Monday, June 25, 2018

Review of the Book Test the Shroud

November 28, 2016
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read other books on the Shroud of Turin, but this book is by far the most inclusive of all facts known about the Shroud. It not only goes over everything we know already, including the most recent findings, but it also suggests many new tests using modern technology than can further prove this was the burial cloth of the historic Jesus Christ and not a forgery, as suggested by the carbon date done in 1988. The book also provides many examples as to why this carbon date is inaccurate—the only test among thousands of other tests that suggests a medieval age for the Shroud.

Now, I’ll admit a lot of the information in this book is over my head. There is a lot of talk about radioactivity, neutron and proton radiations that I did not fully understand. This is understandable because many of the leading scientists in the field were consulted in the writing of this book and this information is very scientific and hard to digest for the average person. However, he does a good job in simplifying it nonetheless, although I admit I skimmed over the really technical stuff. That said, this book has something for everybody. The Sheldon’s of the world (Big Bang Theory) can enjoy the scientific stuff and people like me can enjoy the rest.

I was disappointed that Mr. Antonacci’s findings did not agree with the findings of Joseph Marino in his book, “Wrapped Up In The Shroud”, which chronicles he and his wife’s efforts to prove that the carbon date was actually performed on a rewoven patch. I really wanted to believe that. Fortunately, Mr. Antonacci’s explanation for the erroneous carbon date seem much more plausible to me. Ironically, the back cover of this book contains an endorsement by Joseph Marino himself so apparently, there are no hard feelings.

Personally, I don’t see how any rationally minded person can read this book and not believe the Shroud captured the miraculous resurrection of Christ. The evidence already revealed from previous scientific tests are convincing enough. But, for those that still need more proof, this book is for you. Hopefully, scientists will someday be allowed to reexamine the Shroud and conduct some of the many tests this book suggests. I have little doubt about the conclusion of these tests.
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June 6, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book summarizes all the major scientific information about the Shroud of Turin in one place. It then discusses in great technical detail what must have happened to the Shroud at the molecular level. This is a book that is meant to read through more than once and then used as a reference guide.

The author contends that God left scientific proof of His existence 2,000 years ago in the image left on the Shroud, an image that could not have been faked and cannot be duplicated by modern science. This image could help all the people in the world answer life's greatest questions, Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Where are we going?

The Shroud of Turin is a burial cloth over 14 feet long and over 3.5 feet wide. During the time of Christ, a deceased Jew was laid lengthwise on the cloth which was then folded over his head to cover the front of his body. A faint image appears for the man's full-length frontal and dorsal body images. But the image became most recognizable on May 28, 1898, when Secondo Pia first photographed it and recognized sharply defined images of a tortured and crucified man in the photographic negatives.

The body image is 3-dimentional. Features that lie closest to the cloth -- nose, forehead, cheeks, hands -- are the most intense, while areas of the body that are farther away leave a lighter impression.
The image is directionless; that is, there are no underlying brush strokes that go up, down, or side to side. This refutes the 1389 claim by Bishop Pierre d'Arcis of Troyes that the Shroud was a painted forgery by an unnamed artist. Regardless of whether the cloth was sloping downward, upward, or lying flat, only the parts of the frontal body image that were facing the cloth were encoded in a vertical, straight-line direction to their underlying points on the body. Since the crown of the man's head and the left and right sides of the body do not face the cloth, they did not become encoded.

A linen thread is composed of about 200 flaxen fibers. The image lies only on the topmost 2 or 3 fibers. These fibers are straw-yellow in color, yet the color does not penetrate into the threads. Remarkably, the coloring is found 360° around each colored fiber. When a fiber is cut, it is white on the inside. Also, where one fiber crosses another fiber, it is white on the underlying fiber. If one part of the image is darker than another, it is not because its fibers are encoded more intensely, rather it's because a greater number of colored fibers exist in that area.

The image does not consist of any pigments, dyes, or materials of any kind. It consists of oxidized, dehydrated cellulose. This is a natural material found in all plants and fibers and is the raw material from which linen is made. As it ages, linen naturally yellows from oxidizing and dehydrating. It will darken more over time if exposed to sunlight and radiation. Even though the entire Shroud has darkened, something caused its image to darken even more.

Linen consists of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms that are single-bonded together. Something happened to the encoded body image fibers that caused many of its single-bonded atoms to break apart, allowing its carbon and oxygen atoms to then double-bond with each other, forming the straw-yellow image. One possible cause is particle radiation.

Scourge Marks
One hundred or more dumbbell-shaped impressions were left on the man (O—O) with slightly indented centers and upraised edges. These correspond to the Roman flagrum, a whip used for flagellation. Each leather thong had lead weights tied at the end. A "halo" of lighter color surrounds these marks. Ultraviolet light confirms this as blood serum. This is a process called syneresis. When skin is abraded, the emerging blood remains for only a few minutes before it begins to coagulate. As it does so, red blood cells and serum separate. The red cells form a clot, which then retracts in the wound. As the clot shrinks, the serum is squeezed out and settles around the edge of the wound. Since none of these features are visible to the naked eye, they could not have been created by an artist in the Middle Ages.

