Friday, July 13, 2007

image courtesy of
39 Broadway - President George Washington's Executive Mansion at the time of The Treaty of New York in 1790

image courtesy of Fordham University, New York City
Tame King by Trumbull

Hysac, or The Woman's Man

Tuskatche Mico, or, The Birdtail King of the Cusitahs.
Swanton gives this name as Fus-hatchee Miko of the Kasihta

images courtesy of

four of five sketches drawn by Trumbull at or near 39 Broadway while the Creek Indians were in New York City in July & August of 1790

The best article I have found on The Treaty of New York- 1790


My Mother Kate was a nurse from 1941 until about '77 and she NEVER walked in on a dead person.

She had a morbid fear of that.

She grew up around the country customs with Old Brothuh Death laying there in the living room for a couple of days.

She KNEW that noone ever wanted to die alone.

Anytime somebody was about to die, Mama made
fo' sho' either her or somebody else was with them holding their hand.

When my Aunt Marie was about to die back in about '83, her daughter, my first cousin Pat, decided she needed to go get her laundry.
My mother caught her in the hall and COMMANDED,

My first cousin replied,"You think my mother is gonna die! Don't you have faith in Jesus?"

My mother said, "Of course, but YOU STAY HERE!"

They went back into the hospital room and Aunt Marie died.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

images by Marshall Hagler courtesy of Tommy Stevenson's blog and the Tuscaloosa News

Photo of Marshall Hagler by Martha Jane Patton

Tommy Stevenson published an excellent obit for Marshall on his blog at the T News. Check it out:

photo courtesy of WTBC
Jimi in Tuscaloosa in May of '69.

a message I received yesterday
from Igor:

Dear Friends,
Our old comrade
Marshal Hagler
passed from this world around 12:30 today.

He had been ill for some time and hospitalized with complications of diabetes for several months with the major factor being congestive heart failure.

It was his wish to have no traditional funeral, but to be cremated and his ashes to be scattered into the Rio Grande in New Mexico.
His brother David will do this at some time in the future.

Currently we are trying to raise money to pay for Marshal's cremation.
If anyone wants to donate toward this please contact Bruce Hopper at aaa440(at) (insert @ sign) or call him at 205-333-1821.
We need to raise about $1,000 and have about 1/2 of it accounted for.
At some point in the near future there will be a memorial to celebrate Marshal's life.
As soon as that is finalized, I'll let you all know.

Marshal was a major active contributor to the 'nation back from his publishing the ChukkerNation News ("all the news that fits") which helped us all keep in touch with each other long before the Internet was ever dreamed of.

He blew our minds in the days of the Woods Quads and onward with those fantastic light shows with many of the techniques that he invented. His documentation of the entirety of the 'nation with his photographs, many of which graced the famous Chukker Calendar and adorned the walls of the Chukker for many years is a heritage that cannot be forgotten. He was also a great and generous friend and I'm glad I had the privilege to know his for all these many years. He will be greatly missed.

Old friend Martha Jane Patton visited with him on July 1 and took this last photo of Marshal.

She wrote:

The day before his second amputation, he asked me to take a couple of
photos of the foot to be amputated, and of course I took advantage of
the opportunity to shoot a quick one of him as well. After I looked
at his image on the viewer, it had an eerie, ghostly quality to it
that I could not account for. I tried taking another, and another,
but they all had this quality. The shots of his foot did not look
like that, so I was at a loss but finally gave up.

It's such a good picture of him, smiling like that, when he was in
such pain. He went out of his way to pose, sitting up on the side of
the bed, when I'm sure he was in great pain. Anyway, I wanted you all
to enjoy that smile today.



Returning to my recent vacation...

On Friday, July 6
I woke up in my Mama & Daddy's room in Dothan.
As soon as I could,
I ventured over to the George S. Houston Memorial Library where I
served as a liberry page back in '67 & '68 shelving
Grace Livingston Hill romance novels for 75 cents an hour.

If your people are from Dothan, please visit The Local History/Genealogy Room at the library.

I can't believe I lost everything I wrote tonight.

Short version:

Had lunch at ZACK'S Family Restaurant
with the Bama Queen to discuss John Rainey Adkins site

Left there and went to Porter's Fairyland where the Paint Ball War Zone gave me full access.
I obsessed on the spot in the shade at Porter's
where I first heard that Marilyn was dead on Sunday, August 5, 1962.

Traveled around the Cowart's Creek community observing the drought and then went fishing at the Hog Farm.
Got two strikes but that was it.

Hung out w/ Brother Bill and Katherine Friday nite talkin' trash

& woke up the neck day ready to head for the coast.

To be continued...


