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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, February 22, 2007

Fox at the game

If the picture comes up when you click on this link

You will see me in the stands just to the left of Robert Gray's wristband.

Let's hope Derrick Orr's knee is okay. He was having a game to remember and would be a shame if we couldn't continue with the team for with the Best Year they've had since Solomon Stanton and Brett Gifford.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Been a troubling weekend

Had a blog up for a moment about the Collinsville Baptist tacky party and last nights game and how the chat played out at the end with couple grinning local city officials, but not feelin the mojo today and backed out.
Uncle Prentice alerted me to the doins. My family knows what's goin on, where my Momma was baptized.
May rewire it later.

Chats are in the hopper, I hear; David Matthews and what not.
My nephew got saved and is gonna get baptized under the water.
O bama is in Claflin South Carolina this morning.
Shooger booger and Prince are in town doing their walkin on the water bit.

Mike McPherson was excited about the win last night.
I am happy too.
Whole town will be at the first round in JVille Bama 4:30 Tuesday against Weds.
Here is for Phil Hernandez's Defense.
Gavin's good basketball hands
Robert Gray's athleticism, stealth and Jay
And Cory's heart. It's in it.
I'm on their side.
And when Cass get's in the game
Look OUt Jesus, it's Paris Trout.

With a little luck they may go as far as Solmon in 94, maybe further.

Allen Iverson, territory, we all got to be aware of that. (insert smilie emoticon)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Padgett Powell on Frozen Musings

Feb 9
In the last week I've had a delightful exchange with Padgett Powell. It has been a colorful and great honor.
For reference, this interview will give you a hint of Powell's greatness

Here is the crux of my exchange with Padgett first week of Feb 07

Enjoying this exchange.
Thought you might get a jolley out of this Florida native, now in Seattle, who like me is fan of Vesta.
See his comment line for the Talladega Nights blog.
Hope the link here works gonzo

From: "Padgett Powell" To: "stephen fox" >Subject: Re: John TateDate: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 23:26:42 +0100
Mr. Fox--

Absolutely no need or call to change blog. I am not correcting you, just curious about Tate. I do not recall ANY gym segmets in DROWN so am not about to try to correct anything. Nothing needs it. Proceed.

I have seen [another author] around, we have probably met briefly, I have not read him. He is a very well liked guy among readers and followers in the know. I left Carolina and its concerns a long time ago; he has the up-country, and he can take the low- when he wants it. He is regraded as an agreeably crazy sort. I have not the energy for all that anymore. Glass of water, some sunshine, some fish to fish for if I don't have to impale a poor worm. It's come to that. Even some rain.

I can't tell if you are referring in re a lunch to something in EDISTO or to something I may have written about how I was received after it came out. Part of EDISTO was in New Yorker. I do vaguely recall writing about how I was transformed in the lowcountry from someone who was no one to someone who was a lying bastard if he denied he was from Colleton County (which I had maintained I was while it was maintained I was no one, certainly not from Colleton County), but I cannot recall where this was published, or even if it was published. If I should suffer a moment of light on this I'll let you know.

Padgett Powell

MFA@FLA is the MFA program in writingat the University of Florida.

----- Original Message -----
From: stephen fox
To: powell
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 10:13 PM
Subject: John Tate
I lived in Knoxville on the East Side, Alice Bell in the early 80's. Was a fighter then who had one big shot, and lot of talk in the Knoxville papers about it, but he got koed in the first round with a left hook or something to the jaw. Went down like timber.
I am not saying this is the boxer you had in mind when you wrote the gym segments in Woman Named Drown, but that is the way it registered with me.
Unintended legends grow out of fiction. In no way did I want to diminish your illustrious work, honestly, one of my all time novel favorites.
Will be more than happy to attempt to rectify any bad memory or misplaced appropriation about John Tate and Woman Named Drown. With your permission, will cut and paste your correction below in the blog and apologize.
Could be good for new life for a great novel.
I have every intention of reading the novel for a second time between now and May.
In the meantime I am taken with James Wood's intro to the Golyovov family at the classics link at
Out of the blue, are you familiar with [another author]? He is a grad though I have never made his acquaintance. Seems like yall cover similar territory
Random here, but the Charleston story, where you are having lunch with some blue bloods and it dawns on you circumstances have changed with your relative celebrity, and you have the high status. Where was that published.
Always an honor to get a reply.
Hope you get regulated in France.

From: "Padgett Powell" To: "stephen fox" Subject: Re: Padgett Powell blog referenceDate: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 23:25:17 +0100
Mr. Fox:

Have read blog, see this:Padgett Powell and Big John Tate with the glass jaw. Powell immortalized him in Woman Named Drown, a must read for any of you

I am happy to discover I have immortalized anyone or anything but made a little anxious by not knowing what it is, in this case Tate and his jaw. Can you refresh my memory, and quick, I am apparently in France with an African worm of some sort devouring me and would like to know what I have immortalized before I am unmortalized myself. I do vaguely recall a boxer Tate, maybe even from Knoxville, but have no recall of ever having occasion to write about him.

Meanwhile I will check out this Vesta from WND. This world of blogging is new to an old fogie like me. (Can't seem to do it, locate a gator Vesta)

Padgett Powell
----- Original Message -----
From: stephen fox
Cc: sam
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 8:35 PM
Subject: Padgett Powell blog reference
Thought you might get a smile out of my reference to you today in my blog. Googled up Vesta from WND last week and found a Gator Blogger who landed in Wash state for the time being.
Apparently he is a fan as well.
Collinsville, Al.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Cold Day in Alabama/Frozen Musings
Had a plan when I left the house, but not sure now how it is gonna play out. Left early today, deciding to get the Friday Fish Fry on the cheap at the Cracker Barrel. The lunch time crowd usually has less a wait than supper.Fire was cracklin. I sometimes wonder if the, rather would like to see the CB study about how much traffic the fire brings to their chain. I'm sure they study things like that. I think it is one of the biggest strokes of genius to their marketing plan.Shorty was there. Didn't notice him till 3/4 way through my meal. He was there with the family. The former librarian, Gail Rowan, like me an admirer of early 90's 16 month stay UMC minister Dee Edwards, played high tribute to Shorty before he retired from the City. Said monument ought to be put up on Main street cause he was the man who in the end kept the place going. I think she was right. Much more efficient and deserving than the likes of some who pass for note these days in the berg.Was wearing my Banana Republic jacket today, about the best one I ever owned. Often wear it when I shave and shower; rotate the others for less presentable days.Spoke to what I thought mighta been a homeless man on the way out. Was eating on the bench in the front of the place in upper 30 degree weather and had his backpack. I asked if he was homeless, said, no just hitching a ride. Was almost home, said he lived nearby and was from Knoxville where he studied sculpture and psychology. I shoulda told him about the guy who had sculpture in the front yard on Marjorie Lane when we lived up that way; often the guy played pickup basketball in the rec whose administrator was the widow of the Knoxville Sheriff back in the 60's. She said he could predict by the weather in August whether there would be a killin that night somewhere in the town.I think that was before Cormac McCarthy got Suttree published. John Morgan III has read it and I have read good portion of it and I think that about totals it out for Dekalb County Alabama.But what the UT student and I discussed was Padgett Powell and Big John Tate with the glass jaw. Powell immortalized him in Woman Named Drown, a must read for any of you who live half way between David Lynch and Gabriel Byrne, Lyle Lovett and CArlyle Marney.I allowed in the building that I was in despair, kinda jokin, kinda honest. A good lookin woman expressed her concern and I told her I appreciated it. My waitress today looked like she coulda been distant kin of Willie Ruth Medaris who I understand did a stint at the Gardendale CB in the 80's. In the 60's Willie Ruth often served the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan who resided in the area. Said he was a handsome well mannered man around her, but not to say she tolerated his darker side. I don't think Willie Ruth ever met Will Campbell, but I am confident they woulda understood each other. I do know for a fact she is acquainted with Kate Campbell's in laws.Yall have a nice day.Oh, Bill Shepard showed the Property. His bro in law runs . I promised I would get a plug in on my blog and I just did. Couldn't do it if his Precocious Doctor Daughters didn't have a sense of humor. The older one once heard me on a call in program in Bham, thought it was a hoot.
Friday, February 02, 2007

Valentine Update/ Bringing Matthew's Yale to Collinsville

Feb 14. Just found this today at Faith in Public Life. Interesting Doings AT Yale, the Collinsville City Council and it's "key mainstreet constituency" Kettering Forums and what not should be aware of.
Investigate this exhaustively; and be sure to read the first comment

Feb 7 or so
Just sent Matthew Morgan, recent Grad of Yale Divinity School, who still resides in the Region an invitation to attend the lectures of my friend Brent Walker at Yale next week.
Kind of a different take on church state issues than I have been able to fathom observing Collinsville City Hall and what passes for most Baptists in the region; though I am quite fond of almost all but 5-7 of them.
Don't know if Matthew's visiting professor Randall Balmer's book Thy Kingdom Come is in the Collinsville Library yet. I would hope that Annie Lucas Brown and Rebecca Mitchell would bring it to the Library's attention, given they have a progressive plant in the town in Matthew.
And Kate Campbell has conversation tonight in New Caanan with my friend Ellen Rosenberg.
Whether any of this gets me back on the church roll where my Momma was baptized remains to be seen. Some upcoming conversations this spring show signs of a small ray of hope, else my fears the Golyovov Family's hypocrisy infests the region my prevail.
Catatonia is always an option.

But Rejoice Brent Walker is incarnating the True Religion at Yale

Walker, Hollman to participate in Ivy League church-state forums
Walker to take part in 'Voices & Votes' at Yale Divinity BJC Executive Director J. Brent Walker will participate in Voices & Votes: Religious Convictions in the Public Square at Yale Divinity School, Feb. 11 - Feb. 13.
Hosted by the Yale Center for Faith & Culture and the Yale Forum on Faith and Politics, the symposium is open, without charge, to the Yale community and interested members of the public. In eight sessions over three days, panels and discussions will focus on issues such as The Media's Dance with Religion, The Political Packaging of Religion, Presidential Campaigns and the Shaping of America's Global Priorities, and Should Theology Shape Politics?
Voices & Votes: Religious Convictions in the Public Sqaure
Sun, Feb. 11 - Tues., Feb. 13
Location: Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Drive, New Haven, Conn.

