Blue Dogs and Slobs

I got up this morning and was absolutely bowled over.  I was greeted by a message from somebody alerting me to this.

Karen wants to talk about my uncle, my father’s only sibling.

I didn’t even know about all this.  It’s interesting, though.

Here’s my uncle’s obituary.

And here’s an article about the controversy she’s talking about.

Finally, here’s another article a year later.

I have been to the Sailfish Club exactly four times, if I am remembering correctly.  I even asked Dave what he remembers about going there to be sure I’m counting correctly.  My family did not have a membership, so to go there and eat, I had to go as the guest of a member.

It’s an experience.  When I was in nursing school, three of my school buddies went to Florida with me on spring break and we stayed at my dad’s place. During that visit, we all went to the Sailfish Club for dinner.  I remember that there were no prices of anything in the menu and that the wash basin in the bathroom was a huge shell. There was a live band and dancing.

Yes, it’s posh as hell.

This is me and my dad having a go at the dance floor. It’s not at the Sailfish Club, but rather at the Pinehurst Country Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  That was about 1983 or so.

I tried to find the photo and can’t, so I’ll let you imagine instead. See the steps there?  That’s the Sailfish Club.  When my father died, the entire family went to the Club for dinner after the funeral and then we had a family photo made on those steps.

But Karen is bringing all this up to stab at me about race.

Here’s the deal.  My father and my uncle were both Democrats.  Today, they would be called “blue dog” Democrats.  I never remember my father being particularly political, but my uncle was, and I know some of my aunt’s extended family was politically active, as in elected or appointed to fairly high positions in state government.

I have no idea about my uncle’s views on race, but I can tell you about my father’s.

He was racist to the core.

He was a child of his time and place.  He grew up in the racist old South, he was white, and my grandfather had established a relatively successful real estate and insurance business which ultimately employed and supported all three families (my grandparents, my dad, and my uncle).

If you were to go back in a time machine and visit my dad’s world, his world as an adult, my world as a small child, you’d see that the overwhelming majority of the white people around you were also “blue dog” Democrats and racist.  It was a fact of life.

I suspect that if you’d sat my father down during your visit and had a conversation with him about race, he would have been perplexed.  He really wouldn’t have understood his own racism.

When I was 13 years old (1962), my parents were divorced in large part due to my mother finding Jesus, and we moved without my dad to Greenville, South Carolina, where my mother plopped me into Bob Jones Academy, against my will.  It was also racist there, right to the core.

Two years later, I got the boot from the Academy, and ended up at Wade Hampton High School (the local public school in the same area) and guess what?  It was racist too, every bit as racist as Bob Jones ever was.

In 1970, I married a Greenville native, and he came from a family that was racist to the core.  He graduated from an area high school in 1959  and had several classmates whose fathers had been members of the Ku Klux Klan, complete with the white robes and dunce cap. They were proud of it.

I’m not sure what point Karen is trying to make here, except that she thinks that if she can point to one of my relatives, she can tar me with the same brush, the notion being that somehow if I grew up around racists, I am therefore racist too.

Well, there’s another person who grew up in a particular environment until she was about 13 years old, the same age I was when we left West Palm Beach.  Her name is now Cathy Harris.

This is a letter from the McIntire folks to Cleo complaining because they were having trouble getting insurance on the farm due to the fact that Cleo was a slob.  You remember that Cleo had sold the farm to McIntire with a lifetime annuity attached to the deal, so McIntire was responsible for the insurance.

But Cleo was such a slovenly housekeeper that the insurance company didn’t want to insure the place.

I read this and it reminded me of something.

This is a portion of an email that Richard Harris sent to Cathy in 2006, when she was begging him to let her move back in.  He refused her request.  The whole letter is here, and Cathy has repeatedly acknowledged that it’s real.

So what?  What does this mean?

Does this mean that because Cleo was a slob, Cathy learned slobbery from her and is also a slob?

Remember, Cathy may not have been related to Cleo, but she lived in her house under her care through all those young formative years.

Should we point to the obvious inept housekeeping of Cleo Smith and say, “See? Cathy got it from Cleo. She was taught to be that way.”  Is that fair or even reasonable?

What about Karen herself?  Her brother is (or at least was) the principal of Bob Jones Academy.  Does that make Karen automatically a BoJo?

Both Cathy and Karen went to Bob Jones University by choice.  Bob Jones University has a history of racism that rivals anything my uncle or father could ever have been guilty of.

Does that mean Cathy and Karen are racists?



4 thoughts on “Blue Dogs and Slobs”

  1. For crying out loud. The $2 word you’re searching for is ‘virility’, Karen. No one would hire “black bucks” for their “virulence”.

    No wonder they’re friends, they’re both functionally illiterate.


  2. OMG – One of my friends may have seen Cathy last week (R & S Keystone Diner deserves a shout out if you’re in the area). Cathy, you may want to start walking there. It would be good for you, particularly as hard as you were hitting the breakfast buffet (or your doppelgänger).

    Will you be at Asher’s tomorrow?


  3. So I think the term “Black Buck” is pretty damn racist. So she’s using racist statements to imply that someone is a racist………………Nice


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