Thirty plus years ago Judy Goff and Anita Beaty worked together for three years in Conway, South Carolina.  Waccamaw (EOC) Economic Opportunity Council was an agency funded through President Johnson’s Great Society endeavor.  Under the Waccamaw EOC umbrella viable programs such as Head Start, Summer Food Programs, Right to Read, Weatherization and Adult Reading Academy flourished.

 

Recently over the holidays these two women reconnected through Facebook.  I read what Judy wrote, and I asked her permission to share it with my readers.  As I prepared to write I asked Anita to tell me about Judy Goff, what she was like.  Anita brightened and said,”She was smart, creative, energetic, funny, thirsty to learn and grow, eager to be mentored and just downright adorable.”

 

The following was written by Judy Goff who lives in Conway, South Carolina, with her husband and three children.  With Judy Goff’s permission I publish the following: 

 

“Anita, I just want to say – –  you are simply unforgettable – – you had such an impact on my life.  I was a very sheltered southern girl who had never ventured too far beyond my own state’s borders.  You opened up a whole new world for me – – truly.  You made me realize the world was so much bigger than my little corner, and your creative and energetic personality just sparkled.  I had never known anyone like you, so smart and so capable and so independent with the ability to think outside the box.  On your own, you wrote and ran programs that improved the lives of those less fortunate, those who had fallen through the cracks of our society.

 

My job with the Reading Program remains the very best job I have ever had.  Do you remember the day we spent in the woods cutting and delivering firewood to the people in the Longs Area, some of whom had no other means to heat their homes?  You arranged with the landowner, was it Ralph Ellis, to allow us to cut and chop the wood?  I still remember some of the little women wanting to comb their hair and to freshen up for the pictures we took that day.  Remember how we cooked a big pot of stew over a fire in the woods; it was actually good, wood chips and all.

 

I see you perfectly in my mind’s eye, and I think of you often.  I cannot imagine the lives you have touched throughout your career.  And to think you’ve been in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED!  That just blows me away.  Anyway, Anita, I just love you.  You took me on a magic carpet ride, and it was a blast.  I think you are practically perfect in every way.  I would love to get together.  You just name the place and time, and I’ll be there with bells on.  Judy

 

Note:  Published by permission given by Ms. Judy Lane Goff

 

James Wilson Beaty

Jeremiah 22:16

January 23, 2013    

A Prayer From A Friend

January 22, 2013

A kind friend gave me this prayer; with love I share it with you.

 

Too late have I loved you.  O Beauty so ancient.  O Beauty so new.  Too late have I loved you!  You were within me, but I was outside myself, and there I sought you!  In my weakness I ran after the beauty of the things you have made.  You were with me, but I was not with you.  The things you have made kept me from you – – the things which would have no being unless they existed in you!  You have called, you have cried, and you have pierced my deafness.  You have radiated forth, you have shined out brightly, and you have dispelled my blindness.  You have sent forth your fragrance, and I have breathed it in, and I long for you.  I have tasted you, and I hunger and thirst for you.  You have touched me, and I ardently desire your peace.

 

Note:  This prayer brings to mind Francis Thompson’s, THE HOUND OF HEAVEN, whose first few lines go something like this:

 

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;

I fled Him, down the arches of the years;

I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways

Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears

I hid from Him; and under running laughter.

 

James Wilson Beaty

Jeremiah 22:16

January 22, 2013

By March of 1536, economic conditions for the poor in England had reached such depths that even Henry VIII and Master Secretary, Thomas Cromwell wanted to help.

 

Hilary Mantel in her, BRING UP THE BODIES, captures the everlasting truth of, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”  The following paragraphs are quoted from pp. 204-05.

 

“In March, Parliament knocks back his poor law.  It was too much for the Commons to digest, that rich men might have some duty to the poor; that if you get fat, as gentlemen of England do, on the wool trade, you have some responsibility to the men turned off the land, the labourers without labour, the sowers without a field.  England needs roads, forts, harbours, bridges.  Men need work.  It’s a shame to see them begging their bread, when honest labour could keep the realm secure.  Can we not put them together, the hands and the task?

