Redneck Yacht Club


 Found, from our early April trip to South Carolina. The body of water, the Waccamaw River that begins in the Carolina Bay lake by the same name, just over the border into North Carolina.

It is a “blackwater” river, so called because with the warm clime and the abundance of organic matter in the water, rivers and streams become a kind of tea, of tannins chiefly, with a characteristic dark clarity so unlike the opaque clay-soil red rivers of central Alabama where I grew up, or the clear, cold waters of Southwest Virginia where we live now.

And here, on the other side of the “tracks” from the million dollar homes of the well-off, this somewhat less ostentatious self-proclaimed “yacht club” where you can be sure the beer is cold and cheap–and I’m guessing a cold one for breakfast down there would sound about right in this record-breaking June heat.

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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. Redneck Yacht Club…perfect! Hmmm…I’ll bet my husband’s cousin owns that place. And the beer would be kept cold far enough out into the water, down those crooked steps.

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  3. Bass-trackers, Bayliners and a party barge,
    Strung together like a floating trailer park,
    Anchored out and gettin’ loud all summer long.
    Side by side, there’s five houseboat front porches,
    Astroturf, lawn chairs and tiki torches.
    Regular Joes rocking the boat, that’s us:
    The Redneck Yacht Club.