Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hey y'all:Can't tell you how much it means to me to hear from ya.
Thanks for being my buddy.

As soon as I can shake my tenants tomorrow, I'll be heading south. Friday night I hope to be at Miss Newby's on Front Beach Road to hear Alison Heafner http://myspace.com/alisonheafner
Alison's drummer, Robert Nix sent me some wonderful Candymen photos from '65 through '67 & I'll photoshop them later but for now I'll share two jpgs with y'all:

Here's Bill Gilmore, Robert Nix, Dean Daughtry, Graham Nash & John Rainey Adkins in a London recording studio

Top left to right: The Candymen- Bobby Peterson, Rodney Justo, Robert Nix, John Rainey Adkins
Middle left to right: Bobby Peterson on keys, Robert Nix, Rodney Justo
Bottom: Bill Gilmore, Bobby Peterson, Robert Nix, Rodney Justo, John Rainey Adkins

Guys, there's gotta be a great story behind each one of these four shots!
Please share 'em with us!

One of our buddies has reached an important milestone.
William Wheatley just had his 100,000th viewer log onto his website.
Congratulations to a Young Junior Baby Tiger & DHS Tiger who continues our winning tradition!
Remember what Miz Jernigan taught you William,
Y'all check William out at http://www.wheatleyus.com

also heard from our favorite GAWJUH KRACKER, Greg Haynes.
Greg sent us an excellent progress report on the marketing of THE HEEEY BABY DAYS OF BEACH MUSIC http://heybabydays.com

As you read the following, please put on your heavy duty Iraqi issue
& come up with a way to get Greg's book on NATIONAL TV!

The book continues to sell by word of mouth and at a steady pace.
Oz has sold quite a few books and probably more than Books A Million in Tuscaloosa . However BAM has sold more books than anyone, reordering three times and has given the book the needed geographical distribution.
The one thing that I have learned is that it takes a lot of PR to sell books. I doubt we have yet reached 10% of the market for the book. There are a lot of potential customers for the book that just don’t even know about its existence. While we both probably think that the Internet has gotten the word out there, the typical customer for the book might not be that oriented to getting their news and information through the Internet.
We are not complaining because in relative terms, the book has done well with less than 10 % of the first printing remaining. (Less than 500 books) We have generally done well at signing events such as the ones in Alabama , this past weekend in Jekyll Island and the week before in Richmond , Virginia . There are no books left in the U.K. according to my main distributor there.
On the basis of where books have been shipped (excluding shipments to BAM in Florence , Alabama and the Barnes & Noble distributor in South Carolina ) here are the most popular destinations:
1. North Carolina
2. South Carolina
3, Virginia
4. Georgia & Alabama (about even)
5. Tennessee
6. Florida
7. California - Go Figure this one
8. Northern England (because of the Northern Soul interest in the Southern performers of the 60s)
My goal is to be sold out by the anniversary of the book’s release. To date we have sold 14 books per day and to make that goal, all we need to do is sell 10 books per day which is achievable, I hope. Thanks for you continued help with the book.

Ok folksizzzzzzzzzz...
The next installment of THE ONLINE WORKS OF ROBERTOREG!
by Robert Register

image courtesy of http://phigam.org
When we review the progress of most endeavors, we usually find that the first years are always the toughest. So it was with Tuscaloosa. The story of the modern city of Tuscaloosa begins in 1816 when Indian title to this land was completely extinguished by the Treaty of the Choctaw Indian Trading House signed on October 4, 1816 at Strother Gaines' trading post on Factory Creek in Sumter County (Any archaeological remains of this old trading post were probably destroyed during the construction of the Interstate 20-59 bridge that crosses the Tombigbee.)
All of this good land for growing cotton lay vacant and enterprising heads of households from the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia poured into West Alabama to prospect for the most fertile land from which to make their fortunes. For five years, from 1816 until 1821, progress in this remote back country was nil and the rowdy frontier town that haphazardly rose on top of River Hill faced continuous problems produced by a lack of land ownership and adequate transportation.

