It had been nearly three and a half years since the Independent State of Georgia had declared secession, and later joined the Coalition of Southern States. Secession, slow and cumbersome as it was, was faster than building any sort of new confederacy with our sister Southern states. Progress was being made.
Newspapers around Rome were declaring “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day,” and people were talking about the dedication of a brand-new General Forrest monument much like the one that was horribly removed from Myrtle Hill Cemetery in early 2021. The people of the whole city were excited about celebrating the Confederate heritage of the city. This zeal was especially high because while going through secession we had realized just how much our people and our civilization fell short of that of the Old South. Southerners in Rome were able to see the beautiful culture of the Old South for what it was, without the progressive lens full of propaganda and lies. General Forrest, protector of Rome, was once again a hero in the eyes of a people who were claiming Southern heritage and longing to be a better people, and to achieve what their ancestors once had before invasion and tyranny.
One cool November weekend, the town had really showed up along the street adjacent to Myrtle Hill and were in suspense for the dedication of the Forrest Monument. They were in for another surprise - a Confederate soldier was also to be returned to its proper place to the Confederate Monument on the highest point of the cemetery overlooking the town. Our pride soared as we knew that we were coming together as a town for Confederate heritage in a way that probably had not been done since the early 1900s.
“Senator Miles, when is he coming to town?” I asked Paul.
“Well, I don’t remember Ralph, I believe that will be in January as he is trying to help push us from coalition to confederacy. If we can ever get on the same page, or in the same book even with the other states," responded Paul as he leaned with his shoulder against one of the many trees along the street. We all looked with amazement at the crowd that had gathered.
Victor added, “He is coming on the anniversary of the Georgia’s original secession day! I will be there.”
Later, we walked around downtown Rome entering shops and such. The owners were happy to be open and offering all sorts of Confederate and Southern-themed products. It was getting colder as the day waned and Victor and I were walking along the sidewalk window shopping. We cut the corner, going down a different street when we saw two large vans being filled with merchandise. It looked as if a business was being emptied. The closer we got it was obvious the business was moving, and I found myself wondering why anyone would move during such a victorious occasion. I just had to ask, “Ma’am..?”
Victor beat me to it, “Hey! How are you and why are you leaving the best time ever?”
The lady, who was moving a box across the interior of the large moving van on one side, looked over at him, “You are into this backward, anti-American, Southern stuff, huh? It’s one thing to betray your country over slavery one time, but to blatantly secede a second time and bring in the most racist and white government ever is not something I volunteered for.”
She sneered as her husband looked over at both of us. He explained, “We are going to Minneapolis where they are encouraging business without the white supremacy. I mean we are white, but we don’t hate minorities”.
I started to answer Sir, “we are Christians, and we love…”
He interrupted, saying, “You don’t believe in unity, do you?”
To which I replied, “What is unity without truth, and what exactly are we going to be united in?” At that point I had had enough, “The people of Rome aren’t white supremist, or even hateful, they are simply Southerners and we have already made the mistake of forgetting our own culture and we see where it led us after the Reconstruction period we could not stop. Among some of the worst things, Southern Cultural Genocide, increasingly progressive and centralized government, and the Greater Depression that started just seven and a half years ago. No thank you.”
Victor and I walked away, crossing the street to enjoy the scenery and business in that direction. That night we were at a barbeque in honor of Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of several celebrations for Forrest going on in the area. On as cold a night now as November can be in Rome, we were seated in a large civic center area with booths all around. They were selling everything from General Forrest shirts to all kinds of books from “A Legion of Devils, Sherman in South Carolina” by Karen Stokes to “Southerner Take Your Stand” by John Vinson. Almost any subject on Southern culture and history was there for purchase.
After Paul his family, Victor, and I sat down to finally eat, we were approached at the table by some people we had seen earlier but did not know. It was a black family walking around, but their demeanor was that of inspectors - not of a celebratory look. The vibes were odd as they approached, speaking directly to Paul seated with his barbeque ribs. “Hey there, are you from here?” one of the men asked.
“Born and raised,” replied Paul. “Yourself?” asked Paul. He seemed unsure whether to offer a handshake.
“No, originally we were from Cincinnati, but we had been in Lawrenceville, Georgia for 7 years, and my sister lived here, but we are headed to the U.S. tomorrow morning. We can’t help wonder why a black man like yourself is wearing a Confederate shirt and staying in white supremacist hell instead of coming with us northward.”
Paul sat there in a bit of shock, staring into black stranger’s eyes a moment before responding, “I’m Paul, and I am very proud of my Southern heritage. We are all Southerners, black or white, and I love my home.”
