Last Redneck in the Woods

You’ve never really been outdoors until you’ve been blessed to hear the gentle and drunken midnight-laughter of a gaggle of rednecks in the woods.pabst

Now I realize that if you have spent much time in the wilderness then you have probably stumbled upon the remains of a redneck circle and might have been disgusted at what you saw.  Tell tale signs of a redneck circle may include such items (but not limited to) Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, spent shotgun shells, rifle casings, dried vomit and empty containers of assorted propellants.  But let’s not leap to judgment here.

After reading both Richard Louv’s book, “Last Child in the Woods,” and Pearl Buck’s classic, “The Good Earth,” last year I began to grow ever more grateful for my redneck roots.  Apparently, those of us who spend unfettered and unsupervised time in the wild learn to appreciate it much more.  Those people also end up being much more likely to defend and care for it.  Well, rednecks get their red necks from living outdoors.  I knew the wild before I knew the awkward anxieties of puberty or the doldrums of adolescence.  I knew the wild while it was still enchanted.  Every redneck did.

I might have left a few shotgun shells and broken high school calculus text books lying about carelessly, but it has not been difficult to divest myself of such behavior.  What the redneck has of much greater value is an affection for the outdoors.  “Get out of the house!” barked from an angry mother bear to her redneck cubs should be translated, “Go and explored the unbounded grace and beauty of mother nature.”

We need these redneck champions of the wild to instruct us.  For so many kids today the only bark they here is, “Go to your room!”  And this only means it is time for ipods, earbuds and personal gaming devices.  The least you can do is take a lesson from the redneck.  The next time you drink make it a Pabst, and do it in your front yard (feel free to recycle the can).

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