Southern Belle Magazine May 2013, Issue 1 - Page 76

By Andi Bowen hat is a southern belle? Most people think of Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind. I don’t. In my opinion, Scarlett is definitely a debutante but not a belle. So what’s the difference? A debutante is a beauty queen, a socialite, perhaps even a trophy wife. She has a certain beauty about her. She can enthrall the boys with her smile and be the apple of Daddy’s eye. She can also throw a hissy fit whenever she feels offended. A belle, on the other hand, is a source of strength, gentleness, and service to her family and her community. The south depends on these unsung heroines to raise the children, feed the pastor, generate funds for the school, host baby and bridal showers, visit the sick, and deliver food and comfort to the bereaved. Of course, they also often work outside the home and in their spare time, they are Girl Scout leaders, hospice volunteers, soup kitchen organizers and more. Though they don’t always hold important titles or command high salaries, their service holds our communities afloat. Ruth Shepherd Dean, my grandmother, will be 93 this June, God willing. She read me stories from the Bible, washed my hair in the kitchen sink, hung clothes out to dry, and put up vegetables every year. She grew up on a small family farm where she picked cotton by hand in the fields. When GWTW came to the local theater, she was working in the ticket booth while attending nursing school. She married and raised two kids while her husband served in WWII and Korea. When he retired from the military and they moved home, Granddaddy and Great-Granddaddy Shepherd added a kitchen, bedroom, and two baths onto a little four room house just down the rail road tracks. Grandmama resumed her work as a nurse and Granddaddy went to work as a night guard. One night there was a robbery and he was terribly injured. Grandmama refused to put him in a nursing home. Instead, she cared for him at home f "FR7BRV'2b2ƖfRWfVFVvRv2&VG&FFVBFF( B&V6v旦RW"&RגgFVFW2fW"FVWBgFW"666FBw&F6VB'VFFR7F&R"W7BfRƗGFR'&V7FV7G&VB2גFW"6R2VB7VF&rBvBB6W&6f"2r26&VV&W"vFWB6R2&VWFgVFf6RBgFV6w2GVWG2vFW"6"F&V7F"6R2&W67VVBBfVBWfW'7G&FB2WfW"7&76VBW"F6Rv&VB2FVFvV7Bf"fW"3V'2ǒF6RW""vF&VVfG2"&WF&VVB6RvVFRFVF7B&WF&VBr6Rv&26GFrvFFRVFW&ǒW6rFRvVFvR6RV&VBVrF6&Rf"W"vfFW"fRvFW76VBf'7BֆBvBBV2F&R6WFW&&VRFW6R7F&W2&RBV6W&RFR6WFFF( 2&VW276W72FR6RVƗFW2FW&R6WFW&'&'F'66R"'7BbvB'WBFWV&GFR7G&VwFW"&VWGfFB676FB&Vr&VR&WV&W2FWF( B6VV&V6vF'WBFW6W'FǒFW6W'fRBFWfRF&2FV"66WG2'WBFW&R7F&rW7&v2VfVsbs`p