Thursday, March 27, 2014

If you go to hell, it's your fault

     Southerners have a love affair with the lord. They don't call it the Bible Belt for nothing. And it's not enough to go to church every Sunday, you have to share it with the world.
     Take Henry Harrison Mayes, a thin Kentucky native whose nickname was High Weed but who entered the coal mines at the young age of 15. Only a few years later a runaway coal car nearly crushed Mayes, slamming him against the mine wall and breaking numerous bones in his chest.
     This brush with death changed young Mayes' life; he swore to God that if he spared him, he would dedicated his life to returning the favor. And spare him God did.
     Mayes kept the bargain, building signs that he erected all over roadsides, on trees, the sides of barns and even on coal cars. Later, Mayes turned to large concrete signs weighing hundreds of pounds each with messages such as "Prepare to Meet God" and "Jesus is Coming Soon." He worked double shifts to pay for the signs, one shift to support his family and the other for the Lord, never asking for donations but receiving assistance from all kinds of places.
     In Mayes' lifetime, he placed signs throughout the country and overseas and spiritual messages in 56,000 bottles that he threw in rivers and creeks.
     "Harrison Mayes didn't believe in belonging to one church," wrote Fred Brown in a 1998 article in The Knoxville News-Sentinel. "He was non-denominational and never hesitated to attend any church of any denomination, including Catholic, black and Jewish synagogues.
      "After all, Harrison Mayes was God's own messenger. The way he figured it, he would fit in just about anywhere."
      Many of Mayes's signs are on display at the Museum of Appalachia outside Oak Ridge, Tenn., which also features an impressive collection of pioneer buildings and artifacts on 65 acres.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leprechauns in Alabama?

Hey Y'all!
     Happy St. Patrick's Day folks. A little chilly and rainy here in the South, so we hope your spring garden is as green as your beer.
     Question of the day: Are Southerners as crazy as we think they (we) are?
     Or do we know something the rest of the world is missing?
     You be the judge. Check out the sighting of a "Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

If you can't go to Greece, try Nashville instead

            People were thinking big during the Tennessee Centennial Exposition that occurred in Nashville in 1897. Many buildings that went up during the Exposition followed an ancient theme — the Southern city had been called the “Athens of the South” for its highfalutin universities such as Vanderbilt — so it was only natural for them to recreate the Parthenon. This massive building in the heart of Nashville is an exact reproduction.
            The original building was meant to be a temporary display — yeah, let’s build the Parthenon but don’t worry about making it permanent! Nashville residents were so enthralled with having a slice of Greece in their midst, their mouths watering for grape leaves daily, that they insisted the towering building remain. The plaster, wood and brick building was then rebuilt using concrete. The Nashville Parthenon got an even more thorough facelift in 2002.
            Today, the Southern Parthenon is used as an art museum in the middle of Centennial Park, just outside downtown Nashville. Inside the icon lies another re-creation, that of Athena Parthenos, standing at 42 feet high and covered with more than eight pounds of gold leaf. In case you’ve forgotten your Greek history, the Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena.
            So save your money if you’re thinking of heading to Greece. Nashville, Tenn., might just do the trick.