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All across the rural South we are untying the knots of racism that were very neatly tied by Plantation owners who wanted to keep the U.S. divided. We are using history to untie the lies we have learned about each other. We are talking about the "Redneck War" to galvanize a grassroots movement to demand that the south rejoin the Union. Yes, we are having the tough conversations. Georgia is #1 in Infant Mortality and has not accepted the Medicaid expansion and we as a people are suffering in the deep south. Will we allow States Rights to bare over Human Rights and Dignity? We say NO. We will have a "More Perfect Union" that our President spoke of because we are learning who we are. This is a We Conversation....Dear Diary,

My Grandfather, Earl O'Neal used to say West "BY GOD" Virginia in his booming - I mean it - voice. You know the one we hear as children and we choose to either start running or freeze with fear? Most times I'd freeze in awe, to listen to whatever he was raising hell about.

Now, I'm not saying Grandfather was one to pick a fight, but I will say he was one to carry a conversation to conclusion. I guess he would have been the rooster in a hen house because men tended to listen to him and seek him out for help.

I remember one day Grandfather was saying to me, "do you know why we say West "BY GOD" Virginia?

I said, "no".

He said it was because "we" (WV) was a FREE State. A Union State and not one of those Slave States.

I have never heard anyone tell me a different reason as to why that is, I can attest to the fact that my family has always believed that "BY GOD" meant so and have always been proud of it.

On a trip home one spring I found Grandmother outside reading curled up on the porch swing. The squeaky sound was comforting to a sleepy head such as myself and I climbed up beside her and got under the warm blanket.

I asked her what she was reading and she showed me a Dictionary.

She said, "I always try to learn three new words a day".

I was quite amazed by that. She told me she never went to high school or graduated. She said a person should never stop learning to improve themselves, and then I realized all the times she'd correct my grammar or explain the difference in this word and that word; she was teaching me to be more than she was.

She used to say, "Jeana I don't want people to assume anything about you by the way you talk". So, I listened and learned.

She said, "I may have come from a hollow,and had flour sacks sewn for clothes, but no-one knows that by talking to me". "Remember this the rest of your life".

Never let anyone call you a hillbilly.

Well! I was stunned! I kinda liked the Beverley Hillbillies on television and I thought who didn't like Ellie Mae, Granny, or Jethrow Bodine?

So I asked her, "why not"?

She got as serious as a heart attack and said; "Because Hillbilly is a derogatory name meant to define Mountain folk - us - as uneducated, uncouth, moonshiners, and inbred".

"It is meant to plant a false belief in peoples' minds that Mountaineers are people who are ignorant and not worthy of respect".

She continued to explain to me that people are labeled to be exploited for their Labor. It then diminishes their ability to be heard.

"Don't you ever let them call you anything but a Mountaineer from West Virginia, and always remember our state motto, Mountaineers are ALWAYS FREE".

See, it never occurred to me that I had witnessed our families choice to be all they could be in a free Democracy.

Grandmother told me that when Grandfathers Irish people came over there were signs that said HELP WANTED---IRISH NEED NOT APPLY!!!

I have seen firsthand what America can do for immigrant families such as ours.

There, that morning in 1970, Maxine Faye O'Neal was in her quiet, personal, way, teaching me her way of becoming a better person as in the way the President has said something of a quiet unshakable faith that it was not where you came from that mattered, it was where you were going. I took it to mean just that.

Grandmother cleaned houses for a living and the only thing she could do for herself and her children was to continue to be self taught and continue to learn. She is alive today and I am so grateful she is my wonderful Grandmother.

I am proud that I came from a State that was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state!

At the Wheeling Convention, West Virginia was born and admitted to the Union, June 20th, 1863 as a free state; even if it was for the Coal that was much needed for the North to retain strategic area, to the people there it was a matter of personal pride that they were not slave owners nor Southerners.

I hate it today when I read the "Profile" section of the paper on Sunday to find West "BY GOD" Virginia stuck in with all the southern states as if some newspaper conglomerate has demoted us to second class citizenship. I protest! And I protest to the Census Bureau to!

