Welcome to a new feature here at the Carpetbagger! When visiting the Abita Mystery House in Abita Springs, LA the curator John Preble had suggested to me that I start a Hillbilly Roadside attraction here in the mountains. Now, I don't have a pile of kickstarter money, so I am going to start with a virtual version of such. I am creating the official Hillbilly Hall of Fame.
The criteria for entrance is simple.
- You must be a Hillbilly. This is not a Redneck Hall of Fame (Although that is an idea). All inductees must fit at at least a loose embodiment of what the general public finds as a "Hillbilly".
- You must not be a fictional character. A Hillbillies inducted must be real people. My apologies to Jed Clampett.
- You must do something that makes you stand out. This came be virtually anything as long as it is impressive.
- Beards are not a requirement, but they do help
Moonshining is one of the hallmarks of Hillbilly culture. Popcorn Sutton is the world's most famous moonshiner. Popcorn also embodies the defiance of Southern Culture as he battled the federal government. Her took great pride in embodying the Hillbilly life style. He spoke of being one of the last of the true Mountain people. He made the deicion to take his own life instead of going to prison on Moonshining
Simply a legend. Ches's life story is more interesting then most fictional characters. Ches was best known for traveling across America with an old railroad car pulled by a heard of Goats. Ches was a preacher who used his odd persona to draw him people. To me he embodies the non comformity and fee spirit that goes with being a "Hillbilly".
When people hear the word "Hillbilly", the word "Deliverance" often comes to mind. Deliverance is a movie that defined how much of the nation saw the South. The villians of the movie were two nameless Hillbillies that assaulted a group of vacationing businessmen from Atlanta and anally raped him. The phrases "Squeal like a Pig" and "You got a purdy mouth" still send chills down people's spines. Herbert was the man who spoke the line about the "Purdy Mouth". Herbert did not just play a Hillbilly, he is also a Hillbilly in real life. He was simply a local picked out for his unique look. He is quite a character and is known locally for his trained squirrel that goes everywhere with him. For a time Herbert used his star power to advertize his booth at a local flea market.
Free speech is something we all cherish, but that doesn't stop it from scaring us every once in awhile. Dent Meyers is a man from a different time, possibly a different century. He is unrepentant in his love for the confederacy and still claims allegiance to Jefferson Davis. Old Dent is not a one note pony. His affable nature is almost as disarming as he collection of racist memorabilia that he displays. He does not trust the federal goverment or doctors and believes strongly in holistic medicine, that he sells in his shop. He is also well known for carrying two loaded guns with him at all time. A fascinating and confusing character study of a man.
I would love to here anyone else's suggestions or nominees for the Hillbilly Hall of Fame.
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