Coming of Age One Day at a Time

Last weekend, I asked John Frazer to give me a ride back from the vestry retreat (in what turned out to be the truck with the worst springs in the history of Georgia).  John and I have known each other for a long time both through All Saints’ and  my husband’s banking circle of friends. We know each other best of all through Covenant Community of which John  was an early days board member and has been a stalwart supporter for decades.  This is John Frazer’s coming of age story.


This is the worst riding truck ever, but a great guy.

“So in my Montgomery, Alabama high school, I was  class president and a three year letterman, and I thought I was hot stuff. Kind of fearless.  I had no idea.

Until the Citadel, this is kind of the way John’s life went.

When time for college came, the Citadel sounded good and I thought i would “walk on” for football.  Again I had no idea (a theme in my life) what I was getting into .  My parents took me to the airport, and I arrived in a yellow cab to the steps of the Citadel. Let me repeat,  I had no idea what I was getting into!  My football career ended up with me  toting towels and water bottles.

 Also when the Citadel shaves your head and puts everybody in the same clothes, does the Citadel know who you are or know what kind of high school hot stuff you were where you came from? NO.  And they don’t care!

Knobs.  Get it?

My parents came to see me on Labor Day weekend.  When they left I cried like a baby all afternoon. My father had given me the name of a friend of a friend of his – a Captain Cousins who taught in the History Department.  Dad said I could call him for a lifeline.

I called him and he came and picked me up and took me to his house.  And miraculously a little while later, a  recent Citadel grad showed up. I said to him I don’t see how I am going to graduate from the Citadel.  I don’t see how I am going to make it through my freshman year or even to Christmas.


And he said Buddy you’ve got it all wrong.  You’ve got to pray to God you can make it through lunch tomorrow.

Every fiber aching.


And then pray to God you make it through dinner.


Summerall Chapel. Picture John in the row behind you.


And so I did. I prayed relentlessly. Every day as a freshman, I would go in Summerall Chapel and  get down on my knees on the back row and pray to make it through the lunch formation.  (That’s when they would  yell at you the worst.)

And I did make it through. And make it through and make it through. One day at a time. That afternoon over at a stranger’s house with another stranger just giving me the hard truth of my situation was the turning point of my life.”

John’s mom and his future wife, Connie. Graduation.

One day at a time friends, one day at a time.  Pass this along to your favorite new collegiate or anybody else who needs a short and timely lifeline. Thank you John for passing the faith along.

Martha +

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