By: MB McCart, Ed.
As I mentioned in this space a few weeks back, it's a helluva note when the Newton BOC - longtime target of TPC ire - comes across as fiscally-conservative libertarians compared to the City of Covington Council.
I mean, really. As I told a couple of the network chiefs - I was pleasantly surprised w/ the number the BOC hit on last month. Not saying I was thrilled about it, but pragmatically, it wasn't too bad. But then, they go back to the drawing board & shave off another half a million dollars.
Meanwhile, the city that got taken back by itself a couple years back & has turned into an absolute financial
dumpster tire fire in which we just saw the highest budget dollar increase in the city's 199-yr history w/ a 14% year-over-year increase in size & scope of government.
By the way, even though the COV started up their own economic development to the the tune of way too much money last year, if you'll notice in this year's budget - they're going to start funding the Newton Co. one again as well. To the tune of $50K per annum.
Oh well. The Covington Way & all. Somebody needed a job but now they realize that they actually need some folks who know what they're doing.
Also, word is afoot that they're going to purchase the additional property for the Central Park. A lot of money there. It's on the agenda for their next meeting.
But hey, Folks:
CoViNgToN tOoK bAcK TheY,,re CiTy!!1!1!
30 July 2021
Quick Friday Check-In: A Tale of Two Governments - Newton BOC Being Surprisingly Somewhat Fiscally Conservative; The COV? LOL!
By: MB McCart, Ed.
If I had to guess, and this is just a guess, well-reasoned but inexact, then I’d say that only around .01% of US government schools are worth not burning down. It’s probably 1% of US private schools. Almost all of them are anti-education, anti-human, anti-freedom, anti-civilization, anti-Western, anti-White, and anti-Christian.* Almost all of them are run, directly or indirectly, by feminists, homosexuals, communists, and other globalist satanic trash. They are worse, much worse than useless. They are utterly destructive and evil, being far beyond reform.
27 July 2021
The rules rarely change but the way the game is played has changed markedly in the past few years and those changes along with superman power pitching and sticky substances are contributing to record low batting averages.
The infield shift, which has come to be almost universal, works. Sabermetrics show that batted balls are less likely to result in baserunners when the shift is employed. ( If I'm a left-handed hitter leading off an inning where my team is behind by two or more runs I'm going to bunt to the unmanned third base position. I'm not going to hit a two-run homer.)
The recent emphasis on "launch angle” increases strikeouts and lowers batting averages. The theory behind this approach is that a homerun is worth more than two singles. The launch angle hitters ( that isn't everyone) no longer practice what we were always taught: swing level and put the ball in play. Accompanying the upward swing phenomenon is the idea to swing as hard as one can, which also decreases the likelihood of making contact.
The way teams employ starting pitchers has radically changed. It used to be that starting pitchers were expected to go a complete game or die trying. Now all starters are pulled so that they don't have to pitch through the order a third or certainly not a fourth time. Stats show that the starting lineup starts to figure out what the starting pitcher is throwing during their third at bat. Now most starters are pulled after five or six Innings and the opposing lineup will likely see four or five pitchers during a game.
On the homefront, going into the second half the Braves have been treading water with no life buoy in sight. That's beyond the scope of this essay but I mention it as I transition to talk about Jacob deGrom.
A few weeks ago the Braves opened a three-game series with the Mets in which the home team needed to win two in order to gain on the league leader. That outcome seemed highly unlikely because after they split the first two they faced in the third game Jacob deGrom.
deGram is the best pitcher on the planet, some say in the history of the planet.
Coming into this midseason game he had an era of .69, way better than any starter in history at that point in the season. He had driven in more runs than he had allowed. Active debate began as to whether he was better than Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson.
It's almost an apples to oranges comparison. As of the date of that Braves start in which the Braves put up three runs-- half as many as the deGrom had allowed in the season to that point-- there had been 24 complete games thrown in all of Major League Baseball. DeGrom had one of those. In 1966 over 700 were thrown. In ‘68 Juan Marichal alone threw 30. In ‘66 Koufax posted a 1.73 ERA while completing 27 games, the record low ERA to that date. Two years later Gibson blew that record away with a 1.12 ERA and 28 complete games. Carl Yaztremski led the AL in hitting that year with a .301 average. As I mentioned earlier, the next year MLB lowered the mound height from 15 to 10 inches.
deGrom is challenging Gibson’s record although in his last three starts his era has “ballooned” to 1.01 (now 1.08). One can't help noticing those outings came after the sticky ball ban. That may well be a coincidence. In that game against the Braves he struck out 14 in 7 innings, but the fact that he didn’t have to go through the order a fourth time is verifiable. On the other hand he doesn’t get to pitch off a 15 inch mound.
20 July 2021
By: MB McCart, Editor
As confirmed by this writer last week, BOC 5 Commissioner Ronnie Cowan is planning to appoint Ester Fleming, a former longtime member of the BOC, to the Newton Co.
Solid Waste Water & Sewage Authority at this evening's BOC meeting.
Let me be clear.
A TERRIBLE IDEA
Ester is widely considered to have been the driving force of the Great Selling Out of The Home County (along w/ Hubert White) during his tenure on the Board back in the late 90s & early-to-mid 00s.
Furthermore, Fleming was actively involved with the Newton Co. GOP's establishment in the early to mid 2010s when the party time & time again violated GA GOP bylaws to keep newcomers out of the party until the GA GOP finally put a stop to it in 2015.
Also, it is widely known by many (and known to me firsthand -- because he told me), that he fully supports Democrat Ezell Brown & has supported him in his last several elections.
Finally, this part-time employee of Clerk of Court Linda Hays has been known to be very friendly with the infamous former county attorney, Wm Thomas "Tommy" Craig.
|Tim Fleming (left), Ester's son & Brian Kemp's long-time right hand man; Ester in the middle; Gov Kemp to the right.|
What is Ronnie Cowan thinking? That's a great question. Perhaps you should ask.
His contact info can be found at TPC's Newton Co BOC Contact Page.
As a quick aside, I tried working on this under the radar, but it didn't accomplish anything (it usually never does). Ronnie has been & is now definitely listening to the wrong people. There are other dynamics in play that I will talk about in a future piece if Fleming is indeed appointed.
Again, this appointment is supposed to happen at tonight's BOC meeting.
I believe this is not a good move for the home county. Why look to the past in such a divisive manner? Seems to not make sense. It's ALL politics.
17 July 2021
The Amazing Truth About Guns in America: A Piece by Perrin B. Lovett
435 people murdered with baseball bats and hammers;
660 people murdered with punches and kicks;
8,124 people murdered with guns of all kinds (offset by 2,500,000 lives saved);
14,249 murders of/by all weapons (and unarmed murders);
32,744 killed by automobiles;
Approximately 200,000 killed by doctors and medical professionals;
Approximately 300,000-500,000 killed by obesity and fat-related issues; and
652,639 murdered by “legal” abortions.
Fellow Terry College of Business (UGA) grad Brother Perrin Lovett is a true renaissance gentleman & scholar. A recovering attorney, he's into guns & cigars, and the US Constitution. A published author, Prepper columnist & YouTube personality, and an acclaimed blogger, TPC is very proud to have our old friend on board as the C.F. Floyd Feature Writer of National Affairs.
|Your Source for the REAL Story|
15 July 2021
* originally published at Gaga at the Gogo
|The Cool Swap|
*Ed. note: Ellis (Da) wrote this back in the day when he was managing our fledgling rock band at the time - The Cool Swap. Reading this well-written piece always transports me back in time & puts a smile on my face. Be on the lookout for several new pieces from Da here in the near future. As always, thanks for reading - MBM
I’m 53 years old, a feat I’ve achieved by not having died yet, which if you’d followed my lifestyle closely you’d know to be no small achievement. I’ve been a busboy, a waiter, a chef, a criminal defense attorney, a newspaper columnist, a writer of fiction, a husband, a parent, and now I’m embarking on the career for which all this has prepared me: the manager of a rock and roll band.
The band, The Cool S.W.A.P., are, like me, residents of Newton County. Two are friends of my kids who for years now have hung around my house playing my records, playing guitars, consuming my consumables, singing. Twenty year-old John T, it turns out, was born to sing rock and roll. T.J., also 20, has a driven work ethic that extends only to making music. The other two guys are a little older and have been professional musicians for a while. Scottie B, 28, is a drummer who doesn’t miss a lick, and Marshall McCart is a 30 year old UGA grad who works two day jobs. He’s also one of the best guitarists you’re ever likely to see up close.
I missed their first live show, caught their second in June on the patio of a Covington restaurant and was unprepared for how good they are. A carload of beautiful bohemian dancing girls materialized from somewhere, made me dance with them until I couldn’t stand it no more, and just as abruptly went on their way. Since then I’ve been the manager of The Cool S.W.A.P., an avocation that so far has cost me several hundred dollars in cash, gasoline, alcohol and sleep deprivation.
