Native Of Georgialina


Tom's 2nd portrait 300dpi-1

Self-proclaimed Prose Laureate of Georgialina

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

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.

I prefer forgotten backroads and places where the pace crawls, where old mansions crumble, and orchards go untended. It’s there that I find inspiration and there that I uncovers tales and ways that belong to the past. My mission is simple—let them be forgotten no more.

Thanks for dropping by.


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

Reader on “Moonshine Memories. ” This was one of the most touching stories I have ever read. It touched me in so many different ways that I lost count. I learned about your writing this year and am looking forward to reading all of it. God bless you for your work and what it means to people. I plan to attend the Southern Studies Showcase and hope to see you there.—Kathy Orr

There comes a time when you realize that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real. —James Salter

No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place. ―Babel

The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement—if you can’t deal with this you needn’t apply. —Will Self in The Guardian

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

To be a writer is to be sentenced to correcting. —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

46 thoughts on “Native Of Georgialina

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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 .

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!!

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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!

  19. I have read “Georgialina” and just finished “Save The Last Dance For Me”, I love them both!
    You are such a wonderful storyteller, you bring to life all the places as if you just visited them, a different place in time that is for sure – if only we could go back to those days but since that is not possible, it helps to know that great writers exist that can take us there any time we want to visit the places that are for many only a memory in time! I am looking forward to reading the “Forbidden Island”……It looks like I can get a hardback copy from Amazon! I think that would be a great valentine gift for me! I have also enjoyed absorbing all the history that is in “Greenville’s Grand Design” this one needs an autograph – lucky for me that you will be in Greenville signing those books at the ‘Fiction Addiction’ on February 27th! Looking forward to seeing you there and we hope your visit to Greenville will be as ‘Grand’ as your book is so titled……I will recommend your books to all book lovers young and old……a good book is a good book but a great book deserves to be passed along! I will be recommending but my copies are for my bookshelves!
    Please keep writing and teaching those of us who would love to compare our own work to such great masters of the art of writing……

  20. My wife and I enjoyed meeting you at the Cayce-West Columbia Library authors” event, and we both enjoyed reading your book. I am thinking about a possible documentary or docudrama that might be completed in 2018, and premiered the week of Oct. 26, 2018.

    It would cover the Oct. 26, 1958 meeting Billy Graham would have had at the State Capitol, if Timmerman hadn’t barred him from there. It received national attention. I have read that the Today show covered it. I contacted them, and was told that the vid3eotapes from that year had been destroyed..Two or three documentaries have been made about what happened in Clinton, Tenn. in 1956 and afterward. Ed Murrow did a segment of See It Now, and later docs were made in 2006 and 2011. All can be viewed on Youtube. Rev. Paul Turner, who was famously assaulted by racists in Clinton, was many years later my Prof. of Ministryat Golden Gate Baptist Theol. SEm.

    Nobody was beaten up in Columbia, and there were no riots. But it is interesting to note how key figures–Billy G., Timmerman, and James F. Byrnes, and the CO at Ft. Jackson–used power, and how the people of S. C. failed to be snowed by racist demagoguery, which I’m sure surprised many people.

    The 60th anniversary is 21/2 years off. But if it is to happen, somebody needs to start work on it soon.

    What are your thoughts?

    • Hi Bill. It’s great to hear from you. I’m glad you like my book. My thoughts are influenced by my years in film. films always take longer than you think. Content is it excellent but may take far longer than you think. But I say go for it.

  21. Hi Tom,
    I’m Wayne Williamson from Washington, Ga. You nicknamed me “Felix”. We worked together during our high school summers at Almar raincoat factory in Washington. It’s great to see your success, especially remembering those wild times at Almar.

    • Great hearing from you, Wayne. That sure was a long time ago. I always remembered my times there as special. I hope our paths cross soon. I will be in Washington Ga. March 22 to talk to the Kiwanis Club. Maybe you can drop in?

  22. Hello there cuz! Just got through reading your article of feb25th was mailed to mom but I was able to intercept it before hand.
    It was really nice to read something that my kinfolk has published that I never see

  23. I love the chapter about sweeping the yards in Georgialina. We lived across Washington Rd from Grandmama (Mz Claude) in Leah. She was your great- grandmama, right? She always swept her yard clean with a “bresh broom”. No grass in the front yard, but lots of purple thrift on the edges. On Sundays lots of my aunts and uncles would visit, sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch, while I played with my cousins in the yard. You were there sometimes.
    In 1976, my momma and daddy’s house burned and they remodeled Grandmama’s house. They lived there for 34 years, until Momma died. My children, nieces, and nephews enjoyed visiting their grandparents there. Daddy sold the house a few years ago because his new wife refused to live there. Now it belongs to a nice young family with three boys.

    • Thank you, Lenoir. Yes, she was my great grandmom. I remember being there … barely. It’s sad to see houses leave a family but that is what happens. We will be selling mom and dad’s place. Life moves on …

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