I myself, am not a redneck. I was born to a working class father. I was a “small town” girl. I was a country girl. We grew gardens, and Daddy plowed with a jenny for sentimental reasons. I was taught how to behave in even the highest social occasions. I was an Honor Graduate of my High School. Yet, I married a died in the wool redneck. Pete's grandfather was one of the settlers of this area in which we live, called Caneyhead. He owned 450+ acres and ran cattle on it. It is loaded with sloughs and timber. And it is the highest point above sea level in the county in which we live. So, in a way I married redneck royalty.
Even Webster, doesn't capture the original meaning of redneck in total truth. They say: “ a white person who lives in a small town or in the country especially in the southern U.S., who typically has a working-class job, and who is seen by others as being uneducated and having
opinions and attitudes that are offensive.”
Yes, a redneck is white. In fact, originally, redneck simply referred to the fact that the person earned their living in the sun, and hence had a “red” neck. They might be a common laborer or a highly trained and skilled craftsman, but they worked in the sun. 65+ years ago that is all that it meant. Yes, many rednecks do not hold college degrees, but that is not the only way to acquire knowledge. There is also apprenticeship and trade schools. Look down your ivy league nose if you will, but if it weren't for rednecks, and folks of color just like them, this country would grind to a halt in less than three days if none of them reported to work. They are why you have good roads to drive on. Why you get electrical service where you live. Why you can pump gasoline into you Mercedes. They fix everything you ever broke. And most of the time if you'd have known half of what they do, it wouldn't have broke in the first place.
My Pete probably has a higher IQ than me. Most of you, in fact. Whether it is pipefitting, mechanics or carpentry, he can look any situation over, access it, know what's wrong, what's needed, and get 95% of it done. The other 5% is for when he knows he needs someone else for something and is smart enough to to turn it over to them. As an example, he designed a network of pipes in one of Ron Paul's Lumber mills that so impressed the muck-it-y-mucks, that they flew people in to see it.
All the rednecks I know well are very smart and highly capable people. If they care for you, their loyalty is unshakable. They work full throttle and expect everyone around them to do the same. They party just as hard as they work. They always protect what is theirs, no matter the cost. They carry inside a code of honor and a sense of patriotism that is dead and gone in most of America today. But it is the same code that our grandfather's held when they stormed Normandy to protect the world's freedoms. It they offend you, then you've lost your way, my friend. They know who they are and what they believe in. The question is, do you?
Stepping off my soapbox, lets examine the the lighter side. From JeffFoxworthy's redneck jokes, here's a few that ring true in our house: You might be a redneck if:
...You think "loading the dishwasher" means getting your wife drunk.
...You ever cut your grass and found a car. (Actually, you knew it was there, but no one else did until you mowed.)
...You think the stock market has a fence around it. (And why not?! Fort Worth people!)
...You burn your yard rather than mow it. (For the city folk, it kills the weeds, cleans and nourishes the land and grows better fields.)
...Your wife has ever said, "Come move this transmission so I can take a bath." (Sometimes you have to clean something to get it working. I've also boiled carburetors on my stove.)
...You've ever hit a deer with your car...deliberately. (Actually, I don't know anyone who has, but I know plenty who would be tempted.)
...You have every episode of Hee-Haw on tape. (And why not? It had cute, clean comedy and awesome country legends singing.)
... You've ever been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog. (Yeah, I've heard of this one. A good dog can't easily be replaced!)
...going to the bathroom at night involves shoes and a flashlight. (That was true at Bush Lake.)
...You've ever barbecued Spam on the grill. (No, we haven't. But in the oilfield Pete has warmed food on top of the breather on the engine.)
There you have it. The Truth about Rednecks from someone who has been fortunate to be surrounded by them for 30+ yeas.
(Catch Johnny Russell singing "Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer" on Hee-Haw. Johnny was the father of one of Pete's sister-in-laws.)