Second Assault of the Pettus Bridge -Selma AL 30 yrs later


Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2006
The Second Assault of the Pettus Bridge - 30 years later

Today is March 4, keep your eye on media coverage of the Bridge Crossing Celebration in Selma, Alabama. See if you can catch a guy on a red bike zipping around the place.......


In January, on my way down to Mobile, I spent some time in Selma. 1365.txt


The Director of the Voting Rights Museum, 2 doors down from the Selma Times Journal, upon hearing I was a member of Benedictines for Peace, invited me to the museum and urged me to come back for the ceremonial re-enactment of the bridge crossing. A former teacher, Sr. Roberta, was a major figure during that crucial time.

So, this was BEFORE I heard Obama and Hillary, NOW Bill were going to be there.

The ONLY way to get national coverage nowadays seems to involve an "accident", so I don't know if I'll bowl over a contender, hit a news van, or go ahead and fly the bike off the bridge, play it by ear.

This is not my first confrontation with the Pettus Bridge, 30 years ago we set history, trying to float the BIGGEST MONSTROSITY ever entered, in the Alabama River Raft Race. 7 sections, 76 inner tubes, a crew of over 50 folks.


The day of the sinking of the USS Middle Earth was also the day Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane fell out of the sky.

A good freind from the Grateful Dead parking lots days, "Shaggy" passed away a week ago, so I am dedicating this publicity stunt to the memory of Mark Wesley Hughes.

I will be carrying 3 raw eggs, so if I'm arrested, see if the report includes those eggs in my possession. 2 will have the names of the dear departed, Shaggy and Amanda, and the other will have the name of a living buddy, so he can answer questions from the press about the idiot on the red bike, flying off the Pettus Bridge.

But I hope to get a picture of a few celebrities shaking hands in front of the bike "See, these folk can agree on ONE thing, Crabtree is an idiot, but the bike works".

I'll be pointing the camera, on 3 everybody say "Gore for Prez."

That should be a good picture.


Active Member
Sep 30, 2006
I took sole possesion of the Pettus Bridge at around 9 a.m. Sunday March 4, 2007.


I fortified the position, and prepared for the late arrivals....


uh oh, squeezed to the outer edge, again !!!!!


retreat ~~~hold your fire !!


I will post the story when it gets you can tell, Hillary did not appreciate the "smile, say Gore" joke, but I like Obama's take on the matter.

Montgomery Register......

Crowds gathered outside of two Selma churches this morning as Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke in one and Sen. Barack Obama spoke in the other.
Both presidential candidates leaned heavily on civil rights imagery in today's messages.
"Something happened here in Selma, in Birmingham, in Montgomery that sent what Bobby Kennedy called 'ripples of hope' all the way to Africa, where my father, a goat herder, could have hope for a better life," Obama said in his speech at the Brown Chapel AME Church.

Ya just gotta like the "son of a goatherder", pretty disarming, eh?


Active Member
Sep 30, 2006
Pretty well Finished-.

Never EVER Trust the Associated Press x
Checking the Mojo x
Scoping the Bogus x
A Bishop and a Pope Walked into a Bar x
The Buffalo Soldiers and the Cycle of the Day Award
Obama, Son of a Goat Herder
Fighting Parade Surge Syndrome x
Talking to the Secret Service? How did you Get Here so Fast?
Whose Running this Circus? I Surrender the High Ground ! x
Making Arrangements- Where I'll Be January 20, 2009 x
A Sign from Above Shaggy Checks Out x

Trivia topic begun 3/5 here:

First Impression (music on) : Ode to Billy Joe (Bobbie Gentry) Hillary's chances went flying off the Pettus Bridge.

Never EVER Trust the Associated Press

The Selma Times Journal estimated 20,000 folks on hand, two reporters of S T-J interviewed me when the March was kicking off, haven't found that link. 1266.txt

But, the AssPress estimated 1,000, & probably the reporter wasn't there, so they are now deemed irrelevant for the duration. I believe nothing AssPress says, need confirmation.

By Alvin Benn- Montgomery Advertiser No estimate quoted , and I'll read his full article when the mail arrives this afternoon.

