02 April 2014

a little Southern something

a new book for the editors of Garden and Gun...

The Southerner's Handbook

My brother dropped this little blue book into my hands last weekend-a charming cover, I read down-"by the editors of Garden and Gun." 
...good enough for me.

 It happens to be my favorite magazine-I am constantly trying to think of a story I can send them that would be worthy of publication. 
Nothing yet.

This is a compilation of sorts-their best stories from the magazine & good 'ole new practical advice 'bout the South-but don't throw any of your old issues out-as I'm want to do with some magazine that do books.

The editor in chief of Garden and Gun, David DiBenedetto writes a beautiful introduction to the book-worth it's purchase alone.There should be a Mr Gerken in everyone's life wherever one lives. Fortunately, I had lots of them in the form of neighbors and especially relatives.

The book's first pages quote Clyde Edgerton: 

"Because I was born in the South, I'm a Southerenr, 
If I had been born in the North, the West, or the Central Plains, I would be just a human being."

I understand.
There've recently been a rash of comments creeping up on little augury like Kudzu.  
I've just interviewed one of our well known sons (more to come on that lucky break)
I've been riled up by another blogger's unreasonable phobias of the South, 
just read about how Britain flocked to GWTW when it came out during WW II, 
and found out how the South is still perceived today through that movie's lens, and on and on. 
What's it all mean? 
The South will always hold an Allure, and a Distaste.
but the book holds a Delight.
There are many, many things in the book as a sixth generation Southerner-I haven't a clue about.
I rarely even say ya'll. 
I've never fried chicken-but will take a look into a recipe for great deviled eggs-though I always improvise when I make mine, Grannie did too.
Don't have a home bar-nor do I mix a good cocktail. I improvise there too, but there is a story about a still and moonshine back in the family lore.
Never even held a Gun like my grandfather did (He was from Maryland)-but I've plenty of callouses from a Garden spade-another inheritance, spade & callouses.

SO-I'm sure to learn something from the book, 
Ya'll too.

More about the book at where else-Garden and Gun hereand here


  1. You wrote so beautifully about your cat and dog, that was my first thought. My second thought was a story of Chinoiserie wallcovering. My friend just returned from Raleigh and environs and said there seems to be quite a current Southern affinity for these patterns. I always associate classics with the South and it certainly fits that bill. Do you remember the Chinoiserie walls in the Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg? Mark Hampton introduced his book on decoration referring to seeing them in a London dealer's shop. There might be a story in the travels of those specific panels. You may be just the researcher to find it if it hasn't already been written. Wishing you success, I completely understand your desire to write for them.

    1. Beth, I really like that idea of the Chinoiserie panels story. thanks for the suggestion!

  2. What a lovely gift from a thoughtful brother. Gaye, I cannot imagine Garden and Gun not being pleased to have you as a contributing writer!

    2014 Artists Series

  3. Don't understand their lack of garden articles.............

    I have Southern clients with acreage, gardens, guns...................

    Save the new issues for my time in the claw foot tub !

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    1. Tara, you are right-I know they are missing now you've pointed to it. that should be a part of every issue.

  4. I've posted about G&G before. Swore it was a guy magazine till I started reading in earnest. Love it. I had read about the Buffalo Commons study out of Rutgers Univ. years ago, but couldn't remember much about it. Lo and behold, I opened an issue and there was a story about it. Very controversial at the time. I just hope they don't change it up as it seems most all publications do.

    1. They find great topics and issues-the photography is stellar too-

  5. Having lived a total of 11 years in The South, I still miss it after about 25 in California.

  6. Good Morning Gaye

    How timely is your post? Very, it is the perfect gift for me to give to my long time Southern Friends who will delight in this book. I have also placed an order for my personal copy which will sit in my library at my Irish home.
    Now I must seek the magazine.
    Congratulations and very well earned and deserved. Your writing touches the heart.
    PS My art partner Mary Rose Holmes is, like you, a sixth generation southerner, she being Floridian. hkt

    1. I think you will find it a good one to add to the shelves-there is quite an affinity to Ireland and the South I think.

  7. I understand what Mr. David DiBenedetto says. Though I was an Army brat and moved every three years, my mother was from Maryland and my father was from North Carolina. My husband is from New Orleans. I love "Garden & Gun" and hope you do submit to them.

    1. NC stock is good by me. DiBenedetto nails that Southern magic in his intro and doesn't over do it-something very true to most of the G and G articles, perhaps their secret success?



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