About The Name
The most common question I get about this blog is, “Where on Earth did you find that band?” The second most common question I get about this blog is, “Where’d the name come from?” The first is an ancient Mayan secret. The second is a pretty nifty little story. A wise man once told me, “When forced to choose between revealing ancient Mayan secrets or telling nifty little stories, always go with the nifty little stories.” Since that advice has never failed me so far, I’m going to go with it again today.
Many moons ago a friend and her husband from Wisconsin decided to take a winter motorcycle tour of the southeast, their first time in the region. They flew to Atlanta, picked up their motorcycle and started driving west in what we would consider freezing weather but they considered a tropical escape. One of their planned overnight stops was in Birmingham, so we set up a time and place to meet for dinner (of course I chose a Five Points South legend, so stop peering at me like I chose some chain restaurant in Hoover).
After a few minutes of conversation I couldn’t hold my question any more, “So what about the south, or Birmingham, have you discovered that you didn’t already know?” It’s a question I’ve asked of just about everyone who has visited the area for the first time. I’ve gotten a variety of answers, ranging from “The people are nicer than anywhere I’ve ever been” to “the women are beyond gorgeous!” As you can imagine, there have been plenty of snarky answers as well. However, this time, the answer was something I’d never gotten (and haven’t since).
Well… The first thing I noticed is that THE DIRT IS RED! Oh… and what’s a grit?
A jolly laugh was had by the Birmingham residents at the table, while those who were far from home remained stoic. They weren’t joking, and now we were jerks.
I spent a little time explaining both the red dirt and grits to my friend and her husband, but I don’t think they ever fully understood either. Thinking back, trying to convince them that the dirt was permanently stained red by the shedding of millions of unicorn tears during the encasing of Vulcan in carbonite on top of our mountain was a long shot. And there was no way they were going to understand grits, no matter what I said.