"Gee! This isn't going to be hard. Even a "redneck" can do it!"
A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.
Who might be a redneck
A Supreme Court employee with discretionary funds from the land of spuds
Editor, The Times:
Concerning some of the comments made by your illustrious (pompous?) state representatives ["Racetrack debate goes round and round at Capitol," Times, Local News, Feb. 21]: I thought we had gotten past the practice of stereotyping people, but apparently it's alive and well in your state.
I'm a 59-year-old grandmother who just retired from the Idaho Supreme Court after 23 years and I've followed NASCAR all my life. Apparently, "white-trash, junk-in-the-yard rednecks" can be trained!!
Something else you might not know about NASCAR fans: We're very, very loyal to the sponsors that support NASCAR and boycott the ones that don't.
Looks like I'm going to be boycotting anything coming out of Washington. Let's see, that would be apples, Starbucks and tree huggers (there's a stereotype right back at you).
Gee! This isn't going to be hard. Even a "redneck" can do it!
— Marti Heath, Fort Worth, Texas
The clean and mean
I just read "The Dukes of Olympia" [Feb. 24], The Times' editorial critical of the erroneous comments about NASCAR made by House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, and Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor.
What astonished me about their comments is the abysmal ignorance underlying them. NASCAR drivers typically are so squeaky clean in public that your big-mouthed solons come off as second-rate felons in comparison.
And if the sport were so tawdry and unwholesome, do you think car sponsors like Tide and the U.S. Army would be involved?
I think the voters in Chopp's and Seaquist's districts should pay close attention and when election time rolls around, vote in a couple of candidates more closely connected to the real world.
— Joan Painter Jr., Newport, Ore.
The well-bred bread spreaders
My husband and I live Lexington, N.C. This is the home of Richard Childress-racing and Richard Petty lives 15 miles up the road from us. This is NASCAR country and we are fans. We moved here from El Cajon, Calif., two years ago. El Cajon is home to Jimmy Johnson, last year's NASCAR champion.
We are NASCAR fans. We also own a 4,000-sq.-ft. house on five acres of land on High Rock Lake. We own two boats and I drive a Lexus. My husband owns his own business and earns a six-figure income; I own a fine-craft and art gallery.
My husband and I are the people you would want to move next door to you in Seattle.
At the time we moved to California nine years ago, we were also considering Seattle. All I can say is, thank God we didn't. I have never run into a redneck (yes, this area is full of them) who was more bigoted than people of Seattle.
I say God bless rednecks. They still say "Yes, ma'am" and hold doors open; they have manners I have never seen on the West Coast and they are still teaching their kids those manners. They may drive trucks but every one of them will stop to help a stranded motorist.
NASCAR is a multibillion-dollar industry. Do you know how much it costs to go to a race for a weekend? Those who go to races have oodles of money — they have to, to be able to afford it.
By your being more bigoted than anyone I know here, Seattle will lose out on enormous financial gains by saying no to NASCAR.
Why don't y'all do yourselves a favor and stop stereotyping. I thought people in Seattle were smart. Guess I was stereotyping, too.
— Zelda Nichols, Lexington, N.C.
The geography expert
Being a native San Franciscan now living in the mountains of Pennsylvania, I, more than any, understand culture shock!
I agree that Washingtonians would not like the traffic, blaring noise of honking car horns, fans dressed in outlandish costumes supporting their loyalties, massive beer consumption and overindulgence in general, as well as making spouses miserable by watching events not attended on Sundays.
You are right to discourage such behavior and to not want it in your state! I applaud you. What? NASCAR??? I thought we were discussing a Seahawks event! Never mind.
P.S.: I've followed racing since the '70s and I can tell you I have never seen a brawl, or unruly fans at any of the races I've attended! I cannot say the same for other major sporting events I attend each year. I visit a new track every year, and the fans are the most courteous fans in the world!
To Richard Petty, I can name 49 other states that would welcome you with open arms!
— Patrick Marsh, Lock Haven, Pa.
A Southern-pride Sitkan
I am not a big NASCAR fan and couldn't care less whether a racetrack is built in your area.
What I found interesting was the attitude of [certain of] the people. They seem to think having a NASCAR facility in their area will somehow subject them to a horde of snaggle-toothed, beer-swilling rednecks who will somehow spoil the pristine Seattle environment.
I lived for several years in Sitka, Alaska, and have visited the Seattle area on many occasions and, believe me, folks, the South ain't got nothing on you when it comes to being narrow-minded, stupid-assed and bigoted.
Just take a good look at how Native Americans are treated in the so-called great Northwest and Southeast Alaska.
Please, get off your high horse. If a race is held in your area and if it should be attended by a bunch of beer-swilling rednecks, guess what? They would have to be from your neck of the woods because I can guarantee you that us dumb, snaggle-toothed, cousin-marrying Alabamians ain't going to load up the pickup and drive up to Seattle to watch a race.
I know you think we in the South are stupid, but you want to talk about stupid. How many of you stop by your favorite coffee shop every morning and pay $4 or $5 for a jazzed-up cup of coffee? Get out of here.
Bottom line is you folks are just as screwed up as the rest of us. We all have our good and bad points.
— Earl Hudgins, Semmes, Ala.
The brain that defied definition
So, your esteemed Legislature deigns not to permit NASCAR to build a racetrack in your area because it will attract the "wrong" type of people.
I thought I was hearing a "durmnamic verbal juberance with clear mokus, flaysome and rasorial overtones." Unfortunately, I was simply listening to the curship of a fop-doodle, giddypate and gitt people.
As a tenth-generation member of a redneck family who is also a member of Mensa with at least two degrees, I take exception to the glumpish behavior of the citizens of your city.
— Annie Guevara, Flint, Mich.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.
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