Damn Yankees don’t go back home

Patty Reed,
Greenville, SC.

Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve lived here the majority of my life but I cannot say I’m a native South Carolinian. While it seems to be more widely acceptable now, during my high school years in a small town it wasn’t okay to be from “up north somewhere”. A foreigner in my own country, I was left out and pushed aside; “she’s not from ’round here”. I think my mother had the most difficult time working in a kitchen as a dietitian for a local nursing home. While the food was certainly culturally different, elderly southern folks don’t take kindly to some northern woman fixin’ their supper; it simply isn’t done. But she hung in there just the same until she got the recipes down pat one by one. Over-cook everything and be sure it has plenty of fat-back she’d say. I don’t think she ever understood it but the work was important, it put northern food on our southern table. It’s one thing to be labeled a Yankee I was told, at least Yankees go home; but Damn Yankees stay! Of course I love South Carolina and it’s my forever home, thankfully, it’s a more welcoming place these days. I certainly go out of my way to welcome Yankees, damned or otherwise; everybody needs to feel like they’re home, even in the south.


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