Mountain People Are Not Hillbillies and I Can Prove It

I watched Deliverance the other night for the 2nd or 24th time when something suddenly occurred to me...I'm a mountain person, and I resent the implications that mountain people are toothless, shirtless, shoeless, tactless, overall wearing, swine screwing idiots. Actually, I don't resent the movie at all. It's a classic. However, I do intend to set a few things straight about mountain people.

My Swiss and Scottish ancestors came to America in the late 1700's and settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains which is part of the Appalachian Mountains. My father moved us to the valley at the foot of the mountains when I was about 3 years old, but we still spent every Sunday and every holiday (except for Columbus Day and Labor Day...oh, and Groundhog Day) in the mountains visiting our mountain family. I believe this qualifies me to clear up some of the silly hillbilly rumors and reveal fact from fiction.

The biggest misconception about mountain people is that they are toothless. Every single one of my relatives has teeth. I have teeth, my parents have teeth, living or dead all my mountain kin has teeth. However, I can't say that all of them had real teeth that actually stayed in their mouths. My cousin and I once found our grandfather's false teeth in the backyard. We took them to my grandmother who in turn yelled for my grandfather to come collect his teeth because it was time for lunch. I don't know how his teeth ended up in the yard, but it could be that my grandmother knocked him upside the head and they went flying out of his mouth and into the yard.

With that said, I've never known any mountain person to run around in public with no teeth unless they had good reason. What good reasons could there be to run around with no teeth you ask?

1. To scare young children.

2. Taking ones teeth out, especially at the dinner table, is a common mountain party game.

3. False teeth are best cleaned outside of one's mouth, and this should be done at least once a month because snuff leaves horrible stains.

4. It's also advisable to take false teeth out prior to engaging in a clan fight.

Speaking of clans, mountain families are very clannish, and while there are many different types of clans, the one I'm going to talk about, the mountain clan, isn't really known to those outside of the mountain community. As with some clan societies, the mountain clan always has an official leader, and this leader is always a woman. In my family the clan leader was my grandmother and before her it was her mother. It gets passed down from generation to generation, and it's an excitingly powerful responsibility. For example, my grandmother made all the rules, everybody followed her rules, and she decided when it was time to commence hating on someone. This target of hate could be a family member who fell out of favor with her or it could be someone outside of our blood who was stupid enough to offend someone within our blood. Either way, you were expected to follow suit or have her wrath turn on you full force.

I can't reveal too much about secret mountain clan stuff here, because it would be very bad for my health, but I will also confirm that feuds are real. They're real because mountain folk stick together, and if you offend any single person of a particular family, then you offend that person's entire family tree along with all future generations yet to be born. The important thing to know is that feuds don't involve killing these days. That stopped at least 5 years ago. All that's necessary now is a mean sneer or spitting snuff juice on the toes of a rival clan member or evoking a mountain curse upon the offender which in turn gets genetically mutated and passed on to every person ever born into the offending clan throughout eternity. Oh, and we can do Kung Fu now too.

A Mountain Ninja Teaches Kung Fu

Feud Versus Duel

A mountain feud should not be confused with a mountain duel. A feud involves one family fighting with another family outside of the clan. A duel involves internal conflict between clan members of one family, although sometimes a feud can result in a duel between two people birthed from different clans. Internal conflict does happen from time to time, and it's perfectly fine for one family member to hate on another family member, but it's never ok for someone outside of the family to do this. The last duel that I'm aware of involved my great-grandfather who died in a pistol duel with a cousin. This is actually true. And it's also true that after my great-grandfather was shot and killed by his cousin, the family simply dug a hole in the backyard and buried him and his teeth.

Now, let me to back up just a little to the part about spitting snuff juice on a rival's toes. There are plenty of jokes about how mountain people don't wear shoes, and this happens to be true, we don't like shoes very much. We'll wear slippers or flip-flops if we have to leave the mountains, but overall it's customary to just not bother wearing shoes at all, and there are certain advantages to this that simply can't be ignored. For example, at 14 years old I could crush and extinguish a hot cigarette with my bare foot. My friends in the valley were amazed and often begged me to demonstrate this skill to countless city folk. It was a fun way to make new friends, but I don't advise you to try this unless you've been shoeless for at least 10 years.

While we don't care much for shoes, we do wear shirts with our overalls, and we don't have sex with family members or animals. The only time I didn't wear a shirt with my overalls was on my wedding night, and I have never dated or married a cousin nor have I had the urge to do so. Although, I will admit that when I was conducting some genealogy research, I did discover that my great-grandmother married a 3rd cousin. Or maybe it was a 2nd cousin. Ok, it might have been a 1st cousin, but I'm not sure and there's no proof any longer because I burned those records while evoking a mountain curse on a certain nameless family.

So listen up!

In summation, mountain people have teeth and whether these are real teeth or false teeth doesn't matter, we will bite you all the same. Clans are real, feuds and duels are real, and not wearing shirts with overalls is only true on one's wedding night. We don't like shoes and we really don't like outsiders with soft feet and no cigarette stomping ability making fun of it. We don't marry or have sex with our family members or animals, and any evidence of that will be properly burned during mountain curse ceremonies.

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Comments 88 comments

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America

I know just what you mean. People from the Ozark Mountains are also called hillbillies.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

Hi Moonlake, thanks for commenting. I wrote this hub more for the sake of humor than anything else. I don't mind having a few laughs at my own expense, because I find the whole hillbilly stereotype amusing. ;) I hope it comes across that way. If not, I need to revise big time!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Ok, this here were just a plain ole pleasure ter read. I reckon I ain't laughed near as hard as all this fer awhile. It's too bad 'bout them reckords gittin' burnt what you had 'bout yer granny, but I 'spose that sort a thing jus' happins sometimes.

Thanks fer a fine read, and I appreciate you includin' that free sample of Diamond Dave's Ninjer Trainin'. That was right kind of ye'.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

ROFLMAO Shadesbreath! Perhaps I should have you translate this entire hub to give it more cultural flavor. ;) Thanks a million for the comment, I appreciate it.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

Hi Pam, Ok,,,,I'll confess, I have dentures. I really don't know how it happened, as I took good care of my teeth, going to the dentist regularly, brushing, flossing, etc. All of a sudden one by one my teeth started breaking, which left me no choice but to get dentures.

The question I have is this. Am I now a mountain person? :)

BTW, that's a lovely picture of the mountains.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

I totally understand. My family came from the Appalachian mountains and many still live there. It is a different culture in the states, but the idea that some have is totally off as you say. Though I wouldn't let any think you work for the government - just in case :) My father was raised in an area that still makes their own moonshine and prefers that outsiders stay outside.

My sister never lived in the hills, and she still doesn't like shoes. Must be in the genes.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

The appalachians are beautiful and the people I have met are very warm and down to earth, they believe in family and as for going barefot, I hate wearing shoes myself, I guess that would make me a mountain person too!!!:) Lovely article


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

Thank you AEvans, I really appreciate your kind words. I agree on all counts. People in the appalachians are warm and earthy. And I'm happy to meet someone else who hates wearing shoes. ;)


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

Trish...LOL! I'm sorry, but I don't think you can be a mountain person unless you also have at least a few relatives who live in the mountains. Good try though. LOL! ;) Thanks for the comment and for reading my hub.

RG...it's always nice to meet another Appalachain mountain person. Thanks for the comment and for adding your personal mountain experience on this hub. I hear you about the moonshine, outsiders, and all. ;)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

Well, let's see. My late mother-in-law lived on a mountain, so do I qualify now? :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Pam: It's high time somebody stood up for the mountain folks! It's true that they are generally kind, generous and earthy - especially on their feet if you catch them on a Friday before Saturday's weekly bath. In any society there will always be one person who wants Ned Beatty to bend over and "squeal like a pig."  Heck, they could have been rowing their canoes on the log flume ride at six flags and somebody would be thinkin', "Boy, I'd  sure like to get my hands on that fat guy.

Anyways, you did a fine job and I'd be proud to have you over for dinner anytime. Why I got a coon stew on the stove and a crow pie on the windowsill, so you just mosey on over anytime.

