- Special Sections
- Public Notices
To the editor: In a recent letter to the editor (May 1 issue of the Beacon), Ralph E. McClernan, bless his heart, asks the following question: “Is southern charm real?”
I believe it is. I know because I am a southern belle through and through, and I can be quite charming if I may say so myself; however, I can get meaner than a barrel of snakes if pushed too far, which is sometimes what happens when one of my Yankee friends makes fun of everything I hold dear—my southern family, my redneck friends and my quaint culture.
On a more serious note, I think many southerners would agree we are often reluctant to embrace our fellow Americans from the North because we do not enjoy being ridiculed. Our culture—namely our dialect and local customs—are viewed as backward and we are treated as uneducated people who need saving.
We like things the way they are, though, and do not wish to be rescued. We do not define ourselves by the homes we live in or the cars we drive; instead, we pride ourselves on being honest, hard-working citizens.
I would like to point out that there are many highly educated, prosperous people from the South and Brunswick County, in particular.
I know physicians, attorneys, educators, writers, engineers and businessmen and women who attended Brunswick County schools and worked at the local restaurants and tourist hot spots during the summers.
They were not hindered by their southern charm; in fact, that southern charm helped them obtain those high-paying jobs they now have.
I think they would be offended by the suggestion that if it had not been for their northern brethren, they would still be picking cotton and tobacco.
Naturally, these attitudes cause us to be defensive.
If you really want to experience southern hospitality and charm, then you must accept it for what it is. You can’t change it or, as you imply, make it better because there is nothing wrong with it.
When you try to change us, that is when we refer to you as “damned Yankees.
I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans." Perhaps you should adopt that strategy as a northerner living in the South.