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Monday, January 7, 2008

Garden & Gun Magazine

One of the hottest new magzine debuts of last year is Garden & Gun Magazine: 21st Century Southern America. No. I'm not kidding. It features two of the south's great love affairs - beautifully manicured greenery and the business end of a gun. You'll find their editorial info on their website if you want to pitch them.

Who wouldn't tell its founders they're crazy if they heard the magazine idea pitched? And yet it fits so perfectly. The southern belles in their gardens sipping tea and the men out shooting stuff.

I was sucked into the dixie vortex first by my favorite southern authors William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Harper Lee. Then by my husband who introduced me to the shocking sight of a deer hanging up out in the shed, waiting to be skinned. I've been coerced into firing a gun and eating fried okra. These things never would have happened without me marrying into the south.

I do sort of live in the south - but not really. Missouri is among those contested states that mainly had southern sympathies during the Civil War, but St. Louis is too urban to feel really southern. It's more Paris light than Gone With the Wind. But I visit southern realms every time we travel 100 miles south in Missouri to my in-laws farmhouse. It sits alone amidst the acres of cotton, soybeans, and corn.

From what I've seen from this border state, there is something a little crazy and a lot wonderful about southern culture. Sometimes backward and yet beautiful. Honest and uncompromising. Its mystique rises like cream in this new magazine.

1 comment:

susannah eanes said...

I'm glad to see you mention this wonderful magazine - but I do have to make one tiny critique: As seen frequently in Gardens & Guns, the women don't sip tea very much by themselves anymore, and the men don't do much shooting in all-male cliques either.

Both sexes enjoy the hearty lifestyle and connection to the outdoors together - which is all to the good, and is progress of the most healthy sort. One is just as likely to see a knowledgeable, proficient female sportsman at the hunt club that is run on our plantation as it is to see a male one. We hunt, fish, and clean and dress our kills. Many men in our neighborhood cook marvelously, take an interest in decorating, and are as discerning connoisseurs of herbal teas as fine bourbon. And so we enjoy doing all these things together, instead of separately as is hinted at in your post.

It does no one any good to propagate mythical separation of the sexes that actually disappeared in the nineteenth century. One of the things I love about Gardens and Guns is the very fact that it seems to be the first to paint a realistic portrait of our lives here, inclusive of men and women doing all types of activities.

Thank you again for the shout out to the continuation of our unique and enlightened Southern culture, and a magazine worthy of your time.