This Week’s Various

As always, all images here unless otherwise noted are copyright DeepFriedKudzu. Need/like to use one? Contact me. Thanks

State Senator Ryan McKenna of Missouri actually submitted this bill (which he later revoked — there’s a little more to it than this, but here’s what he wrote out):
“Any person living in this state aged 8 and under may wear seersucker suits at their leisure. Any person over the age of 8 living in this state may not wear seersucker suits because adults look ridiculous in seersucker suits…”

The Kowaliga Restaurant at Lake Martin (named in honor of the Hank Williams song ‘Kowliga’) is open again, this time under the direction of two SpringHouse alums.

The story of Vivian Maier, a nanny back in the 1950s and a street photographer extraordinaire — except no one knew the photography part, until 2007 when a box of her undeveloped negatives were purchased by chance at auction.  She passed away in 2009 before being contacted by anyone.  And ohmystars how much talent she had.  A documentary is being made about her and her images.  If you haven’t seen these yet, prepare to see what are now…this sounds weird to say it this way, but…new iconic images:

A new theme park will be built in south Alabama, backed by a group of comedians, and already the name is…eeeehhhhhhh.  Sigh.

Lessons in How to Play with Fire in the NYT, on Jack Sanders, a Rural Studio alum, and his Austin company, Design Build Adventure.
Mr. Sanders’s company, Design Build Adventure, makes elegant steel kitchens and furniture, rugged landscape elements, hipster hotels (like El Cosmico, a yurt, tepee and trailer complex in Marfa), conventional houses (like the “sandlot” renovation of a cottage for John Spong, a Texas Monthly editor), treehouses (the filmmaker Richard Linklater has one), high-style chicken coops and public art, among other things.

“The adventure part is trying to replicate the wonder and spirit and all that we had at the Rural Studio…”

Market Diner, Thomasville GA
The Market Diner Restaurant in Thomasville, Georgia is *amazing* and I can’t believe I’m saying/writing that because it’s a buffet, but still!  Fresh, fresh, fresh, they must’ve had more than half a dozen peas and beans, there were casseroles galore and of course my favorite, rutabagas, and ohmystars the fried chicken was crazy-good.  It’s one of those places where they give you a discount if you bring in your church bulletin on Sunday (I guess they would have accepted the Saturday announcement sheet from our synagogue, right?) and the walls have all kinds of taxidermy, rifles, and paper hornet nests. So perfect.  Can’t wait to go back the next time we are in that part of the state.

From NPR’s All Things Considered: Meeting Florida’s Seminoles Through Rediscovered Photos.

Okra and Green Tomatoes
Emily Matchar writes in her upcoming book, ‘Homeward Bound‘ about the romantic vision many have of domestic affairs pre-modernization; it’s excerpted at Salon and the article bears an unfortunate title.
These narratives appeal to our collective sense of nostalgia: pink-cheeked farmwomen kneading homemade bread, mothers and daughters shelling sun-warmed peas on country porches, and multigenerational families gathered happily around the dinner table to tuck into Grandma’s hand-plucked roasted chicken. As the oft-quoted Michael Pollan saying goes, “Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” (in my case, that would mean a steady diet of pierogies and cabbage).

Unfortunately, this cozy vision obscures the often-grimy truths about what cooking was really like for our foremothers and -fathers in the preindustrial, preconvenience era…

Tallulah Hotel Tilework, Cordova AL
Cordova, Alabama is demolishing downtown, which was partly destroyed by tornado, then later fire…I understand that some people are getting together to try to save the tilework at the old Tallulah Hotel, which I photographed above a few years ago.

The ‘top 10’ tornado cities, via the Weather Channel, may not be the ones we think of first. Four of the top five are in Alabama and Mississippi.

Funds are being sought to build a Tammy Wynette museum in Tremont, Mississippi.

Mazel tov to Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubar for their “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking” winning a James Beard award.

