Hey Y'all!

Inspired by the Bob Wills' tune That's What I Like About the South, here you will read my ramblings on the South and all things Southern. As the song goes, "Cornbread and turnip greens... Ham hocks and butter beans... Mardi Gras down in New Orleans- That's what I like about the South!!!" That and a whole lot more. I hope y'all enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Adam Southern releases first book!

Adam's book is finally finished! Over 120 vintage and antique postcards that give a rare view into Maury County's past are included. The list price is $19.95.

The book can be purchased online at: https://www.createspace.com/3934960

It is also on Amazon.com.

There is also a pre-order list at the Maury County Library in Columbia, Tennessee. If you wish to pre-order the book, just come in and leave your name, number, and $20 and you will be contacted with the book is in! If you would like to send cash/check in and have your book mailed to you, add $5 for shipping and handling. Make checks payable to the "Elizabeth Caperton Fund."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Follow Colonel Southern on Facebook at the his new Fan Page! Click HERE!

Striking out with Antiques

Several books and their authors have inspired me over the years.
I’ll never forget the first time I read a Lewis Grizzard book or the first time I listened to a cassette tape of one of his live performances. I knew I wanted to be just like him. Then, I found out about all of his health problems, and I thought, maybe I could be just like him, minus the heart condition.

Other authors have influenced me in similar ways. David McCullough made history read like a novel. Robert Hicks, the New York Times best-seller from Franklin, writes novels based on historical events. Both authors inspire me to digest as much history as I can possibly retain because, as evidenced by their books, everyone and everything has a story — only some stories are just waiting for someone to write them.

But, sometimes, inspiration comes from more obscure titles and authors, such as the book I just finished: “Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: An Insider’s Look at the World of Flea Markets, Antiques, and Collecting,” by Maureen Stanton.

Being a lifelong lover of history, I’ve also been an avid collector of antiques — when I can afford them. Antiques are tangible items that link directly to history, especially when one considers who lived during the time the item was created and who might have touched or used it. I’m happy believing Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson personally used every antique item in my collection, even though I know that’s a long shot with a short pistol. But, who’s to say they didn’t?

Stanton’s book was truly an insider’s look at the world of antiques. The book follows an antique dealer from finding and buying an item to showing and selling it, an endless process that this dealer duplicates 365 days a year. The book was realistic, if nothing else.

Most people watch “American Pickers” and “Antiques Road Show” and think, “Wow! All I need is a little cash to buy an item and I’ll make a million bucks!”

Even I have been under this impression before. But, the truth is, getting to the level to make money from buying junk and turning it into profit is a long, rough and winding road.

I hit yard sales and auctions for weeks on end, sorting through others’ trash to find that one, special item. When I thought I had amassed a good-sized collection, I got a booth at the flea market and tried to peddle my wares to the rest of the world. I think I broke even on most of the items, but I did double my money on a piece of Vaseline glass. I paid a dollar for it and made a whole dollar in profit.
The truth of the matter is that the antiques market is a hard row to hoe. I was just doing my booth for fun. For others, though, they make their yearly salary $1 at a time. And things aren’t getting any easier.

In her book, Stanton suggests antique collecting may be a thing of the past — the majority of people would rather buy something new for the convenience rather than searching for that special, old item. How sad it is to think about items, hundreds of years old, being tossed aside? But, this is a trend. Only time will tell what the future will hold for antiques.
Those of us who love antiques need to band together, to preserve our items, and where better than the Athenaeum, Maury County’s headquarters for the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities?

“Antebellum” and “yard sale” are terms that typically do not go together. But at the Athenaeum in Columbia, those terms go together like peanut butter and jelly, especially since the second Antebellum Yard Sale will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

There will be handmade items, books, reenactment gear and antique items. Please come and feast your eyes and spend your money. Or if you have items you’d like to sell, call the Athenaeum for more information at (931) 381-4822. I hope to see you there.


Named a Tennessee colonel by Gov. Phil Bredesen, Adam Southern is resident of Columbia and can be followed at http://colonelsouthern.blogspot.com.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wedding Countdown!

