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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 28, 2011

Had dream about Gaffney this morning

I've been devouring Clyde Bolton's Hadacol Days on Statham, Ga last couple days, and still winding down from renewing visit to my 40th Reunion in Gaffney, S.C. last Friday. Found a Utube easily googled for Gaffney Homecoming 2011.
This morning had a dream that several folks from Gaffney were in the Furman dining hall. Clark Price was explaining the situation to some mutual friends in Greenville. I don't know what the dream meant, wasn't as substantive as the Sheriff's Dream at End of No Country for Old Men, but did cause me in waking to remember the end poem of Cormac McCarthy's Cities on the Plain, the end of his Texas Trilogy.

I will be your Child To Hold
And you be me when I am old

The World Grows Cold
The Heathen Rage
The Story's Told
Turn the page.

Not quite.
Talked to Johnny Dawkins last night. He said he was gonna fly in for Lewis Huskey's BBQ in five years if it takes traction. Maybe Chip Sheffied, Charles Foster and Mike Francis will show up, and Billy Dean Blanton, Ray Mabry and Jack Simmons. I hope to be there.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On Down HWY 29 from Gaffney

I keep thinking about other stories and conversations I woulda like to have had last week at my 40th HS reunion in Gaffney. An earlier graduate, Cleve Callison has blogged about HWY 29.
Some time ago I was fascinated with a story about Winder Ga, in fact read it in Knoxville Tn in early 80's, the library copy of the Atlanta Constitution.
Just last night picked up a memoir about Statham Ga, 8 miles north of Winder and the home of Richard Russell; Russell for better or worse mentor to LBJ and the man for whom the Senate Office building is named in Washington, D.C.
Long time sports writer for Bham News Clyde Bolton has written charming memoir about his boyhood days there. You can change the names and switch a little around here and there and strong resemblance to stories 30 years later in my times in Gaffney.
Here is a post I left a few minutes ago on blog of a bookstore in Winder:

Up HWY 29 in Gaffney, South Carolina is where I attended my 40th HS Reunion last Friday. And two days ago I laid eyes for first time on Bolton’s memoir about Statham. I am online friends of the pastor of the FBC there and called him this morning.
He was unaware, but I think Bolton has a new reader.
My Dad was born in 1922 and grew up in Rome, Ga. He died in 99. He woulda loved this book. His stories about Rome, are of same cadence and topic of good bit of Bolton; and all the baseball and high school gym chatter I feel like I was sittin on my Grandfather’s front porch all over again.
I was disappointed not to see any mention (unless I missed it) of the Richard Russell home just down 29 from Bolton’s childhood home. But Bolton is transparent; almost like reading Mark Twain goes to Winder or something.
I’m gettin the word out, and hopin to massage myself into Bolton’s graces and have lunch with him, just down the road from my current home in NE Bama, take the 40 minute ride down to Trussville and chat with Bolton.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gaffney and Furman Homecomings

Yesterday Oct21 I was in Gaffney, S.C. for my 40th HS Reunion. Quite an experience and grand to be among the living many of whom I have known since 1962
Here is my ending note at our website for the class which will go down in a few days:
Want to add this shortnote at end of Homecoming Day. Was good to experience and remember Gaffney again on a beautiful day.

Shakespears said at 16 a boy kisses a girl and at 30 he buries his father. Most of us have buried a father by now.

I went by the Cherokee County history Museum at Central. Talked about one Tim Tyson take on Gaffney and some of the findings of G.C. Wardrep, an academic who studied the world of Gaffney that shapted most of us in some way.

I did make it to Shelby, got the large tray, all meat, and a side of slaw and I ate it all. Not sure it is what Jesus wanted me to do at this moment in my life's journey. but I cut a deal with the Devil. I don't eat that much pork everyday, and it was a Banquet day.

Came back to my sister's. Her family was on a one day church retreat, so I kinda turned up loud the Pearl Jam documentary on PBS and relished, Hearts and Thoughts Fade Away, Better Man and a great anthem for us as we near 60: I'm still Alive.

