From The Arbor Ralph's Musings
What a wonderful time of year is this month of April. As the area around us begins to come alive again we should be most happy. We have managed to survive another winter, and now spring is showing off her beauty.
The black tree skeletons of winter are changing to color with a new growth of buds and leaves. Early rising plants commence to show that they are more than a black bramble of a bush.
The beautiful dogwoods have awakened and are showing lovely blossoms. Their white picturesque pose is speckled among the trees that have yet to awaken. Aromas of all kinds of wonderful growing things drift with the breeze.
The birds are back and their song was never prettier. The big owl with his low voice will be making his presence known around our neighborhood once again. Many lingering ducks and geese will be taking flight back to their northern homes.
Early morning will find deer and their spotted fawns feeding on the young tender meadow grass. Yes, the dark dreariness of winter is past and the dawn of spring is here.
One of the first major items this editor enjoys in April is a trip to "Mule Day" in Columbia, Tennessee. My former Sunday School Teacher, Jack Gilbert, and I try to go each year to this event on the first weekend of the month. Although the festivities last all week, the huge Saturday Parade is the highlight. People from all over, including the governor, congressmen, and other politicians come to see over a thousand mules strut their stuff, possibly amble would be a better word, in this small country town just southwest of Nashville.
Mules of all sizes, colors, and shapes come from across the country and pull some of the most magnificent wagons, covered wagons, buggies, stage coaches, funeral hearses, and other restored and new wagon type vehicles. Many of the mules are ridden to show off their skill, beauty, grace, and intelligence. Each one is sheared and combed to perfection, their hooves polished shiny black, and each with an immaculate tack.
Many "gated" or "stepping" mules will match Tennessee Walking Horses step for fancy step. There are riding and gated competitions, shooting from a running mount, beauty contests for both mules and young ladies, and my all time favorite, the mule-pulling contest.
If you like mules, or just a good parade unlike most you have seen in the past, come to this event. You will gain a new respect for our "smarter than the average horse," long eared friends.
Just a few days further into April we will celebrate Easter. Many readers will spend time at their place of worship to commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a glorious time to recognize the finished and everlasting work the Savior did for us on that Resurrection Morning. It is a time when we give thanks to our Lord for the magnanimous gift He offered to us so freely. For all who will receive it, He rescinded our sentence of death and replaced it with a guarantee of eternal life. What a grand time to celebrate and express our gratitude.
Recently, all three editors have done double duty. You will find Carl Wayne Hardeman and Wayne Carter with interesting articles in the "Oxford So & So" magazine and Ralph Jones and Carl Wayne were in the USADeepSouth E-zine online. We wish to thank these publications for featuring our writers and also thank the Tombigbee Country Magazine for the support they have given The Bodock Post in recent issues.
As our new subscriber list grows we find friends that we have not been in touch with for up to fifty years, what a joy that is! Some of these new subscribers are sharing their own stories in the Post and we welcome you to do so as well. You may E-mail us at email@example.com for submission guidelines. We would love to hear your story.
Yes, spring has sprung and winter has went, twernt no accident! Whatever else may not be right in this world, we can be assured that the Ruler of this Universe who provides for the smallest barn sparrow and brings to life the field lily, will provide for His children as well.
God Himself promised us, "I will never leave you nor forsake you " Hebrews 13:5b
~ By Ralph Jones, Managing Editor
Gardening With Tim Potato Planting Memories
Pop told us that morning that it was tater planting time. I new what that meant, we didnt have a tractor to row up the garden, but we did have an old middle buster that had been left on the property when we had moved there. That Saturday Pop took his old Renault car and we took a chain and hooked the middle buster behind it and got ready. This old buster was the type that was mule drawn, by the way. Pop drove the car and you know who was hung out on the handles of the middle buster. It was a good thing I was a healthy sized boy and could hang on. Away we went up and down the garden rowing it up.
Our garden was a little over an acre big and we planted every available square inch of it. We not only raised what we ate, but a lot of the produce that we sold in our country store was raised also. By the end of the day, all the rows were made up and I was glad it was over. Supper, a hot bath, and my bed were all that was on my mind, no TV, the eyes and body would not co-operate.
The next day was Sunday and we all looked forward to church, not only for the sermon and Sunday school, but because it was a day of rest from the store and the garden. What a surprise we had that night when we sat down to watch the Sunday Night Disney Movie of the Week. We figured it out when Pop spread the sheet out on the living room floor and emptied out 100 pound sack of seed taters. No one complained, we just all went to the kitchen and got us a dish pan and our favorite knife. We spent the evening cutting up the seed taters to plant the next day, while watching a movie that the whole family could watch, eating the large bowl of popcorn that Mom had made and drinking a cold Pepsi-cola.
The next day Pop would open the trench with a hoe and I would walk behind him with a dish pan of taters and my little brother, Chris would put the taters in the trench making sure that the eye was facing up. Mom would come along bringing up the rear with a garden rake covering them up. What a weekend, it had been hard work, but we were glad, because we knew in about two months or so we would have a plenty of taters to cream, mash, fry, and bake all winter.
At the time me and lil brother fussed about all the work, but we never complained at meal time. Looking back these days, I sometimes think, naw I know, those were truly good days and I wish that there were more of them. Our family was close and we all worked together. Back then it was hard work, today its some of the best memories that I have from childhood.
If you have time and a little extra space, take your children or your grandchildren out in the back yard and plant a few taters. They will love it and later they too will have a memory that they can treasure and pass along to their kids.
~ By Tim Burress
Biographical Sketch: Tim Burress, a Union County Master Gardener, lives in New Albany, MS. He and wife, Janet, are avid gardeners. The landscape of their home has numerous roses, daylilies, azaleas, and flowering plants. Tim writes "Gardening with Tim" which appears in the local paper.
Art Days Teachers Make A Difference
In 1949, I began the second grade of elementary school in Iuka, MS. Theres not a whole lot I can remember about my classmates, my teacher, or the instruction I received. Perhaps, thats because we only had ½ day classes. Due to a shortage of teachers, Grade 2 received instruction in the morning, and Grade 1 had classes in the afternoon. Actually, it may have been the other way around, as all I remember, with certainty, was going to school a half day each day. Furthermore, I only attended one-half the school year in Iuka, because my family moved to Starkville, MS, where I enrolled for the second semester.
Being uprooted from my education in Iuka and transplanted to Starkville held enough trauma for my young mind and body, and things only got worse in Starkville, where I missed my bus one afternoon and tried to find my way to the Kroger store in downtown Starkville, after giving up on retracing the bus route home. A kindly barber, seeing my obvious distress (crying as I recall), was good enough to escort me to the Kroger store where my dad worked. I dont remember Dad taking me home before he got off work, but he may have. Either way, Mom was a basket case when I did get home. Our house didnt have a phone, and Mom had no way of knowing my whereabouts.
Once, and for some minor infraction like talking in class, my teacher stood me in the hall, where punishment by the principal was a real possibility. Eventually, I was allowed to return to class after having sufficient time to reflect on my unruliness. My short stay in Starkville left me with no other classroom memories, but thats probably because I didnt have a teacher as talented and/ or attractive as my niece, Felicia Pollard, who teaches second grade at Pontotoc Elementary.
It wasnt long ago that Felicia was sharing with me how good her students had been that particular day.
"I told them, if they were well behaved, I would let them do art on Friday," she commented. "They love art!"
Im of the opinion that most children have an artist living within themselves, but their artistic ability often dies for lack of nourishment. Felicia is not an art teacher, but she utilizes creative expression through artwork within the normal curriculum of Second Grade.
Carol Channing believes the arts are important in developing the mind. "Today, when cuts are needed, school administrators seem to feel that the arts are not a necessity, but they are! The arts bring creativity and critical-thinking skills through reading, writing, communication, observation and inspiration. They also enhance social skills and can become an elixir for the soul." Source: Reminisce Newsletter March 2009
Felicias second graders are learning about warm and cold colors, the use of various mediums including water colors, acrylics, pencils, chalks, and crayons. They are also taught to incorporate various shapes circles, triangles, rectangles, etc. into their artwork, often using construction paper. The resultant artwork is often striking and surprisingly good.
The students artwork is photographed and uploaded to artsonia.com, a website that showcases the art of students all over the United States. At press time, Felicias class had an overall rating of 20th in the state of Mississippi.
I find the website promotes a healthy competition among students by use of fan clubs for students by friends and relatives, a section for visitor comments (subject to parental approval), and items such as notebooks, postcards, coffee mugs, t-shirts, etc. containing the artwork of any given student, all of which can be purchased online, with part of the proceeds going to the school. The website also provides ideas and how-tos for teachers wishing to use art in the classroom.
A sampling of projects by Felicias students includes Picasso portraits and mosaic feathers. The portraits were created with a profile in the middle of the face. Glue was added for boundaries and allowed to dry before oil pastels were used to complete the face. The feathers were a Thanksgiving inspiration to decorate the class turkey and followed a lesson on mosaics.
It may be too early to say if any members of this class are gifted, budding artists, but Im sure the majority of them will remember the fun they had on Art Days in Mrs. Pollards Second Grade class, maybe even sixty years from today.
~ By Wayne Carter, Associate Editor
Its Not So Bad Survival In Tough Times
The fields're all bare and the cotton won't grow. Me and my family's got to pack up and go. But I'll make a living the Lord only knows. I'm busted. ~ Harlan Howard, sung by Charlie Pride
The economic situation is bad. Many of us have seen our retirement savings evaporate to where one day we may be busted, too.
I have a strong opinion as to why all this happened, but will skip this golden opportunity to discuss religion and politics.
I will make one economics observation. Soviet economist Kondratieff showed that capitalistic societies have long cycles where grandchildren forget the lessons of their grandparents. They spend beyond their means, become burdened with debt, and have another depression. We are long overdue since 1929.
Our parents and grandparents lived through the Great Depression. We have forgotten what it means to live within our means. By the way, since Kondratieff predicted capitalism would survive these downturns, Trotsky sent him to the salt mines.
For those of us who grew up poor, at least in material things, we enjoyed things money cant buy, like close family, friends, church services, reunions, dinner on the grounds, fishing, and yes, gardening.
If we lost just about everything, except family and a small place to live, we would just be right back where Mimi and I were when we were growing up, and that wasnt so bad. We never missed a meal, and sometimes now cornbread with buttermilk sounds better than a steak with salad and baked potato. Sometimes.
We think of the Victory Garden as a museum of gardening. There are skills and practices and knowledge that need preserving. Who knows when we may have to do such things to eat? Sounds a little scary, but our parents and grandparents had to do just that.
Fortunately, my son-in-law is one of the best hunters and fishermen in the Mid South, so with his prowess and the rest of us gardening, we can make it. Yes We Can, in spite of current economic policy.
Who knows, but I suspect we would once again find more joy in the simple things. Friends and neighbors would be helping each other. More of us might be in church on Sunday. Singing together may be better than each of us listening to our individual iPods. And missing American Idol might be a good thing.
~ By Carl Wayne Hardeman, Editor
Slip And Slide Perils Of Roofing
As a young couple with two small children, my wife and I decided to build a house in 1963. We had previously purchased ten acres of land south of Olive Branch, Mississippi, and wanted to build before Joey was to begin first grade. Since I was employed by a home building company it would be less of a task. Knowing all the trades people, I could secure good dependable workers and build the house at a reasonable cost.
My job at the home building company was designing their new homes, so I set about designing one to meet our needs. It was to be built in three stages, as money would allow. The first stage would be a two-story center section that included the kitchen, eating, and family room downstairs, and a bathroom and two bedrooms upstairs. A wing would be added on each side later.
Being young and ambitious we did as much of the work as possible. Hiring the concrete and framing men from our company, they helped with the foundation, concrete slab, and framing the walls and roof. A plumber was hired to do the plumbing and a friend and I did all the electrical.
After the rafters were up I continued alone installing the roof decking. Since I had to do much of this at night, lights were strung up over the two-story section. One night about midnight I was almost through putting on the decking boards and was sawing one last piece to fit down near the very edge of the overhanging roof. All the sawing had been done on top of the roof decking. Sawdust was everywhere on the roof as I measured and cut the last piece to fill the three inch gap. Laying the saw down, I eased toward the roofs edge with this long slender piece of wood. The fresh sawdust began to roll from under my shoes. I was skidding uncontrollably toward the edge of the roof.
You hear of peoples life passing before their eyes as they come near a death-threatening situation. This did not happen with me. However, what did flash through my mind was the scene of me lying in a crumpled heap on the ground with both legs and arms broken and a jagged piece of wood poking me in the side. There was not a neighbor close enough to hear my cry, and there would be no one coming by the job till mid morning the next day, at the earliest. The milk truck came by early, but I was on the back side of the house and he could not see, nor hear me. In these brief seconds, while still sliding, avoiding this serious accident seemed impossible.
There is a joke that has gone around in church circles for years. It seems a fellow was working on the two story tin roofed house, re-nailing the loose sheets of metal. His feet slipped out from under him and he began to slide off the steep roof. He immediately prayed, "Dear God dont let me slide off this roof and kill myself." About that time one of the very nails that he would have driven back into place caught the seat of his overalls and stopped him short of the fall. He said, "Thats alright Lord, dont bother, this nail has saved me!"
I did utter a prayer just as this fellow did. While skidding feet first toward the edge my heels dropped into the very space I was about to fill with the piece of lumber in my hand; it stopped me dead still. It took a moment to regroup my wits and realize the inevitable had been averted, I was safe! Feeling about as limp as a wet dish cloth, I regained my composure, wobbled down the ladder, and drove home very slowly. Whether the lights were turned off and the tools put away that night I cant say. Who nailed that last sliver of decking on the roof, I dont remember. All I do know is that the Lord let a little slot in the roof decking near the roofs edge catch my big brogan shoes and stop my slide. He caught the seat of my pants, as it were. I am most thankful.
~ By Ralph Jones, Managing Editor
Photo: By Jessica Williams, Johnson City, TN
Rotary And Rollover Clocks Phones And Odometers
Children, today, are growing up in a digital world, and as such will have missed out on many of the things that shaped us older citizens. But, the same could be said of my generation with respect to the childhood of our fathers and mothers.
There may still be a rotary dial phone, in use and still working in Pontotoc, but I doubt it. Oh, we still use the old terminology, even as we acquire new technology.
We ask callers whove mistakenly keyed our phone number when placing the call, "What number did you dial?"
But, dialing on a rotary dial telephone is largely a thing of the past. Nonetheless, were likely to continue to utilize old terminology for years to come.
Children learn their numbers (numerals) well in advance of starting the First Grade. And, most of them have no trouble "telling time" as long as the watch or clock is digital.
My niece, Felicia Pollard, teaches second grade in the Pontotoc Separate School District. I have to be precise; else simply writing "teaches in Pontotoc" might have some readers thinking the school where she teaches is either South Pontotoc Attendance Center or North Pontotoc Attendance Center instead of Pontotoc City Schools.
A few months ago, she and her husband, Cullen, were at my house and Felicia was explaining the difficulty of teaching second-graders about the use of humor in our language. She used several examples of simple humor that most members of her class comprehended, examples that still left a few class members perplexed. Her persistence paid off with one small boy when she used the following example:
"What did the digital clock say to its mom?"
"Look, Ma, no hands!"
Having been involved in lessons dealing with telling time by the positions of clocks hands, the child readily understood the joke.
As instrumentation in automobiles continues to evolve, more and more vehicles have digital readouts. There are aspects of digital displays on instrument panels that I dont care for, such as not being able to see the accumulated mileage unless the ignition key is on or a door is open (later models of some manufacturers). However, I do like all the information at my fingertips, including, but not limited to, tire pressure by wheel position, estimated distance one can travel on the present amount of gasoline in the tank, average and/or instant fuel consumption, and remaining oil life.
I can remember from my childhood and youth the simple joy and excitement of watching the odometer roll-over to sixty-thousand or seventy-thousand miles, and if our old car was still going, seeing 100000.0 appear was an unimaginable thrill (decimal added here to show tenths of mile). Obviously, there were not a lot of things back then to thrill youngsters, so we made the most of our opportunities.
Since 1982, Ive driven company vehicles provided by SUPERVALU, and have been issued a new one on average of every three years, but sometimes less, depending on the mileage, sometimes more, depending on economic conditions. And, while all of those had more than a hundred thousand miles on them when I turned them in, its been rare that I paid attention to the actual 100000 roll-over.
In recent years, Ive taken to keeping a digital camera in my computer bag. So, when I saw that my then current vehicle was approaching 100,000 miles, I decided to capture the event on film...that is, I meant to say on on well, whatever one calls the images/Image stored on the memory device of the camera. Somehow, replacing "capture the event on film" with "capture the event on a memory stick" doesnt quite have the same ring to it.
However, as I was cruising toward home via the Natchez Trace Parkway, at the time the roll-over was about to occur, I had no trouble finding a suitable spot to pull onto the side of the road to photograph the occasion. Watching the digits jump from 99999 to 100000 isnt the same as watching the numerals roll over, but as it remains something one doesnt see every day, I enjoyed the moment and have the pictures to prove it.
Due to technology, my youngest granddaughter may never see a 100,000 miles roll-over of the type Ive seen, but she may witness plenty of digital milestones. But, the only dial phones, shes likely to use may be found among the discarded ones she plays with at my house or at her home.
~ By Wayne Carter, Associate Editor
Cover Crop Enriches Garden Soil
Theres no such thing as a free lunch. ~Milton Friedman, Economist
A cover crop is as close as you can get to a free lunch. For a few minutes work and a dollar or two of seeds, you get free mulch and fertilizer.
The Victory Garden is where we volunteers can experiment and learn about sustainable practices. Last year we agreed to try a cover crop. We did the research and decided to plant hairy vetch. We could have chosen crimson clover, barley, or rye, NOT rye grass, but we basically liked the exotic name hairy vetch.
Last October we took a garden rake and scratched the surface of one fourth of the garden, scattered a few dollars worth seeds, and lightly raked again to get a light cover of soil and organic matter over the seed. And true to our ways and beliefs, we walked the entire surface. The science is that makes for better seed-to-soil contact. Then there is the belief in the feet of the farmer being the best fertilizer.
Here in mid March, the hairy vetch is a bright green mat of growing vegetation. We expect a two or three foot tall mass of vines by April 1, when we plan to knock it down and plant directly into it. We are considering Roundup, or its active ingredient glyphosate, or solarizing with black plastic. In our commitment to sustainability, we most likely will solarize to knock it down. We get free mulch.
Anther good reason is hairy vetch is a legume. It fixes nitrogen from the air into the soil. Thats free fertilizer. One more reason is hairy vetch grows a thick mass of fine roots. When we knock it down, that root system will decompose into new humus and make new air and water channels in the soil. More free fertilizer and natural aeration.
We should do this in our home gardens and flower beds, but might have to do some explaining to the neighbors, and town codes enforcers, about why it is good to have what they call tall weeds growing in your flower beds all winter.
~ By Carl Wayne Hardeman, Editor
High Heeled Unique Gardening Method
As the spring of 47 began to dawn, many folks attention was focusing on gardening. Although most everyone worked at "public work," they were not far removed from their farm upbringing. Our family had moved from this area to Sledge, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, for a few months because of Dads job. However, we were soon back and settled once again in our beloved Happy Hollow. Previously we had lived several years beside Mrs. Dow Moreland, "Miss Willie" to her friends, next to the creek.
As we returned, there was a house over on the east hill next door to Mr. and Mrs. Malvin Baldwin, which was for sale. After much deliberation we bought the house and large lot. It had a five-room house, barn, hog lot, and garden spot. However, the fences were all down and that would never do. Dad had his eye on a big ol Bodock Tree in Miss Willies back yard. She wanted it cut down because it shaded her garden and dropped its "horse apples" on the slope and they rolled into her yard. Dad knew that the tree would make good fence posts, and since we needed them, he decided that was a good project for him and me. When a fence is made with Bodock post, they say that the "post-hole" will wear out long before the posts will.
Being big for my age, he figured I could help him get the tree down. After clearing about the trees base we took the two-man crosscut saw and began to cut, he on one end of the saw and me on the other. Bodock is a very dense wood and extremely hard to cut. It proved to be hard work.
The sawdust that spit out on either side of the big saw showed up bright yellow on the dark ground around the base of the tree. I must have "ridden" my end of the saw something terrible, but Dad seldom complained. We enjoyed working together and made a good team. Once the tree was down we began to trim it up and make fence posts for our new garden. We used limbs that were large enough, and split the pieces that were too large. Little was wasted, although some of the posts were crooked as a dogs hind leg.
Mom and Dad were avid gardeners and wanted a fence that would last. The Bodock posts were all part of the scheme. We had hardly gotten the fence put up before it was time to start planting. Later we used the balance of the posts for a back yard fence and to enclose the barn lot.
After the garden was broken up with a mule and plow we began to plant. It was some of the reddest clay soil we had ever tilled. Our next-door neighbors, the Baldwins, had a good ongoing garden that was adjacent to ours.
One day while out in our garden working I noticed Mrs. Baldwin was planting something in a newly plowed row. However, something was different; it was her shoes. They were not the type to work in, well one of them was, but the other was a red high-heeled shoe. It intrigued me as to what she was doing working in the garden with two different shoes on, one flat and one high-heeled. Trying to mind my own business I continued to watch occasionally.
She was poking a hole an inch or two deep with that red high-heeled shoe, she would then drop a seed into the hole. With the other regular shoe she would cover up the seed. She had it down to a science; make a hole, drop a seed, cover; then repeat until the row was planted. She never had to dig a hole or bend over even once. The older I get the more that bending over business gets tiresome and makes my back hurt.
That was a good idea and I might have tried that myself, however, if I had done that and any of my buddies had seen me, Id have been laughed out of the Hollow. The very idea, a healthy young lad, one bare foot and a high heel shoe on the other, planting the garden: its enough to bring a tear to a glass eye.
~ By Ralph Jones, Managing Editor
Letter From Grandad Change As A Practical Matter
Guess you heard that 68% of "the youth vote" went to Obama. My granddaughter called this morning to tell me she was one of them. I replied with this e-mail:
Sweetheart, The election of Obama comes down to this. Your grandmother and I, your mother and other productive wage earning tax payers will have their taxes increased and that means less income. Less income means we will have to cut back on basic purchases, gifts and handouts. That includes firing the Hispanic lady who cleans our house twice a month. She just lost her job. We cant afford her anymore.
What is the economic effect of Obamas election on you personally? Over the years, your grandmother and I have given you thousands of dollars in food, housing, cash, clothing, gifts, etc., etc.
By your vote, you have chosen another family over ours for help. So in the future, if you need assistance with your rent, money for gas, tires for you car, someone to bring you lunch, etc., call 202-456-1111. Thats the telephone number for the Office of the President of the United States. Im sure Mr. Obama will be happy to send a check from his personal or business accounts or leave cash in an envelope taped to his front door.
Its like this. Those who vote for the president should consider what the impact of an election will be on the nation as a whole and not just be concerned with what they can get for themselves (welfare, etc.).
What Obama voters dont seem to realize is that the governments money comes from taxes collected from tax paying families. Raising taxes on productive people means they will have less money to spend on their families.
Congratulations on your choice. For future reference, you might attempt to add up all youve received from us, your mom, and others and compare it to what you expect to get over the next four years from Mr. Obama.
To congratulate Mr. Obama and to make sure youre on the list for handouts, write to: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC 20500,
I love you, but please call the number listed above when you need help.
From God Attention Getters
A few years back, an anonymous benefactor purchased billboard space on behalf of God. On a black background, a simple, but poignant message (often a short sentence, crediting the statement to God) stood in stark contrast to the usual glitzy advertisements.
The following came our way as a PowerPoint presentation and can be viewed, as such, at http://rrnews.org/pps/AWordFromOurSponsor.pps
Bubba Bodock Smiles And Knee-Slappers
The Post appreciates receiving humorous anecdotes contributed by our readership, especially those jokes whose content is sharable in a family setting.
Following angioplasty to correct a blocked artery, comedian Carl Hurley was being counseled by his cardiologist.
"Carl, youll have to start a diet and begin an exercise program."
"Doc, I cant exercise," protested the rotund patient.
"Cause, when I start burning fat, it smells like bacon and makes me hungry!
A group of "Senior" Americans were traveling by tour bus through Holland . As they stopped at a cheese farm, a young guide led them through the process of cheese making, explaining that goat's milk was used.
She showed the group a lovely hillside where many goats were grazing. 'These' she explained, 'Are the older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produce.'
She then asked, 'What do you do in America with your old goats?
An old gentleman answered, 'They send us out on these dang bus tours!'
Our Mission Purpose - The Bodock Post
It is our desire to provide a monthly newsletter about rural living with photographs of yesterday and today, including timely articles about conservative politics, religion, food, restaurant reviews, gardening, humor, history, and non-fiction columns by folks steeped in our Southern lifestyle.
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