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Conservative Alabama

Posted by wendyn on 5/25/01 at 13:22 (048884)

Scott - now you have me curious.

What do you mean by really conservative? Can you give me some 'for examples'? I know there are some pretty amazing 'cultural' differences even between big cities and small towns right near each other.

Since I've never been anywhere around Alabama, I really don't know what it might be like.

Hubby was in South Carolina/North Carolina a few times....big differences there compared to here. Without checking on a map, I'm thinking Alabama and North Carolina are not that far apart...is that right?

Re: Conservative Alabama

Scott R on 5/25/01 at 18:41 (048909)

By conservative engineer, I mean, for example, that all my best electrical engineering professors were devout Christians. One of them trapped animals for living at a time when he should have been in high school. He probably never wore shoes until he was 20-something. He had the damndest stories to tell about eyeballs being pulled out in bar fights and how foxes evade traps (you put a hook on top so they can't gently wipe the food off and you turn it upside down for the rascals that dug under). He found Jesus, took the GED, and got his PhD in EE. Before EE, interacting with humans was probably one of those monthly affairs when he would stop by the general store for flour and equipment. Another played chicken with an 18-wheeler before finding Jesus. Mainly, it's the lonely work-ethic required in engineering that requires extreme conservatism or a foreign nationality.

As far as conservatism in Alabama in general, nearly half the state is dry (for you yankees, that means it's illegal to sell alcohol) and the other half makes it illegal on Sunday unless you're in a bar. The old ladies in the commission meetings ni Montgomery said we couldn't start selling draft beer because next thing you know people would start 'shooting up' marijuana. Nevermind it's our #1 cash crop.

The only social gatherings in Montgomery are churches. 5% of the city (10% of the whites) is a member of Frazer United Methodist. 8,000 members I think. Huntsville, I'm told, actually has a couple of nudie bars. That's a real shock to us Montgomerians.

The Wright brothers started a flying school here which is why the air force is here. Most Montgomerians don't know that or care. But lord knows they know where hank william's grave is. They don't know or care about the 100 or so dead Australians, Brits, Canadians, etc buried in front of him that died in aviation training during WWII.

Re: Conservative Alabama

Scott R on 5/25/01 at 20:10 (048915)

I mainly just meant to say Engineers require an lonely work ethic that's in-line with being conservative (for some reason). Last I heard, Auburn engineers had the 3rd most graduates who became CEOs or something like that in major companies. Maybe MIT and Georgia and such graduate the engineers that can do the real work while the more sociable Auburn grads just turn into managers (i.e. Dilbert). But that goes against my original thesis. Dilbert and 'Office Space' are a documentaries of the American office. Jeff Foxworthy's 'You might be a redneck if...' documents life in Alabama. Trailer homes, football, alcohol (eventhough so much of it is 'dry' - 'county-line' package stores are common), running into trees at 2 am, shooting deer and dove**, fishing, NASCAR, church, they're still a large part of the culture. In fact, I can't think of any other measures of the culture. Maybe Stephanie can. Let's see...we rank nearly last in all the financial and educational measures of 'success'. Oddly enough, the state boasts one of the best series of golf courses in the world, and Huntsville ranks up there with Research Triangle Park behind Silicon Valley.

** footnote: I've interacted a lot with people from other places on the internet and often have to explain: 'Shooting deer and dove' means we take guns into open fields or woods and shoot deer and dove. There's a whole 'science' and culture to it. For example, your social connections largely determine how good a hunting area you can acquire. The best deer (the largest ones with the largest and most symmetrical antlers) are mounted from the neck up and placed on walls at work or home as a way to enjoy and admire the beauty of the dead animal and to increase social status. An Alabamian boy immersed in this part of the culture has often killed his first deer around age 12. As a tribal ceremony and 'coming of age' ritual, the boy is soaked in the animal's blood and guts, starting with the face. Girls are equally subject. By 'tribal' I mean that when one introduces a friend to another and says 'He hunts with us down in ...' it's meant to imply that he's basically as good as a blood-relative.

Re: Conservative Alabama

Laurie R on 5/25/01 at 21:13 (048922)

Hi Scott, This is way different from where I live ......They shoot here ,by not animals ... Wow this is a whole new world for me. Check this out .... My hubby took the kids to the store (walking) and while they were gone I heard three gun shots. I was praying that they did not get shot. They did not thank God.... But someone must of... It is so bad a times... Now this was at 4:30 in the afternoon..... Laurie R

Re: Re:Oh my

Tammie on 5/25/01 at 21:40 (048927)

Oh goodness Laurie, I live in the country , I cannot imagine that feeling of hearing gun shots that close without it being hunters! You must be very frightened! Come here and live in the country, noone much bothers anyone we dont even lock doors, lol but recently we have had to start as some thefts in area. We could not walk to store here heheh take to long. My hubby grew up on a small farm , not me I had horses tho and one time we had some chickens yuck I was so afraid of them pecking us!!! Well good to see u on the message board I love reading your advice!!! I cant get into my mail tonight it wont let me into Yahoo . Talk soon tho hugs to u!!!

Re: Conservative Alabama

wendyn on 5/26/01 at 00:39 (048938)

Scott that's really fascinating - that's exactly what I was interested in. You know, this may sound dense, but I didn't know that there were places in North America that are still 'dry'. No draft beer either? I really didn't know draft beer could be an issue anywhere. We have our share of 'nudie' bars too...

Are you far south like South Carolina? Are there a lot of places like what you describe in the south?

I am familiar with the Jeff Foxworthy redneck song. To be honest - that's sort of how my husband described a lot of the people he met in South Carolina (and I don't want to upset ANYONE by that comment...it's just one guys opinion). He said he felt like he'd dropped into the set of 'Dukes of Hazard'.

Two of my neighbors hunt, but they don't fit into the type of hunter that you describe. One hunts deer and bear (with a crossbow), the other hunts deer and birds. The one I guess could be considered a redneck type of guy, drives a truck and is a welder for a living. The other is an engineer who drives a mini-van.

