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The Big Rocker

The Big Rocker at Dry Creek

The Rocker

 

“Do you think now that rocker is worth $1500?”

 “No, it’s worth more like $15,000.”

 

It was a conversation I’ll always remember.

Framed with a lesson I will not forget.

An earlier conversation ended with a resounding “No.”

 

My special friend Karan Robinson shoved a photo into my hand.

“Don’t you think that’d look good on the front porch of the Tabernacle?”

The photo was of a huge rocking chair that held about six children.

I smiled.  There’s not much I wouldn’t do for Karan, the mother of Brad Robinson and at that time a trustee of Dry Creek Baptist Camp.

We’d just finished another stage in the Tabernacle renovation at Dry Creek.  The new front porch was filled with six wooden rockers and several “baby bear” matching rockers.

 

Karan continued her sales pitch.  “There’s a man in Arkansas that makes these giant chairs.”

 

I asked the typical manager’s question.  “How much is it?”

“Fifteen hundred.”

I grimaced.  “Karan, I just don’t believe that’d be the best use of camp funds.”

“It’d sure look good on the porch.”

“Yes it would, but the answer, for now, is no.”

 

A month later Karan drove up with a huge rocker on a trailer. Our summer staffers helped unload it.

“Our church youth raised the money for the chair.”  She pointed to the top of the rocker where it was engraved,  “Dry Creek Baptist Camp.”

The staffers manhandled it into place on the Tabernacle front porch.  Our first act was to make doorstops to place under the rockers so they wouldn’t move.  It was heavy enough to pinch a toe off.

 

Two months later, Karan was at our G.A. Girls Camp.  Two dozen squealing preteen girls were crowded onto the rocker as a counselor snapped their photo.

She eased up to me and in the same grin her son Brad was famous for, and said,  “Do you think now that rocker is worth $1500?”

“No, it’s worth more like $15,000. In fact, it’s above pricing.”

 

The rocker, or as it is best known,  “God’s Rocking Chair” is an integral part of Dry Creek Camp.  It’s probably the strongest symbol of what marketers call “Branding.”

 

It’s what many people visualize when they think of Dry Creek.

In the years since it arrived, I’ve helped my grandchildren up into the chair as well as several octogenarians.

 

It’s a lesson that some things are priceless.

Some expenses are not a true expense but an investment.

 

Thanks, Karan for a good lesson on the economics of the heart.

 

 

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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