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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, December 30, 2013

What does L. J. Peak Know?

    I went to the Dorman Classic in Spartanburg S.C. Dec 28 to see my hometown Gaffney Indians play Effingham County--just a little north of Savannah--in a Christmas Basketball tournament. L J Peak of Gaffney is ranked 59th in the country and a fellow from Eff County , JaKeenan Gant, is number 50; Peak already signed with Georgetown and Eff with Mizzou.

      Georgetown is a serious institution. I know Peak will be focussing on basketball and dreams of the NBA. Still as an ambassador of my hometown I hope he learns something there. Most likely President Obama will see him play in the next two years. I've already called the White House and telling them Peak is coming. I'm gonna call my acquaintance Derrick Harkins of the 19th Street Baptist Church as well. I want Peak to go  hear him preach some.

   I've never met Peak, just seen him play. Was gonna approach him Saturday but wasn't in the flow of things after a pretty emotionally exhaustive contest he found himself in.

   What does Peak owe a trombone player who is a basketball fan. Well I was a white boy during integration of the public schools so I have some skin in the game. And my friend Johnny Dawkins wrote the Hero Who Couldn't Read, an ABC Afterschool special starring Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Peak brings more to the table for sure than Dawkins star in that special but he owes us and Gaffney, most of all himself, purpose to come away from Georgetown more than a better free throw shot, which he's got to work on. Smile there, LJ.

    In the last couple weeks I've seen the ESPN 30/30 docs about Ernie Grunefeld and Barnard King's experience at U Tenn in the 70s. Learn from them. Learn from Maurice Clarett's experience at Ohio State I watched last night. Be an example these last months in Gaffney. Roll back on the video games and down time with rap music and prepare with stuff that will get you on a path to big picture wisdom. When you and the Indians win the State Championship in Columbia, And you will, in a couple of months, ask a reporter if he's read Lincoln's Long Game in the New Republic by Delbanco. It's an easy google.

    Why go hear Harkins. Well Harkins was on panel with an august group two years ago on the NPR Diane Rehm show talking about the Marilyn Robinson Prize Winning novel Gilead. Peak needs to listen to that conversation and read the book before he goes to meet the President. The President likes the book. I've seen his top ten. I bet money my friend Schuyler Foster has read it. BMW sent GHS 72 grad to South Africa at the end of apartheid. She went in a plant and said take these cartoons down, My People can read.

      See Twelve Years a Slave. Be aware Greenwood native Tomiko Brown Nagin is on faculty at Harvard now with Walter Johnson who wrote the River of Dark Dreams. Find a copy of the movie Blood Done Sign my Name by Tim Tyson and know this Duke proff wrote an essay about the dynamiting of the House on College Drive in 1956.

     Take more than a basketball with you when you meet the President and Pastor Harkins. You owe me and Johnny Dawkins, Barty Sides, Ulysses Dawkins, Willie Jefferies, Donnie Ray Littlejohn and Elnora, Schuyler Foster and Sidney Rice, even Wayne Whiteside. Make us proud on the court and off.

    And Congratulations and God Bless you and all the teammates and support staff in the community that helped offer you this grand opportunity.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Top 25s of Northeast Bama

I was gonna wait till after Christmas to do this one but think I will start now.

25. Best Italian Crème Cake was about to be a tie between Jane Peek and Rwanda's Downtown but with the Treatment I got downtown today it's an outright winner for Jane Peek.

24. Best basketplayer at Collinsville High School in last 25 years is a tie between Solomon Stanton and Deshawn Moore.

23. Best Librarian in Deekalb County is Julia Everett at NE cause she has acquired some good books the last five years including Dallas 1963 and The River of Dark Dreams by Walter Johnson. She also has in the stacks almost all the works of Ron Rash. Rainsville Librarian honorable mention.

22. Best Library Disciplinarian: Yvonne at Ft Payne Library.

21. Best BS ssin roudtable, Jacks in the Morning at 205 exit chaired by Doug Simpson with lunch a distant third. Lower clientele at that hour.

20. Best Church, well you have to drive to Rome Georgia to hear good preaching by Richard Kremer, but Pat McFadden is a good fellow and they have a good organ and congregational singing at FBC Ft. Payne and had the wits to invite Jon Appleton as guest speaker in 2010.

19. Best looking girls decked out at a Prom in last 20 years: Hallie Hamiter and Amy Arther 1997 prom.

18. Best ACT score, Peggy Weaver perfect on Math 1965

17. Most promising graduate of the class of 2017: Octavio Chen of the Collinsville China House; with Jake Payton class of 2015. I hope one of them goes to Furman

16. Most informative facebook wall in the county: Michelle McPherson.

15. Craftiest politician: Lowell Barron followed by Gloria Morgan and Jennifer Wilkins. Also Joseph Morgan should be evaluated monthly for integrity and authenticity.

14. Best Father/Legacy in Athletics: The Neal Thrash dynasty and sons at Fyffe

13. Best all time Female basketball player: Hands down Heather Mayes, also of Fyffe

12. Best Film Society: Collinsville Film Society founded and President Stephen M. Fox with members John III and Susan Weaver Morgan, Russ Beene and Andy Myers. One of the most exclusive and prescient organizations in the county it originated from a cell of X File devotees and Sunday evening viewing at the Myer's trailer soon to be an historical site for its well of the Carrie Myers era and once vaunted pecan trees taken in the wind shear of March 2013.

11Best Biscuits in the region. Cracker Barrel, Ft Payne. Butter almost guaranteed to melt every time and flakier, more moist for the palate than the disreputable teeth breakers at the Attalla CBARL.  Honorable mention manager, can't think of her name right now but she went to the Big one in Lebanon, Tn for a while!

