The name’s Jody Callahan, and I am a southern man who had come to the Big Apple to make his mark on the literary world. Having failed at that, I’m doing this. I was born and raised in a small town in North Georgia called Cumming. It used to be a small town anyway. I guess they all used to be small. The first bit of embitterment I’d like to slake off is my weariness of hearing jokes about my hometown’s name. Yes, it’s called “Cumming,” like in the pornos. Gainesville is the neighboring town, and the reason I mention that is because of this joke. Why are the people of Gainesville, Georgia so happy? Because they’re so close to Cumming! My hometown also used to be known for how exceptionally racist it was. But that’s something we’ll dip into from time to time as this blog goes on and on.
I left my home in Georgia for a lot of reasons. Mostly I went out into the world to find myself and become some kind of legitimate writer. As an open-minded thinker, and godless son of a bitch, I have my beefs with my hometown/state/region; its politics, its religion, etc. I also have my loves there. Friends, family, old sweethearts, music. The South is plenty rich in culture. As proof I point you to The Bitter Southerner, or my favorite literary mag, The Oxford American (Its music issue in the winter is my Christmas!). After six years as an ex-southerner, I’m seeing a growth here in Brooklyn. It started with a friend who moved here from Tennessee. She invited me to see her southern country band perform. Suddenly, I’m aware of this grand exodus from the South, and their burgeoning community in New York City of all places. What are these country folk bringing to my urban digs? What am I for that matter?
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what my mission statement should be. What would be my hypothesis of this trek out onto the streets of Ol’ New York, and into these unknown southern territories? I guess I don’t have one. I don’t know country. I mean, I know Cash, I know Merle, and Loretta and Patsy, but I don’t know country at large. I’m no reviewer, no critic. I just like when they holler, and I like when they stomp. I’m from the south, and all my days there I mostly felt alien to it, and I never had no Jesus to speak of, so I don’t know with what frame of reference I make this journey. I guess I’m just going to see what I can see. I guess I’m just a bear coming over the mountain.
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