Thursday, November 14, 2013


Donna's put her "Where I'm From" up after reading the one by Cowtown Pattie, and I can't let her get too far ahead of me. The outline for this writing exercise is here, and the original poem by George Ella Lyons is here.

Now y'all remember that I wrote this at work, so I'm gonna claim that it's not my best, but I do believe that it's a damn good start.


I am from home-made dresses sewn on Mom's Singer sewing machine with loving hands, patched jeans, bare feet and cousin's hand-me-downs.

I am from white frame houses beside sway-backed barns on dusty back roads, party lines, baths in a #10 wash tub set in the kitchen floor and window fans stirring humid summer air while little girls turn a TV antenna trying to locate one of the only three local stations

I am from spring-fed creeks, hills and hollers veiled with woods, Tarzan vines and wild flowers; rural mysteries, dreams and adventures just waiting to be found.

I am from Grady and Elsie, Don and Byrd, Wayne and Ruth; hard headed, hard working, hard loving people who raised 5 girls with whippings and hugs dealt out in equal measure.

I am from an Amazon tribe of 5 sisters who fought and scratched and battled each other but presented a united front to any outsider who dared to cross one of us.

I am from dancing for joy under an outdoor shower made from an old bucket full of holes, hung overhead and the water hose stuffed in it; tire swings and tree houses and camping under the stars.

I am from Baptists with creek-side dunkings and Church of Christs who claim to be "the only ones"; purple Kool-Aid and cookies at Vacation Bible School and pictures made of glued-on pasta in Sunday School.

I am from Moulton on the edge of Bankhead Forest in the north of Alabama, with the blood of Cherokee Nations, Black Dutch Germans, Irish Immigrants, and Mayflower Pilgrims running through my veins.

I'm from sweet tea, corn bread with real butter, mac and cheese, peach cobbler and fresh garden vegetables raised in the back yard along with banana kisses, Vienna sausages and Mountain Dews devoured at Bass's service station.

I'm from Teresa who threw a match in gas and lived to tell about it, Tina with the red-headed temper, Donna, my sidekick who always followed me and Karen around and Lana who'll always be "PeeWee" to the rest of us.

I am from Dad who quit school in the 6th grade and got an education in the air force and Mom, who met him on a blind-date and eloped with him 10 days later; a True Romance story for the ages.

I am from goofy school photos featuring missing teeth and messy hair, candid snapshots made with an old Brownie camera showing little girls with skinny legs and big smiles, all stuffed out of sight in drawers and closets and the bench of Mom's old piano.

I am from a wild neighborhood posse of boys and girls who roamed for miles on horseback, getting drunk on vodka bought from the local bootlegger & paid for by picking up drink bottles from the side of the road, teaching each other how to kiss, scaring each other to death with seances and graveyard stories, fighting with and for each other all through childhood.

I am from The South with our slow talking, sweet sounding accents, folks who are so friendly we'll speak and wave at friends or strangers, where everyone's raised to have manners and use them--even on those that don't deserve to be Sir'ed and Mam'ed.

UPDATE: I found this page with links to several more "Where I'm From" writings from around the world. There are tons of them on the internet, this writing exercise has been around for a while. Y'all come and play with us.


Cowtown Pattie said...

I just found this Junebugg, shame on me.

This is great!

Donna said...

Hey, Church of Christ is mentioned in mine too! This is absolutely the most fun meme I've ever done. And it really was a walk down memory lane.


I am blown away at your talent..don't worry about getting a job, write your book..and don't mess around..get on it now..

Tonita said...

Found your blog through a link to your paper mill story on Facebook. I love your story of where you are from. I grew up in Lawrence County too, and feel blessed to have those memories.