by Julie Britt
When my cousin, Carol, invited me to spend bicentennial week with her family at Myrtle Beach, I immediately went to J.C. Penney to search for the perfect bathing suit.
Carol and I spent a lot of time picking out clothes, shoes and hairstyles that enhanced our feminine allure. Snug tops emphasized perky breasts and slender waists. Tight hot pants hugged our behinds and exposed lengths of tanned legs. We weren’t dressing for sex. That would have been wrong. We were only 17, not to mention unwed. We just wanted potential boyfriends to notice our timely fashion sense and get a hint of what might be theirs if they were patient enough to wait for love in God’s good time.
The first day at the beach, we paraded down Ocean Boulevard in our new denim cutoffs and tube tops. We giggled as boys honked, whistled and called out compliments.
“Ooh, baby, come to Papa!”
“Marry me, darlin’!”
When the compliments turned to raunchy innuendo, we ducked into the Gay Dolphin, a souvenir shop whose inventory included thousands of treasures from the sea — genuine sharks’ teeth, shells of every hue and the mysterious sand dollar with its reminders of our Savior’s sacrifice. We had
Back-to-back festivals celebrate the state's wine industry in June.
by Linda M. Erbele Sometimes you have to wonder if the GPS is really taking you to a winery. There’ve been so many turns since leaving the main road that you don’t know how the mailman finds it, but discovery is part of the delight when visiting Georgia's wine region. Once there, stretch out on the tasting room deck, admire the neat rows of vines behind the hillsides and sip what just might be the next gold medal winner.
If your idea of Southern wine is Kool-Aid sweet and made from muscadines, you’re in for a surprise. Georgia is producing Cabernets, Merlots, Viogniers, Chardonnays and a number of excellent blends.
“It used to surprise people that Georgia has a whole wine industry that doesn’t involve muscadines,” says Steve Gipson, president of the Georgia Wine Association. A number of the vineyards, especially in North Georgia, grow European varieties of grapes, producing award-winning varietals. “There’s a tremendous amount of interest," continues Gipson. "I think the state lists 32 bonded wineries, and several more are very close to becoming bonded.”
Like craft breweries, local wineries produce a product unique to an area, made with a hands-on, personal touch.
by Kate Spears
When Deep South Magazine asked me to do a guest post about what it means to be a Southern belle, I was honored. As the author of a blog called Southern Belle Simple, it makes sense that I should be able to offer some insight. I was also asked to include any inspiration or pearls of wisdom I have gained from Scarlett O’Hara, but from a modern perspective. Since one cannot in good faith speak about being a Southern belle without mentioning Scarlett O, the request seemed perfect.
The mere mention of the phrase "Southern belle" evokes vivid images of the old South. Perhaps this is best demonstrated in the opening scene from "Gone with Wind" where a coy Scarlett teases the Tarleton twins on the front porch of Tara, both of them wrapped around her little finger.
We can certainly learn from Scarlett to keep our chins up in the face of the greatest adversity as she often made lemonade when life gave her lemons, even if her judgment in some situations would cause us to scratch our heads. As this summer marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of "Gone with the Wind," we should also turn our
And museums and attractions across the South are celebrating!
On June 30, it will have been 75 years since Margaret Mitchell wrote the book that's become a favorite of most every Southerner. Tourist attractions related to Mitchell and "Gone With the Wind" have been preparing for this all year, and "windies," as die-hard fans are called, and those who just enjoy the story of Scarlett and Rhett will have no shortage of ways to celebrate during the month of June and beyond. In Atlanta, there's the opportunity to see a "lost manuscript" of the final four chapters of "Gone With the Wind," as well as the premiere of Georgia Public Broadcasting's new documentary about Margaret Mitchell. In Alabama, fans can see what's being called the most complete collection of "Gone With the Wind" books ever assembled. Vivien Leigh's "Best Actress" Oscar is on display in Arkansas, and even Texans can celebrate with a visit to the Scarlett O'Hardy Museum. Frankly, my dears, we don't give a damn how you commemorate the anniversary, but will say there's no better excuse for a road trip this month.
ANNIVERSARY EVENTS CALENDAR
Atlanta’s Book: The Lost "Gone With the Wind" Manuscript
On display June 4-September 5, 2011
Karen Russell's Southern Gothic novel set in the Florida Everglades borders on cinematic.
The best beach reads, mysteries, chick lit and new releases from down South.
