Native Of Georgialina

Banner Photo, Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island by Robert C. Clark


Tom's 2nd portrait 300dpi-1

The Writing Life—Every night is a Saturday and every morning is a Monday.


Member of Authors Round the South

“Because I was born in the South, I’m a Southerner. If I had been born in the North, the West, or the Central Plains, I would be just a human being.” —Clyde Edgerton

“I just  discovered your stories online. I really enjoy your writing. I plan to read them like my Mama read the Bible—a little at a time so that I can savor them.” —Bill Hatch of Carolina Moon Distillery, Edgefield SC

I know we're close to an indie bookstore

Welcome to the South. I invite you to take a trip through the best part of the country. Like many aspects of our culture the South is changing. Browse my site and time travel a bit. You’ll find memories, places, and unforgettable characters. Send me an email and let me know if you have a special feature or memory you’d like for me to write about. I’ll do my best to oblige you.

Thanks for stopping by.

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility is being superior to your former self. —Ernest Hemingway

Live Free, Live Wild, Live Different

Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real. —Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it. Maybe they’re bored, or failures at something else. ― Cormac McCarthy

In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet, but unused. —Ernest Hemingway

Writing is a kind of smoke, seized and put on paper. —James Salter

If you’re a singer, you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he’s good, the older he gets, the better he writes. —Mickey Spillane

All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time. —Ernest Hemingway

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. —Ernest Hemingway

I never wanted to be well rounded, and I do not admire well-rounded people nor their work. So far as I can see, nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people. The good work is done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint, a design. —Harry Crews

35 Responses to Native Of Georgialina

  1. VICKI BRUNO says:

    I enjoy all of your e-mails, please keep them coming.

  2. Emmye Collins says:

    Not sure how to email you now. Nothing happens when I click on “email me.” My comment has to do with your most recent article in the Lincoln Journal. My family, like most Southerners, enjoys sweet tea. In fact, the first thing my mother did when she walked into the kitchen in the morning was to put water on to boil in a boiler (a pot with one handle). When it boiled she set it off the stove and poured loose Tetley tea leaves (ground) into it and let it steep for quite a while. Next, while it was still fairly warm, she strained the grounds out by pouring the tea water through a strainer, or sieve, and into a pitcher. The sugar was next and the stirring to dissolve the sugar, after which Mother added enough water to fill the pitcher. More stirring.

    I place three Family-Size Tetley Tea Bags into a coffee maker carafe, pour boiling water over, and let steep for at least an hour. I then measure 1 1/4 c. sugar into a gallon pitcher or jug, stir or shake vigorously, then add water to finish it out. I always try to make it enough in advance so that it has time to get nice and cool in the fridge. Nothing ruins sweet tea like pouring it warm over ice; the ice melts and dilutes the tea. Ugh! Tea is much better if it’s made the day before and has time for the sugar to “strike through it.” And don’t dare skimp on the ice; personally, I like it to touch my nose.

    Lest I sound like a purist when it comes to iced tea, I must admit that I don’t keep sweet tea made and in the fridge all the time anymore. All that sugar and those empty calories. . . to quote my granddaughter, I’d rather get my calories in something I can chew. Alas, I drink water with my meals, except at the beach and on other special occasions. And when any of my children or grandchildren are home, they expect –and get– sweet tea.

    Enjoyed your article. Thanks.

  3. Shelby Turner says:

    Shelby Turner

    Enjoyed your article reminising on days gone by and thinking on the countless times my dad
    (Sam Turner) took lawnmowers to Cooper & Poland`s shop for repair. I agree, back in the day, more people appreciated hard work and the hard workers who wore their names on shirts.

  4. Phil Noble says:

    Tom – Enjoyed reading your site after we met yesterday….great stuff. –

  5. Steve Nivens says:

    Just finished your article in Midland Blitz Huntings Long Slow Demise how true brought a tear to my eye that so many young men will never have the feelings that I had growing up with my dad uncles and granfather hunting and fishing. And it is not about the kill but the experiance

  6. mary stewart says:

    I will look forward to meeting you. The story I will tell you is intertwined with many southern lives of vastly different backgrounds yet the same theme runs deep and definitely needs to be uncovered as it is profoundly moving .

  7. mary stewart says:

    Late but here.

  8. Barbara Doyle says:

    My husband and I live in Lincolnton, GA.. We read your articles in our local paper, The Lincolnton Journal. I enjoy them because I was raised in Beaufort, S.C. and miss the old southern times as we knew them. I am always sharing Beaufort with our children. That was a great place for children to gror up. Everyone was kin to everyone! The brick main streets, the dirt road to Hunting Island for a day at the beach! That is still my favorite beach. Such a long and slow drive we stopped under an old oak tree on side of the road and picnickned! The castor oil at least once a year and the other half of the year we had a dose of calomon? (pills!) kept us well all year and we never had to miss school! If Mom wasn’t looking we would spit out the pills but she always knew and gave us another! I know she had eyes in the back of her head! It was ans is now so full of good memories we never had time for fights and “hating” people! Oh, Well, I will be writing your article if I don’t stop and leave it to an expert. I do like your articles. Barbara Doyle

  9. Barbara Doyle says:

    I was looking for the list of old time remedies.

