Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Email to My Editor

Teresa and I are in Tennessee visiting her sister and her husband. Faith and Aaron moved here 20 years ago to be close to their kids. 


Steve
  I'm going to make a fool of myself here with my snap judgments of the South but you're used to me doing that. 
We are in the middle South, in the little town of Gibson which is just a few miles from the much bigger town of Humboldt, and the much bigger city of Jackson.
Spring is in the air, the birds are chirping, the blossoms hang white or purple... it's nice. We had freeway or four lane highway all the way to within 20 miles of Faith's. This last stretch was quite 
narrow, a step back into the old South. Traffic was light as we buzzed past viarious architectural styles: classic high pitched cabins, small brick ramblers, kudzu covered trailers...the Skime of the South. The road was up and down and curvy, little chance to pass. Wetlands, pastures, small tillages. Not the megaculture like up in Missouri. 
 After lunch Teresa asked Faith if there were places to walk nearby. "Only if y'all hope to be cut down in the prime of your life," Faith said. "The road is narrow and the ditch is deep. Now why don't you just relax here and have a nice gin and tonic." Teresa opted for a glass of warm wine, but once her wine was gone she still wanted a walk. Faith said "OK, chile, how about I give you a tour of the area and then we'll stop by the liquor store for some Guinness."  Faith is making corned beef and cabbage and we're having a late St Paddy's Day celebration. What a great sister in law!
 So we take this tour of the area. I'm driving. Just one g. and t. under my belt. "Now what you have to understand about the South," Faith says, "is you'll see a mansion next to a trailer house. It's part of southern gentility. You don't want to put yourself above your neighbor. I thought it would hurt property values, but people here told me, 'No, we don't mind having a mansion next to our trailer house.'" 
Faith pointed out a collection of yellow brick ramblers built in the sixties. The houses were shaded by mature trees on hilly plots. Some were well kept, others obviously abandoned. "Gibson Country is depressed," Faith said.  She pointed to one, a burnt-out shell. "That was because of a boy who lacked parental guidance."  I thought I saw movement inside, but it was just the wind.

Sent from the Road


2 comments:

Joe said...

Great Bromances of Western Literature:
Darcy and Bingley
Pip and Herbert
Frodo and Sam
Tyrion and Bronn
Theo and Boris
Hamlet and Horatio
Sal and Dean
Hemingway and Fitzgerald
Holmes and Watson
Achilles and Patroclus
Nick and Jay
Lennie and George
Huck and Tom
Steve and Joe

Chairman Joe said...

Don't forget Charlie Brown and his dog.