Saturday, September 17, 2005

Well we finally moved the Moore family from St. Bernard Parish into their newly remodeled home in Holt. They signed a lease with an addendum yesterday. They were able to move out of the motel and they paid us $3 for their rent through November. They appear to be very pleased with their situation in Tuscaloosa.

Talked to Jeannie Dowling Livaudais in Mandeville on the north shore of Ponchartrain today. She's back in her house and today is her first day of phone service. No flooding in her neighborhood but lots of trees down. Mandeville students go back to school on Monday.

Christopher and I will spend tomorrow tuning up the St. Bernard evacuee house. They'll appreciate it plus it will give us some Brownie points with the insurance inspector who's coming to see our work next week.

Wednesday was Christopher's 17th birthday and he got his school pictures last week.

Our little boy is growing up. 2005 School Portrait of Christopher Register, Junior at Tuscaloosa County High School
email address

If you got Windows Media Player, you can see the Mad Mothers of Evacuees Getting It On With The Mad Mothers of SE Houston and Jones High School. Three students hospitalized and five arrested in a pretty good scrap.
Unfortunately, you have to watch a Crest toothpaste add before the fight comes up on your screen.
Lots of emotions displayed on this raw video feed from KHOU in Houston.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Re: Gatemouth Brown

Gatemouth played the Chukker twice during my tenure and I think at least once with the frog. He stayed out at my house for both of the performances. He was really a character. He would not let his band drink, but anything else was OK. He had his little 5 year old girl with him who also was part of the band. I remember that when we got home after each performance, he would have to cook cous-cous before he could go to bed. What a performer that the world will miss.

Thanks Bruce, you da man!

Gatemouth was buried this morning in Orange, Texas. Details may be found on his website

They are headlining a show with The Atlanta Rhythm Section
and Marshall Tucker
at the Dothan Civic Center Friday night. I won't be able to make it. I'm saving my pennies for a trip to Dauphin Island in October. I am expecting all of my loyal reporters for "Cuba, Alabama" to keep us informed.


RE: Buie Threatens To Have THE ROCKER Assassinated, The Memory Cell Recalls Gilmore plus Soul Farts!
Thu, 15 Sep 2005 00:50:25 -0400

Is Jimmy Dean the Jimmy Dean I knew from Dothan? Who went to the 1957 Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge with me?
--William Wheatley

Jimmy Dean
Thu, 15 Sep 2005 14:49:22 EDT
Re: Buie Threatens To Have THE ROCKER Assassinated, The Memory Cell Recalls Gi...

To William c/o Roberto: William, that was my older brother Rickey, who went to Valley Forge. I do remember you; can't remember if you were in Troop 3 or 106. I was a Cub Scout at the time (age 11).

RE: Rickey Dean, not Jimmy Dean, went To Valley Forge in '57
Thu, 15 Sep 2005 19:41:43 -0400

Dear Jimmy (c/o Robert),

Now I remember. I think you were a contemporary of my brother, Tom.

I was in Troop 130 in Dothan (at Cloverdale Methodist Church). I don't remember the number of the troop that was formed for Jamboree purposes. If I remember correctly (and there is no guarantee of that whatsoever), your dad (who was pastor (?) of the Mormon Church in Dothan) was the Scoutmaster for the Jamboree troop. I think I remember that he gave the presentation speech at my church when I was awarded Eagle Scout the following year.

Were you in the same Cub Scout Pack as my brother, Thomas B. Wheatley (now known as Tom)? My mother was the den mother of the den Tom was in.

It is good to re-establish connection with you after all these years! How are you and where are you? Where and how is Rickey?

