The opening and closing wraparounds take place by an old abandoned tenant farm house in Pickens County near Clemson University. Here the host establishes the location and story line.
The Reenactment: The year is 1943. Ben Robertson, a noted journalist and native South Carolinian from the "red hills and cotton" area around Clemson, is in a military airport near New York awaiting boarding the "Yankee Clipper" to take him to London where he had been assigned as a correspondent for the New York Herald-Tribune. While waiting, he has a conversation with Bill Winchester (a fictional character). In this conversation Ben tells of his boyhood days growing up in South Carolina near Clemson. This conversation includes a series of flashbacks.
In these flashbacks, Ben and his two boyhood friends, Harve and Popcorn, discuss their plans for the future; Ben's father, a landowner, talks with one of his tenants; Ben, Harve and Popcorn meet at the train station as Harve and Popcorn prepare to go north for what they hope will be a better future. Also at the station is Winnie Mae, another friend headed north.