I live in the South – a place the gets a bad rap in the rest of the country. Most people that haven’t lived here get what they think they know from such cinematic masterpieces as “Deliverance”. I’ll admit that it is hard to have any respect for Ned Beatty after seeing him in his skivvies and squealing like a pig. But that misconception of the South really belies the fact that it is composed of the best of the best when it comes to the people and the lifestyle we adore.As I sit in the Pratt Pub tonight listening to David Allen Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me by My Name,” I can’t help but feel a sense of pride in my fellow rednecks, roughnecks, belles and beaus. As my Yankee husband is fond of saying, “You guys may talk slow, but you think fast!” He’s right for the most part. We did have that whole embarrassing slavery thing going on for awhile, but it was on its way out when the War of Northern Aggression began. For those of you that are still under the erroneous assumption that it was about slavery, you couldn’t be further from the truth. It was about the same thing we are fighting for right at this very moment all over the country – States Rights. The Federal government didn’t have the right to invade a sovereign state then and they don’t have that right now – no matter how many unconstitutional powers they legislate themselves. Remember that.
There are a variety of things that I love about the South. For one, we have the best damn barbecue in the world. There is absolutely nothing better than getting together with friends on Saturday afternoon and eating a pig that’s been roasting on a spit since dawn. There are, of course, other accoutrements that are necessary to complete the successful Southern soirée. Frosty cold beer and good sour mash bourbon are required to loosen the spirit and make that SEC football game everyone is watching much more interesting.
Speaking of SEC football, as much as Corso hates to admit it, we do have the paramount conference in the country. The only drawback to being the best is that we spend an entire season beating each other in the ground and are worn slam out by the time the bowl games roll around. Although, as Ohio State fans can attest, the SEC teams still routinely bulldoze the Big 10, or as I like to call them, the Big 2 Little 8. OSU is 0-9 against the SEC in bowl games, a fact of which I never fail to remind my native Ohioan husband.
Another prerequisite to the perfect party is a little target practice. In these high-spirited competitions, the women never fail to join in the fun. I know that mixing alcohol and guns is dangerous – if you don’t have a lick of sense, that is. If you’ve never really shot off anything other than your mouth then, yes, this is not an activity in which you should participate. However, the majority of us have grown up around guns and we have a very healthy respect for them. I shot my first pistol at six years old. It was my grandfather’s .357 Colt Python and it ranks among my fondest memories of childhood. And the women and adolescents down here shoot just as well as the men, a piece of information that the “one-world government seeking, UN loving, tree-hugging, socialist squirrels” would do well not to forget.
Any social gathering would be incomplete without a bonfire and good music to round out the evening. I can think of nothing better than the peaceful, content feeling that comes with a buzz, a bellyful of barbecue, the smell of gunpowder in my clothes, a warm fire, a hot husband and Johnny Cash playing in the background. It is at these times that we friends reminisce and tell stories of days gone by. There are a lot of laughs and some tears. We talk of those that have gone on before us and the little ones that are just learning to crawl. And we don’t have to say it out loud, but we all know that this peaceful way of being is drawing to a close. Our group conscious senses the final act of the play is near and that our Republic is in its death throes. And we cling to the last bit of warmth from the fire, the last notes of music and we hold tight to the ties that bind us – our love for each other, our love for our way of life and the hope that God will be merciful. Whatever His will, I will make my stand shoulder to shoulder with these belles, beaus, rednecks and roughnecks. And I will die happy. And I will die free.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” ~Samuel Adams