As a brown-skinned immigrant who's always lived in coastal cities, I used to be a bit hesitant about traveling to the rural South. But two things have helped eliminate that silly fear. First, in one of those odd and surprising life twists that can happen in middle age, I've become a fan of country music (much to the chagrin of my hip-hop/reggae-loving teens.) Second, the warm welcome I get from readers and radio listeners in the South have made me eager to visit in person. Today, for example, I took a brief but refreshing break from the painful task of revising to do a radio interview about parenting and pop culture on the Steve Duignan Show in Fort Smith, Arkansas (it's mid-South, I know). You can download the 20 minute conversation here, if you're interested. And this June, I'll be heading to Louisiana for the first time to experience the renewed hospitality of New Orleans. For now, though, it's back to work.