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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Kate Campbell on the Fox Tour, Rome, Ga to Easley SC

      Kate Campbell will be taking an unwitting Fox Family tour in a few days with an event at FBC  Rome Ga on Jan 28 and the following Saturday Feb 4 at my sister's church in Easley SC. My Dad was raised in Rome where my grandfather moved in 1929 and died in 1979. My Dad left in the late 40s but went back at least once a year the rest of his life, and we lived there in and out from fall of 81 to October 1986.

     Cousins still live there and two sisters came back to Rome for the ending 30 years of their lives. Aunt Virginia was there all the time.

      The Billy Foxxes grew up in Gaffney. Kate has performed in several churches in the Upstate over the years but this is a first for a church of active family members, in Easley.

    Rome is the home of the parents and grandparents of Isabel Wilkerson, the first black woman to win the National Book award in Nonfiction. She has roots in the Thankful Baptist Church about a half mile from where Kate will be performing, and less the three football fields from where my parents were married in 49.

   But it is in Easley I hope Kate doubles down on an intro to her magnificent cover of Kris Kristofferson's My God They Killed Him, about Martin King, Mahatma Ghandi and Jesus Christ.....On the Road to Glory.

     There are a lot of grand figures with ties to the Civil Rights Movement from nearby Furman, and I'm hoping my friend Jim Pitts, longtime Chaplain at Furman, the son of Richard Nixon's Barber; I'm hoping Pitts is there.

    Furman is the alma mater of Marshall Frady, whose biography of King is exquisite. Like Kate and me, his Dad was a Baptist preacher. At the request of Will Campbell, the only white man to be at the Lorraine Motel the night of Martin Luther King's assassination in Memphis, Pitts and his great friend TC Smith read a eulogy of  Campbell for Frady when Frady died in 2004.

     TC Smith flew from Berkely California in 1965 to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge with King and the Civil Rights workers. Later Smith was longtime member of the religion faculty at Furman. Marching with Smith that day was another Furman grad, Martin England, a founder of the Koinonia Farms in Americus Ga with Clarence Jordan.

    England is widely known to be the major courier of King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail to the rest of the world. When he died another Furman professor and champion of human rights, Albert Blackwell said: "Martin England had an appetite for justice!"

    These unsung white folks foot soldiers, mostly lost in the crowd maybe with the exception of Campbell and Frady outside the Furman community deserve recognition, a newly charged telling of their story.  I hope Kate makes notice when she sings at Easley for a new generation. I know some of those children who will be in the audience that night. They need to hear.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Morning Joe, Finebaum and Jim from Tuscaloosa

       I was on hold for 27 minutes yesterday waiting to get on the Finebaum show then bailed out. Was going for a twofer Thursday as I had gone national earlier in the morning with a callin to NPR One A show that replaced Diane Rehm.

    Was gonna talk to Finebaum about the malaprop--had it been a word instead of a photo-- of the "master game day psychologist Nick Saban"--use of the Ali/Sonny Liston photo. See blog below.

     So I took a walk and came back to Finebaum later. Jim from Tuscaloosa was on as ignorant as ever as in the Randy Newman song don't know his ass from a hole in the ground. He and New Yorker David Remick's friend--that would be Finebaum--were talking about Bama grad Joe Scarborough and Jim was talking about how he is smarter than Morning Joe and Mika.

     Well here is what they don't know. Joe Scarborough like Senator Richard Shelby, the Bama "Legend" ain't all that when you compare the lot (Jeff Sessions, Mike Hubbard, Bama SBC Prez Rick Lance) to the Great Bama Republican Judge Frank Johnson.

     Joe of FBC Pensacola where a good Baptist from Ohatchie Barry Howard is pastor, got his comepuppance, the real story on the GOP since Reagan in Garry Wills piece in the Ny Rev of Books a couple years ago.

     And the Bleaching policy of the Bama GOP, that is what Greg Sankey, Finebaum Morning Joe and Don't know his ass from a hole in the ground Jim from Tuscaloosa need to be talking about.

    Here are three links including my comment on 1a show of NPR in the last five minutes yesterday.

     Finebaum, Ryan McGhee has my contact info. Give me a call. I'm good for an hour.

Have Senator Shelby staff help you find this article online. The second half the half the teaser deleted is the guts of the matter, about Lee Atwater's race strategies that lead to Bama Sessions and Hubbard Bleacing in the New Republic piece above.

