Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
"Mayor of Five Points"
contributed by: John Wrisley
from the Columbia Star
Columbia, South Carolina
June 27, 2008
He was the courtly white- haired gentleman who ambled through Five Points several times a week dressed always in jacket and necktie. His gait slowed when he reached his 90s, and he carried an umbrella which he used as a cane. J. Murdoch Finlayson was laid to rest at the old St. David Cemetery in his native Cheraw just before noon on June 19, 2008. He would have been 97 in November.
Murdoch was informally known as the "Mayor of Five Points," and he had a sharp eye for the loose change people tend to scatter in their wake. He was by no means in need of this "found money," but his early career in the days of the Great Depression taught him the knack of frugality. He graduated from USC's School of Commerce in 1935 and paid his way through school with several jobs, among them- an amending clerk in the S.C. Senate.
Prior to World War II Finlayson worked for the new Tennessee Valley Authority. Then he got into the thick of things in the Navy in the war, from the North African shores in 1943 to the D- Day landings at Normandy in June, 1944.
He returned to his life as a man of business after the war and eventually retired to his house on Duncan street upon retirement. His saunters were longer than most people knew, for he usually walked from his home and back again. He never owned a driver's license and relied on buses or family when he wished to go further a- field.
On his 93rd birthday a friend gave him a 1911 dime. (The year of his birth.) "Murdoch," said the friend, "I found this today on the street at Five Points. I was walking in your territory, so I really think it belongs to you!" Finlayson did not question the report but happily accepted the coin to add to his collection of "found money."
His many area friends will appreciate the thoughtfulness of his family who buried him with coins in his pocket and his trusty cane/ umbrella at his side. Rest in peace Mr. Finlayson! You'll be missed.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
David: I just finished writing a lengthy reply to this email from you, when I accidentally hit some wrong keys or failed to heed some pop-up. In to lost forever went my message - something that happens to me quite frequently. I won't and can't attempt to remember and re-write all I said in it. I want to get to Murdoch's funeral graveside service tomorrow on time. I did, however, enjoy your blog with that beautiful rendition of Softly and Tenderly Jesus is calling ... by a beautiful voice giving it just the right treatment. My eyes welled-up with tears, as they, no doubt, will tomorrow morning . Funerals of family members and other loved ones are just so hard for me to take. Murdoch and I were so inseparable over our time in life together. Even World War 2 and the Navy didn't keep us apart. And one never gets too old to mourn and cry. I have loved both my parents, Evelyn Bland, and all 6 of my siblings for e verything that I knew and saw in each of them - too much to make comparisons. I feel greatly blessed by God for each of them, and especially the brothers who have helped in adding new generations or giving us a family-at-large. I love and appreciate the in-laws who have been so loyal and faithful to their marriage vows in each generation. When we think of all this, we are a wonderfully God-blessed family-at-large. Do you agree?
I love you all - and let's pray for our safety, going and returning to our respective homes after we have paid our loving respects to good ol' Murdoch and have a happy reunion together in our old SC home town, knowing Mother, Papa, Evelyn, Wofford, Westbrook, Florence, Rutha, and Murdoch will all be with us in spirit, as well.
Murdoch, Jennie Llew, and Pat
July of 2007
Thursday, June 19, 2008
WEST COLUMBIA — A graveside service for James Murdoch Finlayson, 96, of Still Hopes Retirement Community, will be held Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in Old St. David’s Cemetery, Cheraw, S.C., conducted by Rev. Edward Laney Davidson. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.
Mr. Finlayson died Tuesday, June 17, 2008, in Providence Hospital. Born in Cheraw, November 4, 1911, he was a son of the late Burruss and Jennie Wait Foster Finlayson. After graduation from Cheraw High School, he entered the University of South Carolina, graduating in 1935 from the School of Commerce. During the depth of the Depression, he held several jobs throughout the Columbia area. Among these was one as an amending clerk in the Senate. All of these aided in his school expenses. Between his USC graduation and the start of WW II, Finlayson worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority. He served as a warrant officer with the U.S. Navy during the war and was a member of its amphibious forces and their headquarters operations along the North African shores in 1943. Later, these headquarters and operations moved to England’s shores for the D-Day landings at Normandy, June 6, 1944. Mr. Finlayson was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church, Cheraw.
Mr. Finlayson is survived by a sister, Jennie Llew (Mrs. Clarence Lee Guyton); a brother, Patillo Ainsworth Finlayson; niece, Beverly Finlayson Triber of Columbia; great-nephews, Philip Triber of Columbia and Charles Wofford Triber of Ashville, N.C.; sister-in-law, Mrs. H. Westbrook Finlayson, Sr.; and many nieces and nephews in Gadsden, Ala. He was predeceased by two sisters, Rutha Wait (Mrs. Ernest Dyal) and Florence Foster Finlayson; two brothers, B. Wofford Finlayson and Henry Westbrook Finlayson.
South Carolina's Newspaper
June 18, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I've listened to The Who most of my life. Brook was the one that brought all their LP's into the house and played them on a cheap stereo we had hidden behind the livingroom sofe. I listened to The Who because that's what Brook listened to all the time. I became a fan because I had been saturated time after time, lost in that vast sound that four piece band made...and the songs!
Each member of this band brought their own genius into the mix. The Who lost their drummer Keith Moon to drugs. I have listened to THE WHO for well over thirty years but the more I watch them play - I am blown away by their stage presence and the way in which each handled their instrument. Keith is down right fun to watch play. The guy was phenominal and so into each moment. If you've got time, call up some Who performances and watch them as they play. It a pleasure just watching them play. I found this YouTube clip of Pete, John @ Roger talking about their old friend Keith. If you happen to be a fan of The Who - you might enjoy the next couple of minutes.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Last week we got a call that uncle Murdoch had been taken to the hospital. Then a call that he had be diagnosed with cancer. This morning we got the call that Murdoch went home.
