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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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

THE NE Alabama Restaurant Literary Association

Or Roughly the NEARLA had a meeting a few minutes ago and here are some items for those who driveby this board on occasion for their edification and other learnings.
For youins who ain't familiar with us, we are an ad hoc group that occasionally discuss things other than Nascar and Lou Saban and the Tide at various places where mashed potatoes are on the menu. Whenever I am present and somebody in the vicinity makes a complete sentence, then we are pretty much in session.
Recently we have been talking about There Will Be Blood, Bonhoeffer and Marilynne Robinson.
To consider for the next conversation, google up James Wood on atheism and take a look at the Sewanee Writer's conference.
And keep an eye on this post cause it may evolve or as Dead Poet's Teacher said at the Academy Awards several years ago..........

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Russ Beene on the Jeremiah Wright/Obama discussion

Russ Beene of the Collinsville High School class of 1997 with Matthew Morgan, Beth Templeton and Ashleigh Adrian has weighed in strongly on the Wright discussion at
It is some meritorious thinking Russ is doing here, and as the son of a former choir member in the church where my Mother was baptized, he should give the Council of Shadows something to think about.
Maybe Russ should asked to give the dedication address for the New Library in Collinsville as word on the street is about 250,000 dollars has come their way through Jerri Delk from Senator Lindsey, a good friend of my Dad over in Forney.
Russ was there that day I was trying to get Matthew Morgan into to Yale Divinity School; but I guess it is our kind of people you don't want frequenting Libraries across the street from where one's Mother was baptized cause maybe we think too much.

In any case Russ is thinking and I am proud of him. His thoughts conflate nicely with the conundrums discussed last night on PBS Newshour.


Re: Moyers interview with Jeremiah Wright

Postby russ on Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:43 am

I guess mine is kind of a dissenting view from all the comments that have come so far on this topic. Surprise, surprise.

One, I don't think Wright will ultimately hurt Obama. Part of the evidence for this is how enamored of the Wright story the corporatized media are. This is age-old guilt-by-association, gotcha politics that requires no investigation, insight, or discussion from newspeople. Show a clip of a nut on a rant, and then shrug your shoulders and go live via satellite to three or four talking heads to yell at each other. Three or four segments of that, with some ads for dish got yourself a newscast. And then you've got another hour to fill tomorrow night.

This is an old story. Sensationalism. Politics as freak show. But the more exposure and discussion it gets, the more the truth will come out. And I think the truth helps Obama: this is a stupid, OLD fight - or stalemate - that needs to die and be forgotten. So, we either move on to the next generation of politicians, or we keep doing the same stuff - living in Wright's world. Nobody sees any similarity between Wright and Obama - or, at least, if they do, they haven't pointed that similarity out in any place I've seen. The truth that's coming out slowly is that Wright is the idealogical opposite of Obama, and the more you want to get beyond Wright, the more you need Obama.

But white folks like me who aren't terribly familiar with the history and culture of predominantly black congregations should take this as a learning opportunity.

I think there are two reasons Wright discusses this as an attack not on him but on the black church. One, he has a huge ego. But two is that a lot of the commentary has been about Wright's speaking style: how loud he is, how his body moves, how much cheering goes on in a sermon. I heard Republican strategist Ed Rollins on CNN the other day talking about Obama and Wright and saying something to the effect that Obama was once perceived as a safe black man, not a scary one, but now that we've seen video from the church where he attends, he seems like another scary black man.

And nobody, not Lou Dobbs, nor any of the other panelists (a couple of whom I think were black) challenged that comment, the intimation, at least, that the black church is scary.

So of course, with that kind of thing going on routinely on television, Wright isn't going to be the only one upset.

And I'm not sure where believers get off challenging someone on belief without proof, like Wright's assertions about the government spread of AIDS (which is obvious nonsense, but...). Isn't part of a pastor's job to spread stories that have no proof and very little evidence as "the truth?" Yeah, this particular story is especially offensive, but why are we expecting anything else out of a preacher? All I've ever heard in church is the retelling of myth and oral tradition as fact and truth. If that's the way a church is run in the first place, then let's have a little perspective when the the myth being perpetuated doesn't come from scripture but from paranoia. I mean, this is a church; just because something isn't factual or historically accurate doesn't mean it isn't "true," right?

