Jerry Vines Blog
Janet and I arrived a day early for the 1969 SBC in New Orleans. Our minister of music, Fred Barr, and his wife, Marjorie were with us. We checked in to our hotel and immediately headed to the French Quarter for some fine dining. We were puttin’ on the dog. We found a place named “The Ritz” (name changed to protect the guilty).
Upon entrance we were quickly seated and our table was surrounded by a host of servers in formal attire. With great fanfare they brought cheese spread and crackers to our table. They didn’t serve that at the Green Front Café in my hometown! We helped ourselves.
Then came the menu. I looked at the prices and thought, “This is the big one, Elizabeth!” The prices were astronomical. But, we were too deep into the cheese spread to leave. So we ordered the cheapest items on the menu.
Then we started watching other preachers and their wives entering. Cheese spread. Crackers. Menu. It was a show almost worth the price of admission. SBCers can be really funny when they are puttin’ on the dog.
The next day I attended the NOBTS alumni luncheon. Seated next to me was a pastor’s wife who was sure enough puttin’ on the dog. She had been everywhere, seen everything, knew everybody. Then she turned to me, and in her best SBC voice said, “Could you recommend a fine dining place for our evening meal?”
“Why, yes I can,” I said, “It’s in the French Quarter. I think it’s called The Ritz.”
That’s been 42 years ago. I would have spent the rest of my convention allowance to see her in the Ritz, puttin’ on the dog.