copyright Bill Widener 2000

Soup Beans & Cornbread

Dear Ms. Reeves:

Your editorial on "Southern Comforts," arrived at my door last week and I have to admit that page 4 has long since been dogeared due to the many re-readings. Nice work and timely, at least for me. I have often wondered how many native sons and daughters have left here for parts far and wide, ignoring the idea of what made us all so special in the first place: A clear and firm sense of home. Although its been years since I cut my last stalk of tobacco or stood freezing on the cold cement floor of the 4th Street Tobacco Warehouse, I can still smell burley curing in my sleep and remember the pride in an honest days effort and sweat. Thanks again for the simple lesson in grounding.

Brad Noel

Dear Miss Rhonda,

I'd like to first clarify for all your displaced Yankee readers that what they've been whining about here in Kentucky - all that "good-ol-boy-ism", horse-mania, basketball-mania, tobacco, blue grass, etc. - is in actuality genuine (I said JIN-yew-WINE) CULTURE, a not uncommon thing throughout the South; and what all y'all like to stick your noses up in the air about and refer to as "cosmopolitan" is really just "SOMEBODY ELSE'S" culture.

As for your very poignant editorial of last week on our Southernism, Miss Rhonda: while I definitely give it a hearty "AMEN!" and a big ol' "DAMN STRAIGHT, SISTER!" (something I'm not sure is very proper in polite company, but that's just how I feel), I must take exception to your scoffing of our Confederate Heritage. Nobler and more gallant men than you'll ever know (much less VOTE for) fought and died under and for that flag (and I DO speak of the "Bloody Saint Andrew's Cross," which for the record is different than the "Stars and Bars"). I realize that you may not care about these sorts of issues, but I think if you really did understand, your attitude would be a little different. Fortunately not all Southerners are so overeducated or "cosmopolitinized" that we're abashed of our genuine (I said JIN-yew-WINE) Southern culture or our noble Confederate heritage - neither political correctness nor those damn Yankee history books can erase the truths of history (though they're making their best efforts)! I wish I could ignore quips and quibbles like yours, but I've too much the Jeff Davis spirit in me - God save Dixie! "Southerner" is capitalized by the way.

As Unreconstructed As Ever,

W G. Walker

PS: what the hell is "prosciutto" anyway? I never eat anything I cain't pronounce.

Ms. Manners

Hello Editor,

I hope you print these comments, so they do the community some good. Lexington is a rude community, full of impatient, noncaring individuals. From bad driving to substandard customer service in restaurants, stores, etc., I have never visited a town where people were as consistently rude as here in Lexington. It is becoming a major problem, and this letter, if printed, will not be the first of its kind, as I have seen similar comments in that other paper as well. Visitors to this town are becoming aware of its reputation outside "the bluegrass." As a non- Lexington native, and one who has traveled, as well as graduating from a Kentucky university, I am appalled at the attitude of such a "distinguished" college town, and I will do everything in my power to alert those coming to Lexin'ton for whatever reason, to beware of the shoddy, sorry, again RUDE treatment that one will receive in this town from everything from a McDonald's employee to the Mercedes- driving "horse baron" next to you on the freeway. If people in Lexin'ton were to get out a bit, and possibly see the world as larger than Keeneland and Rupp Arena, they could do themselves, and their state, a real favor in the eyes of outsiders, who still think of the entire state, not merely eastern Kentucky, as backward and simple.

Thank you,

Chris Gast

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