March 12, 2014
If you knew the place, it wasn”t surprising the moonshine runners came from there, and later turned into NASCAR. Hopped-up flathead mill, tank of bust-head corn in the trunk, flying through the Tennessee night with the damn federals after them. Back then, like now, Washington didn”t want people to drink what they wanted or smoke what they wanted. They was always sticking their long possum noses where they didn”t belong. And not just in the South. They”d invade anybody they”d ever heard of. Mexico in 1846 and 1916, Spain in 1898, Europe in 1917, on through Iraq and Yemen, wherever that is, and Afghanistan and I don”t know where all. Anything but mind their own business.
And now we got another Yankee president from Chicago messing with the whole country, turning America into Russia. That sort of thing never did set too well below Mason and Dixon’s Line.
Piety quiz: Which of the following in the decades before the Civil War said over and over that he wanted to send all the black folks to Africa? (1) Susan Anthony (2) Pallas Athena (3) Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst (4) Abraham Lincoln. Hint….
But enough about Washington, the world’s central deposit of oleaginous purity. Let’s talk about cars. Dixie was a car culture from when it first got the chance. It still is. I remember when, come summer, at umpty-dozen tracks the night howled and yowled and roared as muscle cars raced, taching high and sometimes blowing rods but things don”t always turn out perfect. In the stands they drank beer out of paper cups and hollered for Jimmy Jack or Joe Bob to take the lead. It was their place in the world and they were doing what they liked with people they liked and there were no damn feds telling them they had to put catalytic converters on the racecars. Yet.
That was something the South always liked. Being left the hell alone.
On the weekends of races at Road Atlanta, from all over the South, from little towns like Farmville, Virginia, trailers and motor homes towing racecars streamed in. They”d set up and bring out the toolboxes and start prepping for the races the next day. Wives and girlfriends would help and everyone hollered greetings at new arrivals.
The wives and girlfriends were real women and seemed to think being a woman was a good thing. Men thought it was a good thing, that’s for sure. It was like there were two kinds of people, men and women, instead of just one. It’s a novel concept, I reckon. But we liked it. And they were just nice. You could easy tell a Southern gal from a menopausing crocodile. Up North, you”d need a DNA test.
Anyway, half the crowd already knew each other and the others didn”t have to because it was a common culture and if you had a racecar, you were in.
Greasy-purity quiz: “I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” (1) George Wallace (2) David Duke (3) Nathan Bedford Forrest (4) Abraham Lincoln.
Uh-huh. The Great Emancipator. Himself. How I do love goodness.