Thursday, August 31, 2017

When I posted this July 25, 1922 ad from THE DOTHAN EAGLE for the Hotel Lynn Haven on Wednesday, I had no idea how crucial it would become to our understanding of all the diverse elements that went into the making of the story of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD. At a critical point in the book (Chapter 16), a few years before her death, Jeanie Bannon, Buck's Mama, decides to "tighten the reins" on her "wayward"  son. Buck has no idea what's in store for him when his Mama comes by his mayor's office in the Aven City Hall.  She tells Buck she's getting old and wants to begin breaking up the Bannon estate so Buck's younger brothers and sisters can benefit from the wealth that Buck has created by himself and with the help of the estate left to his mother by his late father. Buck balks at the idea, becomes angry and says,"I helped make 'ever dime Papa had when he died an' since then I've put 'em to work. I've made more cold-out dollars for that estate than Papa ever saw or heard of, an' I never asked for nor took a dime more'n my share. There ain't another'n in the family that could a' done it. You know that, mighty well."  Angered at her son's refusal, Jeanie demands that Buck "give me an accountin' of ever' dollar in the estate" and then threatens to sell her controlling stock in Buck's bank to Buck's former father-in -law Amos Longshore. Such a conclusion is unthinkable to Buck and he immediately begins to "creatively" look for a way out of the predicament his own Mother has promised to place upon him. About a week later, Buck visits his mother at her house on St. Simon Street (North St. Andrews) . He finds Mama sitting in her rocker using a buggy whip to prevent her ten year old grandson, Gene, from stealing bananas from the stalk Jeanie Bannon has hung in a locked closet. After resolving this conflict, Buck tells his Mama that he's already broken up the Bannon estate, made up his sisters' deeds to their property downtown and hired a surveyor to lay out the lots for their new homes. Buck then advises Jeanie to sell her bank stock soon because he'd just completed making up "the fanciest set 'o books in the state" and sold the bank HIMSELF to the dreaded Amos Longshore. Mama is flabbergasted. She claims that the McPherson blood Buck inherited from her side of the family was responsible for his Machiavellian maneuver which checkmated her. Jeanie responds by telling Buck that she wanted him to learn how good sharing the estate with his siblings would make him feel. Buck comes back with, "ME, learn it? Why in the devil don't you unlock your bananas?" So what does the Hotel Lynn Haven have to do with the fictional Bannon family's stalk of bananas locked in a closet. Well, according to my friend, Bay County historian Kenneth Redd, the man who bankrolled the Hotel Lynn Haven, MINOR COOPER KEITH, was also the man who turned the banana from an expensive exotic fruit only available to the wealthy elite into a turn-of-the-century household commodity available to all. The aging Jeanie Bannon still associated the banana with its early reputation of being a expensive luxury.  At the time of his death in 1929, not only was Minor Cooper Keith the founder of United Fruit but he was also president of THE BAY LINE and the ST. ANDREWS BAY LUMBER COMPANY. To this day, Minor Cooper Keith is known as THE BANANA KING.
I'm beginning to believe I'm being haunted by the spirit of Admiral Franklin Buchanan. The first time I went to Annapolis, I found out he started the U.S. Naval Academy and was its first commandant. The first time I went to the Washington Navy Yard, our oldest active military installation, I saw an anchor from the U.S.S. Hartford outside the museum just like the one at Ft. Gaines on D.I. and after going inside I found that the entire front portion of the museum was devoted to Admiral Buchanan's defense of Mobile Bay; then I found out that in 1861, at the time Admiral Buchanan resigned his commission from the U.S. Navy to join the Confederate Navy, he had been commandant of the Washington Naval Yard. Last year, when I visited Talbot County, Maryland, for my first day-trip there ever, I discovered the location of Admiral Buchanan's grave on the grounds of his wife's family's plantation. They only owned acres and slaves. Then yesterday, we visited Druid Hills Park and the Maryland Zoo for the first time and I discovered that this park, which is almost as old as Central Park in NYC, was originally part of Admiral Buchanan's grandfather's estate and the family cemetery is still on the grounds of the park. The Mansion House in the park was built on the location of the Buchanan family home. I don't care how serious a student you may be of the BATTLE OF MOBILE BAY, you probably don't know that if the C.S.S. Tennessee's rudder chain and smokestack had been better protected, that Confederate ship constructed in Selma, commanded by CONFEDERATE ADMIRAL FRANKLIN BUCHANAN, could have sunk every U.S. Navy ship at the Battle of Mobile Bay. It is for good reason that the Confederate version of Farragut's words at the beginning of the Battle of Mobile Bay were, "TORPEDOS?!!!!! DAMN!"

