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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, February 25, 2013

Fox News Killed Jesus

Circumstances have given me too much Fox News last five months or so. And Bill Oreilly and Sean Hannity are hucksters of the first degree, a disgrace to the United States of America.

   Tom Brokaw got it right in Sean Hannity's brief interview of him last September from the DNC in Charlotte. Brokaw told Sean: I've know Roger Ailes, known him for a long time from the Nixon administration and know what he's up to. And its not much different from the stir he was causin in Alabama in the 60's when I was a cub reporter there and the likes of Ailes had em all thinkin we were communists just for bein there.

    Billy O is makin a scandal on his who got to the wreck first series on Lincoln, JFK, and now Jesus. If he were a preacher, he'd give Jerry Falwell a Bad name.
     Here's the deal Billy O. Find a copy a Marilynne Robinson's The Death of Adam and read the Tyranny of Pettiness. It's about you. Good words in there like egregious and shibboleth you can add to last weeks lungis. Opprobrium on you on this one.

   And clown Billy Boy,  the Pulitzer prize winner is a thinker, not a mockass carnival barker like you.

   In the link below Steve and Cokie Roberts missed it; noble people they otherwise are. They know the Haynsworths of Furman. I'll be emailing them soon and lettin your homeboy Trey Gowdy know about it. You know he is a member now of same church as Billy Graham, FBC Spartanburg, S.C. Harry Dent's daughter used to go there. See Joe Crespino Strom Thurmond's America.

   Oh, also Giberson and Stephens, authors of the anointed. Have them on for a week and share them with Governor Huckabee and his "parallel universe." And tell that....uh....child of god, Anne Coulter I said hi.

     STeve and Cokie as reported last week in the Cherokee County, (Al) Herald:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ron Rash on NPR Morning Edition, 2-17-13

  Ron Rash was on NPR Morning Edition Saturday. Grand setup in the last ten minutes of the 2nd hour of the program. Leading into his segment was a segment on MLKing's I have a Dream address with reference to Mahalia Jackson calling on him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to "tell them about the Dream, Martin, Tell them about the Dream".
   Jeff Rogers at First Baptist Greenville had used that anecdote in a great July 4 sermon in 2010.
    And then a segment on Nascar from Charlotte. As I was listening seemed they were zeroing in on Rash Country as he has written a good bit about Upstate S.C. and my stomping grounds around Gaffney in addition to his parking place of Western North Carolina.
    A dear friend from Habitat from Humanity had tipped me off on Friday he was to appear on Saturday morning.

    And Rash Delivered.

   He has a new book of short stories coming out; but I read one of them in May 2011, happened to be on my birthday, in the New Yorker.

    Were I a little shadier there is a relation to aspects of myself to Sinkler in Rash first at bat in this new collection, Short Story, The Trusty.

      Here is my favorite paragraph in that one:

      "Sinkler had more than fifty dollars in poker winnings now, plenty enough cash to get him across Mississippi to where he could finally shed himself of the whole damn region.
He'd grown up in Montgomery, but when the law got too interested in his comings and goings he'd gone north to Knoxville, and then west to Memphis, before recrossing Tennessee to Raleigh. Sinkler's talents had led him to establishments where his sleight of hand needed no deck of cards. A decent suit, clean fingernails,and buffed shoes, and he could walk into a business and be greeted as a solid citizen. Tell a story about being in town because of an ailing mother and you were the cat's pajamas. They'd take the Help Wanted sign out of the window and pretty much replace it with Help Yourself. 
Sinkler remembered the afternoon in Memphis when he's stood by the river, after grifting the clothing store of forty dollars in two months. Keep heading west or turn back east--that was the choice. He's flip a silver dollar to decide, a rare moment when he's trusted his life purely to luck.

End quote. At this blog click on Sept 2010 archive for my interview with Rash.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Freedom and the Furman/Upstate History Museum Project

  Click on this link above. Proud of my alma mater for this project.

   Over the weekend I have texted family and emailed friends hoping they will participate.
   Even had a chat  Saturday with a Physics PHD at a famous flea market in Alabama about the project. I have read widely and thought maybe too much too often, episodically trying to figure out what happened to me and our family the 16 years we were in Gaffney, S.C. that about 2/3rds in intersected the integration of the public school system.

   I was enchanted with Martin Luther King in those days, cause like my Daddy he was a Baptist preacher.

    My Senior year at Gaffney High, 1971, I was on the School's Bi racial committee. On that committee with me were Charles Foster, who ran Hurdles in the Olympics in Montreal in 76; and Grady Sizemore whose sone in 2007 was the consensus best player in Major League Baseball.

    Our church was a mission of the First Baptist Church of Gaffney, and John Hamrick, the 1974 President of the American Manufacturer's Inst was a key layman in the origins of the congregation in the late 50's.