The province where I live has a reputation of being rather 'redneck' as well - especially when it comes to views on racism and alternative lifestyles. But, since I live in a fairly large city (almost a million people) - the attitutdes here seem to be much more liberal than what you might find in smaller towns in the area.

Laurie - that sounds really sad about where you live. I have been in Los Angeles -but not for about 15 years. Some parts were really beautiful, some really were not. Do you really worry about going outside? That must really be tough....

Re: Conservative Alabama

Julie on 5/26/01 at 03:18 (048947)

Scott, this really is fascinating. What I'd like to know is how you manage working and living in this culture. Care to tell? Or would you have to write another book?

Re: Conservative Alabama

Scott R on 5/26/01 at 06:52 (048950)

North Carolina is more than a stone's throw from the 'Heart of Dixie'. Jeff Foxworthy is from Atlanta and has a book or two of one-pane comics that documents life in AL and MS. But they're not that bad. There's just too much truth to it. The woods are a ways off from me 30 minute to 1 hour drive (30 to 60 miles). You do run into some 'Dukes of Hazard' types sometimes especially in the smaller towns.

This culture has other aspects. For example, we have the same TV and movies like the rest of the country so the rest of the country's culture bleeds in considerably.It's just that socially speaking, there isn't anything besides sports, hunting, drinking beer (especially in high school), and church. Nothing. Nada, zip. This is the 3rd largest city in the state. So what happens to an intelligent guy who stays here? He watches all the intelligent and attractive people leave, stays single, and works on a web page at night. I'm told that 5 years ago there were 100 interesting people in this city of 200,0000. Today they say there's nearly 500. Most of my friends were not born in the South. I can't even relate to my family. I can 'play the game' and pretend to be 'normal' because I grew up in the midst of it. As far as the white-black thing goes, the races are fairly seperated so it's a non-issue. But libel yankees often become racists if they stay more than 5 years.

I work for the state. You wouldn't believe it. GE once had a CEO that tried to make it where 10% of the least talented people leave each year through no advancement. Where I work, we watch 10% of the most talented leave every year for the same reason (there's a 5% raise each year across the board). This is no exaggeration. I've been there 9 years so I must be the bottom of the barrel. I'm considered intelligent, weird, and sometimes bothersome if not a troublemaker. It seems like a fair number are afraid of me. A certain percentage probably think I'm gay. But I've got a lot fo friends there. Portions are fairly friendly.

I can't imagine what the rest of the country must do for fun and social activity. I'm not into any of the local varieties of fun and such. Besides, at my age, all my 'peers' are too busy working and making babies and such to be interested in much else. The only place I know to meet new people is internet single ads and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (40 people on a typical Sunday). The locals avoid the place because they think it's a gay and/or black church.

Another interesting thing is that no one here would be able to understand why you find my description of the place unusual.

Re: Conservative Alabama

bg cped on 5/26/01 at 07:11 (048951)

Wow Scott that is wild. I was in a part on North Carolina at a friends several years ago. There were nice cars and nice people, some yuppie types. He said YOU DONT drive up 'into the mountains', We went part way out of curiosity ( I grew up in Detroit, so nothing is too scary) There was things that looked out of a movie set. I also was told if you go real far up, you may not come back.
If you can hear the banjo and start thinking about the movie Deliverence, its time to leave. Maybe you should put in a transfer or move to a more lively area, you dont want to stifle your mind by being surronded by folks you dont have anything in common with. There are areas in Detroit that look like Bierut, some right near the Beautiful Detroit river. I mean PILES of broken concrete, windowless buildings etc. You can drive 10 miles along the river and be in front of some of the biggest mansions anywhere, houses that were built by the Henry Ford family and other industrialists.

Redneck jokes are funny. I watch COPS sometimes just to get a chuckle out of some of the morons and the way they live. If people are in the company of people like them, no matter how screwed up, it seems normal. If it is as bad as you say pick up and move, you can take your brains with you. Sometimes you need to change or move and take chances. It is easy to stay in an area and not risk change, but you seem too bright to become stagnant in your area

Re: Conservative Alabama

Scott R on 5/26/01 at 08:11 (048954)

I don't actually think of it as bad because it's all I know. My two days in San Francisco was nice and interesting, but considering the cost of living space, I'd rather be retired in Alabama than working in California. I might move to LA someday (Lower Alabama). If I get rich ($2 million), I'll move to Atlanta just so that I can find more friends.

Re: Scott --- Fellow EE loves the South

Steve P on 5/26/01 at 09:59 (048959)

Scott -- As a fellow EE & Southerner (N. C. State '71) I'm already looking forward to moving back to NC in retirement. I know you Alabamans don't consider NC part of the real South, or at least the Deep South, but we'll just have to live with that.

There's a reason the South gains population in every census at the expense of other areas of the country. People move there & like it! If I could move back tomorrow, I would........y'all.

Re: Conservative Alabama

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/26/01 at 11:26 (048970)

I grew up in a small town in New Jersey, actually considered below the Mason Dixon Line. So move up to my state any time. I have been in Montgomery Ala. It was alot of fun and very beautiful.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Donna M. on 5/26/01 at 12:37 (048973)

Scott I can't believe how you have run our state down!! My blood is boiling!!!
Things you said are why people think Southerners are all rednecks and inbred idiots!!!
There may be hunting and fishing here, but that is what most animals and fish are for! Go to the larger cities and all they hunt and kill are each other! What about the Southern hospitality?? You darn sure don't find friendly people in most of the other states that aren't consisered southern! Walk down the street in Chicago and speak to someone and they look at you like you are crazy!!
As for what you said about the deer hunting and the 'coming of age ceremony' that is 'bull'. You may have heard of some people that do weird things like that but it doesn't happen here in the nothern part where I am. You also said that there was nothing here but sports, hunting, drinking and church. We also have museums, theaters, parks and some of the best vacation spots in the U.S.! We also have N.A.S.A. which people from all over the world come to visit! There have been children from all over the U.S. and some foreign coutries coming to the Space and Rocket Center Camp in Huntsville.
We have beaches, forests, mountains and rivers. What more does any other state have to offer??!!!
We don't have 'gang' problems like most other areas. Yes there are 'dry' cities, but usually the bordering town has legal alcohol sales. We have some of the finest restaurants and some of the best 'down home Southern style' restaurants, that can be found!!
We are not all 'rednecks' living in 'trailer homes'! People in most states think a 2000 square foot home is HUGE! Well come to Alabama and drive around some of our beautiful areas and see the homes that are not less than 5000-6000 square feet, and more that are 10,000 and larger!! These people didn't get these homes because they were bootleggers or deer hunters!!
If I disliked where I live as much as you seem to dislike Alabama, Scott, I'd move. It doesn't sound like you have any family or anything holding you here.
I have been from California to North Carolina and from Texas to Canada and have lived a few places in-between. There is no place I had rather be than ALABAMA THE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Re: Scott --- Fellow EE loves the South

