“If variety really is the spice of life, Dot Moore should know since she’s been a teacher, political leader, civil rights activist, popular author and mentor to many,” begins a new Montgomery Advertiser profile of Dot Moore, author of Oracle of the Ages: Reflections on the Curious Life of Fortune Teller Mayhayley Lancaster and No Remorse: The Rise and Fall of John Wallace.
Reporter Al Benn’s column focuses on the Moore’s history of activism, including her work as a member of the Alabama Democratic Party’s Executive Committee, as president of the League of Women Voters, and currently as founder of the Montgomery Area Hearing Loss Support Group.
Moore’s Oracle of the Ages is the award-winning true story of Georgia’s Mayhayley Lancaster — lawyer, schoolteacher, political activist, fortune teller, numbers runner, and self-proclaimed “oracle of the ages.” Oracle offers strange and often hilarious stories of the poor Georgia South in the post-Depression era, and how the eccentric Mayhayley’s charisma and mysterious powers cast a spell on all the people who knew — and inevitably misunderstood — her. Oracle of the Ages was the 2002 winner of the Lilla M. Hawes Award for the best book in Georgia history.
No Remorse, Moore’s newest book, digs into a 1948 murder committed in Georgia’s Coweta County, controversial not only for its middle-of-the-night mystery, but also for the role played by prominent businessman John Wallace. Moore explores not only that fateful night, but also the events that brought John Wallace to that point — the death of his father when Wallace was only eleven years old, and his early exposure to the making and selling of moonshine whiskey. Moore includes actual prison letters to and from Wallace before his ultimate conviction and execution, as well as copious historical images, to give a full picture of the Georgia figure.
Among those praising Moore in Benn’s feature is Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a one-time student of Moore’s during her time as a Sidney Lanier High School teacher. Regarding Moore’s political activism, Dees said, “If Dot Moore hadn’t been involved in the Alabama Democratic Party during [the administrations of Gov. George Wallace], someone else would have had to be invented to keep [Wallace] from taking total control over the party.”
Ed Bridges, retired director of the state Department of Archives and History, called Moore “an amazing person. She pursues her projects with 100 percent commitment. Everybody is awaye of her energy and her passion.”
Read “Al Benn’s Alabama: Civil rights activist keeps busy schedule” from the Montgomery Advertiser.