I am proud of Growing Up Southern
Growing up in the south makes us different from others that did not have that privilege, and we are proud of it. Our experiences may be shared by people in other parts of the US, but we have our own special way of looking at and doing everything.
Many kinds of fish live all over the US but in the south bass are king and we fish for crappie to eat. In the north musky are king and they fish for walleye for food.
Musky fight hard and they are harder to catch than bass, but they get huge, with 40 pounders not too unusual. Bass fight hard and a ten pounder is not common, but it doesn’t take the famed 10,000 casts it takes to hook a musky to hook a bass, most days.
Walleye taste good but I will put crappie up against them any day. On a trip to Tennessee a few years ago I took some crappie filets for the communal fish fry and a couple of guys from Michigan brought walleye filets. Everyone there said the crappie were better.
`Deer hunting is not the same here as it is up north and in the mid West and West. Here we hide in trees and wait on a deer while swatting mosquitoes. Up north they freeze their feet off tracking deer through the snow. And out west where Mule Deer grow, they jump one, wait for it to run a hundred yards before turning to look back, then shoot it.
`In cold climates they go ice skating in the winter. We go roller skating. And they cut holes in the ice on ponds and lakes, sit there staring at a tiny pole and hope for a bite.
Our water doesn’t get hard on top so we can fish out of our boats all winter and big bass bite best then. Almost all my eight pound plus bass hit from December through February. They would be too big to come through a hole in the ice.
In other rural areas kids probably dam branches, build tree houses and camp out. But there seems to be more rural areas here where kids grew up in the woods. Can you imagine trying to dam a sewer, build a light pole house or camping in an alley?
We eat different wild critters here, too. Forget grits, a staple of southern diets that will just get a puzzled look when you order them in Wisconsin, as I found out. Many other common southern foods are not eaten in other areas.
Crawfish are popular here and you can catch your own. Some places up north serve crawfish but not many. And alligator meat is great, and you can catch and kill your own here, too. But up north it is a rarity and many are afraid of it.
Squirrels, rabbits and doves are eaten often in the south and sometimes up north, but nobody in other areas of the country eat possums, and the sweet potatoes that you have to serve with them are store bought, not grown and hilled in your garden like here.
Greens up north and out west mean lettuce, spinach and chard. Those are all good but you can’t be southern without loving turnip greens with roots, collards and poke salad. And you must have corn bread to eat with them and cook them with streak of lean.
Here we sweat, in other areas without our heat and humidity they perspire. In the summer you start dripping almost as soon as you step outside. Our summer lows are usually much higher then the high temperature in other places.
I was surprised to find out mosquitoes can be just as bad up north as they are here, but at least they don’t have chiggers. I get a laugh every time I see a tourist with northern license plates on their car getting Spanish moss to take home. They are taking more than the moss, and are in for an itchy surprise in a day or so.
We are different in the south, and there is even a difference in the name for Yankees that come south for a visit and those that move here and try to make us just like them. But that is impossible!
Although I have visited 40 of our 50 states and fished in many of them, and been to many foreign countries on five different continents, I have lived in middle Georgia all my life. There is no better place on earth!