This blog was created to share a passion for all things Southern. For generations, those of us native to the South have taken great pride in our heritage, our traditions, and in the telling of our stories. We also sometimes have to cringe and learn from past times that did not make us proud. Our mission is to be informative, educational, and, hopefully, share with you some Southern knowledge you may have known but forgotten from years ago or something you’re learning about for the first time. Either way, we hope you find it interesting and enjoyable.
Meet our Southern Voice Team
Our Senior Writers
Christy is a retired educator and social service provider for youth aging out of foster care. She has a passion for helping at-risk kids succeed and her family and the region’s history. She is an avid reader, likes to work in her yard, and spends time reading, writing, researching, and taking care of her family; including her cats. She has been published in several online education blogs, “The Old Schoolhouse”, “The War Horse”, and several newspapers. She also does book reviews for a free local publication and on her own online social media blog. She lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with her husband in Maryville, Tennessee.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in the South, I’m a cupcake-baking Granny. In my 74 years, I’m most
thankful for having been a wife to my husband, Ernest, for 55 Years, a mother for 53 Years, and a
grandmother for 24 Years.
I was in the field of computer technology for almost 50 years. I served as the Director of Information
Systems for the Gwinnett County Public School System in GA and retired as the CIO for Hall County
Schools, also in Georgia.
I love people; the more unique they are, the better. At this time in my life, it’s wonderful to have the
opportunity to share my thoughts and memories.
Linda Kay Baker was born in 1952 and grew up in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee. a native of Blount County. She grew up playing in the hills and mountains of Appalachia, a life that instilled in her a love of mountain culture. Linda started writing stories and collecting local history while in high school. Her first book, “Cold Springs Community, Family, and Friends,” was 20 years in the making. Baker is the owner and publisher of a free online magazine, Blount and Beyond. The magazine is written by local community members. Baker is currently working on her third book Cold Springs Community, Family, and Friends: Old Chilhowee Cemetery and Walker School Cemetery.
Her working life covered a span of forty years. Linda Kay worked in special education, the library at the local community college, and retired as the administrator of a local assisted living. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Kenneth, and her service dog Sagan. Her family includes children Melissa and Jason Walker and Kenneth and Conchita Baker. She has four grandchildren, Mary, David, Jackson, and Sophia.
Linda Kay can be reached by email at Linda1352@gmail.com
Henry is an executive, author, person of interests, the Daddy-O as he’s known at home. He has been a successful entrepreneur and executive in the construction industry for thirty years. He has also been a sports journalist and featured columnist for the Bleacher Report, an independent writer published in various trade magazines, and the author of two award-winning books. Sister of Sorrows (2020), Michael Chapel (2021). Henry is also the Creative Producer for Imperative Entertainment’s new hit podcast, In the Land of Lies, which is based, in part, on his book, Michael Chapel.
The fodder for my writing material comes from a lifetime of shouting churches and smoky honky-tonks; from the swamps along the Chipola River in North Florida to Holiday Inn lounges along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, from trimming horse’s hooves under a Gadsden County shade to hand-loading pulpwood in the piney woods of Calhoun County. Then for five years, I was a “Gandy dancer” on the Apalachicola Northern railroad that wound through brown coastal flatlands and “The Red Hills of Florida.” I know what it feels like to play music on stage at the “Grand Ol’ Opry” and in churches where they sing “I’ll Fly Away” for fifteen minutes while people with Jesus in their hearts and fried chicken on their minds dance on the pews. I’ve counted worms at a “Dead Lakes” bait house, and I’ve been on my knees counting my blessings after a testy mare kicked me in the head.
I am a professional musician and horse farrier who spent 18 years as editor of the Havana Herald newspaper. While there, I discovered what accomplishment looks and tastes like after winning Florida Press Association awards for writing, photography, layout, and political cartoons. But I grew tired of politicians and having to tolerate wannabe horse behinds and became a farrier so I could be around real horse behinds—I like the real ones better. My father was a holiness preacher. When I was playing in bars, I used to kid him about our clients. “I’ll take care of ‘em Saturday night; you take care of ‘em Sunday morning.” Music brought me to Tallahassee, where my wife and I decided here is where we wanted to live and raise a family. We bought five acres of land in Gadsden County and had her family home moved here from Port St Joe (100 miles away). Here we raised two children, cared for animals, and planted gardens in this patch of dirt I call Heaven, my Beulah Land!
I’m finishing my second book entitled, “Sometimes the Bologna was Fried.” My first book, “Seasons in Beulah Land,” is a collection of columns I had in the Tallahassee Democrat. During that time, I was playing nightly in area clubs, and I’d tell folks I wrote “Seasons in Beulah Land” from behind bars and let them assume the worse. But it was the truth. During each band break, I’d go out, sit in my car parked behind the bar and write until it was time to go back on stage.
Kate Clabough is a Knoxville area-based writer, researcher, historian, genealogist, and librarian. A Nebraska native, she discovered her Southern roots when researching ancestors born in Tennessee and North Carolina. Kate has been writing professionally for more than 25 years and specializes in local history. Her work has appeared in Native People’s Magazine, Garage Magazine, Blue Ridge Country, CityView, and other newspapers, magazines, and websites. She has written two books for Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, written and produced four stage plays, and has a mystery eBook on Amazon, the first in a series. She is currently working on a book about an Appalachian moonshiner turned gangster and a novel that takes place in Knoxville during the Civil War.
Following a successful career of thirty-five years in pharmaceutical sales, Rodney Davis decided to change fields completely. He currently is pursuing his dream of being an author. He has two nonfiction works, Quit Your Way To Success, and Quit Making Sales Hard. Both these works are quick and easy-to-read guides to better living. But his real passion is fiction. He currently has 4 works of fiction available.
His first work combines his love of science fiction and his faith in Christ. The Revelation Voyage is a story that takes place in a future where political correctness has taken over the world. So, a band of believers prepares to leave the planet for another home in the distant galaxy where they can worship in freedom. But unbeknownst to them, a saboteur is on board. The book explores what a Christian might do to a person who wanted to kill you. His other 3 books are part of a series of murder mysteries. The Mack Files looks at a number of cases of the fictional detective Joshua “Mack” MacIntyre, who solves crimes with the help of the voice of his dead partner that only he can hear. The books include The Mack Files Bender, The Mack Files Skinner, and The Mack Files Nightingale. As imagined, some of the books can be quite vivid in their descriptions. Additionally, Rodney loves tennis, photography, kayaking, and running. His motto for running is “Start off slow, and then taper off!”
Jim is the founder of The Southern Voice. Retired from a business career, he began writing in 2020 and has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines across the Southeast. Jim’s work in fitness and injury recovery has been covered in media from all over, including the United State Congressional Record. His cemetery restoration efforts have also received major media attention. Jim’s wife, Marian, is also a writer and the author of two books. They live in Townville, SC.
Stephen Harris started life as a farmer and cattleman’s son and listening to all the tall tales of the South. It wasn’t long before he became adept and was spinning his own yarns as a child. His father once remarked, “Son you’d rather climb a tree and tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth.”
After spending his early years with horses, cattle, and dirt, he moved on to becoming a professional pilot. The love of storytelling never left him, though. Countless humorous stories were written just for fun. Finally, with the insistence of family and friends, he sat down and wrote a full-length novel, Where the Cotton Once Grew, about his beloved South.
Stephen Harris resides in Central Alabama with his wife, daughters, sons-in-law, a gang of grandchildren and lastly, Piper the wonder dog
Niles Reddick is the author of the Pulitzer-nominated novel “Drifting too Far from the Shore”, two collections “Road Kill Art and Other Oddities” and “Reading the Coffee Grounds”, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in over 450 publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, New Reader Magazine, Forth Magazine, Citron Review, Right Hand Pointing, and Vestal Review. He is a three-time Pushcart, two-time Best Micro, and two-time Best of the Net nominee and works for the University of Memphis. His newest flash collection “If Not for You” is forthcoming by Big Table Publishing.
Carrie Adams Sprys
Carrie Adams Sprys is a wife, mother, military spouse, world traveler, home cook, and voracious reader. Originally from Southwest Georgia, she obtained a history degree, focusing on Southern history and applied her research skills in obtaining a position with a Fortune-500 company in the defense arena.
After leaving the corporate world to raise children and briefly set down roots wherever the Air Force sends her family, Carrie is once again writing about the historic people and places she dearly loves. She is an avid Atlanta Braves fan, a supporter of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and can be found often at her local coffee shop with the latest historical fiction or mystery novel. She currently resides in Louisiana with her husband and two children.
Jim Tate was born in 1950 and raised in the red hills of Northwest Georgia. He comes from a long chain of storytellers hailing from the backwoods and hollers of Alabama and Georgia. Jim is the author of three books: Bruce Hampton – the Early Years, The Buckhead Chronicles, and The Magnolia Chronicles. When time allows, he works on a new collection of tales titled The Lost Chronicles of the Southern Dusk.
His favorite food is a vegetable plate, and his fondest wish is to go back in time and fish with his grandfather. 80% of what he writes is 100% true.
Nora Lou Wilson is a native Tennessean, born in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She is married with two children. Sadly, the IRS will not let them count as dependents…just because they are four-legged and furry!
Nora is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Naval Reserve. She is also a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Go Vols !), with a double major in Religious Studies and History. She has always had a passion for writing, but this is the first time she has written anything for the general public. She hopes you enjoy it.