Best Of Grizzard - Ode To A Church Fan No. 2

  • Friday, February 3, 2023
  • Jerry Summers

There has arisen the question of whether Chattanooga/Hamilton County can retain its highly prized title of being the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” due to the influx of heathens, agnostics and atheists that may also be due to the heavy migration of non-believers from unnamed states on the Eastern and Western shores of our Nation.

Due to the overwhelming support and prayers of my multitude of regular Church going parishioners following my article on November 18, 2022, thesis in Lewis Grizzard’s (LG) 1980 book “Won’t You Come Home Billy Bob Bailey” (Peachtree Publishers) I have decided to finish the story about church fans used as a political message by an aspiring Moreland, Georgia citizen running for the State Senate, Buster Knowles, at election time. (A portion of the original article is repeated for the sake of clarity.)

“On one side of a church fan would always be a picture of Jesus sitting with children and a lamb or two and a pony in a soft meadow near a brook.

"That was obviously heaven to an eight-year-old, and I would stare at that picture during the sermon and wonder if pony rides were free when you crossed over Jordan. Certainly, I finally decided. That’s why they call it “heaven.”

"On the other side would be the commercial message of the funeral parlor or the politicians who had placed the fans.

“Hillside Funeral Home. All Insurance Policies Honored. Twenty-four Hour Ambulance Service. Ask About Our Chapel Rates.”

Or, “Elect Buster Knowles State Senator, Veteran, Family man, Deacon, Honest.”

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“Buster Knowles wasted a lot of money providing church fans, because he was never elected. He always included his smiling countenance on his fans, and he looked too much like the crooked Indian agent on “Tales of Wells Fargo.”

Fortunately, I have what is probably one of the last church fans. A person who knows of my concern for their demise gave me one, and I am forever in his debt.

One Sunday soon, I may even take my fan to church, and in case the sermon runs long, I can stare peacefully at the picture of heaven while the rest of the congregation sweats through a hell of a thought:

God and Jimmy the Greek forbid, but if the preacher doesn’t stop in five minutes, there goes the opening segment of “The NFL Today.”

(Do Episcopalians, The Church of God, Jewish Synagogues, or Muslim members, etc. use church fans?)

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You can reach Jerry Summers at

Jerry Summers
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