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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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Martin England, Clarence Jordan and the Koinonia Celebration

    Had a wonderful two days in Americus Georgia and headed home now. Was down for the 70th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of Koinonia Farms. Google the Celebration site for the full list of folks presenting there.
    Had a brief chat with President Carter Friday night, then sat in the Rylander Theatre in Americus for the Al Stagss impersonation of Clarence Jordan and Tom Keys doing a magnificent one man show of his now 20 year and counting Cotton Patch Gospels. Quite a feat for a 62 year old man--native of Vestavia Hills, Alabama--going full throttle, no intermission for 85 minutes or more.
    On Saturday heard a woman from Asheville, N.C. who wrote a 79 piece for Sojourners mag on Koinonia Farms. Heard Sam Mahone talk about the Civil Rights events of 63 in Americus. One of my writing heros Charles Marsh talked about some of the lesser known history of The Farm. Met his Mom and Dad that afternoon in a workshop with bout ten people in the room. Marsh's good friend, Dolphus Weary, the director of Mission Mississippi was the presenter. I asked a question about Charles Pickering , Prez Bush 43 Judicial nominee--now with Reagan operative Allan Sears and the Alliance Defending Freedom Group-- on the the uses of faith to bend power. Both the presenter and Charles Marsh Dad Robert inflected the response.
     Robert Marsh in the mid 70's was pastor of the 2nd Ponce De Leon Church in Atlanta. So that church can claim as products two major chroniclers, analysts of America's Civil Rights struggle; the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the trilogy on MLking and the CR movement, Taylor Branch; and Charles Marsh. In God's Long Summer Marsh interviews Sam Bowers, the man on whom the evil Klan genius of Missisippi Burning was based.
     A 2008 Furman grad was there working on her dissertation at Vanderbilt. She is focussing on the Americus episode of 63. It was an honor to meet and take a picture for Facebook with some friends from Collinsville, and a friend representing Jim Pitts of Smyth and Helwys.
    And had great conversation among many others with some folks from Maryville, Tn where my Grandfather Fox extended family was a mainstay in the United Methodist Church there in 50's and 60's

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bama and Jets Greg McElroy; One Rhodes Scholar to another

  U Bama's National Championship and Rhodes Scholar nominee Greg McElroy and I talked tonight on the Paul Finebaum Show.
    I think Greg is the fourth Rhodes nominee I have conversed with. Myself, I was never nominated.
   But my Furman Classmate Dudley Reynolds went far in the competition; UGA Grad, Track star and pastor of Gardenlakes BC in Rome Georgia, Richard Kremer; and fellow who was Furman attorney from Rock Hill, S.C.; I've talked to them. And I've read on recommendation of President Clinton's Oxford roommate Strobe Talbot the Diarmaid McCulloch History of Christianity.

   Finebaum and McElroy both were impressed by my comment and question tonight. I referenced Howell Raines 1984 New Republic piece Farewell to the Bear. Paul said it was one of the best articles on SEC and Bama football in particular he had ever read. and McElroy is on to it now; hope he talks to his Jets Teammate Tim Tebow about it and also bones up on Giberson and Stephens The Anointed.Tim and his former pastor Jerry Vines could learn about from The Anointed.

   My question was about Michelle Obama's reference in Charlotte to "The Long Game". What role does SEC Football have to advance the region.
   Raines says Bear coulda done better by George Wallace. The Blind Side aside, what virtue is possible for so influential a force in the Southeast. Does it have something to say to the darker instincts of the Tea Party for instance.

    MLKing's Pulitzer biographer Taylor Branch will speak at Samford in Bham Oct 16. He has written in The Atlantic about NCAA football with lot of copy on Coach Nick Saban.

    Will be interesting to see going forward to see what Greg says in the off season or in three or four years about all this.
    I have been impressed with him to date, not only his mastery of the chess game of SEC Football, but his character in the Chic Fil A ESPN documentary and his diplomacy these three times I have heard him on Tuesday late afternoons on Finebaum

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tea Party against Itself in Bama Sept 18

Not sure what to make of this one but it is interesting. Bama's Deacon Gov Bentley raiding the Trust Funds to keep Bama going against the wishes of his primary opponent Bradley Byrne and as I understand it my friend the 2nd VP of the Bama SBC John Killian; not to mention Uncle Prentice lifelong Friend Mary Anne Cole of the Ft Payne Tea Party. Her Uncle was a past president of Jax St. University.
    And it has the Deekalb county state delegation in a dither, with the North part of the County republican voting no with Byrne and Cole, and the South voting yes with their Delegation and the interests just north of Collinsville that that have a big sign in front of the place in red white and blue and are the 2nd largest employers in the region.
   Whether expenses to see U Bama win the National Championship this past January in New Orleans are part of the discussion I don't know.
   But former CHS Principal West son Bennie is runnin for Circuit Clerk and He don't know what to do. Had an interesting conversation with him and two of his friends from First Baptist Ft Payne Saturday right during the Murray Tiebreaker.

   The Woman in the group thought President Obama was a Muslim, but she seems to be in the Majority around here as several Baptist preachers just don't think or believe it; They "KNOW" it.

