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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.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bama Congressional Delegation Staffers and this political moment

   This is a work in progress--see earlier blog.  I hope some of you will come back to it later this week or next. Check any comments that may follow
   Last week I was outraged by the flyer that came to my mailbox  about Bama GOP and "Alabama Values."
    Those values and the strategy employed have a sordid history as EJ Dionne points out in his chapter on the history of the Tea Party.  His recent book, and conversation with New Yorker's Jane Mayer examined last week make a definitive statement.
     I don't speak for the following but I would be surprised if The BIG LIE paid for the Bama GOP is endorsed by them.
    Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird.

   His real life incarnation, the Lincoln Republican Judge Frank Johnson

   Tom Corts, the former president of Samford University.
   The Staff of the Baptist Women's Missionary Union whose national headquarters is on HWY 280, SE of Bham if any respecting journalist in the state wants to ask them

    Nick Saban and his wife Terry and the 17 persons of color who start for the Bama Crimson Tide.

   Heisman Trophy Winner Trent Richardson.

   Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler.
   Pulitzer prize Nominees Wayne Flynt and Rick Bragg; and Rhodes Scholar Nominee Greg McElroy

   I could go on and on.

    I talked to the D.C. staff of several of the Bama Delegation last week. All good kids and I'm sure their Mommas are proud of them.
    But none of them could tell me who Judge Frank Johnson was, let alone Jackson Giles. None of them had read the collection History and Hope in the Heart of Dixie nor my friend Sam Hodges collection for the Love of Alabama.
    Who is screening these Staffers? How did they get through Auburn, Alabama, Troy and Jax St and not know of Judge Frank Johnson and his significance.
     I'm sure many of them made higher than me on the ACT and SAT; but for what?  To get another notch on their resume while the Bama GOP has been captured by the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party.

    I had a conversation with Senator Shelby at the Leesburg Town Hall back in May or so. He was quite civil and gracious. Said some good things about Furman, my classmate and the Senator's acquaintance, Dudley Reynolds of Energen Corporation.
    A few years ago I met his staffer Shannon Wilbanks, a Wake Forest grad.
   With the books above I would love, even with monster storm Sandy causing chaos for us all; would love for Shannon and the Senator to address the first ten minutes of Fareed Zakharia's CNN conversation yesterday; and have the Bama GOP address the points raised there; as well as the easily googled Drshow conversations with Ornstein's Worse than it looks; and Jeff Faux's Servant Economy, consensus of which to put it mildly the Bama GOP like Anne Coulter has whored itself off to the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and the Tea Party with their "Alabama Values". Check Lee Atwater's memo to the Reagan Bush committee of 84 and Dan Williams Gods Own Party if you need further remedial reading.
   Don't come lookin to Whup My Ass cause I'm sure you  can do it. Address these arguments.
     Have a panel on Morning Joe with the Sabans and Wayne Flynt and Hugo Black's Grandson Stephen if I am wrong.
    But for God's sake quit blasphemin the legacy of Atticus Finch and Judge Frank Johnson. A righteous and Holy God does not smile on such shenanigans; and Alabama is a worse place for the trash you are disseminating this election season.

   PS. I talked to a couple staffers of S.C. Senator Lindsey Graham as well. We discussed the hometown of one, Nichols S.C. where Furman QB of mid 70's Charles Elvington hailed. Good tandem there for a while with David Whitehurst who played for the Packers and Clemson son Charlie now with the Seahawks hoping he gets in some to throw some passes to Gaffney's Sidney Rice.....And a few knew the significance of the meadow now under the Southbound lane of I-75 quarter mile east of the big Chicken in Marietta, Ga.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bama GOP, Coach Saban and Joe Scarborough

I have been active this morning on the Public and Select Facebook walls of Collinsville PTO, the Tuscaloosa News, and Morning Joe regard the Bama GOP flyer that suggests a lynching of President Obama.
     Go the website for the particular, though the picture is not there.
    Calling on the University of Alabama to examine to see if the GOP of Bama represents the "Alabama Values" of the University and the Crimson Tide.
    Billy Graham's endorsement of Mitt Romney is also in question.
    Copy and paste this url; and by all means follow the conversation on the wall of the Tuscaloosa News.
    Joe Scarborough is a proud grad. I hope he and Mika talk about this soon.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Billy Ferguson, Luc Sante and the Hoover Bucs

  This blog is a work in progress so come back to it in a few days. Kind of a conflation of couple but while I have the Luc Sante thought at hand was gonna get it down. The Hoover Bucs is in re a challenge I have made unsolicited for the Gaffney Indians cause I think we can whoop the MTV Hotshots. And Billy Ferguson told me a great story I will share soon about Bucs former Coach Propst I will get to soon.