Now, to say second class is to say a lot. I mean to tell you that the Southern States seceded from the Union and have never came back. I don't want to prolong a story but it must be this way. You see the "Redneck War" or better known Battle for Blair Mountain was fought because of the harsh exploitation of human beings, white, black, and immigrant for their cheap labor as expendable as trash. If they thought of themselves as a Free State do you really think they were not canny and smart enough to comprehend the gravity of their unique situation by 1920?

No-one wants you to ever know about Blair Mountain, because if whites and blacks ever got it figured out that we are as worthless in the eyes of corporations as the Mexicans or any other so called "alien" we would have an evolution of Brotherhood. One in which we did not fight each other over minimum wage, sorry ass, jobs. They have hid the fact of a Coal Mining Union in which black were paid equal wages to whites because it is not expedient to British or American business men that the Negros nor Crackers ever work together in harmony.

In West Virginia, for one brief moment we saw ourselves as the land of opportunity with freedom and justice for all; yes, just like the Freedman's Bureau in charge of reconstruction of the South pulled out within 20 years; within 20 years the Battle of Blair Mountain was snuffed away from memory and within 7 years of the battle (1928) the KKK was 6 million strong marching on DC. Coincidence? We think not. States began legislating Jim Crow Laws to subjugate a nation of poor people, white "trash" and black. The white were fooled into seeing themselves as better because of color; another lie to separate us. Why my own Uncle cried tears and grieved because he said as a little boy in the 1940's the KKK was so thick in West Virginia everyone believed what they said about blacks being less than human. He cried because he was lied to and he felt shame for believing the rhetoric he was so carefully taught.

The KKK is alive today. Be wise. Be aware.

The South HAS NEVER ceded back and has not shown any intention of doing so.

She takes Federal Dollars and does not enforce Federal Law. The South is our collective disgrace for the racism we see today and the punitive legislation called "Right to Work".

I, for one, am calling for a remembrance of the KKK and their rise to great power in 1928. It was to stifle forever the story of Blair Mountain where whites, blacks, and immigrants were breaking bread and working together. The powers in Europe and the United States who owned the mineral rights to coal and gas would have none of it and neither has any administration since the Civil Rights movement. Indeed, Blair Mountain was placed on the National Historic Registry and removed. This is the only time that has ever happened! Big Coal wants a Mountain destroyed to remove any visible evidence or memory of a collective Brotherhood of Mand of Man. The moment the United States Army was called in, they laid down arms, thinking they will finally have congressional review of the atrocities that had befallen them. Sometimes here in Georgia I wish they'd come review the retribution one receives if you are color mixing and talking economics or running candidates who are not the chosen ones. This can be dangerous and I personally know of southern democratic candidates whose livelihood, families, and very lives are threatened if they considered calling for a recount. IT has to STOP.

The Unions have had their place in racism to and so has the Democratic Dixiecrat. All have dirty hands that need washing. Grandfather told me the trials an tribulations of being an elected business manager for the Union and being labeled a Communist because he fought for wages for the black employees who elected him.

Yes, I have much to tell you, but for this election I will stop here.

Yet, who gets the Hope and Change? The ones who fought for the rights of others or the ones who now stand as Southern Dixie Democrats? We must come together as a Nation to heal from our shame or be bound to fight again for those who went before. As Tupac sang, "and still, I see no changes."

Let us win this election and work on changing the DEEP SOUTH forever, and claim the healing this Nation so sorely needs and desires. We want to be a community, a town, a city, a nation, a Republic of the United States who has not forgotten their upbringing but betters themselves through humility and reconciliation. Healing wounds takes time and we are running out of that commodity. Take back the House and Senate in 2014 and let's start healing, by our love, compassion, and awareness of all people's suffering and not just our own.

"Hate Fears, what Love Does" - Jeana Brown during the Midterms 2010; Red Polk County Florida's "Campaign for Accountability" office.

Originally posted to Jeana Brown on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Hellraisers Journal, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks very much (19+ / 0-)

    for the history, the insight, and the outlook.

    A thoroughly enjoyable read.

