Thursday, January 8, 2009

Birthdays Of Note..........

Today's birthdays of note are of two southern icons.......

In 1821 James Longsteet was born. He is considered by many the most effective corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia after the death of "Stonewall" Jackson. Called "ol' Pete" by his friends and "my old warhorse" by Lee, was the commander who gave the order to advance to the confederate troops involved in Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.

After the war Longstreet committed two unpardonable sins. (At least to his fellow southerners) He joined the Republican party (The party of Lincoln) and he criticized Lee's generalship. For this blasphemy, he was attacked by the press and his fellow generals, even to the point of being blamed for the loss at Gettysburg.

Longstreet however continued on with his life and ended up serving in several government post as well as the US minister to Turkey. Longstreet lived until 1904, outlasting most of his critics and enemies.

In 1935 Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. I suspect that everyone knows who Elvis was, what he did,and the various parts of his life to include his death at a much too early age. I am not ashamed to say I like some of Elvis's music (Early stuff mostly) My fascination with Elvis is the hold he has on southern culture, even today. I wonder what it is that draws so many people to him? His talent? The poor boy who makes good story of his life? His obvious burn out at the end and the train wreck of his personal life? Perhaps a little mixture of everything.

To me, Elvis was like a meteor in a dark sky. his coming was unexpected and to a degree shocking, but nothing was ever quite the same afterward. As John Lennon said,
Before Elvis, there was nothing.

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