Tag

Southern Humor

Blog

Did Thomas Jefferson Have a Sexual Relationship with Bob Hemings?

The children of Elizabeth “Betty” Hemings—a slave owned by Thomas Jefferson’s father-in-law, John Wayles, a white English sea captain—occupied a special place at Jefferson’s Monticello. That might be because six of Betty’s 10 children—Robert, James, Thenia, Critta, Peter, and Sally—were said to be fathered by John Wayles. Yet we do not know about paternity in either case. Much depends on…
M. Andrew Holowchak
January 17, 2023
Blog

Boy Meets Girl

I grew up in a family that couldn’t seem to sire any offspring that wasn’t a manchild. So apart from the matrons of the clan, we boys had little exposure to the strange ways of womenfolk. As it stood, I knew next to nothing about reading moods. Or even that moods were the sort of thing that needed interpretation. This…
Brandon Meeks
January 4, 2023
Blog

Southern Humor in Congress

The halls of Congress today are seldom filled with the sound of laughter.  The humor that pervaded congressional proceedings over a century ago has now given way to only angry shouts and hateful partisan rhetoric engendered by a variety of ever-growing regional, political, racial and social differences.  Not that such divisions did not exist during the latter half of the…
John Marquardt
November 29, 2022
Blog

Good Directions

The fella that runs the local feed store is a Cajun from Ville Platte, Louisiana. He moved up here to Arkansas because the woman he met in the personal ads said she could abide thickets and pine trees but would not tolerate bayous or raising a coonass baby. I stopped by the store yesterday because I needed some laying pellets…
Brandon Meeks
October 11, 2022
Blog

The Rainmakers

Uncle Dude and Aunt Lura lived across the field beside us when I was growing up. They were both born between the two World Wars and lived through the Depression. Dude was born at the foot of Mount Saint Helens, Lura was born in the same room where she died in the Arkansas Delta. They had lots of odd superstitions…
Brandon Meeks
October 4, 2022
Blog

Happy Birthday Senator Sam

Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina was arguably one of the most important political figures of the twentieth century. His commitment to the Constitution and willingness to stare down executive power during the 1973 Watergate hearings place him among the great conservative voices in Senate history. Ervin was first and foremost a Tar Heel. He considered his election to the…
Brion McClanahan
September 27, 2022
Blog

Second Hand Memories

Memory is the thing with which we forget. I tend to believe that Memory lives in those deep crevices in the soft pink tissue of the brain; in the darkness of the crooked rows that look to have been dug by a plow mule with the blind staggers. A man can be going along, thinking a thought, and Memory will…
Brandon Meeks
July 28, 2022
Blog

A Bushel of Poke Salad and a Gallon and a Half of Coal Oil

Uncle Jim didn’t care much for Lyin’ Ed and nobody really knew why. Some speculated that it had to do with the fact that both had been sweet on Aunt Ginny decades earlier. Others reckoned that it stemmed from a schoolyard rivalry that had followed them into adulthood and now into old age. Aunt Ginny once gave voice to the…
Brandon Meeks
July 14, 2022
Blog

The Intruder

I suppose that most men would like to think that they could shoot someone to defend life and limb. But I expect that many wonder if they actually could pull the trigger if it came down to it. This was certainly true of me. It is almost a truism that every house in the South contains more guns than people.…
Brandon Meeks
June 8, 2022
Blog

The Fox Hunt

I’ve heard tell that fox hunting is the sport of kings. Be that as it may, in the hills of Arkansas it is largely the purview of fools and knaves. There are no aristocrats. No gaudy outfits. No prized horses. In fact, there are usually no horses at all. Perhaps stranger still, no guns. Unless someone totes a side arm…
Brandon Meeks
May 11, 2022
Blog

The Beer Thief

The little town of Canton, just off of I-20 in east Texas, is home to the world’s largest flea market. Thousands of booths and vendors have been selling their wares in that 400 acre field for about a century now. A man with a few dollars in his pocket can find stuff he never needed and never knew he wanted…
Brandon Meeks
March 30, 2022
Blog

The Hog Killin’

A dozen years ago or so, I was pastoring a small country church in the smallest county in the state of Mississippi. After church, one of the deacons said, “We’ve got a big dinner set on. You wanna come eat? Gonna be good.” “Sure,” says I. His name was Gabe. He was chairmen of the deacon board, pater familias to…
Brandon Meeks
February 28, 2022
Blog

White Rice is Racist

The latest major study issued by a blue-ribbon commission on racism infecting American culture comes on the heels of other startling examples which “woke” academia, government and the media have pinpointed during this past year. Indeed, in recent months we have witnessed the Oregon Department of Education explain how traditional mathematics—you know the  2 + 2 = 4 version—is racist and unfairly…
Boyd Cathey
October 5, 2021
Blog

Gaul Was Divided in Three

Editor's note: The following story was told by "Private" John Allen, a Congressmen from Mississippi from 1885-1901. "I want to tell you of the greatest legal victory of my life," said Allen once to a group of congressmen. "It was down in Tupelo, just after the war. I was at that time a practicing lawyer—that is, I practiced when I…
John M. Allen
September 3, 2021
Blog

The Carolina Couch Controversy

Originally published in the March 1998 issue of Reason magazine. Local busybodies target the front porch. In the small-town American South porch sitting was once a nearly universal pastime. As a place for sipping tea or Co’ Cola, smoking or dipping, telling stories, courting, and watching lightning bugs, the front porch was unsurpassed. Southern porches have been celebrated in song…
John Shelton Reed
August 30, 2021
Blog

The Janitor in Chief as Lord of the Cosmos

Once upon a time, somewhere near here, there were thirteen sturdy proprietors. They lived within haling distance of one another and things weren’t so bad. There was a fourteenth proprietor as well, a rascally fellow called Vermotte, but no one liked him or visited him. Anyway, a couple of these householders got a bad case of Condo-maniacal Vision and began…
Blog

Front Porch Braggin’ Rights

My new neighbor Ozzie, who grew up in the Bronx, thinks that the South is a place “without much culture.”  Ozzie acts as if he is an expert on the subject, even though his Southern experience has been confined to living in the D.C. suburbs for a few years before retiring out here to the Blue Ridge Mountains last year.…
Ben Jones
December 9, 2019
Blog

What Country Legend Roy Clark’s Death Symbolizes for America in 2018

The news came Thursday, November 15, that country music legend, Virginia-born Roy Clark had passed away at age 85. For those either too young to know who Clark was, or who perhaps never cottoned to “country” music, for a whole generation, for twenty-four years, he was in many ways the heart and soul of the popular country music variety television…
Boyd Cathey
November 28, 2018
Blog

How to Run the American Revolution: Belated Advice

In the spirit of historical course correction, I herewith submit some thoughts to those who may find themselves in an American Revolution between 1774 and 1783. 1. Rule number one. Don’t cooperate with any leaders, even if you appointed them. If you do, such cooperation will later be taken as proof that you were just obeying the commands of some…
Joseph R. Stromberg
November 23, 2018
Blog

Southern Memories of the Good Ol’ Days

Having traveled in all fifty states, I must admit there are certain areas of this great country that continue to draw me back, time and again, to enjoy their natural beauty, pleasing climate, and their historical sites. The most fascinating place I’ve traveled is the tiny village of Barrow, Alaska, the northern most of cities in the United States. However,…
Cary Lindsay
October 12, 2018
Blog

First Kiss

Back in 1958, when I was fifteen years old, I made the most critical and important decision in my youthful life. I made the choice any all-American fifteen-year-old farm boy would have made. It was time for me to get my first kiss from a girl. You see, I had a crush on Mary Sue! Mary Sue and her brother…
Cary Lindsay
September 21, 2018
Blog

Myth of a Nation

Galactic Imperium News Service (GINS) Special Report: Will Democrats and Republicans in America finally set aside their differences and save the world through the imperial aspirations of big government, a robust Presidential ruler and visionary leaders like Abraham Lincoln? Such are the much heralded promises made surrounding Dinesh D’Lousa’s most recent unveiling of his controversial film, Myth of a Nation:…
Lewis Liberman
September 14, 2018
Blog

Mule Breeding

“Why don’t you get a tractor? You could get more done.” “Don’t need more done.” “But you could get it done faster.” “Faster than what?” “Faster than that mule goes.” The Yankee machine man really wanted to sell this down-south farm boy a tractor on account of the boy seemed to really be struggling with the mule (whom the boy…
Paul H. Yarbrough
September 13, 2018
Blog

The Arkansas Traveler

It was Tuesday evening, September 16th, and people all across America were settling down for the first performance of a new CBS comedy and music program.  Rather than watching the show on fifty-inch TV screens with names like Sony, Samsung and Panasonic, since the year was 1941, they would be gathered in front of AM radio sets bearing such then…
John Marquardt
April 5, 2018
Blog

Tom’s Comedy Club

There was a social order at Tom’s Service Station.  It wasn’t posted on the wall.  The “Welcome Wagon” didn’t slip it into the baskets they gave to the newcomers.  It wasn’t revealed as part of an initiation along with the rumored secret handshake. But the old men who held court on the long bench outside of Tom’s knew.  And the…
Frank Clark
March 14, 2018
Blog

Southern Art and Design Doesn’t Matter…Unless You’re on the Left.

