Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hill Billy Confessions

I can't remember what it was, but something this afternoon reminded me of an old television show from my childhood. It's one of those things that I'm almost loathe to admit because I have spent most of my life trying to dodge that awful hill billy label, but any potential embarassment is out weighed by how sweet my memories of it are.

When I was little one of my favorite television shows was Hee Haw, a sort of backwoods variety show that pandered to all the worst stereotypes of Southern life. Many was the summer evening that I spent curled up with my Granpa in his old recliner giggling through Hee Haw. We'd each have a big glass of Granny's sweet tea, which was so loaded with sugar that there was a syrup sludge in the bottom of the glass that when slurped over ice cubes was better than any snow cone on the planet. Papa always smelled of chewing tobacco and Irish Spring soap and I can remember him laughing so hard that his eyes would disappear in wrinkles of sun weathered skin.

Miss Minnie Pearl was one of my favorites and I swear that she is the reason I have such a fascination with hats. She'd always greet the audience with a huge, "Howdy!" dressed in a frilly dress and a straw hat with the price tag hanging off the brim.

It was cheesey and hokey, but I just loved it.