Donna M. on 5/26/01 at 12:38 (048974)

AMEN!!!!!

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Scott R on 5/26/01 at 13:52 (048976)

Donna, you're just ruining it for me. I was trying to keep those damn yankees out. Get with the program! Besides, Huntsville's a little bit different from gumpville. As far as the deer stories go, it's pretty much the norm around here. You northern bamians don't have deer like us in the middle. 5,000 sq ft homes? You must be one of them thar carpetbaggers. Scallywag! I got more inbred family here than you can shake a stick at. Restaurants? That's a mighty high-falutin word for all the grease-pits dotting our fine countryside like so many cancer growths. Try ordering a veggie-burger anywhere in bama. See what kind of laughter that brings ya. Sure, our annual property taxes are 1/2 most people's monthly interest payment, but that's just because you carpetbaggers own all the land and still control the tax structure. Why do you think Boeing, Mercedes, and Honda came here? They're just the new breed of carpetbaggers out to get cheap land. 10,000 sq ft homes. Hmmph. I bet a $500,000 home like that cost almost $2,000 a year in taxes.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Donna M. on 5/26/01 at 14:32 (048980)

Yes we do have LOTS of deer!! As a matter of fact my son-in-law owns a deer processing business that about works him to death from October thru January!! It is also very profitable I might add! (He does this as a side interest! He is also a college grad,I might add!!)
As for 'veggie burgers'?!! anybody with half-baked sense knows 'beef' is on a burger!! If you want veggies, get a salad!!! A 'veggie burger' would be like having a baked potato and grilled lettuce (instead of steak)!
Let me also assure you that I am not a carpetbagger!! Born and raised right here in Alabama, thank you!!
As for the cheap land and taxes, we have everything else, so that is just an added bonus of living here!
As for the grease pits instead of restaurants you were describing~~they have those everywhere, nation wide!! The South doesn't have a patent on them!!!
The Yankees are going to come here anyway!! They always have and they always will! They will still talk about us like we are idiots, as they move right here among us!!!

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/26/01 at 20:12 (048995)

Ok,

The South will raise again. !!!!!. So who did win the civil war.?

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

wendyn on 5/26/01 at 21:37 (049002)

What the heck is a carpetbagger?

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Donna M. on 5/26/01 at 22:25 (049007)

Wendyn, carpetbaggers were people from the North that came to the South after the Civil War and bought up the land, taking advantage (while they could) of their depressed condition.

Re: Carpetbaggers - to Wendy

Julie on 5/27/01 at 03:15 (049020)

...and the term has since come to be applied to anyone who moves from one place to another to take advantage of the spoils to be gotten in the new place. Politically, it refers to someone who shifts to a different constituency to more easily gain political office. We have a perfect example here of Shaun Woodward, a millionaire Tory MP who last year defected from the Tory party, crossed the House to join New Labour, and has now been 'parachuted' by the government into St Helens, a safe Labour working-class constituency in Scotland, to ensure he gets a seat in Parliament.

Re: Carpetbagger examples

Steve P on 5/27/01 at 09:16 (049030)

Gee, Julie. That's like someone becoming a U.S. Senator from a state she'd never lived in.

Re: JULIE are you from Scotland?

bg cped on 5/27/01 at 09:53 (049031)

I have relatives in Greenock, is that anywhere near you?

Re: Carpetbagger examples

Julie on 5/27/01 at 16:40 (049063)

Steve, that's it exactly.

BG, no, I don't live in Scotland, but a long way away, in London.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

DeniseA on 5/27/01 at 17:05 (049070)

'Well I heard old Scott put her down. Well I hope Scott R will remember, a southern man don't need him 'round anyhow.' Sweet Home Alabama....'

Sorry, just saw Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert last night and it just seemed so appropriate.

Denise

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

DeniseA on 5/27/01 at 17:06 (049071)

Not from this yank! No way. Loved my Southern Boy so much I married him!

Pick up the accent everytime I hang with his family too. Does that make me a wannabe?

Denise

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Stephanie S. on 5/29/01 at 01:02 (049185)

Scott, scott, scott...what are you doing bad-mouthing this fine city of ours...?? haha....I must say ...I was raised half my life in Missouri...lived in Montgomery for nearly 14 years. I love the south..I love ALabama...funny you mention the deer hunting...should I mention the fact that our 10 yr old daughter just got her first buck this last season? And the ritual they do at the hunting clubs...??.. haha...I just really think it's all too funny...hunting is a big thing also in the NOrth...if I'm remembering right...it's really not that odd of a thing...they fish and play golf too...Two of my girls and my boy go hunting with their daddy...they love it...riding on four wheeler's and eating deer hamburger's...they couldn't be happier. Next time we pick up from the processor...maybe I should drop you off some deer sausage...lol....lol I really think you'd like it.

I met my husband 3 days after moving here...the thing I liked about him the best was he could flip flop and get along with anyone. He could get his hands dirty building tree stands...but yet the next day...play golf with some of the finest doctors here in Montgomery. He's a southern gentleman...a kind and giving man....most people here are like that Scott. Were friendly...we say hello...we borrow egg's from nieghbors...our children have kool-aid stands , water bomb fights and sprinkler fun on the weekends. We help our friends and family in many ways...we don't all drink here in the South...and were not all religious nuts either.

You have a point on some things...but ya kinda exaggerated a bit. I'm with Donna M....it's a beautiful place...and were NOT all rednecks...that really surprised me...and yes, Donna..there ARE beautiful homes and decent families that live here...raising their children...there are many places to go for fine dining...

When you met me in person that day...did you think I was this redneck with four shoeless children that just left the trailor? Or did you find me to be a nice, decent person...I'm just curious...did I pull up in your driveway with a truck? Hmmm.....nope...I don't think so....

Scott you've really got to get out of the house more often...it'd cheer you up!! Smile...cause I'm still laughing...

Stephanie S.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Scott R on 5/29/01 at 06:00 (049189)

Stephanie, no obviously you aren't one of us rednecks. I don't want no deer hamburger cause it makes people fart too much. There's something in it our GI flora must love.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/29/01 at 18:05 (049261)

Wow , so this is the Stephanie in the picture. My first though was wow Scott so this is what keeps you down South. Now I know that Stephanie is married but she must have a cousin, friend. sister.

Scott she is one fine looking foot sufferer. Just had to say that so fix the heelspurs.com felow- up

That is how I met my wife. Go for it.!!!

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/29/01 at 18:08 (049262)

Hi,

This is Dr. Z . I hope your compliment is accepted. The heelspurs.com fellow needs a good woman and the South will look very bright. I have alway been told that it isn't where you live but we who you live. So fix this goodlooking man up.

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Scott R on 5/29/01 at 18:50 (049266)

I'm not woman-hunting right now. I did meet 5 ladies this year from the internet though. I finally learned how to do it. Had great fun.

I'm playing around with a NEC 770 handheld PC. It will serve as my laptop. 9hr battery, 56k modem, touchscreen 640x240, windows CE. Great little device. 1 pound. Nearly a full-size keyboard. Instant-on. Full-color screen. Got it off ebay for $300. The new NEC 780 costs $600. Same machine except faster chip. I'm going to use it for internet/heelspurs activity and book-writing when out of town and especially on plane trips. 1 pound! 9 hrs!

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

wendyn on 5/29/01 at 19:39 (049269)

Glad to hear you are out there meeting the women Scott. Did you meet them in person or just on the net?

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

wendyn on 5/29/01 at 19:41 (049270)

Hey Scott - you should put on the cool picture of you with the beard and tiny glasses (or was it no glasses)? I can't remember but it was a good picture!

Re: Scotty

Scott R on 5/29/01 at 22:02 (049289)

I met them in person. If I can't meet someone within a week of first emailing them, they aren't serious and interested enough for me to be interested. Sorry, no more details. This handheld is cool as hell. I'm paying a dollar an hour to use 56K modem instesad of my cable connection so I can use it. The touchscreen is great. No stylus needed. Going out of town tomorrow night.

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Stephanie S. on 5/30/01 at 17:08 (049381)

Dr.Z...of course I took that as a compliment...that couldn't have been a nicer thing to say to a lady who has four children...haha. I did try to hook scott up with my sister in law...but just had some different view's on different things. Scott requires a special lady who is just as intelligent as he is..and that is hard to find. If I come across someone I think will meet his expectations...I will certainly give him a call. Funny, I had been on heelspurs for 8 months or so before I realized Scott lived across town from me...when I realized it...I just had to meet him in person...and talk about this foot stuff. He's a really great guy, and boy does he have the FOOT STUFF ...it was really neat to be able to see all of that for myself..very interesting. He was especially tolerable of my children running through his house and playing with his cat. ( I think they even snuck out in the front and ran through his sprinkler..I vaguely remember some wet clothes.)

If my foot pain hadn't gotten any better...I would definetly have to be in on this trip to come visit you. But fortunatley my feet are doing much better..but I still beg for those foot massages from hubby , just cause they feel so good!

Thanks,
Stephanie S.

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Scott R on 5/31/01 at 15:46 (049491)

'just had some different view's on different things' ... what Stephanie is trying to say is that Scott is a sociopathic HEATHEN!

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Stephanie S. on 6/01/01 at 01:39 (049541)

Scott, I never said that....

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Scot R on 6/01/01 at 06:08 (049547)

I know, I'm just kidding. I'm a bit relaxed on posts these days now that ... arguments are less likely to start

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Stephanie S. on 6/02/01 at 17:46 (049691)

I knew your were joking...no problem....you ain't lyin'...your way more relaxed on posts than I remember....kind of like the 'new Scott'...I'm finding ALOt of humor in the majority of them. How are you doing these days ...by the way? Still got that cat running in circles around your legs? Tee hee....Steph

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Scott R on 6/02/01 at 18:43 (049698)

A lot of people find my humor terse. Speaking of which my cat finally kicked the bucket somewhere around age 20. Those siamese are sumptin else.

I went on the coosa kayaking for the first time today. Open on top type kayak. Went with a singles group of military folk on training this year. Great fun, 15 people. They are much more interesting than the majority of Alabama folk I know.

I'm doing fine except I need a wife. You were right on with your comments. Hard to find somebody compatible round yehar. I try to go out with folks somethimes, but I'm too busy yawning to engage in conversation. Some people start getting worried because I don't say anything. 'What is he thinking. I know he's thinking something.' So I try to pretend to be normal and talk about Julia Roberts or something. It reminds me of a quote about America's most famous physicist, Feynman: 'There was a nearly-serious debate titled 'Is Richard Feynman Human?' Some said he was, but many said he only pretended to be human so that others wouldn't feel bad.'

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/02/01 at 22:45 (049719)

See I told you a woman was needed. Scott you sense of humor is not terse it is really funny. So describe the idea woman both mental and physical. Let's see how relaxed you really are my friend.

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Richard, C.Ped on 6/04/01 at 10:21 (049836)

When a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing. Be patient, she is out there. I met mine in an elevator at a hospital where we both worked.

To others, it really is not quite like the Dukes of Hazzard down here in South Carolina. Well, maybe in some of the small towns, but not in Columbia. I guess it is like when I go up north to visit. Different worlds and ways of living.

