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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 www.clsnet.org 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, November 10, 2011

Furman and Selma; 1963

The first Sunday in March, 2007 my heart was in Selma, Alabama but the car wouldn't start. One of my big regrets was not gettin down there for maybe the Second biggest crossing of the bridge in History, on that day with Barack Obama, John Lewis, Bill and Hillary Clinton.
As Furman History proff John Shelley told the story in a 2002 Alumni Magazine, Herbert Gezork was there for the Selma Bridge Crossing in 1963
Furman has a strong story in former Religion proff Herbert Gezork.
Cut and paste this link
http://library.furman.edu/specialcollections/HST21/ReligiousContro/gezork.htm

Furman didn't come out very well in that story but Gezork's narrative arc is strong. He left Furman to become President of Andover Newton.
I am still trying to find out if Gezork met Bonhoeffer before Gezork left Germany in 36 or so. He was a youth pastor in Berlin.
Last night I called T.C. Smith a Furman proff in the 60's and 70's, a legend there, who met Gezork at Ridgecrest in 1937. I think Smith was 17 yrs old that year. Smith was a student then at Louisiana College, and Gezork was nearby, his one year at Furman.
Smith was teaching in Berkely in 63, an American Baptist, and with a colleague and a student flew to Alabama to cross the Selma Bridge with Martin King, John Lewis and others when Judge Frank Johnson placed the Federal Courts on their side.
Smith told me he remembers talking to Martin England that day, but not Gezork who another Furman proff, John Shelley, places in Selma for one of the attempts to cross the bridge.
Lot of people that day, and the whole world was watching, so not unusual for Smith to not have seen Gezork.
Retired Furman religion proff Albert Blackwell eulogized Martin England when he passed. Said Martin had "an appetite for justice"; Martin's story told well in a chapter in Stricklin's Geneaology of Dissent, a tribute to dissenting Baptists of the 60's and before in the progressive Deep stream of Baptists who made a difference.
Smith yesterday reminded me Viola Liuzzo was killed that night. Smith says he took and his Berkely companions took the train from Montgomery to Atlanta to fly back to California. On the train they were told to hit the deck; glad they did cause the Klan shot out the windows on their unit. Apparently word got around several people who came from out of state to bear witness on the march were on the train and the Klan reacted.
Today in Ft. Payne, Alabama had a conversation with a woman whose family is well known to have been active with the Klan in those days.
Her Daughter and Son in Law are pursuing Ministry with the Methodist Church. Her grandchildren were with her.
Things change. People like Martin King, T.C. Smith, Martin England and Herbert Gezork; Dietrich Bonhoeffer who in 31 rode in front of my Mother's house on HWY 11 with the then son of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Bham; Make a difference.

1 Comments:

Blogger foxofbama said...

T.C. Smith passed away Tuesday Nov 17th.
My friend and longtime Furman Chaplain Jim Pitts has grand tribute to Smith, easily googled at helwys.com

12:02 PM  

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