Country Girl Certification

By Angela Stout October 2019

Do you consider yourself a country boy or country girl?  I was born in Tennessee but was not raised here.  The Air Force moved me around all my life until I retired in 2013 and moved back to Roberts Switch.  I had always considered myself a “country girl” and enjoyed many things that came from that culture.  However, once I retired and started living here it was pointed out to me that I wasn’t really a country girl.  This got me thinking what are things I needed to do be a certified “country girl.”  I asked others around here that question and got many suggestions.  I have checked off a few suggestions since retiring…I have been stung by yellow jackets too many times (not fun!) and learned to rub bleach on the stings.  I have shot and gutted a deer with the help of my uncle.  I think that will be the only time I will do that but my freezer is full of deer meat.  I have cleaned and cook a wild turkey...soaked it in buttermilk to get the wild game taste out.  I have learned to live with the itchiness of poison oak.  I enjoyed making paper flowers for the Joseph Roberts Decoration and dipping them in melted wax to make them last longer.  But even with all these checked off my country girl certification list, is there more that I need to do?  Miss Maurine Ensor Patton’s book “Have You Ever” is the recollections of a country girl, growing up during the great depression in the lower end of Putnam County.  Reading her book has given me some more country girl requirements to put on my checklist.

  • Wear a dress made from flour socks and feed sacks.
  • Learn to make a mess of turnip greens.
  • Pick some May Apple root.
  • Render lard to include cutting the fat off the guts.
  • See a room papered with newspapers and flour paste.
  • Participate in a women’s quilting.
  • Gather a bouquet of fragrant “sweet bubbies” (wild trillium).
  • Make a run of moonshine.
  • Make a June Bug kite.
  • Take a chew of apple tobacco (like mammie use to chew).
  • Empty a slop jar.
  • Go coon hunting.
  • Learn to drive a tractor and bush hog.
  • Ring a chicken’s neck.
  • Swing on a grapevine.
  • Tasted a green persimmon.
  • Eaten a ripe paw paw.
  • Go hunting for dry land fish.
  • Make some snow cream like my dad had.
  • Churn some butter and eat it with some warm cornbread.
  • Make and eat some groundhog gravy.
  • Paddle corn on a hillside.
  • Participate in a pie social.
  • Sleep on a pallet.
  • Catch fireflies and put them in a jar. (Submission by Brenda Harry)
  • Use an outhouse or just the outdoors (Submission by Jim Joseph)
  • Hoeing strawberries (Submission by Sandi Boone)
  • Picking blackberries (Submission by Sandi Boone)
  • Enjoying a "cold drink out of a bottle, aka RC Cola
  • Having chocolate gravy on biscuits (made by Aunt Frances) drinking raw milk, eating apples off of Uncle Clavis's apple tree, playing house in a clearing in the woods with cousin Brenda, running barefoot between Mammy's and Uncle Clavis's, going on a hayride with the Palmer cousins, watching my uncles roll cigarettes.  (Submission by Sandi Boone)
  • The other things on the list I did in Michigan, enjoying the pound cake that Mammy bought from a truck that came by, watching Mammy wring the neck off a chicken and watching it run around afterwards and then eating that chicken, fried, for dinner. (Submission by Sandi Boone) 

Maybe you have things that should be added to the certification list?  I would really like to be confident that I am truly a country girl!  Feel free to send me an email via the website…just click on the email block at the top part of the home page.  I will share the additions with everyone but please realize that it doesn’t mean that I will do it.


Good chance that these were some certified country girls...they certainly looked tough enough!  The picture is of the 1934 Herren's Chapel Girls Basketball team.

1934 Herren's Chapel Girls Basketball Team

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