Friday, March 30, 2007

lawyers guns and money

Brook called and asked if I wanted to go to the gun show in Cullman. I've had two weeks of allergy problems. I've never had allergy before. I feel as if my head is in a clamp and coughing and sneezing up the nastiest stuff. I'm going tomorrow but kind of dread the time in transit. I do look forward to being with Brook (my brother), Dan (my brother in-law) and Chris (my brother's son in-law). I am going to spend my day among family and guns. I am not a big gun enthusiast but there's a whole lot of history at those shows. There's usually a lot of stories and laughter going and coming. Looking forward to tomorrow and taking some meds and Kleenex.

ai = artificial intelligence?

I am soooo not a fan of AI. Every now and then I'll get a call from someone asking me if I'm tuned into American Idol or what I think of so and so. Frankly my dear, I don't give a rip. Maybe it's because the artist that I love to listen to, the real talent, would never make it on a show like that.

Case in point?

Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Warren Zevon, Johnny Cash. The list is endless and I'm sure you could make up your own list of AI losers. Real talent just wouldn't cut the mustard on a show like that.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Support the troops

As distant battle horns sound off, thousands of Persians arrows
through the golden sky towards the Spartans.

I finally got a chance to slip away and watch Frank Miller's 300 last night. I couldn't help but think of the war we are fighting today in Iraq. You know the one I am speaking of..."Bush's War"... "the war for oil". In the movie King Leonaidas takes 300 warriors to deal with a homeland security issue concerning hordes of Persians approaching. Leonaidas had his share of political opposition too but marched out of town to deal with a very real threat just the same.

The movie is drenched to the hilt in gore, so I wouldn't recommend taking you kids to see it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

i took the flag down

i took the flag down
and burned it
sat in the front yard
and watched until all was gone
the colors lost to black ash and smoke
the freedom i once stood for so steadfast
brought me here
don't want to die for another cause
mine i lost a long time ago
i merely kept on marching
that i would eventually be justified
but today i fell
the last casualty of my personal crusade
no more fighting against
what truly is
let truth be acknowledged
bow down
surrender to the one and only
let what is left of me burn away
there is nothing left but you

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

more about Emory

I've had a lot of comment about Emory since I made the last post। My mother told me the story how Emory got the speeding ticket after coming home from Camp Bethlehem। I didn't recall ever hearing the story until this week

Bonifay is about a six hour drive from Gadsden, Alabama। So Emory drops my sister off at our house on Scenic Highway and then immediately goes to twelve of his friends houses and knocks on their doors to tell them the good news। I don't know about the other four people but the eight guys in Emory's band accepted Jesus that day। Emory was so excited that he sped back up Noccalula Mountain to tell the Finlayson household what had just transpired। Emory was pulled over on the way to our house and given a ticket for speeding।

Don't you know that all the angels in heaven rejoiced along with Emory...that is except for one Gadsden City Police officer.

Monday, March 19, 2007

remembering an annointed friend

The following text is something I wrote about a friend who left this planet 32 years ago. I had been asked by an old camp acquaintance Marsha Scarborough to gather some information about Emory for a scholarship they are beginning this summer to honor him at Bethlehem Camp down in Bonifay, FL. Last week Marsha emailed and asked if I would send her Emory's birth and death dates for a plaque she is having made. I couldn't recall so I asked my mother last Friday if she remembered the dates. She in turn asked my sister Florrie who has an incredible memory. Today my mother handed me the dates written on a piece of paper. Right after she handed it to me, it dawned on her that Emory's death was exactly thirty two years ago today. Sure enough, on the paper it read March 19, 1975. God winks.

...I was just a kid, the youngest member of the fellowship at the time. I have asked Irene Elrod, Brooky Finlayson, Don and Jennie Rakestraw to correct me if I am wrong with any of the facts. No one to date has really made any major corrections to this telling. The following is my eulogy for Emory. It took me well over twenty years to finally come to a place where I could write it.
Emory Lloyd Boggs
Born: August, 16th, 1952
Died: March 19, 1975

Emory Boggs' death was a blow to us all. I still to this day have a difficult time sorting through the debris of memories. I remember walking down the halls of Emma Samson in a daze after mother phoned with the news that Emory was dead. I remember passing classroom doors, hearing the dull drone of teacher's voices, rustling paper and the sounds only a school desk could make on a dirty tile floor. Each room was like a capsule filled with life, unaware of my surreal reality caused by a terrible grief. I paced down those long halls, and leaned into drab green walls that kept me from crumbling to the floor. Emory was dead. Emory was dead.

