Damned near 2 weeks in Tennessee…


…and I’ve yet to see a single AM-PM or 7-11. Out here it’s MapCo.

I finally saw me a real Mexican, 3 of them in fact, and yes it was in Walmart.

Nothing is close. It seems like any time I need something I either have to go across the state line or to a neighboring town. You can figure on at least a 20-30 minute trip to do anything.

I still haven’t seen any lines more than 3 people deep for anything anywhere, even walmart.

When I hear thunder I’m no longer surprised.

I’ve yet to hear (or say) the word ‘fuck’ in public. Or goddamn either for that matter.

Drove Lisa down to Nashville yesterday for her eye doctor appointment. I didn’t think it was possible but it’s harder to get around there than it is in San Francisco. I was in a cold sweat by the time we got out of there.

I went to register at the Veteran’s Administration in Bowling Green KY day before yesterday and the GPS steered me to the wrong place. We ended up at the Judicial buildings there and I saw a deputy outside so I got out to ask him for directions. He took the time to look it up on his phone then gave me turn by turn directions and after I thanked him for his kindness he patted me on the back, looked me dead in the eye and thanked me for my service.

Even though Tennessee has open carry, I’ve yet to see a single firearm strapped on anybody’s side.

Every single woman that I’ve held a door open for acknowledges it and thanks me. Every single one.

I haven’t hear rap or mexican carnival music since I’ve been here.

Tennessee and Kentucky have the heaviest cattle I have ever seen. I’m not kidding and I came from cattle country.

Folks aren’t afraid to ask questions. They hear my accent and want to know where I’m from and when I tell them, they want to know all about it and they’re genuinely curious, not just nosy.

If you ask a storekeeper for something you need and they don’t carry it, they will tell you where to find it even if means directing you to their competition.

Grits come with your breakfast, you don’t have to ask for them.

Rebel flags and Jesus signs are displayed prominently in yards and businesses everywhere. I’ve yet to hear about anybody wanting them removed because they are offensive.

Mailmen drive their own vehicles and if they see you coming down the driveway, they’ll wait for you and put it in your hand after a couple minutes of conversation.

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78 Responses to Damned near 2 weeks in Tennessee…

  1. Cederq says:

    Your description is why I miss living in the south! It is rather nice that people are civil and polite to one another. I do plan on moving back very soon!

    • Jerry Conway says:

      years ago I went to Savannah, GA for the first time. I was walking along looking for a local bank. People passing by would smile and say Good Morning, which surprised me.
      I stopped and asked a guy who was broom sweeping the streets where there was a bank. He stopped and asked me to follow him. We walked up a block and he pointed down the street to the location of the bank & the said, “Well, ya’ll have a nice stay and enjoy our beautiful city.”
      I did and returned a few time after that. After travelling for business and the Army to many places, Savannah ranks as the Friendliest City, for me.

  2. Billy Keslick says:

    Welcome to the South..
    NYC would kill you (and me)…
    A-hole impolite capital of the World

  3. Chris says:

    Two more things. If someone asks how you’re doing, they want an answer. And if they invite you over, they mean it.

  4. Steve in Ky says:

    We are blessed here.

  5. Worker says:

    You’re beginning to make the place sound interesting ……… this is from the land of Mexico (that would be New Mexico) – at least we’re living waaaaaay out in the country, so all’s good for the time being. Did have some fairly well off California folks move in and true to nature they want to make some changes – doesn’t sit well with the locals. We’ll see how that all works out ……

  6. Gordon says:

    I’m a Georgia boy and I hope that you will find your relocation to the southeast a pleasant change for you and your family. We’re hicks, but mostly nice hicks.

  7. Jeffery in Alabama says:

    You probably thought I was making up all those stories about how wonderful things were in the South and how wonderful Southern folks are. LOL

  8. rayvet says:

    “Nothing is close”

    You realize that’s a positive right? The way I see it, Wally world is open 24/7. If I need something and have to drive and get it, I’ll wait till it’s most convenient, any time night or day, then go. Everything you’ve described is the reason why when my dad moved our family down here to Georgia from the hell hole known as NJ he swore he’d never live in a state like that again. And I carried on that philosophy as I planted stakes here in North Central GA and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Well maybe a ranch in Wyoming. That’s the only place I’ve ever felt I belonged than here in Georgia.

    • crazyeighter says:

      “Nothing is close” means you can turn your music up to “eleven” and run around nekkid in the yard if you’ve a mind to.

  9. Chris says:

    That’s how it is in the South brother. I hope you’re enjoying yourself.

  10. juvat says:

    Welcome to “Flyover Country” AKA America. What took you so long?

  11. drjim says:


    Welcome to the Real America, Kenny!

  12. crazyeighter says:

    I’ve yet to hear (or say) the word ‘fuck’ in public. Or goddamn either for that matter..

    “goddamn” will get you in more trouble quicker than “fuck.’

    Even though Tennessee has open carry, I’ve yet to see a single firearm strapped on anybody’s side.

    We have licensed open carry here. Don’t get me going about that.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Licensed or not, it still beats the hell out of California’s non-open carry.

      • Chris says:

        We have unlicensed open carry in Missouri and are trying to get on license concealed carry passed.

        • crazyeighter says:

          Yes. Good luck to you Missourah and SB656! Here’s to getting it to the governor and stick the expected veto up his ass.

          Now THAT’s some kinda pro-gun legislation!


          • Aheinousanus says:

            how about constitutional carry??
            I find it mind blowing that a leftist retired hippie cental Vermont is the only state that I am aware if that has constitutional carry. On your hip or in your pocket, no need for a permission slip from the nanny administrator.

        • Crustyrusty says:

          Same in KY. Here’s hoping.

      • crazyeighter says:

        No argument there, but after jumping through the hoops to get a HCL, most people just conceal carry.

        Unless of course they’ve got a holster they’re particularly proud of…

      • Eastwood says:

        Tennessee doesn’t specify you can open carry but they suggest concealed. Imprinting of your weapon is ok if you’re ok with it. The state also just passed that carry permits will last 8 years now instead of 5 without renewal. However in accordance they dropped the fee $25. We also abolished all knife laws in July of 2014. You can carry a switchblade legally. I keep one for banks that don’t allow carry. Some do. Also if you are old enough to buy a gun & legal to own one you can in your car as long as there isn’t one in the chamber. Shotgun or rifle at 18, handgun at 21. Mag can be loaded. We also have Castle Doctrine. Your home is your castle so is your car. Hell even a tent can be. If you enter someone’s castle without permission. You can be shot. However unlike Texas you can’t shoot someone to protect property. If someone is stealing your lawnmower hold them at gunpoint but that is it.

        • Winston Smith says:

          Good summary, Eastwood.

          • Terry says:

            …Except for the “as long as there isn’t one in the chamber” part.
            That part went away in July 2014.

            • crazyeighter says:

              The HMFWICs at University of Texas, Austin, are tying to make carrying with an empty chamber a requisite for students and others as part of Texas’ new campus carry regulations set to take place very soon.

              Reactions from the gun community, other than “this is stupid; increased risk of discharge and giving away the fact you’re carrying” is to refer to it as “Israeli carry.” In the days of BDS craziness on campus against Israel, that ought to put them spinning around on their eyebrows.

          • Eastwood says:

            I worked armored car. I had to learn the laws

            • Terry says:

              Then I would respectfully suggest that you travel without one in the chamber.
              The rest of us will follow the CURRENT laws, and have ours ready to use if needed.


              On July 1, a new law went into effect creating a new exception in the state’s prohibition against carrying a loaded handgun, rifle or shotgun in a vehicle. Until now, only state-issued handgun-carry permit holders could lawfully keep loaded firearms in their vehicles.

              The new law says nonpermit holders now can, provided:

              • They are not prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm by federal law or purchasing a firearm under state law.

              • They are in lawful possession of the motor vehicle.

