Soul of the South?

In the South, there’s a new magazine that according to published stats is one of the most successful fresh periodical ventures in history.  Good for them.  This is not a promo piece; I’ve been asked to talk about a new reading option and the Count is glad to comply.  Domestic Square Pegs deserve a friendly read after chore time, right? (or, instead of)

Each Garden & Gun magazine arrives about the time the last issue has been digested.  Not monthly like a normal periodical, but ‘ten times a year’ like their schedule is more important than ours.  The large format magazine is published out of Charleston, SC which for those not from the South, is not only beautiful, but so friggin’ provincial that you, nor your yet-to-be-born grandchildren will be welcomed as a local even if you moved the whole family there tomorrow afternoon.  Charleston is to Southern propriety what Broadway is to musical theater.

So some preppies graduated from college and decided that the world needed another reason to feel sorry for ourselves.  They would produce a general publication vehicle that highlighted the sport and tradition and food and such that makes the South such a mystery for those living elsewhere.  I smelled daddy’s money from the first page.  They did a fabulous job.

Apparently, photography has matured to the point of making aging barns as appealing as passion on a porch swing.  This magazine is pure Dixie (and not our DSP “Dixie” I must confess) porn.  Truly, there are good articles about hidden BBQ shacks in Bumfucque, Alabama and verbal histories of ancient homes in Tupelo that would not have allowed Miss Scarlett in the back door.

A picture really is worth a thousand words

But the beauty of Garden & Gun is in the photographs.  Purposely overexposed, underexposed, overly green or natural the pictures in this magazine make a boy from Athens, GA wonder just where the heck all this glory resides.  I’m supposed to be able to drive to these locals, but I cannot even see them in a bourbon sotted dream.  They are magical places with magical animals running around and any plate of collard greens shown between the covers of Garden & Gun appears to be both an aphrodisiac and a classic rendition of what newly-diagnosed-diabetic Paula Deen ruins with too much bacon fat.

First comes the “Garden”

The garden part of the magazine is basically everything else.  This current issue has cover stories on Best Southern Bars, The Ultimate Cabin in the Woods and some sorta Trailblazing Garden Design.  I’ll probably just look at the pictures for that one.

Then comes the “Gun”

The gun part of Garden & Gun primarily refers to those on the shoulder of well bred plantation owners rather than the Winchester twelve-gauge Bubba keeps on the rack in the Silverado.  I guess that just like golf magazines like to show us hackers courses we’ll never play, high end gun journals show us private retreats and hunt clubs with gentlemen sporting their Beretta’s and wearing ties in the field as described in one of Count Raoul’s earlier posts.

I do believe that if regular folks in America’s other side of the Mason-Dixon subscribed to Garden & Gun, they would eventually conclude that Truman Capote haunts every bookstore and drinking whiskey from a Mason jar is as common as pimento cheese at an Ole Miss tailgate.  Trust me it’s not, but you will enjoy the ride.

Perhaps some enterprising DSP will start a broadsheet with the regional title of Beaver & Barista capturing the romance of lumberjacks and the fashion appeal of mildewed rainwear hanging from every doorknob on every house, every day.  Believe me; if these guys can do it, you can too.

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One Response to Soul of the South?

  1. Jenn says:

    I’m loving the idea of Beavers & Baristas. As soon as I find my stash of “Daddy’s Money”, I’m all over it! :)

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