I am happy to see the South and Southern Culture so so celebrated these days. I say these days, but I think it’s been in the works for awhile now. Groups like the Southern Foodways Alliance, Slow Food, Society for the Revival, Preservation of Southern Food and Chefs like Linton Hopkins and Tony Seichrist are all about promoting and preserving the ways of the new south.
Along time ago, I drove a limo for a hotel in Mobile, Alabama. I was driving a minor T.V. star from England, around the Garden District, per her request. I remember her telling me how the British considered writers from the south the deepest, darkest and their favorite. That has always stuck with me, as it was the first time I ever thought to be proud of who I was and where I was from.
Now this was not something profound. No, it was just a little something I keep with me and think of from time to time. It’s something I think about whenever I might be looking for something to read. I will go to my bookshelf today and be drawn to the large tomes on southern literature. I know if I grab one of those I have a broad choice. There is a great difference between a Eudora Welty story and a James Baldwin story. But, both give me buckets full of southernness. And each with really different views on life.
Now days it is so great to see how it’s all so cool again. Eugene Walters ? Who would have thought my Moms old friend would leave such a mark. A mark that can be traced all over the world and end up in Mobile, Alabama. Hell, Frank Stitt is one of the best Chefs in America and he is from the city of Cullman, Alabama. He has three restaurants in Birmingham.
Ya know we are gonna have to talk about this again at a later date. I mean there is just so much to say and it is also the theme of this blog, the South.
These thoughts got in my head today when I read an email from a friend, who is a gentleman farmer here in our beautiful south. He ask if I had read a book by Sonny Brewer. One thought led to another and by the end of the day, I had borrowed, from my local library ”the Moviegoer” by Walker Percy and ordered “The Poet of Tolstoy-Park” by Brewer from amazon.com.