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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.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Ten events in the World of the Magnificent Stevie 2011

Come back to this list as it is a work in progress, will be refined a little and amplified and explained where necessary

10. Bill Glenn's reopenen on 68 top of Lookout near the Leesburg brow. They lost some fine help in the transition but the new digs are fabulous and the sign is good and the potato soup good as ever and real good kind price on chili in the Fall

9.Subway and Don Chico's opened downtown Collinsville and I can see where Momma got baptized from there, and after negotiations got soft shelled chicken taco con queso with pico de gallo at the right price and Subway pnut butter cookies two for a buck is good and my new friend Tamara from Washington State has refreshing sense of humor and it ain't far to walk around the corner and check on Cookie and Roger Dutton on a Saturday. And my friends at China House and Jack's are hospitable as ever

8.I may come back to Number 8 later, drawing a blank; 8B I started a facebook page so I could segue into the Gaffneyite Page, but don't try to friend me cause I spend too much time on internet as it is and before long distractions add up and as they say in Tree Of Life, It's Over

7.My friend the Mow has some new yard ornaments for Christmas and nabors and it picked up a little in the fall....7B I crashed Newt Gingrich Town Hall Nov 30 at Tommy's Ham House and talked to everybody in the room including Newt and Sean Hannity and got on WYFF My Friend Four and people all over the Upstate saw me in contradistinction to Newt's plan for America and some on the internet too.

6.Pretty snow in January and I took some pictures and the well was generous and the hot water heater got me through

5. I had some chic fil a Coupons one or two in April, and got a new batch around October, about four

5B.Rode over to Rome Ga couple times, saw Cousin Neil in April and had some Chicken NoKey soup at Olive Garden

4. Read some good books, History of Christianity, Leftovers, Holy Ghost Girl, some James Wood articles in New Yorker, and saw Higher Ground and some stuff once or twice after Noodles and Such in Huntsville, always a pleasant ride.
In the world of Oratorio and authentic American Musical Art Forms I participated in three memorable events. The July 4 Sacred Harp Singing in Henegar, Alabama which I blogged about at this site, and the 4th Sunday singing and Saturday before, both days,at Pine Grove Baptist Church outside Collinsvillle, Al on Lookout Mtn about a mile from where my Grandfather Jordan was born in 1881. For the first time I joined the Basses in the Square.
On Dec 25 at the close of the Christmas Service at FBC Easley, S.C. at the church's open invitation choir loft I joined about 120 singers in the Hallelujah Chorus and my five month stint in the Furman Singers 40 years ago kicked right in and I did a marvelous job.
Thank-you FBC Easley for the opportunity and Blessing.
On a somber note the April 27 tornadoes that came through Alabama took 33 lives in Dekalb County

3.Late September, 30th I think it was, met Todd of Hoover in Bham had a good lunch and caught the end of the annual Const Reform meeting nearby. There in rapid succesion had good chats with Governor Brewer, Samford Provost, Wayne Flynt whose Keeping the Faith I reviewed in a Guest Column in the FPayne T-J Nov 16, and my friend Sam Hodges of FU '77. Had good chat with Sam and Todd and set the world straight for about 90 minutes. Earlier, bout June 27 went to Southside UMC at Five Points Bham to stand in solidarity with Bishop Willimon, R.G. Lyons and his associate against Deacon Gov Bentley and his ill conceived Immigration Law.
On Dec 30 named Flynt Baptist of the year. I hope many of you who see my top ten list here will google that report.

2.Went to my 40th GHS '71 Reunion October 21 and got my picture taken with Chief Tom Tom and had wonderful lunch with Classmates at Olive Garden in Gaffney--who woulda ever thought Gaffney would have an OGar but they do--after the Grand Assembly and then rode up on a beautiful day to Shelby for Bridges Barbeque and thought about the Meaning of Life

1.My Niece Katie got married in June and my brother Put On the Dawg for his daughter, and My Bro in law performed the ceremony and my sister read a poem. Neal Rabon was at the Reception, Ben Leaphart almost stole the show, but the Bride held on as the Star Attraction and about 9:30 the Motown Band kicked in with Respect Yourself and I lead the Snake dance around the Room and it was super. And the food was good and my brother didn't try to concoct his dbl fudge Bundt cake pie till after Thanksgiving

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Augustine Memory, Memorials and Gaffney, S.C.