Also, Cooking Light won for their feature, ‘Mississippi Chinese Lady goes home to Korea‘:
…Of course, as a southerner does, I love the South, long for Mississippi, feel the South ever-present in my blood and my soul. During my elementary school years, we lived in the Delta, whose bleakness I still find mysterious and beautiful whenever I go back. I remember, as a child, passing sharecroppers and seeing white families picking cotton together while a combine stirred up dust in the next field. The poor, dark, tragic, funny, beautiful South: I remember hard dirt clods loosened by the plow in my grandparents’ garden that were perfect for pitching at my cousins; angry crawdads waving in the ditches after a rain; people of at least three colors loitering outside the tamale stand; tiny razor cuts painfully discovered at bathtime after running through the corn patch; a pail of purple-hull peas in the breeze-way waiting to be shelled; the delicious salt-lick brine of boiled peanuts at a ramshackle gas station…

Lonnie Holley’s performance at the Whitney, in the Brooklyn Rail:
I can’t tell if Lonnie Holley is from some place deep in the past or if he’s lurking in our future—he’s exceedingly difficult to pin down…

Two of Fats Domino’s pianos are on display in museums, one at the Presbytere as part of the Katrina display:
Fats Domino's Piano

Fats Domino's Piano, Louisiana State Museum

…and the other, the white Steinway, was unveiled this week and will be on display at the Old US Mint.

Your Brothers Restaurant, Greenville MS
Your Brothers in Greenville — took this pic back in 2005.  Heavenly hot tamales.

Hot tamales in the Delta…
Dr. Manuel Ramirez, a professor of Mexican-American history, History of the U.S.-Mexico Border and Chicano Studies at UTEP, remembers trying to convince El Pasoans that tamales are prevalent in the African American South after returning from his Ph.D. studies at the University of Mississippi.

“I would tell people back here that there were tamales stands in the Delta, and they would not believe me. So I sent them pictures from the Internet. Then they thought it was actually Mexican people who had these stands and restaurants but it was African-Americans,” says Ramirez.

Ramirez’ experience corresponds with Avant-Mier’s previous research for a book about his fascination with the blues artist Robert Johnson because of his song called “Hot Tamales.”

As he did his research, Avant-Mier wondered, “Why is an African-American man from Mississippi, a blues guy that’s famous, why is he singing about hot tamales?”

(I think he means now-famous, as Robert Johnson wasn’t well-known during his lifetime.)

So how *does* nutria taste, really? From Boing-Boing.

There’s a Kickstarter for a documentary, Rodents of Unusual Size:

And armadillos have migrated to Tennessee.

Faulkner’s ‘As I Lay Dying‘ to debut at Cannes this month; update with exclusive image at Entertainment Weekly.

Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter, Pie
We like Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter, but found out last week after I experimented in exchanging it 1:1 for peanut butter in peanut butter pie, that the original pb is actually better.  It was still good, but not better.

So if you have a jar use it for something else, because across the country it’s supposedly out of stock.

Pimento Cheese Insp by B&B
Maybe the largest pimento cheese roll-out in fast food chains?  Biscuitville has a new pimento cheese bacon biscuit.

Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman AL

A documentary about Brother Joseph and his building of what’s known as Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman is being made now, and will be released this fall.
“’Brother Joseph and the Grotto’ is a true fairy tale about a young boy who immigrated to the United States and helped transform a small piece of land in the Alabama woods,” said Cliff Vaughn. “It is also an inspiring tale involving folk art, Alabama history, perseverance, and a life of devotion.”

Old Monroe County Courthouse - To Kill A Mockingbird

Nelle Harper Lee just turned 87, and **she’s suing for copyright of To Kill A Mockingbird**.  You heard that right.  Say whatnow?!:
In the lawsuit, Lee alleges that when her long-time literary agent, Eugene Winick, became ill in 2002, his son-in-law, Mr Pinkus, switched several of Mr Winick’s clients to his own company.

Mr Pinkus is alleged to have transferred the rights to secure himself “irrevocable” interest in the income derived from Lee’s book.

He also sought to avoid paying legal obligations he owed to his father-in-law’s company for royalties, according to the lawsuit.

It is further alleged that Mr Pinkus failed to respond to offers on e-book rights and a request for assistance related to the book’s 50th anniversary.

The lawsuit bids the court to assign any rights in the book owned by Mr Pinkus to Lee and asks that she be returned any commission he took from 2007 onwards.

Yes, from the AP:
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has scheduled June 6-13 as the Elkmont Firefly Viewing Event. A firefly species known as Photinus carolinus flashes synchronously to attract mates. Thousands of visitors throng the park each year to see the naturally occurring show.

