Time

Time Tom Poland Posted November 22, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netYou know the song. “Time Is On My Side.” The Rolling Stones released it in 1964. Time was on my side back then, yes it was. It’s not today. And so for some reason, songs about time play in my...

Pancho Villa’s Fighting South Carolina Gamecocks

Pancho Villa’s Fighting South Carolina Gamecocks Tom Poland Posted November 15, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI’ll file this column under the category, Fowl History. Did Mexican Revolutionary War General, Pancho Villa, ride a train to Calhoun Falls, South Carolina to buy fighting gamecocks? Did he? Read on to unravel this...

The Forsaken Land 

The Forsaken Land Tom Poland Posted November 9, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netKudzu covered its outbuildings. The farm was lonesome so I turned around and stopped to visit it. Right off I saw a dusty mule collar hanging on a stable wall. The farmer and his mule were long gone,...

The Colors Of Childhood

The Colors Of Childhood Tom Poland Posted November 3, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI haven’t seen the old homeplace in a while. Not my homeplace, mind you, my childhood friend’s. That would be Sweetie Boy, he of the sweet temperament that spurred Granddad to nickname him. His Christian name is...

The Bygone Era Of Refinement

The Bygone Era Of Refinement Tom Poland Posted October 25, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netPrevious eras impress me. When I tour historic homes, for instance, the refined lifestyle their owners enjoyed stands in marked contrast to lifestyles today. The presence of fine china and sterling silver attest not just to...

Fear Of Flying

Fear Of Flying Tom Poland Posted October 14, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netIt’s a good thing titles cannot be copyrighted. With apologies to Erica Jong, I title this self-confessional column, “Fear of Flying.” I cannot say I fear flying, but I am a most reluctant air traveler. I have reason to be. I’ve had two close encounters with...

The Dignified Mule

The Dignified Mule Tom Poland Posted October 11, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netLike Halley’s Comet, I’m predictable. I come around to the same subject matter every so often. When I do, it’s because something triggered memories. A few days ago I drove past Washington, Georgia’s Mule Day Festival at Callaway...

The Lost Art Of Making Do

The Lost Art Of Making Do Tom Poland Posted October 6, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netHe was twenty-six when the Great Depression arrived, thirty-six when it ended. A decade of doing without taught him something about survival. “Keep something seven years and you’ll find a new use for it.” Granddad’s...

Lincoln Street

Lincoln Street Tom Poland Posted September 28, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netOne word. That’s all it takes, and the brain’s mystifying chemistry swirls past and present into an amalgam we call life. Phases pass before us in an experience akin to schizophrenia. We’re different people as we navigate life’s phases....

An Effigy Of Rock

An Effigy Of Rock Tom Poland Posted September 27, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSomething like sixty years had passed since I saw it. This time, however, I saw it from above. The WPA built a beautiful tower of stone so you can get a birds-eye view of a bird of...

The Relentless Grind: Football’s Hidden Injuries

The Relentless Grind: Football’s Hidden Injuries Tom Poland Posted September 14, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWinter Haven Florida, February 1996—I covered Cypress Gardens’ 60th anniversary for Ski World magazine. It was Florida’s oldest theme park, one where Southern belles wore hoop skirts, skiers leapt from ramps, and women skiers built...

The Feared Invader

The Feared Invader Tom Poland Posted August 30, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netLet’s talk invasive species. One will bite you. You can bite the other. You can eat it, but given time it will entomb all you possess. Fire ants or kudzu? Which do people fear most?I believe kudzu tops...

The CCC: FDR’s Tree Army

The CCC: FDR's Tree Army Tom Poland Posted August 24, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netIf my mother didn’t like something, she’d tell you. If she liked something, you knew that too, and she liked the Civilian Conservation Corps, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Tree Army.” That arboreal moniker resulted from the CCC’s...