“Oh ok, and I’m Rodney,” the stranger replied, “and we are disgusted. Georgia has become backward along with all of the Southern racists who are now in power, cutting welfare, stopping internal improvements by the government, ignoring the needs of the people in the name of conservatism, and carrying out the most draconian immigrant laws ever! I can’t believe you can say these are 'your people' with a straight face.” The stranger had let out his rant, while his wife and one other gentleman shook their heads in disapproval of Paul. The kids silently smirked as if they were being entertained.
Paul was about to respond, but the man just walked off with the family trailing behind him. “The key is not to compromise what is right," Paul explained, “compromising is what people did until there was nothing left. You have to be so Southern your enemies want to move away from here, rather than compromise to be enough like them to keep their spending dollars down here. Compromising for money at the expense of your cultural identity and people, that is a very Republican move.” Victor and I would never forget that sound wisdom from Paul’s mouth. We too knew that our people could not embrace compromise of our culture even an inch and survive, and that multiculturalism was a farce. You were either a Southerner or you were not.
We sat there eating together, enjoying the large fireplace going in the convention hall, and the heavily decorated interior full of laughter, dancing, and live music playing. Paul’s wife gave him a smile. The family could not have looked more content in the picturesque scene of Southern tranquility and brotherhood.
Finally, January 19th came, the anniversary of Georgia’s first secession from the Union. There was a larger crowd gathered at Rome that day than there was for the Nathan Bedford Forrest Day event. Senator Miles, the man who had pushed for more aggressive polices toward ensuring our secession and fighting the status quo of corporate dominance that had fought us tooth and nail to keep the way things were. Despite what anyone thought of his policies, he and other pro-Southern Coalition Senators like him encouraged us all. They were our best example of heroes in a very messy secession process - drug out drudgery within a state of no war, but no peace, and no stability. They helped maintain an inner hope with a cultural revival. There was no way of glorifying the conflict like that of the War of 1861, but we were nevertheless happy and breathing a sigh of relief, finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
Senator John Miles was about to deliver a message expressing the hope for a new Southern Confederacy. We gathered at the high school stadium that day, with the stands full, each side, and the platform in the center of the field surrounded by people. As Dixie played, the people cheered and sang, “In Dixie Land where I was born…”, as the band played. Senator Miles took the platform after introductions by the mayor of Rome. He started off thanking various officials, and people who had been helpful to the cause. We just stood there almost in amazement the reality of a new Southern Confederacy had finally come. Our hearts would never have let us give up on it.
Senator Miles continued, “...for we have all been purged by fire, forged into something that could survive the test given by our enemies, achieving a revitalization, a birth of something life-sustaining in the Southern Tradition. We thank our LORD Jesus Christ for his goodness in letting us see a day with a new Southern Confederacy, for the Southern people…”. Senator Miles expounded for several minutes on ways of dealing with education and prisons. He addressed the possibility of moving the capitol away from Atlanta, even though the battle was going the State of Georgia’s way.
Miles continued, going on about what we needed to do for the future. “Let us go forward with a spirit of true independence as a people, contributing to small community schools as we see fit, raising and educating their children as they see fit, and the closing of public schools, and the closing the doors of state controlled universities which had become liberal and detrimental to our culture. I am grateful for the end of the idol of college football - at least for a good while, in which so much of our youth were led astray, yet to which Southern parents sacrificed their children for several generations. May our Saturdays be filled with truly wonderful gatherings such as this from now on, and any sporting events arising in the future may it be that they are truly Southern and wholesome. May we step forward and run our businesses as free men who need not government interference such as income tax and business licenses to prosper, but rather the state in run by the people for the protection and order within Georgia’s borders and is truly fiscally conservative.”
The people were clapping and cheering. Miles went on to several other topics that day. I remember his thoughts on getting away from Republican ways. “...and let us get away from, as our antebellum ancestors tried to, the various ways of internal improvements, the idea that Georgia should behave as a needy county rather than a sovereign state, and the idea that Georgia’s people are not self-sufficient enough to survive by a central government of a union. These are all ways of the Republicans, something we have learned again to abhor. For a healthy independent Georgia, we need a self-sufficient, independent populace that we can govern ourselves, and take responsibility for our own future. It is these lessons of living under progressivism, the Greater Depression, and our fight for the second secession that we take with us into our possible admission into a new Southern Confederacy, only to be agreed upon by the principles of the Southern tradition, and that which is beneficial to the Independent State of Georgia.”
As Senator Miles ended his speech that day, the crowd loved what they were hearing. Over time, the populace had changed, but it certainly took time. The fires of poverty, instability, and the unknown - from depression to social and political chaos - had taught us what was important. The help of our LORD and the Southern Cultural Revival had molded us into something that, while not as noble as that of our ancestors, was promising enough to plant sufficient seed for a better tomorrow if we would stay vigilant and willing to make it happen. The people of Rome were ready for a better future, along with the whole of the South.
Years later, as an older man, I found myself walking around Rome reflecting on what had happened, and more importantly, how it had changed me. I walked the streets remembering what life had been like before the Greater Depression, when progressivism ruled and Southern Cultural Genocide was nearly complete, and Christianity seemingly disappearing altogether. Then it hit me.
The poverty, the crime, the obvious corruption, the several years where people had to look towards one another instead of federal funds from taxpayers for everything - it forced families to not be so anxious to leave one another. It made me more self-sufficient in learning how to become an agrarian like my ancestors, uniting with my community for survival in a very uncertain world, and turning to God for life and salvation. It made me regret my service in the progressive, mercenary U.S. military only aimed at imperial pursuits rather than the defense of our homeland. At that point, and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life fighting against any attempts to promote imperialism, and the senseless deaths of my people in overseas wars. I was happy to see the end of Southerners taking pride in a federal service that took so much away from Southern culture and community.
It took calamity and oppression for us to effectively come together as Southern people. The revival of Southern culture included all of these necessary things for victory, as the politicians and the legislation would have been nothing without people with truly Christian and Southern hearts. My reading of history of the leftist riots of the 2010s’ and 2020s’ showed me that no legislation saved the states from the fury of cultural genocide. Thank God I had lived to see the day for a hope for the Southern people as it was almost over. I knew that we - I - had to pass the culture down to the next generations. But most of all, I had to live it. After all, I needed to be the living embodiment of the virtues of my ancestors, a living example for Christ, for my family, for the South, for Georgia. That day I remembered that wonderful quote by President Jefferson Davis: “Truth crushed to the earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again.”
For the next several months and into the next year, the people of Rome were not only busy dealing with interruptions in usual life, but there was a change in rhythm about the whole city - tense vibes of the unknown, news of atrocities out of Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Mobile, and Charleston, and abnormalities in business compared to years before. These gave way to accepting a new form of life. People seemed more interested in helping their localities hands-on, and the focus of the community seemed to be on self-reliance and determination. The people realized we did not need federal funding or most consumer items, and that we could live off the land and help one another. Somehow everyone in the community seemed more essential, and there was a sweet spirit of gratitude and connection among the people that we had never experienced. We had just begun to really understand what community must have meant in days gone by; that of our ancestors making it together in families working to develop the land for survival.
Rome and other Southern towns became places of a sort of revival. People were watching TV much less, in their own virtual worlds much less, and coming together for tent meetings which seemingly kept growing in length. People were playing instruments of all sorts in their yards and porches, and even on the street corners. It was as if life in the midst of hell had become better due to the spirit of the people, or repentance to the Almighty, even. It was as if we were in “the land of Goshen”. People were spending time with family, helping neighbors through the winter, and even bartering more. It was simply a different time, a sweet feeling in the midst of much trouble that gave us a taste of what it must have meant to come together in the Old South.
Over that next year, there is no telling how many people’s gardens I helped with, as we took care of the elderly and helped get others started toward self-sufficiency. Paul’s employees donated much of their time. Paul was dragging a hoe tiredly across the ground, as we had been at it all day. “Hot one in Georgia”, said Victor as he dragged a load of wood behind him from the area being cleared to a bigger pile.
“Might get to relax some tomorrow. Sundays are almost like a sabbath again. Everyone is starting to close up,” replied Paul. I would do much of my reading on Sundays during that time. It was as though we were realizing the wisdom and balanced lives of our ancestors were more important than advancements in business and the gods of materialism and careerism.
Mrs. Garnett’s yard was beautiful, and I was glad we could help her. We sat down and spoke to her and the neighbors later, enjoying the sunset. “I haven’t felt this way in a good while,” Mrs. Garnett said as she was pouring tea for all of us. Finally sitting down, she said. “I can’t say I have seen real coming together as a people like this since I was a child."
Mr. Garnett came around the corner. “That says a lot coming from a 90-year-old lady, but as a 95-year-old man I have to agree.”
With an astonished look, Paul spoke, “I can’t believe your ages. You look so young!”.
I asked, “What’s the secret to a happy, long life?”
