foot in mouth disease

You might have heard of hoof and mouth disease if you know of livestock ranchers or keep up with news generally. It’s no bueno. Something you’d want to avoid if your livelihood depended on raising healthy animals.

Another something to avoid is what I like to call foot in mouth disease. I could be Exhibit A. Let me explain. I was interviewing for a position in Jackson and received a quick tour of the city. My tour guide, a wonderfully hearted native Jacksonian, was pointing out the city’s architectural gems. Looking around, I asked if there were any examples of antebellum architecture in Jackson.

Como se dice OOPS?

The answer would be no because, well, Union troops burned the city to the ground in the Battle of Jackson more than 150 years ago.

791 (1)

Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Popular Graphic Arts Collection, LC-DIG-pga-02196

Insert foot–both feet and maybe a fist for good measure–into mouth. What a dopey Northerner question to ask.

Perhaps this instance of foot in mouth disease is a learning opportunity because, I am embarrassed to admit this, I knew nothing of this battle before moving here. The Civil War? I remember reading about it in high school, but I don’t know that we were tested on specific battles. Typing this/sharing this, I feel sheepish.

My family’s Civil War connections seem so threadbare. For the time being, all I know is an observation shared by my great grandmother Alta Graham. Alta grew up in Paradise, IL. Alta helped raised my dad when his father served in WWII. (Photo below is when my dad’s father Harold returned from the war.)


When Alta was a young girl, her memories of July 4 holidays were sad ones. Civil War veterans would get together, get drunk, and cry.