More Good Americans
By Joe Harrison
I thought that with all the bad news and scandals going on, we could all use a little good news for a change. We supplement our income by buying and selling antiques, collectables and vintage items. We often travel to do different shows and sales. Last week, we went to Signal Mountain, TN to do the Worlds Longest Yard Sale.
I must say, we encountered some very fine people there. Salt of the earth, blue collar, Southern Folk…as good as they come. I proudly had a Confederate flag waving in my booth and sold out of them within a matter of hours, but no one had a single complaint or comment about it. No one saw it as a sign of racism or hate, no one hesitated to come in and look around because of it.
I will tell you that it was somewhat humbling to have so many people stop by and say that they were regular readers and that I was quite well known in that area. One young man, only 14 years old got so excited and he said he was going to tell everyone he knew that he got to meet me because they were all readers and talked about my stories all the time. There is hope for the future among our young people after all.
To my northern readers, I hope you don’t take offense by what I’m about to say because I really do appreciate all of you, but, it is what is. When we’re doing these sales and people stop by, or are just walking by for that matter, we can tell with one sentence where they are from and no, it’s not because of the accent. It is part of our Southern Code that no person will come by without us speaking to them. We always have a “Good Morning” or a “How are you?” for everyone. If the other person is from the south, we get something along the lines of “Great, it’s a beautiful day, how are you?” in return. If the other person is from the north, we usually get one of the following responses…a scowl, a grunt, completely ignored, or even worse, they actually go into great detail describing how terrible they are because of all the problems they’re having…or, they just say how miserable it is because they’re hot.
Here are just a few tips to the northerners and the people from California who may find yourselves passing through the south; they may make your trip a little easier. Most of us are raised by a very strict code of conduct. We MUST hold the door open for you, especially ladies, don’t get scared, don’t get offended, we’re not up to anything, we’re just being courteous. We MUST greet you in some form and it must be a friendly greeting, we also fully expect the same in return; if we don’t get it, we get just a little bothered. If we’re engaging you in conversation, we MUST ask you how you are doing. We need to be clear on this; if we ask, it’s a courtesy thing, we really don’t want every detail of why your life is miserable, when you reply like that, we consider it very rude. The proper reply is something positive like, “I’m wonderful”, or “great”, if life is that bad for you, just say you are “fine”, we know that means you’re having a bad day. My Dad always said that courtesy is free so you can give away as much of it as you want and it won’t cost you a dime, he also said smiles are contagious.
For those of you who have moved here and stayed, there are a few major no no’s that will always, always get a negative reaction from a true southerner. Keep in mind, this OUR home. Don’t ever make fun of our accent, this is how we talk here, you’ll just have to deal with that. Don’t ever tell us how you did it up north because we don’t really care, we have our own way of doing things. Never, never sit around griping about how hot it is; we’re fully aware of our climate, if it’s too much for you, the same road that brought you here also has a north bound lane that will take you back to such garden spots as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and lets not forget Dearborn.
We have our share of bad cities such as Atlanta, but keep in mind that we pretty much evacuated that area after the latest northern invasion. Once great small country towns like the one I grew up in, Acworth GA, have now become suburbs full of cookie cutter subdivisions. The road I used to ride my horse on is now four lanes providing better access for suburbanites to get in and out of the city. The job growth didn’t help very many of us, because the corporations that moved down here, hired people from out of state and moved them in. Sorry, but I just had to vent all that out.
The one thing we have noticed is that among the rural south, the worse things get, the worse the economy becomes, the more of our rights that are taken away, the more people are sticking together. Everyone seems to be more and more like minded. We’ve determined to save our way of life that has been handed down to us for three centuries. We almost lost it, but we are now going to save it…mark my words on that one.
We would like to thank the fine people of Tennessee for your gracious hospitality. To the Senators of that fine State, I have to tell you; every single person that I had any conversation with at all asked me to write something on your poor performance. Your constituents are NOT HAPPY with you right now. They want you to follow the lead of men like Gowdy from SC and Cruz from TX. They want you to grow a pair and fight for them, well that is if you want to get elected again.