Perhaps because I grew up "country," I just love rural people. They're friendly, simple, down-to-earth, honest, hardworking, lovers of the land, resilient, trusting and curious but not too suspicious of city folks. I miss hearing, "How y'all folks doing; Y'all come back to see us, now." "Where y'all folks from?" Passersby would wave or honk their horn. A gentleman would bow his head or tip his hat. I can still feel those firm, hardy handshakes (hugs were not in vogue then). And how about those wide, toothy grins which are so typical of country folks?
Living in an environment with not too many people close by gave us the opportunity to create our own fun. We were quick to laugh, giggle, joke, play, and entertain ourselves. I was fortunate to have a lot of brothers and sisters so I endured few lonely moments.
One of the main things I like about growing up country is the friendliness of rural people. Race wasn't much of a factor. Even before the pre-civil rights era, hostility among rural people was not evident. Neighbors would wave, stop and help in an emergency, and were generally kind and courteous.
The other day, my sisters and I were laughing and joking about how (when we were kids), we never had locks on our doors and how we could go away from home, leave the doors and windows wide open and no one would ever think about going into our house. "Today," she said, "they'll break into your house and you can be in there."
We reminisced about how much times have changed. And even though things are different now, and it is doubtful that we will ever go back to that simple, down-to-earth manner of living, I am grateful that fond memories are a gift that warm my heart of those wonderful, bygone years. From my "country" heart to yours.
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