Gut Rumbles
 

April 23, 2004

preaching

My friend dax montana has a few good new posts up. I wanted to link to one in particular, but he's been fucking with his page again and his permalinks are gone. You'll just have to go there and scroll down.

He mentions a street-corner "evangalist" that he's known for a while. That post triggered a memory from the compost of my mind, and I am certain that any native of Savannah during the 1970s remembers our very own street-corner preacher. He was a character and a fixture on the street for a long time.

I never knew his name, but he stood (literally) on a wooden soapbox at the corner of Bull and Broughton Streets and ranted about the evils of the "Almighty Dollar." He was an old Black man with skin the texture of a peanut hull and he was fired-up with righteous wrath.

He wore on old, tattered suit and tie, and he always waved a crumpled dollar bill high over his head while he preached. "The Almighty Dollar will be the death of us all! This isn't a greenback dollar! It's a tool of SATAN! Satan will make YOU ALL slaves if you strive for that Almighty Dollar! You should bless THE LORD ALMIGHTY and forget about the dollar!" On and on he went.

Of course, he had a tip-box on the sidewalk and he never bitched at anyone who threw an "Almighty Dollar" in THERE.

I don't know what happened to that old man (I suppose that he's dead now-- he appeared to be about 100 years old when he was preaching in the 1970s) but I kinda miss him. Maybe the city government ran him off the streets when they passed an ordinance a few years ago banning all the rarees we had performing on street corners and on River Street for tips unless they purchased a $25 dollar business license and worked just one certain place.

Downtown businesses regarded the street performers as a "public nuisance" and acted to get rid of them. I believe that they made a big mistake. I always enjoyed watching the musicians, jugglers, balloon-animal-makers, magicians and sidewalk preachers do their thing. So did the tourists. That was the problem. The tourists liked the street performers and spent their money on the street instead of in the bars and restaurants. The tip-hustlers were draining money away from "legitimate" businesses.

That preacher was right. The Almighty Dollar makes slaves of us all.

Comments

Have you ever noticed that those who are are incompetent or have shit to sell are always the first to get legislation passed to protect themselves?

Posted by: Jack on April 23, 2004 12:00 PM

Hi, Sweetie! I just took a peek at Dax's page and wanted to let ya know that it's his post titles that are the permalinks, now. I moused over the top two titles (did the second one to make sure it was uniform throughout) and a little box shows up that says: "Permanant Link: and the title of the post".
His is the first blog I've seen so far where the titles are the permalinks, but, there ya go! They're there....*grin*
And, had I ever seen your corner preacher, I'd have been standing there saying "Amen, Brother" every few minutes...lol. We have the same thoughts about 'the Almighty dollar'.
The people who chase after it the hardest are, for the most part, the ones I want the least to do with...(like BC's, fer instance). It not only messes up their minds, it seems to also be an anesthetic in their hearts....
A quick quote from somewhere I don't remember:

To know what God thinks of money, one need only look at whom He gives it to....
Ya know?

Posted by: Stevie on April 23, 2004 03:12 PM

There used to be a black panhandler in Chicago in the 1950's who walked around with a live chicken on his head. I heard about him, and saw him once on State Street in the Loop. He wore a kind of big felt fedora hat that was crushed in on the top and the chicken sat and stood in the round depression. Now that was interesting.

Posted by: Nancy Beckmann on April 23, 2004 06:13 PM

Yeah, I remember that guy, now that you mention him. A little closer to my house was the (blind) guy who played guitar in front of K-Mart on Victory and Skidaway. He was supposed to be blind, but he damn sure knew when us little shits would try to sneak up close to his tip cup.

Posted by: mike on April 23, 2004 06:24 PM

They've successfully run off all the street performers from St. George Street in St. Augustine at the behest of the store owners over the last few years, now the storeowners are complaining foot traffic is down. The assholes. The rarees were what people liked. This one fellow had a one man band and he was brilliant. Supported his wife and two babies off it. I think he's in Key West now.

Posted by: Velociman on April 23, 2004 07:14 PM
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