Home Sweet Home Alabama

My wife’s great-grandmother passed away earlier this week, so Thursday morning, Caroline and I drove 10 hours to Huntsville, Alabama for the funeral.

With both Alabama and Arkansas being southern states and also located fairly close to each other, many people, especially over-generalizing Yankees*, would probably think that they were very similar. I am sure there are many similarities, but there are also some glaring differences, and I’m going to briefly mention a few I noticed over the past few days.

1. There are way more southern accents in Alabama. Now, Fayetteville might be somewhat of a high-brow locale compared to much of the rest of Arkansas, but I’ve also lived in more rural Searcy, Arkansas, and there is still no comparison: the southern twang is much more prevalent in Alabama.

2. Apparently, there are Old School, non-Supercenter Wal-Marts in Alabama. In my part of Arkansas at least, this is not the case.

3. Funerals are way different. Not only was the funeral at a local funeral home instead of the church that Caroline’s great-grandmother attended, but the family also sat up on a stage off to the side, out of sight of everyone else. Once the funeral was over, a curtain closed over the stage; I guess so the family could have privacy while looking at the casket. Different.

4. The Alabama/Auburn rivalry is way intense. Being from Arkansas, where the Razorbacks get top-billing in everything, this is completely foreign to me. I think it’s neat having the vast majority of the state unified in support of a team, but coming from a state with no real rival, the intense rivalry thing seems pretty cool too.

5. According to a sign we passed, in Alabama, coon dogs are apparently a very, very big deal. At least, more so than they are here.

*Yes, the ironic word choice was intentional.


Angela 1/29/07, 11:03 PM  

Another thing that is different about Arkansas are those freaky yield exits on some of the interstates and highways.

Luke Dockery 1/30/07, 12:06 AM  

Yeah, we don't really have those up here, but I know what you are talking about.

I had never seen them until I was down at Harding and was in Little Rock one weekend. I think the first time I drove through them, I almost wrecked.

Kenny Simpson 2/2/07, 9:08 AM  

Huntsville is actually a pretty modern area compared to Montgomery (which is the deep south).

Luke Dockery 2/5/07, 10:40 AM  

I didn't mean to make it sound like I was talking down Huntsville; it's a pretty nice place.

I was just a little surprised by the amount and degree of differences I noticed in two places that I think would generally be lumped together in the same category.

Anonymous 2/5/07, 11:51 AM  

I, too, have driven past the sign that read, "Coon Dog Cemetary." For a long time I wondered if it was a cemetary for coon dogs or a cemetary for humans at a community named "Coon Dog." Even though I had this cleared up for me a few years ago by a resident of Iuka, Miss., I enjoyed the photos and the link.

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