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Florida, United States
Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Becoming Southern!

This story is from my friend Ane Mulligan. You can read more about Ane and her work at Southern Fried Fiction, which is what I'd call my fiction had she not stolen the idea from me! (Not really...she just thought faster than I did...must be her Northern genes coming out...)

So, anyway... here's Ane's story of her first encounter with Southern Directions:   

The South, Atlanta in particular, resembles its laid back lifestyle in its roads. They meander around and through the city, the country, and any tiny hamlet in between. They also change names capriciously.

I hail from Los Angeles, where from the earliest settlers, they laid out the towns in a grid. Starting from Olvera Street, Los Angeles grew. Roads ran north and south or east and west. On a rare occasion, you'd have one that ran diagonally. They never changed names, no matter how many miles or towns they went through. If you missed your destination, you drove around the block and came back at it.

We moved to Atlanta in 1990. After a few weeks of getting settled and making friends, I was ready to explore my new home. One woman, who shall remain nameless, told me about a wonderful discount house for designer clothes sold without the labels for a fraction of the original cost. Like any good bargain hunter, I wanted to check it out. She gave me the address and told me how to get there.

If this had been today, I could have punched it into my GPS, however, in 1990, we didn't have that luxury. I had to rely on her precision in giving directions, which I meticulously wrote down.

I drove out of my subdivision and turned left onto Pleasant Hill Road. Following her instructions, I turned right onto Jones Mill Road. My first moment of panic came hit when I found myself no longer on Jones Mill but on Somebody's Ferry. Did I miss a fork in the road?

Keeping up with traffic, which traveled in my estimation, entirely too fast for a two lane country road, I couldn't find anywhere to pull over. Finally, up ahead I saw a sign for a cross street. I signaled, slowed down and made the turn.

Then, I did what any logical person would do. I went around the block ... and ended up in Tennessee


  1. Wait a cotton pickin' minute here. I don't have any Northern genes! Nope, mine are all Southern. Southern California, where I was born is below the Mason Dixon line. ;o)

    Thanks for having me on, Eva Marie. :)

  2. I feel her pain! When we first moved down to Augusta in 1982, I went to work for a doctor. He was the sweetest boy, but he didn't speak English. He spoke was I dubbed "cute south Georgia boy". I will swear until the day I die that he told me to have one of our patients come back in 2 eggs. He finally had to write 2 WEEKS before I understood him!

  3. Bwahahahaha!

    Thankfully, many Nigerian cities have roads that sprout up just about anywhere and with my roots from Nigeria as well as the UK with their little country road and miniature cars, I quickly learned to rely on Mapquest and the gas stations when I moved here in 2000!

    Great story Ane.

  4. Oh, Ane! Only you, girl. Thanks for the giggle.

  5. Bea, you just made me laugh so hard I nearly hurt myself!!!

  6. Yeah, Ane... knowing you as I do...you really are SOUTHERN at heart!

    American by birth; Southern by the grace of God, baby!

  7. I have a complaint!!! There's no sign-up button to receive posts via email. Please can you add one????

  8. Ane, Come to Colorado Springs! The only constant is the mountain. Roads meander here, there, and everywhere. Sometimes north to south, sometimes east to west. Names change without even the benefit of entering another town. You'd feel right at home!

    But did you ever find the discount clothing store?

  9. Love Ane's story! I'm directionally challenged, so whatever way I'm facing is north. I don't get lost, I go on lots of unplanned road trips. :)

  10. I had to laugh at your stories. Even tho I'm from the north (don't hit me!) I love parts of the south madly, and I've been there when I absolutely could not tell what was being said.

    How about feesh (fish)
    Or diarear (diarrhea)

    and when you really go north, they think I'm southern. lol

    Thanks for a fun post.

  11. Nothing like southern directions or southern friend chicken :)

  12. So funny!! LOL.

    I took a wrong turn once...took a jaunt through Vermont on my way to Massachusetts. Does that make directionally challenged, too??

  13. I have to tell y'all the hubs kept telling me to look to the sun - it always sets in the West. But that didn't help me one bitty bit at noon!!!

    You're right, Eva Marie ~ I got her as quick as I could, and by the grace of God, I'm not leavin'. :)

    And Mike, yeah, I finally found the discount store. ;)

  14. BJ: Southern FRIEND chicken. YIKES! :)

    Ane, was that Johnson's Ferry you found yourself on? And have you noticed how bad the traffic is NOW compared to THEN? And THEN was really something else!

    I hope more of you will share your funny stories! Love them!

  15. Ane,
    Funny! I learned how to drive here, so I guess that's why I don't mind meandering down the Peachtree Ferry Roads-or the Mill Roads--They're everywhere!!

  16. Hi Ane, so glad you made it back from TN so you could write this laugh-out-loud story! If you had made another circle or two you might have ended up at my house in KY! And thanks to Eva Marie for giving us Southerners a place to roost!