If you can't find nobody else, then...

The small community church at the top of our oxcart road was given a piece of statuary about a year ago–of a figure that I suppose, given the Warner Sallman depictions we’ve grown up with, begs the assumption that this is Christ. At any rate, the plaster form is making a non-threatening gesture of acceptance and welcome, and doesn’t seem the kind of object a normal person would find worthy of a drive-by shooting.

But somebody did–a few nights ago. Take it away, Kris…

Egg Head’s cousin Red Neck’s cussin’ hippies for their hair.
Others laugh at straights who laugh at freaks who laugh at squares.
Some folks hate the whites who hate the blacks who hate the clan.
Most of us hate anything that we don’t understand.

‘Cos everybody’s got to have somebody to look down on.
Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty, decent folks can frown on.
If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

…Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
Reckon they’d just nail him up if He come down again.

You can hear Mr. K sing this on YouTube.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Well…a few years back around here, we had the same thing happen to the statue of John Henry. Chinese proverb says, some people must look tall by cutting off heads of others….Love the poem!


  2. “You can make a throne out of bayonets, but you can’t sit on it long.” – Boris Yeltsin

    Violence and hatred corrodes the spirit and the mind.