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21 Reasons You're A True Hillbilly

You've eaten squirrel. You've shat in many an outhouse. And you've shot guns. Many guns.

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"Hillbilly" is of course in today's world, a pejorative word.

But, most of us hillbillies wear the label with pride, a big pride flatlanders can't understand.

Though I've been in New York City for 20+ years, and actually grew up in Southern New Jersey, I am still a hillbilly, because I came from hillbillies. And, I will always be a hillbilly, dagnabbit.

Now, let's take a country road to West Virgina.

2. You learned how to fire a minimum of four guns by the age of 12: BB, .22, 12-gauge, and an assortment of pistols.

family photos

My 17-year-old mom coolly blasting away in the snow down in the holler.
13-year-old me taking shots with a .22 at Hills Bros. coffee cans.


3. Guns are simply a part of life. Hunting (along with fishing) are two of your main sources for dinner. And not merely because of money, though that's a big reason. It's how you live.

5. You've not eaten skunk, but you know folk who have.

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14. Your Grandfather was a coal miner, as were/are many of your relatives. Your Grandfather and maybe a few other relatives died of black lung disease.

B. Anthony Stewart / Via

Not my Grandfather.

Portrait of a coal miner in Omar, West Virginia, 1938.

Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart, National Geographic.


21. Finally, this will always make a grown Hillbilly man cry.

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