Facial and Head Wounds
The man on the Shroud has a mustache, beard and hair falling to his shoulders in a central part. His cheeks are swollen, and below his right cheek is a triangular-shaped wound. His nose is bruised and swollen, and the cartilage may be separated from the bone. The nose is scratched and dirty. The areas around the eyes are swollen. His face appears to have been beaten with a hard object such as a fist or stick) and injured in a fall. There are more than 30 head wounds produced by a cap made of sharp, pointed objects.

Hand and Arm Wounds
The man's left wrist has been pierced, and blood flows from the wrist to the elbow, in two parallel streams, one at 65° and the other at 55°. The same streams are on the right arm. This evidence confirms crucifixion. When a crucified victim hung on a cross, he could not take in air unless he pushed himself up with his feet to raise his shoulders and expand his rib cage. This movement alters the horizontal axis of the arms by 10°, thus producing two streams of blood on his arms. Sometimes to hurry death, the Roman executioners would break the legs of the crucified to stop them from breathing. Although many people believe Jesus' nail holes were in his hands, the Greek word used in the Gospels is cheir, which also means "wrist and forearm." Dr. Pierre Barbet said that a nail driven into the Space of Destot in the wrist would push aside four small bones without breaking them. Driving the nail here also spontaneously contracts the thumb inward to lie across the palm, which is why the thumbs are not visible on the Shroud.

Shoulder Injuries
Two broad excoriated areas occur across the man's shoulder blades. This is consistent with carrying a heavy crossbeam (80 to 100 lbs.). Falling under this weight caused scratches, lesions, and abrasions on the front of the man's knees. Patches of dirt are on the knees, nose, and bottoms of the feet. The man's right shoulder appears dislocated, another source of intense pain.

Leg and Foot Wounds
A large amount of blood resulted from a piercing wound to the foot. Pathologist Robert Bucklin identified the source of this flow as "a square image surrounded by a pale hole" in the metatarsal zone. From this wound, some blood runs vertically toward the toes, but most flows toward the heels and horizontally onto the cloth. This means the man bled in different positions -- vertically while on the cross and horizontally while being carried after he was dead. Why did most of this blood flow occur after the man had died? While the man was crucified in the vertical position, blood accumulated in the front and lower part of the foot. This blood flowed out after the nail was removed and the body was laid flat. The man's right foot was placed directly against a flat surface while his left leg is bent at the knee and his left foot rotated to rest on top of the right foot. A single nail driven between the metatarsal bones could affix both feet in a stationary position. In keeping with the Biblical prophecy that none of the Messiah's bones would be broken, like the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46 and Psalm 34:20), Jesus' legs were not broken (John 19:36).

Chest Wound
On the right side of the man's chest is a large wound. Blood and watery fluid flowed out due to gravity, not a pumping heart. Most experts agree that the watery fluid came from the pleural cavity and from the pericardial sac surrounding the heart, while the blood came from the heart. The elliptical-shaped wound is about 4.4 cm long and 1.1 cm wide. This matches the shape and size of the Roman leaf-shaped lancea used by foot soldiers. All the blood on the Shroud is whole blood with blood serum, of blood type AB, and of a human male because of the presence of human DNA with both X and Y chromosomes.

Uniqueness of the Image
If a corpse could naturally leave body images or blood stains with clearly marked edges like those on the Shroud, it should have happened on other burial garments, blankets, shirts, trousers, soldiers' uniforms, bandages or other wrappings for the billions of people who have died. But it has not. All naturalistic methods to duplicate these stains have failed. The Shroud contains no traces of myrrh or aloes, perspiration, urea, or bodily fluids (other than blood). How were the sharply defined blood stains that were not in contact with the cloth transferred to it, and in the same way they appeared on the body? And how is it that these blood stains are so embedded in the cloth that they can be seen on the outer side of the cloth, the side not touching the body? Some extraordinary event occurred to this dead body that caused its blood marks and its full-length negative images to appear on the cloth. This had to occur within 2 to 3 days of the body being wrapped in the cloth, as there are no signs of decomposition, which takes place 2 to 3 days after death.

The Linen Shroud
The Shroud was woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill pattern and spun with a Z twist. Similar weaves have been discovered well before the time of Christ. Traces of cotton fibers were found of the Gossypium herbaceum variety, distinctive to the Middle East. No traces of wool were found, in keeping with Jewish law, "Neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee." (Leviticus 19:19).

A Roman Coin
It is possible that a Roman coin was placed over the man's right eye. Some features can be seen of a Pontius Pilate lepton minted between 29 and 32 AD. The Greek letters UCAI (part of the inscription for Tiberius Caesar) may be seen, along with a staff or lituus, and a clipped coin margin. Coins were used at Jewish burials only between the 1st century BC through the 1st Century AD.

