This year the term "good ole boy" has been maligned. Politicians have hijacked that term and defined it as corrupt. Emails and comments on this blog accuse me of being a good ole boy. Frankly, I hope I am one.
Having actually grown up in a rural town in South Carolina and living in one now, I can tell you the politicians have it wrong. A good ole boy volunteers for the local fire department or for local charities. A good old boy is a guy you can count on. For example, a man might say that after he lost his job, "Frankie loaned me $500 to pay my mortgage." The response would be "Yeah, that Frankie, he is a good ole boy."
Good ole boys in the South are Black, Hispanic and White. Good ole boys tend to work hard for their money, believe in traditional values, like their guns and hunting, and try their best to do what's right. Good ole boys take care of their families and look after their neighbors. They do not have the time to hate and plot like politicos do. Good ole boys are too busy trying to the right thing.
Some good ole boys are religious. Some are not. Some good ole boys drink too much, some don't drink at all. Good ole boys like barbecue, college football and mama's fried chicken. Good ole boys don't like big government, but they want the government that they do have to be able to work for the people. Good ole boys will be there when you need them, and they don't care about how much money you have, who you work for, or yes, what color your skin is.
Though we good ole boys come up short, we were taught things about doing right, never taking advantage of the weak, looking after widows, and standing up for what we believe in.
That was the definition of good ole boy I learned growing up. I grew up around great men. My grandpa and my dad, and men, both black and white, I worked for or had as coach or scoutmaster, who are still heroes to me and they all were good ole boys.
As a boy, I went to sleep with an attic fan and smells of a Southern Summer. I fished and followed the Braves and was taught to respect my elders and the sacrifices that they made in wars. I hauled hay and worked in a cotton mill. From that I learned who good ole boys really were. I wonder sometimes if any of the political professionals who so malign that term every opened a bale of cotton or put a bale of hay on a truck.
Country music singer Don Williams sums it up with this song. It does beg the question, what do you do with good ole boys like me?