By the Book: New book recalls Southern days gone by

Have you ever swept your yard with a dogwood branch? Kept company with a prospective beau on a joggling board? Sipped from a Mason jar full of homemade hooch on a sweltering summer day?

 

If not, you can meander back to those simpler times in the South via the book Georgialina, A Southland As We Knew It (University of South Carolina, $18.95).

Author Tom Poland, chronicles a time when stores closed on Wednesdays at noon, and folks waved handheld fans to keep cool in church.

Poland was born in Augusta and grew up in Lincoln County. In his book he recalls the joys of reading the weekly Lincoln Journal and, in particular, a gossipy column called “Hoots from the Holler.”

The author also remembers driving under covered bridges, hunting for snipes, and watching men shoot bottle caps in a country store on Georgia Highway 79.

Poland claims Southern culture is more enduring than most. He writes, “In Georgialina men still sit up late at night turning wires of simmering hogs. Folks are willing to drive 100 miles for down-home barbecue sloshed in sauce.”

Georgialina, A Southland As We Knew It is a crackling, Southern-fried sojourn into a colorful past that many Georgians and South Carolinians have never experienced.

 

GRAPHIC MEMOIR AUTHOR TO HOLD READING AND WORKSHOP. The year is 1961, and 5-year old Lila Quintero Weaver has immigrated with her family from Buenos Aires to Marion, Ala., in the heart of the Black Belt. So begins the graphic memoir, Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White ( The University of Alabama Press, $24.95).

The author writes, “In 1961, Marion was a charming town of 3,200, neatly divided between black and white. Until we arrived. We introduced a sliver of gray into the demographic pie.”

Weaver’s parents tried to protect her and her siblings from TV, Kool-Aid and Richie Rich comic books, but couldn’t shield their children from the tumultuous divides in the town due to the civil rights movement and the dismantling of Jim Crow laws.

The title of the memoir refers to the author’s father’s fondness for photography, and to a very disturbing night in Marion’s history in 1965 when police brutality and murder interrupted a march for voting rights.

The story is told through the author’s perspective as a young girl and includes over 500 drawings.

Weaver will give a book talk at the Augusta-Richmond Public Library on Telfair at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, as part of the Augusta University Libraries’ Latino Americans: 500 Years of History series.

This event is free, bilingual, and open to the public.

The author will also lead a graphic novel workshop for teens at 6 p.m. Wedesnday, Jan. 20, at the Columbia County Library. Admission is free for ages 13 to 17.

Register online at bit.ly/darkroomworkshop or by phone at (706) 667-4912.

 

PRIZES FOR WRITERS. Those poems, short stories or other literary works on your hard drive may be worth a mint.

The 23rd annual Porter Fleming Literary Competition is now accepting submissions and intends to award more than $7,000 to winning writers in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, one-act play and poetry.

Entry fees are $15 and must be postmarked no later than Feb. 5.

Winners will be invited to participate in a special program and awards ceremony April 17.

For more submission information go to themorris.org/porterfleming.html.

 

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