HOT! Talk about the dirty South, come to Hattiesburg, MS! Skyscraper size pine trees, tons of pine needles and heat, heat, HEAT. But this is the place of my childhood. It is a place with:
the sound of the buzzing locusts in the trees around dusk,
the warm air surrounding you and moving ever so slightly,
friendly people who don’t know a stranger,
food cooked with tons of butter and heavy cream,
lots of slow, lazy conversations
the best iced tea in the world,
fruit stands where ice-cream, crawfish and designer shoes are sold
My cousin just finished a family history project for his junior year and we spent last evening sitting around discussing our family genealogy. My grandfather has been collecting records for his family and he brought out a plethora of documents for us to go over. Some were last wills and testaments, some were letters between sisters, some were county documents, some were poems and dissertations written by ancestors. We learned so much! We learned that my grandmother is actually named after a saloon girl my great-grandfather fondly remembered. My cousin learned that he is most likely related to one of his best friends. We learned that we have both sharecroppers and plantation owners among our ancestors. We learned that we had family fight in both the Revolutionary and the Civil War. I learned that my great, great, great grandparents came from Scotland, but settled in Franklin, where I live now, before moving south to Mississippi.
Mississippi may be the poorest state and not very pretty. And it may have a bad reputation due to its past, but it is a place of heritage and home. The word Mississippi is beautiful to say and write and for me it will always be a place of iced tea and history.