 

“But Parliament cannot see how it is the state’s job to create work.  Are not these matters in God’s hands, and is not poverty and dereliction part of his eternal order?  To everything there is a season: a time to starve and a time to thieve.  If rain falls for six months solid and rots the grain in the fields, there must be providence in it; for God knows his trade.  It is an outrage to the rich and enterprising, to suggest that they should pay an income tax, only to put bread in the mouths of the workshy.  And if Secretary Cromwell argues that famine provokes criminality: well, are there not hangmen enough?”

 

Note:  In January 1849, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr wrote his famous quote: literal translation, “The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”  Our translation is, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Happy Inauguration Day in the United States!!  And God bless America!!

 

James Wilson Beaty

Jeremiah 22:16

January 21, 2013

City office of Grants Management

On the first day of Christmas, Horace Sibley sent to me a family living in a pear tree.  Many months ago Horace Sibley’s daughter, Eve, emailed me from across the sea saying that if I knew her father I would not write what I had written about him.  Had I had the opportunity to speak with Eve Sibley, I would say to her what I said to Debi Starnes at Manuel’s Tavern, “What I write is not personal; it’s spiritual.” 

 

Sibley, an attorney retired from King and Spaulding in Atlanta, served as the first chair of Mayor Shirley Franklin’s Commission on Homelessness.  That misnamed and misbegotten body has lived through many phases.  Under the cover of night, Franklin while Mayor slipped across the street from City Hall to the Georgia Legislature to get the vote to make her “commission” an authority.  She got the vote and immediately she got also a veto from Governor Sonny Dupree.  Franklin and Sibley wanted state money that could have come if their little creation could be made an authority.

 

During the early days of serving as chair of the mayor’s commission, Horace Sibley frequented the Peachtree Pine Community regularly, always with note pad in hand.  He brought Eve, an accomplished portrait artist to the Art Works Studio.  She painted in our studio the faces of many residents.  Horace told me once that he was a friend of Peachtree Pine, and we had his support.  He knew he was bearing false witness, and I thought of THE ODYSSEY.  In addition to bullying frightened homeless women, he is Horace “Sinon” Sibley.

 

He took his twisted version of what he had learned at Peachtree Pine to the Outreach Committee at St. Philips Cathedral (Episcopal) and that body of believers cut funding to Peachtree Pine ($30,000 annually).  He took his notes to TEAM GOLIATH and Debi Starnes.  His fellow conspirators like A.J. Robinson and Tennco’s Brad Curry and  Emory Health Care’s Al Blackwelder and an entire entourage of movers and shakers drove  in a Central Atlanta Progress van to visit Dan Cathy at the Chic-fil-a headquarters.  Soon, miraculously, all Cathy money stopped.  Chic-fil-a’s moo cow band was seen no more at Peachtree Pine.  The training of new employees coming to the shelter ended.  Dan Cathy’s sleeping over at The Pine was history.

 As chair of the mayor’s commission, Sibley was operating as an agent of the City of Atlanta.  That’s called Tortious Interference.  Georgia State University School of Law gave an annual award to Sibley as the lawyer in Atlanta who did most for homeless people.  For his stopping money going to The Pine, he was deposed for six hours by Steve Hall, Baker Donelson attorney representing the Task Force.  Sister Jane Garety, a nun who works for the Denver based Mercy Housing, Inc., wrote an email to Horace saying that the City of Atlanta will be indebted to Mercy Housing, Inc. for its part in helping Emanuel Fialkow foreclose on the Peachtree Pine building.  How do you like them apples?  A Roman Catholic Nun-Run organization, whose mission is to help nonprofit organizations avoid foreclosure, winds up in bed with the likes of A. J. Robinson, Manny Fialkow and Horace Sibley.

Is it any wonder Horace Sibley’s name surfaces at the mention of TEAM GOLIATH, that hideous strength.  On the first day of Christmas, Horace Sibley sent to me a family living in a pear tree.  I wonder if that family would be labeled by Horace “chronically Homeless” or just the regular run of the mill homeless.

