The 1991 film, “Fried Green Tomatoes” is as southern as it gets. A story from the early 1900s, taking place in a small Alabama town. There are many lessons to be learned from the film but one scene always comes to mind for me when I’m driving around town: The grocery store road rage scene.

In the movie, Evelyn Couch, played by Kathy Bates, goes “Towanda” after two “cutsie” women in a red convertible Volkswagen Beetle steal her parking spot at the Winn Dixie.

And scene:

“Face it, lady, we’re younger and faster.”


Oh no, sweet cheeks.

“Towanda” goes to town on that little bug and she doesn’t apologize one bit. She smashes it several times with her big, boat car and all the while, laughing and hollering with happiness.

The look on her face says it all. Her face lights up with joy and she is one proud Mamma-Jamma from Alabama!

“Face it, girls, I’m older and I have more insurance,” Couch said when the girls ran back to the parking lot after seeing their little car get obliterated.

They had it comin’. They really did! And you know what? Some Alabama leaders have it coming, too. Maybe its time for Alabamians to channel a little "Towanda!"

I recently spoke with a former state representative about things he saw during his nearly 15 years in office. While he didn’t want to go “on the record” about his experience, he did tell me I would never in a million years believe the actions of some backdoor politicians.

This is a story I hear all of the time.

“This person is just looking to fill his own pocket” or, “This person just wants to help her special interest.”

So, what do we do about it? If it’s so secretive that we can’t find out exactly what anybody is talking about, how can we change the trajectory?

Local involvement.

We can pay attention to our local governments and there will be a chain reaction.

I have covered many a council meeting in my day, along with commission meetings and other meetings of elected leaders. The only time I really see community involvement is when people are angry. So, you only care when the people YOU voted for make a decision YOU aren’t happy with?

City council members make decisions that impact every person in their city. They vote on ordinances, resolutions and proclamations that may have consequences. They offer opinions (which are not always educated) and could influence community members by offering those opinions. Word of mouth is a real thing and if you’ve ever played the telephone game, you know things can get misconstrued.

County commissioners make big money decisions and decide where “bookoodles” of your tax dollars are spent in your county. They speak with the higher-ups and work to get your area the attention that is needed, if they do their jobs right. Many times, people don’t even know who their local commissioner is. What a shame!

State representatives and senators are there to represent YOU. Why would you just fill in a circle at the polls because you have heard that name? Why wouldn’t you want to educate yourself and know what you are voting for? This is a non-partisan issue. Republican or Democrat, Independent or full of crap … You should care about what YOU want for YOUR FAMILY and YOUR HOUSEHOLD. It matters. Every vote matters. Every election matters.

Every bit of where our country is going starts right in your own Sweet Home Alabama, Fried Green Tomatoes back yard. Every little city or town election is important. Every seat matters. Every voice needs to be heard.

Again, it’s time the people of Alabama get a little “Towanda” in them and get fired up enough to go to the polls every time they’re open. Let’s be older and have more insurance. And by that, I mean be wiser and insure our future.

By the way, you can go eat at the Irondale Café anytime and get a little taste of the inspiration behind the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

Erica Thomas is Managing Editor of 1819 NewsThe views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to