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Red John Puryear died this afternoon at about 2:00.
My boss, Lee Pake, ate lunch with him at Indian Hills at about 1:30.
The last thing Red John said to Lee was,"I'm going home to take a nap."

The entire block across the street from us here on University Boulevard is owned by Red John's best friend, Dr. Phillip Lamoureux.

I really don't even want to think about how the Lamoureux's are taking this.

We loved you Red John.
You were one uv us!

Please pray for the Puryear family right now.

Thank the Good Lord that
Ben Windham published this article on Sunday in the Tuscaloosa News:


Future Gov. Albert Brewer worked the cash register. Near the jukebox, Joe Namath held court as young women stared, spellbound. E.O. Wilson, who would go on to win two Pulitzer Prizes, popped in regularly.

John Puryear’s little drug/sundry store on 10th Street held the corner on cool in Tuscaloosa.

In fact, that was the name of the place: The Corner.

The store’s future is uncertain. When the lease expires, it becomes the property of the University of Alabama.

But Puryear, a former probate judge who turns 89 this month, still has a corner on memories that stretch all the way back to the store’s founding.

“It was 1945. I had just got back from the war and I was in law school. Bill Schuessler wanted me to go into business with him.

“I said, 'Well, I’m in law school.’

“And he said, 'Any time you have to study, I’ll take care of it.’

“And so we started," said Puryear, whose shock of red hair, long gone, earned him the nickname that stuck with him the rest of his life: “Redjohn."

It wasn’t much to begin with, just a little store on the margin of a big university campus.

A cafe called Piping Hot had done business there before Paul Malone redeveloped the block, constructing a beauty parlor, a bookstore and the place that would become The Corner.

“We didn’t know what to call it because 'Puryear-Schuessler’ just wasn’t going to get it. So a friend of his, Ruth Jones, said she’d been to Pennsylvania or somewhere and they had a place up there and it was called just The Corner.

“ 'The Corner.’. So we said, 'Well, OK, we’ll name it 'The Corner,’ " Puryear says.

If it was a perfect, if casually conceived, name. Not only did it suit the store physically -- it was on a corner of 10th Street (now Paul W. Bryant Drive)-- but it also was one of the few stores of its kind that catered directly to the university community.

It delivered, too.

“We sold Kotex and Kleenex and toothpaste, and we had six little delivery boys on bicycles," Puryear says. “The sororities and dormitories were right there. And we just sold the heck out of stuff, delivering it to the girls."

At one point, The Corner sold more Kotex than any single store in Alabama. Puryear and Schuessler bought it and other necessities by the truckload.

“The little ol’ delivery boys, we’d pay 10 cents an hour, I think it was, but they made a lot more money in tips," Puryear says. “They just fought for the job.

“And I used to worry so much -- like on a Sunday night and it’d be raining like everything and they’d be out there on their bicycles. But they loved the rainy nights because they got bigger tips."

What really made The Corner cool for students, however, was what Puryear calls “the money situation."

“Banks in those days didn’t open until 10 o’clock and they closed at 2. Students didn’t have a chance to cash their checks.

“So we started doing that and it got to be a big business. It just drew customers like crazy.

“Then they caught on to -- like they could come in and write a check and they had no money in the bank until the first of the month. And they’d bounce checks.

“The bank didn’t care and the DA wouldn’t prosecute anybody, so we decided we’d really stop it," Puryear says. “We’d charge ’em 10 cents a check every time they bounced one.

“Late we went to a quarter, then to 50 cents," he says, laughing. “And now it’s $30. And the banks don’t like it now. They didn’t care then."

The worthless checks fees didn’t dampen The Corner’s popularity.

“On a weekend especially, we would cash a lot of money," Puryear says. “Twenty thousand dollars, $25,000 -- in $2 and $3 and $5 checks. It was amazing, back then."

The Corner became almost as much of a University of Alabama landmark as Denny Chimes.

“We hired students whenever we could," Puryear says. “Albert Brewer worked in there. Through college. He was cashier, manager at night. He was a great guy.

“And when he got to be governor, the probate office was open here -- it was ’68 -- and he appointed me probate judge. “

Puryear didn’t have much political experience, except for a pre-war campus campaign against George C. Wallace for president of The Cotillion Club. But Puryear did know the law, and Brewer knew he had the people skills to handle the probate office.

“I was there until ’78, when Hardy [McCollum] beat me," Puryear says. “And Hardy’s been there ever since."

His partner, Schuessler, had moved, so Puryear’s wife, Jane, managed The Corner during his years at the courthouse and later when he taught continuing legal education at the university. In 1982, Puryear’s son-in-law, Hugh Underwood, bought the business. He sold it to Lee Delchamps in 1997.

