Grand American Coon Hunt

Published on VICE. January 2014. “Roff, roff, roff, roff” and “aroooroororoororroorooroororoooroooroooro” filled the air for two straight days in Orangeburg, South Carolina, for the 49th Annual Grand American Coon Hunt. Black and Tans, Blue Ticks, Plott Hounds, and a few random terriers populated the fair grounds. It was a triumph …

Pet Blessings

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of …

Bristol Motor Speedway

Published on CNN. October 2013. BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY Bristol, Tennessee Text by CNN: A woman in a Confederate flag minidress. A little boy with an “88” softly shaved into his head. A pair of fans dressed up as M&Ms – one red, one yellow – each hoisting a canned beverage …

Cajun Mardi Gras: Eunice Parade

Most of Southern Louisiana has pre-Lenten activities. While Mardi Gras festivities roll in New Orleans, to the West small towns like Mamou, Eunice, and Church Point are doing a “Fat Tuesday Run” or Courir de Mardi Gras. To go on a run, one must wear the traditional dress- loose suits, …

Good Friday in New Orleans

New Orleans is about 1/3 Catholic and many more observe Catholic traditions, like Lent, after a raucous Mardi Gras. Good Friday tends to be celebrated by the devout Catholic. There are events throughout the city. Uptown, people get on buses or walk to do the Nine-Church Pilgrimage. Each church will …

Womanless Beauty Pageant

Silver Creek Campground in Mt. Hermon, LA, celebrates its anniversary each year by crowning the “Misss (Not so Miss) Silver Creek” at their womenless beauty pageant. Male campers dress up as women to be judged on eveningwear and interview questions. The grand prize is a gift certificate to Walmart. One boy plunks down at …

Joy Prom

“Young man, there’s no need to feel down. Young man, get yourself off the ground” — pumps from the speakers, the trumpets blare and then — “It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.” — and hundreds of arms extend into the sky while red and blue lights flash from the …

Land Of Oz

As I step off of Dorothy’s back porch, I see the withered twitching legs of the Wicked Witch of the East under the house. The yellow brick road is before me and brighter and more magical than I ever imagined. Hidden among the twisty roads of Beech Mountain, NC, the …

Who Dat: Saints Super Fans

Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? From the Aints era to a Superbowl winning season, fans are in it through thick and thin. Once inside the Superdome, the fans keep the noise level loud, interrupting visiting teams communication especially on third down.

County Fair

The county fair is best experienced at dusk with the smell of deep-fried oreos filling the air. I associate fair season with summer’s end and that last blast of oppressive heat and humidity. As wrathful as summer can be at this time, seeing the ferris wheel glow means that there …