Red Clay Soul has been so kind as to highlight the new print we've done with our pals at Land Vs Ocean. In addition to that, they've let me disclose all our secrets. Armed with that knowledge, you can pretty much go steal our entire idea. Photos thanks to the unrivaled David Salafia.
Like they say, a rising tide lifts all ships.
Head over there and give it a read and a look-see.
Today's poem is a very special one. It was sent up to us from the Pinstripe Pulpit, who is now keeping shop in the county where I grew up. He'd letter pressed it years back and it is signed by the author (and poet laureate of Kentucky), the late James Still. This one will make you choke up, I promise. Without further ado.
Those I Want in Heaven With Me Should There Be Such a Place
By James Still
First I want my dog Jack,
Granted that Mama and Papa are there,
And my nine brothers and sisters,
And “Aunt” Fanny who diapered me, comforted me, shielded me,
Aunt Enore who was too good for this world,
And the grandpa who used to bite my ears,
And the other one who couldn’t remember my name—
There were so many of us;
And Uncle Edd—“Eddie Boozer” they called him—
Who had devils dancing in his eyes,
And Uncle Luther who laughed so loud in the churchyard
He had to apologize to the congregation,
And Uncle Joe who saved the first dollar he ever earned,
And the last one, and all those in between;
And Aunt Carrie who kept me informed:
“Too bad you’re not good looking like your daddy”;
And my first sweetheart, who died at sixteen,
Before she got around to saying “Yes”;
I want my dog Jack nipping at my heels,
Who was my boon companion,
Suddenly gone when I was six;
And I want Rusty, my ginger pony,
Who took me on my first journey—
Not far, yet far enough for the time.
I want the play fellows of my youth
Who gathered bumblebees in bottles,
Erected flutter mills by streams,
Flew kites nearly to heaven,
And who before me saw God.
Be with me there.
“It was April 14, 1865. I did not hear all of his address, as the crowd was noisy, but the sentence with which he closed, it will live in my memory forever.
Lincoln leaned far out of the window as he said:
‘Now let the band play Dixie. It belongs neither to the South, nor to the North, but to us all.’
The band played Dixie. For the first time in four years that air was heard in the Nation's capital.”- New York Times, published August 11, 1907.
Twelve notes. That's all you need to hear. Heck, I bet most of us from the US can recognize where it is going after just five. We've heard it at the end of Alabama's Song of the South when it is played live. I've heard it in the Grove and on the streets of Memphis more times than I can count. I even think I was at the Ole Miss game when the band played it for the last time on the field. And I bet every one of you know a friend (redneck or not) that got his car horn tuned to play it.
We were more than humbled when Garden & Gun reached out about doing an exclusive collaborative print. There was talk going back and forth about what print would transcend states and regions of the South yet still retain that feeling of something that we all know. After not too much discussion, we realized that the first notes of Dixie do that perfectly.
We dug through old sheet music and found the first bit of it. And had just about our most ambitious cut made to date. I didn't carve it, but I think Eli was glad to be done trying to pull solid lines out of the linoleum.
And we printed up a run and shipped them down to G&G in Charleston. Should you like one, head over there. They'd be glad to sell you one and send it on home.
The boys from Huckberry out in San Francisco gave us a call a few days ago and asked if we'd like to team up and sell some stuff in their internet store.
Well, when you're surrounded by all kinds of other amazing brands, sometimes you tell yourself, “Self, let's send some South westward, shall we?” And that's just what yourself(ves) does.
Head out that way. Save yourself a few dollars and support those nice fellows.
But you better hurry. You only got a week.
Direct link to our sale is right here.
Watch this. All six minutes of it. I promise you it will be worth it.
An absolutely beautiful short film directed by my friend Daniel Fickle out in Portland, OR.
I had drink the other night when Fickle was in town and we caught up on everything going on with his production company and the like. He was in a band in NYC years back with my best man. A band with four guys named Daniel. That's how I met the fellow. Over some Weller, I remembered that he isn't just a wonderful director, but real good folks, too.
"Attached are pictures of two of the 8 or 10 prints I bought from you guys last year. I wanted to have them all framed in a similar matter, but last week the guy who has framed these for me was killed in a motorcycle accident before he got to the rest of them. Joe Thomas, Jr. was a 47 year old musician, artist, friend and all around good guy.
I gave the New South print to a pair of friends who got married this year, one from North Carolina and the other from Georgia, and the Yes Sir, Yes Ma'am print hangs in my house putting my 3 year old and his soon to arrive brother on notice of how to act.
It will also serve as a memento to a true friend.
Food – one part of Southern subject trifecta that we all touch daily.
Football and literature I'd say are the other two, but I guess we could extent the list easily to a dozen or so.
We miss it daily. It, of course being Southern food in particular. There aren't nearly enough friers up here for our needs.
Breakfast for Supper
By Christine Stewart-Nunez
At IHOP, after the skinny brunette
with a band-aid covering her hickey
comes to whisk away burnt toast,
Mom mentions Theresa, face
brightening. She had a dream
about her—80s flip hair, smooth
complexion. I’ve been living
in Tulsa for eighteen years,
Theresa said. I understand.
Even as I watched men lower
her casket, I fantasized the witness
protection program had resettled her.
How funny we look, mother
and daughter laughing over
scrambled eggs, tears dripping
onto bacon, hands hugging
coffee mugs. For a moment Mom felt
Theresa there. Such faith. Freshen
your cup? the waitress asks me, poised
to pour. Cloudy in the cold coffee,
my reflection. I offer the mug.
Love seeing prints making it above folks' headboards. That's high-price real estate, and I'm just always flattered folks would think enough of us to do it.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods
I'd heard that this year the apples were ripening early. Last year, we'd waited a little late. As a matter of fact, you might remember that we didn't get out to them til some snow was on the ground.
Well, this year we weren't going to let the same fate befall us. We instead packed up a few of three cars, and drove out to Harvard, MA to get the good stuff before everyone else had.
Guys and gals: Can I tell you how much I wish I was in Oxford this weekend? I'm talking a heck ton.
This is one of those weekends that will go into the books. We haven't played Texas in 47 years. That is forever ago. We're an underdog against No. 14 riding an unbelievable feeling right now: a two game winning streak. It ain't much, but it is something. And while this won't be the biggest game ever to come to Oxford (c'mon Gameday), it sure has the trappings of one.
And, of course, we're stuck up here in New England, tuning in at 9:15 East Coast time on our local ESPN to shout loud enough for all the souls down in Lafayette to hear it.
But, you know what we can do? We can have a Pinterest giveaway. Why not? It'll give us all time to get pumped up together.
To enter is simple, you've got three options:
1) Follow us on Pinterest. (Right here)
2) Repin our Eyes of Texas print (from this link here)
3) Repin our Hotty Toddy print (from here)
One entry per avenue.
We'll drop the winner a message after we've recovered from a late night Saturday night. And you will win a print based on where we picked you from (Hotty Toddy, Eyes of Texas, or just Old Try).
That's it. Easy as.
Y'all have a good time in the Grove, and welcome to Oxford from this Rebel up here in the hinterlands.
25th High School Reunion
By Linda Pastan
We come to hear the endings
of all the stories
in our anthology
of false starts:
how the girl who seemed
as hard as nails
how the athletes ran
out of races;
how under the skin
our skulls rise
to the surface
like rocks in the bed
of a drying stream.
Look! We have all
The Newport Folk Festival was largely wet a few weeks back. Fortunately for some of my buddies who sent this picture back up to Massachusetts, there is a drink that mimics the weather. Its called a Dark and Stormy. And they were flowing frequently and fully.
I got an email from a friend at Antique Archaeology in Nashville. And one from a cowboy down in Texas who I've spent a week with last year. Both said 'I saw you in a magazine' and one said 'I will send you one.'
Now, I knew it was coming, cause our friend, Caroline, of Back Down South asked if I minded being in a story Folk Magazine was writing on her. Course not I said. And that was about the last I heard of it until I got a couple of emails.
I tried to run over to our local bookshop to see how it turned out, but they don't stock magazines on down home culture here. They stock them on medical research or cape houses or whatever else. So I had to patiently wait. When it got in, I learned a bit more about Drew Holcomb, Cordial Churchman and myself.