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Q of the day – regional stereotypes

What regional stereotypes do you hold about folks in an area of the U.S. that you’ve never been to?

If you’ve subequently visited that area, was the stereotype confirmed, blown away or both?


One side of my family is N.C.-based, the other is N.Y.-based, so I claim “dual citizenship,” having lived both places for good chunks of my life. Some in my Big Apple clan hold familiar stereotypes about the South, you know, that the Stars and Bars flies all over, everyone moves at a snail’s pace, the majority are uneducated hayseeds in overalls and are sheeple of Bush, etc.

I tried mightily to refute the negative stereotypes when one of my cousins visited a couple of years ago. Kate and I took her around town, showed her all the progressive areas, Research Triangle Park, etc. We were returning home, and we turned into a block about a 1/4 mile from my house and we passed a tired Craftsman bungalow in need of painting that I saw every day when driving home from work and I never saw any activity there.

On this hot day, however, a family right out of a Southern stereotype was on the front porch, disheveled, kicking back (one in overalls with no shirt), and to add icing to the cake, a pit bull was playing, swinging from a towel in its mouth that was tied to a tire hanging from a tree.

My N.Y. cousin roared with laughter. Continuously. For ten minutes. She enjoys telling this story whenever we visit up North. Sigh.


One more story — when my brother was living in Arlington, TX for a short stint last year, we came down to visit for Thanksgiving. I was expecting to see guys walking around in cowboy hats, to get a feeling of being, you know, Out West.

Boy was I wrong. Other than it was flatter and hotter than NC as I expected, “Fun City,” as it is known for some odd reason, was just series of strip malls and 60s/70s suburban ranch homes. Boring, no cowboys, lol (sorry to the Arlington folks out there). Only saw one guy in a cowboy hat. We also drove into Dallas. Still no cowboy culture, not even urban cowboys, to photograph. :: Sniff ::

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding