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Front Porch

Front Porch "Prepare to Meet God." The stark, prophetic warning once glared out from thousands of roadside tree trunks in the twentieth-century South, just as it does from Charlie Curtis's arresting picture in this issue's photo essay "Signs of the South." Sometimes the message was even more unsparingly personal: "Prepare to Meet Thy God." Whether blazoned on a high-priced billboard or traced in fading letters on a hand-made cross, the summons was once inescapable on the south- ern landscape, evangelism's inventive response to the culture of the automobile. Road signs were not the only popular methods diat twentieth-century traditionalists used to preserve older values in the face of automotive innovation. In their "Up Beat Down South" feature, Patrick Huber and Kathleen Drowne recall a classic "hillbilly" ballad, "Wreck on the Highway," written by Dorsey Dixon and first made popular by Roy Acuff in 1942. Reminding the unwary listener that no one's soul was safe when "whiskey and blood run together," Dixon's wailing above: IsAtticus Finch still a hero? Film stillfrom To Kill a Mockingbird, courtesy of UniversalFutures and the Museum ofModern ArtFilm StillsArchive. lyrics were an audio version of the sign's stark warning: make yourselfready. Life's final highway awaits us http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
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Abstract

"Prepare to Meet God." The stark, prophetic warning once glared out from thousands of roadside tree trunks in the twentieth-century South, just as it does from Charlie Curtis's arresting picture in this issue's photo essay "Signs of the South." Sometimes the message was even more unsparingly personal: "Prepare to Meet Thy God." Whether blazoned on a high-priced billboard or traced in fading letters on a hand-made cross, the summons was once inescapable on the south- ern landscape, evangelism's inventive response to the culture of the automobile. Road signs were not the only popular methods diat twentieth-century traditionalists used to preserve older values in the face of automotive innovation. In their "Up Beat Down South" feature, Patrick Huber and Kathleen Drowne recall a classic "hillbilly" ballad, "Wreck on the Highway," written by Dorsey Dixon and first made popular by Roy Acuff in 1942. Reminding the unwary listener that no one's soul was safe when "whiskey and blood run together," Dixon's wailing above: IsAtticus Finch still a hero? Film stillfrom To Kill a Mockingbird, courtesy of UniversalFutures and the Museum ofModern ArtFilm StillsArchive. lyrics were an audio version of the sign's stark warning: make yourselfready. Life's final highway awaits us

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 2000

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