It would be a fool’s errand to attempt to work through Clay Fulghum’s byzantine and ever-shifting disapproval of my condemnation of the “scandal mongering” media in the Paula Deen scalping. Her complaints are too numerous, and apparently my previous straight answers only led to more questions. It sort of comes down to, “Why didn’t you write what I think instead of what you think?”
There is not enough space in the Rappahannock News for me to thoroughly answer all of the questions she has raised in her July 25 letter, “Too-long division.” And I have a feeling that such responses would only lead to more and longer interrogations. It is sort of a can’t-win situation: If I respond to all of this it would run for thousands of words, the readers would get bored, and I, the writer, would surely get boring.
But if I don’t respond, I am left out here accused of all sorts of illiberal and politically incorrect thinking. That being my choice, I am delighted to plead illiberality and political incorrectness. So I suggest we take this discussion to rappnews.com, where we would be dealing with pixels, which are infinite, I believe. [Editor’s Note: Go to rappnews.com/south, specifically, for a collection of Jones’ most recent columns on the Paula Deen affair, and his and Fulghum’s ensuing discussion — which you can join.] Perfect for those of us who go on too long about things. (I’ll post specific responses to Ms. Fulghum’s accusations online within the next few days.)
But, well, there is one accusation to which I must immediately respond. She says, “At any rate, to resurrect old hatreds by calling the Civil War, ‘The War Between the States,’ the old Southern term for that conflict, is just over the top.”
When did that expression go onto the politically incorrect police list?! Yes, it is an old Southern term, but then, I am an old Southerner. And looking outside, I see that we are in the South. And, uh, that war was a war between one group of states and another group of states. Damn, ma’am! What would motivate you to say something like that? Condescension? Prejudice against old rednecks?
I do appreciate her saying that if I “could be persuaded to run for political office again,” she would vote for me. However, I’m cured of politickin’. I’d rather have a root canal without painkiller or be set out on one of those giant fire-ant hills. Besides, if I were running, I wouldn’t vote for myself, because I would have to be totally unbalanced to do such a thing. However, Clay Fulghum, since you’re so smart, why don’t you run?
Clay says that she “would fare pretty well in a ‘More Southern than thou’ competition.” Alright, you’re on. All of y’all are on. Here is the very first “Up in the Hollow More Southern Than Thou Quiz.” There are 10 questions and an easy bonus question and the answers are at the bottom. No cheatin’, that wouldn’t be gracious. And no peeking like it’s the crossword puzzle in the airline magazine.
1. What was the name of Stonewall Jackson’s horse?
2. What was writer Margaret Mitchell’s nickname?
3. Who founded Tuskegee Institute?
4. Where did Moon Pies originate?
5. What is a “mountain oyster?”
6. What Southern town boasts a statue of a boll weevil, and what Southern town has a statue of Brer Rabbit on its courthouse square? And why?
7. Who was Crawford Long?
8. Who were Wanchese and Manteo?
9. Who was the U.S. President when the Confederate States were formed?
10. Who was “Mr. Howard” of St. Joseph, Mo.?
11. What are “The Stars and Bars”?
That was fun. I’m sure everybody did great on the quiz! Even my Yankee friends . . .
1. General Thomas Jonathan Jackson’s horse was named “Little Sorrel” or “Old Sorrel.” Little Sorrel, a Morgan gelding, outlived the general by 23 years. I saw the horse, “stuffed,” in the Museum of the Confederacy back in the 1960s. These days he makes his home in Lexington at the Virginia Military Institute.
2. Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone With the Wind,” gave herself the name of “Peggy,” which is how she was known to family and friends in Atlanta. The name came from Pegasus, the mythical horse.
3. The Tuskegee Institute was started by Booker T. Washington, who became its first president and the driving force for its success. He was born a slave in Virginia.
4. Moon Pies are a product of the Chattanooga Bakery of Chattanooga, Tenn. For the record, R.C. Colas originated in Columbus, Ga.
5. Mountain oysters are the testicles of a hog or a bull. ’Nuff said about that delicacy.
6. Enterprise, Ala., is the site of the Boll Weevil statue. It was erected to honor the pesky critter because weevil blight caused the region to diversify their agriculture and the economy boomed. Brer Rabbit is at the Putnam County Courthouse in Eatonton, Ga. It was there that Joel Chandler Harris first heard the African folk tales that became the Uncle Remus stories. Putnam County is also the birthplace of American novelist Alice Walker.
7. Crawford Long was the Georgia surgeon who first introduced effective anesthesia to American medicine.
8. Wanchese and Manteo were the two Native Americans who were met by Raleigh’s first expedition to Roanoke Island in what is now North Carolina. They returned with Governor John White to England where they were introduced to Queen Elizabeth the First.
9. James Buchanan, Pennsylvania Democrat, was President of the United States when seven Southern States seceded from the Union in the months before Lincoln’s inauguration. After Fort Sumter, when “the war power of the government was called out” by Lincoln, four other Southern states joined the Confederacy, including Virginia.
10. “Mr. Howard” was the assumed name of the outlaw Jesse James, who was shot in the back in St. Joseph by Robert Ford, “that dirty little coward.” You can still see the bullet hole in the wall where it went after it went through Jesse in the year 1882. Jesse’s older brother Frank lived until 1915.
Bonus Question: The Stars and Bars was the first flag of the Confederate States Government. The so-called Confederate Battle Flag, which was actually the 2nd Naval Jack of the CSA, doesn’t look remotely like the Stars and Bars.