Time to climb into the General Lee and mosey on down the road.
YEEEEEE HAWWWWW :-)
Richard

Re: Conservative Alabama

Scott R on 5/25/01 at 18:41 (048909)

By conservative engineer, I mean, for example, that all my best electrical engineering professors were devout Christians. One of them trapped animals for living at a time when he should have been in high school. He probably never wore shoes until he was 20-something. He had the damndest stories to tell about eyeballs being pulled out in bar fights and how foxes evade traps (you put a hook on top so they can't gently wipe the food off and you turn it upside down for the rascals that dug under). He found Jesus, took the GED, and got his PhD in EE. Before EE, interacting with humans was probably one of those monthly affairs when he would stop by the general store for flour and equipment. Another played chicken with an 18-wheeler before finding Jesus. Mainly, it's the lonely work-ethic required in engineering that requires extreme conservatism or a foreign nationality.

As far as conservatism in Alabama in general, nearly half the state is dry (for you yankees, that means it's illegal to sell alcohol) and the other half makes it illegal on Sunday unless you're in a bar. The old ladies in the commission meetings ni Montgomery said we couldn't start selling draft beer because next thing you know people would start 'shooting up' marijuana. Nevermind it's our #1 cash crop.

The only social gatherings in Montgomery are churches. 5% of the city (10% of the whites) is a member of Frazer United Methodist. 8,000 members I think. Huntsville, I'm told, actually has a couple of nudie bars. That's a real shock to us Montgomerians.

The Wright brothers started a flying school here which is why the air force is here. Most Montgomerians don't know that or care. But lord knows they know where hank william's grave is. They don't know or care about the 100 or so dead Australians, Brits, Canadians, etc buried in front of him that died in aviation training during WWII.

Re: Conservative Alabama

Scott R on 5/25/01 at 20:10 (048915)

I mainly just meant to say Engineers require an lonely work ethic that's in-line with being conservative (for some reason). Last I heard, Auburn engineers had the 3rd most graduates who became CEOs or something like that in major companies. Maybe MIT and Georgia and such graduate the engineers that can do the real work while the more sociable Auburn grads just turn into managers (i.e. Dilbert). But that goes against my original thesis. Dilbert and 'Office Space' are a documentaries of the American office. Jeff Foxworthy's 'You might be a redneck if...' documents life in Alabama. Trailer homes, football, alcohol (eventhough so much of it is 'dry' - 'county-line' package stores are common), running into trees at 2 am, shooting deer and dove**, fishing, NASCAR, church, they're still a large part of the culture. In fact, I can't think of any other measures of the culture. Maybe Stephanie can. Let's see...we rank nearly last in all the financial and educational measures of 'success'. Oddly enough, the state boasts one of the best series of golf courses in the world, and Huntsville ranks up there with Research Triangle Park behind Silicon Valley.

** footnote: I've interacted a lot with people from other places on the internet and often have to explain: 'Shooting deer and dove' means we take guns into open fields or woods and shoot deer and dove. There's a whole 'science' and culture to it. For example, your social connections largely determine how good a hunting area you can acquire. The best deer (the largest ones with the largest and most symmetrical antlers) are mounted from the neck up and placed on walls at work or home as a way to enjoy and admire the beauty of the dead animal and to increase social status. An Alabamian boy immersed in this part of the culture has often killed his first deer around age 12. As a tribal ceremony and 'coming of age' ritual, the boy is soaked in the animal's blood and guts, starting with the face. Girls are equally subject. By 'tribal' I mean that when one introduces a friend to another and says 'He hunts with us down in ...' it's meant to imply that he's basically as good as a blood-relative.

Re: Conservative Alabama

Laurie R on 5/25/01 at 21:13 (048922)

Hi Scott, This is way different from where I live ......They shoot here ,by not animals ... Wow this is a whole new world for me. Check this out .... My hubby took the kids to the store (walking) and while they were gone I heard three gun shots. I was praying that they did not get shot. They did not thank God.... But someone must of... It is so bad a times... Now this was at 4:30 in the afternoon..... Laurie R

Re: Re:Oh my

Tammie on 5/25/01 at 21:40 (048927)

Oh goodness Laurie, I live in the country , I cannot imagine that feeling of hearing gun shots that close without it being hunters! You must be very frightened! Come here and live in the country, noone much bothers anyone we dont even lock doors, lol but recently we have had to start as some thefts in area. We could not walk to store here heheh take to long. My hubby grew up on a small farm , not me I had horses tho and one time we had some chickens yuck I was so afraid of them pecking us!!! Well good to see u on the message board I love reading your advice!!! I cant get into my mail tonight it wont let me into Yahoo . Talk soon tho hugs to u!!!

Re: Conservative Alabama

wendyn on 5/26/01 at 00:39 (048938)

Scott that's really fascinating - that's exactly what I was interested in. You know, this may sound dense, but I didn't know that there were places in North America that are still 'dry'. No draft beer either? I really didn't know draft beer could be an issue anywhere. We have our share of 'nudie' bars too...

Are you far south like South Carolina? Are there a lot of places like what you describe in the south?

I am familiar with the Jeff Foxworthy redneck song. To be honest - that's sort of how my husband described a lot of the people he met in South Carolina (and I don't want to upset ANYONE by that comment...it's just one guys opinion). He said he felt like he'd dropped into the set of 'Dukes of Hazard'.

Two of my neighbors hunt, but they don't fit into the type of hunter that you describe. One hunts deer and bear (with a crossbow), the other hunts deer and birds. The one I guess could be considered a redneck type of guy, drives a truck and is a welder for a living. The other is an engineer who drives a mini-van.

The province where I live has a reputation of being rather 'redneck' as well - especially when it comes to views on racism and alternative lifestyles. But, since I live in a fairly large city (almost a million people) - the attitutdes here seem to be much more liberal than what you might find in smaller towns in the area.

Laurie - that sounds really sad about where you live. I have been in Los Angeles -but not for about 15 years. Some parts were really beautiful, some really were not. Do you really worry about going outside? That must really be tough....