Book Event Season Is Upon Us

Book Event Season Is Upon Us Tom Poland Posted August 11, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netShe asked, and I told her. “What’s the writing life like?”“It’s a sentence to solitary confinement. You work in isolation for long periods, and that’s a good, peaceful day most days.”However, the day comes when...

The Dark Corner

The Dark Corner Tom Poland Posted July 27, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI’d been there many times but never realized just what a dark history existed until I visited a legal distillery up that way. “Folks still go in there and disappear,” and old timer told me. Maybe so.I asked...

Ferns, Nature’s Colonists

Ferns, Nature’s Colonists Tom Poland Posted June 28, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netFerns bless us with classic Southern settings but doing so isn’t always easy. Random winds pick up fern spores and scatter them, their destiny determined by fate. Many end up lost at sea. Some fall on barren places...

Vintage Enamelware

Vintage Enamelware Tom Poland Posted June 24, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI was visiting the past at the Lincoln County History Park when I spied a graceful blue enamelware pot sitting among fire logs. Warm memories came from that cold enamelware. Yes, that forgotten pot sent me reeling through the...

Boneyards

Boneyards Tom Poland Posted June 24, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netTheir name belies their beauty, though its definition rings true. “Boneyard, | ˈbōnyärd |Noun, informal, a cemetery.” A cemetery they are, the resting places of maritime forests conquered by the sea. I’ve written about boneyards, now and then spelled bone...

Aldo’s Bench

Aldo’s Bench Tom Poland Posted June 21, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe bench you see overlooks an estuarine creek. That creek snakes its way into a wider creek, Pine Creek, I believe, that snakes its way into the Hampton River, which spills into the Atlantic near Pelican Creek Natural Area....

Bob’s Store

Bob’s Store Tom Poland Posted June 6, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe store’s filled to the brim with antiques. They hang from the ceiling. They fill aisles. It’s a place I could check out for hours. Why there’s even a …Wait a minute. I’m ahead of myself. Antiques didn’t catch...

Porch Sitting

Porch Sitting Tom Poland Posted May 24, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netIt’s a vanishing art, porch sitting. There was a time, though, when folks retired to the porch just to pass the time. As a boy, I sat on my parent’s screen porch and counted the trucks going by. When...

Folk Medicine Remedies

Folk Medicine Remedies Tom Poland Posted April 29, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netLike the Black Crowe’s “Remedy, and its line, I need a remedy”, folks of yesteryear needed remedies and they came up with them. We call their aspiring cures “Folk Medicine.” Once again I’m writing about home remedies, folk...

Through Broken Glass

Through Broken Glass Tom Poland Posted April 19, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe old church just wanted to be left alone, but that didn’t happen. Someone shot out her windows. Some kid’s BBs shattered panes, leaving sharp jagged edges in their wake. Panes hanging like guillotines gave a gray catbird...

Masters Memories

Masters Memories Tom Poland Posted April 11, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThere comes a memory from long ago when Georgia had yet to win 1980 and 2021 national champions. No worries, Georgia was and is an annual world champion for those who compete for the green jacket.Living some 37 miles...

A New Broom Sweeps Clean

A New Broom Sweeps Clean Tom Poland Posted March 23, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.net“A new broom sweeps clean, but an old broom knows the corners.” Mom pulled out this old saw when a new preacher attempted wholesale change or a new boss let the old employees go. The rest...

An Old Tree, An Old Academy

An Old Tree, An Old Academy: A Magnolia and a School of Consequence Tom Poland Posted March 15, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netAs you top the Edgefield County rise, that fine word “copse” comes to mind. Copse, a small group of trees, that’s what you see. Look closer, however, and...

Cotton Pickin’ Memories

Cotton Pickin’ Memories Tom Poland Posted March 7, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netMy jaunts around the South take me past old haunts, a cotton gin now and then. I’ve seen gins in Salters, Bishopville, and other rural places. They sit idle. A spell back I ventured inside an old gin....

