My Turn, Whitey Harwood: An issue worth getting worked up about

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Part I

Two weeks ago, I was at a garage getting the oil changed in my truck. This Baptist preacher came in and asked how I was doing. I said, “OK.”

Then he said, “Can I ask you something?” “Sure,” I said.

B.P. (Baptist preacher): “What’s the first thing you think of when you see the Confederate flag?”

Me: “Hank Williams Jr.”

B.P., looking confused: “Why Hank Williams Jr.?”

Me: “Because of that song he wrote and recorded several years ago.”

B.P., with a big grin on his face: “Oh, yeah! ‘If Heaven Ain’t a Lot Like Dixie!’ “

Me, also looking confused — I thought he would’ve picked “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound: being a Baptist preacher an all. “No, the other one,” I said.

B.P. “Which one is that?”

Me: “ ‘If the South Woulda Won.’ “

B.P. “Yeah! If the South woulda won, we’d had it made!”

Me: “Yeah, but we didn’t.”

Part II

B.P.: “So you think the flag should come down?”

Me: Let me ask you some questions and it may not deem necessary to answer yours.”

B.P.: “OK, let me have ‘em.”

Me: “Did we (the South) move the capitol to Montgomery? Is Hank Williams’ picture on a hundred-dollar bill? Is Patsy Cline’s birthday a national holiday? Is the Supreme Court down in Texas?”

B.P.: “I see what you sayin’.”

Me: “So if you want to spend time and energy on something that should either stay up or come down, why don’t you and your church concern yourselves with banning tobacco in Rowan County parks and get all those stupid signs removed at Dan Nicholas Park!”

B.P.: “What signs?”

Part III

This part is made up. But just imagine in the next eight-12 years when the battle flag is retired and sitting in a museum. Rowan County has a museum. Along with the retired flag in South Carolina, those ridiculous, conflicting, hideous, different tobacco signs are on display in the Rowan County museum.

A group of school kids are in there on a field trip and history lesson.

Little Hillary, the class president, says, “I can’t believe people used to smoke and chew that repulsive tobacco in county parks.”

Big Butch, the class bully, while coughing: “My daddy still smokes, but he hides in the house to do it.”

Level-headed Larry Lee — raised as a free-thinker in a smoke-free environment: “I’m just trying to figure out what kind of people was running Rowan County in the year 2015.”

Whitey Harwood is a member of the Hillbilly Hiking Club, based in Rockwell.

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