While traveling through this great land for the holidays, I stopped at a gas station in southern Tennessee to refuel and purchase the requisite snacks and 5-Hour Energy to artificially sustain my waning alertness. The lines for the gas pumps were 2 and 3 cars deep and the store was packed with people. On my way out a short man in the 55-65 demographic looked me straight in the eye and said “Good afternoon, sir.” I’ve seen the look and heard this type of delivery many times before, thinking it would be followed with a story of loss and subsequent need.
If you have spent any time in the hills of Tennessee or Kentucky, the people have a certain look and way about them and this gentleman fit that description perfectly. His thick country accent native to this region, his worn jeans, boots, and jean jacket, his weathered face, his trucker-style hat sitting proudly and lightly atop his head, and his kind and polite approach were a testament to his origins. In other words, he appeared to be a local. Continue reading