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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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Auburn University's Living Democracy

     If you search for the title above you should bring up the Facebook wall of an interesting place that is most timely for immigration reform. Mary Beth Snow of Decatur, Al--her Dad is a principal of a middle school there, in Gov Brewer's stomping grounds--has been in Collinsville for about four months as part of the project. Others have been elsewhere across the state. Each has to date filed about six reports and counting. The project was subject of a feature story around July 14 in the Bham News.

   In Collinsville, Ms Snow stayed with the pastor of the Hispanic Church of Christ. She is about the 4th liaison in the last 25 years to give Collinsville statewide attention, now with the internet national attention. My friend Brett Morgen later an Oscar nominee of Sundance fame was in town in 92 to do a documentary on statewide TV, APT. Ten years later U Bama Center for Public TV did the same and it got shown APT, titled Coming to A Crossroads. The Pacers initiative for rural schools from UBama parked out in Collinsville in the late 90s for about four years running, and Collinsville has been the subject of several front page features in the Bham News and Anniston Star.

   And there is my blog here. LOL. But pretty much aint no secret what's going on.

    Upshot is time for the AULD to up the ante on Auburn Network, House Speaker Mike Hubbard and lets have a regional conversation with the Whole World Watching on Immigration reform.
      Get Brandy Ayers up to speed on Ms. Snow's reports and put him on panel in Collinsville with Hubbard, Wayne Flynt; have Bishop Willimon in town and or Congressman Gutierrez, and let's get goin. They can take it on tour to joint session with Bham Sthrn and Samford, maybe have Samford Prez Westmoreland good friend Mike Huckabee of Fox News on that panel, and then on to Tuscaloosa and put Nick Saban's Priest Father Gerald Holloway in the conversation there; maybe add Trayvon, Stand Your Ground, and Voting rights to the chatter in the road show.

     Brandt Ayers new book In Love with Defeat is subject of sterling review in summer issue of John Grisham's Oxford American Magazine. I've been in touch with Speaker Hubbard's office trying to get him to do some remedial reading, along with my friend Sam Hodges For the Love of Alabama. If nothing else maybe some of the locals in Collinsville will join them, maybe the Study Club, the Historical Association and the Librarian--Ms. Snow mighta done a little hagiography on the local lyburrian in her report--and the Baptist Deacons. After 25 years of attention that would be progress indeed for Collinsville, a little remedial reading by the Movers and Shakers.

    As my Momma liked to quote the Bible Verse: "I would not have you ignorant, Brethren....."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bama Speaker Hubbard, Trayvon Martin and War Eagle

   I don't know much about Mike Hubbard other than what wiki tells me and a few conversations with his staffer Boone. Hubbard is a native of Hartwell Ga, wrote a book bragging about how his tea party republicans took over the state of Bama, is a friend of Joe Scarborough and Paul Finebaum and is a member in good standing at the FUMC of Auburn, Alabama.

   Mike has a very comfortable living off tax payer supported Auburn University. He has privatized for all practical purposes their Sports Information Department with the Auburn Network. He benefits from the SEC which places 17 0f 22 people of color on the football field on any given Saturday. Most of those POC's are themselves Trayvon Martin, the brother of Trayvon Martin or have several Trayvon Martin's in their extended family.

    I'm not Jesus. I believe in original sin just like Hubbard does and I guess the ministerial staff of his Methodist church. I hear the wife of the last coach at Auburn was big on original sin. On several occasions I've spoken to Bishop Willimon, read the collected sermons of the Duke Chapel and know from him and Mark Morgan the Bishop believes in Original Sin so I am a sinner just like Mike.

    But the proportionality of the thing and what Bonhoeffer and the Apostle Paul said about wrestling with Princes and Principalities and the Powers of Darkness in this world.

    So Mike that brings me to say I think you are part of the Darkness at the moment in Alabama. And what I didn't have the capacity to convey in this blog, Jelani Cobb does beautifully in a New Yorker piece in the current issue. I'm gonna call Joe and tell him to be reading with you. Hoping you and Wayne Flynt and Taylor Branch can panel on the matter soon. BTW looking for your book; want to read it soon. In the meantime send somebody out for Blum and Harvey's The Color of Christ. Intro is unforgettable sermon for you on the heels of the Jelani Cobb piece and tea party stategies in Bama

Two links for the Speaker

One, Jelani Cobb's exquisite definitive piece:

and the piece I asked Gov Bentley about when he came to Ft Payne couple weeks ago. Every rising generation of Alabamians, red yellow black and white should know how Jimmy Lee Jackson came to die and how a flippant dismissal of the voting rights act is so eggregious especially by a man who makes his money the way Mike Hubbard does

Friday, July 12, 2013

Faith, Trey Gowdy and Immigration Reform

     Trey Gowdy is subject of a feature in July 11 Bloomberg Report on Immigration Reform. He is opening up a conversation on the Dream Act, saying there are distinctions in the immigrant populations he wants to focus on in House Deliberations.

    That is good news for the Collinsville Soccer Team as reportedly half of them are undocumented. And Gowdy had distinguished himself from Bama Tea Party US Rep Mo Brooks of Huntsville.
   I had an exchange with his staffer Miriam of Daphne yesterday after hearing Brooks on NPR Here and Now. Miriam said I understood Brooks correctly that his position is send the undocumenteds back to their country of origin now.
     Gowdy is a member of the FBC Spartanburg S.C. with Billy Graham. According to Miriam of the Jewish persuasion, Mr Brooks has not faith, in unaffiliatied with any religious community or denomination. For right now score one for faith.

