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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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Gaffney Greats: W.J. Cash

Was having Email exchange with some of my 71 Classmates from Gaffney who set themsevles apart, achieved notoriety or greatness of some fashion.
May share the list later, as it is evolving, but just dawned on me I forgot maybe the most significant.

Wilbur J. Cash, who wrote the Mind of the South; committed suicide in Mexico City in 1941.
Wake Forest had a celebration of his work and legacy in 1999 best my memory serves me.
While basking in things Gaffney in the afterglow of my 40th Reunion, thought I would make notice.


Blogger foxofbama said...

From an online post that comes and goes; from the Wake Forest Celebration: Rather long but signifies Cash significance

W.J. CASH was born on May 2, 1900 in humble, mill-owned Gaffney, South Carolina; he died in a lonely, untelling room at La Reforma Hotel on Paseo de La Reforma in Mexico City, July 1, 1941. In the 41 years in between these dates, he wrote passionately of his native South, imploring it to face reality and the future while admonishing that failure to do so would inexorably lead to violent enforcement of reality. He died not knowing that his alternative fatal vision of the future world would come to pass in bloody fusion with occurrence during the 1950's and 60's--from small, indistinct Southern hamlets and milltowns like Hattiesburg, to Birmingham, Oxford, Little Rock, Dallas, and then to the boroughs of Manhattan, to Detroit, Watts, Philadelphia, and eventually to almost every major American city throughout the land, culminating in Memphis and the tragic days which followed. Too much of the South would refuse to look analytically into the mirror of time and see itself realistically, but honorably, as plain people full of noble but simple traits, yet needful of self-examination to purge itself of its prepossessing demons--as Cash urged so fervently from his bully pulpit on the printed page, given him first by H.L. Mencken in 1929 and then by the Knopf Publishing Company and J. E. Dowd of The Charlotte News in the years which followed. Instead, the system of violence, of Jim Crow segregation, of cotton and tobacco profits, of "Cloud-Cuckoo-Land" small-town mentality stuck in "proto-Dorian" convention--the preservation in the minds of too many poor and middle class whites of a Never-never Land image of handsome squires escorting ladies in farthingales to the palatial ball at the manor house, ignoring the while the surrounding dusty non-culture of caste-locked sharecroppers and millbillies finding pride in one indefatigable fatigued ideal, race--of intransigence in the face of a changing world, exemplified by Cash's peasant prototypical "Man-at-the Center"--all of this, this "savage ideal", would persist to the bitter end, until the "second civil war" and the aid of the federal courts in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's would finally force a recognition, at least in most, of the very things Cash had commended to his fellow Southerners in 1941 and earlier.

Though he intended to publish more, "Sleepy" "Jack" Cash left behind but the one book, The Mind of the South, published February 10, 1941. But it is this singularly unique book in the annals of Southern analytical literature which has astonished, puzzled, bemused, intrigued, and ultimately inspired both serious scholars and casual students of the South alike for nearly six decades. Hailed immediately as a chef d'ouevre by such diverse sources as The New York Times, The Atlanta Constitution, the N.A.A.C.P., the North Carolina Mayflower Literary Society, and the Guggenheim Foundation, the 430 page book, still in print, needs no independent analysis or praise here: The ample criticism, both harsh and laudatory, wrong-headed and straight-strong, perplexed and clear, has been catalogued in numerous articles and reviews dating from its publication to the present and in two biographies on Cash, a thorough compendium of which are cited herein. In 1941, the book reviewer for Time Magazine said: "Anything written about the South henceforth must start where he leaves off." Pick up virtually any serious book written on Southern culture since 1941 and bear witness to the prescience of this reviewer.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Georgia Mountain Man said...

Read Mr. Cash's book in college. I have a copy somewhere in my libary.

8:03 PM  

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