Ayers grew up around Kingsport TN and attended college at Yale. On page 29 of the book mentioned he writes the following about his arrival New Haven --
Overnight Abby and I became Southerners. People continually commented on our accents, and some professed not to be able to understand us. Abby ordered a lemonade our first day in New Haven, and the man behind the counter, puzzled, said, "Ham and eggs?" When an Israeli couple across the hall had us over for dinner along with a couple from Ohio, the Ohio folks asked the Israelis if they could hear any difference in our accents. In all friendliness, the Israelis said they could indeed because "we watch 'Hee Haw' all the time."
On page 39, Ayers mentions a Virginian who happened to be attending Harvard. After a while, the Virginian decided that it might help if he wore a placard answering routine questions he got on campus --
1) Yes, I am from the South.
2) No, I don't know your uncle from Mobile.
3) Strangely enough, both my parents are literate.
4) No, I don't like "Molly Hatchet" ( a popular Southern rock group of that era)
4) No, I don't watch 'Hee Haw'.
5) No, I don't own any slaves.
The Virginian decided that his sign strategy wouldn't work "because everyone would think someone else had written it for me, probably so I wouldn't have to memorize it." Benjamin N. Smith, "Southern Discomfort," Harvard Crimson (April 6, 1985), page 2.