On Southern Culture
We Southerners are a unique breed. Pride of place, manners bred into us from birth, the foods
we eat, our bond with the land and our relationship with our family and
friends make us who we are. Most practice true religion. For most of us
football is nearly a religious experience.
Southern-style began as a genealogy
website. It expanded to become a general interest website (generally
anything I am interested in). Those interests evolved with the
discovery that not only did this born and bred southerner have
ancestors on the Mayflower and in Jamestown, but among those Native Americans who originally inhabited these lands through both my mother's Vann line (Powhatan - Cleopatra and Opechancanough) but also through my father's Pettus line (Powhatan-Pocahontas and Kocoum).
You will see that history intrigues me, particularly the people and area in which I grew up, Southeast Alabama.
Folks greet each other asking, "How's your mom an 'em?" Wondering how
all those folks were related led me to doing lots of genealogy that
many of you may find interesting. The same was true for Wilcox county, Alabama,
my father's old stomping grounds and Escambia County, Alabama, where my
mother was born. Of course, all of that took me back many generations
and into the history and founding of this nation and those from which
those ancestors came. This tapestry has threads that lead to
fascinating people and their stories.
The discovery of my Native American heritage led to my
novels, Swimming with Serpents and In Pursuit, published by Mercer
University Press. The Mayan DNA led to Mayans, Muscadine and Murder, one of my Mint Julep Mysteries. The Mint Julep Mysteries are set on a plantation inspired by my grandparents' home, Wakefield Plantation,
in Furman, Wilcox County, Alabama now owned by my sister, cardiologist,
Dr. Sylvia Burson Rushing and her husband Col. Tom Rushing.
I grew up in a privileged home, the daughter of a small town doctor and a stay at home mother
who met my father after a World War in which my father served in the
Philippines and my mother served as a nurse and earned a battle ribbon
at the Battle of the Bulge. Mattie Martin,
the black housekeeper who helped them raise their children, did much
more than cook and keep house. She supported our parents in teaching us
manners, morals and values and our place in the world. She was also the very best cook in town. The profound impact she made on me influenced my view of the world and the books I have written, including Mint Juleps and Murder, the second in the Mint Julep Mysteries.
If you have a wedding coming
up you might enjoy reading about our daughter Brooke's home spun
wedding. The Wedding Raising was a lot of fun! The "how to" might give
you some ideas. I also share the Mother of the Groom perspective on a wedding as well.
I write this, my kitchen is getting bedazzled with new Jenn Air
appliances just in time for my renewed efforts toward writing a
cookbook, co-authored with my sister, Sylvia, titled Wakefield Plantation: history and cookbook of one Southern family. I hope to share with you more recipes and menus from my own Southern experience.
I also threw in a few short stories you might enjoy.
Welcome to this very personal view of the South. I hope you enjoy your visit.
the way, my novels Swimming with Serpents and In Pursuit are available
through KOBO, Independent Book Stores, Barnes and Noble, Mercer
University Press, and Amazon.