In My South

Submitted by Nikki on Tue, 01/04/2005 - 08:00

In 2004, the regional television channel Turner South produced a very well-done series of commercials with the theme of “My South.” Southerners were invited to audition for a chance to introduce themselves on television and explain what made the south special to them. The resulting cast of characters ranged from teenagers to octogenerians, city dwellers to good ol’ backcountry folk, grit eaters to grit haters - but their tributes to the south were all equally heartfelt.

So, of course the obsessive-compulsive writer in me just had to use the format and compose a homage of my own...

My south is real. In my south, it’s an unwritten law that if you make eye contact with someone on the road, you wave to them. Strangers will stop on the sidewalks and say, “How ya’ doin?” In my south, your acquaintances are either your friends or your enemies, and your friends are jewels beyond value.

My south is hot! Summers are all about sweltering mornings that explode into impressive thunderstorms, and the sweet smell of kudzu blossoms on clear August days. Autumns and springs are short-lived but incomparable. In my south, in the midst of a disagreeable winter, you may be treated to a breath of warm air that will kindle hope and kill your roses. Where else but my south can you go outside barefoot on a hazy December night and watch the moon rise?

In my south, we don’t sweat the small stuff. We enjoy all the little pleasures in life, like sitting on the front porch in the evening listening to the screech owls. In my south, Confederate flags are still in vogue, everyone’s a jack-of-all-trades, and people still say “you ‘uns” and make it sound natural. My south is Braves baseball in both the triumph and the despair, living and dying with every game. My south is gossiping at the convenience store and apples picked fresh from the orchard. My south is small towns and big hearts. My accent may not be strong, and I may not live off of Bar-B-Q and old country music, but if home is where the heart is, there’s no place I’d rather be. My name is Nikki, and this is my south!

Author's age when written