Friday, October 5, 2007

Are Southerners bad for Nascar? Of Course they are!

Note: This was originally posted May 15, 2007.

No pic again this week. I know, I'm getting lame. First of all, I have nothing against you folks from the North at all. I'm half Northern myself! My mom was from Connecticut. I've been to that great state, as well as Massachussetts many times. My favorite spot in the world has to be the point off of Loblolly Cove in Rockport, Ma.

I Love the Northeast of the USA. It's a special place, and people there are unique. Places like Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washinton, DC. Places farther north, Nashua, NH, Portland ME. They're all great places.

Lately I overheard a conversation in a local restaurant by some visitors that apparently were making the move to my beloved South though.

"I hear racing is a big deal around here, so is football"

"I hear that if you don't wear a ball cap at church you'll get beaten to death."

"I heard that if you don't go kiss the Petty Rock at Darlington, you'll be raped by dudes from the backwoods"

I'm not kidding, I overheard this conversation by 3 ladies in their late 50's or early 60's at a popular local restaurant. They were apparently on their way to a new home near my home, the Upstate of SC.

Let me explain. For those of you have never been to South Carolina, it's a small state. The smallest in the South, I'm guessing. My state is basically divided into 3 regions. The Coastal area contains such cities as Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Beaufort, and Hilton Head. If you play golf or love the ocean, you know about these cities already.

Next is the Midlands. The capitol of our state is in Columbia. Also qualifying as Midland region areas are places such as Florence and Darlington. Darlington has a major racetrack. Years ago, so did places like Columbia and Myrtle Beach.

I live in the highest region of the state, the Upstate of SC. We have mountains here. We have beautiful lakes and rivers. I can drive literally 7 miles from my house and be on a beautiful lake. Some of you might live closer to lakes, but you can't beat the bass fishing on Lake Hartwell. It's hard to beat the boating, especially sail boating on this lake either.

Believe it or not, in the Upstate region, although we have some hot, humid summers, we also have snow and ice in the winters, and enjoy a full 4 seasons of the year.

What's special for the Nascar fan is that we have red dirt clay here. Places like Greenville, SC, Charlotte, NC, South Boston VA, and other towns all over the Piedmont, as we call it, are the birthplace of what we now call Nascar today.

Bill France Sr. sat down and talked to some folks called the Blackwell family in or around 1949. Greenville-Pickens Speedway was born, and up until the 1970's, was still a major race track for the people like Petty, Pearson, Yarborough, and even a guy named Ralph Earnhardt. A lot of race teams still race there before they run Martinsville, because the flat corners of GPS give the teams a good test.

I live in the cradle region of Nascar, and I'm proud of it. Nascar began in and around places like where I live. I'm proud of that.

Most of the time, I deal with people with accents that obviously were not acquired around here. Most of my neighbors lived in the Northeast, or at least the North. One of my best friends is from a town about 1.5 miles from the Canadian border in Minnesota.

He's a great guy, but to me he talks funny. Some of you people say that about us too, I've heard.

I've read about 100 jabs at Dale Earnhardt Jr. today. He talks funny. Funny to whom? He talks like a redneck. If you'd lived in this sun all your life, would your neck not be red? He couldn't manage a McDonalds. I don't know about that either, but he does manage a mult-million dollar company that runs Busch and Late Model cars every week. I don't know that I could manage a McDonalds either, since I probably wouldn't speak the language that most of my employees speak. Jaun Pablo Montoya could, but I couldn't. I'm sure all of them are here legally though, right?

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