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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, December 13, 2016

HS Basketball in NE Bama on Eve of Trump Administration.

   The Little princess gymnast cheerleader from Sand Rock, The Rock, High School was barking like a dog by the 3rd period of the boys game last Friday Night in the LD Dobbins arena in Collinsville Alabama.

   The place was packed and rocking as Collinsville just a few months ago had renewed the football rivalry with Sand Rock about 7 miles away up on mostly Lily White Lookout Mountain, Alabama.

  I knew it was gonna be a helluva game when I looked up from sittin with Donnie Mac Myers of the Weldon Parrish administration, looked up and saw 8th grader kayla Beene hittin a layup calm as a cucumber. Out there with the big girls. Was proud to know her Uncle Russ who once tried to put the ball in play in the same arena through the backboard. Kayla may not be the next Heather Mayes, but then again nobody will ever be the next Heather Mayes. The Panthers had Mayes teammate at Jax State, now the Rock Coach, sufferin. Got close at the end but shoulda been a route.

   One of the biggest crowds I'd seen since the Wayne Dowdy days of the late 80s and Solomon Stanton's glory years in the mid 90s.

   I traveled over to the Waffle House back in October on a Thursday night trying to get on the radio with Scott Wright and Sand Rock legend Rusty Jacoway radio, but there audience tech man wasn't present so no on air fame for me. Meanwhile I had missed the memo and didn't get to see Raymond Weaver at the Collinsville pep ralley in front of the lit up marquee Cricket Theatre in Downtown Collinsville.

   Weaver reports say recounted the second game he played against Sand Rock about 76 when Wellington Hope ran all over the Rock Wildcats. Caused Bad blood and the on again off again football series ended in 94, 95 or so and didn't pick up again till last year.

   Several fights over the years. Revenant and local historian Wayne Clanton Sunday night was telling me about the famous game in 58 in the old gym now dedicated to Bama Hall of Famer Lindy Hood, where the local crackers were stacked in like Pancakes. Collinsville teacher  Wendale Tidmore hit the end game buzzer while a sand rock basket was in the air, a shot that made its mark but the game was called for Collinsville and it was bedlam. Big Brawl, even a woman takin off her heels and beating a man in the face on the floor.

   Brawl lasted an hour plumb out to the railroad across Highway 11.

   Then there have some near misses and almost brouhahas over the years, a tense game I saw in 88 when some Rockers at their place went after my friend Dwight as he was headed down the stairs to the away locker. That was right after the Fred Lockett era, Fred from Lebanon and one of the finest Americans Ive ever met anywhere.

     There were rumors of the N Word being trafficked on snap chat and Instagram this year. But Nigger aint what it used to be as my friend Herman Kerley dismissed the term in a doc on Collinsville back in 2002 shown on statewide PBS. Good doc featuring former mayor Willingham who has property in the Brownfell community near The Rock, and Herman Prado.

    Kerley, who a student at Alabama state in Montgomery in the late 50s was in church with Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks. Kerley said in the doc there used to be a sign in Crossville about 8 miles west of Collinsville on Sand Mtn, that said: "Read Nigger Run and if you can't read, run anyway."

    He laughed and he should.

     So I guess the Sand Rock princess had reason to be barking by the 3rd period as the Rockers were down by about 20 points in their new uniforms. I laughed with her. In another time, another place we could be friends. She reminded me of a joke a Miss Alabama contestant from Gardendale told me once but I fear misinterpretation at this point. About JAPS, an anacronym in a Joan Rivers Routine.

   I wouldn't be surprised if she goes into real estate some day.

    The Rock is in the Provinces but things aren't like they used to be. Scott Wright wrote up their 85 gridiron campaign in Fire on the Mtn, and those children get around. Wormy Norris's grandson Riley,  is a starter for U Bama roundballers and does a good job. These kids go to Rome Ga and Disney world and have seen some things and had conversations with the rich kids who come up from Atlanta to Lake Weiss in the summer. Bush 43 Atty Gen Alberto Gonzalez Mother in law  lives there and BeyoncĂ© herself has ancestry in Gaylesville which you can almost get to on the Lake.

   And from Collinsville Charlie Hood escaped in 65 and went to Berry and over to Cobb County Georgia where he coached Dale Ellis who played for UTenn and then Patrick Ewing's son who played for Georgetown where my hero LJ Peak of Gaffney South Carolina, now owns the court. So if the locals say Nigger as Kerley points out, they don't say it with as much confidence and enthusiasm as they used to cause they know it don't scour very far after they leave the front yard.

   I'm hoping some of them become acaquainted with Isabel Wilkerson who has roots in Rome Ga and is calling for some truth and reconciliation conversations. With the event today in Gadsden Alabama with Bryan Stevenson that is not as far fetched an idea as some in the Daughters of the Confederacy might've imagined even a couple years ago.

   Who knows what Jennifer Wilkins and Mark Wilson will bring to the Cricket Theatre in the next couple years.

   I imagine about 87 percent of the Collinsville crowd voted Trump and 96 percent of the Sand Rock crowd. All that wasn't race based though a member of an influential family in Collinsville is convinced Hillary Clinton killed 34 people. Not too many people in either school listen to Diane Rehm show. Most think the Daughters of the Confederacy tell the truth about the civil war.

    Hal Crowther's piece on the DAC and the New Mind of the South Revisited is as easy google at John Grisham's Oxford American, but you won't find Oxam  Mag at the Collinsville Public Library at least until Wilkins gets a stamp of approval from Mark Wilson is my existentialism on that one.

    Even more disappointing is a few folks who think James Dobson was a better person to trust on who Christians should vote for, him and Rick and Bubba over Jesus Christ and Bishop Willimon; and I'm afraid too many fans never read my friend Sam Hodges For the Love of Alabama or Pelikans Jesus Through the Centuries or even are aware of the Collinsville connections to all three Christian martyrs in bust in Westminster Abbey.

   I think Gloria Morgan has added one more to her list and I'm proud of her for that. She was at the game Friday beside the scorer's table. Her sister's church in Cobb County Ga, Bryant Wright's Johnson Ferry BC--they got spotlighted on CBS 60 Minutes in October-- is housing Syrian refugees so there is a finger in Trump's eye at least on one count.

     I had a lot more I wanted to say about the history of the county and the cross pollination among the teams and the unofficial visit of some girls in the class of 91 to Sand Rock and how both sets of cheerleaders should see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and talk to their Mothers about The Heathers which was a big flick in the 90s.

   But here. I have to live here and so far except for the chase in 06 that got a few sirens relatively unscathed, at least physically. Thirty years in Bama will take its toll on anybody.

    I will say this, back in the Spring when Black Lives Matter--see the story about the  Bunk Richardson fellow hanging from the Bridge in Gadsden in 1902 in tomorrow's Gadsden paper and read my spare parts blog--was a good story about a 20 something of color from Bama coming back from NYC with a Yankee friend of same race. As they got to North Carolina and then South, Georgia and then Bama the confederate paraphernalia was more and more evident waving from pick up truck and on bumper stickers. Yankee Negro was getting tense. It was evident. He said to the Bama POC how can you stand it. Bama dude said, chill out, these crackers are my friends. When I see all this shit and hear em chantin Roll Tide and for the Bear and Robert E Lee, that's when I know I'm home.

   Maybe there is some hope in that; that and maybe Mark Wilson and Martha Barksdale getting more people to listen to NPR and Jason Barnett as a Republican School Supe Expecting More.

    I guess we're about to find out.

   If you've read this far, come back early next year. Maybe some refinement and some add ons or a part Two

And here was the view from Sand Rock press

Update, and the followup last night was something. I was there:


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