By: Steve Trubilla
I was a teenager when Jeannie C. Riley's record "Harper Valley P.T.A." was toping the country charts back in 1968. Tom T. Hall, the great story teller, sure had a lot of people talking back them.
Most songs have a story behind them. That one had a lot of people worried, particularly politicians.
I could write a similar block buster story today, Franklin County NC style. Maybe I should; now wouldn't that be something? Bet it would take some of the shine off the apple for a lot of self-righteous people.
Elections are a very rich playground for commentators. Everyone has dirt on someone, and they are more than willing to share it. They sell it saying, "People need to know about this." The truth is they are really just trying to get some personal revenge.. Of course, they are very sneaky in the way they go about it.
A little gossip here and a little gossip there. A secret note passed to a friend or a well-placed comment at a meeting. You know how it is done.
Always followed by, "Now you did not hear that from me," or something like. "Now I don't know if it is true or not."
I get around a bit and a lot of people know I write this column. You would be amazed by the things they share with me about their "friends." The same friends they have grown up with, work with and visit every day. Often I hear, "Please don't repeat this," all along hoping I will. How very two-faced they are.
We all know over the course of our lives we will have met very few people that are true friends.
My guess is many of you are waiting for me to kick the ball over the goal post and drop a few names with details of what I have been told. I really should, because some of these people truly deserve to be brought down a peg or two, but I won't do it by name, at least not now anyway.
I will however throw you a bone or two about some of it.
Remember the burning of the records. Well, what would you say if I told you there are some that think in part it may have happened because many years ago high school girls had a rivalry about a particular boy's affection? A woman scorned does not forget easily.
Then there is the local politician that professes to be the moral example for all others, telling people who they should vote for. He now passes judgment on others, while he himself had allegedly failed to pay child support, property taxes, and had to again, allegedly, answer charges about abusing his wife. Wonder what ever happened to his motorcycle?
Some of the most prominent married people in our community, seeking even more prominence, are quick to point the finger at others while they themselves are doing things married people should not be doing. Lately, this has been really lighting up my phone.
Then there is the bunch that has joined together with a local lawyer trying to take an elderly man's property, all the while professing to be looking out for his best interest, or the "higher good" of the community. The property has been in his family for over 100 years. This is being done while there is money to be made.
People have shared stories of young girls being sexually assaulted and special deals, no one being prosecuted. I have heard one girl left the area and committed suicide. Some said to have been involved are in office right now, and others want to be.
On Facebook, you will read how this person is calling the other a liar, a thief or much worse with no regard for the truth, just parroting what they hear, looking for that little bit of revenge. Never for a moment giving a thought to how hurtful it is to the families of those attacked.
I remember one official telling me how her mother cried when she read things written about her.
Tom T. Hall nailed it with his line, "This just a little Payton Place you are all Harper Valley hypocrites."
A word that comes to mind to describe people that do this is, bully. They were probably bullies when they were kids, and just grew to be adult bullies. Locally those that grew up here may be able to relate to this.
Anyone that seeks to lift themselves up by tearing another down is not deserving of the prize or office they seek. If that is the best they can do, then it is not good enough.
I do love country music. Another song comes to mind, Shania Twain's, "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?"
Be careful, you never know who is talking about that, or who they will be sharing it with, and it just might come back to haunt you.
My glass house has a few broken windows, does yours? Maybe we should put the rocks down and fix our own houses.