Every person who settled in Tuscaloosa was a "squatter" and many factors complicated the land situation, making it impossible for anyone to own land within the town's boundaries. Before any public land in West Alabama was offered for sale, the land that contains Tuscaloosa's original city had been reserved from entry. By an act of Congress which formed Alabama Territory ( called "Mobile Territory" in the original legislation) on March 3, 1817, all of the land that is now north of 15th Street between Queen City Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard was reserved for a town site. The earliest settlers in Tuscaloosa could not buy the land they lived on until it was surveyed. Even if they had the money to pay cash, our earliest pioneers could not obtain titles for the land they claimed. The town's survey did not occur until the spring of 1821. In the absence of property lines and titles, the frontier town with a population of between 600 and 800 sprang up in a climate free of almost any governmental authority.
William R. Smith, in his REMINISCENCES... , describes the rustic settlement of his childhood:
"...the place presented nothing as a village but a rude cluster of log huts, heterogeneously arranged, with little regard with regularity as to streets. My own very dim recollections open here in 1821. Even then there was scarcely a plank or brick in the village. It was full of shrubby little oak and pine saplings, and literally swarming with the native Indians. Here the red men resorted to trade and to drink, and here they came to exhibit their skill at their favorite sport of ball playing."
This form of field hockey appears to have been the predecessor of the Crimson Tide's present proud Saturday afternoon football tradition. An early Greene County newspaper includes this advertisement:
By a special appointment made by a party at the Choctaws
A grand DANCE and BALL-PLAY,
will take place on Saturday next, in the vicinity of this place, on which occasion
all choice players
will attend on that day!
The Captain of the party makes the following requests,which it is hoped, will be observed by the citizens and those who may attend, not to give gratuitously, or sell, to any of the Players or Indians of the nation, who may accompany him,
In their old age, many of Alabama's earliest settlers fondly recalled these spectacular athletic contests. General Thomas Woodward described the excitement of a Creek ball play in 1825:
"The old man(the Chief) then turned to his people, and said to them,... that every man must do his best-show himself a man, and should one get hurt he must retire without complaining, and by no means show anything like ill humor. The speech ended, about two hundred stripped to the buff, paired themselves off and went at it. It was a ball play sure enough, and I would travel further to see such a show that I would to see any other performed by man, and willingly pay high for it, at that!"

George Catlin's Tul-Lock-Chish-ko, in Ball-Player's Dress
image courtesy of http://www.wonderfulitems.com

With such a large and idle illiterate population of American men passing through town on exploratory trips to the newly opened wilderness, Tuscaloosa was the frequent destination of professional gamblers. In a letter to his wife, Clarissa, William Ely expresses his disgust at Tuscaloosa's favorite vices:
"...they disipate their time and money and would their morals if they had any, without enjoyment, in lounging about taverns, stores, tipling and gambling houses, or making and attending horse races, cockfights, called chicken fights,shooting at a mark, hunting or fighting.
Notwithstanding such are their habits, I think them a very avaricious people. Money is their god and cotton is the idol of their devotions."

