Recently my wife and I have become hillbillies. Maybe. If you live in an RV, park by the swamp, have a white truck, and own a straw hat, then maybe you are. I know my neighbors are. Maybe I'm one too. I might be the only one in the camp ground celebrating the Biblical Feasts, wearing tzitt-zits, or blowing a shofar, but, I think I've become a hillbilly and there's nothing wrong with that in my estimation.
I've also been working at a tour guide company, learning the amazing stories about Savannah, Georgia from the Historical Society as well as others who have lived there all of their life. There are pretender tour guides, like me, who wander in from the wiley wastelands of rural Indiana and set up shop. We can only pretend to presume any sort of sway with the local crowd, and instead, ply our wares of junk knowledge on the unsuspecting tourist from Maine.
However, being immersed, as I have been, in deep Georgia life, I find myself not being a local, but able to think like one, and have come to hate the idea of more of my type moving here and gentrifying the place. I believe that I've been moved into more and more of an "us vs. them" mind-set, being closed off and moving far away from the new US Democrat "woke" message of all of us are the same, just from different places of the globe. the message that all of us space-monkeys just need to get along in the new matriarchy, in this brave new world.
Interestingly that both becoming both a hillbilly and a historian have moved me deeper and more away from the "New America" into an older and more cultured mindset. Instead of a mish-mash of cultures, I now see and appreciate all cultures in their own right. Is one culture more important than another? No, most certainly not. But they are indeed different. There can be no melody culture upon culture, but there most certainly can be harmony.
Back into the past, back into a simpler more narrowed culture I go. Appreciative of all cultures, but shunning the integration of one upon another, much like I shun the idea of my Banana Pudding touching my Collard Greens. I don't mind if the greens touch my Macaroni and Cheese, but I'll let my stomach mix them, not my mouth. I don't want, I don't need the mixing, and, on a whole, it's not good for the overall taste.
Give me the Gullah Geechee stories. Give me their culture as equal to the Irish Stevedore. Give me the tradition of the Caribbean brickmason and the Scottish farmer. If there's one thing I've learned from Savannah, Georgia - All men are equal and worthy of the respect of their heritage.