              Motor vehicles owned or leased by a governmental or private employer for the use of employees aren’t covered if the employer has adopted a written policy prohibiting firearms or ammunition not required for employment within their motor vehicles.

              Source: Legislative analysis, Tennessee General Assembly

        • johnny says:

          Just saw a Texas story. Guy went out to confront a thief breaking into his car. Ended up shooting and killing him. Looks like he’s going to be charged. So, depending on the jury/judge, it might not go well for him.

          • crazyeighter says:

            Yes. Truck was parked at the curb, thief was running away. Whatever the thief was taking has to be cheaper than a lawyer for the shooter.

            I hate thieves and while shooting one here and there might be good “pour encourager les autres” but this guy appears to be in the wrong.

            “Fear of death or serious bodily injury” folks.

  13. Welcome to the REAL America.

  14. Ricky Edney says:

    Welcome South Brother

  15. Miguel says:

    That is the Nashville I remember. I have always said it is a town pretending to be a city.

    But I was not paying attention and ended up with a wife who won’t leave even after 30 years.

    They are sneaky like that. :D

  16. Matt says:

    Welcome to the South Wire Cutter! Nail your feet to the ground now that you are here in God’s country.

  17. Subsunk says:

    Welcome back to civilization….. and civilized folk. You will fit right in…

  18. I was kinda sad you didn’t spend more time in Texas and Oklahoma, we are nice too. Living out in the country is such a blessing. Our kids live in the bowels of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and it’s a jungle, traffic is horrid and the liberal scourge is eating up the wealth. Congrats on finding a great place to resettle!

  19. Alexander says:

    Rebel flags & Jesus, fucking A. (Pardon, but that’s how it struck me)

  20. ziptie says:

    I was driving a tour bus last fall. We went all over the South East. But I have to say that the folks in Tennessee were by far the friendliest! Don’t forget to go to the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville. Bring kleenex…

  21. pdwalker says:

    Now ya got me wanting to move there.

  22. John Remsdad says:

    I have traveled throughout North America and settled in Tennessee. I doubt I will ever move from this state.

  23. Red says:

    When ya get a chance travel out to the Amish country. Talk about a culture shock! & you’ll see some of the finest woodworking….! Enjoy! (I’m still here in Cal., but just bought another house for my daughter in Columbia, not far from ya from what I gather.) I’m not much of a fan of grits though….

  24. anonymous says:

    One thing nobody has mentioned you may run into being new to the south. If you’re stuck in the mud, snow, ice, on the side of the road and a 4wd pulls up and three guys get out with chains & so forth? Relax, that’s not a carjacking. They’re there to pull you unstuck & those boys live for that sort’ve thing.
    One thing about LE in the south. The “attitude exam” is very much still in effect and you are subject to remedial instruction via the ‘board of education’ till you pass the attitude exam, should you fail it severely enough on the first try…
    Things are a bit better on that than they used to be but it’s best to be straightforward and assertive yet polite, if an officer calls you “boah” you know you got trouble coming…..

  25. mike440 says:

    Isn’t it nice though? You are seeing what America is supposed to be like. It is all that here in east Texas too. I like decent people.

    • M. Sage says:

      I was just gonna say that if he likes that treatment, he needs to try Texas out. I moved to San Antonio in 2009 after living in California for a few years (grew up in Michigan), and I love how polite and downright nice everybody here is.

      I especially like how they keep their noses in their own business, unlike Californians.

  26. Jeff says:

    Welcome to the neighborhood. I live about 45 miles north of Bowling Green, and yes it is a 20 or 30 minute drive to get anywhere, even the post office

  27. Toothless Dawg says:

    Yep, if I forget something, or need it … I find that I can usually wait 2 or 3 days before going to town. I’ve done without it this long anyway. Come to think of it, the last time I used a cuss word out in public was when I traveled over to Nashville to see my cousin. Even then, it was inside his house, not out where anyone could hear us.

