Saturday, March 05, 2011

Here I am in 2003 in the cemetery nearest the Camak Stone, the rock that from 1826 marked the point where Alabama, Tennessee & Georgia intersected until it was stolen in 2007.

A year and a half ago, in the midst of a heated war of words over whether Georgia should rightfully have access to water from the Tennessee River, the century-old stone marker showing the state line corner between Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama disappeared.

  • photo
    Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press Hank McLelland, left, and Robert Cagle watch as Sam Lavender, right, mixes concrete around a marker at the intersection of the Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama state lines Tuesday on State Line Road.

On Tuesday, a tri-state survey team replaced the marker that keeps Georgia a stone’s throw away from the river.

“We just felt like we needed some kind of official monument placed here to mark the corners of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama because the rock that was here was a pretty noticeable rock that someone removed,” said Jim Hunt, chief of survey operations for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The marker signifies what surveyors call “a true corner” between the states and helps surveyors establish boundaries, said Hunt, who initiated the new marker’s setting.

The original marker, dubbed the Camak stone in honor of Georgia mathematician James Camak, disappeared in the late summer of 2007. No evidence has cleared up what happened.

The stone was first set in 1826, the year Camak made a second calculation to mark the 35th parallel — the guide established by the U.S. Congress in 1796 to mark the boundary of the new state of Tennessee.

But Camak erred.

The Global Positioning System of the day was stars and surveying tools were rudimentary: chains, compasses and pages upon pages of mathematical tables.

In the end, Camak set the boundary about a mile south of the real 35th parallel.

Had the line been designated correctly, it would fall about in the middle of the main channel of the Tennessee River near Nickajack Cave.

On Tuesday, the men setting the new marker — complete with brass topper aligning the state’s borders as they are known today — said their effort has nothing to do with Tennessee and Georgia’s ongoing squabble to take water for thirsty Atlanta from the Tennessee River.

“Tennessee and Georgia should be doing this. Because it’s so important, legally and everything else. But Alabama’s doing it,” said Bill Morton, author of “The Story of Georgia’s Boundaries: A Meeting of History and Geography.”

Bart Crattie, a surveyor from Lookout Mountain, Ga., started what became known as the border war when he wrote an article about the flawed survey in 2007 for a magazine of the surveyors historical society.

“Alabama’s a good neutral party for this,” Crattie said.

Morton, a physician and attorney who came to the stone’s setting because of his interest in history and his book, suggested the group should have brought wine to christen the new marker.

“Moonshine would be more like it,” joked Robert Cagle, a Tennessee surveyor and officer of the Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia Land Surveyors Historical Society.

It was home-made liquor, some historians say, that played a role in the stone’s first flawed setting.

I got rained in today so I did this little art project with some newspaper clippings & a Bama pep rally poster from the late 70s.

The Times-Picayune pulled out all the stops for this SUPER cartoon of
WOODY & THE BEAR on the cover of their Jan. 1, 1978 magazine section.

Shorty was the center of attention @ the '78 Sugar Bowl. He made the Times-Picayune too. Look like he was sporting a black eye. Look how those New Orleans Pigs manhandled po' little Shorty.

Here's a classic image from the Tues., Jan. 3, 1978, New Orleans States-Item ~ Shorty being ejected from THE SUGAR BOWL. Thank goodness, Bama was able to beat Ohio State 35-6 without the help of SHORTY!

On Monday after the '77 Auburn game, you could celebrate the Bama victory by heading over to Goldstein & Cohen's for your $10 "ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPHED 'BEAR BRYANT' HAT". P.S. A Great Christmas Gift

Something you'll NEVER see in the C-W these days. THE CAMPUS CAPERS column in the Jan. 9, 1964 Crimson-White listing 17 couples PINNED, 35 ENGAGED & two MARRIED. That was back when BAMA still had that M.R.S. DEGREE!