Miss Emily’s Oak

Miss Emily’s Oak Tom Poland Posted Feb. 28, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netShe planted the oak some sixty-eight years ago. Miss Emily was around twenty-six then. The years passed, the tree grew, and today it’s a setting Normal Rockwell would have appreciated. A classic Southern scene, it possesses the requisite...

From Savior to Survivor

From Savior to Survivor Tom Poland Posted Feb. 23, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netFour relics remind me of how things used to be: fire towers, windmills, chimneys, and silos. I’ve written about fire towers, windmills, and chimneys but never silos. I described where a rock chimney stands, its quartz glistening...

Wild Horses

Wild Horses Tom Poland Posted Feb. 17, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWhen I hear some determined soul say “wild horses couldn’t pull me away” thoughts race through my mind. First, I think of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. You’d think it’d be Mussel Shoals as mussels and waterways go together, but no,...

The Best Drink Of Water

The Best Drink Of Water Tom Poland Posted Feb. 10, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSeems to me, as the old folks would say, an aluminum dipper delivered the best drink of water. You’d sink that dipper into a wooden bucket. And that wooden bucket had just been winched up from...

Read The Fine Print

Read The Fine Print Tom Poland Posted Feb. 4, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netNote: For Non-Offended Eyes OnlySome say we are what we eat and that what we eat these days is killing us. Down in Australia, some Australian Aboriginals moved to the city and adopted a civilized diet and...

Winter In Wambaw Bay

Winter In Wambaw Bay Tom Poland Posted Feb. 2, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe orchestra is quiet, as winter holds the conductor’s baton. Still, a song comes to mind. “California Dreamin” where much is brown and gray—every shade of brown and gray you can imagine. Yet, if you know where...

The Emperor’s Hem

The Emperor’s Hem Tom Poland Posted Jan. 31, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netIn the late 1990s, a time that seems ancient, I touched the emperor’s hem. That is I corresponded with a writer whose words revealed a style original and mesmerizing. Somehow, I hoped, might his gift rub onto me?...

Crow Tastes Pretty Good In Snow

Crow Tastes Pretty Good In Snow Tom Poland Posted Jan. 24, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netMy last column criticized I-20 as a barrier to snow in the classic South. “Winter after winter, radar reveals blue, pink, and white blotches rolling north of I-20. Below it? Green blotches of rain. Southerners...

The Great Dividing Line

The Great Dividing Line Tom Poland Posted Jan. 18, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netYet another dud weather storm forecast teaches me something. When the next Ice Age arrives, its frozen sheet will grind to a halt where I-20 crosses the Southeast. (Assuming civilization lasts that long.) Winter forecasts prove over...

Noble Ruin of the South

Noble Ruin of the South Tom Poland Posted Jan. 6, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWhen man abandoned it, the traffic diverted west, and the forest began to claim it. Today, sycamores, cedars, and oaks console it, and wind and water song replace the hum of tires. If you know when...

Miss Lucy, Childhood Legend

Miss Lucy, Childhood Legend Tom Poland Posted Jan. 3, 2022By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSmall towns have that one eccentric person people long remember. Lincolnton, Georgia, had Miss Lucy Glaze. As I write I see a woman dressed in black, like Granny Clampett, racing down the sidewalk brandishing a rake. My...

Remembering Smokehouses

Remembering Smokehouses Tom Poland Posted Dec. 13, 2021By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI wrote about old hand-dug wells not long ago. Many old wells had a companion nearby, smokehouses. I’ve written about these farm icons before, but a good topic always deserves more coverage. Smokehouses live in lore as fragrant places...

The Old Hand-Dug Well

The Old Hand-Dug Well Tom Poland Posted Dec. 6, 2021By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netDriving a country road, I passed an old well house. It didn’t look like a wishing well. It looked rustic, more like a shed, a practical structure. I stopped and took a photo of the well. Right...