Being a proud Georgian is nothing to sneeze at
I’m about to get myself in trouble again. I’m still smarting from the Trump Harrumphs who accuse me of being a leftwing Commie pinko because I’m tired of his whining about losing an election Ronald Reagan would have won in a landslide.
I have also upset a lot of Baptists who inform me I’m destined for hellfire and damnation because I have questioned why Apostle Paul decided 19 centuries ago that women weren’t qualified to be preachers. If I am headed to the netherworld, I no doubt will meet a lot of Methodists there because we think our female ministers can out preach the Baptist guys six days a week and twice on Sunday. Amen.
I am beginning to wonder if all the Trump Harrumphs are Baptists or all the Baptists are Trump Harrumphs, given that both groups seem to be seriously humor-impaired. I have a feeling my mail over the next few weeks will clear up that question for me.
So, into what new pool of hot water am I about to stick my toe? It’s the Great State of Georgia. I love the place passionately and I love to brag about it. That is where I get in trouble. The more I extol its virtues, the more likely people from above the Mason-You-Know-Where line will want to move here and make fun of the way we talk. Those of you born and raised here tell me you want to keep our state lowprofile so émigrés will decide to move somewhere else, like Montana or Canada. (I get those two places mixed up.)
It may be too late. We’ve got close to 11 million folks here already and they seem to keep on coming. And why not? We’ve got the Blue Ridge Mountains to the north and the Golden Isles to the south. In between, there is Augusta National and the Little White House and Callaway Gardens and more state parks than you can shake a fishing rod at.
We’ve got the Vidalia Onion and we produce some of the best olive oil anywhere. (I’ll bet you didn’t know that.) We’ve got azaleas and pecan orchards and barbecue and a flagship university that has produced two back-to-back National Football Champions and the last I looked, 25 Rhodes Scholars. And did I mention the greatest state song in the history of the world, “Georgia on my Mind,” as sung by Ray Charles Robinson, of Albany, Georgia?
But wait! There’s more! Did you know that we rank fifth among all states when it comes to being concerned about our health? According to a firm called Great Green Health Wall, we go to Google regularly to assess our well-being. That includes clicking on “sinusitis” 13,266 times in a month. (Okay, so maybe we do have a little pine pollen on occasion. I never said we were perfect.) At least we aren’t like Maryland, where their citizens looked up “canker sore” 10,858 times in a month. Could be their crabs or maybe it’s being too close in proximity to Washington, D.C.
Because health is part of our wealth, plus all the other good things going on in our state, you may be concerned that even more people who wouldn’t know a mess of collards from a stack of flea collars may want to move here. If so, then you need to know this: You just might be the problem.
A recent survey of 3,000 travelers, commissioned by Gunther Kia, a Fort Lauderdale car dealer, finds that we are among the friendliest and most welcoming people in the U.S. To quote from the survey, “Georgians are known for their down-to-earth nature and generous spirit, which often manifests in friendly greetings and a readiness to help others. Also, many of the state’s community-oriented ways of life also seem to resonate with travelers. A strong sense of camaraderie and togetherness exists in small towns and big cities alike.” Bless your heart.
Bottom line: When it comes to Trump Harrumphers and Biblethumpers, I will own that. As far as the influx of newcomers who talk funny coming here and telling us we talk funny, this one is on you. I would suggest the next time some out-of-towner plays on your down-to-earth nature and generous spirit which often manifests in friendly greetings and all that other stuff, you recommend they check out Montana or Canada instead. Tell them that here in Georgia, we all suffer from terminal sinusitis. Then sneeze on them. That should do the trick.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.