The Press: The Kudzu Kid

In a rambling, five-room Georgia farmhouse at 5 o'clock one morning last week, a fat (205 lb.), genial Southerner rolled reluctantly out of bed, downed a cup of coffee laced with bourbon, pulled on a shapeless seersucker suit, and started reading aloud to warm up his vocal cords. Shortly after, Channing Cope, 55, farm editor of the Atlanta Constitution (circ. 187,000) and one of the South's best-known and most influential newspapermen, ambled to an easy chair on his screened front porch.

For a few moments, he listened idly to a rain crow's mourning call, and squinted at his herd of Jersey cows...

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