In an adjacent room down there was a relatively sizable JW library along with a table and chairs. I found out later that this is where many "strayed" Witnesses were counseled and sometimes disfellowshipped. I can't even begin to think of all the pain that people experienced in that small room, but as a child, I had no idea. I do recall one evening my mom pointing out a man who had been disfellowshipped. He regularly attended meetings, but no one was allowed to talk to him. After a certain period of time (if he was a good boy), he most likely was reinstated. I remember thinking that he must have done something pretty bad for the congregation to treat him that way.
One summer, the Witnesses had a get-together at a place called Farmer's Park (it was located about 10 miles from Winona). This is probably gonna shock the shit out of a few of you, but they actually had water balloons there. A bunch of kids (including me) grabbed one and proceeded to try to hit someone, anyone. It didn't matter. We just wanted the simple pleasure of getting somebody wet. There was this one guy who was a regular speaker at our Hall. I wanted to get him wet in the worst way. I got as close to him as I could and threw the balloon. God damn it! He dodged the balloon just as it was about to hit him!
I drowned my sorrow by grabbing a few hot dogs. I wasn't sure where my parents were, so found a picnic table to eat said weiners. I could've sat on either side of the table. One side faced all the Witnesses having fun and playing games, the other, just grass and trees. I chose to face the quietude of nature.
I guess that says a lot about me.