An uncommon word describing a hick or hillbilly. I use it to describe some of the more "colorful" people where I am from. No teeth, chews tobacco, 2 sets of clothes (work clothes and Sunday clothes), usually lives 2 hours or more from the nearest general store, and some are seen walking the back country roads (or searching rivers) with a stick and a bag to pick up the trash and sell it.
"Hey Mom, I saw those damn ridge runners again. They were climbing into the dumpsters and sorting through the trash."
In rural areas, the rough and rugged men, women and families from the backwoods, mountains and hills that produced and distributed alcohol products during the prohibition era. The men typically wore full beards and overalls. The women usually wore modest, full length dresses with hair up in a bun style. They usually spoke with a strong southern drawl. Loosely, the equivalent of hillbilly. Also called moonshiner.
My great granddad used to get his whiskey from a ridge runner that lived way up in the hills, where even the sheriff wouldn't go.
A ridge runner or more commonly referred to as a moonshiner, was typically a man from the South during the prohibition era (1928-1940) who transported illegal whiskey (moonshine) made in various still sites (outdoor breweries) to local and long distance customers. They were often persued by local police and sheriff's departments in addition to Federal agents, known as "Revenuers" who enforced prohibition laws. Ridge runners were skilled lead foot drivers who knew the roads like the back of their hands. They drove across wide open fields, pastures, and wooded terrain to shake the law, run their shine, and turn a nice profit. Watch a few episodes of the old Dukes of Hazzard and you can't miss the term. Thanks for reading. :-)
That ridge runner is supposed to be here any minute with a whole trunkload of fine sippin shine. Get the money ready...and bring the shotgun if he needs any help.