tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 7

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


Does anyone actually like Foreigner?

I’ve never heard anyone say they do, so this is something that I’m genuinely curious about. If I ever ask someone, “Who’s your favorite band?” or “What kind of music do you like?”, no one ever answers, “Foreigner.” Despite their hits in the 1970s and ’80s, and despite their omnipresence on rock radio since then, I have serious doubts that anyone actually likes this band.

the documentary Waking in Mississippi, 1998

from the description: “Waking in Mississippi explores the power of the national media to, surprisingly, mitigate long held animosities resulting from a legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. The irony of Hollywood fabricating a race riot for the sake of A Time to Kill provides a framework for presenting the complexity of race relations in a historically troubled region.”

The Alabama cheerleader Barbie, 1996

If you’re a Bammer with a penchant for collectibles and have $55 laying around, Mattel apparently made Barbies of UA cheerleaders in 1996. However, if you’re into brunettes, not blondes, the price doubles to $100.

“The coldest day ever” in South Carolina, 1985

January 21, 1985 has been declared the Palmetto State’s “coldest day ever.” According to this 2020 news report, 165 people died in the cold, and “nearly every city and town set records for the all-time coldest temperatures ever reported. Locally, the thermometer dropped to 6° in Myrtle Beach and Charleston and 0° in Florence. Many areas across the Carolinas dropped below zero. Locally, the subzero temperatures included -5° in Bennettsville, -4° in Darlington and -1° in Dillon.”

“Voting Rights in Louisiana, 1982 – 2006” in Review of Law and Social Justice, 2008

In 1982, the oldest among Generation X turned 17, almost old enough to vote. In 2006, GenXers were between 41 and 26, well into voting age. This academic study of voting rights in Louisiana, specifically for African-Americans, covers the years when GenXers were gaining the right to cast a ballot. Early in the report, it states, “The experience in Louisiana since 1982 shows that voting discrimination in the state persists, attempts to dilute African-American votes are commonplace and many white officials remain intransigent—refusing to provide basic information required under Section 5 to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).”


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 6

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


The Pope visited the University of South Carolina?, 1987

Apparently Pope John Paul made a stop in Columbia and gave a short speech there. In his opening remarks, he is quoted as saying, “For many months I have looked forward to my visit to South Carolina. It is a great joy for me finally to be here.” Linked above is the Vatican’s transcript of the speech, and here is the New York Times coverage of the event.

A look back at Atlanta in 1978 from ajc.com

This digital photo spread on the Atlanta Journal Constitution‘s website was posted in 2018, on the fortieth anniversary of these photos being taken. Of the twenty-four images, quite a few involve the Braves baseball team, music and bands, or construction.

George Wallace is shot, 1972

There were really two George Wallaces: the guy who the Boomers remember as leading pro-segregation forces in the South in the 1960s and who carried disgruntled whites with him into the ’70s, and the wheelchair-bound politician that Generation X remembers from the 1970s and ’80s. During a presidential campaign rally in Maryland in 1972, Wallace was shot, leaving him paralyzed. Later, the two-term segregationist would morph his image and approach, and gain another two more terms by courting votes from the same black people he opposed earlier in his career.

Judas Priest at Memphis’s Mid-South Coliseum, 1982

When folks think about the South and music, the idea is: country. However, mainstream pop, rock, R&B, and even punk bands played shows all over the South. This is a set list from a Judas Priest show in December 1982. That same year, Memphis hosted Fleetwood Mac, Morris Day and The Time, Rush, and AC/DC.


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

An early springtime Deep Southern Gen X sampler, from “the lists”

The section in level:deepsouth called “the lists” is for collecting and sharing articles, sound files, videos, and images from Generation X’s early years in the Deep South and from today. Below is a sampler.

A History of the Swimming Pool Qs 

The band, which was formed in 1978, was on the forefront of New Wave in the Deep South. The Qs opened for The Police and were praised by The Village Voice and MTV’s Kurt Loder.

“Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by The Georgia Satellites, from their self-titled 1986 album

This was the band’s only major hit, though a few other songs did break the Top 100 in the late ’80s. This one went all the way to #2 on the charts in 1987. 

What Haunts Us (documentary, 2018)

This latter-day documentary explores the suicides of six members of the Porter-Gaud School’s class of 1979. The film makes connections among the suicides, the elite school in Charleston, South Carolina,  and one charismatic faculty member who had been sexually abusing students. 


To find out how to contribute to “the lists,” check out the submit page.