Mack Williams column: The traveling saint

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 27, 2021

By Mack Williams

The other day, I was watching “Adam-12” on ME-TV, when one of the officers made a comment about safe driving and a Saint Christopher medal.

My thoughts returned to yesteryear (not the Lone Ranger’s yesteryear, but mine); and in my mind’s-memory-eye I could again see the Saint Christopher medal which hung on a chain from the rear-view mirror of my father, Bernard Williams’ old black 1950s Studebaker.

My father wasn’t a member of the Catholic Church, but he knew to call on the saints, particularly, Saint Christopher, who is known as the Patron Saint of Travelers.

Wherever we traveled, be it up and down Old Concord Road, all around Salisbury, Spencer, Granite Quarry, Faith, to North Wilkesboro where my paternal grandparents lived, or to see my maternal grandmother in Statesville, that Saint Christopher medal swung back and forth on its chain as the Studebaker’s wheels rolled forward. Our Saint Christopher also traveled with us on vacation to Tweetsie Railroad, Ghost Town (Maggie Valley), and Grandfather Mountain.

Road travelers have a variety of icons hanging from their rear-view mirrors to metaphysically help them on their journeys: Crosses, peace signs, ankh’s, troll dolls, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Bart Simpson dolls, Sponge-Bob SquarePants, Minions, and yes, even a tentacled doll in the image of Cthulhu! But I prefer Saint Christopher. The cross is, of course, good overall, but Saint Christopher narrows it down to traveling.

If I ever get to Rome, one of my stop-offs will be Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square where the statues of 140 saints stand atop its colonnades. As I gaze upwards at the statue of Saint Christopher, its distance will probably make its apparent size pretty close to the size of the Saint Christopher medal that once dangled from the rear-view mirror of my father’s old 1950s Studebaker.

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