The rock venues of Covington are not the biggest or most prolific, which led us to quickly decide we want to make it in Athens because, as the Drive By Truckers have Carl Perkins say of Nashville, it’s “where you go to see if what is said is so.” So on a Monday in early August, T.J., John T and I, armed with a home-printed promo package and a demo of seven songs recorded in Marshall’s basement, set out for Athens via Madison, where we hope to book some shows.
Things are not exactly hopping on a Monday afternoon with school not in session in the Classic City, but we manage to locate Eyal Reisen and book two shows at DT’s Down Under and leave a couple of demos at places where we might even get paid. I’ve made calls to these places the week before, and I’m surprised that people remember my name and apologize for not having returned my calls, but I suspect this is partly due to my membership in W.A.M.G.A.T., one of the most privileged minority groups in the world: White Anglo-Saxon Males Graying at the Temples. Fast food restaurant managers spot me in the back of the line and say, “May I take your order sir?”
We head back on a curricular route by Lake Oconee because a waitress in Madison has told us we should leave a demo at a place named Zac’s which books live bands. My mouth tastes bad from smoking a lot of cigarettes, which seems to be a prerequisite for playing rock and roll.
“T.J.,” I inquire, “You got any chewing gum, mints, candy or something?”
“Look in the glove compartment.”
“Nothing’s in here but traffic tickets and whatever’s in this box.”
“Are they flavored?”
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I call Murphy Wolford at Tasty World and he’s not only listened to our demo, he likes it and wants to put us on stage, Tuesday August 30th at 10:30, the first of three bands. Better news, we’ll get paid, one third of the door after the house takes $110.00 operating expenses. Can we play a 40 minute set of original material? Murphy wants to know. “Yes,” I assure him, because we are Brer Rabbit and our music is the brier patch.
That evening, T.J., John T., my son Jack -- an Emory student and sometime contributor to the band -- and I take two acoustic guitars and head off to open mic night at The Celtic Tavern in Conyers, where T.J. says we can win money. We get to do three songs. The first is a creation of Jack’s called “Natural Light,” which celebrates the pleasures of relieving oneself off the front porch. The second is a composition of mine, a sing-along called “When Queers Can Get Married,” a Randy Newmanesque satire about a homophobic young man who is uncomfortable with the idea of homosexual unions.
Conyers is about as red state as you can get. We open to a packed house who have come to hear the amateur efforts of their friends and relatives, and midway through the first verse of “Queers” we have cleared the room. People shout angrily on their way out. The place looks like Pompeii after Versavius erupts. Drinks are left unfinished and cigarettes burning in ashtrays. The old and infirm are abandoned in a mad scramble to protect the young. Incredibly, we still win enough money to cover our bar tab, which under the circumstances we felt obliged to run up as high as we could.
Thursday August 11, 2005
One of the reasons the S.W.A.P. is so good is that they practice hard three nights a week. I try to make at least one, offering production advice and feedback. They usually follow my advice because rock and roll has been the soundtrack to my life, which roughly coincides with the history of the genre.
Sometimes my feedback is simply awestruck praise. At the end of a particularly tight rendition of our “Sight Out of Mind,” I tell them the The Strokes only wish they had a song that good, but I pull no punches when the sound doesn’t suit me. “Too much guitar solo there. Save it for when we’re playing all day in a baseball stadium.” Marshall’s verse on “The Weight” sounds like he’s trying to do it the way Richard Manuel would. Now that he’s dead. The new song they’re working on sounds like a Pure Prairie League B-side.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Tonight we’re playing our first Athens gig, taking the stage at midnight at DT’s Down Under. Somewhere along the way I pick up a Flagpole and read the first part of Ben Gerrard’s informative article on “Cracking The Scene” as a new band in Athens. The Cool S.W.A.P.’s excellent management, it seems, is already doing everything right.
It’s a good time to be playing, because it’s the night before the first day of fall semester. Walking down Clayton Street in one of my Colonel Parker costumes -- seersucker or linen, always the Panama hat -- it’s immediately apparent to me that I’m the only person on the street who is not a kid. They are spilling out of barroom doors, trash talking, showing lots of skin, vomiting in sewer grates.
They look at me guardedly, as if I might be The Man. I smile and nod, feeling like a character in a Velvet Underground song.
