Vol. 20, No. 4: Winter 2014

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Vol. 20, No. 4: Winter 2014

The Winter 2014 Issue brings us duels and Dashboard Poets, eels and faux villages, a beloved television icon, interviews with liberal hero Walter Mondale and conservative activist Jack Kershaw, Civil War battlefield monuments, and more. From familiar faces and famous legends to humble commemorations and invented histories, we explore the tensions between preservation and progress that have forged the region as we know it.

Front Porch: Winter 2014

by Jocelyn R. Neal

"Rivers take us back into history, sometimes literally, as the mighty Colorado has laid out the past in the rocky strata of the Grand Canyon. But elsewhere, that time-travel is sparked in the imagination."

The Cane of His Existence: Depression, Damage, and the Brooks–Sumner Affair

by Stephen Berry, James Hill Welborn III

"He had acted so precipitously so often in affairs of honor, and it had won him only paternal disapproval and a cane, a limp, and ignominy in Mexico. Now he had righted the ship; he had become a man of greater moderation and restraint."

“The First of Our Hundred Battle Monuments”: Civil War Battlefield Monuments Built by Active-Duty Soldiers During the Civil War

by Michael W. Panhorst

"These wartime memorials represent the earliest efforts to [illuminate] the sentiments of soldiers who memorialized their very recently fallen comrades and the heroic events of the war on the very ground where the historic actions occurred."

There Goes Old Gomer

by Sara K. Eskridge

"'A mother and a little boy were walking along, and I could tell the minute the recognition hit the little boy,' Nabors told the LA Times. 'As he walked by holding his mother's hand, he said in a real loud voice, 'Look, Mother. There goes an old Gomer Pyle!'"

The Faux History of The Villages, Florida

by Amanda M. Brian

"A founding family? Check. A harmless eccentric? Check. A local folktale? Yes, see 'The Legend of Bocephus' explained on Lake Sumter's boardwalk."

“We kept the discussion at an adult level”: Jack Kershaw and the Tennessee Federation for Constitutional Government

by Benjamin Houston

"'The myth of rampant hard-hearted hard cruelty, that has occurred to some extent. There are always some cruel people in the world, but fortunately they're in the minority. That warm relationship between the races did exist in times of slavery and in times of segregation. Segregation, by the way, was a northern invention. Did you know that?'"

“The Duality of the Southern Thing”: A Snapshot of Southern Politics in the Twenty-First Century

by Angie Maxwell

"When real representational samples of African Americans and Latinos are included—and the default assumption of 'southern' as white is challenged—there are very few differences of note between the South and the rest of America."

The Mississippi Delegation Debate at the 1964 Democratic National Convention: An Interview with Former Vice President Walter Mondale

by Morgan Ginther

"'The white testimony is a blank to me. I don't think it meant anything. I don't think it had any impact. As soon as Fannie Lou Hamer started, it was all forgotten.'"

Dashboard Poet: Roger Miller

by Brian Carpenter

"'I wouldn't let him drive,' said [Mel] Tillis. 'Hell, he couldn't keep his mind on what he was doing. He was either thinking of songs or [women].'"

Eels for Winter

by Bernard L. Herman

"When I try to describe the rich dark flavors of the firm yet creamy meat, words fail me. As our neighbors remark, ‘This tastes like more.’ I think this eel tastes exactly like winter holidays and the advent of the sleeping season."

The Coal Miner’s Wife: A Letter

by Joseph Bathanti

"my father, as yours, deep in the pit, my mother silent as plums . . . "