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Allen Central High School

Dear Ms. Lunnel,

I have learned to trust my feelings, and have acted in kind to them. However, as much as I did not want to go to Atlanta to the NASCAR race; I could not refuse Grayson Jennings (Fire Eater # 1) , because I knew just how long and hard he had been working to bring this stand to fruition, and he made me know in no uncertain terms that he needed my help. There were so many positive moments that I have not been able to talk about because I did not heed the advice of my mom, my brother, and all the members of the SLRC staff to ignore the bad behavior of others and to allow my deeds to speak for me. I must clarify to those who have supported me all these many years just what happened there that would cause me to lose it. I have listen to, and read all of these accountings that all I was is a money grubber, as I oft more times than not asked for help in this tremendous debacle we face trying to not only vindicate our Southland, but to also defend our children who find themselves far too many times behind the eight ball when they stand up for their Southern ancestry, or display the likeness of any of our symbols or soldiers. For me my greatest wrong was to ask from my Southern family assistance to go to wherever the battle cry is heard, and my name is called to join in the fray.

As I headed out to Atlanta with Fire Eater # 1, I had no idea that one of my brothers (Fire Eater # 3 ) , Daryl Starnes, who just happens to be the National Heritage Defense Chair of the Sons of Confederate Veterans; had sent out a call for help in obtaining a vehicle for me. As we approached Atlanta and the offices of Dixie Riders , owned and operated by Elijah Coleman , who had so graciously opened up his home for Grayson and I to spend the weekend ; Grayson would tell me that I might just be leaving Atlanta with a decent automobile because the Coleman's were in the car business and had consented on getting me a car. When we arrived at Mr.. Coleman's business, the conversations had less to do with NASCAR and more about this car; Grayson and I were taken to a bank lot facility that Mr.. Coleman had the key to, and one he indicated that his brother did business with, and would look better if I got the car from there and not directly from him, because he did not want to give the impression he was the one making the profit from the sale of the car to me.I was shown a variety of cars, many which had indicated problems. I was asked to ride down the street in one that was indicated to be the best of the lot; a 1998 ford explorer which had been recently painted, and one in which Mr.. Coleman's son indicated to me that they had no history on, other than the police records that indicated that the driver was issued a ticket for a fraudulent license tag . I told MR.. Coleman that it was ridiculous to spend $3,000 on a used vehicle like this when I could just as easily spend about $1,700 on repairing my van that was donated to me by J.Pat Baughman two years ago. Mr.. Coleman told me that people wouldn't donate money for repairing a car, but would to purchase one. I found that somewhat amusing because only certain people that I could count on both hands ever responded to any pleas for help for gas fare. Mr.. Coleman seemed agitated at me and responded that I should be thankful for a gift of one of these cars. I told him that I would be only asking for more trouble that I did not need.

Saturday morning after having a great breakfast prepared for us by Ms. Coleman, and spending more time at Mr.. Coleman's car lot and hearing him describe the kind of mostly down trodden clientele that he helped with these low value cars, I knew that I wanted no part of any of this. Case dismissed ; Grayson and I left for Hampton, Georgia for the Atlanta Car Race . I must again say that I could not believe that Fire Eater # 1 was actually going to give away this beautiful flag that we carried. However, he indicated to me that it was only his concern to do so, but if people wanted to make a donation, we would accept it. I must say that I was really taken back when after passing out about 100 flags , we received the first donation of $.26 , and then another for $.50. It would pretty much go this way for much of the morning. Then the miracle that Grayson had envisioned with his plan began to take shape as people began to want to know why we were giving away this beautiful flag. I was so surprised that so many who came to support NASCAR had no idea about the behavior of France, or Dale Earnhart JR. as they both had contributed to the dismantling of the Confederate flag from the NASCAR scene. On one such occasion, a middle age black man approached us with a look in his eye that looked like trouble. He walked straight up to me, and demanded to know just what I was doing , and further more that I was going to have to explain it to his boys and his brother, and to follow him up the parking lot to do so. He just happened to be wearing an apron , and indicated that his cooker where he was a vendor selling chicken, ribs and a variety food items was just ahead. Grayson and I began to tell him and his family who were so polite and at tentative as Grayson and I gave him our Confederate side of all the happenings that bought us to this place in time. He eventually asked Grayson if he could have a flag. Grayson not only gave him a flag, but we journeyed back to the car to get him a pole to fly it on; I would also sign five copies of my dear friend Mike Scruggs's book on the Un-Civil War , hand them to Grayson, and I would continue on up the parking lot to pass out more flags as Grayson continued to visit with this family who by now began to see their business increase tenfold as the Grayson Jennings flag flew proudly over their vendor site. I soon found myself posing for hundreds of pictures, and answering the main question of the day, why would a black man dressed in a beautiful Confederate jacket that everyone seemed to want, be passing out a beautiful Confederate flag ? I walked back and forth this huge site, that really mirrored a village until I was too tire to pass out one more flag. Grayson, I and Mr.. Coleman left for dinner, and was joined as we were leaving the restaurant by my new found friend, Mr.. Henry Russ, who had driven all the way from Florida to join and help us in our efforts. We would leave with Mr.. Coleman, and Mr.. Russ who indicated that he had some covert activities to do this evening of placing up Southern signs, and perhaps helping his son who was going to place flags in the infield of the race track.

On Sunday morning, Ms Coleman would once again treat us like kings with a mighty fine breakfast. Grayson and I would leave for the track before everyone else, and upon arriving, would join Mr.. Coleman's two brothers at the mobile they had bought the night before which now served as our staging point. I wasted no time in once again passing out the flag. There were a lot of people gathered on Saturday, but dim in comparison to the vast crowds that now gathered on this day. I shall call it the day of the Yankee , because they in no uncertain left no doubt to me who they were as I once again offered up this beautiful flag. Unfortunately I could only carry about fifty flags at a time , and found myself having to walk back and forth across the street back to the mobile home to refill the knap sack that I carried. On one such occasioned as I was refilling the sack, Elijah Coleman said to me, you need to go on the other side pointing in a direction that I had spent a considerable amount of time already passing out flags. Unknown to me at the time he was actually talking about the other side of the NASCAR facility. I had no idea that there was that side since you could go only so far up to the gate, and then would have to fork out $60.00 to enter the track. I wasn't about to give NASCAR one dime. I again told Mr.. Coleman that not only had I been on that side, but had just been warned by a State Trooper that I had better stay on one side of the street, and stop crossing from side to side because they were there to move the traffic and be concerned for my safety. I knew this was poppycock for there were many people crossing all the time from the very same spot that I crossed. I had been asked by a Black State Trooper just minutes prior if I was selling the flag, and I responded that I was no , but if people offered a donation I would accept it, and that I had a flag for him if he wanted one.I knew that I had pushed his button too far when he indicated that he did not; and I responded was he sure, because I knew that his grandpa if he was Southern had carried this flag. He solicited the aid of a white trooper who had been very nice to me, to do his unholy biding to stop me from crossing the street. As I tried to explain to Mr.. Coleman what had happened, he call me a lie, and said that he had been watching me return for flags and that I came fro the same direction all the time. I told him that there was only one place that you could cross the street, and that was the reason it appeared that I was passing out the flag in the same place we had the day before, and now after passing out about 250 flags, my day was done, and he could pass out the other 150 that was left himself. He then indicated to the many people standing around that I had only been working for two hours and had been well paid to pass out the flags. He went on to say that I had been paid some $400, and probably had about another $400 collected in donations , and for me to empty my pockets, and furthermore that the only reason it was taking me so long to pass out the flag was because I was too busy waiting for donations to be paid to me. I lost it. I thought about that trash talking Yankees I had encountered on this day, I thought about all the pictures I had posed for, I thought about all the dialogue I had the day before and this very morning , to include the conversation I had recently had with a young white man who proclaimed to be from Atlanta, and did not want that shameful flag I was passing out even if it was for free, and that dialogue came from the very direction that Mr.. Coleman demanded that I go ; so in my anger I told Mr.. Coleman to go straight to hell. My mom always told me that God does not like ugly. In my anger, I emptied my pockets of all but thirty three one dollar bills because thirty three dollars was all that I had bought to Atlanta , wrapped it in paper and placed it in the cup holder of Mr.. Jennings truck alongside my cell phone. I wanted no part of the donations even though Grayson had indicated that I could use them for the battles I personally wage it these matters.

Mr.. Coleman would get into his truck , and along with his brothers, son , and a Yankee who they knew who had come to help us, drive over to the other side of the facility and pass out the remaining flags. I would sit and talk with Mr.. Russ, the very kind Compatriot from Florida, and apologize profusely about having lost my cool with Mr.. Coleman. He indicated that he could not understand, or even know what happened to spark the dialogue that took place between Mr.. Coleman and myself. He told me that the night before that Mr.. Coleman spoke highly of the efforts of Fire Eater # 1 and myself, and that the only thing that rubbed him the wrong way was my no acceptance of a $3,000 car offered to me. Within moments Mr.. Jennings would be asked by a young lady if she could use his cigarette lighter to charge her cell phone that had gone dead, she indicated that she was trying frantically y to reach someone in the vast crowd , and couldn't. She promptly stole my phone and the donated funds. Fire Eater # 1 was so visibly shaken by the theft of my phone that I didn't have the heart to tell him about the money. I was so ashamed of having lost my cool, that upon their return from the other side, I would apologize to the rest of the Coleman family. Dan would tell me to forget that sometimes Elijah would for no reason get like this, and would probably feel as bad as I did about it. His son would pretty much echo that same sentiment. I then asked Dan about the allegations of Elijah that the Honorable Charles Lunsford, Alan Trapp, and Rusty Henderson were traitors to the Southern fight over the change of the Georgia State Flag. I told him that I found this revelation to be hard to accept or believe, and that these were men who I had fought side by side with. Dan told me that it was not true, and that the only thing that these men had done was to exercised bad judgment in believing the Governor , and furthermore keeping it secret from the rest of the Camp members. He further indicated that his brother would not even attend any more of their Camp meetings. I love the Coleman family, and that includes Elijah, and I am not apologetic for asking my Southern family to help me fight a fight that we should be winning. My only regret in my reported money grubbing is that I could not have raised money for the( Honorable DuPont 7) who I would learn on this very trip would not be afforded an appeal before the Courts of this land because they had been forsaken by the Southern people. These seven men put their lives, careers, their reputations on the line, and the Honorable Judge who presided over their hearings gave them and the South a very clear opening that would have lead to a victory, I believe, if the Southern people had only rallied behind them; instead we all looked at the balance sheet , and left them out there high and dry by themselves. Had this been Jesse Jackson, or any of the poverty pimps; they would have energized the entire populous to raising funds to do battle; the children would have washed cars, the women would have baked pies and cakes, the men all that it would take to raise the necessary funds. It is too bad that our people can't come to terms that it will take money to fight this man who has come among us with an unlimited supply of resources both fiscal and physical to rid the human environment of all things Southern.

Your Brother,