    •  Not that I want to rain on anyone's parade, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeana brown

      since West Virginia statehood history is my specialty I cannot give romanticized history a free pass.

      "At the Wheeling Convention, West Virginia was born and admitted to the Union, June 20th, 1863 as a free state; even if it was for the Coal that was much needed for the North to retain strategic area, to the people there it was a matter of personal pride that they were not slave owners nor Southerners."

      Plantations ran up and down the Ohio River from Wheeling to the Kentucky line. West Virginians used to battle Ohio abolitionists, even crossing into Ohio River to beat or kidnap them. Slavery was deeply embedded into the society and important to the economy of the region. Wheeling was one of the suppliers of slaves to the cotton states. Not one single slave was freed in West Virginia until Feb. 5, 1865. West Virginians were indeed proud to be southerners, which is why "Virginia" is in the name, and not "Kanawha". Most of the state is composed of Confederate counties beginning as far north as Braxton, Tucker, Barbour and Randolph Counties. West Virginians never wanted to separate from Virginia, they were railroaded into the new state by the Wheeling government, as Frank Pierpont told Lincoln "The Union men of West VA were not originally for the Union because of the new state." The Wheeling government was a minority government, that should never be forgotten. They did not represent the people of the new state, which is why they were deposed in 1871 and their constitution destroyed.

      •  Thank you So much for the history lesson! (0+ / 0-)

        No-one is raining on my parade! Learning truth is what it is about. Some of my people arrived in the 1860's 70's and possibly before. What I do write is the oral history taught to me as a child. Because you are a WV Historian I am glad you must know of the Paint and Cabin Creek Strikes 1910-1911. My Great Grandfather was a union man and also marched on Blair Mountain. I was 21 when HE died. His son, my Grandfather, lived until 2001. I share first and second hand accounts of oral history which usually differs on many levels from many people. I will say that is what I was told, for even my Grandfather, an IBEW (Appalachia Power and Coal) business manager 1950's said he argued for the black janitors the same % wage increase as the boilermakers because as he said, "the price of Good year tires went up this year the same on everyone so everyone should get a fair increase". Of course they called him a communist, voted him down in negotiations but you must be aware by now dear reader my people had inward nobility by demonstrating their beliefs and love for their fellow man... Grandfather said no-one thought they could read the bible for themselves back in the company towns.....My Grandmothers best friend was a black girl and both my Aunt in (TX) and Grandmother (IN GA) accidentally used "colored bathrooms" coming south in the 50's and my Grandmother was chastised coming out. The story goes that my GFather said,"Maxine get in the car, as he then gave them all cussing and asked them what the hell did they need separate bathrooms for? I was then told Grandfather said he'd shoot anyone who had a reply and no-one spoke a word; so they just kept driving south to see us in Fl! My Aunt said WV integrated in 1954; is that true or not? Poor people who worked in the mines and on the ground knew they were a free state regardless of how much legislation was argued. It is always good to learn, and oral history will be remembered as well. Somehow I hope they meet in the middle. Whipple Company Store in Whipple WV is saving oral history and I know that more will be revealed.... Thank you for your post!

  •  I have lived in Texas, a state which fought (20+ / 0-)

    a war of independence against Mexico when it outlawed slavery, and then joined the Confederacy and who has a governor who has openly mused about secession.

    Today, I'm back in my native New England, here in Maine, the "whitest" and least religious state in the Union. Maine also was among the greatest and most enthusiastic states to fight for the Union in the Civil War and long a hotbed of abolitionism. It's not for nothing that it became a state in the Missouri Compromise.

    Maine is not without its racism and classism and divide between Anglos and Franco-Americans. No state is. However, it has a very proud history fighting for freedom from the War of 1812 to the Civil War and many subsequent conflicts.

    West Virginia is a very special state. One I have visited, and find beautiful on many levels. As a Mainer, from a state which was born out of anti-slavery sentiments, and often accused of "redneck" attitudes, I feel a very special connection with your story. Thank you for sharing it.

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:05:36 PM PDT

  •  Watched a movie the other day, had this quote: (21+ / 0-)

    They pit the lifers against the new boy and the young against the old. The black against the white. Everything they do is to keep us in our place.

    This is why there needs to be strong push back against racism in all it's forms. It should be shunned. It is a weapon ruling oligarchs have used for far too long.

    There are no rules, only the illusion of rules.

    by Drewid on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:17:07 PM PDT

  •  jeana brown - my favorite Redneck (8+ / 0-)

    Long time no see. How ya been?

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:49:06 PM PDT

  •  BTW, you left out the part about wanting to (8+ / 0-)

    do mountaintop removal on Blair Mountain to wipe it completely off the map and out of memory.

    http://ilovemountains.org/...

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:52:09 PM PDT

  •  when will the opression end (10+ / 0-)

    for the trailer park peoples?

    i cant even afford cable tv anymore

    its just a sick sad world

    •  When we stand shoulder to shoulder (11+ / 0-)

      And see each Man and Woman as our own concern and responsibility. When we in fact Become a Brothers Keeper there will be no division, then united WE the People will be able to press our Governing bodies to respect us as the resourceful, wonderful, loving, people that we are in these United States. It is the Governmental Bodies lack of partisanship that has enabled the media to run with the notion that we can blame each other for the woes we see. It is unforgivable at this moment that we allow the division amongst our countrymen to continue. We must be the change we seek, do those random acts of kindness, seek out someone else who is less fortunate and help them up. We can do this if we all believe and stand together that we will be paid a Living Wage and demand better BY VOTING the suckers out in 2014 who got us in this shape. It is a start. Take back our Country for We the People are having a WE Conversation.

  •  "The Circle" by Edwin Markham (13+ / 0-)

    “He drew a circle that shut me out-
    Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
    But love and I had the wit to win:
    We drew a circle and took him In !

    “Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful -- just stupid.)” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

    by midgebaker on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:10:22 AM PDT

  •  Wonderful story, commentary, and message! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC, cotterperson, Mayfly, ceebee7

    Thank you Jeana!

    Not all people are human; not all humans are people.

    by Jon Sitzman on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:12:27 AM PDT

  •  History of the Red Neck War (6+ / 0-)

    I did this about seven years back

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:16:17 AM PDT

  •  Jeana, thank you! (7+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry to say I did not know the origin of West Virginia before, but I sure do now.

    God bless your Grandmother and her lessons of self-respect and lifelong learning.

    -Jay-
    
  •  Blair Mountain? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, cotterperson, Mayfly, ceebee7

    This is a great piece, thank you! I'm going to do some reading about Blair Mountain..

  •  Thank you for the very honest, heartfelt diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, ybruti, ceebee7

    Your writing style is very forthright and real.Thanks for sharing your Grandma with us! She may not have a teacher's certification but teacher she is! and A darn good one at that! I come from the backwoods (that is hillbilly in PacWest talk, ;) ) I come from a family of teachers and this is one of the best lessons I have had in awhile! Lot's of good links to go learn some more. I as well try to learn something new everyday and you just gave me a lesson!
    I agree that we need to get over our petty, small differences, stand together and unite! United we stand and divided we fall!
    Peace and Blessings!

    “When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you.” ` Steph Guthrie

    by Penny GC on Thu May 01, 2014 at 10:17:45 AM PDT

  •  while I agree the Deep South (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ceebee7, QBee59

    needs to join the 21st century,  I think the focus on needing only to reform the Deep South is misplaced.

    There are racists everywhere, and some pretty deep roots to racism in the midwest, Appalachia and west, it exists in rural areas almost everywhere in this country.    This is a national problem, not a Deep South problem.  If we want to have a truly We The People conversation, we should remember that the African American and Hispanic populations are large in the Deep South, that a place such as Georgia or Texas may go blue before some western or midwestern states with notably smaller minority populations.

    I am all for calling out the racism, but there are a lot of minds and hearts all over this country that need changing.  Look at the hate map at the Southern Poverty Law Center,  Georgia certainly is full of hate groups, but so is New Jersey, West Virginia's number of organizations is directly proportional to Georgia's based on population. California, one of the bluest states overall, still has a large number of hate organizations.   This is a problem in the South, but not exclusively the South.  I find the tunnel vision on racism as a problem of the Deep South at odds with a call for national healing.

