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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, February 23, 2018

Billy Graham and Me

       I missed Billy by two days in 2000, likely his last stop at Bridges BBQ in Shelby North Carolina. I found out on Jan 5 he had been there on the 2nd, rough dates. In the 60s when we drove up from Gaffney his picture was on the wall with Jesse Helms. That about tells the story there but I have more.

     Al Mohler the fundamentalist traitor in the Southern Baptist Convention who flipped on Roy Honeycutt at Southern Seminary where Mohler became President told Bonhoeffer scholar and Baptist Minister's son Charles Marsh a few years ago most folks would be surprised how active Billy was behind the scenes for the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Still Graham has the tributes of President Carter at the Billy Gee Museum in Charlotte in 2007 and Clinton showed up too. Obama was the last to pray with him, but Franklin got Trump, helped get the pussy grabber elected so it's a mysterious world in the Baptist faith.

     Will Campbell's great friend at Furman LD Johnson was chair of the Billy Graham crusade in Greenville SC at Textile Hall in1966 where my Gaffney friend Steve Wright got saved. And a year later I saw Billy Gee again in Miami with Gregory Walcott at the SBC national convention in Miami.

   Never saw him again but did see Cliff Barrows while at Furman at Taylors Baptist and his son Buddy Mooned my sister's graduating class at Mars Hill in 1978. I was there but didn't see Buddy's Happy White Ass.

   So they had some fun along the way and it's hard to glue it down.

    Over the years I have talked to some of Billy's descendants, detractors and apologists. Ive Read Marshall Frady on Graham, paid for that biography in Knoxville in 79 and Still have my copy. Read Steven Miller on Graham and Nixon and my friend Randall Balmer easily googled piece Billy Graham and the Judgments of History.

    My Rhodes scholar nominee Friend and great Baptist pastor of my generation Richard Kremer who had the pulpit for a while at Charlotte's high dollar St Johns Baptist; we've talked about Billy too. Kremer as a high school student went several nights to the Montgomery Alabama crusade in late 6os of Billy's heyday.

   All the good things said about Billy now woulda been embraced by my grandfather WD Shorty Fox, a  prayer warrior with an 8th grade education who also prayed for me. So that's in my guts too; then again Billy hosted Nixon in Knoxville a few weeks after Kent State--Nick Saban was there--and Al Gore's father was purposely not invited.

      Like all of us Billy was a man of his time, The Cold War and only three TV networks with a captive audience. And he was Johnny Cash's friend and later a daughter was a good friend of Gaffney beauty Andie Macdowell.

    So I only saw him twice in person, barely missed him at Bridges but like millions of other southern white boys who followed him about 30 years, he was part of the extended family.

    I hope to keep talking to some later members of the family, maybe at Furman by Mid April.

     May he rest in Peace.

   But here on earth some of us in Jesus Name will give Franklin Hell till he comes around to better discernment.

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