And I think Wright has just done a better job of seperating himself from Obama than Obama could ever have done. When Wright's asked about Obama's remarks about Wright, Wright calls Obama a politician who says what he has to to get elected. Now, how many people who have seen both Wright and Obama speak are gonna come away thinking Obama is the one who has trouble dealing head-on with the truth? Please.

What Wright provides is a great opportunity for loudmouths (like me) to pontificate, for or against him, or for or against the other loudmouths. What Obama provides is a great opportunity to quiet down and get serious, and nod and smile at elderly whackos who's best days have slipped away behind them as we start figuring out how to, like, strengthen the economy to deal in a global village, rebuild a broken military, move beyond a dependence on fossil fuels, educate the citizenry, maneuver out of Iraq in a responsible way, see if we could maybe - I don't know - FIND Osama Bin laden and see what a court would have to say about him, gain back some friends around the world, ...........
End of Beene.
As our friend Ron Rash said in A World Made Straight, the kind of world collinsville would be if I had membership once again in Colllinsville Baptist Church where my Mother was baptized and the Collinsville Library cause my Grandfather Jordan among other students taught Bud Oliver (and the same could be said of Oliver as about to be said of Beene): Smarts like that just don't grow up daisies in a bunch of hogweed.
PBS discussion for some of you who want grounding, some nobility to your processing of this moment as opposed to the rant and demagoguery of Hannity and Colmes, Anne Coulter and the other anti-Christs among us

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

God is In this Place; Why Aren't You?

I see this statement in the vicinity quite often; on one Church Marquee in particular. The answer for some may be "family politics"; kangaroo courts and whitewashings.
But the sweet spirit of too many who run family churches is captured strongly in this picture from the front page of the Alabama Baptist, April 17.
Do you know this person and is she a Member of your congregation???

Monday, April 21, 2008

Native Crossvillian Barnes and Noble selection for June

Don Gregory of the Crossville, Alabama High School class of 72 is a Barnes and Noble June selection for his book Jungvolk. I have blogged about his book before and have a link. Search is not hard.
This is breaking news; just wanted to get it out there.
Most Saturday mornings he has a Stand at Trade Day in Collinsville.
Big Congratulations to Don, a Physics Proff at UAH.
PS; I do not have him on the record, but I doubt he would be part of the crowd that has banned me from the Collinsville Public Lyberry for eternity; nor would my friend Gaynor, whose son joined me in an appreciation of the quarterly, Oxford American Magazine.
The former Mayor's Wife got it right, made a nails on assessment.

I digressed.
Major congrats to Gregory. He is going to Boston and infinity and beyond with this book.
Very proud of him.

Maybe he can arrange an invitation for me to a book signing in Collinsville if the catering is routine.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Taking the Henny Challenge: Obama in NixonLand

A Serious seems to be young blogger is exploring some of the fodder that has arisen in the Steve Martin Comment line about Obama.
His blog link will appear soon.
Henny is taking seriously the Tom Sowell and Garry Wills link, processing, trying to get a deeper take on Obama.
That is my calling, to go for the depth.

While some of the following is facetious, for you unwitting out there just thought I would go ahead and tell you--I remember a rook game at the house before a marriage and how it was said Martha laughed when she got wind of it; but I digressed in a Luc Sante archeology of existence kinda way.

Where Was I?
Oh Here; maybe my recent post at will set this up and you can click on Henny Blog and Nixonland and the show should be on the road.
This is a serious matter, choosing our next President, so please, you harpies out there who hate my guts, take a break for a while cause I think want be long before Gloria and I are praying with you, if indeed you ever were Christian in the first place.

Oh, BTW, this is a great discussion going at so you may want to follow it at same time you consider the Henny challenge.
But in the spirit of Henny, let's all try to focus on this one.