  •  Beautiful! (5+ / 0-)

    I grew up in Western PA and went to college at WVU. We used to call it "West-By-God" for short. It was short for "West-by-God-smile-when-ya-say-it-Virginia."

    I get tears in my eyes when I read status updates of friends who still live there who will never really be able to trust their drinking water again. Who'll always have that question, as they grow older, of how many years have been stolen from them thanks to corporate greed. Even the most right-wing or coal-supportive of them are quiet about it. I don't push, because I-told-you-so's would help no one and only serve to widen a divide.

    Your Grandmother sounds like a national treasure. She reminds me of the kinds of people I met while at college--once you left town and drove a mile or two out (and when I say, "out," I really mean, "up," because West Virginia). People whose lack of formal education served to highlight their deep and extensive wisdom.

    How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

    by athenap on Thu May 01, 2014 at 10:53:06 AM PDT

    •  Greetings from an African American (5+ / 0-)

      native of Bluefield, from deep in the coal fields, who left the region with my family in the post World War II migration. The Black coal mining community has been the subject of many books, including Color, Class and Coal (one of my favorites).  I used to give it to my relatives as a Christmas present.  I really enjoyed your diary, especially its spirit of racial reconciliation and solidarity.  But I also must agree with jfromga in urging us to see anti-Black and anti-Native American racism as a national problem.  The wealth of the North (as well as the South) is built on the slave trade and the theft of Native land.  

  •  Bravo! Kudos to you for standing up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jeana brown, ybruti

    and speaking out.  For you, it was about "hillbillies."  For me, it was about racism.  But it's ALL about the power structure's drive to divide and conquer.  

    The parental teaching that was most precious to me as a child in the 1950s was my mother's outspoken activism against racism and her participation in Fellowship House of Reconciliation.  This was in Kansas City (MO), where racism was not so much the typical southern vicious hatred, but just non-thinking agreement with the widespread American belief that people of African heritage were different and "less than" whites...  I remember clearly from the age of 8 or 9 correcting, or attempting to correct, anyone I heard using the N-word... I would get into arguments... Friends asserted what they had been taught by their parents -- Blacks were "slow," "lazy," or whatever adjective came to their minds... but most of all, "different"... and as stated, "less than."  Just as "hillbillies" have been depicted in all media.  I used to hate "The Beverly Hillbillies" TV show.  It did more to perpetuate class stereotypes than anything else I can think of, and I don't remember any media pushback against it.

    The neighborhoods we lived in in Kansas City were all white.  So we'd have some of my mother's friends and their families -- usually doctors, community leaders, etc. -- for Sunday dinner from time to time.  It was an effective way of illustrating to me the inaccuracy of then current, media-perpetuated stereotypes.

    I'm currently reading Juan Gonzalez's "News for All the People" which clearly depicts American media's role in perpetuating negative racial and CLASS-BASED stereotypes since colonial times, which continues -- albeit somewhat moderated -- today, in spite of the phony right-wing media outrage when, for example, a Bundy or a Sterling comes to the surface and is nationally reported and "condemmed."  The right is at heart racist, no matter what they SAY in public.  What they say in private is another story altogether.  What is in their hearts -- fear-stoked hatred -- is what perpetuates the status quo.  Unfortunately, racists have become very good at saying "I'm not a racist."  What bullshit.

    Getting rid of class stereotypes will take generations... as the ongoing onslaught of white propaganda everywhere tries to distract, misinform, inflame, accuse, etc. any efforts to unite the people.  That propaganda is unbelievably well-funded, thanks most recently to Koch-related entities.

    Thank heavens for your grandparents' enlightenment and teaching, and thanks for sharing it!

    How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

    by ceebee7 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:41:32 AM PDT

  •  I'm reading "Twelve Years a Slave". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jeana brown

    Eye-opening. A very good book. Keep up the good fight, Jeana!

