Jaybird Journal

Jerry Barksdale claims that his Mama birthed him to be a preacher. He was delivered on the kitchen table in tiny Estill Springs, Tennessee on a cold November 3rd morning in 1941. Total cost of prenatal care, doctor and nurse in attendance and postnatal care was $45.00. An exorbitant charge considering that he was an ugly baby. Unfortunately, he was born with a birth defect. He had half a soul. His Mama was greatly disappointed, but took it in stride. “Well,” she said, “if he can’t preach he can become a lawyer.” And that’s what he did for 43 years. Read More....

The Case of the Smarty Pants Would-Be Governor

By: Jerry R. Barksdale It was the mid-1970s when an RV with Kentucky plates and escorted by two motorcycles headed south on I-65 and crossed into Alabama. Limestone County Deputy Hargis (not real name) sat in his patrol car watching for speeders when the RV caught his attention. Why was it being escorted by motorcycles? …

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A Lawyer Scarce As Chicken Teeth

By: Jerry R Barksdale It was nearing 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 1, 1959, in the tiny community of Gourdsville in northern Limestone County when evil struck. The Limestone Democrat proclaimed it “the county’s most brutal crime in history.” It guaranteed 17-year-old Joe Henry Johnson a seat in “Yellow Mama,” Alabama’s infamous electric chair. He …

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Doggone It, Don’t Be Stealing My Cornbread

By: Jerry Barksdale I’ve had a lot to worry about this year. Horn worms attacked my tomato plants, Japanese beetles ate my grapevines and groundhogs stole my okra. Messing with a Southerner’s okra and tomatoes is worse than someone cuss’n his dog or telling him he can’t date his cousin. Then there is global warming, …

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