By Clarence Cason
Illustrated via J. Edward Rice, with an creation via Wayne Flynt
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As we halted in front of the "shoppe," it seemed judicious that we have a brace of hamburger sandwiches and two bottles of pop. Our assurance that this omission troubled us not at all appeared to invite an understanding spirit between us as we sat there in the hot sun, with the glorious mountains in view. " Mayhap, however, he should be classed among the "unlimited natural resources,'' of which the Gastonia industrialists used to boast before the strikes and before the depression. To all appearances, they were of all God's creatures the lost, the forlorn, the unshepherded.
One's social status can be loosely measured in terms of the inverse ratio of the number of hours spent at the mercy of the July sun. Not even the bearing of General Johnson's industrial codes upon the South, particularly with respect to the wage differentials, has given southerners as much of a feeling of regional consciousness as have the various federal programs relating to cotton. They like pepper in their food, strong coffee, and the excitement of fights. In Alabama there is a statue inscribed to "The Man Who Killed Old Abe Lincoln in 1865," and another dedicated to the Boll Weevil in celebration of its contribution to raising the price of cotton by reducing the yield in 1927.
As of old, the climate and the presence of the Negro are the main conditioning elements in southern culture. By observing some of the abuses growing out of mortgage and foreclosure proceedings, one may catch a glimpse of the vicious system which frequently is based upon the inability of defenseless sharecroppers and industrial workers to obtain adequate protection from the laws. Typical One sometimes hears the maxim that the letting of Negro shacks is the only realestate venture sure to bring profit in certain parts of the South.