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Coming next . . . an in-depth series on Burt Reynolds and the movie, Deliverance.

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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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    I look forward to your piece. I know it will be a good read and people will learn interesting information. You have already written some about Burt Reynolds before. Being of a certain age I remember his movies and watching him as a guest many times on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. They always had a hooting good time and made me smile and laugh out loud. I am saddened and reflective by his passing.


    Although I have seen most of Burt Reynolds films I don’t remember seeing Deliverence . If it is on U tube I shall watch it. Thanks Richard. Another good actor we have lost. !!!

    • Yes, it is on Youtube, but costs $2.99 to watch in the United States. It might be free in Europe or Crete.


        Hello Richard, It seems that Burt Reynolds film DELIVERANCE has been taken off Utube. I have tried linking to all the notifications but the same keeps coming up. There is only a couple of trailers.

        • It is still on Youtube and being streamed by Youtube for $2.99 USD. Here is the URL:


            Oh ! o.k. Thanks Richard.

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