THE ROCKIN' GIBRALTARS Cuttin' up the juice and cutting the damn thang loose at THE FARM CENTER in Dothan.
l to r, Ed Sanford[keyboards], Ronnie Monroe[horns], Sonny Grier[lead singer], Bobby Dupree[drums], Keith Brewer[bass], Rusty Crumpton[guitar]
Got some bad news this morning from Bobby Dupree. Keith Brewer, bass player for the Rockin' Gibraltars, passed away last night. Keith celebrated his 64th birthday February 22. I'll pass along info on the arrangements when I get them.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Hey y'all~

Do yourself a favor.


Back by POPULAR DEMAND. My office ART!


C. M.

Mo' from THE PAKE COLLECTION. University of Alabama Commencement Programs from 1914,1916 & 1926 ~ Sugar Bowl Button ~ '69 Tuscaloosa Belles Sesquicentennial Button ~ Red Cross pin

image courtesy of the 1907 edition of FRYE'S FIRST COURSE IN GEOGRAPHY
"Most of the white people live in the temperate zones. They have large fields of wheat, corn and cotton. They raise millions of sheep & cattle. They build great cities and have workshops of all kinds. They send ships to all the large seaports.
The white people have the best schools in the world."
ALEXIS EVERETT FRYE, First Superintendent of Schools of Cuba

image courtesy of The Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Buddy Buie & Randy Owen @ the 2010 induction banquet in Montgomery. Not only is Reggie Young, who I was introduced to by Buddy Buie, featured on Randy's new video, Reggie's also going to be featured on The Blind Boys of Alabama Country-Gospel CD that will be released in May. It will be the group's first Country album in their 70 year career.

I saw where Jamey Johnson was producing The Blind Boys From Alabama's new Country-Gospel CD so I googled it because I met Jamey after he performed with The Blind Boys last year @ the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Well, I was right. The Blind Boys chose Jamey to produce their album after they performed with him at the induction banquet. Here's the surprise. Right there in the middle of the photos of the stars was this picture of my son, Christopher, & his girlfriend, Carsen.

The Civil War Sesquicentennial just ain't got the same PUSH the Centennial had in '61 when EASTWOOD MALL advertised the ROBERT E. LEE STEAM & DRY IRON.

image courtesy of the Sunday, Jan. 29, 1978 issue of THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS
"I want to coach as long as the Good Lord will let me & WE KEEP WINNING.
I'd like to coach 99 more years if I can make it that long.
Heck, I'm too old to start something new and I'm too young to die."
Coach Bryant would have been 98 come Sept. 11.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

John Earl, one of Tuscaloosa's finest photographers, tuned up the image Michael Palmer took of me @ the reenactment of Jefferson Davis' inauguration with an "acid wash" photoshop technique.

Today we acquired a postcard of a restaurant that was owned by my boss' Dad, Lee Pake, Sr. It was called Lee's Grill & it was located just off Court Square @ 12 Commerce St. in Montgomery back in the '30s.

Here's a scan of a postcard of the Victorian house located across University Boulevard from our office. You saw it in the earlier photos of the old Temple Emanu-El I posted.

Boy, have I got my work cut out for me. The Pake Collection has acquired hundreds of circa 1885 cigar labels. They are in better condition than anything now being offered to the public on eBay or anywhere else on the Web.

Had to post HIGH TIDE. I know'd y'all would love seeing those ancient crab nets!

Maybe Michelle will buy this one for the White House or maybe as a Kritmuh present fo' Fidel.

Maybe CRAZY HORSE was smokin' one of these when he crashed Custer's gig @ Little Big Horn.

Very Rare Vintage Cigar Label "SEASIDE DUDES" by Louis E. Neuman (1895-1915) Chromo Lithograph, Inner Label
Two Well Dressed Birds Chatting On The Beach With A Pyramid and Fortress In The Background. 2001 Cigar Label Art Abridged Price Guide: $1,350.00 / 2002 Cigar Label Art Price Guide: $900.00

I like what ya git when ya smoke this brand!

Here's page 31 of the Tuesday, December 3, 1957 issue of THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION

Here's Vol. 6, No. 11, issue 134, March 8-14 BERKELEY BARB from my collection. I bet a collector like Laurie would love to get her hands on Jerry Rubin's ELVIS KILLS IKE cover!

