I believe that I have a typical Southern family history, as does my wife. We both have parents raised in small, Southern towns where they had deep roots with their parents or families making a living by farming. Our families have ties to specific locations in the South (mine in Mississippi and Arkansas, herís in Texas and Oklahoma) where generations have lived and farmed the land. We can go to these small towns and visit the local cemetery and see generations of ancestors buried in the communities where they lived.
I have such a connection to my family, my family history, and the country that they have lived and died on that it truly is a part of my being. I openly admit that I have let this connection influence my decisions on my work career. I refuse to leave Dixie in the pursuit of better positions that would bring more money and prestige. Whenever an opportunity has presented itself, the question that rises up before, "what is the position," or, "how much does it pay," is the question, "where is this job?"
Iíve turned down opportunities that, financially, would be huge leaps, but would require my children to be raised in a strange land, losing contact with their homeland and growing up without the benefit of a Southern accent. These things I could not stand. My family has been in the South since prior to the American Revolution, I could not abandon her simply for money. I donít see the Christian influence on the communities of the north or west like I do in the South. I have an adventurous spirit, but it is a loyal spirit as well. A spirit that is fed by driving across the Southland and seeing the beauty that is Dixie.
I have tried to explain my feelings to a friend of mine who is from Northern Ireland. He is Catholic, but an only child from a broken home. I thought he could understand the feelings of occupation and violation of the right of self determination, but it was lost on him. I realized that my friend came from a big city (Belfast) and moved to a bigger city (New York) for 8 years before moving to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. His mentality is the same as so many Iíve come across in this metroplex, whether they be transplanted Yankees or Southerners who have bought into the Big Lie of the North, which is "why would anyone want to separate from the United States and go backwards?"
These big city types are too dependent on companies providing jobs and the employer and big government controlling their lives. They arenít in touch with a past of real freedom that includes self employment, open spaces and less government. The majority of Southerners have traditionally had a love of these three things and they are the foundations of the Republic the founding fathers gave us. I have held on to these ideas that were passed down to me by my parents and grandparents. I plan to pass them on to my children and grandchildren.
Nothing is sweeter than to be living in the South, surrounded by Southern accents, raising my children in Dixie, going to a church that preaches the word of God without modifying it to match the mood of the day. Money may be able to alleviate some ills, but it truly canít buy happiness, and if I have to leave Dixie to get something, it probably isnít worth having.
February 3, 1999