posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 02:36 AM
reply to post by Southern Guardian
I'll clear up a few perceptions you may have, especially since my previous post looked like "Woo, Go Vols!" as though I were a rednecked, beer
guzzling, inbred, hill jack brier hopper...well one leg is a little longer than the other, the people of TN will get that joke.
My grandfather was the valor victorian of his graduating class, but the best was offered was a partial scholarship to a small college. But it wasn't
enough and he could afford to go. His brother Ova (pronounced O-Vee) did indeed work in the coal mines and helped provide for his mother and brother
by dropping out of high school. They both valued education but times were hard then. Sacrifices had to be done. Kinda like what people will be facing
shortly should the economy continue this spiral.
So both Grandpa and Uncle Ova were brought up right, and despite the times and area they grew up. They both followed the philosophy that a person
should be judged on their merits and only condemned for their flaws, so neither one was racist. In fact, some would say that was quite progressive.
Now grandpa had a large family and lamented that he couldn't send any of his children to college. Ova had a small family and his wife Flora came from
a bit of money. In fact, some of her relations paid for part of the Sunsphere for the 1982 World's Fair.
Aunt Flora was rather high up in the educational system in TN and while I was touring colleges she arranged for me to have an interview with Lamar
Alexander when I visited UT.
Lamar and I talked about different things during that interview and as soon as I said that my major would be theater he wanted an example of my
ability at Storytelling. Now Storytelling is considered quite an art form in that area and it is not so much the story itself, but how you go about
telling it that makes a difference. It doesn't translate to text well, even if you throw all grammar and punctuation out the window.
So I just told one off my head about performing on Fountain Square in Cincinnati without a microphone and being heard about the sound of the
fountains. It wasn't a great story and we both admitted to that but he said it was good enough but he wanted to hear it another one with a Southern
accent. After hitting a few and having him call out where it was from like Georgia and Louisiana, dropped into old Uncle Remus story about Br'er
Rabbit in a rough Elvis impersonation.
He laughed and asked me to consider UT. It was because of that interview I worked harder to learn a new art form. So much in fact, that even today
friends will ask me how long it is going to take when I tell a story. I did end up attending UT for a semester and if I could have gone to Lamar about
some financing and scholarships, I may have been able to graduate. Unfortunately Bush Sr. tapped him to become Sec. of Education. I am glad to see
Lamar continue to serve the people of TN. I may have to drop him a line to see if he supports this legislation.