Bob King was the assistant superintendent at the Orchards Country Club. It was the place where I worked during the summer months throughout my college years. I was a greenskeeper, and woke up early to cut the grass. Bob was a grumpy sort of man who most of the time wore a scowl on his face, but I liked him nonetheless. There were, however, a few things that just didn’t settle well with him, and one of them was that we told him that we wouldn’t work on Sunday.
My father made it known to our employers that Sunday was our church day, and nothing, nothing, (except Deer Hunting Season of course) was allowed to conflict with that. There also only happened to be one service at our small-town congregation. It was what we told Bob.
Bob just didn’t understand. You see, Bob was a Catholic, and Bob had never heard of a church having only one service a week. "You mean you only have one mass on a Sunday," he would say with that characteristic frown on his face. "Yes, Bob, only one service," we would say in response. He would shake his head and walk away, upset that his workers had one up on him. Nonetheless, we worked there faithfully six days a week, always there on time, and who wanted to work seven days a week anyway, no matter how much extra money you made? It ensured that we always had one day off, and also were able to go to church with our family.
My father happened to work as the part-time janitor of the church, and one day he was cleaning when he heard the phone ring. "St. John Lutheran Church," he said as he answered the phone. "Yes," said the person on the other end of the line, "What time is mass each week?" "Well," said my father plainly, "our service is at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning." "Just one mass?" said the voice on the other end of the line. "Just one service," my dad said. "That’s it?" the caller asked. "That’s it," said my dad. My dad then went on to ask the caller if he would like to talk to the pastor or to arrange a visit with him. "No," said the man, "no need," and the man abruptly hung up.
Later that day my dad mentioned the phone call to my brother. "I got the strangest phone call today at church," he said. "A man called and wanted to know what time church was, but he wasn’t in the least bit interested in coming!" "And every time he asked about the service he called it a mass!" My brother started to smile as he put two-and-two together. "It must have been Bob," he said. "It must have been Bob!"
Later that day my brother told me what had happened, and we laid out a plan. We would go into work the next day and walk straight to Bob’s office with a stern look on our face. We would call his bluff.
That next day we went into his office. "Bob," we said. "We are so happy that you are coming to church with us on Sunday." He sputtered and froze — after all, he didn’t know if we knew what he knew — and so he acted innocent. "What are you talking about?" he said hesitantly. "We are so happy that you are coming to church with us on Sunday," we said again. He finally figured out that we knew about the phone call and admitted it. "Your dad is the janitor?" he said. "Funny thing." He later apologized, and I don’t think he ever again bothered us about taking off for church on Sunday.
All three of the Seifferlein boys worked for Bob at one time or another in their career, every day except Sunday, that is. Rightly so, there are other things on Sunday, but none that take so high of priority. It was a good number of years ago that we worked there, yet when we get together, we still reminisce about our boss Bob. The word on the street is that he still works for the Orchards, and that he now runs the show himself …
… still on Sunday.