     Time for a sit down with David Remnick,  Coach Saban, Greg Sankey. Jim from Tuscaloosa can listen on the radio.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sonny Liston's Revenge; Condi Rice wrong about Sessions

        Of the blanket coverage on the many ESPN affiliates including the SEC network Monday all day long before the Natty, one segment that surfaced and caught my eye was the picture of Cassius Clay Ali standing over Sonny Liston in the second fight, the Knockout. Ali is standing victorious over his foe. ESPN says Nick Saban used that pic to inspire his Crimson Tide for the second game against Clemson. He wanted there to be no second guesses, wanted to defeat Clemson two times in a row so the Tide in Playoff era could be as great as Ali.

    A hundred fifty pounder from Socastee High School from Myrtle Beach South Carolina Hunter Renfrow and his friend Deshaun Watson of Hall County Georgia, next door to Forsyth--see Patrick Phillips, Blood at the Root--let Nick Saban and the "Mighty" Crimson Tide know they are not Ali. The Bear is Dead, Saban is almost 70, Kiffin is in Florida and It is Over!!!

     And who is Nick Saban to invoke Ali. I had a conversation with his Rhodes Scholar nominee Greg McElroy and Paul Finebaum on the radio couple years ago about the Bear and George Wallace. Now we have Nick and Bama legend Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions in the Age of Trump.

   Nick Saban fails where Bear Bryant did as the New Republic article Farewell to the Bear suggests. Finebaum said it was one of the best articles ever written about Bama's storied Football tradition. Greg McElroy was taking notes.

     Mohammed Ali was not silent on matters that Nick Saban avoids. There is no evidence that Saban has engaged Richard Shelby the UBama Legend and Greg Sankey SEC Commish on this "Elephant" in the Room. Saban was not worthy to invoke Ali as a totem to inspire this years lackluster--without Kiffin--team.

   Condi Rice is on the National Committee with Archie Manning and friends to choose the final four. Stay with me, I'm going somewhere.

      Saban has his hands full. He is to be congratulated for his Million dollar contribution to St Francis Catholic Student Ministries in Tuscaloosa. My guess is most of them voted against Donald Trump and are against Jeff Sessions for Atty General.

    Condi Rice has some explaining to do the U Bama faculty. Jeff Sessions is opposed by United Methodist Bishop Will Willimon on immigration reform. The Republican party in the state of Alabama is a "bleaching" party--see Mike Hubbard in the Zengerle article in New Republic--weaking the future political power of minorities by gerrymandering. How does Condi Rice explain that to the extended families of the football players of the Tide and Auburn War Eagles.

       Where is Jeff Sessions on the Daley book Rattfucked? and where is he on Kathy Cox's book Dixie's Daughters on the Daughters of the Confederacy? Where was Condi Rice's conversation with Rosa Parks on that one.

      A Statue is one thing. Living extended families of Derrick Henry and Reuben Foster and Jaylen Hurst is another.

      If Jeff Sessions had been in the courtroom in 65 instead of Judge Frank Johnson, a truly great Alabama Republican unlike Sessions and Shelby; Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights marchers would still be in Selma waiting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

   In her heart Condi Rice must know that and she should have that conversation with Archie Manning, Greg McElroy, Paul Finebaum, Nick Saban and Kenny Stabler's children.

     Greg Sankey SEC Commissioner said in Hoover back in August he is open to this conversation. Let's hope it's not too late.

     God Bless Deshaun Watson and Hunter Renfrow. There have been some honorable players on the Tide this year, but the state of Alabama in this Trump moment did not deserve two in a row.

    God's Will Was done in the last second in Tampa Early Tuesday morning. I believe that.


Friday, January 06, 2017

How does the Most Intellectual of GHS Class of 71 Change a Flat Tire?

       First he calls every friend he ever thought he had  in NE Bama to see if they will change it for him. Since he has less friends than he used to after he got voted out of the local Babdist church, he lets flat sit in front yard for three weeks while he goes to SC for Christmas holidays
   If Flat hasn't fixed itself while Steevie is out of town. Steevie takes Monday off on return cause its rainin, catches a ride to town to get a hamburger. Tuesday is a rest day and on Wednesday he rides his bike to town, but the Mexican cannot understand him so he rides to Railroad park. A Republican passes and says Steevie should try some WD 40 overnight. Maybe that was Tuesday. On Wednesday  Steevie catches another ride to town to see Duke and Villanova basketball on TV.

