Date: Fri, 3 Nov 1995 13:24:27 -0500
From: Marty Rosen
Subject: Things about Alabama
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L
1. Mobile is Alabama's only seaport. In addition to its own indisputable
charms, Mobile is perhaps most notable for having lent its name to the style
of domestic architecture that prevails throughout most of the state.
2. A number of significant battles have been fought over control of Mobile
Bay. During one of those battles, David Farragut uttered the words "Damn
the torpedoes, full speed ahead. There is something pathetic about a
country in which rather stupid words like "Damn the torpedoes, full speed
ahead" resonate down through the ages, take on a brassy, heroic patina,
and are familiar to just about every schoolchild over the age of 12.
Farragut was a union officer.
3. In the coastal regions of Alabama, there are many signs prohibiting
the importation of red clay. The rest of the country would be well
advised to adopt a similar policy.
4. If Alabama tried to secede from the Union today, I wonder whether
Congress could be persuaded that the state's strategic significance
is sufficient to merit the deployment of Federal troops.
5. The lemons grown by local producers in southern Alabama are so much
superior to those shipped north from Florida and east from California
that they alone might be sufficient to justify federal intervention to
6. Boiled peanuts are a disgusting scourge foisted on carpetbaggers by
smirking southern clerks.
7. The price of seafood is inversely related to its freshness. A
fisherman with a boatload of flounder will sell it directly from the boat
for $2.50 a pound. The next day, the same flounder, sold at a waterfront
fishmarket, will go for 3.50, and by the time it reaches the supermarket,
it will be worth 5.00.
8. Selma is a beautiful town, with a great riverfront, fine 19th century
buildings, and the national voting rights museum. A very vocal woman
running a pleasant shop in a building overlooking the Alabama river made
a point of revealing to me with no prompting that she has, on occasion,
spoken to colored people, even when it was coming along toward dark.
9. I think there's something unsettling about state of Alabama public
relations materials in which the state promotes itself as the place
where the civil rights movement was born
10. Coastal Alabama seems to lack a distinctive culture and cuisine.
Most of the residents are transplanted northerners and the food is
nondescript. There are a lot of inferior attempts to evoke New Orleans
food. Although freshly shucked oysters are just as good in
Alabama as they are in New Orleans, the essence of the Poor Boy, which is at
its apex at places like the Acme in N.O., seems to have escaped the
11. Beer selections are uniformly bad. I was forced to drink Budweiser
when dining out. Fortunately, I had imported a good selection of Belgian
beers for the week.