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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.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Speaking "Frank"ly to Rick Burgess, the face of the Bama SBC about Nick Saban and patriotism

       Rick Burgess is a graduate of Jax St U in NE Bama, historically a teacher's college. I have been active on their facebook wall recently and called the President's office with concerns about Burgess platform as one of their notable alums.

    Burgess pretty much these days in the face of the Southern Baptist Convention of Alabama. He will be the keynote speaker to the Convocation of State Baptists Nov 14 at Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntville, not far from Where Donald Trump made his sonsabitches aside about a month ago in the presence of the UBama LEGEND and Senior Senator, Richard Shelby, and the Episcopalian Luther Strange.

      Steve Bannon is on the Ground in Bama for Roy Moore and unlike Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr. Burgess doesn't seem to have a clue what's at stake for the soul of the state.

     On Monday after trump was in the state, Burgess interviewed the impostor on air. Knowing his good friend Cliff Simms of Yellowhammer News is now in the White House and likely set up the interview, Burgess genuflected, or as they say in Bama, pretty much kissed his Ass; quite contrary to his treatment the Spring of 2016 when The head of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty group, Russ Moore was on air for a live 15 minute interview.

   Point being Burgess is pretty much a card carrying fundamentalist of a Calvinist bent who don't know his ass from a hole in the ground--to quote Randy Newman on Lester Maddox--when it comes to authentice Baptist ideals of church state separation like Bama Baptist Frank Johnson and Hugo Black. In fact Burgess is a disciple of David Barton and the Christian Reconstructionist movement though Rick probably doesn't know it. He adores Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr; that's how far the Bama SBC has sunk since the fundamentalist takeover of the 80s and early 90s.

     In regard the justice work of Martin Luther King, the distinction between flag worship and patriotism, here is something Burgess most likely has never considered

    This morning a miscreant from Attalla called in to bring Nick Saban's comments on the flag and the NFL, a statement posted the Monday after Trump's flareup and Nick's Heisman winner Derrick Henry was in solidarity with Marcus Mariota, Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll, the Titans and the Seahawks. I was at that Game.

     Burgess and Bill Bubba Bussey finally found Saban's Saturday Down South after a month and read it on the air. Nevertheless Rick and Bubba stood by their false equivocations regarding the NAACP here on the Day the new movie about Justice Thurman goes nationwide with the star who played Jackie Robinson.

     Tad Tadlock was campus minister at JSU from 68-81. He left to go to Clemson where he became good friends of Gadsden Alabama native Danny Ford who took Clemson to the National Title that year.

     Tadlock is eager to be on a panel at JSU with Rick Burgess this fall before the Bama Senate playoff between Roy Moore and Doug Jones. Hopefully if it takes traction, JSU Alum Glenn Browder, a former sensible US Congressman from East Alabama will be on the dais with them and some female yet to be determined.

    As Hamilton said: "Wait on it!"

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Summer of 1967, Wedding Anniversary, Camp Ney A Ti and the last White year at Gaffney High

         Wave of nostalgia and memory has overwhelmed me trying to place my history on the timeline of the evolving events of the Vietnam War Ken Burns PBS series. Yesterday on the front porch some history fell out on the concrete as my cat had been whittling away at a box for about a month now.

    It was the obituary book for my Grandmother Mary Alice Helton Fox and Papa WD Shorty Fox. But it was the Anniversary Book that overwhelmed me. There were tributes by all their six children and several grandchildren including my 14 year old self as of May 18 of that year.

   Eventful year for me. I was a chubby fellow with a big smile finishing the 8th grade. I remember the last day of class as I got out a day early and Ms Frances Clary, my attractive 8th grade social studies teacher walked me into the hall to meet my Dad who had come with the family and car packed to scurry down 85 on the road to Miami Florida for the Southern Baptist Convention.

   I saw Billy Graham and the actor Gregory Wolcott there; maybe Anita Bryant. Saw Billy Gee up close. Walking to the hotel that night past a strip club with the door open and could hear the Baptist Preacher's Daughter Aretha Franklin singing R E S P E C T on the sound system. My Dad told me not to look in there.

      We drove to Rome Georgia in two days and got in late Friday night. I had to stop on the Kingston HWY cause my 7 Krystal hamburgers in Marietta started talking to me about 7 miles before Nanny and Papa's facilities on Morrison Campground Rd. The next day was the anniversary.

    I am gonna post some of the tributes at the Helton Family History site. Distant Cousin Brad Fullington, a first Cousin of the Colorado Rockies Great Todd Helton, who was Peyton Manning's backup at UTenn, is running for US Congress. So this Family history is going straight to Congress as Brad frequents that board.

      Late July I of 67 I was on a bus at 7 am in Spartanburg SC to go to Camp Ney A Ti representing Gaffney SC with my friends Cleve Hamrick, Mike Frances, Tom Jones and myself. Frances died two years ago. He was a character. Cleve was the Little league Homerun King who evolved into a golfing force in High School, still a challenge in his 60s on the courses of Cherokee County and Tom Jones had a run as class presidents and Student Body President our Senior year.

   Raised strong Baptist, he became a Catholic and his Brother Latter Day Saint.

   In August I was marching 6 to the five for the Gaffney High Band. Military style like Texas A and M. The next year we integrated and I was doing the Granard High Step with my eyes darting at the great legs of --will have a name for you soon, one of the prettiest colored girls I had ever seen. She caught me lookin a couple times and said Martin didn't die so you could gander.

     But that was a year away.

    8th grade was a transition and the memories were overwhelming yesterday on the porch.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

The Devil is On the Ground in Bama

     This Blog will be a work in progress the next couple days. Read again later in the week for revisions and extra mustard.

      Lincoln had to navigate the Know Nothings in 1850s. Alabama is Lincoln Da Ja Vu all over again in the special election for US Senate between Roy Moore and Doug Jones; and the Devil is having a field day with his arc angel Steve Bannon and his congregation of Yellowhammer News network of Baptist Church of the Highlands, FBC Gardendale, Rick Burgess of the Rick And Bubba show who deceives young virgin interns from Samford and other fundamentalist stripes who are clueless about authentic execution of Baptist ideals of Baptist Separation of Church and State.

   Nick Saban's St Francis Catholic Church is at risk in Tuscaloosa Alabama not to mention the legacy of Atticus Finch (created by a Methodist) and the great Baptists Judge Frank Johnson (a Lincoln Republican) and Hugo Black the Supreme Court Justice.

   But how can you expect the state to do the right thing when the leadership of the Alabama Baptist Convention is struck mute even in the wake of the fiasco, debacle of the Phoenix Alt right resolution in Phoenix last summer; not to mention nothing learned from Martin Luther King's letter from the Birmingham Jail 50 years ago?

     Your Average Baptist is no more prepared for Roy's Rock in the US Senate, the Salafist wing of the evangelical tradition in America, than they were for King in the 60s. They voted for Wallace in 63 and I'll be Damned if they aren't likely to vote for Roy Moore in Dec 2017

     The question is in addition to the SBC leadership in Bama is the progtessive wing, The congregation of FBC Auburn, the CBF of Alabama and their ecumenical friends among the Methodists; have they read Devil's Bargain by Joshua Green or even the nybooks dot com review. Do they have a conversational knowledge of Hillary Clinton's magnificent unflinching naming the Bannon infidel  cabal in her NPR Fresh Air interview of last week.

   Will Doug Jones have the presence of mine to master the themes of Hochschild's National Bk Award finalist Strangers in their Own Country and make authentic appeals to the White Working Class in Bama that feel like others have jumped in line in front of them.

    Hillary Clinton should be president now. She made some mistakes she has conceded. Will Jones and his messaging folks learn from Clinton missteps and Hochschild?

    Baptist Preacher's son Cliff Simms the creator of Yellowhammer News is now in the Trump White House. Rick Burgess interviewed Trump live on air last Monday the day before the Strange/ Moore Runoff.

    Will the good folks at Auburn University Living Democracy Project and the Dave Matthews Center in Montevallo make this plain. Will the Honors Program at UBAMa tell their students about Judge Frank Johnson and Hugo Black say by Mid November so they can talk about it with their families over Thanksgiving. Will the Baptists in Montgomery who owe their salaries to the tithes and offerings of Trump's base on Sand Mountain and the Wiregrass tell people what they know in their hearts is at stake with Roy Moore, a man at odds with the church state views of the Grand George W. Truett, the greatest Baptist of the first half of the 20th Century.

    Will the Sorority sisters at Bama and Auburn call in WYDE and Tell Michael Hart and his snarky side kick Jessica  and then my friend Gomer Scott Beason this is not a single issue vote on abortion, but the ethics or gerrymandering and Trump's Huntsville Sonsabitches statement come in to play for the extended families of the mostly people of color they champion every Saturday on Game Day in the SEC?

     There is a plaza at Ole Miss named for Jesus Christ Disciple Will D. Campbell. He called the Moore, Yellowhammer News, Steve Bannon Cabal "soul Molesters" . Are what passes for Christians in Alabama still able after all the pounding obfuscation of Fox News these last twenty years still able to recognize soul molesters when they see em and does the leadership of the B ama Baptist convention have any desire or capacity to help them Discern?

     In the early summer of 1931 Dietrich Bonhoeffer drove through Alabama on Ole US HWY 11. At Union Divinity School in NYC he had befriended Frank Fisher, then son of the pastor of the 16th Street BC in Birmingham. Two years before Trump fumbled into the US Presidency, Pulitzer's Marilyn Robinson framed this moment in America, crystallized now in Alabama in her biblically proportioned essay Memory in the Collection Givenness of Things on the legacy of Bonhoeffer and the similarity of 30s Germany to post Obama America.

    I cant think of any excuse Rick Lance, Bradley Byrne and Richard Shelby could call upon not to go to a local Barnes and Noble and spend 15 minutes with that divine essay.

    October 5. Look for opinion piece in Washington Post coming soon by Randall Balmer of Dartmouth on Roy Moore as anathema to historic and authentic Baptist ideals on church state separation.

    And this piece from RD dot org

        Read Harold Bloom in the American Religion on Baptist Fundamentalism as a latter day Know Nothing party
   And Like her or not, Hillary Clinton nails the sobs who put Trump in office in the second segment of this grand interview on NPR Fresh Air re her book What Happened. Pay particular attention to the Q and A sequence after the notice Ramilies on the Soundtrack during a break of the on air interview

Monday, September 25, 2017

Two Heismans and Donald Trump

      For the second Time in 45 plus years I attened an NFL game. Last Time was to Archie Manning and the Saints in Atlanta in the fall of 1971. I was on the field at halftime and Saw Peyton's Daddy hoist a beautiful floater, a ten yard toss of beauty, arc and wonder in the back of the endzone for a TD right before the Half

    Yesterday I was in Nashville for some history with the Seahawks and the Titans. There I saw a White Woman take a knee after she sang the National Anthem and the crowd erupted in Disdain. See Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk for Ambience.

   Then the Seahawks, recently the team of my hometown hero Gaffney SC's Sidney Rice took the field arm in arm lock with Pete Carroll who given equal talent will beat a Nick Saban coached team four of five times. We talked about it in the stands.

   But here the greatness of America as I witnessed it in the Holy City of the Ryman Auditorium and the Baptist Sunday School Board that Robert Altman raised the temp on, in Nashville Tn two Heisman Trophy winners, Marcus Mariota of the Ducks and Derrick Henry of the Bammer Tide, one of Nick Saban's boys voted against Donald Trump and his Friday Night Demagoguery for Luther Strange, the St Mary's Episcopal hypocrite--see Pulitzer nominee and Definitive Alabama Baptist historian Wayne Flynt in al dot com Sunday Bham News--.

   That's where we are at this moment in America right now cause of the Atwater Memo that has now morphed into this national nightmare of Trump.


    Today NPR Here and Now, a week to the day after Kanye West said African Americans are tolerated in Trump's America as long as they are an event and after that they are just anoter NWord or a Coon;  today they said this time last year Colin Kaepernick was a one man distraction. On Friday in Huntsville, Alabama Donald Trump elevated him into a mushrooming Movement!!!! That's where we are now and Greg Sankey and Nick SABAN, the SEC and the SEC are next in line to pick up the conversation.

    I have always stood for the National Anthem and the Flag. From here on let it be clear in addition to honoring Uncle Fremont, Uncle James and Uncle Bill, Fighter pilot Cousin Rob Skelton and most of WWII vets who came home and became honorable citizens, and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice I am also standing for the great Bill Leonard the Baptist historian recognized last Thursday in his piece the Lost Cause Religion, the Great Patriots of Azar Nafisi's This Republic of Imagination, Maria Fernanda Moreno, Clint Dempsey, Miguel de La Torre, Derrick Henry, Marcus Mariota, Pete Carroll, Sidney Rice and Judge Frank Johnson.

    God Bless America!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SC Senator Tim Scott, Trump and Atwater's ":Nigger Memo"

     I had a good chat with Intern Jim of Greenville SC and SC GOP Senator Tim Scott's DC office this morning. I told him to look for this blog posted on Bakari Sellers facebook wall hoping it may add fodder to CNN conversation tonight about Trump's meeting with SC's Black Republican Senator Tim Scott.

     Front and Center should be some truth and reconciliation conversation about Lee Atwater's 1980 Nigger Memo as framed in the easily googled Monuments, Traitors, Religion Dispatches piece. The Atwater memo is also key to the theme of Wuthnow's Rough Country book on Baptist fundamentalists and how they shaped the modern Republican Party.

  Here is Atwater's strategy and memo

    Atwater begat Rove with help of Nixon's Southern Strategist Harry Dent, aided and abetted with the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention and left over Birchers like Pressler, Helms, Criswell and Albert Lee Smith, and Rove begat Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller and Sessions and Here We are in Trump Land.

   Former Ga Gov Roy Barnes said it was Atwater's Dream to have every blue collar white man in the south go in a voting booth and have a choice between a white Republican and a Black Democrat. Here in Bama Mike Hubbard's gerrymandering with help of Kobach's 2009 immigration bill that Methodist Bishop Willimon compared to the fugitive slave law; well the point is with Tucker Carlson's baiting of ESPN last night and Rob Lee on The View with Whoopi Goldberg on Monday, Nick Saban of the Crimson Tide and SEC Commish Greg Sankey are about to get in the conversation and There Goes the Neighborhood.

    Almost no staff that I talked to from the Bama and SC Delegation have read Devil's Bargain, nor Hochschild's Strangers in Their Own Country.

   This white boy from the Bi racial Committee of 1971 in Gaffney SC is concerned. I served with a Miss Gaffney, a daughter of a prominent Doctor for whom the Football field was named, Charles Foster soon to be in the Montreal Olympics, and Grady Sizemore, whose son was consensus best MLB player of the first decade of 21st Century, Grady Jr with the Indians.

    Ive read Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America. I'm ready to go on CNN and talk with Bakari Sellers about Trump's meeting with Tim Scott.

   Miss Gaffney, my friend  mighta been on the Teacher on the Month Committee. It's all there in The Cherokeean.

   PS Whoopi was in that movie with Gaffney native Andie Macdowell by that dude who I think did Nashville, Altman. Whoopi was great and proud to see Andie too.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Labor Day, Mule Day, Collinsville Alabama 2017

   It was a good day in Momma's hometown where the family goes back to 1841 and myself to Dec 16, 1986. I grew up in Gaffney SC 62-78

   Got up relatively rested for 64 years and cut through the Methodist parking lot at Trade Day to get downtown, bypass the road block so I could see all 40 plus mules and carriages come through town.

   Talked to Thomas Barksdale at the History Center and former Mayor Jimmy Carter who doesn't know as much about Monuments and the Civil War as he thinks he does. Much more about that later.

  Went to Jacks for a break and talked to some Auburn Students who were on the way to jump off rocks at Little River Falls. Told them about Beer Can Alley and how to get there. Most of em were engineering students.

     Came back through town and spoke to sara patton at Mule Day on the Trade Day grounds as she survived an event there with more aplomb than her incident at the Pig a few weeks ago. Bottom line is yesterday she didn't fall off a mule or a horse.

     Came home and my neighbors were grillin and I had some beef ribs in the refrigerator prime for the occasion. Come back later. Just starting less than halfway through on what was a sweet day in Momma's hometown.

   Had a cold tall one ultralight there and enjoyed the conversations, catching up on Godfather's pizza still standing in Tennessee and telling stories about Bobby Crocker and Sweet Billy and how that part of Deekalb County used to bee  before all the Jordans evaporated and Stephen M Fox the last remnant standing.

  Then a cable television became available and I scurried to two venues to catch Del Potro and Thiem then Federer. Del Potro Thiem was one for the ages. As DP is adorable and drama as ever, I was pullin for Thiem cause I wanted to see the generational transition match with Federer tomorrow. Even so plan to be watchin DP and Fed.

   Caught a little Rachel Maddow and Ga Tech/U Tenn on the side. I like Paul Johnson. As he says, He and Tech own the SEC East and Nick Saban can't do a damn thing about it....In that vein Clemson by 8 over GuS Malzahn and the Aubies Saturday night.

    Go to the facebook wall of Auburn University Democracy Project. That is where I'm gonna take it up with Collinsville Mayor, former Mayor Jimmy Carter.

   Here are three books I bet money I don't have he doesn't have a clue about, Books that matter not the reading list the Daughters of the Confederacy gave him in high school and his local Sunday School class with David Ryan.

   River of Dark Dreams by Walter Johnson

   2. This Republic of Imagination by Azar Nafisi

    3. Rough Country by Robert Wuthnow

    4. The King Years by Taylor Branch

   And Jumpn Jim Crow, Dailey and Simon Editors

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bob Dylan, Civil War Monuments and the Sacred Harp where my Grandfather Jordan taught school

       I've been dabblin in the Sacred Harp for about 11 years now and about ready to lead a number. This weekend at Pine Grove in the church building where Grandfather Jordan (born 1881) taught school including double first cousins Bud Oliver and Eulene Reed in the early 40s was special.

    I had a good time July 4th for one day at Henegar, got a punch in the gut Friday with allergic sneezing and aching all over but the singing and the good dinner on the ground Saturday and Sunday and seeing the regular friends of once a year the last ten years was special this year. Jesus Healed me in three days.

   Surprise showing of the honorable Todd Heifner, the cisco kid. We'd been talking about it but I didn't expect him to show up. First break I was complainin to Emmy Lou Harris friend Gooch and the prankster Gooch--almost as good as Uncle Fremont but different style--said he'd never show and I turned around and there he was.

   And then the politikin and facebook photo opps commenced. Robert Chambless, Auburn grad captured about 165 of em for the closed group Friends of Sacred Harp and I'm in enough of them plus 7 todd had took that after 11 years I'm pretty much of the family I guess. Gonna attempt to bring in 30 Jordans and Foxes for a splash next year.

   Great thing about the Sacred Harp is there are enough revenants to go around and nobody is a celebrity at these events. Well Maybe Rodney Ivey in his own mind and Ricky Harcrow--just teasin boys--but David and his crew and Lloyd and Scott and Coy and Lilly are some of the finest people you'll meet anywhere, and they've been to the Oscars and back for the Cold Mtn Soundtrack. That's why Jesus didn't see to have me join till 2007 or so cause he knew if I sung with em at the Oscars I woulda been unbearable.

     Kiri Miller wrote the definitive book so start there. Here is all you need to know she mighta missed.

    One, Bob Dylan did a version of the Lone Pilgrim Sean Wilentz of Princeton explored with all its Barton Stone over reaches.

    Two There are two versions of my friend Sam Hodges gggg Grandfather Fitzpatrick dying words in Letters to Amanda after the Battle of Petersburg Va, Jesus can make a dying bed soft as downy pillows are. One is Prospect.

     The NYC Rockefeller Center Chorale or some similar august choir has done a classical version of David's Lamentation. I requested it Saturday and my friend from  Oakhurst Baptist in Atlanta who knows Amy Greene led it.

     Four Lilly and Lloyd were stars of the show if you count leading and lunchtime conversation with Larry Bird's friend Adrian Eldridge of Indiana a close second.

   Donnie reed is doing a great job carryin on the tradtion of Bud Oliver and his Great Granddaddy ST Reed's 72 lemons in the wash tub lemonade.

    Dressin was good at lunch but the pan at henegar this year was illustrious. Rodney Ivey says a church of God Woman does on his request only so I'll be there again next year the Saturday before the fourth if the Lord Tarries.

   PS, the on the fly monuments discussion never came close to sabotaging the good will of these sacred singings, but there were a couple of interesting civil exchanges, one unflinching and another informative from some Richmond friends. For me I'm pretty much with Andy Young and  Clemson's Vernon Burton, the proff not profiled on Yellowhammer News today.