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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, June 16, 2015

Nelson Price's War on Progressive Christendom

    In the late Spring of 2014 my friend Randall Balmer of Dartmouth published his biography of President Jimmy Carter titled the Redeemer President. His bio focused on Carter's pilgrimage in the Baptist faith with a spotlight on the fundamentalist forces who turned on him in the Southern Baptistr Convention between 1976 and 1980.
    It is interesting to read Nelson Price-- the man who did the Inaugural Prayer for Carter's Presidency in 76 having been Carter's "prayer partner" in Georgia--in the June 14 Tribune in light of that biography.
   Having observed Price tack in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention the last 40 years, there is something a little hollow in Price's self victimization when he lead the calvary of intolerance in the Takeover.
      And on the heels of Price colum Shorter Coming off the Hill, lauding his version of Rome Rotary and Chamber of Commerce engaging Shorter and its current ideology, as least its sports program, is a liitle disingenuous for a the Patton of what is passing for a liberal arts school.
      Long story short, have these leaders of civic life and Rome  business  community have a conversation with Shorter with a group read of Molly Worthen's Apostles of Reason. Molly's investigation of inerrancy, the demagogged rubric that brought Price to prominence in the SBC,  is the latest to point out that the fundamentalism Price Champions has a short life indeed in the history of Christendom; about 120 years since its founding in 1890. And Princeton analyst Robert Wuthnow  writes in Rough Country, the Texas Branch of Southern Baptist fundamentalism Price has thrown in with has given us the underbelly of the Tea Party which has brought us to the point a Ted Cruz, or Rick Perry candidacy for President of the United States is taken serious.
     There are three Christian martyrs of the 20th Century in bust in Westminster Abbey: Martin Luther King, Jr; Oscar Romero, And Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Price's heroes of the faith like WA Criswell, Jesse Helms, leaders of the John Birch Society and the likes of J Frank Norris are not found there; nor is there anyone from Marietta Georgia of 1915 who orchestrated the lynching of Leo Frank in a meadow now under the South Bound lane of I-75 about a mile from the Big Chicken and just a couple miles from Roswell street Baptsit Church.
    Where in the career of Nelson Price is there any evidence he came to grips with the notorious implications of this crime that shaped the world view of the society in which he was to flourish just 50 years later?
     Jimmy Carter had a course correction in his first days as Governor of Georgia and his former prayer partner Price has yet to find his way.
      One further note about Bonhoeffer. UVA proff Charles Marsh, son of a former pastor of 2nd Ponce De Leon Baptist of Atlanta, Bob Marsh, who spoke out against the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC Price championed; Charles wrote a biography of Bonhoeffer published last year. On page 341 of that Bio Marsh reports Bobnhoeffer's thoughts on the "politics of stupidity" a few months before he became a martyr resisting the Nazis.
      The  leaders of Rome Georgia would find their time better served for the long term integrity of the civic life of their beloved Rome, if they spent their devotional time exploring Bonhoeffer and the above suggestions, instead of flirting with the shallow leadership of Nelson Price and his designs for Shorter College.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Bridges BBQ Hopes and memories

    For last couple months been thinking, even dreaming about a trip to Bridges BBQ. Unlike last year, didn't get the annual trip first of this year to the great elysium of the grandest of the pork tradition celebrated by the likes of Billy Graham and Jesse Helms, from Andie Macowell to Ginny Willis and here in last few years, Ron Rash on NPR.

    Recently it came in second to Saw's of Bham in the Guns and Garden magazine BBQ bracket. Ive been to Saws and it is upstart and good experience, but Bridges and those environs are the real deal.

    From the old home at 209 Dogwood Drive in Gaffney you could take the short cut over across Cherokee Avenue to the Hospital and up hwy 14 into NC; or you could take a right on Hetty Hill extension at Barry Bagwell's house and go out to the dead end at the Skinner place;  and cut through that way toward the Broad River Brick yard, or hit 29 and go over toward the Draytonville cut-off--they ought to put a Half-Way Baptist Church in there somewhere as a marker--and get creative in the route to Shelby.

   My brother has lived near Tryon North Carolina on the SC side for several years. The route from there has been delightful for  since the Gaffney exodus in 78.

    I woke up about 4 am couple days ago contemplating a short story of some concoction anchored in these musings. But for for now I guess this will do.

   PS, about 20 seconds after I posted this link on the facebook wall of Bart Sides, the Presbyterian minister's son of that day in Gaffney, I scrolled down his page and saw where he was present at this oiece of Hog Heaven coincidentally on my brithday a few weeks ago. Part of the infinite evidence it made an impression on many more than this lone soul since the mid 50s.