Thursday, January 21, 2010

From Here

One thing in the south, especially in a small town, is that "you're from here". Not that "there" is a problem, but it's not here. And, as my mother would say, "Our kind of people" are from here. Now most folks would never say that, and Lord knows they would deny that it mattered, but I can assure you they thought about "it", and "it" mattered. Now down here, for a long time, after the carpet baggers left, if you lived in a small southern town, folks didn't just move to your town. The population was fairly static, and no, we did not marry our cousins - we went off to school, found someone (preferably - one of our "kind"), fell in love, and brought 'em home. (If you're not "from here", but you "married someone from here", that qualifies.)

And, contrary to popular belief, being an "old family" does not necessarily mean you have "old money". Which brings up another sore point in the South - "old money" versus "new money". It's like I described it to my daughter - "old money" is like an comfortable sweater - it is well worn, goes unnoticed, and usually flies under the radar because it seems old fashioned. While "new money" is that flashy red car - it is fast, stylist, loud, and everyone knows about it. Of course my youngest daughter did not see a problem with a flashy red car. Obviously, I failed to make my point.

As time has moved on, people have moved in, and our town has grown - some. Being the friendly hospitable folks we are, we have welcomed them. Most are friendly. However, sometimes I understand how the native Americans felt when the Europeons first showed up. Hey, we're not dumb, we're willing to share, and there are some advantages to our way of living. There's a reason we're from here.

You will notice that there are very few grand buildings, statues, or monuments named after local people. However, if you pay attention to the street names in the older part of town, many will sound familiar. They are named after the old families in town. But, then if you are from here, you are already knew that. A friend of mine recently made a comment about an aquantience acting a little upity. My friend's comment was, "It's not like her family has a street named after them." That put it all in perspective.

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