I was born and raised in the hills of southern Ohio, namely Ironton, which was named for its rich iron ore deposits. I'm proud to call myself a "hillbilly". To some people that name conjures up images of ignorant rednecks with missing teeth gathered 'round a moonshine still and shootin' their guns into the sky and I suppose there is some truth to that. My family has lived on the homestead that my great-grandfather Schaffer built in 1883 since that time. And in the era of Prohibition, my grandfather Charles Hart built and ran a moonshine still in the holler behind the barn and made good corn whiskey to sell to the local residents....that is until the "revenuers" found him out and busted it up. He was a scoundrel, my Grandpa Hart. But the majority of the people there are honest, God-fearing citizens who would give you the shirt off their backs if they knew you were in need. They value home and family and giving folks a fair shake in life. For the most part, they are educated and knowledgeable, and they love to have a good time.
Down there we call hollows "hollers" and children are "young-uns". Some people still say "worsh" for wash, but they don't worsh their clothes in the "crick" or the creek either. There are colorful names for some of those hollers. There's Possum and Painter and Sawmill Hollers. Some of the names for roads would "peel your ears"...Hell's Creek and Pig's Trough (although some call it something worse...just replace that g and the apostrophe with an s). There are interesting names for the ridges that run along the tops of hills...Greasy Ridge and Tick Ridge. The villages in the surrounding area have names that suggest the founders might have been interested in foreign travel...Rome (where the Rome Beauty apple was developed), Arabia, Waterloo. One of the places where I called home for a few years was Aid, which was originally called Marion, but there was already a Marion, so they had to change it. Aid? Really? And, of course, some smart-aleck kid would always write "Kool" above it on the signs (usually my friend Sue Ann's brother Billy).
It's candy heaven for kids. Every volunteer fire department, city fire department, every police department throws candy from their vehicles. There are high school bands, cheerleaders, majorettes, prom queens, pageant winners, 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, horse clubs, dance schools, local dignitaries and county and city officials.