C. Lynn Gibson remembers his first job as being neither glamorous or fun. “The summer of 1986, I had just turned 16 and received my driver’s license. My sister Lisa got me what I thought would be a cozy dream job at a beach resort in South Carolina. The first day on the job, however, my boss, a cross between the Wicked Witch and Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies, threw me the keys to an oversized van and said, ‘Boy, drive to Piggly Wiggly in Georgetown, pick up some maids, and meet me at the condos, pronto. We’re way behind and have a lot of cleaning to do.’ My summer dream job at the beach suddenly took a nasty turn.”
• What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
“That Cool Hand Luke…he’s a natural born world-shaker.”
• What are you guilty of?
“My late night snack attacks are legendary. There’s even rumor that there are folk songs written about them in the mountains.”
• What is your favorite material possession?
“No question - it would have to be my IPod. My eclectic tastes in music keep my IPOD running quite often with anything and everything from Americana to Zydeco.”
• What are you reading currently?
“I am a big reader. Currently, I’m reading Glen Beck’s ‘An Inconvenient Book,’ N.T. Wright’s ‘Simply Christian,’ Robert Pyne’s ‘Lifespace: The Practice of Life with God,’ Frederick Buechner’s ‘Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation;’ Habib Malik’s festschrift, ‘The Two Tasks of the Christian Scholar: Redeeming the Soul, Redeeming the Mind,’ and Augustine’s ‘On Christian Doctrine.’ I know, perhaps I am a bit nerdy, but as a seminary prof once told me, ‘The cookies are often on the top shelf.’”
• Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“For me, it was my mom.”
• What was your most embarrassing moment?
“One Sunday morning long ago in church, apparently in a galaxy far far away, I was a little more than embarrassed when I realized that my fly had been unzipped all day and that I was wearing two different types of shoes. I guess that explains why the deacons were so kind enough to find me a special seat in the balcony that day.”
• When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I’m not sure about 5, but by the time I was 10, I was certain that I would grow up to be a stand-up comedian. My road from a fifth grade comic to a 21st century funeral director has not been exactly linear, but the journey has been well worth living.”
• If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Some would say that I have an ever so slightly receding hairline.”
• What is your passion?
“My faith in Christ is my passion. It’s what guides my thinking and gives my life its meaning. My greatest affection is to live out my life of faith with my family, my work, my church, and my community.”
• With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“I would very much enjoy lunching with Bono, not so much to give him tips on fashion and style, but to pick his brain about how he integrates his faith with his work and art.”
• What do you hate?
“You know when you reach for your towel after showering only to find that a caped crusader in the house has absconded with it for a far more important mission…I hate that.”
• What is the best book you’ve ever read?
“Of course, it is the Bible.”
Would you travel in space?
“If I could find my keys I might.”
What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“If my sons could choose for me, I’d probably be Indiana Jones for my son Will, the Lone Ranger for my son Owen, and the Lion King for my son Nate. Thankfully, the Wiggles wouldn’t make the list.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My dad and step-mother gave me a computer for Christmas when I was a teen - something novel for that time. Though I was originally disappointed that it didn’t play games like my Atari, it would later prove to be the catalyst that gave me a big head start in college and in my early work years.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“My mom is full of advice and always willing and eager to share. Many of her greatest sayings are passed down from her mother, like - ‘if I can just make it through today, I’m bound to make it through tomorrow!’ and, of course, ‘this is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.’
Who is your hero?
“My mother and father-in-law, Don and Judy Douglass come first to mind. I have so much respect for them. They’ve made it to a special time in life, having raised a family, watched their children do well in life, and really enjoy spending time with each other. That my wife and I could do so well is a major long-term goal of ours.”
What was your first car?
“A sassy blue 1966 Mustang. On my first trip out in it by myself, I made it all the way to the gas station before it broke down.”
Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
“Half-full - but if it should become empty, the waiter gets no tip.”