Have you ever googled Alabama? Momentary pause. We are using google as several different parts of speech these days, right? Well, I am, so get on board with that. If I were to google Alabama, I imagine that the results would include the state's official page, things about football, the Birmingham bombing, George Wallace and his Schoolhouse stand, the obesity rate, the literacy rate, and the band Alabama.
When I think about my home state, those are just some of the things that come to my mind. I also think about the way honey suckle smells on a June day, drivers pulling over to let a funeral procession pass, the sound of crickets at sunset, the feel of watermelon juice running down my arm in the July heat, the white sand on the Gulf of Mexico, wild flowers, lightning bugs, rocket science, and the time I had to repeat my order for a cheeseburger when I found myself North of the Mason-Dixon Line. It was my accent that caused the fuss. My server wanted everyone in the restaurant to hear me order in my thick twang. Really though, I think she was surprised that I could read the menu being from Alabama and all. Do you live in Alabama? If not, you probably have a preconceived notion about what it is like here.
Yes, there are still dirt roads in the rural areas. We took a trip down this road last weekend. It takes almost an hour to get to this dirt road from our house. Even though the road is not paved, the residents of this community have electricity and indoor plumbing. Is this what you picture in your mind's eye for the state of Alabama? This is not what the majority of Alabama roadways look like. This is the minority.
I have heard a couple of tales recently that I have to repeat.
The Alabamian who moved to Chicago: At his first dental appointment in the Windy City, he was asked if he had fluoridated water growing up or if he only drank well water. Even better, he had a coworker who stated he had never been to Alabama because - the Klan.
FYI: City and County water is indeed fluoridated, and some people are lucky enough to have a well in addition to that fancy, municipal aitch two O. Did you like that? Was it Alabama-y enough? And. The last time I saw a Klan gathering, they were protesting illegal immigration and didn't even wear bed sheets over their heads.
The Alabamian who visited the East Coast: The other patrons in the restaurant thought that the rednecks in Alabama still had public hangings.
Hold up. Seriously? People think that there are public hangings in Alabama in 2014? It has been nearly 90 years since the last execution by hanging.
Bless their hearts. :)