Hey George, I hate to have tell you this son, but they’re talking bad about you out to the deer camp. That’s real bad. When you’ve lost the deer-camp-boys you’re in big trouble around here.
You see, these are the real good ol’ boys, the one’s who make up the backbone in this part of the woods. They’re the ones who build the houses, sell the insurance, install the plumbing and fix your air conditioner when it goes on the blink. They’re just regular, hard working Joe’s trying to make life a little better and get ahead. And up to now they’ve done pretty good. Many of them own their own businesses and are members of the chamber and pay a lot of taxes a lot of taxes. And a whole bunch of them read the papers and keep up with what’s going on in the world.
George, they’re a calling you a liar. Yep, they are. And if it’s one thing they don’t cotton to, it’s a liar George. They know liars; they’ve had liars for employees and dealt with liars in trying to do businesses. “Cain’t’ trust a liar” just about sums it up around here George.
Now, if you’re a known liar we’d give you a nod in passing, but we wouldn’t stop to talk. We’d try to be sociable enough if forced to be around you, but we’d leave as soon as possible. Out at the deer camp we’d mostly try and leave you out of the conversation, but if your name came up we’d all give each other that look that says; “yea, we know about dealin’ with him.”
That’s bad George. Real bad–real hard to get over around here, George.
I guess it’s partly cause we come from pioneer stock. Most of our people moved here from Tennessee and Alabama, and before that Georgia and the Carolinas and some from Virginia. We come from a long line of survivors George. Only the survivors got this far. They survived by their wits and hard, honest work, with a little luck thrown in. Excuse’ me for saying so but they also learnt’ real early how to separate the chicken salad from the chicken s**** George. They watched out for what people did rather than pay too much attention to what they said. Their Grandpas taught em’ that.
And, oh yea, these ol’ boys, they really don’t like being played for a fool when they’ve kindly given you the benefit of the doubt. On a scale of one to ten George, that’s a ten.
Yep, deer-camp-boys are proud of their roots and try and hold on to the old ways, as much as they can nowadays. They know the understanding and teachings of their Granny’s come hard learned. They’re hardscrabble folk George, and they judge a man by his handshake, the honesty in his eye and the sincerity in his voice. They’re nice enough when you first meet, that’s the way their Mama’s raised them, but they don’t really take you in till you’ve proved yourself. You know that puddin’ George, its proof tells the tale.
Well, guess that’s about it friend. Just thought I’d pass this along in case you was interested. Cause when you loose the deer-camp-boys around here George, there ain’t much left.
Dr. JOHN BOMAR, a veteran of the Vietnam War, is a Catholic Lay Minister in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org