"I grew up in rural West Virginia. The nearest thing to a city
was 10 or so miles from our house. Now that I live in Charlotte,
NC, 10 miles is across town. People consider West Virginians to be
'backwards hicks,' 'hillbillies' and sometimes worse than that. I
didn't help that impression while my Marine buddies were teasing
me, either. I firmly upheld the 'Mayberry' image, letting some of
them believe Pa was among the first in the Southern part of our
county to own an automobile.
"Regardless of how backwards I may seem or even be, the recent
'love letter' from Microsoft to IBM makes me feel like a
modern-day, global jet-setter..."