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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, August 29, 2017

Bob Dylan, Civil War Monuments and the Sacred Harp where my Grandfather Jordan taught school

       I've been dabblin in the Sacred Harp for about 11 years now and about ready to lead a number. This weekend at Pine Grove in the church building where Grandfather Jordan (born 1881) taught school including double first cousins Bud Oliver and Eulene Reed in the early 40s was special.

    I had a good time July 4th for one day at Henegar, got a punch in the gut Friday with allergic sneezing and aching all over but the singing and the good dinner on the ground Saturday and Sunday and seeing the regular friends of once a year the last ten years was special this year. Jesus Healed me in three days.

   Surprise showing of the honorable Todd Heifner, the cisco kid. We'd been talking about it but I didn't expect him to show up. First break I was complainin to Emmy Lou Harris friend Gooch and the prankster Gooch--almost as good as Uncle Fremont but different style--said he'd never show and I turned around and there he was.

   And then the politikin and facebook photo opps commenced. Robert Chambless, Auburn grad captured about 165 of em for the closed group Friends of Sacred Harp and I'm in enough of them plus 7 todd had took that after 11 years I'm pretty much of the family I guess. Gonna attempt to bring in 30 Jordans and Foxes for a splash next year.

   Great thing about the Sacred Harp is there are enough revenants to go around and nobody is a celebrity at these events. Well Maybe Rodney Ivey in his own mind and Ricky Harcrow--just teasin boys--but David and his crew and Lloyd and Scott and Coy and Lilly are some of the finest people you'll meet anywhere, and they've been to the Oscars and back for the Cold Mtn Soundtrack. That's why Jesus didn't see to have me join till 2007 or so cause he knew if I sung with em at the Oscars I woulda been unbearable.

     Kiri Miller wrote the definitive book so start there. Here is all you need to know she mighta missed.

    One, Bob Dylan did a version of the Lone Pilgrim Sean Wilentz of Princeton explored with all its Barton Stone over reaches.

    Two There are two versions of my friend Sam Hodges gggg Grandfather Fitzpatrick dying words in Letters to Amanda after the Battle of Petersburg Va, Jesus can make a dying bed soft as downy pillows are. One is Prospect.

     The NYC Rockefeller Center Chorale or some similar august choir has done a classical version of David's Lamentation. I requested it Saturday and my friend from  Oakhurst Baptist in Atlanta who knows Amy Greene led it.

     Four Lilly and Lloyd were stars of the show if you count leading and lunchtime conversation with Larry Bird's friend Adrian Eldridge of Indiana a close second.

   Donnie reed is doing a great job carryin on the tradtion of Bud Oliver and his Great Granddaddy ST Reed's 72 lemons in the wash tub lemonade.

    Dressin was good at lunch but the pan at henegar this year was illustrious. Rodney Ivey says a church of God Woman does on his request only so I'll be there again next year the Saturday before the fourth if the Lord Tarries.

   PS, the on the fly monuments discussion never came close to sabotaging the good will of these sacred singings, but there were a couple of interesting civil exchanges, one unflinching and another informative from some Richmond friends. For me I'm pretty much with Andy Young and  Clemson's Vernon Burton, the proff not profiled on Yellowhammer News today.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Prayer of George W. Truett's Mother circa 1874

      I was baptized in the Truett Memorial Baptist Church in Hayesville NC in 1959 when my father was pastor there. George Truett was born there  about two miles SW of the town in 1867. Find him on Wikipedia, the grandest Baptist of the first half of the 20th Century.

   When he was about seven according the the Keith Durso biography of Truett, in 1874 he and his brother came upon his Mother prostate on the ground one morning weeping and praying to Almighty God. This wife of a Confederate soldier who had several Baptist ministers in her own family seven years after the War Truett tells of her Mother praying:

     She was down on her face before God. I can remember until yet the surprising pathos of her prayers.She said " Lord Jesus, I can never raise this household full of boys like they ought to be reared without Thy help. I will make shipwreck of them without Thy Help. I cannot guide them, I cannot counsel them. I cannot be the woman a Mother ought to be to her children without God's Help. Teach me and Help me every hour.

  Truett said she arose singing and was joyful the rest of the Day.

