Friday, June 1, 2012

Small Town Southern Life

Over Memorial Day weekend, one my roommates from Clemson, Rachel, and I went up to see one of our other roommates, Stephanie, in her grand hometown of Santee, SC. Most of you probably haven't heard of Santee before. It's a small little country town about an hour outside of Charleston, SC. Stephanie is so proud to be from Santee. When she introduces herself, she ALWAYS says "I'm Stephanie Peagler from Santee, South Carolina." It doesn't matter if the person asks where she's from, she always adds it in. Many times, the person hasn't heard of Santee. Steph LOVES this. She will then take the opportunity to tell them about her beloved hometown for the next five minutes.

If you don't know us, you need to know that Stephanie is nothing like Rachel and I. In fact, people often ask us how we became friends when they meet us because because we are so opposite (we lived on the same hall freshman year). Steph is one-of-a-kind. If I had to choose three words to describe her I would choose loud, outgoing, and redneck Southern (and proud of it). 

After hearing about Santee and all Steph's family members (they all live on the same street of course) for the past four years, we decided it was time to visit the beloved homeland. For some reason, Rachel and I have a very idealistic view of small-town Southern life. We picture everyone sitting out on their front porches all day, sipping lemonade, and greeting the neighbor boys as they walk the dirt road on their way to the fishing pond.  Everybody knows everybody of course. If you need something, you walk up to the corner market/grocery store that is named after one of the families in town (Puckett's, Dillard's, Durham's, Smith's, etc.). 

Of course, our view is very jaded and we all know that small-town Southern life is not actually like that. However, our experience in Santee was certainly noteworthy. Steph had organized a fish fry for the night we arrived. We always hear about the fish frys at Aunt Sarah and Uncle Buck's house, so she wanted to make sure we experienced one. We feasted on fried fish fresh from Uncle Buck's farm, grits, mac n' cheese (our veggie), baked beans, cole slaw, watermelon, homemade sweet potato fries and Aunt Sarah's boiled peanuts. For dessert, we ate nanner (banana) pudding of course.
Rachel and I enjoying Aunt Tyler's beautiful yard

Steph introduced us as "city folk" to all her friends and family. Before we left for the fish fry, Steph's mom, Mrs. Wanda Sue, made sure that we knew it was normal for her family members to yell at each other and maybe even cuss at each other. If that happened, she told us there was no need to worry. Steph also took us around the neighborhood before dinner and introduced us to all her neighbors. She just walks in all their houses without knocking and yells to see if their home. Completely normal. 

In true Southern fashion, we watched NASCAR while eating dinner. Aunt Tyler also showed us the pictures of all her family members. This also included telling us about the ex-family members (ex-wife, ex-husband) that she had purposely cut out of the picture. You could still tell someone was supposed to be in the picture there, but she had cut their head out. Guess that's what happens when you get a divorce in the family. 

Steph also took us fishing while in Santee. We went out on Uncle Buck's farm with her 15 y/o cousin Derek. Rachel and I both caught 4-5 fish - success! We also had a nice little encounter with a 4-5 ft. long chicken snake, which included Derek killing the snake by repeatedly whacking it with the fishing pole. Keep in mind, we are all crammed in the tiny fishing boat about 2 feet away from the snake while this is happening. He forgot to bring his gun with him, so I guess the fishing pole works just as well when you need to kill a snake.

Here's a little snapshot of our time in Santee

Definitely a trip to remember!

No comments:

Post a Comment