Monday, August 3, 2009
Deep South Part 1
“I think we might need to take our passports, because where we are going is a foreign country,” said my sister, Barbie. She always reads, researches, and plans our summer escapades. We were headed for the Deep South.
We didn’t need to learn the language because we were raised by a Southern M ama, and we know the lingo well. If the sentence ended in “Hear?” it meant, “and you’d best be doing what I say or I am going to go get me a switch off of that willow tree outside!”
I was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and it will take more than forty-two years in California to take the Southern out of me.
However. I am aware that the invasion by those rude Yankees is in the past and it is time to move on. This is not the case in the South. And I mean anywhere in the south.
There are precious few southerners who have forgiven those miserable yankees for what they did to them and their genteel way of life.
The “wawah” as it is simply called might just as well have happened last week.
You aren’t going to believe this, but while we were in a restaurant in South Carolina, I found a letter in the local newspaper where the writer was trying his best to justify slavery! He actually wrote, and the editor published:
“Raising people above their station of intelligence and ability was cruel to them!” I couldn’t believe it!
Barb was right. It was another world!
We landed at Raleigh-Durham, got our car, (which we drove over four thousand miles in the two weeks we had it.) and headed for our base in Conway, South Carolina.
We had read a book called Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz, just to get into the Southern mind set. It’s about Civil War re-enactors. We thought it was pretty funny as they are an intense bunch of people who live for this activity. Men who can “bloat” when they are “killed” on the pretend battlefield are in demand, for authenticity is paramount. If you aren’t authentic, you will be known as a “farb.”
We were so hoping to see some re-enactors.
Our first outing was a visit to Savannah, Georgia, where the warm air was so thick and heavy with humidity that we could almost see it. Be that as it may, I still give it my vote for the prettiest city in the world, and I’ve been to a lot of cities.
We visited Charleston, where they make the loveliest baskets from Low Country sweetgrass. You can’t get them anywhere else. (Except the Internet—look them up!) The basket making skill was brought from Africa and handed down through the generations. They are beautifully made and will last a lifetime.
Charleston has gorgeous old iron gates and gardens. Maybe it is the loveliest city in the world. (My proclamations about the Prettiest City in the World tend to vacillate.)
I did notice that even in the Catholic Church, the Stations of the Cross are in English instead of Latin. They don’t cotton to any foreign stuff in the Land of Grits and Kudzu.
Speaking of which, kudzu is a vine that grows prolifically there. If you park your car for too long, kudzu will grow over it and you may never see it again. I actually saw a satellite-dish-shaped kudzu bush on a kudzu-covered pole at one house. Guess the people who lived there went away for the weekend!
During that week we also visited Sullivan’s Island, Mount Pleasant, The Isle of Palms, Myrtle Beach, (Briefly. I’ve been to a beach.) Beaufort and Paris Island, and then Columbia, the capitol.
There is a statue of George Washington displayed on the steps of the capitol building. According to the iron plaque that was lovingly placed upon the base of it, the statue was beaten with a “brickbat,” (whatever that is) by those Yankee villains. They have chosen to leave it broken so they can be reminded of the indignities they suffered by the hands of the Yankee scoundrels.
In addition to this reminder, they did not repair the damaged places where that old reprobate, General Sherman, shot his cannon at their capitol for no reason! If that isn’t enough, they placed metal stars by each pockmark to call attention to them. (Lest they forget.)
And don’t even think of mentioning that criminal, Abe Lincoln, if you go there! I’ll tell you right here and now, I used my best Southern accent the whole time we were in Rebel Country.
You don’t want to be mistaken for a Yankee. You’d be better off being mistaken for a British person, and they aren’t too fond of them either!
They sure have some good food, though. We ate grits, fried okra and green tomatoes, biscuits and gravy, tons of barbeque, crab cakes, shrimp, crawdads, (aka, mud bugs), and we drank gallons of sweet tea. (aka, swait tay).
Those Low Country folks sure know how to eat!
Darn! No bloaters yet.
So we packed up and headed off to Virginia.
To be continued…