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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 24, 2011

Me and Nixon and JFK

I never saw Nixon or JFK in person though I have seen four other Presidents: Ford, Carter, Bush 41 and REagan. Saw Reagan in Knoxville Tn in the fall of 80 when he was runnin for President on a street Cormac McCarthy made famous in Suttree.
But I have already Digressed. Been musing a blog about Nixon and will do that soon, but two days past Nov 22 came across some other folks memories of the day Kennedy was assassinated.
I was in fifth grade at Central Elementary in Gaffney, S.C. I was in Ms. Goforth's class. Miss Littlejohn was the other 5th grade teacher and she came to our class to tell us something bad for the country had happenned.
When school was out heard a few racial epithets which was not uncommon in those days across the South just a couple months after MLKing Jr had his Dream on the Washington Mall.
My Dad was a Baptist preacher and like many white Baptist preachers in the south his conscience was stirring and days were to become difficult. He was an emotional fellow, wore his heart on his sleeve. I remember him crying a little that Friday afternoon on Anthony Street, 139, best I remember.
I am seeing where some folks in 11th grade that day couldn't remember if there was a football game that night, but others remembered clearly the game was played. I think Joe Wren mighta been in that game; and across town my friend Johnny Dawkins woulda been in the 6th grade on the road with all of us to integration, and he later to star Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the ABC Afterschool special the Hero who Couln;t Read.
And Tim Tyson was stirring in North Carolina later to write about Gaffney in Jumpn Jim Crow.
But in 5th grade things were beginning to register with me about power and justice as it was across the world. And our Dark Prince, the handsome gifted Lothario Catholic President who gave W.A. Criswell something to think about was killed.
I think I may be the only person in NE Alabama or graduate of Gaffney High School who has a note from someone on the plane bearing JFK's body back to D.C. that day from Dallas.
Bill Moyers once sent me a note that said people like me make a differcnce. On some days I have but on too many I was pretty damn mediocre. To my Mom and Dad and others on the face of the earth on Nov 22, 1963, for the less than days, the mediocre ones I apologize.
But I be damned if that is gonna stop me from enjoying every bite of turkey and dressin and giblet gravy I can in good conscience ingest on this day.
Momma and Daddy, and Nanny and Papa and Grandpa Atticus Finch Jordan and Arrie Lula who put a strong dose of what little intelligence I have in the mix; from up in heaven would have it no other way.

2 Comments:

Blogger foxofbama said...

Ron Teague of Gaffney says Gaffney won a State HS championship the night of Nov 22, 1963, defeating Lancaster 44-0

Jimmy Wren was in backfield, his older brother Joe graduating earlier in May of that year.
I was in fifth grade.
Joe mighta been Pat Head Summitt's pastor during his long time stay in Pigeon Forge Tn, but I am not certain.

Wayne Whiteside once said good words to me about Wren and my friend Johnny Dawkins.

The Wren boys lived on the corner of Frederick Street and Anthony, me about 4 football fields down the street at 139
8 years later in the summer of 71 Olympic Hurdler to be Charles Foster worked at the 7-11 about 30 yards from the Wren homeplace in Gaffney.
I think Joe married a Draytonville girl, Kay Patterson. She had a good preacher along the way in Bobby Crocker and it was Crocker's predecessor who brought my Dad's name to the attention of the Bethany Search Committee later to be screened most likely by John Hamrick who in 74 as prez of the American Textile Manufacturers.
It was that process that got the Fox family from Truett Memorial Baptist Church in Hayesville, and the rest is History.
And there I was in my own Chapter of the Tree of Life in 62 in Miss Mattie Mae Pierson's third grade class with Ricky Bailey and Anne Bolin, the Clary Twins and Kent Clary and friends; and the actress Andie Macdowell to follow 6 years later mentioned Miss Mattie Mae in her feature in Good Housekeeping magazine and we are all famous now.

6:08 AM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

Cline Borders was pastor at Draytonville, a friend of Dad's from SEBTS who got Dad's name before the mission of FBC Gaffney, Bethany, started in McCarthurville, now on Wilkinsville, Rd.
Jimmy Kiser used to bring some belles to church there with striking hats; and on Dad's final service Mrs. Louis Sossamon and my friend Mrs. Reaves, Frances Reaves Mother was there, and Wayne Whiteside.
Dad told one of Mr. Beam's stories.
Jim Deloach who later was a hatchet man for Ed Young once held a Revival there about 68 or so.
One of the Furman trustees who led the break with the S.C. Baptist Convention in the early 90's; himself a Rhodes Scholar nominee; Larry Estridge grew up in Deloach's church in Rock Hill.
About 15 years ago we covenanted to have a further conversation about what made Deloach tick.
I continue to look forward to that conversation

8:02 AM  

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