Them: “Hey white boy. What are you doing downtown? You chasing our woman around?”
Me: “Oh no suh, not me. That’s the last thing on my mind. I’m just waiting for my man.”
Although their bitches do look fine.
DT’s is like the basement of a frat house, a frat house that has severely gone to seed: a bar on one end, a band on the other, and not much in he middle but a little patch of concrete floor infused with decades of spilled beer. We’re right at home here; it’s a lot like Marshall’s basement.
Most of the best and brightest of our Covington friends, including my eighteen year-old daughter, are students here. They’re out in force and they bring people with them, fifty or so, half of them ridiculously good looking females.
“Yo! Da! Wassup?” they yell as I enter. They call me “Da.” Perhaps we can discuss why that is some other time.The set opens, at my suggestion, with “Seven Nation Army,” a song they always nail. When you hear those opening bass notes, I say, it’s like “Satisfaction.” You say to yourself, “Oh, this place. I’ve been here before. I love this place.”
And that’s the way it is. The band hits the ground running and never looks back, cranking out one full-tilt rocker after another, luring the crowd into a screaming, jumping frenzy. Scottie B is happy as he can be. Marshall mostly shies away behind a post, kicking guitar ass like Clapton unbound.
The young guys though, have never had this much stage presence. They’re doing synchronized jumps; John T gets down on the floor. It’s all these sunny young tits, I know, that has wrought this transformation. Aside from the aforementioned “Miracle of the Dancing Bohemians,” we don’t get this in Covington.
I sit at the bar thinking that the staff at DT’s is amazed at how good my band is. People start wandering in from the street. An attractive young woman of graduate school age walks up to me and says, “What are you doing here?”
I explain that I’m a friend of the band. She tells me I look like someone she’d really like to talk to.
It’s too loud for talk, but she yells that she just walked in because this band sounds so good. “Who are they?”
“The Cool S.W.A.P.,” I shout, just as the Rastafarian with whom she came pulls her out, and before I have the wits to give her a business card and tell her, if she says she’s calling about the band, my secretary will let her talk to me for free.
|MB, John T, TJ & Scotty B (l - r)|
Back on stage, a couple of our more zealous Covington fans have removed their shirts and are helping John T play the congas. At this show, at this stage of our career, this is kind of cute. Later we will employ Hell’s Angels who will break their fingers should they attempt such a stunt.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
DT’s has been calling my office today wanting us to play the next night and just about any other time we want. As a matter of fact, we can pretty much be the house band as long as we’re willing to play for free.
I meet with the band at practice to discuss this and a couple of other things. One of the other things is that I’ve had the kind of brainstorm they’d be paying me for if we were getting paid. I’ve called Flagpole and talked to Mr. Gerrand’s editor, Chris Hassiotis, and told him I’d read Mr. Gerrand’s article with interest because I’m managing a band which is right now doing what the article suggested. What if Mr. Gerrand were to cover our upcoming shows and report on the progress of a “baby band” actively trying to “crack the scene?”
Mr. Hassiotis seems interested, or maybe he’s just being nice, but he’s actually heard of us and will pass this information along to Mr. Gerrard, who is currently out of town, and have him get in touch with me. Later it occurs to me that I failed to ascertain how long Mr. Gerrand would be out of town.
The other thing I want to do is demo a song T.J. and I wrote the night before, which I sing with T.J. on guitar. It fails to get Marshall’s endorsement, a prerequisite to anything this band does and with good reason. If, like Tom Hanks in That Thing You Do, you were saying who was what in The Cool S.W.A.P., (the funny one, the brains) Marshall would be “the talent.”
We call DT’s and tell them we’ll do the two free shows to which we agreed and if they need a fill-in tomorrow we’ll do it if as a favor, but they’ll have to give us a little cash to cover gas and cigarettes. We end up rescheduling our Thursday show for Friday, September 2, the night before the Boise State game.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Yesterday I struck a jury in a drug case and the judge told me my trial will begin Wednesday at 9:00am. There’s no way around this. If it were any other show I’d stay home and go to bed, but the Tasty World show is the biggest we’ve ever played.
So I’m here, regretting that I’ll only get five hours sleep, regretting more that I won’t get to hear the bands after us.
Thanks to the cover change probably, our crowd is a little smaller than Thursday, but we’re still more than covering the house’s overhead with our fans alone. Also, they’re more subdued. This isn’t a place, I think, where people take off their shirts.