Here's the cover of my Sept. 24- Oct. 5 Vol. 1, Issue 3 of Tuscaloosa's HIGH GUAGE.
This librarian from Jax State,Laurie Charnigo, is doing a presentation on underground newspapers of the Sixties & early Seventies & she found on my blog where I wrote I had a copy of HIGH GUAGE. Let me know if ya got any underground newspapers for sale 'cause Laurie's definitely in the market.


Mr. Register,
Hi! My name is Courtney and I'm doing a project for the Tuscaloosa News where we are archiving old photos of Tuscaloosa. I am currently working on one of the Maxwell House. I noticed in your blog, you mentioned it. I'm having trouble finding information about it and was wondering if you could help me out any?

This old mansion sits catty cornered from our block. It was one of the first big houses to be built in Tuscaloosa after The Civil War. It was constructed in 1901 so it took a long time for anyone to accumulate wealth after the devastation of 1865. The Maxwells probably made a mint during the construction of Locks #1, #2 and #3 during the 1890s. Today you can see this old house from our office's back yard and it's just been repainted.

A wonderful response from Whitney:
When I was in college I worked at the Tuscaloosa Credit Bureau across 27th. Ave. from this house, and I would usually park on the street beside it. Mrs. Jennie Maxwell Richardson lived in it, and she would often be out working in the yard, and loved to talk.

She was a 1910 graduate of the University, and said that she walked or rode the trolley to campus. Said there was a bridge across a gully on U. Blvd. at the time, possibly on the other side of Pinehurst. That gully was filled S. of the blvd. and Audubon Pl. was built on it.

She told me that she christened one of the locks with a bottle of champagne when she was 6, which would have been about 1898. She had a life-sized oil portrait of her 5 beautiful daughters in the foyer of the house.

I suspect she is the young women in the rocker on the left. Would one of those boys be Fred Maxwell, the engineer?

That's probably the Sam Alston's yacht,The Mary Francis on the left.It later capsized & twenty six people drowned.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Hey y'all~

It the midnight hour & I got the blues!
Eddie Kirkland, Dothan's 88 yr. old GYPSY OF THE BLUES has passed on.

Later gator ...


Hate to tell it but we must now add a 64th name to the list of departed Dothan area musicians. Dothan's Great Gypsy of the Blues, Eddie Kirkland, age 88 & touring in Florida, was killed yesterday in a car wreck. R.I.P. Eddie K.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Debbie Bond

to me
show details 4:32 PM (3 hours ago)

don't know if you heard Eddie Kirkland was killed in a car accident this last weekend. Very sad sad news.

Y'all know I wanted to bring Eddie Kirkland back to perform in his old hometown of Dothan. Well, it wasn't meant to be. Eddie got killed in a car wreck north of Tampa Sunday morning @ 8:30. So tragic.


Eddie told me he went to North Highlands & East Highlands Elementary Schools when "I was able to go."
Eddie really wanted to return to Dothan and walk around his old stompin' grounds.


berto at 7:17 PM

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kerry , Sharman & Debbie ,

I'm writing to all three of you girls because I know y'all could make a great team who could work together to bring a great blues man back to Dothan.

Debbie Bond told me she nominated Eddie Kirkland
for the new mural but she felt he didn't make the final cut.

It'd be nice to know if that is so.


Debbie is ready to apply for a grant so she can bring Eddie Kirkland
& The Alabama Blues Project to the schools of Houston County.


Robert Register likes to give credit where credit is due. Tommy Stevenson did a superb job interviewing Eddie Kirkland & Debbie Bond for his Town Hall clip & Ric Asherson did a great job accompanying Eddie on harmonica.

Who did Debbie
submit the nomination to?

Robin Rainer is on that committee and he said that Eddie's name
has never come across their committee as far as he knows. He admits he has missed a meeting or two in the past couple of years, but he's curious who she submitted the name to.

How much would it cost to get him here?

Do you have contact with him?