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Much of the action in the second half of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD occurs in Buck Bannon's hotel, THE HARRISON HOUSE, which he was inspired to build after seeing the FLATIRON BUILDING on a trip NYC with his Mama. Just before the opening of the hotel, Buck is confronted about naming the hotel by his new manager. Buck immediately decides to name the hotel after the manager and christens it THE HARRISON HOUSE. A large political banquet is soon held in the new hotel for Governor Thrasher and his wife. It is my belief that the inspiration for Governor Thrasher was Southeast Alabama politician Henry DeLamar Clayton, Jr. from the Saturday, January 4, 1908 DOTHAN EAGLE.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hey you DOTHAN TIGERS, old ROBERTOREG hit PAY DIRT tonight in his quest to unravel the mysteries of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD! As many of you who have followed this quest know, I identified the woman, Eula Stagg Baker Smith, who was the basis for the character of Lota Kyle, the adventurous teenage wife of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD'S protagonist, Buck Bannon. Well, tonight, I found out where Dougie Bailey got the name Lota . IT WAS HIS FIRST COUSIN'S FIRST NAME. LOTA CHEEK was Buck Baker's niece and I believe she was born in Dothan and in 1922 she was named "BOSTON'S MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL" !. Lota lived in Dothan until her mother, Nannie E. Baker Cheek (Buck Baker's sister) died in 1917.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

It is proposed to have an eight flag display inside the Little Red School House Complex, Dauphin Island Museum. These flags will represent the countries recognized as having claimed dominion over Dauphin Island since its first European settlement in 1699.
Appropriate signage located at each flag would describe the period. 
These eight flags plus the current State of Alabama flag and the Town of Dauphin Island flag are proposed.  
The sequence displayed would be:

(1)France    1699 – 1763
(2)Great Britain   1763 – 1780
(3)Spain 1783 – September 1813
(4) Republic of France 1800
(5) Republic of West Florida   1810 
(6) United States of America 1813-1861
(7) Republic of Alabama 1861
(8) Confederate States of America 1861-1865

Dauphin Island incorporated into a Town form of government 1988
Flag order
1.      Silver Indoor Flagpole Set (Army Spear, 8 Ft Oak Pole) by Online Stores, Inc. thru Amazon (free Prime shipping)            
( --  $115 each    X 7                           $805.00                                                                                                                                                                                           
2.      Indoor American Cotton Flag, Flagpole, Base & Tassel (Metal Eagle, 8 Ft Oak Pole) by US Flag Store-- thru Amazon (free Prime shipping)   Only order one        $136.97

3.      Indoor Oak flag pole (for Town of DI flag)                                                       $24.68
   thru Amazon                                                               Shipping for this one item+ $7.89
4.      Floor stand for flag pole (for Town of DI flag)                                                  $28.99
  thru Amazon (free Prime shipping)            

5.      Package order thru – all 3’ X 5’:
a.      French - Fluer De Lis White Cotton Flag                                                            $69.95
b.      Spain Nylon Embroidered Flag                                                                        $49.95
c.      British Red Ensign                                                                                            $55.90
d.      Territory of West Florida (Bonnie Blue)                                                          $49.95
e.       Territory of Alabama                                                                                Bonus-Free
f.       1st Confederate Stars and Bars                                                                          $49.95
g.      (current) State of Alabama Flag                                                                Bonus-Free
                                                            TOTAL                                              $1279.23

NOTE: Amazon total for the order will be $1,003.53
    will be              $272.70

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"THE LEGACY OF SLAVERY" ~ absolutely the lamest excuse for human ignorance, incompetence and immorality ever INVENTED (one more example of AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM!)

Friday, August 11, 2017

from page 129 of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD: "And after they came, the drummers couldn't rent buggies or horses and sat most of the day on the front porch of the old Fritter home which the family had converted into a boardinghouse after the girls had married and gone." CHECK OUT THE PROGRESS of the careful "dissection" of Dothan's own masterpiece ~ DEVIL MAKE A THIRD!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Hey, I'm tellin' ya, dis NORTH KOREA stuff ain't SQUAT! This crap been going on my whole life. I was born on April 29, 1950.
The Korean War started on JUNE 25.
The first name Daddy gave me was WEATHER STRIP REGISTER.
Yeah, he married Mama & got her pregnant TO STAY OUT OF THE DRAFT!

Friday, August 04, 2017

from the Friday, July 9, 1909 issue of THE DOTHAN EAGLE (W.T. Hall, editor)


The post office of Dothan, Alabama is fifty years old, going on fifty-one. In fact, it will be fifty-one this fall.

Considering that the town is counted only a little over twenty years old, this statement about the post office is hard to believe to those who have had a hankering to look into such things. AS FOR OURSELVES, WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD A HANKERING TO KNOW ALL ABOUT DOTHAN THAT IS POSSIBLE. So much were we interested, till we went to the trouble a little over a year ago to get up the pictures of all the mayors the town ever had since it was incorporated. We even went back to the old Henry County records, and got the paper, the petition the citizens of this town signed, asking the judge of probate to call an election to see whether or not the place could be incorporated. After showing the pictures of all the mayors, it occurred to us that we ought to find out something about the post office. Some of the older citizens told us that it was once Poplar Head. We took the matter up with the post office department at Washington, and put the question to them. When was Dothan post office in Henry County, Alabama created? The department said August 29, 1871, and that was what we stood by. The department further said that THERE HAD NEVER BEEN A POPLAR HEAD POST OFFICE.

When this statement was published, one man, an old citizen, told us that the department must have been wrong. Said he had seen a letter(ed. note: postmarked "DOTHAN"), only a few years ago, written by a soldier from Virginia, back to a woman living in this section, informing her that her husband had been killed in battle during the war. That was too far back for our records, but he said he couldn't be mistaken for he had seen the letter, it being used to substantiate this woman's claims for a pension only a few years ago. This got our dates mixed, and we were never fully satisfied but that a Dothan had existed in or about here, before the year 1871. Then came a report from Dale County, from some old citizen, to the effect that the post office had once been in Dale. It was generally understood, that the post office had been moved all over this section of the country, that the post office of the country, to any man's house they could find who would look after the office, for there wasn't much mails in those days.

So we again took it up with the post office department, and requested that they look over in Exhibit A, and see if a Dothan post office in Dale County, Alabama had ever existed, and if so when it was established, and the postmaster. Very promptly the reply came, through the assistance of Uncle Henry Clayton. There had been a Dothan in Dale and it was established way back in 1858, and lived a sort of dog's life till 1866, when it died, surrounded by but a few friends.

It was laid to rest, and nothing was said about a post office for this section of Alabama, till the South began to rebuild, and the natives of this section saw they needed a post office again. It was at this period the office was reestablished, but this time, put just over the line, in Henry County. So here are the list of all the postmasters, from the first to the last:

Duncan R. Stevender, October 18, 1858

Stephen Lee, June 25, 1860 to '66 (when it was discontinued)

Reestablished, John W. Hays, August 28, 1871

James H. Hooten, October 20, 1874

Thomas J.G. Clark, December 28, 1875

James L. Hays, January 10, 1877

Mary L. Hooten, April 2, 1877

Mary F. Folkes, November 6, 1879

James Z. E. Connelly, February 21, 1882

John T. Keyton, February 5, 1889

Rachel E. Booth, December 2, 1891

William W. Millikin, March 21, 1902

Byron Trammell, July 30, 1904 and he holds it still.

So this shows all the postmasters filling the office for its creation, over a half a century ago, down to the present. NOW WE CAN ALL KEEP UP WITH IT.

It is gratifying to know also, that the man who said he had seen the letter written and received at Dothan post office during the war. HE WAS RIGHT, AND HIS NAME IS W.J. BAXLEY, who has been here a long time and ought to know. Of course, at that time, the office was just over the line in Dale County but it was the office that supplied this territory. When it was reestablished four years later, in 1871, it was put in Henry County, but at that time the man sending in the name spelled it "Dothen", and it ran along this way until the year 1897, when the spelling was changed back right to Dothan, which all knew it ought to be.

The old post office was spelled "Dothan." We can only draw upon our imagination as to the amount of mail matter received at the Dothan of old post office. It only got a mail once a week, with possibly not a dozen letters, for a period of nearly thirty years. A man could put it in a very small hand bag.

There's a difference now. There are about eighteen or twenty mail pouches a day, with something like 750 pounds of mail matter received at the office each 24 hours, to say nothing of the pouches that are transferred here, unopened.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Will J. Cumbie (Bailey may have graduated from Dothan High with a fellow named Cumbie in 1930)

Colt Peterman (My Great-Aunt Lula Shepherd Peterman ran a boarding house located on the corner of North Alice and West Main directly in front of First Baptist)

Amos Longshore (Bailey was friends with Mr. and Mrs. Sam Friedman while he was at the University of Alabama. Mrs. Friedman's maiden name was Longshore)