Checking the Mojo


PHOTO #1 - The Edgar Cayce Moment - 32 years ago I read at least 20 Cayce books, so yeah, been there, done that, better keep radar up.


I forgot ALL about his photography background.

And, hmmmm, there is NOT a mention of his "Alabama Period" in Wiki, no mention of Selma at all, so I guess I'm as on the ball as those guys. Does AssPress also own Wiki ??

Have the 2 regular amulets, 25 gold colored G. Washington dollars, a sign from the Cullman Vigil. Right away I bought the first shirt I came upon, [$10- w/ 6 colors- 2 sides], used it to cushion 3 fresh eggs from the barn into smallest backpack pocket.
5 layers of shirts, including GAMA Music Festival Jan 13-15, 1995, birthplace of the Stagecrew from Hell. Also, a gift from my fiancé Jennifer arrived, a Benedictine handbook, to record autographs and notes.
Yep, if I fly off the Bridge, I'll absolutely sink !. Everybodies covered, all interested parties have a piece of the science and the fiction.....

Scoping the Bogus

Television- Check


Right at the start I had to cut my engines after 3 snarly looks on the nearly deserted thouroughfare.

My first Interview- with the ITALIAN press WTH?


The guy with the notebook not only asked a few questions in a really heavy accent. Later, as the march proceeded, we had a "matador/el toro" moment.

I need to find out who this Edmund guy is:


Edmund Pettus Bridge
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for Edmund Winston Pettus, a Confederate brigadier general, and eventual U.S. Senator, is a bridge in Selma, Alabama. It is infamous as the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965), where armed officers attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators.

The bridge crosses the Alabama River.

A Bishop and a Pope Walked into a Bar

The Most Reverend Moses Anderson

Ordained a bishop in January 1983, Anderson had been the senior active African-American bishop in the country. Anderson said that in retirement he intended to remain busy with some writing and musical projects and cooking and organic gardening. He plans to donate his extensive collection of African and African-American art to Xavier University in New Orleans, which is the only historically black Catholic college in the United States.


The elderly priest arrived about 10 minutes after I rolled in, when I gave him greetings from the Benedictines for Peace in Cullman, which he said he had passed through on the way down from Detroit.
When he responded with Peace greetings from the Society of St. Edmund, he had me stumped.

Not knowing anything about the S.S.E., I bluffed my way through stating Well, Benedictines are always first on the scene, go down with the ship, and I can't keep track of the all the sideways fracases! .

My auto focus then went KAPUT!

I accompanied him into adjoining Albert Hall, describing my multi-tasked reason for being in Selma, and started with asking for a proper Bishop sized prayer for Mark Wesley Hughes. I explained, and he like the idea of physically going on a mission for a cause, Quixotic are you ? ?

Meanwhile, he's putting together his 3 part staff, and I'm holding the crown peice. The beadwork is 100 years old, done by Benedictine Sisters in Vermont, who didn't fully appreciate it's history, for under the beads are 600 year old African engravings.
So cool, this is 100 years older than the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.
It is amazing how much knowledge can be exchanged in a "knowing conversation" with a godly man. I don't compare notes, but think he gave me a super-duper S.S.E. prayer. He also knew of Robert Anton Wilson's passing last month, so I didn't have to fully explain my active participation in the Stagecrew from Hell.


The Sisters of Selma, aired in February on PBS, and a former administrator at both Cullman College and Southern Benediction College figured prominently in the documentary.

While I didn't bring an 8 by 10 glossy for the Voting Rights Museum, I found a couple of pictures of Sr. Roberta A. Schmidt, C.S.J. in 1977 yearbook.


The following quotes come from Sisters of Selma Homepage.

"Our strategies have changed but the goal remains the same. Carondelet Sisters are still involved but not as overtly as in the past. Instead they are agents for systemic change. My own witness is very different from what it was forty years ago."[/quote]

Sister Roberta Schmidt served in diocesan educational administration all over the country and is now Director of Education in the Diocese of Venice, Florida. She continues to be an advocate for women and victims of oppression worldwide. She went to Columbus, Georgia "to stand peacefully in opposition to the School of the Americas" which trains paramilitary fighters for U.S. drug wars in South America.


