Garden and Gun »

  • Discover the Dust Bowl Girls

    Posted 2017-01-27 15:11:23 by: Johnny Gearfire

    “You might want to tell their story someday,” Lydia Reeder’s grandmother said as she handed her an old folder full of newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs. Tucked inside were fragments of the true story of a women’s basketball team in Depression-era Oklahoma that gave hope to Dust Bowl farming communities and would end up inspiring generations. From left: The cover of Dust Bowl Girls; The 1932-33 OPC Cardinals team. (Photos by Truby Studio, Durant, OK.) Dust Bowl Girls, Reeder’s fascinating new book, proves her grandmother was right. Reeder tells the story of the women who played under coach Sam Babb, her great uncle. He led the Oklahoma Presbyterian College Cardinals basketball team through a barnstorming-fundraising effort across the South that resulted in 89 consecutive wins and two national titles. Along the way, the team dealt with a crop of politicians, doctors, and educators who perpetuated the idea that female athletes would destroy their “feminine image by invading a man’s world.”  Here, Reeder shares her favorite details from the book as well as her reason for telling this story now: What surprised you most when you were researching? The fact that women even played basketball in the 30s surprised me, and I didn’t know they were that good. The backlash against women’s sports also surprised me. There was a campaign against women’s competitive athletics from First Lady Lou Henry Hoover and the National Amateur Athletic Federation. They wanted women to exercise, but they didn’t support competitive athletics for women or for them to compete in front of a crowd. There were some weird pseudo-scientific ideas going around back then that the more women played sports, the less ladylike and less fertile they were. From left: Doll Harris; Lera and Vera Dunford; Hazel Vickers. This was also during the Depression. Tell me a little about the importance of the time and setting in Oklahoma for telling this story. Everybody was ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • The New Age of Zelda

    Posted 2017-01-25 15:12:27 by: Johnny Gearfire

    Dust off your feathered headbands and drop-waist dresses—2017 will herald the return of the flapper. Or rather, one Jazz Age icon in particular: Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. Three new Hollywood projects will vie to tell the tale of the Alabama-born wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the literary toast of the twenties. David Hoflin and Christina Ricci as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in Amazon Studios's new series Z: The Beginning of Everything. (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios) Renewed interest in Zelda centers on fleshing out the “first American flapper”—so dubbed by her husband—beyond her image as a gin-soaked good-time girl. That includes giving due to Zelda’s own considerable skill as a wordsmith, a talent often overshadowed or squashed by F. Scott’s popularity and personality. He heavily edited her only published novel, Save Me the Waltz, and called her writing “third-rate.” But the author of The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise often “borrowed” from Zelda’s life and journals for his own works; in a playful New York Tribune review of F. Scott’s novel The Beautiful and Damned—a thinly veiled account of their marriage—Zelda wrote, “Mr. Fitzgerald … seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home." Z: The Beginning of Everything will officially premiere on January 27. (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios) You’ll see much of the couple’s tempestuous dynamic in Amazon Studios’s original series Z: The Beginning of Everything, starring Christina Ricci, which premieres on Friday, January 27 (the first episode is already available to watch for free online). Based on Raleigh resident Therese Anne Fowler’s 2013 best-selling novel, Z, the show spends its first few episodes in Zelda’s hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, where the flirtatious daughter of a judge met F. Scott, a young soldier at nearby Camp Sheridan during World War I, at a country club dance.  Two films also are slated to begin competing productions this year, with an ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Southern Pie Shops We Love

