The late morning is thick with humidity; this could pass for summer weather in a lot of places, but it’s springtime in the Deep South. I’m standing near a cluster of men leaning on their golf clubs, hushed to respectful silence. It’s the final weekend of the Masters, but we’re hundreds of miles from Augusta. On a stage erected nearby in the grass, the town’s mayor is standing at the end of a long line of area dignitaries. You can pick him out by his short-sleeved official event polo, embroidered with a diamondback snake on the breast where the alligator would go, with “MAYOR” below the snake in neon-green letters. He addresses the families assembled in the stands, the milling throng threading through the carnival booths, and the line of beauty pageant winners organized tallest to smallest. The threat of inclement weather has dampened the turnout some, but his enthusiasm is undimmed.
“Good morning! It’s gonna be a great day! We’re supposed to have some sunshine coming out. I believe the rain’s over. We’ve got some great entertainment today, but right now, we’re gonna start the Rattlesnake Rodeo off with prayer.”
(Read the rest at Grantland.)