I might be able to get him to headline the Tri_State BBQ festival
(BBQ and Blues go hand in hand!)

but not sure how much money it would take, etc.

image courtesy of


Dear everyone,
Thank you so much for your interest in Eddie Kirkland! I attached the press release we sent out recently for his recent Tuscaloosa visit. I memory is a blur right now about who it was that got in touch with me about the mural. I know that I spoke about it with Joey Brackner at the State Arts Council - and then someone researching for the mural got in touch with me and I recommended Eddie then and send some materials on and bio etc.
It would be a wonderful dream come true to bring Eddie back to Dothan and honor him there some how. Like Robert explained it would be great to take him around and record his visit together with his memories. He has an amazing story and memories that are an important window into the blues culture of the Dothan area at that time. Here is a story Tuscaloosa News did with a video interview. There is a little section where he talks about his Dothan memories.
He is perfect for a performance and educational workshop. We also have gone into schools to do educational performances - wouldn't it be cool to take Eddie to the schools he went to? Do any of you write grants?
I have been working with Eddie for the past ten years or so. I was lucky to get to do an apprenticeship with him (I play guitar and sing) in 2001 sponsored by ASCA. We have been performing with him with my own band and on and off through that time. ASCA are very aware of Eddie and how important he is - and would be a great funding source. I would love to talk to you by phone if possible. Please phone when you have a chance!
Thank you so much for being interested in Eddie.
>Best wishes,

Debbie Bond

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 1:59 AM
Subject: RE: Alabama Blues Project Update - Winter 2007


Tell Willie that I used to teach with Louie Coleman's daughter and that I know all the rules because Simon Dunn taught me.

I started asking around about electric guitars in juke joints & my old buddy told me that the first blues artists he saw using electric guitars were Muddy Waters & Howling Wolf when they played the Ace Club over in the West End in the early Sixties.

He says the piano & the acoustic guitar were the main instruments at the house parties.

My friend still works but he hangs out with that bunch that plays dominoes at the shack on the 2600 block of 21st Street just east of Radio Cab at the foot of Peanut Hill by the railroad tracks. He hangs out with all those old cats who sit in chairs beside that old house the fire department just burned down.
Now those boys would get you doing your homework on Alabama blues!


P.S. Bootlegging in Tuscaloosa was controlled by people like Mem Tierce & Dee Cunningham but in Greene County a black guy was MR. BIG. His name was Landis(?) Brown. Sam Wainwright told me he walked into over 20 stills in Greene County while he was surveying a straight line for I 20-59 back in the late Fifties/early Sixties.

Subject: Re: Alabama Blues Project Update - Winter 2007
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 19:12:32 -0600

Dear Robert,
I am so happy you are interested in the John Sayles (director) and Maggie Renzi (producer) film that we are bringing to the Bama - and your interest in the blues culture thing!
There is so much important work that needs to be done in this area. Everyone has studied mississippi blues until the cows come home but have over looked Alabama - big time.
I attached my MA thesis (its not too long!) - it is an oral history study that gives a little glimpse and suggestive of the blues culture that has been here all along the way. I know a little VERY LITTLE but some about Dothan because I did an interview with Eddie Kirkland that spent his early life there and got his start in juke joints in that area.
Sadly, so little has been done on Tuscaloosa. Big Bo mentions juke joints in Tuscaloosa...I hope its in my paper...if not I can go back to my interview with him. He mentions an area along the rail road tracks somewhere in Tuscaloosa that had several juke houses.
It is a mistake to think that have juke joints has anything to do with things being wet or dry. During prohibition Alabama was one of the bigest producers of illigal whiskey.
I hear story after story about the underground economy that African Americans created in prohibition and in dry counties.... through the 20s 30s 40s and 50s to this day - where the sherrif gets a kickback from the juke joint owners and still owners. Willie King has lots of those stories himself...he made moon shine, had a juke joint in Pickens co .....I know of lots of old blues players from that county many of them now dead. People had house parties (turned their own homes in to juke joints). Willie's grandmother had a juke joint in Pickens co. Sadly we haven't got a lot of information about Tuscaloosa county...but I know they existed - and even in my 30 years here they have existed.
The history dept is hoping to do some work on this area so if you have any ideas of people to talk to let please let us know! It is so important that this stuff is uncovered and the only way is by talking to the old folks.
Best wishes,
Debbie bond
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2007 11:44 PM
Subject: RE: Alabama Blues Project Update - Winter 2007

Robert Register here.

