Home » Gate Guarding » Year in Review Part 7 – Country Must Be Country Wide

Year in Review Part 7 – Country Must Be Country Wide

I don’t listen to the radio a whole lot but I heard this song the other day and I have to say, it pretty well sums things up down here in southern Texas. The video is spot on: from the boots, to the truck that looks like all of our caliche covered vehicles, to the tattoos. I’m adding the video at the end.  I know some of you can’t watch it, so I’m including the lyrics with a bit of  my commentary.

Country Must Be Country Wide  by Brantley Gilbert

Grew up south of the Mason Dixon
Workin’, spittin’, huntin’, and fishin’
Stone cold country by the grace of God

This speaks to my first observation in Shiner – everybody, and I do mean everybody was spittin’. I’ve never seen anything like it, even in the movies. Spitting is a natural thing – natural as in nature.  A walrus spits out a jet of water from it’s mouth into the muck at a clam to blast away the mud. After dinner, the walrus spits out the shells: that’s double spitting.

There are spittle bugs. The babies ones cover themselves in spittle. They don’t just spit, they cover themselves with it. The trajectory of the spit of a grasshopper is legendary. Llamas, which are famous spitters, normally don’t spit at people. They do spit on other llamas when they’re perturbed. Well… baby llamas will spit at people if they’re raised in pens, but otherwise its more llama to llama.

Spitting cobras technically don’t spit. They just squeeze their muscles which sends venom flying from the tips of their fangs. Still, it seems like spitting to me.

I have known a few great spitters. I had a neighbor who used to spit in a coffee tin and an uncle who was a spittoon spitter (hit and miss). I’ve read about the lose 10 pounds in 10 days diet where you chew gum and spit a lot, which I think basically just means you dehydrate.

But in Shiner, with Lantern 16, you couldn’t look out the window or have a conversation without seeing a lot of spitting. There were guys there that chewed and spit, guys that drank and spit, guys that spit sideways and some that spit a yard straight out. There were guys that spit at the end of each sentence and some that waited until the end of the paragraph. No kidding, everywhere you looked, the spit was flying!

I was gasin’ up the other day
An old boy pulled up with a license plate
From Ohio; thought “Oh, good Lord, he’s lost”

I can’t tell you have often someone’s said: Say, y’all come down hair (here sounds like hair) from one of them vowel states up north, dent ya?  Not being able to  remember if we’re from Iowa or Idaho or Indiana or Illinois or Ohio, we’re now from a  newly organized  region of the country called Vowel States.

From his Wranglers to his boots
He reminded me of Chris LeDoux
And that Copenhagen smile
Yeah, country must be country wide

Until I came to Texas, I thought of Copenhagen as the capital of Denmark. In Texas I learned that Copenhagen was the key reason for the excessive amount of spittin’ and the blue plastic cups ( I know the song is Red Plastic Cup, but blue must have been on sale at the Walmart in Gonzales because all the cups were blue in Shiner).  The blue plastic cup also goes a long way towards explaining my need for so much spellin’. Take the average southern guy with a drawl and add a jaw full of chew and find a Yankee who has a clue what he’s sayin’!

I know, no blue plastic cup.- you'll just have to take my word for it. I don't seem to have any in pictures.

In every state, there’s a station
Playin’ Cash, Hank, Willie, and Waylon
In foreign cars and four-wheel drives
There’s cowboys and hillbillies
From farm towns to big cities
There ain’t no doubt in my mind
Country must be country wide

Foreign cars? During our 40 days and 40 nights in Shiner, we may have seen a half a dozen vehicles that weren’t white Ford pickups. You can forget the TV commercials touting Chevy or Dodge as the official truck of Texas. It’s definitely a white Ford!

It ain’t where, it’s how you live
We weren’t raised to take, we were raised to give
The shirt off our back to anyone in need

I’ll come back to this one in a later post. We had no idea, when we began working with the wild guys of Lantern 16, just how true that would prove to be.

We bow our heads before we eat
Before we start our day, before we fall asleep
‘Cause in God we trust, and we believe

Swearin’ and prayin’ frequently came with equal sincerity from the same lips. The guys were always quick to apologize for bad language around us, which I think was their southern way of being respectful.  They seemed both surprised and grateful to know that we prayed for their safety every day.

And we see what’s wrong
And we know what’s right
And ol’ Hank, he said it all
When he sang “Country Folks Can Survive”

These guys were immensely proud of their survival skills, and I have to tell you, they had them. If you were to leave half our crew in a Texas cactus patch for a couple of weeks, I guarantee when you came back, they’d have made cactus jelly and cactus wine (well, maybe it wouldn’t be quite wine in two weeks) and would be roasting a wild boar or rabbit or squirrel over a mesquite fire that they started without matches.

In every state, there’s a station
Playin’ Cash, Hank, Willie, and Waylon
In foreign cars and four-wheel drives
There’s cowboys and hillbillies
From farm towns to big cities
There ain’t no doubt in my mind
There ain’t no doubt in my mind
Country must be country wide


I have a few more stories to tell, but it’s Christmas Eve (morning) and expect ya’ll are busy fixin’ things for the festivities. I’ll add more soon and close wishing you a very Merry Christmas!


8 thoughts on “Year in Review Part 7 – Country Must Be Country Wide

  1. Merry Christmas Debbie and Heidi ! Great blog. Brought back memories of my grandparents who were both snuff dippers. Wish I could now get a hug and kiss from grandma, even with the snuff drippin down her cheek. !

    • Charlie – What a sweet memory. Merry Christmas to you, too! Thanks so much for reading and telling us about your Grandparents.
      My Mom and Dad didn’t dip snuff, but it’s Christmas and I surely miss them. Like you, I wish I could give them a hug today. You and I are blessed to have had people like that that we loved so much. 😀

  2. I’ve lived in Texas since 1982 and just about rolled out of my chair when I read your post. I can’t tell you how many Bubba’s I’ve met over the years. They are everywhere!

    We’ve already met some great gate guards and the GGS guys at Carrizo Springs are very easy to get along with.

    I can’t wait to get to know our crew when we get to our gate!

    • Vicky – 😀 Well, you can see what an advantage you’ll have over us. We didn’t know a thing about Texas or the oil industry and hadn’t lived in the RV for the entire previous year as resort managers. Wow! I thought I’d walked through a black hole into a whole new universe!
      Kind of used to it now though… 😉
      I think you’ll continue to meet a lot of great folks in this business. Can’t wait to hear your stories!
      ~ Debbie

  3. AllI I can think is baseball (spitting relentlessly) and GET ME A TOWEL! Oh, and throat cancer, Copenhagen chewers. Too funny! Sorry you’re missing you old crew. New crew on the horizon! xxooo m

    • Hello Mel – There will never be another crew like that first one. You’ll see why in posts to come. We work with a nice group of guys now – at least until mid-January – but not nearly so colorful! 😉

    • I miss them, too, Heidi. You’re right, we were so blessed to start out with them! They were quite an unusual bunch, even for this industry! 😀

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