Friday November 5, 2005, I arrived in Johnson City, Tennessee where I had lunch at the famous Dixie Barbecue Restaurant with Travis and Mr…. Allan Howell the owner. After feasting for far too long; I headed on to Maryville . I arrived in Maryville only to find out that Captain Johnson who has to approve the demonstration permit needed far me to sat up my vigil at the traffic island at the intersection of Lamar Alexander Parkway and Broadway Street had been out of town since Wednesday, and would not return until Monday. My heartfelt thanks goes out to the Maryville Police who allowed me to be there for the evening without it. Out of respect far them I decided not to push the button by being there on Saturday morning as had planned.
The ovation that I received from the people who passed or stopped by to talk as I sat on the island with the Southern Cross flying is just too difficult to put into words. I can only recount three conversations that epitomizes the evening: (1) Mr….David Caldwell the owner of Caldwell Fence Erection Company,Inc.— Mr…. Edgerton, I am an alumni of Maryville High and like so many of us , we love you for taking a stand for our school , our homeland, and children; should you need anything while you are here in Maryville or need another place to hold your vigil, call me or come and sit in front of my company with your flag. (2) A Black man whose name I did not get, but who appeared to be very successful by the appearance of his brand new Lincoln— Thank you Mr…. Edgerton far making an honorable stand; we’re on our way to see my Rebels play, referring to the Maryville High Rebels football game that I too would go watch. (3) A middle aged White lady who also came as I was talking to Mr…. Caldwell— Sir you have no idea just how much we love you here in Maryville for what you are doing. I have faith that the Black elders will work this out , and the truth in your message will filter into the thinking processes of all.
I entered Maryville High’s stadium at 7;00PM, where I was greeted by the staff and police with great affection. The applause from the students and adult fans was deafening. The ovation from the Maryville High School Marching Band was off the scale. I hugged many of the members of the Band including the Band Director who was a mighty fine young man. I had some of the students to pass out several hundred of the SLRC thumbs up stickers, whooped and hollered like a fourteen year old with my babies as Maryville took on a 19 to 7 lead just prior to half time and made my exist from the stadium as my babies and the fans shouted out my name. I could have easily won an election as Mayor of Maryville on this night by a landslide. May God bless this maligned school board who has prompted an atmosphere of hate, instead of teaching all the children truths about our Southern flag and the honorable men and women , both red, yellow, black and white who fought and died under her for what they believed to be right against an invader who has come again as he did after that great war to divide and separate us as he gathers the plunder left behind from his early visitations.
Resources permitting I shall return to Maryville on Sunday morning for church services.