If you are interested, you can learn a little about me from my web page,



photo courtesy of Frank Gaines at Gaines Photo in Dothan
What precious memories this old building has for me. The first six years of my life I lived less than one block north of Young Junior on Dusy Street.One afternoon I almost died when I locked myself in an old refrigerator Helm's Bait Beds had for growing worms or crickets. Thank God my hide and seek partners got me out in time but I remember losing my air, pounding on the door and feeling that cool breeze when they opened the latch like it was yesterday. Helm's Bait Beds perfected cricket growing before Auburn even knew what it was and the bait bed was in my backyard for the my first six years of life.
The Girard Junior High bunch made fun of us. They were from across Silk Stocking Avenue and they called us the Young Junior Baby Criminals even though we were the Baby Tigers and most of their parents had gone there. My seventh grade homeroom teacher was Miss Ferguson. She taught my Daddy. Rip Hughes taught down the hall. He coached my Daddy when Earl was second string quarterback of one the greatest Dothan High teams, '38.Seniors '39. Miss McCallum was the librarian and she taught my Daddy. Miss Jernigan, my eighth grade math teacher, taught my Daddy.
Not just my earliest memories but some of my most precious memories come from this old building, what we called THE ALAMO. I whipped some ass and I got my ass whipped but I learned about life just like my Daddy did back during The Depression. I still remember Miss Ferguson's Social Studies classes in October of ' 62 when she showed us how to duck and cover but she also showed us the power of prayer.
I will always be a YOUNG JUNIOR BABY TIGER!!!!


Robert, thanks for the beautiful picture you posted of Young Junior High School. I was in Miss Ferguson's home room. She was one of the all-time favourite people of my life - I can still picture her in my mind as vividly as if I had just seen her yesterday. I remember riding my bicycle to her house on Christmas Eve, 1956, to deliver my Christmas present to her - pecan pralines made by my grandmother from pecans harvested in our back yard. At the time, I don't think I was aware that Girard Junior High School existed. Perhaps it didn't, then. I also remember Coach Hughes and Miss McCallum, the librarian, although not quite as vividly as I do Miss Ferguson. Miss Jernigan, however, is another teacher who made a permanent and lasting impression on me. Although I was in some ways a math whiz (math theory for me was a cinch), I was a bit slow on multiplication and division -- until Miss Jernigan. By the time I left Miss Jernigan's class, I knew all the multiplication tables cold, backward and forward. Math was never a problem for me again. She was very demanding, but also (in her own inimitable fashion) very patient. She was determined to "leave no child behind" when it came to the rudiments of math. She left none of us behind, either. I remember one poor young girl in the class, from a broken family, living with an alcoholic mother in the low-income apartments a few blocks south from Young Junior High School. Most teachers had given up on her as a hopeless case of stupidity - but not Miss Jernigan. She drilled this girl in class as relentlessly as she drilled all the rest of us - but when it became obvious that this girl "just didn't get it," she asked her to come see her at the end of the school day. Miss Jernigan worked with this girl every afternoon for weeks. Before long, this girl was answering in class with the best of us. No longer cowering, embarrassed and hopeless, this girl held her head up proudly and answered in a clear voice when called on. Soon, this carried over into Health Class (what passed as "sexual education" back then), Social Studies, English, and the rest of her classes. No longer a failure, this girl now was able to move ahead confidently with the rest of the class, and graduated from Dothan High School on time with the rest of us. I saw her last year at our class's fortieth reunion. She told me that Miss Jernigan literally saved her life.

I remember Mr. Turk, who was Principal at Young. A classmate of mine and I one day took a short cut through the boys' bathroom at the end of the day, out the window to our bicycles, parked at the bicycle rack just below the boys' bathroom window. To our dismay, Mr. Turk was standing there waiting for us. We were held in his office for one hour until our parents responded to his telephone calls and promised him that they would see that we obeyed the rules. I was never more mortified in my life. Both my classmate and I survived (he went on to become an Alabama Supreme Court Justice), I to become an international architect. In many ways, our success was due to the teachers who formed us as scholars at Young, and to the coaches and Mr. Turk whose discipline forced us to "obey the rules." I remember a the older brother of one of my classmates referring to us as the Young Junior Baby Criminals. I remember knife fights in the school yard (interrupted by Coach Gilstrap with Severe Consequences - strong corporal punishment - for the guilty). I remember one young thug bringing a gun to school. He was taken away, never to return to Young. He was sent to a reform school. He returned to our class in high school, and in later life achieved great success. I saw him at our high school reunion, as well.