  On Thursday Stevie checks the wd 40 as the Republican suggested and sure enough it works. Steevie Jacks up Car and takes tire up for friend to retrieve and take to Ft payne where a woman has left some at kind price.

   Steevie doesn't have a spare so four days of 2017 are spent hustling.

     Friend brings back tire late, I mean real late Thursday night and places on bolts for Stevie to tighten early Friday morn and let Jack down.

   On Friday before the winter snow storm Steevie Goes to the Public library near the Cracker Barrel for Friday Cod.

   And that is how we roll, how the elite changes flat tires in Bama, in Donald Trump's America.

    God Bless the United States of America.

   Oh yeah, yes I did see 30 minutes of Netflix piece Barry and I'm proud of it.

   Happy New Year, ever damn one of yall.

  Go Tigers, Bama needs a little humility.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 in review: "It's all so fuckin hysterical"

  This was is a work in progress so check back in in ten days or so. I got some more to say   

For the record the f bomb was frowned on in my house growing up and I didn't cuss at all till I was about 25. But most people in Gaffney didn't understand what you were talking about especially in commerce and politics unless you were versed in the dark language. I remember the first time I heard the word. I was in about the fourth grade and a black kid about 3 years older over on New Street came out with it. Ricky Bailey and Barry Moore had heard it but was new one for me.

    I asked about it at supper that night. Lot of silence, can't remember an attempt to define, but it was clear not a word that was to be uttered in our house.

    But as earlier blogs have discussed this is the year the country was Rattfucked and Donald Trump became President of the United States and Franklin Graham said it was less Putin's hacks as it was an "act of God". That is why it's all so fuckin hysterical.

   Some of you I'm sure know the phrase from Connor before he became James Bond in the Tom Hanks and Paul Newman Road to Perdition of about 15 years ago, a great movie in my book as is this year's Manchester by the Sea. Fuck em if they don't give Casey Affleck the Oscar on that one.

     My friend Bill Leonard got it right today in his piece in Baptist News about the Wind Up Jesus. Google that one. Will Campbell and Jonathan Daniels. Ive lost two facebook friends in the last 36 hours trying to explain how Adrian Rogers and WA Criswell got us to this Trump moment. And research the life and career of the Baptist bastard James Deloach who did the bidding of Jesse Helms in getting rid of my Dad's classmate Randall Lolley at Southeastern Seminary.

   Rick and Bubba don't have a damn clue neither does Cliff Simms of Bama's Yellowhammer News but they are ridin high now thinking the pussy grabber is the second coming of Jesus.

     Well lets move on. I kept my head above water for the most part last year and kept despair at bay. Leon Russell died and Leonard Cohen and Muhammad Ali and every year it is ever more apparent I'm gonna die too. What was it Ziggy Stardust, who also left us last year, said: When the world is spinning down, you take the rest of what's still around." With Leonard Cohen's Broken Bell gonna do my best to put one foot in front of the other this next year and shed a little light where I can and damn the darkness when needs be.

   I fell off my bicycle back in January. Embarrased myself in downtown Collinsville but didn't break anything. Bled a little so I went to the bench across from the Barbershop to give the Historical Society a little banter for the next meeting.

  I had 8,865 hits on my blog last month. so somebody is reading and I feel a compulsion to get more sanity out there for my audience (ha)

   Was a good year for Martha Barksdale as you see back in July in the apotheosis blog. I congratulate her for that. The Lighting of the Cricket Marquee was a good day for Collinsville. I hope we can get Mark Wilson to the theatre for a much needed conversation about Trump and the Daughters of the Confederacy, maybe a group read of Kathy Cox, Dixie's Daughters.

   At years end caught Manchester by the Sea and Jackie. Mrs Kennedy Onassis did not smoke as she makes clear in the film but she did remember everything. Her conversations with the Priest are as good as Fleming Rutledge sermons and a good Marilynne Robinson essay.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

HS Basketball in NE Bama on Eve of Trump Administration.

   The Little princess gymnast cheerleader from Sand Rock, The Rock, High School was barking like a dog by the 3rd period of the boys game last Friday Night in the LD Dobbins arena in Collinsville Alabama.

