The South: An Analytical Approach

The following statement probably does not come as a shocker: the South is different from the other regions of the United States.  Profound, right?

Here are some of the main differences we’ve noticed:

1.  Cheaper gas.

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I promise this isn’t photoshopped.

2.  There are a lot of abandoned businesses and homes.  Some of the businesses are actually still open, but they look as if no one has done any sort of repair work for the past 50 years.  Even though it’s sad to see decrepit, falling down buildings, there is something that I find to be very beautiful about it.  There is a story behind every place, and even if it doesn’t seem significant, it is still important.

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Preston trucking company went out of business in 1999. 14 years later… here is one of their trucks in Somewhereville, Mississippi.

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A beautiful out-of-business gas station in Mississippi.

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Oh my gosh it’s downtown Hot Coffee!!!

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Hot Coffee doesn’t seem to be too hoppin’ today…

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Hot Coffee residents… where are you?

3.  It is slower paced, and the people are very polite.  I had heard this about the Midwest when I was moving there from New Jersey, and it is true to a certain extent, but it is even more evident in the South.  In Wisconsin, it is not uncommon for a stranger to smile at you on the street and say “how’s it going?”  The response is usually “oh great, you?”  In New Jersey (at least where I grew up) if you said the same thing to a stranger on the street they would probably be very confused.  They would be thinking, “Do I know this person?  Should I know this person?  Is this person important?  Why are they talking to me?”  By the time they have finished their thoughts (flustered, tripping over their feet), you have probably already passed them and feel rejected.  Here in the South, the politeness of strangers feels less fake than in the Midwest.  I’m not trying to say that Midwesterners are fake, but there’s a kind of Midwest politeness that means you probably won’t end up telling a stranger that you are having a crap day when they ask you how you’re doing.  The people we’ve talked to in the South seem to be more real.  If they are having a bad day you will definitely know it.  If they have having a good day, they’ll talk to you for as long as you want.  Obviously these are all gross generalizations.  But what is a blog for if not to make such gross generalizations and to be completely biased and opinionated in your information sharing?

Here are some other things we’ve seen in the South:

1.  Sun Studio in Memphis!  We took a tour and it was sweet.  I touched the same walls and walked on the same linoleum floor tiles as Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison… and apparently Def Leppard…  How cool is that?!

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2.  Graceland… sort of.  I thought it would be funny to see where Elvis lived.  When we got there, we decided that spending $70 was not worth the giggle.  The only part of Graceland that we saw was the ticketing area, which looked liked the entrance to an extravagant (but trashy) movie theater.  It kind of creeped me out.  It felt very disrespectful. Touring a significant person’s home that has been made into a museum is one thing, but what has been done to Graceland seems more like a tacky carnival or amusement park.

3.  The open road!

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