Friday, February 09, 2007

What is an Alabamian? [CCR]

Traveling our great country gives me many opportunities to meet people of many cultures and share a little of our homemade hospitality. Most folks take a moment to say hello and impart a smile. Many others forgo some time to share a story. My most vivid memory was a young lady in Boston who kept requesting I say something else. I am very honored to stop and spin a yarn. If my accent adds to their pleasure in my duty as a incidental ambassador of our fine state, then I am happy to oblige. But if I am to fulfill a proper role of ambassador then I should understand what makes us a true Alabamian.

An Alabama man is a true gentleman. Contrary to popular culture he still opens doors for the ladies. The Alabama lady returns a gentle nod and a word of gratitude. An Alabama gentleman never approaches a lady for the favor of her company without a gift, usually a small bright bouquet of flowers.

An Alabamian defends with vigor yet loves with might. He stands beside his friends and family through difficult times while celebrating the rewards together. He loves God, his home, his country, and his freedom. Each of these are worth every ounce of energy forgone.

An Alabamian does not waste time examining the shell. He looks at the true inner self for the value found in each person, place, or thing. He understands patiently, providing a helping hand while analyzing carefully to give an appropriate response to action.

Most people hear the Alabamian’s Southern drawl perfected to pronounce the dignity of his birthright. But in those words must lie truth and the passion of his heritage. He may be asked to share the trademark dialect but should do so with pride.

A true Alabamian understands why kudzu smells sweet with the dew in the morning. He knows the song of the Southern night. He feels the heat of a summer day and appreciates the breeze blowing across the fields full of God’s bounty.

An Alabamian appreciates the roll of the water in the early morning light as the fisherman approaches the lake. He hears the beauty of each animal within the deep lush forest. An Alabamian understands the value God placed in each of our hands and will be a responsible caretaker of nature.

My fortunate role allows me to travel and meet many people. My prayer is to be an Alabamian and carry the role proudly among my fellow citizens. One day, if my plans lay true, I shall return to my home in Alabama and rest. Until that time the yarn must be spun, the smile must be big, and the heart must be full. My home is Alabama.