Katherine Daniel ~ Editor-in-Chief
There are many things that describe a person, some more than others. In the south, there are certain descriptions that describe everyone. Growing up in the south has made me the southern girl I am. No matter where I go in life, I will always have my southern roots to follow me and a piece of home that is with me. My senior year of high school, I was SO ready to move away and get out of the “boonies” or the “middle of nowhere”, but there will always be a special place in my heart for my southern living. There are many things that make a southerner, a true southerner, but there are many things that every person down south can relate to, and if you know, you know.
- The Accent. I get the question all of the time, “Where are you from?” or “You have the strongest southern accent and it is so beautiful.” You cannot understand how many times I have been asked where I am from and when I tell them where I am from, they look at me with a blank stare and say, “Oh, okay.” Yeah, I know you do not know where that is in Virginia, but can you make it less obvious with your facial expressions? I am so sorry you have never heard of Dundas, VA, or Brunswick County. Usually, I end up having to say I am an hour from Richmond and thirty minutes from Lake Gaston because they know where those places are. A lot of people repeat how I say my words too, but just so you know, I love my southern accent, thank you very much.
- Sweet Tea. Every southerner under the sun loves some sweet tea. It does not matter if it is sweet or unsweetened tea, hot or cold, all southerners love some sort of tea. Tea is like water for us folks; you do a lot with it. Anyone looking for some good sweet tea in Lynchburg, and I mean GOOD sweet tea, go to My Dog Duke’s Diner. Best sweet tea I have had in Lynchburg.
- Southern Slang. The most used word from the southern slang is “y’all.” I love using this word and I happen to say it A LOT. I have been in mid-conversation with some people in class, and when I say that word, they are like, “What is that word?” Like, you have never heard of the word “y’all?” WHAT? Come on now! One of the new words that has become popular is “YEE-YEE!” One of the country singers even made his own brand of clothing with “YEE-YEE!”
- Southern Cooking. Now every southerner is known for their southern cooking. My mother cooks so much food for Thanksgiving and Christmas each year that we end up having leftovers for like three weeks, and I mean LITERALLY three weeks. Some of the favorites on the southern cooking list are cornbread, biscuits and gravy, taters, chicken and dumplings, butter beans, snaps, and mashed potatoes. If you have never had anything I have mentioned above, then come visit me and I will make sure you have tried it all.
- Southern Charm. This one of my favorite things. Being a girl or lady from the south, we look into boys having good manners. It also very attractive when a man has good manners. Manners in general have always been a big and positive thing in the south. Holding doors open for people, saying “yes, ma’am” and “no sir”, and saying “please” and “thank you.” The only problem is, I think it is becoming something of the past and that is very sad.
- Southern Hospitality. In the south, we welcome people into our homes as if they are a part of the family. Even certain friends are considered family because that is the way it is in the south. Not only do we invite people into our homes but we help one another when we need it. Our little town is always helping one another when someone is sick or just had surgery or a death in the family.
- Big Trucks. Every guy and sometimes a few girls have to drive loud, jacked up trucks. They show off their nice trucks in town and to get attention from the ladies. Girls love the trucks as much as the guys do. In high school, we had a truck line at our school, where all the boys would park their trucks side by side. Some of these guys would have almost $50,000-80,000 trucks and yes, some of them did look good.
- Southern Brands. In the south, we all pride ourselves with some of the amazing clothing brands we have. Some people love the Levi jeans and shirts, while others love Vineyard Vines, Southern Marsh, Yee-Yee Brand, Southern Cotton, Lily Pulitzer, Costa, Yeti, and Simply Southern.
- Friday Night Lights. High school football games were one of my favorite things and there is nothing like them. Being under those lights will never get old. It does make you feel old once you come back and see those who are playing now were in middle school when you graduated. I will always wish I could cheer one more game under those lights. I was really the only cheerleader that knew when we were on offense and defense because I was so into football. Some of my favorite memories are from my high school years and I will never forget those memories.
- College Football. In the south, we take football very serious. We love our teams and we support them when they are losing (even if we are pissed they are losing). If you are not at the game, you are having a cookout at your house and watch the games every Saturday.
- Slow Down for the Tractors. Now all southerners should know, slow down for the tractors. I know it is a pain to wait behind those tractors on the road, but please do it. They will eventually pull over for you to go past them once they get to a spot that is decent enough for them to pull over at. As a little girl, I used to ride in those tractors with my dad. Those people on those tractors put in hard work tilling the fields, baling the hay, picking the cotton, and pulling the tobacco. Make sure to be nice to them and be courteous. In Lynchburg, you really do not have to worry about that too much, but where I am from you do.
- Country Music. Now if you are a true southerner, you will LOVE country music. I love me some country music, from old 1980’s country music to now. Some of the country music now is starting to sound more “pop-ish” but I still like some of it. A few of my favorite country music artists are Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, William Hank Jr., Kenny Chesney, Clay Walker, and many more.
Well, I hope y’all enjoyed reading this article and go get your “southerner” on!