Category Archives: Southern Folk

Derby Days

This weekend’s a big one here in New York City. Lots of Southerners will be donning Lilly-or-louder dresses and ties, freshly laundered seersucker suits, and royal wedding–worthy hats to celebrate the annual running of the ponies at Churchill Downs. In Manhattan, folks will be gathering at Eleven Madison Park, Smack Mellon, and all of the other great locations throughout the five boroughs that serve heavily-liquored-sweating-cold mint juleps.

But we’re not the only ones. In fact, I won’t even be in the city this weekend. I’ll be down in South Carolina celebrating the lovely ladies in my family, and watching the Derby with some hometown friends. Where will you be gathering this Saturday? Please tell me how you celebrate the Kentucky Derby in style. And send pictures! I’ll be posting a gallery of the best shots on my Garden & Gun blog, Southern in the City, next week. Email me at


1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Events, Southern Folk, Southern in the City, Style

Fry-Fry Chicky-Chick

If you haven’t seen self-described fried chicken obsessive Aziz Ansari break down his unique food lingo on Parks and Recreation, please break away from the coverage of Osama bin Laden’s death for 30 seconds to watch this clip. You’ll never look at eggs or rice the same way again.


Filed under Culture, Food, I'm just sayin', Media, South Carolina, Southern Folk, TV

Johnny Cash Birthday Bash

On the heels of the release of Columbia Records’ Bootleg, Volume 2: From Memphis to Hollywood, a two-CD, 57-track set featuring radio broadcasts, radio ads, and home recordings from Cash’s early years, folks all over the country (the world even?) are poised to celebrate the Man in Black’s birthday. Tomorrow, February 26, would be Cash’s 79th. Here in New York City, you can raise a glass, hear covers played by Alex Battles and Whiskey Rebellion, and watch rare video footage at the Bell House in Brooklyn tomorrow night. Cheers to you, Johnny.


Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Music, Southern Folk

Jasper Johns: Medal of Freedom Winner

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

Photographed in his studio by Rauschenberg, 1955.

Yesterday afternoon, South Carolina native Jasper Johns became the first studio artist since Alexander Calder in 1977 to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, that’s “34 years since a painter or sculptor received the nation’s highest civilian honor.” Johns (above, photographed in his studio in 1955 by his friend and fellow Southern artist, Robert Rauschenberg) was one of 15 MoH recipients; the illustrious group also includes former President George H.W. Bush, poet and Nobel Prize Winner, Maya Angelou, and billionaire investor Warren Buffet.

Other amazing artists I’ve been pleased to learn have Southern roots: Robert Rauschenberg (Texas) and Cy Twombly (Virginia).

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

The November 29, 1976 issue of TIME.

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly as a young artist.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Southern Folk

Happy Valentine’s Day

Some famous couples with Southern roots in honor of today’s national Love Fest.

famous southern couples

Nashville royalty.

famous southern couples

Joanne Woodward grew up in Thomasville and Marietta, Georgia.

famous southern couples

Phylicia Rashad is a native Texan.

famous southern couples

Johnny and June.

Leave a comment

Filed under Southern Folk

Coming Soon: The Carolina Cup

the carolina cup, camden, south carolina

Reid Buckley is pictured second from left. LIFE photos by Grey Villet, 1971.

The deadline for buying renewing parking spaces at the Carolina Cup is this Friday. [Note: Unclaimed spaces will be up for grabs after the Friday deadline, and general admission parking is available on race day.] If you haven’t been to the Cup, held in Camden, South Carolina each Spring, you’re missing out on one of the greatest tailgating experiences this side of Ascot. Just ask Reid Buckley. William F.’s eccentric brother resides in Camden and is a regular patron of the Carolina Cup and its fall counterpart, the Colonial Cup.

the carolina cup, camden, south carolina

the carolina cup, camden, south carolina

the carolina cup, camden, south carolina

the carolina cup, camden, south carolina

the carolina cup, camden, south carolina

the carolina cup, camden, south carolina

the carolina cup, camden, south carolina

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Events, South Carolina, Southern Folk, Sports, Style

The Mid-Century South

Old-time fun at the Varsity in Atlanta. Story by James Street, Photos by Lois and Joe Steinmetz.

Yesterday, I found an old stash of Holiday magazines from the 50’s in the back of a vintage shop. I wasn’t surprised to see more than a dozen stories on the South and Southerners–the magazine’s expressed purpose was to convey the good life, after all–but I was surprised to see how the stories and pictures managed to capture the best of Dixie society in what was undeniably not her finest or most socially conscious hour. William Faulkner paints a verbal and photographic portrait of his Mississippi in the April 1954 issue and Ovid Williams Pierce shows the diversity of North Carolina’s mountain culture (February, 1957). Not only did James Street’s portrait of Atlanta (January 1951) make me crave a Coke like I haven’t in years, it made me want to restore the South’s signature drink to its full and proper name. He refers to it repeatedly as the South’s vin de pays ( tells me this means “country wine”); the least I can do is drop the slang and call it Coca-Cola.

Bare ankles and loafers on Georgia Tech's campus. Take that, Take Ivy.

A gaggle of teenagers enjoying a good, old-fashioned Coke party. (Steinmetz)

Arriving for a gathering at Bolling Jones. (Steinmetz)

Casual summer pool party? Check. Regulation-size climbing raft? Check.

A slightly terrifying yet efficient way to view the Blue Ridge Mountains.

New Hipster Profession Alert: Aristan Broommaker. Cherokee mentor and well-worn overalls not included.

A Bauhaus-inspired bathhouse in Cape Hatteras, NC. Eat your heart out, Marfa.

Nothing says Texas oil money like a red gingham table cloth. (February 1957)

A vintage sorority belle at Old South? No, Silly! It's the annual Natchez Pilgrimage.

When Carroll Baker starred in Tennessee Williams' film, Baby Doll, Holiday's movie critic called her "the hottest thing South of the Mason-Monroe line." Bam!


Filed under Culture, Georgia, I'm just sayin', Inspiration, Media, Mississippi, north carolina, Southern Folk, Writers