Southern Way

Southern Way

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Red Neck Riviera

Ah, the Red Neck Riviera, nirvana for a southerner with little taste but desperate to get to the beach for a few days.  I consider my self better than Myrtle Beach, hey a girl has to maintain some standards. The Red Neck Riviera, also known as the Emerald Coast, stretches from Pensacola to Panama City. With stops along the way like Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, Navarre Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, WaterColor, Panama City Beach, Destin, and Seaside to name a few. It sounds like a string of beaches from the 1950's.

Actually it sounds like what Myrtle Beach was when I was a little girl. Well without the sugar white fine sand and crystal clear emerald green water, but those minor details aside, Myrtle Beach in the 60's and 70's was a string of small family beaches. To the north was Little River, Cherry Grove, Ocean Drive, Crescent Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Windy Hill. And to the south was Surfside and Garden City.

My grandparents had a home they had built in Windy Hill. Several of the big farmers from the Pee Dee region had built summer homes for their families. Granddaddy's was one of the only ones to survive hurricane Hazel in 1954. I spent many a week during my childhood summers at that house in Windy Hill. But I digress.

Now Myrtle Beach is just one long line of condos, chain restaurants, t-shirt stores, and rubber snake emporiums stretching from Little River on the North Carolina line south to Murrell's Inlet.

But back to the subject at hand, Tom T. Hall had a great song about the Red Neck Riviera in which he talked about drinking beer, and "Chillin' with the motel door wide open, Hopin' somethin' good will come along" He also said, "They got beaches of the whitest sand, Nobody cares if gramma's got a tattoo, Or Bubba's got a hot wing in his hand."

Right now that sounds like my kind of place. I'll take the white sands, the clear green water, and whatever adult beverage is available. The rest should just be pure entertainment.

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