In every small town in the rural South, and I suspect in most other parts of the country as well, there is a dividing line, a distinct geographical something that serves to determine the social structure of the town. A boundary line, if you will, that the people of the town use to judge who's who. Which side of the line you live on makes a very big difference in how you are perceived by the people of the town. Not only in the present but also for the rest of your life. Regardless of how many years pass, or how successful or how desperate you may become, you're still known in your hometown by which side of the line you grew up on.
In some towns, the dividing line is the river.
I don't know, but I guess maybe they call the people who live on the wrong bank River Rats.
In other towns it may be a mountain.
I can't even guess at what they'd call those people. Hillbilly's, or perhaps Mountain Goats, or some other equally mean and petty little homegrown name. But in the long run, it doesn't really matter what name is used, they all mean the same thing. The names are badges, and while they aren't visible outside your clothing, they serve the same purpose. They are a means whereby the more fortunate people can describe the less fortunate ones, without resorting to actual bigotry.
In Springfield, Tennessee, the small country town where I grew up, the dividing line was the railroad tracks. There was the wrong side of the tracks and the right side, the North Side and the South Side. In this case, the wrong side of the tracks was known as South Town, and you can bet the folks who lived on the North side of the tracks had a name for those who lived on the South.
This book is about the people, mostly the kid's that came from the wrong side of the tracks in this run of the mill, quite ordinary small country town where I grew up.
Exactly what did they call those kids, you might ask.
Are you ready for this?
They called those kids the South Town Rinky Dinks.