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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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 Random thoughts and memories

  I'm well into my 62nd year now as Thanksgiving rolls around. For the most part growing up in Gaffney SC it meant riding down to Rome Georgia to see Nanny and Papa and then on Thursday afternoon or Friday over to Collinsville Alabama to see Aunt Jean and Uncle Bill and dash back to Gaffney Sat afternoon cause my Dad was a preacher and had to preach at Bethany on Sunday morning. Now I live across the street from Uncle Bill and Aunt Jean so I go in reverse most of the way to see my Brother and Sister and their family in the Pickens County vicinity.

      I am on the verge of opening a vein and killing all the little darlings--don't take that literal, it's some literary allusion to cutting out the censor and letting it all hang out; well this library computer just chewed up a great thought so to hell with it. I'm not quite going for that today....It was a sweet memory of my departed Mother that had my eyes moist about three am last night and some reference to episodic maudliness.

   I thought about going to war with the Morgans for about the 7th time. This time over Jojo retort in the Southern Torch Facebook wall over the role his Mother played in the ouster from Collinsville Baptist Church, and free speech; but to hell with that idea, not worth it. Besides I just read a great piece in the New Yorker about North Caolina BBQ and the and Jojo's brother went to Duke and sends a witty text on occasion and I haven't had time to talk with him about the BBQ piece yet.

   And then there is that ( I deleted the profanity in an edit, let's just call him abysmally disconcerting) Uncle Prentice who has been too long in this world and about to sabotage all pleasant memories of the Fox Family and grand get togethers in the past, some of which he added relish to.

   And of course there is ISIS and the reaction of right wing radio in Bham Alabama which enrages some of my days, but what the Hell can you do with either one of them. Close as I can get is Marilynne Robinson's great piece, "Memory"  in her new collection of essays The Giveness of Things. What's frustrating to put it mildly is you suggest something that sublime to a fundy and instead of reading it, they just quote another verse of Scripture they never understood in the first place and think you are a smartass if you try to explain it to them.

   And I just noticed Ana Alaru, the perfectly cast Rachel in screen version of my friend Ron Rash's Serena, has taken up the cause of the Syrian Refugee. Rachel was a refugee of sorts herself, fleeing great evil in North Carolina whose Governor now has reservations about the vetting process, for better clime of Tennessee on the way to Washington state. I've messaged Alaru to consider Robinson and Memory.

    Well Revenant comes out in Theatres in December, I read a good Robert Bly poem or got word of it back in October and the Clemson/South Carolina marching Bands are going to join together Saturday to Be South Carolina Strong in Memory of the Charleston Nine.

   Hopefully by the SC primary early next year some of the bastards in the GOP field will be honest about the legacy of Strom Thurmond and Lee Atwater. Who knows.

   God Bless America, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Pilgrims who sent us in the direction of Turkey and Family Get togethers and the words at the end of Pynchon's Inherent Vice.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Turkey Trot 2015 in Collinsville Alabama

     Some Random thoughts. Was pretty day, historic day as Martha and her Vandellas have moved into the bank building downtown with their History Museum. I was impressed with all they had collected, but not sure what it all means. I do hope the Historical Society will read How the South Won the Civil War in the New Yorker and have Mark Wilson's great friend in Collinsville, Jennifer Wilkins get a copy of Paul Theroux's new travel book, The Deep South, as New Yorker recommends. Then they might have some insight, some way to frame all the stuff they have collected.

   I hope to go back soon and spend more time. I don't think they have any clippings of Brett Morgen's documentary on Collinsville or the day William Moore walked through town though you woulda thought so with the standing ovation they gave the Mosaic Players when the came to the Cricket last Thursday.

     James Payton is to be commended for the great work he does with the Greased Pig contest, and Still Kickin, the Sons of Liberty and Willie Underwood do a great job with the entertainment.

     It was solid event and the tradition continues. As the Howard and Kukendall piece in the Alabama History pamphlet of 1984 reveals, the Turkey trot has a great history indeed. I think somewhere on this blog I have Rucker Agee's grand quote from 1924 or so. And the Goodyear Blimp came over in 29.

    So to paraphrase the narrator in Inherent Vice, God Bless Momma's hometown and the annual Turkey Trot.

    May have more thoughts about the hometown weekend and next day trip to Rome Ga with a reference to the Allman Brothers, later.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Notasulga Alabama and the Collinsille Cricket

  Last Night I attended the historic performance at the Cricket Theatre in Collinsville Alabama. Go to facebook and register the Auburn Mosaic Theatre Company and there are links there to a Southern Torch piece on the Cricket and a link to the Tuskegee Oral History project that was the muse for this reading last night.

      Strong performance by the student group and strong subject matter on the integration of Tuskegee High School in 63 with names like Bobby Kennedy, John Dorr and Governor Wallace sprinkled throughout. I spoke to some of the cast after the show, and the director before.

