So this turned into a
trip about heat,
exploring civil rights
battlefields of long
ago (or just yesterday,
if you please), a great heat, a deep
heat, a deep south heatÐnot grits, but
brains turned to gritsÐharder to focus
this year, to listen, to

absorb, but so much easier
to imagineÐdid slaves pick
cotton in ovens like
this? Oh yes, now I see
it. Did those shotgun
shanties fight for breaths of air,
not an air-conditioner in
sight? Now I get it. And those sharecroppers,
slowly barbecuing on the
grill, did their work songs run down into
sweaty puddles at their
feet? Ok, now I
feel it. So this

is the South as revealed to us, red-
hot and glowing, on a trip
great heat.

The Deep South Trip
April 14-21 2002

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