   That's the stuff of the best of the Baptist witness in America, that's where it comes from.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

NE Bama 97 percent eclipse

  I have a lot of reporting to about the memorable day of August 21, 2017. I was getting excited but it took off for me about 2:07 EDT when some new friends handed me some official eclipse glasses when a woman came in a burger joint all excited what she had seen out the window coming down 59. I think she was from jasper Tenn or was haulin that way.

   I looked through them and I was hooked. Shared them with some constructionworkers, and it seemed to brighten their day as well.

   Talked to some new friends from Sunday Stephens  in  Hoover who'd pulled off the HWY at Martins and were gazin. Shared some info with them and vice versa reciprocity likewise.

   As planned went on downtown to share the experience with the locals at Patriots Park between the Lyberry and the RR where (name later) from UBama saw the "wildly flapping gobblers" out the RR window going toward Chattanooga at the 1927 Turkey Trot.

   But nobody was gathering there. I saw Lori and her friends Mike and Jeff at City Hall out in Lounge Chairs with the Mayor and Constable Bowen so I parked there.   We got full dose at 2:37, 1:37 Bama Time EDT.

   I thought it was Sabanesque, even at 97 percent full throttle, but have come to understand, to concede its the last three percent that gets you there.

   Had some interesting conversations couple hours later back at exit 205 who had experienced totality at points north of Chattanooga, Cleveland, Athens, Knoxville and Tellico Plains.

   I think Thomas Barskdale went to Nashville with his granddaughter Brooklyn but yet to confirm.

   Hats off to Katie and family on the Clemson lake, friends in Greer and Furman, and the folks in Chester and Laurens and Clinton SC who got their picture took for the New Yorker album.

   Was gonna put on my Jesus and the Confederate Flag Tee Shirt to for added history, (Eclipse, get it) but the Holy Spirit or the Moon and the Sun relieved me of that Notion at Decision Time.

    Did have brief but intense exchange with the local librarian as the moon was about 42 percent of its exit dalliance with the sun. I think she heard me clearly and understood my sentiments and won't forget my thoughts on the situation if she really ever had any doubts on the matter to begin with.

   So there was that and the barber and Kesha Butler at WV Graves and as billy bob said in The Man Who Wasn't There: "The Next Day Was a Saturday.

PS, BUT in Greenville SC even billy bob woulda been there like he said at Florence Alabama, been part of a Divine Process the engulfed Bob Jones AND Furman....

Monday, August 14, 2017

What Furman University can Teach Meet the Press

   Chuck Todd himself is coming to my alma mater Furman August 31. I'm delighted, would love to be there myself. Shook hands with Tom Brokaw on campus about 2004 when he was there to moderate a Presidential debate in downtown Greenville.

     Todd is no Tim Russert, then again I'm no Jack Kennedy but glad to have him there anyway.

    Here is what Tim needs to know about Furman before he gets there.

    Not only am I a grad (smile) but over the years Lee Atwater's daughter Salley got a degree there, SC Governors Dick Riley and Mark Sanford, and Nixon's Southern Strategist Harry Dent's daughter Dolly was there for two years while I was there.

     The father of long time Chaplain now retired, my friend Jim Pitts, was Nixon's barber and Nixon slept in what is now the Furman President's Mansion when he visited his good friend Charles Daniel there in 1962. My friend Roger Milliken Jr's father of Spartanburg gave more money to Nixon than any other man in America in 1972, though Roger Jr. went to Harvard with Ben Bernanke.

      Current rising senior Clayte Hubbard is the son of former Bama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, the man who flipped Bama  decisively from the Dems to the party of Trump in 2010.

     Whats her face (Victoria Jackson)  of shortlived SNL Fame now a Conservative activist was there in the 80s, and Chic Fil A CEO Dan Cathy was in my religion class in the fall of 71.

   And Sports Illustrated front Cover World Cup Soccer star Clint Dempsey played at Furman for two years or more. I hope he is coming to Alabama soon and make some waves for Atty Gen Sessions the Bama GOP re Immigration reform.
    Amy Grant was at Furman for a couple years before she went to Belmont to think more about Jesus and Vince Gill. In the Furman Music rooms she once told my Brother to play his baritone a little softer in a practice room as she was rehearsing nearby.

    But among all, Todd should know of Marshall Frady, the early biographer of George Wallace, later a sublime short but majestic bio of ML King, and a lengthy one of Jesse Jackson who spit in the Pepsi (no, Coke, Pepsi at Furman) when as a teenager Jackson worked the basketball games for Furman in the downtown Colliseum.

