I grew up as a Jehovah’s witness in the Bay Area, California, and both of my grandmothers (maternal and paternal), were widely popular in their congregations.
My favorite memories of the conventions were also the food! They served these hoagie sammiches, shasta sodas, swiss miss puddings, and a good breakfast sandwich as well. They stopped serving food in the mid-nineties because people were not donating enough money.
Like you, I opted out in my late teens, and never regretted my decision. I remember clearly during a convention when I was around 6, when there was a skit with these two young women about to graduate high school, and they were discussing their plans after graduation. The takeaway was college was a bad idea- and that it was more favorable to be a pioneer and be out in service 40+ hours a week. :|
I feel that the religion is borderline cultish, but the brothers and sisters did watch out for both my grandmothers and stepped in when my family couldn’t to pitch in and help during their final days, with rides to the doctors, baths, and bringing meals, which I’ll always be appreciative of. Thanks this piece!!