by Donna Smith Fee
I left him in the oven with his feet sticking out like a turkey too big for the pan. Giggling at the thought of Hansel and Gretel and the nibbled house of sweets, I felt like a good witch.
Driving south on 441 from Athens, Georgia, I matched my breathing to Naomi’s slow deep breaths. Roommates at the University of Georgia twenty-plus years ago, she and I had always gotten each other into and out of trouble. I wasn’t sure who was in more trouble this time. Me, for pushing her husband into his bakery’s oven, or her, for leaving the hospital despite her broken ribs, miscarriage, facial contusions and I.V. drip.
“What?” she looked so weak in her hospital gown and stolen scrubs.
“It is just a little funny. A baked baker.”
“What if he’s dead? How am I going to explain that?” Naomi sought the order in things, looking for the whys. I mostly struggled with the why-nots. We slowed down as we passed through Madison with its streets lined with antebellum homes supporting fabulous porches and Boston ferns bigger than tubas. The town claimed they were too beautiful for Sherman to burn on his march to the sea.
In the style of Jill Conner Browne's "Sweet Potato Queens," Anna Fields goes inside the debutante culture of the South.
by Angela Green
The Supreme Court law integrating schools for whites and blacks passed before I was born, but it wasn’t until I moved to South Carolina in the summer of 1969 that I sat in a classroom with black children. As a third-grader, I was unaware of the political hailstorms that had assailed our country the previous fifteen years. I was sent to school with simple instructions to obey my teacher. Although I can’t recall specifics, I have hazy memories of bullies picking on the black children on the playground. This remembrance exists, I think, not because the confrontations were so horrific, but because of approving smiles from my parents when I told them that I stopped other white children from being mean or making “ugly” remarks to the newest children in our ranks.
In my family, friendship with black neighbors was accepted. We lived in a small community. My brothers and I all played on integrated school sports teams. We had always been taught to treat everyone with kindness and respect regardless of their color. Even with all of this “treat everyone equally” rhetoric, there was, however, one underlying understanding within the family: the daughter can be friends, but she cannot date the
by Julie M. Stephenson
“Where are you from?” It was a normal question, but a question I dreaded nevertheless. I didn’t like to lie. “Sumter,” I answered. My new fourth grade classmate smiled, “Oh, yeah, I’ve been there. You can sit by me at lunch today.” Technically, I hadn’t lied. I was born in Sumter. I lived there until Daddy took Mamma and me home from the hospital. After that, I lived in Lamar, and I certainly couldn’t tell anyone that.
Lamar, a tiny town in Darlington County, South Carolina, surrounded by cotton and tobacco fields, had been the greatest place on earth. One of my favorite places was school. Red-bricked Lamar Elementary for grades 1-6 was connected to a matching Lamar High School by a cement breezeway. I had been walking those gray-green halls for as long as I could remember. Mamma was the kindergarten teacher, so I went to kindergarten when I was three, four, and five. Daddy was the high school principal, so after school I could walk over and see him. His sturdy rectangle of a desk was where, to my later dismay, I carefully printed, “Form, Julie” on twenty-eight of thirty cartooned Valentines. On the way to
A true "coming of age" story about growing up in rural Alabama, "South Wind Rising" details the adventures and heartaches of schoolboy Barsh Roberts.
by Julie Britt
As soon as I discovered that nasty thing the grownups called “sexuality,” I just knew it would get me in a lot of trouble some day—with Jesus, my parents and some yucky boy—so I hid it. But my Mama and Daddy noticed my sinful sexiness way before I knew I had it, not to mention what I was supposed to do with it.
I was only 10—too young to be thinking about boys, sex and chastity, a real important and mysterious word they talked about in church all the time.
One night I was filling the tub when I realized we were out of bubble bath. I turned off the faucet and briefly considered taking a bath in plain old water. No. That wouldn’t be good enough. It was summer, and I had spent most of the afternoon playing in the woods with Josh, my pesky little brother. I needed the extra clean that only Mr. Bubble could bring. I figured Mama had a fresh box in the pantry.
“Mama!” I called through the bathroom door.
Daddy probably had turned up the TV so he could hear his western above the racket from the kitchen, where Mama was busy preparing our
Deep South Magazine officially launched online in January of 2010, so this month we're celebrating our first anniversary! As we reflect over the past year, we're proud of the content we cranked out, both on our website and on our blog. One of our goals here is to keep up with top news stories that affect people living in the South, and there was no shortage of news in 2010. From the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl to the massive oil spill, 50th anniversary of the publication of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and filming of "The Help" movie in Mississippi, 2010's stories were compelling to say the least, and we spent a lot of time following them. In the case of the oil spill, we immediately created a listing of ways Southerners could help in their respective states and reported straight from the sand in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach throughout the summer to let readers know when beaches were open.
We plan to do no less, and hopefully a lot more, in 2011. Here's to another great year for the South and for Deep South!
P.S. We welcome story ideas for the coming year! E-mail erin@deepsouthmag if there's something