By AJ Sizemore
Most of you know that I’m from Chicago, Illinois but I will say to my dying day I LOVE SOUTH CAROLINA! And I’m glad to say South Carolina has always loved me back. I live in the rural region of the upstate, where the men are men and one or two women look like they are! I’m kidding, just kidding! Now back to my thought. My dad was from South Carolina and after WWII, he moved to Chicago to find work. Now when dad retired, he came back home to live his remaining years (and that’s how I got here).
The other day I was channel surfing and found a documentary about the Civil War (we call it the War of Northern Aggression), hosted by Dick Morris. Morris worked in the Clinton White House years ago. Mr. Morris narration at first seemed benign but then he started talking about how the brutal South was filled with abusive slave owners and how we southerners tried to smooth over our wrongdoings against the Union during the reconstruction with various appeasement efforts (selling each other out)! Morris went on to say that the Carpet baggers (named after the luggage these men traveled with), were not thieves, cheats and land grabbers! Oh No, says Morris, they were missionaries, ethical businessmen, social workers and otherwise Godly men who came South to show us the error of our ways and help the newly freed blacks secure their place in the “New South”! My own family lost land to these so-called carpet bagging missionaries! I noticed no mention of all those northern slave owners or the fact that here in the south, slave ownership was already starting to weigh on our collective conscience as a bad and sinful thing. Also, no mention that the war did not actually start because of slavery but in truth because of secession due to Federal interference in State government. Slavery was an issue used by the North to justify the invasion of one state by another. No wonder (according to Morris), Bill Clinton once grabbed him by the shoulders and knocked him down! All I have to say to Mr. Morris is this, please see for yourself just how many of the 55 men that signed the Declaration of Independence were Southern. Oh, and when you listen to the old recorded radio transmissions from America’s early space flights, test flights and even the moon landings, you hear loud and clear that good ole southern accent! The South has always and will always produce local, state and world leaders, it’s who we are. One more thing Mr. Morris, If you don’t like the south then stay away, we don’t need you around anyhow.
As a young man, when I was told we were moving here, the first thing I did was learn to fish and swim! I got me a fishing pole from Sears and fished the Belmont harbor until I could cast with the best of ’em. Then I went to the YMCA and learned to swim. I grew up on Dad’s stories of the south and I was a faithful fan of the Andy Griffith show. I wanted to keep up with those southern country boys! Dad and Mom bought a house in a nice subdivision and we settled in. When I started school, BOOM almost none of my new friends could hunt, fish or swim. Years later and after I married the best girl I’d ever seen (a native South Carolinian), I told her what happened when I first got here and she just laughed! She told me those were city boys kinda like me- she wasn’t making sense to me and she thought that was funny too! She explained that those boys lived in a subdivision, not a farm and not the mountains!, (my wife is from up above Travelers Rest near the Dark Corners-another story). Finally, that mystery was solved and she was right (as usual). Now, most everybody I know hunts and fishes, our kids and grandkids swim together and life is good.
I for one am thankful to GOD that our great nation survived the Civil War in tact. What other nation could have saved the world as many times as we have? What other nation could have done so much to advance so many technologies the way that we have? I saw a bumper sticker that describes just how I feel and it reads-Proud American by birth and Southern by the grace of GOD!
If this great nation ever decided to move our nation’s capitol again, I think it makes sense to move it to South Carolina! That’s what I think, what do you think?