Best 193 quotes in «southern quotes» category

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    If there is such a things as "race", there is only the Human one.

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    If we weren’t running late already, I’d pull this truck onto a dirt road and show her just what she does to me.

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    I know that Southern redhead type,” Bruno said, poking at his apple pie.

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    I know what it feels like to miss everything about him--the way he smells, the way his mouth curls up when he laughs, his voice.

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    In the Deep South, God is a cotton king, Trussed up in plantation whites and powdered over smooth with a little bit of talcum from Momma’s compact. He’s the Georgia dust that gets on everything, in everything, Caking the soles of bare feet sifting through cracks in church pews, and catching in your lover’s eyelashes. In the Deep South, the Devil is a beautiful boy who swears and cheats at billiards on Sunday. He is the one who reaches up your skirt, pulls out the prayers your were saving for someday and lights them on fire with his tongue. He will sing hymns while feasting on your forfeit heart, call you blessed while peeling away dignity like stockings, then drag you out in front of the church to be stoned. In the Deep South, the Holy Spirit is an old woman with hands brown and gnarled as the nuts she boils and a voice soft and dark as the Appalachian sky. She is the swamp kingdom matriarch children are sent to when sins need to be wished away like warts, the presence of whom straightens the spines of wayward souls and coaxes a “Yes Ma’am” from the devil’s own. In the Deep South, Jesus is a mixed-race child with drops of destiny mingled into his blood and the names of the saints tattooed along his spine. He has his mother’s bearing, one that wears suffering nobly, and baleful eyes that speak of the sins of his forefathers. The word of God flutters from his mouth like butterflies with bodies baptized in tears and wings dipped in steel. In the Deep South, angels drink too much. They sashay and guffaw and forget to return calls. They tell white lies and agonize over what to wear. In the Deep South, angels look very much like you and I, and they cling to each other with dustbowl desperation and replenish their failing reserves of grace with ritual in the hopes of remembering what they once were, what wonders they once were capable of performing

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    I’ll have you know Southern isn’t a synonym for stupid.--soon-to-be-released novel, Cape Cursed.

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    In the South, history clings to you like a wet blanket. Outside your door the past awaits in Indian mounds, plantation ruins, heaving sidewalks and homestead graveyards; each slowly reclaimed by the kudzu of time.

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    I shook my head. "You know I ain't never going to be good enough for her. She can't fall in love with me, you know as well as I do that nothing good is going to come of her staying with me." "Then why do you stay with her? Why, if you seem to think that this is a bad idea, do you stay with her?" I raked my fingers through my hair. "I don't know! Maybe I'm stupid? A glutton for punishment." Jackson pointed his beer at me. "Or maybe you love her too and that scares the shit out of you.

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    I'll have you know Southern isn't a synonym for stupid.

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    Intimidated, old traumas triggered, and fearing for my safety, I did what I felt I needed to do.

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    I sat down on the arm of my father's empty chair, thinking of sea-view flats in Brighton, of southern girls called Anna or Sophie, and of a misplaced sense of filial duty now half redundant.

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    Is it possible to make a sharp distinction between the content and the the form, between the personality of the Texas auctioneer and the language that he uses? Are not our attitudes toward people and events in great part shaped by the very language in which we describe them? When we try to describe one person to another or to a group, what do we say? Not usually how or what that person ate, rarely what he wore, only occasionally how he managed his job -- no, what we tell is what he said and, if we are good mimics, how he said it. We apparently consider a person's spoken words the true essence of his being.

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    It is not a single crime when a child is photographed while sexually assaulted (raped.) It is a life time crime that should have life time punishments attached to it. If the surviving child is, more often than not, going to suffer for life for the crime(s) committed against them, shouldn't the pedophiles suffer just as long? If it often takes decades for survivors to come to terms with exactly how much damage was caused to them, why are there time limits for prosecution?

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    It's summer and time for wandering...

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    It sat proudly basking in the warm glow of the street lights; it wasn't a menacing 'enter at your own risk' sight at all. More of a 'come in if you'd like, if not then have a lovely evening' picturesque artifact of the Old South.

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    It occurred to me almost constantly in the South that had I lived there I would have been an eccentric and full of anger, and I wondered what form the anger would have taken. Would I have taken up causes, or would I have simply knifed somebody?

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    It wasn’t really a loud-mouthed, hyperactive little pig-tailed blonde that made Carl cringe. It was what I represented. While his upbringing was battered humiliation, I was spoiled, doted on, and spoon-fed by the world. I don’t think he was even aware of his intentions to reduce that child to his own state of self-loathing, but he was truly brilliant at it.

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    Magic of Southern expressions? Similes and metaphorical allusions. They are the yellow highlighter of conversation.

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    Many of the people who left the South never exactly sat their children down to tell them these things, tell them what happened and why they left and how they and all this blood kin came to be in this northern city or western suburb or why they speak like melted butter and their children speak like footsteps on pavement, prim and proper or clipped and fast, like the New World itself.

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    Make their exits as gentle and loving as possible...Tell them how good it will be, even if you don't believe it yourself. You're southern, you know how to do that.

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    Lydia had devoted herself- and her husband's money- toward making their home a "destination." She fancied herself floating through a household of the East Coast elite, dazzling them with continental cuisine, priceless art and antiques, and a perfectly stocked wine cellar. They would tour her gardens and marvel at her ability to create such a cultural oasis in the southern desert. In reality, every evening Lydia watched her guests meander across her yard to the Belles', where they delighted in such southern delicacies as moonshine in Mason jars, bawdy conversation, and shoofly pie.

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    Obelisks don't grow from the soil, and stone men and iron horses are never built without purpose.

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    Marriage was a good cause, thought Ross. On a given day chances were one of you might be human.

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    One of the most ambitious men to exploit the timber trade was Hugh F. McDanield, a railroad builder and tie contractor who had come to Fayetteville along with the Frisco. He bought thousands of acres of land within hauling distance of the railroad and sent out teams of men to cut the timber. By the mid-1880s, after a frenzy of cutting in south Washington County, he turned his gaze to the untapped fortune of timber on the steep hillsides of southeast Washington County and southern Madison County, territory most readily accessed along a wide valley long since leveled by the east fork of White River. Mr. McDanield gathered a group of backers and the state granted a charter September 4, 1886, giving authority to issue capital stock valued at $1.5 million, which was the estimated cost to build a rail line through St. Paul and on to Lewisburg, which was a riverboat town on the Arkansas River near Morrilton. McDanield began surveys while local businessman J. F. Mayes worked with property owners to secure rights of way. “On December 4, 1886, a switch was installed in the Frisco main line about a mile south of Fayetteville, and the spot was named Fayette Junction.” Within six months, 25 miles of track had been laid east by southeast through Baldwin, Harris, Elkins, Durham, Thompson, Crosses, Delaney, Patrick, Combs, and finally St. Paul. Soon after, in 1887, the Frisco bought the so-called “Fayetteville and Little Rock” line from McDanield. It was estimated that in the first year McDanield and partners shipped out more than $2,000,000 worth of hand-hacked white oak railroad ties at an approximate value of twenty-five cents each. Mills ran day and night as people arrived “by train, wagon, on horseback, even afoot” to get a piece of the action along the new track, commonly referred to as the “St. Paul line.” Saloons, hotels, banks, stores, and services from smithing to tailoring sprang up in rail stop communities.

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    Quick," I hissed. "Tell me what you know about this place." The ghost frowned. His face appeared sweaty and his hair was a mess, like he'd been running his fingers through it. "How about, 'hey, Frankie. How you doing, Frankie? I see you're missing both your legs, Frankie.

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    Sea and land may lie between us, but my heart is always there with you.

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    She wrote the names of the day's cakes on the board: traditional Southern red velvet cake and peach pound cake, but also green tea and honey macaroons and cranberry doughnuts. She knew the more unusual things would sell out first. It had taken nearly a year, but she'd won over her regulars with her skill with what they already knew, so now they would try anything she made.

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    OJ, milk, butter, eggs, half a roll of country sausage, a cantaloupe, Kroger's whole-grain bread, a can of French Market chicory coffee, some blackberry preserves- just the right makings of a good Southern breakfast for just my kind of man. No matter that breakfast has always been my favorite meal and that this would be another major test of my willpower. 'Bout the time I'd started frying a big patty of sausage for him, I noticed a few red potatoes in a basket, peeled and cut one up, and tossed the cubes in the same large cast-iron skillet for hashed browns. At first I'd thought of doing soft-scrambled eggs for us both, but while I was beating four eggs with a little milk as quietly as possible, I remembered seeing a package of Jack cheese in the door of the fridge, as well as a couple of jalapeños on the windowsill, and suddenly decided to make my guy a spicy cheese omelette to really impress him.

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    Puttin’ on a cowboy hat & a pair of boots doesn’t make you country; Like puttin’ on a ball gown & glass heels won’t make me Cinderella.

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    So that I might face my past, I dug these words from the richest southern soil and held them in my hands like seeds waiting for rain.

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    Sweetling, I'm not going anywhere except upstairs, where I'm going to make love to you till you pass out happy.

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    That's the measure of friendship, isn't it? Knowing people who will jar your secret and store it in a dark cellar forever. People who know it's never about the secret itself, but the keeping of it.

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    The curtains were not yet drawn and with the moonlight spreading across the room, I could see clearly. I undressed and slipped a soft cotton gown over my naked body. I pulled the blanket off the foot of my bed, covered my shoulders and wa...lked out on the balcony. The cool night air blowing through my hair served as a reminder that only a hint of summer remained in this year of 1860.