      After several conversations with interns and staff in Gowdy's D.C. Office including his chief of staff Matt Van Patton of Greer, S.C.; Gowdy is behind the curve on his appeal of Fox News Sunday two weeks ago. I will give Gowdy benefit of the doubt for the time being, but grand advice and counsel is no further than Greenville native Will Willimon, recent Bishop of UMC of North Alabama; longterm Wofford Trustee.

    And I have no report Gowdy has been in consultation with the Poage Library of his alma mater, Baylor on this matter, nor Anne Graham Lotz brother in law Denton, for that matter. Anne is Billy's Daughter.

    And I have talked to Page of Chic Fil A Cares. Reminded her I sat near Dan CAthy in Bob Crapps religion class the fall of 71 at Furman. In 2006 Cathy and Chic Fil a were for the Dream Act. In the presence of Lotz and Willimon and Robert Parham of, Gowdy and Cathy need to talk, the sooner the better.

    Come back as this blog is a work in progress.

    Here are some key links for background. And do take a look at earlier background material at public policy to show the evolution of my concern about Gowdy and FBC Spartanburg over the last several months on this matter.
    Gowdy in Bloomberg:

    Willimon and Parham on Bama Immigration bill:

And very proud of Suzii Paynter of the CBF and her participation in the immigration conference with President Bush in Dallas, Wednesday. Had brief chat with Ms. Paynter this morning. She emphasized Mr. Moore's presentation in Dallas whose gist was recent piece in the Wall St. Journal

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Momma and the Atlanta Constitution

  Vaguely I remember my Momma reading Ralph McGill in the Atlanta Constitution as early as 1960. We lived in Hayesville, N.C. then and subscribed. She read the paper all along, kept up. In the late 60's we had pilgrimmed over to Gaffney, S.C. where she was an avid reader of the Spartanburg paper. She got upset with their columnist The Stroller cause she felt he caricatured Baptist preachers too often; of not much more consequence  they suggested, than the fried chicken they were known to indulge. She thought that thoughtless and unfair.
  Daddy was a Baptist preacher.
  So by the late 70s I got the urge to express myself. Had a few things in the Gaffney Ledger, caused a stir in some circles and developed an audience of seven or so 18 year olds, a following. So I spread it around here and there, in the Knoxville Sentinel, Rome News; even got a letter in the Ga Baptist Paper.
    But I couldn't crack the Constitution, couldn't get noticed. Over the 20 years or so Momma was takin all this in.
     One mornin, Sept 84 or so, about ten am I was sittin on the back porch at my Grandmother's home deep in thought and Momma comes out and says: "Got my name in the Atlanta Constitution!"

   Sure enough she had. On front page of Section B, the Living section there she was in a column by the great Celestine Sibley. Bout halfway down Cee says and this in from Louise Fox of Euharlee, who had been deep in the throes of packing down in Pike County for a move back to NW Georgia. She took to my piece on passing the songs she sang with her mother on down to her daughter Marsha.....

     So there I was. Momma trumped me.

      Momma passed March 17, 1988. July 6 she woulda been 90 years old.

     Happy Birthday Momma, The Grandest Yankee Doodle Dandy I've ever known!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Trey Gowdy, Faith and Immigration Reform

   I grew up in Gaffney, S.C. about 20 miles East of Spartanburg where US Rep Trey Gowdy is now a member of the First Baptist Church. It's the church where Billy Graham's membership is now and until not too long ago Harry Dent's Daughter Ginny Brant of Ginnybrantdotcom. Ginny is Harry Dent's Daughter; Harry, Nixon's Southern Strategist.

   Yesterday on Fox News Sunday Gowdy said he embraces the Faith Community's input into Immigration Reform; even going so far as to suggest he may be open to the Dream Act saying undocumenteds who have been here since 6th grade or so should have different status in the path to citizenship than others.
    If not a trick move, not a feint for a poison pill, I think Gowdy is on to something. Half the soccer team in Collinsville, Al who just a month ago won the state championship, through their discipline and scholarship I think have already earned their citizenship in this country, no further questions asked.

   Cause you see, the Billy Graham as examined by Steven Miller in his book on Graham and Nixon shoulda learned about justice by now.

    I'm concerned Tea Party Gowdy is a little late coming around on faith and immigration. Nearby Wofford College grad, longterm trustee Will Willimon two years ago was focus of an easily googled piece "Willimon Repents" at about his experience in Alabama with Immigration policy.

   FBC Greenville, S.C. spotlights on the homepage of their online site. The Home church of Billy Graham should've should've sponsored their immigration documentary for community conversation three years ago; that is if Gowdy is serious about Faith and Justice and Integrity in the conversation.
    Gowdy is a graduate of Baylor where George W. Truett's influence is big. The Poage Library there has the Tea Party Displaced Chet Edwards as visitting lecturer. Have Gowdy summon Edwards and Willimon to D.C. or set an afternoon aside for Willimon in the Upstate.

   At the Leland Inst in the D.C. vicinity is Daniel Carro, networked to the Billy Graham extended family through the Baptist World Alliance. Surely Don Wilton, Gowdy's pastor, with his connections to the BGEA can set Carro up with Gowdy. The BWA is hardwired to Anne Graham Lotz through her brother in law Denton Lotz.

    And Chic Fil A's Dan Cathy supported the Dream Act in 2006. Cathy's brother in law was a recent VP of the SBC IMB while Ginny Brant was an 8 year member of the board.

    So there you have it. Four wise great opportunities for Gowdy to explore Immigration reform with integrity as the House forms its bill for reconciliation with the Senate.