Front Porch: Fall 2000

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Front Porch: Fall 2000

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 6, No. 3: Fall 2000

"Nostalgia's just not what it used to be."

The pain of loss is a staple theme in southern culture. From Rocky Top to Swanee River, crooning drifters year for home. The prophet warns that Jesus will come back and the bluesman wails that his baby will not. The gospel artist longs for loved ones on the other shore, while thousands of monuments recall the Lost Cause. Suburbanites curse the sprawl they have created, even while they are missing New Jersey. Just about everybody seems to sigh for some piece or another of the Good Old Days, even though nobody but the reenactors is doing much to bring them back again.