The Alamo (Young Jr. Hi) in many ways shaped my life more than any other institution I experienced - more than Sunday School, more than High School, more than Vacation Bible School. All of these were instrumental, but Young had a very special group of very capable and dedicated teachers whose lives had been dedicated to shaping young lives. For the first three months of 8th grade, I hated Miss Jernigan. That soon changed. After I "graduated" from Young Junior High School, I went back to Miss Jernigan's room to thank her for what she had done for me. She said, "William, I was only doing my job." I said, "Maybe, but if all teachers did their jobs the way you do yours, there would be no failures." She looked down at her hands, folded on her desk, and said, "William, I am thankful to God Almighty that I am able to do the job entrusted to me. I hope that, when the time comes, you will also do your job. It will not be easy to do - but if you are a teacher, and one child out of a thousand comes back to you as you have come back to me, you will know that it was all worth it." I wanted to hug her, but in those days we didn't display emotions so openly. I took her hand, shook it, and said, "Miss Jernigan, I will do my best." Well, sometimes I have done my best, and sometimes I haven't. Whenever I realize that I have not done my best, I see Miss Jernigan's face in my mind's eye - and she is not pleased.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CUBA? Nothing, except, perhaps, the Spanish style architecture of Young Junior High School - and perhaps a young man in my seventh grade class named Raimondo, who was Cuban. I don't remember his last name. He spoke English well, with only a trace of accent. He disappeared after that year - friends said he had gone back to Cuba. When Castro took over, I thought of him and I still wonder what happened to him.

Again, thanks for posting the picture and note that came with it. As you can tell, it opened a floodgate of memories and emotions for me.

Buena suerte,

--William Wheatley

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

GREAT PICTURE OF JOHN RAINEY ADKINS AND THE CANDYMEN backstage at Ft. Brandon Armory in Tuscaloosa courtesy of
Left to right: Billy Gilmore, Rodney Justo, Bob Nix (top), Little Bobby Peterson(bottom), John Rainey Atkins

RODNEY THE ROCKER's tribute to his friend, Bill Gilmore

Subject: Re: The Rocker Scolds Buie, Dean Shoots Us A Classic & Babbs Writes Psychedelic World History!
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 23:29:26 -0400

I think that the club in Atlanta was actually called Pigalle which we being so sophisticated, pronounced Pig Alley.

In an earlier thread you asked about Bill Gilmore.
He was my pal.
When I joined the Candymen he was living in Tampa. (He grew up in Sarasota) Bill was a quiet person, VERY much unlike me, but when he spoke, it was like he had conserved his words so that they would be meaningful.
Originally, I think that we bonded because I could make him laugh. And he, being so quiet I don't think that people thought that he had a sense of humor, but man he ended up being funny as hell.
In those days Bill didn't drive. So that meant that when we left Tampa (if we were riding somewhere) I got stuck with taking my car and driving as well.Of course that also meant that he got to sleep while I drove.
We did however split the gas money.
I knew that I was gettin' screwed but I didn't care.
I think that Bill later learned how to drive and got a license but I can assure you I don't think that I would have ridden in a car with him at the wheel
We used to laugh about how cheap Bill could be and his famous saying (to us at least) to our road manager whoever it may have been at the time."Bring me back a dollars worth of food"(you could actually eat for a dollar back then) meanwhile the rest of us were eating like we were going to the "chair"
Of course Bill got the last laugh when he bought a big beautiful house in Atlanta with the money that he'd saved, while the rest of us were still living in apartments.
I was in Houston this weekend on the way back from San Francisco and of course they've had a new airport there for over 25 years,maybe 30,but my mind went back to Bill finding out that his wife had given birth to a baby boy while we were finishing up a date in Houston and we flew back from the old Hobby Airport to see his new born son,who we decided looked like Edgar Buchanan from Petticoat Junction.
Bill's first words upon seeing his firstborn.....sheesh.
He also had a stepdaughter from his first marriage.
Oh the stories that I can't tell...
But I can tell you that he got re-married and loved his new wife deeply,and loved his new family.
When the Candymen broke up Bill went to play with the Classics IV (some old friends of mine from Tampa also joined the band) and I was in Atlanta with the original version of ARS.
We never lost touch even when I left to go to New York and when I was in Beaverteeth.
Remember, that this was a time when believe it or not men didn't embrace. But Bill and I always shared a very warm and personal hug.
When he accidentally shot himself,.............forget it, it's indescribable
As I recounted earlier I was reminiscing about Bill this weekend.
These were just conscious thoughts.......I wouldn't bet that there's a single day that goes by that I don't think about him.
And others.

Re: The Rocker Scolds Buie, Dean Shoots Us A Classic & Babbs Writes Psychedelic World History!
Wed, 14 Sep 2005 09:30:51 -0500
"robert register"

How dare Jimmy Dean call that picture idiotic. I think the band looks
respectable and proper. Take a look at those small amps. I bet the
crowd could
even hear and understand the lyrics of those great old songs that
Wilbur was singing. I miss those days! As far as stage
presence.............I TRIED.
HEY ROCKER. I never doubt your memory. You are my link to the past.
Paul "old man" Cochran and I have talked about having you killed
you remember too much!!!

