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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 www.clsnet.org 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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bobbly Welch: "We Got Liberals"; Landmarks Dekalb Annual Meeting

   Sunday Octo 13 I attended the annual meeting of the Main Historical chapter of Dekalb County, Alabama: Landmarks. Judge Randall Cole made the presentation this year and I was surprised about his honesty with local history, especially some Civil Rights incidents of the 60's. Ft. Payne HS admitted ten people of color in 65, remarkable for Alabama.
    As part of his presentation he named locals who have made a name for themselves outside the county. Among those was Mr. Howard who debated Clarence Darrow and ran as a Populist for President of the United States calling for the impeachment of
Grover Cleveland; a man who headed the Kennnedy Rocket Center in Florida, and of course the Alabama mega country group with Mark Herndon.


    He did not mention Bobby Welch who was baptized in the waters of FBC here by Dan Ireland. Bama's blue nose for a good bit of the last quarter of the 20th Century. Ireland helped obfuscate some of the real issues of fundamentalism in the state.

   Welch was a local part of a big puzzle that Jon Appleton speaks to in my earlier blog today.

    In an evangelism conference on a Wednesday afternoon of the Kansas City SBC in 1984 the 1,000 or so preachers were getting rabid. One journalist noted that Bobby Welch got to a microphone and shouted, Fellows "We got Liberals," What are we gonna do about it.

     So the dying vestiges of the Birch Society mentality giving birth 20 years later to the tea party had a strong in the flesh carrion call in Bobby Welch. In that sense when grouped with like minded Jerry Vines not far away in Rome Georgia, Welch mighta been key leader in a movement much more influential even if in a nefarious way than the celebrities Judge Cole named Sunday.

   The Vietnam Vet, rascal of a football player in the early 60s for the wildcats before he got right with Jesus for better or worse child of Ft Payne deserves notice and exploration. There is an easy wiki google of the SBC "conservative resurgence" if you want to look. Here's hoping that serious historians with the Landmarks group will study this review by Mark Noll of a few years ago:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books/magazine/88644/review-daniel-williams-darren-dochuk-christian-right

  And make sure the local library, even the Jennifer Wilkins branch in Collinsville has copies of my friend www.randallbalmer.com bio of President Carter when it comes out April of next year.

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