Front Porch: Fall 2006

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Front Porch: Fall 2006

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 12, No. 3: Fall 2006

"What is it that makes people think of themselves as southerners? It isn't just birth."

Aside from moonlight and magnolias, there can’t be many things more stereotypically southern than frilly ornamental ironwork veiling the balconies around some timeless antebellum square. In truth, only a few places in the South are famous for such vistas—Charleston, New Orleans, and Mobile come immediately to mind—but these iconic cities are so famous as epitomes of antebellum charm that exotic features of their landscapes can somehow seem more typical of the region than reality itself. Lacy antique grillwork might be nonexistent in your county or mine, but if you do see one of those ornate filigrees framed around a live oak limb, preferably one laden with Spanish moss, you know you’re in the South.