And this just in from my childhood friend William Wheatley on the unusual subject of "soul farts"...

Friends of mine (and, I must admit, I too) have been using the term "brain fart" since college (my kids call that the Dark Ages; I tend to agree with them).

I have recently become familiar with a phenomenon that I can only call a "soul fart." The term has both religious and musical ramifications. "Soul" is a conceptual term used in both religion (as in theology" and in music (as in soul music). Any thoughts?

--William Wheatley (DHS Class of '62)
I googled "soul fart" and got 227 hits so it's out there!
robo(DHS Class of '68

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Subject: Re: Buddy Sings "3 Coins", Connell Sets the Allmans Straight, Art Neville Evacuates To T-town & MO'!!!!
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 22:59:22 -0400

Awesome Jeff !

Rodney Justo

Subject: Re: Po' Ole Buddy May Have Had A Brain Fart, Jimmy Dean Came Through & Capn Keeps Us Up Wid Katrina!
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 22:58:02 -0400

Listen Buie.....if I say it happened. IT HAPPENED !
Rockin' Rodney Justo

thought you might be interested in this idiotic picture. This is the last reincarnation of the Webs, the one that played at the Old Dutch in 64. From left to right: Larry Coe, Bill Ackridge, Wilbur Walton, Jr., Bruce White, Jimmy Dean. We weren't actually wearing our pants up around our chests--those are cummerbunds. This photo was taken in 1964 at a club in Atlanta called Pigalley, and they made us wear those stupid clothes, including the cummerbund. Buddy made us play there so we could learn "stage presence". All I learned was how to sneeze thirty times a minute. The joint was totally covered with two inches of dust dating back to the depression, which was our mood while we were there.
I'm still trying to think of a way to get Buddy back for this.
Jimmy Dean

Ken Babbs corrected our PSYCHEDELIC WORLD HISTORY version of him hosting the Earth's first ACID TEST found at

Subject: Re: Po' Ole Buddy May Have Had A Brain Fart, Jimmy Dean Came Through & Capn Keeps Us Up Wid Katrina

host of the very first Acid Test almost 40 years ago at his book
store in Santa Cruz,CA on November 27,1965]

at my house, not a bookstore, and the bookstore probably being
referred to was owned by peter dema and ron bevirt and was called the
hip pocket bookstore.


I forgot to say I never have owned a bookstore and can confidentally
predict I never will, but you never know, you never know so I will
curb my tongue.



"That wheel keeps turnin" cap'n...he was a talent...saw him in Memphis during the Handy Awards weekend, maybe 2001 or so, he blew the place away. It's 3am or so in a theater and he is playing on stage with a fiddle strapped over one shoulder as he is playing electic guitar, very well, and then slings that thing over and brings down the fiddle and away we go. Wow, he was absolutely in control and soul soul soulfull. American master, another original. We all have seen and known so much talent and genuine people. What a blessing.

-- #43, Sparks

Don't I remember seeing Gatemouth at The Chukker on two occasions?
I am so glad I got to talk to such a SUPER GENTLEMAN!

Here's a chapter from Carl Carmer's STARS FELL ON ALABAMA where he describes legends of Coden, Alabama from the 1920's.
Alabama History has not been taught in Alabama's public high schools since 1998 so now our students are not even exposed to their own geography, culture and history. That's about as sad as Katrina.