Jonathan In NixonLand
by Stephen Fox on Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:42 pm
Jonathan, I'm a moment man, but I'm also an Oilman.Okay that doesn't make any sense, just having a little fun with myself and the great movie There Will Be Blood as thoughts are conflating in the framework of the latest review of Luc Sante, but then again that may prove your point I am gonna share a link to Nixonland as well as my latest blogging initiate, Henny; who is interested in civil and sincere dialogue. You may be his kind of fellow.I got my yard chair fixxed today and did some good thinking. Had the occasion to have a pleasant exchange with the Father of the Chair of Deacons and there is a Great story that goes with that as well I hope to tell you and Thornton in the Flesh sometime.I feel some eloquence comin on, but it could be Wednesday of next week before it eruptsGot my chair fixxed with couple nuts and bolts for a total of 36 cents though things were backed up at the counter and I left fifty cents and let the deak keep the change.Just sharing some of the "archaeology of my existence" to share a thought from Sante. Hope you appreciate it.Conflate NixonLand and I wil be with you soon; in the meantime hoping BDid will carry the Banner high.Oh, having some exchanges with some progeny of high ranking personality in the Nixon administration offline and it is fascinating indeed and an honor to be in dialogue; I think that makes two progeny though the 2nd I haven't talked to since 92Wouldn't be me without some links, now would it
Stephen Fox

Posts: 815
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm
Private message

Henny's links since he provided them without juice at his place:

The first is by Thomas Sowell:

The second is by Gary Wills:

And Henny et. al; before you leave the starting gate, over the weekend I would encourage you to carefully read this article as well

And google up the cover story on Obama from The Rolling Stone. There or some other place Cornell West did a great assessment which I say in Martin comment line trumps anything Sowell has to offer, but I will try to parse Sowell a little better.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Pope, Bishop Willimon, SenSessions, MattMorgan

The Pope is meeting with President Bush today to talk about immigration reform.
Some are handicapping the conversation as a push for Power for Catholics on the continent since Mexico is highly Catholic; about as strong Catholic as Alabama is Baptist.
Could be an interesting discussion.
How will United Methodist Bishop of Alabama Will Willimon, the former Chaplain at Duke process and translate the Discussion. Will he have a conversation with Senator Sessions about it. Will he bring Collinsville native Matthew Morgan down from his offices in NYC to translate it to Collinsville Baptist Church and the area.
James Coker was profiled recently in the Ft. Payne Times-Journal for his work with youth sports programs. I congratulated James on the article and told him my Dad woulda been proud of him.
MOnday two weeks ago fascinating segment on PBS Newshour about scholarships for college for Hispanic graduates who are among the brightest of the class of 2008.
I will link that article for you to read as well as some of the comments of Coker from his article and hope maybe we can have a civil, honest, something approaching a Christian conversation about it here in Alabama.
Matthew, need your help here. Would like you to engage this conversation here on this board if you could be so kind.
I went to the Library back in 04 for you. Maybe you could return the favor.

James Coker in Times-Journal

The Cokers have long-time ties to Collinsville, and James Coker believes the mix of whites, blacks and Hispanics that make up the student body is good for all who attend.“This is where my father, mother, myself and my four brothers and sisters got their education,” he said. “My five children have gotten the majority of their education here. Education is what you put into it. I think our multi-cultured student population is a strong point. It teaches you how to get along with everyone in life.”


PBS Newshour Article:

LEE HOCHBERG: There are two issues. In some places, the argument is whether undocumented students who have grown up in the U.S. should be allowed to pay the lower tuition reserved for state residents. This Arizona legislator said no.
RUSSELL PEARCE (R), Arizona State Representative: You can't come here and get free jobs, you know, have jobs waiting for you, free health, free medical, free education, and expect people not to come. You have got to -- you have got to shut down the spigot.
LEE HOCHBERG: In 2006, Arizona outlawed in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Four thousand of them then saw their bills triple, and many dropped out. Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia also ban in-state tuition for undocumented students.
And legislation to do the same has been introduced in California, Utah, Kansas, North Carolina, Maryland, and New Hampshire. And there's another issue: financial aid. Arizona lawmakers prohibited illegal immigrants from getting state-funded financial aid.
Washington State has chosen a middle course. Undocumented students cannot receive state grants or loans, but, here, and in eight other states, those that have been residents for several years can go to college on in-state tuition if they promise to seek American citizenship if that becomes possible.

