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Up & Down Commerce St. – July 17

As it turns out Mel Gibson’s Lethal Weapon was his mouth.

It’s pretty safe to say that the man who brought us what is possibly the most realistic interpretation of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion in The Passion of the Christ has – if not killed his career – certainly put a terrific beating on it.

We had a nice conversation with Mr. T.R. Faust, 82, a resident of Homewood in Greenville, on Wednesday. Mr. Faust is one of this county’s favored sons, meaning a veteran of wars on foreign soil. He called and asked is he could share a story about his time fighting in the Korean War and we were glad to listen.

As many who have experienced combat, Mr. Faust saw his share of horrors. On his way back to the command post from the front once, he saw a man lying on the ground, his leg shot nearly through. He was dead, having bled out, his skin pale white “like a piece of meat,” said Mr. Faust. Mr. Faust said he saw “terrible things” in the war.

But he said soldiers found time for laughter, even under the worst of conditions.

He said the trenches at the front were neck deep, but one soldier climbed up on solid ground and started running in place because of the icy cold weather. The sergeant called out, telling him to get down less he be shot, but the man replied to “to hell with that…I’m cold!”

Then the artillery shells started falling, said Mr. Faust.

God Bless our old warriors.

The Dixie Youth Majors State Tournament is only a week away and this is certainly going to be economically beneficial to Greenville with 11 teams traveling from across the state to participate. We noticed on Thursday that the sign is up at the city’s softball complex, (clearly marked with the Dixie baseball logo), and we’re anticipating a large crowd for opening ceremonies on Friday evening. Word from council member Ed Sims is that a number of “old-timers” to come through the city’s Dixie leagues will be on hand to help ring in the tournament.

The fact that Greenville is hosting the tourney sure takes a load off the parents, coaches and players of the host team because there’s no traveling to sub-district or district tournaments. The only negative is that the city’s team hasn’t been able to play any games. As such, they haven’t had the opportunity to test their skills against like competition.

The teams coming to Greenville are battle tested baseball players. They’ve played multiple innings, taken multiple at-bats, and run multiple bases. They’ve been “through the fire,” so to speak. Baseball is about repetition. Practice – and actual play – does make perfect.

We wish the coaches and players of Greenville’s team the best of luck. We’re sure they’ll do the city proud.

Dr. Robert Bentley came out of nowhere on Tuesday to win the Republican nomination for governor, defeating Bradley Byrne, long thought to be THE candidate who would takeover for Gov. Bob Riley next January. Bentley will now face the Democratic candidate Ron Sparks. No contest, in our opinion. But we wonder if Bentley is re-thinking his “no salary until Alabama reaches full employment” promise.

One of Byrne’s strongest supporters in the Camellia City was Colin “Big C” MacGuire, who we’re sure was disappointed by the outcome on Tuesday. But cheer up, Big C: The Crimson Tide’s defense of its national championship begins in a few weeks.

The Oxford American will feature the music of Alabama (the state, not the country super group) in its annual Southern Music issue scheduled to publish on Dec. 1. For fans of literature, “The Southern Magazine of Good Writing” is truly an attractive and well-put together publication. The music issue, as it does every year, will include a CD of songs. Look for it in Books-A-Million in Montgomery. Visit the website at www.oxfordamerican.org for a sampling of their goods.

While we’re on websites, we thought we’d let you high school football fans know about a good one: www.ahsfhs.org. Which stands for the Alabama High School Football Historical Society, a website devoted to compiling statistics and records from every high school football team in Alabama. Even those schools that no longer exist. Greenville, Georgiana, Fort Dale and McKenzie are all represented. As are their former coaches.

The driver of the fuel tanker that overturned on U.S. 55 near McKenzie has been released from the hospital, town police chief Clint Reaves told us. Reaves and some other good Samaritans were near the accident when it occurred and were able to pull the man from the confinement of his crushed truck cab to safety. He was identified as Tony Moore, 34, of Andalusia. The accident, which happened last Tuesday, shut down parts of the highway because emergency personnel have to take such precautions when dealing with volatile fuel.

We hear local vet Dr. Bill Watson is back home now after falling from his tractor. From what we understand, he has some months of recovery and rehabilitation ahead of him. We certainly wish him the best and good health.

Remember: tips and commentary are always welcome for this column. Hand deliver or mail them to this office at 103 Hickory Street, or zip them off the new-fashioned way via email at editor@greenvilleadvocate.com.