A Downhome Perspective on All Things Southern


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From the Editor

On Southern Culture

We Southerners are a unique breed. Pride of place, manners bred into us from birth, the foods we eat, our bond with the land and our relationship with our family and friends make us who we are. Most practice true religion. For most of us football is nearly a religious experience.

Southern-style began as a genealogy website. It expanded to become a general interest website (generally anything I am interested in). Those interests evolved with the discovery that not only did this born and bred southerner have ancestors on the Mayflower and in Jamestown, signing the Magna Charta (on both sides) but among those Native Americans who originally inhabited these lands through both my mother's Vann line (Powhatan - Cleopatra and Opechancanough) but also through my father's Pettus line (Powhatan-Pocahontas and Kocoum).

You will see that history intrigues me, particularly the people and area in which I grew up, Southeast Alabama. Folks greet each other asking, "How's your mom an 'em?" Wondering how all those folks were related led me to doing lots of genealogy that many of you may find interesting. The same was true for Wilcox county, Alabama, my father's old stomping grounds and Escambia County, Alabama, where my mother was born. Of course, all of that took me back many generations and into the history and founding of this nation and those from which those ancestors came. This tapestry has threads that lead to fascinating people and their stories.

The discovery of my Native American heritage led to my novels, Swimming with Serpents and In Pursuit, published by Mercer University Press. I wondered what the world was like for my Cherokee 4th great grandmother. Finding Mayan DNAthrough Tribal led to Mayans, Muscadine and Murder, one of my Mint Julep Mysteries. The Mint Julep Mysteries are set on a plantation inspired by my grandparents' home, Wakefield Plantation, in Furman, Wilcox County, Alabama now owned by my sister, cardiologist, Dr. Sylvia Burson Rushing and her husband Col. Tom Rushing.

I grew up in a privileged home, the daughter of a small town doctor and a stay at home mother who met my father after a World War in which my father served in the Philippines and my mother served as a nurse and earned a battle ribbon at the Battle of the Bulge. Mattie Martin, the black housekeeper who helped them raise their children, did much more than cook and keep house. She supported our parents in teaching us manners, morals and values and our place in the world. She was also the very best cook in town. The profound impact she made on me influenced my view of the world and the books I have written, including Mint Juleps and Murder, the second in the Mint Julep Mysteries. I combined the first three of that series in the Mint Julep Trilogy. Wakefield Plantation: Cookbook and Family History tells of the plantation that was the inspiration for those books.

If you have a wedding coming up you might enjoy reading about our daughter Brooke's home spun wedding. The Wedding Raising was a lot of fun! The "how to" might give you some ideas. I also share the Mother of the Groom perspective on a wedding as well.

Though my husband and I have reached a different stage of life now and have moved from the old family home in Dothan, Alabama, to Panama City, Florida, and our new adventure called retirement, I will continue to share with you more recipes and menus from my own Southern experience now with a Florida flair. 

I also threw in a few short stories you might enjoy. And do not neglect visiting the Inspiration pages. There's an interesting tale about Bear Bryant who was coach at the University of Alabama where I pledged Delta Delta Delta and my husband was a Pi Kappa Phi.

Welcome to this very personal view of the South. I hope you enjoy your visit.

Sharman Ramsey , Webmaster
Roll Tide!

By the way, did I mention? My novels Swimming with Serpents and In Pursuit are available through KOBO, Independent Book Stores, Barnes and Noble, Mercer University Press, and Amazon. My cozy mysteries, the Mint Julep Mysteries, are available on Amazon as is Wakefield Plantation: history and cookbook of one southern family.

Speaking Engagements
December Panama City Women's Club

New on Southern-Style:
Organizing a Book Festival

Power Point You Are Your Own Best Publicist

Daddy reads the Christmas Story. This was many years ago (see the Star Wars cover on the bed), but the emotion is the same. Share it with your own children.

Christmas story with children
Christmas reindeer I have decided to make this a window onto what Southern women do. This picture happens to be of the Panama City Women's Club. The Women's Club consists of several different Departments that do civic projects throughout the community. We meet once a month as a whole organization and then break into Departments for individual meetings. The Departments consist of Arts, Conservation, Education, Health and Welfare, International Outreach, Public Issues, and Youth. The Conservation group hosted the meeting and cooked a delicious lunch for everyone. I happen to belong to the Arts Department, but you can participate in as many Departments as you wish.

As a younger woman, I was a member of the Dothan Service League and rotated through the Gift Shop at the Medical Center, the Girls Club (where I later served as President of the Board of Directors and started the first Fashion Show fundraiser that became a major community event), and others. Times have changed, however, and so many younger women who would have participated are now in the work force. The benefit of the Panama City Women's Club is that many older women, now out of the workforce, find opportunities of service and friendships that they did not have time for in their younger years. Younger women who can extend the lunch hour also participate.

Faith, Family,   Freedom

I am

a writer
who sings
 a song of the South. 
My heart beats in unison
with its people,
my soul is soothed 
by the sighs of  the wind
as it drifts through the needles
of the arrow straight pines standing sentinal against the back drop
of a cerulean sky.
Sharman Burson Ramsey
Destinations Porch overlooking the New River  
Foods, Recipes and Confections  
George Gainer Governor's Club swearing in
My husband and I were honored to be among those who traveled by bus to Tallahassee the Governor's Club to watch the swearing in of our friend, George Gainer as Florida senator. We look forward to great things from this good, humble man.
History Mission San Luis  
Art Megan Portrait
Granddaughter Megan's portrait was painted by the gifted artist, Victoria Bush.
Photojournalism Sam Gellerstedt  
Southern Furniture Makers Reid Bed  
Inspiration William Hampton Flowers  
Houston County Alabama History Dothan High School 1916  
Short Stories Alliwishus    
Wilcox County, Alabama History Wakefield      

Copyright 1996. The genealogy file are my own working files and should be considered only as a starting place for your own research.