 In my family, we didn't date relatives either, but they didn't say nuthin' bout lust and I had these cousins that were from Cal-i-forn-i-ay and they were all slicked up city gals that I barely knew and gosh, they were as perty as a pet pig at Easter dinner.  And don't forget about bluegrass music, as pure an American art form as ever there was, derived from the Irish and perfected by the mountain people/hillbillies with such immortal songs as "Granny Get Your Saddle Off the Stove You're Too Old to Ride the Range," and "Betty Sue Shot My Pappy and I Ain't Happy."


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

This is hilarious, Great job! Here's my two cents on the teeth thing, If they paid for their teeth then technically said teeth belong to them, and they do have teeth.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

The best of a Lilian Jackson Braun "cat who" mystery seires is The Cat Who Moved A Mountain, about the wonderful mountain people of the Carolinas. It made me want to move there. The 3 vacations as a child in the Smokeys' are some of my favorite memories.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

Trish, this is a tricky one, but if you were married into a mountain clan, then I suppose it can work. Ah heck, I'm gonna mail you a certificate of clanship and you're IN. :)

Christoph, you are a dear who speaks like a mountain person at heart. You can come eat chicken at my house any Sunday. :) And how did you know I mosey?? I really, really do! LOL. I have a story about that for another time. And those log flume rides always get me in trouble - I have to stay away from that area of a theme park. ;)

You are a hoot, and ROFLMAO at those songs: "Granny Get Your Saddle Off the Stove You're Too Old to Ride the Range," and "Betty Sue Shot My Pappy and I Ain't Happy." Thanks for the comment Christoph. :)


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

Hi Gwendymom! Thank you, and you make a great point about teeth ownership! If I ever revise this, then that's a solid point that will be made. LOL! It's funny cause it's so true. ;)

Patty, thank you reading my hub and for the comment. Now you have me very interested in the Smokys. I'm sure it's beautiful there. I think mountains in general are among the most majestic places to be.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

Yippee! Woo hoo! I'm in!! Thanks Pam :)


dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina

Fun hub! My dad's family is from WVA. I'm forwarding a link to your hub to all of them :-)


Tracy J profile image

Tracy J 8 years ago from Missouri

The wife and I always put rocks in the young ins shoes when we go to town so they stay comfortable and keep their shoes on.

Paddle faster when you here banjos


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

ROFL Tracy! I'll keep that tip in mind, and thanks for sharing it here!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Now my daddy's family came down from the hills of Kentucky about the same time your ancestors moved on up. So I cain't say I ever lived up there, but I do lay blood claim.

I am proud of my granny 'cause she was the perfect child of her forefathers...always kept her teeth in when she was s'posed to, stomped out ceegars with her bare feet, never wore her overalls without a shirt, and whooped the bejeezuz out of me for talkin to that Dora Bell she put a curse on. So there you have it in the nut shell. She taught me and I ain't none the worst fer it.

Mountain manners. Glory be, somebody fin'ly set the record straight. So bless your little heart. (And thanks for the awesome laugh!)


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

Hmmm, one of my comments never got published. :(

Trish, I commented earlier that I'm happy to have you in the clan cause I think you're an awesome hubber! :) Then I said something like...let's get down to some serious business, like moonshine makin'. lol!

dineane, I commented you too, but it didn't show up. Sorry. Here's what I said before: Thank you very much, and I love WVA. I lived there for a short while when my dad was in college. I said, more, but now I can't remember....at any rate, I appreciate you taking the time to read my hub and in sharing it. :)


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

ROFL Sally! You should lay blood claim based on that genealogical evidence! Thanks for sharing your mountain knowledge and granny here. I'd say she did a mighty fine job in teaching you cause you sure enough seem like good folk to me. :) Thanks for dropping in and for the comment.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

There many different types of mountains and many different mountain cultures. I come from the Southern California Mountain culture, and this surprises most people. People think we do not have snow in Southern California, but I could say that is so wrong. Many of my winter memories revolve around walking home in snow and snow days. I do not miss the snow though and I love warm weather, so living down in the valley is better for me. Although with global warming it has not snowed nearly as much as it used to up there.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

Thank you for sharing that Sweetiepie. I'd be very interested in hearing more about Southern California mountain culture. I've heard nothing about it at all. I think we're experiencing less snow here as well - maybe due to the same, I'm just not sure. Thanks for stopping in. :)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

Pam, my late hubby once attempted making corn liquor,,,,long story, but what a mess! So, if you know how to make moonshine, I'm game :)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

LOL! What a fun read :) I couldn't understand a damn thing the hillybilly ninja was saying but I just figured he wasn't wearing his teeth...


