God is Great, Beer is Good, and People Are Crazy

10 Oct

It has been a little while since I posted on Kleinsaucer. I thought I’d re enter the frey with a story bringing out Jeff’s unique and feisty character.

For those who knew of Jeff, he had quite the progressive sentiment. He abhorred what he perceived as “knee-jerk reactionaries.” More specifically, he was not fond of the southern religious conservative sect. Through his studies at Middlebury, Jeff developed a further love for politics and history. As he took more classes and read more stories, his comments became more poignant and zingy. I remember passionate conversations with Jeff about the direction of this nation during the Bush years. He sometimes made fun of figures in the Bush administration; who couldn’t!

As probably referenced in prior posts, Jeff, along with Jack, Ryan and myself, went on a roadtrip to Key West during the summer of 2009. Road trips invariably include a sizeable amount of music listening. Out of the group on this trip, lets just say my musical preferences differed. I pushed for Alt –Country, Indie, Rock and Classic Rock. The others, to put it nicely, were more mainstream. Music turned into a battle between the rest of the gang and myself; a battle I often lost. As we passed North Carolina, during my allotted time, I choose to listen to southern country stations.

And then came on a track, entitled “God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy,” by Billy Currington. This song struck a particular cord with Jeff. To him, it epitomized all that he loathed about southern religious zealots and politics. Yet, by the same token, he appreciated its simple hearted nature – Jeff was fond of drinking and hanging out with his friends. I guess he liked the song in a mocking way, but it proved to be more of a conversation starter than I first envisioned.

Interestingly, one of Jeff’s last voicemails he left for me concerned southern culture and politics. I think it was from when he was at Duke with Ryan and his friends. The message concerned a conversation with a southern girl at UNC in Chapel Hill, NC. For some reason, he choose to talk about politics with a conservative girl at a bar. What balls! It didn’t pan out, but it led to a ten-minute classic Jeff rant on politics and history, all in a southern accent. At the end, he said “God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy.”

This post is less about forwarding a political ideology, but more about Jeff’s unique and lively personality. As I listened to a country radio station on Pandora today, this song came on, reminding me of my experience with Jeff. I think the take away is that while one should be passionate, it is also necessary to take things with a grain of salt. I certainly miss Jeff for this, and hope to bring this aspect of Jeff’s personality forward with me.


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