Hot Tamales at Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS
Above: tamales at Doe’s in Greenville
Little Rock Soiree lists the ten dishes to eat in central Arkansas before you join the ancestors, and one of them = the tamales at the LR Doe’s.

Seen in B’ham:
Plastic Flower Car

The Big Pig, Johnny G's Barbecue, Tallassee Alabama
The WSJ interviews Daniel Vaughn, the new barbecue editor at Texas Monthly.  They ask:
One of the best-known barbecue places in the state, Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, is open only on Saturdays, and opens its doors at 8 a.m. Who eats barbecue at 8 a.m.?

I do. Hell yes, many times. It’s only three hours from Dallas. It’s not that far to go for great barbecue. You leave at 6 a.m. and a leisurely drive gets you there at 9. The beauty of a place which is open at 8 a.m. is that is that it lets you eat barbecue all day long.

Yes, yes.

Barbecue Baked Potato from Jim 'n Nicks, Hoover AL
Nashville Scene fairly gushes over Jim ‘n Nick’s.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a can opener in a JNN kitchen, and they have even gone as far as to invest in pig farms and processing plants to control their supply chain and encourage the use of heritage breeds of pig.

The result is food that tastes like a combination between a great barbecue joint and a meat-and-three restaurant. At last year’s Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York City, I watched Yankees line up around the block for some South in their mouth as many of them reveled in the first pimiento cheese they had ever tasted served with spicy link sausage and some saltine crackers. Sure, it was utterly simple, but it was also reverential and revelatory.

The 90-year-old Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel is showing off their $3MM in renovations, including a Chihuly chandelier.

Shiloh National Battlefield Park, Tennessee
above: Shiloh
The shifting strategy of preservation: How Civil War battlefields have changed in the Washington Post:
…Despite admirable efforts to connect battlefields to the larger history of the Civil War, the one thing that battlefields can teach very well is the history of what happened in a particular place. If the goal is simply to inspire thoughts about the larger social history of the Civil War, one battlefield is pretty much the same as the next — and it becomes difficult to explain why we need to preserve so many of them, and with so much land taken off the tax rolls. If the goal is to make people passionate about battlefields and their preservation, visitors need to engage with the actual place to understand its strategic importance and the tactical back-and-forth.

The Arkansas D-G has reported that the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville will be putting the works they bought a 50% stake in, the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, from Fisk University on display from November 9 through February 14.  This is the deal that went to court because Stieglitz’s widow, Georgia O’Keeffe put a stipulation on the collection that her gift to Fisk never be sold.  For other gifts of art with stipulations gone awry, see the Barnes Foundation.

Charleston Scene ran Roger Moore’s review of Mud and titled it ‘‘Mud’ is as authentically Southern as today’s cinema gets’

The Delta Blues Museum is one of ten recipients of the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Ohr-O'keefe Museum, Biloxi MS
Work to complete the Gehry-designed pods at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi will begin now, and is scheduled to be complete spring 2014.

16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham AL

Congress passed a bill bestowing the Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson.  Full text here.
…Notwithstanding the many strides toward freedom, the righteous struggle against hatred in all its forms continues. Let us today reaffirm our abiding commitment for human and civil rights for
In closing, Mr. Speaker, I wholeheartedly endorse and support H.R. 360, which posthumously awards a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, in recognition of the 50th commemoration of the bombing of the Sixteenth
Street Baptist Church.

Mahatma Long Grain Rice, Outside Crowley LA
I just *knew* the Elvis…um, tribute artist…was not the guy! He was later quoted, “I heard the word ricin for the first time in my life from a federal agent in homeland security while being interrogated for four hours in a federal building in Oxford,” Curtis told CNN. “And I thought he said ‘rice’. I said: ‘I don’t even eat rice usually. I’m not even a rice lover.'”

The House of Blues has a pretty amazing collection of folk art, and around 200 of their pieces will are now on display at the Ogden in an exhibit titled “When You’re Lost, Everything’s A Sign: Self-Taught Art from The House of Blues” through July 21.

Reading this week:
Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church by Lisa Pulitzer
The Southern Movie Palace: Rise, Fall, and Resurrection by Janna Jones

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