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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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Summer of 1967, Wedding Anniversary, Camp Ney A Ti and the last White year at Gaffney High

         Wave of nostalgia and memory has overwhelmed me trying to place my history on the timeline of the evolving events of the Vietnam War Ken Burns PBS series. Yesterday on the front porch some history fell out on the concrete as my cat had been whittling away at a box for about a month now.

    It was the obituary book for my Grandmother Mary Alice Helton Fox and Papa WD Shorty Fox. But it was the Anniversary Book that overwhelmed me. There were tributes by all their six children and several grandchildren including my 14 year old self as of May 18 of that year.

   Eventful year for me. I was a chubby fellow with a big smile finishing the 8th grade. I remember the last day of class as I got out a day early and Ms Frances Clary, my attractive 8th grade social studies teacher walked me into the hall to meet my Dad who had come with the family and car packed to scurry down 85 on the road to Miami Florida for the Southern Baptist Convention.

   I saw Billy Graham and the actor Gregory Wolcott there; maybe Anita Bryant. Saw Billy Gee up close. Walking to the hotel that night past a strip club with the door open and could hear the Baptist Preacher's Daughter Aretha Franklin singing R E S P E C T on the sound system. My Dad told me not to look in there.

      We drove to Rome Georgia in two days and got in late Friday night. I had to stop on the Kingston HWY cause my 7 Krystal hamburgers in Marietta started talking to me about 7 miles before Nanny and Papa's facilities on Morrison Campground Rd. The next day was the anniversary.

    I am gonna post some of the tributes at the Helton Family History site. Distant Cousin Brad Fullington, a first Cousin of the Colorado Rockies Great Todd Helton, who was Peyton Manning's backup at UTenn, is running for US Congress. So this Family history is going straight to Congress as Brad frequents that board.

      Late July I of 67 I was on a bus at 7 am in Spartanburg SC to go to Camp Ney A Ti representing Gaffney SC with my friends Cleve Hamrick, Mike Frances, Tom Jones and myself. Frances died two years ago. He was a character. Cleve was the Little league Homerun King who evolved into a golfing force in High School, still a challenge in his 60s on the courses of Cherokee County and Tom Jones had a run as class presidents and Student Body President our Senior year.

   Raised strong Baptist, he became a Catholic and his Brother Latter Day Saint.

   In August I was marching 6 to the five for the Gaffney High Band. Military style like Texas A and M. The next year we integrated and I was doing the Granard High Step with my eyes darting at the great legs of --will have a name for you soon, one of the prettiest colored girls I had ever seen. She caught me lookin a couple times and said Martin didn't die so you could gander.

     But that was a year away.

    8th grade was a transition and the memories were overwhelming yesterday on the porch.

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