Yesterday I hit the red leather-bound volumes of Southern Living, starting at the top left corner of the shelves in 1966. What I found felt very much like a time capsule.
The March 1967 cover photo of Johnnita Harkins, Mississippi’s 1966 Junior Miss, actually led into a story titled, "What Makes a Teenager Tick?" where the writer documented her time at the Mobile pageant. Johnnita’s monologue focused on the mysteries of teenagedom, where she mused about "busy life," before she sang a bit of "Wonderful Day Like Today" for the crowd.
One of the more popular and iconographic travel locations in the South, San Antonio’s Riverwalk, was subject for the September 1966 cover. Photographer Bob Lancaster captured a group on the Casa Rio supper barge the day before Thanksgiving 1965. Editor Lena Sturges story, "Try a Mexican Meal Afloat," described what she called, "Venice in the Southwest."
Churchhills Downs. Early May. Seersuckers, mint juleps, and the $5 windows. Writer Paul Plawin seemed even more thrilled than I. His words:
"You don’t see the Kentucky Derby, or watch it, attend it, make it. You behold the Kentucky Derby…When the voice on the public address system announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, ‘My Old Kentucky Home’," and a band in the infiled strikes up a blaring rendition of this Kentucky anthem and the throng, 100,000 strong, stands and begins to sing along, and you get goose-pimples on the back of your neck and your hair feels like it’s standing stright up like so many little pins, this is what you came to behold."
Football on the cover? I know. War Eagle indeed. What’s more Southern than Saturdays in September?
John McKinney visited the George Franklin hunting plantation in Holly Ridge, Louisiana for his piece about sportsmen (and -women) in the bayou. His first sentence was a quote from one of the hunters: "Most anyone can eat a whole mallard!" The 18,000-acre land lease was shared by 125 Louisiana families, who seemed one-of-a-kind characters themselves. The cover shot, taken from a duck blind at sundown, hangs in my office.
If you enjoyed the look into our archives, let us know. Southern Living’s been around since 1966, so there is definitely more where these came from.