Category: Southern Culture

Playing Dead

Sometimes I feel a little dead at the end of the day, but I’ve never had the opportunity to become a middle-aged cadaver.

But my friend and outdoor adventurer Ed has.

Be sure to read his delightful story on his recent time spent “playing the stiff” for a team of training Search and Rescue Dogs (SAR K9) at the 2008 Airscent Seminar near Rogersville, Alabama.

And Ed, glad to have you back in the land of the living. Jake must give pretty good spit baths. Or was it the nose bite that did the trick?

Read the rest

The 12th Man

Number One Son road-tripped to Auburn this past weekend to visit with some friends and to watch the Bama v. Auburn basketball game. The visit with friends went well. The game? Not so much.

Yesterday morning, Number One was driving to church when he stopped at an intersection with a crosswalk. He looked both ways, halfway expecting a herd of cattle to come ambling by about that time. Instead a lone figure in a suit was walking down the sidewalk to his right and starting into the intersection.

Number One stayed stopped and yielded like he was supposed to. He looked down to fiddle with something in the car, and when he looked back up, the man in the suit was directly in front of him and staring straight at him.… Read the rest

A Hot Time In T-town

It looks like it’s going to be a hot time in T-town tomorrow night.

A few minutes ago, I received this email from the University of Alabama Athletic Department:

Dear Crimson Tide Fan:

As we approach the home stretch of our 2007 home football schedule, I want to thank each of you for your support throughout this season, both at Bryant-Denny and at the away venues. You have helped make a difference for Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide football team, and all of us at the University are appreciative of your contribution each and every Saturday.

Certainly, this weekend’s game presents a challenge not only to our team and coaches but to our game management personnel as well.

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Stars Fell on Alabama

“Stars Fell on Alabama” late Saturday night under the Tuscaloosa lights. Just in case you missed it the first time, here it is again. If you’re a Razorback fan, that one may not be safe for work.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer! And here’s a sight for sore eyes if there ever was one. Meanwhile, back at The Barn, the smell of smoke lingered in the air.

In Montgomery, the Faulkner Eagles made their home debut, and JRB was there, passing on his love of Southern Game Day Tradition to his young daughter. And by the way, congrats to the Montgomery Biscuits who came through in dramatic fashion.Read the rest

As the Hawg Squeals

I know some of you may have been expecting Mike the Redneck to weigh in on tomorrow’s Alabama-Arkansas match-up. Sorry to disappoint, but he went to the dentist yesterday (he actually still has two teeth left) and got one of those numbing shots and just isn’t able to talk very well right now. Nevertheless, he sends his “REE-guards.”

I spent four years of my life dwelling in The Natural State and have more readers there than in any other state besides Alabama. I hold no grudge against the Hogs. In fact, I rather like the Razorback Nation.

Why, you ask? It’s really very simple.… Read the rest

The Measures of a Good Life

Barbara died a few days ago. She lived two doors down and had been sick for about a year. It wasn’t Alzheimer’s, but something similar, another heartless, wasting disease that took her away, bit by bit, to the horror and disappointment of her husband and family who could do little but simply love her and try to ease her passage to the other side. It was not an easy death.

I did not know her well, beyond an occasional casual conversation on the sidewalk or a friendly wave as she made her way out to retrieve her morning paper while I stumbled by at the conclusion of one of my morning runs.… Read the rest

The Greatest Alabama Fan in the World

She might as well have been sent straight from central casting.

She was fifty-something, a beautician or some kind of county court clerk if I had to guess, five foot two and 110 lbs if she was an ounce. Her nails were painted a glossy Crimson, her skin was leathery brown, probably from a few too many sessions in the tanning bed. Her hair was bleach-blond, her brown dirt, brunette roots proudly showing through. She wore a Bama tank top, grey sweatshorts and Roll Tide flip-flops. She was loud, salty and full of sass, in a Steel Magnolias, Ouiser Boudreaux sort of way (although I can assure you, she was no Cajun).… Read the rest

Good Fences Make Bad Neighbors

For the most part, we’ve enjoyed our neighbors over the years and had good relations with them. But there’s always the exception. Like the septuagenarian widow next door who from the moment we moved in 12 years ago has viewed us at best as a modern-day reincarnation of the Adams Family and at worst as a clan of pesky rodents dead set on ruining her pristine, picture-perfect Southern Living magazine house and showcase yard.