Dec 24. Let me see if I can close this out

10. Biggest waste of taxpayers money in October: Mike Hubbard Badges expedition to my front yard. I guess it was to be expected they asked to see Jennifer Wilkins, one Kangaroo Court to another. Rebecca Mitchell shoulda told them to talk to Mart Gray and saved the money. The idiots even came up on a Wednesday as I understood the story and Bill Glenn's Mtn Grill wasn't open......Update Dec 26. I just posted on Paul Finebaum's Facebook Wall the Integrity of ESPN is in question if they can't examine Hubbard's Facebook wall here in the ten day Advent of Pasadena. Hubbard and Condi Rice don't square and Hubbard blasphemes the Auburn Creed if he continues to pass himself as such. And It has been a great disappointment the promise of Auburn Living Democracy Project has failed to engage the travesty of Hubbard at the grass roots with the network they established back in the Spring.

9. Best Actors: Probate Judge Osborn and his grandson by Haylie; Jennifer ODonnell; the Kid who is always asking me what Does the Fox Say; Peter Pan of Ft Payne 2012 Senior Play; and Russ Beene version of Jeremiah Wright moonlighting as Judge Roy Moore's Cracker Preacher.

8. Best pat answer by a local Historian to Civil Rights History of Collinsville: Rebecca Clayton on the Collinsville Historical Association Facebook wall "Stephen, this has nothing to do with Collinsville!'

7. Best documentary on Collinsville by a person of Jewish persuasion who later befriended Robert Redford and Mick Jagger: Brett Morgen

6. Best Bishop to be praised by one Morgan and denigrated by another Brother. Willimon with Mark and Joseph respectively

5.. Best Remark in the crowd of a Collinsville Parade. The Late Bill Jones who on sight of majorette pushing the limits of her outfit: Momma sure did feed her lot of buttermilk and cornbread.

4. Best sister act at a fast food chain with a picture window of downtown: The Cox sisters at Subway. Sad Tamara left.

3. Best used to be excursion in Dekalb County. The 90's ad hoc ride to Log Cabin in Mentone with promising 20 somethings of that era.

3 b. Best seat at Bill Glenns. The window by the Marsh at lunch before Charlotte Grimes gets there (just kiddin Charlotte

2. Sacred Harp. NE Bama's FaSoLa tradition is a natural resource. The Conventions at Liberty Church in Henegar and Pine Grove on Lookout Mtn bring people in from Luc Sante's Bard College, Yale, Poland, Washington State, Hayesville North Carolina and Mississippi!

1. Biggest loss of the last 15 years. The Day my bicycle back tire no longer held air and landlocked me for the belly to expand.   The End.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Trail of Tears and Daughters of Confederacy

   Wedsnesday Huck Treadwell had a front page story in the Ft Payne Alabama Times Journal about the recent mishmash concerning the McAdory HS football banner and the Trail of Tears. My Hometown Gaffney, S.C is the Gaffney Indians.

    Ft Payne was one of the starter sites for the Trail of Tears so it was an interesting story. My complaint is the Daughters of the Confederacy and the unwitting racism of the local tea Party deserves as much ink and spotlight as this Trail of Tears controversy. FTR I think the Times Journal did a good job giving the McAdory cheerleaders a break on this one.

    The TJ and local Historical Associations need go no further than the easily googled Tracy Thompson piece on the Daughters of the Confederacy in Salon Mag to get the conversation started. Talk to Rebecca Clayton of the Collinsville Historical Association; folks in Terrapin Hills and The Hill in Collinsville as well as the Lebanon Community. See the Movie 12 Yrs a Slave and read the chapter the Carceral Landscape in Walter Johnson's watershed book The River of Dark Dreams. Good review of that book is just a google away searching for Delbanco, Lincoln's Long Game.

   Here is looking for a front page follow-up!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Chris Davis, Mike Hubbard, Iron Bowl and SEC Championship and OBAMACARE

I CALLED the Diane Rehm show this morning about Mike Hubbard and Health Care. Created some interesting info about Gov Bentley and how his more noble sentiments were pushed aside by Hubard's tea party in Bama. Earlier this morng Cokie Roberts said 30 some odd governors "blindsided" Obamacare and put more weight on the Federal exchanges. State exchanges coulda helped the process go much smoother. Governors afraid of the Tea Party neutron bomb the initiative and Fox News takes it from there, now with help from the SEC. Look at Hubbard's public facebook wall and ask yourself if you would want him representing the Methodist church or Christendom in the Public Square. Hubbard appears to have thrown in with Eunie Smith and the Birch Society while making millions on the backs of mostly people of color, the latest Chris Davis. Reportedly the President of Auburn differs with Hubbard on Immigration reform. So does Hubbard represent the devil or Jesus Christ with all his public prayers and other shenanigans. Here is hoping this SEC week has Hubbard on panel on Melissa Harris Perry show or PBS Newshour. For sure listen to the entire discussion this morning on I chime in about the 50th minute. I called Gov Bentley's office and talked to Kelly Lee of Marietta Ga about my call to NPR this morn and then called the SBC Bama State Convention office. I was disappointed Kelly didn't know who Judge Frank Johnson was. With Bama grads workin in the Gov office that ignorant about one of the greatest men in Alabama in the 20th Century, much greater than Bear Bryant or Pat Dye, no wonder Mike Hubbard is the Speaker of the House. Here is praying for better leadership on the state level. I will post a link to this blog on the public facebook walls of MOrning Joe and Cynthia Tucker; and in the public policy conversation at The same questions asked of Hubbard re Chris Davis could be asked of Trey Gowdy regarding Marcus Lattimore and Javedeon Clowney. Minute 50 and to see the last play of the game and what Chris Davis did for Mike Hubbard: