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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, April 29, 2016

Sweet Billy, 94

    My Dad woulda been 94 this coming May 3; born in 1922. I've told some of these stories before, but my soul was opened a while ago. You know what the poet Mary Oliver said about the soul, it comes and goes.

    I was gonna blog today about what an ass my Dad's brother Prentice has come to be in his twilight years. He texts me 30 something times a day when I politely ask him not to. Either that or join the righteous chorus in denouncing the GOP Ticket, Trump and Cruz and Fiorina, the whole pompous asinine card

      https://baptistnews.com/2016/04/29/faith-leaders-denounce-trumps-call-to-bigotry/

     But I will come back to that later.

    Here in the Ft Payne Library I saw my friend Reverend Doctor Pat McFadden retired from the FBC here; born in Cheraw South Carolina and a Clemson grad. He had on his Clemson shirt today.

   We talked a little about the recent inhouse study of Jesse Helms church Hayes Barton and the implications for other congregations including FBC Gaffney.

   And that stoked some memories of my Dad in Gaffney and playing tennis, his doubles team with Mrs Sossamon and Mrs. Reaves and sometimes their niece, the mother in law of Tim Childers who was on Clemson's 81 natty.

   I think it was Bobby Crocker who named my Dad Sweet Billy. They went to a Baptist Convention in 74 or So in Seattle and had to share a double bed. When they got back somebody asked Crocker if he had any trouble with Billy's snoring.

   Crocker said none at all. Said after they had Bible reading and prayer they got  in bed and Crocker said I leaned over and kissed Sweet Billy on the Cheek and he didn't make a sound all night.

   Crocker was a card. Played football at Furman until the doctor told him he was one hit away from eternity. Then he took up motorcycle ridin and telling people at Draytonville about Jesus.

   I saw Luke Griggs son Max at Jacks last week. Sometime will tell him the story of  JoJo Morgan, Sweet Billy, Wild Bill and the cyclamines at Trade Day.

     Sweet Billy has three great grandsons now he never got to see on this earth. But they all seem to have a great disposition like their great granddad. I will do my best to tell them some good stories as appropriate, even the one about Leon Culberson and Dom DiMaggio, Chile Burgers at Lynn's Number One on Wilkinsville and blackberry pickin with With Whiteside and before that on the Berrong property in Clay County North Carolina, Guy Carter; and Uncle Jesse Nease out from Baltimore and Newport Tennessee.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Alabama stories about Larry Bird sightings and near sightings

     John Morgan's recent column in the Southern Torch was one of his better ones. He can tell a good story. This one was about Larry Bird and a HS basketball game Morgan almost saw. You can read it at the link in this running history of the Collinsville Baptist church, just a couple clicks away


     http://tinyurl.com/zdm6ekx

    Turns out there was a good story about Bird a few years earlier, this one I heard from a dairy farmer in Indiana who comes down sometimes twice annually to the Sacred Harp Singings in Collinsville and Henegar. This story I heard about three miles from where Morgan preaches and my Mother was baptized in 1936 or so. See The Exiled Generations, U Tenn Press.

    Dairyman said he was out on a big farm with a friend in the early 90s and the fellow said, there is my new neighbor there across the fence I want you to meet him. So the singer goes over and is introduced to Larry Bird and it was the first this native Indianan had ever heard of him. His friend couldn't believe it. The dairyman is quite gregarious but basketball was not his universe.

    I told the dairyman the story Sunday at the annual Spring singing, two more to go for me in the county between now and September. I told him Morgan's story and he said I got a new one.

   Said a friend of his had done well and now living in a gated community near Indianapolis. Dairyman repeated several times this was really a nice neighborhood. Said through those connections the friend was in big time Chamber of Commerce meeting where a banker was bragging on said neighborhood and the new resident, Larry Bird.

    A short time later the friend saw the banker again and asked how the new neighbor was doing in the community. The Banker was little embarrassed as Bird was seen on a John Deere cutting his own grass, a faux pax in this gated community. Bad style to do your own grass.

    I guess you can't take the French Lick out of one of the greatest of all time.

    For me I'm proud of Bird. If you have a Bird story, especially one you heard in Alabama, please share.

 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Yellowhammer Cliff Simms distortion of Christianity

   I heard Cliff Simms on Crawford Broadcasting WYDE of Cullman, Alabama with his sidekick Scott Beason of FBC Gardendale today on the radio. I think Simms has a connection to the Church of the Highlands, a mega church in Mark Driscoll tradition with 14 or so "campuses" in North Central Alabama.
    Beason and Simms were talking about one of their favorite subjects the inferiority of the Muslim faith and its tendency to violence.
    Simms claims a degree with a minor in History, I think, from Auburn. He played HS Basketball and some college and his father is a Baptist minister of some stripe.
    Simms dismisses the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention while claiming expertise in things political. I'm pretty sure he hasn't read Molly Worthen's Apostles of Reason nor Wuthnow's Rough Country, nor the Thomas Powers review, nor Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America, nor Norm Ornstein's Its Worse than it looks. I doubt he will listen online to the NPR On the Media piece Sunday on Donald Trump's appeal to "white trash"; nor do I expect Simms is anxious to sit down with Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide football team and talk about whether President Obama has the Constitutional right to forward a nominee for the Supreme Court.
    Like Rick and Bubba if Simms weren't such a joke he wouldn't be taken seriously. But he has distorted the Christian Faith and most likely a majority of white males in Bama are with him and he conflates that to God is On His Side.
   I once thought he and his kind were like the organ grinder's monkey the more he climbed the monkey pole the more he showed his ass, but these are unusual times.
     It is likely ridiculous of me to think this blog will change much but I will bring it to the attention of some folk who have greater influence than me. Hopefully at some point David Matthews Civic Center or Auburn University Democracy Project will call Simms out and he'll be game for a two hour discussion with Leland Whaley and some of their betters as they most of the time go unchallenged or preach to the choir on Yellowhammer Radio.
   In the meantime, Cliff, in the slight chance you have a conscience now that your ambition is bringing you to what you consider success by your vain calculations, consider other "Christian" notions and tell Rick and Bubba about it.
      Check www.ethicsdaily.com daily. Begin with their documentary on Muslim Christian relations.
    Enough for now. Hit like when you see this on your facebook wall.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Is Winston Prentice Fox and his kind to Blame for the Trump Disaster

     Prentice Fox is my Dad's Brother, Ten years younger. He graduated from CArson Newman College in 1953 and a few years later from Southeastern Baptist Seminary in the town of Wake Forest nearly a classmate of Ed Young, who became an influence on Ted Cruz at 2nd Baptist Church Houston.

    Prentice was a relative I admired when I was younger as he talked up the likes of Carlyle Marney and other progressives in Baptist life. Was an indication you could have a mind a be a Baptist when Billy Graham was the face of the mess in the 60s. But it appears Prentice talked Marney for status and sees the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention as a joke failing to distinguish between Adrian Rogers and Jesse Helms and Albert Lee Smith on one hand; and the virtuous witness of Bill Self, Randall Lolley, James Dunn , Will Campbell, even Carson Newman current President Randall Obrien on the other.

     He now reports Donald Trump to be a better for America than Hillary Clinton, and his politics even while visiting Bonhoeffer's Germany on many occasions to be lukewarm spit and no indication of what is proper direction for the country.

   Last Night CNN analyzed in the presence of Bakari Sellers, North Carolina to once again to be in play.

   If we wake up in November and we are living in Donald Trump America , we can think millions of Prentice Fox's for dropping the ball and making us bastard children of the promise of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr and the likes of Randall Lolley and Bill Self who Prentice knew in Seminary.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Half Mammals Rick and Bubba

   Early 80s Furman Grad George Singleton was at NACC Juco yesterday. Ten years ago my friend Ron Rash was there. Proud of NACC and sorry I missed both events. My Bad; I hope Jojo and the Southern Torch was there for a news report.

     Singleton is in the tradition of Roy Blount in thinking man's Southern Humor, a grade above Lewis Grizzard. The Atlantic and New Yorker don't lie. One of George's earliest collections of short stories was the Half Mammals of Dixie to which I made reference in my essay about getting churched at Collinsville Babdiss; Carl Kell Editor, U tenn press.
     Singleton would understand as one of his early works as student at Furman was bout Bible Thumpers harassing him in the Dorm at Furman with the Four Spiritual laws.
     Like George W Bush Singleton has rehabbed out of a drinking problem. But Unlike Rick and Bubba his politics are not of the Franklin Graham, Cruz, Trump variety. That's where Rick and Bubba could learn something.
     Or so I Assume. That's what I wanted to ask Singleton about yesterday just ten miles away from famous Scottsboro Alabama.
     Singleton like Rick Bragg understands Crackers but he has a different kind of remedy for em than Rick and Bubba. George has to be saddened about how waving the fetus with mendacity and some stupidity has buffaloed your average cracker from voting or finding leadership for his economic complaints.
    And as Thomas Frank reports today many of those complaints are legitimate

     http://play.babolat.us/jack-sock-for-president?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paid&utm_term=tennismedia&utm_content=link&utm_campaign=sockin16#DPrsjgMBQwgSuZKm.97

   Here is proper link though the Jack Sock miscue is a fun one. Sock won Mixed Doubles at US Open with Melanie Oudin whose sister Kat played at Furman. But I digressed. Here's the political juice
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/donald-trump-why-americans-support
  
   
But Joseph Morgan, the Southern Torch, Cliff Simms and Yellowhammer News and Crawford Broadcasting like Cruz and Trump are not the answer. Joseph's brothers know better. Way past time they start talking to him, take him to the woodshed like Ike took Joe McCarthy.

