Today is Easter Sunday 2017. I walk into to our bedroom to see my wife tuned into the Marble Collegiate Broadcast on TV. Many thoughts and memories come rushing to mind. When I went to synagogue on the Sabbath or the Holidays, there was always one non-Jewish guy working there. In this religion you are not supposed to work on the seventh day, the day of rest, or the High Holy days. So since someone had to come in, turn on the lights, maintain the building, work, etc., the synagogue would hire some non-Jew for that job. That person didn’t care if they worked on my Sabbath. That person was referred to as the “Shabbos Goy”, the Sabbath Non-Jew. Not a derogatory name in any sense of the word, just a matter of fact. So some years later when I was hired by the Marble Collegiate to be their equivalent to a Sabbath Goy, I had no problems with it. Certain times of the year I would operate the Marble Collegiate’s World Wide Broadcast from their joint control room on 28th St in the Church. It was my time to cover their broadcast and amplification, when their staff didn’t want to work. I guess for their religious reasons.It was actually a fun job. I had remote control of three professional TV camera’s with pan, zoom, and tilt controls. I had an audio mixing console with mostly the dual lavalieres for Norman Vincent Peale. There was control of the PA system, which was needed for the very large congregation. There were two giant Ampex video tape recorders, and an audio duplicating system for sending out tapes to Armed Forces Radio. Normally there would be 6 people or so operating this room. I did it for them myself. I was there on Holidays, evenings, special services, etc.
I would come into the Church. Go to the Control Room, unlock the door and power up, fire up the Cameras and Camera Control Units, the Console, the Sound System, etc.. I would battery up and test the two wireless lavalieres, then bring them down to Norman Vincent Peale’s study and help him put them on. Sometime we even spoke for a little while.
After the service he would come up to a small meeting room to meet with all of his church helpers, Church Ladies, Ushers, Contribution Collectors, etc. I would meet him there and take back the two wireless body packs and mics, which he had taken off very carefully. His sermons were very inspiring and heart-felt. They were not scolding, but uplifting. When I took back the mics I would often tell him so. It said to him I was really listening and paying attention to my job. Once he came up with an autographed book as a gift for me.
After a few visits the Church Ladies started to approach me. They would invite me for dinner, want to talk about me joining the Church, you get the drift. I would always just be cordial, and turn them down. Then after one sermon he came up to meeting hall and spoke very quietly to the Church Ladies. Basically he said I was OK and to just leave me be. I was OK as I was. The Church Ladies didn’t approach me again.
I am trying to download one of his Sermons I recorded to attach here.
“Norman Vincent Peale was the pastor of Marble Collegiate Church for 52 years and one of the most influential religious figures of the 20th Century. The author of 46 books, including the all-time inspirational best-seller, The Power of Positive Thinking. With Marble Church as a base, Dr. Peale launched far-reaching innovations in the decades of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. He was a dynamic motivational speaker on countless platforms, the co-publisher of the world’s leading inspirational magazine, Guideposts, and the co-founder of the first school for pastoral psychology, The Institutes of Religion and Health. Dr. Peale recognized the powerful impact of mass media and in 1935 launched a weekly radio broadcast, “The Art of Living,” which was to continue for a record-setting 54 years. His down-to-earth message of optimism, courage, and faith in God’s love for the individual has helped countless millions find confidence and inner peace.”