Regardless of who ran it, students always were the heart and soul of The Corner.

“Joe Namath was an interesting story," Puryear says. “He hung around in there off season. He’d be there every afternoon, holding court.

“Well, we had sandwiches and coffee and Cokes and things and we had a jukebox. I didn’t pay any attention but Namath played it all the time.

“So Harmon Looney came to change the records, which he did periodically, and he left. And Joe came up to me and -- honest, there were tears in his eyes.

“'What did you do with my record? I need my record.’ Just crying.

“I said, 'Well, we’ll get it back. What was it?’

“And he said, 'Cotton-Eyed Joe.’

“That was his record. He played it every day.

“After he graduated and went to play with The Jets and everything, I got that record and sent it to his mother. And she sent this picture back and a little letter that said when Joe came home, she played the record for him and he got a kick out of it."

Puryear shows a visitor the photo of the former Bama star in a Jets uniform. It has the autographs of both Namath and his mother, Rose.

“E.O. Wilson, he was another customer," Puryear says. “Albert Brewer remembered him well. He told me that E.O. would come in on his bicycle and get an apple every day."

The regimen must have agreed with the bright young student of natural history. Wilson, Pellegrino research professor in entomology for the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, was selected as one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People in America in 1995.

Millard Fuller, who founded Habitat for Humanity International, and Morris Dees, who now heads the Southern Poverty Law Center, were customers. They also were business partners at the university.

“I claim I got ’em started," Puryear says.

Fuller and Dees hit gold by selling birthday cakes. They would mail “personalized" computer letters to mothers of UA students. The moms would supply the right date and the cash and Fuller and Dees would make sure their children got a cake on their birthday.

“But the first thing they sold was a calendar," Puryear says. “Sold it to businessmen. And I made ’em let me have the four corners -- to advertise The Corner.

“They got into millions of dollars later."

There were some disappointments, Puryear says.

“We had a break-in one time. I was telling you about the six little delivery boys. They stayed in the back room until we rang a bell for them to come, so they knew all about the back room.

“One time over the Christmas holidays, a couple of them broke into the fan ventilator up there -- lil’ bitty ol’ boys. They stole some stuff and of course, we called the police.

“I don’t know how they got ’em but the little boys said, 'We just wanted to get something for Christmas to give to our family.’ Saddest thing I ever heard.

“But the students were never a problem. They were wonderful."

And so are Puryear’s memories.

He figures when the lease on The Corner expires, the university will “tear it down as fast as it can. They just tore down Gertrude’s, you know."

But Puryear feels he still has a corner on the name.

“Delchamps, who bought it from Hugh Underwood in ’97, has got four or five filling stations around town. And he calls them 'The Corner," Puryear said with a grin.

“It’s the change of an era. But the name’s still going."

Reach Editorial Editor Ben Windham at 205-722-0193 or by e-mail at

Hey ya'll:

Please check out my son Christopher's myspace site.

Pretty kewl, huh!



Ben's operation was a success.
Thanks to everyone who kept him in their prayers.
Hope your trip was fun and that you had a happy fourth.
Rock on......BB

Monday, July 09, 2007

Just got back in town yestiddy.

I had lots uv "one in a lifetime" occasions during a swift five day trip to the coast.
Thank the Good Lord.
I just hope my body will keep up with me & let me do a little more
before the Lord calls me home.

I left out of here as quick as I could Thursday morning.
Got to Montgomery about 11 looking for a place to eat.
Being July 5th, the Capitol Oyster Bar & Sinclair's were both closed so I went to Embassy Suites and had an excellent Jamaica Jerk Blackened Grouper sandwich.

Fortified, I went over to Archives & History & with the assistance of two of robertoreg's angels, I found this scrapbook published by Peter Brannon in 1938.

In June of '38, Peter Brannon who was head of Archives & History, Tom Martin who was President of Alabama Power, Mr. Rushton and Mr. Albert got in a car stocked with Kodak film and traveled down to Southwest Alabama to photograph Lafayette's lecturn, Weatherford's grave, Ft. Mims, The site of the battle of Ft. Blakeley, Gulf Shores, Ft. Morgan,
Mobile, Ellicott's Line Stone, Alabama's first federal judge Ephraim Kirby's grave, the ruins of Ft. Stoddard, the arsenal at Mt. Vernon, the place of Aaron Burr's arrest, St. Stephens and to speak to the Lions Club of Bay Minette and the Rotary Club of Mobile.

They were also prospecting for land but
The REAL dirty little secret justifying this expedition into Alabama Heritage
was the fact that all four men wanted to spend the evening of June 22, 1938
hanging out with Joe Louis' Daddy who, unfortunately, happened to be cooped up in the colored insane asylum named Searcy Hospital located in the old arsenal at Mt. Vernon.

These five men listening to the radio on the ward of this Alabama insane asylum
experienced one of the most superb sporting events of the 20th century
when they heard over the speaker
70,000 Americans in Yankee Stadium
cheering the 2 minute victory of ALABAMA'S BROWN BOMBER!

This is an important post because it's the beginning of the story of my Cuatro de Julio vacacion.

Like they like to say: Practice makes perfect.

I've been running this route from Tuscaloosa to Dothan, Dothan to Dauphin Island & from the island back to T-town for 30 years now. I finished my Masters of Arts at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in the summer of '77.

Way back before Ivan in '04, I began this series of solitary long weekend journeys that took me to my favorite places.

You folks who follow me know I'll predict months earlier where I'll explore next
and you'll see the results of that kinda thinkin' in this chronicle.

image courtesy of
The new flag of South Africa (adopted after FREEDOM DAY: April 27, 1994- the day of the first non-racial elections in South African history)

After I finished up at Archives & History, I headed south
& by the time I hit Pine Level I was ready for some boiled peanuts & a belly wash.

JACK'S, a gift shop located just north of the demolished rest area,
was always one of my favorites with it's handpainted signs.
Well, it's called MACK'S now.
Jack died in I think 2001.

I go in and order a pound of peanuts and next thing you know I bought two Confederate flags and the lady behind the register gave me one for free which I thought was kewl.

She said,"All the stuff I got in this place & I sell more boiled peanuts & Confederate flags than anything else."

"See that flag. Do you know what that flag is?" she asked.

"I have no idea," I replied.

"That's the new South African flag.
First time I ordered it, they sent me the old one but I sent it back."

"The reason I have that new South African flag up is because I had a customer come in, point to the Confederate flag and say, 'You should take that down right now!"

"I asked her,'Why?' & she said,'Because it is so offensive to so many people!' "

"I didn't argue with her but as soon as I could I ordered that South African flag.
After I finally got the right one, the customer came back in and she complained about the Rebel flag again & I said,'Well, there's your flag right beside it & it's for sale too!'
She didn't have no comeback for that!"

I showed the lady at Mack's the pictures I got copied from the Peter Brannon book.
She liked 'em just like everybody else has.

The only reason this scrapbook has not been made into a documentary is because people who are able to make documentaries
beeeeeeeeze skraight out uv PARTLOW!!!

Got down to Dothan and stopped in the new Boomers on the Circle.
At the bar, I thought I recognized John Rainey Adkins daughter from
but I didn't bother her. Found out later from BQ that it wuz her &
that she works there.

After a few at Boomers, I cruised down the circle to Hodgesville Highway and headed straight for 403 Mortgage Avenue.

The rest of the evening was spent hanging out with my Brother Bill and his wife Katherine around the dining room table Bill has been hanging around since he was 5 years old.
Brother Bill will turn 50 on September 4.

We were drinking beer and telling tales so I told this one my son Christopher told me.

As they do most every week,
some of Christopher's friends crammed themselves into a vehicle and headed to Atlanta
for a concert.
Christopher was not on this adventure but he heard about it.
All of the guys going to the concert were good friends, however,
one of the passengers was a little dark skinned.


They going through downtown Atlanta and this joker in a car right in front of them runs
a stop light and absolutely creams another vehicle.

The driver from Tuscaloosa, forgetting about his dark skinned passenger yells,
"Look at that stupid fuckin' ninja!
& I bet he ain't even got goddamn insurance!"


So I tell the story and my Brother Bill sez,
"Oh, I can beat that!"

Brother Bill just picked up a new bread route from a dark skinned dude.
The agreement was that the cat would show Bill the ropes for about a week until Bill got the hang of the territory.
Well, one week turned into two weeks & more
but Bill

So on about the last day they were together &
they walk into this store and this cat who knew Bill sezzzzzzzzz,

"Damn, why didn't you stay with Colonial?


Rut row!

I went to sleep shortly after that in a comfortable bed inside my late Mother & Father's bedroom
and like that old woman Scarlett sez, "Tomorrow beeeeeeze unnurrdder day!"


Check out the Heeey Baby Days book tour in England!
click on "BOOK"

Rickie Brunner at Archives & History got me hip to some of the stuff the Alabama Secretary of State has on the web:
All of the original plats from Federal Public Lands Surveys

John James Audubon is now permanently
inducted into
Robertoreg's Hall of Heroes
along with Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Napoleon, Andrew Jackson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Winston Churchill, Bridget Bardot and DUANE ALLMAN!