Last night I discovered a comment on one of my blogs. To my surprise, the comment was not about the article itself, but was directed at the brief profile which appears with each blog. The author of the comments gave the critique anonymously. It appears the said reader was bothered by one and only word contained in it. While this person liked and agreed with the article, which was an earlier piece regarding political correctness, his or her problem concerned my roots. Inasmuch, as I referred to myself as a transplanted hillbilly, this person took exception to my stand, acccusing me of being a hypocrite. How could I dare to pontificate about PC, and yet use such a demeaning term as hillbilly?
To that reader I say how could he or she have such a view but not the nerve to identify themself? While I respect the right of anonymity, and welcome any and all comments whether positive or negative, I think a protestor should be honest with them-selves. Stand up and be counted, my friend.
Addressing the comment, I will be straight forward, unlike this critic.
I am a Hillbilly! I take great pride in that fact. Yes, I am traansplanted, now living in the Greater Boston area. You an take the boy out of the hills, but you cannot take the hills out of the boy. I know what it is like to be a hillbilly. I know what it is like to live so far up in the hills they had to pipe in the sunshine. I lived in a town with the city limits on the same sign post. I lived in a town which was called a town only because it had a post office. Our yard once a had an old pickup truck on cinder blocks with the weeds around it unmown. The police chief also owned the only department store. The pharmacist and the mortician were the same person. The apothecary and the funeral home were adjacent buildings. I was baptized in a river while the church members sang "Shall we gather at the river." My knowledge of the carnal, began not in the back seat of a '57 Belair, but on the banks of the Elk River with Sandy. (To Blue out there, no it wasn't on the Sandy River with an elk.)
Yes, I am a Hillbilly and proud of it. There is nothing demeaning about the word Hillbilly. In fact, just referring to Hillbilly as demeaning is demeaning. West Virginia is the hills abd the peoples indigenous to them. Montani Simper Liberi, which means Mountaineers are always free, the state motto says it all. Hillbillies are simple people, but we are proud. Hillbilly is a state of mind, a lifestyle that few forsake. Hillbilly is being alive.
Country Roads take me home, to the place I belong, West Virginia, Mountain Momma take me home. Those lines from a song by the late John Denver, perhaps are only understood or appreciated by a Hillbilly. I don't make it back there to them thar hills as much as I would like, but I brought a little bit of those hills and a lot of hillbilly with me when I left. Although I have put my roots into the soil of New England, does that make me a Yankee? Perhaps, and it is not a demeaning term either. I have been up here since 1971, long enough to settle and raise a family, but not long enough to forget or care where I came from. I guess you could say I am a Hillbilly Yankee. Maybe you would prefer it as Yankee Hillbilly?
I like to think Tat I am a little of both. My birthright helped me absorb the better parts of being a Yankee, while my integration into the Yankee existence has made me appreciate the hills in my blood and the Hillbilly in my soul. Whether I am standing at the door of Everett, Mass., or on the porch of West Virginia house, I will offer the same greetings, "Y'all Come."
I'm sure he would agree, so why not check out the good old boy at