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    The fact that there were more adults than children at her party didn't seem to faze Dixie. "That child is like a dandelion," Lettie said. "She could grow through concrete." Dixie's birthday party had a combination Mardi Gras/funeral wake feel to it. Mr. Bennett and Digger looped and twirled pink crepe paper streamers all around the white graveside tent until it looked like a candy-cane castle. Leo Stinson scrubbed one of his ponies and gave pony rides. Red McHenry, the florist's son, made a unicorn's horn out of flower foam wrapped with gold foil, and strapped it to the horse's head. "Had no idea that horse was white," Leo said, as they stood back and admired their work. Angela, wearing an old, satin, off-the-shoulder hoop gown she'd found in the attic, greeted each guest with strings of beads, while Dixie, wearing peach-colored fairy wings, passed out velvet jester hats. Charlotte, who never quite grasped the concept of eating while sitting on the ground, had her driver bring a rocking chair from the front porch. Mr. Nalls set the chair beside Eli's statue where Charlotte barked orders like a general. "Don't put the food table under the oak tree!" she commanded, waving her arm. "We'll have acorns in the potato salad!" Lettie kept the glasses full and between KyAnn Merriweather and Dot Wyatt there was enough food to have fed Eli's entire regiment. Potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs, bread and butter pickles, green beans, fried corn, spiced pears, apple dumplings, and one of every animal species, pork barbecue, fried chicken, beef ribs, and cold country ham as far as the eye could see.

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    That's one thing I like about you, Sarah Booth. You put your own personal style on a room. I'd call this boudoir pigsty. Yes sir, any man would find this an enticin' little love nest, if he didn't break his neck tryin' to get to the bed.

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    That was me. Reliable. The good southern guy. Boy next door. Except I wasn’t. Not really.

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    The escape from industrialism is not in socialism or in Sovietism. The answer lies in a return to a society where agriculture is practiced by most of the people. It is in fact impossible for any culture to be sound and healthy without a proper regard for the soil, no matter how many urban dwellers think that their food comes from grocers and delicatessens, or their milk from tin cans. This ignorance does not release them from a final dependence upon the farm and that most incorrigible of beings, the farmer.

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    The story of my birth that my mother told me went like this: "When you were coming out I wasn't ready yet and neither was the nurse. The nurse tried to push you back in, but I shit on the table and when you came out, you landed in my shit." If there ever was a way to sum things up, the story of my birth was it.

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    There is no city on Earth quite like Charleston. From the time I first came there in 1961, it’s held me in its enchanter’s power, the wordless articulation of its singularity, its withheld and magical beauty. Wandering through its streets can be dreamlike and otherworldly, its alleyways and shortcuts both fragrant and mysterious, yet as haunted as time turned in on itself.

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    The time warp: the Civil War was yesterday, but 1960 is spoken of as if it were about three hundred years ago.

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    The Memphis Finley and I landed in was my mother’s Memphis. It was magnolia-lined and manicured, black-tailed and bow-tied. It glittered in illusory gold and tinkled in sing-song voices. It was cloistered, segregated, and well-appointed, the kind of place where everyone monogrammed their initials on everything from hand towels to silver because nothing mattered more than one’s family and to whom they were connected by lineage that traced through the fertile fields of the Mississippi Delta.

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    The Sweets rarely set foot on the avenues. They'd always lived on the street-side of town, where duct tape held everything together and WD-40 stopped the squeaks.

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    This town of churches and dreams; this town I thought I would lose myself in, with its backward ways and winding roads leading to nowhere; but, I found myself instead. -Magic in the Backyard (excerpt from American Honey)

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    True, beneath the human façade, I was an interloper, an alien whose ship had crashed beyond hope of repair in the backwoods of Southern Appalachia—but at least I’d learned to walk and talk enough like the locals to be rejected as one of their own.

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    Whenever a group of people who are designed to primarily unite around one thing try to unite around something else, the result is devastating for all.

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    Whuppins were like kid taxes we paid with our behinds.

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    All over the world, I do business. I make great deals. I've made hundreds of millions of dollars against China. All over the world I make money and I build great things. Who's going to build a wall like me on the southern border? I built a great company.

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    An auctioneer is such a uniquely American thing. I keep thinking in my head, perhaps it's not as American as I think, but it feels so Southern. It feels so American. Like, hundreds of years of American tradition is involved in it.

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    To identify a person as a Southerner suggests not only that her history is inescapable and formative but that it is also impossibly present. Southerners live uneasily at the nexus between myth and reality, watching the mishmash amalgam of sorrow, humility, honor, graciousness, and renegade defiance play out against a backdrop of profligate physical beauty.

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    West Virginia had the Hatfield and the McCoys. Shakespeare had the Capulets and the Montagues. Salvation had the Martins and the Sweets.