Only the military draft could get me to leave the South where I was born and raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I grew up in chigger heaven, the red clay hills of Georgia, but somehow my neck never reddened. My accent could never choose sides either, owing to my heavy books and a thing called free verse.
I never wanted to put a hood over my head, much less burn Jesus’ cross, but my great great grandma shot a rapist union solider during the War Between the States (ain’t nobody calls it “The Civil War” around these parts). That’s still a story whispered with pride at family Sunday dinners (I mean “lunches” for you Northerners, and suppers are when you eat dinners—you damn backward yankees!).
In my growing years, I lived near a church and a still. In those woods I bet I could still find a still, and I bet too that I could find some of them still workers in church on Sunday puttin’ some ill-begotten gains in the collection plate.
The South has changed, but it still has a unique soul. For better or worse, I’m not just whistlin’ Dixie.Read more
The Dead Mule School
Online since 1996. "No good Southern fiction, poetry, essays, cornbread, coon mule jumping competition, swamp dance or pig pickin' is complete without a dead mule..."