Category: Fiction

How to Treat a Horse by Kitty Liang

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Being born and raised in Beijing doesn’t make me a Southerner. But two-stepping to George and Merle, wearing bolo ties and spurs on my boots, raising rabbits and barrel racing do. Most of all, it’s the drinking of Southern Comfort that makes me so.

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The Phantom Truck by strannikov

Am I Southern? You tell me.

I eat sushi, not fried seafood. I don’t drink bourbon; I drink unsweetened tea.

I was born and raised in South Carolina but graduated from the University of Mississippi.

A paternal great-great-great grandfather was a Confederate combatant at the Second Battle of Manassas and died from his wounds months after that illustrious victory; to compensate for misgivings about the prudence of secession in 1860, I argue that secession was undertaken at least thirty years too late to avert war or to avoid losing one.

My grandfather and my father were both tobacco farmers. I am no tobacco farmer and do not smoke or chew tobacco, or dip snuff. I am no farmer, period.

I was raised on Pepsi but have not had a twelve-ounce serving in years or even decades. I can eat boiled peanuts but do not commonly seek them out. The odor of Coca-Cola sickens me.

My taste in barbeque veers toward the tomatoey-peppery-vinegary, although I will sample the mustardy varieties for a change of pace. I restrict barbeque consumption to the months between October and March. Ounce for ounce and gram for gram, I eat more pasta in a year than pork.

Avidly, I have read Cousin Flannery; but to date I’ve not read one line of Eudora. I’ve paid my respects at Faulkner’s grave but have never visited Macon to pay respects to Duane Allman and Berry Oakley.

I do not own or drive a pick-up truck, with or without gun rack, with or without mud flaps, with or without Confederate emblems.

I once owned Marshall Tucker albums but can’t even name a tune by Hootie and the Blowfish.

I disagree with James L. Petigru, Esq.: South Carolina is large enough to qualify as a republic and if anything is too small to be a serviceable insane asylum.

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Fields White With Harvest by Sylvie Galloway

Southern Legitimacy Statement

I am certainly what you would call a southern woman. I grew up in East Tennessee, married then moved to the Western North Carolina mountains then moved even further south to the upstate of South Carolina. Now divorced, I attend a small southern woman’s college while wading hip deep through the world of perm rods, hair spray and tease combs. Hairdressing keeps the mortgage payments current, and my asthma doctor’s budget in the black.

I live in a world where ya’ll is a token word in most conversations, ice tea is strong and harmful to one’s pancreas and grits is considered one of the four essential food groups. I also live in a world, that although I’ve been called a southern gal all my life, I don’t always feel like I fit in. Maybe that’s from being nerdy, somewhat bookish, and exhibiting no real talent or interest for sports of any kind, fishing, hunting, beauty contesting, baton twirling, clogging, shagging, or the baking or the frying of southern culinary delights. I also couldn’t tell you who is in the running for this year’s NASCAR driver of the year award if my life depended on it.

But where else but here in the south can you get peaches and strawberries picked fresh that morning? Where else does the hint of snow send two thirds of the county scrambling to the grocery for a week of supplies? Where else can one spend the summer partaking in the battle of trying to get something to grow in your backyard besides fire ant colonies?

What I am is woman who lives in a place I can’t imagine ever leaving. I raised my kids here, my grand kids were born here. My four cats were deposited upon my doorstep here. I’m a southern woman, and quite content with the label. Now can someone pass me a glass of that iced tea? I’m rather parched.

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Tish Rogers Mosely – Recollections

Miss Tish was born and raised in Middle Tennessee where she still makes her home with her first husband J. and their sooner pup, Frances Montgomery. Where “take your shoes off and stay awhile” is not an invitation but a way of life. Where everyone has an Aunt Sis and Uncle Junior and no one outgrows their nickname. Where it’s football on Friday, grapplin’ on Saturday, and preachin’ on Sunday. Where cuttin’ your own switch is the price of forgettin’ your manners and “because Mama said so,” and “wait ’til your Daddy gets home,” keeps you on the straight and narrow. Where “bless your heart” is better than cussin’. And, the two things you’d save in a fire are the family Bible and your ‘naner puddin’ bowl.

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Cecile Dixon – The Key

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I am a college educated, teen mother. I am a God fearing, gun-toting woman. I am a sixties liberal who has learned to survive and thrive in the new millennium. I am old in body and young in spirit. I am laughter and sorrow. I am a contradiction. I am a daughter, mother, wife, lover and friend of the south. I am a southern woman.

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kenneth ennis – The Mule and the Parachute

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m a redneck thats seen and done much in my life. Telling stories about what I’ve experienced sort of lets me go back ever so briefly to my youth. I’ve also found that the stories and tall tales effect other folks the same way. If you recognize yourself in my stories thats even better.

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Wayne Scheer – Mysterious Ways

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m a y’all guys kind of Southerner. I was raised in Brooklyn, New York and lived in Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia for the past forty years. I’m the kind of mixed breed who might order a side of grits with a pastrami on rye, but I refuse to eat pizza with a knife and fork.

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Ed Laird – The Merchants of Mayhem

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was always conscious that I was Southern, even while living in a foreign country, Southern California, a land of perpetual sunshine and brilliantly white teeth. But my roots were brought to my attention rather dramatically when there was a discussion among friends of what we would like for dinner. I suggested catfish and hushpuppies. “What are hushpuppies?” they said with all seriousness. On the way home I said to my wife, “I don’t think I can live among people who don’t appreciate hushpuppies. I think it’s time we go home.” And we did. Sometimes it’s as simple as knowing what you should be eating for dinner; sometimes it’s as simple as knowing where you belong.

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Roy Jeffords – Saturday Afternoon

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Southern Legitimacy Statement

I was born in the lowcountry of South Carolina, and have lived in the South ever since. I lived about ten miles from Darlington International Raceway, the Grandaddy of Them All on the Nascar circuit, and grew up rooting for Cale Yarborough. While still a child I learned to eat souse meat, hog jowls, hogs head cheese, pickled pork feet, and chitterlings. I was in college before I met a male who hadn’t been hunting or anyone who didn’t eat grits.

I graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, SC, and a great source of pride for my alma mater is that Citadel cadets fired the first shot in the War of Northern Aggression. Similarly, a great source of pride for my home state is that South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. While earning an English degree from The Citadel, I was fortunate to take a Southern Lit course from the greatest professor ever to teach the subject, and I’ve had a love for it ever since. I learned to appreciate not just our richness of geography and culture, but also our richness of beauty and spirit, and to love them right along with all those things that make Yankees laugh at us.

My wife and I have been in Texas for the last three years, and it’s a little different. They think tea should be unsweet, shagging is something you do in the bedroom, and barbeque is a slab of beef covered with cooked down ketchup. Other than that, I guess they’re okay. And, even if they’re a little different flavor of Southern, it beats living with a bunch of Yankees!

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