I get married June 16th! Time for the countdown!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Country music is alive and well

I drove my pickup into the lot, put it in park, opened the door and let my freshly-shined cowboy boots hit the pavement below. Country had come to town. No. Not town, but the big city of Nashville or, as many call it today, NashVegas. I was there to take advantage of what had made the city famous- Country music — and there was plenty of it.

Twang oozed from the honkytonks of Broadway and filled the streets with a thick melody that could only be described as Downtown Nashville. From the guitar-playing cowboy on stage at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to the half-drunk coed belting out loud lyrics in the karaoke bar, each contributed their own seasoning to the Music City recipe, creating a wonderful dish that left me begging for a second helping.

Country music has always been my genre of choice. Needless to say, I know what Barbara Mandrell meant when she sang, “I was listening to the Opry when all my friends were digging Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues.” The older the music is, the louder I listened to it.

But the days of Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline and Hank Snow are over. In the golden age of Country, all that was needed was a fiddle, steel guitar and a haunting voice to sell a million records. A person didn’t have to be drop-dead gorgeous to make it in the industry, just had to be able to sing or play. (If you don’t believe me, find a picture of Opry star Cousin Jody.)

That has certainly changed today, as having a good voice is not enough. The majority of today’s Country stars look more like models than singers and there are very few of them that have convincing voices. When Hank Williams sang “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” or “Your Cheating Heart,” you felt the pain in his voice. Most of the stars of “New Country” seem to lack this depth of feeling that can make the listener laugh or cry. (Crying goes without saying in Country music, but if you don’t believe it can make you laugh, look up Cousin Jody, or pick up a Tom T. Hall or Little Jimmy Dickens album.)

Some of the young folks are keeping it “real” in Country, though. Chris Young singing “Rainy Night in Georgia” can make you forget your troubles and feel sorry for him. I’m scared of Miranda Lambert because I believe her lyrics and really think she will shoot me. Jason Aldean brought Country and Rap together with “Dirt Road Anthem” and seems like a real guy you could have a cold beer with. As long as folks like this are around, Country music will never die, but live on and on.

This is good for the droves of diverse fans that flock to Nashville to partake in all Music City has to offer. All around downtown, grandpas in cowboy boots are toe-tapping, while preppies in their little cardigan sweaters and loafers are singing aloud. It just goes to show, there’s a Country song to match any person’s life.

With several thousand other people, I walked into Bridgestone Arena to hear Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean play to a sold-out crowd. Looking around, I learned Country fans had changed just as the stars had. Whether it is because not many people smoke anymore or because cell phones are so prevalent, but when Luke Bryan started into one of his slow songs, an electronic glow filled the arena. Those same cell phones, when they weren’t being waved around, were being used to download new songs, whereas before you’d have to wait until after the show to buy the album.

Yes, Country music has changed, but hasn’t everything? Some change is good, some not as good. But as long as there’s a fiddle and steel guitar around, everything will be OK. Perhaps Merle Haggard summed it up best when he sang “The good times ain’t over for good.”


Named a Tennessee colonel by Gov. Phil Bredesen, Adam Southern is resident of Culleoka and can be followed at http://colonelsouthern.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yuppies hop on ‘junking’ bandwagon

I’m of the firm opinion that if the “Gallant Hood of Texas” and his Confederate Army of Tennessee could have looked into the future and seen Franklin, Tenn., today, they would have all thrown down their muskets, hit Interstate 65, headed home, and just let the Yankees have it.

Every time I drive through Franklin, I see these folks strolling through the downtown area, each one of them with a $10 cup of coffee in one hand and their cell phone in the other. Some of them are from the North and some are from the South, though, I wouldn’t dare call them Southerners, as a Southerner is proud to let people know they are from the South. The others may have been born in the South, but they do everything in their power to hide the fact. They pick up a faked brogue, over-enunciate every word, poke fun at the true Southerners, and like to overuse the phrase, “The war is over,” while laughing uncomfortably, hoping no one will rat them out as actually being from the South.

For lack of a better term, I’ll call these folks yuppies.

I enjoy the yuppies, as they are always on the cutting edge of fashion and know just where to get the best calorie-friendly meal. I have several friends that fall into this group and, whenever I want to see them, all I have to do is find the current “happening” place and there they’ll be. But, that’s the thing. The happening place is always changing.

Usually, the yuppie hub is some hip downtown area with a coffee shop. Now, thanks to shows like “American Pickers,” “Storage Wars,” and “Auction Kings,” junking or antiquing is the cool thing to do, causing the yuppies to invade my home turf.

Visiting my favorite antique store is something I usually do every Sunday afternoon. The way the store is situated along the railroad tracks and the items found inside all take me back to a bygone era. Once upon a time, our country produced quality items and was not just an importer of what was needed. It brings me comfort to look at what’s for sale in the antique store, but I also hope that one day America can once again produce items that will last 50 years or more.

On my last visit to the antique store, I couldn’t make a move without stepping on a yuppie. I’m like a bull in a china shop anywhere I go, but with that many yuppies hanging around, my clumsiness was increased tenfold. I just had to leave.

When I got into the pickup, I sat and thought for a moment. Was I a yuppie? Was it possible?

I do go to several yuppie places and, like I said, I know several of them, but does that make me guilty by association? Surely not after all, I prefer boot-cut jeans to skinny jeans, my food fried to steamed, my hands calloused to manicured, and my idea of treating myself to coffee is a 50 cent cup at the gas station. The fact that I drive an old truck and not a fancy car that costs five times my yearly salary is also very telling.

I turned to the lovely Kayla sitting on the truck seat beside me and asked, “Am I one of those people?”

She immediately burst into laughter, shaking her head no. Then, she said, “Honey, you were junking when junking wasn’t cool.”

She hit the nail on the head. While the yuppies may find junking “cool” today, tomorrow another idol will come along to displace it and I will, once again, “junk” in peace.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Regrets from 2011: Festival Tennessee, library

“It wouldn’t be New Year’s if I didn’t have regrets”

—William Thomas

There’s something about New Year’s that makes everyone think of fresh starts and new beginnings, as if everything that occurred in the past year will be erased and forgotten.

I’m not much on that kind of thinking. What happened happened and there is no way of changing that. But, like the author of the quote above, I would be lying if I said I did not have regrets.

My regrets, however, are not for my own actions, but for things Maury County missed. The top of the list reads, “Festival Tennessee,” Maury County’s very own mini-Disneyland.

Festival Tennessee sounded like the answer to a long-awaited prayer. In my childhood, many of the dog days of summer were spent floating down the Grizzly River Rampage or rocketing down the steep, watery incline of the log ride. Ever since the death of Opryland at the hands of a megamall, I have been in mourning. When I heard the news of Festival Tennessee, the black veil was lifted. I could live again!

Not only was the wonderland going to have a water theme park, there were plans for two hotels with 4,000 rooms each, exquisite restaurants, a state-of-the-art sports complex with an NBA team — a project that would have brought more than 15,000 jobs to Maury County. As if this were not enough, there were also rumors that the Grand Ole Opry planned to relocate to the theme park. Then and there, this entire plan took on next to religious connotation.

I could already see myself there. White legs, swimming trunks, fish belly, cowboy hat, and all, I would be taking advantage of the nearest water ride and getting ready to hear some grand ol’ country music.

Yet, my elation was short-lived. Articles and news stories began to circulate about the legitimacy of the project. Facebook and Twitter pages popped up overnight poking fun at the entire plan. And as sudden as the news about the project emerged, it disappeared. Vanished. Poof!

Please do not get me wrong. I’m not trying to make a joke out of this at someone’s expense. I am truly disappointed. After all, I had already picked a name out for the NBA team — the Mules!

What? I liked it.

Regardless, Festival Tennessee had a short life, disappointing a great number, including myself. I could just see the new library Maury County was going to build with all of the tax revenues created by the theme park, restaurants, basketball team and roadside firecracker stand.

But, no. We still haven’t got a new public library in Columbia, and that is the most disappointing thing of 2011 and something Maury County should regret more than the loss of a theme park, the burning of the Institute, or the changing of the Culleoka mascot from the Blue Devils to the Warriors.

There is hope, however. It’s a new year. In 2012, we can make our dreams come true. We can start building that theme park or that new public library and since 2012 is a leap year, we have an extra day to get it done!

So, in the words of the imposter Southerner Larry the Cable Guy, let’s “get ‘r done” this year.