Hearing Waycross

Abigail Greenbaum, illustrations by Phil Blank

“I’d started to doubt the Gram Parsons myth, but I could still feel its narcotic lull.”

Like many white xennials, I learned about Gram Parsons late at night in a college dorm room, stoned and listening to somebody’s hippie parents’ records. Parsons played in the Byrds and taught the Rolling Stones about country music. He killed his pain with drugs and Jesus and wore bright Nudie suits sequined with tributes to such narcotics. He sang gorgeous duets with the gorgeous Emmylou Harris. He overdosed on booze and morphine in Joshua Tree in 1973, a couple months shy of his twenty-seventh birthday. His road manager stole his body from the coroner and burned it in the desert. He played country soul, but he called it Cosmic American Music.

I’d learned about Gram Parsons around the time one of my favorite country artists got blacklisted from country radio for criticizing George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. I adored the genre but felt shame about the racist and reactionary America it evoked. Even, I hated to admit, in a progressive band like my beloved The Chicks, still over a decade from dropping their Dixie.

I heard Parsons as someone who’d transformed and freed country music, what I’d always understood to be the sound of the old South, by fusing it with soul, or the dream of a new one. Parsons’s biographer David Meyers credits the power of Parsons’s musical cross-pollinations to an earlier generation. Though his Twenty Thousand Roads complicates the relationship between Parsons and social change, he writes, “For me and many others, country incarnated the forces of reaction. It made a point of being pathologically anti-hippie, pro-Vietnam, pro-authority, pro-Jesus, and pro-Nixon. Music was a collection of willfully exclusionary fortresses, each policing its own vision of morality.”1

What happens when white people hear social change in music? Perhaps myth tranquilizes us into thinking if we hear and learn from Black songs, we do better. But how much do these harmonies soothe us into inaction? What and who do our songs drown out?

In the years after college, I read several Gram Parsons biographies, where I learned about his childhood in Waycross, Georgia, the house where he was raised until age twelve, in the care of Black domestic workers who taught him about R&B. In that house, his father, Coon Dog Connor, shot himself in 1958, sending Parsons’s mother back to her Florida citrus baron family, and a new husband named Robert Parsons. I’d read about the family’s Waycross orange crate manufacturing business, or box plant, where a young Gram heard the night foreman’s country band perform Hank Williams. And City Auditorium, where he saw Elvis play in 1956.

By the time I was in my thirties and living in Georgia, I had questions about Cosmic American Music. I no longer believed it could be particular to Gram Parsons. I figured his music existed in the churches and train yards and domestic work spaces and Black neighborhoods of Waycross. By then, I’d heard Ray Charles’s Modern Sounds of Country and Western Music (1962), a wildly popular blending of country, R&B, and other genres. Cut by another son of South Georgia and North Florida, Modern Sounds was released years before any Gram Parsons songs. I’d also learned how all these forms spring from Black music. And that genre buckets serve a predominantly white industry. But, cosmic or not, Waycross seemed like an important junction of these musical lines. I thought visiting the place might help me sort truth from myth.

Waycross formed in 1874, named for its long history as an actual junction. Traders cut roads that followed Native American trails, and later came rail lines that changed the land. Running over ties hewn from South Georgia longleaf pine, these railroads carried forest products like timber and naval stores, their expansion both symptom and cause of the region’s quick industrialization. Though slavery had been abolished, the labor on Georgia’s postwar railroads often wasn’t free. In 1868, for example, one hundred Black prisoners laid ties to build lines, the first record of men sent out to work under a State of Georgia convict lease act.2

These railroads thrum through the music of Waycross. In the Hank Williams country gospel standard “I Saw the Light,” a tin whistle haunts the song like a train coming, a mechanical layer that disturbs the singer’s already uneasy claim to salvation. In an eerie 1941 instrumental recording of “Fast Train,” Black folk performer John Lee Thomas transforms his harmonica into a machine engine that slows and races.3

Driving south to Waycross, I rolled through bleached land once shaded by wild longleaf pine. Now, low peanut fields and invasive mimosa groves flank the road. The day before, I’d called the Waycross Visitors Bureau asking about Gram Parsons, and the same day, someone told Billy Ray Herrin I’d be coming to town. Herrin, a soft-spoken white man in a faded baseball cap, owns Hickory Wind Music. Waycross musicians come to his small strip mall store for everything from guitar picks to recording advice. He is also the Waycross keeper of the Gram Parsons myth, a fact he wasn’t shy about letting me know: “My store was the first place here you could ever walk into and there’d be a real conversation about Gram Parsons,” he said, soon after we met at Hickory Wind. That may be true—he’d been interviewed in most Parsons biographies.4

A steady stream of mostly white customers filtered through our conversation. Herrin pointed out capos to a young man looking for that “clip thing”; he took a call from someone wondering if you could play A-minor on a mouth harp; he knew his regular customers by their strings. When I’d read the biographies, Parsons’s personal and musical origins had seemed as solid as the books in my hands. But listening to Herrin talk, I wasn’t so sure. Most of what I’d read could be sourced, it seemed, to Herrin’s conversations with anyone in Waycross who might have known Parsons. So much of what I’d read as fact could be traced to personal memory, often decades removed. And that’s its own kind of mythology.

Billy Ray Herrin’s store is named for the Parsons song. Though the lyrics say, “In South Carolina / there are many tall pines,” Herrin heard Waycross. His evidence was that tall pines, once widespread, grew near the original site of Parsons’s childhood home. A small pine stand does rise above the street where Parsons grew up, but by the 1950s, the old-growth forest had been gone for several generations. The song also recalls climbing a tall oak tree, and while Waycross children climbed Georgia’s champion live oak in town, live oak grows throughout the southeastern coastal plain.5

The song “Hickory Wind” deals in piney woods nostalgia. It longs for the wind as it would have swelled and whooshed through an unbroken forest, surf-like in its rhythms. I doubt many suburban twentieth-century audiences had heard that sound, nor the higher-pitched breeze through wiregrass, a tufted prairie species suited to the shade and soil of silty pine barrens. For generations, small farmers thrived in this ecosystem, cutting pine to build only what they needed for houses and barns, grazing animals in the open wiregrass range below. Bird calls pierced their woods, as did the lowing of a family milk cow and the plain, raw shape note singing that wafted from Primitive Baptist churches.

By 1891, the sound of the forest had changed. In a letter to a local newspaper, a sawmill worker notes the new music: “the hum of machinery at the mill . . . the shrill glad whistle of the locomotive.” The writer’s optimism echoes that of the New South boosters of his time. Men like journalist Henry W Grady of Atlanta saw in Georgia’s forest the key to the South’s postwar economic resurgence. Many pinelanders also believed in the boundless potential of the countryside. Local willingness to cut timber partnered with outside capital, and, soon, South Georgia’s sawmills were processing almost two million board feet of lumber every day. Overproduction of timber glutted the market, and many longtime forest dwellers who cleared their small tracts earned little for it. By the turn of the century, most mills were abandoned, the longleaf forest devastated. The disappearance of pine canopy meant the disappearance of wiregrass, the end of subsistence farming, the loss of biodiversity. In this newly industrialized economy, fewer and fewer people owned more and more land. Many sawmillers and turpentine speculators failed to turn profits, but all businessmen trying to extract wealth from the South Georgia forests exploited Black laborers, forced in one way or another to work pine belt operations.6

Timber remains one of South Georgia’s most highly valued agricultural products. Many folks in Waycross find work building manufactured homes from pine. Pine plantations still operate along Highway 82, and poorer families bale and sell pine straw—fallen needles used for mulch—from their homes. New South boosters once promised broad prosperity in return for resource exploitation, but in South Georgia, high poverty rates and few industrial opportunities continue to define the region more than a century later.7

I could see why Herrin wanted “Hickory Wind” to be about Waycross. That’s how good songs can work, as containers where we pour our stories. The day I came to Waycross, the store was filled with young white musicians in their teens and early twenties, all Waycross born, all in bands, all obsessed with Gram Parsons. The country rock icon seemed to give them a different idea of who they could be, of what was possible for a boy from Waycross. They chattered about the harmonies they’d hit the night before while covering The Band. They wanted me to hear their gigs. They thought any writer doing a story on Parsons could make them famous.

I’d started to doubt the Gram Parsons myth. I knew his life was marked by privileges these boys did not have. But as Billy Ray drove me to the Gram Parsons sites, followed by two carloads of young drummers and guitar players, past roadhouses that serve fried alligator and churches that urge us to seek shelter in His Precious Blood, I could still feel its narcotic lull.

* * *

A few of the people Herrin interviewed to build his story were still alive. He called Kathy Kontos, a woman who sang in the Junior Choir with Parsons at Grace Episcopal, on the store phone. The Mission style architecture and technicolor stained glass of the relatively liberal church make it an outlier among the spare, mostly Baptist churches in downtown Waycross. I heard more than once how the pastor at Grace Episcopal marched with Black leaders in the civil rights era. How a cross burned on the church lawn.