  28. Robert says:

    The REAL USA is a wonderful place

  29. Brian says:

    Maybe you’re where you belong

  30. pigpen51 says:

    Even here in MI things have gotten bad. Not like the south, with polite people every where you go. Glad you finally got there. Happy retirement. You deserve it, and thanks for your service, as well.

  31. Eastwood says:

    Welcome to Tennessee my friend. One of my best friends moved here from just outside of Compton,CA. He said the first time him and his dad went to the grocery store someone held the door open for him. He looked at his dad for guidance because he didn’t know what to do. He thought that the guy was about to rob him or something. Also you can get away with saying most anything about someone as long as you say bless their heart at the end.

  32. Charlie Mitchell says:

    You’re probably too far from the coast, but keep an eye out for shrimp and grits.
    Plain old shrimp, tossed in just flour and fried in a pan, on top of or covered by grits.

  33. Tennessee Budd says:

    I’ve said it already, but I’ll repeat: welcome, Wirecutter! It’s a whole other world, & I thank God I get to live here.

  34. kg9aq says:

    Welcome to the South Wirecutter. I’m 90 miles north of Clarksville,Tn. Spent a large chunk of my younger days in Gibson County Tn. Rather be there than here.

  35. Winston Smith says:

    Damn, you guys are making me homesick and I live in here in TN.
    I was planning on moving to the west (WY, ID, MT,..?) in a couple of years to get away from all the trash in the east. Now you’ve all got me wondering if I aint already in heaven.

  36. charlie H says:

    You gonna run out of stories to tell!! Nice ain’t it?

  37. Doyle says:

    Welcome to the South. Afer a while, when you go to town, the folks who “ain’t from around here” and have no intention of adapting really stand out.

  38. Tennessee Budd says:

    Y’all will know the South has got him when you see him in overalls. That’s the sign it’s terminal (and yes, I own & wear overalls, but then I was born & raised here).
    Me, I don’t expect it soon.

    • Wirecutter says:

      What the fuck, man? I own a couple pair already.

      • bayouwulf says:

        If you do all your clothing purchases, at the farmer’s co-op……..
        ……you might be a redneck! ;)

        (it’s all I wear.)

      • Eastwood says:

        Hell you should have been here the whole time. I’m outside Knoxville. Hit me up if you ever head this way. I know you miss the Sierra Nevadas but you ain’t seen the Smokies yet.

      • Tennessee Budd says:

        Good on ya, Kenny! I shoulda figured. You’re practical, & they’re damned useful, depending on the task at hand.

  39. Grandpa says:

    Ok, brother…you’re in the south. Here’s the test: sugar, or salt; on your grits? Country gas stations (in Georgia for sure) sell biscuits in the morning – made on site. For a quick audible primer… listen to Hank Jr’s “Country Boy Can Survive”. Why? This:
    “We say grace, and we say “ma’am”; and if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn”
    Simple life is exactly that. Simple. Kind, and genteel. Polite. Get used to going to the store once a week, and doing without what you forgot. Although don’t be surprised if neighbors say “I’m goin’ to town, need anything?”. It is how it should be, how it was, is; and makes other places seem like another planet. Of everywhere I’ve ever lived, I only miss Dixie. Get used to that, too; brother. You live in Dixie now… God’s country.
    God bless you and Lisa; brother.
    Now, watch the Dover race this weekend – and get you a driver… y’all gotta have you a driver.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Salt. pepper and butter on my grits, thank you very much.

    • Eastwood says:

      Damn if that doesn’t sum it up. Notice I didn’t use some. Not all of us are as dumb as we sometimes lead on to be either. An old farmer is probably the smarter person that you will ever meet.

    • Doyle says:

      Cheese, sorghum molasses, butter/salt/pepper, drippings from whatever meat got fried to go with it, pretty much anyway you can get ’em, as long as they ain’t plain.

  40. I think you will fall in love with this place. People here are downhome salt of the earth people. We have been pissed on by the liberal Washington elite for so long we are just waited for it all to catch fire. When the smoke clears, we will be here to pick up the pieces and start over with OUR rules this time.

  41. Deb says:

    The only place like California is California. Welcome to the “real world”. Maybe it’s an east coast thing? People here in Maine wave to you even if they don’t know you. It took me years to get used to that. When you are from MA and someone waves at you they are either waving at you to get the hell out of the way, or they are having a hard time aiming at you. I’ve learned to now wave back.

    Don’t you now have more hope in humanity? Glad you found “home” here on the right side of the country. TN sounds wonderful. Now start paying attention to the words and phrases that are unique to TN. Do they call the front yard the “dooryard”? I had never heard of that until I moved here (took me a couple of years to figure out that “doe ha yaaahd” was “dooryard” and another couple years to finally ask WTF is a dooryard). Ain’t that cunnin’?

    • crazyeighter says:

      They don’t call it that here in West TN (just east of Memfrica) but they do pronounce “scoundrel” as “scannel.”

      Also, be alert for colorful phrases such as “Well, he needed killin’.”

      • Aheinousanus says:

        Is it “light bulb” or “light bob”??

        Best part is people are real. Old school.
        Keep in mind that normal men are polite but if you screw with them you will get an ass kicking not a whiny email from some board of metros.

  42. Bret says:

    You live in the south now. Enjoy the hospitality and the gun culture

  43. Greatgeezer says:

    Kinda nice to be living in America again, isn’t it?

  44. Scooter says:

    I grew up 30 mins from Bowling Green..Your in Gods Country Kenny

  45. Alexander says:

    Here there are no corners, just co-ners. When you die they perform an r-topsy, sometimes.
    And those bibs you’re wearing we call em overhauls.

  46. Karl Ushanka says:

    Made the trip from CA to South Ohio 7 years ago. Wife and I were shocked at our first neighborhood party when the conversations were either guns or church. Good stuff!

    Linked: http://blog.ushanka.us/2016/05/knuckledraggins-move-to-tn.html

  47. Roy says:

    Welcome to the area.

    Tennessee and Kentucky are like twin states. Both are nearly alike with regions divided along the vertical axis.

    In the eastern third are the mountains. The prevailing accent is a very high-pitched hillbilly drawl. Chattanooga and Knoxville are the regions biggest cities. The people are mostly friendly but are a might distrustful of strangers till they get to know you. Other than dealing with coal trucks on the highway, I have never had a negative incident while traveling in the region. (…but whatever you do, don’t piss them off or they might not ever find your body.

    The central part of both states is mostly upland rolling hills. The accent is what’s called upper south. (It’s kind of a mix of mountain hillbilly and southern drawl.) The biggest cities are Louisville in KY and Nashville in TN. This is moonshine and marijuana country. (Cornbread mafia) It’s also the biggest whiskey making region in the world – bourbon in the north and Tennessee sippin whiskey in the south. (You simply can’t go wrong.) Up in this part of KY is the Bluegrass region – the land of beautiful horses and fast women! And of course down there near you is the country music capital of the world.

    The western region is the Mississippi delta. The biggest cities are Paducah up north and Memphis down south. It’s much flatter out there and the accent is more of a southern drawl like Mississippi and Alabama. There are a lot of Amish in this area too.

    I’m sure you will enjoy your life here. The mountains aren’t as high and the weather – compared to CA – can really suck at times. But life is slower, costs are lower, and people tend to be friendlier. And then there is the gun thing. If you have the right home place, it’s nice to be able to go out on the back porch and target practice. (…or even hunt. The deer come right up to my house sometimes.)

    My daughter and the grand-kids live in Glasgow – up by Mammoth Cave. I live in Bullitt county just south of Louisville. I used to live in Chattanooga and still consider it my all-time favorite small city.

  48. Dragon says:

    “If you ask a storekeeper for something you need and they don’t carry it, they will tell you where to find it even if means directing you to their competition.”

    Brother, I do that every day. I get more return customers because I’m willing to help them find what they need, not trying to sell them what they don’t want.

    Wife and I love it here.

Play nice.