A little hootin’ and hollerin’

There is more to a southerner than their stereotypes


photo by Peyton Sutch

Junior Blake Grose admires his truck as he sits on the back of his tailgate. Grose takes pride in his country lifestyle and could not imagine any other kind of life.

Doing maintenance on an old 1968 Chevrolet C10 pickup in the garage on a Sunday morning, going hunting with the whole family, and doing it all dressed in cowboy boots; city-folk assume this is every redneck’s typical weekend. Junior Blake Grose considers himself a southerner. His decked out Ford F-150 with a lift and blacked out rims is twice the size of most cars in the parking lot. 

Since he was 10, Grose has been driving combines on his grandparents’ property in Oklahoma. His whole family drives trucks to haul equipment and boats, especially diesel trucks. Grose grew up driving trucks and likes the height of his truck which is why he chooses that vehicle over a standard car.  

“The best thing about living in the country is doing your own thing with no annoying neighbor telling you what you can and cannot do,” Grose said.

Although they may be considered part of the redneck culture, seniors Alyssa Bradley and Savannah Miller have never been hunting before but Miller hopes to go with her boyfriend soon. Usually when people go hunting, they go together in large groups with family members. 

While Bradley and Miller have never gone hunting, sophomore Brandi Heckle can say she is an avid fan of country music — another southern essential.

Country music is stereotypically associated with beer, mud, hunting and fishing, things that tend to be popular amongst rednecks.

“Country music is part of my upbringing and is something that I love to listen to,” Heckle said.

Having been to multiple country concerts, such as Dan+Shay and Miranda Lambert, Miller has created significant memories with family and friends. She loves the feeling country music gives off and the meaning behind the lyrics of the songs which is what makes this genre so special for her.

“You may not be affiliated with anything country but for me personally, I like listening to lyrics more than just the song,”  Miller said.

While southerners share some traits, not all rednecks dress in cowboy boots, a flannel and drive a huge truck either. Heckle wears camo when she goes hunting but finds herself in a pair of leggings and a hoodie on a normal day. Miller owns a pair of cowboy boots and has some camo clothing but, like Heckle, does not wear them regularly. The girls have their own southern qualities but choose to dress more like the other people at school. Their love for their lifestyle may not be shown by the way they dress but Miller and Heckle love the redneck life that they would not change or swap for another.

One piece of common ground for southerners, however, is a dedication to family. Their traditions hinge on it, whether it is going on family hunting trips or sharing dinners together. 

“Redneck culture is very family oriented because we love our culture and want our kids [and] family to feel that same love,” Heckle said.

The redneck culture involves everyone in their family and usually, these families live close to each other or sometimes even on the same property.

“Family is very important to me because we go through everything, also I have learned so much from them,” Grose said. 

Miller and Bradley are also very involved with their family because they serve as a leading example of right from wrong, proven the importance of relationships and personal connections. 

“Redneck culture is surrounded by family because that is a very important ideal in most southern families. Family is the most important thing we have,” Bradley said. 

Despite the positive aspects of southern culture, the stereotype still creates its fair share of misconceptions. When people think of rednecks, they usually think of trailer parks and low class, even though most southerners don’t necessarily fit this description. 

“I think ‘redneck’ is just an adjective used to describe someone who’s not afraid of getting dirty. It’s not necessarily an offensive word, but I feel there’s a limited group of people that fit into the redneck lifestyle,” Miller said.

Even through a redneck’s thick southern accent, someone can hear how they care about their family and friends. No matter how bad a stereotype may bash a southerner, those words may not always be true. There’s more to a redneck than just a “yeehaw” or a sweet tea drinker driving down a dirt road blasting country music.