   So these are confusing times with the Tea Party in Bama analogous to Fleming Rutledge great Sermon at Duke at Mtn Brook Episcopal: The Enemy Lines are Hard To Find.

    I don't want to come across as a smart ass but it may be Jeremiah Wright has a prophetic word for Bama Sept 18 moment: The Chickens are Coming Home to Roost. Just like they are in my front yard.
    The late Tom Corts and the best lights in Bama in the 90's and early oughts were pushing for Constitutional Reform but the locals were laughin at these Noahs as they were trying to build the Ark for Bama.
   Now here we are raiding the Trust Fund, and the GOD is on OUr Side Tea Partiers are shootin at each other.
    I'm sure Mary Anne Cole and Eunie Smith have the riddle solved and are gonna tell the rest of us when Judge Roy Moore comes to the Park in Ft. Payne in October. I hope he brings a copy of Bishop Willimon's book with him. Maybe he will say something about Jackson Giles.

Friday, September 07, 2012

God and Tom Brokaw at Charlotte DNC

  I had a brief conversation with Tom Brokaw at Furman in 2004 where he was there to chair a Democrat Party Debate in Greenville. Tom remembered Manuels Tavern from his Atlanta days and conversations with James Dickey, Jody Powell and sometimes Marshall Frady.
    Brokaw got immersed in Southern Religion in the 60's covering Civil Rights. He told Sean Hannity of Fox News about it Weds night in Charlotte.
    See links and further discussion in the public policy forum of and google the several stories at

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Baxter Wynn, Atticus Finch and the Tea Party

  I have made previous posts about Atticus Finch and I think,  Baxter Wynn. Wynn is counseling minister for FBC Greenville, S.C., a nephew of Georgia Governor Lester Maddox about whom Randy Newman wrote a song, and a trustee of Furman University; the alma mater of Marshall Frady, his classmate and my HS Tennis coach Roger Smoak, and myself.
   Baxter is the brother of former chair of the S.C. GOP, Barry Wynn who this year had endorsed Santorum before Romney steamrolled into S.C.;  whereupon best I remember Barry changed horses and went with Romney who Billy Graham's pastor at FBC Spartanburg had endorsed early in 2008 before he had a conference with his deacons. Nixon's Southern Strategist Harry Dent's daughter Ginny Brant was influential of FBC Sburg before she moved to the Clemson area.

    Baxter gave the Inaugural Convocation address this year at Furman. It is online at Furman's website. He did a good job.

    But the question is, how explicit can Baxter and progressive Baptist Republican Baptists in the South be in the face of the Tea Party. Furman's campus is about three miles, if that, from the PCA church where Jim Demint is influential member. And 30 miles west is Seneca S.C. home of Martin England and US Senator Lindsay Graham.
    If you don't know who Martin England is, then you ain't much of a Baptist. I don't know how else to say it.

    This blog is a first draft. Here are some key points for Baxter and Furman to think about, on the cusp of celebrating the 50th anniversary of several Civil Rights events.
     Where  are  Atticus Finch and  Lincoln Republican Judge Frank Johnson today. What would they have to say to the tea Party in light of EJ Dionne's chapter in his new book on Tea Party History. In that chapter he references an easily googled Sean Wilentz New Yorker piece on the roots of core ideology of the Tea Party in John Birch Society's Cleon Skoussen.
     Who in the Furman community now has read Jeff Faux's The Servant Community. And in the Spirit of L.D. Johnson, Herbert Gezork, Marshall Frady and T.C. Smith what are they saying to Trey Gowdy and Demint.
     Google Paul Harvey's piece on Demint and Eisenhower Republicans at Religion Dispatches.

   Here is another item to consider. It is possible for Baxter to  have an email exchange with Condi Rice and  Alabama SBC Deacon Gov Bentley on this one. I think Furman grads Tomiko Brown Nagin and Karen Guth may be able to help set  up that email exchange or conservation. In light of  Baxter's noble leadership in the Greenville Community a few years ago to bring Greenville County Council around to overdue recognition of Martin Luther King's Holiday, Condi,  given her prophetic witness to S.C. Gov Haley, and Bama Deacon Gov Bentley in her remarks in Tampa on Immigration; the likes of Condi Rice may see such a conversation as worthwhile.
   Another aside. Be aware of the implications of Greenville Native  and Duke Chaplain Will Willimon's endorsement of the progressive Baptist immigration documentary to be shown at 2pm today at the St. Peter's Catholic Church in Charlotte.

   And for Furman and folks of Wynn's stature and influence to consider as they ask themselves what would Marshall Frady be covering at this moment, a poignant comment  of  last Thursday's NPR should be explored. In that hour long conversation on the current status of Race and Southern Politics,

  Tracy Thompson wrote:

Historian Darren Dochuk has a book From Bible Belt to Sun Belt, in which he proposes that it was the migration of Fundamentalist Southerners from the western South to the West Coast, and their subsequent transformation from yellow-dog Democrats to California Republicans, that began the rightward tilting of the national Republican Party back in the 1970s. This is a piece of the picture that often gets left out in the usual conversations about "Southern racists." Would your guests please comment?