Bingham's Raftsmen Playing Cards

Bingham's Shooting For The Beef
both images courtesy of http://store.encore-editions.com/artists/georgebingham.html
To say the least, Mr. Ely did not have a taste for frontier living. A successful businessman, this 53-year old Connecticut native was in Alabama because he had devoted his life to charity and philanthropy. Indian title in West Alabama had been extinguished and Ely came here to locate and sell public lands donated by Congress to the Connecticut Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. From its formation in 1815 until 1819, the asylum was supported by charity but in 1819, the U.S. government gave its support to this institution, the first of its type in our nation.
In 1819, Congress gave the institution an entire township, thirty-six square miles of public land. Ely came to Alabama because land was about to go on the market and he was authorized to buy thirty-six square miles of his choice in Alabama and then sell it to the highest bidder. Despite his highly critical letters about Tuscaloosa, he liked the area and considered it to be "a very healthy place." In fact he liked it so much that he bought four-&-one-half square miles of land that spread out south of 15th Street and west of Martin Luther King Boulevard. In a letter to his wife dated "Tuscaloosa, 2nd June, 1821," Ely bragged that, "The population now may be from 6 to 800 souls, not one of whom, except a few to whom I sold land since I came here, have any title to the land they live on."
Tuscaloosans did not appreciate being hemmed in by a Connecticut Yankee, no matter how noble his cause may have been. He wrote to his boss, James H. Wells, Treasurer for the asylum about his fears in Tuscaloosa:
"My health is not very good, tho I am able to attend to business, but the constant care and anxiety I experience, both on account of my business and the hazard to myself, and the property in my custody among such a barbarous people, many of whom are incensed against me, and the confinement I find it prudent to subscribe to, never going out here unarmed; pray severly on my health and spirits and tender me quite unhappy."
William Ely knew the muddy streets of Tuscaloosa were filled with men who would love to give his Yankee ass a royal butt kicking.
It was not as if Tuscaloosa was populated with the criminally insane. These squatters were making a living in the wilderness without the support of any governmental agency. They lived here in spite of the government's laws and the government didn't have the guts to send troops to the Falls of the Black Warrior to burn their cabins and send these men of the forest packing.
Thomas Perkins Abernathy gave a great description of these citizens, "...the people of early Alabama farmed their patches of cotton and corn, lived a hardy, rugged life close to nature, were friendly toward their neighbors and hospitable toward strangers, made an honest living for themselves and their families, attended to their own business most of the time and only rarely had leisure to celebrate."
After crossing the Warrior River at Tuscaloosa on a flatboat in 1821, William Gilmore Simms commented on the people living in the surrounding area, "Like the people in all counties who live in remote interior situations and see few strangers who can teach anything, these people had a hundred questions to ask and as many remarks to make upon the answers. They were a hardy, frank, plain-spoken, unequivocal set who would share their hoecake and bacon, or take a fling or dash of fisticuffs with you according to the several positions of friend or foe which you might think proper to take. Among all the people of this soil good humor is almost the only rule which will enable the stranger to get along safely."
One leisure activity that lured our rustic predecessors was the barbeque. The folks who attended these congregations were greeted by neat rows of liquor bottles each handsomely adorned with a paper label which named the political candidate who furnished the rum and whiskey.

