Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Southern Summer Nights

            I have a new favorite place. 
I have this thing for front porches.  I also have this thing for cool evening breezes, the deep melody of a train whistle, the smell of jasmine, street lights, old country music…I have this thing for romantic Southern nights that take me back to South Georgia in my childhood summers. 
That’s exactly where I am transported tonight as I sit in my new favorite place: my front porch, cool evening breeze wafting the sweet scent of jasmine in my direction.  The streetlights have just flickered on.  The train sings to me right along with the melody of Patsy Cline.  It’s as if Idgie Threadgoode is going to come strolling out any minute with a plate of fried green tomatoes.  Or better still, as if my grandma has just brought out a fresh bag of marshmallows for me to skewer on my straightened out coat hanger and roast on the campfire burning in the backyard.  I can hear the strumming of my uncle’s guitar as he plays the first chords of “Country Road”.  Later on, we’ll go inside and listen to old records of Conway Twitty and Buddy Holly.  But not until the last ember of the fire has flickered its last spark.  Not until we’ve exhausted every song in my uncle’s repertoire (and he could play by ear, so that was damn near impossible to do).  Not until all the kids have nodded off listening to my grandma tell old stories about Long Lost Willie.
So in case you need to find me these days, that’s where I’ll be.  In the summer of 1994, sticky marshmallow fingers and a big smile on my face.  Not a care in the world except for when the train will be coming ‘round again.  I think I hear it now…

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