An Autobiography: Chapter 12, Albert Schweitzer Film

| 7/9/2012 12:15:23 PM

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One of the worst disasters to ever hit the city of Walton, struck on Friday, July 13, 1956, at 4:00 p.m., and the tornado was over in about two minutes. Walton received an estimated loss of $500,000 in property damage. On July 29, we had a benefit show for the victims of the tornado.

On another Sunday, a milder tornado struck Verona during a show when Martha Carson, the most popular gospel/country singer of the 1950s was performing. Lightning split a tree near the stage, and the people ran in panic, many to their car and many crowded on the stage.

Martha was a seasoned trouper and stood on a chair, and with Billy’s band behind her, started strumming her guitar profusely, while singing gospel songs to the frightened crowd. She had the folks in the palm of her hand, and they soon quieted down. There was an elderly lady who got up close to Martha, and Martha held her hand while she sang. Georgianna and I were never more proud of any of our performers in those four years.

Martha Carson 

Martha Carson 

After we moved to Nashville almost 30 years later, Martha called Georgianna and told her she wanted to write her story and would like Georgianna to live with her for a while and help her. Georgianna would have loved that, but Martha was a chain smoker − and Georgianna was very allergic to tobacco smoke. No one ever smoked in our homes.

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