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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, November 17, 2006

Sundance, Brett Morgen and Collinsville, Alabama

Big news compliments of my collaborator Russ Beene in a phone call last night.
Brett Morgen's documentary The Chicago 10, is the opening film for the Sundance Film Festival, January 2007

First congrats to Brett Morgen, my favorite secular Jew. And no, he is not the only Jew in my acquaintance. I am also a fan of Rabbi Miller of the Temple in Birmingham, and of course there were the Bernsteins in Gaffney, South Carolina, Dick and Ethel. My Dad has a good joke about the Jewish grocer in Rome Georgia in the 1940's. I hope to tell it to Brett later next year when all the lollapalooza settles down.
Brett said his favorite song from the Collinsville Baptist Church when he filmed here was "Footsteps of Jesus."
Took me two years or so to get it. I thought he just liked the tune. We got along fairly well for a Baptist preacher's son and a smart set Bicoastal Yankee of the Jewish persuasion.
It was the fall of 1991 when I met Brett downtown Collinsville. He was touring the country for locations for his first documentary, Blessings of Liberty. At first he meant to do it on three small towns, but due to technical problems in January 1992, here in Collinsville--his 30,000 dollar camera blew up best I remember--he decided to do the whole film here and stayed for three weeks instead of one as he had originally planned.
Thus that is how Bill Cook and I became stars. Cook, the legendary barber in our small berg, got a lot of camera time and I got to debut my yellow windbreaker, and got a consultant credit though I also got two xx's on my last name instead of the real me, Stephen One X Fox.
Brett and a codirector were nominated for Oscar for their 1999 On The Ropes; and he did a film on Ollie North's mid 90's run for Senate from Virginia. His circa 2001 film Kid Stays in the Picture, about the 70's producer Robert Evans was critically acclaimed.
I called Brett's office last night and told them I would be blogging today, so there is a good chance they will see this.
So to Brett and Alison of C-7 Films, and all the current production company, and to Jordan Thau and Sam Dylan (Bob's Son), and Jessica and Doug and Lee of BOL, and all who worked with you on this and other projects, AGain, Big Time congrats.
Like the Sundance Committee, we are "excited" about the debut of your film and may it make waves now and to come.
Stephen Fox
Collinsville, Alabama
Friday, Nov. 17, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dec 1 update/Tim Tyson and Gaffney, Comment and Appeal

Finally got a hold of Jumpin' Jim Crow through Bama interlibrary loan services. Attalla Lib is allegedy acquiring a copy as well.
Tim Tyson story on Nov 18, 1957 Gaffney South Carolina is chilling. At elementary school, Central, where I was a grade behind Bob Peeler, later to become Lt governor of SC who ran for Gov, I routinely walked home by the Grand home that had been dynamited in 57, 5 years before the Foxxes came to town in January of 1962, Anthony Street, about half mile away, probably just a quarter as the crow flies.
Tyson's account says the Sanders phone was tied up by a call from Jennings Trading Post, just another quarter mile from where myfamily moved in 64 into the new parsonage of Bethany Baptist Church, a mission of the FBC Gaffney. Jennings was pretty much equisdistant from our house and that of John Hamrick, Duke Grad and Scion of Textile Interest in Gaffney, CEO of the "Big Mill". Hamrick had a private audience with President Ford in 1974 as President of the American Association of Textile Manufacturers. He was a key speaker when our new sanctuary was dedicated in 1964; it's all there on the cornerstone.
I referenced aspects in my national Public Television Feedback video on the documentary Uprisin of 34 when it aired back in 94 or so.
Tyson said Luther Boyette and the other Klansman who made the call left the phone "danglin'".
Claudia Sanders was active in the Episcopalian church right across the street from Central, where actress Rosie Andie Macdowell family were members, and later the Michies who liked to go strawberry pickin with my Mom and Dad.
In 76 the pastor there let me read his book on liberation theology.
The Sanders home if not the same house on Rutledge Avenue, is right next door to the home of Don Gannt, President Clinton's Sec Ed Dick Riley's best friend in Gaffney. Riley, a Furman grad, is the former Governor. Earlier this year I had a good chance to bring Riley to Collinsville HS to speak to my Mother's alma mater, piggybacking off Berry and Jax. St. but it did not work out.
Former Bama Lt. Governor candidate and Wallace Road Administrator, JSU trustee, the Honorable Jamie Red Etheredge, said he would be delighted to chauffeur Riley from Berry to Collinsville and on to JSU if the grand plan came together.
Didn't work out, but now that I have talked to Artur on the phone, maybe he can come up.

