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Editor's Note
Preparing for the Louisiana Heat
By Glynn Wilson Glynn Wilson caricature

School is out and summer's upon us now, so I hope y'all are taking some time to enjoy the last of the spring weather in the South before the heat hits us full force. It promises to be one hot summer. And they say there ain't no such thing as global warming.

    I am about to move from Knoxville, Tenn. to New Orleans to start teaching full-time at Loyola University, so I am in training to deal with the heat and humidity of the Bayou. Wish me luck.

    Meanwhile, Managing Editor Robert Hess handled the production for this summer issue of The Southerner, in preparation for playing a larger role in the management of this company in the coming year. Take a moment to tell him if you like the layout of this issue.

tree art
    As we were putting this issue to bed, I thought we would not have an In Passing department. But that was not to be. My good friend and fellow writer Fred Bonnie died suddenly on his way home to Birmingham from a book signing in North Carolina. His death comes as a real shock, since we had just seen him at the Birmingham Southern "Writing Today" conference in March, where he gave me a floppy disk with two short stories to run in The Southerner. He was not much of a computer person, and had not joined us in the Internet revolution or made himself available by electronic mail. But he applauded the idea of the magazine and wanted to help us out with material. He will be missed.

    Meanwhile, we have another great issue this time around, in my opinion. I have been talking to Suzi Parker for months about writing for us. She is one of the hardest working free-lance writers in the South. We bring you two of her pieces in this issue, the cover story on how technology is changing the face of the South, and a hilarious Southern Culture piece on how people in the region continue to view the issue of sex.

    Since our last issue, there have been a number of stories in the news about how technology is impacting our society, and much of it focuses on the negative. Rather than focus on that, we decided to counter the argument by running a piece by Janna Malamud Smith on how the Net fosters community, rather than detracting from it.

    We also bring you a feature by Fetzer Mills Jr. on how natural disasters can negatively impact the environment, in this case a flood caused by hurricanes in North Carolina.

    And it is with great pleasure that we bring you a feature on voodoo from Brooks Boliek, who has been an associate editor from the beginning. This is his first piece for the magazine, and it is particularly special because it is accompanied by photos from David Morris, the son of Willie Morris.

    In Essays, Timothy Wayne Thornton goes searching for the South in how people enjoy their iced-tea, mint juleps, or grits. In R&R, Steve Taylor catches more than fish on the Arkansas River. And in Lab & Field, Rhonda H. Rucker ponders an otter's tale of nature's success.

    In Southern Sounds, regular contributor Jack Neely tracks down the history of blues singer Ida Cox, and Brenda Whitehurst Rollins goes after the story of blues artists Cephas and Wiggins. We have more Dixie Notes for you this time, a book review from contributing editor David R. Mark, and a special movie review of "My Dog Skip" from Jack Bales.

    If you want to know how I'm handling spring, look no further than Secret Vistas. I've been hanging out in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest with some very old trees.
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