He was plowing a field near the house one Spring morning when he heard a strange loud noise. He looked up and saw something he had never seen before. It was bright white, wings spread against the blue sky and it roared “with the voice of a thousand.” Riley abandoned his plow in the middle of the field. He rushed home and gathered his family into the house. His grandfather was a minister and Riley knew his scriptures. He felt sure he had witnessed the angels of the Lord coming to take the faithful home to heaven. He held his family close and prayed all day to be worthy.
The little girls fell asleep where they knelt on the floor.
The next day a neighbor came by to gossip about the new-fangled flying machine. Riley didn’t say a word about his day of prayer and it was never mentioned again in his presence. No one would ever have dared to tease him about it.
I was eleven years old when my grandfather died. I’m sure most of my cousins remember more about him and could tell stories we would all treasure. This is what I remember.
He wasn’t a large man, but even in his eighties, he gave an impression of strength. His hair was white, but he told me once that it used to be red. He always wore long sleeved shirts, neatly buttoned and tucked in, regardless of the weather.
After he moved to Mokane, he mowed the grass at the Pentecostal Church with a reel-type “man-powered” lawn mower at least once a week. He went to Church every Sunday. He loved to fish. He kept several long cane fishing poles leaning against a big tree in front of his house, and walked down to the river to fish every day as long as he was able.
I never heard him raise his voice, but when he was alive there was never any doubt who was the head of the Rogers family.