Southern Style

by Lisa 

     I just returned from my trip to the South. I grew up there (Nashville and Tuscaloosa, Alabama) and my dad still lives in Tuscaloosa, so I get to “go back home” once in a while. One of the highlights of my trip, as always, is eating at the meat and threes. For all you Yankees who don’t know what that means, it refers to the southern restaurant tradition where you choose one meat from the list (fried catfish is one of the popular “meats”), with three vegetables of the variety that are cooked in plenty of bacon fat, or fried in lard. Nothing better than a plate full of turnip greens, fried okra, and field peas, topped with a piece of cornbread. That with a glass of sweet tea at the City Cafe in Northport is as good as it gets, trust me. And I am a gourmet cook. We were a bit confused when we ordered the meat and three and the waitress, who looked and sounded like a truck driver, insisted we order one more vegetable. We were too scared of her to ask why, and obediently chose the fourth. In our estimation, that brought it to meat and four, but who’s counting when it comes to down home southern cookin? In fact, that much food comes on two plates, not one. I’m still full.

     While visiting my dad, he insisted that I go through copious amounts of old family photos and take any that I wanted. He is dying, and wants to begin distributing his belongings. (Not really–he’s a raging hypochondriac in perfect health, but we humor him by doing things like taking the family photos. BTW–this is a test to see if you are reading us Dad.) I came across this photo of me in my early days as an artist. That there is true dedication to coloring. I still occasionally fall asleep while I am working, but now it is with a paint brush in my hand, and when I wake up there is a still  life across my face.


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7 Responses to Southern Style

  1. wrjones says:

    What a cute little lady you were!

  2. 100swallows says:

    You make me want to go back to the States, Lisa, to the south where I never was. You make it sound like a quaint foreign country (to this Yank).I believe you about the food but of course you can’t be trusted. I wonder if my stomach could digest all that fat. Sorry about the truck driver waitress. Maybe she was a damn Yankee moonlighting.
    The still life across your face was funny.

  3. lbtowers says:

    Thanks 100swallows. I do miss the South. Nothing like drinkin beer and sweatin.

  4. diahnott says:

    Ah…the City Cafe – one of life’s greater pleasures. Makes me miss Northport and Tuscaloosa and the quirky characters I knew there.

    Maybe I can talk the family into going there for Thanksgiving this year…and then throwing back a few at Egan’s on the strip…

  5. lbtowers says:

    No WAY…you have NOT been there. Nobody has been there except a bunch of football fans. Have you really eaten at the City Cafe?

  6. diahnott says:

    Many times…stood and waited outside, inside, next to a booth to pressure the people sitting there to get up already! Nothing like a little country fried steak, turnip greens, okra and homemade macaroni and cheese to clog an artery!

    AND…I’m a football fan and alumni of the grand ole U of Alabama…

    Roll Tide…

  7. lbtowers says:

    …a woman after my own heart!!!

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