Monday, May 16, 2011
My Home's in Alabama
But Alabama has always suffered in the way it has been represented in the media. We're always at the bottom of some list, and jokingly say, "Thank God for Mississippi!" It was pointed out to me recently, though, that Alabama was upgraded on a new list. It is now No.#1 for tornadoes.
There is one thing that is often overlooked about Alabama and the South. We have had some great talent come from the red clay dirt and cotton fields that dot this landscape, from the hills and hollows, and even from the Gulf Coast. I bet there are some people who don't realize that Alabama actually has beaches. But Alabama has produced some literary giants, like Harper Lee, who wrote "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Truman Capote, her childhood friend from Monroeville. Helen Keller was from Tuscumbia. Former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, is from Birmingham. Fannie Flagg, another Birmingham native, gave us "Fried Green Tomatoes" and Winston Groom wrote "Forrest Gump." Somehow, the creative juices that were born in this southern state are ingrained in our minds. Who can forget Scout and Atticus, from "To Kill a Mockingbird?" Who will ever forget "Life is like a box of chocolates" from "Forrest Gump?" What woman hasn't jumped off of her sofa in her bathrobe, cheering Kathy Bates in "Fried Green Tomatoes" in the parking lot scene at Walmart? And who has not seen "The Miracle Worker" and knows the story of Helen Keller by heart?
Everyone knows that Hank Williams was born in Montgomery, Alabama. His music needs no introduction, but I love his song, "I Saw the Light". My absolute favorite gospel song is " I Shall Not Walk Alone" by the Blind Boys of Alabama. The group, Alabama, recorded a song, "Angels Among Us" that has always been one of my favorites. Taylor Hicks, an Alabama native, was the winner on American Idol a few years ago. Tammy Wynette was also from Alabama. And, of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd gave us "Sweet Home Alabama."
Yes, here in Alabama we might live across from a cotton field or live in a mansion on a hill. We like our sweet tea and we like our football rivalries. We are passionate about our faith and our politics and we cherish our liberties. The Old South is no more, but the New South has a lot of heart and a lot of soul. Just listen.