His high school football coach gave a eulogy that

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Unformatted text preview: ernoon. It was the summer of 1971, and by then at least fifty thousand young Americans had been killed in Vietnam. A similar gathering of people in any other part of the country would have turned into a virulent antiwar rally. The politicians would have been heckled off the stage. Flags and draft cards would've been burned. But Vietnam was never mentioned that Fourth of July. I'd had great fun at Syracuse demonstrating on campus and marching in the streets, but such activity was unheard of in the Deep South. It was a war; therefore real patriots were supportive. We were stopping Communism; the hippies and radicals and peaceniks up North and in California were simply afraid to fight. I bought a dish of strawberry ice cream from the garden ladies, and as I strolled around the courthouse I heard a commotion. From the third-floor window of the Bar Room, a prankster had dropped down an effigy of Baggy. The stuffed figure was hanging with its hands above its head—just like the real Baggy—and across its chest was a sign that said "SUGGS." And to make sure everyone recognized the butt of the joke, an empty bottle of Jack Daniel's protruded from each pants pocket. I had not seen Baggy that day, nor would I. Later, he claimed to know nothing about the incident. Not surprisingly, Wiley managed to take numerous photos of the effigy. "Theo's here!" someone yelled, and this excited the crowd. Theo Morton was our longtime state senator. His district covered parts of four counties, and though he lived in Baldwin his wife was from Clanton. He owned two nursing homes and a cemetery, and he had the distinction of having survived three airplane crashes. He was no longer a pilot. Theo was colorful—blunt, sarcastic, hilarious, completely unpredictable on the stump. His opponent was a young man who'd just finished law school and was rumored to be grooming himself for Governor. Warren was his name, and Warren made the mistake of attacking Theo over some suspicious legislation that had been "sne...
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