A truism is that you should never travel to the South without first learning of its history. If you don’t, you will miss all that it’s about and never understand the people who live there. The South in many ways is a land of dreams. Ones rebuilt over and over again.

The walls of town buildings reflect unspoken history. Walls usually made of brick, but never uniform. Different types of brick and colors all mashed together. The walls do not speak, but have tales to tell.

Stories about invading armies from afar and the North, burning of towns, rebuilding, the restoration, burning again, of great textile plants, then town deaths, then the long waiting for the rebirth again.

I once walked the streets of Chester, South Carolina, stopping to watch the demolition of a building that sat in the middle of a city block. “Dreamland” appeared on the side of the newly exposed wall of the adjacent building. The building once full of flickering film and small plays, wall paintings of attendees still on the building side.

The South is full of dreamland walls. Testaments of rebirth, hope, despair and waiting again for new dreams…

David Young