Bingham's County Election image courtesy of http://store.encore-editions.com/artists/georgebingham.html
These fellows loved to horse around and they weren't blood thirsty, but they loved to get drunk and fight. William Ely, the cultured businessman from Hartford, Connecticut, did not appreciate Tuscaloosa's fondness for this "hardy form of sport":
"The highest and lowest classes in society, the one considering themselves above, and the other below the influence of public opinion, are much addicted to excessive drinking. And to have a reputation of being a brave, daring character, with property, whether with or without talents, learning or any other requisites for an office, will enable a candidate more surely to command the votes of the electors than all other requisite qualifications without it. And I am told that one of the representatives from this town actually fought himself into the legislature last year."
The center of the frontier town of Tuscaloosa is debatable but this author believes it was right across the street from where I now type this essay on the north side of the 2600 and 2700 blocks of University Boulevard. The late Matt Clinton states, "The first burial ground in what is now Tuscaloosa was the hillside at the northern end of 27th Avenue near 4th Street. Close to that spot were built the first Baptist and Methodist churches. The cemetery was north of the churches. The cemetery was north of the churches. It was destroyed when the cut of the L&N Railroad was made."
Simms says that, "The town was little more than hewn out of the woods. Piles of brick and timber crowded the main [street], indeed the only street in the place, and denoted the rawness and poverty of the region in all things which could please the eye and minister to the taste of the traveler. But it had other resources in my sight. The very incompleteness and rude want of finish indicated the fermenting character of life."
In his biographical information on Captain James H. Dearing, Mr. Clinton wrote:
"He [Dearing] came to Tuscaloosa on an exploratory trip during the first year of the town's existence, 1816. He stayed in a little 'shanty of a hotel' kept by Joshua Halbert [this hotel was located near the site of the old water tower, on the southwest corner at the intersection of 4th Street and 27th Avenue]."
William Ely describes the tavern where he stayed as Lewens Hotel and he states that this log structure was located across the street from a log cabin used as a Methodist Church. This was June of 1821, so possibly Halbert's establishment was being managed by Charles Lewin who was mentioned as the Tuscaloosa tavern keeper in 1842.
Ely describes Tuscaloosa as a "...town which contains twenty stores and little groceries or hucksters shops..." Written records on Tuscaloosa from between 1816 and 1821 are scant so William Ely's fifteen letters from Alabama are important documents. Acquired by the University of Alabama before 1950, these documents are a tangible witness to Tuscaloosa's earliest days. To sit in the Ganrud Reading Room at Special Collections and to hold and to read a fabulously detailed letter penned in one of Tuscaloosa's log taverns in 1821 is a profoundly moving experience.
When reading Ely, one main thing needs to be kept in mind. William Ely was accustomed to the finer things in life and he was miserable in Frontier Tuscaloosa. He complained to his wife that he was indeed "a stranger in a strange land," and was sick of his journey from the very beginning. A year before his letter from Lewen's Hotel, he wrote this on April 20, 1820:
"I am weary with traveling over mountains, thro' swamps and mud and living in the middle of piles of logs with no other windows than the large spaces between them (there not being a pane of glass to 5000 people in the country), of living on hog and corn with a few racoon, oh , how I long to return to a civilized and moral world." However, one year later, in 1821, Ely did discover panes of glass in some Tuscaloosa cabins and wrote that, "I have traveled about 240 miles south of the Tennessee River and except at this place [Tuscaloosa] have not seen a pane of glass in any house and I do not think there are as many panes of glass, as houses, in this place...They all live in dirty, small sod and mud cabins, or in those of a more mean construction, and are generally almost destitute of all the comforts and conveniences of life. Bacon, corn bread, or greasy hot half baked biscuits, about as often without, as with vegetables, with water, buttermilk and sour milk, constitute, with tea and coffee, for those that buy them, their general diet..."
Mr. Ely's inspection of his tavern's kitchen convinced him that Tuscaloosa did not meet New England's public health standards. He complained to his wife:
"The kitchen!! Oh the kitchen!!!! The filthiest place you can conceive of being occupied for cooking, is small, but contains two beds, in which and on the floor, from six to ten negroes of both sexes and various ages all unmarried sleep promiscuously."
Ely says that "The Methodist house is across the street from where I live- about three weeks since, under the pulpit, which is a coarse square box raised about two feet from the floor, a great old sow introduced to the light six or seven fine pigs. Whether the floor was even swept after it before the next meeting I could not tell as I could not discover that any dirt was missing and two or three times since when the people have assembled there the old sow with her pigs placed herself at the door and claimed and disputed for the right of possession and a person was obliged to go out several times and beat her away from the door."
Tuscaloosa's pioneer women did not escape Ely's poison pen: "I am told the females, ladies I should have said, have almost no taste or inclination for reading, mental accomplishments not being sought after by the other sex, are neglected by the females and their whole attention is directed to tricking off their persons in the best manner for catching a man to take care of, and support them, their courtships if they deserve the name, are generally very short, and on the part of the female at an early age, and there is generally very little of either sentiment or prudence in the connection between the sexes."
Ely was highly amused at the married ladies attempt at "high society." He wrote,"A coach with two or three servants, driving up, with three or four ladies, dressed in their crepes, cambricks, silks, laces, leghorns, lace veils, white or coloured kids, to one of these cabins, the ladies jumping out into the mud and clamboring, perhaps, over a dirty rail fence, and walking, sometimes over shoes in mud, to get to it, and then stooping to enter the door (as few of them are high enough to permit a man to enter without stooping), is a perfect burlesque on show and parade, on good sense and propriety."
In the summer of 1821, Ely left Tuscaloosa and never returned. During that summer, frontier Tuscaloosa and its shabby cabins and eight-hundred squatters came to an end. The Cotton Plant http://cottonkingdom.blogspot.com became the first steamboat to ever dock at Tuscaloosa. With Colonel John McKee opening a federal land office in town, men without capital were at the mercy of the men with the money. Many of the squatters moved into the back country. Abernathy describes them:
"Men of this class, being improvident by nature, did not come to seek wealth but merely to gain a subsistence or to enjoy the freedom of the forest. They built their simple cabins and planted their crops of corn between trees which they killed by girdling. Their greatest immediate problem was to live until the first crop was made, and here there was much difficulty."

Four years later, in December of 1825, Tuscaloosa was made the capitol of Alabama and the little town at the Falls of the Black Warrior began to reap the fruits of its destiny.
The frontier and its people had vanished.
That rugged way of life would never return.

Monday, August 13, 2007



ROBERT AND ALISON...........................................

Roberto this is some interesting reading.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hey y'all:

I can't believe that it's taken me all these years to finally organize my material on Colonel John McKee.

Colonel McKee was an Indian agent and was the first U.S. Representative from Tuscaloosa serving in the 18th Congress (1823-1825), the 19th Congress (1825-1827) and the 20th Congress (1827-1829).

Colonel McKee devoted his entire adult life to the grand American design of kicking the Spanish out of Florida, paying off the extensive Indian debts to traders with the money the tribes got from the treaties that extinguished their land title and then moving them all to Oklahoma.

As you read the following chronology, please ask yourself, "Why hasn't anyone ever written anything of importance about this man?"

I have NEVER found an extensive biographical essay, much less a book, on the incredible life of this Alabama pioneer. That is hard to believe.

Colonel John McKee

1771: born in Rockbridge County, Virginia to John and Ester (Houston) McKee. Ester was Sam Houston's aunt so Sam was McKee's first cousin.
Educated at Liberty Hall Academy, now Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

1792: Tennessee Governor Blount appointed McKee commissioner to the Cherokees to run the survey of the Holston Treaty Line.

1793: Appointed subagent to the Cherokees.

1794: escorted a group of Chickamauga Cherokee chiefs to the national capitol in Philadelphia & helped negotiate the Treaty of Tellico Blockhouse with the Cherokees.

1797: During the Ellicott survey of the first U.S. boundary and the Blount Conspiracy, he was appointed a special agent of the War Department to go to Mobile and suggest Indian land cessions which could be used to pay Indian debts to Indian traders in Spanish Florida.

1799: Replaced Mitchell as agent to the Choctaws.

1801: Negotiated and signed the Treaty of Ft. Adams with the Choctaws.

1802- 1813: Served as agent to the Chickasaws.

1805: Signed the Treaty of Mount Dexter with the Choctaws.

1807: Aaron Burr attempted to contact him in order to find out how many Indians McKee could raise for the army needed for Burr's Conspiracy.

1810: Appointed by President Madison to go to Florida and begin a revolution to overthrow the Spanish government.

: McKee was in Nashville when the messenger arrived with the news of Ft. Mims. General Andrew Jackson ordered McKee to raise an army of Choctaws & Chickasaws and to go and burn Black Warrior's Town.

1814: Led an army of Choctaw & Chickasaw to the Falls of the Black Warrior & burned the village of Black Warrior's Town.

1816: Negotiated the Treaty of the Choctaw Indian Trading House which extinguished all Indian title to the land that became the City of Tuscaloosa.

1816: Built HILL OF HOWTH plantation near Boligee.

smokehouse at Hill of Howth

HILL OF HOWTH image courtesy http://magnolia.cyriv.com/GreeneAlgenweb/Geography/Boligee/BoligeeLandmarks.asp

1818: Appointed to a commission to convince the Choctaws to move west of the Mississippi River.

1821: Resigned as Choctaw Indian agent and was then appointed by the President to be the first Register of the Land Office in Tuscaloosa.

1822: Resigned as Register of the Land Office and got his "adopted son", William Proctor Gould, appointed Register and Post Master of Tuscaloosa.
McKee ran for Congress and won.

1823-1829: Served as U.S. Representative from the Tuscaloosa District during the 18th Congress, the 19th Congress and the 20th Congress.

1830: Attended the negotiations for the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek which extinguished title to all Choctaw land east of the Mississippi River.

1832: Died at Hill of Howth. Left his estate to William Proctor Gould and provided a quarterly payment of gold to a half-breed son.

Here's another gem I found in the University Library.
This is a Tuscaloosa News article from July of (maybe) 1919.


Mr. Thomas Clinton Relates History of Their Stay of Several Weeks in This City;
Camped on University Grounds.


Mr. Thomas Clinton, one of the best posted me in Alabama on the early history of the state, has consented to write a series of articles for The News. The following is his first installment and he deals with the incident of the Creeks passing though the city of Tuscaloosa on their way to the Indian reservation in Oklahoma. His article is very interesting and will be read with interest by all. Here is what Mr. Clinton has to say on the subject.

Opothleyaholo in 1824 image courtesy homepages.rootsweb.com/~cmamcrk4/crkchf5.html

The Visit of Opothelyoholo, the Indian chief, to Tuscaloosa in 1836 and His Subsequent History

by Thomas Clinton

At some time in the eighteenth century at a date before the Revolutionary War, there came among the Creek Indians of Alabama a white man named David Cornells. He gained the good will of the Creek Indians and grew so popular among them that he led them in war. He led them against the American troops in the Revolutionary War. In General Woodward's Reminiscences the statement is made that David Cornells gave more trouble to the early settlers in colonial days than any other white man who ever stayed among the Creeks. He was known as Epha Funtennuggee, or Dog Warrior. He married an Indian woman and to them was born a son
who afterwards became a noted chief. I might be said that he became a major chief- a chief over chiefs. He was regarded as a prophet. The Indian name of his son according to Brewer was Opothleyholo. Opotheyholo was born at Tookabatchee about 1770. His early manhood was spent along the Coosa River probably in Coosa County.

When the Creek Indians over whom he ruled saw they had to leave their old hunting grounds and go to western reservations, they were very much dissatisfied. This was in the year 1836.
At the time Tuscaloosa was the state capitol and Hon. C. C. Clay governor. I will here digress to remark that Gov. Clay lived in the present residence of Mr. W. S. Patton, on the corner of 6th Street and 26th Avenue. From all available data, it seems that quite a friendship existed between Gov. Clay and Opothleyholo. The dissatisfaction above referred to culminated in the Second Creek War of 1836. While there were quite a number of white people of Alabama and Georgia killed in the war, the fatalities were not comparable to those of the First Creek War of 1813-1814. Governor Clay made an appointment to meet the chieftain, Opothelyoholo in Montgomery. He went from Tuscaloosa in a stage coach and met the chief at a hotel in Montgomery. The hotel was called the Montgomery Hall. There were also in attendance eleven other Creek chiefs, but Opothelyoholo was spokesman for them all. Gov. Clay spoke first and the chief responded with a speech of an hour's duration. The general trend of the whole conference was to try to restore peace between the white settlers and the Creeks. The outcome of the offer by the chief of an army of several hundred or maybe thousands to Gov. Clay to assist in controlling the waring element of the Creeks and proving as good as his word. In a short while he delivered the army to the governor. This army cooperating with Gov. Clay's other forces soon restored peace.

With the return of peace, treaties were concluded and vast land sales transacted with the Creeks, who prepared to emigrate to their reservation in the far off Indian Territory, the present state of Oklahoma. So in the summer of 1836, the noted Opothelyoholo and vast hordes of his tribe numbering up in the thousands left Coosa County and wended their way towards Tuscaloosa via the Huntsville Road. Concerning this matter I recall a conversation I had a great many years ago with an old gentleman named Emanuel Kyser who has been dead for some time. He told me that when a small boy he saw 1600 Indians in a body coming down the Huntsville Road. If he saw only 1600, he saw only a small detachment of them for there was certainly a greater number of them. Another citizen of our county, Mr. Bubbs Keene told me of his seeing great bodies of Indians coming past his home when he was a small child. In all probability they were the migrating Creeks. A great many of them camped near the site of the University Observatory and another large contingent pushed on further and stopped at the present Hargrove Mill Creek on the Columbus Road beyond Northport. It might be remarked that this creek at that time was known as Jemison Mill Creek.

Relating to this subject I might state that in the summer of 1876, I attended a meeting of the Alabama Historical Society and heard Mr. Thomas Maxwell Sr. say that "a large portion of the Creeks from beyond the Coosa River moved through Tuscaloosa on their way to their new reservation in Indian Territory and they encamped here for some time. They were accompanied by Opothelyoholo, a chief of great distinction, being both a prophet and a chief and who is said to have been a man of great eloquence. Opotheyoholo while here never pretended to be satisfied with the removal of his people but admitted he moved only because of imperative necessity. Before leaving Tuscaloosa he declared that he no longer felt that he was a chief and he tore off his wampum war belt for which he had no further use."

Mr. Maxwell in 1888 bought this war belt. Dr. Robert Neilson, who came here in 1831, mentioned their for playing ball. A few years before his death, Dr. Joshua H. Foster wrote that "In their emigration westward some of them camped where the University Observatory now stands. With other boys I had visited their camp and bought from them a few trinkets. We had gone again to visit another camp across the river we saw some boys and girls- fifty or more between the ages of two and twenty years not clad in modern bathing suits but all 'in their birthday suits or in undress uniform,' all paddling like ducks in the creek. I had seen Opothelyoholo and his lithe and graceful daughters and heard the great chief talk in eloquent pathos of their bitter grief on leaving their hunting grounds and the graves of their fathers. I had passed the grave of a chieftain's son in the northwest corner of the old Observatory field and seen its lonely sentinel, the pet dog of the little dead boy, as he kept his ceaseless vigil over the tomb of his master. My heart yearned in youthful sympathy for the young Indian."

Eighteen years later in 1854 Opothelyoholo made a visit to Washington, D.C..
Mrs. C.C. Clay in her Autobiography speaks of meeting him there. Mrs. Clay had seen him and his tribe here in 1836 and she remembered them quite well. Mrs. Clay says, "A conspicuous member of the delegation of 1854-1855 was the old chief Opothleyoholo who was brought to see me by an interpreter, Garrett. His accumulated wealth was said to be $80,000 and he also possessed a farm in the West which was worked entirely by negroes. Opothleyoholo was patriarch of his tribe. He was some eighty years of age but still erect and powerful. His face on hte occasion of this afternoon visit to me gaudy with paint and he was wrapped in a brilliant red blanket around which was a black border; but despite his gay attire there was an air of weariness and even sadness about him. While I was still a child I had seen the now aged warrior. At that time five thousand Cherokees and Choctaws passing westward to their new reservation beyond the Mississippi had rested in Tuscaloosa where they camped for several weeks. The occasion was a notable one. All the city turned out to see the Indian youths dash through the street on their ponies. They were superb horsemen and their animals were remarkable. Many of the later for a consideration were left in the hands of the white youths of the town. Along the river banks carriages stood crowded with sightseers watching the squaws as they tossed thier young children into the stream they they might learn how to swim. Very picturesque were the roomy vehicles of that day as they were grouped along the leafy shores of the Black Warrior. Their capacity was tested to the fullest by the belles of the city arrayed in dainty muslins and bonnets in the sweet fashions of the time."

"During the encampment a redman was set upon by some rowdies and the altercation was killed. Fearing the vengeance of the allied tribes about them, the miscreants disemboweled their victim and filling the cavity with rocks sank the body in the river. The Indians missing their companion, and suspecting some evil had befallen him, appealed to Gov. Clay who immediately issued a proclamation for the recovery of the body. In a few days the crime and its pertetraitors were discovered and justice was meted out to them. By this prompt act Gov. Clay, to whose wisdom is accredited by historians the repression of the Indian troubles of 1836-1837, won the good will of the savages among whom was the great warrior Opothleyoholo. It was at Ex-Gov. Clay's request that I sent for the now aged brave. He gravely inclined his head when I asked him if he remembered the governor. I told him my father wished to know if the great chieftain Math-la is still lived and if the brave Opothleyoholo was happy in his Western home. His sadness deepened as he answered slowly, 'Me happy some.' Before the close of his visit, Mr. Garrett, the interpreter, asked me if I would not talk Indian some he urged, having been brought up in an Indian Country. I knew three or four words as it happened and these I pronounced to the great chief's amusement, for pointing his finger at me he said with a half smile, 'She talk Creek.'
A few days after this memorable call I happened into the house of Harper and Mitchell, then a famous dry goods emporium of the capitol, just as the old warrior was beginning to bargain and I had the pleasure and entertainment of assisting him to select two crepe shawls which he purchased for his daughters at one hundred dollars."