“There’s a young lady in town,” Herrin said. “Doing a story about Gram.” Clearly this wasn’t the first time Herrin had connected Kontos with a Gram Parsons writer. Is this how it happens? I wondered, as the air conditioner whined and Herrin told Kontos when I’d be coming by. Is this how myths get made?

The next day, I sat with Kathy Kontos in the formal living room of a house built by her Greek immigrant grandfather. She told me he built in Waycross despite other white people who didn’t want a foreign family like theirs downtown. Kontos had decided I’d be sympathetic, as if my interest in Gram Parsons worked as code. Hearing I liked Parsons, many white people in Waycross felt comfortable telling me they voted for Democrats.

Her voice was soft. I had to lean in. She offered me a cold Coke, claiming Waycross heat to be so intense that the high school football stadium creates its own thunderstorms. Kontos sang in the junior choir with Parsons, but she never heard many echoes between his music and the staid Episcopal hymnal. Instead, she said that “he learned from that South Georgia music we all heard.” She defined this as a particular mix of Primitive Baptist harp singing, gospel, country, fifties rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm & blues. She recalled a jukebox in the Grace Episcopal building, where a mischievous young Parsons blasted Chuck Berry against the orders of his elders. Kontos recalled that their youth group, the Grace Crusaders, sang spirituals with African American roots, such as “Dese Bones Gonna Rise Again.”

Kontos’s memory stacks up against what young white people growing up in that time would have heard. Not even “Dese Bones” is surprising; the Golden Gate Quartet recorded crossover hits in the 1940s and ’50s, and their version of the spiritual would likely have been heard by white radio listeners. Parsons does sing from all the musical traditions that Kontos named. He claimed to quit the Byrds in protest of shows in South Africa, a stance he linked to his childhood in segregated Waycross. But it’s hard to tell the activism from the self-aggrandizement. Byrds front man Roger McGuinn sees Parsons’s departure from his band differently: “He said he didn’t want to go to South Africa because of the segregation, but what he really wanted to do was hang out with the Rolling Stones.”8

It’s not that Kontos’s recollection isn’t accurate or that Gram Parsons had little awareness of racial injustice. The truth, and the myth, are somewhere in between. Some white Episcopal priests and congregations certainly took stands against segregation, but we are too eager to credit white righteousness in such moments of social change. Black organizers of the Waycross movement, connected to Mt. Zion AME church, fought at least until 1970 to get Black people hired by downtown businesses, and for basic equal treatment as customers in stores. White Waycross, I was told more than once, continues to want the 1950s back.9

* * *

In Waycross, I visited Parsons’s childhood home, though it had been moved to a different neighborhood. The current owners didn’t love how often Gram Parsons pilgrims wandered across their lawn. The red brick house is modest by today’s standards, but the Parsons family’s wealth raised them to a different social class than the majority of white people in Waycross. The family hired Black siblings Sammy Dixon and Louise Cone (née Dixon) to watch Parsons and his sister.10

The Dixons turned Parsons on to the rhythm & blues hits of the 1950s. The children listened to music for hours. In the record and radio industry, these tracks were called “race music,” after the Black musicians that cut them and the Black audiences to whom they were marketed. In white Waycross, this was “Oak Street music,” named after the Black side of town. Parsons learned this music from the Dixon siblings and wanted more. The Black man who drove for his family sometimes brought Parsons to a tire store that sold records.

Some Parsons biographers quote Louise Cone about how well she was treated by the Connor family. It’s also true that the family’s Waycross orange crate manufacturing plant only employed white workers. One Black man worked out back, and after he came inside to drink from the factory’s water cooler, the white workers threatened to assault him if he entered the building again. In this doubled truth, Parsons’s family seems no different from so many white Americans—we use our personal kindnesses to shield us from complicity in systems of injustice, or to deny them altogether.11

White supremacy holds itself up by exploiting Black labor. In the decades after abolition, new forms of forced work defined the forest industries. From peonage, which kept workers in debt and unable to leave without facing criminal charges, to convict leasing, which put prisoners to work in industries that cared little for their survival, Black workers in the piney woods were far from free. In turpentine camps, bosses used violence as control, and the gallop of overseers known as woodsriders must have been a terrifying sound. The turpentine harvest is violent work; the spirit is distilled from the gum that a pine tree makes to heal its wounds. Workers chipped new gashes to produce more gum. Mostly white businessmen exploited the forest, but many white piney woods dwellers, their folkways and generational farming traditions under threat, blamed the Black workers forced to make the cuts.12

