My father had been a devotee of Robert Fulghum. He purchased all his books, believing himself to be in general sympathy. I noted on the back cover that Mr. Fulghum had been a Unitarian minister.
What could a Unitarian be? Whatever it was, it sounded good to me.
I went downstairs and looked in the encyclopedia (this was before wikipedia) and found a very staid, dry, three paragraph entry on Unitarianism.
On my way out somewhere, I got lost in Mountain Brook. Mountain Brook is the old money part of town. Its residents make an average of $400,000 a year and it's one of the ten richest per capita cities in the entire country. Old money wealth. Exploitive railroad baron wealth. Names like Tutwiler and Bankhead. Newly weds and nearly deads.
It's also the home of Natalie Holloway, the blonde haired, blue-blooded teen who disappeared on her senior trip to Aruba. Her body has yet to be found. I suspect it may never be.
And so I found it--round this absurd bend on Cahaba Road. It was a 1950s era A-Frame. The Unitarian Church of Birmingham.
I would like to assign some sort of mystic significance to this. Some sort of Paul on the road to Damascus. But it was far less dramatic. I walked inside to be confronted with the local eccentric.
His concept of the faith was not strong, but he was certainly interesting.
I came back the next Sunday.