Coming next . . . an in-depth series on Burt Reynolds and the movie, Deliverance.
Burt Reynolds died yesterday. Most of the people writing about Burt Reynolds and the movie, Deliverance, today were not alive when Reynolds was at his peak in popularity and the movie was being filmed. Very few of the others were alive and living in Georgia at the time. During the peak of his career and marriage to Loni Anderson, Reynolds’ primary residence was a plantation near Loganville, GA. He owned a chain of restaurants and night clubs in Metro Atlanta, plus attracted many other Hollywood celebrities to relocate from California to Northeastern Georgia.
Would you believe that I had the author of the book, Deliverance, James Dickey as an English professor at Georgia Tech, while he was writing the book? Two years later, I took time out from classes to watch the movie being filmed? Our professors didn’t care because at the time, Dickey was still a guest lecturer at Georgia Tech. I knew people, who were extras on the movie or who were canoeing buddies of James Dickey. Those, who were not there, cannot comprehend the impact of the movie on the Southeast and the rest of the nation. Until then the Georgia Mountains were an economic backwater that seemed almost uninhabited between October and May. The movie, virtually overnight changed the lifestyles of young men and women throughout North America and Europe. You will be there, when it happened.
It was also the era when Native Americans everywhere were asserting their identity again. State-recognized tribes were being formed in the Southeast, while the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma were starting the process of becoming tribes again and the Western tribes were staging angry protests. The movie Deliverance inspired Native Americans in the Southeast to assert their identity by getting back to nature . . . a place that they always wanted to be. In retrospect, I think that this the reason that politics had very little role in the resurgence of Southeastern Native peoples.
Note: I realize that I have written articles about Deliverance and Burt Reynolds in the past, but we have added over 300 subscribers since the last article. Hope all of you enjoy them.
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