    But Today this reference to Luc Sante, a consultant to Gangs of New York, from the New York Review of Books of April 17, 2007
   Quoting though now this is only in the print archives.

     ...The proposition that 'every individual is an archaeological site' is enlarged upson [Sante's] 1996 Factory of Facts....[In which] he undertakes to catalog the materials out of which he, like anyone else, has been made: offhand remarks, things glimpsed in passing, jokes and commonplaces, shop displays and climate and flickering light and textures of walls.

   But such pieces of memory are only the starting point. Each layer of detritus, remembered of reconstructed, reveals further and older strata--Belgium colonialism, the industrial revolution, Christianity--until a personal identity begins to resemble a midden leap on which certain fragments of the world happen to have accumulated.

Billy Graham and Strom Thurmond; Corrosion and Cynicism

   Well Friends, as of today I am facebook friends with two Duke Proffs; and I have called S.C. US Senator Lindsey Graham's office twice this week and have attempted to prick the conscience of Bama Tide Coach Nick Saban's wife on the Tuscaloosa News Facebook page re the immigration exchange in Weds night's debate; not to mention a staffer at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, N.C. promise to me she would bring this to the attention of Franklin.
    So I guess its put up or shut up time.

     Two days ago I read the New Republic review of Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America. See Blog Below. And I have gotten wind of the rumor Billy Graham has subtly endorsed Gov Romney for President.
      That troubles me. The TNR review says Strom's legacy for American politics is "cynicism."
       Two weeks ago in a raucous Meet The Press, NBC's Chuck Todd talked about the "corrosive" nature of this political moment.
       I have been a fan of my fellow Furman grad Marshall Frady since I read his bio of Billy Graham in 79. With STeven Miller's recent analysis of Graham, with a focus on Alabama in the 60's, I modified my concerns with Graham somewhat.
    But this "subtle" endorsement of Romney raises the old haunts of Billy's missteps that included not only his naivete about Nixon, but his malicious endorsement of Jerry Vines for the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention in 85; and his "playful" nod to George W. Bush in Florida in 2000.
     And now Franklin plays to the right of Jesse Helms.

     Billy had some grand moments as Steven Miller plays. But this history with Strom who begat Harry Dent who begat Lee Atwater who begat Karl Rove who now muddles the thinking of Lindsey Graham continues to disturb me.

     I will come back to this. For you initiates take a strong look at Steven Miller's work; and read the TNR review of Thurmond.

    As I told a staffer for Senator Graham Monday; the Senator shares legend in Seneca, S.C. with Martin England. Martin England, a co founder of Koinonia Farms had an "appetite for justice."
     Franklin needs to shape up a little, and Senator Graham could follow the dots I left on his Facebook page Wedsnesday with some conversations with the Project for Lived Theology in Charlottesville, Va.
      With that in mind, we can bring more to the table when we bring Coach Saban's wife into the conversation about what Kris Kobach and SBC Deacon Gov Bentley have done to my Hispanic Friends here in Alabama

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Little Known Great Moments In Gaffney Sports History

   In the past few weeks there has been considerable discussion of the East Jr. Hi Girls run on the state title in 72 at the GAffneyites Group Facebook page. Got me to thinking of other great moments in Gaffney history, though these are quite lesser known than even a Girls JR HI run in a football town; home of Sidney Rice, Danny Parker, Johnny Dawkins, Donnie Ray Littlejohn and his son Donnie, Billy Ray Rice and the greatest of all Ulysees Dawkins who shares the Highest plateau with Wayne Whiteside and Coach Bob Prevatte; and also Mr Sossamon All American at USC and trustee and his son Cody. And the Harris QB who went to Miss State in 62 and Joe Wren and the list goes on and on.

