Episode 6: Southern Storytellers - Les Thomas

by Tanner Latham

Les Thomas wrote his way across the South. His travel writing, for Texas newspapers,  Southern Living magazine and beyond, has spanned over 45 years. He's a giant of a man with an innate curiosity.  

"I've always liked to ask questions," he says. "That's been part of my life, I guess. I've probably asked way too many beyond patience, but I don't know how you find out things unless you ask." 

This episode is the first in a series called Southern Storytellers. 


Les used a typewriter his whole career. With that came a love for head phones .

Episode 3: Ooker on Tangier Island

by Tanner Latham

James "Ooker" Eskridge grew up on Tangier Island, is a waterman by trade, and has been the mayor for the last 7 years. 

This episode features James “Ooker” Eskridge, a waterman who has lived on Tangier Island, Virginia, his whole life. Ooker talks about being the Chesapeake Bay island’s mayor (population 450), the dwindling interest in working in the seafood industry, and the island’s distinct Cornwall, England-tinged accent.


Crab shanties.

Soft shell crab.

Episode 1: What is Southern?

by Tanner Latham

I believe that okra symbolizes the ever-evolving definition of the South. It is Southern to the core, but as a non-native plant, okra had to become Southern. In my search for an answer to the question, "What is Southern?" I talk to my grandmother about her fried okra, the Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the former editor-in-chief of Southern Living magazine, and a Korean-born pop singer-turned-chef who fries okra in tempura batter at her Southern barbecue joint in Atlanta.


John Floyd, former Southern Living editor-in-chief

Velma Latham, maker of fine fried okra

Ma Ma's fried okra in the cast iron skillet

Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee, chefs and owners at Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta

Spicy Korean pork sandwich, black eyed pea salad, green tomato kimchi, and cucumber and radish salad  at Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta.

Sauces, Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta