Monday, April 22, 2013

Confederate Memorial Day: Montgomery, Alabama

Photo: Tim Kent, Jerry Smith, and H. K. Edgarton at the Confederate Memorial Day service in Montgomery, Al.

Me, H.K. Edgerton, and "That ole man"

       I've been friends with H.K. Edgerton on facebook for several years now, but today I finally got to meet the man. I can honestly say, he fits in with Jerry, James and myself very well. Jerry even invited him on a Civil Wargasm some day. He reminds me a lot of Jerry, never a dull moment. He honored us by serving in our color guard because we were one man short. 
       Of course, with the crew I hang out with, nothing is boring. I'm the youngest member of our color guard and I accuse the other guys of not taking their senile medication. We'll get back to that part in a bit. Regardless, we have fun no matter where we go.
       We arrived at the event and began setting up our flags. Jerry pokes my shoulder and says, "There's H.K. Edgerton." I've always wanted to meet Mr. Edgerton because I respect him for standing up for what he believes. I also knew my wife would be extremely upset that she couldn't get off work and meet him too. Jerry and I speak at different schools during the year, sometimes travelling over 300 miles from home. We always use H.K. Edgerton in our program and teach the kids that one can love their ancestors without being ashamed of race. 
       We each take our flags and line up (each except H.K. who is such a live wire, we can't seem to keep up with him). James was getting nervous because he is in charge of the color guard and kept telling me, "You're gonna have to go find him." H.K. finally got in line between Jerry and myself and that's when we got in trouble. It seems H.K. is the third stooge missing from Jerry and myself. We were called down by my camp commander Jay Gregory because he said we were getting looks from the ladies of the U.D.C. 
       Jerry pulls out his program and asks me, "Why does your program have us down as posting colors fifth at 10:40 and mine says we're second without a time?"
       I replied, "You moron, you've pulled out an old program, not the one for today. Don't you pay attention to anything?"
       Jerry can't be wrong, EVER!!!! Without missing a beat, he said, "I knew that, I was just testing you to see if you knew it."
       "Right," I replied. At that moment was when someone tested a cap on their musket around the corner. Don Johnson (another member of our color guard) immediately hands me his flag and says, "Hold that, our flags just fell down around there."
       Jerry asks me what is going on and I said, "I'm not sure what he's talking about unless its the flag stand."
       Don walks around the corner, does an about face, and returns saying, "What am I thinking, we're holding all the flags."
       It was one of those days. I had to inform H.K. that my color guard had failed to take their senile medication this morning and I hoped the event would be over soon because they were all due back at the nursing home by 5 p.m.

Camp Commander Bill Watkins and myself

       On a more serious note, another hero of mine was forced to the hospital following the events at Confederate Memorial Day. Ashville, Alabama Camp Commander Bill Watkins at age 79, was having difficulties breathing. Bill is an actual grandson of a Confederate soldier and he keeps his camp members extremely busy. He's another guy that can't be still. I was at the bottom of the hill below the Alabama state capital building when a police car pulled up with its lights on. The officer asked me who was having trouble breathing. I didn't know, but pointed him up the driveway toward the governors parking space. Soon the fire department arrived and I pointed them up the hill. Then an ambulance arrived. I told my buddy Jerry that I didn't want to leave before I found out whether it was Bill or not, him being one of the few remaining.
       We walked back up the hill and sure enough, it was Bill. He refused to ride to the hospital in an ambulance. He then shouted for his crew to "fall out and let's go." Jerry and I walked back down to the car and left. I arrived at home and called Bill. He said he did go on to the hospital (his artillery crew probably made him) and was told he was too old for the schedule he keeps. I told him he was old enough that he needed to slow down. He said I sound like that old doctor. He was just exhausted. I live a good two and a half hour drive from Ashville, but they invite me to  speak there twice a year and I always tell them they are my favorite camp. I would be proud to be an honorary member of their camp. I will be there speaking on May 16 of this year and will of course be looking forward to seeing Bill there. Keep Bill in your prayers.

1 comment:

  1. Bill is doing fine, but does need to slow down a bit. April was a huge month for 308 with the schools, dedications, memorials and other things that everybody participated in.We look forward to seeing you the 16th Tim, Gods speed