|Fall is definitely coming, and cannot come soon enough for us!|
Crusher (you remember her from a day or so ago) told us to watch for the rednecks while we were riding around here. Then declared, "I mean, I AM a redneck, but you gotta' watch out for those boys."
And my friends from Houston caution us to be careful 'round those "Southern rednecks."
Well, what exactly is the big fuss all about? When I was growing up, "redneck" was a term that meant primarily "country folk." Farmers and ranchers, mostly - people who spent their days working out of doors and therefore developed a deep tan from their open-necked shirts (aka "red neck.") There was no particular stigma attached to this term; it was the flipside of being a city slicker (or paleface - one who worked indoors in an office.) So I guess there was a mild joshing aspect to it, but the ribbing went both ways.
Somewhere in the past couple of decades, and perhaps Jeff Foxworthy is responsible for this, it seems that "redneck" has undergone a re-branding campaign. It seems to have some additional cachet at this point that's hard to pin down. There is still an association with country folk, it seems. And there is definitely some ribbing or putdown associated with the use of the term. On the other hand, there is also a strong undercurrent of pride associated with one's redneck status, with some groups attempting to out-do one another in their claim to true red-necked-ness.
And in all of this, I can only say that pretty much everyone we have met here in the South has been polite, courteous, and interested in our journey. They are delightful to talk with (the various accents offering us some challenge from time to time) and not at all to be feared. They have offered us help and given us room on the road. They are great storytellers, and good listeners, too. They are in no hurry, that is for sure. I think this leisure may be an artifact of the climate. No one wants to rush about when it's so hot!
|Country road, Mississippi version|
Anyway, I would like to dedicate this post to all the rednecks out there, whether by birth or through conversion. And, I would like to point out that after riding in the sun for the past four months, I am getting a pretty red neck myself!
Peace to all, whatever color your neck is!
|The Bridges Hall Manor|
The day's report: Tupelo to Houston (who knew there was a Houston in Mississippi?), 35.3 miles/6836 to date
|Treating ourselves tonight!|
The route (and it is day 140, not 138 as Roger thinks!)