Friday, June 02, 2006

Moments of Macon

Macon, Ga. -- You halfway expect to see Faulkner. This is that much of a Southern city.

Yeah, I know he was from Mississippi. But it is easy to picture William Faulkner loving this town, with its antebellum houses and very suuuuth-aaaaan ambiance. Dewayne Lawson, who lives here, says this is the city Reconstruction forgot.

Driving through town, on the way to lunch, we drive by a house in which Cher used to live, when she was married to whichever Allman brother didn't die.

We pull up at a parking place downtown and there's that other sign of city life -- the beggar. She asks for money. It's probably not for food.

We walk in to Nu-Way Weiners, one of those hot dog diners that has survived the years. It's been here in Macon since 1916. I get a hot dog, burger, fries and a Coke for six bucks. Dewayne gets two hot dogs, fries and a Diet Coke.

The bric-a-brac on the walls are old newspapers -- articles about the diner, a long-ago flood, little moments of Macon. The waitress chides us about looking at her funny. It feels real, like something out of Harper Lee, if only Jem and Scout were here to eat with us. It smells like a diner should.

We leave with our bellies full. Of course you knew it would be that way.

This is the South, darlin'. We don't ever go away hungry. We clean our plates. We say "ma'am" and "sir." We remember our history.

How would Faulkner have put it?

"The past is not dead. In fact, it is not even past."

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