     She is from Lagrange, Ga, and the oral history project was conducted by Auburn's Mark Wilson, the chair of the search committee that brought Auburn's most recent FBC pastor to town. Auburn is one of the strongest CBF congregations in the state where Pulitzer nominee Wayue Flynt teaches an unflinching Sunday School Class. So some of the locals have some explaining to do re the Cricket Glory last night and the events of May 28, 2006 in the Collinsville Baptist Church. See Exiled Generations, UTenn Press, Carl Kell Editor.

     I was particularly impressed Tori Lewis, who was the voice of Tuskegee White Aristocrat Helen Lewis, born 191; and Daphney Portis who was the voice of Wilma Jones Scott and Marsha Sullins Slocum. I would like to meet the real Ms Sullins Slocum a woman of color in Tuskegee born in 47. Her oral history for my ticket was the apotheosis in a stellar bunch.  And I liked the detail in one voice of an Uncle "Detroit" Lee. Began ringing authentic for my ear at that early point in the show.

    Tori is a native of New Mexico and lived all over in a military household, but had one of the best Bama accents in the ensemble. I asked her later if that was natural or an affect and she said she's worked on it.

     They had a workshop atMomma's alma mater today, where just back in February some national news was gained when our county school school rupe supe denied a viewing to the history class of the movie Selma. So there is some resolution in that aspect.

     With the caveats above, all in all a grand end of the week for the local History club, Martha and her Vandellas and Collinsville High School.

    Notasulga grabbed my attention as one of the Tuskegee voices was from there. Cousin Tim Wood lived on Notasulga street in Rome, Ga and Wyche Fowler made the name famous for me in a tale he told all over Ga when he ran for for US Senate in 84 or so with a story about his days on the weekend in Atlanta as dispatcher in the constabulary.

    Now I guess it's on to Marco Rubio in Guntersville December 1 and let's win there!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

One Way Woodlawn, The Movie and the Propaganda

  This is a rough draft blog so come back soon to see revised edition.

   I just saw the Erwin Brothers movie Woodlawn after hearing their father live this morning on Andrea Linde3nberg's right wing so called Christian radio show. Hank is a nice fellow and is portrayed in the film as the Chaplain who attended Billy Graham and Campus Crusade's Explo 72 Dallas extravaganza. But the moive doesn't talk much about the Nixon's administrations designs or what Lee Atwater made of them. Cuttin to the chase it fails Bonhoeffer's "politics of stupidity" test.

    To be honest I liked the film a lot in certain areas. My Father chaired the Bill Glass Crusade for Christ in Gaffney SC in May of 75 so I am not immune to the meshing of football and Jesus. Wayne Whiteside said the Revival changed him a little.

     But what Rick and Bubba and Cliff Simms and Yellowhammer News don't follow up on is what fundamentalists in the Southern Baptist Convention did with this sophomoric mindset. They're demonizing of the Separation of Church and State in the movie could be a spin on what Adolph did in
Germany. But that calls for Rick and Bubba and Cliff to sit down with some people of goodwill who are wiser in these matters but they are too stubborn to do so cause they are absolutist.

    I liked the movie. It reminded me of some things that happened in Gaffney and some lifelong friends of people of color I made in those days of racial transition.

   I'm gonna recommend the flick to every HS kid I know cause it could be of some good for them. I just hope they don't stop there as Rick and Bubba have but go on to read Moses and Jesus and the Trickster, even the Charles Marsh bio of Bonhoeffer cause DBon rode near if not through Woodlawn in 31. ;long time before Tony Nathan, a true America hero--great scene in the movie where Natahan stands up to George Wallace and his handlers--Billy Graham and The Bear.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Woodlawn, the Freedom Caucus and the Politics of Stupidity

     This last week on Christian right media in Birmingham, Alabama has been an extravaganza promotional week for the Erwin Brothers movie Woodlawn. In the genre of Rudy and the Billy Graham simple salvation stories of the 60s Woodlawn has considerable merit and I intend to see it first chance I get. I hope Joe Scarborough unpacks the politics of it all.
   In Bham it has been trumpeted almost exclusively by Rick and Bubba good ole boy comedians who have direct ties to the flick including a son cast in the movie, and Crawford Broadcasting of a John Birch Society, Tea Party, Freedom Caucus stripe which entangles itself with the fundamentalist politics of the Southern Baptist Convention. Russ Moore of the SBC ERLC has been on the show and burgeoning media Mogul Cliff Simms of Yellowhammer enterprises who moonlights with Crawford has interviewed four of the GOP Presidential candidates and counting.
    As I have blogged previously they have a shadowy relationship with Church at Brook Hills whose recent pastor is now head of the SBC IMB; so this network in Paul Pressler's dream and not so innocent.
    Just ask Bill Moyers or Wayne Flynt.
     Freedom Caucus was great chat yesterday on NPR Fresh Air program.
    I have blogged at some lengthy about Wuthnow's Rough Country and the Lee Atwater memo in that book.
     Appears to be good movie, Woodlawn, another piece of the civil rights era and its aftermath in league with Duke's Tim Tyson Blood Done Sign my Name and the works of Charles Marsh about 60s in Mississippi.
    This who phenomena cuts many ways, but I am concerned about how Rick N Bubba and Yellowhammer have inveighled themselves into the religious political drinking water in Bama.
      As I've mentioned to some of them, Marilynne Robinson's recent interview with President Obama at is goon medicine for this fundy religious political diseases in Bama.
    I can't remedy it on my on; and the likes of Brandt Ayers and Flynt have written about it over the last 40 years and counting. But Like ISIS somebody has to engage if not confront these folks or we end up where Bonhoeffer on New Year's eve of 1944 with the politics of stupidity--his phrase--running amok.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Freedom Caucus and SBC Takeover

   In the Freedom Caucus Paul Pressler;s for a Southern Baptist America is almost a done deal. Today on Yellowhammer News Mike Huckabee told Baptist preacher's son Cliff Sims Daniel Webster was his Florida chair for President in 08.   A call to Webster's DC office revealed Webster's ties to SBC President Jim Henry.
      Though not an FC member, FBC Sburg's Trey Gowdy has all the trimmings of FC loyalty and adoration from the Tea Party and what Pressler wrought in the SBC.
     Former UNC chancellor Bill Friday told Cecil Sherman in early 90s the most significant event in North Carolina in the 80s was the fundamentalist takeover of Southeastern Seminary, my Dad's alma mater. In that ACQUISTION, the politics of Pressler and Jesse Helms had a new foothold in the pulpits in suburbs and hamlets across the Southeast.
   For necessary background reading see Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country on the legacy of WA Criswell; and Lee Atwater's "nigger memo."
    For this cancer to be controlled Upstate SC must find a replacement for Trey Gowdy and little by little tea party districts come to their senses.
    The first 11 chapters of Genesis nor the Constitution of the United States was written so we could come to the point that a 17 week old fetus take the life of a 30 year old woman or elementary and juco children be at the mercy of somebody hitting an assault weapon armed mental patient hell bent on taking multiple lives cause Tea Party Christian America thinks it better to take him out with a baseball or a bull rush or a can of beans when thoughtful people can follow the lead of Australia with a concentrated conversation referenced in the Diane Rehm discussion of MOnday at and a careful viewing of the Frontline Doc Series on PBS on the politics of the NRA.
    Also see Randall Balmer's Redeemer President on the Baptist fundy politics that displaced President Carter, and Charles Marsh bio of Bonhoeffer on the politics of stupidity.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Homily for SEC Primary

     Here is my text from current New Yorker article by Paul Finebaum's friend at the New Yorker, David Remnick; article on Mother Emanuel

     Darby smiled and engaged her in chitchat about the heroic heat and humidity before he resumed: “Remember, there was not a trace of ambiguity about what happened here. They couldn’t pull out a rap sheet—these were nine people of impeccable character—and they were killed in a church by a white man who wanted to kill black people to start a race war! And he said so! So it flies in the face of any notion of post-racial America, an America so proud of itself because it elected an African-American President. Some of the reaction is driven by the need to say, ‘It’s not me, I’m not like that.’ Dylann Roof is not that extraordinary. He is kind of typical—extreme, but typical. If you build a politic, as we have done in America since Nixon and Reagan, in which election strategies are based on distrust of the other, well, some folks will react on a political level and vote based on racial fear. The truly unbalanced will do what this kid did.”  end quote

   Jeb! Bush was at the Georgia South Carolina game Saturday. It made a story on NPR. SEC primary is big this year and Bama is in play, especially on the "Christian ministry" of Crawford Broadcasting in Bham. See my blog Yellowhammer Quackery.

      Bush 41 in 1966 addressed the Harris County Texas John Birch Society putting his political future on the line. Since that time the Bushes from Lee Atwater to Karl Rove have joined the compromises of Nixon and Reagan to place the party of Lincoln in an Atticus Finch of Go Set a Watchman disposition. The latest is the thicket of Carson and Trump re Muslim presidents.

   FTR I am not disposed to vote for a Muslim for President but I did vote for Barack Obama twice. not just because he is a Christian but because I am a good Baptist.

   The Baptist callers and hosts at Crawford Broadcasting and Trey Gowdy's FBC Spartanburg Truth for a New Generation conference are of a different stripe. They are spotlighted with some dismay in Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country and Randall Balmer's recent religious political bio of President Carter.
   Last night on Fox News the National Reviews Rich Lowry said the last last three Democrat Presidents, and he named them, Carter, Clinton and Obama have been weak on radical Islam.
    Furman, Carson Newman, Wake Forest, Samford, Baylor and Wofford and Birmingham Southern and other historic Baptist and Methodist institutions must engage this moment. Bone up on Wuthnow and Balmer and Emory's Joe Crespino.
   Fundamentalism across religious traditions is the problem. I think Bush 41 in 1966 was figuring that out but he shapeshifted to stay with the party.
   This conversation is serious. Meet the Press and Joe Scarborough can have Balmer and Wuthnow on in the next ten days.
     Bennett and Sherman are talking about it nuancing the black lives matter conversation.
     If David Remnick is wrong, past time for Paul Finebaum to explain it to Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn Steve Spurrier and their "Christian" friends at Crawford Broadcasting and Trey Gowdy's Truth for a New Generation.