Ad Spot

Nuttin’ could be finer in ‘Carolina

Do you know where you’re from?

Are you proud of those roots?

I am.

It’s great being from North Carolina – that beautiful valley located between two mountains of deceit.

The Old North State…where Orville and Wilbur Wright made history on a wind-blown December day in 1903 by becoming the first to maintain flight in a heavier than air machine. I was on the Outer Banks with my family a couple of weeks ago and we made a trip to the Wright Brothers Memorial in an effort to educate my seven-year-old grandson Brody about that famous and history—making first flight…..just in case a decision is made to stop teaching North Carolina History (which they may have already done).

It’s in North Carolina where in a span of about seven hours one can go from sticking their toes in the Atlantic Ocean to filling their nose with the thin air atop Grandfather Mountain.

It’s a diverse state with plenty of eye-pleasing attractions from Manteo to Murphy and all points in-between.

It’s the home of Andy, Opie and Aunt Bee.

It’s the home of towering pine trees and world famous for its peanuts and tobacco.

But how do you know if you’re really a true North Carolinian at heart? I’m glad you asked.

My late, great “cuzin” (on my mama’s side) Billy Joyner left me this list a long, long time ago. It deals with how you can tell if someone is a native of North Carolina. The following are perfect examples:

You completely understand the difference between barbecue and barbeque. Barbecue is pork, grilled to perfection, seasoned with either a vinegar (eastern style) or tomato (western style) based sauce, pulled from the bone or finely chopped and served with ‘taters, slaw, cornbread and tea sweeter than a baby’s bottom. Barbeque is known around these parts as a metal or gas grilling device.

You can properly pronounce Ahoskie, Chinquapin, and Conetoe.

It’s perfectly acceptable to refer to Pilot Mountain as “Mount Pilot.”

Breakfast food is an ice-cold R-C and a Moon Pie (a Honey Bun is okay). A bowl of grits, covered in butter, and a biscuit, complete with red-eye gravy, is breakfast fit for a king. True North Carolinians will know how to test grits for perfect consistency (stick a spoon upright in the middle of the bowl and see if it remains in place).

You think people who complain about the heat in their states are sissies.

You know that the true value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door, but by the availability of shade.

North Carolina stores don’t have bags or shopping carts, they have sacks and buggies.

You’ve seen people wear bib overalls at weddings and funerals…perhaps in the same day.

You measure distance in minutes….or it’s simply “over yonder.”

For lunch, a ‘nana sandwich, smothered in mayo, or a simple ‘mater sandwich, also gobbed with mayo, is all you need. One of grandma’s breakfast biscuits with a thick slice of country ham will do for dessert. Wash it down with a tall glass of sweet tea – aka the house wine of the South.

You know Coke tastes better in the little bottles and that a bag of salted peanuts poured in makes it even better.

You have two opinions about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – either you went there and loved it or despite that particular shade of blue.

Your school took a field trip to the State Fair in Raleigh.

You would elect Richard Petty or Ric Flair for governor if either ever ran.

You skipped school or work to go to Dale Earnhardt’s memorial service.

A toboggan is a knit cap, not a sled.

When you’re traveling out of state, people ask if you’re from Mayberry.

Most men in your community consider the first day of deer season a national holiday.

Your idea of a traffic jam is 10 cars waitin’ to pass a farm tractor.

You know more about ACC basketball than professional basketball.

You think South Carolina was dead weight well shed.

You’ve ever had to switch from “Heat” to “A/C” (or vice-versa) in the same day.

Priming was your first job…and you know what it means.

You know the difference between a deer dog, a bear dog and a coon dog by the way they bark.

The state’s four seasons are almost summer, summer, still summer, and highway construction.

You can spell words such as Ocracoke, Fuquay-Varina and Chocowinity without assistance.

You consider being the “Shad Festival Queen” an honor.

You have your own secret BBQ sauce.

You listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit.

You know cowpies are not made of beef.

Someone you know has used an ACC basketball or football schedule to plan their wedding date.

You aren’t surprised to find a movie rental, ammunition, beer and bait all in the same store.

A Mercedes Benz isn’t a status symbol. A Chevy Silverado Extended Bed Crew Cab is.

You know everything goes better with Ranch dressing.

You learn how to shoot a gun before you learn how to multiply.

Supper (not dinner) consists of fried chicken, creamed taters (with gravy), snaps (not green beans), biscuits (not rolls) and sweet tea. Throw in a bowl mixed with fresh corn and butterbeans and a side dish of summer squash and you’re fit to be tied.

There are big Labrador retrievers in the back of every pick’em-up truck.

You give directions using KFC and Waffle House as landmarks, or by telling someone that the house they’re looking for is, “the second trailer on the left just past the old red barn with the big oak tree.”

You get your carbs from biscuits, pancakes, and grits.

You know the difference between a redneck and a hick.

You own at least one surf shop or seafood restaurant t-shirt.

You know pastry is a chicken stew, not a dessert item.

Your granddaddy always wore overalls and your grandma always wore an apron.

When it rains and the creek rises, everyone gathers to see how high it rose.

You know that “chunk” the ball means to throw it.

A burger or hot dog “all the way” includes mustard, chili, onions and slaw.

You know what a copperhead or cottonmouth looks like and you run like the dickens the other way when you see either.

You have at least one relative that raises collards, and you know they taste better after the first frost.

Classes at your school were cancelled because of a hurricane.

And finally, you are 100 percent North Carolinian if you have ever had this conversation:

“You wanna coke?”

“Yeah.”

“What kind?”

“Dr. Pepper.”

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal