My last entry was in regards to my people watching passion (hereinafter referred to as PWP syndrome). Yesterday I saw a History Channel special on "Hillbillies". It was actually the history of hillbillies and, just as I had always assumed, hillbillies were scots irish descendents. It was a fascinating special with the most interesting trivia regarding my ancestors on my father's side I had ever seen.
The term "redneck" was actually coined during a rebellion of coal miners who banned together and waged their own war against the mine barons of the time. There were nearly 3,000 of them and there is a historical site where a war was waged between the "rednecks - the miners wearing red scarves around their necks so they could identify one another" and the corrupt sherrif's personnel and mine barons. It took several days before the federal government sent troops in and the leader of the miners was arrested and tried. It was not until a family produced a bomb- yes a real bomb- that was dropped into their yard by the sheriff's personnel from a plane (it had not exploded) - that the audacity of the entire fight was revealed. The miner was acquited and the situation with the unfairness began resolving itself as union representatives were allowed in. To be called a redneck left a man feeling a sense of pride. He was a hard working, fairfighter unwilling to compromise or be compromised. That's far from the definition of the term applied to today's rednecks.
I am not sure my father's scots irish ancestors were "rednecks" by the real definition but they were definitely hillbillies by any definition. Does that leave me half hillbilly or hill or do I invoke the American Indian status of my Grandmother's Father and say I am Native American. Then again, his wife was french. My Mother's Dad was of British descent. So what am I? I like to say I am the purest form of "American" a person can be. I am the Heinz 57 of the human race. I am the mix of many traditions, races and cultures. I am Native hillfrenchbrit Scotsirish as pure as that race can get!
Maybe I'm a redneck. Many of the new definitions would definitely apply to me. Maybe I'm a hillbilly. Those are both terms I would feel a sense of pride were they applied. I have decided I am the one person that could leave a person with PWP Syndrome completely in a quandry. That's what I like the best about who I am - I want to keep them guessing.
Snow Tire and Frozen Daffodil Festival
2 years ago