Monday, August 28, 2006


I realize that somehow I have to bring closure to the episodes of this week. I don’t think as many life changing events have happened in one week to me. It was a busy, energetic, thoughtful, and unusual week. From Big Sur to Nashville, from Salinas, California, to Clinton, Tennessee, from John Steinbeck to THE TRUE FACE OF CLINTON-TIME MAGAZINE 12/17/56 This story tells the original story of what happened in Clinton and to Rev. Paul Turner (please read!), from the Hearst Castle to the Green McAdoo Cultural Center, from the garlic capital of the world (Gilroy, California)) to a fire in our hotel in Clinton, TN., from now to THEN !


Viewing a previously unseen area of the world opens new vistas of understanding.

ALWAYS remember the good from a bad situation.

Most people have no idea of the real influence of their lives on others.

Simple things often have great meaning.

There are always flower blooming somewhere.

The big events that change our lives are often unexpected.


Alfred Williams, one of the original students, sat in front of me at First Baptist Church where Paul Turner was the pastor. Afterwards I asked him a question. "What did Rev. Paul Turner, walking with yall to school mean?"(Remember that Rev. Paul Turner was badly beaten after walking with the students. People were yelling, "kill him, kill him!")

Alfred said with a great deal of pride in his eyes and voice, "Nothing meant more to us than that he stood by us during that time. He was a great man!" (Note: It was evident all weekend that Rev. Paul Turner was a BIG hero to the African-American community. His quotes were engraved in marble on the wall outside the museum.)

When he shared his thoughts something happened to me that was one of the biggest surprises of my life. Rev. Paul Turner, besides living besides me in Clinton, had a tremendous influence on my life. He preached my ordination sermon in Louisville, Kentucky, when I was a student there in 1970.

Many times we talked of the Clinton experience. In none of these conversations did he realize the importance of what he had done. He received thousands of letters, many filled with hatred, others with admiration. One was from Billy Graham, another from Edward R. Murrow. To Rev. Turner, the hatred he received was paramount. It affected the rest of his life. BUT I REALIZED when talking to Alfred that “Paul Turner had done a great deed for people who were disenfranchised, worn down by hatred, beaten by public opinion, and who feared for their lives every moment.” I wished he could have been there this weekend to realize the effect he had really had on people’s lives.


I was shocked this weekend to discover that the daughter of John Kasper had been searching for her father. She was born in 1977 and never remembers him. She is searching for her lost father, "a man who ran for President in 1960 and 1964." She wants to write a book about him and even went to Clinton recently to do research. She is bisexual, has 8 tattoos and feels her father needs a book written about him to do him honor.

John Kasper is definitely an interesting man, although very misguided! I guess I have learned more about him this weekend than anytime in history. I did not know that he was a friend of Ezra Pound, whom I admire as the greatest inspiration in poetry for the past generation, but evidently misguided (Pound) in some or all of his anti-semi tie thoughts.

But Kasper did more to stir up trouble in Clinton than anyone could imagine. Read the read story. John Kasper link-a must read !, a real trouble maker. I also discovered that he had had a previous experience in Louisville, Kentucky, that I was unaware of. Sallie Bingham, daughter of the publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal, tells of his visits to Pound and his damage in Louisville.. link

Oh well, I am so emotional about all of this that I have got to stop. Maybe more later or never.


At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... packed a lot in for a short time. Thanks very much for the sharing, stories and photos and all. Good to go but so good to get back to your own home. In eternity, I think we will say something like that to God "So good to get home! This is where I belong." And also...good health wishes for Janet.

At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SIMPLE THINGS Does God Ever Laugh? ....God comes with His grace when and where and how He sees fit. His perfect wisdom knows all things. One evening, we were praying, a small group who met each Thursady evening,...praying for a member in the hospital. We were praying very intently and asking His blessing on that woman. All of a sudden, one praying person asked "Well what hospital is she in?" We all started laughing. What if we were sending God to BonSecours when she was at StJohn's? We might send Him to the wrong that was possible. He DID find the right place and party and she recovered nicely. God must laugh too.

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SINPLE THINGS....Gestures in Prayer. One morning I was praying for the brother of a relative who asked me to pray each day to save her brother. Brian, not his real name, was a good cop and is retired and now on crack. As I prayed, I was told 'Cup your hands together and place Brian within...the cupped hands are the wounded hands of Christ and he will be safe there.' That is how I pray for Brian each day. Join me. He does not know nor care that he is so close to death.

At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SIMPLE THINGS.....Take notes. A long while back, a dear lady gave me a bound, lined paper book with a sturdy cover. She said 'Start writing each day.' I am so grateful for the has been a learning experience for me...I am now writing in book number 18. Writing...what good is that? To write, you must first ponder... and THAT is the heart of it. You may never read your notes again BUT the pondering will bless you over and over. Try it. Start writing your thoughts. Remember that verse: "She pondered all these things in her heart?" You won't be sorry. Merton wrote each day and his books grew out of his notes...maybe you have a book to be written and shared.

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SIMPLE THINGS...Flowers from the Altar. When I was just a little kid I was an altar server. We had had a very special event in Church.Corpus Christi maybe. After the evening devotion was over, I was helping to put things away. The nun in charge of the school went up on the altar and took some of the very nicest flowers and gave them to a girl whose mother was dying. Tell her that these were right next to the Lord at Mass tonight. I will always remember her kindness and her faith and her charity towards that poor woman and her grieving daughter. God comes when and where He will to teach us lessons of goodness.

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SIMPLE THINGS.......What shall we bring Him? Lord of all. I know of a person who goes for a walk early in the AM. As he walks and prays,he carries two twigs that form a very small cross. No one will see it except God and God will smile for here is someone who honors Him with this simple gesture...who remembers the love of God poured out...who recalls the Saving Victim. O salutaris hostia!

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SIMPLE THINGS....The love behind the deed is what matters. Saying 'no' to self is part of our calling to serve God. "Yes" to everything will take us far off our path. As a denial to self, a friend will put the letter or card he MOST wants to open on the bottom of the pile...just a little sacrifice to say "God, I hope to say 'no' when temptation calls...'Yes to Thee' is what I seek.

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SIMPLE THINGS......Someone in our church places, each Sunday, an envelope with change in it for the poor. No name...Just a note 'for the hungry and poor.' How pleased God must be...'I was hungry and YOU gave me to eat...' It is like the widow's mite. It says to the church board "I know we have lots of expenses but, please, let us not spend the entire collection on ourselves and think that we are doing God's work.'

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SIMPLE THINGS......There is a old and beautiful custom of tipping your hat when you pass a church. Just a simple thing to acknowledge that God is present there in that place that is not 'just a building' but a sacred place of prayer. Not much of a deed, BUT a lifetime of many simple things, done with love for God, can be a treasure to take with us when we go to Him.

At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is John Kasper's daughter....Yes I am looking for as much information that I can about him. Let me get a few facts straight. I was born in 1978. I am from New Jersey. If you have any questions or comments email me.

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does any reliable record exist of what John Kasper said in his speeches before the crowds in Clinton? I wonder if any of it actually constituted incitement to riot. I tend to be skeptical that the First Amendment will always be upheld when unpopular views are expressed or the when the power of the US government is challenged.


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