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An Open Report / The 10th wonder of the world
When Ms. Lunelle Siegel, President of the Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy summons, the only question that enters oneís mind is, when am I expected and how fast can I get there? I received such a summons on Wednesday, September 23, 2008 and after making one stop in Odum, Georgia at the corporate headquarters of Dixie Outfitters to refill my depleting stock of shirts that have become foremost alongside Mike Scruggs Un-Civil War Collectors Edition, my most effective teaching, speaking and sought after paraphernalia.
It did not take long for Ms. Lunelle to get my juices flowing. Shortly after arriving in the beautiful city of Tampa, Florida, she would take me on a tour over a bridge situated above Interstate 4 & 75 to see the 10th Wonder of the World; Ēthe worldís largest Confederate Battle Flag"! In all my travels and adventures, I donít think that I have encountered any one single item, event or thing that has done more to advance the moment for Southern vindication and the necessary dialogue to spark such an event. I could not have been more proud of my dear friend and brother Marion Lambert and the men of the Jubal A. Early Camp 556, and never to forget the ladies like Ms. Lunelle who help support their efforts which has beyond any doubt in my mind done more to raise the spirit of our Southern family both nationally and internationally than anything I have witnessed.
Saturday morning, September 27, 2008, I would do a tape interview with my dear friend Mark whose last name escapes my memory to spell correctly, but I shall try (Schonburn). Ms. Lunelle would serve as the guest host conducting the interview of me for this taping. It was one of the toughest and most delightful interviews I have ever had. Ms. Lunelle seemed to know just the right questions to ask, and certainly the ones that most biased media are afraid of asking for fear the public might hear the answers, and even if they ask, most often will edit the response. Saturday evening to a packed house at the downtown Clarion Hotel, I would deliver the keynote speech for the Sons of Confederate Veterans General Jubal A. Early Camp 556. The only thing that would dampen my spirits on this evening was to hear a report from Ms. Kathy Morgan, a business owner whose family has been in attendance at a festival event sponsored in part by the city of Ruskin, Florida for more than a decade, only to have every unhanded thing the Ruskin city officials could conjure up to prevent them from attending this year because Ms. Morganís family had the nerve and audacity to display a Confederate Flag at the previous years event. The local Sons and I would promise to help rectify this injustice, and I would hope that all who read this report would join in that action. Ms. Morgan can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday morning, September 28, 2008, Ms. Lunelle would escort me to a local Black run and supported FM radio station where alongside Mr. Marion Lambert of the SCV, we would debate figures in support of an anti Confederate stance including one against the Battle Flag positioned over the Interstate; that would include some PHD Doctorate from Dallas who was not in attendance in the station. I unfortunately donít have his name before because Mr. Lambert is in possession of my notes, a young local civil rights attorney (Corey), Ms. Carolyn Lighty, the Host and her co-host. The gentleman from Dallas was billed as one of the foremost authorities on Neo- Confederates and proclaimed that he possessed proof that the Sons of Confederate Veterans were in truth a racist and hate group organization. He would offer in proof for this revelation the name of some Southern writers and the names of their books supported by the Southern Partisan, he claimed to be the Sons very own magazine. I know all the men he called out and know his revelation to be an egregious like and have broke bread with them many times to include the new Commander In Chief of the Sons who led my brother and I to the gravesite of Levi Carnine, a very prominent and famous Black Confederate from the great state of Louisiana. For all intensive purposes, my Yankee friend now living in Dallas could have stayed in bed; not even the listeners paid him any attention after his feeble attempts to prove the Sons a hate organization proved to have no merit. Mr. Lambert nailed it on the head when he told the listening audience that the Flag had sparked the right cord because now the public debate and forums had began for those Southerners who have been denied their day in the public body politic. I wish the time could be had to revel in what was surely a victorious day for Mr. Lambert and I at the station where we would be asked to join in again at some future date to continue the dialogue that should have began on the day that Lincolnís men established the public school system with his Northern school teachers in 1865.
Ms. Lunelle and I would accompany Mr. Lambert to his church where I would be introduced by the associate Pastor and Sunday school teacher. They had all been listening intently to the radio broadcast and would shower Mr. Lambert and I with praise. The Pastor would repeat the same action by having Mr. Lambert again introduce me to another ovation from all gathered. At the end of the service, Ms. Lunelle would not only take me to the Country Club for lunch and a round of golf with Steve, but also give me a lesson. It was as good as the speech she wrote for me.
Visit To Tampa, Florida - September 27, 2008