For as many years as I’ve been an artist, I’ve seen numerous Southerners, Christians, libertarians and other traditionalist-minded folks wring their hands over people subscribing to this or that tenant of leftist ideology, but then turn around and market their own ideas in just about the most boring manner possible. Because if there’s anything the left has done exceptionally well,…
Lewis Liberman
February 14, 2018
Blog

Kansas University Honoring War Criminals?

After the rousing success of Kansas University’s redesigned football uniforms in honor of Jennison’s Jay-hawkers of 1861, a competing Kansas university also recently unveiled a special-edition football uniform in commemoration of the atrocities of that bloody time. Planned for an upcoming series of games, the uniform features blue pants with yellow stripe and bloodied saber, and a blue jersey styled…
Lewis Liberman
December 1, 2017
Blog

A Note on Southern Humor

William Faulkner said much about Southern writing when he called Henry James "the nicest old lady lever met.” He indicated, of course, the sense of humor that the region has always had. And he indicated his disregard for the kind of psychological drama that identifies the target of his joke. If James liked to have a character weep seriously over…
Bill Koon
November 3, 2017
Blog

The Evil South

Not to be outdone by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s brilliant idea for a new post-Game of Thrones show exploring the drama and high-stakes tension of an alternate America where slavery still exists (which can be read here and here), Keltag Hagrinax and J.X. Parnohack of the hit series Shame of Crones also recently unveiled details of their new show at the Galactic Imperium News…
Lewis Liberman
October 27, 2017
Blog

Yankee Rush

Lee Sam and Abner were settin’ on the porch drinking ice-tea one day when the Yankee from Boston come running his Toyota Prius up the road to the house. He stopped, and as it was July and hadn’t rained in a month, the dust kinda poured over his car when he stopped. He got out a coughing and fussing and…
Paul H. Yarbrough
September 15, 2017
Blog

Papa Daws

Three long ringing signals from I the driver's horn, and the hunt was over. I quit my stand and met Dad on the road back of our line. We had both seen a doe that had kept us on our toes for a while, but otherwise, the drive had been uneventful. We fell quiet and listened. Then Dad asked if…
Henry D. Boykin II
January 12, 2017
Blog

Lewis Grizzard: A Personal Remembrance

Much has been written about Lewis Grizzard by those who knew him better in his productive years. This is about Lewis when the world was young and some thoughts about the last mile. I first met him in 1964 when we were both wannabe writers, the sons of highly decorated World War II veterans who grew up in towns just…
Rick Cartledge
November 4, 2016
Blog

Southern Humor

If I may strain a point and introduce among my "Southern Humorists" a man who evinced this vein solely through his conversation, I will make mention of the late Bishop Richard Wilmer, a native of Virginia, though Bishop of Alabama. His vein of wit and humor was fully equal to that of Sidney Smith, and I have frequently regretted that…
Mary Washington
October 14, 2016
Blog

What’s Holding Alabama Back?

As I watched my local Montgomery, Alabama news station this morning, I saw that question pop up on the screen. What’s holding Alabama back? Wait, what? What do you mean by “holding back?” In the segment, the news station sent out a roving reporter on the streets of Montgomery to ask random citizens to tell him what they believe is…
Tom Daniel
February 1, 2016
Blog

The Birthday Surprise

Martha Jane Davis (Campbell) was born in Reed Creek, Henry County, Virginia in 1840. Her mother died when Little Mattie was two, and, her Turner grandparents (who lived nearby) took her to raise. A pretty child with auburn curls and gray eyes, she soon became the spoiled darling of her grandmother, who preferred being called "Grahma"(Grandmere) possibly because she had…
Joscelyn Dunlop
November 12, 2015
Blog

Gentleman Bob and the Decline of the South

Coal miners have their canaries; we have colinus virginiánus, the bobwhite quail. Like the canary that goes silent as the oxygen levels in a mine drop, so too has the quail gone silent in large swaths of the South. The decline of Gentleman Bob has been attributed to any number of factors. Wildlife biologists blame the loss and destruction of…
John Devanny
February 9, 2015