Compleat Redneck

Commentary from the boondocks. If it makes any sense, it is just by chance. billyjoebobsbbq@yahoo.com

Thursday, March 30, 2006
 
So Elroy says he has his own story of danger and adventure in the wonderful and exciting world of work. Bubba told him we didn't really want to hear about climbing power poles and working in the freezing rain during a tornado to keep us poor users of electricity in the high cotton or whatever. Elroy said his story had nothing to do with the Electric Coop but did somewhat explain his success as a customer service representative (Elroy mans the complaints line at the COOP).

Elroy went to college for a couple of years before he joined the Air Force and the summer after his freshman year, he got a job selling dictionaries door to door for the Southwestern Publishing Company out of Nashville. Southwestern was better known for their Bible salesmen, but Elroy says he was in the elite dictionary division, elite because just about anyone could sale a Bible in the Southeast in those days but it took a "salesman" to move a dictionary. Why at half the houses, you had to explain what a dictionary was before you could start your pitch. That remark raise a few hackles but Bubba said to let it go since Elroy's family was probably in that half of the populations and he therefore knew of which he spoke.

Anyway, Elroy was hired by the great Southwestern Publishing Company, trained for week in Nashville and sent to the bustling metropolis of Perry, Georgia to sale dictionaries. SWP told all their salesmen to report to the police department and let them know that they were in town and what they were doing. That's where Elroy's summer started to go wrong. The Chief of Police informed him that a permit was needed for sales in Perry and it cost $200. Elroy did not have $200 so he decided that he would be a rural door to door salesman. Unfortunately the doors were few and far between in Houston County so he burned a lot of gas getting between them. He did sell a lot of dictionaries. In fact at the end of the first week, he had sold a dictionary for every two calls and was rewarded by a personal visit from the feller who was his mentor. The mentor got 50 cents for every dictionary Elroy sold and was really excited to have such a super salesman on his team. Elroy was not nearly as excited since he had noticed that he seemed to be running out of doors to visit and he had also been getting some hard looks from the County Deputies when he passed them on the road, but he decided to stick it out another week.

Elroy had noticed that a whole lot of the people he called on were black. In fact, they all seemed to be black. Tuesday night when he returned to his room, he was met by the Sheriff himself who asked that he come by the office to talk. Well, ask is not exact but you get the idea. Elroy dutifully reported to the Sheriff’s office where he was told that Houston County did not need any outside agitators "stirring up their coloreds". Elroy said that he did not think that there was a lot in the dictionary to stir up people although he supposed that one could find the words to do so if one tried. The Sheriff said he was not in the mood to listen to any "smartass" either and it might be best if Elroy moved on before things got unpleasant.

Elroy said he didn't need any farther invitation and called in his notice right then. He dropped his unsold dictionaries off with the fellers in Macon and came back to Alabama and worked the rest of the summer putting in sewer lines in Huntsville, a much better job.

A couple of years later, there were some major civil rights incidents in Perry and Elroy thinks he remembers some people were killed, but he likes to think that he contributed to eventual downfall of Jim Crow in Perry with his dictionaries.

Elroy finished his story by saying he bet he is the only one of the regulars to have been run out of town for being an outside agitator.

We agreed that he was probably right but we were not sure how exactly his job selling dictionaries had anything to do with his current position.

"Well, you face down a big, fat Georgia sheriff in 1966 who thinks you are a civil rights worker and an irate electric COOP customer is a pleasure to deal with."


Wednesday, March 29, 2006
 
One of our non-melanin challenged friends was in this morning and said he had been reading our erudite blog. Actually what he said is he had stumbled across our idiotic ramblings and figured out it was us. Alvin is some kind of non-rocket scientist big shot over on the Arsenal. He says that the reason he is not a rocket scientist is that when he was a student in the bad old days of segregation, the school board used up all the arithmetic on the white kids before it got down to the the school he attended and he never got the basic education he needed to be a rocket scientist so he had to become a manager and tell them what to do. You may note that Alvin makes as much sense as Cletus.

