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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.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Turn it up, Alabama

  Over the weekend finally got a viewing of Twenty Feet from Stardom, the documentary on the backup singers for some of the greatest Rocknroll songs of the 60s and 70s. Merry Clayton is the marquee personality. She did the original "Rape, Murder" on the Stones Gimme Shelter. She and Mick Recollect in the doc.

   But thesegment that takes it all for me in this transcendent documentary is the collage they stream, the visuals for her experience with Lynrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama. Great two minute history, takes you right back there.

    Merry's version roughly was in 74 why would any black woman want to sing about Alabama. But she was counseled she would understand in time. She says her first thought it was a slap in the face, but then she thought, unh hunh, we got your sweet home Alabama; we gonna sing you anyway and we gonna sing the crap out of you.

    Beautiful. See the film and see the segment several times.

    To Temper her version read Mark Kemp's exegesis of same song in Dixie Lullaby. Go to the index and find political interpretations. Fascinatin.

   Find this film on pay perview, RecBox, Whatever. If you were born between 46 and 1960 you got no excuses.

     Here is not the exact clip but should get you close to her winning personality and legacy:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sixty one years and counting

    I have not refined my thoughts this first day of my 61st year, but have been thinking this weekend true to form the more the years add on, the more somber the occasion. But then again that reminds me I haven't emailed or called my Gaffney friend Tommy Jones who shares this day and age with me. We had a memorable candle lighting on a couple cupcakes in the Jr High Lunchroom in 67. And a week  later I was off to see WA Criswell at the Southern Baptist Convention in Miami.
    Haven't been back  to Miami sense.

     But before I get lost in memory's wilderness wanted to make this quote from New Yorker dated March 17 from a James Wood Review. I  met Wood once at the Sewanee Writer's Conference; proud of that.

       had come to see, as he himself said in so many words, that understanding is not what this life has given us, that answers can only beget questions, that honesty commands a declaration not of faith but of ignorance, and that the only mission available to us, one laid to our charge, if any hand was in it, is to let unfold the questions, to take to the river knowing not if it runs to the sea, and accept our place as servants of life.

     Will try to put the quote in context later, but wanted to get this effort dated properly.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Literate Baptists and the North Carolina Senate Race

   Not long ago I shared a couple links at the Clay County Progress Facebook wall on the North Carolina Senate Race. Hayesville, N.C. and Clay County is the birthplace of George W. Truett and where I accepted Jesus as my Saviour and was Baptized in 1959.

    I don't think Truett were he with us today would vote for Art Pope and the Koch Brothers Tea Party Candidate Tillis. A studious hearing of Elizabeth Warren's hour long conversation on NPR's Diane Rehm further convinces me of such, not to mention the Moral Monday's crusade this last year in North Carolina.

    About a month ago, a good man, Guy Sayles, of FBC Asheville, N.C. had an easily googled piece at I found quite naive. In effect a leader of the progressive Baptist movement in North Carolina who does much good, came across to me as not being in a much better place in this Tea Party Onslaught as were the 8 ministers to whom Martin Luther King sent his letter from the Bham Jail in 1963.

    Senator Warren makes clear this is not about race. This is about the future of the working middle class getting a fair shake in the face of Citizens United and the Koch Brothers Oligarchy. I don't think King, nor Truett woulda been doubleminded on that.

     On Monday I had a cordial but straightforward chat with an administrator of the now fundamentalist Baptist Southeastern Seminary, I recommended Molly Worthen's Apostles of Reason to him, as well as Randall Balmer's new bio of President Carter and Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America.

   Twenty years ago, Sayles predecessor at FBC Asheville told me Bill Friday told him the most significant event in the 1980's decade in North Carolina was the fundamentalist takeover of SEBTS. Because in that takeover fundamentalists of the Jesse Helms, Paul Pressler stripe had a route into the pulpit of every hamlet, suburb and precinct in North Carolina with what has now become a Tea Party ideologue.

   In that Friday and Sherman trump Saylyes well meaning attempt at Solomonic wisdom for North Carolina. In these days the center fielder is not holding!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Trey Gowdy's Big Moment

  The Darling of Fox News and First Baptist Church of Spartanburg is now chairing Darell Issa's Select Committee. Google Ryan Lizza for Issa in the New Yorker. Stout profile of the righteously indignant now pushing Gowdy further up the organ grinder's monkey pole.

  Karl Rove created the Modern Presidency where politics drove the 24 hour news cycle to keep Roger Ailes Fox News and all his blonde booby anchors griding out daily drama for Christian America.

    Gowdy goes to church with Billy Graham now. I would love to be around in 15 years when Wofford or Furman or Converse has a joint three day symposium on the Watergate Legacy of Congressman Trey Gowdy.

    How about Nixon in Knoxville with Billy Graham's Christian Crusade a few weeks after Kent State. Four Dead in Ohio. You explored that one lately in prayer with Billy lately Trey?

    I don't often agree with George Will but he was right last night on the routinely ridiculous "fair and balanced" panel.

   Hey Trey, invite Joe Crespino to Wofford and sit down on panel and have an educational look at this fiasco. Strom Thurmond's America Redux.

    If you are Sam Ervin; well I ain't seen it yet.