It's a shame that he suffered such a violent end. A life so good, so sweet does not need be remembered with such bitterness. Emory got the Zippy Mart job so he could work his way toward seminary, become a preacher and marry my sister Irene. The seventeen year old black kid didn't know that. Who knows why he threw gas on Emory and lit a match. This was long before Rodney King, the L.A. Riot, and so called Black Rage. It was during a time when an incident of this nature still shocked people. The boy said he was just trying to scare the clerk. He said that he didn't think the fumes would ignite. He said he didn't mean to. It still grieves me to think what Emory must have gone through during those hours left alone and in pain on the cement floor of that back room. Sometime during the early morning hours he crawled to the middle of the store where his cries could be heard and he could be seen. Later in the morning, as the sun rose, a young woman discovered Emory’s charred body and called for help.

Mom woke me up with the news that Emory was badly burned and had been sent to the Birmingham Burn Center. It sounded bad but I was an optimistic kid. I wasn't expecting to be called out of class. I wasn't expecting the telephone call waiting for me in the school office later that day. My brother Brooky rode down with Emory in the ambulance. He could tell the story better and with greater accuracy.

Emory lay talking and praying. Brook said that Emory was very calm and talked to Jesus as if he were sitting beside him . . . I believe He was. He said. "Lord, please don't hold that boy accountable for doing this. Please don't hold this against him." It was a sad yet beautiful thing. That black, charred, unrecognizable twenty two year old man who could love as Christ in his final day. It was Jesus saying "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." You had to know Emory. For Emory, that was not a hard story to believe. His prayer kept me from hating the kid with the match. It kept me from years of hard feelings. If Emory could love and forgive his murderer, I could too. Here, the very essence and compassion of Christ bled through as Emory's final witness.

I remember my dad not liking Emory around the house at first. He didn't like the idea of that long hair rock and roll hippie hanging around his precious virgin daughter. Personally I thought Emory looked more like a bubble gum Bobby Sherman type but to my dad's generation they were all pretty wild looking. Things changed dramatically one week when Emory tagged along on a family trip to camp meeting. He went along to spend time with my sister Irene. He thought he would spend days romantically romping along the shores of Florida with her. I think everyone mis-perceives their first experience of camp meeting. Emory had never been to a holiness camp before, the sinners spiritual death-camp. Two hours into the first day and you're dreading the next nine.

Call it love or call it stranded, but Emory stayed and was eventually and dramatically saved. Emory testified later that God literally pushed him out from among the pews and into the aisle during the alter call. I can attest to his testimony because I was sitting in the pew behind him. The neat thing about his salvation experience is that he gave everything to the Lord. He really did. Most of us (myself included) hold onto crap that we think we can't live without. Emory did what few people do. He took God's Word literally. He was truly born again. He got rid of the old wine skins. He took up his cross and followed. It made perfect sense to him, that if he was to be saved, he had to empty his cup completely in order for it to be filled by the Holy Spirit completely. God didn't straighten Emory out, He bent him forward.

When Emory's life changed, so did the world around him. Emory had a desire to know everything he could about his Savior. He wanted everyone around him to experience the forgiveness and compassion from God that he had experienced. It wasn't long before Emory was called to preach. His sermons were as sincere and simple as his daily walk. I am sure that he would be the same fellow if he were alive today. Emory would've kept his faith real and warm. I never knew anybody that could love folks into the kingdom like Emory could. He loved people everywhere he went. People seemed to gravitate toward him.

My father quickly grew close to Emory. He was eventually loved as a son, and in death he was mourned as a son. The whole family loved him for that matter. He became my other brother and it took years to deal with his loss. So many lives touched in that short time. His coffin was surrounded by so many strange faces. It amazed me that this young man could touch so many lives within such a short span of time. If it were not for immediate family, I would have thought I was at the wrong service. The multitude present bore witness to the fact that it was not just I who thought this life precious.

The last fragment I'll write is this. Emory was part of a fellowship. We had a coffeehouse that he helped start and named F.R.E.E House. It was a coffeehouse that strangers came and got loved on in Jesus’ name. I remembered some of his friends sitting around consoling each other. There were less than a dozen that day. We were talking about him and I remember a friend saying something to the effect that "God knew Emory would die young and that's why God gave his life such an unusual faith." I disagreed. I told her that I thought Emory had such a simple theology of letting go completely . . . so God could do His work completely. Do we not all have that very potential when we are surrendered as instruments?" To say that it was impossible for me to live and die the same way was something that I would not accept. I won't let anyone take that hope from me.

His death was over twenty five years ago and he still steps into conversations from time to time. A few weeks ago I was treating my nieces to pizza when they asked me about him. I was around their age when he was killed and thought it neat that he was being remembered by those who had never met him. I was surprised that they knew almost as much as I did. There wasn't much that I could tell them that they didn't already know. They, I think, remember Emory mostly because of the tragic story of his death. I think those who knew him could agree to the following thought. Here is a great example of what God can do to a surrendered heart. If we can let go, our lives would be as fragrant too.

-David B. Finlayson

The Wacky World of Yesteryear

I've had this picture for quite some time now. I ran across it when dad asked me to get rid of a ton of old records from his office. I found some cool stuff that he let me keep. This image is of one of a 'Battle of The Bands' next to Biff-Burger in the parking lot of Agricola Shopping Center at the foot of Noccalula Mountain. The Gadsden Cinema was later built behind (and to the left) of Biff Burger. This picture has always made me chuckle at the turnout. Biff-Burger must have made a killing on fifteen cent cheeseburgers that night!

I didn't eat there much growing up. The last time I went was with Dan Noojin. His dad wanted a milk shake from there and we all drove down together. That was sometime in the mid-eighties, during Biff Burger's waning years. If memory serves, the place was leveled by the end of eighties. Gadsden used to have a bunch of burger joints back in the 1960's. The big hang out when my older brother and sister were in high school was Burger Chef on Meighan Blvd. I remember eating there a good bit. I also remember Pick-A-Burger. Wayne's Burgers, a local joint, was in Alabama City and offered good old school tasting burgers and great service. Wayne's is now gone. Majik Burger in Attalla closed for good only a few years ago. Gina doesn't like going to these places for some reason. I like to go to them because they usually serve better tasting food than the big franchises.  The last stand for the experience is Big Chef in Glencoe.  They make good burgers and great shakes.  I've been told they make a mean grape shake.

I've got an idea...How about packing your family in the car one night during Spring Break and hit a mom and pop burger joint?  They're some still around.  I think I'm going to take my girls to Big Chef for a banana split. Sounds like fun huh?

Well what do you know, Biff-Burger was a franchise!Website: -dbf

Saturday, March 17, 2007


So who really wants to know what's going on in the world and about the war? It's a shame no one is broadcasting what is so terribly true. The only means for us to learn what is real is to dig for the truth and not expect it to be spoon fed to us on the tube. Please take the time to read and absorb this article by Solly Ganor entitled The Coming War With Islam (March 15, 2007). Just click the URL below and it will magically take you to a very intense place.

napkin therapy

Last night after work Gina and I took the kids to Pizza Hut. Kelsey (4) was all over the place and Katie (10) wasn't being agreeable about anything. Gina was sitting across from me with a forced smile on her face determined to 'have a good time tonight!'  Pizza Hut was a mad house. The place was packed with tables filled with families with loud happy or disgruntled children. My table was no exception. The noise was unbearable. I had my pen in hand and drew on the napkin in front of me. During that moment, drawing kept me from excusing myself from the table, walking out the door and curling up in a fetal position in the highway.

I have always doodled. I don't have to be freaking out to draw. I can draw when the day is calm or at gun point. I don't know why this is so but I always have. I don't think that I am a great artist but I've gotten pretty good since I was five. I've left a long trail of place mats of napkins on tables down through the years. I have been told that my drawings hang in restaurant kitchens and offices throughout the South.
Things changed a little when I married Gina sixteen years ago. She loved my napkin art and wouldn't allow the little absorbent masterpieces to be left behind. About ten years ago she had the idea to start equipping me with sketchbooks to carry around. She says that the sketchbooks are not mine but hers. All the silly doodles she'll keep for posterity. Gina says that when I die, all my sketches will eventually be worth something. I smile and say wryly, "Good luck with that."

