Mad Jack Hanks: The origin story of rednecks and why it’s OK to be one
Gentle reader, do you consider yourself a redneck?
If so, exactly what does the term “redneck” mean to you? If I had to come up with a qualifying definition, I would say something like this — a redneck is someone who works with their hands and usually, it’s an outside job.
You know, they are subject to the changing conditions of the weather and they are considered to be the “salt of the earth” sort of folks. Larry the Cable Guy is the image I get when the term “redneck” is used. Ole’ Larry, well he may be a little over the edge for me when it comes to rednecks.
I’m sure there are folks that have indoor jobs, that have clean fingernails and drink wine with their meals. They may not country and western dance or wear boots, jeans or overalls, but still they identify with the “spirit” of being a redneck at times.
By the way, do you know how the term “redneck” got it’s start?
I didn’t know until a couple years ago. It happened this way.
In 1920 in West Virginia, the coal companies were trying to prevent the miners from forming a union in order to have better and safer working conditions and of course, better pay. One Sid Hatfield — might remember that family name — was the police chief of Matewon, W.V., and was on the side of the striking miners. He was shot and killed on the court house steps by folks from the mine owner’s side. A war began and was to be settled at a place called Blair Mountain. The miners decided to wear red bandanas to make it easier to recognize one another in the heat of battle. We are talking about thousands of men waging war on one another. When it was all said and done, the miners were referred to as “rednecks” because of the red bandanas.
I have no problem being referred to as a redneck.
My daddy’s daddy made homemade candy and beer and went around the country west of Fort Worth selling his wares from a wagon. My mother’s daddy was a west Texas rancher.
My great, great grandfather, Elijah Hanks, was ole Abe Lincoln’s uncle as he was a brother to Nancy Hanks, Abe’s mother. Ole Abe was a redneck for sure, but folks back then, for the most part, were all red necks.
It’s just my opinion that we ‘rednecks” are the glue that binds and holds this country together in times like these.
I just wish there were more politicians that were cut from the same cloth as you and I. You don’t have to live in the backwoods and make home brew and bathe twice a year to be a redneck. Nope, you can bathe on Saturday night, sing along with Garth, Blake, Miranda or Tim McGraw, eat chili peppers and drink Bud Light and call yourself a “redneck”.
Just don’t be getting a manicure while doing so, okay? Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I hope you were someone’s Valentine recently. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖
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