Tinyburg Tales

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by Alcott, Apr 2, 2003.

  1. Alcott

    Alcott
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    Is anyone else familiar with this series of stories by Robert Hastings, who I have recently found out passed away in 1997? Tinyburg is what it's name implies; a small town somewhere in America, and the stories concern a cast of familiar characters with activities centered around the 'Tinyburg Church'-- the only name given to it. As I understand, Mr. Hastings wrote these originally for a radio broadcast or for publication in the Illinois Baptist, as a means of illustrating themes or topics.

    Some of the characters who regularly appear are 'The Preacher,' who I'm not sure we're given his full name, and his wife, Carol, who "has a heart of gold," and their 3 sons; then 'Aunt Sarah' Biggs, the local "defender of the faith," and 'Uncle Billy,' a widower who lives across from the church and is often questioned about what he sees going on; Clay Barker, owner of Tinyburg Realty, described as the only man in Tinyburg who wears a coat and tie 365 days a year; and several others who smack of typical small town people, usually with old-fashioned values.

    The stories are usually the "slice of life" variety covering a few pages about such subjects as a special program being planned by the church, an unusual act of kindness, a rumor going around about one of the townspeople, et al. But they are certainly not all sugar-coated; for instance, the old uneducated man who rang the church bell every Sunday morning had his 'job' replaced by electronic bells from the organ, and he left the church in anger and took to the bottle for the first time in his life; and in one story a woman who had long given up her ambition to be an actress became frustrated while rehearsing a Christmas pageant and had a tirade which made the children cry and the adults to ostracize her.

    But the stories overall are a positive presentation of small town and small church activities. I have 2 books with many of the stories-- Tinyburg Tales, and Tinyburg Revisited. and our church library has a 3rd one I have read. Although some may view stories like these as a Christianized version of Green Acres, I think they are excellent reading for diversion, especially for those of us who live, or grew up, in small towns and/or have a fondness for life presented as less troubled and less complicated than is our reality.
     
  2. swaimj

    swaimj
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    Wow! I had forgotten about Tinyburg Tales. There is a radio version of this and I think Bob Hastings read the stories on the air. I used to hear it on the Bible Broadcsting Network when I liked in NC and later when I lived in Virginia. Thanks for reminding me of it!
     
  3. Hardsheller

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    Dr. Bob was a Great Man. I took a course under him in Creative Writing in 1980. He was one of the most gracious men I have ever met. He taught us one thing that I've never forgotten. He said, "Everyone has an interesting story. Your task as a writer is to find out what it is."
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