Limestone and Pollen
A limestone sample from the foot region of the man in the Shroud was compared to a sample from the Ecole Biblique, the same rock shelf as the Holy Sepulcher and the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. Both consisted of calcium carbonate in the form of travertine aragonite and were an unusually close match.
Dr. Max Frei, an expert in Mediterranean flora, identified 58 pollen grains on the Shroud, of which 42 grow in Jerusalem, where the cloth must have originated. Dr. Alan Whanger identified 28 species of flowers represented by flower images on the Shroud. All 28 species are found in Jerusalem. They all bloom in March and April (Easter) and would have been available at marketplaces or in fields. The flower images on the Shroud were from wilted flowers that were 24 to 36 hours old.

The Unwashed Body
Normally, Jewish custom requires a deceased body to be washed and anointed with oil. However, in the case of blood, it was to be buried with the body, since the "life of the flesh is in the blood." (Leviticus 17:11). Therefore, the body would not be washed, as is the case with the man in the Shroud. Also, with the Sabbath quickly approaching, the burial had to be completed before sundown.

The body image is due to a more advanced decomposition than the normal aging rate of the background itself. Only the application of radiation (light or heat) to cellulose will artificially darken it, as if it had rapidly aged. This radiation occurred at a low temperature since there are no by-products (pyrolytic compounds) from high-temperature degradation. In 1989, physicist Thomas Phillips first proposed that particle radiation had irradiated the Shroud. This source of radiation came from the man's body itself. Only proton radiation would explain all 32 of the Shroud's body image features.
1. lack of fading
2. lack of foreign materials or particulates
3. straw-yellow coloration
4. only the topmost superficial fibers of threads encoded
5. individual fibers encoded
6. fibers colored 360° around circumference
7. only outer layers of individually encoded fibers are colored
8. no coloration inside of fiber
9. fibers colored with similar intensity
10. oxidation and dehydration of body images
11. containing conjugated carbonyls (double-bonded carbon and oxygen atoms formed after single-bonded atoms within linen fibers broke apart) that
12. developed over time
13. accelerated aging of the body image
14. stability to water and heating
15. insolubility to acids, reductants and solvents
16. gross mechanical properties of linen intact
17. microscopically corroded appearance of fibers
18. lower tensile strength of fibers
19. reduction of the cloth's fluorescence at body images
20. lack of residue
21. highly attenuating or absorbing agent
22. agent operated over skin, hair, bones (teeth, coins, and flowers)
23. non-diffuse image with sharp boundaries
24. equal intensity for frontal and dorsal images
25. lack of two-dimensional directionality (latitude and longitude)
26. negative images with left/right and light/dark reversals that develop into
27. highly resolved, photographic quality images
28. without any magnification
29. with skeletal (and dental) features
30. three-dimensionality
31. encoded through the spaces between the body and the cloth
32. in a straight-line vertical direction

The author says, "Based on the available evidence, you don't have to be a scientist to wonder whether a supernatural radiating event occurred to the dead crucified man in the Shroud that caused his body images to develop over time on this burial cloth. You don't have to be a theologian to realize that all of the unfakable features and events encoded into this burial shroud are similar to the very same events and circumstances that are recorded to have occurred to the historical Jesus Christ." (p. 108)

How Neutron Radiation Creates New Radioactive CL-36 and CA-41 Atoms in Linen and Blood
Calcium (Ca-40) exists naturally in blood and limestone. Chlorine (Cl-35) occurs naturally in blood. If neutrons were released by the man's body, they would have ricocheted throughout the tomb. Each time the neutrons collided with atoms in the rock, cloth, blood, or other matter, they would have lost energy and speed. Occasionally, some nuclei within the cloth reacted by "capturing" an individual neutron, where it then joined other protons and neutrons within the nucleus. A new distinct atom was created that is so rare, it virtually does not exist in nature. Thus, some Ca-40 atoms become Ca-41 atoms, and some Cl-35 atoms become Cl-36 atoms. Since the half-lives of Cl-36 and Ca-41 are 301,000 and 102,000 years, respectively, almost all of the Cl-36 and Ca-41 atoms that were created 2,000 years ago throughout this burial cloth would still be present today.

Scientists have demonstrated that if a known number of neutrons irradiate material containing known amounts of chlorine or calcium, then known numbers of new Cl-36 and Ca-41 will be produced within the irradiated material. Both the presence of the newly created Cl-36 and Ca-41 atoms and their specific amounts can be determined by measuring the Cl-36 to Cl-35 and Ca-41 to Ca-40 ratios of the neutron irradiated material. An accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) would be used to measure these ratios.

