Category Archives: Deep-Fried Wisdom

We Had A Plan

But, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” Allen Saunders

On Thursday, June 8, our choir headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, to sing the National Anthem at the minor league baseball game between the Charlotte Knights and the Louisville Bats. Since we’d already sung “The Star-Spangled Banner” at one of their games last year, we thought we were familiar with the routine: ride the bus, get off and stand in line at the stadium, wait for a half hour, follow a Knights’ representative down multitudes of hallways, go out through the visitors’ dugout, sing the anthem, find our seats, and enjoy the game.
SBC choir2

We were wrong. Nothing went according to plan. We loaded up the buses and took off on time, but the closer we got to Charlotte, the worse the traffic was. Consequently, we were about half an hour behind our projected arrival time.  Our worship leader was on his phone with his contact, and a police escort was waiting to take us past the fully stopped lines of cars at the stadium. A team representative met us as our busses stopped in the intersection, and she led us around the crowd and into a side door. At that point, we weren’t walking; we were jogging.

We were waived past security and taken directly to the visitors’ dugout, where we were led onto the field. Almost immediately we began to sing, and I must say, it well very well.
SBC Choir
Afterward, people met us to scan our tickets and take us into the stadium seating areas.

About half an hour in, the dark storm cloud that had hovered over the field opened up, and the heavens poured. After only a couple of innings, the field was covered with a tarp, and we decided to go back to Lancaster.
SBC Choir1
I’m glad we went. I’m always happy to gather with my choir friends and sing the National Anthem, and it was fun to be on the Big Board.

And since a ballgame was rained out, I think we can now declare it’s officially summer in the South.

Have a blast, y’all! Batter up!

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Southern Fried Austen

Southernisms

“Portrait of a Southern Lady”
by Stephen Vincent Benet

Mary Lou Wingate, as slightly made
And as hard to break as a rapier blade.
Bristol’s daughter and Wingate’s bride,
Never well since the last child died
But staring at pain with courteous eyes.
When the pain outwits it, the body dies,
Meanwhile the body bears the pain.
She loved her hands and they made her vain.

Her manner was gracious but hardly fervent
And she seldom raised her voice to a servant,
She was often mistaken, not often blind,
And she knew the whole duty of womankind,
To take the burden and have the power
And seem like the well-protected flower,
To manage a dozen industries
With a casual gesture in scraps of ease,
To hate the sin and to love the sinner
And to see that the gentlemen got their dinner
Ready and plenty and piping hot
Whether you wanted to eat it or not.
And always, always, to have the charm
That makes the gentlemen take your arm
But never the bright, unseemly spell
That makes strange gentlemen love too well,
Once you were married and settled down
With a suitable gentleman of your own.

The gentlemen killed and the gentlemen died,
But she was the South’s incarnate pride
That mended the broken gentlemen
And sent them out to the war again,
That kept the house with the man away
And baked the bricks where there was no clay,
Made courage from terror and bread from bran
And propped the South on a swansdown fan…..

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I grew up Southern, and I assure you that the South is place where people take pride in their heritage. We probably identify with our region more than any other place in the country. Our history is important to us, and to understand us, you have to understand our history.

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Down South at weddings, we toast with sweet iced tea in Mason jars, y’all. The stems are an elegant touch, don’t you think? And no, the bride isn’t wearing flip-flops.

Okay. Enough with the heavy.

Deep-Fried Wisdom will be a regularly featured column explaining to the rest of the country what Southern phrases and actions mean. If you’ve heard a Southerner say something, and you don’t know what it means, just leave it in the comments. I’ll translate for you.

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