CHAPTER 9: Alabama

The blogging medium really doesn’t lend itself to earnestness, to stories of cultural exchange in its most basic form.  Alexi and I arrived in Cecil, AL (a small town just outside of Montgomery) after a 12 hour, nearly-nonstop drive from Miami.  That night, we were staying with the Terrell’s.   They welcomed us into their home and cooked us so many meat-filled feasts. Lamb one night, deer the next, and ham, eggs, grits and biscuits for breakfast.  They questioned us about Greek culture, about New York, about Jews.  We asked them about confederate flags on state houses and hunting.  Our evenings spent with the Terrell’s remind me of those Greek myths where travelers are hosted by strangers, given food and bed, and exchange tales.  It’s a kind of travel lost in our day because, you know, we’re scared of psychokillers.  Odd that the internet should bring it back.  At this point I must give couchsurfing.org a ringing endorsement.

We spent a day exploring Montgomery with Shawn, the Terrell son.  The civil rights monument stands a couple of blocks from the original White House of the Confederacy, where Jefferson Davis lived for the beginning of his presidency.  In front of the contemporary state house stands a statue of Davis and a statue of “the father of modern gynecology.”   We ate BBQ for lunch.  We walked on the waterfront, by the mighty Alabama river, we drove through the rich neighborhoods, we drove through the poor neighborhoods.
But honestly, compared with venison feasts and good conversation, touring the town got nothing.
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