I told Bishop Moses how the Democrats were meeting in Denver in '08, and my buddy does the sound at Pepsi Center, that "unofficially" I'm checking out the sounds of this early ObamaAlabama swing. In fact, I admit, I've really never done anything officially.

Benedictines are umbrellas, is his decided conclusion, I like that utility function, and pledge to hang around the utility room, only deciding who stays dry, who is all wet.

Clinton the "black President"? The "Black Clinton" played my 40th Birthday Bash. He laughs at my political tendencies.


I admitted being a Carter Democrat, waiting for something to stir me up, and most of that day exclaime "Smile, say Gore" when snapping a hundred photos.

The Buffalo Soldiers and the Cycle of the Day Award


Werner Truck Driver Stacy and the Buffalo Soldiers, and Capital City Tricycles THE Dunlaps


How I remember names !!!


$5 each, 3 for $10. Guess a pic of a button is better than nutton.

Obama, Son of a Goat Herder


Obama 1


Obama 2


THE HERO- JOHN LEWIS - THE REAL GUEST OF HONOR, along with the Moses Generation

Born in Troy, Alabama, the son of sharecroppers, Lewis was educated at the American Baptist Theological Seminary and at Fisk University, both in Nashville, Tennessee, where he became active in the local sit-in movement. He participated in the Freedom Rides to desegregate the South, and was a national leader in the struggle for civil rights. Lewis became nationally known after his prominent role on the Selma to Montgomery marches, when police beat the nonviolently marching Lewis mercilessly in public, leaving head wounds that are still visible today.
Of John Lewis, the historian Howard Zinn wrote: "At the great Washington March of 1963, the chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), John Lewis, speaking to the same enormous crowd that heard Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream, (speech) was prepared to ask the right question: 'Which side is the federal government on?' That sentence was eliminated from his speech by organizers of the March to avoid offending the Kennedy Administration. But Lewis and his fellow SNCC workers had experienced, again and again, the strange passivity of the national government in the face of Southern violence.

THEN: Music on: Money Can't Buy Me Love The Beatles.

Sound On: Screeching Griffins in latest Harry Potter Movie, as Hillary's sp-creech drives listers to the to the decible free zone.

Third strike of the mourning for me, if she was a nanny goat I take her to the sale barn quick. No pix, I just gained back "auto=focus"ability, didn't want to take a chance, my lens have a glass-shattering moment.

That campaign "message and voice" Hillary exhibited will not carry Peoria.

Fighting Parade Surge Syndrome


Those buses were in the way, took forever to get wherever they needed to go.



Obama on the left, theres A. Davis and J. Lewis, and the Big Dog.

Can't see the other candidate......hmmm.


I was always the "first" media to arrive at the scene, wait for the marchers, then head half a block up, sneakin through the alley, an be right back in front waiting for Kodak moments !

Talking to the Secret Service? How did you Get Here so Fast?


Sgt. J. King, Selma Police Department


Agent Eric Doe and two unidentified S.S. agents


Agent Eric's boss

Whose Running this Circus? I Surrender the High Ground !

I've don't own a watch, gave up "time" way back during those Edgar Cayce/Maharishi days, so when I rounded to the crossroads, Highway 80 East, a equally large crowd waited ahead to add to the marchers behind me.

I took note of the time/temp on the bank clock, 3:20 / 54.


This didn't really bother me, but whomever caused the program to stall, from the published 1:30 start time, did not think about these 5-6,000 folks, most in the cool March shade.


Many asked me "Why/What?" as I rolled toward the corner where the newscamera was this morn, and I had my pat answer.

Blame Billary.

2 surprise guests equaled quadruple the hassles, and I was GRATEFUL for the organizers, and glad it wasn't my balliwack.

Stagecrew from Hell was most ferocious on celebritegos, especially when we put in a 4 day volunteer stint, so I imagine fine volunteer Selmanites just like us were giving holy scorn to ALL of Billaries underlings, from press agent to bus driver.

