March 3, 2018: Red Clay and Redneck-ery


You might be a redneck if…you have a hefty bag for a passenger window.

You might be a redneck if…the directions to your house include “turn off the paved road.”

-Jeff Foxworthy

My first car.

I started driving long before I had a vehicle of my own, somewhere around 11 or 12 years old. I never knew this was a questionable parenting choice until I moved away to college and shared “my first time driving” memory with a friend (who was not from the midwest) and she was appalled. The drives weren’t much more than a few miles long. I’d go to church, one of my uncles places, or my grandparents (always with a parents supervision).  I never left a dirt road. It’s a pretty common practice in the country to teach your kids young. I could make a few guesses as to why that is, but that’s neither here nor there for the purposes of todays post.

When I thought of that it made me question if that little fact about myself made me a redneck? Thus, the Foxworthy jokes above. When I found those two, my redneck-ery was in fact confirmed as BOTH are true of me (along with about 1/3 of the other 98 listed).

You might be asking yourself, what’s a country girl to drive (once she can legally do so).

My first car was a white early 90’s model Mercury Sable. Eventually it had an “ombre” effect when the bottom half was dyed red brown from the clay I drove on every day (queue the joke…”turn off the paved road”). There was a periwinkle blue pinstripe down the side and it had an interior that matched. No really, the ENTIRE interior was periwinkle blue: seats, dashboard, steering wheel, carpets, the whole shebang!

Despite its grandma appeal it was a BEAST! Especially when winter rolled around and I got to put on my snow tires with spiked ball bearings embedded in the rubber (only after mid November, lets not rack up any more infractions). Once, after sliding off the road into a four foot deep ditch, I miraculously drove straight out and back on the road.

It was at this point I decided it needed a proper name. He was christened “Hoss.” (IF you don’t know who that is, I’m going to need you to IMDB Bonanza.) Since then I’ve made it a point to name my vehicles after pioneer men. My second car, a 2007 HHR, was named Almonzo. (IF you don’t know who that is, I’m going to need you to check out the Little House Series from the library.) My current car, a 2017 Sorento, is named Sully. (If you don’t know who THAT is, I’m going to need you to put Dr. Quinn on your Amazon Prime Watchlist…and maybe get a drool cup ready.)

Let’s get back to the jokes.

I lived several miles past where the paved roads ended. I loved it. I loved that I could visit many relatives and quite a few friends and never once glimpse concrete. You’re wanting to know less about this and more about the hefty bag, aren’t you?

To be honest there are two inaccuracies in the joke, as it relates to me. One, I don’t know if it was a Hefty bag. I doubt it as it’s a little “name-brand” for our tastes. Two, it wasn’t the passenger window, it was the rear windshield.

One morning I was rushing, as is usual even to this day. I ran down the porch steps, across the lawn, and jumped into the drivers seat. I slammed the door shut and…CRASH!! The entire thing collapsed in and shattered over the back seat. I obviously couldn’t drive it into school in such a state and had to call my preacher (nearest neighbor, the other two were teachers and already at school) to drive me in. To this day, I have no idea what happened to that glass. Our best guess was a hunters bullet (it was deer season after all). We thought perhaps it went astray and glanced off a corner just right. The slamming of the door was just the jostle it needed to shatter. So, trash bags and duct tape (the every man fix) were employed to get it into the shop.

Hoss and I held a exclusive relationship all the way through my sophomore year of college. But as it turned out he was a country boy right down to his clay stained undercarriage. The three hour drives into the city eventually did him in. I put him out to pasture and moved on to my next first, buying a car.

Enter Almonzo.

I’ll tell you more about him later. (I wont make you endure more than one first per post.)

But for right now I’ll leave you with the new joke I’m drafting for Foxworthy’s repertoire.

You might be a redneck’ve ever lost a car window to deer season.

-Until we meet again.


The original Koch homestead founded over 125 years ago.



4 thoughts on “March 3, 2018: Red Clay and Redneck-ery

  1. Mary Sears says:

    Love the story. You might be a redneck, if your sister broke her key off in the ignition and had a hole in the floorboard like Fred Flintstone. I thought you could get in the car, turn the ignition, and drive anywhere. I was 4. Haha.


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