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The Flatlander

On Southern Qualities and More


This week, just a few thoughts and observations, and a project particularly where I could use your feedback.

Topic: What are the qualities of a true Southerner?

I have a personal project coming up where we’ll measure the “Southern-ness” of a random group of quiz takers. So I’m wondering, what are the foremost qualities of a true Southerner? Not the stereotypes you see in the movies or the sitcoms - but the truest, most genuine attributes that you’ll find in a native Southerner. You, dear readers, are most qualified to know.

Is it hospitality? Are Southern people genuinely kind? Pretentious? Do you have to like biscuits and gravy to be a true southerner? Nothing off the table here, folks, and let’s not just think about the favorable qualities. What are the most prominent faults of Southern people? What do we not do well, and where do we fall short?

I need your thoughts. Take a moment this week and email me at steve@stonecountyleader.com. It will be a big help!
Hats off to local road crews, who as far as I could tell, did a great job managing back-to-back-to-back ice and snow storms during the last two weeks.

When big weather events like these are in the forecast, you can be sure the local road maintenance teams are mapping strategies and thinking ahead for the important work they do for us all. A veteran county supervisor told me last week that temperatures on February 15 and 16 brought Stone County the coldest air we’ve seen in 45 years. I was driving Herpel Road early the next morning following a daylong blizzard in our valley. Motor grader crews had already been on the scene and the roads were relatively clear.
Thanks also to the unidentified man who came to my rescue at dark-thirty one night after keys had been locked in my running pickup for 12 consecutive hours. (So much for getting to work early that day.) He did it with no light and temps in the single digits. When it was over, I told him to name his price. His response … “I know what it’s like to need help. Keep your money. I’m just glad we could get to you.“ I’m reminded of Hebrews 13:2. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Also, congratulations to the U.S. Forest Service and all the other organizations and volunteers who executed the Sycamore Trail 50K & 25K event on February 13. More than 450 participants from across the Mid-South signed up for the event with a starting temperature of 17 degrees. Many of these event participants spent time in Mountain View and Stone County and contributed to the local economy.

Stationed at the 2k mark shooting pictures at the creek, I can also tell you they are some of the nicest people around. As they were running more than 30 miles in frigid temperatures, they were also thanking event volunteers right and left along the course. Some of the nicest tourists I’ve seen.
“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The USPS across the board is getting worse, and worse, and worse. That’s all I have to say about that.
Random thought: Who will eat the first slice of pizza at the new Pizza Inn? And is it newsworthy, and should we be on the scene for the breaking news? Personally, I’m looking forward to walking down the street for a slice of lunchtime za. It means we’ll have to raise the topic of an after-lunch nap lounge with Leader Publisher Rusty Fraser again.
Thank you to our local pharmacies who are doing a great job managing the Covid vaccine distribution under difficult circumstances. Supplies are far less than demand and local pharmacies are busy. Do everyone a favor and don’t call and complain that you’ve been waiting. We’re all waiting. It’s not the fault of your pharmacist, or anyone there.
Stone County Quorum Court members are giving due diligence to their first-ever consideration of a private club permit. Yes, it is taking several weeks to work through the process, and no, as some have said, there are no “delay tactics” or any agendas at work here. Justices know the unique position they find themselves in, and that they will likely set precedent with this decision. Their move to create a standard application that will put all future applicants on a level playing field is the right thing to do.
Now, don’t forget to send me your thoughts: What are the qualities and characteristics of a true southerner? Good and bad? Email me at steve@stonecountyleader.com
See you in next week’s newspaper.

(Steve Watkins is a staff writer for the Stone County Leader.)


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