Southern Legitimacy Statement: When my son was just a little guy, four or five, and studying the violin he loved to take a break from classical music and go with his pap-paw to an old barn down in Pittsboro that had been converted into a little music hall. When it was their turn the two of them would climb onto the stage and the women in the audience would say, “My, my” and “Look how cute he is.” My boy would be wearing his little white cowboy hat and jeans and boots and when his pap-paw gave him the signal he’d dip his head and start going to town on “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” or “Old Joe Clark” or “The Orange Blossom Special,” maybe even a Bob Wills song or two, while the house band accompanied them on dobro and rhythm guitar and bango. My son’s parents would be in the audience beaming like bug lights as their boy and his pap-paw fiddled away. I’m sure this happens in other parts of the country, but I’m not sure there is anyplace else where playing the old-time music weaves warmly through generation to generation the way it does here in North Carolina, where the music was born and the best little fiddlers in the world are bred.Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and bred in the Alabama Wiregrass, where fireflies light summer nights and whippoorwills cry, as souls depart. My daddy never set his hat on the bed, fearing bad luck and didn’t believe in starting any project on a Friday. He believed in planting by the moon and swore long-dead cows could be ghosts too. Unmarried I said I wanted a baby and thought of artificial insemination, he said, “The little bastard will just be welcome.” He was a wise man.Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised between the Mississippi and the Ozarks, where Missouri eats into Arkansas, you can walk to Tennessee, and you can wave at Kentucky, I’m now vegan, not for health or environmental reasons, but because I’m pretty sure I ran the entire South out of edible critters when I was a boy.Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I didn’t have a “grandmother” or a “Nana.” I had a Granny. She wore red lipstick, always carried a pistol, drove fast, smoked cigarettes, believed in the Good Lord, cooked with lard (in which everything was fried — chicken, okra, corn, you name it), took all 10 grandkids fishing and was capable of slapping the taste out of your mouth if you sassed her (not that you ever would). She didn’t say “sweet” tea because there’s only one kind of tea in Mississippi (that’s spelled M-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I-humpback, humpback-I), and if you ask for “sweet tea,” you’re clearly a damn Yankee. Or a carpetbagger, take your pick. She had more grandkids than she had room, so we stayed outside a lot in the summer — shirtless, shoeless, sweaty and loud and buying Co-Colas at Bubba Cox’s store or playing in the bed of Granddaddy’s dump truck. If we behaved, we could come in to cool off and listen to “Ode to Billie Joe” on the record player. She said things like “that boy’s as crazy as a junebug” and “bless her heart.” From the South? Hell, she was the South.Read more
Review copies arrive on a semi-daily basis here on Brown St. This month brought quite a few volumes of teen fiction and those were passed on to willing recipients. Then there were the two novelsRead more
I live in Southern California but was reared in the Missouri Ozarks and attended schools where more hogs and dogs were under the school house than text books inside. I know that when you hunt coon or squirrel or quail, even turkey, you kill ’em and brag at church how many you killed. However, when fox hunting, the fox holes up after four or five hours and you thank him for a good race and promise to run him again.
I fry chicken in a cast iron skillet that’s been in the family over a hundred years. It makes great cream gravy. My monthly chicken dinners are quarterly affairs now, since my doctor said I’m to eat only foods I like, and fried chicken’s not listed. (He doesn’t know about the yellow corn grits and sausage on Sunday mornings.)
I understand the difference between the American Baptist, Reel Foot Baptist and Southern Baptist churches and have tasted the baptismal water of all three. I call ladies of a certain age ‘Ma’am’ and younger ones ‘Miss’. Finally, if there’s a more delightful sound than a nightingale singing at midnight from a magnolia tree under a full moon, only angels have heard it.
When I’m not writing you’ll find me tending my Arkansas Traveler, Nebraska Wedding or Brandywine heirloom tomatoes,Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement:
Jim Booth was born and raised in Eden, North Carolina. He wrote a novel about his hometown – you could look it up. His other novel has the word “Southern” in the title. You could look that up, too. He likes barbecue and sweet tea. What more do you need to know?Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I once worked in the south, went through the south to and from an appointment in Korea in 1950-51, have written many stories set in the south, had four books published in the south and many Internet and print appearances in the south, including Dead Mule some time in the past in that southern exposure. Read more
*We love this story because it rings so true. Real Stories of Real Folks Posted As Real Fiction.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised in sunny St. Petersburg, FL during the time of Webb’s City, where the mermaid show was free and the ice cream cones were 10-cents each. Once, in my youth, I attended a donkey-baseball game. I spent many a Saturday watching Creature Feature and Professional Wrestling on TV-44, while carefully adjusting the rabbit ears and tinfoil on the back of the set. In college, I waited tables dressed in bib overalls and a straw hat at Skeeter’s Home of the Big Biscuit. I believe eggs and bacon should always be served with grits, as the good Lord intended, although I do endorse the sacrilege of added cheese. I know in my heart that God is a Gator. Several years ago I escaped to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. I have a homemade camper and a homemade fiddle, and I can be found wandering in the mountains, when I lose track of time.Read more
My Southern Legitimacy Statement is as follows:
I’m a native of New Jersey, South Jersey to be precise. My family and I were transferred to Tennessee a decade ago. I write from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Though I have yet to develop a taste for grits or okra, I have fond childhood memories of fried tomatoes, best summer dish around! Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I live in central Virginia, and I teach English at Piedmont Valley Community College. My wife and I have owned a little townhouse on the outskirts of Charlottesville for five years now. One of my writing mentors was the late George Garrett, who back in the mid-eighties encouraged me to write and got me a full scholarship into the University of Michigan, where he was then teaching. My story derives from my time as a very young man working as a tobacco farmhand in western North Carolina. Read more
SOUTHERN LEGITIMACY STATEMENT
From September to December, I watch SEC football on TV, and I spike my mouthwash with Louisiana Hot Sauce.Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born in Kentucky into a family of storytellers. I spent many summer nights on my grandmother’s front porch listening to relatives tell one story after another about the eccentrics in the family: a great-grandfather, who walked everywhere he went (even though he had a fine buggy) and had a song written about him (“Walk, Tom Wilson”); a corncob-pipe-smoking great-great grandmother who took off running and hopped on her horse from the rear; a distant cousin’s wife, Lily, who baked cakes when she was depressed. Many cakes. All night long. And a distant cousin who strolled into the local truck stop, perched himself on a stool at the counter and leisurely sipped a cup of coffee. (Did I mention he was clad in nothing but a towel?) Read more
I grew up on a plantation. I’ve been baptized. My grandmother just died. At her house there’s a monster sycamore. My grandfather hung a fire extinguisher on it probably thirty years ago or more for fish frying. The tree grew around it, and now there’s just a piece of pale red not yet sucked up into the bark. My family is selling the house and the little piece of land it sits on. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. I’ve got pictures of it on my cell phone. That disturbs me more.Read more
SLS: I come from a town with 700 residents in South Carolina. I thought it was legal to drink and drive until I was 14. I fired a gun before I kissed a girl. I use the word ain’t in my proper speech, and I pronounce the word “can’t” the same way I do the word “ain’t.” I am the only liberal in my hometown. I never stay longer than 24 hours at a time.Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement:
My family has been farming in the South for fifty years; longer if you count cotton. I don’t count cotton. Read more
SLS: Most of my family was born and raised in the Deep South, and remains there (Mississippi, Alabama, and East Texas). Things get a bit confused by some in those areas when they find out that I grew up in the Upper South of Tidewater, Virginia. When they hear my soft accent or that I prefer to be asked first before my tea is sweetened, I am sometimes accused of being a Yankee (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Not so with my family, though–I’m still Southern through and through–and proud of it. I’m so Southern that I can go into great detail about my usual scratch staple of grits and its historical importance to the South’s survival. True, but I eat them so often (always stone ground–never instant) because they’re soooo good.
Plus, I know the difference between a chicken house and a hen house, and have met both chicken catchers and chicken sexers.Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement: It was probably around age seven in the middle of a winter night that I realized how southern I was while dangling my legs in Granny’s outhouse.Read more