Friday, September 23, 2016


I have mixed feelings about the term redneck. And yeah I know it mainly targets southerners and what Foxworthy did with it. In the beginning all it really meant is that the person worked outside and ended up with a permanent tan on the back of their necks.
I guess you could call my dad a redneck.. He was a logger. Spent nearly twenty five years working outside in all weather. We live in Oregon and that may explain a lot.
Dad was a farm kid before he was a logger. He and grandpa ran a milk route for several years. Dad was a high school graduate in the early thirties, an era when many people didn't go to high school.
When he and mom started their family he made sure we had books at home, made sure we knew where the library was and we had magazines like National Geographic in the house. He made sure WE made it to school.
He was proud of his right to vote and made sure to pass it on to us. I didn't get my first legal drink on my twenty first birthday. I got hauled down to the county office that handled voter registrations. Been voting ever since.
He wasn't perfect by any means. And he was just ornery enough to not let anyone else tell him who he should discriminate against because of color or religion. He'd figure it out for himself, thank you very much.
Grandpa was invited to join the triple K''s back when it was almost respectable. His reply to that invitation in unknown, but he didn't join. if what I've heard about grandpa is right it was probably colorful and inventive. LOL.
What I'm trying to say is this. Using redneck as a blanket term for ignorance and racism may be true now. But perhaps it shouldn't be. Highly recommend Wendell Berry's essays.

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