The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.


Another good one

A church sign for the July Fourth weekend: "God blesses America - does America bless God?"

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I stepped back in time today. My friend and I went down and spent the night at my family's farm in Minor Hill, TN, a small town in southern Tennessee. The farm is literally 7 miles north of the Alabama border.

The nearest "big town" is Pulaski, the Giles County county seat. More famously known as the starting place of the Ku Klux Klan, which my family has entirely ignored for the last century or so. After a wonderful morning of sleeping in, sitting outside listening to the birds, watching the trees, and baking in the sun, we packed up and headed back to Nashville, but we stopped in Pulaski for a bit first.

The town is very small-town-America, with one of the most beautiful old courthouses in the US in the center of a quaint town square. We drove around some of the side streets, looking at yard sales to see if we could find anything interesting. I drove us into a little neighborhood I'd never been in before, despite 27 years of trips to Pulaski. We noticed a cute little park with a historical marker, so we parked and went to see what it was all about. I thought it might be something related to the local hero, Sam Davis, but it was, instead, a memorial park installed where the area's first cemetery had been. It apparently had been quickly deteriorating, so in the late '60's, the town installed a park, and put the grave markers back as almost art installations. It sounds really weird, but it was very well done. Scattered throughout the little green were 18th and 19th century headstones and grave markers, and along the outer walls, flat headstones had been hung. I found the marker for a grave containing three of my relatives who had died as children in 1833. There was another headstone of a man who died in 1820 at 109 years old. It was fascinating.

Eventually I decided I'd have to come back when I had more time (and it was significantly cooler outside) and we went and parked at the square. We wandered around looking at the courthouse (which was unfortunately locked - it's amazing inside) and little shops, ending up at Reeve's Drugstore, eating at the soda fountain. Seriously. I had a chicken salad sandwich (with homemade pickles and homegrown tomatoes) with chips and a Sun-Drop for $3.95. The hand-dipped, mixed-in-a-blender milkshakes we got to take with us were $2.00. All around us were white-haired women eating lunch and catching up on gossip. The store shelves were filled with everything from the obvious pharmaceutics and cosmetics to second-hand vases and picture frames. I felt like I had woken up in 1962. I think I have never felt so all-American as I do today.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

4 Responses to “Another good one”

  1. # Blogger Richard

    I went to Martin methodist College for 2 years (93-95). I hated that place. It had a weird vibe about it.  

  2. # Blogger Michael

    Hearing you talk about Pulaski and it being the birth place of the KKK remidned me of going to the local barber shop recently. I live down in Smyrna and we've got a lot of what I call the good ol' boys. They love to sit around and talk about what exactly is wrong with America today and how it could be fixed. Anyway, they were saying the KKK used to be just this nice social club and it's got a bad rap now and that it wasn't started as a racist instiution. I'm not sure of the validity of these claims, though it'd be interesting to explore them when I have some time.  

  3. # Blogger Al

    Well, not that I know much of anything, but my family is all from Pulaski and while the city is strange and very small, I always love the drive there.

    As for the KKK, it is true that when it started, it was not a racist organization per se. It was a political group (with racist leanings maybe?). Of course whether it was or wasn't at that point doesn't change what it unfortunately morphed into.  

  4. # Blogger amanda

    oh, what i would give for a sun drop right now!
    most of my family's from waco/cornersville/giles co, too. and to think we're probably all distant cousins!  

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