Dixie, what it truly means to us
From: tandpam@shawneelink.net
Greetings from the frozen nawth,
After two days of bein’ bombarded by a snow/ice mix, and two days of diggin’ out from the mess, we have at least the appearance of calm here at Mole Church.
The only beauty I can see from such a deposit, is it provided two days of  uninterrupted family time, and with everything, (and I mean everything) covered in a  white blanket, the flags at the memorial look so beautiful unfurled.
Pam and Mayme have been quite busy in the sewin’ room creating new "period attire" for a trip to GA. in April, and I when not on the shovel brigade have had a few very precious moments to contemplate how great it will be to once again find ourselves below the Mason Dixon line.
The last trip South was but to Nashville, and though there are many good folks in that area, it really doesn’t seem all Southron.  In fact it’s kinda like Chicago with different accents and a little better weather. lol
Dixie to us as a family is an intricate mix of many varied experiences and some fine memories of out of the way places, and the finest people we have ever been privileged to meet.
Time in Dixie to me and mine, is a slowin’ down to a pace where one can take in the beauty of the people and the land.
It might be as emotionally complex as a battlefield walk among the ghosts of the fallen, or as simple as a breakfast of grits and gravy at some little mom and pop place far off the beaten path.  In fact, those out of the way places have provided prolly the most endearin’ of memories in the eighteen years we have been makin’ Southron Pilgrimages as a family of three from illannoy.  A state that might be the birthplace of us, but not of our ancestors.
Back in 05, I came up with a line in a song that says "Dixie’s not a place, it’s a state of mind", those words remain even truer to us today.
Dixie has been on more than one circumstance a place, where the "junk" we seem destined to drive, breaks down, and some good soul has always stopped and either helped me get whatever we were drivin’ back on the road, or at the very least provided information as to where to get it fixed without bein’ "ripped off" despite havin’ license plates with the apes face on them.  Of course, the SCV stickers and pro-South slogans plastered on the van , truck, or  car have I am sure made the difference; and the Southern illannoy accent hasn’t hurt either. It has been most comforting to repeatedly here someone in Dixie say "Y’all don’t act or sound like yankees." The reply from us has always been. "Thank You, we aren’t."
Dixie has been over the years a place where we have stayed in the homes of total strangers, broken bread with them, and slept in some “mighty fine" WBTS period beds, and yes a hardwood floor or two or three.
To us a sleepin’ bag on a Dixie pine floor is far better than a stay at a Marriot or a Hilton up here. I am sure to most that sounds preposterous, but, it’s the pure truth.
Dixie has provided over the past years, an outlet of appreciation of and for my music that even has dwarfed "the rock n roll" years of my youth and the stadium gigs of that period in my life.
I am more at ease on stage in some MS juke joint, or hillside festival, or a performance at some SCV Lee Jackson dinner in the backroom of a BBQ place than I am on "Music Row" or the Hall of Fame stage (which I have performed on 3xs).  The reality and emotions felt in and of the music come through I believe, far better the more comfortable one’s surroundings.  I am never more comfortable on stage than in the heart of Dixie. Lord I can’t wait for us to get back.
Chuck, thanks for the privilege of allowin’ me to use  this forum as a sounding board of what me and mine feel inside, right down to our souls about our Beloved Dixie.
T and family