Re: Conservative Alabama

Julie on 5/26/01 at 03:18 (048947)

Scott, this really is fascinating. What I'd like to know is how you manage working and living in this culture. Care to tell? Or would you have to write another book?

Re: Conservative Alabama

Scott R on 5/26/01 at 06:52 (048950)

North Carolina is more than a stone's throw from the 'Heart of Dixie'. Jeff Foxworthy is from Atlanta and has a book or two of one-pane comics that documents life in AL and MS. But they're not that bad. There's just too much truth to it. The woods are a ways off from me 30 minute to 1 hour drive (30 to 60 miles). You do run into some 'Dukes of Hazard' types sometimes especially in the smaller towns.

This culture has other aspects. For example, we have the same TV and movies like the rest of the country so the rest of the country's culture bleeds in considerably.It's just that socially speaking, there isn't anything besides sports, hunting, drinking beer (especially in high school), and church. Nothing. Nada, zip. This is the 3rd largest city in the state. So what happens to an intelligent guy who stays here? He watches all the intelligent and attractive people leave, stays single, and works on a web page at night. I'm told that 5 years ago there were 100 interesting people in this city of 200,0000. Today they say there's nearly 500. Most of my friends were not born in the South. I can't even relate to my family. I can 'play the game' and pretend to be 'normal' because I grew up in the midst of it. As far as the white-black thing goes, the races are fairly seperated so it's a non-issue. But libel yankees often become racists if they stay more than 5 years.

I work for the state. You wouldn't believe it. GE once had a CEO that tried to make it where 10% of the least talented people leave each year through no advancement. Where I work, we watch 10% of the most talented leave every year for the same reason (there's a 5% raise each year across the board). This is no exaggeration. I've been there 9 years so I must be the bottom of the barrel. I'm considered intelligent, weird, and sometimes bothersome if not a troublemaker. It seems like a fair number are afraid of me. A certain percentage probably think I'm gay. But I've got a lot fo friends there. Portions are fairly friendly.

I can't imagine what the rest of the country must do for fun and social activity. I'm not into any of the local varieties of fun and such. Besides, at my age, all my 'peers' are too busy working and making babies and such to be interested in much else. The only place I know to meet new people is internet single ads and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (40 people on a typical Sunday). The locals avoid the place because they think it's a gay and/or black church.

Another interesting thing is that no one here would be able to understand why you find my description of the place unusual.

Re: Conservative Alabama

bg cped on 5/26/01 at 07:11 (048951)

Wow Scott that is wild. I was in a part on North Carolina at a friends several years ago. There were nice cars and nice people, some yuppie types. He said YOU DONT drive up 'into the mountains', We went part way out of curiosity ( I grew up in Detroit, so nothing is too scary) There was things that looked out of a movie set. I also was told if you go real far up, you may not come back.
If you can hear the banjo and start thinking about the movie Deliverence, its time to leave. Maybe you should put in a transfer or move to a more lively area, you dont want to stifle your mind by being surronded by folks you dont have anything in common with. There are areas in Detroit that look like Bierut, some right near the Beautiful Detroit river. I mean PILES of broken concrete, windowless buildings etc. You can drive 10 miles along the river and be in front of some of the biggest mansions anywhere, houses that were built by the Henry Ford family and other industrialists.

Redneck jokes are funny. I watch COPS sometimes just to get a chuckle out of some of the morons and the way they live. If people are in the company of people like them, no matter how screwed up, it seems normal. If it is as bad as you say pick up and move, you can take your brains with you. Sometimes you need to change or move and take chances. It is easy to stay in an area and not risk change, but you seem too bright to become stagnant in your area

Re: Conservative Alabama

Scott R on 5/26/01 at 08:11 (048954)

I don't actually think of it as bad because it's all I know. My two days in San Francisco was nice and interesting, but considering the cost of living space, I'd rather be retired in Alabama than working in California. I might move to LA someday (Lower Alabama). If I get rich ($2 million), I'll move to Atlanta just so that I can find more friends.

Re: Scott --- Fellow EE loves the South

Steve P on 5/26/01 at 09:59 (048959)

Scott -- As a fellow EE & Southerner (N. C. State '71) I'm already looking forward to moving back to NC in retirement. I know you Alabamans don't consider NC part of the real South, or at least the Deep South, but we'll just have to live with that.

There's a reason the South gains population in every census at the expense of other areas of the country. People move there & like it! If I could move back tomorrow, I would........y'all.

Re: Conservative Alabama

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/26/01 at 11:26 (048970)

I grew up in a small town in New Jersey, actually considered below the Mason Dixon Line. So move up to my state any time. I have been in Montgomery Ala. It was alot of fun and very beautiful.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Donna M. on 5/26/01 at 12:37 (048973)

Scott I can't believe how you have run our state down!! My blood is boiling!!!
Things you said are why people think Southerners are all rednecks and inbred idiots!!!
There may be hunting and fishing here, but that is what most animals and fish are for! Go to the larger cities and all they hunt and kill are each other! What about the Southern hospitality?? You darn sure don't find friendly people in most of the other states that aren't consisered southern! Walk down the street in Chicago and speak to someone and they look at you like you are crazy!!
As for what you said about the deer hunting and the 'coming of age ceremony' that is 'bull'. You may have heard of some people that do weird things like that but it doesn't happen here in the nothern part where I am. You also said that there was nothing here but sports, hunting, drinking and church. We also have museums, theaters, parks and some of the best vacation spots in the U.S.! We also have N.A.S.A. which people from all over the world come to visit! There have been children from all over the U.S. and some foreign coutries coming to the Space and Rocket Center Camp in Huntsville.
We have beaches, forests, mountains and rivers. What more does any other state have to offer??!!!
We don't have 'gang' problems like most other areas. Yes there are 'dry' cities, but usually the bordering town has legal alcohol sales. We have some of the finest restaurants and some of the best 'down home Southern style' restaurants, that can be found!!
We are not all 'rednecks' living in 'trailer homes'! People in most states think a 2000 square foot home is HUGE! Well come to Alabama and drive around some of our beautiful areas and see the homes that are not less than 5000-6000 square feet, and more that are 10,000 and larger!! These people didn't get these homes because they were bootleggers or deer hunters!!
If I disliked where I live as much as you seem to dislike Alabama, Scott, I'd move. It doesn't sound like you have any family or anything holding you here.
I have been from California to North Carolina and from Texas to Canada and have lived a few places in-between. There is no place I had rather be than ALABAMA THE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Re: Scott --- Fellow EE loves the South

Donna M. on 5/26/01 at 12:38 (048974)

AMEN!!!!!

