Reader Letters

Southern Neighborliness

I applaud Clay Risen on a most intelligent rebuttal to Charles Simic’s report of his trip through the South. I am sad to hear that Mr. Simic did not appreciate the graciousness of the docents in Jackson’s Mississippi Arts Pavilion. They welcome guests into the museum as if it were their own home, and, if they ask if guests enjoyed themselves, it is because they care how each guest’s visit went. It is too bad he did not recognize the famous southern hospitality when he saw it.

Many Americans today suffer stress from constant and ever-increasing change. The South has managed to slow some of it down; southerners just can’t always pick and choose what to eliminate and what to keep. One tradition they have managed to hang onto is good manners, and Mr. Simic has shown poor manners in return, behaving as a bad guest as he bad-mouths his host on his recent trip of discovery.

Thank you.

Janet Jeffery
Austin, Texas
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