Sweet home Alabama.
If you’ve ever once, no matter where you come from, thrown an arm around your compadre and belted out Lynyrd Skynyrd’s famous lyrics at the top of your lungs with such passion, such fervor, such zeal that it took you just a little bit by surprise, you have felt but a teensy fraction of the loyalty natives like me hold for our home state.
Truly the Heart of Dixie, from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains until it drops off into the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama is 52,000 square miles of fascinating. Alabamians tell stories, take their time, and talk slow. But we are always quick with a joke, a hug around the neck if you need it, and a “y’all come back.”
Here are 10 ways to tell if you might just be from Alabama, too.
1. You say you are going to “run to the Pig” and everyone knows you are going to the grocery store, Piggly Wiggly.
2. You are in any other state, see an Alabama license plate, and know what county the driver is from. (And if it’s your home county, you speed up to pass them so you can see if you know them.)
3. You can properly pronounce the names of the following towns: Arab, Smuteye, Flomaton, Nauvoo, Opelika, and Bayou La Batre.
4. You remember where you were when you heard Paul W. “Bear” Bryant died. Bonus points if you have made a pilgrimage to his grave in Birmingham’s Elmwood Cemetery or if you still own the commemorative Coke bottle.
5. You’ve ever given directions that included the words “turn where the [blank] used to be.”
6. You are willing to throw your body over a police barricade and into the gutter in front of a large oncoming vehicle to retrieve a plastic cup, a cracked moon pie, and/or a string of shiny beads during Mardi Gras, which we all know originated in Mobile.
7. The words “weagle weagle” hold any meaning for you. (Hint: You’re probably wearing orange and blue as well!)
8. You have a family member named Harper, Scout, Atticus, and/or Boo.
9. You don’t find it the slightest bit odd that the State’s largest city is mooned by the world’s largest cast iron statue depicting the Roman god Vulcan.
10. Instead of congratulations, thank you, hello or goodbye, you say “Roll Tide.”
Roll Tide! Y’all come back!
In love with Alabama? See all of our hand-picked products from the state.
Top photo courtesy of www.alabama.gov
Born in the Oil Capital of Alabama, Citronelle, Audrey McDonald Atkins, lives and works in Birmingham. A raconteur at heart, she examines Southern traditions old and new at her blog Folkways Nowadays. When she’s not telling stories, Audrey enjoys watching SEC football with her husband and son, as well as painting, traveling, and cooking.