guy was . . .” and he gave the name.rn”You got the rest of it right, though.”rn”Wait a minute,” said the DistinguishedrnMale Poet, “I know him.” Andrnthe conversation was off in a differentrndirection. Later, though, I shook OurrnHost’s hand. It’s not often one meets arnhving legend.rnWiping the grease from our chins, wernleft Doe’s. “You got anything like this inrnChapel Hill?” the Celebrated Illustratorrnasked me. I had to confess thatrnthese days we lack the necessary concentrationrnof unselfconscious carnivoresrnto sustain a place like Doe’s. “We’verngot too many folks who are ready to lecturernyou on how many bushels of corn itrntakes to produce a pound of meat,” Irnsaid.rn”Yeah,” he said. “I’m waiting forrnthem to start on how many bushels itrntakes for a quart of corn liquor.”rnWe took our symposium on to thernbar of the old Capital Hotel, where werntalked late into the night. At one point,rnthe conversation turned to the subjectrnof conversation—we had, you mightrnsay, a meta-conversation. The ExpatriaternWoman Writer kicked it off by sayingrnhow good it was to be back wherernpeople tell stories. (She teaches in thernMidwest.) Someone quoted Roy Reed’srncharacterization of conversation in NewrnYork as “hurled stones,” compared tornthe Southern style, “moonshine passedrnslowly to all who care to lift the bottle.”rnWe all nodded sagely and self-satisfiedly,rnand each took a literal sip.rnThe Famous Humorist complainedrngently about his current lady friend,rna Yankee, who keeps interrupting hisrnstories, trying to be helpful. I quotedrnEudora Welty’s character. Miss EdnarnEarle Ponder, who feared that herrndimwitted uncle would encounter somernguest at her hotel who “would break inrnon a story with a set of questions, andrnwind it up with a list of what UnclernDaniel’s faults were: some Yankee.”rnSomeone suggested that a nice multiculturalrngesture would be for Yankees tornadopt the Native American “speakingrnstick,” passed from hand to hand. Werngiggled to think how frustrating thatrnwould be for our opposite numbers, professorsrnand writers, in New York.rnYes, the Black New England Poetrnsaid, she loved being with other peoplernwho answer questions with anecdotes.rnIt was her first time, really, in the South,rnwith Southerners, and she felt as if shernhad stumbled into a family reunion—rnof a family she didn’t know she had.rnGod bless her.rnLater, back in Chapel Hill, I was remindedrnof her wonderful, generous, unexpectedrnobservation as I struggled tornwrite a memorial of my friend MelrnBradford, dead too young at 58. Thernfirst time I met Mel was in a setting veryrnmuch like the one I’ve been describing,rna gathering of Southern scholars inrnsomeone’s hotel room. As it happens,rnMel later wrote about that evening, andrnI wound up quoting him. The conversation,rnhe said, involved “the rehearsalrnof common bonds antecedent to ourrnprofessional identities, visible as much inrnthe manner of our speaking as in itsrncontent—in idiom, in humor, in certainrnhyperbolic gestures, verging on swagger,rnpanache, and familiarity.” He characterizedrn”the round robin of the talk” asrn”intense and friendly, serious and droll,rncarried on as if all present feared that itrnwould be some time before they wouldrnall be together again and were determinedrnto hear and say it all.” All in all,rna non-Southern visitor told Mel, it wasrnlike (yes) “a family reunion.”rnNow, I went to graduate school inrnNew York and 1 spent a year at Oxfordrn(the one in England), and I can tell yournthat academic conversation in thosernparts is stimulating, witty, learned, vicious,rnall sorts of good things, but nornone would ever confuse it with a familyrnreunion. Fortunately, given my occupation,rnI don’t mind cut-and-thrust, butrnI’ll take the Southern mode for the longrnhaul—even for eternity. “If heavenrnain’t a lot like Dixie,” Hank WilliamsrnJr. sings, “I don’t want to go.” Pass thernbottle.rn* * *rnOn another subject: A while back Irnheard from some people who objectedrnto my observing that those with a Confederaternheritage shouldn’t be requiredrnto renounce it. Now, after writing thatrnGeorgians ought to think about removingrnthe Confederate battle flag fromrntheir state flag, I’ve heard from a couplernof dozen good folks who take exceptionrnto that conclusion. Consequently, I’mrnin a position to compare the two sorts ofrnenthusiasts. (I could even lie and sayrnthe whole exercise was just an experimentrnto let me make that comparison,rnbut I won’t.)rnMy major observation is that therntraditionalists have better mannersrnthan the reformers. They avoided adrnhominem arguments and guilt-byassociation,rnand (this is interesting) theyrnwrote to me personally instead of to myrneditor. Their tone was usually more onernof sorrow than of anger, although thatrnmay just have been recognition of thernfact that I’d pretty obviously like to bernable to agree with them. On the otherrnhand, I can say this for the reformersrnwho complained: at least they understoodrnwhat I was saying. The traditionalistsrnwasted a lot of shot on argumentsrnI never made and don’t accept.rnSince they took the trouble to write,rnand since thev were so nice about it, letrnme rephrase my argument in terms thatrnthey may find more agreeable. Try this:rnHave you ever considered that maybernmodern Georgia doesn’t deserve thernConfederate flag?rnThere. My last word on the subject.rnI promise.rnJohn Shelton Reed writes fromrnChapel Hill, North Carolina, whenrnhe’s not hanging out at conferencesrnand symposia.rnLetter FromrnEnglandrnby Christie DaviesrnSport Without HooligansrnLast year I had the agreeable and unusualrnexperience of spending two hoursrnin a packed sports stadium where therernwas no hooliganism, no violence, andrnno bad feeling. The good-humoredrncrowd of thousands of men, women,rnand children, mainly local but with arnfair sprinkling of foreigners assembled,rnenjoyed themselves and dispersed in arnpeaceful and orderly way. There werernno concealed weapons, no blood on thernterraces, no need to cage in unruly fans.rnNeedless to say, I was not at a Britishrnsoccer match, but at a Spanish bullfight.rnIt was one more occasion for me to feelrnashamed about the behavior of Britishrncrowds when provoked by England’s nationalrnsport.rnThe British are a people of no lessrnmemorable honor than their Spanishrncousins, so why is it that their behaviorrn42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn