LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Garner Ted also sold books and offered a free subscription to The Plain Truth magazine which my Mom read like it was another version of the Bible. The radio show wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t had to listen to it. The only way it would come in loud and plain enough to hear and understand was if somebody stood in a chair and kept their hand on top of the radio. Guess who got stuck with that duty.
Then on another night of the week, there was a preacher, with a 15-minute faith healing show on the same station, who claimed he could cure anything if you’d just hold your hand on the radio and let him pray for you. He always had testimonials from deaf people who started hearing, blind folks that started seeing again, crippled up people who started walking again and stuff like that.
There wasn’t much cancer going around back in the 1950s but every once in awhile he’d cure a case or two of cancer or maybe TB. Anyway, I’d have to stand up there and hold my hand on top of the radio until the testimonials were all done and it came time to do some serious healing then Mom would let me get down so she could reach up and touch the radio and get cured. She could reach it from the floor without having to stand in a chair and I was always glad to get down because there was hardly ever anything wrong with me except for a touch of tonsillitis every now and then.
I’d have felt pretty stupid having that faith healer working on tonsillitis when he had all those deaf, blind, crippled-up and heart patients to deal with. Not to mention the occasional case of cancer and TB.