Sunday, December 5, 2010

Down In The Boondocks

Growing up on the wrong side of town, how many times have you heard this? Or something like “they live way out in the boondocks” refering that someone is from the country or their mannerisms point them in that direction.

It seems that I have always lived on the wrong side of town in someones eyes, back when I was a youngun so to say I remember sitting on the porch shucking a bunch of corn Mom had gotten for us, the whole family was sitting around pulling the shucks off and throwing them into a trash can, this was a fine mess of corn we had, and we would be eating on this for a while which was a blessing to us, a group of kids I went to school with was walking down the road and one of them yelled “Shuck that corn Country Boy” and they all laughed, they called me country boy after that and it’s pretty sad that some folks can make you feel ashamed because you were helping out with a task that would feed the family for a while.

A while later my Mom and I teamed up and rented a trailer together, we shared the bills and the groceries and made sure my two younger sisters were fed, now I had moved to another side of town and I wasn’t known as country boy anymore, now I was just pure dee Trailer Trash so to say, I had a full time job and I was paying for my own car, the bills were paid and groceries were bought and paid for so why is this a bad thing, yes we lived in a trailer park and I will never look back on that as a bad experience, my Mom and I grew up a little bit together here and I learned a lot from her on how to take care of myself and others due to this time, and many more lessons from her I did learn during this time in my life.

I moved away and got married, I ended up in Odessa Texas selling supplies in the oilfield, I nearly starved to death here, not because I wasn’t making enough money but because I was expected to spend more to get things that fit my new status in life, keeping up with the Jones, literally I rented from the Jones and worked for one, and had to buy expensive things to look as good as them, I lived way out in the “Boonies” and heaven forbid it was again a trailer house, this looked pretty bad because now not only was I trailer trash but I had the label of Oilfield Trash added on top of it, now to make matters worse I was way out west of town, not on the good end towards Midland, Texas, Good Lord only knows that I never had the knack of picking the right side of town, and Lord knows I don’t actually miss this place because being hungry is not something I really like.

Cindy and I owned our own home in New Mexico, it was a nice house and to this day I am still proud of it, but a funny comment I heard from a co worker once made me really laugh, yes for a time I lived on the west side of this town, and the west side was supposedly the bad side of town, Cindy’s and my home was actually on the east side of town so with this said it appeared that I was finally on the right side of town, one day while riding with this co worker rather than drop me off at home for lunch, he took me all the way back to the office to pick up my own vehicle to drive at lunchtime, when I asked him about it later he commented “Since you now live on the other side of town, I can’t be dropping you off there for lunch” funny thing is that we had to drive right past Cindy’s and my house to go back to the office. I suppose no matter what you do, you will never be on the right side of town all the time in everyones eyes.

Right now Cindy and I are in a rural area way out in the Boondocks, we have chickens and horses, and we grow a little garden in the backyard by the fence, yes we are consuming what we’re growing now a days in self defense, what side of town are we on you ask, I have never really thought about it nor do I care, because in my mind it is exactly the right side and whereever we are from now on we will always be on the right side of town.

One of my favorite memories from my childhood is sitting in the livingroom watching my Mom in the kitchen dancing and singing while she was stirring a pot of something good she was preparing for us to eat, the song she sang was by Billy Joe Royal and she wasn’t worrying about who was watching or where we were living because, as long as you are happy and you are eating then everything else is a non issue.

♪ Down in the boondocks
Down in the boondocks
People put me down 'cause That's the side of town I was born in
I love her she loves me but I don't fit in her society
Lord have mercy on the boy from down in the boondocks
Lord have mercy on the boy from down in the boondocks ♫


  1. Oh I enjoyed this post!
    I was thinking about "the other side of the tracks" the other day when driving to a family members home.
    Supposedly they live "on the other side of the tracks"...but interestingly enough- they pay more taxes than the "other side"....Makes you wonder who is on "right"- who's on "wrong"...and who says so;))

    Love that memory of your mom!

  2. Thank You Dawn, I am like you, Who is right and who is wrong and who gets to say so :)

  3. Nice post Jimmy! You are telling it like it is. I always tell my kids not judge a person's outside with their insides...
    I'm attaching a link to one of my old posts on the subject..

  4. Thank You Pat, I went back and read that post of yours, I appreciate you posting the link so we can give it a look, I did enjoy it not for what you went through but for the fact that I do relate as I have been there too.

  5. I often wonder where this ridicule of people living in a trailer park comes from. Considering, that I've seen some trailer parks that look better than some homes!

    A friend of mine lived in a trailer park in Florida, and his place was awesome!

    And another thing, exactly what makes the 'wrong' side of the tracks wrong?!?

    I think your mom is exactly right...

    "she wasn’t worrying about who was watching or where we were living because, as long as you are happy and you are eating then everything else is a non issue."


    Awesome post, my friend!

  6. Thank You Ron, I don't think any of us were placed on this earth to judge and it's a shame that so many do.

    Glad you enjoyed it Buddy

  7. It seems to happen no matter where you high school was made up of two communities (one was considered 'rich' the other was rural/less well off)and everyone knew where everyone else lived. Now I live in a much bigger metropolis and there is still division between the east side and the west side.

  8. Now I've got that song in my head....

    We didn't live in the boondocks, but we lived out in the country and were certainly known for not having money. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I feel sorry for the people who live "on the right" side of town but who are never happy with what they have.

  9. this post made me remember that a neighbor was told my mom that by letting us play barefoot outside we would look like white trailor trash so i get it. i always tell my son "never judge something by it's cover because the inside could be beautiful"

  10. Good Morning Cocotte, It seems to be the way doesn’t it, always a division between people, no matter where you live there is a label attached by someone, I suppose it really doesn’t matter as long as we are happy though.

  11. Amen Betty, The people who live in the rural areas always seem to be the ones labeled as poor, funny though these families are the richest ones I have known because they are happy with who they are.

  12. So right you are Becca, I remember playing outside barefoot for most of my life and never thought a thing about it, folks do look down on kids with no shoes it seems and judging a person by the way they are dressed is a shame, I am proud of you my friend for teaching your son the right way.

  13. In high school, I had a boyfriend who lived in a trailer park. I never knew there was anything "weird" or "wrong" or "trashy" about that. I think it was several years later before I heard people denigrate "trailer parks". There are no wrong side of the tracks people as far as I can tell. There are just wrong side of the intelligence level people.

  14. I roller skated to that song when I was 10-12, or so---and now that I know the meaning....well--I wouldn't have had as much fun!

    I gave people rides home to the other side of the tracks when it wasn't cool, and got in trouble with my parents! That was when I knew I was right and they were wrong!


  15. Amen Linda, You said a mouthful here and I agree with you 100% "There are no wrong side of the tracks people as far as I can tell. There are just wrong side of the intelligence level people."

  16. Hey John, Isn't it funny how songs seem to change over the years once we hear the words and not just the tune, I so love music that reflects life good or bad.

    I too were drawn to the kids who were labeled as not good enough so to say, I have been on the wrong side of town giving them a ride home and after that I was welcome there, I'm with you in knowing in your heart that you are right.

  17. Oh, this is so sweet! It reminds me of growing up in Oklahoma and *always* living on the (right?)wrong side of the tracks. Shucking corn and snapping beans on the front porch. Good, good times. :-)

    Love your prespective and I think you are right where you need to be.


  18. Oh yes.. this is right up my alley.. I was sorta-middle class but when I married I plummeted to poverty (the other side) real quick.. Funnily enough, I felt ok with it. Others in my family of course judged and that made me smile even harder. My kids will tell you of all the places they lived, they loved the "project apartment" the best.. said we all were so close and made fun out of nothing..

    Those really were our good old days.. great post Jimmy and God Bless your Mom!!!

  19. Thank You Angelia, Lord how many hours I have spent on the porch shucking corn and snapping beans, Yes Good times indeed :)

  20. Hey Lynne, Yes it seems when the money is tight how good the meals are and how close you actually become with your family, playing with a cardboard box is a lot more priceless than that expensive toy when it comes down to making memories.

  21. My parents moved out of a gorgeous large home and into a trailer on family property when I was about ten, I felt like I was judged as trailer trash by some. They built a home there after I left home. It was way out in the boondocks, and I tell you I love going back to the boondocks to's where things are"real" pretensions.

  22. Amen Suzicate, Out in the Boondocks where you were raised is a happy place no matter what those who look down their nose at us think, they only wish they had a place like this to call home.


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