[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’d like to tell you about a place you might not know, though you might’ve seen exit signs off Alabama Interstate 65. It’s a place with a little over five-thousand folks, and an IGA.
If you look closer, you’ll see it’s a place where beer joints still exist. A town where football isn’t televised, it’s practiced. A fleck on the map, where the main religion is family; secondary only to hospitality and chicken salad. Here, people spend afternoons on their porches, watching traffic. And every year, they get excited about something called the Blueberry Festival.
It is the only place where I am recognized in the supermarket only by my wife’s maiden name.
The American Sabbath is still Sunday here, and always will be. Hard work is the only profession there is, and God-fearing ladies only skip Bible study when they have a nagging case of yellow fever. Women still wear dresses; and nobody gives a flavored fruit-salad how folks dress in L.A.
Biscuits are heavy, beer is light, and sweet tea is sugary enough to break your cotton-picking jaw.
It’s a place where engagement parties involve half the population. Where it’s permissible to plan weddings around the SEC calendar. Where people tell a dumb redheaded groom he’s part of their family, even though he’s a stranger. The same idiot redhead who has no idea what in God’s name he’s signed up for. They shake his hand, feed him slow-cooked pork, and they call him “son.”
All five damn thousand of them.
The name of the town doesn’t matter.