I've been posting at my hometown Facebook Group blog and this morning woke up about 6 am thinking about Memory and people who passed away this year. In the room was a May 17, 2011 Christian Century with a eulogy for Harvard Chaplain Peter Gomes.
I met Gomes once at Furman Pastors School in early 90's. It was an honor. He sermon had an anecdote about Montgomery, Alabama and the art of generous receiving based on the text of the woman, Mary Magdalene who gave Jesus ointment and washed his feet with her hair.
May 17 is a day shy of me and Pope John's birthday

I will add more to this blog in a few days so if you see it early, come back to it.
From Stephanie Paulsell and the Century:

The great African theologian Augustine of Hippo spent a lot of time pondering the mysteries of memory--the way some memories stick and others don't, the way some disappear and then return, the way others are lost irrevocably. He felt frustrated that some memories remained forever inaccessible to him, lost in the "vast and boundless subterranean shrine" that he imagined memory to be, "I dive down deep as I can," he wrote in his Confessions, "and I can find no end, nor can I myself grasp all that I am". Only in you, he says to God, can I recover the memories that I have lost.
We cannot know ourselves fully, Augustine says, because we cannot remember every moment of our lives, no one can. Only God remembers everything that has happendd to us, all that we have thought and felt and done. If we are to know ourselves, Augustine insists, we have to search for ourselves in God.

End Quote

It was a sermon of Gomes I read one time that Hebrews 11:13 fully registered with me. I committed the verse to Memory

Some folks with whom I was acquainted in varying degrees who passed in 2011

From Gaffney
Pete Wright, about a year older than me who went to my Dad's church in Gaffney, Bethany. Pete had jet black hair like Elvis Pressley and Sang O Holy Night as a 7th grader Christmas about 65 or so. He went with a bunch of kids between ages 8-14 bout the second year we were in Gaffney back to the Truett Camp in N.C. I think he jammed some with Toy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker band. My Father preached his Dad's funeral and now Pete is gone, raised in the community of McCarthurville where a man later to be President of the American Manufacturer's Inst came in 56 or so to start a mission of the First Baptist Church

Ramona Ross
My High school chorus teacher. In the third year of full integration of Gaffney High School, Ms Ross took our Ensemble, about 40 of us, the Columbia to sing for Gov McNair, who just three years earlier had been embroiled in the Orangeburg Massacre

Jack Crocker. Was one of my classmates, Died inOctober after bout with cancer. Our paths kind separated after jr high, but I remember him being around; drove a bus, solid citizen, active in his Baptist church, raised good children

Nearby Spartanburg late December of 2010, Roger Milliken; a force in the Republican South, and nationally. Gave more money to Nixon in 72 than any other man in America. His Son Roger Jr and I were good friends the summer of 1970

From Furman: T.C. Smith, in November. I talked to him on phone five days before he died and blogged about it here on this site.

From the same religion department, with T.C. the last of an era. RobertW.Crapps. With David Smith and Jack Flanders wrote People of the Covenant which caused Paul Pressler much distress. I saw his sons in November at Furman Homecoming. Chic Fil A to be CEO Dan Cathy sat near me in Dr. Crapps Religion class fall of 1971 at Furman

From Harvard. Peter Gomes. I met him once at Furman. Google several tributes to this great mind and American force post ML King.

David Currie's Mother. David Came to Collinsville Feb 24 2002 with several other CBF friends to challenge my Mother's home church to a better way. So far they have taken a pass. Curries grandfather was WA Criswell's mother's brother.

Collinsville. Ronny Brown. Good fellow a year or two younger than me. Friendly family, outgoing family never boring. Active in his Baptist church,loving husband and father

Mike Mattox, Collinsville Mayor in early 80's. Had two sons and a daughter, one of which,Casey, now works for the conservative Church state group in D.C. The Allied Defense Fund. Mike was a gracious fellow. I talked to him near Thanksgiving last year before he passed early this one

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unfolding by Carl Dennis, oct 24 New Yorker

Came across this great poem compliments of the Attalla Public Library which subscribes to the New Yorker. It is interesting to compare their Magazine offering to those of Collinsville Library and Gadsden Public. Oxford American Would be grand addition to Collinsville Library.
Many friends have passed in this last year, including a woman who worked in the Ft Payne Library and was killed in the April 27 F-5 tornado that came through Rainsville. I may name some more week after Christmas; and note to myself got to get the May 31 Bham Post Herald Story up about the night Brett Morgen came to Collinsville Baptist Church to show his documentary later to be shown on statewide tv. Eventually I think Martha may want it for her files in the Collinsville History Museum as this is the 20th anniversary.
Meanwhile this poem resonated with me, in this year and fall of my 40th High School Reunion:


If there is no spirit unfolding itself in history,
No gradual growth of consciousness
Beneath the land grabs and forced migrations,
The bought elections, the betrayal of trust
By party factioin in the name of progress--
What about spirit in the personal realm
Unfolding slowly inside us, so slowly
That our best days seem like a holding action?
Seasons repeat themselves, but the tree
Shading the yard keeps growing.
Don't be chagrined that the sadness you felt
This evening beside the bed of a friend
Who's growing weaker wasn't more profound
Than the sadness of yesterday, that you still
Cam't imagine a fraction of what he's feeling
As the world he loves slips from his grasp.
No progress from your perspective,
But who's to say what you might notice
If the scroll of the last few months were unrolled
On the table before you, how clear it might be
That your understanding of all your're losing
In losing him has been slowly deepening?
Another day, you say to yourself, at dusk
As you climb your porch steps, which you notice
Could use some scraping and painting this weekend,
A Fresh coat that with luck will last a year.