Mr. Garnett broke out into song. “You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning, let her know you think about her when you’re gone. Kiss angel good morning, and love her like the devil when you get back home…”. Laughter broke as we were not expecting Mr. Garnett’s gusto. Mrs. Garnett was laughing with a red face.
We set fire to the pile later. We were proud of our hard work around town for our people, and we even got a little wisdom, Charley Pride style.
The next week there were some Southern cultural drives aimed at encouraging the classics, with an emphasis on Greek and Roman writers, and various historical topics: the heritage passed down through the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the colonial understanding of what it meant to be English.
Victor was surprised by what he was hearing. “What an awesome speaker! I feel pretty alien to the Old South”.
I responded, “Yeah, it's inspiring, and a look in the mirror all at once”.
Later that day, the speaker discussed items for sell from the Shotwell Publishing, Abbeville Institute, the Fleming Foundation, and other venues. He was inviting us into the Southern mind because “you can’t build a society like that of the Old South without having the quality of education and substance in the minds of the people of old. You have to fill your minds with the same substance. We cannot survive, we cannot thrive as they did without this cultivation of the mind.” He made quite an impression on us. From that day forward Victor and I never doubted the importance of a classical education, and were zealous for it.
Of course, there was still much tribulation to be had. Cultural survival depended on the people of Georgia not only coming together but making very difficult decisions. Over a century of progressive politics, Southern Cultural Genocide, and what amounted to legalized foreign invasion of peoples who did not care about our culture, despite the state being seceded, meant big trouble as well. The state of Georgia had begun to take more harsh and serious steps, even those that might sound have seemed of questionable moral standards just a few months ago. We realized to survive as a people, things had to be done. Things that would not have been needed had it not been for the progressive grave that had been dug for us.
By that time the new secession government had formed and the coalition among the several Southern states had grown stronger but was still loose and slow to order. In the meantime, Victor and I were taking orders of our own, from the Independent State of Georgia that is.
As the immigration supervisor briskly went down the roll, all of us loaded into the bus for our duty for the month. Recently elected Senator Miles sponsored and really pushed for more aggressive legislation to remove those who had been deemed illegals. Over the next several months, many would leave to New England and California for their once-again green pastures of corporations able to hire them. They did so no matter the cultural cost or cost to the taxpayer, but we did not know that at the time.
Reporting of the news was so dismal we always doubted numbers on migration. They were constant political talking points - fact or fiction - as they always had been. The bus rolled out, and there we were, headed for required training for practical and legal purposes.
“What’s that smell?””
“Huh?” I was in my own little zone of thoughts.
“That smell!” Victor cringed, and I smelled it. I smelled it. The center of the bus got tense and awkward, each of us trying to assess the situation. The bus driver wasvstartled by the people’s motions,
“What is it?”
“What?” He pulled the bus over. Then out of nowhere, “He shit in his pants! What the is wrong with him?” A staggering figure was pushed off the bus with a smeared wet streak trailing him and an odor that I never want to remember again. Patrollers were aggressively moving out of the bus as Victor, and I were trying to make sense out of what was occurring. Everyone filed hurriedly off of the bus as we made are way around to where the crowd was focused on the tall lanky man leaning against the bus, wreaking with his own fluids. Everyone almost silent as this was not pleasant and in amazement the man’s condition went unnoticed getting on the bus.
As we listened to the immigration supervisor and his staff, “Meth head. But no real record. There’s always one or two druggies per bus, and more will probably be discovered.” The supervisor was talking angrily. “The population is horrible, and it in the 2030’s. I hope independent Georgia does better with the drug problem than imperial Washington D.C.”.
Yes, we had much to be desired in looking to our ancestors of the 1860s. This secession and fight were much different in that it was not literal or all-out war, and secession was much messier. The root of the issue was a much less noble and put together. People were administering it this time out of the flames of hell that over a century of progressivism and drug issues had caused in the population. Whatever passion you felt for a service to your state was smothered by the everyday run ins with weirdos, druggies, and people not really devoted to anything but themselves. At least that is once we got away from our rural communities and were reporting to duty from various areas of Georgia. Apparently not every place was experiencing Southern revival at the same rate. All we could do is pray we outnumbered them.
The bus was cleaned, and everyone jumped back in and were headed for training. Georgia was in serious times. We felt better one second, and defeated the next.
As we filed into the training area, it was getting late. We were led to our quarters where everyone put their belongings up and got some much-needed rest. The next four weeks on immigration patrol would not be fun or comfortable. Victor and I agreed on necessity and duty, but hated the reality of doing it. After the first couple of days with of tons of agonizing lectures on legal training, how to approach people, and protocol, we were glad to get out and about with weapons training. Besides, the State of Georgia did not have that kind of time on its hands and had to enforce its new immigration laws in the strictest of ways to set a precedent. Once federal U.S. funds were cut off, that helped some, but still corporations were an issue, as well as Atlanta.
