Culture, Carter, Canola, & Cherry trees

Southern Culture is very real and mythical. I lived in the Atlanta area for 19 years and read the Atlanta paper regularly. So much to learn about Southern Culture and to know I was born and bred in the South.

One of the problems with Southern culture is that it is diverse. Mix that diversity with our oral traditions and storytelling. The truth gets stretched a bit. Add to that the mythologies about the South. After all, we lost the civil war. The war is still being fought in the minds of a few and they do not always live in the South.

What I do know is my family and the people where I grew up. You have good and bad and a big mixture of both in everybody. I lived in Canada for a year. What I learned is there is an American culture and we are just a part of it.

I recommend the book American Nations: A History of The Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard. We are a product of what came before. Thanks to Rootsweb, if you know the name of a Great-grandparent, you can easily find your family tree plotted by someone before you. It is good to check many because there will be discrepancies.

After reading American Nations, I understood so many influences that were passed down in my family. And thanks to the hard work of others I found one grandfather was born in 1867 in Germany. My other grandparents have families that go back to the original colonies and settlers.

Family stories relate native American ancestry. I have found a free woman of color named Martha Scott who married a white Quaker preacher named Peter Bray from England who was small and red-headed. Not surprisingly, I had ancestors on both sides of the civil war.

So back to the book. Read it if you are a history buff.

Jimmy Carter was elected President in 1976 which was something we are proud of in Georgia. He lost the election to Ronald Reagan in 1980. Iranians took American embassy workers hostage just before this election.

Jimmy Carter's grandson Jason Carter ran for governor in 2014. He is flanked by the libertarian candidate on the left and Governor Nathan Deal on the right.

There is so much to see in Plains, Georgia.

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site

Andersonville National Historic Site

Global Village and Discovery Center

Which brings me back to Canola and Cherry trees.

Industrious Canada took Canola and created a cultivar which removed the bad taste and harmful chemicals of this "rape weeds" plant to produce an oil good for cooking and human consumption. Rapeseed oil was already used as a lubricant. Fields of Canola have been planted as winter row crops in Georgia. Our climate is warm enough to support several crops every year. The Canola slowly grew and held its own this winter and as soon as the cold weather broke this month, it sprouted flower stalks which are golden yellow and a feast for the eyes.

Now for cherry trees, they do not produce well in Georgia. But Macon, Ga has a Cherry Blossom festival every year celebrating the loved Yoshina Flowering Cherry Tree in Central Georgia. The Yoshino does not produce fruit. Unfortunate because I love fresh cherries.
The tree on the left is Dogwood and the right is a Flowering Cherry.


  1. Sure is an American culture, can see the difference when I hop the border.

    1. It is tough to sleep with an elephant.

      I will say my year in Canada has made me a Canada lover. There is just a lot that is right about Canada like the good manners and kindness. Maybe the United States can become the 14th of Canada's provinces and territories.

  2. I have always admired Jimmy Carter and his wife both as president and statesman.

    1. When Jason Carter ran for governor and another incident in the past, you can feel the political edge of Jimmy Carter. He is brilliant and sincere. He has done so much to make the world a better place.
      I went to a Sunday School class he taught at Maranatha Baptist in Plains, GA. True to Baptist tradition, he gave out the invitation for converts. It made me think of Catholic friend of mine when she married. The priest opened the invitation to accept Christ during the wedding. I thought, they are as bad as Baptists.

  3. Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

    1. Thanks, it has been a lot of fun. I thought I would make it to all the blogs before it is over. All I can say is that may not happen. lol, I started visiting a month ago.

  4. Interesting to read about American culture, Southern culture, et al. Speaking as a Canadian who has spent a lot of time in the U.S. (my parents moved to San Diego decades ago), I can say that it's unique. What part of Canada did you live in, Ann?

    1. I lived in Calgary, Alberta. I traveled to the west and directly North to Fort McMurray. It was an adventure.

      San Diego, we might have different cultural touchstones but we are both warm climate people.


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