If your father is a gentleman, consider yourself blessed. And if he’s a Southern gentleman, you won the big prize. But more frequently, we’re seeing a new kind of Southern daddy. One who migrated here from parts unknown.
I was introduced to a regular, run-of-the-mill gentleman when I was in my twenties and first traveled to New York City. Battling a snow storm and lost as last year’s Easter egg, I did the Southern thing and spoke out loud to everyone, but to no one in particular on a street corner. “Can someone please tell me how to get to Lincoln Center?” I sweetly asked. The crowd ignored me and wouldn’t even look me in the eye so I could mesmerize them with the smile and eye-bat I’d been taught to use when in dire need of help.
When the “walk” sign flashed, a man, who was my father’s age, glanced at me and jerked his head indicating, “this way.” Not wearing appropriate shoes for snow (but looking very cute, I must say) I slid, slipped and scampered after him as we turned first down one street, then another. After several blocks, the man lifted his chin, and said, “There.” I looked, and sure enough, my iconic destination was straight ahead. “Thank you! I really do appreciate your kindness and . . .” He was gone. A gentleman indeed, but not anything like the men I knew from back home.
Had I been lost in Birmingham or Savannah, a Southern gentleman would have helped me find my destination, but by the time we arrived, we would have discovered we both loved fried squash and he taught tennis to my sorority sister’s little sister nicknamed Sister.
My own father set a good example of what a Southern gentleman should be. Daddy’s an outdoorsman who also appreciates . . . click HERE to finish reading the story.