Squirrel Hunting, Theology, Banking, and the Confederacy
Mac Aston kindly asked me to write my feelings in regards to Bazz and here is what I sent. It is kinda lengthy, but did you ever see a short email from Bazz, or a short phone call? I think not..........LMAO
My first introduction to Bazz came in the form of a handwritten letter from him informing me how touched he was by an acoustic performance I did at a Confederate Memorial Service in SE Kentucky back in 01.
In the letter, he made reference that he had wanted to tell me so that day in person, but, chose not to because he said "he felt intimidated by me." I can not think, nor visualize still to this day how I, 6 feet one inch and 145 pounds in stature could in anyway intimidate one such as Bazz. It remains a laugh out loud of infinite proportions to me to this day.
In that letter Bazz included a phone number and a email addy; email what's that? We didn't even own a computer then. I did however call him upon receipt of that letter to thank him for his most kind words. It was during this first of countless phone conversations, I questioned him as to how he found me intimidating and hadn't introduce himself to me that day at the memorial service? His reply was "that (my) aura was overwhelming and that there were far too many people already flocked around me that day." To this day I find this most hilarious, for those who knew Bazz, I am sure never felt that intimidated was even in his vocabulary; and this is especially true for those of you who know us both. I am anything but intimidating.
Bazz and my family met in person in Hellanta just moments after I was escorted by 2 security officers, out of the gold domed "peoples house" for refusing to surrender my camps colours.
I was standing on the steps having a cigarette, when a voice from behind boomed "T Warren." I spun on my toes and turned to see a giant in a beautiful suit, his right hand outstretched." I am Bazz Childress a pleasure to meet you". I introduced him to my wife and youngest daughter, and we were brothers in arms and family like from that moment on. At least that is the way I see it.
In the years that would follow, I would never be in his company again, but we would email and talk on the phone endlessly.
We would talk of everything from banking,(I had shared with Bazz that I had minored in economics) yet he would talk so far over my head in regards to financial institutions and such that I would have to simply say "Whoa Bazz, you lost me" Now, we have all lost him.
One one occasion he exhausted the batteries of two separate phones. It was during this conversation that his first reference to squirrel hunting was made. The details I will keep to myself out of courtesy not only to Bazz but to those close dear friends that went with him on this traditional sojourn . I will say the talk ran the gauntlet from super hilarious to overwhelming spirituality.
Bazz might easily been the most unpredictable, predictable person to ever come into my life. That will only make sense to those who truly knew him.
He might call me at noon, or at 3 am, you just never knew for certain but, you knew he would call. Sometimes he would ask a favour, perhaps question me about Traditional American Indian ways, but usually he asked about my health. He seemed always concerned about my health. I suppose with me having one lung, and having had 2 strokes, and all the associated wear and tear of 40 plus years of rock n roll, that there might have been room for concern. Yet, in the end it was I who was always concerned about Bazz's declining health.
The worse Bazz's health became the more intense our phone conversations became. There was much talk of fear, death, and the unknown. There was also many conversations where Bazz would speak in length of theology and ask how I interpreted what he would say, in my Indian background and upbringing. He always wanted to know more about American Indian spiritual ways. I suspect that he and Brother Mac had many such discussions on their own. This was to be the year that we were all going to finally meet, and now we have waited too long.
In closing I will say that to me , Bazz Childress was a true Renaissance man, a man like no other I have ever met. A great writer, thinker, financier, a true and genuine hero to the Southern Cause .
A friend to countless numbers, enemy to those who told untruths, and I believe like myself "his own worse enemy".
Sweet Jesus, I am going to forever miss our talks, even the ones that woke me from a sound sleep. Such a small price to pay for such enlightenment. Enjoy the Creators company Bazz, save me a place by the campfire.
Deepest and most sincere sympathies to his family, friends and the men of the Kentucky Division SCV on behalf of my family and myself.
From Free North Carolina