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Dallas Smith's Blog

Reflections on Europe

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At the end of the cruise, there is always the “Captain’s Dinner.” The hotel manager had heard me speaking German with someone. The Slovakian captain was insecure in his English. And so, I was invited to sit next to the Captain at his dinner. On his other side was a German-born American passenger. Basically, the Captain was uncomfortable having to make speeches and schmooze in English with the mostly American passengers.

Reflections on Southern Culture

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International readers of this blog may be unaware of the clichés used to describe lower class people in the Southern states of the US, those states that tried to perpetuate the institution of slavery, leading to the bloody Civil War 1861-1865.  While poor Southerners have generally been more likely to hold racist beliefs, believing themselves to be on a higher social rung than poor blacks, more educated whites have used the pejorative "white trash" or "redneck" to describe this particular lower class mentality.  My friends and I had quite an interesting discussion as to why "rednecks" believe the things they do and exhibit the attitudes commonly associated with them. . .

Southern Culture

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I’ve flown into Atlanta on my way home to Columbus, Georgia, countless times in the last four decades. It’s impossible to arrive again without flashing back to the trips that occurred on the occasion of the deaths of my parents in Jan. 2002 and Dec. 2003. There’s a certain emptiness caused by the fact that though I’m returning “home” to the place where I spent the first eighteen years of my life, that it’s not the same because my parents aren’t there anymore.