Generation X Deep South

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 31

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


The Lizard Man of Bishopville, 1988

excerpt: “That first Monday in July 1988, Christopher Davis was a quiet 17-year-old on the high school basketball team telling Easterling a harrowing story. He described how he’d had a flat tire driving home from a night shift at McDonald’s and how, as he put the jack back in his trunk, he saw a 7-foot-tall creature with scaly skin and red eyes run toward him. He told her how it caught up as he sped away and made a thud as it landed on his roof. He described seeing its three-fingered claws on his windshield until finally he swerved enough to throw the thing off.”

Summer music festivals at Lakewood, 1992

Thirty years ago this month, Atlanta’s fairly new Lakewood Amphitheater hosted both the HORDE tour (on August 7) and Lollapalooza (on August 20). The HORDE tour that year featured Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Widespread Panic, the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Phish, and Bela Fleck. Lollapalooza’s line up for its second incarnation had Lush, Pearl Jam, Ministry, Soundgarden, Ice Cube, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Lakewood was opened in July 1989 and has since changed its name several times.

Joey Bowker as Nashville’s Bat Poet, late 1990s

In his 2011 obituaryThe Nashville Scene had this to say: “With the death over the weekend of Joey Bowker — the enigmatic public-access zany known far and wide as The Bat Poet — Nashville loses a one-man resistance movement against all that is slick, soulless and done for the money. Bowker, 59, presided over one of the weirdest spectacles in the history of Nashville TV programming: a fleabag variety show featuring hand puppets, stuffed-animal warfare, wrestling matches, and local celebrity cameos ranging from attorney Bart Durham to country warbler Miss Melba Toast. These were embellished with crude first-generation video effects and supported by plotlines that could only be followed by kids and the deeply, irretrievably stoned.”


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), fiction, poetry, and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 17

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.


Angry but don’t know why? According to USF, we are.

This “Generational Differences Chart” compiled by the University of South Florida features a column each for four American generations: Traditionalists, born before World War II; Boomers, 1945 – 1964; Generation X, 1965 – 1980; and Millenials, 1981 – 2000. Some of the observations are astute, like the fact that we largely took care of ourselves growing up and that we are anti-authority, but others are harder to figure out, like why they decided we’re “angry but don’t know why.”

“13 Things You’ll Remember If You Grew Up In Mississippi In The ’80s”

Whoever compiled this has little idea what children pay attention to. Although it is a list of things that happened in the 1980s in Mississippi, they’re probably of greater interest to someone who was an adult at that time.

“Nashville Then, January 1980” from The Tennesseean

This look back offers seventy images of Nashville and surrounding areas at the end of the ’70s / beginning of the ’80s.

“Snow in Gainesville?” from the Independent Florida Alligator student newspaper, 1977

From the “File Story” section of the website, this image of a newspaper story shows and describes a rare snow event in the northern Florida capitol city in January 1977.


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.

Another 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.

Bear: The Hard Life and Good Times of Alabama’s Coach Bryant by Paul “Bear” Bryant  with John Underwood (1975)

Bear Bryant was the college football coach from the early 1960s through this retirement in 1983. Bryant left the game as the winningest coach of all time, with 315 wins, and he had won a half-dozen national championship between 1961 and 1979. This book came out at the height of his success. 

“Charlemagne Record Exchange closing after 42 years,” on al.com, December 2019

From the late 1970s until December 2019, Charlemagne was Birmingham’s independent record store. Located in an upstairs shop in Five Points South, the store was a classic record store.

Jason and the Scorchers, “White Lies,” at Farm Aid in 1986

Nashville-based Jason and the Scorchers came early in the “alt-country” movement in the 1980s. This video shows them playing one of their hits at the Farm Aid benefit concert.

Beanland: Rising from the Riverbed (documentary, 2004)

Oxford, Mississippi-based Beanland was an early Southern jam band that played from 1986 to 1993. Members later played in the Kudzu Kings and Widespread Panic.

To contribute to the lists, use the contact form on the about page.