If I'm not warped (and the jury's still out) it's a miracle given my upbringing. I survived the curse of two old maid aunts and lived to get married. Thank God (so far) I haven't inherited the genetics of my two great aunts who weighed a good 400-500 pounds each. I matured to learn that indeed the South is not going to rise again, President Lincoln was not the basis of all evil, and some folks North of the Mason-Dixon line can be trusted. (Although it would be nice if they returned some of our purloined family treasures, but I digress.)
It is amazing what one sees when we come out of the fog of the Old South. It's down right confusing for some one growing up at age five, trying to figure out how the world works. On TV, they were talking about the war in Vietnam. Hell, I had relatives sitting on the front porch of their farm houses still talking about shooting Yankees. In my little mind I was trying to relate the Viet Cong with the Yankees, and looking at the pictures on TV and the pictures in the history books, it wasn't matching up too well.
I would ask, "If they were really us, why did they come burn us down?" To which the answer was, "But we were a separate country." Suddenly everything I learned about the pilgrims and the Indians and the Revolutionary War was turned on its head. At about age six, my Daddy sat me down and in great detail explained "The War of Northern Aggression", (which I would later learn the rest of the country referred to as the "Civil War".)
Mama, on the other hand, just took me to see "Gone with the Wind" four times. So I had in mind hoop skirts and the Tarleton Twins. However, there was no Tara or Twelve Oaks in my family. In reality very few lived in the Tara's and the Twelve Oaks, but plenty claim to. In some ways, the Old South is like the fragrance of the magnolia - strong and permeating the air but not really there. It is but a memory. But is it a memory or a dream to some and nightmare to others?