    But in May of 1971 Clark Price and I were down 6-0, 5-0, 40 love in the Three bracket of Doubles in the State tennis championship in Columbia S.C. The year before I got through round one of the 5 singles bracket and the whole team got to stay another day in Columbia and go see Little Big Man.
   But in 71 it was up to me and Clocky--his Dad's Charleston Accent--to save the Day.
   Clarke was Catholic and my Dad a Baptist preacher. So with that point hanging over us that we would have to live with the rest of our lives; I huddled with Clarke and asked if we should pray. He said Fox, you pray and I'll do the sign of the Cross.
   So we did and the rebound began. I think I was servin, best part of my game at the time and we started clickin.
    Won that set and the third. Went back to town Heroes to the Seven people that heard about it. Coach Roger Smoak who finished Furman in 63 with Marshall Frady was proud of us; Uncle Fremont was proud and the other Uncle heard about it. Was a great day in Gaffney as well as the extended family.
   Clark went on to USC Law School and met Ricky High of Florence S.C.-- that night Ricky's Dad came to get them out of jail well that is Clark's story to tell;  and Clark's  Dad as NCAA ref to Los Angeles in 1980 to call the USC/Navy Game.
   We heard him on ABC in Knoxville Tn and said:  That's Vince.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Strom Thurmond, Joe Crespino, And the Clarence Jordan Symposium

     I first saw Strom Thurmond when he came to Gaffney HS the fall of 68, the first year of full integration to present a scholarship to Robert Smith to the Air Force Academy. Most of the Blacks including Fletcher Smith, in a few years to become the first, if not one of the first law school grads from the University of South Carolina, which made a fine impression on the football field last night.
     A few years later then Principal Wayne Whiteside, who could inspire young men of all races to give their best on the offensive and defensive line--just check Gaffney's record or watch them nationally on CSS Cable this coming Friday--Whiteside in a conversation where Thurmond's name came up called him a statesman. I winced. But kinda left it there.
   I was in the First Peach Festival Parade in Gaffney with William Shatner and Thurmond; and we know Joe Biden gave a eulogy at his funeral. I saw Fletcher as a state Senator from a Burger King TV in Mauldin, S.C march in for the rites. Funeral was shown on statewide tv. Biden did a good job.
      Yesterday in a Barnes and Noble I noticed that Joe Crespino has written a bio of Thurmond and his times: Strom Thurmond's America. I read the intro on the fly, as I had a phone conversation with Crespino from his Emory office last year; or maybe couple email exchanges. I encouraged him to get in touch with Harry Dent's daughter Ginny Brant.
    As I reported below I was in symposium--BTW just got word a delegation from FBC Greenville, S.C. was in Plains this morning for President Carter's SS Class--got word from a niece of one of S.C. Governor Riley's neighbors who I've come to know in Bama.
    At the CJS UVA's Charles Marsh left a question hanging about the interstices of faith and power.
     In the review of Crespino's book Sept 28 in the NY Times, and a followup oped by Crespino and another fellow in same paper, the question is dug into significantly.
     I have linked this blog on the Cherokeee Chronicle site of my hometown of Gaffney,South Carolina. Hopefully some there will engage Marsh and Crespino and Tim Tyson's piece on Gaffney in Jumpn Jim Crow will find further redemption.
   I've left a message on Crespino's voicemail at Emory. Will email him soon. Check comments here for further word and insight if any comes this way.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The First Debate

A couple things about the first debate. One friend texted we need Clinton but he can be discounted and this is sad because his bromance with the Man From Arkansas fogs his perspective, and it is getting predictable. Nothing taken away from Clinton who was one of the most gifted Presidents we've had, but his time is past.

A cousin was almost ecstatic saying Obama is lost without his teleprompter.

An international friend said It is what it is.

I liked the streaming Tweet across MSNBC that said he'd like the license plate of the truck that Jim Lehrer rode home in cause the driver should be indicted for running all over this debate.

Me, On style Mitt took this. All that How to Win Friends and Influence People Mormon training paid off for him Big Time tonight. But I'm not convinced BYU's big night is America's gain at this moment.

The President had the aura of Nixon on a Bad Day and that is not good.

Still he had the strongest line and I paraphrase: If you believe the Big Bold Idea Romney has been promising is Nevermind, then vote for the Governor.

The electorate basks in its ignorance. It is not time for America to vote for the Mormon church to lead the country just because they are nice people.

It is time to reject the Tea Party; take them out of Congress. And Time for a nationwide read and conversation of Jeff Faux's The Servant Economy framed by Ornstein's easily googled conversation with Diane Rehm May 7 of

Stephen M. Fox, Gaffney Furman Bama and Beyond
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