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An Open Letter & Open Report
As my little brother and I sat pool side at the estate home of Mr. Dewey and Mrs. Sissy Barber, owners of the foremost purveyors of Southern apparel, Dixie Outfitters, we could not help but to be overcome at the irony of our visit here. The Barbers had opened up on this Easter weekend their beautiful coastal home to Terry Lee and I, and the three young black boys who were accompanying us to Cross City Florida at the invitation of the Dixie Defenders Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, where they would perform on African Drums a song composed by Terry Lee in honor of the SCV.
We watched as Ms. Sissy fussed over and spoiled these young boys as if they were her very own. Never mind the lecture that Dewey would give them about responsibility as he handed them the keys to his golf cart and relented to his young grandson, Dayton who had now joined his new found brothers that while he had been banned from driving, today if he was careful, he too could take turn driving with the others. D as he is fondly called would run the cart into the side of the Barber home. Hours later I would observe the joy in all their eyes as Mr. Barber took them out to sea in his boat. I don’t know whether they had more fun on the boat or going shopping with Ms. Sissy to pick up some flowers she would later plant in her garden, or all that pizza we gladly devoured.
Sadly for the boys, Terry Lee and I would have to make the decision that we must journey directly to Memphis, Tennessee right after my speech in Cross City on Tuesday afternoon to visit with Mr. Ken Thrasher (one of America’s very own heroes who lie dying in the Veterans Administration Hospital, and who was denied the right to place a small Confederate Battle Flag at his bedside table in this year that the whole of America began recognizing the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States), and could not allow them to miss any more time from school. I almost literally had to fight the biggest of the three when I told him to pack and that we would have to take them back to Asheville.
The irony was: Here we were with three young black boys having the time of their lives, basking in the same kind of love they had read about in the car on our journey here, of Jim Limber, the young slave who Confederate President and Mrs. Davis had taken into their home as their son, in the home of the man whose company manufactures and sells the very clothing bearing the Southern Cross that so uplifts the spirit of the Southern people, that so many young Southern babies like young Candice Hardwick of Latta are willingly to sacrifice all including their path of so called education for the sake of all of us who call ourselves Southern Americans, and whose ancestors like Mr. Thrasher’s made an honorable stand in Dixieland.