“Check them out”. The supervisor yelled as we crossed the road toward an area of suspect transactions and people. Which we were obligated to ask anyone at will for their new proof of citizenship and investigate their activities. We were to flush illegals, and anyone who did not meet the new qualifications out of Georgia.
“Hey, we are with the Immigration Patrol and…” I was interrupted by a string of language I did not understand. Victor spoke up trying to converse in what little Spanish he knew but he could not understand them either. An interpreter who was with us spoke up, conversing with the Hispanic crowd nervously glaring at us. At first, I assumed it was just the awkwardness of approaching them, but now I felt differently. Three of the men from the back took off for the woods, as another group of patrollers followed behind with German Shepherds. The seven who stayed stared for a second with stoic looks, and a tense moment of unknowingness followed.
A flash of movement in the periphery of my left eye concerned me, as I turned left something hit my left leg very hard as I hit the ground, and a ball of humanity had come together as if a Rugby match issued only the grunts were from injured men. As I tried to stand, my leg failed me and I went back down, crouched down I heard something approached me, I slung dirt that direction lunging with baton, and before I knew it I had landed on top of one of the suspected illegals and beat him with a vengeance. I had him subdued as, I really could not get up on my left leg well, but adrenaline had saved my hide.
I looked up and the seven were in our control, and four lay severely injured as well as the man I was still subduing in the dirt. Victor walked over as he and another cuffed the man, and helped me up,
“Are you okay?” Victor was concerned.
“Yeah, someone or something landed on my leg striking that nerve running up my leg, I couldn’t do anything”.
“Ralph, obviously you did,” Victor replied with a grin. The illegals, from what
I understood, were shipped to one of two places depending on offences or national origin, some remote islands off the Georgia coast, or a holding area in Valdosta. The immigration supervisor seemed pleased that none of us were seriously injured. As the ambulances came for the four Guatemalans, we realized that our investigators had found drugs in their bags. We knew something had been awry with their behavior. The cartels, and drug smugglers did not want to give up their markets. Anyone caught was deemed illegal under the new law, regardless of federal paperwork. Georgia could not afford compromise during this turbulent time.
Later that day we came upon a van with a Fulton County license plate. We were expected to cover a certain county that day, randomly searching and questioning as we had been given Georgia-backed authority to do. “Good afternoon, we are with the Georgia Immigration Patrol…” and as I spoke again interrupted this time by what I thought was a different tongue, and I had to radio for an interpreter who was in the vicinity. As the multitude of words I could not make out were continuously coming out of the lady’s mouth, and four rather large men were staring at me from behind her, I simply stayed calm and tried to make her calm. Three other patrollers were beside me and two of us had stepped nearly behind the four men.
The interpreter overhearing the talking on the radio, “sounds like Patois” had nearly came upon us in the jeep when, one of the large men started talking very aggressively. All of a sudden another one spoke up with a creole accent cussing us, “I hate white supremacy, you are racist! F--- ya’ll, and your rebel flag!”.
At that point Victor looked noticeably alarmed and my heart was racing, awaiting the inevitable. One of the men made the mistake of reaching for something and multiple shots rang out. Seconds later, there was one Haitian shot, and a mixture of Jamaicans and Haitians alive with their bellies down to the ground. We all felt grateful to be alive when we found a loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson in the dead man’s pocket. We later discovered the others had weapons as well, though they had given up without a fight. The supervisor sent men over to document everything. “They originally had green cards, and now are deemed five illegals from the Caribbean who had been in Fulton County. We're not sure if the vehicle is stolen…They were given plenty of notice in change of status …”.
I could hear them busily trying to gather information. I told Victor, “I want to go home.”
He looked up. “Me too. Me too," he replied, with a very sullen look on his face.
The next few weeks were hell. We did all we could to follow protocol and not get killed. The one month felt more like six. However, there was some good news. Local authorities were reporting that corporations were steadily deciding to work with the Coalition of Southern States (as they were called at the time, as there was not even enough progress for a new confederate form of government). Big business was discovering that Dixie would suffer no more of its abuse, and that if they wanted to maximize profit, they would have to work with us rather than against us! Newspapers were reporting strides being made in direction and camaraderie among the rural areas, especially with the Southern political front, slowly forging a more consistent and meaningful identity. The Southern revival was the backbone and drive of change.
