Revisionist history and young folks in the South
by our readers
Apr 11, 2013 | 3021 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Re “50 years, a week at a time: (H. Brandt Ayers column, April 7):

I was heartened by my friend H. Brandt Ayers’ column on pushback by the younger generation against anti-government attitudes. That may save us yet from the tea party types.

A friend of mine also sent me an article about a move to rename a park in Memphis so as not to remind folks of the city’s Old South roots. I have mixed feelings about that, owing to my age, I guess. History is always being rewritten but I think trying to erase the past goes against my Southern roots and inclinations.

My great-grandfather Waldrep never owned a slave in his life but volunteered to defend his “homeland” in the Mid-South area where Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee come together. He may have been saved by being captured and spending the duration of the war in prison camps in Indiana and Illinois.

As the late Shelby Foote recounted, when a Union soldier shouted across a creek to some Confederates, “Why are you fighting us?”

“Because y’all are down here!” came the swift reply.

I spent a good deal of my youth making fun of the Old South. I felt secure enough in my own identity to do so. And I knew that if I didn’t know my roots were in the South, there were plenty of people around who would remind me.

Take good care, friend, and keep the articles rolling.

John Finch
Chevy Chase, Md.
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