How Neutron Radiation Creates New C-14 Atoms in Linen and Blood
If the Shroud was irradiated by neutrons, additional Carbon 14 (C-14) atoms would have been created throughout the cloth. C-14 atoms are created from the common nitrogen atom called N-14. The N-14 atom has 7 protons and 7 neutrons and does not decay. After a neutron collides with and enters the N-14 nucleus, it causes instability within the nucleus, ejecting a proton. The resulting nucleus is a C-14 nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons. The newly created C-14 atoms remain within the molecular structure of the Shroud including the image and the blood marks. Knowing that the half-life of C-14 atoms is 5,370 years allows scientists to determine the age of an object by counting its remaining C-14 atoms. But if an event caused the Shroud to be irradiated with neutrons, this would make it appear much YOUNGER than its actual age because it would contain MORE C-14 atoms than the linen originally had. This would account for the 1988 erroneous Carbon 14 dating which concluded that the Shroud dated from 1260 to 1390 AD. If the world erroneously dismisses the Shroud as a fake, and yet cannot reproduce its image or blood marks, then it can be dismissing the most important artifact in human history, an artifact which proves the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Him being the Son of God.

Why the Blood Marks Are Red and Not Brown
The blood on the Shroud still retains a reddish coloration. The blood should have long ago turned dark brown or black. Dr. Carlo Goldini concluded from his experiments that when blood marks are first exposed to neutron radiation and then to ultraviolet light (sunlight), the blood marks display a bright red coloration. It is bright red regardless of the blood's bilirubin content, which has been the traditional explanation for the Shroud's centuries-old red coloration.

1201 -- The Shroud is mentioned by Nicholas Mesarites, a Greek overseer of the emperor's relics in the Pharos Chapel of the Boucoleon Palace in Constantinople. "In this chapel Christ rises again, and the sindon [Shroud] with the burial linens is the clear proof because it wrapped the mysterious, naked dead body after the Passion."
1203-1204 -- Soldiers of the 4th Crusade attack Constantinople for payment for having deposed Alexius III, who had usurped the Byzantine throne, and reinstating his nephew, Alexius IV. Most of the capital's priceless relics disappeared, including the Shroud. Robert de Clari wrote, "There was another of the churches which they call Lady St. Mary of Blachernae, where there was kept the Shroud [sydoines] in which Our Lord had been wrapped."
1204 - 1350s -- Unknown whereabouts of Shroud.
1204 -- Coincidental disappearance of a cloth called the Mandylion (also called the Image of Edessa), said to bear the divine and miraculous imprint of the face of Jesus, made without any painter's pigments. It was labeled acheiropoietos, or "not made by hand." It arrived in Constantinople in 944 from Edessa where it had been since at least the 6th century. Some contend it was brought there in the 1st century by the disciple Thaddaeus ("one of the seventy" in Luke 10:1) or a messenger of Edessa's King Abgar V.
mid-1350s -- Shroud first public appearance in Europe in Lirey, France by Geoffrey de Charny.
1389 -- Shroud publicly displayed by Geoffrey de Charny's widow. He died a hero at the Battle of Poiteirs in 1356.
1532 -- Shroud incurs fire and water damage in Chambery, France when church catches on fire.
1578 -- The Shroud arrives in Turin, Italy.

The Impact of the Mandylion (Shroud of Turin?) on How the Face of Christ is Depicted in Art
Although the New Testament does not describe Christ's physical appearance, during the first 5 centuries A.D., Christ was usually portrayed as a young man, clean-shaven with short hair. But after the reappearance of the Mandylion in the 6th century, Christ is portrayed as having long hair, parted in the middle and falling to His shoulders. He has a thin mustache that droops to join a forked beard. His face is longer and more refined with a nose that is longer and more pronounced. His eyes are more deeply set and His whole countenance is set in a rigidly front-facing attitude. Some anomalies begin to occur: a transverse streak across the forehead, a three-sided square between the eyebrows, a V-shape at the bridge of the nose, a second V-shape inside the three-sided square, an accentuated line between the nose and the upper lip, a heavy line under the lower lip, a hairless area between the lower lip and beard, a traverse line across the throat, a raised right eyebrow, accentuated left and right cheeks, an enlarged left nostril, heavily accentuated owlish eyes, and two loose strands of hair falling from the apex of the forehead. Since all these features are visible on the Shroud of Turin, a strong argument is made for declaring the Shroud and the Mandylion to be one and the same. This premise is called the "iconographic theory" and was first developed by Paul Vignon. The artists modeled the somewhat vague and indefinite faint image on the cloth, as the photographic negative was not available for centuries, so they composed the best and most accurate representations they could. Dr. Alan D. Whanger of Duke University developed the "polarized image overlay technique" where 6th-century images of Christ in paintings and on Byzantine coins are superimposed over the Shroud image. He counted from 33 to 100 points of congruence.