    “You can say any fool thing to a dog and the dog will just give you this look that says, 'My GOSH, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!” ― Dave Barry

    by Merry Light on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:51:12 AM PDT

    •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      linkage, Gardener in PA, chmood

      My Grandfather actually gave me the book 12 years as a Slave to read when I was in my teens. He had me read All the Kings Men and many others. He is gone now. I am grateful for the oral history shared with me as well. I believe it why we must make trouble, "Necessary Trouble" as Congressman John Lewis said, However, We know trouble don't last always. We are coming to the end of a Black Presidency and I worry we have not fulfilled our duty as a Nation or people towards each other or ourselves. Thank you again for posting your comment and reading about out plight in the deep south. Nothing much has changed.PBS Doc Slavery by Another Nameer Name explains why.

      •  "Nothing much has changed", yes. I was (0+ / 0-)

        again immersed in my book last night about Solomon and he is about to be rescued in the story. I was reading the part about Epps' son treating the slaves just like his father did and earning the praise of his father. The teaching came down the generations that way - the Southern slave owner's general opinion of his slaves as being slightly more intelligent than the dog but not worthy of the respect due a fellow human being.  I even said it out loud to myself - Nothing much has changed.
        Keep up your good fight. All the Kings Men is on my reading list, I'll have to queue that one up next!

        “You can say any fool thing to a dog and the dog will just give you this look that says, 'My GOSH, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!” ― Dave Barry

        by Merry Light on Sat May 03, 2014 at 06:20:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome diary. Thank you. Nt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheDuckManCometh

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:36:17 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for saying this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chmood, jeana brown, TheDuckManCometh

    so clearly. I was trying to say this in a comment on another diary, but could not articulate it well. That was about the ACA and the southern refusal of Medicaid expansion. I tried to say what I had figured out - that this is not about the president and refusing everything about him.

    In spite of the fact that these states have the infant mortality of third world countries, and the highest rate of uninsured people, they want it this way. They refuse Medicaid expansion because it is interfering with the autonomy of a ruling group to keep the working classes separated by race and ethnicity, and as poor as possible.

    Your arguments are clear and make so much sense. Brilliant piece of writing.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:08:43 PM PDT

  •  A breathless "Thank You," and a tissue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheDuckManCometh, mdmslle

    "The devil can quote Scripture to serve his own purposes."

    by SpringHopeCarolina on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:28:32 PM PDT

  •  Most Moving And Inspiring Diary (3+ / 0-)

    I've read all year.  Tears in my eyes.  Thank you, Jeana Brown.

  •  You bring up memories of times and folks long gone (4+ / 0-)

    photos I found after my father passed, taken around 1915:

    - the one-room, dirt-floor cabin
    - my dad, about 3, playing in the dirt with the chickens
    - his clothes, made from burlap fee-sacks
    - his mother, my Granma, staring daggers @ the photog

    my Granpa was the son of scots-irish sharecroppers/emphysema-sufferers:  he quit 3rd grade to make money loading bales of cotton at the depot

    my Granma was the eldest daughter/rising matriarch of the local planter family:  she was disowned "for reasons unknown", she and Granpa had one child, my dad, when they were nearing 30

    I remember my dad constantly correcting my grammar, pronunciation, enunciation.  I didn't like it, but I didn't like the fact that Southerners were typically portrayed as either nit-wits or cornbread-mafia types, either.  He'd say you'd better learn to speak well and clearly:  you have neither the patience nor the willingness to put with sounding like an idiot.  He was right.

    Dad told me once about a man from South Carolina he met at a convention, who REFUSED to believe that my dad was GA born and bred - and was prepared to FIGHT MY DAD to erase the imaginary stain on Magnolia Honeytongue, or whatever.

    I have taken my own turn in that line:  my daughter lived more rurally than I, and during a visit, she kept telling me about the "ayunt bayid"..when I finally twigged.

    An ant bed.  Ants.  Smart kids NEVER want to sound like they're dumb, though, so 'mission accomplished'!

    Wish I could rec your diary a dozen times.  Thank you.

    trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

    by chmood on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:07:59 AM PDT

  •  Wonderful diary Jeana! nt (0+ / 0-)

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