Tears and Laughter: In defense of Wilcox County Rednecks…

Several of my friends are disappointed not a single place in Wilcox County made Roadsnack’s website’s “Top 10 Redneck Cities in Alabama.” Al.com posted the list last week.

I am not prepared to argue that Dothan, coming in at number one, doesn’t have their fair share of rednecks. And I graduated from Chilton County High School. I can’t believe they are only fifth. They are professional rednecks, the type who enjoy watching wrestling together with their family and fistfight readily, sometimes without provocation. Other times, they will go out circling through town in search of it.

Alcohol often plays its role. Or some old song on the radio reminds them of a girl long since decided to the vaults of time. The right night can conjure up an old anger I guess. But it is these same hardheads that can’t make it through a single stanza of “I Saw the Light” without having big teardrops rolling down their cheeks. Tough people with a natural tenderness towards small children and all dogs…I’m sure they are gracious and proud to take fifth.

But as to why not a single town in the entire county of Wilcox didn’t make the list, I just don’t know. The best I could tell studying the determining factors, it has a lot to do with the fact that we don’t have a Walmart. We may not have one, but we will travel over 40 miles one way twice a week to get to one. Locally, in Camden, we just have Piggly Wiggly and Henry’s Red and White. That alone should qualify us on some level.

Other deciding factors included alcohol sales, ammo sales, and graduation rates. I feel pretty sure we made it in on all three. If we didn’t it is because too many people still make their own and reload. But, just for fun, let’s say your car breaks down across the railroad tracks way out on the backside of Coy, Alabama.

Nevermind what you were doing that had you on the far side of Coy for your car to break down in the first place. ‘Every man’s watchman is his conscience.’ But ever how you got there, there is no reason for you to start walking because there is nowhere to walk to. And there is no phone service so there is nobody to call. You can’t update your status or post a picture of your pending doom. It’s just you, the sparkling Alabama River, and the Lord. The best thing you can do is get out of your car and stand there on the side of the road listening for the sound of mud grip tires roaring toward you, because your only hope is that a redneck in a pick-up truck comes along.

Don’t worry about them noticing you. Just stay out of the road and watch for fire ants. If you are standing by the road on the backside of Coy…trust me, they will notice you.

And anything you might need – tools, gas, oil, WD40, cold Coca-Cola, cigarettes, water-proof matches, chains, chain saws, the Bible, fishing rods, rain ponchos, rubber boots, an ax, a shovel, sardines, paper towels, Goody powders, a flash light, or a can of Fix-A-Flat – it’s in that truck.

They may have to dig around a few minutes to find it, but they have it. They will get you back on your way, but not before inviting you to stay for supper, or offering you vegetables from their garden, or fruit from their trees, or telling you so many stories that long after your drive away a part of you still wants to turn around and hurry back.

I just can’t believe we didn’t make the list.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Alabama Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era — https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.