Compleat Redneck

Commentary from the boondocks. If it makes any sense, it is just by chance.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004
This week I have interviewed a woman I’ll call Linda. I have to be real careful how I write this up because she has assured me that if anyone should identify her from my scribblings she will kill me just as sure as the Sun comes up tomorrow and since I have known her as long as I can remember, I believe her. Cautiously, here goes.

So how old are you?

“I know your Mama taught you better than to ask a lady her age. If she were dead, she would be rolling over in her grave-spinning more likely.”

Well, I can see this is going to be interesting!

“You can bet it will be. Where did you say you were going to publish this?”

I didn’t. I am posting it on Billy Joe Bob’s Blog, that’s web based diary sort of.

“I know what a blog is. Does BJB’s blog have any readers that I might know?”

I don’t think so. I don’t think it has more than two or three at most.

“Well, get on with it. Knowing you, I suppose you are going to ask me about my sex life so I’ll just tell you up front that it’s not any of your beeswax, but I have one.”

Well, I was going to ask you about your opinion of the sexual revolution, but I’ll skip that and---

“Well, why skip it. Of course there was a sexual revolution. The Pill, Cletus, the Pill. Not that I am saying that it affected me any. I was married by the time I was 19, had two kids by 22, and divorced by 30. I say my husband drank too much and he tells everyone I ran around on him. I’m sticking with my story. What I did after the divorce is my business.”

Okay, tell a little about yourself.

“Since you look so pitiful, I am an only child and I graduated high school in 1962. I skipped a couple of grades. I went to college for a couple of years, then fell in love and got married. My husband and I operated a small business until we divorced leaving me with two children to raise and no real skills. I worked at various jobs until I got a government job as a clerk. I worked my way up the civil service ladder and was supervising several people by the time I retired. I even went back to college and got my Masters degree. I think I did pretty good for a country girl. I drive a Lincoln, have some land, my own house here and a cottage on the Gulf.”

Have you had any experiences that you think would be interesting to BJB’s readers?

“Well, I once was threatened by the Ku Klux Klan. I had a big garden and invited the people where I worked to come and pick some vegetables. A black woman I worked with brought her two children because they had never spent any time out in the country so we spent the day looking over the community where I live. We even went out to lunch at the local BBQ place (not the BBQ Emporium). The next morning when I got home from Church, there was a note tacked to my front door telling me that ‘we don’t like those kind of people here’ and warning me that it better not happen again. Since I knew who the KKK was, I went to their next meeting and told them that they had better stay the hell a way from my house because I would hate to have to kill a neighbor or worse, a relative. That pretty much ended that adventure, but a couple of the dimmer wits used to mumble threats under their breaths whenever they saw me.”

Didn’t that scare you, what with you living alone?

“I’d be a liar if I said it didn’t, but I figured it would be worse to let them know I was scared and besides, Daddy taught me to shoot when I was a girl and I have some pretty good guns. Mother once stopped a man trying to break into the hose when Daddy was gone by whacking him on the head with a butcher knife. I guess I could stop the KKK idiots with a .44 magnum.”

Since you have had a run-in with the KKK over having a black family visit your place, what do you think of race relations in Alabama?

“I can only speak of North Alabama, but I think that they are pretty good at work and in the schools, but I’m not real sure about the rest of the time. I had black and Hispanic friends at work, but we very seldom ever got together after work. Now a lot of that was because we lived so far away from each other, but I can’t say it was all the reason since my best friend was also a work friend and we lived forty miles apart and still managed to get together outside work. I think people do what they are comfortable with. I still attend Church with the same people I grew up with. I have visited other Churches but I always come back to where I am comfortable. I think the same is true of everyone. We tend to stick with what we know.”

Do you hunt or fish?

“Only for antiques. I have been known to drive across several states for a good antique store. I used to fish some in the Gulf but I don’t do much of that anymore.”

So how are you spending your days since you retired?

“I have been visiting my children and I had a lot of work to do on my cottage down on the gulf. My kids live on different sides of the country so the family visits take a lot of time. Mother is nearly ninety, so I try to spend as much time with her as I can. Of course, w can only stand to be around each other for a few hours. She is a pretty opinionated woman and gets on my nerves real quick. Don’t even think about saying anything about me being opinionated! Are we about finished with this?”
Pretty close. You’ve traveled a lot. Where do you think the best BBQ is cooked?

“I think it is right here in Alabama. I like several places around Huntsville but I think I like Gibson’s the best. I haven’t been to the Dreamland that opened a few weeks back, but I have been to the original and it was good. I never developed a taste for beef BBQ. I like pulled pork from the places that remove the excess fat. As you can see, I have never been much for dieting, but I don’t see any need to eat fat just for fun. If I liked it I would, but I don’t.”

Have you ever considered living outside the South?

“I have lived outside the South and I got back here as soon as I could. I like it here. I like to see new places, but I’m always happy to get home. I’m no Southern Belle, but I am a Southern girl and always will be.”