    Flannery OConnor famously wrote "Sin is a Trick on Niggers!" Likewise Trump and Cruz and the rogues gallery above are a Trick on my White Cracker Brothers.

   And when it gets entangled with what Bonhoeffer called the "politics of stupidity" it is toxic indeed.

     Where I was ineloquent here, I think Ron Rash and and Rick Bragg can finesse me  up for Singleton. Woulda liked to have talked about it yesterday at NACC.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Marco Rubio's Big Lie; The Politics of Gloria Morgan and David Ryan

       Marco Rubio wants to bring back the party of Reagan and Lincoln as if he is a member of a Lincoln Party. Rubio and the entire field with the possible exception of John Kasich, is advancing a big Lie. Lee Atwater and the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention whored the party of Lincoln off to the residue of the John Birch Society. See the "Nigger Memo" in Wuthnow's Rough Country from the pen of Lee Atwater; Google Garry Wills masterful review of EJ Dionne's recent book on the GOP at nybooks.com
     It is unsightly to see Richard Shelby prostitute himself off to the right wing in Alabama. He knows in his gut the Bama GOP is not the party of Judge Frank Johnson. Hell almost all of his proud staffers in his DC office, most U Bama grads, don't even know who Judge Frank Johnson was. Johnson was a true Lincoln but he couldn't even get a hearing today if still around and Obama was to nominate him to the Supreme Court. There would be no SEC football without Judge Frank Johnson. Check Bama history. Have Nick Saban to have Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram and other standouts of recent Auburn and Bammer football, even Charles Barkley to have a Town Hall with Auburn Living Democracy Project, the David Matthews Center for Civic Life and Shelby and Cliff Simms of Yellowhammer and Crawford Broadcasting to put an end to Rubio's Lie

   Gloria Morgan is having her tenth or 11th Christian Ladies of Collinsville annual meeting this weekend. Her Son Joseph puffed it in his Southern Torch Magazine. According to Jojo the Ladies pray and impart insight into the politics and culture of one of Bama's most Diverse communities.
    But Gloria, otherwise good woman she is, has her politics sabotaged by the abortion issue; a concern that traffics the politics of "mendacity" according to Christine Stansell in New Republic. I am concerned by many conversations with three of her four sons, the three that have some virtue, they differ with their mother on her political calibrations.
     Where is Gloria Morgan on the Dream Act and why does she support Phil Williams while struck mute on the citizenship of undocumented children who continue to do grand citizen and scholarly work at my Mother's alma mater, Collinsville High School.
    And where is her sergeant at arms, Jennifer Wilkins and the Auburn University Democracy Town Hall on this matter.

   David Ryan voted yesterday. I was there when he came in. About ten years ago this Baptist Deacon and myself had a memorable incident in Collinsville every local heard about.  Ten or so days later I brought it to the attention of Jim Wallis, the nationally known advocate on a visit to South Carolina.
    Thought I would mention Ryan's name in this blog.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Atticus Finch and Scalia's Replacement

    Harper Lee was buried in Monroeville, Alabama Sunday a Day after Antonin Scalia rites in D.C. Lee was a Methodist, Scalia a hardline Catholic.

    My friend Wayne Flynt delivered an exquisite eulogy, one Miss Nelle approved of and heard five years before she died.

    You don't have to have much of an imagination to know Judge Frank Johnson of Civil rights fame--see Taylor Branch The King Years and Judge Johnson's divine utterance in the face of George Wallace lawyers--was Atticus Finch incarnated. As I have often repeated on this board, Bill Moyers said had Frank Johnson lived during the Civil War he woulda been Abe Lincoln, and had Lincoln lived in Bama during the Civil Rights era he woulda been Judge FRank Johnson.

   Now it is up to the good people of Bama to hold Richard Shelby accountable. Can he have a town hall meeting with Derrick Henry, Nick Saban and Mark Ingram and others from the Auburn and Bama football programs and explain to them how in the face of Atticus Finch, Harper Lee and Judge Frank Johnson he's gonna stand with the Jesse Helms, the early George Wallace's the Birchers and the Tea Party and be a Mitch McConnell obstructionist and deny the first black president of the United States nominee to replace Scalia a fair hearing.

    Forget race, Johnson, one of the two greatest men to breathe the air of Alabama in the 20th Century, saw the Constitution as "living breathing" document.

   Alabama has a chance to show its higher nature or it once again can show it's ass in these deliberations.

   Would be an excellent topic for Cruz and Rubio to bandy about at Samford University when the Primary comes to town.

   I think I know where Tom Corts woulda been on this one; and it aint with Rick N Bubba.