My name is Jim Lonnergan and I live in Gadsden, AL. I have been reading about Tippy Armstrong on your great blog site. What brought me to your site is my search for The Late Great George Fluker. George and I both attended Marion Military Institute back in the late sixties. As a matter of fact we lived in the same baracks on the same floor so I saw him every day for quite a while. I also had the great honor and pleasure of playing guitar in a band along with George. Man how George could play. I thought I was pretty good but George was light years ahead of me. Here at age 59 I am still trying to catch up. We really had some great times together. Anyway, I have often wondered what has happened to George. I wanted to ask if you had any information. I can't seem to find much.
Once again, enjoying your site and would appreciate any info you have
Group Picture from Capn Dean's Wedding:Tippy is third from left,followed by his wife,Nancy Derrington,Fluker, THE NOTORIOUS Crockett Roberts and Eve Owen
[photo courtesy of Dean White]
Left to Right:MY OLD BUDDY FROM LIVINGSTON, THE LATE GREAT GEORGE FLUKER,FORMER HEAD OF D.U.D., CAPN DEAN, AND TIPPY
[image courtesy of Captain Dean White]
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In Livingston, Alabama the New Year’s Eve celebration, or parade, known locally as DUD is a highlight of the year. This celebration for the changing of the year has become a tradition in Livingston and in Sumter County. The local residents have apparently given very little attention to the origin of the custom, but they consider it an important part of their civic and social life. From one year to the next, people quietly plan their acts and costumes for the DUD parade on the evening of December 31st.
According to History of the Town of Livingston, Alabama, prepared in 1928 by Dr Robert D.Spratt, the DUD Parade originated in 1857 by Colonel T.B. Wetmore, Ben B. Little, and Mr. John McDaniel. By the time this was recorded in 1928 no one really knew how the DUD got started. It is believed to have been a custom carried over from England and Scotland.
In the older days, the maskers called themselves the "Indomitables." There was a march of the maskers at night and a parade on horseback in daytime. The custom almost passed out during the Civil War, but was revived some years afterward and has continued to the present day. The older name "Indomitables" passed out of use in the late 1800's when "some stupendous wit began to call the maskers ‘Damned Ugly Devils’ and so we have the D.U.D."
above text courtesy of http://www.ci.livingston.al.us/dud_parade.htm
from the December 29, 1971 issue of Livingston, Alabama's HOME RECORD:
HE WILL CONTINUE D.U.D. TRADITION FOR HIS FATHER
George F. Fluker Jr. , of Livingston, a senior at the University of Alabama, expects to see the Crimson Tide play Nebraska in the Orange Bowl New Year's night.
But he has to be in Livingston some 24 hours earlier.
Plane seats for Miami being as scarce as they are for this greatest-ever game, George may or may not make it to the Orange Bowl by game time. Be that as it may, he intends to be in Livingston Friday night, New Year's Eve. He will be here because he has a job to do, a tradition to uphold, a trust to fulfill.
That job and that trust is to lead the annual D.U.D. parade, the ancient and colorful event which takes place in Livingston and nowhere else in the world. George will march at the head of the line of costumed and disguised men and boys, beating a drum and leading them through the streets to the neighborhood of the Courthouse Square, where judging and general frolicking takes place.
It is no overstatement to say that this job of leading the line is a tradition for the 21-year-old Fluker. He participated in his first D.U.D. parade at the age of five months, and he has been in every one since. His grandfather, C.R. Moon, transported the baby, in his first parade, in a little red wagon. The little fellow's father, George Sr., was with them, performing his customary job of beating the drum and leading the line.
For, you see, it was George Jr.'s father who got him started on this D.U.D. tradition, a tradition that the father himself had been a part of since he was five years old. It was way back in 1913 when W. S. Nichols, who then was the regular leader of the D.U.D. parade, invited the little Fluker boy to march with him in the big shindig. The boy was delighted and continued to take part, shouldering the main responsibility after Mr. Nichols could no longer perform.
Through the years, George Sr. missed only one D.U.D. parade, as well as anyone can remember. That one came during World War II when he just couldn't make it home from his Army duty.
George Sr. won't make it to the parade this year----not in the flesh.
He died August 11 of this year following a severe heart attack.
But he will be very much present in spirit and in the hearts of his wife, Mrs. Martha M. Fluker, his daughter, Mrs. Susan Howze, his mother-in-law, Mrs. C. R. Moon and many, many others.
And int he heart of his son, George Jr., who will carry on without his dad for the first time. The young man's heart will be full and it will be heavy. But he will march and he will beat his drum and he will lead the line. Ty Cobb, his friend who now is employed in Birmingham, expects to be here to march with him.
"I've got to have some moral support," George said.
"I didn't mention it to Boy
," Mrs. Fluker said. ("Boy" being the name often used by the young man's parents as he has grown to manhood). "I wanted him to do what he was able to do. One night he came in and said, 'Well, Mama, I'm going to march in Daddy's place.'
And so he will be out there Friday night, with his friend and his costume and his drum. No one will know just how he feels as he leads the way along the route which he so often covered in the company of his beloved father.
But few will doubt that as the shadowy figures come out of the darkness and frolic their way toward the Square, with Boy
leading the way, Boy's father
will know and be glad.
D. U. D.'s WILL MARCH AGAIN FRIDAY NIGHT IN LIVINGSTON
It all started way back in 1857...
114 years ago...
and has been going on every year since that time.
This year, as in years past, on New Year's Eve, the DUD's will march again.
Livingston Mayor Drayton Pruitt, following the tradition set at a time no one remembers,
has issued the proclamation which sets aside December 31 as DUD night and has ordered"each and every able bodied male resident of said town to set aside all duties and cares of his
ordinary life and dress himself in costume and disguise and proceed to Sleepy Hollow where he shall be joined by all other male residents of said town."
And thus is has been, that each year on December 31, all the men of the town, rich and poor, friends and enemies, forget their cares and join together "to march, deport and exhibit themselves in a foolish and frivolous manner upon and throughout the streets of Livingston."
This year will be no different from the other 113.
On Friday night at 7 p.m. the men will gather in Sleepy Hollow and the parade will begin.
The parade will end at the Bored Well pavilion and the awarding of prizes will culminate much hard work...
mostly by wives and mothers who came up with the ingenious costumes and disguises.
The "Dressed Up Dudes" or , if you prefer,
"Damn Ugly Devils"
prance and cavort around the pavilion to the amusement to all except maybe a few small
frightened children, while awaiting the decision of the judges.
The DUD parade has been held each year including one December 31 several years ago when a heavy snow covered the town. Granted, there were few marchers and fewer spectators but the parade was held and tradition kept alive.
Tradition will continue Friday night.
Who will be the winners?
No one knows.
You will just have to come out and see for yourself, but one thing is certain...
there will be a parade and there will be a winner.
Following the parade of "Dudes" and "Devils"
another tradition will take place when the Masquers Club holds its annual New Year's Eve Masquers Ball.
Although not as old as the DUD's (this will be the 20th ball)
the Masquers have set quite a tradition of their own and each year come up with elaborate costumes and decorations.Jerome Hopkins
was an incredible character & a superb piano player.
Check out the myspace music site for Bama Coach Dude Hennessey's wife,CAROLEhttp://www.myspace.com/carolehennesseytrio
image courtesy of http://www.johnbrownraid.orgOCTOBER 16, 2009