later in the transcript:

LEE HOCHBERG: Last year, the Washington State legislature considered a bill to allow financial aid for undocumented students. It died in committee.
Travis Reindl, of the Jobs for the Future research organization, thinks states should realize both tuition subsidies and financial aid are worth it in the long run.
TRAVIS REINDL, Education Analyst: When you consider that states spend collectively $80 billion on higher education, we're really not talking about a big dollar figure here.
LEE HOCHBERG: New Mexico and Texas are now funding such financial aid. For Texas, it's less than 1 percent of its overall expenditures on student aid, but it's still a hard sell for most states.
TRAVIS REINDL: It is difficult enough to make the argument for eligibility for in-state tuition. To say that aid dollars go directly to the student on top of that for undocumented students is virtually politically radioactive.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Steve Martin

in Born Standing up says his favorite line from The Jerk went passed the ears of most viewers. Says there is traffic noise in the background of the scene and most missed it.
Hope I don't ruin this for you cause it is a great moment in his telling in the very moving memoir.
As he is hitchhiking in early scenes and his destination obvious car pulls over on the side of the road and driver says

St. Louis?

No, Navin Johnson.

Caught me off guard in the reading yesterday afternoon. Great, sweet moment in the story.

Jump down turn around pick a little cotton.
Jump down, turn around
Bail a little hay.

Friday, April 11, 2008

5Pm Bama time Storm Blog

I was sittin here in this lyberry and a fellow said that red car out there is about to be overrun by water. So I felt okay since my car is a shade of green but I looked out the window anyway and sure enough the fellow was color blind.
So I'm in my short, My Am Eagle shorts cause I dress up when I go to the lyberry and I went out front about twenty yards from my car and I was thinkin about getting my shoes wet and what effect that would have if I was to get lightnin struck, which by the way was strikin.
So I quickly figgered shoes or no shoes wouldn't have much on the outcome so I shed em.
I dashed out and sure enough I'd locked the car. The water was up to the door, but I opened it and what splashed in was all that got in there.
Unlike the fright on 8th Avenue back in 94, the car started on first crank.
I drove my car in the lyberry parkin lot playing my Rollin Stones CD, ironically I was lookin at this when I looked out the window to see the Red car that turned out to be my green.
Was lookin at

I was wearing my Furman cap; I think that is what protected me, that and the love of Jesus.
And now you get to share in my story, blessings all around if I don't get struck on the way home cause this weekend I think I'm gonna get to see The
Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford with that cameo of the Train Robber Poet that reminds me of a Collinsville Character.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vermiculean and the Joys of Thinking

My friend Johnny Pierce of Baptists Today, a periodical well known to certain groups in Collinsville, Alabama, has a sweet blog today on thinking.

I commend it to my blog audience as well as my comment there.
I went on for a little and thought it only fair to give Pierce and his publication a plug.
As you see there, there is a community of good citizens out there, folks who are sinners like the rest of us, but not as big on whitewashing, phone trees as some of the rest of you/us.
As I have before, I commend all here to keep an eye on the musings of his hometown friend and her blog
One thinking friend of mine almost turned 30 Yesterday.
Happy Birthday to Him
And next year on the 7th, my Dear Brother, Jim Willie will be 50.

One other item. You never know where conversations will go in Collinsville. Last night right there between the Piggly Wiggly and the Video Hut had a conversation with a fellow whose good fortune it was to have had a chat with Eddie Vetter himself; a chat in Florida he shared.
With the vermiculean musings of Cormac McCarthy in the last paragraph of The Road, it was just too much for one day. I'm glad I got outdoors to see what was going on in the world.
I almost forgot to get something about vermiculean in there.
To see if you have been paying attention:

Where would You put a hyphen in Petsmart or would you at all?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Criswell Condemned as a White Populist

I will come back to this blog soon, but the great news is Curtis Freeman of Duke Div School has negotiated Ezekiel's Wheel as it pertains to the legacy of the misbegotten WA Criswell.

