For those fortunate to have been born south of the Mason-Dixon line, gentility comes naturally.
Yes ma’am, thank you, please and pardon me roll from the tongue without force or constraint.
Opening doors, pulling out chairs and waving to passersby are all things that do not require forethought.
Opinions, points of view, perspectives, politics and religion can all be points of debate, but most generally not bitter contention.
We agree to disagree agreeably and then share a glass of sweet tea or lemonade.
A morning cup of coffee and a newspaper are an experience to be savored and requires sipping, pondering and lingering.
Front porches are used for sitting, talking, watching and more lingering.
Down here we can be passionate without being harsh, censorious or mean-spirited.
When Southerners are raised in a proper Southern home they are taught to think before speaking and that honey tastes better than vinegar.
A good hardcover edition, or even a leatherbound classic, is always preferred over a Nook or tablet.
The Williams boys, Hank and Tennessee, are a part of everyone’s family.
Whether we hail from north Georgia, south Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina or Tennessee, we are first and foremost Southerners.
We have no explanation for Florida, however.
Nevertheless, we do like to visit there occasionally.
Community newspapers that celebrate their communities, keep a watchful eye on local government and provide good lively, robust, but tasteful commentary most assuredly were invented somewhere in the South.
Down here we can question some decision or action of the mayor and then sit down over a hot cup of coffee, break bread at a diner, have that iced tea on the porch, shake hands, pat backs and still be friends.
That’s who we are.
That’s how we are.
That’s quintessential Southern.
So, when some public official, bureaucrat, spokesperson or spin doctor is vehement, disrespectful and even vile, it is obvious that he is either not truly Southern or does not have a Southern disposition. His mama would not be proud.
Or perhaps, that official or bureaucrat is more like a Southern yard dog, because we were all taught at an early age the hit dog howls the loudest.
Of course, we have learned over time that all the rules of being truly Southern evaporate on our interstate highway system.
For that, we have no explanation, merely consternation.