So , How are y’all ? or as some would say , How y’all are? There have been quite a few interesting happenings in my lovely home state of Arkansas in just the last few days. Some private citizens paid to have a monument to those good list of rules that are just a pretty good idea for all people to follow, or you would think pretty much everybody would think they are good rules for everybody to follow. You know things like, “Don’t go knockin’ your neighbor over the head. ” and “How ’bout we don’t make off with things that don’t belong to us?” and here’s a pretty swell idea for the general population , “How’s about we don’t lie to each other , so as we can trust what we all say?” and maybe , ” Let’s not go gettin’ naked with somebody else’s spouse?” that wouldn’t be an alright thing, now would it?. So anywho, they put these and few more like them on a big ole rock, and put them on the lawn of a building. Now the government didn’t pay for them, some regular people did. And they were no more out there a day , then what some feller decided he’d run them down with his car while shouting , “FREEEEEEDOOOOMMM!!!!!” Yes. This really happened. And what’s more , apparently this individual had done this once before.
So this happens two days ago. Now TODAY, in some club in the capitol city of my home state some people decided that they were offended by something someone said, or did, or just looked at them sideways, and 25 people were shot, and 3 other people were wounded. No one died. Which brings me to the point of my blog today. Which is……… WHEN people find out I am from Arkansas. Which is pretty much right after I open my mouth. ‘Cause I guess, I have an accent. Who knew.
That’s right . Y’all go on ahead and laugh. Everybody else does. Other people have two reactions. They either think it is the sweetest thing ever, or the most ignorant . But it’s always the same. “Oh my goodness, that is just the sweetest thing! Where are you from?!?” or “Well, don’t you just sound stupid. You MUST be from the South. ” Because apparently, being from the South, especially from Arkansas , and having my particular accent , makes you immediately some sort of inbred with the I. Q. of a turnip. And these types of news stories are NOT helpful. So I am going to set the record straight, we have had loads of educated, brilliant , magnificent people hail from here, and as a tiny tasting here is a small list……………..
Alan Ladd ~ Actor
E. Fay Jones ~ Architect
Maya Angelou~ Poet
John Grisham ~ Author
Sam Walton ~ Founder of Wal-Mart
General Douglas MacArthur
Brigadier General Archibald Yell
Glen Campbell ~ Singer
Johnny Cash ~ Singer
Ne-Yo ~ Rapper
Hattie Caraway ~ 1st Woman U.S. Senator
Dick Covey~ Astronaut
Hangin’ Judge Isaac Parker
President Bill Clinton
Okay, so you probably don’t know the last name on that list. But to me he was the most important. He’s the man in the picture above. He was my Grandpa. Now he didn’t go to some fancy dan college. And he had an accent too. But he was in my estimation one of the smartest men ever. He could grow anything. Fix anything. Build anything. He was born in 1913, and lived through the Dust Bowl, and the Great Depression. He picked cotton, lived in California and worked the orchards, rode the rails as a hobo, and did anything he had to do to survive. He had muscles like whipcord even in his 70s and could out work men half his age. He taught me to drive , barefooted in an old 1963 Ford Falcon pickup on a backroad with the windows down and the air so hot you felt you couldn’t even feel your lungs move anymore. He followed those rules that the crazy FREEDOM shouting man so callously ran over.
So I refuse to apologize. That man running down the 10 Commandments and the crazy nightclub shooters are not what the “average person ” is like here. The “average” person here is like my Grandpa , God rest him. So, NO, I am not going to “flatten” my accent to make other people feel better about themselves, or to hide where I am from. I will straight up tell you, “Yes, I am from Arkansas. No, we are not ignorant hillbillies. I do not care that you think my accent is stupid. Yes, we talk slow. Maybe it’s so all of the REST of you people can understand , ’cause y’all are the ones a little bit ‘off’, did you ever think of that?”
I will leave you with the words of Ms. Maya Angelou herself ……..
My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.