I love Love LOVE everything I've seen on this Honeydripper movie.
I'm gonna do my homework on this one but here's the thing that jumped out at me right off the bat.

I'm from Dothan & Dothan has almost always been Wet & has always had "colored juke joints" & my buddies from Dothan were some of the first white musicians to play the blues in these clubs in the mid-Sixties & I used to go down to Baptist Bottom on the weekends to watch my friends play. Nobody ever carded us white boys and we were always welcome.

One mo' thang, my Uncle Frank owned a candy/fireworks/beauty aids/novelties company in Americus, GA and I worked with him in the summers in the early Sixties so I visited a lot of "colored juke joints" & pool halls during the daytime hours when I was in my early teens.

Which brings me to Tuscaloosa...
As far as I know, in the early fifties, THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE "COLORED JUKE JOINT" IN TUSCALOOSA.
Of course, that's understandable when you consider that Tuscaloosa was dry until '56 but the scene in this town was at the "house parties" & the Tuscaloosa Police Department did a land office business in busting up the house parties over in "colored quarters."

I know some old heads in the community who can give me more information on this.

I'm gonna do my homework so you can give Mr.Sayles & his ladyfriend some good information when they come to town.

My uncle Frank owned a candy company so I got to visit all kinds of pool halls

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hey y'all~

Hope to see a bunch of y'all tonight @ Little Willie's.

If we pack the house, it'll make it mo' likely we start getting mo' good Blues shows EVERY weekend in old Tuskeeloosee!

Eddie Kirkland ,
born in Jamaica in 1923, was brought up in Dothan but left in 1935 when he stowed away in The Sugar Girls Medicine Show tent truck.

I hope they put Eddie
up on that next mural.


(ed. note: I had a shirt just like the one Eddie's wearing here back in '73. One of my aides @ Partlow had one & he told me the store downtown where I could buy one. The same cat turned me on to Dreamland. Back then, Dreamland in Jerusalem Heights was strickly A Dark Skinned Thing.
Got to know Mr. John & every time Nixon gave a speech during Watergate, I did my best to get my ass to Dreamland. Generally, it was just me & Mr. John.)

image of ARCHIBALD'S courtesy of
Pretty sho' I been coming to Archibald's since I came here as a freshman in '68.

image courtesy of Volume 1 of Auburn's '97 Glomerata

Auburn's Professor Bell

At the earliest date, as Professor Bell stirred the "toddy" for his old master, the divine aroma of mint and liquor bewitched poor Joe, and a most willing captive he yet remains. Together, with "Jess" Jackson, the guardian of the Chemical Laboratory, he stores away most of the college alcohol. Their affinity for it is INFINITY---
bottomless is their capacity as Mammoth Cave. This stimulating drug is now kept safely secured behind a "combination" lock, and Joe and Jess, the Professor of Chemistry suggests, are taking the "Keyless" cure. Pretty good?

Professor Bell is an expert performer, not only on the bottle, but also on the fiddle. Remenyi he rated very slightly. "Practice wid 'im, Fessur, and play good ez he."

"THE DEVIL'S DREAM" is Professor Bell's favorite number.

Professor Bell is a living argument against the mortal effect of strong drink;
a menace, indeed, to the cause of temperance. The more he drinks the longer he lives. Who knows but that somewhere in the deep recesses of our great scientific laboratories, in some mysterious retort, Joe has discovered a magical "mixed drink" that makes him impregnable to these horrid germs that feed upon us; impregnable even to that great Boss-germ that dieth not; and so is, in fact, an immortal member of the Academy. Here is the formula:

Rx: Alcohol (much) + water (little) + (?),

by J. Bell Africanus, F.R.S."

Ah that (?).
Who would not give worlds to know.
That Professor Bell knows, let us fondly hope, and that the unborn generation who shall come to AUBURN may ever be greeted with the sight of the tall, black postman bearing on his shoulders the college mailbag full of good news from the old folks at home, and good, fat checks for the one hundred-year-old GLOMERATA.