Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m from a small town just outside Cowtown (Fort Worth to those who don’t know better), with white gravel roads that claimed my front teeth one time and the skin off my knees and hands a few more times. I’m from a place that meant running around with no shirt or shoes from May to September, trips to Mott’s 5 and 10, and visits to grandma down around Houston to work the fields, each her famous drop cookies, and help her cook pie or cobbler or wild grape jelly. Dad was a cop and mom stayed home, and I’m still close by, though the town has changed and the light in town has a few new friends and a new toll road for competition. The fire department closest is still volunteer and football will always be king on Friday night.Read More
Southern Legitimacy Statement: As someone who has almost always lived in the South (Southern Maryland, Southern India, Southern Florida and Southern California) I have these wonderful memories:
Our yard filled with lightening bugs, their twinkle lighting up the night. My sister and I caught them in jar, had my mother poke holes in the lid, and took them to our room to watch until we fell asleep. The next morning the magic was gone and they were just bugs. We let them go, only to repeat the process again that night.
I remember the twang and then bang of the screen door as we went in and out of the house a hundred times on summer days.
I always wrote thank you notes and still do. There’s something satisfying about a pretty little card and words of gratitude.
I remember when standing in front of a fan really did cool you off, even though the air coming from it was as hot as that the room. It was the humidity evaporating off my skin, y’all. And we opened the windows in the morning, only to close them and pull the curtains later to hold the “cooler” air in and keep the hot afternoon sun out.
Pulling off a honeysuckle blossom and sucking out the honey was heaven.
And the calming beauty of Spanish moss swaying in live oak trees? Only in the South.Read More
Here by special request, back from The Dead, April 2005: Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m for sure Southern cause I chill out on Budweiser while propped up in front of the boob tube watching NASCAR racing. I wrote a novel about murder in the world of Nextel Cup racing. The title is WHITE LIGHTNING. If that don’t make me Southern, nothing will…Read More
Maybe it’s a Texas thing, but whether I’m listening to guitar pickers under the big oak tree at Lukenbach on a Saturday afternoon, or cruising the aisles looking for bargains at Fredericksburg Market Days or watching fish jump in Oso Bay down in Corus Christi, or swimming at the dam in Hunt, Texas belongs to me, and I belong to it.
This is my kind of south. Now I once had a friend from Tennessee who disputed the “south-ness” of Texas. I will attest to its southwesterness, being just a couple of miles down the road from George Strait’s horse barn, but it’s south all right.
But Texas is “southern” in its love for land and its history.
In my south, you can trust a cowboy.
You can serve your company beans and jalapeño cornbread on your best China.
Saturday night’s for wearing your broken in boots to listen to Willie and dance at Floore’s Country Store.
In my south, people aren’t too busy to talk about nothing. You get the friendly finger wave driving down any country road and you can call up the corner grocery and ask if they have any fresh tamales.
In my south, we sit outside on the porch at Halloween and watch out for our neighbors’ kids.
In my south Texas sky, you can still see the ripe orange moon sitting pretty in a nest of stars.
We might laugh at ourselves during a watermelon seed spitting contest or a sandbelt tool race, but we love our flag and our earth and our “southern” way of life.
Fixing cattle fences after tree falls and winter winds makes a mess of everything just so I get chance at Joe’s fried mountain oysters isn’t the only reason to live in the southern Appalachians, but it’s a damn good one.
Markus Egeler Jones is professor of English and Creative Writing at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri.
I’m a native Kentuckian currently riding out a purgatorial existence in the arctic Midwestern abyss. I catch glimpses of the bluegrass sometimes, when the sun is exceptionally blinding and making a rare appearance. I can still feel the cool Nolin River on my feet when I slip out of my snow-soaked boots. When I sink the shovel into the mounds of winter-refuse I can still–sometimes–imagine I’m actually just raking the burning leaves of my parents’ backyard trees.Read More
It is a quiet portrait of a Southern marriage during the influenza epidemic in the early 20th century. It is nearly the exact opposite of another story I had published in Brevity about meeting Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas in 1983 while dressed as a life size Pac Man.
Dan Leach’s short fiction has been published in various literary journals and magazines, including The Greensboro Review, Deep South Magazine, and The New Madrid Review. A native of South Carolina, he graduated from Clemson University in 2008, and taught high-school in Charleston until 2014 when he relocated to Nebraska. Floods and Fires, his debut short-story collection, will be published by University of North Georgia Press in 2016Read More
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I am an eighth generation direct descendant of a 1740 immigrant who came to America as an indentured servant to the Trustees of the colony of Georgia. I was born in Valdosta, GA and have lived in either Georgia or South Carolina all my life. Reared and educated in South Carolina, I have been residing back in my native Georgia for over 50 years now. I am legitimately southern in my origin and life and lifestyle.Read More