Anyway, Alvin says he has stories as good as any Cletus ever told and to prove it, he told a short one this morning. It seems that Alvin joined the Army right out of high school and after being discharged, he attended Alabama A&M using his GI Bill. His Dad worked for the electric company and got Alvin and another student a summer job clearing brush from under power lines. It was a really hot summer that year and the section of line they were given ran up the side of Sand Mountain which in those days was not a place a non-white wanted to be if they could help it. Anyway, Alvin and his buddy worked all summer clearing brush up the side of the mountain. Alvin says that every night he begged his Dad to let him quit, but Mr. Taylor always said he should be happy to get such a good job seeing as he was only going to be there for the summer. Alvin says he lost about twenty pounds from the hard work, the heat and from climbing up and down the side of Sand Mountain.

About an hour before quitting time on the last day before he was to go back to school, a couple of fellers showed up wearing hoods and informed him and his buddy that "you kind of people aren't welcome on Sand Mountain".

Alvin says he lost all respect for a the Klan that day.

If they had been any kind of effective terror organization, they would have chased him off three months earlier.

Alvin worked in the civil rights movement and says he met Dr. King once when he was in Huntsville.

Cletus says Alvin's story is pretty good but lacks a certain pananche whatever that is.

Elroy says he has a college job story which he will tell us tomorrow if he can remember it all.


 
One of our non-melanin challenged friends was in this morning and said he had been reading our erudite blog. Actually what he said is he had stumbled across our idiotic ramblings and figured out it was us. Alvin is some kind of non-rocket scientist big shot over on the Arsenal. He says that the reason he is not a rocket scientist is that when he was a student in the bad old days of segregation, the school board used up all the arithmetic on the white kids before it got down to the the school he attended and he never got the basic education he needed to be a rocket scientist so he had to become a manager and tell them what to do. You may note that Alvin makes as much sense as Cletus.

Anyway, Alvin says he has stories as good as any Cletus ever told and to prove it, he told a short one this morning. It seems that Alvin joined the Army right out of high school and after being discharged, he attended Alabama A&M using his GI Bill. His Dad worked for the electric company and got Alvin and another student a summer job clearing brush from under power lines. It was a really hot summer that year and the section of line they were given ran up the side of Sand Mountain which in those days was not a place a non-white wanted to be if they could help it. Anyway, Alvin and his buddy worked all summer clearing brush up the side of the mountain. Alvin says that every night he begged his Dad to let him quit, but Mr. Taylor always said he should be happy to get such a good job seeing as he was only going to be there for the summer. Alvin says he lost about twenty pounds from the hard work, the heat and from climbing up and down the side of Sand Mountain.

About an hour before quitting time on the last day before he was to go back to school, a couple of fellers showed up wearing hoods and informed him and his buddy that "you kind of people aren't welcome on Sand Mountain".

Alvin says he lost all respect for a the Klan that day.

If they had been any kind of effective terror organization, they would have chased him off three months earlier.

Alvin worked in the civil rights movement and says he met Dr. King once when he was in Huntsville.

Cletus says Alvin's story is pretty good but lacks a certain pananche whatever that is.

Elroy says he has a college job story which he will tell us tomorrow if he can remember it all.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006
 
Cletus put up some new Bluebird houses over at Mary Ruth's and they already have residents. Cletus says he is right impressed with the Bluebirds' housing strategy. It seems they let a chickadee do most of the work of filling up the house for a nest and then chased her off. Cletus says it is an avian world version of eminent domain the best he can figure or maybe it is an avian version of might makes right.

Bubba says he is impressed with the fact that Cletus still remembers how to use posthole diggers. Elroy said he is more impressed by the fact that Cletus was physically able to use the diggers which led Bubba to say that now that he thinks about it, that is pretty impressive since it is amazing that Cletus' arms are long enough to operate the diggers out past his belly..

"Ha Ha" said Cletus.