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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, April 29, 2016

Sweet Billy, 94

    My Dad woulda been 94 this coming May 3; born in 1922. I've told some of these stories before, but my soul was opened a while ago. You know what the poet Mary Oliver said about the soul, it comes and goes.

    I was gonna blog today about what an ass my Dad's brother Prentice has come to be in his twilight years. He texts me 30 something times a day when I politely ask him not to. Either that or join the righteous chorus in denouncing the GOP Ticket, Trump and Cruz and Fiorina, the whole pompous asinine card

     But I will come back to that later.

    Here in the Ft Payne Library I saw my friend Reverend Doctor Pat McFadden retired from the FBC here; born in Cheraw South Carolina and a Clemson grad. He had on his Clemson shirt today.

   We talked a little about the recent inhouse study of Jesse Helms church Hayes Barton and the implications for other congregations including FBC Gaffney.

   And that stoked some memories of my Dad in Gaffney and playing tennis, his doubles team with Mrs Sossamon and Mrs. Reaves and sometimes their niece, the mother in law of Tim Childers who was on Clemson's 81 natty.

   I think it was Bobby Crocker who named my Dad Sweet Billy. They went to a Baptist Convention in 74 or So in Seattle and had to share a double bed. When they got back somebody asked Crocker if he had any trouble with Billy's snoring.

   Crocker said none at all. Said after they had Bible reading and prayer they got  in bed and Crocker said I leaned over and kissed Sweet Billy on the Cheek and he didn't make a sound all night.

   Crocker was a card. Played football at Furman until the doctor told him he was one hit away from eternity. Then he took up motorcycle ridin and telling people at Draytonville about Jesus.

   I saw Luke Griggs son Max at Jacks last week. Sometime will tell him the story of  JoJo Morgan, Sweet Billy, Wild Bill and the cyclamines at Trade Day.

     Sweet Billy has three great grandsons now he never got to see on this earth. But they all seem to have a great disposition like their great granddad. I will do my best to tell them some good stories as appropriate, even the one about Leon Culberson and Dom DiMaggio, Chile Burgers at Lynn's Number One on Wilkinsville and blackberry pickin with With Whiteside and before that on the Berrong property in Clay County North Carolina, Guy Carter; and Uncle Jesse Nease out from Baltimore and Newport Tennessee.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Alabama stories about Larry Bird sightings and near sightings

     John Morgan's recent column in the Southern Torch was one of his better ones. He can tell a good story. This one was about Larry Bird and a HS basketball game Morgan almost saw. You can read it at the link in this running history of the Collinsville Baptist church, just a couple clicks away

    Turns out there was a good story about Bird a few years earlier, this one I heard from a dairy farmer in Indiana who comes down sometimes twice annually to the Sacred Harp Singings in Collinsville and Henegar. This story I heard about three miles from where Morgan preaches and my Mother was baptized in 1936 or so. See The Exiled Generations, U Tenn Press.

    Dairyman said he was out on a big farm with a friend in the early 90s and the fellow said, there is my new neighbor there across the fence I want you to meet him. So the singer goes over and is introduced to Larry Bird and it was the first this native Indianan had ever heard of him. His friend couldn't believe it. The dairyman is quite gregarious but basketball was not his universe.

    I told the dairyman the story Sunday at the annual Spring singing, two more to go for me in the county between now and September. I told him Morgan's story and he said I got a new one.

   Said a friend of his had done well and now living in a gated community near Indianapolis. Dairyman repeated several times this was really a nice neighborhood. Said through those connections the friend was in big time Chamber of Commerce meeting where a banker was bragging on said neighborhood and the new resident, Larry Bird.

    A short time later the friend saw the banker again and asked how the new neighbor was doing in the community. The Banker was little embarrassed as Bird was seen on a John Deere cutting his own grass, a faux pax in this gated community. Bad style to do your own grass.

    I guess you can't take the French Lick out of one of the greatest of all time.

    For me I'm proud of Bird. If you have a Bird story, especially one you heard in Alabama, please share.