AL Candidate for Gov. Roy Moore, Jr. Eats His Lunch Alone.
Will Bevis reporting from Gadsden, AL on 2010 Alabama Governor Candidate Roy Mooore, Jr.
Roy Moore Jr. eats his lunch alone.
When you are a writer, sometimes a story just falls on your plate. And you have to eat it, especially since there are so many starving writers in the world.
That happened to me today.
I happened to be at the right place at the right time, to run into 2010 Alabama Candidate for Governor Roy Moore, Jr.
And the timing was just right. Possibly even, an act of God.
You see, I was headed to Ray's Barbecue in Atalla, Alabama, which has the best barbecue beef sandwich in town, when I got stopped by long a** slow moving train.
I go there once a week, but have never been stopped by a train before. Had I missed the train, the timing would have been wrong and I would have missed Roy as well.
I didn't get mad when the train caught me, though I know they are notoriously long and slow in this area. And they don't get in a hurry to move on for anybody. A friend of mine told me not long ago that when he was an ambulance driver they got a call for a woman in cardiac arrest. They busted their you know whats to get there fast... only to find a train blocking the tracks. They talked to the engineer and he would not move the train. They took a stretcher, went under a railroad car and ran another mile to the woman's house, got her, and passed her UNDER the railroad car to get her into the ambulance.
So, I knew darn well, the train was not going to move for me. And maybe that's what God wanted.
I took it all in stride. It was my day off, and I had plenty of reading material over in the passenger seat to keep me busy. There was SLAVERY IN THE CITIES: THE SOUTH 1820 - 1860, The ANATOMY OF THE CONFEDERATE CONGRESS, and the ALABAMA CONFEDERATE READER.
There was also John Grisham's THE KING OF TORT'S and Waller's THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY.
I chose the last one, because you can only read so much about the Civil War and Slavery before you become terribly depressed over this area's treatment of black people. I didn't need that now.
I have been reading Grisham and Waller because deep inside me, I have a strong but inconsistent drive to be successful - just like Roy Moore, Jr. has a similar kind of drive in side him... to be powerful.
I read pop fiction... because those "boys" know how to make the money. And it seems to me, Roy Moore is still searching... for how to become powerful in government.
Neither one of us seem to be doing any good at what our hearts are striving for.
I looked up and the end of the train - without a caboose - was finally making it's way by. Which was too bad, because the hero and the beauty in Bridges had just committed adultery and were just saying their goodbyes. (Roy wouldn't have liked that! The Bible says don't do it. Though the Bible also says don't marry a divorced woman. But that's the gret thing about Christianity: Ask Jesus for forgiveness and all your ins are washed away.)
I started the truck and made it the two more miles to Ray's Barbecue. The parking lot was full this time - as opposed to the last time, when I was the only one there. (See story, John Lee Hooker Plays My Blues).
There were seven cars in a line in front of the place, which I have to tell you, is not the most beautiful in the world. Ray was a local charachter, who made great barbecue before he died, but wasn't concerned with decor. Earlier this year they closed for "remodeling" but all I can see is that they threw a fresh coat of paint on it.
I rarely go inside. I place my order at the window outside and just hang around at the pic-nic tables close to the building if the weather is nice, or read in my car if the weather is bad.
The weather was in the middle today, and so I thought I'd hang out outside. And as the waitress slid her window open to take my order, a tall guy caught my eye over the free deserts laying on the inside counter. It looked a little like Roy Moore, Jr. But then again, it didn't. Something about him was different from the old model Roy.
But the more I thought about it I thought that that was indeed him, the man who wants to be governor of our glorious state, Alabama, next year, in 2010.
Then it struck me. He didn't look so lean, so gaunt anymore. He'd put on some weight. Didn't look as stressed out as before. Of course, if you or I had a couple mil in the bank now, I believe I/we could be less stressed out, too. I think it is safe to say, that his money worries are over forever. But he still has an innder urge. A drive. To be somebody.
I thought to myself, if that is him, then there is without a doubt, an expensive car in the parking lot. I looked to my left, and sure enough, there was a black sedan - like the kind the Secret Service might use to spirit important people around in.
Maybe Roy's practicing being an important person.
The car needed a wash job, but of course, you can't court the people in a shiny new car. But it can be an expensive car, if the car has a layer of populist dust on it. Which this one did.
(Did you see that car old Roy was driving? Yeah, it was expensive, but Jeez, it was as dirty as mine!")
But still, there was no proof it was his car. I decided to walk around it and look at the license plate. As I walked around the side I noticed the windows were tinted dark - probably as dark as the law here allows. Which is strange if it was indeed him, because you want people to vote for you, but you don't want them - with windows like that - to see you. At least not see you driving an expensive car.
The tag was a common Alabama one. Nothing special. But in the rear window was the tell tale sign. A sticker: "Roy Moore, Jr. For Governor."
It was him.
Now I had a decision to make. There was no story if I did not go inside. But I did not want to be conspicuous about it. Especially after the story I had written before titled: "THE MLK FACTOR: Why Roy Moore, Jr. Will Never Be Governor of Anything."
He might still be a tad angry about that.
I weighed the chances of him actually recognizing me, and I thought they were pretty slim. Although someone from his campaign had called me when I wrote the book "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS JUDGE: The Story of Roy Moore, Jr. in King James English, I had never called them back.
The only other time I had ever seen him beforee, was right before he lost his first run for governor... in a Walmart where he was putting the full court vote for me press on a big round farmer.
I decided I would go for it. I told the waitress that I had time today, so I would eat inside, and she said ok. Then I went to my old truck and took out The Bridges of Madison County so it would look like I was reading... while I would really be just listening. ( I failed spying 101) I KNEW I could take nothing in there that was against slavery. This was most definitely good old boy rebel flag territory.
But then again, it would be better if I took nothing at all in to read. If you read, you might be considered a communist pinko leftist Democrat Liberal. (I'm an Independent, against abortion, but also against guns) Better to act like you can't read or don't read. I threw Bridges back in the truck and went in.
Moore was going to the restroom door when I came in. He had been sitting alone. Most tables had only one or two people sitting at them, though one had three men at it. These were all common people like me. Laborers. Plumbers, electricians, drywallers. People like that.
I sat at a counter facing the outside window. I would have my back to Moore when he came in and I could just listen like a fly on the wall.
There was a yellow flyer on the outside advertising an upcoming "TUFF MAN CONTEST in Boaz and I tried to read it through the glass, but of course, the type was all backward.
Inside and behind me, the talk was all about football. Alabama had just beat Florida for the Southeastern championship and everybody was throwing in their two cents worth. When Moore came back, he did too. But he also threw in some other stuff. Stuff I heard nobody ask him about.
Out of nowhere he said that you couldn't tell it but somebody had T-boned his car in Montgomery. This was a close cousin of "namedrooping. It was "placedropping" (Montgomery), and car dropping (Big expensive black sedan).
One worker said someone he knew had backed into a tree and Moore said "I'll bet it didn't move, either," which was kind of witty, but brought no chuckle.
Then the talk was back to football and Tebow This and Inmgram might win the Heisman Trophy that.
Nobody mentioned who might win the governiship of Alabama in 2010.
Not being able to see him, I could concentrate on his voice... which to me was kind of nasally and whiny. There was no Johyn Wayne in it, or Ronald Reagan, or even Joe the Plumber.
I grew bored, and munched down on my newly arrived big hamburger all the way with extra tomato.
Was he not going to make a campaign pitch? Was he not going to say anything interesting at all?Was I wasting my time around someone who was going to become a two time loser for governor?
Outside to the right of Roy's car was a truck that had a "PARROTHEAD" front tag on it, with Margarittaville in small letters above it. I doubt that Roy would get that guys vote.
That's when Roy said it: the one thing that brought home to me where he is really at and where this state is at. He was talking about a football player, and he said "that white boy."
Now, it could have been a whole h*** of a lot worse. He could have been talking about another player and said, "that black boy."
Or he could have did like I did, and say, "that player."
But it was that "white" player, that "white boy."
Not a big deal, I can hear some of you saying. But I now believe that anything that brings up a color difference is discriminatory. And totally unnecessary.
Like Louise Hay says in her book, "The soul has no color."
What is making each and every one of those great athelete players tick... is their individual soul. Not their color. There is no reason for their color to ever be brought up at all... unless it is a point you WANT to make.
