‘Goats and Governors’ author signing books here Monday

Published 1:52 am Saturday, September 19, 2015

Alabama political columnist Steve Flowers will sign copies of “Of Goats and Governors, Six Decades of Alabama Political Stories” from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Mon., Sept. 21, at The Star-News.


The memoir was released by New South Books, Inc. earlier this year.

Flowers’ column appears weekly in 66 Alabama newspapers, including The Star-News.

“Few states have as fascinating a political history as Alabama, especially in the post-World War II era,” Flowers said. “I was fortunate to have rubbed elbows with some of the most interesting figures in 20th century American government and politics.”

At age 12, Flowers was a page at the Alabama State Capitol for State Rep. Gardner Bassett.

“I was standing outside Gov. George C. Wallace’s office with another page and Gov. Wallace came out and said, ‘Steve, you and your friend come on and go eat lunch with me,” Flowers said. “Twelve years old and I was having lunch with the governor.”

Fast forward to 1982. At age 30, Flowers was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives representing both Pike County and Wallace’s district as well.

“Alabama has a extremely colorful political history,” Flowers said. “Alabama politics is rich enough that George C. Wallace and ‘Big Jim’ Folsom stories alone could fill a book. Bill Baxley, Howell Heflin, Albert Brewer, Jere Beasley, McDowell Lee, John Patterson, even ‘Shorty’ Price all make for good stories and good reading. And there are a lot of others.”

Most of the stories in “Of Goats and Governors” are told from Flowers’ own recollections. Others are retellings of stories that were told to him. Some of the stories were told specifically for the book and some by sons of the governors.

“Those are the bygone days of politics,” he said. “The South has provided the country with the most colorful characters in political history and Alabama has had more than its share. I wrote the memoir because I wanted their stories to be told because they are stories worth telling now and far on down the road. These politicians were a different breed. The old-time politicians are gone but their stories are a huge part of the legacy of the South. They need to be told.”

Flowers served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1982-1998.