Deromanticizing history

Carey Pickard


Carey Pickard’s experiences as a Southerner are heavily influenced by his family history.

“Southerners can often be tradition-minded. We can be looking to learn from the mistakes of our past, although we sometimes glorify mistakes as well we definitely romanticize our past,” Pickard said.

Pickard was born and raised in Macon, Georgia, where he still lives and works as a fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations.

He considers himself a Southerner because it’s the lifestyle he chose for himself. His ancestors are all from Macon. When he was younger, he lived in New York City, but didn’t like the city’s fast-paced lifestyle and unfriendly vibe. He moved back to Georgia because of the hospitality he never felt in the North.

“Southerners are viewed as warm Southern hospitality. It’s certainly a stereotype and I like to think it’s far too true. Southerners are warm and engaging,” Pickard said.

While he’s proud of his family history in the South, Pickard gives an example of how Southerners tend to romanticize their history in a way that is no always accurate.

Pickard grew up hearing a family story that his great-grant uncle was the first person to suture a human heart.

“Well I later found out he wasn’t. It was a black guy who did it, a year before my great-great uncle did it,” Pickard said.

“He sutured this guy’s heart before many people had, but he wasn’t the first.”