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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, July 15, 2016

Martha's Apotheosis, Historic ReLighting of the Cricket Marquee in Collinsville, Alabama

       Congrats to Martha Barksdale as she lived to see her vision come true last night with the relighting of the Cricket Marquee. I was there and I was impressed as 300 people showed up to get a medallion, a coca cola in a 6 ounce glass bottle and some popcorn compliments of the Historical Association and Martha's Right hand helped Donzella Bobo who never stopped putting out the popcorn working right through the lighting of the marquee.

     To Martha's credit she is the only person I know in the town to own a copy of Paul Theroux's Deep South and to have read it, even the reservations about her beloved University of Alabama. According to her husband Thomas she was there as a bystander the day Wallace stood in the school house door.

    And she has read my essay on My churchin in the Collinsville BC in the UTenn published book The Exiled Generation.

     I had a good day yesterday in Collinsville. Had some spare shrimp which I added to the hunan shrimp at China House where Chen was in rare form with political insights and a little ping pong braggadocio. Had a cooling afternoon and some threatening rain clouds cooled things a little so I got downtown early for the lighting. Was there when Thomas and Martha inostentatiously arrived in Thomas 87 Ford Ranger Pickup and gave Martha some valet service right in front of the theatre.

   I guess they left the Cadillac Escalade at home.

    In side the theatre had some delightful conversations with Jeff Patton and the Edwards brothers Riley and John; talked to Jeff Graves, Emmily Carr Smith and Michelle McPherson. Saw Madison of AULD and Trussville bring out her children's dancing troup but bailed when Jennifer Wilkins took the microphone as by that time Brad Barksdale had taken my chair.

    Went outside and chatter till the program was over inside. There I had a few photo opps with Maria Moreno and her man and Sam De La Cruz, Jorge Corona's first Cousin. Then the gdaughter of the founder Jackie Weaver, Elizabeth Weaver came out and I got the historic photo adding Solomon Stanton's sister to the above. We all got a little notoriety Jan of 2015 schooling school supe Hugh Taylor on the  significance of the movie Selma; hence the historical resolution to the Wallace segregation speech.

    Elizabeth on her Mother's side is the granddaughter of a man whose first cousin below Piedmont was Asa Carter, the Klan publicist and speechwriter who later wrote the book that became a Clint Eastwood movie. Connect the dots, lots going on most folks in Collinsville didn't pick up on.

    Had a good time telling one of Uncle Fremont's best jokes to LD McReynolds son and wife--Mark Petty's inlaws-- and the Box Boys Munsey III and IV or Eye Vee as some call little Munsey who is bigger than Big Munsey, a friend of Bobby Welch.

    Even had  a rare civil conversation with Duke's Mark Morgan, father of five, whose Dad took their picture with the lighted Marquee.

    My UPS buddy Andee got there late and we took Uncle Free's joke to Jaks to share with Aunt Charlotte and Phyliss Jones.

   So I worked the crowd in good form and all was good in the world for about 90 minutes.

   I hope to get a pic to my friend Brett Morgen whose Blessings of Liberty Doc on Collinsville in 92 got him momentarily enchanted with the Cricket, then in Great Disrepair.

     There was a most historic pic taken but my facebook friends are delinquent. In meantime I'm sure there are many pix at the public wall of Auburn University Living Democracy and Southern Torch as Pastor John Morgan was clicking away. Hope to link some stories soon.

   And I will be saying more about this big night in my Mother's hometown so come back soon to this post.

    For the time being I am beginning a campaign to have Cinema Paradiso be the first movie shown when the theatre reopens at same time I am convinced Jennifer Wilkins and others will find a way to sabotage my suggestion. Such is the intrigue and drama of small town politics even in the face of a great accomplishment.

    Here is a link I will explain with lingering shadow on Collinsville, even though last night was something of a hopeful plateau, a resolution of sorts of the implications and historical legacy involved.

  Asa Carter key figure with legacy in Collinsville.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nick Saban and Black Lives Matter

  In October of 2012 I called the Paul Finebaum show and got on air with Rhodes Scholar Nominee Greg McElroy and Paul  Had them taking notes with a reference to Howell Raines piece in the New Republic Farewell to the Bear on 1984 on Bear's relationship to the 60s George Wallace and how maybe more coulda been expected of the Bear.

    Now we have a rough version of the White Citizen's Council reincarnated in the politics of the NRA and this Black Lives Matter moment in America now spotlighted in Dallas.

    Since we all know most of the players that fund Saban and the SEC and ACC are people of color, and gun violence inordinately effects the extended families of people of color which make up the teams every fall in the South, it may be time for Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney and fellow coaches to engage a Muhammad Ali like summit of the 60s with Jim Brown and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

     To that end I have left a message on the machine of Nick Saban's priest Father Ackerman of St. Francis Catholic Church in Tuscaloosa and just this morning talked to a staffer there. I have attempted to contact the former chair of Clemson trustees David Wilkins whose wife shares roots with me in Gaffney South Carolina.

    I will be leaving links to this blog at the facebook wall of New Baptist Covenant and others to bring President Carter in the conversation as I talked to his pastor this morning on the phone.

   I hope all including readers of this blog will take a strong look at review of three recent books on the politics of the NRA as well as the Daley book discussed in a blog below about political bleaching practices in Alabama and across SEC land. And the court Fee system is a matter of concern as pointed out by Auburn's Mark Wilson and his Living Democracy Project which has footprints going into the fourth year in Collinsville, Alabama.

