Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good Ole UU Boys

So several folks that I know are still thinking about this idea of UU Culture and what it looks like.

Let me tell you about one of my pictures of Unitarian Universalism.

My father. My daddy, as we Southerners often say, no matter how old we get.

Born in 1929 in Texas. He grew up in a small town in East Texas, raised Baptist. He left the religion but still gets a twinkle in his eye when he sings along with one of his favorite songs and it gets to the line about "Nothing makes a sound in the night like the wind does, But you ain't afraid if you're washed in the blood like I was." He left the religion behind, but he remembers the feelings.

That song is Don Williams' "Good Ole Boys Like Me" and it sums up a lot about him, and a lot about other UU men I know.

Last year, when I read about Greg McKendry standing up to the shooter who walked into the Knoxville UU church, oh I sobbed. Not just for him and his loved ones, but because my thoughts immediately went to J and A, two big men in our church, two men that I can see doing the same thing. They're Good Ole Boys.

What? You thought Good Ole Boys were only uneducated bigots? Then you don't know Good Ole Boys, my friend. There were Good Ole Boys at Selma, too -- and they were walking with the protestors. One of then was the abovementioned friend J.

So that's one of my images of UU. Good Ole Boys, who help stack the chairs at the end of the service, and come jump your car battery when you're by the side of the road, and bring a big pot of chili to the potluck and have friends over to watch the UT - A&M game at Thanksgiving. And frown and say, "Now, that jest ain't right," when someone cracks a racist joke.

Tell me about your images.


When I was a kid Uncle Remus he put me to bed
With a picture of Stonewall Jackson above my head
Then daddy came in to kiss his little man
With gin on his breath and a Bible in his hand
He talked about honor and things I should know
Then he'd stagger a little as he went out the door

I can still hear the soft Southern winds in the live oak trees
And those Williams boys they still mean a lot to me
Hank and Tennessee
I guess we're all gonna be what we're gonna be
So what do you do with good ole boys like me

Nothing makes a sound in the night like the wind does
But you ain't afraid if you're washed in the blood like I was
The smell of cape jasmine thru the window screen
John R. and the Wolfman kept me company
By the light of the radio by my bed
With Thomas Wolfe whispering in my head

When I was in school I ran with kid down the street
But I watched him burn himself up on bourbon and speed
But I was smarter than most and I could choose
Learned to talk like the man on the six o'clock news
When I was eighteen, Lord, I hit the road
But it really doesn't matter how far I go

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