She doesn't understand it when every now and then, I leave my sketch book in the car and use the small canvasses provided by the restaurant. I still use napkins often. There's something about drawing on the napkin texture. The way the ink is absorbed in it's fragile surface. There's no absolute control of the line drawn. It is what it is.

So the napkin saved me last night. A little escape, therapy amid the storm of life. The waitress came with our drinks and set a Pepsi on my napkin in front of me. I didn't look up. I moved the chilled beverage off the five minute masterpiece.

The waitress asked, "Are you an artist?"

I said "No. I just got lucky."

Friday, March 16, 2007

"An army of asses led by a lion is vastly superior to an army of lions led by an ass." -
-George Washington

A safe family outing

Here's a better picture of Robert with his lovely wife (my niece) Carrie. My sister Irene is in this photograph too (next to Carrie). I want you to do something that might seem a little strange right now. I want you to lay your hand on this family and pray for protection and comfort.
Carrie packed up and moved back to Gadsden, AL after Robert's departure for Iraq.
She wrote an update letter the other day. She said that they've been able to talk to each other each day. Robert has three other friends that are Christians. They make time Sunday's for Bible study.
Keep these folks in your continued prayers.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

How many 9/11s will it take?

This is my niece's husband Robert. On my MySpace page, I posted him as my hero. I meant it. He just flew to Iraq a couple of weeks ago. This image was taken the day he boarded his plane. I couldn't help adding the Mar Attacks image because Robert in this photo reminded me of Jack Black's character in the Tim Burton movie. He's far from that character mind you.

I was telling my friend J Holland a while back how I thought the movie Mar's Attacks was a pre-parody of the War in Iraq. Here we have an enemy who's determined purpose is to wipe America off the face of the earth (Israel too). We are after all are the infidels and should be purged from existence. Our government reacts to everything in a politically correct fashion, which quite frankly ties the hands of our soldiers in Iraq. There is no compromise with the enemy and unfortunately, putting Slim Whitman yodeling over the P.A. systems of the earth won't make the evil people go away. We have to do what ever it takes to fight this war and win.

"Certainly since Vietnam, America has increasingly practiced a policy of minimalism and restraint in war. And now this unacknowledged policy, which always makes a space for the enemy, has us in another long and rather passionless war against a weak enemy."
-Shelby Steele (Opinion Journal)

Victory for the democrat is to simply pull out for peace sake. Excuse me, they prefer we call it re-deploy but it's nothing but cutting and running। I guess they think that if we stop they will stop! Democrats have served our enemy well by their constant attempts to demoralize the troops by naming this another Vietnam. Do recall that it was politicians that made Vietnam what it was. Listen to me. The enemy will not stop their mission to destroy us. On the contrary they will come after us if we abandon the fight. They will come after us. We as a nation must get to a place where we are not going to simply pull out. We have to turn entrenched and ready ourselves to put a bullet in the head of our enemy.

This may sound offensive to many but that's my point. We have to get to a place where we are willing to do what it takes to fight a very real war. One can not negotiate with evil. We've got family over there, and the enemy is real, and we must deal with it. It's sad to think what it will take for Americans to come back from the mall and get serious.
I had a brief conversation with Robert back in January while sitting at a Logan's in Macon, GA। He had already been given the orders to go to Iraq and like most of his comrades, he was willing and ready to go। He had been briefed about the political limitations before going over there। Still, he was ready to go and serve his country and fight for peace. It's a sad thing to think that American leadership ties the hands of our troops at such a critical time. I am glad though that there are men and women like Robert who are willing to do what must be done. They are hero's.

"Why can't we all just get along!" Sorry Jack, the enemy wants us dead and that's a reality that you're just not going to hear over the major news media. The only peace our enemy desires is the peace after the smoke clears and America and Israel are no more. Peace for Islam and no one else.
Sorry Robert, I'll get a better picture of you to post next time around। God bless you Robert। Your new and extended family loves you and are praying for you!

here we go again

For some reason I have had the worst time logging on to my tripod/lycos blog. I've posted some entries at my My Space but I am really getting tired of seeing the skanky Ads. This blog spot is pretty cool because there's no Ads (for now). I'll still post at MySpace and check in on friends but this is going to be my home for now.