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

LOL Spryte! Maybe he wasn't wearing his teeth. There were a few spots in there that were hard for me to even understand, but I think his ninjer kicks and judy chops came across pretty clear. ;) LOL! Thanks! :D

Hey Trish! I think the first thing we need is a radiator. For real. I'll find out the rest as soon as I can. ;) LOL!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Pam, I'd give my eye teeth to see you extinguish a lit butt with your bare foot. I'm impressed! Think I'm also gonna co-opt the phrase "hate on" (is it incorrect to say, "get your hate on"?). Super funny!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks so much MM! LOL, extinguishing lit butts with a bare foot takes lots of bare footin' experience, and I'll be happy to demonstrate when the time comes that I happen to need some eye teeth. ;) lol!

Now you ask a very interesting question about 'getting your hate on.' I'll commence to thinking on this, then talk it over with the clan and get back to you on this one. Off the top of my head, it sounds kinda hippity hop to me, but I could be wrong! LOL!


B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

Weeeell maybe I aint no mountain person, but I is a redneck all the same. And I know my own if'n I see it. And I just seen it. I reckon we aint fambly, but we could be sumpn close to it! I'd love to flap gums with ya, but it's dinner time, and I don't know where the hell I left my teeth.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

LOL B.T. :D Ah, well, rednecks and mountain people are two totally different species. But, since you can talk the talk pretty darned well, you can come eat chicken at my house any Sunday...just bring your own teeth. ;) Thanks for droppin' by. ;)


B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

I bleve we is more like two different breeds of the same species. And I'd be honored to eat your chicken! Just you ring the dinner bell, and I'll come a runnin!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Aw thanks! It was easy gettin' clan clearance for you. None of us have ever crossed paths with an Evilpants before, although there was one gal we didn't like too much who went by the name of Cootiepants. Or maybe that was the name she took up after we cursed her. ;) lol! Hope you find your teeth, the chicken is a little tough from all that runnin' I had to do to catch the rascal.


rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 7 years ago from Standing right behind you!

Funny, funny hub! I bet you got a real purdy mouth:)


B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

Not to worry, Pam. I found my choppers, and I'm ready fer the chicken. Now if I could just find my glass eye...


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks Rockinjoe! I ain't one to brag, but all the boys back home tell me my mouth is even more purdy than a bowl ahog jowls swimmin' in gravy...specially when I'm dippin snuff. ;)

Thanks for the visit. :)

B.T., don't worry about all that, we got spare body parts.


B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

Woohoo! I could use a new hip!


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Great piece of satire lassie. Wish I'd have seen this earlier, but I'm here now, hain't I?

My family immigrated to Virginia around 1732-34 in a place called Beverly Manor. From Uslter, Ireland. I reckon we could maybe be cousins. Know all about hillbilly ways. Ya know why that term was used? There was a group a Scottish highlanders way back in Scotland they called the Billy boys that roamed the hills. Billy being a term for buddies/friends. Anyway, that term followed them to America and it eventually became hill billys. The Irish, prone to schooling, settled mostly in cities, but the Scots disdained higher learning and took to their old ways and headed to the hills. Also they had a deep hatred of the English/British and were shunned by the colonist which helped them settle the wilds of America. They eventually came out of the hills fighting and kicked the British asses out. Even Washington gave them credit.

Bet your clan has some Scot blood too.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

C.C., you've just confirmed what I suspected but wasn't sure about. Thank you! Actually, my grandmother was a Campbell, and while I haven't been able to trace her line of Campbells back too far (beause of the whole duel thing w/my gg granddad), there's little doubt in my mind of Scottish ancestry. I believe that there's a relatively large Campbell clan isn't there? I've often wondered if people settling in the mountains was related to the highlands.