Here is the kerygma of the story Tyson tells about Gaffney in Jumpin' Jim Crow, editted by Simon and Dailey, published by Princeton press

Original Post NOv 9
You need to click on this background context first for what follows to make better sense.

I met Tim Tyson tonight and got his autograph in the book he wrote. Some things you read cut deep and Tyson cut as deep as anything Marshall Frady has written, though there was only one Marshall Frady. The story is strong is what I am saying.
I had no idea that Gaffney was one of the first stories Tyson had written up. There was an attempted dynamite bombing of Dr. Sanders home in 1956. It didn't make the papers anywhere, according to Tyson. It was a keystone cops attempt by the Klan, but one of the three who turned informant "fell" on his car repeatedly a few weeks later and died.
I was captured by the book as it was, and to have this Gaffney story come out tonight when I was getting the book autographed; well I just had to testify during the Q and A; a story I have told friends for the last 30 years; this one kinda comic relief.
Tyson liked it. Because my Dad is gone now and Momma too, I coulda gotten emotional right there in McCalister where I had my big break in 73 as the emcee to Homecoming Festival show that year, a packed house with Herman Lay of Pepsi and Fritos in the audience; but I kept it together.
So I tell a few stories about the high achievers, black folks I knew in Gaffney in the first years of school desegregation, Fletcher and Dawkins and Charles Foster.
Then I tell about Dad going to the Softball games down at McCluney Park out Indian Hill street toward Joe Mack Skinner's home.
So I tell that Donnie Littlejohn who anchored the offensive line for Furman when they played in the Championship Game in Chattanooga in 2002, how I knew his Mom and Dad in Gaffney.
And back in 74 Donnie Rae, Donnie's Dad, and Ulysees Dawkins are playing softball in the championship tournament and Dad is down the third base line harassing them, teasing and going on as he loved to do.
Bout the bottom of the 7th, Donnie Rae is on third and Ulysees is on 2nd and Dad hollers out:" Donnie Rae, you know who you're playing for, don't you.
And Donnie Rae says yeah preacher, we're playin for Gaffney Tire.
And Daddy says you know who owns Gaffney Tire, don't you
And Donnie Rae called his name.
And Daddy Says, don't you know he is the Head man in the Ku Klux Klan in Upstate South Carolina.
to which Donnie Rae hollers to Ulysees (Pic) on Second and says
Pic, Preacher say we playin for the Klan.
And Pic hollers back and says tell the Preacher that's okay, We winnin ain't we.

Great story, true story.
In the tradition of Pearl the exquisite character in E L Doctorow's The March, page 240.

Tyson concedes it is all complicated. He said the recent autobiography by Jesse Helms is a "
"sheath of lies."
Tyson has recently facilitated a joint reading of his book by Trinity Prez, a wealthy white congregation downtown Atlanta, and King's Ebenezer.
I appeal to the progressive Christian community in Gaffney and I know they are there among the Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, and a couple black churches in which I visited Saturday, to begin the process to have a group reading of Tyson and bring him there, a place about which he wrote one of his first stories.
Stephen Fox
Nov. 8, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stories about Gaffney and It's Historic Football Stadium

Click on the following link to put my stories in perspective. And be sure to read the first comment for the story I submitted for publication to the Gaffney Ledger in response to their features Friday Nov 3 and this front page article from October 18, 2006.

Original blog of Monday Nov 6
Stay with me here cause this could be a rich post if I am able to eloquently convey the stories I have all tangled up in my head about Gaffney. I have a professional monitor, couple in fact, so you may want to come back to this post over the next 6 weeks or so to see a work in progress.
I have just sent a letter to the Gaffney Ledger for publication that I hope to copy and paste for this blog by the end of the day. It will give some context to the next story.

Spring of 1984 the Fox family had been exiled down to Zebulon Georgia and a little Country church, Beulah on the Molena HWY. For the most part, like other places, lot of grand folks there, colorful, warm, beneficent and good hearted.
But my goal about the whole time was to find a way to get back up to Rome, Georgia, my Dad's hometown where my Grandmother Fox was still living, cause they had a great area public tennis scene there and I was having more fun in my thirties than I ever imagined possible the way things looked when we exitted Knoxville, Tn just a few years earlier.
So we're--Mom and Dad and me (Bob Newhart was 29 years old before he left home)-- sitting there one Sunday afternoon surrounded by cows and ponds in a very nice pastorium for a church of the size, and there is a knock on the door and it is Wayne Whiteside and Doc Brumbach and their wives from GAffney. They had been to Callaway Gardens for the weekend and we were only about 45 minutes east of there roughly on the way back to Gaffney for them if you wanted to drive through the countryside.
Patsy and Mrs. Brumbach are telling Momma what a lovely pastorium and view we have, and Dr. Brumbach says, Billy let's go out and take a look at your garden.
So Dad and Coach Whiteside, Doc Brumbach and me head out not too far in the backyard for Dad's garden and we get out there and Brumbach says: "Pardon me, Preacher, but if I see another damn flower today I think I'm gonna lose it." Cracked me and Daddy up, Whiteside smiles, and it was great to have some visitors.
As you will see from my contextual letter, all this is spurred by the end of an era in Gaffney, the close of the historic and legendary football stadium there that had a run of 70 years. It is getting wide play in Gaffney with special tribute sections in the local papers.
Whiteside's head coach, Bob Prevatte; Prevatte's wife had some honest stories in the tribute amid all the puff, lot of it credible and true, and it was her truth telling that inspired me to offer a few tales.
In the letter I hope is published in the Ledger, I invited readers to visit my blog here for some added stories.
First time visitors to this blog may want to see my story on the GHS class of 71, in the Fight Him with Words thread below.
SFox, Nov 7, day before the Midterms, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Update Nov 17: E.Y. Mullins on John and Gloria Morgan and the COS

Here is a discussion from a Conservative Blog that may add insight to my differences with the Morgans and the folks they finesse to maintain their influence in the church and community
Lot of ways to get lost in the fog in this matter as several folks testified after the vote of May 28, 2006 that bans me from even attending morning worship and singing the hymns that are part of my experience in the church where my Mother was baptized.
Gloria Morgan and her council of Shadows should not have the power to do that. I have grave reservations about her Christian Walk in this matter; at a minimum the way in which she and her core group are failing to live out what many believe are the clear teachings of scripture when it comes to church conflict.
If my perceptions are off plumb in this matter, it is no secret in our town who the core group that initiated the events that led to my ouster are. I repeat what I have said since january of 2003, the deacons should bring them to the table, and with the exception of a few folks in the community who show signs of being clinically disturbed, we should have a shot at talking this thing out.

COS; that would be the Council of Shadows, the local branch in Collinsville Baptist Church.
EY Mullins, the Baptist mind who developed the priesthood of the believer said this in 1905: "All Believers have a right to equal privileges in the church."
He obviously had no idea how corrupted and molested a concept that would become in Collinsville, Alabama Baptist church the last four years.
In my experience, here, we have supernumeraries, who finesse situations to maintain control.
My offer stands to the church: I am willing to sit down with the Myers brothers and any other concoction that includes the three women who set in motion to sequence of events that got me voted off the property.
I have every reason to believe, the pastor and his wife, were part of the supernumerary process.
EY Mullins said that is not the way Baptists do things in a local church.
Maybe Dr. Morgan has a passage from Francis Schaefer that convicts him to process otherwise, but looks like it is NOT Baptistic.
Hope things pretty much otherwise with you all are well.
Came across the quote last evening while rummaging through some documents looking for something else and here, on poster board celebrating the BJC 1994 celebration was this stellar though from old EY.
don't want to go on too long about it all, but may come back to this and Doug Hudgins, whose profile by Charles MArsh in God's Long Summer is fascinating, to say the least.
Hudgins was the historically inconsequential pastor of FBC Jackson, Mississippi in the 60's while the whole state was coming unravelled around him.
Hudgins, effete in similar ways to Dr. Morgan, maligned Mullins and Priesthood of the believer as well. The way Marsh references Harold Bloom's thoughts in the American Religion with his analysis of Hudgins is one of the more compelling ruminations in Baptist thought I have seen in some time.
Stephen Fox
Nov 2, 2006