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Number of posts: 5
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By Shane Gilreath:
With McCrearyFest – our annual Octoberfest celebration – over in my hometown, that can only mean one thing: it’s just about Halloween. I’m already hearing kids chirping about costumes and candy and haunted houses and carving pumpkins. It’s just around the corner.
I always think, though, that Halloween in the South is bound to be different than in other parts of the country, because, one, it tends to be a little warmer, and, two – well, if nothing else – we tend to have a higher propensity of religious fundamentalists, who denigrate the holiday as “evil.” This, of course, might date back to some of the American origins of the observance.
In the age of political correctness, another institution wants to run from its slave-holding past. This time, it’s the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), saying it’s too identified with one region, and wants the denomination — already the largest Protestant denomination in the United States — to expand. To do that, the religious organization wants to drop “Southern” from its title, and re-brand itself with an all new name, despite the issue needing to pass two consecutive annual conventions, which it has failed to do on several occasions.
Indeed, such a split can be credited with the initial foundations of the SBC.
After surviving a life of rigorous ups and laborious downs, it’s no wonder Kentuckian Ashley Judd had the strength to conquer Tinseltown. But now, it seems, she’s taken that same passion and set her sights on conquering something much bigger: the world. At least, that is, to thoroughly use the prominence Hollywood gave her to leave an impact in her wake. In chronicling her own battles, and those of others, in her recently published memoir, Judd proves herself a living example of survival.
In All That’s Bitter and Sweet, Judd details life in frank fullness; from her days in the small town South to squalors of despair all around the world. “I’ve always had,” Judd writes, “an intense sense of righteous indignation and an urge to speak for the voiceless and oppressed…”
As flooding moves southward toward Mississippi and Louisiana, Southerners living in the Delta area are preparing for the worst, particularly the flatlands that stretch about 200 miles from Memphis to Vicksburg. In Louisiana, 21 parishes have already issued emergency declarations in advance of the river’s cresting, expected to begin next week in the state, Gov. Bobby Jindal said from Baton Rouge.
In the meantime, Kentucky and Tennessee continue to be vulnerable.
Headdress has gotten a lot of attention since Saturday, when Princess Beatrice of York’s arrival at the royal wedding made millinery a staple of personal conversations. “British women are brave,“ wrote one pseudo-social critic for yahoo.com. But as sure as it should be no surprise that hats are used as individual style statements, it neither should be a surprise that hats are seen at weddings or when cheering on one’s favorite thoroughbred, as will be seen this Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville for the running of the 137th Kentucky Derby. Ladies’ hats are not only steeped in tradition, they’re also said to be good luck.
With the recent royal wedding in London, where hats were a requirement for attendees, and the upcoming Kentucky Derby, where hats are a traditional and cultural staple, one has little doubt of this truth.