Reflections

Hello everyone I hope you are all having a good week. Today you hear about “image” from every source, particularly politicians and entertainment types.     

Many people today think this is something that has come on the scene lately, but this is not new.  George Armstrong Custer’s wife was a lobbyist in Washington trying to help his career.  I researched some information from the late Thomas D. Clark that I think you’ll find interesting.  In Alabama two men were running for Governor, Kolb and Oates.  

The Kolb supporters went around wearing corn cobs and the Oates supporters wore sprays of oats.  Oates won, but Kolb had himself sworn in as governor in a mock ceremony.  In South Carolina, “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman wore baggy jeans and brogans when he was running for office.  

He was reelected for years, but I’m sure he didn’t dress that way in Washington.  In Georgia, Gene Talmadge campaigned without his coat and wearing red suspenders to show he was one of the people.  In Mississippi, Bilbo wore suits that looked like Sears rejects, and he was in office until he died. In Tennessee, Estes Kefauver wore a coonskin cap and he was a Senator until he died. He was also a Vice-President candidate with Stevenson in 1956.  

In Louisiana, Huey “Kingfish” Long wore tailor made suits in Washington and smoked long Cuban cigars but back home he wore seersucker suits that looked like he had slept in it.  In Texas, I saw LBJ on several occasions and he was always wearing western hat and boots. bit I doubt he dressed that way in the White House.

Back to Tennessee, Frank Clements campaigned with a Bible under his arm and Lamar Alexander wore a red plaid shirt and Fred Thompson drove a pickup.  Before you start writing me that I promised no politics, I’m not talking about their respective politics, but talking about human interest items.  

For example, FDR had an ivory cigarette holder clenched in his teeth in many of his pictures, and Ike was famous for his grin.  It was pointed out that before Ike got into the big time, he was pictured as a grim unsmiling officer.  I could go on but you see that very few things are peculiar to our generation.  

Old friend Wade Doolin pointed out that Arthur Walker’s shop wasn’t the only one with a bath tub as Claude Terry had a shower in the back of his shop.  I was only half wrong because Claude had a shower, not a bath tub.  Old friend David Fly called me the other day to pass on some railroad information, and we had a long talk about the railroad’s seeming indifference to the employees.  

He said that the family of George Baumgardner who was killed along with Skinny Hartwell at Toone, Tenn., had to wait two years for a settlement.  And only when  Attorney and later Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Kermit Cofer filed a suit.  

He didn’t know if the Hartwell family had the same problem.  In the Casey Jones wreck, and others, they would list the collateral damage and as an after thought say, fireman and engineer killed in wreck.  

Sunday I attended the Pine Flat homecoming and got to visit with many old friends.  Miss Ruby Taylor and daughter, Joan, and granddaughter were there.  I hadn’t seen Joan for many years and she says that she gets the Herald and enjoys “Reflections.”  Miss Ruby said that she was supposed to be married at the home coming 73 years ago but rain and bad roads prevented it and they were married somewhere else.  

She is remarkable as she still drives her car to the store and has a memory that is outstanding.  I went with J.B. Petrea and Bobby Barnett and I learned that this was 125 years that this event has been held.  Sonny Williams was in charge of the singing and he and Bobby Barnett are both former Presidents of the Mississippi State Gospel Singing Convention.  

Sonny had books from four music publishers and it was great to sing the new songs.  I got to meet the young minister, Chris Kelley and his wife and they seem to be dedicated to building up Pine Flat church again.    I always value the input from all of you so keep writing and emailing as my email address is still charlescooper3616@sbcglobal.net or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tenn. 38101 and have a great week.

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