 

On the second day of Christmas, Mayor Kasim Reed sent to me two Innovation Delivery Team members.  NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the summer of 2011awarded $1.4 million for each of three years to five cities.  Atlanta is one of the five.   The money was allocated to address homelessness in Atlanta.  Reed created his Innovation Delivery Team to address two specific areas:  panhandling and customer service in Atlanta City Hall.  This improved service was to be delivered primarily to the business community.  While both areas badly need attention, the homeless mother with an infant may have more pressing needs on a cold January night than panhandling and customer service in City Hall. 

 

Superstar Kristin “Lexis-Nexis” Wilson according to the mayor handled millions of dollars and will be assisting the “chronically homeless.”  One the second day of Christmas, Mayor Reed sent to me two members of the $1.4 million Innovation Delivery Team.

 

On the third day of Christmas, Debi “homeless czar” Starnes sent to me, three bogus letters signed Greg Pridgeon.  During the Czar’s tenure of serving homeless people, She wrote three letters signed by Greg Pridgeon.  These letters were written to the state blocking all public funding to the people at Peachtree Pine.  Since the signing of these letters, no public money, city, county, state or federal has gone to support the people at Peachtree Pine.  The City’s Office of Grants Management approved funding all three years but Starnes and Franklin overrode that decision.  Greg Pridgeon, I understand, is today the manager of Rockdale County.  On the third day of Christmas, Debi Starnes sent to me, three bogus letters signed Greg Pridgeon.

 

On the fourth day of Christmas, Rector Hoare sent to me four fingers shooting the bird.  On Super Bowl Sunday 2010, Rector Hoare from his high pulpit at the Varsity Grill Episcopal Church blasted Peachtree Pine as a squalor, a place unfit for human habitation.  CEO Rector Hoare stands with the business community, coached by Central Atlanta Progress, damning the occupants and management of the Peachtree Pine Community.  I know that when government and business crawl in bed together the result is a form of fascism.  What’s it called when the church crawls under the covers with government and business.  I’ll ask Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  On the fourth day of Christmas Rector Hoare sent to me four fingers shooting the bird.

 

On the fifth day of Christmas, Emanuel “God with us” Fialkow’s lawyer sent to me five golden necklaces.  At one of the many hearings in the Superior Court of Fulton County, a dozen or so TEAM GOLIATH lawyers huddled.  One of these worthies representing Fialkow was bedecked in gold necklaces.  His wavy locks flowed down his back while his gold chains dangled down his front.  My mind took me to the New Testament, Acts 3:6 where Peter exclaims, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee.”  TEAM GOLIATH boasts quite a roster with gold loving Hoare in his Episcopal pulpit and gold wearing barristers in the courtroom.  That’s a winner every time in our time.  On the fifth day of Christmas, Fialkow’s lawyer sent to me five golden necklaces.

 

On the sixth day of Christmas, Dave“Great news!” Wardell of Central Atlanta Progress fame and fortune sent to me six vats of Kool Ade.  On one of the three times that the City of Atlanta turned off the water at The Pine shelter, the head guy at Georgia State University Security read all about it in Atlanta’s only morning paper.  The security fellow was beside himself with glee, so he blackberried his pal David Wardell at CAP.  Wardell, in a meeting, blackberried back, “Great news!”  I wrote an entire blog citing how Wardell got his middle name.  What I was not able to ascertain was how Wardell became such a sensitive person.  Rather than letting them eat cake, let them drink Kool Ade, compliments of caring CAP.  In an earlier blog, the Kool Ade came from Mayor Franklin, Debi Starnes and dear Bruce Gunter.  Gunter recalling the Jim Jones massacre, said, “Debi, could I take a gallon to Anita Beaty?”  On the sixth day of Christmas, Dave“Great news!” Wardell sent to me six vats of Kool Ade.

 

On the seventh day of Christmas, A. J. ”We’re all kind of mystified” Robinson sent to me seven worms a squirming.  Robinson is the head honcho at the heartbeat of Atlanta, Central Atlanta Progress. He is the primary mover, along with the merciful nuns, in Manny “Do I smell a fault?” Fialkow scheme to swindle The Pine property.  His middle name comes from his quote in the morning paper when he learned of Debi Starnes’ yarn of a lice infestation at The Pine shelter.  Why dear A. J. exclaimed, “We are all kind of mystified.”  We were neve surer what mystified his mind; however, we never doubted it.  Was he mystified by the enormity of the Starnes fabrication or by the presence of a louse on his person.  The seven  worms a squirming symbolize the current trepidation of some of the good ole boys who have served so well TEAM GOLIATH, that hideous strength.  On the seventh day of Christmas, A. J. Robinson sent to me seven worms a squirming.

 

On the eight day of Christmas, Vince “Of model Gateway Shelter” Smith sent to me eight maids all nursing.  Under oath in three separate depositions, CAP”S Richard Orr and A. J. Robinson and the City’s Debi Starnes and Horace Sibley stated that The Gateway Shelter is a model and will be an arm in ending homelessness in Atlanta.  From time to time staff members at The Gateway send homeless women with their children, usually on foot, across town to The Pine.  Sometimes these women with their children have been refused entrance for any number of reasons.  Members of my staff have been told by The Gateway people that Peachtree Pine is no longer in operation.  One time we called and a woman working the telephone said she did not have a telephone number for Peachtree Pine.  So much for the Starnes/Sibley model shelter.  On the eight day of Christmas, Vince Smith sent to me, eight maids all nursing.

 

On the ninth day of Christmas, Protip “lights the way at United Way” Biswas sent to me nine mothers weeping.  The mayor’s commission on homelessness has metamorphosed from a potential state authority into a limp member now labeled United Way’s Regional Commission on Homelessness.  It does what the HAG (Starnes’ Homeless Action Group) does.  It does what Woody Bartlett’s HAP (Home Action Plan) did for a brief shining moment.  It does what Alan Harris’s group does.  They all do the same thing.  They all meet.  They meet. They meet.  They meet.  Protip is now the executive director of United Way’s Regional Commission on Homelessness.  I have no idea what “region” they encompass.  Early morning no long ago I encountered a mother with two children sitting on steps inside our building.  She was crying with her children sitting quietly beside her.  Someone at the Edgewood Ave offices of Atlanta United Way told her directions to Peachtree Pine.  This poor woman thought she might get help at United Way.  On the ninth day of Christmas, Protip Biswas sent to me nine mothers weeping.  Again, I have to ask Protip and his fellow experts, are these three people “chronically homeless,” or are they just your ordinary run of the mill homeless citizens of Atlant?  And which group are we serving this year?  Is 311 the way I reach Lexis-Nexis?

 

On the tenth day of Christmas, Jack Hardin sent to me ten Lords a quaking.  Lords quake and worms squirm whenever exposed to the light.  TEAM GOLIATH  boasts in its membership both Lords and worms and some of them are one and the same.  Three lawsuits are currently on appeal and all three involve movers and shakers, worms and quakers.  On the tenth day of Christmas, Jack Hardin sent to me ten Lords a quaking.

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Ratchet Rob “Happy to turn off your water” Hunter sent to me eleven huge rain barrels.  The garden atop the many thousand square foot roof contains thirty beds of vegetables.  Two rain barrels help water the hundreds of plants.  On command from Debi Starnes, Ratchet Rob three times turned off the water used for cooking, bathing, flushing and drinking.  Ratchet Rob Hunter lost his job as Commissioner of the Department of Water Mismanagement at the City of Atlanta.  Word has it that he turned off the water of one too many Buckhead Betty.  On the eleventh day of Christmas, Ratchet Rob Hunter sent to me eleven rain barrels.