The History of the Mandylion
In 1204, the Mandylion disappeared from Constantinople that same time as the Shroud. In 1978, Ian Wilson first asserted that the Shroud of Turin was actually the Mandylion that had been double-folded twice, so only the head region was visible. It measured 3'7". John Skylitzes, a Greek historian of the late 11th century, depicted the arrival of the Mandylion to Constantinople in 944. He shows the face of Jesus on a much larger cloth that has been folded. The Mandylion had traveled from Jerusalem to eastern Anatolia (Edessa) to Constantinople, the exact route of the Shroud. In the 6th century, Evagrius in his Ecclesiastical History referred to the Mandylion as acheiropoietos, or "not made by hands."

Why do the Gospels not mention an image on Jesus' burial cloth? Because the image we see today would have taken time to develop. There is no mention in history of an image until the 6th century. The body image was made by an event which caused the cellulose to age over time.

This hypothesis says that only particle radiation consisting of protons and neutrons emanating from a disappearing body can account for all the Shroud's body image features. If the body suddenly disappeared while leaving behind a very small amount of the basic particles of matter, the cloth would have collapsed into the radiating body region. The parts of the cloth closest to the body (tip of the nose and lips) would have received the greatest amount of radiation as they would have fallen the furthest distance when collapsing. Other parts of the cloth received less radiation as they fell a lesser distance. Thus, a precise, 3-dimensional body image would have been encoded, with every degree of brightness/darkness at every point on the cloth being directly correlated with the original distances that the cloth was draped from the body. When the body suddenly disappeared, a brief vacuum would have been created, drawing the dorsal cloth up into the radiant body region and encoding the body image and blood marks on the dorsal side. The body of the man only had to give off less than one millionth of one-percent (0.000000015%) of the protons and neutrons in his body to have encoded his image on the Shroud, leaving dried blood marks that are bright red and not brown.

After the resurrection, when John and Peter ran to the tomb (John 20:3-5). John says that after he went inside, "He saw and believed" (John 20:8). What did John see that made him believe that Jesus had risen from the dead? He saw that the linen wrappings had not been disturbed, just collapsed. No one had moved the linen wrappings to steal or move the body. John concluded that since no one had touched the wrappings, Jesus' body had simply disappeared from the shroud. He had gone right through the grave clothes.

There are currently over 7.3 billion people in the world. They have a right to know if there is unfakable, scientific, medical and archeological evidence that particle radiation emanated from the dead body of Jesus Christ as it disappeared -- and that this event occurred after he had been beaten, scourged, crowned with thorns, carried a heavy rough object across his shoulders, was crucified, killed, and buried. The ultimate goal of science is truth. If scientific testing confirms that a miraculous event happened to the dead body of Jesus Christ, it would clearly indicate there is a God, that He intentionally intervened in history, that Jesus Christ was the recipient of power, and that God and Jesus Christ are the source of ultimate power or truth. The same historical sources, whose critical events were prophesized centuries before they occurred, tell us that Jesus came to save all of humanity. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." (John 3:16-17)

