Some say Hank's difficult childhood made him the man he is today

Hank Peterson

Henry Peterson was born on March 27, 1980, to Lawrence and Ellen Peterson in Corinth, Mississippi. Larry and Ellen had been high school sweethearts who married right after graduation so the math of Ellen's pregnancy wouldn't be too obvious.

Larry and Ellen moved into a small house on a deserted farm. The rent was cheap because the house didn't have a telephone or electricity, but the landlord was glad to have people there to deter vandals. Ellen settled in to suffer her pregnancy in the decrepit old house, and Larry went to work on a neighboring farm. Ellen's family kept her company, especially every other Friday night. Payday at Larry's farm meant he and the boys would stay out all night drinking at the local honkytonks.

After Hank's birth, the stress of a new baby, difficult living conditions, and a meager-at-best income took their toll on the young family. Larry's drinking became ever-present, and he also developed a taste for marijuana and other drugs, none of which did anything to help his temper.

In school, Hank performed poorly academically but was pretty well-liked. He tried out for all the sports teams as they gave him an excuse to stay away from home. He wasn't a gifted athlete, but he tried hard and filled out the bench.

During this time, Larry sporadically supported the family with paltry earnings from gambling and occasional farm work. He also picked up extra money working doing collections for a local loan shark. Sometimes his father would let Hank ride along with him on his collection efforts. Hank saw how grown men, even ones much bigger than Larry, trembled in the face of his father's fury and quickly turned over what they owed without Larry ever having to lay a finger on them.

By the time he made it out of high school, Hank had developed his own version of his father's approach to earning, but where Larry used intimidation, Hank used cunning. He may not have been book smart, but years of navigating life with his volatile father had taught Hank a lot about reading people and keeping them happy.

During his twenties, Hank worked in construction and on factory lines, did seasonal farm work, and repaired cars. But whatever job he had as he drifted from town to town, he always had some form of side hustle to bring in extra cash like working on cars after hours and off the books.

By his early thirties, Hank had tired of drifting and always being at the mercy of other people's business decisions. He lost his mechanic job when the garage owner sold out, and he lost his farm job when the farm manager sold off the back forty. He wanted a place he could control.

He ended up in Clear Creek, Mississippi, where he purchased an abandoned bar on Highway 6. Hank thought it was the perfect location to reach the rich college kids and the local country boys as well. The Rebel Yell opened in 2013 and has become a popular destination for people in Yoknapatawpha County and beyond who are looking for a good time.

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Anyone else notice Hank and Jolene are from the same town, Corinth, Miss.? Her bio says she was the only girl out of four kids, perhaps he's her brother? If not brother, maybe boyfriend?

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