Coq d’Inde

The old shell road out of Mobile leads to a coast land of bayous. Bienville saw wild turkeys there and named an inlet Coq d’Inde. Coden it is now, lying beside Sans Souci and Bayou Labatre and Point aux Pins. Near these little towns wine-colored streams reflect Spanish moss hanging in long tatters from the water oaks, and bathe the roots of fragrant orange and lemon and oleander trees. Now the country is inhabited by fisherfolk and summer guests. Once its uncharted sinuous channels gave refuge to more dangerous residents, to robbers and pirates, even to Jean La Fitte.
That bane of British and Spanish commerce put into the Mississippi Sound one day between Isle aux Herbes and the mainland and found Coden. The legend is that he buried treasure there, knowing that his rich colony of marauders established at the Island of Grande Terre could not resist for long the forces of law and order. The Lanrendines, the Girards, the Rabbis, descendants of the oldest French families in the region, know where be built his shack and they have speculated for generations now on the direction he and his men took when they went from it one midnight staggering under the weight of chests of gold. But the spades of treasure hunters have not yet uncovered the buried metal.
Knowing the ways of summer resorts, I gave this legend little credence when I first went to Coden. The faith of “Bud” Rabbi, fisherman, in its truth finally brought me to make inquiries as to its origin. My search led to the Moore family,early residents of the section, and to a correspondence which amazingly corroborated the legend of Coden’s buccaneers.
In the late 1880’s a daughter of the Moore household, which had migrated to Alabama from South Carolina early in the century, set down in family letters a number of her mother’s reminiscences. From them I culled the following extracts:

“ ‘The first man I met of romantic interest,’ I have heard my mother say, ‘was an old gentleman named La Mas. He was one of the Black Flag men who sailed with La Fitte, the pirate captain. La Mas was an old man when I met him. He wore a long beard, high boots outside his trousers, and always carried, stuck beneath his belt, blunderbusses and knives of curious workmanship. He lived on a green knoll in a quaint wooden house which was fastened to the earth by chain-ropes of iron, for the tornadoes and gales at Coq d’Inde were often very Severe.
“ ‘Las Mas was always ready with his tongue and his language was courtly. He had the manners of a gentleman of “the quality” and great admiration for his former leader. “Why, Lady Moore,’ he once said, “I have stood knee-deep in human blood on deck with La Fitte and yet he was a man of fascinating and unquestionable charm and finish.” ‘ “
In another section of these epistolatory chronicles their
author writes that the remains of the shack built by La Fitte
“are still standing, storm—blown, time—touched, crumbling under a gigantic chestnut tree. All about are blowing cowslips and English daisies. I can see the ruins from the window of Anatol Rabbi’s stone dining room, set off from the rest of the house, where, under the orange trees, I am enjoying my breakfast of mullet, salt bread, and cafe noir served by a pretty Creole girl.”
This odd tangent to the biography of the French pirate-hero of the Battle of New Orleans is not the only romance—laden tale of the Alabama bayou country. At Sans Souci shrimp fishers tell the story of a French buccaneer who discovered that his beautiful daughter was in love with a Spaniard and meeting him secretly. The father immediately killed the girl by cutting her throat and buried her beside the bayou, where her ghost appears nightly. And at Bayou Labatre there are many variations of the tale of a headless Indian who appears beside the dark copper-colored water just at sundown, moaning dismally of some forgotten crime.
Most beautiful of all the Gulf Coast legends, however, is that of the Sea-Maiden of the Biloxi. It has been told to me by the islanders of Dauphin and Isle anx Herbes, by trawlers in Bonsecours Bay and the shrimp fishers of Pascagoula which is across the Mississippi state line. Each narrator claimed that the spot where the wonder took place was in the waters within a few rods of his residence. Of the many versions, this one, told to me one moonlight night by Pierre Laurendine as we sat on the white sand beside Coden bay is most affecting:

“A long time ago a tribe of Indians, named the Biloxi, lived on this island. They believed themselves to be children of the sea and they worshiped a sea—maiden. But the Spaniards came and they forced the Indians to give up their belief and take the Christian religion. A Spanish priest went among them with his cross and bell and box and the Indians had to bow to him and his God. One night the priest was wakened by a sound of stirring waters. He looked out and saw dark waves risen into a trembling mound that almost reached the clouds. At its peak, close against the blue moon stood the sea-maiden. She sang:

Come to me, children of the sea.
Neither book, nor bell, nor cross
Shall win you from your queen.

Then, before the priest could interfere, he saw the natives fling themselves into the water and swim toward the maiden leaving behind them great streaks of fire. When they had circled the column of waves it burst with a great hissing roar, engulfing the whole tribe in the subsiding waters.
The churchman who saw this strange thing happen believed that it was due to the fact that he was not himself in a true state of grace. On his death-bed he said that if a priest would row to the spot where the music sounded and drop a cross into the water all the souls at the bottom would be redeemed though he himself would be instantly swallowed up by the waves.
No one has ransomed the souls of the Biloxi. The sad music that haunts the bay today, rising through the waters when the moon is out, comes from the sea-caves down below where they live.”

Sunday, September 11, 2005