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Scott R on 5/26/01 at 13:52 (048976)

Donna, you're just ruining it for me. I was trying to keep those damn yankees out. Get with the program! Besides, Huntsville's a little bit different from gumpville. As far as the deer stories go, it's pretty much the norm around here. You northern bamians don't have deer like us in the middle. 5,000 sq ft homes? You must be one of them thar carpetbaggers. Scallywag! I got more inbred family here than you can shake a stick at. Restaurants? That's a mighty high-falutin word for all the grease-pits dotting our fine countryside like so many cancer growths. Try ordering a veggie-burger anywhere in bama. See what kind of laughter that brings ya. Sure, our annual property taxes are 1/2 most people's monthly interest payment, but that's just because you carpetbaggers own all the land and still control the tax structure. Why do you think Boeing, Mercedes, and Honda came here? They're just the new breed of carpetbaggers out to get cheap land. 10,000 sq ft homes. Hmmph. I bet a $500,000 home like that cost almost $2,000 a year in taxes.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Donna M. on 5/26/01 at 14:32 (048980)

Yes we do have LOTS of deer!! As a matter of fact my son-in-law owns a deer processing business that about works him to death from October thru January!! It is also very profitable I might add! (He does this as a side interest! He is also a college grad,I might add!!)
As for 'veggie burgers'?!! anybody with half-baked sense knows 'beef' is on a burger!! If you want veggies, get a salad!!! A 'veggie burger' would be like having a baked potato and grilled lettuce (instead of steak)!
Let me also assure you that I am not a carpetbagger!! Born and raised right here in Alabama, thank you!!
As for the cheap land and taxes, we have everything else, so that is just an added bonus of living here!
As for the grease pits instead of restaurants you were describing~~they have those everywhere, nation wide!! The South doesn't have a patent on them!!!
The Yankees are going to come here anyway!! They always have and they always will! They will still talk about us like we are idiots, as they move right here among us!!!

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/26/01 at 20:12 (048995)

Ok,

The South will raise again. !!!!!. So who did win the civil war.?

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

wendyn on 5/26/01 at 21:37 (049002)

What the heck is a carpetbagger?

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Donna M. on 5/26/01 at 22:25 (049007)

Wendyn, carpetbaggers were people from the North that came to the South after the Civil War and bought up the land, taking advantage (while they could) of their depressed condition.

Re: Carpetbaggers - to Wendy

Julie on 5/27/01 at 03:15 (049020)

...and the term has since come to be applied to anyone who moves from one place to another to take advantage of the spoils to be gotten in the new place. Politically, it refers to someone who shifts to a different constituency to more easily gain political office. We have a perfect example here of Shaun Woodward, a millionaire Tory MP who last year defected from the Tory party, crossed the House to join New Labour, and has now been 'parachuted' by the government into St Helens, a safe Labour working-class constituency in Scotland, to ensure he gets a seat in Parliament.

Re: Carpetbagger examples

Steve P on 5/27/01 at 09:16 (049030)

Gee, Julie. That's like someone becoming a U.S. Senator from a state she'd never lived in.

Re: JULIE are you from Scotland?

bg cped on 5/27/01 at 09:53 (049031)

I have relatives in Greenock, is that anywhere near you?

Re: Carpetbagger examples

Julie on 5/27/01 at 16:40 (049063)

Steve, that's it exactly.

BG, no, I don't live in Scotland, but a long way away, in London.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

DeniseA on 5/27/01 at 17:05 (049070)

'Well I heard old Scott put her down. Well I hope Scott R will remember, a southern man don't need him 'round anyhow.' Sweet Home Alabama....'

Sorry, just saw Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert last night and it just seemed so appropriate.

Denise

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

DeniseA on 5/27/01 at 17:06 (049071)

Not from this yank! No way. Loved my Southern Boy so much I married him!

Pick up the accent everytime I hang with his family too. Does that make me a wannabe?

Denise

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Stephanie S. on 5/29/01 at 01:02 (049185)

Scott, scott, scott...what are you doing bad-mouthing this fine city of ours...?? haha....I must say ...I was raised half my life in Missouri...lived in Montgomery for nearly 14 years. I love the south..I love ALabama...funny you mention the deer hunting...should I mention the fact that our 10 yr old daughter just got her first buck this last season? And the ritual they do at the hunting clubs...??.. haha...I just really think it's all too funny...hunting is a big thing also in the NOrth...if I'm remembering right...it's really not that odd of a thing...they fish and play golf too...Two of my girls and my boy go hunting with their daddy...they love it...riding on four wheeler's and eating deer hamburger's...they couldn't be happier. Next time we pick up from the processor...maybe I should drop you off some deer sausage...lol....lol I really think you'd like it.

I met my husband 3 days after moving here...the thing I liked about him the best was he could flip flop and get along with anyone. He could get his hands dirty building tree stands...but yet the next day...play golf with some of the finest doctors here in Montgomery. He's a southern gentleman...a kind and giving man....most people here are like that Scott. Were friendly...we say hello...we borrow egg's from nieghbors...our children have kool-aid stands , water bomb fights and sprinkler fun on the weekends. We help our friends and family in many ways...we don't all drink here in the South...and were not all religious nuts either.

You have a point on some things...but ya kinda exaggerated a bit. I'm with Donna M....it's a beautiful place...and were NOT all rednecks...that really surprised me...and yes, Donna..there ARE beautiful homes and decent families that live here...raising their children...there are many places to go for fine dining...