   The place was packed and rocking as Collinsville just a few months ago had renewed the football rivalry with Sand Rock about 7 miles away up on mostly Lily White Lookout Mountain, Alabama.

  I knew it was gonna be a helluva game when I looked up from sittin with Donnie Mac Myers of the Weldon Parrish administration, looked up and saw 8th grader kayla Beene hittin a layup calm as a cucumber. Out there with the big girls. Was proud to know her Uncle Russ who once tried to put the ball in play in the same arena through the backboard. Kayla may not be the next Heather Mayes, but then again nobody will ever be the next Heather Mayes. The Panthers had Mayes teammate at Jax State, now the Rock Coach, sufferin. Got close at the end but shoulda been a route.

   One of the biggest crowds I'd seen since the Wayne Dowdy days of the late 80s and Solomon Stanton's glory years in the mid 90s.

   I traveled over to the Waffle House back in October on a Thursday night trying to get on the radio with Scott Wright and Sand Rock legend Rusty Jacoway radio, but there audience tech man wasn't present so no on air fame for me. Meanwhile I had missed the memo and didn't get to see Raymond Weaver at the Collinsville pep ralley in front of the lit up marquee Cricket Theatre in Downtown Collinsville.

   Weaver reports say recounted the second game he played against Sand Rock about 76 when Wellington Hope ran all over the Rock Wildcats. Caused Bad blood and the on again off again football series ended in 94, 95 or so and didn't pick up again till last year.

   Several fights over the years. Revenant and local historian Wayne Clanton Sunday night was telling me about the famous game in 58 in the old gym now dedicated to Bama Hall of Famer Lindy Hood, where the local crackers were stacked in like Pancakes. Collinsville teacher  Wendale Tidmore hit the end game buzzer while a sand rock basket was in the air, a shot that made its mark but the game was called for Collinsville and it was bedlam. Big Brawl, even a woman takin off her heels and beating a man in the face on the floor.

   Brawl lasted an hour plumb out to the railroad across Highway 11.

   Then there have some near misses and almost brouhahas over the years, a tense game I saw in 88 when some Rockers at their place went after my friend Dwight as he was headed down the stairs to the away locker. That was right after the Fred Lockett era, Fred from Lebanon and one of the finest Americans Ive ever met anywhere.

     There were rumors of the N Word being trafficked on snap chat and Instagram this year. But Nigger aint what it used to be as my friend Herman Kerley dismissed the term in a doc on Collinsville back in 2002 shown on statewide PBS. Good doc featuring former mayor Willingham who has property in the Brownfell community near The Rock, and Herman Prado.

    Kerley, who a student at Alabama state in Montgomery in the late 50s was in church with Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks. Kerley said in the doc there used to be a sign in Crossville about 8 miles west of Collinsville on Sand Mtn, that said: "Read Nigger Run and if you can't read, run anyway."

    He laughed and he should.

     So I guess the Sand Rock princess had reason to be barking by the 3rd period as the Rockers were down by about 20 points in their new uniforms. I laughed with her. In another time, another place we could be friends. She reminded me of a joke a Miss Alabama contestant from Gardendale told me once but I fear misinterpretation at this point. About JAPS, an anacronym in a Joan Rivers Routine.

   I wouldn't be surprised if she goes into real estate some day.

    The Rock is in the Provinces but things aren't like they used to be. Scott Wright wrote up their 85 gridiron campaign in Fire on the Mtn, and those children get around. Wormy Norris's grandson Riley,  is a starter for U Bama roundballers and does a good job. These kids go to Rome Ga and Disney world and have seen some things and had conversations with the rich kids who come up from Atlanta to Lake Weiss in the summer. Bush 43 Atty Gen Alberto Gonzalez Mother in law  lives there and BeyoncĂ© herself has ancestry in Gaylesville which you can almost get to on the Lake.

   And from Collinsville Charlie Hood escaped in 65 and went to Berry and over to Cobb County Georgia where he coached Dale Ellis who played for UTenn and then Patrick Ewing's son who played for Georgetown where my hero LJ Peak of Gaffney South Carolina, now owns the court. So if the locals say Nigger as Kerley points out, they don't say it with as much confidence and enthusiasm as they used to cause they know it don't scour very far after they leave the front yard.

   I'm hoping some of them become acaquainted with Isabel Wilkerson who has roots in Rome Ga and is calling for some truth and reconciliation conversations. With the event today in Gadsden Alabama with Bryan Stevenson that is not as far fetched an idea as some in the Daughters of the Confederacy might've imagined even a couple years ago.

   Who knows what Jennifer Wilkins and Mark Wilson will bring to the Cricket Theatre in the next couple years.

   I imagine about 87 percent of the Collinsville crowd voted Trump and 96 percent of the Sand Rock crowd. All that wasn't race based though a member of an influential family in Collinsville is convinced Hillary Clinton killed 34 people. Not too many people in either school listen to Diane Rehm show. Most think the Daughters of the Confederacy tell the truth about the civil war.

    Hal Crowther's piece on the DAC and the New Mind of the South Revisited is as easy google at John Grisham's Oxford American, but you won't find Oxam  Mag at the Collinsville Public Library at least until Wilkins gets a stamp of approval from Mark Wilson is my existentialism on that one.

    Even more disappointing is a few folks who think James Dobson was a better person to trust on who Christians should vote for, him and Rick and Bubba over Jesus Christ and Bishop Willimon; and I'm afraid too many fans never read my friend Sam Hodges For the Love of Alabama or Pelikans Jesus Through the Centuries or even are aware of the Collinsville connections to all three Christian martyrs in bust in Westminster Abbey.

   I think Gloria Morgan has added one more to her list and I'm proud of her for that. She was at the game Friday beside the scorer's table. Her sister's church in Cobb County Ga, Bryant Wright's Johnson Ferry BC--they got spotlighted on CBS 60 Minutes in October-- is housing Syrian refugees so there is a finger in Trump's eye at least on one count.

     I had a lot more I wanted to say about the history of the county and the cross pollination among the teams and the unofficial visit of some girls in the class of 91 to Sand Rock and how both sets of cheerleaders should see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and talk to their Mothers about The Heathers which was a big flick in the 90s.

   But here. I have to live here and so far except for the chase in 06 that got a few sirens relatively unscathed, at least physically. Thirty years in Bama will take its toll on anybody.

    I will say this, back in the Spring when Black Lives Matter--see the story about the  Bunk Richardson fellow hanging from the Bridge in Gadsden in 1902 in tomorrow's Gadsden paper and read my spare parts blog--was a good story about a 20 something of color from Bama coming back from NYC with a Yankee friend of same race. As they got to North Carolina and then South, Georgia and then Bama the confederate paraphernalia was more and more evident waving from pick up truck and on bumper stickers. Yankee Negro was getting tense. It was evident. He said to the Bama POC how can you stand it. Bama dude said, chill out, these crackers are my friends. When I see all this shit and hear em chantin Roll Tide and for the Bear and Robert E Lee, that's when I know I'm home.

   Maybe there is some hope in that; that and maybe Mark Wilson and Martha Barksdale getting more people to listen to NPR and Jason Barnett as a Republican School Supe Expecting More.

    I guess we're about to find out.

   If you've read this far, come back early next year. Maybe some refinement and some add ons or a part Two

And here was the view from Sand Rock press

Update, and the followup last night was something. I was there:

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Trump, NYTimes, Fake News and Bama's Rick and Bubba and Yellowhammer News; Samford YAF

    Samford U, historically Baptist college had a riff raff last week with Yellowhammer News over YAF student group wanting certification. I saw similar mess in 93 with the near 2,000 fundamentalist Baptist preachers and Bircher friends of Albert Lee Smith hold an Inquisition of then President Tom Corts.

     Will say a lot more about this later. But all in a package today with NPR sterling hours on NY Times and Trump on Fresh Air, and earlier Diane Rehm on fake news and its time for some conversations next year at Samford and Bham Southern. I'm ready to talk to Rick and Bubba, and Cliff Simms with somebody neutral moderating, holding the microphone.

   Sad when otherwise decent people convinced themselves Hillary Clinton killed 34 people, a matter addressed directly this morning on; and James Dobson convinced Baptist preachers whose children go to UVA, Duke and Yale Trump is better for evangelical Christians than a lifelong Methodist Woman.

     Come back to this. Will spotlight the letter NY Times lawyers sent to Trump when he threatened libel. Up there with starkness to my facebook friend Tupelo Hassman's open letter to Jeff Sessions, roughly titled Kitty fights back.

   In meantime google, good Christian friends rejoicing over Donald Trump. As The Nutty Professor said to Cletus, "go ahead, it aint nuttin but a short walk!'