Friday, June 3, 2011

fried food & family reunions

Fortune had it that I was in the South on the same weekend as our family reunion and what a charming family I have - God bless em' - they melt my heart like when when my Aunt Louann asked in earnest "Crystal, now tell me the true meaning of a geisha?" in her sweet southern accent, by far my favorite soundbite of the trip. I wish you could hear my impersonation; it's quite good. [Backstory -- she had a statue of a geisha on her entry table and had fears that perhaps a geisha was a prostitute & she's a religious woman and all.] In the days leading up the the reunion, Pete, my dad, my Uncle Steve & Aunt Louann, paid a visit the local museums. First, we went to the Gaston County Museum, a converted hotel which was built in 1852 and features an ongoing exhibit on mill life. My Uncle Steve worked in mills all his life, so he explained everything to us. My dad played the old organ on the third floor of the museum. Later that day, we went to the Carolina Big Rig Truck Museum in neighboring Cherryville.
There's no such thing as healthy eating in Gaston County. The first night in town, we ate at a local fish fry. At the family reunion, I ate fried chicken from KFC & Bojangles, as well as homemade fried & bbq chicken. (I'm back to healthy eating now that I'm home.) I also tried barbecue slaw for the first time. Pete tried a "country sandwich all the way with slaw", which is really just a thick bologne sandwich with all the fixins.
fish fry
fried catfish, hush puppies & onion rings at local Fish Fry
there also was some ham on the menu
The family reunion was held at lovely little park surrounded by little lakes, pine trees & big fluffy clouds. I was so happy to see my aunts, uncles & cousins. Many remarked that I looked just like my mom when she was in her 30s. It had been six years since I had seen visited with my southern family, so I was really happy to see everyone, even though some were unable to attend.
Oh ya, I thought I should mention that I was not born & raised in the South. My dad & his folks hail from North Carolina. I am very connected to the South (I can tell you everything about good country music), but for the most part I'm a city gal, born & raised in Southern California.

I'm still a little jet lagged which sucks cause I really wanna go dancing tonight. happy friday, dudes. hopefully, you have more spunk than I do.


  1. what a great coincidence! Looks like a fun few days. That food is insane! How do people eat it on a regular basis? I think I'd be 3x my size!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing these pics with us Crystal Lee - I especially love the Jesus hat! You look lovely in your outfits. Does your aunt think you are Japanese???

    Sarah xxx

  3. they eat like this every day and the result? the highest obesity rates in the nation are in the south. in mississippi, 44% of the population is overweight or obese. npr did a really illuminating story on this recently:

    there is also a direct correlation between poverty and high obesity rates. sorry to get all debbie downer on your blog crystal, but i find this shit super sad.

  4. Gloom,

    I agree with you -- it's a pretty sad state of affairs. Nearly everyone in my family has diabetes, besides being overweight. I was really worried about my dad not getting enough veggies & fruits, so I took him to the local produce stand and bought him some fresh fruit (I didn't see any veggies). If you're poor & hungry, you'll probably buy a dollar burger from McDonald's or something or eat something processed. When donating to people in need, I think it's important to see to it that they get fresh food, not canned food. Why are we always collecting canned food for the poor peeps? What the hell? condensed milk and canned veggies.

  5. My gawd,the food!!! That's so sad that many of your family have diabetes.I don't get at all why being poor stops a person from eating fresh.
    I reckon being a Southerner must be in the blood! You don't need to be born and raised to be one,I'm sure!
    My goodness,your family is huge! I have 3 1/2 sisters,3 cousins and an aunt alive.That's it!

  6. Wow! Your pictures look very pretty. Im sure it is a lovely place to visit and I love your wardrobe.



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