    Posted 2017-01-23 18:26:30 by: Johnny Gearfire

    From left: Scratch proprietor Phoebe Lawless; Apple pie. (Photos by Lissa Gotwals; Johnny Autry) “I know the look of an apple pie that is roasting on the hearth on a winter’s evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream.” So wrote Mark Twain in his autobiography. In the 1870s, toward the end of a long European tour, he compiled a lengthy list of all the American foodstuffs he would indulge in upon his return home, including no less than four variations of the humble dessert. Like Twain, Southerners recognize the power of pie. We’ll pull out the rolling pin for almost any reason—to comfort a sick friend, to welcome a new neighbor, to attend a family reunion, to celebrate the holidays. There’s a pie for every season. In honor of National Pie Day, we rounded up some of our favorite Southern pie shops. After all, not everyone has a baker in the family. PieLabGreensboro, Alabama Pie brings people together. That’s a fact PieLab founder and Alabama native Seaborn Whatley was counting on when he opened this shop, which also serves as a community center and employs at-risk youth, in tiny Greensboro, Alabama. Staples like chocolate chess, cherry, and bourbon pecan are made using Whatley’s grandmother’s crust recipe. And he’s not sharing—the recipe at least. You can have all the pie you like, though. Try, the signature apple.  Proper Pie Co.Richmond, Virginia While you’ll find sweet standards like pumpkin, pecan, and lemon meringue, folks seek out this Richmond bakery for its savory offerings. New Zealand native Neil Smith serves up the hand-pies of his homeland, featuring simple straightforward ingredients. The popular chicken and kumara (the Kiwi name for sweet potato) pie includes those two ingredients, plus gravy and fresh tarragon.  Red Truck BakeryWarrenton and Marshall, Virginia At both locations of Brian Noyes’ Virginia bakery, you’ll find classic double-crust and Streusel ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • New Gear for the New Year

    Posted 2017-01-19 14:13:29 by: Johnny Gearfire

    Southerners don’t need a resolution to get outside and enjoy nature, but it always helps to have the right attire, whether you’re on the links or on the marsh. Cheers to getting out there and looking good doing it—even if that just means walking your Boykin.  Outdoor Pursuit: Yoga, Walking, RunningBrand: Outdoor VoicesSouthern by way of: Austin, TexasWhat to Wear: Unlike a lot of neon look-at-me-I’m-an-athlete gear, Outdoor Voices' approach is more laid-back. We love their two-tone warm-up leggings with subtle color combinations. The textured compression spandex leggings have ten panels sewn to flatter and stay put during stretches or sprints.  Photo courtesy of Outdoor Voices Outdoor Pursuit: FishingBrand: Freefly ApparelSouthern by way of: Charleston, South CarolinaWhat to Wear: The original men’s long-sleeve shirt that the company started with in 2011 is still made from bamboo, rendering it extremely soft, antibacterial, and naturally moisture-wicking, with comfortable shoulder stitching that allows for a full range of motion when casting. Translation: It will survive a long day on a boat like a champ.  Photo courtesy of Freefly Apparel  Outdoor Pursuit: GolfBrand: Peter MillarSouthern by way of: Raleigh, North CarolinaWhat to Wear: Peter Millar’s EB66 moisture-wicking performance pants are woven with two-way stretch for comfort on the course, but the flat front design doubles as a great everyday staple. Available in eight colors. Courtesy of Peter ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • A Year of Southern Travel

    Posted 2017-01-18 15:06:42 by: Johnny Gearfire

    Photo by David Prince  You may have already skipped yesterday’s trip to the gym, but traveling more in the year ahead is one resolution you might actually want to keep. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of must-visit Southern destinations for each month of the year. Open your calendar, and start planning. January Head to Marfa, Texas, the ranch town turned international arts hub in the high plains of the Chihuahuan Desert, and day-trip to Big Bend National Park for the opening of the way-cooler-than-it-sounds Fossil Discovery Exhibit, debuting January 14. Famed San Antonio architect Ted Flato designed the main building and open-air pavilions for the permanent exhibition, which explores Big Bend’s rich geologic record that spans a whopping 130 million years. Winters are mild in the desert, but temperatures can swing more than thirty degrees from morning to afternoon, so layer up if you plan to hike—and you should.  The new Ted Flato designed exhibition space at Big Bend. (Photo courtesy of Big Bend Conservancy.)  February Check out the South’s other Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, which natives will quickly inform you was the country’s first. Like the Crescent City party, there are parades and balls aplenty, including the brand-new Dauphin Island parade. You can find the full schedule, here. On the route: Look for the Excelsior Band, a ten-piece brass ensemble that has been represented in Mobile’s marches since 1883.  MarchWashington, D.C. boasts a host of of reasons to visit in March beyond the famed cherry blossoms. If you’re after good food, some of the most creative chefs in the country have set up in the Capitol—guys like Jeremiah Langhorne of the Dabney and Aaron Silverman of Pineapple & Pearls and Rose’s Luxury. And the museum game is stronger than ever. The National Museum of African American History opened in September, and the Hirshorn debuts a blockbuster Yayoi Kusama retrospective (February 23-May 14). If you really ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Video Premiere: John Prine’s “Just Waitin’”

    Posted 2017-01-12 19:09:02 by: Johnny Gearfire

    Throughout his storied career, John Prine has played plenty of Hank Williams songs. So much so that family members and friends point out to him that they sound like John Prine songs. That’s true of “Just Waitin’,” the final track on Prine’s latest, For Better, Or Worse, a collection of duets with some of Nashville’s elite female voices, including Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, and Iris DeMent. But “Just Waitin’” is just Prine, reciting the song as Williams did under his alias, Luke the Drifter, on the 1954 spoken-word album of the same name. “It shows how much Hank Williams influenced my writing,” Prine says. “I love recitations, I would love to do an album of Luke the Drifter stuff. It’s getting easier for me to talk than sing anyway!” For the accompanying video for “Just Waitin’,” Prine was approached by filmmaker Molly Secours, who wanted to pair Prine’s interpretation with images from renowned Nashville photographer Jack Spencer (click here for Garden & Gun’s 2010 profile of Spencer). Secours manipulated Spencer’s portraits to make them eerie and stark, yet with longing traces of warmth. The pairing of two artists who transcend time makes for a powerful statement.  “When I heard John sing ‘Just Waitin,’ I immediately wanted John and Jack to meet,” Secours says, “and this song seemed like the best introduction. Both of these guys are timeless artists.” If you’re ready for some truly moving pictures, click below for the premiere of “Just ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • The Mystery of Southern Swans

    Posted 2017-01-11 18:38:10 by: Johnny Gearfire

    Every year for the past twenty-five or so, an extended family of America’s largest native waterfowl has made its home on a tiny oxbow lake in northern Arkansas. Native to the northwestern United States, Alaska, and Canada, snow-white trumpeter swans—birds the size of a cocker spaniel with wingspans measuring eight feet—rarely migrate farther south than Ohio. So why do hundreds of them winter in the Natural State each year? Photos by Larry Jernigan Local wildlife photographer Larry Jernigan has a theory about the first swans that landed on Magness Lake, two miles from his home near Heber Springs, in the early 1990s: “There has been a lot of speculation, but I think a family of them was flying south and ran into bad weather,” he says. “Three pulled into our nice-looking pond and stayed.” Pairs of swans mate for life, and families generally return to the same winter grounds year after year. That’s the case for these wayward birds. Each November, Jernigan begins driving past Magness Lake to see if the swans have landed. “I start looking around Thanksgiving,” he says. “The weather has a lot to do with it. When it starts getting cold up north, the swans get motivated. One family will arrive, and the next day another will be here.” Their presence is a conservation victory for Arkansas and all of North America. Centuries ago, early settlers prized the enormous birds for their meat and feathers. Trumpeters were nearly extinct by the early twentieth century until aggressive conservation efforts took hold. By the time the birds started showing up in Arkansas, their numbers were rebounding. This year, Jernigan estimates nearly five hundred swans have descended on Magness Lake and a few other private ponds in the Heber Springs area, which is about an hour and a half north of Little Rock. And just as mysteriously as they arrived, the swans will start to disappear come February. “You can almost tell when it’s going to happen,” Jernigan says. ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Eat Like a Local in Tampa

    Posted 2017-01-06 21:30:45 by: Johnny Gearfire

    In the birthplace of Hooter’s and Outback Steakhouse, Greg Baker staked a claim for a different kind of local flavor when he opened the Refinery in 2010. Then, in 2014, the the Clearwater, Florida–raised chef resurrected regional classics like sour orange pie and sofkee porridge at the nearby Fodder & Shine. But where does Baker eat when he’s not on the clock? Ahead of the Clemson-Alabama national championship game, we asked him to share a few favorite local hole-in-the-walls. Left to right: tacos at Loli's Mexican Cravings; chef Greg Baker; Cuban sandwiches at La Segunda Central Bakery.  Brocato’s Sandwich Shop5021 E Columbus Drive, Tampa “This place serves our local version of deviled crab. It’s basically crab mixed with tomato sauce and breadcrumbs, formed into a football, then breaded and fried. Historically, this is what people would do with their leftover crab pasta sauce.”​—brocatossandwich.com  Chop Chop Shop6605 N Florida Avenue, Tampa “Here, you pick rice or noodles and different toppings to put on top. It’s run by a husband-and-wife team—and while the menu is largely Korean, she’s Russian, so you’ve got things like marinated mushrooms on the menu. I usually get a pork belly bowl and add some karaage [Japanese fried chicken] nuggets.”—facebook.com/chopchopshoptampa La Segunda Central Bakery2512 N 15th Street, Ybor City “It’s been there since 1915, and it is the place to get a Cuban sandwich in Tampa—a proper Tampa Cuban. Because of the cigar industry, Tampa’s native cuisine is a mix of Cuban and Sicilian. So our Cuban sandwich has roast pork from Cuba, salami from Sicily—oh, and mustard from Germany. These were the immigrants who came to work in West Tampa and Ybor City.”—lasegundabakery.com La Teresita Cafeteria3248 W Columbus Drive, Tampa “This is the classic Cuban diner, with three or four horseshoe counters going around. It’s an experience. Puerco asado is a special every day, and beyond ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • A Tribute to Frida Kahlo, Gardener

    Posted 2017-01-06 16:53:39 by: Johnny Gearfire

    Credits below. Most people know Frida Kahlo for her paintings—and iconic unibrow. You might not know that the acclaimed Mexican artist was also a passionate gardener. In her backyard paradise, she tended oleander and scented geraniums and plucked roses and marigolds to weave in her hair (she was way ahead of the floral crown trend.)  Kahlo in the courtyard of Casa Azul, c. 1951. Photograph by Guillermo Zamora. Courtesy Vincent Wolf Photography Collection Today, visitors flock to Casa Azul, Kahlo’s home-and-garden-turned museum in Coyoacán, Mexico City, to see the tropical oasis she created. But for those who can’t venture that far South, the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, planted a green space in tribute to Kahlo’s as part of the current exhibition, Frida Kahlo at the Dalí, which runs through April 17. Cacti and marigolds at the Avant-Garden. Photograph ©2016 – Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL The exhibition includes fifteen of Kahlo’s paintings, seven drawings, and a large collection of personal photographs. Outside, visitors can meander the museum’s Avant-Garden to discover plants that Kahlo loved: canna lilies, oleander, agave, and cacti. The botanicals are meant to conjure the spirit of the artist, whose art focused on the surreal and dreamlike experience of beauty in nature. “She would go out every day to tend her flowers and plants,” the museum’s executive director Hank Hine says. “Her garden was an essential part of her identity and life.” The terraced structure and plants reference Kahlo’s Mexico City garden. Photograph ©2016 – Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL Kahlo also kept a zoo of pets—hairless dogs, monkeys, and chickens. She and her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera, collected indigenous art and built a tiered temple inspired by ancient Mexico in Casa Azul’s courtyard. The Dalí Museum’s garden also includes a terraced structure as homage to Kahlo’s ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Island Escapes

    Posted 2017-01-05 16:47:22 by: Johnny Gearfire

    With winter weather bearing down on most of the South, now’s a great time to check out any of these new sun-soaked West Indian hideouts—whether you’re just dreaming or ready to book a beach getaway.  The Bahamas HouseBahamas Harbour Island’s miles of sea-grass beds and coral reefs have earned it a reputation for top-notch bonefishing and diving. And now that the adventure-travel pros at Eleven Experience have renovated this nineteenth-century home in Dunmore Town, you can expect more on-the-water thrills—paddle boarding, snorkeling, kite surfing, deep-sea fishing, and the like. elevenexperience.com/bahamas Paddle boarding off Harbour Island. (Photo courtesy of the Bahamas House.)  The Cliff HotelJamaica With just thirty-three villas and suites cloistered along Jamaica’s West End cliffs, the Cliff Hotel is a far cry from standard-issue, all-inclusive megaresorts. Here, island culture informs everything from the KiYara Spa, which features traditional Jamaican healing remedies, to the oceanfront restaurant, Zest, which showcases dishes like curried octopus and West Indian bouillabaisse. thecliffjamaica.com The Cliff bar at the Cliff Hotel. (Photo courtesy of the Cliff Hotel.) The Shore ClubTurks and Caicos Situated on Long Bay Beach, some of Providenciales’s most sought-after real estate, this new resort is a people pleaser. Spring for a villa and you even get your own butler. You can make use of complimentary sea kayaks and snorkeling gear. Or grab a beach read from the vast library—an idle afternoon spent ashore can prove as satisfying as one on the turquoise water. theshoreclubtc.com The view from a Shore Club suite. (Photo courtesy of the Shore Club.) Kimpton Seafire Resort and SpaCayman Islands Steps from Grand Cayman’s famed Seven Mile Beach, Seafire makes the most of its surroundings: The majority of its rooms offer unobstructed ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows. The Presidential Suite even includes a private ...

    Comments: 0   View more...