  10. I write also. I was born and reared in Savannah, GA in 1936. As I read your remarks and those which have visited, I cried. Much gentler times in many ways. I am reading two new books on my Kindle written by a couple who portrays Charleston, their hometown, very accurately. I’ve cried in both. Just keep up the wonderful writing for our children’s sake. Like the Walton’s, everyone began building homes with wrap around porches and a swing, but I never saw anyone sitting in them. We’re missing something very important. My book is “My God Makes House Calls.” Perhaps…

  11. Doug Allen says:

    Oh, how fortunate I am! I’ve just at age 85 found this page which means I’m not the only surviving “true Southerner” as I had feared! There’s hope the South will survive after all, if people such as I see here keep up the good effort. Doug Allen, Roswell, GA

  12. amy young says:

    hi tom, just wanted to let you know how much i enjoy reading your stories in the journal. some of the places you write about i have acctually seen, and i love to hear more info on these places. i was born in atlanta but have lived here my whole life, my dad bought land in indian cove years ago and thats where i grew up. your stories let me know so much about the history about lincolnton, and that facinates me! so i just wanted to let you know how much i enjoy them and please keep it up, thanks again, amy yoing

  13. cade1138 says:

    I’m sorry, but I have to point out that, though I dearly love southern writing, I cannot take seriously someone who would take the time to visit a silly college page called “Lost Lettermen” to correct grammar on a short article about a passed-out, drunk student peeing on themselves. You used the word “lame” to describe the writer of this article, yet you are using your time to correct his grammar. “Lame” indeed, sir. I’m sure this person who writes articles about drunk college kids peeing on themselves could be the next Hemingway with your rude and pointless criticisms. Great job.

  14. Sandra Smith says:

    Just read your wonderful, but, unbelievable story “How A Mule Kick Killed Eight People”. Wow! Thanks for sharing it.

  15. Tim says:

    Nice talking with you today! Tim from Orlando Florida will be reading How the mule kick killed 8 folks directly, Happy Holidays!

  16. Ruth Varner says:

    Love your writers’ comments posted above! Any one will inspire a writer. Thanks, Tom.

  17. Will be happy to review it. Bob Edmonds

  18. David Seigler says:

    Hey Tom,
    My cat & I were scanning the Freetimes and saw where your book is being published. Where can I buy a copy and I want you to sign it. My kids and I have talked about doing road trips around SC. I prefer the ” off beaten path “, always find the unexpected. You and your book will be an invaluable resource. Best wishes. ..Cheers!

  19. June Murff says:

    Looking forward to seeing you and Robert at the Morris Museum in Augusta in October.

  20. Katie Hummel says:

    Mr. Poland, my family is from Danburg, GA and I totally enjoyed reading your article. I only recently became aware that my family history is from Danburg. I have done a bit of research regarding the Powell family. My maiden name is Powell, one of my great-grandfathers was Walter T. Powell and another one was Michael L. Andrews, who fought in the Civil War. I was wondering if while doing research you may have encountered any tidbits of history regarding my family? Thanks so much for your preservation of the history of the beautiful South. Katie Hummel

  21. Laura says:

    Wondering if you have a book signing schedule posted somewhere.

  22. cathy bryant says:

    From Lanny Bryant, I still live in Lincolnton and have retired and tony bryan still lives here and also Juanita Bryant lives in Lincolnton and is married and lives at plantation point and her last name now is brown. Cheryl Maloof returned to Lincolnton and lives in her mother and fathers old house and is going to build a new house in Lincolnton.I really don’t know where the other people are.I read your letter in the journal this week.

  23. Robert Wellmaker says:

    enjoy your articles very much sorry to hear of your moms passing

  24. Just sent you an email concerning your article about Salters. Sure hope it reaches you, along with the correct picture of my family home Salters Plantation. The house you pictured was incorrectly labeled…it is the Ferrell-Sires-Shinta home. Please come back to visit our community and allow a Saltine (a resident of Salters) to give you the grand tour.

  25. Susan Crosby says:

    I always get excited when one of your new articles hits the Internet waves! They are factual -yet light, truthful – yet entertaining, and allow me an opportunity for introspection. Thank you!!

  26. Tim Treaster says:

    I enjoyed meeting you tonight in our wonderful town of Pelion. I can’t wait to read your book and I look forward to the new one coming out soon. Let me know when you head this way again and I will treat you to a hamburger at Sweet Magnolia’s.

  27. nancy hanson says:

    This is the link to Mike Jeffcoat, forensic historian, busy in our area trying to revive Swansea community! Enjoyed meeting you this evening and enjoying your book! Thanks for coming to Swansea! Please come back and visit some more about your back road travels! Here is the Facebook link for Mike Jeffcoat that I was telling you about that you nay have a common interest in what you are doing! ……..

    Nancy and Ted Hanson

  28. santee71 says:

    Are u the same ” Tom Land” that wrote a brief history on the Singleton family of Clarendon county ? Could use your help here . I’m descended from the Singleton family of Sumter

  29. santee71 says:

    Are u the same Tom Land that wrote a book on the Singleton family of Sumter south Carolina ?

  30. Margie Taylor says:

    Your book “Georgialina” was full of memories for me and helped to bring up even more snapshots of the past from growing up in South Carolina in the 40’s and 50’s. It was a great book and I recommend highly!

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