Parkhurst Presbyterian Church
One Saturday night in February my wife Linda and I headed to the Parkhurst Presbyterian Church in the Cowanesque Valley. The ladies of the church were putting on the Tioga County Bass Anglers Annual Awards Banquet, and we started early so we could visit prior to the meal.
I knew the church was on the left side just above Kenyon’s Funeral Home and I recalled Kenyon’s as being just before Ackley’s store, so we headed to Westfield. Turning left at Donna’s Corner Market, bearing left in Keeneyville and left onto Route 49, we were soon at the red light in Westfield.
Great! Plenty of time, we thought.
We drove slowly past the funeral home, but no church.
This can’t be right.
Turning around at Ackley’s, we checked one more time. Past the red light we turned around and made another check, this time going beyond Ackley’s, but still no luck. We stopped a man exiting the store. He apologized, saying, “I’m sorry, I don’t know where the Presbyterian Church is.”
Back towards the red light, we stopped a guy on the street, and he said, “There are a lot of churches on Church Street. You might find it there.”
He was right—there are churches on every block, but not ours. We asked a group of girls, who had no idea. Thinking we may have missed one, we turned around in the Dollar Store parking lot and checked out Church Street again. We parked and tried to raise someone on the cell phone, only to find we were in a dead zone. A young man just shook his head because he couldn’t help.
At the Dollar Store, we asked a couple at the movie vending machine. They said there was a church past the school. We headed west on Route 49 only to discover another wrong church. Had we entered the twilight zone?
Going through town for the sixth time, we pulled into Acorn’s parking lot. I was in luck: the lady said she didn’t know, but would help me. She grabbed the phone and started calling. She called a friend, the police, and even tried the mayor. The church wasn’t listed in the Westfield phonebook, but was in the Tioga County book. She called and verified the banquet was there. I gave her a hug and was out the door.
In the car Linda was on the phone with Mary Sweely.
I said, “We’re headed to the church which is just before the Kenyon Funeral Home…in Elkland.” No wonder no one in Westfield knew the location of the Presbyterian Church.
Flying down the road toward Elkland, I thought about what Linda had kiddingly said earlier. “My mother always said, make sure you put on your best underwear when going out, in case you get in an accident.”
We made it to the banquet, about an hour late, and had a great time. The embarrassment was brutal, but expected, and will likely continue for a long, long time.