A photo essay by Texan Christopher Woods. "Her Majesty, Queen of the Melons" Taken at Hempstead, Texas's annual Watermelon Music Festival, scheduled for July 17 this year. "Waiting For Word in Bellville, Texas" "Road Outside Chappell Hill" From the photographer: "We go up the road as so many from earlier generations have done. It is always a pilgrimage, a quest, and often a dreamy hope." "Ice Cream Chapel" Taken in Bellville, Texas. From the photographer: "It's so hard to be good all the time. But we all deserve a treat. Vanilla, chocolate, Rocky Road. Whatever tastes best." "A Bed in the Forest" Taken at The Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, Texas. From the photographer: "A peaceful place to rest, to sleep, to love." "Carnyland" Taken at the Washington County Fair in Brenham, Texas. Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer. His photo essays have appeared in Public Republic, Glasgow Review and Narrative Magazine. He lives in Houston and Chappell Hill, Texas, where he and his wife, Linda, share a gallery at Moonbird Hill Arts. He calls this series of photographs "Ruralities" and says they feature "both the old and new South, its traditions, places and people. Generally, I am attracted to  the beauty of rural scenes, and sometimes the quirkier aspects of small town

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Recently, we were traveling through Alabama, passing through Mobile, Montgomery and Tuskegee, on our way to Atlanta. These cities, plus many more, all played a part in the South's Civil Rights history, but you won't necessarily know that looking at them from the interstate. We remembered reading about the Tuskegee Airmen and university, but weren't sure what there was to see off the exit. And we knew there had to be some good BBQ in Montgomery, plus similar historic sites. For those of you who've asked yourself these same questions, there's now an app for that. Edith Parten with Alabama's tourism department, along with Francis Smiley, a resource for black heritage and Civil Rights, launched the Alabama Civil Rights Trail app earlier this month, after watching the state's physical trail markers become an international tourist destination. The app includes attractions, historic sites, insider tips and places to eat and stay along the trail. Parten of course hits highlights like Birmingham's Civil Rights Institute, Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, but do you know where Coretta Scott King's family home and grocery are located or where the last lynching in Mobile took place? How about where to

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March 26 would have been Tennessee Williams' 100th birthday, so there's lots of activity involving the playwright this week. Troy Gilbert and Chef Greg Picolo with Dr. Kenneth Holditch published their new book, "Dinner With Tennessee Williams," just in time, and we've got a review plus three books to give away. Part food memoir and part cookbook, the book includes more than 80 recipes, many inspired by Williams' life in New Orleans. The perfect cookbook for literary lovers and foodies, "Dinner With Tennessee Williams" is also a perfect way to celebrate his birthday this month. For the chance to win a copy, read our review, then comment on this post and tell us what you'd make Tennessee Williams if he came over for dinner. Giveaway closes at midnight on his birthday. Each year surrounding Williams' birthday, the city of New Orleans holds the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. This year, the festival has gone all out to celebrate what is also its 25th anniversary, presenting a literary panel with the founders of the festival, world premiere of three never-before produced one-act plays by Williams, a Saturday night birthday toast and a special tasting and symposium for "Dinner With Tennessee Williams" at

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By Troy Gilbert and Chef Greg Picolo with Dr. W. Kenneth Holditch reviewed by Erin Z. Bass You may have thought about what it would be like to have dinner with Tennessee Williams. Or maybe you've only thought as far as drinks with the playwright. Regardless, the restaurant would probably be in New Orleans' French Quarter, and you know the conversation would be good. New Orleans native Troy Gilbert and Chef Greg Picolo of Bistro Maison de Ville have taken the idea a step further in their new book, "Dinner With Tennessee Williams," released just in time for what would have been his 100th birthday on March 26. Part food memoir and part cookbook, the book includes more than 80 recipes that would have delighted Williams' on any given evening. Each chapter is based on a play and delves into Williams' references to food, whether it be in "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Glass Menagerie" or "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Tennessee Williams spent his childhood in the Mississippi Delta, eating fried chicken and turnip greens and drinking sweet tea. He came to the New Orleans French Quarter for the first time in 1938 and got a room on the third floor

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Since we've gotten on the bandwagon and deemed 2011 the "Year of Pimento Cheese," we'll periodically be updating y'all on recipes, mentions and happenings surrounding the South's favorite cheese spread. And with filming beginning for the Kickstarter-funded film, "Pimento Cheese, Please," we predict no shortage of news. Here's what's been happening in the cheese world lately: The Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn, Victoria Belanger, whipped up a Pimento Cheese Jello Mold for a Southern-themed dinner party recently. See the photo here.   Atlanta's Tim The Cheese Man explores how pimento cheese got to the South in the first place, whether Georgia was once the "Pimento Capital"  and how the spread made its way inside the gates at the Master's in a blog post.   We made Runaway Spoon's pimento cheese biscuits for our book club meeting last month, and they were a hit!   We discovered the blog, "Pimento Cheese, Please" - not to be confused with the movie - which of course has a recipe for its version of Pimento Cheese (pictured above), as well as lots of other yummy, Southern stuff.   Blogger Laurel Mills tweeted about eating bacon pimento mac 'n' cheese for lunch last week at Carlisle Drugs in Alexander City, Alabama. We promise we're working

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by John Jasper Owens I know God blesses Texas and don’t mess with Texas, but I’ve never been to Texas. Is it okay to mess with individual Texans? No. And don’t even think about messing with the region as a whole. Not all of my exes live in Texas, some of them might – I don’t keep track – but one of my exes lives in Rock Hill and is an accountant for a furniture company. I’ve eaten Tex-Mexes, seen boots on both sexes, but I’ve never been to Texas. I know Texans think so much of themselves they named a pro football team the Texans, as in screw you we don’t need a mascot because we’re Texans. Texas has Texas Rangers but I think Walker, Texas Ranger was made up. The band named Texas is from Glasgow, but there is no band named Scotland from San Antonio because Texans don’t reciprocate. I’ve flown over Texas a few times and the interesting thing about that, especially on a night flight, is that Texas glows. And the cities are arranged in such a way that the lights spell out T-E-X-A-S, just like on a map. State planners have arranged it so that

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