The Trunk Lost In Transit ► A Pastoral Letter
Pastor Ken Wilson wrote this book arguing for
full acceptance of LGBT folk into the church
and uses scripture to back up these arguments.

Dear Pastor Kenny: Long time, no see!

Seriously, it was great reconnecting with you at the tail end of the 3rd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research, as brief as our reunion was.

I was mighty disappointed when it looked as if we were not going to meet because of your vacation schedule. When I got your message that you’d be available after all, I dropped everything to high-tail it out to Ann Arbor to see you. Had I not already had something scheduled for the evening, I could have stayed and talked forever because there was still so much I wanted to know. Did you ever see that Saturday Night Live sketch “The Guest Who Would Not Leave”? I was already feeling as if I had overstayed my welcome because it was running into dinnertime and you had just got home from vacation.

I have a confession. [Do you take confession?] Because it didn’t look like we’d be getting together, I never finished reading your book. A bigger confession: I’ve been reading your book with the same critical eye and methodology with which I read James Rosen’s historical revisionist history of John Mitchell, Richard Nixon’s Attorney General. I filled The Strong Man with yellow Post It Notes and then eviscerated it in the Watergate exposé Did Roger Ailes Dupe James Rosen, Or Did Rosen Dupe ‘Merka?

The problem is that right up until the time we met I had been thinking of you as a research project. I used our reconnecting last year as a jumping off point for these Pastoral Letters, in which I am (selfishly) exploring and writing about my Atheism, which grew out of my Agnosticism, which grew out of a Reformed Jewish child. To that end, I’ve read dozens of reviews of your book, read up on The Third Way, and continue to follow the writings of your old church and your new church.

Random Ann Arbor pic

I have often said, “You can take the boy out of the newsroom, but you can’t take the newsroom out of the boy.” I was wrong. The journalist in me had a million and one questions for you, but the minute I saw your face, all that went out the window. It was Kenny, my oldest friend in the world!!! I was a little boy again, forgetting all about the Not Now Silly Newsroom. In fact, I was so caught up in just reconnecting that I forgot to take any pictures of you, even though I carried 3 cameras, took some pictures on our walk around Ann Arbor, and usually document every tedious moment of my life.

I am glad we got to talk about your getting kicked to the curb by your old church. I don’t know how much of that was said for publication, so I won’t. However, I find it a fascinating story on the type of changes churches need to make in order to survive into the next century.

Here’s what surprised me the most about our reunion: Maybe it’s because you’re a Pastor, or because I have been trying to reconnect to my past, or because you’re my oldest friend in the world, but I don’t know what prompted me to blurt out my deepest, darkest secret. I can’t believe I told you what I’ve shared with less than a half dozen people, 3 of them psychiatrists. The significance of the title of this post will be mysterious for everybody else.

Random Ann Arbor pic

One mystery cleared up, however. Remember how much I was sweating after our walk, even though it wasn’t that hot a day? As it turns out, that was the beginning of my uncommon cold, which I wrote about in Road Trips, Writer’s Block, and the Uncommon Cold ► Unpacking The Writer

I always feel like I’m behind on all my writing, but even more so with this post. You asked me to send you links to my writing that I felt were worth your time. Originally I thought I’d just shoot you an email. But, then I thought it might make a better Pastoral Letter. Then I kept putting it off as I had other things to write. Better late than never, eh? Not to brag, and only because you asked, here are a few of my posts I think are worth reading:

1). The Detroit Riots • 2). My Days With John Sinclair • 3). Where The Sidewalk Ends, Racism Begins • 4) Where The Sidewalk Ends, Racism Begins ► Chapter Two • 5). Where The Sidewalk Ends, Racism Begins ► Chapter Three • 6). When Whites Went Crazy In Tulsa • 7). Happy Birthday Coconut Grove!!! Now Honour Your Past • 8). Josephine Baker Born • 9). Is Marc D. Sarnoff Corrupt Or The Most Corrupt Miami Politician? • 10). The Day I Shook Hands With Glenn Beck • 11). The Day I Met Bob Marley • 12). Any & all of my Watergate stories • 13). A Tribute To Alan Turing ► The Man Who Saved The World • 14). A Musical Appreciation ► Cole Porter • and 15). More Proof the Palin Family Are Liars and Grifters, which is as fresh as today’s headlines.

Random Ann Arbor pic

And, of course, my Pastoral Letters, which are all addressed to you, whether you’ve read them or not.

I think I’ll leave it here, Ken. The Autumnal Equinox Drum Circle is coming up later this month, which is when I tend to think of Spirituality without a God. And, if you recall, Drum Circles are when I most often think of you. You’ll probably be hearing from me again near the end of the month.

Feel free to write back because I never know what you’re thinking.

Your childhood friend,
Marc Slootsky

About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.