The sounds of this anti-Black exploitation are heard in work songs like “I’se Gwine to Georgy,” which conjures the terrors of turpentine life in the lyric, “You see that Woodsman coming, ridin’ through the pine.” The rhythms of these Black work songs echo through the blues tradition and, later, through rhythm & blues, including what the Cone siblings listened to at work. I’d always heard the R&B influence in Parsons’s songs; in Waycross, I started to hear something less harmonious. In the family car and in the family home, Parsons learned Black music born of Black struggle, from Black people employed in domestic service, denied better work by employers like his own family.13

* * *

On his way to show me City Auditorium, Billy Ray Herrin and I drove near the Oak Street neighborhood, but our route didn’t cross the actual rail tracks that separate it from downtown. We were riding in his wife’s Honda minivan, because even Billy Ray had grown tired of the Gram Parsons mythology. “Make me sound pretty hokey,” he said, of music writers who detail the pickups he usually drives. Earlier, I’d asked if the shows at City Auditorium had been whites-only or if Black fans could watch in balconies. Herrin didn’t know the answer—had never been asked the question. He brought it back up as we drove to the concert venue. He’d been thinking about segregation in Waycross, and it made him remember a national TV program on racism he’d seen. The Kansas City/Oakland Athletics right fielder Reggie Jackson named Waycross, Georgia, as the place in America where he’d been most afraid for his life.

On the edge of town, on a red clay field hidden by sawgrass, slash pine, and swamp, the Braves, and, later, the Kansas City A’s, held Minor League Spring Training on a former Air Force Base until the 1960s. Herrin could imagine any number of gas stations between town and the base where a white proprietor might have come at Jackson with tire tools or some other weapon for pulling into the lot. He feared not much had changed in the decades since.

Hank Aaron also trained at Waycross for the Braves, and one night he missed the bus back to camp from a downtown haircut. He tried to sneak in through the pines. He recalled the camp guard spotting him: “All he could see was a young Black kid sneaking up on the barracks, so without further ado, he opened fire. Bullets were flying past my ears. I could see my career ending right there in the red clay of Waycross, Georgia—to say nothing of my life.”14

There’s another story of anti-Black violence I don’t hear from anyone in Waycross. Decades earlier, in 1918, the NAACP started a Waycross chapter in response to the lynching of a seventeen-year-old Black teenager named Sandy Reeves. He’d dropped a coin while picking grapes for his white employers. Their three-year-old daughter grabbed the coin and Reeves took it back. The girl cried to her parents that Reeves had hurt her. The parents accused Reeves of assault and he was arrested. The next night, a mob of white Waycross men hanged him.15

White lynch mobs in Georgia were more prevalent and arguably more violent than their counterparts in other states. And in a state already witnessing significant brutality, lynch mobs killed more Black people in South Georgia and the nearby Cotton Belt than in any other part of the state. Until 1920, South Georgia was also the part of the state where the highest number of Black people owned land. The pine land offered Black farmers singular opportunities. But the combination of industrial deforestation and white violence proved such a threat to Black piney woods communities that, in 1894, the Black newspaper the Savannah Tribune called South Georgia “A Hell Hole on Earth.”16

What happens if we tell the story of Sandy Reeves when we tell the story of Gram Parsons? If we refuse to let the music drown out the history from which it grows? I want to deepen my witness of Sandy Reeves’s killing, but I’m also wary of crafting a different myth where white people’s consciousness of anti-Black violence is witness enough. Another problem in telling Reeves’s story is that I only know the sorrow and injustice of his death. I don’t know his life. What Sandy Reeves prayed for in church. The pranks he played. His favorite songs.

