Saturday, March 27, 2010

Its a Southern Thang

My Mama loved being from the South. She was raised in down town Atlanta in a community called Grove Park. She was always running into friends she grew up with who also lived in or around Grove Park. But she pronounced it "Grove Pahk". She didn't talk like that at home a lot, but when she was in public she could turn on the Southern Charm!

She lived in and around Atlanta for fifty-seven years. Then four years after Daddy died she packed her things (well, we, her children packed her things) and she moved to St. Simon's Island. If she thought living in Atlanta made her a Southern Gal, living on The Island (that's what the locals call it, cause its surrounded by smaller islands: Jekyll and Cumberland) made her Southern Beauty.

She worked for a while at a resort called The Cloister. Many of the rich and famous came to stay there and Mama worked the switchboard. I believe she got the job because she would say, "Thank you for calling The Clawstah. How may I help you?" Its all about the image.

Fortunately The Cloister closed for remodeling because she was able to find her Dream Job, a tour guide for the Golden Isles. She would turn on the Southern Charm and the slow, drawn-out drawl that (pardon me) Yankees (we know the war is over, but we're still a little bitter) and Internationals would just eat up!

She didn't just give historic facts like a lot of the guides. She researched (and probably improvised) all sorts of colorful tales that the tourists absolutely loved.

As the bus drove by the Farmer's Market one sunny Saturday, Mama pointed out that it was the best place on the "Ahlahnd" (Island) to get the sweetest tomatoes for your sandwiches, and don't leave without trying the best Bald Peanuts in the world.  Thirty minutes when she finished her tour, a gentleman (not sure if he was from New Hampshire or Devonshire, doesn't matter, he still got suckered...) said ,"Thank you so much for the tour but I have one question. I don't know what a Bald Peanut is. I've never heard of that. Is it a peanut with no hair?"

"Hahaha! No, dahling! That's when you drop green peanuts into Balling water with a lot of sahlt and they ah out of this world!"

"Oh, you're saying boiled peanuts."

"Of course, honey...bald peanuts."

He gave her a $50 tip and she pointed to where he could buy his very own peanut tree.


  1. My husband lived in Brunswick before we got married, so I spent a lot of time exploring St. Simon's and Jekyll. Your post brings back a lot of wonderful memories for me.

  2. LOVE IT!!!! I so enjoy the southern drawl.Most of us just tawk like hillbilly's these day. Not a lot of charm in nat. :)
    I try hard to keep it to a minimum but after being married to a country boy for over 10 years it really becomes hard to be proper.
    I find myself sounding a bit un-educated and it really irritates me. LOL
    Maybe I jus need ta take one'a nem er' aero-planes to the South and pick up somea dat charrrm. :0) Okay...too much coffee this morning. Sorry bout dat! okay I'm done. Really!

  3. Your Mama sounds wonderful. I love southerners!! Thanks for the sweet story, really enjoyed it.

    Hope you are having a great weekend.


  4. What a wonderful story, thanks for sharing! I love the bald peanuts Ha! I have an Uncle in Akin SC. It was the first time I had ever seen fire flies.

  5. That is AWESOME! My mom and I took a tour of Savannah and our guide was A YANKEE! Totally did NOT have the same effect! And I love bald peanuts!!

  6. I love it!!! My friends mom says "bald", it cracks me up!

    Thank you for the story!

  7. That is a wonderful story! *Smiles*

  8. That was a cute story--I had to read it to my kids. They loved the bald peanuts.

    Following you back from Aloha Friday.


  9. haahhah!

    This reminds me of the time my husband told me he was going to get the ole changed in the car. I was like, wha?? And he would repeat, getting the ole changed. Finally I had to have him spell it. He was like, O-I-L, ole.

    Thankfully, I taught our children to talk.

  10. Awww your mom sounds so cute!! I love the south, and everything about it. I'm from North Carolina, but vacationing in Alabama as I type this.

  11. Great post - Your mom sounds like a charmer! Thanks for sharing this!

  12. I'm a Northern Girl, but I've spent enough time around true Southerners to appreciate that special charm. Now I'm in Texas - which is NOT the south. Plenty of twaing down here, but none of that true Suthehn chaahm. Nice story:)

  13. The peanut tree. Similar to the porcupine egg?

  14. So funny! Whenever we visit our family in New Jersey, we get people telling us all the time to "Just talk." They love that southern accent, and we play it up too!

  15. ROTFL!!!

    I missed this story when I was here last week. I'm so glad you pointed this one out. LOVE it! What a wonderful memory... somehow I can just imagine hearing your mother talking about bald peanuts. Doggone CUTE! Thank you for sharing more of her with us! =)


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