Southern Journal

  • Dispatches from the Great Loop

    Dispatches from the Great Loop

    Editor’s Note: Dr. Jerry Reves retired June 30, 2010, as vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. The next spring he and his wife of 43 years, Jenny, and their black Labrador retriever, ACE, embarked on a yearlong… Read More

    Mar. 22, 2012

  • How I Came to the Mountains

    How I Came to the Mountains

    When Kathy Hutson came to Big Stone Gap, Va., in the 1960s, she had no peers to help her sort out the parameters of developing and running a school speech therapy program. In the summer of 1963, after my sophomore year in college at Saint Louis University, I came… Read More

    Sep. 6, 2011

  • Autobiography of a White Girl Raised in the South

    Autobiography of a White Girl Raised in the South

    “From the day I was born, I began to learn my lessons.” —Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream   In any self-portrait from the ’50s, you’d have to see the me that was not me: the black girl trudging along the side of the road while I whizzed… Read More

    Apr. 15, 2011

  • High Flyer

    High Flyer

    Neil Cargile (center) at a Florida club with Dorothy Koss (left) and Holly Armistead People saw Neil Cargile Jr. in a great many ways. For me, though, an enduring vision was the very first one. I was a junior or senior at Montgomery Bell Academy back then, and there he… Read More

    Dec. 6, 2010

  • In the Path of the Oil

    In the Path of the Oil

    In the little fishing village of Bayou La Batre, Ala., maybe 10 miles from where I now live, the old-timers like to tell stories about the storms. These are mostly unembellished tales, some of them handed down for generations, about hurricanes roaring in from the Gulf. Nancy McCall, a veteran… Read More

    Aug. 22, 2010

  • Look for Us in the Kitchen

    Look for Us in the Kitchen

    I hope there’s a kitchen in heaven. My loved ones know to look for me there. In fact, I expect to go to heaven straight from my own kitchen, leaving behind a freezer full of food and, less likely, clean dishes. I come from a long line of enthusiastic cooks… Read More

    Apr. 7, 2010

  • All I Want for Christmas Is Another ‘Grandma’

    All I Want for Christmas Is Another ‘Grandma’

    No carefully followed blueprint could ever replicate the serendipitous evolution of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” from exercise in parody to platinum record to cottage industry. Read More

    Nov. 23, 2009

  • Narrative Drive

    Narrative Drive

    I started writing stories because I was lonely. I wish there were more artistic and noble reasons that I put pen to paper, but the truth of the matter is that I wanted people to kiss me and I had the unfounded notion that, if I wrote a good enough… Read More

    Aug. 5, 2009

  • Sweet Affliction

    Sweet Affliction

    Stitchery by Ethel Wright Mohamed (1906–1992)/Courtesy of Hazel L. Wilson and the Ethel Wright Mohamed Stitchery Museum, Belzoni, Miss. For most of my adult life, I have been fascinated by the old Southern style of shape-note singing—even though for many years I actually knew little about it and certainly never… Read More

    Mar. 16, 2009

  • Family Inheritance

    Family Inheritance

    From the time she was arrested at the age of 4 months, Sheryll Cashin's life was shaped by her parents' activism It’s Aug. 11, 1969. Another hot day in Greene County, Ala. I am 7 years old, about to start the second grade. We are here to watch the swearing… Read More

    Oct. 30, 2008

  • Meet the Ancestors

    Meet the Ancestors

    In 1962 my decision to apply to Vanderbilt School of Engineering made little or no sense. I had grown up in Savannah, Ga., and knew little about Vanderbilt and even less about Nashville–except that the city was named for my ancestor Francis Nash. When I informed my high school guidance… Read More

    Jul. 13, 2008

  • Best Laid Plans

    Best Laid Plans

    I was born in Trinidad, educated in England, and moved to Nashville in 2002 to teach history at Vanderbilt. My research focuses on African Americans in the Atlantic world of the 19th century. Wherever I live, I also try to do a bit of research into local history. My… Read More

    Mar. 11, 2008

  • The Crop That Built Carolina

    The Crop That Built Carolina

    Nicotiana tabacum. It’s a lovely plant, really–large, bright green leaves on a central stem that reaches 6 feet or more.Mid-season, a fat cluster of nearly white tube flowers crown the stem. It’s a hardy plant, too, resistant to both heat and drought. Perfect for the land I call home. Read More

    Nov. 1, 2007