When we finally loaded our things back unto a bus for home, we were glad to have served. Victor spoke up, “glad to get the hell out of there!" We were headed back to Rome, but we were nervously wrecked and tired, so the next couple of weeks were spent recuperating from fatigue and getting back to work at the hardware store.
It all started with the horrible “Greater Depression.” It was so much worse than the Great Depression for many reasons - so bad, people finally became desperate enough to change their circumstances and throw off the shackles of progressive government. Secession had become a reality for financial reasons, but the cultural concerns remained to be dealt with. States, starting with Texas, were struggling to learn how to govern a dependent citizenry made up of different regions, races, and classes - each making demands. Almost all were now simply different shades of progressivists rocking in a sea of contention, with no clear lighthouse pointing to a truly conservative 1861-like governance.
When the federal government tried to clamp down on the public with so-called security measures in response to scarcity and runaway inflation, people responded much like the Canadian trucker convoy of 2022 had. Then, with a destroyed economy and lawlessness, state governments started to behave with survival in mind and not along party lines. This yielded coalitions between states and serious talk of secession, as all faith in the federal government was lost. Secession became a reality, but not without fierce resistance to changes from corporate America, the U.S. government, and those who loved U.S. government subsidies and pensions. Metropolitan areas opposed secession of their states as corporations fought to maintain their assets and financial interests that were backed by the U.S. government.
It was January 8th, 2035 and a cold northern wind was blowing hard on downtown Rome, Georgia. The people of the day in Rome, (as well as the whole South and much of the West) were facing perplexing issues regarding their future, and a menace just as unrelenting as the cold northern wind bearing down on them. Paul McCoy was attending his usual duties in his hardware store. My coworkers and I were busily putting up the freight rushed in from the back cargo doors. I was trying to balance a ladder in my hand off of a flat cart when Paul said, “Ralph, have you seen the latest news on the elections for the senate race?
I said, “No, why? Same as several months now, right?"
He said, “No, this is getting more serious." He explained that a candidate from Troup County had proposed a much more blunt answer to the Atlanta problem. Paul casually passed the paper to me as he walked briskly toward some unknown destination, disappearing as he hung a left several aisles up.
I glanced at the paper. The headline read “Independent Senate Candidate Miles Proposes Strangulation of Atlanta”. Hurriedly trying to get the gist of the article, I saw Miles had proposed truckers take stand on Atlanta much like that of the Trucker’s Convoy against vaccine mandates in 2022. Miles’ plan suggested that rural truckers stop servicing Atlanta while rural militias blockade roads until Atlanta complied with state orders. Wow.
It had been four months since Georgia had seceded, along with 25 other states or parts of states since then. Things were not going well. The urban centers were in deadlock with states that had chosen to secede, as they did not have anything close to a conservative rule. Many liberals looking to make a name for themselves hurriedly established new contracts to supply their interests in the large cities of the seceding states. They rejected the notion that they were no longer a part of the American Empire, claiming to be patriots standing against tyranny of backward Southerners, irrational wild Western men, and racist, rural values in general. The ever-growing minority and foreign presence in Atlanta had been turned on the people of Georgia. The Independent State of Georgia had managed to come into existence by a narrow vote when a few key unexpected ‘yeas’ that no one saw coming proved critical.
Stocking the ladders, I was in a daze of unbelief that any of it had taken place at all. Without Texas seceding first, none of the other Southern or plains states would have.
Paul and Victor came around the corner with a load of lumber, trying to move it as customers were waiting on the endcaps to get through. The store was busy with people who were preparing and rushing to grab whatever they could in case of blockade by the U.S. government.
I commented in passing, “Wow, it’s about time. We have to take more serious measures.” The two nodded in agreement as an inquiring customer approached. While Miles' measures might have seemed harsh just a year ago, now every Southerner wanted this. They knew that it was a necessity considering the U.S. government’s increasing threats of blockade by certain politicians in cahoots with the Atlanta, Charlotte, and Columbia elite. They were using big money to try to keep their supply routes open between their cities and port cities or cities with river access such as Augusta, Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, Norfolk, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Houston, and Mobile.
As Victor and Paul came back down the aisle with Victor turned to me. “At least we still have some true Southerners,” he said as they passed. Though what was left of anything of a conservative people? Those who thought they were conservative cheered secession as if a successful Hail Mary pass had been thrown in a football game thought to be lost, but the provisional government of the Independent State of Georgia was dragging as people soon discovered that the people of 2035 did not have the cultural or even historical ties that those of 1861 did. In fact, some were wondering if there was enough substance at all to keep certain factions together. No compromise was coming easy for governance within the state and certainly all Georgia had was a loose coalition for defense with Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, the southern half of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, a portion of Missouri, then Kansas and Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas. Apart from this there was also a loose coalition of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho and rural California, which was trying to break away from metro California, as well as a similar issue with eastern Washington state.
As Paul, Victor, and I broke away for lunch we discussed how Atlanta was threatening the state with its allegiance to the U.S. government, and how most seceded states were experiencing similar issues with a few cities or isolated counties. Some even had multiple counties in a cluster resisting state governance, as in Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. Florida was seemingly on the verge of being split into two entities with Tallahassee, then Orlando, and Miami throwing their weight for opposite sides, and most of rural Florida siding with Tallahassee. Miami and Houston were pushing to become independent city-states, however, and aid they gave the U.S. was of concern at the moment.
As we discussed whether we could get Miami to join our side for defense purposes, someone walked in telling of atrocities to their cousins in Atlanta. Gangs of blacks had starting killing elderly whites who could not make it out of the cities, and all the trouble that had broken out there brought the death toll into the hundreds in just a few months. Upon threat of secession, it was as if the powers of Washington D.C. had unleashed BLM and Antifa times ten in the cities. With the conservative strongholds miles away, the elderly were helpless in many cases as some were not evacuated soon enough. City officials in Atlanta protected it Ralph Northam-style. This was a much more brutal incident. City officials only stepped in to quell fires that had been started by white anarchists and Antifa-type groups to protect homes and office areas of the wealthy, in order to prevent massive evacuation of the city toward Augusta, Charleston, or even ultimately to New England. The U.S. government froze people’s assets who did not move them to state banks in time.
Meanwhile, corporations did not want to give up business as usual. They were using every progressive weapon imaginable to destroy the will of the people to back their state governments. “But, we can’t back out now!” Paul said. Some feared retaliation for not paying federal taxes. Even now, months later, as the U.S. government condemned those aiding the rebellion in the form of unpaid federal taxes.
Victor spoke up. “Well, I'm glad most the rural areas finally come together after the initial squabble, and maybe with our fields and guns we are good for self-sufficiency, I hope the U.S. government doesn’t send troops or use federal employees disgruntled about not being paid, or veterans over their pensions being withheld, against us.”
Then after a moment of thought I exclaimed, “No! I don’t think they will risk the damage done to business by force. Businesses don’t want any more interruption in profits than they have already suffered, and the seceded states have leverage in negotiating new trade and tariffs.”
“Um, yeah, some corporations are starting to cooperate more, now that they see we are not giving up!” added Paul. “You know income tax, and trade competition are the U.S. government’s main concerns, and as integrated as this society had become in business its very messy!”
The next morning, I was rather sore from a hard day’s work. Still groggy, I felt almost snatched out of bed by the sense that something was abnormal. The dog was barking ferociously at something or someone outside. I peered out the side of the bedroom blinds to see lights, as it was still early, and now there was an unknown vehicle in the yard. Hurriedly getting more properly dressed and sliding some shoes on, I went out the bedroom and down the hall where the dog was barking relentlessly. “Shhhh! It's fine, puppy, it’s fine.”
Fighting the dog out the door, I close the door behind me. Once my eyes adjusted, I could make out Paul and Victor. “Hey Ralph! Tried to call ya. Sorry for the intrusion!” yelled Paul as he stepped out of the driver’s side of his truck. Victor stuck his head out the window nervously.
“What’s going on, Paul?" I asked. He explained he needed help. One of his suppliers, located closer to Atlanta than we would care to go, was having trouble with “federal patriots” on the roads, railways, and ports. Paul needed goods for the store as people were buying out everything at the hardware store. Paul could not find another supplier close by who would have anything promised for a good while.
“Ralph, get your gun. And we need to hurry up.” said Victor. After jumping in the back of the large truck, the three of us armed and ready, I was pondering just what we would run into. Victor was telling of how forces from Atlanta had taken goods thought to be needed for the large city from some warehouses, and there had been a threat to Paul’s only available supplier halfway to Atlanta.
I wasn’t so nervous until we got out of Floyd County and saw the people in tents along the roadway, and those who were desperately trying to get away from now-totalitarian Atlanta. Yes, the Corporations and CNN, MSNBC, Fox News were saying the city was better equipped and stocked, and all was well, and that secession was just leveraging tool for radicals as they are bought out by big corporations. The message would have perhaps been more effective against us had the leftist Antifa-and-BLM-types not started craziness in opposition to “White Supremist Secession”. This was funny to me, due to Southern Paul being half-black. I was only happy that despite race, some people still knew that being Southern was what mattered.
