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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 14, 2017

One of the Chosen, Chic Fil A's First One Hundred

     Life has taken its twists and turns since I was in Bob Crapps Religion Class the fall of 71--see History, Jack  Flanders and Frady for bigger picture--with Chic Fil A's CEO Dan Cathy. He's worth about a billion dollars now according to Forbes and I am not. Maybe I shoulda filled out an application while I had a chance.

   We had a mutual friend now retired in WNC after a career in Charlotte banking I love to tell these stories to. She liked my CFA coupon story of a couple years ago and I got word to Dan and sent her a couple in the mail, or maybe I inveighled some from the store in Gainesville and got em to her. Either way it was a win win for everybody.

    But I do have 300 dollars in Chic Fil A value in my pocket now--Anton Chigur said "Don't put it in your pocket"-- compliments of Chic Fil A First one Hundred events.

    I targeted Ft Payne Opening a year ago, squirreling out family and friends for a sleeping bag and or a tent for one night but as of June 11 I had nothing; not even the avid hunters down hwy 11. So I figured my age and the heat of July 12 and humidity plus the quarterfinals of Wimbledon on tv write it off as another loss.

   But about 630 bama time July 12 I got a notice on facebook they hadn't filled out the dance card yet, so I thought why not as I had to pass the new facility anyway on the way on the Lowell Barron Parkway and had intended to stop by anyway and make the scene.

   I got dance card number 65 and Jorge Avila Segura, the valedictorian of Collinsville HS 2013 who also beat Indian Springs and Dalton Georgia and won the state soccer tournament was number 26. So I beat the greater part of the heat of the first 13 hours and was bonified.

   Plus got me a free meal that evening and then  an hour later free ice cream. And good Christians they are access to the air conditioning and rest room facilities inside if you didn't linger.

    They had a gonzo of a contracted out event emcee who was wired in the Lord for the evening. He didn't give me the mike for my CFA testimony but I did get a dead mike for the lip sync competition. I went with Aretha Franklin's R E S P E C T I first heard on the sidewalk outside a strip club in Miami as a 13 year old at the Southern Baptist Convention in 67. My Dad told me not to look in there.

     Well lot of youngsters competing against me who knew all the words their songs plus a group act from an independent Baptist church on Sand Mtn who called themselves the spicey chicks and got a little slim shady with it. They won the damn thing and I never made the final four.

    I voted for Sara Grace who do a Katy Perry impersonation or Britney Spears and I thought nailed it.

     You know Britney Spears is an anagram for Presbyterian, don't you.

   But Gonzo didn't do any word games.

       Made some new best friends from corporate. Cindy from NW Arkansas though she never met Gus Malzaln or Ronnie Floyd nor been to Dyess to see the new Johnny Cash Museum; and Courtney Rice out of Atlanta who went to Texas A and M but hasn't seen the CFA in Canton Ga. I think she's gonna go on my recommendation, the one on 20 west to Cumming. Great place for Dan to do his first two story restaurant cause it would have a magnificent view of the North Georgia Mtns. Would be like Richard Pryor with an apricot tree. If you know that anecdote let me know.

     Courtney said the restaurant capacity ranges from 130 to 160 so the FP unit is in the 130 range. I told her the nicest I'd seen was the Canton Georgia deal and one on Woodruff Rd in Mauldin SC though that was horrible traffic to negotiate.

    Here is what Cindy and Ms Rice may not know. I heard CFA had their eyes on the spot where Jacks is now on the South End right down from the Dairy Queen. That woulda been perfect nestled in the turn of the creek there and the narrows, but a Jax dude undercut em and got the place on rumor of CFA's speculations.

    As fast food sanctuaries go Jax has been good to me but I cant forgive em for that. But I stopped by the Ft pane place today to see em in regular hours and they seem happy; though I don't understand idiots who wait for an hour through drive through when they could send a bright child inside to get it to go; save gas and cut time 20 minutes.

   I got a few more things to say. I may embellish a little more next week so come back to this if you are enjoying yourself as everything off the cuff so far.

      One of my best CFA experiences, was a fast food trifecta no longer in the cards on the Pelham Rd exit on 85 in Greenville, SC. About 7 years ago going west I got off there. Got me a Skins Hot Dog--look em up on the internet for their coagulation of stores most within 30 miles of Anderson SC--crossed back over the bridge and hit Schlotzky's at first light. Took a Right, got my Deluxe Original, went back through the light to CFA and got the great slaw no longer on the menu to put on my chili dog; got some waffle fries and a senior tea.

    I think I kept it all under 8.50 or nine dollars; maybe seven.

   And as they say at the End of Train Dreams, Those Days are gone forever.

   Post script. I promised Cindy and Courtney today that I would link a review of Darren Grem's Blessings of Liberty. Easy Google for Religion Dispatches while I find the link. Grem is a Furman grad, now teaching at Ole Miss who went to Furman like me and Dan. We graduated, Darren and me though not contemps, but Dan and his brother Bubba bailed Christmas 1972 and went to Samford.

     Grem wrote about CFA as part of the trajectory of Kellogg's, RG Latourneau who meshed their business success with conservative religious patriotism and politics. In that spectrum is the Sysco Food Corporation whose founder John Baugh was a little more of a progressive Baptists than Mr. Cathy and the Mike Huckabee leanings of Dan and Bubba.

   Among the litany of stars in CFA crown however, taking some reservations to what could be perceived as the cynicism of Grem on the enterprise is this. Known to many, in addition to the scholarship programs, the assistance to orphans and foster children, the Win Shape program etc, I was deeply proud to see CFA a few years ago rebuild within the year in Joplin, Missouri a year after the devastating tornado there. Cathy showed up there and I think another acquaintance of mine flew in with him. I have to believe Marilynne Robinson would give CFA credit for that one, maybe Mark Noll. And if Courtney and Cindy don't know those two, they should

     I got word CFA is opening a new story in Rock Hill in a month. Courtney said she's not going to that one, but Grem is from Rock Hill. Maybe some of his extended family will participate in the 100 celebration and give him a report before Ole Miss kicks off for SEC Football late September.

    I'm done for now, but do come back cause I got a parable from the Gaffney CFA I won't to tell.

    God Bless Chicken and God Bless America.