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Word of South Weather Ranges from Wonderful to Wet

Tom Flanigan

Saturday was postcard-perfect, while much of Sunday was a monsoon. But those who attended, performed at, or organized the weekend's 4th Annual Word of South Festival at Tallahassee's Cascades Park were declaring victory in the wake of the event.

Non-stop music of all styles and genres poured from multiple stages. FSU English Professor David Kirby, a writer of poetry and music history, found many kindred spirits.

"I've talked to several people who worked with Percy Sledge and who were at Mussel Shoals (recording studio) when Mick Jagger was in the room," he exclaimed.

Greta Lee Sliger compared the gathering to a modern day hootenanny.

"I'm more musical than I am literary," she remarked, "but I was thinking how music really brings everyone together. It's a pretty cool thing!"

And nationally known Tallahassee attorney Ben Crump spoke on the connection of civil rights to words and music.

"Not only are we doing something serious and important, we're doing something fun and justice can be a fun thing when we come together."

Sunday's rains just increased that togetherness under the shelter of the festival's many tents.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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