My tiny, just born, fresh to the earth five year old starts kindergarten tomorrow. I’m a mess and he’s been sleep training himself with an alarm clock (DNA test pending) for three weeks out of excitement. **sigh** So darling @looklingerlove to the rescue with a sweet sweet reminder (“pure magic” she says!) of all the good words I can write with my ungodly amount of free time courtesy of this terrible educational development and warp-speed devil called time. ・・・
Having a slow, summer weekend laying around the house reading books. I just finished #Educated by Tara Westover and it was incredible. One of those deep and unforgettable kind of books. But if you’re looking for a really great light hearted read I highly recommend #SouthernSolstice by @sarahsadlerwrites - pure magic and based in Charleston! ✨
Death grip on summer. Sweetest days with my boy, who is without hesitation one million percent ready for kindergarten in 10 impossibly short days. Me? Flooding the streets with tears. (Slide survival tips in my DM or message below) Ps I wrangled him into a hair trim immediately following this wispy photo.
Asheville angel @brooklync82 is always so good to me! I’m honored to have written one of her favorite summer reads. Books truly bring people together and I’m fortunate to get to swap cocktail recipes, Momma stories and glean fashion advice from this beauty and fellow Carolina girl. ❤️ #southernmost #amreading #summerreading #beachread #goodreads
West had the great honor of being entertained by a living World War II hero, Jimmy Gentry, yesterday at one of his favorite haunts (the now closing #halfwaymarket). Around here he is known as Coach Gentry, a title well earned after coaching high school football for sixty-six years. Mr. Gentry drew animal pictures for West on a brown paper sack that he asked Faye-Faye for at the market. Then he drew a map and pointed out England, France, Germany and Italy. “I marched all through here as a foot soldier.” He drew a plane and a picture of himself far below it. WWII wasn’t something Mr. Gentry spoke of until 1985— he lost his brother there—and now he finds peace with the process of stumbling upon the horrors of Dachau Concentration Camp by speaking of it in passing conversation and keeping the oral history alive. Mr. Gentry (now 93) was interviewed for the Veterans Project to be archived at the Library of Congress (highly recommend looking this up). "The first thing I knew, I was on a ship going across the ocean (to England). I'd never been out of Tennessee before in my life. "I'd never seen the ocean before, and I thought, 'Golly, it's bigger than the Harpeth River,'" he said.
We’ll still see Coach Gentry at @puckettsgrocery (another of his favorites) and at @gentrysfarm in the fall (he says the pumpkins “are comin’ in good” by the way). He walked out of the market, assisted by a cane. I asked him if he had a ride coming and he pointed to a blue Ford. “They know me over there.” #disappearingsouth #amwriting #franklintn #worldwarii #history
Half-way to everywhere.
To the left, home (where Momma lives), to the right #LeipersFork who’s unpretentious charm was recognized by Southern Living—the attention blowing the sleep off of the place like split-peas in a pressure cooker and the half-way getting caught in the cross-fire of benign preciousness and increased property values. Coldest beer in Southall, Live Bait and Frog Legs draw in the kind of crowd you can imagine. The fried bologna air is thick with grease and a pitcher of self-serve tea sweats on a plastic checkered cloth. All the men know each other. All the women mother you. Tomorrow the #halfwaymarket shuts its doors after tonight’s curtain-closing fish fry. Progress would tell me its a sign of the times but I look around at the open field across the street, the tiny church on the other, and it feels more like a culling. Pulling up a flower to let a weed grow. Subdivisions will move in. A Texaco maybe. For lunch we ordered sandwiches, @shesallnat grabbed a six-pack and West sat with WWII vet Jimmy Gentry of @gentrysfarm as he asked “Faye-Faye” to bring him a “piece uh pay-puh” to draw on. We take for granted what is sacred. Our loyalty is short-sighted and greedy. Nobody came here just for the sandwiches or the egg-custard. We came for the cultural identity of slowness and sincerity. We left with a smile, a full belly, and a sense of direction: left, right, everywhere.