Now you've given me a good education about the origin of "hillbilly!" What a joy is was to read your comment this morning. :D Oh, there were some places near where I lived that had the name Beverly Manor. For example, there was a Beverly Manor school. I'm still a little foggy in remembering an exact location though.

Thanks a million for the enlightening comment! :D


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

I expect I'll be doing a hub soon on it as I have a book written about it. I took ten years to compile it but haven't published it yet. I don't really know if anyone would want it. Besides, one needs to lay aside a piece of work such as that for some time and go back and give it a reread. I reckon it's been 2 years now, time to gt it out, dust it off, and proofread it, then decide to publish or no.

Glad to enlighten you.


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Oh, I forgot, we are cousins then. See if a common thread is a Patrick Campbell Sr.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Hey cuz! :D I'll look and see about a Patrick Campbell. Thanks for sharing that, it'll be interesting to see if there is a connection.

10 years of work and research is incredible. You should definitely publish it. Now is the perfect time to pull it out and proofread. So give me an idea about the book...is it mostly historical? Does it focus on the immigration of your family? I'm very interested now. :)


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

The book is titled Resurrected Journey's End. It is about my family , mostly, but also history of the Scottish and how they came to the Colonies and met with hateful colonist so moved south. I tell of certain famous persons in my family who made a difference in our nation, among other famous Scots. 'Our' one cousin married a famous man's sister in VA and became a National hero of Kings Mountain, SC fame.

I have a copy of a letter written to his son from T. Jefferson.

Does that interest you?


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

OMG! Does it interest me? This is exactly the type of thing I love to read (besides true crime). I find it fascinating, and history is always much more interesting when told from a personal perspective. I predict much success for you with a gem like this. Now go proofread and get it published so we can read it! :)


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

I will do it. I reckon it's time. I got to get off from here and get some stuff done today. I am really glad we found each other. bye dear


MellasViews profile image

MellasViews 7 years ago from Earth

This was too good, especially the part about your wedding night, and the overalls- and of course the burning of any shameful records. lol.

My pops got them false teefis you speak of. He takes em out to scare the grandkids. lol.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks Mellas! I appreciate any chuckles from you because you are one extra funny gal. :D

LOL about your pops!

Thanks for coming in for a read. :)


Netters profile image

Netters 7 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

LOL I loved it, good for you!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks Netters. :) I appreciate you coming in for a chuckle or two! ;)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

What a funnnnny hub, Pam!  I never woulda known from your avatar your roots were in the mountains.  Also hard to tell whether those are your teeth or store bought.  :D

My 4th great-granny's sister married their first cousin (a Weaver).  Big whoop, right?  Well, the Weavers were particularly fond of picking spouses at family gatherings for holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving (and probably Ground Hog Day too).  Marrying their first cousins was their thing, and not against the law back then as it is now, so they just kept right on doin' it for several generations.  If you've ever tried to untangle the chain of a necklace after it's been in your jewelry box for awhile, that's what it's like to sort out the who-begat-whos in this bunch.  When I absolutely *must* update this bunch in the genealogy program, I keep a large bottle of Excedrin handy for the inevitable migraine.

btw, I hate to wear shoes too, a trait I didn't inherit, but learned from the wives of my dad's brothers.  One was from the flatlands of Oklahoma and the other from a hilly part of Kansas (not even very big hills).  Drove my mother nuts because she was raised to *never* go barefoot except to take a bath or get into bed...and she never did. Can you imagine never feeling grass between your toes? Neither can I!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Whew! What a relief Jama...us Campbells and Goods have never had any feuds or problems with any Weavers. No curses either. :D The Cubbage clan is a whole different story. ;)

We have something in common! Genealogy research and excedrin! It sounds like you've done a good bit of it, and I thank for sharing some here. I think lots of people would discover the same type of cousin marrying thing somewhere in their tree too...especially way back when. I have one great grandmother (can't remember how many greats to tag her with) who had about 8 kids and no husband. There's tons of speculation over that one. Was she involved with Indians (Native American) or maybe a married man by the name of Valentine or maybe even a family member? Who the heck knows and I've been through massive bottles of excedrin with that mystery. lol!

And the whole shoe thing too! No I can't imagine never feeling grass between my toes, and I can't imagine only taking my shoes off to go to bed or to take a bath. That boggles my mind! I only wear flip flops or clogs because they're so easy to kick off, which is the first thing I do when the opportunity hits and even when it isn't so appropriate. lol!

Jama, I can't thank you enough for coming in and leaving such a wonderful comment. I appreciate it so much. :)


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

So JG is one of us too. kewl! Hey, I thoguht you might be interested in my avatar, it's my 34th great-grandparents way back in Scotland, I was so tickled to find this picture of them. wow.

might be realtives of yours too


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Yea! I was excited to hear that Jama is one of us. I knew there was something special about her. ;)

NICE avatar! I'm off to have a closer look. Perhaps you should consider doing a family tree hub with pictures. I always find that interesting and may do the same.

Thanks!!


flread45 profile image

flread45 7 years ago from Montana

Most mountain people have no teeth due to all the moonshine drinkin and feudin they do.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

firead, Aha! You may be on to something! I told my grandma that she was wrong about how gargling with moonshine protects your teeth, but she didn't believe me. ;)

Thanks for coming in to read and for sharing some insight about the whole teeth thing. I'm off to tell all my cousins now! :)


Janetta 7 years ago

Oh my, my dad's family is from the mountains of West Virgina. Both Great Grandmas lived literally down in the holler. I've got moonshiners in my family and many are still living there. Every time my uncle Freddie comes to visit he is wearing overalls with no shirt. Gotta love 'em :)


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Janette, I guess that makes you and me official hollerback girls not to be confused with those hollaback girls. Oh no, hollerback girls ain't no doormat that's for sure! Thanks for coming in. :D


Janetta 7 years ago

haha, Pam- proud to be a hollerback girl with you!


Kara 7 years ago

I don't know what constitutes "hillbilly" but I can tell you that mountain people are VERY clannish and socially retarded, except amongst each other (they talk only their own language with one another). As I city "gal," I attended a "party" in the mountains. It was interesting to catch many of them over in a corner talking about me as though I was some sort of alien. I left the party immediately because I have literally had it with their social incompetence. And I can assure you that ALL mountain people act this way! ALL OF THEM!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Kara, sorry to hear you had a bad experience. It's harsh to lump and label all people from a specific geographic region as being "socially retarded." I think people can lack social skills from all over the world and not just one specific region, like the mountains.

Again, I really am sorry about your bad experience. If you ever decide to give it another chance, maybe bake a pie or take some deviled eggs with you. ;)


Kara 7 years ago

Thanks for the reply. Interestingly, these people were more interested in drinking moonshine and beer, and hardly seemed interested in having any sort of conversation with me. I attempted to initiate a conversation with several of the women there, and eventually felt as though I was the hostess of the party, when in fact, I was a guest. I think it is ignorant from my own standpoint to label all mountain people as socially retarded, because I have actually met some mountain people who are rather intelligent and interesting (my own family is from the mountains). I have, however, experienced difficulty in getting on the same page with most of them, mostly because they aren't good conversationalists and tend to seem very disinterested in talking about anything at all. I used the term sociall retarded because many of them seem to have no eye contact when conversing, no grace or manners about them and of course, no interest in talking to anyone but their own kind. Perhaps this is a common denominator in small towns and not just the mountains, because I have experienced the exact same thing in small towns (beaches, rural areas, mountains). It is very frustrating because I love the mountains but I just can't seem to relate to people with whom I have to initiate a conversation. They are just uninterested.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Kara, thank you for coming back and leaving such an interesting comment. You're right, this type of behavior does seem to be most common in rural areas, and it's VERY difficult to be accepted.

My husband and I moved to a very rural area (not in the mountains) and after 6 years, I still don't have any friends here. It took my daughter several years to "break in" to a group of girls and finally get invited to do things. My son never really ever fit it at all, and I think it's because he doesn't enjoy hunting or fishing and the other types of things that guys like to do here. So I'm leaving! Very soon!

From what I've seen (where I live now), people are spread out so far from each other that socializing doesn't happen except on special occasions. Even then, they stick to family and friends they've known all their lives. It just seems to be the way it is. I suppose it's really great if you're part of it, and it really bites if you're not.

What you experienced is a true shame, because it takes very little effort for people to at least introduce themselves to you. The fact that you tried to initiate conversation with people who didn't make it easy says a great deal about you, and it looks like they missed out on a great opportunity to talk to a very nice person.

Thanks for sharing. :)


Bryan Robertson profile image

Bryan Robertson 7 years ago from Tennessee, United States

Hi, Pam - I live on the other side of the "Smokies" where my Scottish ancestors settled and have lived there almost all my life. Enjoyed reading this as it hits close to home for me too! Being that Roberson and Robertson are from the same Scottish clan, maybe we are kin!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Hi Bryan, it's so nice to meet you especially since you're from the mountains (the smokies are so lovely!) and of Scottish heritage. :) Actually, my scottish blood comes from my (paternal) grandmother's Campbell clan. Roberson is my ex-husbands name. Still, you may be kin to my kids! :D

Thanks for coming in to read and for understanding it's all for a laugh. ;)


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Well well well look who we got here! Anyway, I haven't read this hub but I will later. Do they allow poking here? Whatever... POKE!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

ROFL Cris A! I lurve you like crazy! POKE back at ya! :D


M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

Hahaha Pam, this hub is hilarious! I love the story about the false teeth...even though we'll all probably have them some day, what is it about those things that is just CREEPY??

I applaud your sense of humor :)


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia Author

Hi M. Rose! Thank you so much! Yes, I agree, there is something creepy about false teeth even though lots of us will probably have to deal with it at some point if we live long enough or fall victim to some unfortunate dental problem or whatever. :( I'll tell you one thing, once the initial laughter subsided after finding my grandfather's teeth in the yard, it got REAL creepy. lol!

Thanks for coming in to read and for the kind words. :)


Art 4 Life profile image

Art 4 Life 6 years ago from in the middle of nowhere....

I loved it...HAHA! I live in the Ozarks, I was not born here, or raised here...but have truly become aquainted with the clan mentality....very nicely written...good and funny!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 6 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks Art! I understand the Ozarks are very beautiful, and it must be marvelous to live there. Bet you get some good moonshine too. ;)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

MY mind is stuck at those feet. They must be HUGE! :-))


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 6 years ago from Virginia Author

Ah, but you don't need big feet to stomp out cigarettes, just tough ones. ;) Thanks for tolerating such a crude hub long enough to make it to the feet part. ;)lol


oscillationatend profile image

oscillationatend 6 years ago from a recovering narcissist.

I'm a hillbilly on my mother's side--complete with our own family mountain burial ground in panther, west VA. But we are educated, well fed, clean, and have almost all our teeth. I lost one somewhere down the line...

Reminds me of Weird Al's Amish Paradise:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 6 years ago from Virginia Author

Your own family burial ground? That's as big as it gets. And "Panther" is the coolest name ever for a city. You've got it going on in two huge ways! No wonder you all have most of your teeth. Does 'clean' mean you don't smell like a catfish pond and lye soap? Hey, we eat what dies after we take a bath. Don't go hatin'. ;)

I love Amish Paradise! lol! Another one he does that's good is a parody of a Crash Test Dummy song (The MMMMM song):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At0hr-dj-Yo


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I am glad I found this old Hub of yours. It is a hoot and a holler!! I love it.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 6 years ago from Virginia Author

Thank ya James! Let me know if you ever visit the mountains and I'll show you a real live "holler." A mountain holler. That's what we call mountain hollows, and that's where...oh, I better just stop with that. ;) To say more would be to write another hub. ;)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

What a lovely sense of humour. I love whimsy, and you are spot on. We don't have Hillbillies in the UK; the closest we can manage is the County of Norfolk, but I saw 'Deliverance' years ago, and recently, and your clever writing evoked a lot of scary memories.

Thank you for an excellent read.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 6 years ago from Virginia Author

Twilight, thank you for taking the time to read my whimsy. :) I appreciate it. My favorite humor happens to be found on the BBC (Is that right? I worked all night and my brain isn't in gear yet)...Absolutely Fabulous, Keeping up Appearances, and there was another I loved...The Good Neighbors?

Thank you again! :)


W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 5 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

Since I live deep in the mountains...I resent being called a hillbilly...I prefer the term, Mountain Man...and she isn't my cousin...she's my aunt LOL...

Seriously though, I really do live back in the mountains and I always enjoy tourists showing up, treating us local folk as if they've watched one too many episodes of, The Beverly Hillbillies. Come on folks...most of us have served proudly and don't deserve that kind of disrespect simply because of where we are geographically located...now, where's my banjo? Thanks for the funny article...totally awesome.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 5 years ago from Virginia Author

W.K. Hayes, I should be the one thanking you for adding to the funny here. ;) lol! It's clear from your comment about tourists that you are a true mountain man, very nice! But you really should have a banjo handy--just for kicks. ;)

Another funny thing I've encountered with tourists in the mountains involves people asking this..."Where's a good seafood place?"

LOL! My response is always the same: Um, look around you. You're in the mountains. IF there was a seafood restaurant HERE, would you really want to eat there? Now go get you some mountain food...barbeque, fried chicken, country ham and whatnot!

Thanks for coming in to read and it's always a true pleasure to meet another mountain person. :)


W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 5 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

Usually, when they ask me about seafood, I highly recommend they try the mountain oysters. I'll even go as far, with a thick country accent and tell them, "They are Deee-licious". LOL ...And, for the record, I have had several ask me where they could try them. Seriously! Even a few, "Sounds goood"! LOL


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 5 years ago from Virginia Author

LOL! Priceless! I'm going to do that too! Thanks for the excellent suggestion! :)


Longhunter 5 years ago

My grandfather took his teeth out at the dinner table once just to upset my grandmother, mother, and aunt. It worked and all us grandkids loved it.

I've lived in the Nashville, TN area all my life. I've traveled Europe twice and am college educated. I have a degree from the School of Hard Knocks as well. My major was in Common Sense. All this and, just because I was born, raised, and live in the Nashville area, they call me a hillbilly, once here on HubPages. That's just fine. I'm okay with that. Being called a hillbilly will always be better than being a damn Yankee any day of the week.

Great hub and I'm a new follower.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 5 years ago from Virginia Author

Longhunter, it's nice to meet you and I appreciate you coming in to read. I don't know why the whole 'taking teeth out' thing is so funny to kids, but it just is. It can also be scary. lol! And I don't remember my grandfather doing it on purpose...just losing them the one time by accident in the yard. I still don't have a clue how he managed to do that. ;)

Thank you so much for coming in and for the comment! :)


james j sigmon 5 years ago

keep up telling them the truth about w.va. for my famle came from finland in the 1600&1700 hunders .


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 5 years ago from Virginia Author

Okay James, but I can't tell everything. I will say this, there must be enough moonshine (in every imaginable flavor)to last till the end of time. Making it has evidently been refined to a fine art, because some of it goes down so smooth you don't even know it's shine. Not that I would really know of course. ;)


Some guy 4 years ago

There has to be one example of this stereotype, otherwise we're would it come from? There definitely was that one clan that that's freaked all the other clans out, like maybe they actually did inbreed or tended to be violent


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 17 months ago from Florence, South Carolina

I enjoyed your hub and I can honestly say I am a Hill Billy, although I haven't always lived in the mountains. My grandmother was born in the Arkansas Ozarks. My mom got ill and she had to farm us out. My brothers and I ended up on Grandma's "Farm" atop a mountain. Those were the best years of my life. There was a very old log cabin on the property. No one knew when it was built or by who. The oldest people in the area said it was there when they were born.Anyway we lived in it while Granddad built a cinder block house. We took baths and washed clothes in the crick about a mile down the mountain. We got water from a well and ate a lot of chickens we had there. All our vegetables came from our garden. We lit the cabin with real old timey coal oil lanterns, cooked on a wood burning stove and used a fireplace for heat. Oh yeh, we had an out house too. Unfortunately, someone carelessly tossed a cigarette out their car window and it burnt to the ground in 1973. I have an interesting hub called I think, "The rabbit Lady" who lived down in a holler that really shows how hill billy's lived way back when. You can find it on jy3502. It might take a while as I have about 890 hubs

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