You might be a Southwestern Virginia redneck if…

A reader took issue last week with our characterization of Southwestern Virginia locals as “rednecks,” saying that while it was OK for the locals to call themselves rednecks it wasn’t nice to see them called such by us.

Which comes as a surprise because when it comes to rednecks, they are us. We’re locals, rednecks and damn proud of it.

But her displeasure gave us pause.

What, we wonder, does it take to officially become a Southwestern Virginia redneck?

We’ve given this some serious thought…at least a few minutes…and have some modest examples here.

Fer instance, and with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, you might be a Southwestern Virginia redneck if…

  • ou take your date to the drive-in movie in Christiansburg in a pickup truck with “Farm Use” license plates;
  • You consider your Jeep Wrangler a “sports car;”
  • You lost your virginity in the back seat of a car parked at Rocky Knob overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway;
  • You have more than one ball cap with a tractor brand on it;
  • You think a hippie is someone with broad thighs;
  • Your first sip of booze came out of a Mason jar;
  • You serve wine from bottles with screw-off tops along with Velveeta on a Ritz crackers at a wine and cheese party;
  • “Scoring” in high school had nothing to do with sports;
  • You claim your coon dog as a dependent on your tax return;
  • Your wife is a better shot than you;
  • You’ve killed more deer with your car than with a gun.

Additions to this list are welcome…but recycling Jeff Foxworthy’s jokes will qualify you as a Georgia redneck…not a Southwestern Virginia one.

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20 thoughts on “You might be a Southwestern Virginia redneck if…”

  1. The Scots Highland clan is a root of “Redneck.” Highland Covenants signed in 1639 and 1641, advocated allegiance to Presbyterianism, those refusing to accept the Church of England as the official Church of Scotland. Some Covenanters signed in their own blood and wore red scarves around their necks, something for which they became known as “Rednecks.” Jim Webb’s, Born Fighting; is a fascinating ethnic and regional history, from a modern day Highlander.

    The Scots Irish supported William of Orange, a Protestant, who deposed the Catholic King James in 1688. Prince Billy and the Whole House of Orange became “Billy boys,” maybe the origin of the term “Hillbillies.”

    I have personal history in the highland Appalachians, a branch of my family’s immigrant’s settled in western NC. Grandma said if I were born female I coulda been DAR, but her own surname of Gilmore hailed from Scotland by way of the port in Manchester UK.

    The once powerful unions (e.g. UMW), are a product of a similar conditions, without Rednecks and Italians, Poles, Germans and other eastern immigrants those mountains would still be full of coal. This history mingles with the era of the carpetbaggers who bought up mineral rights, from war ravaged and destitute landowners, for pennies on the acre; to acquire the fuels of the industrial revolution following the War of States. And this began another chapter of immigration.

    It takes a big nation to assimilate such disparate ethnicity’s, let’s not forget the personal wealth of this history, nor take great offense at ethnic words which carry big symbolism.

    The map is not the territory, the word is not the thing described.

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