Interesting what the holidays bring us, isn’t it? A dead bird, plates full of bones, stale bread…


Happy Leftovers!

A dead bird, plates full of bones, stale bread and half eaten pies, too many calories and grumpy relatives…

Interesting what the holidays bring us, isn’t it?

With Thanksgiving now over and the turkey left overs in my fridge finally waning,  I find I have so much more to be grateful for and so I would like to share some of what the holiday has brought to me. That being said; yesterday I shared with you the final draft of my book trailer video about Charley’s story, The Thin Gray Line: A True Crime Investigative Memoir, and I was happy to do it. Today however, I have something else I wish to share with you—ready?

So, do you remember several weeks, if not months ago when I told you that Charley may have found out about something big that was supposed to go down on February 12, 1967? And that was why he might have felt he had plenty of time left to continue investigating certain folks and so didn’t want to rush things with the four in flannel? Because he knew something bigger was about to go down, so he decided to keep quiet and watch and wait… and that was why he wasn’t expecting to be ambushed by G and members of the four in flannel, the night of October 9, 1966?

Well, what would you say if I told you that the chances are pretty good that this little event he was waiting on supposedly involved the railways too? I know—crazy, huh? Who knew that tiny, little railroad spur out of North Florida, through Clyattville to Thomson and onward was so dang important to the four in flannel? It’s such a heartwarming tale. You know; men and their trains… sorta makes me think of Thomas- the little engine that could! Lol

Anyway…you see it wasn’t enough to run illegal hooch on the rails NW out of Clyattville to make the extra illegal distribution money to pay off the folks who helped make it happen every week. Lord knows there was enough $$ to go around for everyone, what with the illegal moonshine, the gambling, the drug and gun running- not to mention the mafia’s  favorite game– “bug tickets” (Bolitas),  or the profits  gained from the prostitution ring, films and rumors of possible counterfeiting.

‘No, hush money don’t come cheap chillens! Them folks had to use the rail cars for more than just distribution of illegal goods- Hell they apparently had to use the rails to distribute the freaking money as well– there was so much of it!’

But I digress.  So who knew that wooden wine or whiskey barrels could be such a wonderful decoy? Did you, Grim? I didn’t… that is until now. Like me, I’m certain most folks would have guessed those large wooden barrels heading NW out of Clyattville were carrying something far more innocent, like:

Flour…sugar… or whiskey, even. Nothing quite so mundane as commodities!

But there they were- just crammed full of good old American greenbacks! At least, that what the rumor mill grinded out. No pickled peaches- or Vidalia onions for you Grim!  Just good old green American paper currency. You name it, baby. Rumor has it there were Benjamins, Franklins and oh so many of their fellow patriotic brethren, all snuggled up nice and cozy inside their wooden containers , just a-humming along with the  rhythm of the rails!  And who would have ever suspected what was going on?  After all, everybody else had their eyeballs trained on the little old airport just outside of town, where every Wednesday afternoon bags of $$ were supposedly being loaded by certain individuals onto a plane bound for Tampa or even Las Vegas for some good old fashioned crap shooting sessions!

With so many eyes focused on the airport’s comings and goings, who the devil was going to stop to think to look for money smuggled inside old wooden barrels out of town on old rail cars—the Feds?  Nah… the Feds were too busy trying to search for the money wrapped up all nice and tidy in clean butcher paper marked as Veal or Roast beef, in the meat freezers of a certain grocery store chain in town. Or on occasion, the private “deer cooler” freezers of a favorite old night club owner who held “steaks” for certain folks in high places. That’s some good eating, folks.

Nope… nobody directly, but three law enforcement fellas, under the cover of early morning darkness knew about what was flying out of town on those rails. The man with the hurt leg, the man with the scar on his chin and the other man…all manipulating the law, while across the street – a woman inside a little white house liked to watch from behind her curtains and take note of what was going on. You remember her, don’t you? The woman who got to watch the big bonfire in somebody’s backyard- back in July of 1966? The fire that has something to do with Jessica’s body? Swell old gal, wasn’t she?

Well, pardon me. I didn’t mean to prattle on so! I just wanted to say that this year, this Thanksgiving has been a wonderful time of giving and receiving and that is always a good thing for the greater good. With so much being shared with me, I just felt compelled to share my gratitude with you all. After all, what good does this kind of beneficence do to help Charley, if I keep it all to myself? That would be selfish and uncharitable of me.

So once again, in the spirit of Thanksgiving—thank you Valdosta!

It’s so nice when good God fearing folk finally decide to share the wealth of 47 years of secrets with one another.  I like that about your town big V…and the holidays, too. Folks coming together over a hot cup of coffee… or a good book…just like Charley did back then! This time of year just seems to bring about the best in everyone- don’t you agree, Grim?

So, Valdosta…

Once again, in the spirit of the season, I thank you. Oh, and I think it’s high time you boys- the four in flannel, those of you that are still alive, of course…you should start telling the truth about your involvement in Charley’s murder. Or at the very least, start buying gifts of Depends for each other this Christmas season! Just to hedge your bets! Don’t want to run out of those things, do ya?

My wish for you this holiday season, Grim? May the holidays bring you everything you deserve and feel free to share the book trailer with everyone you know! It’s my early Christmas gift to you this year.

The Thin Gray Line: A True Crime Memoir by T.A. Powell…the gift that keeps on giving.

Wouldn’t you agree, Grim?

Happy Holidays!


The Thin Gray Line: A True Crime Investigative Memoir, available now at

Buy it and share it with someone who’s still alive. Those who are dead, already knows how this story ends!

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