Over the years, she’s accused us of various neighborly transgressions including damaging her sprinkler heads while mowing the property line (she actually has one sprinkler head on our property, and it’s never been damaged), mowing too far onto her property, not caring about or keeping a showcase lawn like hers (guilty!),… Read the rest

Eat Fresh

The door to the late model Buick swung open and the first thing I saw was his feet.

And then, like a telescope unfolding and revealing it’s hidden length, he stood in segments; first the lower legs, next his thick thighs, followed by the elongated trunk, one arm and then the other. He was wearing an Auburn ball cap, its bill pushed back a little revealing rivulets of sweat forming on his forehead in response to the rising heat of an early Alabama summer. He was six foot seven if he was an inch. But as he pivoted toward the door of the Subway Sandwich Shop on Governors Drive, I saw that his height wasn’t his only prodigious proportion.… Read the rest

The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

Having just attended a somewhat (okay very) rowdy high school graduation ceremony, this one caught my eye and made me glad that I live in Huntsville, Alabama rather than Galesburg, Illinois.

Which one do you think is worse, someone not hearing their kid’s name called when she walks across the stage, or someone walking across the stage and holding out her hand to receive her diploma only to have it taken back later? What a nice graduation picture (and memory) that last one would make.

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.… Read the rest

Forrest Knows Best

gumpbamacoach.jpgSome of us will be headed down to Tuscaloosa later today so that Number One can attend Bama Bound, the student orientation at the University of Alabama. Needless to say, he’ll be facing some very tough decisions.

Nah, I’m not talking about classes. I figure that there’ll be plenty of sections of “N’Yuck, N’Yuck, N’Yuk–The Three Stooges in the 21st Century” and “Careers in Guitar Hero–You Too Can Be Ronnie Van Zant” to choose from.

I’m talking about more important stuff like football.

You see, since the resurgence of interest in Crimson Tide football following the hiring of multimillion dollar messiah Nick Saban, the student government moved last spring to only allow entering freshman to attend part of the scheduled home games so that more tickets could be spread around and more students could attend.… Read the rest

Pretty Grads All in a Robe

Yesterday was Senior Sunday at our church. That’s “senior” as in high school, not the over-the-hill, AARP type. There were 26 seniors this year, which, as we say in the South, is a whole big mess of ’em.

They marched down the center aisle of the church, clad in their graduations robes–brown, burgundy, white, red, purple, power blue. This was the start of a new tradition this year. But just barely. It was announced last week that they would wear their robes, and as one might expect, there was a great hue and cry and a week’s worth of high drama.… Read the rest

Evrathang is RAY-low-tif

The Explainer at Slate does it again. I commented on this the other day, but little did I know then that I was actually a “code shifter” when I’m hangin’ with the clan back in Vah-GIN-ya and talking mountainspeak.

Hillary’s not the only one trying to convince us of her Southern bona fides. In Full Professor Elrod’s case, the more hard-core secessionists among his rowdy and far-flung boiled peanut gallery may have finally disabused him of the notion. I think it was the part about lapsing into Delawarespeak that did him in.

Huntsville is about as cosmopolitan as you can get in Alabama with so many transplants from all over the country and world.… Read the rest

On Speaking Southern

If this keeps up, I’m going to start feeling sorry for her.

Seriously, she may not be faking it. My accent is pretty neutral for the most part (comes from marrying a Missouri “Show Me”), but I’ve been told that when I’m around my uncles and cousins back home, that I lapse back into a Southwest Virginia lilt.

Yes Vah-GIN-ya, it is possible for an accent to change depending on the circumstances and it not be a campaign trick.… Read the rest