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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.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Escape Velocity and Divine Utterances

     With The suggestion of Gaffney's Barty Sides and a great review in the New Yorker "How the South Won the Civil War" in the last month I've read Paul Theroux's Deep South. Martha Barksdale bought her own copy and I shared a library copy with Collinsville's Jeff Graves. I hope to get word to Theroux we are reading him in Bama and we know what he said about Collinsville on page 162. What he may not know is before he got here, Brett Morgen was here in 92, stayed in the motel Theroux wrote about, and Morgen survived to go on to be an Oscar nominee, hang out with Robert Redford and a couple years ago do a magisterial documentary on the Rolling Stones, Crossfire Hurricane.

    But I digress a little. In the book Theroux has a couple good chapters on Faulkner and a great chapter, The "fantastification of Southern Literature". I think my Advanced Comp teacher at Gaffney High, Miss Chadwick, would be proud of me for giving such matters consideration in my 6th decade. She lit the spark, on the heels of Miss Jones and all that preaching I got from my Dad and the visiting evangelists he would bring if for two weeks revivals. All that Old Testament drama dangling over the pits of hell; it was mastered by Marshall Frady but I got the willies and the lifelong seduction too.

    Barty Sides the Presbyterian minister's son a year ahead of me was more eloquent in high school and with doctorate in rhetoric likely moreso now, but this aint a GOP Presidential debate, much less a pissing contest. But it does evoke one of my best comeuppances in my scholarly career.

    Miss Chadwick had to be in her 70s when she taught me, her last year at Gaffney High School, the end of an era. She was great woman. She liked me and couldn't she. Last week of class in 71 I approached her and said Miss Chadwick you can go ahead and tell me I was one of the best students you had all these years at Gaffney High. She said Stephen you were a delight but you weren't even in the top twenty five. Then she starts, naming them. Barty Sides and Steve Williams, the Sossamon girls, Kathy Martin, Jerry Shinn, the Caldwells and Callison and she was just getting warmed up. I said okay, okay I get the picture.

     I'm just getting started here so come back to this piece for  the next couple weeks. Like Robin Williams said emceeing the Academy Awards a few years ago in the opening monologue, As Adam Said to Eve, Get Back Eve, there's no tellin how big this thing's gonna get.

   I got a lot to talk about including Charles Portis--Theroux likes him and weigh in to escape velocity. As a dangling aside Mattie was right she had a fine horse and loved her Presbyterian church. May even have a quote from Sides before this is over.


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