Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's pronounced O-BYE-ON

Obion County.
O-bye-on County. Not O-bee-on County.

Obion County has been in the news A LOT recently. 
It is where the Fire Department "let a man's house 
burn down."
 
Obion County is the little red area on the map. 
It is a county in Northwest Tennessee. 
It isn't far from the Mississippi River.
Moonshine makin' still happens here. 
Cousins marry. 
With Tammy Wynette's approval,
cousins even
D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
The county is about 555 square miles.
Union City is the county seat.
Obion (O-bye-ON) is also the name of small town in the county.
Another town is Rives. 
Pronounced REEVES, not RYVES.
And there is Kenton.
Pronounced Kennon. No 'T' in Kenton.

The town of South Fulton is adjacent
to the town of Fulton...
but Fulton is in Kentucky. 
O-bye-on County is a dry county.
But you can sneak over to Fulton
and buy booze.
Just don't bring it back to Tennessee.
Kentucky booze does not have
a Tennessee tax stamp on it. 
Hence, you'd be bootleggin'. 
More so than the guys with their moonshinin' stills.

I know all this for a fact.
O-Bye-ON county is where I went to high school.
My folks always paid their $75 Fire protection fee. 
Dad was always afraid the neighbor wouldn't pay, and everyone knows 
the best defense is a good offense. 

In high school, we learned the best moonshine came from 
The White-Ranson Funeral Home. 
Pure grain alcohol. 
It'd kill ya.
And they'd bury ya. 

Unless you were Black, poor, or not a cousin.

It's pronounced O-Bye-ON.
Maybe some day I will go back. 
With a cousin.

11 comments:

Tracy said...

What a coincidence you are from there, Brenda. I just heard the story about the fire today.

Stella said...

Funny, funny, Brenda! Except of course for the people whose house burned down.

Lets set down and have a little ast tee and chew on this a little.

Cheers,
Jo and Stella

Brenda's Arizona said...

Stella, ast tee is good. But it must be 'sweet tea.
Would you want a moon pie with that sweet tea?

BANJO52 said...

So the fire protection was for real, and in addition to taxes?

What a clever way to present it. I believe you've got more hillbilly street cred than I do.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Banjo - there was no tax to cover fire protection. That was/is independent, and up to each homeowner to pay it directly to the fire dept. collection center. Out here in AZ, we have the same thing in our county areas - if we pay our Rural Metro Firefighter fee, they 'cover' you. Of course, if you live in a city, the city FD covers you 'cuz you pay for it in city tax.

I hope this makes sense!

My southern accent is strong and long. And, I am told, very real.

altadenahiker said...

I'm a cuzin.

WV: kessyu. A kessyu cuzin. (I swear they read our comments.)

BANJO52 said...

Good lord, so they'd stand there and watch a house burn for the lack of 75 smackers?

Am I the only one hearing a comparison to organized crime and their "protection" of merchants?

BANJO52 said...

Holy cow, I just saw that this is not only factual, but also very recent!

Pat MacKenzie said...

Heavens! Why would you want to go back?

Sandra said...

we used to have it like that in Savannah, way back in the 50's we had to pay a per year fire tax. now thye just hide the fee in our property taxes. i don't THINK they would let the house burn down but who knows, the world is NUTS

Pat Tillett said...

My neck of the woods was just over the border a piece. Things haven't changed all that much in that part of the country...
great post!