Thursday, April 28, 2005
If any uv ya'll remember Mr. Dean from Scouts,shoot me a reminiscence. The following came from his son in Dothan:

I really appreciate your comments about Daddy. He did truly love scouting and stayed with it until he was no longer able. He had a bad stroke in 1993 that put him down; he lived another 11 years flat on his back, 9 of those years in a nursing home. We visited him every single day. Christmas Eve day I gave him my usual goodbye ("See you later, alligator"; he responded with his usual "After a while, crocodile"). As I left the room, I told him I'd see him tomorrow; he looked at me slyly with a grin, and said, "I won't be here." Sure enough, Christmas Day, 2003, he left us. He had just turned ninety years old.


Everybody wished me a happy birthday yesterday. Got free cover at the Booth, saw four different bands and got free drinks at four different bars. It's great to ARRIVE ALIVE AT 55. The last Register male to accomplish this feat was my Grandfather Will Young Register on January 11, 1949. In honor of this milestone I contemplated writing the following story and now, given some new information I received today from a buddy from Dothan, I'm gonna write it.

In the late spring of '68, I was gonna graduate from Dothan High School. Seniors had privileges, one of which was we were able to take our exams early and have few days off before graduation.[ I was pretty bad about taking unfair advantage of privileges like on Senior Day when Cub and I dressed up as moonshiners, complete with fired clay whiskey jugs filled with I.W. Harper and percussion cap shotguns which we held out the windows of my Geek monster green Opal station wagon and shot into the air when we arrived on campus. Essie Mae didn't appreciate that]

Anyway, during the interim before graduation, Cub, Porky and I went to the beach and got a surfside room at the Spray Motel just down from the Barney Gray where the girls always stayed. This was a big deal. It was a big deal because,generally, for French Club or EYC beach trips or whatever, we always got rooms at the Spray but on the U.S. 98 side which was cheaper. (something like about $17.50 a night) We were going first class this time, however, we did have one little problem. We really wanted the upstairs beachside room with a kitchenette but a bunch of football players from Vandy had the entire second floor.
It wasn't just Vandy football players, though. There were a few hangers on as well. One was a Nashville cat who considered himself far more sophisticated in the areas of alcoholism and beach music that a bunch of barefooted rebel sons uv bitches from Dothan.

We all got along pretty well though. Early one evening the Nashville cat shows up with some front page news. He starts hollering about Joe South actually playing a gig at some club,maybe the Red Rooster, that night. He went crazy over Joe South. He was saying something about Joe just getting out of the army or something like that and it was,"Joe South! Joe South! Joe South!"
"Who in the hell is Joe South?," I thought. I'd never heard of him, however, over the course of the next year all that would change.
So here's the conclusion of this episode of "The Games People Play":

We all get back from the club. I don't remember if we saw Joe South or not. Anyway, Cub,Porky and I are on the deck in front our first floor, beachside kitchenette, when I notice rain hitting me in the face. I looked up into the sky and saw the moon and stars so I wuz puzzled until I noticed that the Nashville cat who's queer for Joe South is pissing off the balcony above us.
I immediately ran upstairs to confront the perpetrator. Nobody got in my way cause they could see I was hot. I hadn't been around college kids long enough to know that pissing on someone on the ground below you is fair game.
I let the Nashville cat know I was not amused and that he should prepare himself for a royal ass whipping. He immediately plucks his glass eyeball out of his right eye, puts the eyeball right up in my face and says,"You wouldn't hit a guy who's only got one eye,would you?" I replied by crossing with my left fist which effectively closed his good eye.

Any way,here's my question. Any uv ya'll got any stories about the mysterious Joe South who allegedly once invited an entire audience to line up in front of the stage in order to get the opportunity to kiss his ass.

And while you're at it, I didn't get any birthday presents from any uv ya'll yesterday so I'm expecting stories. Great stories about about Wilbur and the Revelers and N.K. and The Cavaliers and One Nut Chuck and Kesey's favorite barroom and Neil and The Chukker and Thuh Bear and Skynyrd and anything else that comes to mind.

Have a good'n

P.S. And one last thought from a buddy Down Home who was reflecting upon the importance of us all getting back together to do it again:

I have talked about the old times and how great they were in spite of the occasional bumps in the road, and God knows we all had them. I reckon I've been pissed off at just about everybody at least once, and looking back, I know I sure could have tried anybody's patience periodically. We decided it was best to just enjoy each other's company and the good memories we have while we can, and forget the bad shit. But, then again, we don't have lawyers lined up and big bucks at stake.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I cannot recall one time when I have questioned your veracity when you were speaking from your personal experience. You are too quick to doubt me when I speak the truth and I ain't gonna forget it.
The Tampa Tribune wrote on June 9, 1922, that more morphine was sold in Tampa than in Chicago, New Orleans or Philadelphia. Only New York City harbored a greater illegal drug trade than Tampa.
On page 9 of the article you will read about a Tampa smuggler who's murder may have been ordered by Alphonse Capone.
You will also read that federal arrests of smugglers in the Tampa area forced the trade to move to North Florida. You will also read about the 1922 plea bargain by Captain Dorey Rice of The Success which exposed a complex smuggling network in North Florida which was tied to the railroads and trucking. B.H. Sutton, a former sheriff of Okaloosa County; C.D. Moore, a former detective from Crestview; J.H. Givens, a banker; and Charlie Suey, a wealthy Chinese-American from Apalachicola were all fingered by Captain Rice.
I already told you that my great uncle Walter Clayton Register, Sheriff of Geneva County, was addicted to morphine. At the time he was sheriff, his brother-in-law Jep Harris, had to serve time in Atlanta on federal liquor charges. At least once a year, I visited my Uncle Jep and Aunt Neva in Mobile. Their son, Bill, was a ship captain out of Mobile.
Oh yeah, and my Daddy had an interesting part-time job. He was a bounty hunter for Bubba Buntin's bail bonding firm which did a thriving business bringing bond jumpers back from Tampa.
Yes, I do have a lot of family anecdotes,however, I can back it all up and I don't have time for your insults.

“First night at Eglin, we had to go to a motel nearby, but then finally they arranged for the Valparaiso Inn to house us. They had meals and good food, and it was real fun. The Inn had been a golf course resort for people from Chicago, and a bunch of us wives were there. We played golf once or twice, went boating, and Ted took me up in the B-25 on one of the practice runs, when he flew out over the Gulf of Mexico to drop his bombs. I was dressed like a guy, with my hair tucked under a cap. There were guards around, but Ted said we’d be OK, that we were supposed to do anything we wanted."

Ted Lawson's wife on the practice runs performed at Eglin in preparation for Doolittle's Raid

By the mid-40's Okaloosa County became known in Florida as a center for liquor smuggling and gambling. There was a popular club in Fort Walton Beach and it was joined in 1947 by the Shalimar Club, close to Richbourg Avenue in the north.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Ben Perryman by George Catlin

Sam Perryman,Ben's brother by George Catlin

Sturges1818Map1.jpg (5.79 MB)
This important map is the Early Map {1818} of Georgia, Alabama and Spanish Florida. It details the 25 million acres the Creek lost when they signed the Treaty of Ft. Jackson near present-day Wetumpka in 1814.
This map will take a while to download. The first image you will see will be a map of Madison County, Alabama Territory. As soon as you finish downloading, you will see a miniature of the entire map. Click on the lower right hand corner of the map to enlarge and explore.