Bro. Billy at it again! Cleburne’s Birthday

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On Monday morning, March 17th, 2008, I would turn on my car radio to Carrollton station WBTR 92 FM (B92 Country) and hear mention of Major General Patrick Ronayne Cleburne’s Birthday and that he was Cleburne County’s namesake.He was born on St Patrick’s day in County Cork Ireland.

Hearing that I was reminded of all the wonderful times I had in East Alabama’s famous “Cleburne Day” with parades, vendors, shows, food, fun and games. I can recall the names of lots of new friends I met there. I remember the fun my wife and children had there. I was reminded of all the times the General led his men to victory against overwhelming odds, and how he died a Heroes’ death at too young an age.

Then I also remembered with sadness that the annual Cleburne Day was cancelled, but that the St Pawtricks puppy show was taking it’s place. After many, many years of such an excellent community event it sure seems a shame to let the activities disappear into oblivion.

I refused to allow this commemoration of a great man stop, so after work, I gathered a few items, and hustled over to Heflin. I wore my Confederate uniform (Gen Cleburne was a Confederate) and carried a flagpole. The top flag was the Hardee Pattern Battleflag (Used and made famous by Gen Cleburne) and the bottom was the official County Cork Ireland flag (land of Cleburne’s birth).

I marched from the Courthouse down to Jacks then returned. Numerous honks and waves from citizens showed they haven’t forgotten, and they are very appreciative. Many smiles and 2 or 3 salutes warmed the heart, as the effort to honor Cleburne on his birthday was successful. Business owners and shoppers even came out and waved. I stopped at the edge of the sidewalk next to the bank across from Heflin City Hall. I continued to wave to appreciative passers-by. I even posed for a few pictures!

I would like to thank the citizens of Cleburne County and the elected officials who have always been so generous and hospitable, and am looking forward to the next instalment of ‘Cleburne Day.’

This action I took, while indeed an effort to recognize the General, was also a flagging and thumb in the eye of the bigots of Heflin City Hall – which is exactly why I sat right across from the HCH for near an hour.

The posing for a picture part was actually their attempt at scaring me, (terri daulton came out with camera and was snapping pix) but I just waved and smiled 😉

It all starts back in 2005, when out of 21 local area governments I approached to secure a Confederate Heritage and History Month Proclamation, these 2 white women Mayor anna berry and City Clerk and CoC head terri daulton flat out refused. The other 20 signed on no problem at all – and made them perpetual to boot!

Then last year we Confederates were assigned our normal spot in the parade lineup for Cleburne Day, but the parade began and finished without us, no notice, no police escort, no nothing. (The mayors puppy parade that starts in a closer location got an escort and all the attention.

When contacted by me and my concerns about such dismal behavior by city officials, terri daulton replied:

” (HPD Police) Chief Ty told me about your conversation (that I contacted him and asked why no escort), and yes he did know you all would be there. (The Chief and the Mayor deny he knew we were there, and that it was daulton who was in charge of alerting the police). Next year the festival will be an Irish celebration only.

Do not call me, write me or have any contact with me again.”

The epilogue is the annual Cleburne Day festival was cancelled, but the Mayor Berry Dog Show continued. I was not deterred and hope they got angry at my being there Monday. As for me I had a BLAST made all the more fun when I caught daulton hiding behind a truck (seen in the picture in front of HCH, with the awning) taking pictures.

Thanks & God Bless,see yooz guyz in Ringgold,

Billy Bearden
Carrollton Georgia

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