flooded with sunlight, furnished with Oriental rugs and valuable antique furniture - Dr. Phillips' study. Howard was much interested in Dr. P's library, which is considered one of the best - with every book and every pertinent subject carefully catalogued. So engrossed were we that we lost all sense of time. I am afraid that we kept a certain family in Willoughby waiting dinner for a minister-guest, whose birthday it is. Many Happy Returns, Howard! Not only of your natal day, but of your visit in Cleveland. The next time it's a family date.
Florence B. Taylor
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