Yesterday was the first day of Fall. There is a joke that says the four seasons in Mississippi are Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer and Christmas . Although this is very close to the truth, because of our nearly tropical climate, we do acknowledge the traditional changing of the seasons. Contrary to what many believe , we do have beautiful changing of the leaves here , displaying fully all of the beautiful colors of Fall . . New England takes pride in it's awesome display of autumn leaves, but, we too, have some extraordinarily beautiful foliage this time of the year, especially along the Natchez Trace.
|Fall Foliage along the Natchez Trace|
Here, in the south, everyone knows that Fall might not necessarily mean much cooler days ...Fall does mean Football ...and lots of it. College football is King and the SEC ( Southeastern Conference ) reigns supreme in the minds of most southerners. For some it is practically a religion. Another common saying pertaining to Southerners goes: "We Love God, Sweet Tea and the SEC".
Of course, along with any major function, southerners must have FOOD... and lots of it. Southerners have perfected football tailgating into an art form. For those above the Mason-Dixon Line who don't know what tailgating is, the Wikipedia definition says : A tailgate party is a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. (In the south, that means trucks...and lots of trucks) Tailgating, often involves consuming alcoholic beverages and grilling food. Tailgate parties usually occur in the parking lots at stadiums and arenas, before and occasionally after games and concerts. People attending such a party are said to be tailgating.
Other people in other regions might tailgate, but southerners take it to a whole other level.
One author friend wrote in her blog about southerners:
We are not casual... Not in clothes, manners, or entertaining. All the rest of the world may go to the grocery store in pajama pants and big t-shirts, but we dress up for nearly everything. We say ma’am and sir. We don’t think being “ladylike” is something to be mocked. Tailgate parties in the Ole Miss Grove include tents equipped with chandeliers and chafing dishes.
Fall also means Fairs...and lots of them. Around this time, fairs pop up in almost every little town and hollow around the south. The two major fairs in our area have always been the Mississippi Alabama Fair and Dairy Show and the Mid South Fair. We always went to the Mississippi Fair and Dairy Show. It was held at the Fairgrounds off of East Main Street ...which is now Fairpark, and the location of our City Hall. The Mid South Fair was a much bigger deal and meant traveling to Memphis. When I was growing up, school began after Labor Day and Fair Day followed very soon after . On Fair Day , all of the students were let out of the school for the day .It was like another holiday . My friends and I would make extensive plans about what we would wear, where and when we would meet, and what we would ride. I always have warm, fond memories of those joyous, carefree times.