A Southern primer

  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter: 1/80 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Columbus, Mississippi

There are a few things you have to understand in order to enjoy your stay in the South. First and foremost, strange things will happen. Things you couldn’t make up. Things your friends won’t believe. Things you won’t believe yourself, even though you were there.

Second, Southern hospitality is a real thing. Southerners will make you a member of the family after only a few minutes, and it comes with all the privileges, which means you might find yourself staring down the double barrel of a shotgun before you can say “bang.” No matter what you’re doing, everyone and Adam’s house cat will get involved. Just relax and go with the flow. Or pop some Valium. Whatever works for you.

And lastly, Southerners have no qualms about mixing completely unrelated worlds. Case in point: fire engine red, four-inch high stiletto heels, denim shorts, and a white button down. “Good jeans” and limousines. Fried green tomatoes, roasted duck, and fresh herb tomato ragout. It all works somehow.

As the sun sank in a magnificent violet blaze along the Tombigbee, I sat on a restaurant patio and pondered these things, comparing Columbus to Boston. Closing my eyes, I smiled as song after song brought back happy memories. Rush, Clapton, Zeppelin, ELO. One thing is certain, you can be invisible in Boston, but you’ll never be alone in the South — not unless you want to be.

Note: There’s another version of this picture here.

Music: Cheap is How I Feel by Cowboy Junkies (lyrics)

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