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Renee Glover sent to me twelve leveled housing communities.  Renee Glover heads the Atlanta Housing Authority, and she lounges in the fact that she is one of the darlings of Washington HUD.  Although she’s been scorched around Atlanta for a few little money improprieties, she’s evidently safe in the arms of Jesus.  I don’t know how a few million dollars in the wrong place here and there could cause a problem, surely not in Atlanta.  The United State’s public housing policy for the last 25 years is perfectly mirrored in Atlanta, in the Atlanta Housing Authority.  Since 2005 in Atlanta, 3200 units of public housing have been demolished, leveled, removed, disappeared.  In those units 9,600 men, women and children have been displaced and not placed anywhere.  The federal government’s policy on housing the poorest of the poor is to actively disappear them.  How do I know this?  I know it through my staff members who speak with some of these victims every day.  Atlanta Housing Authority has disappeared the poorest of its poor residents.

 

Demolishing run-down, drug-infested, rat infested units of housing and replacing them with safe sanitary living quarters is commendable.  Displacing 9,600 people from 3,200 units of housing with no intention of rebuilding them is detestable.  The City of Atlanta gets up early and stays up late working on disappearing low-incoming housing and no-income housing.  Disappear both out of sight.  (Micah 2:1-2:TEAM GOLIATH’S favorite Hebrew Bible passage).  These two example of disappearing the poor from our streets and the poor from their houses exposes to full light where we are as a City and where we are as a nation in addressing the least of these among us.     

 

My pieces NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS and AN EXPLANATION OF THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS touch many of the people within the hideous strength that I have named TEAM GOLIATH; however, I have not scratched the surface of suffering humanity my staff deals with 24 hours a day.  And those suffering ones are the very ones that the TEAM GOLIATHS crush beneath their boots every day.  It does not have to be this way.  Atlanta does not have to be this way.  City Council does not have to be a nest of simpering pawns.  City Hall does not have to be a den of corrupt climbers, 1.4 million dollars for salaries and customer service while babies and children are languishing before our very eyes.

 

The last verse of the fourth gospel come to mind; John21:25 says, “And there are many other things that Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.  Let me borrow from John’s metaphor.  Let us stop piling atrocities upon atrocities that are filling more than all the books of the world, and let us begin doing for each other what the Galilean told us to do.

 

James Wilson Beaty

Jeremiah 22:16

January 8, 2013  

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas

Renee Glover sent to me

Twelve leveled housing communities

Eleven huge rain barrels

Ten Lords a quaking

Nine mothers weeping

Eight maids all nursing

Seven worms a squirming

Six vats of Kool Ade

Five golden necklaces

Four fingers shooting the bird

Three bogus letters signed Greg Pridgeon

Two Innovation Delivery Team members

And a family living in a pear tree.

 

Note:  Be sure to tune in tomorrow, January 7, 2013, for an explanation of the twelve gifts and givers in my Twelve Days of Christmas.  For instance why would former Czar of Homelessness, Debi Starnes send three bogus letters signed Greg Pridgeon.  What three letters?  What did they say?  Who wrote them?  What did they accomplish, etc., etc.?  Why would Rector Hoare give anyone the finger from the high pulpit of his Varsity Grill Episcopal Church?

 

James Wilson Beaty

Jeremiah 22:16

January 6, 2013 

 

 

 

 

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas

Ratchet Rob “I’ll turn off your water” Hunter sent to me

Eleven huge rain barrels

Ten Lords a quaking

Nine mothers weeping

Eight maids all nursing

Seven worms a squirming

Six vats of Kool Ade

Five golden necklaces

Four fingers shooting the bird

Three bogus letters signed Greg Pridgeon

Two Innovation Delivery Team Members

And a family living in a pear tree.

 

James Wilson Beaty

Jeremiah 22:16

January 5, 2013

On the tenth day of Christmas

Jack Hardin sent to me

Ten Lords a quaking

Nine mothers weeping

Eight maids all nursing

Seven worms a squirming

Six vats of Kool Ade

Five golden necklaces

Four fingers shooting the bird

Three bogus letters signed Greg Pridgeon

Two Innovation Delivery Team members

And a family living in a pear tree

 

James Wilson Beaty

Jeremiah 22:16

January 5, 2013