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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

The Boondocks

Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010, at 8:36 AM

I used to get upset when people would ridicule me for being from a small town. With a town as small as Kennett, most people assumed I lived in a ditch and rode a donkey to school. College peers couldn't believe my hometown still had a town square. They rolled their eyes at the thought of joining me in a visit to the Bootheel, home of cotton fields and mosquitoes. They didn't get it. They wouldn't visit.

When I left for college, I took with me a rather large chip on my shoulder. After eighteen years, I'd decided Kennett had no opportunity, nothing to really offer the betterment of tomorrow. I never got homesick, and I didn't visit unless the holidays rolled around and I could smell Dad's barbeque and Mom's home cooking all the way in Mississippi. I had no intentions of ever looking back.

After moving to Dallas and realizing that I would always be partial to city life, I began noticing that The South doesn't mean the same thing in different locations. In Mississippi, being southern meant families gathering around grits and crawfish boils. In Dallas, southern traditions include wearing Kentucky Derby-sized hats to brunch, liposuction and Cowboys football. In Kennett, being southern is a completely different ballgame.

I believe the Bootheel area has the most southern pride. Why wouldn't we? Geographically, we sit yard-to-yard with the neighboring Yankees. If we travel forty-five minutes north, they look at us weird and assume we're mentally handicapped because we have a southern drawl. I won't be the last person to boycott the Cape Girardeau Mall because shoppers and store clerks think I "talk funny." I think it's easier to say "night" with three syllables.

I laugh hysterically when Dallasites complain about mosquitoes. I usually educate them on the pterodactyls we deal with in the Bootheel, and how "Off" spray is part of our Welcome Wagons. When people complain about the sixty-eight degree weather being too cold, I inform them that there have been multiple March months where I missed school for an ice storm and wore shorts to school the same month.

There's no other beauty in this world like that of cotton blooming for acres upon acres. There's nothing that tastes better than a watermelon cracked open straight from the field. There's no shame in having a town square that hones the majority of the town's stoplights.

We're tough because we have to be. The Yankees think we're too southern, and the Southerners don't think we're southern enough. We have our own dialect that, when mixed with some of those who mumble (like my brother), cannot be understood by virgin ears. Our idea of a traffic jam is waiting for ten cars to pass a cotton picker on EE highway. We think the Windmill Gas Station is a tribute to the county. Wal-Mart is our livelihood. We don't swat mosquitoes, we punch them in their large pterodactyl faces. We are God's Country.


Comments
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I love small towns!

-- Posted by mcoram on Mon, Feb 7, 2011, at 1:23 PM

I happen to like kennett too. was born here,live here and will die here!

-- Posted by will43 on Tue, Jan 8, 2013, at 3:10 PM


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The Fabulous Chronicles of an Average Bombshell
Jamaica Williams
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Follow the events of a young, single female who just graduated college and is looking for the next chapter to begin. The Fabulous Chronicles of an Average Bombshell looks at what life is like for a young woman in her 20's, living in a small town, who has nothing in common with her friends: she's not interested in marriage, she wants a taste of the city life, and dating is for fun not so much for finding The One.
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