Category: Essays / Memoirs

Terri French – When Pig Flies

Southern Legitimacy Statement:
It’s been almost a quarter of a century that I have lived in the south. I am an almost legitimate, 100-percent, bona fide, honest to goodness, dixie chick. Sure as a cat’s got climbing gear, I am as country as a churn. These hills ‘n hollers, this red clay, is my neck of the woods, my stompin’ grounds, my. . .Ok, so I’m trying too hard. I’ve still got a few months left to get the Yankee out of me, ok?

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Stephen March: My Dream of Magic

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born about 100 miles South of the Mason Dixon line, and soon moved farther South, to Tennessee. I later lived in Louisiana, Georgia and, especially North Carolina. At a party in Soho a woman onced asked me, “If I woke you up in the middle of the night would you still talk that way (i.e. with that accent)? I told her that I would!

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Joshua Edds: Epiphany on the Waccamaw

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I am from everywhere and nowhere, a country boy lost in the city. The gods cursed me; my poor soul violently ripped from the warm embrace of my native West Virginia and hurled into exile. In my exile I’ve wandered aimlessly around the country, managing to settle down briefly in one strange place or another—the Kentucky coal fields, the drug-infested slums of the Carolina upstate, and now fondly call the bars and clubs of the Grand Strand nightlife “home.”

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Carole Poppleton – Rituals of Beauty

I grew up on grits, greens and biscuits with sawmill gravy. I never knew vegetables could be cooked without pork fat (strained and recycled from my mom’s Maxwell House coffee can) until I went away to college. One of the highlights of my childhood was driving throught the streets of Birmingham, AL, and giggling at the crack of Vulcan’s ass as an enormous statue of the iron god sits atop the main hill in 5-Points South.

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Ray Clifton – Zombies in the South

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I grew up in the southern edge of the Blue Ridge in central Alabama, the product of a father from the cotton mill village and a mother who lived on the “respectable” side of the railroad tracks. A forester by trade, I roam the back roads of Alabama meeting people and looking for stories. Besides reading and writing, my interests include old country music, motorcycles, pork barbecue, and fine Boxer bulldogs.

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Alberto Alzamora – Conversations with Dad

Southern Legitimacy Statement:
My Latino roots offer a unique perspective to my Southern legitimacy. I was raised so far in the South it’s not even the South to many, that’s how far south I lived, Miami to be exact. Eventually I moved up with you “northerner’s” to Raleigh, North Carolina, and was introduced to a pig pickin’ almost immediately. My friendly neighbors weren’t impressed about how we Colombians do the exact same thing, but they were awful polite! So here I am, a stranger in a strange land, 5 years now. I say hey, not good morning, and my wife is hot on the trail of the best hushpuppy recipe she can find. Legitimacy established!

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Sharon Stephenson – The Homing Mule

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Even though I was born in Kentucky (which is NOT Deep South), I was raised in Mississippi, schooled in Mississippi, college-educated in Mississippi and North Carolina. When I found permanent employment in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, my Maw asked if I was moving because I was tired of the Vicksburg battlefield and wanted something new. Let it be known that since I moved here in 1997, only one state has bothered to put a NEW monument on the Gettysburg battlefield. Guess which one? Of course. Mississippi.

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