The set opens with “A.M. Hindsight,” a song with more hooks than Wilt Chamberlain, and I know everything will be alright. They have a sound man here who knows what he’s doing, and I can hear things I haven’t heard before, a few of which I want to change.
The highlight of the night is “Talking, Traveling Blues,” a pedestrian name for one of the crunkest songs you’ll ever hear. By the end of the show a group of girls sitting behind me who’ve come to hear the next band are yelling, “Oh, yeah! Cool S.W.A.P!”
In the morning my five hours of sleep has kept me sharp. I’m thinking about my closing where I wrap myself in the flag and make fun of the State’s witnesses, when an unexpected piece of evidence causes my client to bail and plead guilty.
By 1pm. I’m home having a couple of drinks and a cigar. At 3:00 I take a nap, get up at five and burn a pizza, then repeat the process and sleep eleven hours.
In the morning I learn that while I was out the price of gasoline has gone up fifty cents a gallon and the City of New Orleans now looks like an apocalyptic scene in a science fiction movie. I should be concerned about these things, I know, but what I’m really concerned abut is what Murphy thought about our show.
Friday, September 2, 2005
Walking in from the courthouse parking deck, the east side of Athens for some reason smells bad tonight.
The smell subsides as I make my way down Clayton, and I notice that while there are as many kids in town as the night before school started, they are considerably less raucous, and I soon see why: a healthy percentage of the coeds on the sidewalks are window shopping with their mothers, some even with they mama’s mamas, no doubt here for tomorrow’s game.
Ten o’clock at DT’s, not much is happening. There are about a dozen spectators, and the house sound system is providing a major glitch in that no sound is coming out the lead singer’s mike. The band asks me to work on this problem which is something like getting Mr. Magoo to handle reading the road map, then I engage the guy working the door who makes no more headway than did Magoo.
After ten minutes or so of shoulder shrugging, Damion -- a good Samaritan I’d earlier met outside, and a keyboard player with an accomplished band of his own, Greg and the Gruntones, who’ll be on at midnight -- addresses the problem and fixes it in no time. People have been drifting in and by 10:30 when T.J. hits the jangly intro to “American Girl,” our usual cadre of fans is here along with others I haven’t seen before.
Early on I make the remarkable discovery that one can purchase a healthy pour of Kettle One Dutch vodka for the nominal price of four dollars and fifty cents at this fine establishment, a phenomenon that later in the evening will lead to some minor property damage, but I’m not driving, and for now I feel like Jesus’ son as the band rips off a blistering Zeppelin medley that has jaws dropping.
In addition to the Kettle One, I’m feeling good because Murphy wants us back a Tasty World on September 26, we’re recording and E.P. of new material at an actual recording studio on August 18th, and although Flagpole hasn’t called me back, I’ve decided to write the article myself because, after all, it’s the sort of thing I do.
Like every show that we’ve played, this one is better than the last. I meet my daughter’s roommate, a clever girl who has brought her own contingent to swell the progress and already knows “Talking Traveling Blues” is her favorite song. When our show ends I mill around waiting for the Gruntones, but I only get to hear one song when T.J. says we have to leave because the guy on whose couches we are to sleep is about to get in a fight on the sidewalk.
And so we rock on, boats against the current -- O.K., you’ve heard that one. How about, “I’d like to thank you on behalf of the group and myself, and I hope …”
Ellis is a recovering Attorney but has worn many hats over the years: father, bus boy, stand-up comedian, novelist, wiffle ball player, rock'n'roll band manager, and at one time wrote a popular and funny column for The Covington News. A Fannin Co. mountain boy originally, Mr. Millsaps now stays at the mill village of Porterdale by way of 20 years in Mansfield. Usually funny and at times irreverent and subversive, he leans left in his political philosophy but can always be counted on for a pretty darn good write-up. The Chronicles are proud to have him involved...
13 July 2021
*originally ran in The Covington News
The Esoteric South
Reaching Nirvana Through Lawn Maintenance
11 July 2021
The Dark Tale of John S. Williams, Part I
*author's note: much of my research for this series of articles was found in "Lay This Body Down", a book by Gregory Freeman that details this horrific story. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get more in-depth information on this tragic tale. Also, "The History of Newton County" covers this story fairly in depth. - MBM
*ed. note: these following four installments were originally published in "About Covington to Madison" magazine in 2010.
