Talladega College


Okay, we know everybody outside of Alabama knows all of those who reside within the state are rednecks.

The rest of the States and the world think that.  Alabamians are racists, bigots, nair-do-wells, with a 3rd grade education, and half of us are moonshiners.

You can call us that, it’s okay.  We’re used to it

But also call us proud, our pride is on display. Why?

Because the Talladega College Marching Band got to go to Washington, D. C. for the Inaugural Parade.

What?  They are a historic black college.  I can’t say that we are proud? I certainly can say we’re proud. That would be Alabama proud as one lady so aptly put it on Facebook.

Not sure how they collected enough money to go to D. C. Think it traces back to about a 10-second splurb that Bill O’Reilly had on his program.  Right at the end along with some black lady, and they said something about Talladega College having a Go-Fund-Me page set up to raise money to go to D. C. for the Inaugural Parade.

Sure the Go-Fund-Me page had been set up, but I don’t think it had much momentum, until that 10-second comment. Then it took off.

The last figure I saw showed that over $600,000 had been raised. I think there was money still coming in.

Not only was that enough to send the band to D. C., but the president of the college said there would be money left over to offer some scholarships, and do some renovation work the college badly needed.

Let’s not forget the president of the college in all of this, Billy C. Hawkins.  He took a bunch of ridicule for allowing the band to march in the Inaugural Parade of Donald Trump.  Let’s be straightforward about this, he took a lot of crap.  I read somewhere that it even involved some members of the Board of Trustees of Talladega College. I hope not.

I don’t remember exactly how President Hawkins said it, but it was to the effect that he was not going to let the naysayers prevent the young people in his college from having a chance for a trip of a lifetime for some of them. Some of these young people later in life may not even make it beyond the city limits of Talladega, and yet here they were in D. C.

By the way, those naysayers were not in the state of Alabama. They were some of the ones outside the state of Alabama telling us here in the state we were racists and bigots.

Talladega College is not a large college.  It is a private college with about 1,500 students, and over 200 in the marching band.  All this according to Wikipedia.  The band is officially called the Talladega College Great Tornado Band.

I think they thought they could go to D. C. for less than $100,000. Not sure how long they were up there, but with a little extra money, I hope they got to see all the sites of D. C.

I was in D. C. several times in my travels, and although I tried to arrange an afternoon off from work on every trip, I was never able to see it all. My most solemn visit was to Arlington National Cemetery. I later co-wrote a TV movie script with a fellow who has a brother buried there. We included the burial scene.  If you don’t think that was difficult, then you didn’t hear the bugler all alone playing “Taps” like I heard in my mind, the playing of the “Taps” I heard when I was there.

So, to the Talladega College Great Tornado Marching band the people of the state of Alabama salute you. We salute your brave President Billy Hawkins. We hope you had a wonderful time, a time you will never forget.

Oops, forgot, Talladega College is a historically black college, and we rednecks can’t say that.










Add comment