August 08, 2005
When I linked a post somewhere below about the great state of Georgia, I did it because I thought the observations were amusing and dangerously close to the truth. One thing I like most about the South is the fact that we red-necks and good ole boys can laugh at ourselves. We ARE better at that than most yankees are.
But I want to correct the writer on one important historical detail. Savannah was the first settlement founded in Georgia (in 1733). and THIS STATEMENT IS NOT TRUE: "Georgia was originally populated by settlers from England and drunk people from Alabama who couldn't find their way home." Bullshit!
Jawja was settled by a few aristocrats from England and all the trash they could persuade out of debtor's prisons to go to the New World rather than die miserably, chained in a dungeon. In almost 300 years of time, nothing has changed.
We still have our aristocrats and our trash. I think I fall somewhere in the middle, but sometimes I identify a lot more with the "trash" than I do the aristocrats. I don't like "uppity" people. They'll ride right by with you broke down on the side of the road in the rain and not even wave at you.
Good ole boys will stop to help. Changing a tire or fixing an engine problem for a damsel in distress is a vital part of Southern nature. I've done it many times myself, including ONCE when I had to crawl through a mud-hole to drag a woman's car out of a bog. That's what good ole boys do.
My mama had flat tires TWICE after my father died, and she got a got volunteer good ole boy to change 'em, both times. When she tried to pay him, he wouldn't take any money. "No, ma'am," he said. "I just hope somebody would do this for MY mama if she needed help."
Mom always said after that. "All I have to do is stand around and look pathetic. I'm a gray-headed old woman. Somebody will come to help me."
She was correct. Down South, somebody WILL come to help you, just to do a good deed. We learn manners from an early age down here. And chivalry is NOT dead. Other people can make fun of us all they want to, but that doesn't change who we are.
If you don't live Down South, you won't understand, and I pity you.
You've said it before about Texas not really being "Southern."
After my last experience taking my father to the doctor in a wheelchair, I'm inclined to agree with you.
I had to ASK these stoopid mutherfuckers to open doors for me or hold an elevator door while I tried to manuver my father in the chair.
I was appalled.
Nah, Texas is southern. Well, southwestern, anyway. We change tires for old ladies. Hell, I blew a tire on the Caddy, and two truckloads of rednecks came outta nowhere and wouldn't even let me touch the tire iron, and I'm neither old nor grey.
Surfie, you musta been in Dallas, Houston or Austin. They're mostly filled with Yankees that couldn't make it up there, so they're carpetbagging down here.
You got that right!! Like when I emailed you after your stay in the hospital and offered to either stop by or get Joey to stop by if you needed anything. I ended the email with: "I'm not crazy, I know we don't know each other but I am a Southerner and as such, was raised this way." And to quote you, "Damn Right!!" Now we "know" you and the offer still stands...ya need anything? Call us and we'll help out as much as possible!
I suspect that most of us who can trace our ancestry are decendents of the 'trash' that the Enlish elite brought in to the S.E. as indentured labor-which is a code word for a white slave. Family legend claims an Scot Isrishman ancestor was one who hauled ass about a week after he got to the carolina piedmont and headed for the hills and never got caught. Family has been a bunch of rednecks ever since and damn proud of it.
As a Yankee, I just run people over when I see them on the side of the road.
I learned that from my ancestors who ran roughshod over yours back in the 1860s.
Fuck YOU RIR! You just envy our great weather and good-looking wimmen.
I don't know if thats a purely Southern thing, I live in farm country Indiana and can get someone to help me with flat tires pretty easily. Then again the 20 year old female thing helps I'm sure.
Capitan, you called it...Houston.
As a semi Civil war history buff I think someone taught 'right is right' the wrong lessons....
I remember the song 'The devil went down to Georgia" but this past weekend it changed. All of the slime, slugs, bollweavels, and creeps invaded Atlanta. Where was the real KKK, with the real guns and ropes, they missed a great chance to rid the country of a lot of enemies to the American way of life. Should have decorated a lot of peach trees.
Acidman, In regards to your last line (and an endorsement of the previous, AMEN.
Some of us Yankees will stop to help change a tire. Or to help a woman, young or old, whose car is stuck. But I agree, it'd be better if more of us did.
Maybe it's my heritage, Dad grew up in rural Kentucky and Mom in Missouri but, I was raised up to do stuff like that. Right is right, right? If somebody need help, you help 'em. Can't count the times a stranger has helped me when I needed it and never wanted anything for their trouble. Just pass it along and sooner or later it comes back around. Good and bad. Is that that Karma thing?
I don't think it is exactly a 'Southern' thing. From all I've seen its an agricultural thing. The south was for far longer than the north an agriculturally based society, and rural attitudes are attitudes of politeness and self-sufficency. You will see the same attitudes in the north when you are in the agricultural / rural areas, politeness and manners. I know that I see them when I visit Maine. I just think that the south is more famous for it because so much more of the south was steeped in such rural attitudes. (And by Rural I mean not-city, not simplistic/uneducated)
Mythilt is right. It is more a rural thing than a southern thing. (See Surfie's complaint in the first comment. Sounds like he was in one of the cities in Texas where people live too fast.)
I've gotten and given help on the side of the road in the Adirondacks of upstate NY and north central PA. I've given help on the shoulders of some interstates in northeast/central New Jersey but never had anyone stop to offer aid when I or a family member needed it in that most urban of states.
It's common on a back country road to wave to the oncomming driver as you pass or to the folks in their yard along the side of the road. And for them to wave back to you. Even if you are strangers. You don't do that in the urban areas unless you know the other person. Real well.
Don't know why common curtisies (and sense) are so rare in the more densely populated areas. Perhaps it is fear of fellow man or a feeling that the state will take care of things. Everybody thinks the troopers will be by any minute and they will take care of things. They will be along--sooner or later--but even they don't stop half the time.
Tscha! People are nice all over. When I took a roadtrip to Indiana with my daughter, we lost 5 tires and had help within minutes each time - including a motel that gave us a steep discount on the room while we waited for the tire place to open the next day.
And when we took a roadtrip to Boston last summer and I stupidly left my parking lights on for 4 days in a parking lot after we got to Boston; within half an hour of discovering my stupidity, I had someone helping jump-start the car.
I'm a fat frumpy woman not gray haired enough to hope for "old lady help" and far too old and fat and ugly to ever expect "purty young thing help", yet I get helped every time I need it in every state I've ever been in, which is practically every state east of I-35.
While stationed at Mather AFB near Sacramento California I was eating lunch one day at Chuch's Fried Chicken which was located off of a very busy street. I looked up from my meal...and there was this little old lady and her granddaughter rolling a flat tire down the street. I quickly finished my meal and jumped into my Volkswagen Beatle and pulled up next to them. I was in uniform...but still had to convince them that I meant no harm. They got in and I drove them about two miles to a place so they could fix their tire. I offered to give them a ride back but they refused and said not to worry about it. I insisited but they would have no part of it. The one thing that struck me though....was as they got into the car...they asked me if I was from the mid west. I stated that I was...and then asked why they asked me that. The reply was....No one here would have stopped for us. That folks is a shame.
Sophisticated Georgians have a lot of gall with their tradition of telling Alabama jokes. Jimmeh Carter, anyone?