And could the point here, to these people eating there lunch have been, "I'm one of you." I'm white, white, white, and I'm not black, black, black.
So you don't know what a player's name is. Is it too much trouble to try to figure out what team he was on and what position he was in, or maybe even what the number of his jersey was? And then call him by his name when you find out what it is?
Or is it just so much easier to say, "that white boy." And maybe in your mind, "That black boy."
Roy Moore, Jr., did nothing that many other Alabamaians don't do every day. Brought up the color of a person's skin as a way to differentiate him from others.
But all those other people are NOT running for Governor of Alabama in 2010. And my belief is that we need somebody that is better than that, and above that.
We need a governor that is going to look at a Caucasian, or Hispanic, or Black or Asian, and say... "That person."
And not a boy, either. That young man, or that young woman.
But then again, Roy wasn't talking to me. He was talking to them.
The waitress brought Roy's to go order and he stood up. The best I could tell it was only enough for one person. Himself. Perhaps a burger or a barbeque, and a drink.
I saw this by glancing at him. And I saw that he was wearing blue jeans, which looked pretty much like anybody else's, and a jacket, not a work jacket but a little better, and a forest green shirt. The jacket was zipped up tight.
And the thing that struck me when I saw him, was that he suffers from what a lot of old men my age and his age suffer from: he has no ass. It's like his back goes straight down and there is no butt.
I've been told I have the same ailment.
I guess it's no deal breaker, but are voters gonna vote for som eone who has no ass?
(Later when I got home, I asked my wife, "Do I have an ass?" and she said, "Yes, it's normal." Thank God!)
The final thing I saw - possibly the most telling thing of all - was this:
Moore talked to two people at a far way table for a moment - I think it was the owner and the waitress's boyfriend - and then he made for the door.
And at the door he opened, but stopped and looked around - as if waiting for someone to say, "Goodbye Roy, Or Bye, Governor Moore, or good luck or anything at all to let him know they were thinking of him, that he was - as he wants to be and even I want to be - somebody.
But nobody acknowledged that he was leaving at all. No goodbyes, no handshakes, no salutes, nothing.
They just kept on talking about football and never even looked up.
He finally gave up and went out the door, got in his CIA looking car, and drove away, headed North on highway 77 towards Boaz or Gadsden or to the Governorship. Or not.
He must have stood in that doorway three seconds, which is a lot.
And which I believe says a lot.
Not enough people cared about him the first time to make him governor - and it's looking the same now.
I said before in my previous article, I don't believe he will ever be governor of anything.
He just does not inspire the ordinary person. Like the laborers. Like myself.
He'd like to, but it is just not in him.
Just like it was said that he did not inspire the soldiers under him in Viet Nam either. Some of them who, I believe it was reported, wanted to "frag (kill) him.
He lacks "something" - maybe the same thing I lack, or maybe something else. But whatever it is... he just doesn't have it.
I ate my burger, and at least the waitress said "bye" to me when I left.
I may not ever be a great writer, but God keep me from ever waiting in the doorway for somebody to give me their approval.
I'll never be a great leader either, but then again, I'm not trying to be.
Roy Moore, Jr. is trying though.
And I believe still coming up short.
But not everyone thinks that of course.
I called my wife on the way home and told her I had just seen Roy Moore, Jr. and she said, "What did you say to him?' and I said, "Nothing."
I'm a writer. Not a sayer.
She said, "I like him. Do you?"
I said, "I'm not sure anymore."
I know one thing though, I won't vote for Tim James who has been torturing us with big campaign signs starting from almost two years before the election - but who appears to be the Republican's well funded candidate.
Money talks. And he has it. And he'll probably win because of it.
I think most people would guess that I would be voting for Artur Davis, because he would be strong on Civil Rights. As I like to think I am.
But that's not a done deal.
I want to vote for a leader, not for a color or not for a color.
If he has leadership ability, if he inspires us to hope that things can be better...
After the new year begins, Alabama will slowly gear up into a great mudslinging campaign fest.
The usual, in other words.
We'll just have to see if a real leader does emerge.
In the meantime...
I'll let you know if I run into Roy Moore again
and if people begin to start giving him the time of day.
But for right now,
he's having to eat his lunch alone.
December 7, 2009