   Google Scott Sherman the Unvanquished, Todd, if you don't already know of the man Pulitzer's David Halberstam called quite likely the greatest social justice journalist of the last half of the 20th Century.

    On the fly here and may refine this a little before Todd sets foot on campus. Hope he does a jam up job and the current crop of Furman nobility comes informed and loaded with questions well versed in Joshua GReen's Devil's Bargain, Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America, Azar Nafisi's This Republic of Imagination, and in the Historically Baptist college, Wuthnow's Rough Country!!!!

   Go Dins!!!!!

Friday, August 04, 2017

Do Trey Gowy and FBC Spartanburg Have the "Ingredients" To Face Down Fox News Distortions of Christian Martyrs

      Sam Shepard died last week. His True West stoked a memorable exchange with my Mother, a new plateau of our bond as we passed each other on a morning walk on the Molena Hwy south of Zebulon Ga in 1983. But it is Shepard as Frank James in the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford that raises a question for me for Baylor grad, fellow church member of Billy Graham Trey Gowdy and his world this morning.

   The opening scene of Brad Pitt as Jesse James  is great. Not only the poem by the actor from North Carolina, but they exchange between Casey Affleck and Sam. In a dress down of Robert Ford to join the gang as full fledged member, Frank James (Shepard) says : "Son, you don't have the ingredients....."

    So here we are with Laura Ingraham showing her nominal Catholic half cocked take  last night on Fox News Special Report panel on the Argentine Priest Sporado re Bannon, the right wing of American Catholicism and fundamentalist evangelical politics in America. Sporado said there are similarities to Islamist terrorist ideology.

   That sent Miss Laura spinning straight to hell. With obvious ignorance of the legacy of El Salvador's martyr Oscar Romero and his circumstances in 1980 in El Salvador, his monument in bust in Westminster Abbey in London with Martin Luther King, Jr and Dietrich Bonhoeffer as of the three great Christian martyrs of the 20th Century, She took it straight to the Birchism of the early 60s that sought to define King as a communist Traitor.

   I called Congressman's Gowdy's office this morning, left a message on the machine of a staffer at FBC Spartanburg, alerted the Student Ministries of St. Francis Catholic Church in Tuscaloosa Alabama to which Nick Saban and his wife gave a million dollars last year, and left a message on the machine of the U Bama Legend Senator Richard Shelby about this perversion of the Christian Faith by Fox News.

    Here is what I know from my Baptist experience. Jesse Helms supported Roberto Daubuisson death squads in El Salvador, Daubuisson who according to the New Republic allegedly set in a room and drew straws for the "priviliege" of assassinating Romero.

    Helms was key ally of Paul Pressler of the Council for National Policy---see Frances Fitzgerald How Evangelicals Shaped America on Pressler and Gary North--in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention that alienated Furman, Mercer, Wake Forest, Baylor, Samford frorm the Baptist ranks.

    To his dying day Helms was convinced Martin Luther King was a communist and refused to honor his Holiday.

    In the late 80s the former chancellor of the UNC system, long time popular host of a show on North Carolina PBS, Bill Friday, told the pastor of the FBC Asheville, NC, Cecil Sherman the most significant thing to happen in NC in the 1980s was the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest and the ouster of my Dad's friend and classmate of the 50s, Randall Lolley as President.

   Because Helms and his Pressler network of leftover Birchers knew that in that seminary they could get in the heads of a new generation of Baptist preachers that would go into every precinct, hamlet and suburb of North Carolina and the eastern seabord and twist their inclinations toward political fundamentalism in the voting booth.

    That is what Father Sporado is recognizing now from Argentina, while Laura Ingraham and friends have gone a whoring for the false gods of Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes.

   As for where Dietrich Bonhoeffer would be on all this, do not consult Eric Metaxas who FBC Spartanburg hosted a few years ago in the Truth for a New Generation conference, talk to Charles Marsh of UVA, a Baptist minister's son of Laurel Mississippi who interviewed among others along his pilgrimage, Sam Bowers, the prototype of the evil Klan genius in Mississippi Burning.

    Read Joshua Green's Devils Bargain about Bannon, Trump, Sessions, and Bama Baptist minister's son Cliff Simms of Yellowhammer News.

    Fox News will take this country straight to Hell. FBC Spartanburg should not be their accomplice