Rain in the night, wet and overcast this morning and now fog creeping in as it does. A propeller plane flying over. Those vertical takeoff planes with 2 large propellers sound like 2 helicopters when they fly over the house. Air Force planes tend to use the mountains for flying practice, or whatever reason. The jets are mostly trainers, and every once in awhile a F-15 or F-16 flies over. Big noise difference between the Fs and the trainers. The Fs make a thunder you can hear all the way to horizon like thunder rumbling across the sky to eventual fade-out. When they pass over, I always think of people on the ground in places like Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and all the other places American military might rules, death from the sky, run for cover. Helicopters make me think such thoughts too, the sound that says, Run for it, run for it, run for it.
One time, at lunch with friend Jim Winfield, just picking, I said when a jet flew over, "The sound of freedom." I was thinking ironically, but learned many years ago, don't use irony in America. It goes over everybody's head. Or under it or around it. It goes on by like a blank where a word was meant to go. I've heard it said of Jim, he's so liberal he's conservative. It's true. I was picking at his liberal mind. He shot back, "No it's not!" It got him so fired up, I regretted saying it. It didn't take him long to settle down. It had the effect of making a really loud noise by surprise. I don't know why I had to explain I was speaking ironically. He knows me well enough to know I was playing with language again. Once it was explained, we could talk again.
I have to confess I think myself a liberal, maybe on the verge of radical, in case you don't get it by now. Though I imagine among truly radical people I'd be questioning my reasons for being there. That's Amnesty International kind of serious. I'm not that serious. I'm all with AI, but the few people I've seen involved are way too serious for me. I'm not a radical. There aren't too many liberals going about in the mountains, but there are plenty. Before the mountains, all the people I knew were liberals. Conservatives were hardly worthy of consideration. In the mountains, the major part of my adult life has been around conservatives. They know I'm not one of them politically, but it doesn't matter between us. Everybody has their own politics.
The ones I call my friends, like Jr Maxwell, Tom Pruitt, Millard Pruitt and a some more, were dead set Republican, born Republican, died Republican. Millard was the very subject of a song Groucho Marx sang in his movie, I think it's Horse Feathers, Whatever It Is I'm Against It. It can be found on YouTube. It is a riotously funny jib-jab at the block-headed American male mind. Not all, by any means, just the block-headed ones, and we all know who they are in our lives. I felt I understood where they were coming from. They were pre-Reagan Republicans. Their daddies were Republicans. I don't know for certain, but I have a feeling mountain Democrats were descendants of Confederate sympathizers and Republicans of Yankee sympathizers. I don't know that, but it looks that way from where I see. Except when I remember Jr's grandpa was snuffed with the homeguard just before the end of the war by a Yankee sniper while watering his horse at Bledsoe Creek, just below the Bypass turnoff in front of Blevins.
My grandfather, Tom Worthington, was the grandson of a Confederate soldier who survived the war, born at Ninemile, east Tennessee, about 60 mi north of Chatanooga, in the Cumberland plateau. His parents moved to Kansas when he was a child. My grandmother's people left Pulaski County, Kentucky, southeastern part of the state, also in the Cumberland plateau, just before the end of the War of Yankee Aggression, about 30 years before she was born. Kansas being a new Yankee state, greatgrandpa I take it was getting the hell out of Dodge. He might have done some favors for Yankees that got him condemned by his neighbors. I have no idea. My grandmother often talked about how she cancelled her husband's vote. I suppose it was her trump card. She was not a woman to be taken lightly. Everyone who knew her knew that.
My parachute landed me in the midst of really conservative Republicans. It served as evidence God's hand was in the deal. His way of saying, You need to learn something, pay attention. It wasn't long before I was saying, Some of my best friends are Republicans. There were times I churned in the mind over their political ignorance, until the evening I drove home from a visit with Millard in the time of the Reagan junta. I was boiling all the way down the road. Until the gravel road winding its way up the mountain. I recall the curve the truck was in when I got it. I'm having a fit over opinions. What are opinions? Answer: Nothing. Nothing at all. Not even air that's useful for breathing. Opinions are useful for nothing. Because their very essence is nothing. Good old saying about opinions, They're like assholes: everbody's got one.