* * *

In Waycross, I didn’t hear the story of Sandy Reeves and I didn’t hear the story of Welcome Golden and Robert Knight, two Black men who almost died in 1891 when their white employer, L. B. Varn, ordered them to build turpentine shanties on land claimed by the white-owned Waycross Lumber Company. Golden and Knight defended themselves from the lumber company’s posse, one of whom was killed. They were incarcerated for sixteen years, required to work as leased convicts in North Georgia coal mines. In the history I’ve read, parts of their story are missing—what brought them to the turpentine trade, how they spent their remaining free years.17

Like Varn’s turpentine camp and the Waycross Lumber Company, many South Georgia forest industries operated outside the law. In one area that edged the Okefenokee Swamp, a turpentine company arranged for the local sheriff not to enter their holdings unless called. The land became a sanctuary for moonshiners, bootleggers, and criminals on the run.18

The day I left Waycross, I heard the story of Lydia Stone, the white woman who owned a good part of the Okefenokee swamp early in the twentieth century. She made a fortune logging the swamp’s water-resistant cypress. Like Gram Parsons’s family a few decades later, one or two clans made big money from timber and rail. Everyone else just worked it.

I was waiting at Hickory Wind Music to talk with the night foreman from the box plant owned by Parsons’s family, because this man had introduced a young Gram Parsons to country music. A couple of young musicians were hanging out at the store again. We’d been talking about how, without the timber industry, Gram Parsons’s family would not have lived in Waycross to run the box plant. They brought up Lydia Stone. The young musicians told me she was an Amazon—”seven foot,” claimed one. An older customer also chimed in, telling me that, at seventy years old, Stone married a young man she called Doll Baby who faced a murder sentence. Stone bribed the governor of Georgia to clear his name with a check for $25,000, and she and Doll Baby drove south fast enough, they told me, to cancel that check before the governor cashed it.

This story had all the hallmarks of a tall tale when I heard it, but according to local history, the musicians were only off by a few years and a few inches. Stone was six feet six inches and sixty-four years when she married the twenty-one-year-old Doll Baby. I couldn’t confirm the bribery, but I could believe it. An accused white man goes free if his white lover can pay.19

* * *

Soon, the night foreman from the Parsons family box factory arrived at the store. This muscular, grinning man, who’d once introduced Gram Parsons to country music, wore his remaining hair greased and combed carefully over his forehead. As he talked, I felt the myth working on me again. I imagined Parsons’s father keeping his son out late at the box plant, listening to Hank Williams songs played live from the doorstep.

The myth and all its dangers, I should say, because the night foreman spoke gleefully of the past, including its injustice. He seemed to long for both his box plant band and the power of being a white foreman during segregation. The band was a country outfit called the Starlight Ramblers. They performed in the front door of the warehouse during late shifts. Although the night foreman sometimes played an upright bass, he remembered the box plant lineup of the band with a washtub bass, a fiddle, and a dobro played by a boy with a deformed hand. The dobro player was so good, the story goes, that Kentucky bluegrass star Bill Monroe once tracked him down in a tobacco patch, begging the Waycross boy to join Monroe’s band. The dobro player refused. For years, his band followed the Doc Roberts Medicine Show across the South.

The night foreman took to church while he was still playing honky-tonks, where prostitutes worked upstairs and they had to carry knives onstage. Later, he switched to playing gospel on the radio and began preaching at a Baptist church. Country music loves this kind of sin and salvation myth. I’d heard echoes of it from Billy Ray Herrin the day before, when a young guitar player stumbled into Herrin’s store and bragged about his hangover. “Most musicians in Waycross become cops or preachers,” he’d said, “to make up for all the bad they’ve done.”

In South Georgia, lawmen often sanctioned lynching and circuit riding preachers trafficked in turpentine workers, paid by the owners of one camp after recruiting men away from another. As far as country music goes, I could see how the sin and salvation line ran from Hank Williams to the box plant night foreman to Gram Parsons. Williams is the king of it, tragic and transcendent. “Praise the Lord,” his headstone reads, quoting his train-haunted chart topper, “I Saw the Light.” His Grand Ole Opry castmate Minnie Pearl recalled performing the song with Williams six months or so before he died. Wrenched from withdrawal, he struggled to find his pitch, then stopped midverse and lamented, “There ain’t no light.”20

Stagey as that anecdote sounds, it’s also true that, in the piney woods, not even devout churchgoers counted on deliverance. Primitive Baptists, called Hardshells for their fatalism, believed no amount of human righteousness could change how God had marked them to be saved or damned.21

Decades before Hank Williams pleaded for grace over the sound of steel strings, workers in majority Black turpentine camps heard the double music of camp meeting and juke joint. Said one worker, “That’s all they got beside work—go to church and drink shine.” I don’t know what we should call country music, if not the sounds that twanged or jumped or wailed from the piney woods juke joints.22

* * *

The day I talked with the box plant night foreman at Hickory Wind, it was clear his salvation included no reckoning with the sins of racial injustice. He didn’t recognize that his music, like all American music, has roots in Black sound. He didn’t hesitate to tell me how he kept Black workers from entering the box plant with threats of violence. I heard the night foreman’s voice the loudest as I left town. As I drove, I wondered how to refuse the myth when I listened to Gram Parsons, how to surface the complicated truths, how to hear the sin. I wondered if using the word sin to describe this country’s racial terrors forecasts too much unearned salvation.

A half hour outside Waycross, the woods grew wild with slash and longleaf pine, live oaks draped in moss, hibiscus, stubby saw palms, and eucalyptus. What looked like an abandoned train ran for miles behind manufactured homes that backed up to the woods. The train played an optic trick as I passed, my movement making its stock appear to roll. That train was silent, of course, but rail continues to hum through the area. Farther back from the road, white smoke rose from a controlled burn on a timber operation. 

This essay was published in the Sonic South issue (Winter 2021).

Abigail Greenbaum lives in Atlanta and works as an instructional designer at Georgia State University. Her prose has appeared in Ecotone, New World Writing, Atlantic, Adventure Journal, and other places, and has been listed as notable in Best American Sports Writing2020. She holds an MFA from the University of Mississippi.
  1. David N. Meyer, Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music (New York: Random House, 2007), xi.
  2. Robert Latimer Hurst, “Ware County,” in New Georgia Encyclopedia, October 25, 2018, https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/counties-cities-neighborhoods/ware-county; Mark V. Wetherington, “Timber Is King,” chap. 5 in The New South Comes to Wiregrass Georgia 1860–1910 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1994); Robert B. Outland III, Tapping the Pines: The Naval Stores Industry in the American South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004), 186.
  3. Hank Williams, “I Saw The Light,” recorded April 1947, MGM Records, single, 1948; John W. Work and John Lee Thomas, “Fast Train,” 1941, Library of Congress, audio, 3:29, https://www.loc.gov/item/ftvbib000096.
  4. Meyer, Twenty Thousand Roads; Jason Walker, God’s Own Singer: A Life of Gram Parsons (London: Helter Skelter, 2002); Ben Fong-Torres, Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998).
  5. The Byrds, “Hickory Wind,” by Gram Parsons and Bob Buchanan, recorded MarchMay 1968, side 2, track 1 on Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Columbia Records, 1968, vinyl.
  6. Wetherington, New South, 127, 137; W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia 1880–1930 (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993). Sawmill worker qtd. in Wetherington, New South, 45.
  7. Outland, Tapping the Pines, 1.
  8. Meyer, Twenty Thousand Roads, 253.
  9. Gardiner H. Shattuck Jr., Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2000); J. Vern Cromartie, “C. E. Wells, Sr. and the Waycross Movement: A Case Study in Black Nationalism and Structural Integration” (monograph, NAAAS & Affiliates Conference, 2010), 1687.
  10. Walker, God’s Own Singer, 20.
  11. Meyer, Twenty Thousand Roads, 29.
  12. Robert B. Outland III, “Labor, Forced and Free,” chap. 6 in Tapping the Pines: The Naval Stores Industry in the American South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004); Outland, Tapping the Pines, 72; Wetherington, New South, 273.
  13. Outland, Tapping the Pines, 169.
  14. Bill Young and Daniel Papillon, “The Red Clay of Waycross: Minor-League Spring Training in Georgia with the Milwaukee Braves,” Society for American Baseball Research, Cronkite School at ASU, first published 2010, https://sabr.org/journal/article/the-red-clay-of-waycross-minor-league-spring-training-in-georgia-with-the-milwaukee-braves/.
  15. Manfred Berg, Popular Justice: A History of Lynching in America (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2011), 93.
  16. Brundage, Lynching in the New South, 108, 114. Savannah Tribune qtd. in Brundage, Lynching in the New South, 120.
  17. Brundage, Lynching in the New South, 115117.
  18. Outland, Tapping the Pines, 177.
  19. Sandy Strickland, “Queen of the Okefenokee Parlayed a Cow and a Sow into Million-dollar Empire,” Florida Times-Union(Jacksonville, FL), January 11, 2021.
  20. Outland, Tapping the Pines, 167; Minnie Pearl with Joan Dew, “Excerpt from Minnie Pearl: An Autobiography (1980),” in The Hank Williams Reader, ed. Patrick Huber, Steve Goodson, and David M. Anderson (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 193.
  21. Wetherington, New South, 290.
  22. Outland, Tapping the Pines, 286.