Friday, September 10, 2010

In a hillbilly hole

It may be tough for me to post on a frequent basis as I have less than a month to prepare my paper for presentation at the SCA Conference and there is a great deal of work left to be done. One thing that I've noticed lately is that once you tune into something, it seemingly pops up everywhere. In this instance hillbillia seems to be everywhere I look. The History Channel has run their show about hillbillies twice recently. By accident I stumbled upon Robert Mitchum's story of a tragic moonshine runner "Thunder Road" on TCM the other night. For years my dad has quoted the classic line "that don't hurt the workin' of it none" he claims was from that movie. I must have missed it. Just yesterday the paper said that contoversial minister in Gainesville looked like "Jed Clampett with a Hulk Hogan mustache" and that horrible "Beverly Hillbillies" remake is all over HBO right now. Then on the way to lunch, one of those sign holding guys was standing next to Colonial Drive advertising a Halloween costume store. His get-up? Why of course he chose the hillbilly outfit.

Some Florida hillbilly imagery from Hernando, FL

From the Archives of Orange County Regional History Center


  1. *Thunder Road*! You know, the event on which the movie was based took place on Kingston Pike, in Knoxville, at the foot of Bearden Hill. My father would start singing the song every time we drove toward it on Papermill Road.

    (Sorry to be hijacking your comments with my cornpone nostalgia trips -- I can't help myself.)

  2. Meg- Did you know Robert Mitchum wrote the story? And they wanted to cast Elvis in it but the Colonel wanted too much money... sounds like a part of you misses the South?

  3. Good luck on the paper (and presentation)!

    I've enjoyed reading about hillbilly mythology. Since I never lived in a part of the country where this stereotyping is prevalent, I know it mostly from movies and TV.

    BTW, I am off to the Thomas Center this afternoon for some meetings and I plan to do some pictures to include in a post about the Asian Festival.