One of the most heinous crimes to occur in this area happened about 90 years ago. In April of 1921 at the courthouse in Covington, GA, John Williams was found guilty of the murder of Lindsey Peterson, a black peon who had worked on the Williams farm. That in and of itself was bad, but what made things so terrible is that he was also charged in the killings of 10 others--all black men, known as peons, who had worked on the Williams Plantation in Jasper Co., GA. It was a monumental shift in Southern justice as it is widely believed that Williams was the first white man convicted of murdering a black in the Deep South since Reconstruction. The trial was considered one of the biggest in Georgia up to that time and received national headlines as the “Murder Farm” trial.
The word peon is known today simply as a derogatory term; however, years ago it described someone, usually black, who was forced to work for someone, usually a white plantation owner, to pay off fines or debts. Usually, the fine was minor—maybe $5 and for something as simple as loitering. Unable to pay the fine, a farmer could come along and pay it off and the prisoner was released into his custody and the peon would “work it off.” Usually, fuzzy math was employed and the debt would never get repaid. It was a de facto form of slavery and while the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment had technically ended the “peculiar institution”, the peonage system would last well into the 20th century and all the way to the 1960's in some Southern states. But not in Georgia. After the John Williams case, the horrible practice quickly started to disappear.
This sordid tale started with the escape of Gus Chapman who had been held against his will at the Williams farm as a peon. On his first escape attempt in 1920, he was hunted down and given a terrible beating, but the second time he succeeded and made it to Atlanta. Once there, he was able to meet with two agents of the Bureau of Investigation (the precursor to the FBI) and tell a tale of indentured servitude that included beatings, whippings and improper living conditions. The Feds were looking to get tough on peonage since the awful practice was getting bigger and bigger in most of the cotton states despite being expressly outlawed in 1867.
The Dark Tale of John S. Williams, Part II Williams Decides to Get Rid of the Evidence
So Gus Chapman, the escaped peon, met with Agents Brown and Wismer of the Bureau of Investigation in early 1921. The agents believed Chapman and were persuaded by his horrible tale. Other complaints had come into their office about the Williams plantation over the years and with this new information, they decided the time had come to drive out to Jasper County and pay John Williams a visit.
The agents went out to the Williams farm unannounced in mid February of 1921. Williams was away from the property at the time and the first person they spoke to was Clyde Manning, the black overseer of the Plantation and John Williams's right hand man. Manning spoke to the Feds as had been instructed by his boss if this situation were to ever arise. He spoke of Williams as a kind man and said that none of the workers were there against their will and that the conditions were very good. They spoke to several other black workers who all echoed Manning's sentiments. And naturally they would. They were all terrified of this man who had been known to kill peons in the past. And one must remember--this was rural Georgia in the 1920's. Federal agents or not, these men wouldn't be talking. Later, Williams would return and spoke with the agents at length and had seemingly convinced them that all was well. In fact, the facade put up by Williams would have likely worked had it not been for one simple thing: the Feds caught Manning and Williams in a lie over what had really happened to Gus Chapman on his first escape attempt. And that pretty much did it. And Williams knew it.
Williams probably felt like his entire universe would start to crumble if the Feds were able to put together a case against him. In his sick and twisted mind, he may have felt like his only option was to get rid of the evidence-- the ten or so black peons working and living on his farm. The next morning, he went by and visited Manning and told him, “Clyde, it won't do for those boys to get up yonder and swear against us. They will ruin us...we'll have to do away with them.” At first, Manning was hoping against hope that Williams meant they'd have to release them...but deep down inside he knew better and as the conversation went on that cold Saturday morning, the truth became apparent--John Williams wanted these men dead.
When it was all said and done, eleven men would be killed. The first victim was Johnnie Williams (no relation to John S. Williams). Unlike most of the peons, he wasn't drowned in one of the local rivers. Instead, he got an axe to the side of his head and was buried in a shallow grave on the Williams farm.
(Next month: Murder and Mayhem in Jasper Co....The Trial)
10 July 2021
It's that time of year again, Dear Readers.
Try not to spill anything on the carpet. There's extra hot pockets in the freezer & some Check Cola in the fridge. Also, look for a few of our oldies in this space over the next several days.
07 July 2021
It was a perfect storm, a confluence of events that assured nothing but the worse would befall the home county.
First off, The Oaks was just a golf course.
While for some - your semi-esteemed Editor proudly included - this was a big deal, for a significant number of folks: it meant absolutely nothing.
