From The Bitter Southerner’s collection of featured articles, Look Away:
Since our beginnings, we’ve welcomed the contributions of photographers who were ambitious and adventurous enough to use their cameras to search for deeper meaning. Our first contribution from Micah Cash came several years ago. Called “Dangerous Waters,” it was a series of photographs chronicling the public works projects of the Tennessee Valley Authority, whose dams brought electricity to the rural South but sacrificed the homes, land, and ways of life of people whose communities now lie beneath the lakes created by those dams.
Late last year, Micah called to let us know of a new project. He had traveled across seven Southern states and visited about 60 Waffle Houses to photograph the environments around them from inside them. He stuck to his own rules and made photographs only from the table or counter-stool where he was having coffee.
The resulting story could have a simple, heartfelt tribute to these little diners where Southerners have consumed millions of waffles and eggs, where “scattered, smothered, and covered” is a completely familiar order with no mystery to it at all. Micah instead looked deeper and made us see how a Waffle House offers the best view of the modern South as it really is.
“Waffle House is the stage for the country we live in,” Micah wrote. “There was approximately a 50/50 ratio of women to men, and no obvious age range. It’s everybody from high schoolers to parents with babies to the elderly. As a whole, the ability for the local culture of a place to exist within the walls of a pervasive fast food restaurant is amazing.” For the folks who read his essay and studied his photographs, their next trip to a Waffle House will have deeper meaning.