Monday, January 22, 2018

WAGY Radio Station
It’s Beginnings and Early History
Barry D. Yelton
            I had the great privilege of working at WAGY radio from January 1963 to June of 1967.  When I started I was all of 16 years old.  A few years back we had a little reunion of former announcers, DJ’s, and others from the “Old WAGY” before the FM band was sold, which occurred sometime in the 80’s I believe.  That got me to thinking about the history of the station.  I did a Google search and could find almost nothing about WAGY, except a Facebook page about the current AM operation still operating.  It seemed to me that the colorful history of the station should be at least partially told. It may have value and meaning to the descendants of those who participated in its golden age in the late fifties and sixties. I can only relate what I know (and remember at age 71 in the year 2018) about those wonderful days working with some of the best people I have ever known.
            The station was formed by G.T. “Uncle Bud” Becknell and Hoyle Lovelace around 1958. They were business partners in a radio and jewelry store in Forest City, NC and decided to get into the broadcasting business.  Uncle Bud (I must call him that because that is how everyone knew him and addressed him) was the general manager of the operation.  I saw Mr. Lovelace only occasionally.  He ran a general store in Bostic, NC, where, as fate would have it, I bought my wife-to-be her first FM radio in 1964, which we still own (and it still works).
The People
            My introduction to the station was through my best friend, and third cousin, Johnny Medford.  Johnny lived just down the road from the old station (which is now a private residence) on what they currently call Old WAGY Road.  Somehow, he began to stop by the station, and Uncle Bud offered him a job.  I believe he began as the early morning “janitor” and part time DJ. Johnny and I were lifelong friends until his passing in December of 2014.  He later became the station manager and was an integral part of the operation.  He left there sometime around 1969, married, and ran a country store. During his time there Johnny was known for his friendly demeanor, wry humor, and terrific radio voice. He was a truly great individual.
            As previously mentioned, Uncle Bud was the general manager and the undoubted boss of the operation. When I was there he was about fifty years old. He wore an old fashioned pencil thin mustache, which I am told, he fashioned after his favorite performer, Tennessee Ernie Ford.  Uncle Bud was a household name at that time.  WAGY had the largest listening audience in Rutherford County, and Uncle Bud’s morning show was the most popular of them all.  His homespun way of talking, country humor, and jovial persona was popular with people and the reason a great many of them tuned in each day.
            Uncle Bud was also a visionary.  He saw the need for a water reservoir in Rutherford County and I am told promoted the idea, though it did not go anywhere.  A severe drought a few years back certainly made me think that it would have been an excellent idea, as municipalities scrambled to keep from running out of water.  He also talked about forming a cable TV operation.  At the time neither I nor anyone else there even knew what that was.  But Uncle Bud could see that it had a future, though to what extent only time would tell.  If he had had the resources of a Ted Turner, who knows what may have happened.
            Everyone loved Uncle Bud’s way of talking and his country expressions.  If you didn’t know him you would think he was a simple country boy.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In addition to being a visionary he was an entrepreneur and a good businessman.  However, to the world he was Uncle Bud, the friendly voice on the radio who repeatedly said things like “Good Old Rutherford County,”  except it came out “Good ole Releford County.”  I can hear him say it to this day.
            His early morning show was one of the most popular on the station.  It started out with a rousing rendition not of some country or bluegrass tune but with “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey.”  Why he chose that as his theme song, I never knew. But I surmise that he chose it simply because it was upbeat and he liked it.
            WAGY in those days had a music/talk variety format. One of the talk shows was “Swap and Shop.”  People would call in with items to sell, items or pets to give away, or items wanted. In those days there was not tape delay and whatever the caller said, went right out over the airwaves.  This led to a number of embarrassing and sometimes hilarious exchanges.  A lady once called in with a couch for sale. She described the couch and gave a price for it.  Uncle Bud, in his country manner, said, “Would ye euchre on it?”  The lady gasped and said, “Uncle Bud, I am a Christian.” And she hung up the phone.  I hope she later realized that he meant was would she negotiate the price. That was a word he used every day, but apparently she was not clued in.
            I hear a while back that years after he sold the station and retired, he came to some sort of community event, and no one knew who he was. I am told it made him very sad, and that makes me very sad as well. Uncle Bud was the heart and soul of WAGY and later on you will see what I mean. More than that, he was the voice of Rutherford County for many years. His contribution to the culture, enjoyment, and well being of citizens of that era deserves great respect and honor. It is a shame he never really received that respect and honor later in life.  Lesser men have had statues dedicated to them in city squares.
            Gerald “Pappy” Bedford was a full time announcer who also developed a following at WAGY. Pappy had contracted polio as a child (in the days before Dr. Salk’s vaccine). He was paralyzed from the waist down and walked with the help of two special crutches which clamped on to his lower arms with grips lower down for his hands. He literally walked on his arms, and believe me no one could beat him at arm wrestling. He had a unique way of talking, with a sort of halting annunciation, which made him unique among the DJ’s and announcers there. His radio persona was always upbeat. In person, he loved a good joke, laughed a lot, and poked fun at me every chance he got.  When I went there I was 16 and he was 26.  Pappy passed away a few years ago. The last time I saw him was at the reunion in about 2012. He had begun using a wheelchair, and someone helped him around. He treated me as an equal and I always considered him my friend.
            Dave White was station manager before Johnny took over. He was truly the golden voice of the station.  I have never heard a better voice on the radio.  He was a local boy, who loved music. He wrote a number of successful songs for people like Whisperin’ Bill Anderson and others. When Bill Anderson came through the area, he sometimes stayed with Dave and his wife. Dave later moved to Nashville to continue his songwriting career. I understand he passed away at a young age from a heart attack.
            He was always very nice to me though he did give me a bit of a joshing when I combed my hair forward Beatle-style in early 1964 (I soon reverted to my old plain haircut).  Dave was a talented man. It is a shame he passed away so young.  If you Google his name, you will find there was a singer-songwriter named Dave White who had some commercial success. That is a different person altogether.  I don’t know for sure if Dave of WAGY penned any hits, but I know Bill Anderson, a huge star back then, thought a lot of him.
            Don Lovelace, Hoyle Lovelace’s son, worked at the station, and I believe later bought it and operated it.  I never was truly sure what Don did.  I saw him rarely, but I believe he helped with the management of the station.
            There was an ad salesman and I believe his name was Fred Blanton.  Always a snappy dresser and wore a hat.  He spent most of his time out getting business for the station.
            Joey Arrowood joined the staff later and became the morning “janitor” and a part time DJ.  Joey was a couple of years younger than me.  We were the kids at the station in those days. 
            Ms. Lou Haynes was the secretary when I came to the station. She was there for a few years and later was replaced by a lady whose name I cannot remember. Lou and her husband Herman were members of Smiths’s Grove Baptist Church, where my family attended. Lovely lady and always very nice to me.
            When I first came to WAGY, Cecil “Towhead” Atchley had the morning janitor job.  He and Johnny Medford were seniors at Cool Springs High when I was a freshman.  By the time I came there, I was a sophomore at the then new East High and they had both graduated.  Towhead left shortly after I came there, though I do not know where he went.
Station Format
            In 1963 the station’s format was music variety and some talk, such as Swap and Shop, and a call in radio program I ran for a while where students would call in with homework questions, which other students would call in and try to answer.  It was a fun little program from 8-9 at night, during the Top 40 show. I would play a song or two, and then take homework calls. One of the calls came in from Judy Jackson in Cliffside, NC.  We began talking on the phone and I was taken with her sweet voice. We set up a blind date and ended up getting married. We still are after over 50 years.
            The station’s morning would start off with Pappy’s show from about 6 AM to 8 AM as I recall. He played mostly country and bluegrass music. Uncle Bud came in around 8 AM and played music and called around to different places in the county to get reports. He used to call Mr. Tisdale at his store in Ellenboro for a regular call on the doings in that community.
            The daytime programming was mostly country and pop music, with different DJ’s.  I believe Dave White had the morning slot, and Johnny Medford the afternoon slot. 
            Of course the programming I remember best was what I did after I graduated from being a morning janitor and phone answerer.  I started with Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, the least popular slots for other DJ’s.  I was in hog heaven because I got to play the songs I wanted to, within the programming format of the hour.
            Sunday mornings I literally started the station up, and began the morning’s programming. I believe we started at about 8 AM on Sundays, and of course it was mostly Christian music and preaching.  The Royal Quartet came in around 8:30 for half and hour.  Great group, with some very talented singers, including one cousin of mine Ray Poteat who sang bass.
            At 9 AM the Echoes of Glory, an African American gospel group came in and did a live show.  They were great and I came to be friends with them and to really appreciate and enjoy their joyful music.
            Later we have various preachers come in and do a live sermon, and then there was recorded Christian music. My mother used to come by on her way to Smith’s Grove with a couple of banana sandwiches and a mason jar of chocolate milk. She knew were her little boy liked!
            I later progressed to doing weeknight radio, which was my favorite slot. My friends at East and other schools listened and called in their requests, which I tried dutifully to fulfill (unless of course I could not stand the song they asked for and then I might play it and I might not!).  The evening started at 6 PM with “Organ Melodies” which I could only barely tolerate.  It was old traditional music performed on the organ by masters like Ken Griffin.  I could appreciate their ability, but I did not care for that type of music.
            At 7 PM it was the “Gospel Music Hour.”  We played tunes by The Chuckwagon Gang, The Happy Goodman Family, The Blackwood Brothers, the Lefevres, and others. I especially liked a song called “Without Him” written by the 17 year old Mylon Lefevre.  That song has become a classic and is now included in many Baptist Hymnals.
            At 8 PM, my favorite hour began – “Top 40.”  I had a theme song which had some snappy organ riffs but I cannot remember the tune or the artist. The mid-sixties were an exciting time. The British invasion came along and groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and others brought a fresh new sound with tremendous energy and unbelievable creativity.  The Americans answered the invasion with The Byrds (my personal all-time favorite), Simon and Garfunkel, The Turtles, Bob Dylan, Jay and the Americans, the Mamas and the Papas, and many others.  I do not believe there was before or has been since such a period of creativity in popular music, and I truly try to be objective.
            Could there be a better job for an 18 to 19 year old than playing his generation’s music on the radio every night?  I did not know it at the time, but it was the job that was the least like work of any I have ever had.  Probably should have stuck with it, but frankly I did not believe I was good enough to make the big time.  Now we will never know!  At least I do have the memories and they are almost all good.
            From 9 pm to 10 pm we had the show that surely won the radio program alliteration award, “Platter Picks of the Past.”  We played older music from the late fifties and very early sixties.  It was also a joy to host, but not like the Top 40 show.  Pop music had pretty much moved past the doo wop era, with the harmonizing groups and the crooners, though some of them hung around through the mid-sixties.  It was a fun show and was very popular.  On that show people could write in requests for a number of songs, and we would play six or eight of their favorites.
Fun Facts about WAGY
            WAGY was the only station in the sixties in the area that had both a 1,000 watt AM transmitter and a 100,000 watt FM transmitter.
            WAGY had a 300 foot radio tower built behind the station, and late had a 300 foot tower built on top of Cherry Mountain.  Uncle Bud bought a jeep so he could go up and work on the equipment there in bad weather.
            It was not unusual at night for me to get calls from as far away as Ohio, Vermont, and Florida. That 100,000 watt FM transmitter was what they call in the industry a real “blow torch.” It was powerful.
            Joey Arrowood drove a VW Beetle.  I liked it so much I later bought one.  One day, while he was on air, some friends came over and while he was working, they manually turned it sideways in the parking lot.
            WAGY did not operate 24 hours.  The AM side had to shut down at sundown each day due to overlapping signals after dark. The FM side signed off at 11 PM each night. It was my duty to close out with the national anthem, and then carefully power down the transmitter.  
            More later, as I remember it!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Confederate Flag and Racial Strife