Brewer's History of Alabama states that the old fellow was still alive at the commencement of the War Between the States in 1861, when he sided with the federal forces.

Man, now that Earl shit was righteous.
Man, what inspired you to pen that most righteous story? I love your Mom and Dad, and Bill and You, still a little.
Kudos Brere'!

We went by where the Wayout, was, the Hangout, was, The Ole Dutch, was, Miracle Strip, was, Gulf World, was, The Escape, was, the Red Rooster, was, The U Turn Sun Burn, was, The Seahorse, was.... Just me and Frank and our connect the dots set. But this am I picked up fried bread from Thomas' Donut Stand and sandwich shoppe extrodinare'. It wern't your Aunt's scollops, but it was a Laguna beach Flash from the past still standin'.

Man, I even remember snorklin' all day long with some dumb ass from T' Town down by theWay Out while drinkin Boones Farm somethin' or a damn other, it sho' wern't Reisling.

That's when I came to understand that the guy sweeping up the bottom of the ocean floor at PC was the famous Jacque Custodian!

I love shit still standin'.



Hey Roberto,

I never really know which email address to send to.. so I hope you get this.
Thanks for posting the Soul Resurrection review from the Detroit Metro Press. We
have had several great reviews in the past week.. I guess the record is finally
escaping above the Mason Dixon Line. Each time we receive a review like this, I
consider it a small victory for us all. Even though the artists vary from
southern state to southern state.. The Dothan boys are still at the very heart
of this record. There's no better place for it to be exposed than on History
professor Register's site. I've always considered the Florida Panhandle to be
simply an extention of lower Alabama anyway... Kinda like Memphis is truly the
capitol of Mississippi.

Some of our studio PR folks are in the process of looking for current Dothan and
lower Alabama bands to bring into the studio. The current Dothan Magazine's
coverage of bands was great. As I have stated before, I am working furiously on
some new releases probably the first of which will be a Playground Rhythm
section issue, which will include a lot of unheard work by JRA, David, and
several others. I have some great cuts on WW Jr. as well.

It seems like the John Rainey site has been steadily picking up steam.. I am
including an attachment of a Beaverteeth/Candymen cut. It has the unmistakable
guitar of JRA.. but I'm not sure who the singer is. Is this Justo? Anyway, you
are more than welcome to post this track wherever you like.

Got an email from Robert Nix, they want to come see the studio while on their
trip tp PCB this weekend. I think we're going to try and make it over to Miss
Newby's on Friday 17th to catch Alison's show.. maybe we'll see you there.

Jim Lancaster
Playground Recording Studio
Southern Americana Music
Valparaiso, Fl. USA

RR......I was touched by your story on the trip with your Daddy to Panama City. My dad and I were very close. He was the
kindest,hardest working,and most honest man I've ever known. I never had the pleasure of taking a trip with just the two
of us. We took family vacations,the family was always together at Christmas,Thanksgiving,and other holidays but I never had a one on one
like you wrote about. I envy you.
Daddy died in 1997 but my 92 year Mom still lives alone in the house I grew up in. She can't drive any longer so I pull up in her driveway
about twice a week. We go grocery shopping and make drugstore stops after we go out for lunch.
She's learned to like Thai and Chinese food after a lifetime of southern cooking. I treasure my time with her and she has become my best friend.
Wish I'd had that opportunity with Daddy.
Perry Carlton Buie

Buddy Buie