We love you Murdoch - we will miss you.
I've written about Murdock recently. You can revisit these post at http://burruss.blogspot.com/2008/01/james-murdoch-finlaysons-story.html and at http://burruss.blogspot.com/2008/05/murdoch-and-car.html.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Gina had asked her mother to mind the office today, primarily mind the phones. About thirty minutes ago, while Gina was climbing down from helping me put up the net, she decided to call her mother to see how she was doing. She also decided to put on her shoes while talking to her mother, while balancing on the edge of the trampoline. Bad idea.
I was on the other side, outside of the trampoline balancing on a ladder and my attention was on wrapping some bungee cords around some cheap looking straps supplied by the manufacturer. Any how, I heard a bad noise, Gina had fallen while multitasking on the edge of the trampoline. For a minute there I thought I was going to have to have an ambulance come for her. She lay there all dirty and still - making terrible dying noises. She asked me to see if there was any blood and all I saw was dirt and tears. If I touched her or prodded a little - she would whale in pain. I should have used a stick instead.
Katie and Kelsey stood around looking down helplessly. I stood there helplessly as well. I asked her if she wanted an ambulance and she said no. She just made awful noises for about fifteen to twenty minutes. After about five minutes the girls asked if they could jump on the trampoline. I guess if their mother had died there, they would have found some solace in the trampoline. After about five more minutes Gina quit making the awful dying noises and then sat up. The girls asked mommy if she would like to jump on the trampoline. Mommy declined. I came in to cool off and get away from the trampoline from hell. I am still a little unnerved by the incident.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
J is a very talented fellow. I don't know of anyone who is so knowledgeable when it comes to local - state - and national politics. He's pretty keen when it comes to history. He's a wonderful conversationalist and all around smart guy. We've worked on many campaigns over the past dozen years and he's a pleasure to work along side. Our individual talents have always fit nicely together. I especially enjoy those times when we've had to start the late night pot of coffee and pull ad campaigns together out of thin air. We get serious, we get silly, we get creative, and we get'er done!
After the J's morning show, I went to the office where Gina and I focused on paperwork. It was a very productive day. No running in circles, just did everything in front of us. I came home early with the Katie & Kelsey. My poor feet are killing me.
I am getting up my nerve to go outside in a little bit as the weather cools (a little) and wash the windows out front. I don't care for being on ladders. Ladders make me think of my old friend Jim Thompson. He could climb atop the tallest of ladder sand stand on the very top rung. I once saw him climb up to change the lights in the skylight. I got woozy just watching him stand up there like that...just doing his business without having to have anything to hold on to. I bet he could have balanced upon a flag pole if he had the mind to. I love you Jim.
I'll be heading to the office tomorrow morning to mow the grass. Jose', I believe will be going there to build a ramp for our entrance. It's always nice seeing Jose'.
Have I ever mentioned how I once hated doing yard work? Yep, until recently I did. Yard work really isn't as bad if you've got the right tools. I know it all goes back to when I had to mow the humongous yard on Scenic Highway. Two acres worth of real-estate, most of which consisted of various degrees of slopes. All I had was a little push mower and it would take me five hours to mow that sucker. Dad wouldn't even spring for a chain drive mower. Just a Briggs & Straton on four small wheels. I'd mow half, take a thirty minute break and then finish it off.
I remember before weed-eaters, I'd go out and pull weeds from around the shrubs and twenty something pines that graced our yard. Every other Saturday meant an all day manicure for our yard. If memory serves, I think I got paid about $10.00 to mow our home yard and $6.00 to mow the office yard. I guess that was pretty good money for the mid to late seventies. I am sure that yard work is what kept me from being chubby in those days...a blessing in disguise.
So I don't really mind it today. I can nail our yard and the office yard in a reasonable amount of time and finish it off with a gas powered weed-eater and blower. Yard work isn't as grueling here in the new millennium.
Here's a blast from the past. This is a quick sketch of what my Dad had in the tool closet for weed-eating. It didn't take any instructions to figure how to work it. You'd just roll it along your weeded-way and squeeze the handles. It looked handy but it never worked. The only thing it did well was take up space in the tool closet for three decades. I settled for some hand held garden clippers any day. I once thought that this little device might make for an interesting pair of toenail clippers but never had any real luck with it. I never could get Cindy to sit still long enough for me to prove it's worth.
P.S. Cats did not like this contraption either.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
showered and hopped in the van with the a/c
drove the back way toward pell city
then 20 to birmingham
i didn't know where the church was
had left the directions accidentally behind me
knew i'd have to call russell once spider senses started tingling
closer to the church
closer to coventry anglican in alabaster
russell gave me good directions
i just didn't follow them to well
knowing me i had allowed for thirty minutes for getting lost
for such a small church
a little store front church
they had high church
something i have been distant from for very long
every thing was ritual and that's not a bad thing
God was present
and i was moved many times
i took a brand new song with me
didn't really want to play it but knew He wanted it sung
i knew when the time came
that i had heard right
and that the song was for a certain moment
friar russell seems to be doing well in his new place
God bless him
i told him he seemed to be ministering these day
more than struggling
he's a good and decent man
with a heart to love people
and serve his God
twixt the two
We all shared the Lord's Supper and then broke bread together after the service was over. It was nice seeing Russell & April again. I drove home in the rain. It was a nice morning but I was worn out and past ready to be home when I pulled into my driveway. I came in and announced my arrival and then fell asleep on the couch. I don't have the energy I once did and don't know if I am up to pulling many out of town Sunday's like today. I love to lead worship but I always feel worn out - poured out afterwards...especially when I have leave town to do so. It's 9:30 p.m. and I am still beat.