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An Open Report / Sharing The Conversation From The Side Of The Road

Yesterday, July 12, 2007 , I would do as I have many times before ; drive across the mountains to my favorite place in Johnson City , Tennessee ; Dixie Barbeque on North Roan Street; where I would set up my easy chair outside the restaurant, with my Confederate Battle Flag in hand , and began to confabulate with the passersby and customers who would enter or leave the restaurant. Folks on so many occasions want to know just what is said to me when I am out with my flag ; so here is a compilation of some of that conversation of yesterday.

1. A middle aged white man comes over to me and says ; " what are you doing sitting here with that flag, is the food in there so good that the owner could pay a Black man to be here like this, and it appears that you are happy" ? My reply to him was that I was there enjoying a mighty fine Dixie Day, and could he think of a better place to be sitting flying the Confederate Battle Flag than at Dixie Barbeque , and furthermore , yes the food is just that good , and my brother would be down in a half hour to take my place , and if he was going in to have some chicken , he had better hurry before the rest of my family arrived.

2. A police officer from the Johnson City Police Department would drive up, his blue lights flashing , come over to me , and inquire if I worked for Dixie Barbeque , and if I was there to attract customers to the restaurant ? I told him that I did not work for Dixie Barbeque , and that on this particular day I was just enjoying being Southern. However , that if my presence brought customers to Mr.. Howells place , I couldn't think of a better situation or outcome. I told him that Mr.. Howell was a great man, and that he was the only Democrat that I in good conscious could vote for or encourage anyone else to. The very nice Officer thanked me for my military service , and for making an honorable stand for my homeland, the Southland of America, and assured me that the Johnson City Police would keep a watch out for my safety. God bless the Johnson City, Tennessee Police Department.

3. A young Black man would pull up , and say to me: " You must be Mr.. Edgerton. I want to thank you for making life easier for a lot of us around here. White folks who I work with treat me so much nicer now that we have finally start talking to each other, and it was a conversation about you and your flag that started that dialogue. He would give me a hug and wish me good luck on my mission.

4. Three White men would approach me after existing from the restaurant , and inquire if I would take a picture with them. I did , and they told me that wished that they knew more about the period of time that led up to the War , the relations between a man called slave and the one called master , and why people hate the flag. I took him over to the car, and signed and gave him a copy of my dear friend, Mike Scruggs, Uncivil War. He was so delighted that he gave me a generous donation.

5. I would take several hundred more pictures from passersby and folks entering and leaving the restaurant, hug several dozen of the beautiful ladies, and after several hours , furl my flag and join Commander Jim Maddox of the Sons of Confederate Veterans inside Dixie Barbeque before Mr.. Howell could hide all the chickens that he had threatened to do, because he knew that H.K. had arrived in the house. It had been a great day in Dixie !