by Dixon Hearne
“Where you headed, Miss Lizzie?” a familiar voice calls. “On ya’ way to town? Visitin’? Ain’t no need keepin’ it to ya’self.” Swish-swish-swish goes her straw bag, never breaking stride. Skeet Rouse is a no account heathen in Lizzie Fate’s estimation, an abomination lower than Judas himself. Not a day goes by she doesn’t say a quick-prayer to shield herself from him and all his kind. Folks off in the woods make potions and spells to throw on you if they wander into town, and Lizzie Fate doesn’t go near any of them. Especially Skeet Rouse.
Lizzie’s mama said when she herself was just a girl – back when boogers and haints were strong on them – she found herself lost one day out in the woods and halfway to Vicksburg with the sun getting ready to sleep. She wandered around all night long, chasing the moon and losing her mind. Come morning, when she stuck her face over the black bayou water to wash it, she was plumb white-headed in the reflection. Next thing she knew, a woman the color of swamp gum popped out of a tree hollow and cast the evil eye at her, and when she woke
A Q&A with The Moonlit Road storytelling site founder Craig Dominey, complete with a ghost story.
How did The Moonlit Road come about?
CD: I’m a native Southerner and used to write freelance articles on Southern history and culture. I always felt the South sometimes got a bad rap in other parts of the country so I wanted to create something that taught people about Southern culture in a fun way. So, I chose storytelling and ghost stories as a gateway to do that. Our visitors can simply read or listen to a story, or dig deeper and learn more about the place and culture that the story comes from.
A retreat can often be described as a haven or refuge, a place where individuals or groups venture to seek solitude and escape the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives. Nestled in a forest of towering pines and majestic oaks, bordered by Georgia’s Cumberland River near the border of Florida, sits Cabin Bluff — a hunter’s paradise dating from the days of Calvin Coolidge.
Established in 1928 as a sanctuary for distinguished sporting enthusiasts from around the world, Cabin Bluff earned a reputation as a world-class hunting and fishing destination. The addition of championship golf in a unique setting, hiking, biking and kayaking, sporting clays and an inviting lap pool has turned the remote compound into a luxurious Southern getaway.
Yesterday, The Givers band from our hometown of Lafayette tweeted that TCM featured their song "Saw You First" in its October movie promo.
On August 29, The Travel Channel's "No Reservations" in Cajun Country episode aired. Much to the delight of Cajuns and natives of South Louisiana, chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain revealed to the rest of the world why our region is such a special place - and why so many people visit and never leave. Bourdain ate his way from New Orleans to Eunice and back, and while live tweeting during the episode wrote, "I'm struck dumb looking at the food on my own damn show."
A few weeks ago, I was at Lafayette's downtown post office and overheard the postal worker telling the customer in front of me to spread the word that her post office was on the list of possible closures.
Last fall, Kickstarter featured a project with the goal of raising money for a movie about pimento cheese. Seventy-four backers, including Deep South, and $2,625 later, "Pimento Cheese, Please: A Film About the South's Beloved Spread" met its goal and was deemed "funding successful." Since then, Richmond, Virginia, filmmakers Nicole Lang and Christophile Konstas have been traveling the South in search of great pimento cheese spread and getting their film ready for an October release. Former intern Sarah Matalone interviewed Nicole about her idea for the film and obvious love of the South's favorite cheese dish.
by Leah Weiss
My older sister Katie married her beau Clarence Barnhill in 1926, shortly after I was born. They spent their wedding night at the home place with the whole family a wall or two away. This was a common thing to do because no one had money and there was no place to go. Rural North Carolina was a soft mix of dirt roads and sprawling farms and the occasional small town hugging up against the railroad track. Next to tobacco, its biggest business was raising families.
In the middle of her wedding night, Katie was awakened by my crying. She got up, padded barefoot through the house, found me and brought me back to her bed. The practice of an older sister taking care of a new baby was routine in big families; even though I was Katie’s sister, I was also Katie’s baby. Mama could take care of the others.
Years later, after I married, Clarence often teased my husband Alvon by asking, Did you know Lucy slept with me on my wedding night? It was an off-color joke that he never tired of telling. Alvon and I hoped it would play itself out. It eventually did, but it
by Richard Lutman
The day after his release from prison Cass Franklin returned to his weather beaten cabin in sycamore grove at the foot of Blue Mountain and plugged in his TV. He needed the comfort it brought him. He turned it on and the picture rolled just as it always did.
“Damn thing!” he said and hit the top of the set with the broad palm of his gnarled hand. The picture rolled in two compact lines across the screen. “Damn thing!” He hit it again, this time striking the side of the set sharply. The picture righted itself and he reached over and turned it off, then turned it on again. This time there were no lines. The screen illuminated the room with a familiar flickering light.
He stretched, tendons creaking in his arms. Then feeling restless because he had nothing left to do, he walked to the window wondering if things would be the same as they had been before he had been sent away.
The early morning mists made everything seem fresh and new. The glow of his charcoal kiln by the barn burning through. He had spent the first hours after his return preparing the kiln. The work had
By Tony R. Lindsay
Twelve-year-olds Homer Guthry and Elwood Hatmaker meet each day at a swimming hole deep in a maple and pine forest along Indian Creek. The stream feeds into a narrow river near Hinesville. Cold, greenish water spills over algae-clad boulders and collects into an azure pond at a place called Blue Deep. Sunlight penetrating the surface yields streaks of violet. The purity and depth of the pool gives the site its name.
A short board is secured to the end of a thirty-foot rope attached high in a cottonwood tree. The boys swing out over the lake to a height of about fifteen feet before releasing the rope and yelling “Geronimo!” They flail away with arms and legs before tumbling buck-naked into the chilly water. Since the water is deeper than any youth can dive while holding his breath, the lake is rumored to be bottomless. No more than a few dozen kids and countless generations know the secret location of Blue Deep.
Elwood brings along a beagle. He calls the dog “Cat” for reasons known only to Elwood. Homer’s dog, a mostly Coonhound, has the more conventional name of Wilson. A third dog hangs around with the boys and