Friday, October 21, 2005

The Golden Kudzu Of Our Lives

The inadequecy of the human heart to express itself properly never ceases to, uh, embarrass me. Lunching at The Varsity after the memorial service of Charlies Yates, a fine Old Atlantan as there ever could be, I met up with another terribly influential Atlantan, Danny Beard.

Danny and his mother had also attended the memorial at All Saints' church nearby, and were enjoying a hot dog and frosted orange afterwards, as my friend Doug and I were too. The Beards were seated at the next table in the Fox News room (poor Doug), so introductions were made and assorted small talk made, some chatter being about Cynthia McKinney, who's keeping busy as she ever was on The Hill, this time flaming Michael Chertoff with the latest of her conspiracy outbursts.

It's all various degrees of seperation in the this world once you get out and about in it. Consider that The Mouth of The South, McKinney, was on the brain not necessarily for making Race Card News yet again, but because all of us Varisty goers had just been treated to one of the finest eulogies ever at the service just minutes before, when Comer Yates, son of Charlie Yates, gave a beautifully orated, deeply touching and thoroughly entertaining speech about the life and times of his renowned father.

Comer Yates (D) ran against Cynthia McKinney (also D) and lost in a Congressional race (1994 I believe), with all the race-baiting by Cynthia & Co. resulting not only in Comer's loss, but a short-sighted gerrymandering exercise of the state's congressional districts, which had the dubious longterm effect of turning Georgia into a solidly red state. Is there any other force in the world more lacking in vision than a Georgia Democrat?

I can't really speak for Comer Yates' ultimate political vision or planning, but I do know when he spoke from the pulpit yesterday, it was with the fervor and plain-spoken eloquence of an old-school southern political orator, holding the audience utterly still and enthralled with story after long story of his remarkable father, his tale-telling so compelling you could've sat there on a hard pew for another two hours without realizing you were getting really, really thirsty for a Varsity Coke with the specially shaved ice that makes it taste better than a Coke in any other place.

One of the many stories Comer told yesterday morning was how he always wanted to thank his dad for being such a wonderful father, but that he never seemed to be able to do that the way he envisioned; he never could find just that right time or just the right place to express his feelings properly - and believe me, Comer Yates did not strike me in the least as being a man not capable of expressing himself.

Yet, he told a story of how one day he'd been determined to march into his dad's house and tell him "thank you" for everything he'd done for him. But when he got there, he simply ended-up leaving shortly thereafter with a handful of used-car ads from the paper, the appropriate Camry ads all carefully circled by his dad Charlie.

No perfectly chosen words fell that day, as Charlies Yates, "who sure loved the (Toyota) Camry for some reason," launched into a seemingly one-sided discussion on why his grown son, the Congressional candidate, needed a "new" used car that particular day.

It's good to be able to recall that portion of Comer's eulogy now, as to hear such oratory finery is why one gets all dressed-up and makes the effort to attend such an event in the first place. I'm grateful I did, as when I chatted with Danny Beard afterwards and gracelessly mentioned that I don't much get by his store Wax 'N Facts anymore because I tend to download nowadays, I don't feel quite so completely awful that I was unable, conversationally, to come up with anything more than a ludicrously ungrateful, offhanded remark.

That to a person who's had a hand in creating the music that's shaped nothing less than my entire life.

I remain a bumbling human yet again.

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