And Brent's associate Holly Hollman is going to Princeton

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Are Fundamentalist Baptists and Islamists similar?

Feb 5 Update. Uncle Prentice has been doing some investigation and notified me of this report from the Colllinsville Baptist Newsletter. I was not aware some of the youth and some chaperones had heard Ergun Caner in Pigeon Forge.
I think Caner is a demagogue and a blight on Christendom at the moment. I heard reports today of John Hagee appearing with Jerry Falwell on cable television, Falwell being Caner's boss at Liberty.
Even so I applaud the good hearts and the good intentions of the folks now in charge of the youth at Collinsville; maybe a rural conversations initiative would bring some enlightenment; then again there was hope with Pacers, and hope conversations would ensue from the documentary Coming to a Crossroad, but they were muted.
And there was hope at one Time the periodicals Baptists Today, and Oxford American would be shelved in the Collinsville Public Library. Maybe that will play in the latest conversations, or maybe Gabriel Byrne was right the first time: "Same as it Ever Was."
Links in question
The Carsey Inst of New Hampshire has a report that promises to go back up online soon about Baptist Identity and the Republican Women's Committe of Liz Murdoch in the community of Elba, Alabama. How all that squares I'm convinced would be a great chapter in the sequel to Tom Edsall's Building Red America. Or just revise the chapter that has explorations of Richard Land and Ronnie Floyd.

There is a growing consensus both are a hindrance, a drag on the best of their traditions and constitutional democracies. My experience with elected officials in Collinsville, Alabama and church leaders here suggest as much, though most of the locals are good folks but cannot bring themselves to be more than bystanders.
If some aspects of the fundamentalism of Mohler, Pressler, Adrian Rogers and Karl Rove's operative Richard Land aren't not challenged by local church leaders then the frightful scenario of Chris Hedges may be our end. It is not only me and another exceptional product of Collinsville, Alabama; the editor of the Anniston STar is troubled as well as his recent review of this book proclaims

But at Emory University in Atlanta, there is more hope for redemption of Islam, than there may be for the Baptist faith in Collinsville, Alabama. A Sept 11, 2006 New Yorker article I came across yesterday in Guntersville, Alabama profiles a man who may become the Martin Luther King, the Oscar Romero for his faith tradition.

Here is a man on pilgrimage whose reform movement faces as much a challenge as Christians of conscience and perspicacity faced in George Wallace's 1960's Alabama, and many face today in places like Collinsville.
Here is the dilemma the article explores. I hope many of you will read the entire thing.

Naim’s quandary over Islam was an intensely personal conflict—he called it a “deadlock.” What he heard at Taha’s lecture resolved it. Taha said that the Sudanese constitution needed to be reformed, in order to reconcile “the individual’s need for absolute freedom with the community’s need for total social justice.” This political ideal, he argued, could be best achieved not through Marxism or liberalism but through Islam—that is, Islam in its original, uncorrupted form, in which women and people of other faiths were accorded equal status. As Naim listened, a profound sense of peace washed over him; he joined Taha’s movement, which came to be known as the Republican Brothers, and the night that had begun so idly changed his life.

It is a revelation story, and some version of it is surprisingly easy to hear in the Islamic world, especially among educated middle-class Muslims in the generation that came after the failures of nationalism and Socialism. During a recent trip to Sudan, I visited the University of Khartoum, which is housed in a collection of mostly colonial-era, earth-colored brick buildings in the city center, where I met a woman named Suhair Osman, who was doing graduate work in statistics. In 1993, at the age of eighteen, she spent the year between high school and college in her parents’ house on the Blue Nile, south of Khartoum, asking herself theological questions. As a schoolgirl, she had been taught that sinners would be eternally tormented after death; she couldn’t help feeling sorry for them, but she didn’t dare speak about it in class. Would all of creation simply end either in fire or in Paradise? Was her worth as a woman really no more than a quarter that of a man, as she felt Islamic law implied by granting men the right to take four wives? Did believers really have a duty to kill infidels? One day, Osman took a book by Taha off her father’s shelf, “The Koran, Mustapha Mahmoud, and Modern Understanding,” published in 1970. By the time she finished it, she was weeping. For the first time, she felt that religion had accorded her fully equal status. “Inside this thinking, I’m a human being,” she said. “Outside this thinking, I’m not.” It was as if she had been asleep all her life and had suddenly woken up: the air, the taste of water, food, even the smell of things changed. She felt as if she were walking a little off the ground.

Fox: For Naim and Osman it is Taha who helped them in the revelation pilgrimage. For me it has been Marshall Frady, Will Campbell, L. D. Johnson, Fleming Rutledge and Barbara Brown Taylor that has helped lay aside the shackles of George Wallace, Adrian Rogers,WA Criswell, Al Mohler, Richard Land and Karl Rove.