     Derrick Harkins of 19th Street Baptist Church DC and Union Seminary was his eloquent best exploring this moment in America this morning on NPR diane rehm show, I invited the woman at St Francis to have her church and Coach Saban listen. Harkins was grand a few years ago on same program talking about Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer novel Gilead and it was an honor for me to have a phone conversation with him a few days after that program. Here in Alabama Obama detractors Rick and Bubba, Yellowhammer News and Crawford Broadcasting should be aware of Robinson's conversation last fall with Obama in the New York Review of Books.

    Just today my friend Robert Parham and Brent McDougal had was wise Christian examinations of the current moment at Brent is native Alabamian, studied with George Wallace biographer Dan Carter at Emory and is now a pastor in Dallas.

   Just today I saw McElroy on panel with three people of color on SEC Network media days from Hoover Alabama. McElroy has the connections and the wits in Dallas and Tuscaloosa to make a difference. We'll see where the conversation goes from here.

    God Bless the United States of  America and all its promise.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Rick Burgess and Bubba assault on liberal arts education: Samford and Free State of Jones

   If you scroll down a little on this blog you will see where I have had Rick and Bubba on the mind lately. I took a monthlong break while I was in Upstate SC but Tuesday their horsepoop on Bammer and syndicated Mississippi radio was cow pasture as usual.

   This time they made the outrageous assertion the Matt Mcconnaheee (sp) movie Free State of Jones was evidence the Republican party was best and all the Dems wanted to do was keep black people enslaved.

    These buffoons claim to have a college degree from Jax St. They host many Samford students as interns and recently had a Vandy coed in the building.

   They teach, least Burgess does and are popular among the ranks of fundamentalists now controlling the Bammer Baptist SBC.

    I talked to Phillip Poole in marketing for Samford a few days ago with some of my concerns. I know Rick and Bubba's ignorance, their religious political fundamentalism has nothing in common with late Samford President Tom Corts, nor JSU's Hardy Jackson and Brandt Ayers, nor good ole boy from the same environs as them, Piedmont Alabama's Rick Bragg.

    These clown bullshitters who wrap themselves up in a Primary department of a Sunday school Bible are sad if not for their wide following in the state who are convinced they are talking the "walking Around" Gospel Truth.

   Well Dammit, Here is the Truth about the GOP of today, the one Lee Atwater and Reagan, Carroll Campbell and Mike Hubbard crafted playing off the resentments of working class white folks

   And that's just for starters. There are the new books Ratfucked by Daley, White Trash promoted on NPR Yesterday and Wuthnow's Rough Country.

    I asked Samford's Poole since they have such a rich relationship with R and Bubba to consider hosting a panel this fall, late Sept or early October so Rick and Bubba like the organ grinders monkey going up the flagpole the higher he gets the more he shows his ass; let Rick and Bubba have a full ass showing at Samford on panel with the likes of Samford Grad and Pulitzer nominee Wayne Flynt and his disciple Mark Wilson of the Auburn Democracy Project; former U Bama Prez David Matthews of the Center for Civic Life, Suzanne Martin of the Samford faculty or the poli sci woman from Bham Southern even Hardy Jackson of R and Bubba's alma mater.

   Lets find out what Rick and Bubba and their fundy Bible are really made of. They seem to be itchin for a Throwdown. Lets give em a chance to Bring it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Gaffney South Carolina's Baptist influence on Bobby Kennedy

      Yesterday I called the DC office of US Congressman Joe Kennedy Jr or the Third, the grandson of RFK, Bobby Kennedy. I'd just heard the hour long interview on NPR's Fresh Air of Larry Tye, the latest biographer of Bobby.

   In a long stretch he Tye talked about the influence of Marian Wright Edelman on the evolution of Bobby's conscience regarding Civil Rights and the poor, specifically a tour of the Delta then Marian Wright took Bobby on in a visit to Jackson in 64 when Bobby was Senator from New York.

     You can find the transcript here and I hope to post that segment with this blog soon.

     One of my proudest moments was a conversation with Marian Wright Edelman Jan 31, 2009 outside ML King's iconic 16th Street Baptist Church in Bham. Wright Edelman spoke that day with President Carter and singing by Emmy Lou Harris and my friend Kate Campbell. In President Carter's address he pointed to the stain glass window that exploded the face of Jesus the day the church was bombed in September of 1963. I was standing room only standing under that window when President Carter pointed in my direction a couple people down from Wayne Flynt, the Pulitzer Prize nominee often called the conscience of Alabama.

     Whatever folks may say of me when I'm gone, at least one day I was in good company.

     Talking to Ms. Edelman late that afternoon it surfaced we shared Gaffney SC in common. MRE's grandfather was a Baptist preacher over around the Thicketty Creek community and she spent many summers there as a young girl.

  I took that info to some Gaffney friends, notably my friend Charles Edwards from Central Elementary school in the 3rd grade on through Gaffney High then Furman. His Mother Faye then collaborated with Furman grad Ron Singleton, Chaplain at Limestone and Marian Wright Edelman was in Gaffney for the King Holiday to speak at Limestone in 2011.

    The school was within a mile from my Dad's church for 16 years there. I was proud of all the circumstances and delighted to be part of the concocting of the event.

    If you haven't read the transcript by now it should follow here in a few days. Bobby's children told Tye of all the lectures the educational talks they got around the family table at Hickory Hill, the story Bobby Told when that Sunday Afternoon when he came back from Mississippi and the hands on tour with Marian Wright Edelman was the most memorable.

   It should be noted that whatever reservations many of you have about Hillary Clinton, it has been long standing motif of her life her mentors include in the highest eschelon, Marian Wright Edelman and Maya Angelou.