re: being an Irish Catholic and being called Goldstein (let whatever derogatory Jewish term you want stand in), I've dealt with the same thing in the northeast. I'd say it's a product of things other than geographical location.I've lived all over the country, the last 14 or 15 years south of the Mason-Dixon line (VA, NC, TX, GA, TN). However, I was born in the northeast and lived there until I was 10 or so. My family is a northeastern (moderate) family. Perhaps we're just good at adjusting, but I haven't found it to be a challenge ever. The outliers are what drive southern reputations in the NE, and you deal with very few of them in your everyday life in Nashville (or Charlotte or Chapel Hill or Raleigh or Dallas or No. VA or San Antonio or Atlanta). I use the word "deal" carefully here. I don't mean it like you "deal" with the detour on your way to school. I think my perspective is close to most people at VULS. I think observationalist is one of the few (not too few, mind you, but not the majority) who is so in touch with the surrounding community. Yet, as you see, even he disposes of the myths.Again, the outliers distinguish reputations in my experience, but everywhere I have lived (Nashville especially) has been full of 'normal', tolerable people. VULS' wide array of geographical representation underscores the fact that this secret is no longer a secret. You really should just come down and find out for yourself. Observationalist and I can take you out for a drink.
Now that your beard is so out of control, I might not want to go for a drink with you any more.As far as your community involvement goes, maybe you're just loud.