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My Return to the South

May 27, 2010

After being in Upstate New York for the better part of nine months, I am proud and ecstatic to announce that I have made my (probably temporary) return to the South. Three days ago I, along with the rest of my grad school program,  moved to Charleston, South Carolina to cover the Spoleto USA and Piccolo Spoleto Festivals for Charleston’s Post & Courier. And it feels sooo good to be back where the weather is sticky, the food is greasy, the tea is sweet, and the people say y’all.

I drove from Syracuse to Charleston, with two brief stops in Washington DC and Rocky Mount, NC, and am now going to recount the things I saw along the way that reminded me that I was, indeed, back in the South.

1) Meeting up with the DC/Baltimore University of Arkansas alumni group at the Nationals/Orioles baseball game. We called the hogs. Twice.

2) Seeing Chick-fil-A listed as a restaurant option on highway signs. (Okay, that isn’t necessarily a sign of being in the South, but there is no Chick-fil-A in New York.)

3) Strange statuary. I saw a weightlifter who spun around and a terrifying lumberjack wielding an ax.

4) Mostly racist billboards. (I’m looking at you JR’s and South of the Border)

5) Passing people riding 4-Wheelers. On the highway.

6) Random patches of intense, wrath of God rain. They never lasted more than five minutes at a time.

7) Seeing Sonic listed as a restaurant option on highway signs. I did a car dance when I saw that one.

8) Car dealership radio commercials. The South does them best.

9) Buying and drinking Shiner Bock.

10) Seeing guys dressed in the Southern frat suit: white polo, colored golf shorts, Sperry’s, and sunglasses.

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