As we were going eastward down the road, there were flashing lights ahead. The air got thick and tense and we were all nervous about what lay ahead. As Paul slowed down behind the car in front of us and we were trying to make out what the issue was, Victor abruptly said, “Oh no. I’m looking at social media. Some people got in a firefight along the road ahead. There was a crash. I don’t know if it was robbery, or what, from the social media posts.”
We were now close enough to hear the cops through our rolled-down windows. “Yesterday, there were more people along this roadside here, shots rang out early this morn…” We were really trying to listen in, as now we could see a car flipped over, and at least two more cars hugging trees. “…it may be a while before this clears completely…”.
This was not exactly what Paul wanted to hear. Paul nervously began texting his wife to tell her we didn’t know how long we would be sitting there. Victor called the supplier to check if everything was fine. “Yeah, we hope to get there before you run out,…what you have to move all the merchandise soon…” The moment was very tense, as none of us really wanted to go any further, and we were stuck, at that. Paul, as well as his customers back in Rome, needed those supplies in anticipation of who-knows-what, as things had been chaotic since the secession of Texas.
After sitting in the truck, we finally started going. There was no thrill in this situation, and not much was said as we drove along. We looked for updates on situations close to Atlanta on news and social media. Finally, we got to our destination, taking a wide turn around a tall gate, and we saw trucks backing up as we rolled in. A company representative knocked on Paul’s window. We had all been distracted, looking to our right at the frantic and unorganized manner the loading was taking place, and how all the faces were grim.
“Who am I speaking to?” the rep asked, holding a pen and writing pad.
“Paul’s Dixie Hardware out of Rome, Georgia and this is our list of…”
He was interrupted by the rep. “Let me make sure you are one of our dedicated customers, since we are trying to service them first”.
“Ok,” replied Paul, as the man grabbed a store laptop from a nearby table, and crouched looking for the name and information on our paperwork.
“Back the truck up to the last dock on the end,” he instructed, and Paul set in motion and backed up to the dock. We were all somewhat relieved and a little less tense as we got out, loading the truck as the supplier’s men brought out our order.
“You know Victor, we really could have used another truck, because…” I began.
“Now, Ralph, let’s not even think about it. This load is a blessing. We have all been too stressed. Besides, they might not even have this whole load to supply us with.” We were steadily moving boxes of materials needed for households during emergencies. The continuous work there for two hours and a half took our minds off of present troubles, and we were almost enjoying ourselves. Victor and I shoved the load forward, and were letting down the door on the back of Paul’s large truck, when all of a sudden there was a loud ruckus from a few loading docks down. We anxiously exchanged looks. It didn’t sound right.
“What the hell is that?” Paul said. He was trying to look around trucks and slowly walking towards the sound. Victor was trailing close by, as I was keeping up on the opposite end of the trucks in the same direction.
As we stepped cautiously closer, we heard “What the hell do you mean you can’t service me these materials! They are sitting in your damn warehouse! Now you fat son of bitch tell them to open the cargo doors…” An angry stranger was yelling at one of the supplier reps.
“But sir, you cut in line! And besides, we are supposed to supply our loyal customers first…”
The angry man pulled a gun and people around backed up and hid behind whatever they could. The angry stranger started yelling obscenities, “I served the U.S. Army 20 years dammit! Y'all voted to secede and now I gotta move to keep my f---ing business I built after f---ing retirement to get a pension because the ,U.S. gov wont release to traitors! Y'all Mother f----ers owe me!”
My heart was pumping and everyone was scurrying for safety as shots rang out, so loud. I can’t remember how long the incident lasted or how long I was laying there. I was trembling as though I was in another world all by myself.
“Ralph you all right”? I felt a hand along my back, it was Victor trembling, stuttering, “I…I..think…we’re good…its over…” I looked, pressed my palms to the concrete, and looking up with my foot dragging the ground. I slowly came to a knee and saw it.
Paul came around the corner. “Thank God.” He looked over at what we were staring at. We all saw it. Lying there on the ground with a faded Army Veteran hat and blood everywhere was the angry man who had opened fire. A supply rep had shot him. He was on the phone with the police. Everyone else was just trying to get out of there, now.
The trip back to Rome was somber, but we were grateful to God for our lives. Months ago, we all knew there would be trouble once the U.S. government started seizing bank accounts and pensions. All three of us were veterans ourselves, but we knew that had been service to the imperial U.S. government, and no amount of money was more important than our people and our culture. We knew we were blessed to be Southerners. We knew we could survive with the revival of community - true Southern community.
To be continued...