Having grown up in south Smith County, Mississippi, north of Cohay Creek where it flows through Hot Coffee, down in north Covington County...in the land between Sullivan’s Holler and Soso, Mississippi... in what my sister always called the sticks, I have redneckness that cannot be denied.
Certain gestures I’d like to remove from my existence, but in all the decades of my life, I’ve failed. One of them gets on my own nerves big time. It’s sheer indelicate behavior. When I sip a mouth full of delightful Community Coffee, I have to (must or should) let out a big sigh. The same sigh emits from my lungs and mouth when I drink cool water or diet Coke. I think about it one second after I do it, and I say out loud, “This has to stop.”
The other night, I mean evening, my sweet husband took me out to eat supper, I mean dinner, to a place where the food was delicious, even though the fish was broiled instead of fried. All dressed up, I wore my newest shoes. I’m so proud of these shoes, Isotoner Women’s Cable Knit Bridget Clog Slippers. I’ve always wanted some Isotoners, but he said they looked good except for the faux fur trim. That gave it away that they were house shoes. I disagree, but I see his point. He loves me with all his heart, but he doesn’t like to have me looking like a redneck. On a more sophisticated woman, they would have looked elegant.
He has a little redneck in him too, and we’re working on it. Today he decided we should eat our sardines and saltines on plates in front of the television. I brought a tiny piece of cheese from the grocery store (supermarket). The cheese cost $2.50, and it was very tiny. So we drained the oil off our sardines, and he placed his can on his plate. Then he looked over at me and saw I’d poured mine onto the plate. He said, “What an interesting innovation!”
One of the advantages about being a Scots-Irish south Mississippi redneck woman is that I speak the language. So does my friend, Sarah Walker Gorrell, who lives on the edge of the Cohay swamp. Not that I’d ever say she’s a redneck...she’s a proper woman...but she understands redneck ways and redneck jargon. She and I had so much fun writing Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek that it should have been against the law.
Oops, I just had a sip of coffee and I did it again.
Here’s our Travelers. In addition to the Romany Travelers, we have depicted Rednecks in their more primitive state, as they lived about a century ago. Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek