Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Julius Rosenwald

Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932) was another self-made wealthy man with whom Washington found common ground. By 1908, Rosenwald, son of an immigrant clothier, had become part-owner and president of Sears, Roebuck and Company in Chicago. Rosenwald was a philanthropist who was deeply concerned about the poor state of African American education, especially in the Southern states.

In 1912 Rosenwald was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of Tuskegee Institute, a position he held for the remainder of his life. Rosenwald endowed Tuskegee so that Washington could spend less time traveling to seek funding and devote more time towards management of the school. Later in 1912, Rosenwald provided funds for a pilot program involving six new small schools in rural Alabama, which were designed, constructed and opened in 1913 and 1914 and overseen by Tuskegee; the model proved successful. Rosenwald established the The Rosenwald Fund. The school building program was one of its largest programs. Using state-of-the-art architectural plans initially drawn by professors at Tuskegee Institute, the Rosenwald Fund spent over four million dollars to help build 4,977 schools, 217 teachers' homes, and 163 shop buildings in 883 counties in 15 states, from Maryland to Texas.[13] The Rosenwald Fund used a system of matching grants, and black communities raised more than $4.7 million to aid the construction.[14] These schools became known as Rosenwald Schools. By 1932, the facilities could accommodate one third of all African American children in Southern U.S. schools.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hey y'all~

I watched in horror as tonight's events unfolded on my TV screen.
Finally, I'd seen more than I could take & I decided to go check my email.

I opened the following email from Frank Tanton & the song he shared with me triggered a forty year old bucketload of memories that flooded back into my mind's eye.

Here's a link to the latest tune from Project-X Studio (Frank's Garage)...
"The Ballad of Becky & Grover" was written by Dothan's own Robert Register and Richard Burke... It's my understanding that this song is based on "actual events" that occurred downtown in Dothan, Alabama, many years ago... (ask Robert)
I hope you like...

In October of 1968, Grover Moss murdered Becky Fellabella in her room at the HALF WAY HOUSE, an old two story boarding house on North St. Andrews in Dixie. Grover then took the little 9 shot 22 caliber owl head pistol he used on Becky & put it up to his own head.

I read about this murder-suicide in the Dothan Eagle as I drank my morning coffee in the Student Union Building at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. I knew both Grover & Becky so this tragic loss of life struck home with me.

In the summer of '68 I helped Grover cut the grass in both of the Dothan City Cemetaries. Becky would always show up each Friday afternoon to get some money from Grover so she could go down to the Green Front Store beside Barrentine's at Five Points to buy their weekend liquor.

Becky was a Yankee who waited tables at Oscar's & she shacked up with Grover in his little crib located behind the Coca Cola bottling plant across the street from the #1 Fire Station. She was the original WILD THANG & it always blew my mind to sit on the curb sipping on my cup of Uncle Ben's White Port & watch her flirt & rub her hands all over the old men who worked with me in the cemetery. I wouldn't let her touch me.

In the summer of '69 I went back to the cemetery crew & got the details of what happened to Grover & Becky. The man who cleaned up the murder scene told me the story & I wrote a poem about it. A couple of years later Richard Burke and I started writing songs using my poetry as lyrics so hearing THE BALLAD OF GROVER & BECKY brought back many pleasant reminiscences of sitting around Richard & Debbie's place at THE PALMS making our own music.

Muchas mis amigos!

It seems that one week Grover got Jesus, started going to church and quit liquor.

The story goes that Grover

Monday, November 03, 2008

Dr. Ellen Carter has recently been associated with Eastlawn United Methodist Church in Pascagoula, Sacred Heart Church of Pascagoula, First Baptist Church of Pascagoula and The Fairhope Christian Church.

Dr. Carter says she graduated from St. John's College in 2003 with a degree in Liberal Arts.
She says she wrote her Master's thesis at Penn State on American Shape Note.

No thesis could be found for her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Trinity University.

The following article from the Mobile Press Register could not be located:
Fairhope Christian Church gets new organist
Ellen Carter has become the new organist at Fairhope Christian Church and is currently working with the choir on music for Easter week. Carter has a performance certificate from the Eastman School of Music, bachelor's degrees in applied mathematics from Georgetown College in Kentucky and cello performance from New York University. She has also earned a master's degree in musicology from Pennsylvania State University, and a doctorate in ethnomusicology from Trinity University in Texas. She is ...

Internet Information on Dr. Ellen Carter: