Issue 2: Spring 2014


I. 1953 Golden Jubilee Tractor | Bryan Jayne

I ease off the clutch, yet no matter how slowly I lift my foot, the tractor jumps forward in a quick and unexpected way—reminding me that this is no car.

Shell's Slush

II. Shell’s Slush | Sara Carter

When you return to Hickory, North Carolina from wherever you have been, before you call your parents, visit your grandmother, or unpack your suitcase, the same sentence always comes first: “One cherry-vanilla-lemon Sun Drop slush please.”

Biscuit bowl with hands

III. A Bowl and Biscuits | Jody Marie Rowland

A bowl greasy with lard, a bowl dusty with flour, a bowl yielding biscuits, or a bowl full of love: it does not matter what it is called, Grandma Marie’s wooden bowl holds tradition for my family.


IV. Fry Daddy | S.E. Spencer

Christmas comes once a year and for the Spencer family of Lynchburg, Virginia, Christmas means oysters. Oyster stew, oyster cakes, but most importantly, fried oysters whipped up in my family’s Fry Daddy Jr.


 V. The Family Tea Pitcher | Stephanie Watkins

People say the mountains are cooler, but as mountain dwellers, we know summers are hot. The screen door slams shut, and out walks my aunt, hands and arms laden with cups full of sweet, sugary, heavenly tea. Sweet tea is part of our family, a thing of ritual.


 VI. Shuttle | Katy Clune

An instant of recognition pulled me towards the thing—both essential and unknown. Made for mechanisms large and specific, it rested beside skeleton key, jar, hammer, and other implements more arcane on a dusty flea market table.


 VII. Hair Dryer | Sandra Davidson


 VIII. Jar of Beans | Madison Reece

Eastern North Carolina summers are hot. I was born in the summer of 1995 and for every summer after that, I remember my Grandpa Clay gardening. He and Nana Jeanette live right beside my family on land we have lived on and farmed since 1945 in Caldwell County, North Carolina.

Issue 2 was completed by undergraduate students in AMST 211: “Introduction to the American South: A Cultural Journey” and graduate students Katy Clune and Sandra Davidson in a special directed-reading  of AMST: 490 “Writing Material Culture” in spring 2014. Essays were selected and revised by Clune and Davidson, under the direction of editor-in-chief Bernard L. Herman.