A lunatic goes on a shooting binge and murders nine humble Christians in a church, and it's the flag's fault.  I suppose the 9-11 terrorist attacks were Boeing's fault too. The correlation of the killings with the flag is an example of the twisted logic of the left. Because racists fly the flag, the flag is racist. That is the worse sort of inductive reasoning.

Here is a major news flash;  racists also fly the American flag. Lots of disreputable outfits like to wrap themselves in Old Glory; it is a sort of fig leaf for their twisted views.

I have known a few real racists, and they would be racists if the flag never existed. I also have known a lot of people who like to fly the flag, use flag decals, or flag license plates. They absolutely mean no harm and are simply expressing regional pride.

Let's get the skunk up on the table; the north won the war. Big deal, if the U.S. went to war with Mexico, guess who would win. A country with three times the population, ten times the manufacturing capacity, and one hundred times the shipbuilding capacity goes to war in earnest with the smaller of the two, guess who will win nine times out of ten. The larger country only loses if it quits and goes home, as we did in Vietnam.

So the north wins, and it seems that some northerners just cannot stop dancing in the end zone over it. It is a fact that the south has been the object of scorn and ridicule for generations mainly because it lost the war. I find it pretty ridiculous that people who had absolutely no connection with the Civil War should gloat over the south's defeat. I once had a Canadian who had moved to the U.S. say, "You shouldn't have ticked us off," or something like that, in relation to the war. A Canadian for crying out loud. This is a small example of the mind numbing ignorance of the history of the war, an ignorance shared by the vast majority of Americans.

Some southerners have such a resentment for that sort of treatment, that they fly the flag as a kind of defiant raised fist at gloating northerners. It has nothing to do with race. Others, such as CW re-enactors and heritage groups, use the flag as a symbol of respect for their forebears who fought hard and bravely on the side of the south. So where is the crime in that?

The vast majority of the popular media, academia, and government, have jumped on the bandwagon to "ban the flag." A completely worthless exercise in self-gratification which will do precisely nothing to improve race relations. Hello, earth to flag banners, it will make NO difference, and may only exacerbate the problem. There is in fact now a hardening of some people on the issue. They feel every nut case group in the country can fly their weird flags with not a peep from anyone, and yet they cannot fly a flag that they revere.

The leap of logic taken by so many on this issue makes them look absolutely ridiculous. Their pandering sophistry is disingenuous at best and purely malicious at worst. Time to learn some history and practice some tolerance, something the left has preached for years but somehow rarely practices.

Confederate flag, racial strife, the South, Civil War

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Confederate Flag Debate

First of all, let's clarify that the flag flying beside the State House in Columbia, SC is NOT the flag of the CSA. It is a battle flag, usually flown by regiments in the Army of Northern Virginia and other Confederate armies as a guidon for troops to follow in battle.

The flag has been appropriated by the scurrilous purveyors of racial hatred, much to the chagrin of honest people concerned with the brave heritage of the men who fought for the South. There were no slaves transported from Africa under the battle flag. The flag of St. Andrew's Cross was a flag flown in battle, pure and simple.

Because the racist haters fly the flag, it has been besmirched and a stain put upon the honor of the good men who fought under it. Most of them owned no slaves, nor even cared about the issue. They fought because their country - their state - had been invaded. Before the war, one referred to their own state as their country. The U.S. was a union of sovereign states, not a nation divided into provinces. The world was a very different place and to impugn those people one hundred and fifty years later is as pernicious as it is presumptuous.

We need better education in this country about the Civil War and its causes, the men who fought it, and the brutal and bitter aftermath. I deal with that subject in my new novel, Season of the Crow. The sanitized and politically correct history taught these days does a serious disservice to the young and the old. It is high time to focus on the hard cold facts, and less on political or social agendas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Amazon Author Page

Here is the link to my Amazon author page, which just went live.

Barry Yelton Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Kingdom of Light

Somewhere in that infinite unknowable Mind
came a thought
from eternity to eternity it came
and was spoken
and that which dwelt in majestic quiescence


in a roar

of flame
of wind
of water
of the solid earth.

Until there was being
where before
was only knowing.

And the small ones
weak and fearful
look up and see
with eyes of faith
across millennia.

And we watch still
from a fishbowl
the mysterious, moving, Majesty
with awe and transcendent wonder
as we mark our days
and pass our years
until we join
in discarnate reunion


the universe
intersects the infinite.

Season of the Crow is here!

The book is now published and up on in the Kindle edition. The paperback edition will be available soon.

Happy Reading!