Gone With a Handsomer Man
by Michael Lee West
Teeny Templeton believes her life is finally on track. She’s getting married, baking her own wedding cake and leaving her troubled past behind. Then she finds her fiance playing naked badminton with a couple of gorgeous, skanky chicks. The wedding is off, and when he's found dead a few days later, all fingers point to Teeny. The sixth novel for West, who lives on a farm in Tennessee, "Gone's" cover art alone is worth picking up the book, available now. Follow the author on Twitter @MichaelLeeWest or like her on Facebook. The Beach Trees
by Karen White
Debuting at No. 15 on The New York Times bestseller list during its first week out in May, "The Beach Trees" is set in a geographical location the author knows well: the Gulf coast. After years of searching for her lost sister, main character Julie travels home to Biloxi, Mississippi, and unlocks her surprising family history in an area that's almost as broken as the character herself. The Inheritance of Beauty
by Nicole Seitz
An enchanting story about age and beauty, and the blessings and curses of each, Seitz's
by Jake Cole
Tucked away in the shade of a rusted cotton gin factory and ivy-covered trees, the post-industrial graveyard of The Goat Room proved a fitting backdrop for the hopeful birth of a new kind of business in Atlanta.
[caption id="attachment_3734" align="aligncenter" width="500"] A crowd gathered outside the Good Food Truck.[/caption]
Benefiting the Atlanta Street Food Coalition, the Southern Swap Meet, held May 21, showcased some of the businesses attempting to gain permits for food trucks in the city, as well as performance art and independent vendors.
Among the food vendors present were
Good Food Truck, specializing in American, especially Southern, food with international twists
Tamale Queen, a taco and tamale vendor
King of Pops, an ice pop stand with exotic and seasonal flavors
Lafayette's Fancy Boiled Peanuts, a gourmet peanut vendor
Westside Creamery, an ice cream vendor
In-between snacks, attendees could watch The Collective Project, a performance art troupe that offered "re-enactments" of the history of the food truck, as well as various musicians.
Also in attendance were the performers of the Dance Truck, a portable dance venue promoting its unorthodox platform alongside the food trucks. Dancers performed both inside the Good Food Truck and in the bed of a time-worn yet still virile 1955 Chevy.
[caption id="attachment_3735" align="aligncenter" width="500"]
Thank you notes and correspondence this summer just got a bit more Southern with the U.S. Postal Service's announcement of a Forever stamp featuring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. The 17th inductee into the "Legends of Hollywood" stamp series, Peck is best remembered by Southerners for his award-winning role in "To Kill A Mockingbird." Stamps are available at local post offices, the Postal Store website or by calling 800-STAMP-24. Mockingbird fans also have until June 28 to apply for a first-day-of-issue postmark by attaching stamps to an envelope and addressing it to:
Gregory Peck Stamp
Los Angeles Marketing Department
7001 S. Central Ave., #307
Los Angeles, CA 90052-9998
Monroeville, Alabama, hometown of Mockingbird author Harper Lee, also celebrated the stamp's release with an event at the courthouse. (A total of 13,873 stamps were sold!) A special postmark from the town post office, affectionately known as Mockingbird Station, is available through May 31.
Festivals celebrating cornbread, biscuits and MoonPies are taking place throughout the Volunteer State this summer.
By Kate Spears
May is here and, in the South, we all know what that means … the start of festival season! I guess I’m what you could call a festival junkie. Early each year, I scour the web and other media outlets for local festivals and slowly, but surely, each weekend of the upcoming months gets filled with events. I don’t always make it to every festival I pencil in, but some take more priority. This year, I kicked off festival season with the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
South Pittsburg is just off Interstate 24, close to where the borders of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama meet. This tiny town comes alive for the festival, held the last weekend of April for the past 15 years. South Pittsburg is also home to Lodge Cast Iron, and since every true Southerner knows cast iron bakes the best cornbread, this is a perfect tie-in for the festival.
After making the two-and-a-half-hour drive from Knoxville, the Southern beau and I met up with some Nashville friends who were joining us, and prepared to experience all the Cornbread Festival
Last month, we got an email from author Jackie Garvin. She wrote: "If the name of my blog, Syrup and Biscuits, doesn't give it away, my accents, stories and recipes will attest to the fact that 'I'm Southern by the grace of God.' Any project that elevates our Southern traditions, heritage and food is of interest to me." Doesn't get much more Southern than that!
Jackie also has a post titled "Syrup and Biscuits on Syrup and Biscuits" that explains why she chose the name for her blog and includes a recipe, of course. Read her post below, "like" Syrup and Biscuits on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @syrupnbiscuits.
"Syrup and Biscuits" on Syrup and Biscuits
by Jackie Garvin
posted on April 25
My granddaddy ate syrup and biscuits almost every morning of his life that lasted for 90 wonderful years. Cane syrup was his favorite. He’d sop up the thick, rich, dark amber liquid with a hot biscuit and declare, “That Top O’ The World sirp sho’ is good.” Early in my life, I had the notion that syrup and biscuits represented something very good. That’s exactly what I want “Syrup and Biscuits” to represent. Goodness. Just simple, honest, unpretentious goodness.
Some of my earliest