Front Porch: Winter 1996

Silent Sam, photo by Ildar Sagdejev, 2008, Wikimedia Commons.

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Front Porch: Winter 1996

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 2, No. 2: Winter 1996

As kids, we obviously lacked a lot of factual information, but age and ignorance were not our only sources of confusion. Instead, as Americans and white southerners both, we couldn't be entirely sure who "we" were.

It must have been about the time of the Fort Sumter Centennial that a bunch of us boys found shelter from the Carolina summer and began to struggle with the problem of southern identity. As was likely to happen with ten- and eleven-year-olds in that time and place, our hazy recollections of martial valor and the challenges of impending manhood led to the subject of the “late unpleasantness.”