Then again, the LARGEST stage act on the road was George Clinton's P-Funk, we could off load in 40 minutes, reloaded, IN ORDER, in about 50, some serious volunteers.

I am also grateful to Antonio, who took the two "above" crowd shots downtown, astride one of those 100 gallon concrete planters/trash thingios.

Making Arrangements- Where I'll Be January 20, 2009

So, a high school band from Atlanta, Georgia hooked up behind the flag and headed over. I moved opposite, decided to ride drag.


I eased passed the crowd following the celebrity riata, and who is waving? The Dunlaps, my cycle of the day winners. I told them my ulterior motive, to reserve a spot in the Inauguration Parade in 2009, somewhere about 2/3 of the way back. We made an agreement, that I could join them and the Buffalo Soldiers.


This may come in real handy if I bring Sisters Eleanor, Mary Ruth and Bertha along, we could hook-up three "HoverRound" chairs to the back of the bikes, all we would need are some ski ropes. No bridge we Benedictines can't cross, especially on wheels.



As the tail traveled over the bridge, we started meeting two-way pedestrians, headed out the back. At the apex, I saw probably 50 charter buses, all looking similar, so I hoped for the travelers the ceremonies ended by sundown.

A Sign from Above Shaggy Checks Out

With 50 yards to go, the Aloha moment came, a teenaged girl's Canadian sounding voice from behind, "Pardon me, what river is this we just crossed over?"


The girl in the red, center frame, and her fellow Minnesotans from Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul, MN, For Peace + equity.

Some thought it was the Mississippi, none had the Jeopardy answer, and it sounded like they came from the west, then went east, arrived via Atlanta, running up the bridge moments ago to see Obama.

The ONLY guy I saw all day wearing shorts put the final autograph on my sign, for the "most clueless moment", and we laughed to the finish.


5 yards to go, the Durhams surge to cross the blue line, leaving me in last place.

Aloha is hello and goodbye

A sudden bright light jumped off his chrome, maybe a signal from the lighting guy, and I turned to head back to the top, pulled over to the siderail, and had my short egg ceremony.

[colr=cyan]Phi Rho Omicron Gamma Sigma.[/color]

I could barely percieve the ripples of hope.

BUT => => "*It Floats"
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Active Member
Sep 30, 2006
My mailbox runneth under:

Forum member Jaybuzz from Abalama gets hasty:

To: k.fimster


Much like yourself, this work in progress showed great promise. If it holds form, it will become lost and rambling at some point then stagger towards ultimate redemption.


"It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Down"

The Sisters at Sacred Heart show patience:

Sister Eleanor Harrison
> Thanks, Paul. Where was that first picture taken? It looks like St. Jude, Montgomery. Sorry I couldn't be there last Saturday. Love, SE >

Sister E,
> Queen of Peace on Washington Street, Society of St. Edmunds. You'll have to clue me in, I don't keep track of the double A franchises.

And the Alabama Kossacks wax poetic:

Good Luck Man ! I'll be watching for you, and I'll say a little prayer. Bridges have a certain romantic, violent, authority. Especially this one. I'm glad you're going.
Daniel T,
aka TheGardener

On Mar 4, 2007, at 3:00 AM, Paul Crabtree wrote:
I was invited to Selma before Bill Clinton.

Anyway, publicity stunt, trying to promote an end to Oil Wars. If I see the only way to get national coverage is a crash, I'll aim for the Fox New van !
Set your VCR's for the idiot on a red bike, buzzing all the contenders today !!!


Active Member
Sep 30, 2006
So, I delivered the last two puppies, met the guy from Iraq south of Montgomery, and picked up the local paper.......


With a magnifying glass, I can even see my mustache......


Well, that don't work, back to the photo/pixel lab.....


One more try.....


ahhh, much, much clearer. :???:

Arbitrary collage.....



excellent story paul - with your disarming personality you should be a paid reporter yourself, but that would go against your religion of non-officiality...

Large Filipino

Who would have guessed these same two are still running today.
I had to bump this old thread cause I've never read this before.


Active Member
Sep 30, 2006
How cold you think it'll be January 20,2009??

It would take a bigger crowd than 4 million to block me and Rocinante !