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1940s Green Frog Cafe

Replies: 2

Re: 1940s Green Frog Cafe

Posted: 1378252713000
Classification: Query
I realize this thread is old, but I found an interesting incident that happened in the Green Frog Café, back in the day . . .

"In the early fifties there was a Pentecostal street preacher named Joe Mabry who used to go downtown and pass out leaflets and gospel tracts to the shoppers and merchants along Pine street. He became a familiar figure to all who worked and visited the downtown area. His soft and gentle nature just seemed to naturally endear him to folks. He wasn’t one of those “wild eyed fanatics” like most Pentecostal preachers, they said. People would stop and talk at length with him and he would tell how he came to know the Lord and how he had gotten the call to preach the gospel. Catholics and Baptists alike were proud to call Joe Mabry their friend. One would have been hard pressed, in those days, to name someone who did not like and admire the easy going preacher.

That was of course, with the exception of Ransom Curry. Ransom took an immediate dislike to Mabry. No one knew why. Joe didn’t understand it and he believed that, if he were asked, Ransom wouldn’t know either. In any case there was an undercurrent of tension between the two men. The preacher kept his distance while the other man taunted him continually. It was subtle disrespect at first, but over the years Curry became more brazen and mean spirited in his derision. On occasion he would pull his truck alongside the curb, where Mabry was preaching, and rev up the engine. The noise from the truck’s busted muffler would make it impossible for Joe to be heard. The Preacher usually would move along or stop preaching altogether.

There was a popular eating place downtown at that time was a cafe called the Green Frog. The Green Frog was on Pine near north Fourth Street.

Ransom ate breakfast in the Green Frog, almost every morning, after finishing his shift on the

oil rigs. Curry always drew the graveyard shift because the pushers wanted to keep him as far away as possible from the big bosses. One morning Joe Mabry walked in and took a seat at the Opposite end of the counter from where Curry was sitting.

“Hey Preacher, Ransom yelled, don’t the Bible say we’re s’posed to love everybody?”

“It does say that, Ransom,” he said, not sure what was coming.

“Well, I love this ol’ girl here.” He grabbed the arm of the waitress behind the counter. She jerked her arm away.

“She don’t love me ‘tho.”

“You’re right about that, she said, I sure don’t love you.”

“How’z come she don’t love me, Preacher, if we’re s’posed to love everybody. Tell me that.”

“You’re mixed up, Ransom, Joe said. What you’re talking about is lust, not love.”

“Oh, okay, well then I got another one for you. Do you love everybody?”

“Not always.” Joe replied, somewhat curious as to where the conversation was headed.

“Do you love me Preacher?”

Joe paused for a moment and Curry started grinning. “I try Ransom, I try. You must be some kind of test for me. I may pass and I may not.”

“I don’t see how anybody could love everybody.” He said.

“It’s not easy. Most people are just like you in some respects, too scared to show their true feelings.”

“I show my true feelings.” Curry shot back.

“I don’t believe that.” Joe said, calmly.

“And I ain’t scared a’ nothin’. I sure ain’t scared a’ you and Jesus.”

“I think you’re more scared than you know.” The preacher said.

Ransom’s temper ignited. He was just stupid enough to think he was being made fun of, and he started, for a moment to get up off his stool. “You got a big mouth, Preacher.” he said. Then he felt the waitress’ hand on his beefy right arm.

“If you’re smart, she said, looking him right in his face, and God knows you’re not, but if you got any brains left in that ugly head of yours, you’ll stay on that stool and let this go. Consider that a bit of friendly advice.”

He cut a sharp menacing glance at Joe Mabry and then a grin, or more accurately a snarl, broke across his grizzled face. “Aw hell, Betty, you know I ain’t gonna beat up no preacher. You’d prob’ly call the cops anyway if I did.”

A collective sigh of relief was heard throughout the cafe. No one wanted to feel the wrath of the six feet four inch Curry and they certainly didn’t want to see the preacher humiliated, or worse. The tension died down and there was a semblance of peace for a while."

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
HPDSarge 1215964728000 
Verna Markham 1216137006000 
lonestar357 1378252713000 
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