About Erin

Deputy Editor, Southern Living Magazine. Digital and social media girl who learned everything with a pen and a reporter's notebook. Mom. Florida native celebrating all things kitsch, accidental Birminghamian. Is probably getting back from somewhere or heading somewhere. Knows: Elvis, journalism, pop culture, Southern artisans and emerging neighborhoods, vintage clothes, pugs, Yacht Rock. 


Entries in Alabama Gulf Coast (3)


Smokey Oyster Hair 

“there was a death, the death of childhood / there at the Union Oyster House / for I was fifteen / and eating oysters / and the child was defeated. / The woman won.” -- From Anne Sexton, "Oysters" 


Blog Like Crazy #2:

My hair smells like oyster smoke. I didn't know that there was such a thing, till I marinated in the scent for about seven hours today as a judge for the Fifth Annual Oyster Cook Off at The Hangout. I ate 50 oysters, or at least lost count around that time. 

I judged oysters along side a marine biologist who showed me the different parts of the oyster, explaining where the flavor comes from, showing how they attach to the shell. I've loved them since I was in my early 20s, eating them by the tray full on beaches near Sarasota. 


It was a glorious and sunny day -- an unseasonable warmth in November and a prefect time to sit and watch the trays of oysters being delivered to the judges' table. Most of the day I sat there and listened to stories about the mollusks, from the fourth generation oyster man to the chefs who talked about preparing them with mustard greens. 

I get suspicious when people say they don't eat oysters (unless it's for medical reasons). If they wrinkle their nose at the mere mention, I wonder. They're these little creatures whose flavor tells the story of where they are from. What's not to love about that?  

Next stop: picking up copies of "Sex, Death and Oysters" by Robb Walsh and A Geography of Oysters by Rowan Jacobsen, both recommended to me by the marine biologist. Can I include something about the world being a ... 

No, I'll stop there. 



How To Be Cool 

All spotted during a brief trip to Mobile, Alabama.


Record player in lobby. Not an iPod. Not a DJ mixing.

photo-65 photo-60

Never come out of this one. 


Jazz Hands Family Welcomes Henry (Part II)

Phew, what a weekend! After the great yoga debacle of 2011 (see update in my previous post) I've had some time to regain equilibrium. We spent yesterday afternoon at the pool (where thankfully no one asked if I was preggers) and I had a great night at church.

Tomorrow we leave for a much needed beach trip. Shane's brother Mark and sister-in-law Terry were so kind to ask us to join them in Santa Rosa Beach. Amazingly, this is actually my first trip to this part of the Gulf Coast (!). We've just always vacationed elsewhere, including my hometown of Clearwater, Florida. Looking forward to exploring and disconnecting a bit.

It'll be great to spend time with Shane's family after last week spending time with mine. My nephew Henry is home. This photo from the hospital made me smile. I mean, is this the modern paparazzi or what?



Of course I welcomed Henry with his first official Jazz Hands Family apparel. Isn't he cute?



Next thing you know, he'll be indoctrinated into Shaw Family Basement Dance Parties (TM).

This is also a special week for me because a story that I've worked on for months -- one about how Southerners have coped with the devastating storms of April 27 -- is appearing in the pages of the magazine. I'll write more about that shortly. But for now, family. And Jazz Hands.


Related Links:

Covering The Tornadoes

When Life Hands You New York: Jazz Hands Family News