   So for a season in my 20's I became obsessed with the legacy of race and textile politics in Upstate S.C.

   Nobody got shot in our family but there was a lot of "drama" toward the end of our stay. On her deathbed in 1988 my Mother forgave several folks in the church that were key to the tension, though my father went back to the congregation on several occasions to ratify his witness they were all, always his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.

    For the most part, my soul is rested. I did have a dream one time that Charles Foster hurdled down the aisle on Sunday morning as I was laughing in the choir loft. I remember on a couple occasions I would be out front of the church on a weekday afternoon and he would pass down Wilkinsville Rd to his house and I would laughingly hold up my hand as Stop, no entry if he looked over my way.

   Not welcome here.

   In 2003 or so I was at City Stages in Birmingham, Alabama about two blocks from 16th Street Baptist Church the scene of the Fire Hoses of 1963; and even closer to the Bus Station that is now famous as the ground where Freedom Riders were beaten in 1961.

   Randy Newman was onstage. He's sung about five songs, and I daringly shouted from the Crowd to sing "Rednecks".

    He did. Not as a smart-ass preachers son, not even wayward, but in that moment in Birmingham with all the Holy Dripping Sarcasm of the Song, I was free!

     Post scriptum: Still thinking about all the implications, but Pearl in E. L. Doctorow's novel The March, and her memories of the cotton field in South Georgia, has been a haunting testament to freedom for me for some time; and My Momma, the daughter of a NE Alabama Lincoln Republican who ran for County Schoolboard in the 19 teens and was soundly defeated, pounding out juke joint ragtime music on the piano on a Saturday afternoon in the 70's in the Sanctuary of Bethany Baptist Church, Gaffney, South Carolina:  That's Freedom Too!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Psalm 27, Mrs. Rosa Parks and Anne Marie Malecha

    On Wednesday I listened to the hourlong conversation on, the latest history of Rosa Parks. It was inspirational as I imagined Ms. Parks likely drove right in front of my house in 1955, possibly with Martin Luther King, Jr. on the way from Montgomery to Monteagle, Tennessee to Myles Horton's famous workshop there.
     Horton in 1931 was in Union Seminary in NYC with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the son of the then pastor of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.....

   I got inspired and called a staffer for my US Congressman Robert Aderholt. In fact I talked to two of his staffers, one who happened to be from Australia and was fascinated with the Justice Porch in the National Cathedral in WAshington D.C.

   Sadly as the name of Ms. Malecha bubbled up in one of the conversations I have no reason to believe the Madison, Wisconsin Tea Party woman knows anything of the legacy of Parks, not to mention the other folks on the justice porch.

    Maybe with this post her remedial education will begin.

   And hopefully, Congressman Aderholt, who I understand has had only one town hall meeting in the last year and half will engage his district and informed voices on immigration reform including the documentary, and former UMC Bishop Willimon.

   Here is a link to the Diane Rehm show and the new bio of Parks

And here is a little sumpn sumpn on Ms. Malecha

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Bob Dylan and Judge Roy Moore

  NPR had story this morning on my state Senator teaming with Gerald Dial to introduce into the state legislature a law allowing the Ten Commandments be posted in all county courthouses.
   I would hope Shadrack mcGill would spend his time gettin up to speed on the Scottsboro boys and what it may mean for Immigration reform; or tell us what he thought of the movie Lincoln.
   As For The Ten; I like what Bob Dylan said
   Bob said he liked the Ten Commandments he had no problem with them.  The first one for instance Thou Shalt Have no Other Gods before Me is a good commandment, Bob Said; if its not said by the wrong people.
    That's the concern I have with Roy and Shadrach.

    I think Shadrach and his fellow senators should have a remedial education course in Stephens and Giberson's The Anointed. Now that could help the state a litte.

    In that vein I talked to my friend John Killian, this mornin. John is president of the Bama SBC. Making it clear he didn't speak for the convention or any other Baptists, he was proud to say he nominated the Tea Party's Bill Armisted for 2nd round as head of the Bama GOP, over the wishes of SBC Deacon Gov Bentley.

  Armisted won 221 to 159 with one of those votes coming from Mary Anne Cole, of the Ft. Payne Tea Party. She and Eunie Smith are tight.

      Killian and I talked about the Killians of the Gravel Hill Commnity. According to one historial John cited, they were all Confederates. My cousin Pat said my great Grandfather and his brother Henry Rufus Jordan fought with the Union.

   H. R. Jordan is on the Historic Marker near the Bridge in Downtown Collinsville. I think Nessa's now occupies his old store.

     On another front Rev. Killian says he stands by his assertions on the immigration panel at Samford of last fall.