An Open Letter & Open Report / Forest Hall / Dr. Rev. Billy Graham
From: HK Edgerton [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Date: Mon, Feb 26, 2018
Subject: An Open Letter & Open Report / Forest Hall / Dr. Rev. Billy Graham
To: siegels1 [email@example.com]
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
Alongside Mrs. Lisa Thomas and a host of Sons of Confederate Veteran dignitaries on Friday, February 16, 2018, I would attend the Tennessee Historic Commission meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
This same very powerful entity arm for the State Legislature is the body one has to petition for a waiver of the law to proceed to move or change the name of historic buildings, monuments, memorials, etc..
It is also the entity that denied the Memphis City Council a waiver to remove the Honorable General Nathan Bedford Forrest, or President Jefferson Davis monuments from Forrest and Confederate parks in Memphis, only to have the Memphis City Council, led by their Northern born, Southern symbol hating Mayor from Indiana, break the law by first selling the people’s property to one of their political cronies at a price that they clearly marked their nefarious attempt to skirt the law, and they did when they removed the monuments.
On this day, armed with an Administrative Law Judge, the modus operandi that would decide whether to grant a petition of waiver to the Middle Tennessee State University Administration to change the name of Forrest Hall, removed from the ROTC building that bears the General’s name. And, I might add, that a decade ago, alongside young Emily McDonald, a student at the time, we fought and won this same battle.
God bless the Commission for their unanimous vote to deny the University a waiver after wading through the muck intended to defame General Forrest. And God bless the Sons of Confederate Veterans attorney for his masterful interrogations of the witnesses brought before the Commission and members of the public, especially that of Dr. McFee, whose only believable statement was that the only reason we were here on this day was because of the Charleston Church shootings of Dylan Roof.
And now, the irony of the day is that the multiple mass shootings that have occurred since that grave day in Charleston, to include a mass church shooting from an army veteran who wore and bore the insignia of the Stars and Stripes on many occasions with the same kind of gun he used, is now deemed a mental health issue. Put our monuments and flags back where they belong! And leave the honorable people of the South and their most sacred symbol, the Confederate Flag, that is only second to the Christian Cross, and the Star of David alone when you come South of the Mason Dixon.
On Saturday morning, February 24, 2018, around 6:30 AM, don in the uniform of the Southern soldier, I would post his colors on Main Street in picturesque downtown Black Mountain, North Carolina, as I would await the 11:45 arrival of the motorcade carrying the remains of Dr. Rev. Billy Graham.
Not withstanding that my dad, the Honorable Rev. Roland Rogers Edgerton, and most of his peers always spoke lovingly about this young White evangelist as they also did Rev. Oral Roberts and an upstart Pat Robertson. It was today that I got to spend 4.5 hours carrying his golf bag, and that of Dr. Robert Holtzclaw, where my memories of Dr. Graham will always be cherished.
At the Country Club of Asheville where I had, by chance, worked my way up to Assistant Caddy Master, I would make the call to caddy for Dr. Graham and Dr. Robert Holtzclaw. As we approached the last hole, Dr. Graham and Dr. Holtzclaw both agreed and commented that I had to be a good golfer, because I was a great caddy.
I told them that I was a Caddy Master, and that I had wanted to carry Dr. Graham’s bag because he was famous. And that many of my buddies that caddied, and myself, wanted a golf team, but that we attended an all Black high school that hampered our efforts to get one.
They both looked at each other and said in unison… “you will have one this year.” I had no idea what they meant. On the first day of school, we would enter a new school (South French Broad High); now Asheville Middle School, and I would hear my name blaring over the school intercom to come to the Principal’s office. I could only think; Oh my God, what have I done?
The Secretary would tell me to knock on the principal’s door. Lo and behold, sitting behind the Principal’s desk, was Dr. Holtzclaw. I was speechless and shocked. A White principal, and Dr. Graham’s friend. Before I could say a word, he said to me….. “you wanted a golf team, and now you got it. Go find a coach.” Mr. O.L. Sherril, who would later become the first Black principal of Asheville High accepted the call to be our coach.
And, for those of us who played on the City of Asheville’s only Black high school golf team, it was a great moment, and we love Dr. Graham and Dr. Robert Holtzclaw, who made it so.
By the time that Dr. Graham’s funeral procession reached where I stood alongside Dr. Payne and a large crowd, I had already given at least three speeches, answered hundreds of questions, posed for as many photos, and with the exception of my hometown television station, WLOS Channel 13, whose reporter avoided me like the plague, I would do several interviews. The reporter would ask me to move so that she could get a shot of the procession. God bless you!
Honorary life member
Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans