Alabama: A Southern Treasure
Respecting the Life of the Dead
“Pull over,” Lily said as she sat alert in the passenger seat, “there’s a funeral coming through.”
A police vehicle leads — followed by Fords, two-door pickup trucks, and mid-size sedans with their riders dressed in all black — couldn’t help but to reciprocate the respect from oncoming traffic stoped in their place. They nodded, some waved a four-finger wave without their hands ever leaving the steering wheel; they were in mourning.
Lily — a fourteen year old girl living in Florence, AL — not even yet admitted to drive, knew without having to retain the sadness coming from mere feet away. She was taught long ago about the Southern way.
Kitchen Tables and Comfort Foods
Kitchen tables and comfort foods are what we wait all day for, to reunite and to fill our souls.
Dinner: Hamburger steak -and mostly A1-, mac n’cheese, mashed potatoes -and don’t hold back on the butter-, 2 more rolls than needed.
The kitchen table, sometimes conveniently located in the living room (sometimes known as the coffee table), is where hold our tongue — or share our thoughts. We speak, we love, we argue, and we dance — we eat the Southern comfort foods that are said to be bad, yet taste so good.
The table is where we come together.
We say, “No, Ma’am” “Yes, Ma’am” “No, Sir” and “Why of course the hell not, Dude.”
No elbows on the table (while your Grandma is looking).
We come together in the sweet state of Alabama by dividing our state in half — with football. You pick a team, bottom line. Some of us shrug it off like we don’t really care, and after it’s over, sometimes we don’t. Be a sport.
Crimson & White Vs. Orange & Blue
“In a house divided,
We look across the room
that love has cracks
where different marks
cut through the different colors
of our different worlds
only to know
that we’re not so different after all
and I’m a little ashamed
that I thought I loved you a little less
when in fact, I loved you more.”
There’s not one — we do what we want.
Seventy-two degrees on Monday, snowing on Tuesday, Tornados on Wednesday, summertime Thursday, what a perfect Friday, Saturday we force the sun to shine bright enough for sandals, Sunday we cry rivers with the rain
The average temperature ranges from “the water pipes are frozen because you didn’t cover them like you said you did,” to Satan with a fever.
I grew up bi-racial in a small town. I can’t account for all the insensitive, disruptive, degrading, violent acts of those that could only not love themselves to hate someone else for something they can’t control — I can only account for my own experiences — those that I’ve experienced personally and those that I’ve had to witness.
I’m sure looking in on a place that is not your home, seeing only the bad through media – the idiotic, the barbaric, the insane (sometimes better than the greatest of beings) – can be the dotted i’s of a best selling novel on ‘Why You Should Never Enter Alabama’. But, for someone who has never lived on the land of another territory other than my birth state – I’ve never been more in love with the land that loved me back.