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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 www.clsnet.org 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, May 12, 2017

I'm proud to be a Furman Paladin

       Yesterday about 2:50 I'm sittin in the house and I hear a voice, a conversation on NPR about  Confederate monuments coming down in New Orleans. I think this could be Vernon cause I know a South Carolina accent when I hear one, Mrs Reaves and Mrs Sossamon of Gaffney among the best.

   Sure enough Clemson proff Vernon Burton had just completed a 3 minute and change interview on monuments and Civil War History and what it was fought about. Vernon is a 1969 graduate or Furman. He left two years before I got there and six years after Marshall Frady graduated.

      I got excited and left messages for Ansley Quiros, Vandy doc who is a Furman alum and Harvard history proff Tomiko Brown Nagin, 90s Furman grad from Greenwood, SC. I don't roll in those professional circles but figger everything else they know they should least know what I know.

     Vernon got it right. Instead of takin all the monuments down, put more up. For instance the only thing written in stone on the grounds of the state capitol grounds in Columbia South Carolina recognizing a person of color is a recent etching to the statue of Strom Thurmond naming his mixed race daughter.

     My nomination for the first full statue is Marian Wright Edelman who summered in Cherokee County where her grandfather was a Baptist Preacher at Thicketty Creek.  Marian Wright showed Bobby Kennedy the face of poverty in Mississippi. Her statue should go up before Sidney Rice, even Joe Frazier; and God knows how much I join everybody else in Gaffney South Carolina claiming Sidney Rice as my best friend.

        Here is what Vernon said. Listen closely

       http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/05/11/jefferson-davis-statue-new-Orleans

     In that vein also google Hal Crowther's great piece in the Oxford American few years ago, The New Mind of the South. Will help you see the Daughters of the Confederacy in a New Light.

    Another person I called was the son of Nixon's barber, Jim Pitts, who with LD Johnson in the 60s was Furman's prophetic voice in the Chaplain's office. Alester G Furman the III or IV loved LD and often sought his counsel. Furman wept when fundamentalists forced Furman to break with South Carolina Baptists.

    A few months ago Pitts told me the story of Benjamin Mayes coming to campus the winter of 68. He worked hard to drum up attendance for the event. Only 20 showed, but one of them was Vernon Burton, who later drove Mayes to the airport and became a lifelong friend.

    A few months later Martin King was assassinate and hundreds of Furman students drove to Atlanta to witness the historic funeral.

    As Maya Angelou said at Coretta's funeral: I opened my eyes to the Lawd, and we shall see What the End will be!!

   Amen.

    I paraphrased. According to reports Angelou said:

     I open my mouth to the Lord, and I won’t turn back no. I will go. I shall go. I’ll see what the end is going to be

           

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