#145, 146, & 147
20 May, 2006
All pictures are
thumbnailed. Click on the picture to see the larger version.
Pictures by Bud Cranford except where specified.
On Friday night I received information that the King Chicken was coming to town. With less than 12 hours notice I hastily tried to assemble a Flagging team but nobody responded. I guess it was too short notice.
There were only two choices. Let him run unobstructed through his home territory or become the Lone Flagger. Oops. Never mind! Billy Bearden has already claimed that name. Anyway, bright and early Saturday morning I took off on my trusty Iron Horse, determined to let Perdue know that he could not waltz blithely through Middle Georgia, unopposed and unflagged.
SITE 1 was at the Perry Welcome Center for his "Saturday With Sonny" series. This is his comedy hour where he practices his lying on a small group before telling his whoppers to the entire State.
The location was across the road from the Georgia National Fairgrounds, which was not a highly visible area. I arrived 1/2 hour early but never caught sight of him, though I did see a black SUV turn in behind the building, instead of the main parking lot.
Since there was little traffic to wave to and encourage to honk for our flag, I amused myself by watching the antics of visitors, trying desperately not to notice me. I mean, face it, a Harley Davidson motorcycle sporting a 3 X 5 Real Georgia Flag on an 8 foot pole is not exactly inconspicuous, but these people managed it. They looked as if their necks had been frozen in a straight ahead position.
What was even better was watching them start to turn into the first entrance, then notice me and decide to drive on to the 2nd entrance: Unobtrusively, of course. (oh, I meant to do that).
|Outside of the Perry Welcome Center|
|(left) Not many cars for the Governor's
visit. I only counted 13.
(right) My trusty iron steed doubles as a flag holder.
When the WMAZ news team left I decided it was time for me to get a bite to eat and head for Site 2. I never saw Perdue, but some who were inside did confirm that he was there.
SITE 2 tried to turn into a disaster. The report said Perdue would be at the Little League Park in Warner Robins from 12:00 to 1:00. The trouble is that Warner Robins has many parks with ball-fields used by the little league, but none named "Little League Park".
I went to the one I thought it would be, but nobody was there. Next I went to the ball-field adjacent to City Hall. There was a game in progress, but when I asked one of the coaches he said he'd heard Perdue was speaking but he didn't know where. Finally, a Park employee told me Perdue was to be at the new ball-field behind Flint Electric on Hwy 96, so I took off, going halfway back to Perry.
This location was even worse, since it was well off the main roads and the only traffic was the people going to or coming from the ball-field. There was still no sign of any other Flagger's and since I was already 1/2 hour late I figured everyone was already in attendance so I settled down to wait for the event to end.
By 1:15 the main flow of traffic had ebbed, but once again, I didn't actually see Perdue. I did get the usual waving and thumbs up from some of the people attending, but it was still a pretty dismal flagging.
By this time, I was tired, and Perdue was not scheduled again until 3:00, so I had a little time to relax.
SITE 3 was back to Perry, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds for the High School Graduation Ceremonies.
Knowing that the Fairgrounds security staff was not Flagger Friendly and since there was still no sign of assistance I decided to take up my station at our favorite corner, where we Flag Perdue at his Annual Fish Fry at the corner of Courtney Hodges Blvd and Larry Walker Pkwy.
For once, there was a lot of traffic. As usual, about 90% of the motorists waved, with many giving the thumbs up or honking their horns, but for once, I didn't get a single thumbs down or middle finger salute. One vehicle made me think that the occupants probably had a very interesting relationship. While the Man (who was driving) gave me a thumbs up and honked his horn, his wife(?) looked directly at me and mouthed a word commonly used to describe an illegitimate child.
At one point a car carrying two young black men stopped directly in front of me and the passenger hollered something about my flag. Instead of responding in anger, I asked him if he was voting for Perdue. He replied "Hell, No", so I told him I was working against Perdue so it appeared we had a common goal. The poor man looked as if I had slapped him. I guess it was too much logic to absorb. "The enemy of my enemy must be my friend?"
By this time it was almost 3:45 pm and I had been standing under a blazing sun for over an hour (not to mention the time at the two other Flaggings) and I decided at 4 pm I was packing it in. People were starting to leave the fairgrounds so I assumed the visit was over.
As I continued to wave and smile at those passing I spotted a black SUV heading toward me with a black man, wearing a suit, driving. I began to wave and he waved back, but then the sun shifted and I could see a familiar chubby face with a bald head in the passenger seat. Perdue passed in front of me, only twenty feet away, smiling and waving back. Personally, I think he was smiling because he knew it was his last appearance of the day, and the last time he would have to see me and that silver Harley. . . . for a little while.
|My trusty (or is it rusty) flag holder, with the Georgia National Fairgrounds in the background.|
By propping the camera on the handlebars I was able to take a picture of myself waving to the passing motorists
Is it just me or is there something strange about saying "Georgia National Fairgrounds"? Are they actually implying that Georgia is a sovereign nation?
With only one man flagging there just wasn't much to take pictures of. All in all, however, I felt it was a successful day and I believe Perdue knew I was dogging him every step of the way. Maybe next time we'll get a little more notice and be able to gather more participants.
For a list of Flaggings I have participated in, go toFlagging Index
Click here to return toBuds Confederate Page
To see a complete list of Flaggings, go to Southern Messenger