We were “hicks.” That was the insult of choice directed at us Chardon High School Hilltoppers. Rival school children would call us that or sometimes “farmers,” which said more about the insulters than the insulted.
We were not “hillbillies” (our Hilltopper mascot being something of a misnomer). And so, while reading Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance, I had the feeling that not only was his family not my family but his culture was not my culture. (Not to say my culture is crisis-free.) Was his Ohio my Ohio?