When you met me in person that day...did you think I was this redneck with four shoeless children that just left the trailor? Or did you find me to be a nice, decent person...I'm just curious...did I pull up in your driveway with a truck? Hmmm.....nope...I don't think so....

Scott you've really got to get out of the house more often...it'd cheer you up!! Smile...cause I'm still laughing...

Stephanie S.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Scott R on 5/29/01 at 06:00 (049189)

Stephanie, no obviously you aren't one of us rednecks. I don't want no deer hamburger cause it makes people fart too much. There's something in it our GI flora must love.

Re: Conservative Alabama/AND PROUD OF IT!!!!

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/29/01 at 18:05 (049261)

Wow , so this is the Stephanie in the picture. My first though was wow Scott so this is what keeps you down South. Now I know that Stephanie is married but she must have a cousin, friend. sister.

Scott she is one fine looking foot sufferer. Just had to say that so fix the heelspurs.com felow- up

That is how I met my wife. Go for it.!!!

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Dr. Zuckerman on 5/29/01 at 18:08 (049262)

Hi,

This is Dr. Z . I hope your compliment is accepted. The heelspurs.com fellow needs a good woman and the South will look very bright. I have alway been told that it isn't where you live but we who you live. So fix this goodlooking man up.

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Scott R on 5/29/01 at 18:50 (049266)

I'm not woman-hunting right now. I did meet 5 ladies this year from the internet though. I finally learned how to do it. Had great fun.

I'm playing around with a NEC 770 handheld PC. It will serve as my laptop. 9hr battery, 56k modem, touchscreen 640x240, windows CE. Great little device. 1 pound. Nearly a full-size keyboard. Instant-on. Full-color screen. Got it off ebay for $300. The new NEC 780 costs $600. Same machine except faster chip. I'm going to use it for internet/heelspurs activity and book-writing when out of town and especially on plane trips. 1 pound! 9 hrs!

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

wendyn on 5/29/01 at 19:39 (049269)

Glad to hear you are out there meeting the women Scott. Did you meet them in person or just on the net?

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

wendyn on 5/29/01 at 19:41 (049270)

Hey Scott - you should put on the cool picture of you with the beard and tiny glasses (or was it no glasses)? I can't remember but it was a good picture!

Re: Scotty

Scott R on 5/29/01 at 22:02 (049289)

I met them in person. If I can't meet someone within a week of first emailing them, they aren't serious and interested enough for me to be interested. Sorry, no more details. This handheld is cool as hell. I'm paying a dollar an hour to use 56K modem instesad of my cable connection so I can use it. The touchscreen is great. No stylus needed. Going out of town tomorrow night.

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Stephanie S. on 5/30/01 at 17:08 (049381)

Dr.Z...of course I took that as a compliment...that couldn't have been a nicer thing to say to a lady who has four children...haha. I did try to hook scott up with my sister in law...but just had some different view's on different things. Scott requires a special lady who is just as intelligent as he is..and that is hard to find. If I come across someone I think will meet his expectations...I will certainly give him a call. Funny, I had been on heelspurs for 8 months or so before I realized Scott lived across town from me...when I realized it...I just had to meet him in person...and talk about this foot stuff. He's a really great guy, and boy does he have the FOOT STUFF ...it was really neat to be able to see all of that for myself..very interesting. He was especially tolerable of my children running through his house and playing with his cat. ( I think they even snuck out in the front and ran through his sprinkler..I vaguely remember some wet clothes.)

If my foot pain hadn't gotten any better...I would definetly have to be in on this trip to come visit you. But fortunatley my feet are doing much better..but I still beg for those foot massages from hubby , just cause they feel so good!

Thanks,
Stephanie S.

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Scott R on 5/31/01 at 15:46 (049491)

'just had some different view's on different things' ... what Stephanie is trying to say is that Scott is a sociopathic HEATHEN!

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Stephanie S. on 6/01/01 at 01:39 (049541)

Scott, I never said that....

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Scot R on 6/01/01 at 06:08 (049547)

I know, I'm just kidding. I'm a bit relaxed on posts these days now that ... arguments are less likely to start

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Stephanie S. on 6/02/01 at 17:46 (049691)

I knew your were joking...no problem....you ain't lyin'...your way more relaxed on posts than I remember....kind of like the 'new Scott'...I'm finding ALOt of humor in the majority of them. How are you doing these days ...by the way? Still got that cat running in circles around your legs? Tee hee....Steph

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Scott R on 6/02/01 at 18:43 (049698)

A lot of people find my humor terse. Speaking of which my cat finally kicked the bucket somewhere around age 20. Those siamese are sumptin else.

I went on the coosa kayaking for the first time today. Open on top type kayak. Went with a singles group of military folk on training this year. Great fun, 15 people. They are much more interesting than the majority of Alabama folk I know.

I'm doing fine except I need a wife. You were right on with your comments. Hard to find somebody compatible round yehar. I try to go out with folks somethimes, but I'm too busy yawning to engage in conversation. Some people start getting worried because I don't say anything. 'What is he thinking. I know he's thinking something.' So I try to pretend to be normal and talk about Julia Roberts or something. It reminds me of a quote about America's most famous physicist, Feynman: 'There was a nearly-serious debate titled 'Is Richard Feynman Human?' Some said he was, but many said he only pretended to be human so that others wouldn't feel bad.'

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/02/01 at 22:45 (049719)

See I told you a woman was needed. Scott you sense of humor is not terse it is really funny. So describe the idea woman both mental and physical. Let's see how relaxed you really are my friend.

Re: Stephanie you help is needed.

Richard, C.Ped on 6/04/01 at 10:21 (049836)

When a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing. Be patient, she is out there. I met mine in an elevator at a hospital where we both worked.

To others, it really is not quite like the Dukes of Hazzard down here in South Carolina. Well, maybe in some of the small towns, but not in Columbia. I guess it is like when I go up north to visit. Different worlds and ways of living.

Time to climb into the General Lee and mosey on down the road.
YEEEEEE HAWWWWW :-)
Richard