Shout Out to Hart of Dixie and My Own Bluebell

SouthernHospitality_boxDespite the cheesy situations and the trying-too-hard Southern accents by some of the actors, Hart of Dixie is one of my favorite shows. I avoided it the first season for fear they would totally trash Alabama. Then one night while staying with my sister (who is always studying for whatever degree she is on at the time) I found a bunch of Hart of Dixie on the DVR. I laughed through about half of the first season that night.

While the show does go over the top in a lot of areas, I saw a lot of similarities between the people and places in how I grew up. I even got caught up in the love triangles, being Team Wade from the start. Probably because he reminds me of my own husband (minus all the drinking and womanizing, of course). Naturally, I am excited about Wade becoming responsible and ending out with Zoe. I cannot wait to see how it all ends, but will truly miss this lighthearted comedy when it all ends tonight.

I have lived in the Tuscaloosa area for 13 years now, with a short stint in Birmingham during that time, but I grew up in a town much smaller. Although I am 99% sure I will stay in ttown, or someplace similar, there are a lot of neat things about growing up in a tiny town in Alabama that really shape who you are. For the most part, Hart of Dixie did a good job of creating a mirrored image of my own hometown, Berry, Alabama. They even went as far as to give the town a “B” name that makes you a little hungry. But the similarities go way beyond that . . .

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1-Location. Both towns border a slightly larger “F” town. Bluebell and Fillmore seem to have a love-hate relationship as some would say exists between Berry and Fayette. In both situations, the people are competitive, yet they work together when it really comes down to the wire. They also respect the other town and deep down know it is best for everyone to get along.

midtownBluebell often mentions going to Mobile for shopping and fine dining, or even to buy a baby shower gift. People who live in Berry often drive the 40-mile trek to Tuscaloosa for the same purposes, as there are no chain stores besides Dollar stores and the Piggly Wiggly.

Rammerjammer22-Restaurants. Bluebell primarily has two places to eat, the Rammer Jammer and Fancie’s. Some viewers would make a case for the Butterstick, but it is more of a bakery. Just the same, some people count the Shell Station Quick Stop in Berry as a third restaurant. Although it does have really good chicken and biscuits (I know firsthand), it is primarily a gas station. But if you’re counting stand-alone restaurants only, Berry also has two options: Tuugies II and Eagle Rock Grill.
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IMG_0579gazeboHofD3-Gazebo. It’s the center of downtown and where people gather for activities and festivities. Berry’s gazebo is surrounded by a walking trail. And just like Bluebell, you can walk anywhere in Berry since it is so small and all the stores and restaurants are within about a 2-mile stretch.

4-Heritage. Small towns are proud of their heritage. Since there is no visitor’s bureau or famous tourist attraction, they often celebrate in the form of festivals. Bluebell has plenty of festivals from those named after a fruit to Planksgiving. The Berry Heritage Festival takes place every year in April. I always try to go when I can. It is a weekend-long event with a band and fair rides. There are also many local vendors from food to clothing to crafts, and an antique car show on Saturday morning. And of course, it is all centered around the downtown gazebo.bluebellfoundersberryfestival
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exes5-Exes. You can’t hold grudges or jealousy in a small town, because it is inevitable you will date one another’s exes. The longer you stay in the small town, the more exes you are likely to date. Then you will all eventually marry each other and hang out together, and the cycle will continue with the next generation. Maybe that’s why I married a guy from the “F” town and then we moved to Tuscaloosa. (Just kidding, but I did run out of options in my small town and a few others.)

Second Chance6-Handyman. Every small town has that go-to maintanience guy who is called on to fix whatever is broken at the moment. He has a wide-ranging skill set and is there whenever you need him. And whenever you don’t need him, he is most likely off somewhere fishing. Bluebell has Wade Kinsella and Berry has Chet Smith, owner of Lords Drain Care, Remodeling, and Handyman Services.chet

7-Football. Every town in Alabama lives and breathes football, and Hart of Dixie does a great job of playing up the Alabama vs. Auburn rivalry. However, they also accurately portray the importance of having a “hometown hero.” Lavon Hayes, current mayor of Bluebell, played college ball for the Crimson Tide and then went on to the pros. Similarly, Berry has Terrance Hollingsworth A.K.A. “Tank,” who now plays college ball for Arkansas State University. He was a standup running back for Berry before going to college. I am proud to say I watched his career from the start and even helped a little with his recruitment videos made by the talented Jared Brown of Clark Broadcasting TV Station. Maybe Tank can come back and be mayor of Berry one day.
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8-Me. I am by no means a doctor, but I can relate a lot to Zoe Hart from her hyperness to her love for shorts and braided hair. We both seem to have a conflict about whether to live in a small town or big city. (Maybe Zoe should move to Mobile?) We both freaked out when we found out we were pregnant, and both had a son. We also both ended out with a country boy who would do anything for us and has to calm us down from time to time.

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