Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cathedral of Tomorrow • WBNX 55

Sometime ago, a friend wanted to go to Cathedral Buffet in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I was up for it.

Rex Humbard was the pentecostalist preacher, who buried Elvis Presley, and in the 1950s was the first national television evangelist. He moved up from Arkansas. Ernest Angley moved up from North Carolina. Both ended up in Akron-Cuyahoga Falls.
Humbard built his Cathedral of Tomorrow and the television station, channel 55. Grace Cathedral was Angley's. Angley was born two years after Humbard. Humbard retired and sold the complex to Angley.

Angley is, now a very elderly, chubby guy with a very apparent wig. It only needs a single face bar to look more like a helmet. Johnny Carson used to imitate him. Angley places his hand on people's foreheads and says an exaggerated, "Jeee-SUS". On both television shows they featured much gospel music, with in-house singers. There is a huge, suspended crown (Tower of London-Margarine style) and pillars.

Neither preacher, in my memory, engaged in crazy politics or anti-catholic vituperation. Maybe they concentrated on the 'end times', but i ignore their ramblings as i do the russelites and the rest. I tend to ignore this speculation (as) entertainment. Their comments on the Last Day, just did not register in my attention. Instead i remember Augustine asking where are the past and future? and dismissing them. Akron does have a nickname of being the capital of West Virginia; so these two boys were far more agreeable than hard shelled baptists, or porch hopping russelites. It was easy to take them with good humour, or ignore them. Humbard died recently, and he is not a topic of consideration in speech.

To the buffet i did go. Now, i remember being told that only catholics had statues. The buffet has a christian wax museum. Well, that is 'cheesy'. With the trouble the Catholic Church has done to itself recently, it is not so comfortably easy poking fun at the protestants. Did not even cross my mind to photo the wax museum. If i got into the studio, i would the crown. Outside, and on one side there is a neon sign of Michigan J. Frog. What if Mary Flannery O'Connnor had been born in Akron, instead of Savannah; perhaps more comic and less grotesque.

"Grace changes us and change is painful." —
Mary Flannery O'Connnor

1 comment:

  1. There's a frog on the side of the building because the building also houses a former WB affiliate and they haven't taken the frog down.