Saw Bob Dylan on my Birthday in 2003, and GillianWelch.

God Bless Yall. Hope to stay in touch, not every day, but periodically.

Hope we get some photos up here before it ethospheres in a few days and maybe some pix can transition to the Gaffneyite Facebook page; which surely will elevate to a new plateau if we share there for a larger audience and posterity.

Today I was at Furman year after my 35th there. Had a string of interesting conversations including friends in the Religion Department and A.V. Huff retired Furman History Proff and key historian for the History of the State of South Carolina.
My good friend Chaplain Jim Pitts, the son of Nixon's barber, shared with me a remark Strom Thurmond once addressed to him: Thanks for your contributions to the community.
Had the grand fortune to speak to some classmates of my hero Marshall Frady, the grandest social justice journalist of the last half of the 20th century and a 63 Furman grad.
Also spoke to the father of this year's Furman Homecoming Queen; and got an autograph from Katherine Oudin, the great niece of Buckshot Willett; and sister of Melanie Oudin the winner of the mixxed doubles event at US Open this year.
And had great fortune of watching the game with a former flanker for the Carolina Gamecocks,longtime Coach Derrick at Conway High School. His grandson is backup QB for Furman this year, and Coach Derrick was my 6-8th grade friend Tommy Brittain who left Gaffney to go to Conway for HS career, his father a noted S.C. UMC minister.
Coach Derrick and his wife were quite colorful and I shared some entertaining stories with them
Beautiful day; Furman upset Wofford in the kind of football game the sport can provide at its best by actual student athletes.
Food was good as well and none of it cost me very much. Cookie here and some lemonade there, and some great BBQ wings
Talked to Jane Verkouteren and thesons of legend Furman religion proff Robert Crapps; but I missed Gaffney and Furman's Cathy Hill, and her husband Paul Zion of the class of 76.
Talked to T. C. Smith about sawmills and SAm Britt about Dan Campbell and Bonhoeffer.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Collinsville, Perseverance and Apotheosis

Come back to this blog post as I will be adding a few touches.
I stopped by the Principal's office at Collinsville High School to tell him I was moved by the word of the Month on the Marquee Billboard of the School on US HWY 11, CHS my Momma's alma mater.
Front page story in the Bham News today is about Hispanic Students staying home 200 strong in some places across NE Alabama yesterday.
Perseverance is the word of the Month.
I have gotten word just this morning in person to the Pastor of the FUMC Ft. Payne and staff of FBC Ft. Payne, the county seat; and in email to Bishop Willimon about Perseverance.
Fred Shuttlesworth died last week. Bishop Willimon blogged about his passing with implications for the Immigration struggle here in Bama at this moment.
Coincidentally, serendipitously, I have been reading once again my fellow Baptist preacher's son, Marshall Frady, my Hero; Frady's Chapter on Birmingham and Shuttlesworth moment in the spotlight with King. Frady Titled that chapter: Apotheosis.
Two good words.
More later

Friday, October 07, 2011

Oxford American Magazine of March 2001

I have a copy laying around the house and picked it up yesterday. What a jewel.
Passing of James Dickey was the cover story. Just this last year had an exchange with his daughter Bronwen about Lake Jocassee in Oconee County, S.C.
And my friend Ron Rash, had a poem in that issue The Request

Charles Marsh's book The Last Days was reviewed in that issue and John Grisham was the publisher. John Grammer did the Marsh review, using the word fretful exquisitely.

The Gifted teacher for Dekalb County and her son and I tried to get a subscription going to the Collinsville Public Library early in that decade. One of my friends at the time had a son who was in English department at Ole Miss and he was a big fan as well. But it didn't work out.

For a while NACC had a subscription and the Gadsden Public Library. I hope those two will renew soon, and Jeff Graves, Jill at the utility board, Martha Barksdale and Danny Barber's wife not to mention whats left in the county of the Gilbreath strain will have access in the renovated G.W. Roberts building downtown near the RR Track.

If we do I'll get word to my friend Ron Rash, and maybe he can get John Grisham to take notice.