Freeman is best to date to give my friend and Baptist Hero Stewart Newman a Glorious Tribute as an Atticus Finch of Baptist life.

Nixon's Barber's Son, Jim Pitts' great friend, TC Smith, Pitts accompanimist to the funeral of Marshall Frady, where Pitts delivered a tribute on behalf of Will Campbell comes out in fine fashinon in this analysis as well.

The Emperor Criswell never had any clothes and we are one step closer to proving inerrancy and the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC to be the Great Sham it Was.

Just click below on the Freeman PDF for the Journal of Southern Religion Essay; and on any title link for the discussion at, some of which compares Criswell to aspects of Jeremiah Wright.

Criswell and Newman; what a Testament
by Stephen Fox on Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:24 pm
TD Webb and Flick will be delighted to know it was their Oklahoma Buddy Wade Burleson who had a link to this great article embedded in one of his blogs.It has great deal of the heroism of my Dad's great proff and my friend Stewart Newman in it, in the witness that forever puts Newman in the pantheon of Great Baptists of His time.Great article, and it is now here for us at
Stephen Fox

Posts: 753
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Newman told My Dad and Me The Story
by Stephen Fox on Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:49 pm
In a Shoney's in Gaffney, South Carolina in 1977. I enjoyed my conversations with Newman that followed

The link is embedded in this discussion already started at where a Karen has been lurking every three days according to the profiles there.

About Freeman

Monday, April 07, 2008

Alabama Libraries, Book Festival and Stephen Fox

Stephen Fox will be one of the featured authors April 19 in Montgomery.

Another Collinsville Favorite Rick Bragg will be there, but Anne Rice is not on the lineup.

There was a sighting April 6 about 9:10 pm on for the initiated.

Friday, April 04, 2008

My God They Killed Him

Forty years ago today in Memphis.
Ironically it was a woman named Sandra whose last name I honestly can't remember who called the Pastorium there on Dogwood Drive, where my Dad was a preacher.
I answered the phone in my parents bedroom cause I was in that end of the house, could look over another road and see the same steeple a former President of the American Textile Manufacturers Inst who later had a private conversation out west with President Ford once testified gave him comfort as he looked down from Sunset Drive every evening after his Devotions.
She said something to the effect Martin Luther King got killed out in Memphis. I know you and your family was fond of him and his people and I thought I would call to let you know.
That is kinda how I remember it.
Since I have become acquainted with Jim Henry's daughter, Kate Campbell. As Jimmy Durham says she does a great job with Kris Kristofferson's My God They Killed Him. I told a Tyler on the way down to this library today. Was proud of him for knowing the historical significance of this day.

There was a man named Mahatma Ghandi
He would not bow down, he would not fight
He knew the deal was down and dirty
And nothing wrong could make it right away

But he knew his duty, and the price he had to pay
Just another holy man who tried to make a stand

Another man from Atlanta, Georgia
By the name of Martin Luther King
He shook the land like rolling thunder
And made the bells of freedom ring today
With a dream of beauty that they could not burn away
Just another holy man who dared to be a friend

The only son of God Almighty
The holy one called Jesus Christ
Healed the lame and fed the hungry
And for his love they took his life away
On the road to glory where the story never ends
Just the holy son of man we'll never understand

Sing about Mahatma Ghandi
Sing of Martin Luther KingSing Of Jesus Christ Almighty

The great Jaroslav Pelikan in his classic Jesus Through the Centuries wrote of King in the Chapter on Christ the Liberator:

"But in his death he carried out what he knew in his life, that he had been called to follow in the footsteps of Another".

Caps intentional by Pelikan.

What Mention of King will your Baptist Church make this Sunday morning?