Southern Legitimacy Statement: I now live in Panama City Beach, Florida and have been living here since 2005. There was also a six year spell here in the 80’s. I was born in NYC, grew up in New Jersey and have lived in NYC, NY State, New Mexico, Maryland, and England, and my first book of poems, One Day Tells its Tale to Another was published in Ireland. Please excuse me for including that last bit but I couldn’t help myself. …This is a fiction submission, originally written for a Surreal South anthology and although they kindly told me it did not make it to the book, it did make it to the later stages of decision-making. Ahem.
SLS: Meg Stivison did indeed move from Brooklyn to North Carolina when her handsome Southern boyfriend proposed, but as far as she knows, he is not actually a changeling.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: My family cookbook has recipes for fried chicken, fried venison and fried squirrel. (As to the latter entrée, submitted by my Uncle Toodler, he notes that Aunt Fay “says she would just as soon eat a cat.”) Note: Ms Shearer has allowed that she will give out family recipes, upon request.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: Alan Watkins was born, raised, and still lives in the Raleigh, NC area. Generally, his writings end up as short films, but recently he has decided to delve into the written word after being intrigued by several anthologies of horror related short stories. As a Southern Baptist, there are generally subtle religious aspects in most of his stories.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: Son of the Blackbelt. Lover of good bourbon & better storytelling.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: Them folks up there in St. Louis prolly think that Johnny Cash is a pay toilet but we know how the cows eat the cabbage down here in Ironton.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: When you’re a half Jewish girl from Tennessee with a heavy Appalachian accent, people really don’t know how to take you.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I confuse the nice old ladies at my Rhode Island supermarket by asking for my groceries to put in a paper *sack instead of a bag. I’m an atheist Jew who thinks “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” is the prettiest hymn. I call hymns and lots of other things “pretty.” I get red in the face when people don’t say “excuse me” or “thank you” in public intercourse. Because I believe in decorous public intercourse. Atlanta doesn’t feel Southern to me. Hell, small towns in Massachusetts have more of the South in them than Atlanta. Or Dallas. Or Nashville, I say.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: Honey, my southern roots go way back – at least four generations of my family have been born and raised in western North Carolina.
I never thought I was very southern until my neighbor from California came over early one morning. We were going through a “lifestyle change,” and she had arrived to drag me out for an early morning jog. She went into conniptions when she saw what I was eating – a country ham biscuit dipped in red eye gravy. Cholesterol, calories, carbs, oh my! It hit me that I was southern through and through when I very calmly told her “Something’s bound to get me eventually,” got another biscuit and a helping of grits smothered in butter, and ate to my heart’s content.
I’m a Native New Yorker who’s now Southern. When I came here I didn’t think it’d get a hold on me, but it did. Living in Charlottesville, VA via too many other places to count, it’s now a life of mountains and big sky and dogwoods and hawks. Of back roads and wood- burning stoves. Of bourbon and mint from the garden in May and swimming in the river in August. It’s the long talks with old-timers of how their descendants were run out of what’s now Shenandoah National Park-mountain people getting by as moonshiners. And it’s standing on the grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia, with the columns of its Rotunda and his ghost and magnolias and people from the world over. Just like me. It’s the slow pace of living that’s tamed me. And I never planned it.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: My sister used to experiment on me. At the age of twelve, she taught me how to do a Southern accent–and I got stuck. I couldn’t get rid of it. The phone rang, back in the day when you couldn’t get rid of telemarketers, so my sister started making me answer it with my fake Scarlett O’Hara oh be still mah beatin’ heart accent–and she didn’t stop laughing for three years.
Southern Legitimacy Statement*
I have shot containers of propane with my grandfather’s 12 gauge and yodeled with delight at the plume of flame that erupted into the night like a spume of blood from the skull of a Foreigner. I have walked often and barefeeted, and never been a stranger to hardship. I have thought of Andrew Jackson while alone in the darkness of my dead lover’s room, and been comforted.
*featured on the Dead Mule’s Facebook page
Southern Legitimacy Statement: We only eat Vidalia onions.