Man at midlife making second half matter

Archive for the category “redneck”

You Know You’re a Redneck When…

…You fly a Confederate flag outside your house and you don’t even live in a true Southern state. This flag flies outside a house just south of Baltimore, in the northern part of Maryland, which is known as the Free State. Though Maryland was a slave state, it was a border state with divided sympathies during the Civil War. Most Marylanders who fought in the Civil War joined the Union (North) army. Still, you would think that with true-blue secessionist states like South Carolina finally deciding to take down Confederate flags outside government institutions and with all the nation’s recent racial strife and tensions, a Northern Maryland resident would have more sensitivity and cultural awareness than to wave this symbol of slavery and oppression.


You Know You’re a Redneck When…

…You erect a structure in your front yard and none of your neighbors have any idea why it’s there or what the hell it possibly could be used for.

To me, this looks like some kind of gymnastics bars training device for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But I’ve yet to see my neighbors doing any bar routines. Any other guesses?

JungleGym (2)


You Know You’re a Redneck When…

…You build a mole hill of a fire pit in your yard just outside your trailer made of scorched cinder block, gravel, dirt and yard debris, with an old oil drum nearby to fuel the flames.

Photo taken in backyard of my summer residence in Ocean View, Delaware, near beach resort where I’m teaching tennis. As my tennis teacher roommate cracked, “We’re surrounded by hillbillies!”


You Know You’re a Redneck When…

You plant a tree that grows 30 feet high in the front seat of a rusted out, dilapidated 1960s convertible in your front yard.


Speaking of redneck, and at the risk of sounding elitist, I’m living in quite a “mixed-use” neighborhood — retirees and blue-collar residents living in mobile and pre-fabricated homes and trailers interspersed with some more traditional, small homes — a couple of miles inland from Bethany Beach, DE for the summer with roommates while I work as a tennis instructor.

As my roommate and tennis teacher colleague says, “We’re surrounded by hillbillies.” The neighbors on one side and in back are constantly burning yard debris, wood, trash and other stuff, sending plumes of smoke drifting in our direction. The neighbor in back makes a fire in what looks like a little volcano made of dirt, gravel, cinder blocks and other construction debris, with a big oil barrel sitting off to the side.

The neighbor on our other side has set up a tent like a gazebo in his driveway where he has chairs and lounges with family in the evening watching cable TV, like camping without having to leave home or go without modern luxuries.

I like my summer neighborhood. It’s peaceful and convenient. It’s also a little slice of American life that provides amusement, especially since I live my “real life” except for this summer job in a place that tightly regulates everything a homeowner can do.

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