Category: Southern Culture

Dad, Uncle Mike Said A Bad Word!

utfla1mp238410_t600.jpgThis picture of distraught Tennessee Vol fans was taken at Florida last year, but it’s probably pretty representative of how they looked toward the end of that 41-17 smackdown in T-town a few weeks later when the Million Dollar Band was firing up The Rammer Jammer.

For those of you from other less-civilized parts of the world, The Rammer Jammer is a traditional, and somewhat controversial, cheer taunt which is heard in the closing seconds of a football game when the outcome has been decided in the Crimson Tide’s favor. Oh sure, it does contain a relatively mild profanity, but that very same word is mentioned in the Bible a bunch of times after all, so it can’t be that bad.… Read the rest

I Pray For John Parker Wilson

I’ve written several times about the curious intersection between football and religion, here, here, here, and most recently, here.

And now some more grist for the mill.

I just want to know: Was that sign put up before or after the Gator loss to Ole Miss?

Seriously, though, Jesus admonished us to not pray on the street corners. Does a Church of Christ marquee sign count? Yeah, Tim, get us a win every week and don’t let Jesus (and us) down while you’re at it. Nah, that’s not pressure.

Speaking of Churches of Christ, Nashville has one on just about every street corner.… Read the rest

R, Rol, Roll, T, Ti,Tii…Oh, Never Mind!

You know me, I always come back from T-town with a story or two.

There were so many Auburn fans in Tuscaloosa last Saturday you’d have thought it was Iron Bowl weekend. They were driving around with their orange and blue flags, holding up their very premature 7-finger salute, and generally hootin’ and hollerin’ like it was feeding time down at the ol’ trough. Since they were playing the Bulldogs in Starkville and had a 6:00 pm start time as well, they were passing through around lunchtime on their way to their game. And what a game that turned out to be!… Read the rest

Good Tidings


You never know whether Good Bama or Bad Bama is going to show up for a game. We lucked out Saturday night as we watched Good Bama, who had been on vacation against Tulane last week, thrash Western Kentucky 41-7 from our nosebleed seats atop the north end zone. We learned that if you just close your eyes and think cool thoughts, it feels just like you’re sitting in one of those fancy-pants air-conditioned skyboxes.

We saw lots of Tide touchdowns from a very balanced run/pass attack (freshman running back Mark Ingram, by the way, is the real deal), and the lone Hilltopper touchdown was the first scored on the defense this year.… Read the rest

Up Klose and Persun-uhl with Mike The Redneck

It was a Faustian bargain if there ever was one. The deal was that I could blog about the Olympics to my heart’s content if I would then feature a one-on-one interview with everybody’s favorite itty-bitty Bama fan, Mike the Redneck, who was about to bust his little beer gut to talk about the start of the college football season.

So yesterday the two of us sat down for a little Tuscaloosa tête-à-tête, and here’s what transpired:

MTEG: Well, look what the polecat just drug in! If it isn’t Mike the Redneck!

MTRN: Thahutt’s kute. Nice to see you too, Eyeball boy.… Read the rest

Southern Swimmers Are Tough

We were in Singapore for slightly over a week. I’m glad that I am from Alabama and know what humidity is because it was really, really humid. I got a big kick out of watching the majority of the team (who are all from the West Coast) wilt like flowers when outside for more than 10 seconds. Yes, we Southerners are tough!

–Margaret Hoelzer, US Olympic Swim Team

Margaret Hoelzer, Huntsville native and US Olympic swimmer, gets it right.Read the rest

Huntsville United

The Huntsville City Recreation Service’s Concerts in the Park summer series continued Monday night on an unseasonably cool and dry July evening. Citizens turned out in droves at Big Spring Park near the Huntsville Art Museum to the listen to the chillin’ sounds of two local bands, Anchor’s Eye and Band of Moose:


Man, you know you’re getting old when the kids that you used to coach in t-ball and soccer are performing live on stage and recording a session in Nashville next week to boot. Where did the time go?

It was a time to bring your camp chair and beverage of choice, enjoy the music and meet and greet old friends:

And new friends:


The politicians were out in full force, including long-time Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer who is running for re-election and is seen here talking to a constituent:


She even gave me this cool fan, although I didn’t really need it that night:


No, that’s not the Mother Ship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.… Read the rest

“We the People” Are a Motley and Colorful Crew

My Huntsville Times community column this month is dedicated to Chris and Suzanne, Jane, Father Ray, Marquez, Maricela and many others (e.g., Nic and Diane, Uncle Dick, M.C., Mike and Jeanette and their three fine sons and, of course, Elsie) who made our recent Washington D.C. trip one to remember but whose names I didn’t mention because they limit me to only 680 words.

But I mention them now because it’s my blog and I can if I want to!

Let freedom ring, baby.… Read the rest

The Rite of the Funeral Parlor

Last evening, Eyegal and I stood in the receiving line of a local funeral parlor to pay our respects to the family of a man who suddenly died this past weekend. He was a great-grandfather, full of years, and a pillar to his family and community.

We arrived a couple of minutes before the visitation was to start and the receiving line already wound its way through the chapel and stretched out the door into the lobby, snaking its way through the narrow hallway past several other viewing rooms, the water fountain and the bathrooms, all the way to the casket display area.… Read the rest

And Away I Went

I got in the truck… and away I went.

Oh, that’s right, most people like reading the first paragraph, well, first:

A burned out ignition coil on the last day of a beach vacation is a real buzz killer. Oh, and another thing: The nearest dealer was over 150 miles away in Montgomery.

For the record, I’ve complained to the editor about the disappearing-first-paragraph problem in the online edition, and he said that The Huntsville Times doesn’t own the website but instead contracts out so therefore they have no control over it.

I say it’s about time The Huntsville Times joins the 21st century and creates their own website like so many other newspapers have.… Read the rest

I Got In The Truck

tow-truck.jpgI promised everyone more details regarding my “mad, moonlit dash into L. A. (Lower Alabama) with a chain-smoking, Diet Coke-swilling insomniac tow truck driver named Keith.”

In my community column in this coming Sunday’s Huntsville Times, I’ll deliver.

Looking back, I had two choices. I could have simply given the keys and a note to the dealer to Keith and had him deliver the car by himself and checked on it the next day as we drove through Montgomery on the way home. Or, I could get in the truck and see what adventures lay in store along U.S. 331 on a Friday night in the heart of the Deep South.… Read the rest

Here’s Your Handy Huntsville Guide

It’s the second Sunday of the month, and The Huntsville Times has published my latest community column entitled, “New to the city? Here’s a handy guide for you newcomers.”

Sigh. You know the drill. Here’s the first paragraph:

We moved to Huntsville 15 years ago this month. Back then, what I really wanted was a reliable newcomer’s guide. There are probably folks migrating to Huntsville from northern Virginia as part of the BRAC move who feel the same way. Maybe some of them will even read this column.

And here’s the rest.

For the uninitiated, BRAC stands for “Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.”… Read the rest

15 Years In The Rocket City

src-time-lapse.JPGI’ll be reflecting back on lessons learned over the past 15 years of living in Huntsville in this Sunday’s community column in The Huntsville Times.

We moved here in March 1993, and I’ll admit that it took me some time to get used to the place. We had lived in a “big city” for the previous 7 years (Birmingham and then Nashville), and I often pined for the culture, excitement and choices of a major metropolitan area. But once I settled down and became more rooted in the community, the place sort of started to grow on me. Or maybe I grew into it.… Read the rest