Secondly, the basically totally broke City of Porterdale was desperate for revenue - any revenue - & despite the recommendation of its planning council, most knew this was already a done deal.
And it was...
Further contributing to this situation was while The Oaks was technically a part of "the City of Porterdale," it never was (it got annexed some years ago for the sole purpose of being able to do liquor by the drink), and for most of the residents, property owners & taxpayers of the lovely mill village, this wasn't really on their radar.
The Oaks, right there at the intersection of Brown Bridge & Crowell, while legally in the city limits, really wasn't; and, by & large, the REAL Porterdale folks had no skin in the game & therefore there was no real sense of urgency to stop this.
Supposedly, the 9 holes co-designed by Bobby Jones will continue; however, one has to wonder if that was specifically referenced in any permit issued by the city. If not, they can say all they want & then do whatever they want. The home county has seen this done time & time again by various builders, developers & corporations. Promises made, w/out any legal consequence, leading to promises NOT kept.
Another part of the history of the home county gone forever, folks.
P.S. I first started playing at The Oaks in 1989, as a 14-yr old boy, right after Dick Shulz & Co. had cleaned, fixed up & reestablished the old course. I've probably played at least a hundred & fifty rounds there over the last 33 years.
P.P.S.This is another reminder of the concept of elections having major consequences. If Nancy'd won - like she should've - this would not be going on right now.
06 July 2021
I told you not long ago that I'd be moving back to my continuing sagas and my recurring character authors like the cranky English major and your erstwhile Porterdale correspondent. I still intend to do that but right now I have to do one of my semi- annual installments on baseball. Don't like that? Well, sugar pie honey bunch, I can't help myself.
MLB kept the 2020 covid rules changes I wanted to see gone and nixed the one I wanted to keep.. We still have seven inning double headers, the start of extra Innings with a runner on second and no designated hitter in the National League. I hear that all three of these things will be reversed next year.
The covid aberrations aside, I've stressed how few rule changes there have been in the history of baseball and how important that is to the integrity of the game and its sacred record keeping, but something like a major rule change happened recently. It's not really a rule change but rather a decision to enforce a rule of long-standing that has lain dormant for years: no foreign substances on the baseball.
The rule was enacted a hundred years ago to outlaw spitballs. It didn't work very well.
Watching baseball in the sixties I regularly saw umpires examining baseballs at a batter's request but not many cheaters were caught and penalized. Gaylord Perry won 300 games and induction into the Hall of Fame riding the spitball. He learned the pitch in 1964 but wasn't caught at it and given a 10-day suspension until 1984 even though one of his catchers has said that sometimes Gaylord's ball was so slimy he couldn't throw it back to the mound accurately.
He had to walk halfway and flip it to him.
The spitball was effective because it stopped or slowed the backward spin of the fastball caused by the grip of the top two fingers. That tends to elevate the pitch against the pull of gravity. The addition of a lubricant-- in the spitball’s heyday Vaseline spread under the bill of the cap-- to the fingertips of the index and middle fingers took away the friction producing the backward spin and caused the ball to sink at the last instant.
The development of the split-finger fastball in the 1970s negated the need for the spit ball since the split-finger produced the same effect. I haven't seen or heard of a pitched ball being examined for a foreign substance in fifty years until two weeks ago.
The baseball powers announced last month that they were cracking down on the application of sticky substances to the baseball. Apparently this has been rampant for several years although this is the first time I've heard it. To date there has been one 10- day suspension because of it.
A sticky substance has the opposite effect of Vaseline, increasing the spin and therefore the break on breaking balls: curves, sliders, cut fastballs, screwballs, etc. In an age where 75% of pitchers are throwing 95 mph or better, throw in the sticky ball and it’s not surprising that batting averages across the board have dropped to a near historic low. At the present the average major league team batting average is down to .240. The record low of .237 was set in 1968. The next year they lowered the mound from an elevation of fifteen to ten inches.
Chipper Jones has talked about the rule change. He says the sticky business is so bad that in 2017 a ball stuck to Yadier Molina's chest protector. Apparently the substance of choice is called Spider Tack. Although he strongly supports the rule, he says letting pitchers use pine tar like the way batters do would be fair.
There are so many things wrong with that idea.
Because of what our short attention spans can abide, I’m going to stop here but I'm not through yet. This piece is to be continued. I know this is somewhat techno-scientific for baseball talk but at least I'm not talking about Bitcoin.