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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.

Monday, January 28, 2019

50 Great Americans

    Friends Ive been reading Jill Lepore's Great History of America These Truths. Texted some of my cousins some episodes brought me near tears. Time to testify so here is an incomplete list of 50 Great Americans that have crossed my path in some fashion in 65 years. Ive met most of these folks in the flesh, a few by reputation or an email exchange or phone conversation. This is my list. Would love to see yours if you have a way to share. My email is Eventually I will identify all but first just putting up the list.

    1. Stewart A. Newman. One of my Dad's seminary professors who stopped by to visit us in Hayesville, NC in 1960 and in Gaffney in 77. He followed WA Criswell's racebaiting speech in Columbia SC in 56 and said "WA Criswell doesn't speak for me!"

   2. Judge Frank Johnson. Wikipedia is a good place to start
   3. Dee Edwards. Kind Methodist minister in Collinsville in 92. Was a good friend at Emory of a son of President Carter.

   4. George W. Truett. Historians consensus greatest Baptist of the first half of the 20th Century. I was baptized in his birthplace namesake church in Hayesville NC in 59

   5. James Broome. One of my Dad's deacons at Bethany Baptist Church in Gaffney SC. A textile mill worker who was devoted and studious in the January Bible Studies.

    6. Esther Dawkins. Johnny's mother and the 8 others. A grand person of color in Gaffney, all of whose children are colleges graduates with maybe exception of Teresa, working in a textile mill as well. I think Musgrove.

   7. My Mom and Dad and grandparents on both sides. Ive blogged about them before

   8.Solomon Stanton. Great court sense, one of Neil Thrash's finest. One the Dekalb County tourney four years in a row.

    9.Thomas Barksdale and Paul James. Thomas played football for Bear Bryant and Bobby Bowden, a Baptist deacon with integrity and a wry sense of humor. Paul James was a deacon in my Dad's first church, Bethel in Newport Tn, Baltimore and Parrotsville. Played trombone and football. As a city council member in the 70s's stared down a leader of a crime syndicate in East Tennessee and said Not in my county. He came to my Dad's 75th birthday party

   10. Kat Sossamon and Mrs. Reaves. Ms Sossamon was a Low Country debutante who married an All American Center for the Carolina GAmecocks later a Trustee. Ms Reaves was her neighbor who lost a son in Viet Nam. They played tennis in the mornings and often called on my Dad when they needed a fourth. Good women who knew what was goin on in Gaffney and had some things to say to their brothers and husbands when needed. Both were in the congregation at Bethany my Dad's last sunday there in 78

  11.Maria Morenoand Jorge Avil Segura. The Valedictoriana and salutatorian of momma's alma mater, Collinsville HS, undocumented when they walked in 2013 but on the way now to being some of the finest American citizens whose paths have crossed mine.

   12. Peggy Weaver. Of the influential Coplin family of the 60s of Guntersville, Alabama. Scored perfect on the ACT 36 in 1965 and became a legendary math teacher in Collinsville. Uncle Bill said she was a good person

   13. Rahul Mehra

   14Johnny Dawkins and Fletcher Smith

    15Wayne Whiteside

   16Mart Gray

   17 . Laquita Bowers and Tara George

  18. LD Johnson and Jim Pitts

   19Dom Dimaggio

  20. Marshall Frady

  21J Paul Beam

   22 . Leita White and Faye Edwards

   23. Callisons

   24 Ron Rash

   25 James Wood

   I got 25 more to go. Come back later to see if you make the list and more short bios.

  26. Tomiko Brown Nagin, Karen Guth

  27. Andy Padgett

  28 Emil Acuff

   29. Lynn Arve; Arther Frady. Two great South Carolinians, one from Wahalla, the other a classmate at Gaffney High School

  30. Doug Cumming, Sam Hodges, Frye Galliard. I talked to Doug briefly this morning and Sam last night. Doug's father was Newsweek bureau chief in Atlanta in the Sixties. Sam Hodges FU 77 and Galliard were outstanding writers for the Charlotte Observer among other celebrated gigs.

   31 Dianne Sarratt, Lillian Ashley, Jan Palmer. All maiden names who were always a few ranks ahead of me since 3rd grade in Gaffney SC; and all fellow Beta club members. Diane became a teacher and for many years the organist at the Providence Baptist Church in Gaffney; Lillian nominated me to be president of the Latin Club then got her Master's in Library science at Vanderbilt and had a career in Northern Virginia as a librarian; Jan was at Gaffney and Furman with me, the first undergrad at Furman to get an A in legend  Dr intro to psychology class with his nefarious multiple choice tests. He was a Skinnerian.

   32 Martha Johns and Big Minor. Knew them only by reputation and love for Furman. Ms Johns the first lady in 80s and early 90s, and Big Minor the niece of Charles Daniel who was Eisenhower and Nixon's pol and businessman in Upstate SC. Big Minor  as opposed to her daughter Minor Mickel Shaw, was chair of the Furman trustees when they broke with the SC SBC. Tim Head told her he had the votes. She told him go ahead and do what you think you have to do.

  33 Martin England, Marshall Frady and Judy Clarke. Three other illustrious grads of Furman who should be on a pole at Fluor Field. Until then it's a travesty

   34. Alice Lee. Harper's sister who told a Bircher in the South Alabama Methodist conference in 56 to move the Previous Question.

   35 Marian Wright Edelman. We talked at 16th Street BC in Bham in 09 and share roots in Gaffney South Carolina.

    36. Sadie Kiser, Janelle Moss, and Mrs. Thompson . Three Saints of the sixties at Bethany Baptist Church in Gaffney

    37 Joanne Helton. Daddy's double First Cousin. Her Dad was Henry Helton a brother of my grandmother Mary Alice, and her Mother Aunt Vola who was my grandfather WD Shorty Fox sister.

    38. Sky Foster and Elnora Little john. Two women of color who became friends with the integration of the public schools in Gaffney. Elnora was in my Algebra class in fall of 69, only black girl in there, and Sky went from Gaffney to SC State to administration in the BMW plant on 85 in Greer

    39 Randall Lolley, Bill Self,  Jack Causey and Jack Harwell.  Four outstanding Baptists who resisted fundamentalism in the Southern Baptist Convention.

    40 John Linley Baker. Doctor's son from the Battery in Charleston who I came to know at Furman. Solid recreational tennis player and friend of Paul Scarpa.


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